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Solomon

The Traumatised Society

3 posts in this topic

Have just finished reading Fred Harrison's book - "The Traumatised Society"

I didn't agree with everything Fred had to say, but he highlights for me, the malaise of our western society.

Cheating and greed are for me, one and the same thing.

In the book Fred presents the Dynamics of Civilisations.

I thought they were worth repeating for this audience, who are interested in a more simple and sustainable lifestyle.

a) Subsistence. The phase of socialisation

B)/> Agricultural Surplus. The phase of innovation

c) Infrastructure Formation. The phase of urbanisation

d) Rent Appropriation. The phase of privatisation

e) State Taxation. The phase of exploitation

f) Institutional Decadence. The phase of corruption

g) Collapse. The phase of implosion

Fred claims that the western civilisation is at the level between State Taxation and Institutional Decadence. I quote the two passage referring to State Taxation and Instituation Decadence;

State Taxation: As rents (these rents are the basis of the book and refer to those who make a living by simply receiving rent from productive people without value adding to society) are secularised, the power structure hardens its centralised controls. People are subjected to authoritarian forms of coercion. Because the nation-state is receiving a diminishing share of the rents, it has to fund the renewal of urban infrastructure out of the taxes levied on household incomes. The process of compressing people's material lives begins in earnest. Schisms appear. In place of the co-operative spirit, adversarial techniques are deployed to "solve" problems. The solutions are necessarily second best, and are overturned with the transfer of power to new factions. Society is rendered unstable.

Institutional Decadence:It is the phase where the government/elite have to enforce ever harsher techniques for extracting revenue out of the population. The state presides over the depletion of the economies potential. The accumulated knowledge and technologies abolish the shortage of resources: every working person's basic needs can be met. But the maldistribution of income, consolidated by abusive state taxation, renders large numbers of people unemployed or living on breadline wages. In response to social tensions, the state attempts to mitigate hardship with regulatory devices: these aggravate existing distortion to the economy, imposing new layers of tension on society.

I will try to give you a few more excerpts from the book that I think are helpful to understand our current situation.

It is particular interesting to me, the role that Fred sees religion plays in this process. (Not sure why the little face appears at B))

Edited by Solomon

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