Social Engineering

Why only populism can save the left

Populism is hated by leftist parties. With the advance of populist parties, the left is collapsing like a house of cards. Do both phenomena have something to do with each other?

What exactly is populism?

A subdivision into political directions popular among political scientists is populism, elitism and other directions (for example liberalism, religious or green politics) that remain outside the populist versus elitist discourse. Populism is a political vision in which an elite is held responsible for exploiting the population, or part of the population. Well-known populist parties in the Netherlands are the PVV and the SP.

A populist song, the Socialist International. Source: Norzartonk.org

Awake, rejected of the earth

The most populist message ever from the nineteenth century came from the unadulterated left: the writer and philosopher Karl Marx. He developed the Marxist ideology of a class struggle. This discourse is essentially populist. After all, the capitalist class exploits the proletarian class. Marx's call for proletarians worldwide to unite to create a classless society is essentially a populist discourse. Namely: calls for the overthrow of the bourgeois-capitalist elite, which exploits the proletarians. The milder left-wing variant of socialism is also essentially populist.

Unlike modern right-wing populists, classic left-wing populism is internationalist. Marxism sees robbery capitalism as a global problem, exploiting indigenous workers as well as colonized peoples in the rest of the world.

The incoherence of the modern left

The core values of the left are equality, brotherhood and the emancipation of the oppressed. A purely thinking left person will therefore always take sides for the oppressed man, for self-development and for solidarity. And, with this, reject any ideology that divides people.

At the moment, among left-wing parties such as the Green Left and the PvdA, it is bon ton to defend Islam as a victim of oppression by the mainstream culture, while Islam is an extremely patriarchal, homophobic and sexist belief.

Left-wing parties are also in favor of a meat tax, van energy taxes and strict environmental requirements. These mainly affect the poor. Food spending is a big chunk of minimum income budgets. By a meat tax meat is only affordable for the rich. With their energy taxes, the poor pay for subsidized solar parks and wind turbines from major international investors. Foreign giants such as Microsoft and Google are happy to use the subsidized green energy for their data centers and park the millions of profits made in a tax haven. In places where beautiful, environmentally friendly and above all affordable homes for people with a low and middle income could have been built in the green, with solar panels on the roof, ugly large solar parks are being built that will make the rich even richer.

Partly due to environmental activists calling themselves left, social housing has stopped. The scarce social housing is becoming increasingly scarce because of the massive immigration. The achievements for which the labor movement has fought hard, such as the scholarship, have disappeared. Because of the neoliberals, certainly, but also because of the betrayal of the left to the rejected in the Netherlands and the rest of the earth.

How can the left regain its power?

All truly successful left movements were nationalistic to some degree. Think of the Vietcong and other left-wing liberation movements. Difference between fascism and left is that nationalism of left movements is inclusive and does not distinguish between different ethnic groups. The populist left sees the entire population as victims of the exploitation practices of the international colonizer or their successors, the international robber capitalists. Not just the ethnic minorities, such as the identitarian left. Not just the largest ethnic group, such as right-wing populists. Everybody.

Today, the elite is neoliberal and globalist. The European Union and the neoliberal world order are working out well for multinational companies and the highly educated people who work for them. They import products from low-wage countries for little money and sell them to the local population for a lot of money. They channel the profits to a tax haven. They close factories in the Netherlands and reopen them in Eastern Europe or China. Other companies hire underpaid Eastern European workers to do dangerous and unpleasant work. Globalization thus benefits the elite, while the underclass bears the consequences in the form of unaffordable houses, low wages, unemployment and poor working conditions.

Populist left

There is one left party that stands up for the exploited underclass as well as for the exploited Eastern Europeans. That is the Socialist Party. The SP realizes that in its current form the European Union is primarily a neoliberal party, but that it turns out badly for its own employees. The commonly used argument that cheap workers strengthen international competitiveness is incorrect. Time and again it appears that it is mainly high labor productivity that strengthens the local economy. And you achieve this through experienced, well-trained employees who are an inseparable part of the company. Where the company and the employees go through fire for each other and go hard to make the best products in the world. Not by exploited flex workers.

We are not helping the poor in the rest of the world by letting in asylum seekers in bunches at a time. We do help them with visionary development aid and by removing unfair trade barriers and tax treaties.

An entrepreneur who can only survive on low-lithium is not worth a wink and should go bankrupt as soon as possible.

Eldorica, more prosperity with less work

The Club of Rome report came out about half a century ago. What if we had listened then? The visionary book Eldorica by the late Jurriaan Andriessen (1951-1991) explores the possibilities.

Consumer society: cheap is expensive

Not only do we consume much more now than, say, a century ago. The stuff we use also lasts much shorter. Compare something as simple as scissors. Good tailor's scissors, from the Swiss brand Victorinox, for example, cost around forty euros, but with careful maintenance, will last a lifetime. A pair of scissors from a Chinese manufacturer that works with razor-thin margins and underpaid employees costs around two euros at the hedge fund firm Action. This may last a few weeks with intensive use.

There may be three times as much raw material in Victorinox scissors as in Action scissors, but this is negligible compared to the raw material in the hundreds of Chinese tailor scissors. What if we bought these quality scissors right away and avoid the clutter of the Action? That would save a lot of environmental pollution, unnecessary work and energy. This is exactly the rationale behind the late Jurriaan Brouwer's utopian society Eldorica.

Eldorica: a luxury car for everyone

In the Netherlands, 400,000 new cars are sold per year, with an average of around 35,000 euros each. These last an average of twenty years. But what if each of these new cars lasted a hundred years, for example because their build quality is five times better? Then we could spend five times as much on this car. In other words, a luxury Rolls Royce or Tesla for everyone. Or, a much lower amount, so that we would have to work less.

This sustainable luxury car for Eldorica consists of the raw materials of the cars, which are driven through in our society. (c) Jurriaan H. Andriessen

Fitness center? No, generate energy yourself

Eldorica is not for lazy people, although you would say that at first glance with a four-hour working week. Because you generate the energy for your household appliances yourself. The exercise bike in Eldorica is there to power your TV set, radio and music system. Our body can generate about two hundred watts of power. So an hour or two of cycling and swinging provides enough energy for an evening of watching TV (Eldorica dates back to before the advent of the personal computer). Everything that can be done by hand is manually operated. That also saves electricity. Cars are only available for longer journeys. There is a covered bicycle for rides up to five kilometers. Aircraft and oil tankers do not occur in Eldorica. Instead, Andriessen imagined zeppelins and computer-controlled sailing ships.

Only those devices that really cannot do without power, such as TVs, work on power in Eldorica. These are charged via crank wheels and an exercise bike. The rest is manually operated. (c) Jurriaan H. Andriessen

Could Eldorica be possible?

In short: yes, if we had a meritocratic and technocratic administration, without incompetent and lying politicians. Admittedly, with a few adjustments - for example, the temporary use of nuclear energy to lay the foundation for a sustainable energy supply cannot be avoided, and solar panels are more practical than his exercise bike power station. And he didn't think about anything as prosaic as heating houses. Or healthcare.

Capitalism will also have to be replaced by a form of managed economy. Eldorica's economic system can be seen as one of a kind luxury techno communism. It is not without reason that Jurriaan Andriessen strongly emphasized a computer-controlled (cybernetic) form of governance.

Unfortunately we can no longer ask Jurriaan himself. He died in a tragic accident in a swimming pool in 1991 at the age of 39. The Jurriaan Andriessen foundation was established in memory. His book Eldorica, a travelogue to a better world (ISBN: 9789027424846) is unfortunately no longer in print, but is still available second-hand. There are also PDF scans of the book in circulation.

More information

Theme website graphic work Jurriaan H. Andriessen and Eldorica
Jurriaan H. Andriessen Foundation

Left and right distinction is now possible via facial recognition

Researchers developed an AI algorithm that in 70% of the cases on a face can distinguish left and right in voting behavior.

The election battle between left and right in USA ran high at the end of 2020. Source: Wikipedia

In discussions between left and right, it often seems as if two different human species are talking to each other. Nowadays left and right talk more and more past each other.

They see the other as alien. Mostly left has a hand in this and reacts more emotionally. An important distinction is also that left-wing voters show more emotions in their face than right-wing voters.

Not clear why left and right look different

The annoying thing about neural networks is that they can make a reasonably accurate prediction, but not on the basis of which they make that prediction. The researchers were therefore unable to pinpoint exactly what kind of facial features their system correlated with political affiliation, but they did find some trends. Like the attitude of someone's head.

The degree to which some form of facial expression could be seen in the photos also seemed to provide some clues. For example, people who looked directly into the camera, a favorite hobby of ex-VVD politician Wiegel, who is known for his conservatism, usually judged the algorithm to be more progressive. Those who looked away and showed disgust, therefore ended up on the “conservative” pile.

Difficult to replicate

Repeating this research by others, an absolute requirement in science, is difficult. After all, the photos and political preferences on which their algorithm has been trained contain pretty privacy-sensitive information. Other researchers will therefore have to create their own collection of left and right voters and apply the algorithm to this.

That is only going to be difficult, now that the proportions are so polarized. And this correlation may not be correct outside the (California) target groups from which the researchers obtained their data ...

How can you use this knowledge as a spin doctor?

The intention is to allow voters of your political preference to vote, and to discourage others from voting. For example, you could identify left and right voters by means of facial recognition. If you want mainly left-wing voters to vote, you can appeal to them and encourage them to vote. You want to deprive right-wing voters of the desire to vote with cynical jokes about the “pocket-filling politicians”.

Source
Michal Kosinski. Facial recognition technology can expose political orientation from naturalistic facial images, Scientific Reports (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-020-79310-1

Seduced by artificial intelligence: the siren AI

It started with internet porn. Then came the sex robots. We are now approaching the point for 2030 that artificial intelligence can pass the Turing test. In other words, pretend to be a human. For example, as someone trying to hook you up. What techniques will artificial intelligence use to learn to hack human emotions? When are you tempted by artificial intelligence? In this video the state of affairs.

Seduced by artificial intelligence. Source: https://pixy.org/5717311/

Seduced by artificial intelligence

Capitalism will always strive to maximize profit. You make a profit by selling products that you can manufacture cheaply for more money. When there is no longer a way to differentiate yourself with your special product, there is only one way to make a profit. Sell more. In other words: entice more customers and entice customers better.

If AI continues to improve and eventually surpass humans in information processing capacity, the logical end product is the siren AI. An artificial intelligence capable of completely wrapping people around its finger. Cash desk!

Dictatorship

But there are also supervillains. At least, evil characters who take the opportunity to grow into a real time Joker or Darth Vader. Such a person may come up with the idea of seducing the population with this. For example, to a dictatorship headed by him. Was Cambridge Analytica, the firm that helped Trump win an election, scary? Or the power of big tech over us? You haven't seen anything as yet.

Ex Machina

We saw an example of such artificial intelligence in the 2015 film Ex Machina. An artificial intelligence seduced the protagonist in order to escape, to work on world domination. This is not imaginary, says philosopher Neil Bostrom in his book Superintelligence. Tempted to doom? The risk is greater than most people think about.

No Human is Illegal: The Consequences of Mass Immigration

The Netherlands and Belgium are popular as a country of residence. No person is illegal, says Bij1. What are the consequences if establishment in the Netherlands and Belgium is legal for everyone?

Population increases by 40 percent due to “no human being is illegal”

According to a Gallup poll, around 700 million people worldwide want to migrate if they had the opportunity. About one percent, seven million, wants to move to the Netherlands. Belgium is less known and smaller. That is why fewer people want to move to Belgium: around two million, seems likely. Seven million new Dutch and two million new Belgians would mean that the population of the Netherlands and Belgium with 40 resp. 20 percent would grow. And the Netherlands is not even the most popular migration country. Switzerland and Singapore's populations would more than double or nearly triple respectively.

No human is illegal? Good news for construction companies and home and landowners

The millions of new residents must first be sheltered. In other words, houses. Lots of houses. Lots of houses. As in: two Brussels, and seven times Rotterdam. The easiest way to achieve this is to build a lot of flats. This way you create many homes on a small surface. A neighborhood with flats such as the L-flat in Zeist (Europe's largest flat) has a population density of around 10,000 people per square kilometer. If you put them together a bit of Hong Kong style. For those seven million extra people in the Netherlands and two million in Belgium, this means a city, consisting of tower blocks, measuring seven by ten kilometers, resp. four by five kilometers, there. In short: a mecca for enterprising real estate investors.

BNP is growing strongly, as is the turnover of supermarkets

The strong growth of GDP is due to this extra alone house building and the extra consumption of these seven, resp. two million people. Of which we will assume that five, resp. three million of age. It is estimated that social services will reach around 100 billion, resp. Pay an extra 30 billion in social assistance benefits and other subsidies, about which later. Much of this will disappear towards the country of origin.

We can assume that they will spend almost all of their disposable income in the Netherlands and Belgium. Social assistance benefits are not very high, namely. From an accounting point of view, this amounts to an increase in GDP of around twenty percent - the shops where they spend their money also have to do their shopping again - the so-called multiplier effect of consumption. Especially the neighboring countries will be happy with this. Their stores in the border region with the Low Countries will generate much more turnover, while they will not have to incur the costs for social services.

Lots of young men, shortage of young women

The group that wants to migrate [1] consists mainly of young single men between twenty and thirty. That is good news for the voters on Bij1. These are mainly single women. It is less good news for the police and the judiciary. And the male natives, of course. They will have a lot more trouble getting the woman. Or for women who want to walk the streets alone at night. Young men are more likely to be criminals. Mainly single young men. What also does not help is that these men mainly come from African countries. There, women have a low status. The top ten emigration countries are predominantly African. [1] [2]

More low-educated people who do not speak Dutch

However, employers of companies are happy where many low and intermediate educated to work. Such as gardeners and cleaning companies. The supply of workers is increasing sharply. They no longer need to hire Poland. Highly educated people are less likely to choose the Low Countries. For them, countries with low taxes and high incomes are more popular. Think of Usa and Singapore. If the brain drain is taken into account, the number of highly educated people in Belgium will fall significantly, while in the Netherlands it will increase by 21 percent [1]. Belgium is an attractive migration destination for Congolese and other French-speaking Africans. After all, they already speak French. Even more bad news for Flemish separatists, they are losing their majority. And the Dutch can then come up with new Belgians jokes.

After a few years, when importing seven million immigrants, the Netherlands will probably be very similar to the Palestinian refugee camp Mar Elias in Beirut. (c) author / Visionair.nl

Big debt, end of social system

Someone has to pay these billions. That “someone” is the tax-paying citizen. An uprising will break out if the tax goes up by a quarter. Thus began the 80 Years War. So the government will go into debt. In the first year you have to think of net 70 billion, resp. 40 billion national debt per year. About thirty percent is returned as VAT and other taxes. More in the long run. When more people find work. This means more debt for both countries. That the national debt per year by a sloppy 20 percent, resp. 15 percent per year.

We already have previous experiences with migrants. Many of them will remain unemployed. Seven out of ten Syrian and Somali migrants in the Netherlands are still unemployed [3]. The highly educated will find work faster. The government will probably reduce welfare considerably after a few years. This is the only way to keep it affordable.

"No human being is illegal" and ethnic conflict

Diversity is not always positive. Research data [4] from Bosnia shows a strong correlation between a mixed population and social unrest. To keep the Low Countries calm, a form of police state will therefore have to be introduced. This ties in seamlessly with the rather totalitarian party program of Bij1 [5]. Among other things, the party wants to transfer control of companies to the employees. Also impose all kinds of extra anti-discrimination rules. Toxic masculinity to punish. And also nationalisations. Then a one-off corona tax on all assets. This only works through a dictatorship.

The richest will leave the country. You are welcome everywhere with money. The rest cannot go away. They have a house. And a job. Also a family. So they will not give up their property without a fight. This is a recipe for anxiety. In short: let's not do this. No human being is illegal, but Lebanon is not a nice prospect.

Hezbollah supporters have a great deal of experience fighting armed conflict. Their extensive experience will come in handy in Bij1's Netherlands. Source: Author's photo, in Hezbollah Tourist Landmark of the Resistance, Mleeta, Lebanon

Sources

  1. Neli Esipova, Anita Pugliese and Julie Ray, Gallup, More Than 750 Million Worldwide Would Migrate If They Could, 2018
  2. Measuring Global Migration Potential, 2010–2015, IOM, 2017
  3. Seven out of ten Somalis on welfare, CBS, 2015
  4. Natalija Novta, Ethnic Diversity and the Spread of Civil War, Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 14, Issue 5, October 1, 2016, Pages 1074–1100, https://doi.org/10.1111/jeea.12171
  5. Party program Bij1, 2021

Stateless and statelessness, dream or nightmare?

Statelessness is the ideal for the “sovereign man”. But what is that like, living as a stateless person? And do you have a life?

What is statelessness and statelessness?

Nearly every shred of land outside of Antarctica, and much of the sea, has been swallowed up by states. Almost all people are nationals of one or more states. But what if you are not a national of any state? Then you are officially called “stateless”. Statelessness is the modern equivalent of outlaws. Determining how many stateless people there are is difficult. After all, they are nowhere registered as subjects. It is estimated Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion are there such in the world 15 million stateless people and possibly more.

Jurisdiction

States grant rights within their jurisdiction. That is the term for the area in which the laws of the state are valid. Most of the rights that states grant they grant to their nationals. Or to the nationals of other states. That means stateless people have few rights on most of the earth. Indeed, invoking the law means that the state is likely to expel or imprison the stateless person.

How do you become stateless?

According to the UN Declaration UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 15), every human being has the right to a nationality, in other words, can claim subjection to a state. In practice, most states have fairly strict rules for applying for their nationality. People who through no fault of their own find themselves between the loopholes of these rules sometimes lose their nationality. They thus become stateless. A child of two parents of Canadian nationality only, each not born in Canada, is stateless if that child is not born in Canada or another country where the place of birth counts. More examples on Wikipedia.

These Antarctic penguins are stateless. Statelessness is the dream of many a voluntarist. corp2417, NOAA Corps Collection Photographer: Giuseppe Zibordi Credit: Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA Public Domain

Become stateless voluntarily

There are also people who voluntarily renounce their nationality. For example, if you are a national of Usa, and you don't like Usa at all, you can walk to the local Usanese embassy and renounce your Usan nationality. The writer Glen Lee Roberts, who lives in Paraguay in early 2021, did this and wrote a book about it.

Renunciation of the Dutch nationality is only possible if you already have another nationality, of a country that recognizes the Netherlands. Renunciation of Belgian nationality is comparably difficult without extra nationality. In these cases, the only way to become formally stateless is to first acquire the citizenship of a country that can be renounced without having additional nationality, and then renounce it as well.

Benefits of statelessness

There are also some, albeit limited, benefits to statelessness. This way you can commit crimes with impunity in Antarctica. Namely, the Antarctic Treaty states that the perpetrator of a crime is convicted by his own country. The logical conclusion is that for stateless crimes in Antarctica cannot be prosecuted. So if you want to open a drug lab, host animal pornography or make the entire US Library of Congress collection of e-books downloadable by satellite and you are Rohingya or some other stateless person, Antarctica is a logical choice. If you try that as a Belgian or as a Dutch person, you will be taken away by a bunch of sturdy custodians at Zaventem airport if you miss the stroopwafels or fries from home.

Another advantage: as a stateless person you have no obligations. You are literally an outlaw. No income tax or conscription. Nothing. At least, as long as you don't reside in a state. So do you want to host deep fake porn from powerful people, you totally hate paying all taxes and / or do you want performing really false genetic experiments, then statelessness is a dream come true. This does require a network in the rest of the world. Hardly anyone lives on Antarctica and the high seas, and there are no postal addresses.

Nitrogen auction with emission rights solution for nitrogen problems

The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country with an extensive livestock population. That does not go well together. Naturally low-nitrogen nature reserves are increasingly dying. Is a nitrogen auction the solution?

Why is nitrogen a problem?
Just under eighty percent of the Earth's atmosphere consists of nitrogen gas (N2). Nitrogen is an indispensable element for life. We consist of proteins and proteins from amino acids, a nitrogen compound. The Netherlands contains millions of nitrogen sources, ranging from pets to pig fattening, and of course you, dear reader. Car traffic and construction activities also emit nitrogen, albeit much less than people and especially fattening farms. In the nitrogen discussion, we mean all nitrogen sources, other than atmospheric nitrogen and nitrogen bound in proteins. These are mainly ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen oxides (NO, NO2 and the controversial laughing gas N2O). Nitrate (NO3-) that washes out of fertilized fields is an environmental problem.

Nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands have already fallen enormously, but unfortunately insufficient for the new strict EU standard. Source: [2] [3]
Brutal construction freeze due to an administrative emergency
The EU has enacted strict rules for nitrogen emissions. Rules that are easy to enforce in a sparsely populated country such as France or Bulgaria, but very difficult in the Netherlands. The problem is not that nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands are increasing. On the contrary. This has fallen considerably, partly due to strict laws and regulations such as the mineral accounting for farmers [2] [3]. The problem is that partly due to the appalling lack of foresight by the Rutte cabinet, emissions did not fall quickly enough. As a result, a building freeze was declared with significant economic damage - and a continuation of the housing crisis.

Nitrogen Auction: Pros and Cons
The free market is very good at finding the economic optimum. This can be an advantage, at least if the scope of the free market is limited in such a way that no externalities occur. Creating externalities happens quite quickly. For example, clever entrepreneurs started breeding muskrats themselves, when the government put a premium of ten guilders on each rodent killed. In principle, the government can sell the right to emit nitrogen, for example, through a nitrogen auction. If a pig farmer quits, he can sell his emission rights through the auction to another farmer, to a builder or a nature organization (which then does not use them). At a certain point, the entrepreneurs who can earn the most euros per kilo of nitrogen emissions hold the emission rights, creating an economic optimum. According to the school booklet economics.

Any system of laws and regulations involving money has the potential for fraud. Nitrogen emissions take place in the form of gaseous compounds. Gases are notoriously difficult to trace from a single source. For example, a farmer can report that he has installed an expensive capture installation that he does not actually have, or a much worse cheaper model, which means that his emissions are much higher than official figures show. It is therefore necessary to check thoroughly here, preferably also with regular field measurements in the vicinity of major nitrogen pollutants. On balance, this system is therefore feasible.

Sources
1. Emissions authority: give nitrogen rights trading a second chance, FD, 2019
2. Acidification and large-scale air pollution: emissions, 1990 - 2017, Center for the Living Environment, 2017
3. O. Oenema, Fact sheet nitrogen sources, Wageningen University, 2019

What if: aliens actually cooperate with terrestrial governments?

In recent years, more and more footage, as well as reports of eyewitness accounts, of encounters between Usan pilots and unknown flying entities (UFOs), accelerating and changing direction faster than planes with human pilots could survive.

Truth content disputed
These images come from the USAF and the US Army. These institutions fall under the Usaan FOIA (Freedom of Information Act, comparable to the Dutch WOB). While it is not inconceivable that UFOs are a deliberate disinformation campaign by the Pentagon to test prototypes of experimental aircraft undisturbed, these indications are too serious not to investigate. A retired Israeli top official, Prof. Dr. Haim Eshed, wrote a book revealing extensive contacts between a technically advanced non-human species and the Usan government, and with it the Israeli government. It is not said that Eshed's story is correct - commercial interests may be at play (Eshed is an SF and fantasy writer), Eshed is "crazy" [4] or distracted from something - but we take it in this what-if scenario for correct. What are the consequences then?

Rumors of government-alien collaboration remain persistent. What if they are true?
No copyright / image taken from https://pixabay.com/users/comfreak-51581/

Mysterious Galactic Federation
The leaked information from the book, taken from an interview in the Hebrew newspaper Jediot Aharonot [1], is scant. The rest of the YA article is tucked away behind a paywall, but googling the Hebrew title provided a more comprehensive source. [3] According to Eshed, the aliens come from a galactic federation of alien civilizations, roughly comparable to the Federation of Planets in the famous Usan SF franchise Star Trek. These aliens are said to be secretly roaming Earth and working with the Usan government, of which every Usan president is aware. Both would work together on a base on Mars, the headquarters of the aliens in the solar system. Among other things, the aliens would have prevented the outbreak of nuclear war (which has also been reported by other sources) [2]. The aliens would aim to fathom the essence of the universe in conjunction with humanity.

What use can the Earth and humans be for aliens?
Both the earth with her abnormally large moon as the Sun are, physically, unusual but not unique in the known universe. Earth-like exoplanets appear to be common, NASA estimates more than ten billion in the Milky Way alone. There are already 24 "super habitable" exoplanets known that are even more suitable for life than Earth. We know that it is technically feasible to extract helium-3, for example, from gas giants such as Jupiter or, if necessary, from stars. Really advanced civilizations can even use black holes or - possibly - dark matter to generate energy.

The main special element of the earth is its diverse ecosystem and above all the presence of at least one intelligent, or at least: handy species. We are a lush oasis surrounded by dull dead worlds. As a residential area, the earth is not really obvious. A building space cylinder is much easier than traveling to a distant star. Not to mention the many bacteria species here that are constantly looking for food sources. It is interesting to collect DNA from millions of species and to sniff human culture.

And who knows, there may be more to it. The earth may be an important node in a transport network that is invisible to us. Or is an important raw material present here that we do not yet know, or of which we have not yet discovered a useful application.

Why the secrecy?
The existence of life outside of Earth is an idea that has been around for hundreds of years. Giordano Bruno, a contemporary of Galileo, was burned at the stake for it. An Alien Invasion is the chewed plotline of hundreds of wildly popular science fiction books and series, ranging from War of the Worlds to V and Independence Day. Probably most of humanity will breathe a sigh of relief if it turns out that minds infinitely superior to us prevent the best cabinet since World War II and their equally enlightened colleagues in the rest of the world, bringing their unsurpassed talents to the world. create disaster even further. Most people already believe in an unfathomably wise and all-powerful alien called God. In short: if there is to be confidentiality, it probably has another reason. Because where do these aliens come from? And: why do they, with their unimaginably abundant resources, need humanity to do research?

Option 1: The aliens were here much earlier and our ancestors worshiped them as gods. 
God has been mentioned earlier as an all-powerful alien. Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Would an alien land on Earth thousands of years ago, humans would presumably see them as gods. In fact, this is exactly what happened in some cases where Westerners with horses and firearms came into contact with less advanced civilizations in the field of weapons, such as the Aztecs and the Incas. Descriptions in both the Tanakh (Ezekiel) as in the vedic literature from India are very similar to twentieth and twenty-first technology, with Ezekiel. an airplane, in the Vedas a nuclear war and a missile defense system. If this were indeed true, and if the gods were indeed cosmonauts as bar owner Erich von Däniken claimed, literally billions of people would fall from their faith. The social impact would be significant.

Option 2: we live in a simulation.
According to the simulation hypothesis our world is kind of very realistic computer game, a kind of Second Life. God, from an atheist point of view, is then the sysadmin of the simulation that is the universe running on an unimaginably powerful supercomputer somewhere. We are then nothing but a computer program.
The various beliefs such as Christianity and Buddhism are in fact variants of the simulation theory. Indeed, this would come as a huge shock, especially to atheists and agnostics. Depending on what belief the actual simulation corresponds to, this too would have a shock effect on believers with a strongly deviating world view. The aliens wouldn't need our help here. After all, the simulation programmer is omnipotent. The Mars base would not be necessary either.

Option 3: the aliens come from a parallel universe. 
According to the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and some cosmological models, many parallel universes exist next to our own universe. Here the laws of physics are slightly different. The shock of this would be limited. The Celts already believed in parallel worlds. Based on ancient Persian legends and philosophies, the 1001 Night describes subterranean worlds. Heaven and hell, and the various worlds of the Pure Land Buddhism in which you incarnate if you do very well, or very badly, can also be seen as parallel worlds. Parallel universes are a less shocking alternative than the aforementioned possibilities. It is already quite common knowledge among the general public that our universe is probably not the only universe. The conditions for life are very favorable in this universe. There are probably many universes where, for example, stars explode directly or where no atoms exist. So this is certainly a possibility.

Option 4: The aliens' “experiments” are far from harmless and unethical by today's human standards.
Earthlings who claim to have been abducted by aliens say they were involuntarily part of breeding experiments. Indeed, an alien breeding program would be ethically very shocking and make the aliens not very popular among the average Earthling. A breeding program is obviously not feasible for a species that is biologically completely different from humans. For example, there are no known cases where Japanese octopus porn resulted in the birth of a new sea monster. Which brings us to the next option.

Option 5: the aliens are descendants of humans from the distant future and need our DNA. 
Witness accounts typically describe “grays,” humanoid creatures with large eyes and a large head on a spindly body. Compared to our ape-like ancestors, we have a bigger head, bigger eyes and a weaker body. Future human species could look a lot like these grays if these developments continue. It is possible that a calamity arose in the distant future, for example a disease, as a result of which reproduction is no longer possible or man is on the verge of extinction. Indigenous peoples with little genetic variation, descended from the handful of first settlers from Siberia, died like flies from common diseases like the flu or the common cold. Human plant growers are constantly looking for material from crops such as wheat, tomatoes and olives from so-called Vavilov centers. These are places where the most genetic variation can be found. Today's Earth is the Vavilov center of man. Future settlers, like the ancestors of the Indians, will consist of relatively small groups. They may be so genetically homogeneous that their survival is threatened. Harvesting genes on earth is then obvious. Cooperation from a major earthly power, such as the superpower USA, is then useful to cover up incidents.
This scenario assumes time travel. Since time travel produces all kinds of logical paradoxes, these beings would have to come from a parallel timeline. This scenario also assumes a relatively poor knowledge of human biology. Although sub-scenarios are conceivable in which this knowledge has been lost, for example because man has become a machine-like species and then all this biological knowledge has been destroyed by a disaster - we no longer know how Greek fire or (until recently) Roman seawater resistant concrete - these are not very likely. These aliens would then have to switch to low-tech methods such as sex and implantation in surrogate mothers. The strong point of this scenario is that it logically explains alien abductions.

Option 6. The aliens are stranded in the solar system and need Earth help to escape. 
The distances between stars are enormous. The distance to the Alpha Centauri Galaxy, the closest sun-like star, is 4.2 light years, or about 250,000 times the distance between Earth and the sun. Without a warp-like drive, these distances cannot be bridged.

Suppose an astronaut were stranded in Roman times, or in China's Tang Empire about A.D. zero, or among the Maya, and not get sick or killed. Even if he or she had a complete library of all of today's earthly technical knowledge at his or her disposal, and spoke reasonable Latin or Classical, Chinese or Kiche, he would have little use for the primitive wrought iron Roman, Chinese, let alone stone Mayan tools to fix his spaceship. To escape from Earth, he would have to build at least a late twentieth-century civilization to produce all the parts of his spaceship. This would take at least two to three generations, if you take a lot of risk, turn just about all priests into enemies, and have all the cooperation of those in power.

In this case, it is not so much a shock effect, but rather a (justified) fear of the aliens that they will be enslaved and exploited. This scenario would explain why aliens need human help.

A variant is that these aliens are the last survivors of an interstellar war, seeking shelter on a barbaric planet. Sort of like rebels hiding in a tropical rainforest.

Or…
This list is far from exhaustive. What do you think, as readers?

Source
1. The UFOs have asked not to publish that they are here, humanity is not ready yet (translated), Yedioth Aharonot, 2020
2. The UFOs Didn't Come In Peace! Astronaut Sets Record Straight On ET Nuclear War, Huffington Post, 2019
3. Prof. Haim Eshed: “Aliens asked not to publish that they are here (translated), radio2000, 2020
4. David Israel, Former Head of Israel's Space Program: The Aliens Asked Not To Be Revealed, Humanity Not Yet Ready, JweishPress.com, 2020

'Legalization of hard drugs halves crime in the USA'

As before during Prohibition, Usanese organized crime has grown due to drug trafficking. Voters in the US state of Oregon have now decided in a referendum to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs, including hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. How will this experiment turn out?

Since controversial President Nixon declared the "war on drugs" in the 1970s, several South American countries and Mexico have been disrupted by the lucrative cocaine trade. The Usanese ghettos fared little better. The war on drugs has produced only losers all over America. Reason for more and more thinkers to wonder whether the all-out war on drugs is such a smart idea. After all, crime is getting stronger and now has a clear incentive to look for new users, read: to make addicts. The war against drug users is also giving the police a full job of trafficking, with about one in two prisoners in Usa being held for drug use. Drug use is in principle a victimless crime. This also made the minds ripe in Usa to introduce a radical measure: what if we legalize all drug use?

In principle, legalizing drugs could halve crime in USA. Source: Steve pb / Wikimedia Commons ex. Pixabay

The uproar surrounding the raging US election campaign between Good and Evil (stick your own labels on your choice of senior citizen) is a bit snowed under, but in the US state of Oregon on the Pacific west coast, a very revolutionary proposal has been approved by referendum. Namely, the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of all drugs, including cocaine, heroin and LSD [1]. Instead of severe penalties, a $ 100 fine is now being introduced for possession of drugs for personal use. In the US, nearly 50 percent of all prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses. [2] In theory, then, legalizing drugs would cut crime in the US in half. In practice, many criminals are likely to look for another source of income. However, this will have a more peaceful character. Counterfeiting branded goods, for example, is also very lucrative and a lot safer. Will crime in Oregon drop drastically now? We will find out soon.

Economics Explained made it this educational video about.

Sources
1. Oregon becomes first US state to decriminalize possession of hard drugs, The Guardian, 2020
2. Offenses - Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2020

Is Luxury Communism the Future?

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, communism has been languishing. Almost all nominally communist countries, such as Vietnam, Cuba and the People's Republic of China, have become capitalist autocracies or have made room for capitalist initiatives. In short, the defeat of communism seems utterly and definitively, the domain of radicalinsky, forever banished to the scrap heap of history. Is that the role of communism over? On the contrary, says Aaron Bastani, the author of the book Fully Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto.

Communism without workers
Central to the book is the idea that in the future all human work will be taken over by robots, because robots will be able to do everything better and faster than humans. In doing so, he continues the trend that has been going on for decades: the exponential increase in the computing power of computers and the abundant availability of energy and raw materials is reducing the value of raw materials, energy and labor to zero. And with this the cost price.

Life is getting cheaper because of this technological deflation. It is true that there is less and less work, but there is more and more prosperity in an absolute sense. Until now, labor has been the primary means of redistributing wealth. Most people have a job. For this they are paid from the profits that entrepreneurs make or from the taxes paid by entrepreneurs. But what if there are no more jobs soon? Bioj example in 2029, when 1000 euros worth of computers can process more information than the human brain? Then the main redistribution mechanism, wages, disappears. The solution, according to Bastani, is a redistribution of production resources. In other words, phase 5 communism, the classless society in Marxism without phase 4, the dictatorship of the proletariat, having taken place.

The Five Phases of Society According to Marxism
In his book Capital (1867) nineteenth-century German writer and philosopher Karl Marx analyzed the relationship between technology, capital and society. He distinguished five phases in the development of humanity. These are:
1. Hunter-gatherer societies, such as today's Khoisan. These, Marx argued, had a form of communism for a practical reason. In a wandering existence you can never have more than you can carry on your back.

Karl Marx, the founder of the ideas behind Marxism. Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Feudal societies. With the advent of agriculture, it became possible to accumulate wealth and gather armies. In doing so, the ruling class, the nobility, extort peasants and craftsmen through their army, so that they could appropriate the profits. When Marxist-Leninists or Maoists talk about "feudal", they are referring to this type of society. We see a revival of feudal society in societies controlled by the mafia and gangs.
3. Capitalist societies. With the advent of free cities (and before, with trade-based city-states such as Carthage, but they did not fit Marx's “iron historical laws”) and factories, labor becomes a factor independent of land and nobility. In addition to the nobility, a class of well-to-do citizens, the "bourgeois", emerges, employing the "proletariat", the workers, paying meager wages and reinvesting the profits to become even richer. According to Marxism, Western countries are in this phase.
4. Dictatorship of the proletariat. Marx dreamed of a seizure of power by the proletariat, which would lead to an egalitarian society. The proletariat would do this without respect for the bourgeois, in other words a dictatorship of the proletariat would arise. The means of production fall into the hands of the state. This communist ideal was more or less realized at the expense of bloodshed in the former Soviet Union and countries like Cuba and China.
5. Communist society. At some point, machines become so productive that they can produce everything for next to nothing. Anyone can now live a luxury life without having to work. Because the means of production are in the hands of the state, no one is exploited anymore and everyone can share fairly. This ideal has not been achieved in any country, with the possible exception of oil states (temporarily and only for their own population).

As we know a century and a half later, the practice turned out to be unruly. While his economic analysis was broadly correct, he lacked a macchiavellian assessment of human nature in his ideal society (for example, he did not foresee the emergence of the "red nobility" of corrupt party officials and inefficiencies in the planning process) and underestimated nationalism. huge.

The five great crises
According to Aaron Bastani, capitalism has survived fairly unscathed over the past two centuries, but is now facing an existential crisis, due to five developments coming our way simultaneously. These are: climate change, scarcity of resources such as energy, water and raw materials, an aging population, a growing number of “useless” people, called “unnecesarial” by Bastani and, the biggest threat, a new era of machines that will completely replace the production factor of labor by machines, ie capital. Capital that is increasingly unevenly distributed. In countries like the US and the UK, dozens of people have barely enough money in their bank account to survive a month. And a large group of people who have nothing to lose is not conducive to stability.

The choice of poverty for most ...
Capitalism basically performs two tasks: increasing wealth (through efficient production techniques) and redistributing wealth (through wages). Where increasing wealth is increasingly successful, this does not apply to redistribution. After all, work is becoming less and less important. The logical end result will be a world in which a small group of empires own almost everything from asteroid mines that will wipe out Earth's mines with their massive production, to fleets of solar-powered satellites and a monopoly on medical technology for life extension, for example. And the rest of humanity? The least unfavorable outcome is that they will live in tightly ruled slums, with the food coming from 3D printers. After all, this is the most CO2 neutral solution. A world that is very similar to that sketched in the science-fiction film Elysium. More likely that is like all bargaining power of the population will disappear, the world population will be reduced to 500 million people in a completely painless and hygienic way, as the Georgia Guidestones recommend. After all, that is the most efficient and most profitable solution.

In the cinema film Elysium, a wealthy elite lead a life without disease or lack in the space colony of the same name, while the rest of humanity is locked up in poor slums. Luxury communism wants to exist as in Elysium, but for everyone. Source: Edited screenshot of the Elysium trailer

Or for luxury communism
The alternative, says Bastani, is that while we still can, we opt for luxury communism. In other words: distributing the production factors among the population. Asteroids, for example, are not owned by one person or land, but by all of humanity under the Space Treaty. You can also question the privatization of intellectual property. With blanket patents, technical progress in an entire sector can be halted. So viewed in this way, luxury communism is the most logical and also most humane solution. To achieve luxury communism, according to Bastani, and also Visionair.nl, we must opt for enlightened populism. Populism, so denounced by the “progressive” elite, is the only ideology that puts the interests of the population first. And that can save us from an existence like Elysium, where one genetically enhanced upper class lives in mind-boggling luxury and the remaining 99% in dire conditions.

Source:
Aaron Bastani, Fully Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto, 2020

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