NLRBE & Libertarianism (Post 1 of 3) – Introduction, Sustainability, and Decentralization

Published August 30, 2014

018 higher contrastThe series questions some assumptions underlying libertarianism, from an NLRBE-informed perspective. It expands upon a written dialogue I recently had with a libertarian friend of mine. I thought the topic might interest other NLRBE-advocates.

More specifically, the series covers the following three issues that my friend and I discussed:

  •    Sustainability and decentralization, discussed briefly, and covered in this post;
  •    Property rights, morality, and government enforcement, also discussed briefly, in the second post; and
  •    Competition, cooperation, evolution, and morality, discussed at length, in the third and final post.

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As an aside, I try to keep a few things in mind when I have discussions like these, with those who hold differing views.

I continually strive to position myself as a truth-seeking partner, relative to the other person. My goal is to support us each in remaining as calm and curious as possible, rather than triggered into fight-flight-freeze reactivity. This is the only way I believe we stand a chance of ever changing the world, in a peaceful, stable, lasting way.

Here’s a song I wrote and performed, in which I tried to capture the flavor of what I aim for in these sorts of discussions:

Now, onto the first of our sub-topics, sustainability and decentralization.

My libertarian friend’s perspective:

“Innovation should proceed in two main categories: sustainability and decentralization. The former is obvious. The latter because centralized systems are easy targets for corruption, which is why the RBE is no solution in my mind, unless its somehow completely decentralized, which seems rather impossible, given its many similarities to a top down centrally planned command economy.”

My perspective:

I agree that sustainability, avoidance of corruption, and, to some extent, decentralization are key. And I believe the NLRBE model can deliver in these categories.

But, why do I say “to some extent,” when it comes to decentralization?

You noted that you thought decentralization was critical, “because centralized systems are easy targets for corruption.” (emphasis added)

So perhaps we can agree that the underlying goal is avoidance of corruption, with decentralization being merely a strategy for achieving that – as well as to meet the need for individual choice and autonomy?

If so, I agree, it is one strategy. And a helpful one I think. And, thankfully, it is one that the NLRBE model invokes, as much as is possible anyway, as I will detail a bit more below.

However, it is not the only corruption-avoidance strategy the NLRBE model utilizes. The model also utilizes the strategy of meeting all human needs by design.

The rationale is that decentralization removes the opportunity for corruption, but needs-met-by-design removes the incentive for corruption. For more on why this is the case, see the third and final blog post in this series.

But meanwhile, why do I say that the NLRBE model invokes decentralization “as much as is possible anyway”?

That’s because believe a certain modicum of organization and coordination will be necessary in our world, in order to achieve sustainability. That said, I believe that sustainability could be attained with a dramatically more decentralized and trustworthy system than we have now, which is what the NLRBE model offers.

Picture the open source software development process gone global, atop Bitcoin-style networking infrastructure. Picture as inclusive and transparent a system as you could imagine, with the only checks on innovation and choice being what’s either demonstratively unsustainable (socially or environmentally) or scientifically impossible. That is what the NLRBE model embodies.

For more details on the NLRBE system’s decentralized infrastructure, I highly recommend the video here (or, indeed, all three parts of Peter Joseph’s talk, for more context. You can find each of these parts linked from this blog post of mine).

You also might enjoy reading about exactly how the NLRBE system’s decentralized infrastructure could function, in Chapter 16 of the book “TZM Defined.” And, really, I highly recommend the book as a whole (so diplomatic, thoughtful, and well-researched, which I think you’d really appreciate). It can be accessed for free online, at this link,which will take you directly to Chapter 16.

By Tiffany Clark, an activist attorney, public speaker, and author, working to help us transition to a more sustainable and equitable world. Tiffany lives and works in Sacramento, CA, with her husband, two sons, cat and dog. You can find out more about Tiffany, her activities, and her offerings, as well as read more of her writing, at www.tiffanyclarklaw.com.

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