Society

Starting with individual Rights

That “An individual has, at the heart of the system, the right to do whatever they wish in their own home, that does not infringe on the rights of anybody else to be left alone” is a fundamental precept of freedom on which Smallism is based, and it includes the right to protect property and life by any reasonable means.

The rights to do whatever you wish, in your own home, that doesn't infringe on the rights of anybody else to be left alone.

 

Personal Privacy: We will look at ideas that imply a great deal of personal involvement in the local community and/or family. However, should someone want nothing to do with these in any way whatsoever; they have a minimum obligation to simply pay the annual bill and ask politely to be left alone.

Binary choices such as personal privacy versus community involvement are essential in a heterogeneous society to ensure that ‘a place is found’ for everyone in the continuum of personality types within a society.

Indeed it is the lack of flexibility and intolerance to opposing views in current political ideological debate, on both sides, that mean there will always be an unhappy proportion of the population, whichever side is in power, and we see this demonstrated in the swings between left and right in current politics over the last one hundred years and the confusion of resulting left and right legislation and concepts.

What the social experiments of UK Labour, USSR, Burma, North Korea and China has taught us, is that people do not respond well to change enforced with the use of law by the few who have (quite naturally) a deep, human self-interest at heart and who use this power at the expense of those who find themselves trapped in the lower orders.

In the UK today these seem to be the Political Elite or possibly, according to some sources, an almost invisible, incredibly rich and powerful group or groups, elite. Whichever it may be, a way has to be found to fix the implementation of the democratic principle.

Centralized power-based systems simply put too much power in the hands of too few people.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

                                                                          John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton 1887

The logic of the left, which reads that oligarchy is bad (which Smallism agrees with) but that monopoly is good (which smallism by extension has to disagree with) is nonsensical.  If putting power into too few hands results in bad outcomes (Cartels) then how can a monopoly provide a better outcome?  The only answer is that the left have a delusion that those that seek power (ultimate power in a truly left wing state) are incorruptible.  This defies history.  Every single capitalist that has emerged from China and Russia started in government.

Additionally, those that seek power tend to select pliant sub-commanders and as an organization becomes greater in size, be it a family, an overbearing state or a corporation (are all susceptible), the more power it wields, the greater the moral hazards and perverse incentives to abuse their position becomes.

Smallism creates society and culture change, not by legislating against specific (and quite natural, human) behaviors (as is the equality agenda) but by removing the incentives that create that behavior in the first place, once again, by restricting the size of an organization and doing so by providing flexibility in competition, employment, taxation, raising capital, mobility and most importantly, by giving local resources to local people for which profit is made and traded with wards that provide that which a local area does not have.

By ensuring all residents have a recognizable responsibility and reward structure in their local community, through shared ownership in local resources in a direct, measurable and specific way, Smallism encourages good and cooperative behaviour.  While talk of community in this way might sound a little like the communes of Mao, bear with me; in implementation Smallism is most certainly free market.

 

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation

 Thomas Brackett Reed

In order to change the people, you have to change the environment they grow into, as the council ‘sink’ estates from the 1950s on have demonstrated.  In many ways Smallism reverses the concepts of the sink estate social housing paradigm.

Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Humans? One of the interesting conundrums of the left wing desire to create a homogeneous human race is the ignoring of the power of the environment on human development.  In order for the human race to be homogeneous, it's environment must also be.  This implies that the left wingers must alter nature to create a standard, global environment in order to change the people.  Suppose that they did achieve this goal, by way of example, as soon as the race finds a new planet to colonize the effects of evolution will be seen over two or three generations as their physiology and culture is determined by distance from central command and local environment vs survival needs. Therefore, there is no possible way the left wing desire for a homogeneous  can be achieved over the long run, as nature tends to evolve.  To fight evolution, is to fight nature.  A force that has been around a lot longer than the human race, let alone cultural Marxism.

Human self interest should be celebrated as a natural human talent which Smallism exploits to create a peaceful and co-operative society by allowing true social mobility, variability, sharing, trading and education, rather than suppressing dissenters, as other regimes are bound to do when ideology fails. Smallism has a dualistic nature that always presents a choice for all personalities in society.

To achieve these goals we need to change our perspectives on who owns what and what can be done with that resource.

This requires us to first understand that 'public ownership' is not the same as 'government ownership'

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This section will introduce the Ward as a theoretical model on which we will gradually build up and expand into a practical, national society of self-managed, self-reliant and self-representative Wards in the modern context.

Our initial ward is minimalist and vacuumist with a few dozen or so houses, a farm, butchers, grocers and fresh well water.  Employment is created by the production and distribution of food and products created from the farm (e.g. leather) and families provide the social care structure for the young and old. Everybody owns their property and our Ward is fully self-sufficient.

Because this ward is isolated, all shared assets within the bounds of the ward belong to the ward and consequently, maintenance and upkeep are the responsibility of the ward. In our isolated example, there is no other logical possibility.  There is no one else to do it[1].

This Ward produces food and leather; the neighbouring wards produce whatever is appropriate to their resources at the current time and happen to consume the supply of leather from neighbouring wards. Trade in surplus produce is enabled and encouraged by encouraging a logistics infrastructure to develop that will allow businesses to distribute produce throughout the country.

Law and Order

In keeping with the self-sufficiency ideals of smallism wards will also have stronger powers to create laws for their area.  This is already happening in the UK and although some argue against the use of these laws giving the power to create them to the people, rather than having a local council or law enforcement agency create them on behalf of the people ensures laws that are wanted are enacted.  If an area has problems with begging, then there should be no reason why an anti-begging law shouldn't be enacted, however, if the people of a ward are happy with beggars on the street then they would not enact this law.  

Legislation in many ways in indicative of a deeper problem and this approach encourages wards to tackle the route cause of the problems rather than creating rafts of new laws.  Of course, some people believe legislation can fix social problems, this is, of course, false and instead of making begging illegal, which helps no one (except the prison and legal industry) the ward may decide instead to create a rehabilitation centre and provide work to the homeless.  Bearing in mind that jobs are now tax-free and free of legislation at a national level this creates a free and easy employment market benefiting both job seekers and employers.

A humorous example of what Smallism is aiming to achieve here 

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-03-30/councils-creating-bizarre-new-criminal-offences/


[1] Ignoring this concept is the fundamental error in our concept of ownership in social systems today.

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Smallism is based on the belief that calamities will happen, on local, national and international scales and that a social structure needs to be naturally designed to provide as much resilience as possible to withstand these shocks if the our nation is to be prepared for the unexpected.

The networked and distributed nature of Smallism means that should our Ward suffer a disaster, any damage is can be contained, limited, and mitigated.  For example, because there are wards with similar land resources who also produce leather, the effect on the supply chain is minimized.

Contrast this with a situation where our ward is the sole producer of leather and consider the knock-on effect on producers who manufacture products from that leather, including loss of future customers, loss of earnings, costs of restoring reputation (often in futility) and finally job losses and closure.

Clearly, having a flexible choice of supply is the preferred option for secondary businesses reliant on leather for their continued existence[1].

Currently our social systems are heavily dependent on narrow supply chains that increase the chances of major supply problems when things go wrong.  For example 3.74 MILLION-TEUS of containers came through Felixstow in 2011 (ranked 36th busiest in the world[2]) so if that port was disabled for any reason the country would grind to a halt, in part because the UK relies on the import of raw materials for its manufacturing industry, including metal supplies for the military and food.

By becoming more focused on fundamental self sufficiency as a network the country, will reduce its imports, starting with food, because of the focus on fundamental human needs, which will improve the trade deficit and keep more money flowing within the UK, after decades of politicians frittering away our Nations wealth for the tears of children.


[1] The trade off against cost is covered under the economics of the modern society.

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Social cohesion is created by common self interest; Pride is created participation

One of the psychological advantages of property ownership is the effect on the owner to tend to the maintenance of their investment. It is natural for a property owner then to want their neighbours to look after their own property to a similar standard, consequently pushing up the quality of local neighborhoods through the ‘keeping up with the Jones’” effect.

 

The inverse relationship created by left-leaning common (state) ownership policies is amply demonstrated by the dereliction and damage to council housing in sink estates in the UK and in Mao’s Communes of the 1950s where, because no one owned anything, no one had an incentive to look after anything (Dikott, 2011)

A similar phenomenon has occurred were the EU built roads in Africa, where there was no support infrastructure to maintain them, so five years on and the roads are unusable. Another white elephant created by central planning is Castellon airport in Spain's Valencia region at a cost of €130m. It has not seen a single passenger[1]. Adam Smith was particularly aware of this Adam Smith on Localised Infrastructure, writing of it in the 'Wealth of Nations'.

Smallism uses the reverse principle by giving groups of people and businesses a share of ownership, and the responsibility for the local resources they depend on day-to-day, ensuring that only features that are wanted by the people are funded.

The same applies to the quality of utility services provided. A sewage problem in the middle of the road is a problem for everyone.  If everyone is able to push for a resolution to the problem the problem will get fixed one way or another, and if the usual provider can’t provide a repair in time then someone else will and some form of penalty will be paid in some form.  From some it might be the reduction of service costs or a contractual penalty.  In the worst cases, that penalty might be paid by the ward choosing a new provider, and the poorly performing company will fold and its resources will be reallocated.

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Food is the true currency of last resort and the corporations and politicians own the food chains. This is a dangerous place to be for the people at the bottom and governments are implicit in this deceit on the people

It is said that a society is only three meals away from anarchy and since the 1950s the health of the population has been in chronic decline despite huge advances in medicine and medical technology.

Obesity and diabetes, among other previously rare disorders, and a rise in mental health issues seem to have risen in the same time frame, yet little consideration of carbohydrate intake is ever considered in medical trials.

This could explain why there are apparently so many different causes of cancer.  There is a good chance that if 90% of your population, eat some specific foodstuff, any other foodstuff which is then proposed as a cause of some illness, any test you do with them will come up with a false positive correlation. This seems to be true given that every study seems to correlate whatever is being tested with a cancer risk.

Additional evidence is available that carbohydrates are the cause of health problems from the Cochrane collaboration [1] seeing an improvement in not only the fat of a person, but improvements in cardiovascular functions for people on a high protein, low carbohydrate diets; Proof that body fat cannot occur without high levels of glucose (carbohydrates turn into glucose) in the body [2], and a rise in type 2 diabetes that is linked to processed foods. 

I once asked three teachers if they found students to be more excitable after lunch and all three turned as one to shout “Yes”.  Linking food to educational outcomes is another avenue that is not getting enough attention, although some schools have started to introduce bans on energy drinks, cheap to produce pastries and bread, but availability is still excessive and of low quality.

This poses a problem as the food industry that feeds our population cheap-to-produce; high carbohydrate foodstuffs are making huge profits at the expense of the public health, which has a direct cost to the taxpayer in healthcare.

The proposed changes to healthcare (Healthcare - The NHS) in Smallism also help science to distinguish between different populations. If ward A, identical to ward B in all facilties but has a higher incidence of a certain deseise it is easier to look at the differences between those populations than it is to look at a population as a whole.  For example ward B does not sell certain high fruitose products that ward A does and we find a lower rate of obesity it is easier to test hypothosis against other wards to do and don't sell those products.  The ward that has the products has the incentive to find out what the cause of the problem is, and consequently will fund the research, perhaps in cooperation with other wards with similar problems.

 

An analogy between the food industry and the tobacco industry has been made many times in the press, and already the European Horse Meat scandal has demonstrated once again that the size of the food chain provided the moral hazards and perverse incentives to game the system, the effects of which then magnified by distances between parts of the supply chain and the mass distribution to end consumers.

When you have a surplus of something, its value becomes less.  Even in rats, overpopulation causes cannibalism and what we would call anti-social behavior.  Because we are overpopulated we rely on the commercialization of foodstuffs to feed the populace which is compounding the problem with health issues, a vicious circle indeed.

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Smallism provides a national framework in which residents can express their diversity of political and cultural will in ward management style, effectively retaining the principle of being able to vote for your Labour or Conservative or other candidate based on ideology.

Those who believe in a Socialist way of life and agenda will be perfectly free to create their wards and to have the powers of taxation and spending and law to create the society they want.

Local council systems don’t work because they lack any power to really make the changes those in power would. Smallism would allow Labour heartlands to run exactly as they wanted by electing a chairperson and creating unions that look after their local interests, all this is fine with in the Ward if that is what the people living in the ward agree.

Again, Smallism is fundamentally about giving power to the people in an organized and logical manner that allows for change, evolution and development of the human race.

In another Ward, on the other extreme, each resident pays for the proportion of surface area their property takes up within the ward and again has responsibility for everything within, including having to personally fund the repair of interconnecting utilities if no other arrangement has been made. 

Naturally, as a consequence, not everyone will be happy with the ward they live in, and if the ward continually votes against the wishes of a specific individual, the final form of protest available to all residents is to remove themselves. Thus, these people would move to an area with better facilities, schools, or better employment options or whatever they felt important.

By staying in the same place, you’re not really going anywhere.

 

To support social mobility, Smallism makes buying and selling property much easier than is currently possible by removing many of the invested interests from the process, i.e. the taxman.

Sensible precautions such as surveys and land registry[1] will, of course, still be part of the process.  Money liquidity will make mortgages more readily available at low rates because the risk of people not being able to pay are lower given the freedom of employment Smallism creates.

The management of the ward in which the property lies will become a major part of the buying decision more-so than of today.

If property sales are very liquid the knock-on effect is providing flexible labour workforces and allows people to adapt to changes in local environments as resources are depleted and technology enforces changes to product output.  It would be ridiculous to pay the gold miners of the wild west to stay in a town where the resources had run out, and hence we have the Ghost Towns.  By preventing people from moving on, social control structures prevent evolution and growth.

One of the driving forces behind Statism is the desire for everyone to stay where they are.  This is evident in legislation that prevents employers from dismissing people, or removing troublesome people from state provided homes and this is the very ideology that actively stifles progress both as people and as a nation.

It is only by dealing with adversity and risk in a rational, evidence-based manner that the human race progresses technologically, so a system where nothing is allowed to change is dangerous to the soul.

Let’s look at employment. Apart from dishonesty, there are two main reasons for a dismissal. Either the person is incompetent or ‘other people’ in the context, don’t like them. 

In neither case should there be legislation preventing an employer from removing employees who simply do not fit. It is unfair on both the employer and on the employee, who is dissuaded from seeking employment in an environment for which they are a better fit.

Social policy like this is effectively dictating who your friends are. The left are very fond of telling you who to hate. But expecting the majority to change for a minority is a regressive move for society as a whole, creating divisions.

There is a saying that there is a place for everyone in this world:  how? I ask, will you find it when trapped inside a state dictated society. 

Smallism provides a framework in which groups of people can choose how they live and work without impacting on groups of people who wish to live by other societal values, with the expectation that good practice will thrive and poor practice will die.


[1] Land Registry would indeed become a much bigger operation dealing with a greater number of exchanges. 

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Given that the nature of education has changed because of the ubiquity of the internet, the political influences within the state education system and the range of specialist subjects available, that have grown in number over the last thirty years the way in which we deliver education needs to change. 

There are only two subjects or topics that are of universal benefit and these are English and Maths.

One of the mistakes (aside from the success of their political agenda) Labour made with education was opening up subjects that had previously been 'hobbies'. While it's wonderful that my children can take subjects that they enjoy - Singing, Acting, Media Studies and so on, the 'chances' that they will have a successful career based on those subjects is small. There is simply too much competition because they are subject's we'd all like to be successful in. Unfortunately, only a few of us make the grade required to become successful at them.  Simply look at the number of Media graduates working in unskilled jobs to validate this.

For this reason, educational establishments would only have to provide (by law) these two subjects (English and Maths). Once you have these two subjects, all other learning is discretionary.  Some people will study hard and specialise, some will read widely and be generalists. Some will not study at all.  The latter cannot be made to study as the education system has found out in the last 15 years and to try and force study is a waste of resources not to mention very stressful for teachers with targets to meets.

Wards will be able to open Educational Establishments in competition or collaboration with other wards. EE's will have to provide a high standard of English and Maths tuition, however, throwing open all other subjects to those who can provide them.

This means that a surgeon with an interest in helping mould the next generation of surgeons and doctors might want to run a biology class.  He would then apply to run a course using the exam board of his choice (or indeed starting his/her own exam board if he thinks that's required), select the students that apply, set the course fees (paying a rental to the EE for the use of premises, advertising and administration) and be able to make a profit.  The price set will vary based on the number of pupils applying for that course. If he turns out to be fairly useless as a teacher the number of students will drop and the course will be uneconomical to run. If he's successful then he might take on a partner to run another course using his teaching style and methods. 

In this way, the link between investment in education and potential wealth generation is re-established.

Operating this way opens up some interesting avenues for development because now consumers are paying for their futures directly incentivising the pupil to work harder at completion but also removes the discrimination by age.  If I decide at 40 I want to be a surgeon then there is nothing stopping me from joining this class.  If my genius son at 12 wants to take the course, he can also. 

This method completely breaks the monopoly of the state school system while ensuring all children get the two most important subjects to equip them with everything they need for future learning.  

It also allows pupils to have a change of heart.  If someone has done a year of Dance studio and realised they're actually not that good, there is no reason they can't start on a new career path, at whatever stage of their education or age they are at.

Furthermore, new opportunities are opened up. Professional courses become available to school children, including project management, IT and networking skills provided by vendors such as Microsoft and Cisco become available and a 12-year-old who completes these courses can be earning (at the time of writing) 30-40k per year by the time they're 14.

Additionally, education provision at a local level places education and jobs in the same area matching supply and demand.  If a coal mine requires engineers then it will sponsor courses at Education Establishments locally.  Should someone from outside the area want to follow this course then a range of provision will be available from boarding and sponsorship. 

Only the left will decry this concept as it creates higher skilled youth at an earlier age. They will scream about child abuse but if a child at 14 can earn this kind of money why on earth shouldn't they?  Again it's about having the individual make their own choices about their future and providing a system that allows maximum flexibility with the sole aim of wealth creation instead of ensuring a person has a poor education, irrelevant to the local job market and with little opportunity to change direction or progress further through study and experience.  One must not forget the number of unemployed media studies students created by Labours ideas of education.

 

Lifelong Learning

It seems reasonable that the focus of Education required by the state should be to empower the child with the drive, resilience and tools to take education as a serious and enjoyable alternative.

This system also allows for the flexibility in job skills that companies and business require, the state will only provide English (Including Latin) and Mathematics, but to a very high level, between the ages of two and fourteen.

One aspect of education that is missing from many schools today is teaching pupils ‘how’ to learn with respect to the taking of notes, reading ahead of the lectures and preparing questions, writing formal reports and essays. These are essential skills for lifelong learning and preparation for work and so will be persistently encouraged while learning all other subjects.

The rest of the time would be down to parental and pupil choice as per the model of modes of education.  If a person believes their three-year-old daughter has what it takes to be a dancer they can choose a route of learning to suit.  If that child then turns out not to be the protégé that was once hoped for the child can start another career path learning tree.  Incidentally, there is no reason she would have to give up on the dancing either.  This ability to re-train almost on demand, at any stage of life will provide an excellent foundation for a knowledge-based science and technology-based sector of the economy.

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Privatization of utilities failed because the fundamental issue of having only one infrastructure was never resolved and means that however you sell it, it’s still a monopoly, just sold by a number of different sales departments.

When you use a car you have two options. You can buy one outright and fund any maintenance and repair during the lifetime of that car, or you can lease one.  The utilities are in a position where they both own outright and lease back to the people.  You would not expect to pay maintenance on a leased car.  This puts the utilities companies in an invisible moral hazard. You’re paying for something you don’t own and for which you have no choice.

Just like us, wards cannot exist in isolation.  There are  interconnections between neighbours and we need to consider how, given the property ownership of infrastructure that   we now have, how we can work with our neighbours to ensure we all get the best service, for the best price.

Fundamentally, the ward could arrange all these services given land and resources, maybe a spring or a well for water, a chemical disposal system for brown waste, and solar panels (dare I say a wind-turbine) for electricity. A ward can in Smallism, at a legal and fundamental level, be self sufficient and even cut itself off from the rest of the world.  This is not to say this is necessarily a good outcome, but may well suit remote villages with little infrastructure and farmers who are used to managing their own infrastructure.

This desire for autonomy seems to be in the heart of every Englishman, as the success of the TV show The Good Life testifies.  Of course, the concept of The Good Life would not have been possible without home ownership and the respect of property rights.

But for most of us this level of autonomy is impractical. My family home has always been a three bedroom inter-War end of terrace house like that owned by a huge number of home-owning people in the UK and it may adversely affect my neighbor's right to be left alone, for me to run my own cesspit and chemical disposal systems.

As my neighbour and I have the same needs, the sensible option is for my neighbour and I to get together and, with others in the area, find someone who can do it for us for a fee, and to agree a maintenance method. The costs of the service are divided up by whatever method we choose at the local level.  For some groups of people, in say high density populations, an equal share of the bills might make them happy, for others a per-unit system might be in place depending on local conditions and priorities and management style.

Over time successful companies will grow their networks and incentivize others to improve the service and products.

Each service should be approached separately, and services bought from one collective for one utility might not be the same collective for the purchase of another, leading to a pick-and-choose approach to services[1] that keeps competitive pressure on providers while keeping the market open to new entrants and promoting local employment.  Keeping business local helps maintain a connection with its consumers and the local environment.

Creating Collectives of wards provides leverage for volume purchase of services and allows provider businesses to expand, which again links back to local employment.

We now need to bring our ward into a modern setting and this requires providing electricity, water, gas and network infrastructures. 

 

Again let us be reminded that the fundamental difference in the ward, is that the ward ‘owns’ its own resources and therefore, once again, it is the ward that decides which providers they use and the service level appropriate for their needs.

To go back to Paul's electrical company we find he has managed the Wards electrical system well and the ward is happy with the service and price, however, the ward next door has not been so successful.  A wide range of options are available. The neighbouring ward could simply contract Paul to look after their Wards electrical needs in addition to his current workload.  Paul could then either take on additional staff, or take over whatever existing resources that ward has and thus can grow his business.  His business will grow until either his operation becomes unmanageable when he will start to lose business, or another electrician comes makes a successful bid for some of Paul's work.

The budget is agreed by the ward and, because the costs are split, the budget can allow for better quality rather than cheapest cost and be managed by standard Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Insurance can be used to protect against unexpected problems.

For example: A ward has a sewerage network that will become entirely the responsibility of the ward, likewise the interconnections of water and electricity between wards.  As it now all belongs to the ward, the incentive for maintenance and repair is directly proportional to utility and perceived value of service.

 

This compares to the current system where the people in charge of maintaining services (contractors hired by councils) have no local connection (they may not live or work in the area) and therefore have no incentive to get the work done any sooner or at any particular level of quality, in fact most often a service chosen by lowest price is provided to the dissatisfaction of all, when the job needs doing again.

Disagreements between wards will be resolved financially in terms of the costs to alter a process to disbar the offending ward from the use of services and this is made possible by the element of competition between wards.  If one ward goes rogue,(2.91 Bad Neighbour Wards and Direct Action) business and contracts can be moved to another ward offering the same service.

Given that we have a network of wards with connected sewerage, how do we ensure that every ward does their part? For this, the companies that maintain the pipes would trade waste flow between each other, lowering costs for the ward and encouraging fresh investment to improve the trading possibilities.  At the end of the session costs are netted and the remainder balances paid, much like the telecoms industry does with trunk bandwidth.


[1]  Of the style that the EU is so passionately against but would actually be quite a useful way of transitioning states far behind the standards required, but that’s a story for another time.

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