“2312” by Kim Stanley Robinson is a book I'd advise everyone to read. There are some bleak aspect of humanity described, but it provides also a good study of the worst of our society and its capacity for change. One of the interesting analogies not developed enough to my taste in the book is the change from wolf to dog.
Dogs were wolf, until domestication by men. If any of you have seen documentaries on wolves, or read books on them ( I'd advise there Mark Rowland's books – he is a philosopher who has actually lived with wolves), you would know that wolves are more intelligent than any dog we know. Dogs need to be taught, through quite a strong discipline, how to react and be the best they can. Wolves have still an innate intelligence.
We are dogs to our society, and through some weird aspect, through an appeal at laziness that we all, one way or the other, succumb to. The example I have witness, and I know I'm not the only one, is the camera. The analogical to digital camera has brought a weird development. They are essentially the same to us, the support is different. Except that an analogical camera always provided the option to understand the process that was going on. You had a receptor of light, the film, you had a lens that would say at what distance you wanted this light to come, you had a focal that said in what amount of light at the time, and a timing of opening for this focal that said for how long.
That was it, that was simple and everybody could understand it, and make what they wanted of that understanding. You had your camera, and power over that camera. The digital revolution is a funny one. Though we can understand the digital process analogically, it is different in the fact that the changes we make, afterwards, are beyond the our understanding. Photoshop is a software that does not ask us to understand the cartesian coordination system to make changes manually, or even understand the RGB color numbering as a mean to scan the pixels of the image. All the algorithms are provided, and secretly kept, so we actually rent the power to change the picture, as the knowledge is a kept property,
This process of acquisition of knowledge, so the taking on power of our lives, more and more so, and it is the complete domestication of society,that does not happen only in individuals life, but also in the political sphere. The idea that socio-economical problems are phenomena for which answers are more complicated than the actions a government can do is a lie that is slowly coming up due to an invented complexity of the system. The most problematic aspect of this problem of fake complexity is that it slowly destroys the democratic process.
As Weber described it, a government is defined as the organization holding the legitimate use of violence. Bourdieu continued by assigning the government as the maker of the symbolic violence as well. In a democratic society, the population is therefore the decision maker, and anyone who is against that population will be punished ( one of the condition of justice is the fact that any breaking the rules risk a punishment ). The erosion of the democratic process I've mentioned earlier is that governments, and politicians, are losing that capacity to define the symbolic world –
I will quickly mention the United States of America which have clearly lost they democratic capacity when private companies are allowed to present and campaign for their favorite candidate, and the people candidates are not allowed the same financial support for their campaigns -
The media, held most of the time by profit seeking organization, will ascribe the language to use about socio-economical problems, and will define the perspectives and paradigm to hold about the economy. Also, the U.S.A. Being the hegemon, they confirm that language. Hence, a politician wanting to talk another language about these problems will appear as being either utopian or stupid, when there doesn't have to be something wrong in proposing other ways to exchange or produce ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marinaleda,_Spain this is an example ).
My point is that we think that the financing of the economies seems complicate, because we have actually assigned a system that is overtly dependent on markets, especially since the implementation of a single currency that doesn't allow much power by the states to control themselves ( http://translate.google.fr/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://blog.mondediplo.net/2013-05-25-Pour-une-monnaie-commune-sans-l-Allemagne-ou-avec&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpour%2Bune%2Bmonnaie%2Bcommune%2Bsans%2Bl%2527allemagne%26client%3Dubuntu%26channel%3Dfs ).
It seems all overtly complicated. Like unemployment. Unemployment is greatly the result of automation, and the mis-distribution of the investment for population to direct their own business, especially in developing countries. There is a systemic unemployment, and while we look partly to the USA to see how they solve theirs, they have found a solution, criminalize part of the population and send them to private prisons, so you create growth while solving unemployment, and the state goes back to its original feudal prerogative – deciding who is a foe and who is a friend.
Accepting unemployment as unavoidable is a paradigm that governments could accept, if they would take back the power that is theirs – deciding how we talk about ourselves as a society. Unemployed people are partly people incapable of joining the productive forces because they had other worries, but also people capable of joining the productive forces, but with no place for their capacities. And then, a lot of people work for NGOs, and are officially unemployed. So what is a worker, and what is an unemployed is a real societal problem, that is ignored, because governments do not want to change, challenge, the domesticated minds.