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Primary Resource: Text: We must renew the social contract by asking for consent rather than using force.
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We must renew the social contract by asking for consent rather than using force.

The way we make decisions has to be upgraded. We must renew the social contract by asking for consent rather than using force. There is a way that doesn’t sap our inner strength, but depends on (and strengthens) courage, generosity, and awareness. It is neither rule of the elite nor rule of the people. Instead of force, we will use agreement. Instead of mass mind, we will appeal to the sensitive mind, making way for plurality, complexity and the intangible.
Democracy should continue to exist as a substrate. We will still need a way to provide transportation and security, to regulate systems that can only exist on a large scale, and perhaps as a fallback while we launch ourselves for more profound solutions. But many questions will be decided at once and without controversy, because they have become obvious; others are purely technical matters that can be handed to specialists. As dysfunction subsides so will a great deal of what occupied us, such as the military, criminal justice system and social services. Government services will shrink. Armies of bureaucrats will slink away, and reappear as thoughtful, creative human beings.
We cannot believe in each other as long as we believe in the bully with muscles. More trust will allow more humanity.
Begin with small efforts to give back moral authority. As the paradigm of dependence on power lessens, space for personal character and belief in the public good can reawaken. Instead of telling, ask. Later, when trust prevails, new possibilities will appear.
Visionary government cannot be implemented by itself as a new system, but must grow with new forms of money, work and art. When we churn up the roots, the ground is clear. Plant those seeds, and see what grows.


Geoff Bederson, Visionary Society: My Journey There


Other Resource: Video:
 

‘Illegal Everything.’ How many laws do you break each day?
 
Primary Resource: Text: There is no need to turn every objective into a law
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There is no need to turn every objective into a law

There is no need to turn every objective into a law, backed up by the coercive power of the state and ultimately the threat of fines or imprisonment. Instead, let's take every new social need as an opportunity to expand our humanity. Let's begin to restore trust, responsibility, and opportunity.
The following are just examples. Any law is subject to a process of gradual de-coerciveness.

Easy
Use seatbelts.
Vacate seats for the handicapped and elderly.
Pay bus and tram fares and parking meters.
No smoking in public places, including restaurants, offices, trains and planes.
Stop at red lights. Obey speed limits.
Fines doubled in construction zones.

Medium
Do not steal.
Do not assault or injure others.

Hard
Pay taxes (pretty far down on the list!)

Geoff Bederson, Visionary Society: My Journey There


Text: Examples of excessive prices
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Examples of excessive prices

"And a simple $25 surgery developed by a Nepali ophthalmologist, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, lets people suffering from cataracts see again."
In related good news, American doctors performing the same cataract procedure charge $3,542 for the same exact procedure, a 14,000% mark-up over the rate in Nepal.
In 2015, the average cost of cataract surgery performed in the United States for someone without Medicare or private health insurance was $3,542 per eye.
Downtown Verona, NJ
http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataract-surgery-cost.htm

Physicians now have the prestige of used-car salesmen?
About 5 years ago I came down with pancreatis while vacationing in Paris. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks given many tests and complicated procedures and billed $23,000.00 for my stay. My insurance picked up the entire bill. After returning to the states I suffered a relapse and was admitted to New York Weill Cornell, probably the best hospital in New York. I was there almost 1 month and received the same type of care I received in Paris. The bill, around $500,000.00.” NYT, Sep 21 2014 Richard Cohen New York , United States

I went to the emergency room this year and got a cat scan and saw a P.A. instead of a doctor. I was there two hours and told to take ibuprofen for my pain. I got the Bill they sent to Blue Cross. $13,000.00 THIRTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! and did not see a real doctor. or get a prescription or injection. --- That is a problem. Thirteen grand for this???
NYT 7-4-2015. Salb. Detroit

If you were really indigent with nothing, then the law would usually require them to treat you for free. Otherwise they will try to collect, even to the extent of seizing your assets in some states - In some states, they can put a lean against your property. In this latter regard, the good news is that you don't own the property that you live on (I'd previously thought that you did). If they can though, they will still try to take whatever liquid or material assets that you might have.




Other Resource: Text: Unaffordable drug prices
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Unaffordable drug prices

For anyone still under the impression that the major pharmaceutical companies only have our best interests at heart, they should read this eye-opening admission from this Big Pharma CEO.
Via Raw Story:
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said that his company’s new cancer drug, Nexavar, isn’t “for Indians,” but “for western patients who can afford it.”
The drug, which is particularly effective on late-stage kidney and liver cancer, costs approximately $69,000 per year in India, so in March 2012 an Indian court granted a license to an Indian company to produce to the drug at a 97 percent discount.
Bayer sued Natco Pharma Ltd., but in March of last year, the High Court in Mumbai denied its appeal. Bayer CEO called the compulsory license issued by the Indian court “essentially theft,” then said “[w]e did not develop this medicine for Indians…[w]e developed it for western patients who can afford it.”
Nexavar costs approximately $96,000 per year in the United States, but Bayer assures “western patients” that they can have access to the drug for a $100 copay.
The United States International Trade Commission said that it will investigate “Indian policies that discriminate against U.S. trade and investment,” and despite the High Court’s decision, many in the Indian government are worried about the effect it will have on U.S.-India relations.
In an e-mail to Bloomberg Businessweek, Bristol-Meyers Squibb said that it is “deeply concerned with the deteriorating protections for patented innovative medicines in India.” The court cases that could ensue could tie up the Indian legal system in a manner that makes it impossible for doctors in the country to acquire any version of the drugs at any cost.

Source: Orwell Was Right, March 2015


Primary Resource: Document: A Pattern Language, Pattern 147

Other Resource: Link: First the Dishes, then the Revolution Occupy Portland, The kitchen’s mission statement. November 2011

 
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