From political economics to quantum mechanics back to political economics

This is a post I wrote a whole back but hadn’t published jet because I wasn’t happy with it jet.


It initially started off with two links to videos with Noam Chomsky the following two:

However, it is not necessary to watch the full videos to get the gist of the article. Just a basic idea of Noam Chomsky’s political philosophy of anarchism which involves among other things worker control of the means of production.

(Here the post initially started)



I think Chomsky’s ideals of worker participation can be very much achieved within a framework of free market, small businesses and freelancers. Because a freelancer is a separate legal entity than the business for which it works and thus might have less to fear if his contracts come from a diverse range of sources, he the freelancer is allowed to bargain with the small business over more than just money, but also organisational matters.

Additionally, the free market allows individuals to set up small businesses. These might not be 100% distinct from freelancers since there is still a large degree of a person trying to set up his own organisation and create his own rules for it. So in this way too we allow for worker participation.

Lastly, it might also be good to have the government enforce a certain amount of worker participation in the larger more rigid businesses, but here you rely on more trust in the system than Chomsky seems to have.

I do also think this model can be combined with a welfare state, by re-conceptualising why we pay taxes. Traditionally we think of it as a social contract you give the government taxes and the government provides you goods that no business can because of game theoretical (collective action problems) reasons and organisational reasons in the past.

Traditionally we think of it as a social contract you give the government taxes and the government provides you goods that no business can, because of game theoretical (collective action problems) reasons and organisational reasons in the past.

However, I’d propose we think of tax not as a social contract with the state but as a duty to do good. Most governments reduce your tax load if you give or invest your money in charities. So, if you try to do good with your money you won’t really pay much taxes.

One of the problems with this has always been, how do you decide what is a charity? On this question, there are many different answers possible. I think my charities must fulfil the condition that they try to do something the market doesn’t have an incentive for or a severally reduced incentive for. This of course still doesn’t create the dichotomy required for a simple list of things, but I think we can make smarter policies than just a list.

One of the ideas in quantum mechanics I particular like is the idea of pure states of particles and mixed states of particles.

Here a pure state is a neat mathematical solution to the wave equations concerning particles. Perhaps in layman’s terms, you could call it the extreme on a spectrum. Although if you see a spectrum as just a line instead of a space, that can have any number of dimensions, this analogy only holds when there are only two pure states.

Perhaps the reader can already guess that if the pure states are the extremes on a spectrum, the mixed states is the space in between those extremes. Where mathematically the wave-function (the mathematical description particle of the particle I earlier called a solution) is a combination of the two pure solutions. In physics, we call such a combination a superposition between two (or more) pure states.

Ok, so what does this have to do with policy? I think we should think of any organisation as a mixed state between charity and “evil” corporate business. That way we can reduce taxes by the degree to which the organisation is a charity. We’d probably still have to come up with sub-criteria, that make a business more or less a charity when they are present, but economists and other social scientists come up with those kinds of criteria all the time.

One big risk of this plan would be that in our current system big business could have too much of an influence on those sub-criteria and thus make them or their subsidiaries tax-deductible to some extent.

Whether you think that risk is worth it probably depends on to what extent you trust journalism, internet activism, and YouTube and other self made-intellectuals to properly police the activities of government. And that believe should in turn very much depend on the country you’re in and the political culture over there, although to some extent I must concede that the corruption in the American system is trying to infect other places around the world. On this, I’m not sure to what extent this attempt is being successful.






Cities and villages Part 3: Athens

Athens to me seemed so large that paying attention to the people on the street at first seemed impossible. There were to many distractions, cars making noise, an almost infinite sea of people with their own noisy or sometimes not so noisy habits. It trains you to not pay attention because really paying attention would cost too much energy and you’d take forever to even set a few steps forward.

Because of the noise and such, Athens to me felt as if it had an atmosphere of anonymity about it. The people most often don’t acknowledge each other on the busy streets and only when you get to a more quite places do people again acknowledge each others presence. Continue reading Cities and villages Part 3: Athens