Thanks for replying. It’s good to develop discourse on this.
Derrick Jensen has a great take on how the violence is always supposed (sic) to flow downhill, too. When it doesn’t, the media have no idea what to do about it (Like when cops beat up a black medal of honor recipient and he fights back and kicks their asses). Violence is never the answer, nor the actual problem per se. It’s a symptom of failed social function and/or resource management. Sure, there’s always the random crazy event, as humans are organic beings, but the majority of violence we see today is tolerated as acceptable losses/groomed by market forces (for-profit prisons, clickbait) to meet the needs of people with plenty of money, not too little. 1 school shooter is a random nutjob. 14 per year is part of a system that dollarizes it, whether intentionally or not. That system may be too complex to understand, but we can attack the complexity that keeps us from understanding it or its market forces.
We have to stop living like we believe the Invisible Hand is a real entity and take charge of the purpose of humanity (caring for our place). The religions (Judeo-Christian-Capitalist-Colonialist-Bullies) love your top-down violence monopoly/patriarchy idea.
As for taxing specific things, I don’t think that works so well (see cigarettes) unless it’s high enough. I think the core problem is that we have become like Spain after it found free gold (we found cheap energy to grow cheap food). They bought everything they needed and when the gold was gone, fell back to the stone age for a while because nobody knew how to make anything with their hands.
If the farm prices were appropriate to actual food value (people used to spend 40% of their budget on food), each farm could make a living with fewer cattle, less acreage, less fossil fuels and pesticides (more labor) and human bodies could be better distributed for useful labor instead of piled in cities with nothing to do but burn electricity.
Some good can come from a lot of leisure time if humans are taught to use it (ending slavery, developing new social systems, ending environmental rape), but if the system is based on slavery, aristocracy and environmental rape, then no system of democracy is going to fix it via voting for a ‘better’ version of the same.
It’s the Consumptionism (belief that one can buy a life from someone else) that is the root of the aristocratic power. Making it deceptively cheap has been the purview of marketers ever since Bernays applied psychopropaganda to consumerism. We have to stop paying corporations (producers and media) to brainwash us into submission. (see “Coercion” by Douglas Rushkoff).
From A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology “ meditations on the role of technology in the good life (Higgs et al. 2000) as well as specific critiques implicating consumerism in “identity morphing, aesthetization of life, and a denial of life’s tragic dimensions” (Brinkman 2006: 92) and as an “ideology enabling and supporting U.S. capitalism” (Wolff 2005: 223).
Then, there’s this: If the individual’s wants are to be urgent they must be original with himself. They cannot be urgent if they must be contrived for him. And above all they must not be contrived by the process of production by which they are satisfied. For this means that the whole case for the urgency of production, based on the urgency of wants, falls to the ground. One cannot defend production as satisfying wants if that production creates the wants.
Derrick Jensen can close this out: “ There’s something else. People say ‘what do you mean’ when you talk about ‘bringing down civilization’? What I really mean is depriving the rich of the ability to steal from the poor and depriving the powerful of the ability to destroy the planet. That’s what I really mean.”
Sales taxes. Big ones.