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By Luc Loranhe (2006)
I understand that economic power translates into political power, and if we want anti-religious thought to prevail, it makes sense that we are in favor of the economic superiority of those countries, which steer an anti-religious, or at least a non-religious, course.
There is, as of now, only one major region in the world that has a largely non-religious history, and in which we can find anti-religious governments: Northeast Asia. Fortunately, the region is doing economically quite well.
It suits an anti-religious macro-political agenda if Marxist China becomes the world's economic lead nation. Thus, I am entirely in favor of this development. I assume that the route to a sexually liberated society is shorter from any anti-religious society, even if it may currently not be sexually enlightened, than from a religious society, how ever tolerant it may be. Religiousness transcends meaning of life beyond the individual life, and this stands fundamentally in the way of recognizing sexuality as the primary value-creating aspect in life.
It is obvious that a powerful national economy spreads wealth among a country's population (though this may happen unevenly).
I can imagine a rich and ideal society in which men and women are equally focused on optimal sexual experience, and in which no economic considerations play any role. I can also imagine a society in which every person is equal. I can imagine such societies because I have fantasy. But that I can imagine such societies does not mean that I consider them anywhere around the corner.
I have pointed out time and again that I am a practical person. I am not pursuing utopia. I work for political change from which I and those who share my views and agenda could measurably benefit within a few years. I am not a purist, but a pragmatist. A purist's view would be that we all are equal, and should be equally rich, and that for everybody, all unfulfilled economic needs vanish, and we all live in eternal bliss, without unfulfilled desires.
Dogmatic Communists adhere to such a philosophy. I don't. Actually, I think that the stated ideal is unrealistic. I think that we need, on an individual basis, unfulfilled desires. And I think that on a political level, we should manage, very practically, inequality, rather than pursuing equality.
I will discuss my practical approach towards wealth, both on an individual and political level.
INDIVIDUAL WEALTH IN CURRENT SOCIETIES
On the individual level, too much wealth is not beneficial in any current society. In any current society, if people are really wealthy, their wealth takes away their freedom, in a very practical, or impractical way.
Substantial wealth attracts attention, both politically and by the media, and envy by neighbors and the consumers of mass media. Attention and envy result in social control.
The only real values in life are optimal orgasms and a gentle death. To possess a luxury villa, even with its own golf course, is no genuine value. Not if it's a golden cage.
Most very rich men and women, and most famous men and women, have bad sex. Their richness or fame overly restricts them: paparazzi, or the press in general, take good care that wherever they go, they will behave (because they have a reputation to lose). There are few opportunities of the only kind that matters: new sexual opportunities.
Wealth, in current societies, only is useful if it is hidden wealth. If you can live your life without being under surveillance, but have the resources to experiment where you want to live, or to live parallel lives. But you can not be as rich as Bill Gates, or any other billionaire, and keep your wealth a secret. Thus, to be rich is an asset only to a certain point, and after that, in current societies, it becomes a liability.
Known wealth and fame are counterproductive not only for sexual opportunities but also for the second aspect that really counts in life: a gentle death.
Look at poor Ariel Sharon! Any other person they would have permitted to die a comfortable death from such a massive stroke. But Ariel Sharon was kept alive by medical technology because he was an important politician.
He was placed in an artificial coma, and when doctors reduced the amount of sedatives, they proudly proclaimed before TV cameras: Ariel Sharon responds to pain stimuli!
Yes, I can imagine him strapped to the wires of a neurology professor, just like a laboratory chimpanzee, and when the professor sends a voltage through the wires, then they both respond to pain stimuli: the lab chimp and Ariel Sharon after his stroke.
To marry too rich is just as bad as becoming too rich in one's own right. It's a circumstance that can easily result in neuroses, which Sigmund Freud tried to cure. Rich, gold-caged wives were Sigmund Freud's primary patients. The wives of poor men (who were not kept in golden cages) also had problems, but they did not get the mental disorder called neurosis.
Neuroses typically develop in a materially rich environment, which is overly organized. Inappropriately organized. There is a definite connection between the richness of an environment, and the degree to which it is wrongly organized. Organizing an environment requires material resources in the same manner as in physics, any kind of order requires an input of energy. Which leads us from the discussion of individual wealth to the analysis of wealth problems in current societies.
NATIONAL WEALTH IN CURRENT SOCIETIES
Unfortunately, whenever a current human society is richer than is required for maintaining peace, it is more likely to organize itself inappropriately rather than in an appropriate manner.
Take, for example the Muslim world. While there have been poor Muslim societies that also were repressive (such as Afghanistan under the Taliban), the likelihood of repression in Muslim societies by and large is proportional to the degree to which a country has achieved wealth.
Thus, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Brunei are more repressive than Morocco and Indonesia. The point is: repression and social control require resources, which poor countries don't have.
It's often better for the citizens if the countries do not have the resources needed to proceed too far on the organizing path. No, people usually are not aware of what they want. Furthermore, they often lack the intellectual capacity to understand what is good for them, and for this reason, it is often better if a government, especially a democratically elected one, doesn't have the material resources to implement too many policies, even of a kind the people presumably want (except peace).
I want to refer again to Muslim countries. You can, for example meet many Saudi Arabian men who are so frustrated with the situation in their own country that they regularly go abroad for sexual adventures. But at the same time, they express that they are Muslims, and that Saudi Arabia is organized appropriately along Islamic rules. It's an anachronism that many Saudi men are not capable of resolving intellectually.
Now, if their country would be poorer, there would be an increased probability (though no guarantee) that this anachronism would not develop, or at least not develop in as pronounced a manner.
Fact is that while people want to be protected by a state, they also don't want to be restricted by a state (not on an individual level, anyway). So, for the people, it is often best if a state is just rich enough to protect its citizens, but not rich enough to organize much more.
There are many more cases in which a country's richness has resulted in an environment less appropriate for happiness, compared with when a country was less rich. Take Singapore.
People used to live in shop houses, often with less than adequate sanitation. These shop houses also functioned as work spaces, and they were so crowded that many activities took place outside the shop houses, in the alleyways.
But the Singaporean government has striven for years to provide modern living quarters for all its citizens (sounds good), and that's what they have achieved. Most Singaporeans now live in flats, and the members of the older generation, which used to be accommodated in crowded condition with their children and grandchildren, have been provided with their own units in high-rise apartment blocks. And instead of communicating with their neighbors and taking part in the daily activities in crowded alleyways, they now pass their days alone, watching soaps. What a fine progress! As I said: the wealth trap.
But many of these old Singaporeans don't know what to be discontented with. The Singaporean government watched over the country developing from Third World into First World (that's how they say it) in about 30 years. That can't be bad! To be rich can't be wrong! And the governing political party is reelected with huge majorities every time Singaporeans go to a poll.
Elections! Conventional theory presumes that people know what their interests are, and vote in accordance with their aspirations. But most people cannot articulate, not in words and not even in mental images, what they want, and still much less what is in their genuine interest. Singaporean elders who feel bored in their flats will not understand the wealth trap, and continue to elect the government that made the country rich.
(Singapore is a special case because it is small and largely free of ethnic tensions; the country also always had a strong government that kept the lid on extremism; in other countries where the people also don't really know what they want, populists can at least address what they hate, and get elected on exploiting such emotions. Ordinary people have much fewer problems being aware of whom they envy and hate, compared to imagining how a society should be better organized.)
Here in Southeast Asia, many travelers prefer the poorer countries: Vietnam over China, Cambodia over Thailand, Indonesia over Singapore. They think that in the preferred countries, the people are friendlier. They do not realize that they like these countries because they are poorer, and this means, most of all: less organized. There is much more charm to the disorganization that comes with poverty than to the order that comes with richness.
There furthermore is a clear tendency that the pleasures which are pursued in poor countries are more genuine than those that are emphasized in rich countries. Because in rich countries, people have money to spend, they are consumers. Consumers are targeted by those who want to sell something.
But industrially manufactured pleasures (ranging from video games to soccer matches, and from Hollywood dramas to TV shows, or from hair styling to show-off cars) are ersatz pleasures. In order for people to be paying consumers of ersatz pleasures, there must be a certain degree of deprivation when it comes to genuine pleasures (sexual satisfaction).
There is a massive commercial interest in desexualizing society, or rather: in attaching "sexuality" to consumer products, rather than letting people have uncomplicated sexual intercourse.
This all contributes to what I call the wealth trap: that people are less happy when they are rich than when they were poor. And less happy in their rich societies than they were when their societies were poorer.
INDIVIDUAL AND NATIONAL WEALTH IN SOCIETIES WE WANT TO ESTABLISH
As I have mentioned initially, economic power translates into political power. For this reason, the sexually librated societies we want to establish have to be economically successful so they can out-compete sexually restrictive societies. History has proven time and again that capitalistic economic systems in which a large number of individuals strive to create as much wealth for themselves as possible are better in assuring economic success, both for the individuals and for nations.
However, economic liberalism should not be combined with political liberalism. Political power is best kept firmly in the hands of a political elite. And the political system should periodically siphon off the wealth that individuals have acquired and use these amounts for political projects or economic projects that are not viable if left to private enterprise. This siphoning-off can be organized in an apparently non-intrusive manner, e.g. through taxation.
A ruling political elite should always be aware that economic liberalism is not an end in itself but a means to assure national economic success which can be withdrawn for political requirements. Marxist China is the prototype for this political theory.
Communism is based on Marxism, but Marxism is more than just Communism. Marxism is fundamentally anti-religion and pro-science, and for these progressive elements alone, it is impractical from the philosophical and political perspective advocated in my articles to oppose too strongly the Marxist Chinese political system. Those who benefit from such an opposition to the Chinese political system are not alternative progressive forces but religious lunatics and other reactionaries who are in alliance with these religious lunatics.
The current political leadership in China doesn't concern itself much with matters of sexual liberation. But they are better than Western countries, and definitely better than Western-oriented Third World countries, in containing the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, including AIDS, without targeting sexual pleasure. In China, condom availability and condom acceptance is very high indeed.
And so is the availability and acceptance of methods and measures that dissociate sexual pleasure from pregnancy (a very important aspect for the sexual liberation of women).
There is obvious wealth discrepancy in China, but I assume this is accepted by the political leadership as instrumental for the economic success on a national level, rather than ideologically intended.
Economic equality or non-equality is one important aspect on which I differ from conventional Marxism. The professed ideological goal of conventional Marxism is to level wealth discrepancy and to establish an egalitarian society in which every person's needs are fulfilled on a constant basis.
I think that this is an illusionist goal, and it is politically counterproductive as it pushes those who cannot subscribe to so much idealism into the opposing camp (the camp of sexual reactionaries).
In opposition to the illusionists I hold that a certain, even considerable, wealth discrepancy is supportive of sexual liberation, in current societies just as in societies of the foreseeable future (even if the ideology laid out in my articles should gain general acceptance).
Wealth discrepancy even supports sexual social justice, as I will argue below.
First we have to be aware that every sexual interaction is an exchange by two or more people who have certain sexual market values. In current societies, the sexual market value of every person is determined by many factors: physical attractiveness, youth, being fashionable (whatever the trend), being educated, being witty, and last not least by how wealthy a person is.
By and large, consensual sexual relationships happen between people whose sexual market values approximately match.
The more factors there are in determining sexual market value, the easier it is, by and large, to find an equation. Some people compensate for low physical attractiveness by being more interesting, and others for a lack of youthfulness by being richer than others.
If our ideology were to follow conventional Marxism, we would strive to eliminate economic factors from the equation. However, the net effect of this would be anti-sexual because it would predictably reduce the options of striking a balance of sexual market values.
Eliminating economic factors would most clearly work against those who have a fairly low attractiveness level (either because of having been born less attractive or because of having aged towards less attractiveness), leaving them in a prolonged state of sexual dissatisfaction (which could be argued to be contrary to the ideal of social justice).
Mind you: opposing sexual discrimination based on age is on our political agenda though not by pleading with younger people to please not discriminate against older ones, but by creating a society in which age discrimination is reduced by practical political design.
I consider welfare provisions for pregnant women and women with children, as well as for children, imperative for the sexual liberation of women. The sexual liberation of women cannot happen when sexual contact and resulting pregnancies, even wanted pregnancies, are associated with an economic risk.
But for everybody else, the government should keep welfare at a minimum. For everybody else, the fulfillment of material needs should depend on his or her capability to earn a living. And apart from that, the government should siphon off parts of people's economic wealth, not just to finance political and economic projects, but to keep citizens economically undersupplied. I consider this a necessity for a sexually healthy society in which economic factors play an important role of establishing a person's sexual market value.
I differ greatly from both conventional Marxism and all other political ideologies in the that I do not demonize material wealth as a factor in establishing a person's sexual market value. Rather, I advocate that there should be no ideological barriers against using material wealth as an exchangeable value when striking a balance between the sexual market values of the people involved in a sexual relationship.
This ideological adjustment will assure that younger and more attractive people will be willing to have sexual relationships with older and less attractive people who otherwise would not be considered. And for older and less attractive people, the alternative route of exchanging material wealth for sexual gratification will be a great incentive to indeed be economically successful and creative which, when channeled in the right direction, can be very beneficial for society overall.
This would not have to lead to a commercialization of sexual relationships (in which third parties have an economic interest). Commercialization with third party profits would provide an artificial incentive for fewer, not more sexual relationships, as third parties would be interested in a scarcity among buyers for of whatever they sell (pornography is sold more easily if the potential buyers are sexually deprived).
The social rules for behavioral patterns based on a widespread acceptance of the exchange of material for sexual values could easily be spelled out. The net effect would be increased overall sexual experience, which is in line with a enlightened ideology that puts ultimate value on optimal sexual experience (followed by a gentle death). (v*n)
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Copyright Luc Loranhe