Notes/Scarcity

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  1. Material goods are by definition exclusionary.
  2. We don't live in primitive egalitarian agrarian society anymore. In this society everybody uses simple tools, and produces their own property.
  3. Democracy is more than reconciling interests but designing institutions that encourage discourse.
  4. Increased democracy improves governance by fostering transformational effects, moving interests in the direction of commonality.
  5. We must not be reactive, emphasizing missing dimensions, mirroring the standard liberal image.
  6. We must reformulate those activities and spheres of interest from which the standard image draws its strength.
  7. Markets are important because they allow alternative ways of solving problems.
  8. Attempting to transform scarce material goods into the arena of commonality may become oppressive and self sacrificial.
  9. When interests are non-mutual and conflictual, individuals or groups may wish to resolve them through compromise or finally negotiation.
  10. Frank Cunningham: "The values of respect and tolerance are initially learned by people seeking the same goals but differing on means, and they can then be extended to respect and tolerance for people sharing some goals but disagreeing on others. Democracy-inhibiting prejudices (racial, sexist, or national chauvinist) thrive on mutual isolation but begin to be called into question in the interaction that participation in joint projects facilitates"
  11. For this reason, we expect democratic participation to transform individuals in ways that increase governance and autonomy.