Saturday, 8 November 2014

Means and ends, internal and external - thoughts

This article done got me thinking about the difference between means which are external to ends and ones which are internal.

http://c4ss.org/content/26616


I would like to suggest that all external means to ends are less efficient and usually less desirable than internal ones and people will go straight to internal ones if they have a free and open choice (obviously not always possible, as in the example in the article of learning a piece of music vs actually hitting the notes in order to play it, you won't get far unless you do both but lots of times there is choice).

My reasoning is simply through 'friction' you loose something by having to exchange what you've done for the actual point, if everything you do is part of the actual point then it is smoother and you don't suffer 'entropy' loss (if you will, and if I'm using that term correctly).

Three thoughts:

One: Explicitly intentionally violent revolution is by definition an external means to the desired anarchist end of a peaceful anarchistic society. Therefore it is less efficient and is therefore probably usually only pursued by people who (probably subconsciously) prefer violence for it's own sake. Starting now by building the new society in the shell of the old is a 'straight to the point' solution. With violence, like it or not, you are doing one thing with the aim of exchanging (broad definition of exchange) for something very different. Its not that I can't see the idea, I can.

Two: Working for a wage in order to be able to exchange that wage for things you actually want/ need (food, shelter etc.) would decrease in popularity in a free society and advances in technology would probably take us in the direction of getting things we want directly, in enjoyable ways. Example: Growing your own food takes longer and eats up more energy than just going to work for a few hours and buying it all from the supermarket. But, say you don't like work, but you love growing food, in that case growing your own is a free hobby and results in free food at the end, win win (free if you are saving seeds/ composting waste etc.) going to work costs you the hours and the effort that you spent doing something you didn't enjoy for it's own sake (even if it is relatively few hours), for the same end result.

Three: Lots of what Christianity says about ends not justifying means could just as easily be framed as; means which are external to ends are not only less efficient but are unacceptable in terms of ethics. Jesus' message that the kingdom of God had already come amongst us was a call to get straight to the point, no waiting around or trying to do bad things and hoping for good results.

This marks the end of my thinking for the morning.