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Essay/Chapter 20. Wording of the hypothesis
Chapter 20. WORDING OF THE HYPOTHESIS
1. General wording
To quickly go into the matter, we shall first give a very general enunciation, very intuitive, scarcely rigorous, of the working hypothesis we shall later try to set out formally.
We say that, from the exchange-monetary utilitarianism —that is the free monetary market—, which is private, springs up, through the rich and free interrelationship in it of vocations, associations, companies, inventions... in a given cultural time-space, a new utilitarianism which is communal.
We must explain what we have just said. What do we mean by a new communal utilitarianism?
We have already defined, in the first chapter (Part I) of this essay the word «utilitarianism»: it is «the system of production and distribution of the utilitarian goods».
At present human utilitarianism in the most advanced societies takes the form of a private monetary market.
In every utilitarianism we can separate two complementary sub-sets , which we shall call «production» and «taxation», which we shall define, also intuitively, in the following manner:
Production is the effort of some productive agents or production forces to obtain utilitarian goods; it is also the result of this effort, that is, the same utilitarian goods produced —which in the case of a merchant utilitarianism are called produced merchandise—. Production is then a process, but also the result of this process. For our working hypothesis, the meaning given to the word production is the second one, that is results.
Taxation is the action of the previous productive agents or production forces on the utilitarian goods previously and actually produced. In the simplest case, this action is limited to consumption, but in the case of merchant utilitarianism the taxation action is extremely complex. As can be seen, taxation is also a process, complementary to the production process. Now, in a commercial utilitarianism, taxation can only be carried out by means of a monetary reward of the production agents, called «salary». No production agent can act on any utilitarian good produced if it has not a purchasing power as a result of the monetary retribution of its prior productive effort. So, also the taxation idea has two meanings: one of process, of action; and another one of prior condition to the realization of this action. Also in this case we are interested exclusively for the second meaning.
So, summarizing, we shall understand for production «the set of utilitarian goods produced»; and for taxation «the set of rewards paid to the production agents».
Between production and taxation there is a relation which can be of balance or imbalance. When all the productive activity is actually rewarded, and therefore all the production may be converted in an object of active taxation, then utilitarianism is balanced.. When this is not so, when the production agents are underpaid or overpaid with respect to the actually existing production, then utilitarianism is in an imbalanced situation.
Then, when we speak of a new communal utilitarianism we refer, simply, to the existence, within the present private utilitarianism, of communal production forces —that is, that they are not the traditional private working, capital, company and invention forces—.
According to our hypothesis, these production forces actually participate in the production process, but they are not paid by the present market.
And it is no mystery nor are they ghost forces: they are, simply, communal dimensions of the productive process: freedom, peace, accumulated culture... are communal achievements which raise the efficiency of the productive processes, in a natural and spontaneous way.
But if these forces, actually operating, are not paid at all, they can neither participate in the taxation process. Then we find ourselves in an imbalance situation because of underpayment, becaus of low availability of money.
The palpable demonstration of this imbalance is made up, in our opinion, by the existence of commercial production surpluses, that is, of a production amount which cannot be absorbed, which cannot become a consumption object, through lack of purchasing power, that is because of the money shortage.
If these communal productive agents are not paid in money, it is partly because they are not known enough as such; but mainly it is because they cannot in any way be measured exactly within the present monetary system.
The monetary reform we have suggested is the only way of verifying the existence or not of these forces and, should they exist, of measuring their actual contribution, in terms of which they will be rewarded.