The self-management principle says that citizen should have right to vote in proportion to the degree one is affected by the decision. Many goods and services on federation levels of city, region and nation affects citizens (neighbours and workers) directly. Things like roads, railway, hospitals, schools, parks affecting all citizens, not just representatives from councils. So then how come we apply nested council based on vertical hierarchy (living/working place → city → region → nation) instead of self-management principle based on degree citizens and representatives truly affected by the service and goods (which is often not relevant wether the good/service is local or national)?
Dose choice in favour of nested councils instead of direct voting on federations levels violates the slef-management principle?
I think we are all in agreement about the goal, i.e. what it is that self management means, or requires. Namely: decision making input or power IN PORPORTION to the degree that one is affected by any economic decision. And I think we all realize that this can only be achieved in practice “approximately,” i.e. that we should not expect any decision making process to achieve this perfectly.
Now… how have we propose that it be achieved in practice? And in particular, how have we proposed it be achieve for what economists call PUBLIC GOODS, i.e goods which are “consumed” by many people jointly, like roads, parks, etc. where it is arguably most difficult to achieve?
Economists distinguish between different “levels” of public goods. For example, a neighborhood park which is used only by residents in a neighborhood, a public library which is consumed only by those who live in the city who are able to take books out, state highways which are used only be residents of a state (notice how imperfect this assumption is whenever an out of state resident drives on a state highway in a different state free of charge), and national defense, which is presumably “consumed” by every citizen of the country. We have proposed procedures that allow those who consume a public good to express how much they like it, compared to what they are willing to pay for it.
There is an important issue which economists were long aware of, which we have considered at some length. Just because two people in a neighborhood, for example, can both consume a neighborhood park does not mean that the value, or benefit from it to the same extent. Just as different people have different preferences for private goods, like bacon, or pie, they also have different preferences for public goods like a neighborhood park. For a long time economists thought there was no way to find out how much different people value a public good, like a neighborhood park, that was what economists call “incentive compatible.” If we asked people how much they were willing to pay for a park there was an obvious perverse incentive for all to say very little, hoping others would say more, because once it was there everyone would be able to enjoy it regardless of how much they had said they were willing to pay for it.
Now it turns out that even if we require every resident in a neighborhood to pay the same amount for their neighborhood park there is actually no perverse incentive for people to respond untruthfully when asked how much they value it. So surprisingly, if we simply tell people they will pay their proportional share of the cost of building and maintaining the neighborhood park, the rational thing for them to do is answer truthfully how much they value it. (I know this seems odd, but is in fact true.) However, and nonetheless, since we know that some value it more and some value it less, isn’t there a way for us to charge those who truly benefit more from the park more… say a parent with an 8 year-old kid who uses the park a lot… and charge those who truly benefit less from the park less… say a retired person who is physically disabled and unable to even go to the neighborhood park. It turns out there is a way to do this which is still “incentive compatible” which economists discovered in the late 1970s. It is a little more trouble to do things this second way than the first way… just charging all in the neighborhood the same amount… but it can be done.
All this is explained at some length in Democratic Economic Planning, chapter 7, pages 133 - 137. I hope this helps.
First of all, I agree with the goal of self-management, but responsible self-management.
The decision-making rights are in proportion to RESPONSIBILITY taken with any decision.
RESPONSIBILITY includes the degree to which the citizen is passively AFFECTED by any decision, but it also consists of an actively TAKEN responsibility.
An example of additional responsibility that may be taken by citizens - is not refusing conscription - such citizens must have more decision-making power in decisions related to international security and international relationships, whereas civil citizens should have less power or non.
It is still not a classical class society as any citizen has the self-determination rights which “class” he belongs to (by getting more decision-making rights and power together with responsibilities), but generally, it acknowledges the division between people with more rights and responsibilities and people with fewer rights and responsibilities. Decision-making rights are proportional to responsibility (including the degree ones affected by the decision). But it is close things.
=We have proposed procedures that allow those who consume a public good to express how much they like it, compared to what they are willing to pay for it.=
Neighborhood councils propose this kind of procedure only for neighborhood and workplace goods. While the decision-making procedure on the city, regional, and national goods are proposed to be shifted away to councils’ representatives.
But in practice, many city, regional, and national goods affect regular members of councils (regular citizens) directly, that is why I think some of these goods must be voted directly.
And also, elected managers of housing and neighborhood associations in practice have more things to do actually with local housing and neighborhood goods and services than with the city, regional, and national goods. While there are many regular members of neighborhood councils who may not chair the neighborhood council but may have more self-determination related to the city, region, or nation spaces than to the living space.
Regionalistics knows different kinds of spaces: city space, ecological space (like bio-regions), cultural, economic, informational, transcendental, or symbolic types of spaces. Housing or neighborhood managers may have little to do with them.
That is why I see the desirable self-managed society looks not like a nested structure of councils, but like “layers of spaces”.
Spaces can intersect, complement each other, touch each other, can have borders, or have a center but not have borders, diffuse, continuous, or discontinuous spaces. But they are not hierarchical (top-down) or nested (bottom-up) pyramids. There is no subordination of city space to regional space to national space, like it is in the modern era, as there is no bottom space and top space.
Spaces are the places for plans, strategies, and programs for assets and goods.
Anyone of the citizens of any space may be responsible for any of that “layers” without many bottom-up elections to get there.