Is electricity a "human right"?

The place for chatting and discussing subjects unrelated to Wesnoth.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Is electricity a human right?

Poll ended at February 9th, 2011, 9:56 am

Yes
18
38%
No
28
58%
Don't Know
2
4%
 
Total votes: 48

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Velensk »

I've never had a problem with the private power companies in my area.

I generally think that it is best to spread power/responsibility out. Our government and the people who work in it already have a monstrous pile of responsibilities (many of which are quite important), far more than they can adequately focus on. Adding direct control of power production/distribution seems unnecessary (given my first statement, though others may disagree).

I also am not in support of any system in which things like the growth of the power industry are reliant on government action as anything other than a starter.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
User avatar
Eleazar
Retired Terrain Art Director
Posts: 2481
Joined: July 16th, 2004, 1:47 am
Location: US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Eleazar »

Definition:
Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

wayfarer wrote:...The people said no step further. We are the folk.
I'm having a hard time understanding most of the points you are trying to make. Stuff like this sounds like political slogans-- weather or not, it really doesn't retain any meaning in english.


I'm not trying to blur the distinction between socialism and despotism (dictatorships). There are two basic areas in which a nation can be free or unfree (or somewhere in between) Social, and Economic. The classic communist nations were unfree both socially and economically. I realize current European nations are generally much more free socially. I keep referring to communist nations as examples of the damage socialism can do because:
1) These countries were more thoroughly socialist for longer, than any socialist democracies.
2) Socialism is an economic policy, and communism failed economically. I'll admit the economic failure was influence by the repressive social policies, but it seems silly to blame it all on their social policy.
3) Since communism has essentially died, people are less likely to take it personally

wayfarer wrote:Best example is China it is a so called "Socialism" Country. The economy is capitalism the goverment a dictatorship and the biggest debtholder of the USA. :hmm:
China used to be a socialist country, but now it is one of the most capitalistic nations in the world. And it is the biggest up-and-comming economy, in spite of it's brutal and repressive social policies. Note the sequence of events: 1) China drops socialism. 2) China's economy skyrockets.

America, while formerly capitalistic, is now more or less half-way between the pure socialism, and pure capitalism, though most Americas still think of ourselves as being capitalistic, without perhaps precisely knowing what that means. While few industries/services here are owned outright by the government, most are highly controlled and regulated. So while i'm not a fan of China, i expect it to surpass America and the rest of the world economically, if things remain as they are.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
-> What i might be working on
Attempting Lucidity
Kanapka
Posts: 130
Joined: May 15th, 2010, 2:15 pm
Location: Poland

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Kanapka »

Wayfarer: Eleazar explained what I meant by referring to communist country, I should made my point clearer. I never knew Ackermann was an [censored], I'll do more research next time. I meant that the concept of 'dignity' is different to different people.
User avatar
bumbadadabum
Developer
Posts: 1005
Joined: March 20th, 2008, 5:54 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by bumbadadabum »

Wayfarer, where in Germany do you actually live?
The situation concerning jobs and the social system is really location-dependant.

Where I live, electricity almost became a right. Everyone earns enough money to pay it, and if you don't, the government will pay you.
This system works as far as I know, and I don't know whether we should change that.
User avatar
Gwledig
Posts: 539
Joined: March 30th, 2009, 5:10 pm
Location: UK

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Gwledig »

We should be aiming for a society, world-wide where the location of your birth, your parents' background or their resources should not determine the aspirations and potential of individuals. The world, not just the US or Finland, or Indonesia, is poorer because individuals with enormous aspiration and willpower to improve the lot of themselves and those around them are denied education, quality of life and the means to succeed.
In the networked world of today, electricity and access to resources dependent on electricity is essential for education, information and participation in the global society.
Human civilisation is slowly evolving in terms of both technical and living standards, but this is only happening in some parts of the world due to issues like the UN charter of human rights and improving the trade agreements between nations, the spread of democracy and accountability of government.
It doesn't matter what political persuasion you are, but we should all agree that the above model needs to grow and expand, and not be characteristic of only a small part of the world, or indeed decline.
Without a meritorious society, based on ability and not inherited power, we can't progress to the vision of the above future, so we need to find solutions which make this happen.
Maintainer of Conquest (Original Gameplay), Conquest+, Conquest+ Space/Ranged, Chaoz Battle of the Wizards, Lazersquad (squad game), WesCraft (building MP game)
User avatar
pauxlo
Posts: 1047
Joined: September 19th, 2006, 8:54 pm

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by pauxlo »

Gambit wrote:I don't think it [electricity] is a basic human right. That's silly. Electricity is entirely a technological creation. However I do believe that countries (even those with market economies) should strive to make electricity a public good. The private sector has done a very poor job of things.

Little to no innovation, jaw-droppingly high prices (almost all of it is profit), frequent and catastrophic breakdowns (mostly due to the lack of innovation), and many consumers still without it because it just isn't profitable to provide it to them. It also has all the attributes of a public good. It's non-exclusionary, consumption is shared, and if it weren't for the government allowing power companies to be local monopolies I don't think many of them would have produced it at all in the beginning.
I disagree. Maybe "access to electricity" (meaning having an electric cable to your house) should be a public good, and provided to anyone.
But I think the actual energy taken from the network has to be paid, and should be paid by market prices (not by "what your local monopoly decides to take", and not "paid by the government").

In Germany nowadays you can change your energy provider, which means that you pay your bill to another company, and this company then has to input the right amount of electricity in the common network, and pay a bit to the company owning the local network (and another bit to the owners of the interregional lines), so in fact there are no monopolies. (I think still most people are still with their local providers, since it is only some years that one introduced this change). (I'm not sure how much of the resulting prices is profit for the network owners or electricity producers, though.)

Production of electrical energy consumes resources - and often non-renewable ones, which additionally produce pollution (most famous: CO2). Thus consummation of electrical energy should cost proportionally, to induce using it (and thus the needed resources) sparingly.
Most easily, it would be taxed on the resource side, though.
User avatar
wayfarer
Art Contributor
Posts: 933
Joined: June 16th, 2005, 7:07 pm
Location: Following the Steps of Goethe
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by wayfarer »

@LightFighter I know it is not that simple but hey you could fill pages with details.
Eleazar wrote:
wayfarer wrote:...The people said no step further. We are the folk.
I'm having a hard time understanding most of the points you are trying to make. Stuff like this sounds like political slogans-- weather or not, it really doesn't retain any meaning in english.
You were using east Europe as an example so I thought you would know the history.
Eleazar wrote: I'm not trying to blur the distinction between socialism and despotism (dictatorships). There are two basic areas in which a nation can be free or unfree (or somewhere in between) Social, and Economic. The classic communist nations were unfree both socially and economically. I realize current European nations are generally much more free socially. I keep referring to communist nations as examples of the damage socialism can do because:
1) These countries were more thoroughly socialist for longer, than any socialist democracies.
2) Socialism is an economic policy, and communism failed economically. I'll admit the economic failure was influence by the repressive social policies, but it seems silly to blame it all on their social policy.
3) Since communism has essentially died, people are less likely to take it personally
1) Some still exist and actual now turn back from capitalism to a more govermental control.
And no not just russia. Finally some get the idea that it might not have been a good idea to sell the water supply because it was never ever intended to make profit and will never if you want to keep the standards
(Basic capitalism fundament the goverment runs all neccessary non profitable assets)

2) Well is the capitalism not failing aswell? Our Depts are rising and we are slowly drowning in workless people.
And the USA for example has the next bubble your Studend loans.

3) Well Kuba is still alive and running. :mrgreen:
And Venezuela is quite Socialism aswell (Do not compare them, Venezuela is a Democrazy).

Eleazar wrote:
wayfarer wrote:Best example is China it is a so called "Socialism" Country. The economy is capitalism the goverment a dictatorship and the biggest debtholder of the USA. :hmm:
China used to be a socialist country, but now it is one of the most capitalistic nations in the world. And it is the biggest up-and-comming economy, in spite of it's brutal and repressive social policies. Note the sequence of events: 1) China drops socialism. 2) China's economy skyrockets.

America, while formerly capitalistic, is now more or less half-way between the pure socialism, and pure capitalism, though most Americas still think of ourselves as being capitalistic, without perhaps precisely knowing what that means. While few industries/services here are owned outright by the government, most are highly controlled and regulated. So while i'm not a fan of China, i expect it to surpass America and the rest of the world economically, if things remain as they are.
The other side of the story are migrant workers who are better slaves. In China it is burning humans for money.
But alas no the next big thing will be India, China get's too expensive.
Someday America and or Europe will be the next big thing again. History repeats itself.
Last edited by wayfarer on February 1st, 2011, 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
This girl, this boy, They were part of the land. What happens to the places we used to tend?
She's a hard one to trust, And he's a roving ghost. Will you come back, will you come back, Or leave me alone?

-Ghost Fields
Joram
Posts: 366
Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Joram »

2) Well is the capitalism not failing aswell? Our Depts are rising and we are slowly drowning in workless people.
And the USA for example has the next bubble your Studend loans.
Capitalism has not existed in the USA for almost 100 years.
The Fires of Pride 0.3, a heavily story based campaign.
On hold while I try and finish my book
User avatar
wayfarer
Art Contributor
Posts: 933
Joined: June 16th, 2005, 7:07 pm
Location: Following the Steps of Goethe
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by wayfarer »

Real capitalism after the definition of the books never existed.
The USA gets as close as possible.
This girl, this boy, They were part of the land. What happens to the places we used to tend?
She's a hard one to trust, And he's a roving ghost. Will you come back, will you come back, Or leave me alone?

-Ghost Fields
User avatar
bumbadadabum
Developer
Posts: 1005
Joined: March 20th, 2008, 5:54 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by bumbadadabum »

wayfarer wrote:Real capitalism after the definition of the books never existed.
The USA gets as close as possible.
True capitalism and true communism are both things that will never work.
Capitalism causes us to go back to times where 5 % of the people had 95% of the money, and communism won't happen bacause humans don't work that way.
I think the best thing is to combine these two and find a balance. The government should help everyone, but not own everyone. People should earn their money, but the poor shouldn't suffer that much.
Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Velensk »

The USA as it is definately is not as close to capitalism as possible as it is already considerably less capitalistic than it has been in its history (and has been getting less capitalistic since the great depression). I don't know enough about the current situation in China to say for sure but I would not be surprised if at the moment it is more capitalistic than the USA currently is.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
User avatar
Gambit
Loose Screw
Posts: 3266
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 3:00 pm
Location: Dynamica
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Gambit »

pauxlo wrote: In Germany nowadays you can change your energy provider, which means that you pay your bill to another company, and this company then has to input the right amount of electricity in the common network, and pay a bit to the company owning the local network (and another bit to the owners of the interregional lines), so in fact there are no monopolies. (I think still most people are still with their local providers, since it is only some years that one introduced this change). (I'm not sure how much of the resulting prices is profit for the network owners or electricity producers, though.)
That actually does sound pretty cool. :hmm:
Tonepoet
Posts: 184
Joined: November 18th, 2005, 2:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Tonepoet »

Wayfarer wrote:You can ask everyone socialism is not a dictatorship. :annoyed:
Perhaps not in small amounts but every bit of social good provided through tax is a small bit of sweat off of somebody's back going to somewhere it wasn't quite earned. Some of it must be provided for in a healthy society, for instance as noted in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, in more or less words law that goes unenforced may as well not be law at all in point 12. However, promise too much to the people with too few willing or able to provide it and you'll either end up with some sort of dictatorial behavior or utterly empty words. Knowing what precise balance should be struck can be difficult and requires much deliberation through due process, which is a variety of topics all on its own.

It is for these reasons I believe a minimalist approach is typically the wisest. It not only safeguards the people against the administrative process giving more than what was ever earned but it also provides the most potential liberty by demanding the least amount of work from our providers.
Lightfighter wrote:True capitalism and true communism are both things that will never work.
Capitalism causes us to go back to times where 5 % of the people had 95% of the money, and communism won't happen bacause humans don't work that way.
I think the best thing is to combine these two and find a balance. The government should help everyone, but not own everyone. People should earn their money, but the poor shouldn't suffer that much.
It's a bit more complicated than measuring percentages because percentage only measures proportional wealth in relation to others, not total wealth per person. If society has more than 20 times the amount of total riches in exchange for having a group of the world's wisest leaders conducting 95% of the world's wealth, the whole of society would be better off for it. Even in the case that the richest should stop contributing at this point, the people would have more wealth and more opportunity to rise up and gain.

Regardless economic policy all has relatively little to do with what I'd personally consider a human right. Referring back to the French Rights of Man, a declaration which I think has a very good grasp on the issue, a human right in the legal sense, is a justified limitation in the power others in society have over the individual citizen, especially when it comes to authority. Taking a contextual look at what might be considered human rights in the U.S. seems to corroborate this theory, as it would seem to me that:

If you have the right to liberty, it appears to mean a party cannot capture you or take you into servitude unwillingly.

If you have the right to the freedom of speech, appears to mean the government isn't to interfere with your means of expression and communication.

If you have the right to due process, it appears to mean the administrative processes cannot treat you unusually in comparison to standard procedure.

The right to fair trial sets that standard, by limiting the ways government can persecute you to one specific process.

Two important points to consider show that rights don't necessarily bestow upon you any possessions:

If you have the right to bare arms, it appears to mean that authority cannot take visible weaponry away. I have seen no person interpret it to mean that I'm to be issued a handgun so that I may bear it.

The right to pursue happiness. Not expressly codified in law as a right in its own rite but perhaps an overall goal. No law can automatically bestow happiness, as emotions are both conditional and subjective. It doesn't appear to be seeking to cheer people up either, as otherwise there would be no need for its pursuit. Rather, it appears to mean that nobody shall stop you from seeking it out through whatever opportunities you're legally presented.

Considering that as electricity doesn't seem to be a form of limiting anything, unless applied to a fence, I would not perceive electricity or any other good/service to be a human right.
Htonsew Rof Elttab Eht is just too cool for school. I've got no words to describe it. Have any of you guys tried it? ;-)
User avatar
Eleazar
Retired Terrain Art Director
Posts: 2481
Joined: July 16th, 2004, 1:47 am
Location: US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by Eleazar »

LightFighter wrote:
wayfarer wrote:Real capitalism after the definition of the books never existed.
The USA gets as close as possible.
True capitalism and true communism are both things that will never work.
Capitalism causes us to go back to times where 5 % of the people had 95% of the money, and communism won't happen bacause humans don't work that way.
And yet in countries with a large dose of capitalism in their history, the poorest 5% of their citizens are richer than most of the rest of the world.

Pure capitalism might never have existed, but some nations have gotten pretty close, for instance the USA 200 - 100 years ago.
The opinion that the USA is now as close to capitalism as possible shows a profound ignorance of either what capitalism means, or what's going on in the USA.


It is true our economy is in trouble, but that is mainly because of two things:
1) huge military expenditures (literally we spendnearly as much as all the other nations of the world combined)
2) Social Security / Medicare i.e. socialism (~ 1/3rd of federal expenditures)

So, if the US economy busts, it won't be because capitalism failed, but because we were too imperialistic, and too socialistic. And indirectly, because we stopped reproducing enough new taxpayers to carry our ponzi scheme social security system.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
-> What i might be working on
Attempting Lucidity
User avatar
wayfarer
Art Contributor
Posts: 933
Joined: June 16th, 2005, 7:07 pm
Location: Following the Steps of Goethe
Contact:

Re: Is electricity a "human right"?

Post by wayfarer »

@Tonepoet
Come one how is a Banker sweating? He is working with the money of other people not his own and the money itself isn't real it has no real value in the world you their are not enough goods in the world to use all this money.
Money is a promise that you can buy everything you want as long as you don't do it.

About taxes? You pay taxes for your social security your roads your public transportation etc...
Well we could all stop doing it. :annoyed:
How fun would it be? Again we are a community we don't do it for fun we do it because without we couldn't survive.

And again this human world view. Would you stop working just because you won't starve?
I heard a very nice lecture. People have two world views. A humanist world view for themselves and a another one for everybody else. Everyone in this Thread tells me he would still be working but they don't believe that anyone else will.

@Eleazar
Lol. Good joke really.
How do I explain it. Yeah it is totally fair to compare the USA for example to Kongo. A developed counry to a third world country very significant. :doh:
You compare yourself with the village doofus aswell to look brighter no?

1) Serious? Cold war anyone? What you are blasting out right now is a joke.
2) So you think it might be better to use natural selection again, let the weak and old die?
Do you actual know this doofus who wastes all your taxes? Ever looked in the mirror? You are driving on your taxes, you get educated by your taxes, you are protected and given law by your taxes. Your goverment doesn't burn your dollars to light up their cigars.
The money gets back in the system or do you think health care doesn't creates jops? A nurse doesn't gets payment or what? Do you think she will work for the love of it? Or are so you opposed to new jobs?
It is basicly what Franklin D. Roosevelt did adopted to the times you are living in.

You stopped reproducing like all so called developed countries because it is so damned expensive to get children. Without help or a jop you won't get more money you won't reproduce and so on as I said a downward Spiral.
This girl, this boy, They were part of the land. What happens to the places we used to tend?
She's a hard one to trust, And he's a roving ghost. Will you come back, will you come back, Or leave me alone?

-Ghost Fields
Post Reply