Getting others on-board the RBE bandwagon
Most but not all of these folks fall into an activism category which believe the government needs to be adjusted to meet the needs of certain segments of the population. That generally means the poor or otherwise disenfranchised.
Most of us reading here know that doesn't work. Separating out segments of the population for special treatment by government just means more government, more overhead and generally less success. But how do you explain this to that group of progressives who see RBE ideas as no more than a new label for Libertarianism?
What I decided to do was create a blog on the rbeblogs site to chat about concerns with RBE ideas and, further, to show specific examples where the current system isn't working and, in general, is beyond repair. My blog is at http://cooltop.rbeblogs.com. Let me describe some of the issues I have brought up.
One of the basic problems with trying to get someone to understand RBE ideas is that they try to define it in terms of something they know. This is a normal response. Presented with an unknown we try to relate it to something we already understand. When people look at an RBE they try to compare it to a social and/or economic system they know. For example, they may ask how an RBE differs from capitalism. Once they understand there is no profit motive in an RBE, many then think it is just communism.
You then have to explain how it differs from communism. And so on. What I have tried to do in the blog is offer some specific examples of how a situation was handled in one of the socio-economic systems in use today and then offer alternatives of how the situation might have played out in an RBE. As an example, in my article Technology First, I present what happened with a design defect in the Ford Pinto and then go on to explore how things could have been different in an RBE.
In an article called Resource Hoarding, I talk about how a newsletter about making money sees hoarding as a profitable concept - another clear example of how the current system is not working in the best interest of the people. In yet another article called Waste I talk about how most of what we call waste is really a resource, and that by treating it as such, the need for other resources can be substantially reduced.
To address another concern, I wrote Sharing Doesn't Need to be Centralized. It shows that having an RBE doesn't mean that you are giving up local control. In that article I use access to intellectual property as an example.
There are more articles which specifically address concerns that people have mentioned to me or that expose specific problems with the current system. All the information I have written is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, so feel free to use it to help promote RBE ideas/address concerns. While we need activism for activists, we also need to step back and see how we can get the general public on board. Note that you can also create your own RBE-related blog on the site to address RBE ideas however you want.