Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

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Heaven On Earth: The Rise and Fall of SocialismMuch of the history of the past 200 years revolved around a single idea. It was the vision that life could be lived in peace and brotherhood if only property were shared by all and distributed equally, eliminating the source of greed, envy, poverty and strife. This idea was called "socialism" and it was man's most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine grounded on science rather than revelation.

It became the most popular political idea in history. Its provenance was European, but it spread to China and Africa, India and Latin America and even to that most tradition-bound of regions, the Middle East. While it never fully took root in America, its influence shaped the nation's political debate. At its crest in the 1970s, roughly 60 percent of the earth's population lived under governments that espoused socialism in one form or another. Then, suddenly, it all collapsed.

Because its goal proved so elusive, the socialist movement split and split again into diverse, sometimes murderously contradictory forms. There was Social Democracy, which insisted that only peaceful and democratic means could produce a harmonious commonwealth. There was Communism, which extolled the resolute use of force and dictatorship to propel mankind to a new way of life.

There was Arab Socialism, African Socialism, and other Third World variants that sought to amalgamate western Social Democracy and eastern Communism. There was even fascism, which turned the socialist idea on its head by substituting the brotherhood of nation and race for the brotherhood of class. And there were those - from early American settlers, to the "flower children" of the 1960s, to Israeli Zionist kibbutzniks - who built their own socialist communities, hoping to transform the world by the force of example.

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394 Comments / User Reviews

  1. aspen

    A documentary about socialism from the American Enterprise Institute? Give me a break.

  2. Hakima

    Socialism is still alive in Venezuela and other Latin American countries. Just because Russian Communism and Chines Communism are totalitarian doesnt mean Socialism has to be. in fact it shouldnt. We need a Socialist Democracy ie one that regulates corporations and banks and a tax system that re distributes wealth from the rich to the poor. To live life free of poverty should be a right not a privilege. The only way many religions can live side by side in the same country is with secular governments. People need to fight for their democratic rights as these are being trampled on by corporations, banks, fundamentalists of many persuasions.

  3. Roger Brown

    Good Idea but left out one thing: Human Nature!!!!

  4. Kris Taylor

    "Good Idea but left out one thing: Human Nature!!!!"

    Straw person argument. Today we are so far removed from our nature as to render this argument, at best, irrelevant. It is not human nature to do myriad tasks we perform, without thinking, every day. Of all the critiques there are of Socialism, the "human nature" argument is easily the weakest and most poorly considered.

  5. Cliff

    Yes, Roger hit it on the head. If not human nature, then just the fact that we aren't a 'perfect' species.

  6. aspen

    Roger / Cliff, even if human nature is evil or weak in spirit as the western traditions assert rather than basically good, if ignorant and fearful; and if, regardless of the reason, we are an imperfect species, I don't buy the idea that our imperfection requires that we put the distribution of the goods and services that provide for our basic human needs and social good into a scheme motivated by those very base traits of our imperfection. Why is it such a stretch to imagine that we might, as an imperfect group, decide that some things (basic access to food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, etc) be, as much as we are able, guaranteed to everyone, and limit our profit motivated enterprises to what ever non-essential areas that your advertisers can convince us to trade our life's work for?

    I see no reason why a society, imperfect as we may be, cannot come together and say that these things are sacred, these things we agree we are morally obligated to ensure, and these other things, these things that the having, or the lack of do not result in suffering and death, these things you are free to profit from.

  7. Aristotle

    aspin, What do you do for a living?

  8. aspen

    I work as a systems analyst.

  9. Mark

    Interesting doc, although the smug git at the end harping on about capitalism must be blind if he cannot recognise the horrors of capitalism, throughout history and especially in the USA today.

    Neither capitalism nor socialism in themselves are the perfect political system, but when you take the best of both then you can create a political system where there can be economic growth, creativity and freedom, while at the same time safety measures for those at the bottom of society.

    Socialism in its purest form could never work, thus as we see in most European countries of today it has been reformed, but I wonder if someday the capitalist ideology will every be reformed?

    It is long overdue....

  10. chris

    "Socialism is still alive in Venezuela and other Latin American countries. Just because Russian Communism and Chines Communism are totalitarian doesnt mean Socialism has to be."

    Fail. I wouldn't exactly call Hugo Chavez the antithesis of - or even very different from - regimes like the USSR and China.

    Socialism. always. fails.

  11. Ani

    As rightly said by many friends that socialism do not considers "Human Nature"........ its true.. all of those who are shouting here for equality in wealth and property... do you have the guts to give away your property to state... or will yoube very happy if one fine morning you wake up and see the workers of neighbouring factory sharing your home as part of socialist ideas....Socialism is theory.... practically not poassible.

  12. aspen

    chris - everything always fails, life is change. With respect to providing for our basic needs, taking care of the planet for future generations and respecting others, the capitalism of the USA has certainly failed.

    Ani - 2% of the US population holds 40% of its wealth. 40% of the population holds less than 2% of the wealth. To try to scare common people about factory workers living in their houses is a weak argument. Sure, if we told socialist ideals to their most extreme ends, perhaps something like that might happen. But more realistically, I think what people are talking about is the possibility to reduce the disparity to a more humane level so that it's not causing undo suffering to the innocent. And that is entirely possible.

  13. Roger

    We have all heard of the seven deadly sins and the ten commandments... The answers have been around for a long time. I think that our ape mentality is still very much with us and we all have to make quantumn leap in our understanding of ourselves. Status Quo for now!
    Looks like things aint going to change soon, no matter what ever our politics are.

  14. Jose

    Human Nature is a weak argument against an economic structure? I doubt I have heard anything that absurd in at least a day or two. Economics at its core is the study of human behavior. You deny the lazy eating on the labor of the productive routine exists? You deny absolute power corrupts absolutely? The best book on economics ever written has a pretty self exploratory title. Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises. He did excellent work proving socialism cannot work due to the fact prices cannot be calculated. The Communists in Russia kept tabs on Hong Kong and Sears catalog because they needed prices (probably would have collapsed earlier without them). If you are interested in this stuff at all check out mises.org almost all the books are available online for free, plus great speaches and audio books. What America has today isn't true capitalism...its fascism or a kleptocracy just look at the bank bailouts, defense (how Orwellian) spending, and campaign contributions. And NO! Nobody has a right to some other person's property. Since we all own our selves that means no one has a right to take our labor or the fruits of our labor. Charity with free and voluntary associations are the best solution to poverty. Enlisting the services of the government to do it is asking for a disaster...all governments a violent institutions by their very nature.

  15. aspen

    Hello Jose, I agree that our human condition, what ever it might be, is a valid consideration when evaluating the relative merits of social and economic systems. That said, I also believe that it's insufficient to throw up our hands and make the blanket statement that human nature(!!!!), what ever it might be, is a complete argument against any one social or economic theory, or our ability to put that theory into practice. As I'm sure you'll agree, human nature also contributes to the challenges of a free market economy, fascism, or kleptocracy, what have you.

    It would seem that because human nature is expressed in all areas of human endeavor that any economic theory in isolation would be an insufficient solution to address the concerns, and must be paired with an accompanying social theory that includes education, criminal-justice, and other social institutions.

    Let's not deny that there are those who would do less and try to be provided for by those who would then be asked to do more. But let's not assume that that is a reason for socialism to fail. Those who contribute less could earn less support from the system while still ensuring that their basic (and we could set this at a VERY basic level) human needs were met. Or, if that was still unsatisfactory, those unwilling to contribute to the system could be excluded from it, required to make their way the best they could somewhere else, if anyone would have them.

    As for power and corruption, again, lets not deny the possibility that someone might be tempted by power, but why do we assume that absolute power is an inherent feature of socialism? There are examples of democratic socialism, or even anarcho-syndicalism that would seem to be counter arguments to the idea that absolute power is an inherent feature of socialism.

    Perhaps I'll need to read Von Mises' book, because it's not immediately clear to me what relevance pricing has to play on a society agreeing to guarantee some fundamental basic needs. Perhaps in the context of some totalitarian command economy expression of 'socialism' that needed to interface with it's capitalist neighbors, but I'll let someone who advocates for that system defend it.

    I'm not sure how productive I think it is to frame the discussion in terms of 'right to take our labor or the fruits of our labor.' I agree with you that voluntary associations are a very important part of a moral solution. But I suppose that I would suggest that governments should be voluntary associations. And that if we as a people agree to provide something, it has been a voluntary choice. I understand that's not the governments we live in at the moment, I'm just saying that I believe it should be. And if they were, perhaps they wouldn't be violent institutions. I think, for me, that's the very important distinction between capitalism and socialism. Capitalism seems inherently competitive / violent, where as socialism seems inherently cooperative and has the potential, (I acknowledge that it's a potential not often seen on a large scale) for being non-violent.

  16. aspen

    Seems to me he's arguing against a very particular and extreme form of socialism. And that his arguments don't necessarily apply to many other alternatives that might be more desirable.

  17. Ani

    Aspen: My dear friend, I dont want to scare people, but as far from my point of view,society is nothing but a group of people staying together.... have some due responsiblities for one another. Also one must not forget that every individual in the system have his own aspiration, and also human nature's most salient feature "To live a better life" that too materialistically.

    But socialism, ignores these elements,history says that where ever socialism has been applied it has paved way for a one party rule (just like old days of monarchy) where state will dictate what not only what an individual will own but also how he thinks!!

    So I think socialism needs to be changed in some ways to have a wider acceptance of the people.

    what do you say?

  18. Roger

    Aspen / You talk a lot of sense and I agree with you. You have hit the nail on the head. *****

  19. Hunter

    Very good documentary. It's all about choice and opportunity - one should have the choice to help others - and one should choose so according to his own ideals, plans and good intentions. Because by helping others prosper the world becomes a better place for us to live - and others may help us back when we needed it. The Karma typically comes full circle. The workers should own part of their work places. No longer paid only through wages but according to individual and collective productivity. Co-operatives are the future of socialism - one that is fluid, innovative, and democratic.

  20. Lauren in Socialist Canada


    I'm a bit confused, perhaps, but I don't see how these critiques of totalitarian socialism have any real bearing on the actual, everyday realities of socialist programs.
    Roads aren't built and paid for by individuals, they are contracted for by governments and paid for with taxes collected (non-voluntarily). The same goes for military defense, the health and human services organizations that protect us against widespread disease, the regulatory bodies that ensure competition in the market place, firemen, border-patrol, judges, and of course systems like U.S. Medicare and Social Security. THESE are all the products of "socialist programs" -- they are not privatized, and they are designed to protect and provide for the common good. They are all mandated by governments responsive to an electoral process, and so it could be argued are defensible, socialist components of working democratic republics.

    Contrary to the message of the film, I don't think these sorts of socialist programs have "fallen", but rather are on the rise around the world as, over the passing centuries, economies have grown sufficiently to sustain them (economies I must mention that have always supported services like border-patrol, epidemic containment, food for the starving, etc.).

    If the argument against is simply that socialism hurts productivity, then how does one explain the fact that those nations with the highest standards of living (Scandinavian / northern European), administer the greatest range of socialist programs? This cannot be ignored: nations like Denmark and Sweden prove, they demonstrate conclusively, that material well-being can be achieved in a way that is effective, AND compatible with a social safety net supported by progressive taxation -- i.e. socialist 'redistribution' (and by the way, their health care systems provide better outcomes at lower cost, as compared with the radically-privatized system in the U.S. -- no arguing with results).

    So what's left of the critique, beyond the rather naive philosophical argument that one shouldn't EVER have to bear another's burdens?

  21. Traveling Doc

    All these philosophical arguments over a couple of obsolete economic models fail to take one undeniable fact into consideration.

    100 years from now human labor will be obsolete, taken over by fully automated processes. In turn, we will be more productive than we've ever been with a flood of goods and services there for the taking.

    Trouble is, how do you decide who's entitled to what when 99.9% of the population is unemployed?

    I never could figure out why people spend so much time debating the past when it's the future we're going to have to live in.

  22. Erik

    Manual labour will probably be done my machines, but more people will then move into creative professions, just like what has happened every time a society has seen a rise in productivity.

  23. Nickmann

    Socialism will not die, it will transform and take shape as parts of a logic and correct application in a liberal democratic political system. The fact that the necessity of free healthcare and a social care is a need, will remain the last bits of what socialism should be and should have been right from the start. Communism was not a result of socialism, but a mad theory of those whom wanted to lead and didn't have the capability to do so, perverted the socialist idea in to an utopia, a dream that was meant right from the start to be a total nightmare. The need to impose a political system and to sustain it, does not justify murder or even capital punishment.

  24. lallu

    Call it what ever you like, but the idea that every human is born equal and deserves equal is not so bad after all. How you work out the details of achieving such a goal is an entirely different matter.

  25. chris

    human nature is not a bad or weak argument as a basis for refuting socialism. Simple fact remains that people need some form of incentive to be that much more productive. To assume people are in fact equal in terms of drive, intellect and talent is ridiculous and downplays and downgrades the uniqueness of the individual. And in practice, socialism has primarily failed.

  26. aspen

    I believe what people are saying chris is that human nature is an issue to be dealt with in all forms of economic/political structures and is not a sufficient argument, on its own, against socialism any more than it is against capitalism. Both systems need structures to address the consequences of our human nature (whatever that might be.)

    I don’t think anyone’s insinuating that people are equal in terms of drive, intellect, talent or any other personal attribute, but even if we’re not, we might still ask for generally equitable contributions from everyone involved in a social system, or perhaps gradated contributions dependent on one’s specific abilities. Absolute equality isn’t the point (and as you point out, couldn’t be measured across different types of contributions anyhow) the point is about cooperation rather than competition.

    What economic/political structure hasn’t failed? Show me a perfect utopia on this planet. There are societies that are, for various reasons, more or less able to provide for the needs and desires of greater portions of their population. When you look at the numbers for quality of life and social mobility, countries that lean towards social democracies seem to do better than countries with a laissez-faire approach to capitalist endeavors.

  27. Justin

    Socialism leads to total goverment control. They will tell you what you can eat, how many kids your allowed to have. They will control every aspect of your life. From healthcare to freedom of religion. Anytime you have big brother controlling everything in your life it is not a good thing. There is no freedom with socialism. Just dictatorship.

  28. Justin

    Just like the Romans if the U.S.A continues to push towards socialism like it is we will eventually fall the same way the Romans did. We will fall apart from the inside out. Romans were the cause for ther own demise. Just the same way America is falling apart today. Capitalism has worked for 200 plus years why change it now.

  29. aspen

    Hello Justin. I’m a little unclear about your post. Are you suggesting that imperial Rome was socialist, or simply the cause of its own demise? I suppose that would depend on your definition of what constitutes working. From my perspective it would need to include sustainability so it can work for my children and grandchildren as well.

    It would also have to include a more or less fair (not necessarily equal, but fair) distribution of goods and services so that those who might be otherwise exploited wouldn’t have justification for acts of violence against their exploiters.

    I’m also not clear on the social mechanism by which cooperation leads to tyranny, perhaps you could elaborate or provide a link to an explanation of the process? Perhaps I’m misguided but somehow I imagine it’s possible to have cooperation and freedom at the same time.

  30. milton

    I dont agree at all. Prove it aspen. PROOOOOOOVE IT!

    btw heres kissinger acting a fool again

    "Henry Kissinger," they warbled, "How I'm missing yer You're the doctor of my dreams With your crinkly hair and your glassy stare And your Machiavellian schemes I know they say that you are very vain And short and fat and pushy But at least you're not insane ..."

  31. Randy

    Seems someone (I'm looking at you) didn't pay attention in civic's classes or political history.

    Socialism and COMMUNISM are two different political theories. You guys seem to mix them up.

    We have socialism in this country (USA) and have had it for many, many years before you and I were born. Other countries do it better than us, and their citizens do better than us in just about everything. I speak mostly of Europe, naturally.

    Only the rich get socialism in this country, (USA), we poor slobs just get thrown to the curb.

    Do your homework!

  32. aspen

    Prove that it's possible to have cooperation and freedom at the same time? I would like to think that the majority of relationships are proof. Where both partners cooperate without necessarily having authority over the other. Community organizations like PTA groups, HOAs, or cooperative efforts like community theater or volunteer projects might be other examples. That's not to say that these groups might not have an organizer / director / etc, but having someone who coordinates does not necessarily mean that that person has any authority over anyone else. They're simply cooperating in a way that brings about the results they're looking for. There are examples of larger anarchist collectives but none that I'm aware of on the scale of a global nation state. Does it have to be? Anthropologist have suggested that the most effective social groups are between 50-250, at largest up to 5,000, but that the social group breaks dawn after that. So someone advocating for freedom and cooperation can also argue for more effectively sized social groups as well. Perhaps these smaller groups wouldn't be capable coordinating economically with each other to the point of being able to produce video game systems, MacDonald's or furbies, but basic food, shelter, art, education, etc have all been provided be groups of this size throughout human history. What these groups might fail to produce in consumer goods, might be made up for in terms of what they can provide in terms of what really matters. Ethical living, good healthy food, family and community connection, an opportunity to pursue various artistic endeavors.

    I understand the sense of immediate gratification and false peace that draws us to authoritarianism. And maybe some people are satisfied to give over their free will and self expression, but not all of us are and will ultimately subvert and rebel against totalitarianism. Lasting peace, true harmony can only be shared among equals.

    And milton, if that's not proof enough for you, the I, and others like me, will prove it through the way we live our lives. That's the socialist revolution that will succeed, not one of violence, guns and dictators, but one of hearts and spirits and common nobility.

  33. tony the tiger

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
    does all men are created equal mean that they are made the same way, as in with a sexual act, or that we are all to be truly equal? so either Thomas Jefferson was a little socialist or "the creator" is.

  34. Alex B

    Socialism has the the concepts and ideologies in order, but has yet to be implemented in a practical sense. What everyone here seems to miss is the true source of the corruption and failure of modern socialism as we know it today... which is MONEY and its parasitic system known as captialism. You cannot create a true Socialist society with our current method of economy, because as long as money is in place, profit is placed ahead of humanity. When we move into a resource-based economy, then the well being of society will come first, and no longer will we have to labour to survive, but through our ingenuity we can raise everyone's standard of living to our highest potential. this is not a fixed system, but a continuously growing system that improves as society and its technologies improve.

  35. Roger

    We tried both. Capitolism, Communism. Human nature stinks, in both cases. If we wanted to get on with one another better, I think we should be less selfish with one another. Law of the jungle, rules. Until we ALL Grow up, I don't think anything will change. Simple but true.

  36. Roger

    Alex B

    I see what you mean and it makes sense but I still think that human nature plays a major part. Is it, what goes on around us that influences us and moulds us to who we are, or is it what we do, in reaction to the circumstances of our existance. Perhaps it is nature and nurture. ???

    Good comments

  37. Alex B

    It's both nature and nurture. Our nature is to survive, like most other plants and animals, and our nurture comes from our environment, which shapes and molds our behaviors. Your environment conditions you because your human nature is to survive, and to survive means to try and fit in with your community. In the case of capitalism, and any other system involved with money, survival is by means of attaining wealth which is exchanged for goods and services necessary for us to survive.

    No one is ever born greedy or prejudice, but rather, they form behaviors based on their experiences and interactions within their environment. Actually, you can never say that someone "is" a greedy or selfish person, because greed and selfishness are not characteristics of a person, but behaviors. One cannot "be" greedy, only act in such a manner that exemplifies greed. Actions imply choice, and when it is a choice, it is not nature. It is natural to breathe, because you do not choose to do so, you simply do to survive, without conscious choice. It is our freedom to make choices in our everyday behaviors, and often those individual behaviors reflect society at large.

  38. Roger

    I can't argue around that one. I have to agree with you, but if that's the case, why do we need to have Socialism or Capitolism? There must be some disatisfaction, somewhare, to wan't either of them. If that is the" Status Quo", of things; Socialism and Capitolism seem irrelavant.

    Good Comments

  39. duck

    I had a neighbor for about eight years. He eventually moved away. He was always sitting on his tail along with the rest of his family, never working or trying to better himself. He collected welfare as did his parents before him. He intimated that I was stupid for working so hard while at the same time complaining that I lived a better life than he did.

    So, after reading the posts here, I guess I am stupid and greedy. I should have realized that it would be better to live off of someone else's labor than to make as good life as I could for myself and my family. How selfish of me not to realize that. I now know that housing, education, medical, food, transportation, is a right and the people that supply these things for a fee are selfish, greedy, %^(%^$#@@ sobs. I am going to stop working right away, where do I sign up to benefit from other people's labor ???

  40. Alex B

    @ duck

    I think you have misunderstood the overall message... at least from what I am trying to convey. In the case of people abusing the welfare system, it is but a reaction to our current way of life that demands sweat and blood from the working class to feed both the abnormally rich, and the poor (whether by choice or circumstance). It is but a means of survival, and we all have different methods. Some of us believe that if we work hard, be will one day be free of drudgery and enjoy the fruits of our labours, while others want the same, but by exploiting others' hard work to make themselves "rich" (whether that be the doings of the wealthy elite, or those who feed from the welfare system, not necessarily making them rich, but at least freeing them from what they perceive as senseless hard work).

    It is natural to feel cheated when you are the working class, because, it is, in fact the working class that make society function, and why should others benefit from our hard work? Well, this mentality is justified within our current social structure, where we give monetary value to everything we do, and class ourselves by the things we possess, and not by our character. Capitalism is getting ahead, by any means necessary, and unfortunately, we, the working class, are the suckers who provide for everyone else. Now, with that said, I still believe you cannot condemn others for taking advantage, because we have all subscribed the the very system that encourages this behaviour. You are not selfish or greedy for working hard to make a living, why it is just the opposite. Your generosity provides, not only for yourself, but for people around you, and though you may not feel rewarded within a capitalist, or even a socialist or communist system, please do not feel too discouraged as deep down, you know what you are doing has some value absent of material wealth.

    I agree with socialism, only if it can understand that it cannot function within a capitalist market based on money. That is why socialism has turned out so bad, because its values make are admired by many, but it has not been put properly into practice. You cannot win people over through politics or tyranny because those values do not reflect the essence of the socialist movement in which they are trying to impose. Socialism has to live within each human being, and the people have to want it to happen in order for it to take effect.

    Imagine the typical wholesome family, what I commmonly refer to as "The All-American Family Life." Not to say this is only an American ideal. In fact, I am actually a born Canadian, but I think back to how the American television networks portrayed American Family Life. Back to my main point, picture a family consisting of a mother, father, and three children, and maybe next door is Grandma and Grandpa. Now, let's look at the roles these individuals play. The father works to provide for the family, while the mother stays home to care for the children, and tend to the garden perhaps, cooks wholesome meals, and though she may not enjoy cleaning, it does need to get done. The children play all day, while the older ones go to school for social and educational benefits, and have little responsibility but to be kids. The Grandparents next door occasionally drop by for company, and often share stories of old, and give advice where needed.

    Now, imagine the world behaving in this manner, not on a home by home basis, but by a large community basis. The people who can and want to work will do what is necessary to make society function. Our world does not require everyone to work, only in a capitalist society. Think of the many meaningless jobs that really serve no practical purpose to human survival or lifestyle, such as accounting, sales, cashier, sweat shop manufacturing, secretaries, etc. Now, that is not to insult anyone, as we are all trying to make a living. This is simply fact. Now remember that my statements should not be read as absolute, and that by me saying these jobs are "meaningless" is not the full extent of my thesis.

    I will continue my ideas onto the next comment...

  41. Alex B

    Continuing from my last comment/novel...

    The people who can and want to work will do what is necessary to make society function. In my family example, not everyone works, in fact, only a small percentage work, and in my example the father. Now, you don't demand that your children or wife work because you feel that they are not doing their part, do you? You provide because they are your family, so why do we not call our earthly brothers and sisters all family? Because of genetic "accidents?" Because they do not share the same DNA? How trivial are we? We share the planet, so we better learn to treat each other as family who share the same house. The point I am getting at is the idea that we all don't have to work to provide for all. We all have our roles to play and with time, we hope to raise the next generation of people who will take the reigns and provide for us. We all have talents in some form or another, and e should encourage everyone to explore their abilities to their highest potential and not waste our time figuring out what's "fair" and what's not. Why not have someone else reap the benefits of your work, so long as you too enjoy the fruits of your labour? With money, nothing is fair, because we measure fairness with money. The mother, the kids, and the grandparents don't work, and yet, the father is content, because he knows that everyone is healthy and happy, most partly because of his contributions. Note that these roles are not limited to gender or age, but simply by ability and willingness to do.

    One might argue that the father works long and hard all day, and may be miserable at his job, but jobs of the future won't be what they are now. We are smart and have been developing systems and tools that make our lives easier. We used to garden by hand, and then we invented irrigation, which helped grow crops on a massive scale. History is full of inventiveness. We have the technology now to sustain human life and our highest standard of living. People who will prove valuable in the "work" field will be scientists and engineers of all types. Robotics can help with most jobs we cannot be bothered with. We will only do things with the highest efficiency at the time. Technology will not be limited to how much money it will cost, but by the raw materials and the intelligence at the time? We will work to reduce work.

    Currently, our capitalist society is counter productive, because to reduce work means reducing jobs. So to be efficient today is to ultimately eliminate your means of survival. It's time to rethink our way of life and turn to alternatives. I recommend a Resource-based Society, as presented by Jacques Fresco, founder of The Venus Project. If you do the research, you will be amazed by how much we have and how poorly we manage our resources.

    When we can shift into a new economy based on the health and well-being of all life, we all win, and there are no losers, and no amount of work will ever be in vein.

  42. hawkpork

    this "resource based economy" sounds good.
    but it also sounds like a potential prohibition on personal gain. a scary concept if one believes in the NWO. :)
    how does it work? do we use labour credits? or no credit?
    a free for all doesn't sound like it'd work. or at least it's hard to comprehend.
    without some sort of tangible reward for production many things we've come to love might not be deemed worthy of production. (don't get me wrong. i'll swap my flatscreen for world peace)
    we currently vote (wrong word i know) for what society produces, with our purchasing power. although this "vote" may be almost worthless when compared with other factors within capitalism.
    and i agree the system is flawed to say the least.
    but in a "resource based economy" who controls the resources? do we have a better model of govt to move to as well? one that can reliably put the rights of the people first?
    because regardless of beliefs that education or meme dispersal is the key to human social evolution, and will show us all the way to a symbiotic harmony, history has shown that the adage "power corrupts and ultimate power corrupts ultimately" has held true in all developed societies. (hope i'm wrong there. pls give example)
    so a "resource based economy" could be slavery, or harmony.
    have you read "the selfish gene"? pretty sure dawkins's point was that although we can be both selfish and altruistic, we have the intelligence to see and understand the causes and cost/benefit ratios of both traits.
    my point is just that selfishness is part of our nature, corruption is part of civilization and education is indoctrination.(not sure why i added the last one)

  43. duck

    @ Alex B

    The difference is that my parents chose me and I chose my wife and children and as such formed a close family unit to which I chose to accept responsibility without some stranger moving in on my family ordering me to be responsible for his/her comfort. My grandparents also had a lifetime of savings to assist in their support during their declining years.

    As far as work is concerned, the net results are the same whether I work for a business, a corporation, or for the state. The work that is provided still is labor provided for another controlling entity and usually one that could care less for the individual, and, unless the individual is climbing within the controlling entity, [the 'party', or whatever the governing agency calls themselves.], anyone showing initiative will be put down, politically or otherwise. Very similar to the way that a union will 'put down' a person who works harder than the other union members who don't want to upset the apple cart.

    My brother and a friend joined an Oregon socialist commune thinking that it was a panacea for living. Some of the commune had to work outside the commune in order to earn monies for items that they, themselves couldn't produce. The other did the construction, farming, ranching, weaving, etc, etc, that is required for a society to survive.

    Things started to fall apart when a few realized they didn't have to work to receive the same benefits as the people that labored. This train of thought grew and more and more people began to slack off. The ones that worked outside the commune eventually quit giving their monies to the commune's leaders and opted out of the commune completely. The leaders felt that their position of authority was all that was needed to reap optional benefits from the collective. My brother, his friend, and several looked around and saw that they were the only ones doing any substantial work and after complaining to the communes leaders again and again, left the commune. Those remaining in the commune complain bitterly that it was unfair of my brother to leave them without any support and became quit angry. According to friends that my brother made there, the commune broke up shortly after my brother left. Their support system had gone when those that produced left leaving the leaders, the lazy and the leeches to fend for themselves.

    The above experiences that my brother had is a microcosm of socialism/communism every time it has been tried. The so called successful socialist states are not true socialist entities but rather a combination of free enterprise and quasi socialist programs that are forced onto the producers by law if they want to do business in those socialist states.

    I have a video that Jacques Fresco produced and if you analyze his utopia, it doesn't leave room for anyone that has ambition. It is more like a colony of ants or bees that are subjected to control. It also, just as socialism, doesn't leave room for the myriad personalities and physiological differences that humans have which have led to "re-education centers" that many socialist/communist governments have had to resort to, or the direct elimination of those people that don't fit in with the socialist view. It usually ends up in "control is freedom" or the person that can barely sweep a floor is the same value as physicist.

  44. duck

    @ Alex B

    You have relied on the nature/nurture synopses. It has been the nature of humans to strive and move forward since history has began, Nurture, as you have pointed out without really mentioning it, is a form of indoctrination. Each society does indoctrinate it's children. Muslims do it, the NAZI did it, Americans do it, every society on earth does it.

    The decision has to be made in order for any Utopia to form by whatever entity that is in charge what type of indoctrination that you want to be put into place and what ramifications that you want to use on those that don't conform to your way of thinking. Freedom will surely have to be dropped or as many socialist societies have done in the past, be redefined to mean something else. Freedom from ***** whatever has always worked well.

    Freedom from any problem one wants to name usually works. Freedom from ***** has lifted many people and governments into power. This will have to be done world wide because we certainly cannot have a neighboring country living off the fruits of their own labor while the socialist country's citizens look over the fence and wonder why that evil country's people are living such a different life than they are.

  45. Alex B

    This resource-based economy has no government. It is also, not a utopia. And to say that there is no room for ambition is a misunderstanding of the new social paradigm. Ambition is the heart and soul of a resource-based economy. The ambition to do and be greater than previous generations is what humanity's ambition will be. This is far from a colony of bees or ants that serve their queen, doing the same thing day in and day out. Imagine each ant or bee having the freedom to contribute to their nest (no queen) in their own particular way. Allowed to come up with new innovative ways of building homes, growing or gathering resources, new transportation systems, or maybe just being creative with art and entertainment. Everything is voluntary. True freedom. Nothing would ever be mandatory, including education.

    Now you may still feel that it is unfair that not everyone is doing their part, but with time, those who do nothing will be the ones who feel like they're missing out. Once the 100 Monkey syndrome kicks in, we will all be socially productive. I explained previously, how socialism cannot work within a Capitalist market, and no matter how many times you try, it won't work when the core issues are not resolved, hence my recommendation for a resource-based society. Leaders are not leaders if they do not contribute, because a true lead earns his/her respect through example. The leaders of tomorrow will be the ambitious ones who set the pace for human civilization. And remember, there is no utopia, because as we grow, so will our society. We cannot set finite structures in an infinite world.

    The rewards of the new system will be beyond material possessions. Imagine everyone having access to the latest of modern technology. By getting rid of the old system of capitalism does not mean we lose the knowledge we've gained along the way. So no need to trade in the flatscreen. ;) By not restricting access to "things" by means of money, we can arrange the system so we all have access to everything we need. Much like a public library, but a public library of EVERYTHING. Only the best for all. Nothing will be made to break down. No lower grade equipment or housing. Top of the line everything for everyone, because it is counter-productive to produce anything less.

    In response to the NWO thing, this whole one ruling entity over all earth, I do admit that this resource-based economy does sound like it could be part of an elaborate scheme to sucker people into giving up their freedoms for the greater good. Be careful not to jump to quick conclusions though. Do we not already live in a NewWorldOrder? International banks really control the money flow, and we are all subservient to money, but it's real simple to get out of this mess. Stop giving value to money, and you stop giving power to the people controlling the money. In a resource-based economy, at least the one I propose, does not ask anyone to ever give up anything. It encourages and empowers people to take responsibility. No ruling entity. We govern ourselves. I would say that the only rule would be to take responsibility for one's self. If at any point, the system asks you to give up something, there are serious questions you should be asking. No one should ever give their power to anyone else. If power corrupts, then remove power from the equation. And as I stated in a previous comment, corruption, greed and selfishness are not character traits, but character behaviours. Simply reflections of the system we live in today.

    I hope I have met all of your points. Your questions are great. I get the sense from most people that we are doomed, and that there is nothing we can do, but I have to say that when we continue to believe our worst thoughts, we achieve nothing. We, the people, shape history, and even though we have bought the lies of the ruling elite, and placed them on top of the pyramid, remember that it is the masses that are holding them there. It's time to transform, because we do not live in a pyramid, we live on a spherical planet. There is no highest point on a circle, and the only way to grow within a circle is to expand, and to do that, the entire shape must grow, meaning we must grow together, rather than play king of the hill, trying to climb to the top by stepping over others.

  46. Alex B

    I forgot to respond to "Who controls the resources?"

    I would have to say that no one does. Resources are managed, putting human and planet life at the top of the priority list. This is something everyone will have to agree on and I don't think is very difficult to agree upon. Complete transparency in everything, and with the advent of the internet, communication across the globe will make this very easy. None of this democracy that we think is freedom of speech. 51% over 49% is really a joke. It's a mere illusion of freedom. Do you realize that all this does is have us all give our power away to a small group of people, with 51% of us believing we got what we wanted? Voting on what is put right in front of you is not freedom. What if you want what's not on the menu? When you vote on something you must also be educated and know what you are arguing for or against, otherwise, your vote is meaningless. You don't conduct a vote for whether a bridge is safe to build or not, do you? You ask people who are knowledgeable in civil-engineering. So when it comes to important issues, do not look to political leaders, because they are not trained to solve problems. People in the future, who assume positions of "power" will not be by vote, but people of multiple expertise will be leaders because they are knowledgeable and wise. It will be a common respect thing. Much like how we value people such as Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkings, Carl Sagan, or Michio Kaku. They earn our respect not by out vote, but because they are wise. Do not put your faith in the charismatic salesman, but in the people who actually know what they are talking about.

  47. duck

    @ Alex B

    So, how does maybe an artist that needs paint or tools or a musician that needs a piano obtain these items?? Just take the first one that he runs across? Why would another artisan even create a piano in the first place? So he can feel good for supplying it to the piano player?? Ask Carl Sagan for permission because of his wisdom??...although he had interesting TV shows based on other scientist's work, he was wrong in everyone of his hypothesis and generally was used as a mouth piece for scientific political agendas.

    I can visualize a movie studio and actors making some blockbuster movie just to make the peons happy and a promise of some resource that may or may not be coming down the pike then trundle off to the same hovel that the local sewer worker lives in.

    I can picture someone inventing some fantastic new item and just handing over to the naturally wise leader and getting a gold star for his effort.. It's still the law of diminishing returns unless you have the thought police running around AKA "1984"...

  48. Alex B

    You are still thinking Hierarchy. We don't ever hand over anything to our "leaders." There are no leaders. Only people who inspire us to do and be great. We all share. Share ideas, share knowledge, share wealth.

    We will eliminate meaningless jobs. The entire goal of the system is to reduce human labour, and to free ourselves so that we may pursue greater thought and creativity. There are people who take great pride in crafting a great piano, and why should anyone feel that they should be rewarded when they have everything at their disposal. Yes, some may sit around and do nothing, but so what? Do you have everything you need and want?

    You are also assuming we will have to work 40 hours a week. With a well run system in this technological era, I don't see why we can't reduce work to a mere 10 hours a week, if that. And work would not be work as we know it today. Many scientists and engineers are not just in it for the money. If that was their ultimate goal, then every smart person would become financial investors and stock brokers, devising clever money making schemes.

    There is a passion that resides within each of us, and the goal of the new Resource-based Economy would be to bring people together and express the best in human creativity. It is difficult to put yourself in that kind of a setting when we look around and see such misery, but I think this is what true "faith" is. Not the religious "faith" that puts everyone on their knees before jealous and judgmental "God," but the faith in humanity and in one's self. To believe that you and we can.

  49. Alex B

    I think what I am trying to get at is true human empowerment. For so long we have looked up at "God(s)," Royalty, and Political Leaders for guidance, in hopes that they will have all the answers, and that they will make life better for us, but that has produced chaos. We openly give our power to higher authorities, and this must end. That is why all civilizations to this point have failed. Whether we worship People or Money, we fail because we forget that true power resides within each of us. We have been too scared and lazy to do for ourselves, so we constructed a system that placed our lives and freedoms in the hands people who only seek to exploit us.

    Our future lies in a system that encourages self-empowerment. You can never be manipulated or exploited when you own yourself. Even if there was someone attempting to gain power within the new system, they would fail because they would need gullible people to do as they say, but people who are empowered know never to give their freedoms away to anyone. This is the future. Those who are willing to move forward and begin taking responsibility are the ones who will survive, and the ones who seek representation will only find masters in search of slaves. When we stop being competitive and begin being cooperative, we can all move forward together, but as long as we function within a system that is based on competition, we are doomed to burn in the fires of our self-created "Hell." The system must encourage cooperativeness in order for people to realize that when you give a little, we all gain a lot.

  50. duck

    I believe that you will have more 'takers' than 'givers' and the altruism will quickly diminish where very few will be creating your 'resources' for others use free-gratis. It doesn't matter whether it is resources, puka shells, pretty rocks, or little gold stars, it still would be a system of diminishing returns.........

  51. hawkpork

    i'm familiar with the metaphor "democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on whats for dinner", and it's meaning.
    but that 51% scenario doesn't apply to all systems of democracy.
    here in denmark it's consensus democracy. a much more even representation of the people.
    but still a system that can be given an unpleasant metaphor.
    a pack of vultures picking over a corpse, springs to mind, but somehow doesn't seem as elegant as the wolves.

    this "common respect thing" that should guide us in choosing "resource managers" sounds like a plutocracy or something. at least a regression from the ideals of democracy.
    "transperancy is the key" it's the key to the success, or continued moral action of any govt. have we had it so far? no.

    i'm all for getting rid of fractional reserve banking and a whole range of other economic thingies i don't want to comprehend.
    but i see these two things are centrsl pillars to society.
    1. a universal means of value exchange.
    2. political determination & participation by the people.

    i really like the sound of what you're saying. but i'm wary of radical theories in times of crisis. such as anarcho-capitalism.
    thanks for putting me onto it though. i'll read a bit about it now.

  52. duck

    The Richard Dawkins video while showing cooperation between various factions of nature seems to forget that it doesn't protect everything. The ticks and prey of the various cooperating species seemed to be killed, eaten, or otherwise gotten rid of. If using nature to depict the cooperation you seek, why shouldn't nature accept the foreign bee or the foreign ant from being attacked. The bat was feeding another from his own clan. I doubt that the bat went from bat to bat and fed them all. The wildebeests were protecting their own from a predator. Something humans do as a group or you would be speaking and writing in German at this moment. Using the psychological view, the wildebeest would have accepted the predator into their midst and cooperated with it.

    If one is going to emulate animal nature, one has to except that the "dog eat dog" premise will be in full use.

    Jane Goodall studied chimpanzees for most of her career. Psychiatrists, sociologists, anthropologists, and politicians all jumped on the "live like the chimps" band wagon. Left wing talk show hosts all spread the word, "Why can't we be more like the chimpanzees, those loving caring, sharing forefathers of the human race ??" Then one day, Jane Goodall's band of chimps entered another chimpanzee group's territory, attacking them and began killing indiscriminately any chimp in their path. Near the end of the attack, Jane's chimps began to eat the defeated chimp's corpses. Eating their own kind, cannibalism being practiced by the very society that the elite want the peons to emulate. Now one can say the the chimps did cooperate with each other in achieving their goals. In fact, both sides cooperated, both the offense and the defense..

    Not long after, Jane, herself was killed by one of her study subjects.

    The soldiers depicted in the film from both sides were put in a position that they rather not be and noting the era that his military example was taken from, a general attitude of chivalry and respect existed then, even between so-called enemies. It was a matter of personal honer to equivocate in their duty. Early pilots were even known to land near a pilot that they have just shot down and either dress his wounds or go as far as to fly him back to the wounded pilots base. This was the time where a person's honor counted high in one's life.

    I wonder if you have weeds growing in your lawn or garden? Do you pull out the weeds? If you do, you become the controlling factor of your weeds or the government of the weeds. Just as with the cattle over grazing the sweet grass and allowing the weeds to grow, a controlling factor had to be used in order thin the amount of cattle that were allowed to graze the area. What do you do if someone does not cooperate and take some of his cattle away. Force him out? Take his cattle? Ban him from the town altogether and redistribute his property to others. What do you do with people that don't want to live the life you want them to live? Eliminate them altogether? Send them to re-education centers? Just as you don't want to live in the society that exists now, there will be people that don't want to live in your society. Will you tolerate them as you are being tolerated now by others or will they be forced to "cooperate" in the fashion that you see fit?

    Playing games or setting up contrived conditions to derive a social/psychological premise has has long been a catch 22 as far as relevant results are concerned. Subjects that knew it was a game or a test usually performed as the tester hypothesized and his theories were validated. Many of the blind studies, when 'all' the data was analyzed, results were all over the map. Subsequent identical blind studies gave different data. Many of the scientific studies have shown that the results shown more of the testers preference and theories [agenda] than true results of any tests. It didn't really matter what the tests were supposed to convey, the theory had to be proved.

    Many tests do not take in consideration the myriad personalities and psyches of the test subjects. Sometime ago, a psychological test was constructed to observe relationships in a prison situation. The results of that were that those assigned the role of guards became brutish thugs and even though everyone knew that the situation just a fake psychological construction, three people broke down and one was suicidal. The people assigned as guards didn't realize how barbaric they had become until they viewed themselves on video. many of them have had to have psychiatric help.

    My personal experience with this 'theory at all costs' was when the environmentalists began de-smogging motor vehicles. The company that I worked charged my department to work closely with some environmental scientists. They came in with theories that my team realized was not quite true. Our team even built a vehicle to show that there was a different way to proceed, we not only achieved a cleaner vehicle, but beat the scientists in miles per gallon, both with a vehicle that was 600 pounds heavier than theirs. What did the scientists do?? They ordered our vehicle destroyed and began changing the test procedures again and again until their theories matched the test.. I believe we all got a glimpse of this in the recent ClimateGate scandal.

    The very act of you, yourself, wanting the various societies to bend themselves to your vision on how you want is no different than the outsider bee or ant attempting to enter the hive or nest possibly in order to take them over. The Muslims want to take every country over and everyone live in peace and harmony under the laws of Allah. That is their heaven on earth. Have you thought how you are going approach the militants with your vision? Maybe you should pick a country and get that population to subscribe to and live your dream, then if successful,more will follow.

    No, I am not afraid of change. But it would have to be change that is not some pie in the sky utopia and closer related to some basic logic that can be built on that doesn't make society slaves to each other. We have already had very similar and it failed miserably....

  53. duck

    You are correct, Jane Goodall is still alive and well...that's what I get for speed reading. The book I have states it was an unnamed assistant that got caught between two waring chimpanzee factions.

    Who is going to supply you with the raw materials to build your cities and infrastructure? Who is going build your cities? once again, we have come back to the ant/bee society. What if most of your workers want to be artists or writers instead of toiling for someone else's dream. For material gain. They can get that in this new society without breaking their backs or slaving away in some hole in the ground.

    As far as owning a home and renting. I own my home, free and clear. Other than a small amount of yearly taxes and upkeep, it costs very little. When one rents, they pay for the rest of their life and one does not know from month to month if they will have a home because the landlord can move you out. The only thing that can move me out is the government and it has to pay fair market value. Under your plan, anyone that comes along can 'steal' my home and 'belongings' because in the first place, under your plan, it isn't my home because nobody owns it, secondly, the only recourse is to shrug it off and begin looking around for a new place to live. Would it matter if someone else is already living in the 'new' home that I choose? Since stealing has been approved, I guess I can take any home I want. In fact, if I am stronger than the one that stole my home in the first place, I could defend their taking of my home and we would be back to 'survival of the fittest' scenario that you are trying to get away from. But to resist someone taking my place of residence would be contrary to the new order of things, it's sort of a 'shut up and get out'
    "But, I like it here"
    "Tough, someone else likes it better, you had a nice view now go somewhere else..."

    As far as the weed analogy, someone has to do the 'plucking' of the people, that in itself constitutes a governing body unless you are thinking of vigilantism, or mob rule?? Even in the simplest of tribal societies, there is a hierarchy of authority. There has to be because someone has to decide and calm disputes.

    How are you going to handle personal disputes? Not all crimes involve material things. Ban marriages so there won't be problems in that area? Men and women have killed one another over relationships or does people become one of the throw away items that one can pick up at the 'library' ??

    I still think that your concept of no government has too many holes to fill. In calling for taking the necessary precautions, who is taking these precautions, anyone at all? Who is deciding the precautions to take, will they be subjective or objective or some individual's personal view of how things should be? Or will things be like a community association where people in a particular community has to toe a certain line or they will be kicked out??

    Your statement about the video concerning the internet that allowed people to rethink their positions also allowed the dregs of society to rethink their positions also and these dregs came rolling out of the shadows to ply their trade.

    As far as the Muslims are concerned, you have read into my statement something that wasn't there. I asked 'how are you going to approach the MILITANTS', not how are you going to approach the Muslims, although, the Muslim religion does state that everyone should believe as they do, and the Christian religion believes much the same.

  54. Alex B

    I keep thinking that I make myself clear, but I guess I am not. It's not a free-for-all society as you see. It's one that works together to benefit each other. As far as buildings, infrastructure, and resources, it's machines that do most of the work. Right now, we mine and labor very inefficiently and are only concerned about costs. In response to your example of someone taking your home... why and how? We will not be alone to fend for ourselves anymore. We act as a community. If everyone has the home they want, what need is there to take someone else's? And in the strange event that someone or group of people did, we will deal with it as a community. Let's say someone kicked your brother and his family out of their place, what would you do, just let him fend for himself? We will deal with situations on a community level. No need to hunt for a new home on your own. Simply let your community know what happened and we will do what we can to help. If one person has a problem, we all have a problem, and we will work it out together. No need for plucking. For people who "lash" out, we will have interventions, much like when a family member has a drug problem or some habit that either harms them self of the people around them. No need to force people to conform. Educate people and help them come to their own realizations. When we can provide people with the means of self improvement, we will radically reduce crime on many levels. To say we will eliminate all crime is utopian, but we can show them compassion.

    When it comes to marriage, what for? Sure, you can create a loving bond with someone, but making it "legal" does not make your love relationship any more true. If people want to celebrate their love, by all means, but there will be no legal means for any marriage as there will be no Government. Marriage seems to be more of a religious ritual than anything, and within religious communities, I am sure marriages won't be hard to arrange.

    As far as this system having too many holes, rather than sitting around pointing out what problems may occur, let's get together and figure them out. This is a society of learning and growing, but as soon as you carve something in stone and make it law, there is no growth in that, only corruption and the illusion of power. Text books are being rewritten every year because new and updated knowledge are consistently being discovered. Information is being shared at an exponential rate, and we have to keep up with the most brilliant minds and technology. We are always striving to make things easier for us, and our current society does not allow for such growth because it requires jobs.

    I understand that you've worked hard for everything you have, and that's great, but what are you really losing with this new society? Nothing. Everything plus more would be provided. No one will kick you out of your home. New cities will be built while you still live where you are. The option to move into the a new place would be up to you. You will be provided with a tour and see how everything works so you don't have to commit yourself. I believe that we can produce so much abundance, that even if you chose to stay home in the old cities, food and energy could easily be sent to homes across the world. Eventually, people will see what is available to them, and want better than what they currently have.

    We can all live like kings. No joke. Artificial Intelligent computers will manage much of the monotonous chores and resources. Only the best for every human being. Complete transparency in our infrastructure. there will be a hierarchy, but not the pyramid shaped one of today. People who are educated in their field will work together to solve problems and come up with collaborative solutions. It will be a hierarchy of knowledge. Those who know more will do more by their own accord. Everything will be open to opportunity. You want a role in managing agriculture because you think you have a better way of doing it, by all means, share what you know with your peers and we will look at it together.

    No longer will we have one or a few making decisions for the many, but many making decisions for the many more. Through our collaboration, we can solve anything. This will be greater than tearing down the Berlin Wall. It will be the tearing down of a wall so great, and yet many of us are blind to see it. So many factors built within our social and financial structure holding us back from solving the world's problems, and it's about time we remove all barriers and unleash our brightest minds upon the world. No president, prime minister, General, or king or queen can solve problems, so why do we continue to believe they can? They've done nothing but mismanage finance and resources. Leaving management to a few "(s)elected" individuals is like putting all your eggs in one basket. When we spread responsibility and knowledge, we no longer will fear collapse or totalitarianism, because it would be an impossibility by this point. Should something go wrong, other communities can help, and the only way a civilization would crumble would be under one large global disaster beyond repair. Even then, I am sure we could devise a system to prepare for such a thing.

    I think our little debate has been quite intellectually challenging. What I gather from all this, is that I appear to be answering the question, "Can we do this?" and you seem to answer "Will we do this?" My motivation comes from the perspective that we are capable of so much good that we can and will move onto something better. I believe, though I could be wrong, that you may come from the perspective that we are capable of so much harm, and that even if we can create this society, we won't because history has proven us time and again. I say, it's time to rewrite history. Take a chance, because we already know where this path leads. When people respond with what they feel is, the worst that could happen, I have to ask, "Haven't we already seen and been through the worst?"

  55. duck

    @ Alex B

    "What I gather from all this, is that I appear to be answering the question, "Can we do this?" and you seem to answer "Will we do this?"
    {See last line.....]
    When people respond with what they feel is, the worst that could happen, I have to ask, “Haven’t we already seen and been through the worst?”


    I am an old fart and will probably kick off in the next few years. If Obama has his way, I'll be gone sooner...

    Having said that, I am old enough to remember similar ideas being put forth in the 30s, the late 40s, the 50s, and even by the hippies of the 60s. Even early General Motors Corporation surprisingly put forth a societal design that closely parallels your discussion. Of those that got off the ground, they all degenerated into some bastardized clone of Marxism. The societies that survived and grew had to include some form of free enterprise or controlled enterprise in order to support the so-called 'free for everybody' part of public.

    I think your trust in people is admirable but misplaced. In my long years I have found there is more larceny in many peoples make-up than most want to admit to, even ones that think they are honest. I used the taking of my house analogy because there are people like that, sometimes for only reasons that they can say, others would take a house from someone just because the like the view. These are the same type of people that cut in line or walk into a restaurant and tell people that is sitting in a particular booth that that booth is theirs, move out. I have had this happen to me and have seen it happen to others. Maybe you haven't seen street gangs or outlaw motorcycle clubs in action, I have many times. [Just for info, our government can take a home from someone if it is in the way of some public works project such as a new road or a flood bypass, etc, etc...] You think we are capable of so much good, then you say that we have seen and been through the worst. I think you have answered your question and I see nothing that can or will change that worst side of mankind just as the chimps will not change their occasional slaughter of neighboring chimps. Some humans always want a little more and if it's free, they'll want a lot more. This dark side can even be found in tribal cultures where everyone in the tribe owns everything equally.

    Now, the family unit is not needed or necessary but one can have one if they want but it still won't be recognized as a unit. There is a certain segment of society would love for that to be the case. I personally know some guys that are operating now as if this were in force today. Let society be responsible for their life style. They would think that it is a Utopia......

    At the last of your post, you wrote "When people respond with what they feel .........." I believe that this is one of the main detriments to any society plus just about anything else you care to mention. Instead of thinking about something, humans 'feel' about something and then they go about expressing their 'feelings' without thinking things out to some logical conclusion. These people 'feel' that things are going to end with their desired results, then they 'feel' disappointed when things don't quite pan out the way they 'felt' things should so they turn around and do the same thing over again 'feeling' that a different result will occur. This is why we have dumb crook reports and stupid YouTube videos.

    In the end, I think we are going to have to agree to disagree, but if you can hang in there for a short time, Obama may get the USA in a situation where the seeds of your Utopia are within reach, but, as I said before, I'll be gone by then......

  56. Lion

    This was made by the American Enterprise Institute... if i was interested in propaganda film, i would've watched The Eternal Jew.

  57. Roger

    I hope you forgive my ignorance, but could someone explain the reason why Obama, is so unpopular concerning his welfare reforms. I live in England and we have our National Health Service. I have had to go to hospital twice, which saved my life. Please explain to me why some people resist the changes in your welfare system.

    With respect


  58. Roger

    I tottaly agree with all comments and the comments about NICE. Nice aint so nice. It's like saying that if you have an old car, is it worth repairing? I don't think people should be treated as an article.

    The idea of the NHS, was to provide free care, from cradle to grave. Of course there no such word as free, in this world. Contributions are taken out of your salary to pay for the service. For those who couldn't pay for the service, this was picked up by the state, through tax contributions, by those who were in work. This system started in 1948, as a socialist idea, and I suppose we have got used to it. It's a good service, but it's creaking a bit now, due to more of the older generation needing it. It's very expensive for the state to provde it, and some have been saying that it is a bit of a luxery. The private sector has been involved in providing some medical services through insurance schemes, which does cut the wating time down, but I think this a bit unfair for those that can't afford to pay for private treatment. You get no better quality treatment in the private sector, except the hospital environment is a bit posher.

    Thanks for explaning how your system works, but it seems very complicated to me. I presume you have to be very careful about reading the conditions of the insurance policy and the small print. That would worry me. I can say that we have none of that to worry about.

    Many Thanks

  59. duck

    That is not how our health/insurance system works, it is how the new state run proposed system according to how the bill [law] is written will work. The Americans that are against the new health care plan want to make their own decisions, not let faceless uncaring bean counting bureaucrats control more facets of their lives. Instead of throwing everything out and coming up with giant, bastardized plan, most of us wanted to just repair the faults within the system. Using the automobile analogy, this is like junking a good automobile because the brakes need repaired.

    The final goal is to get rid of insurance companies altogether and have a single payer system. One of our political parties has a bad habit that when the government is paying the bill [with our tax monies], they 'feel' they can write rules and laws to control anything and everything remotely related to what the government is now paying for. In the case of health, this can mean anything from the outlawing of specific foods to any activity that some politician deems connected with one's health. This also means that the politicians can direct who and what kind of medicine that any given doctor can practice.

    Hillary Clinton, in her failed attempt to get government health care wanted to control who became a doctor, what kind of doctor that person would be and where he could or couldn't practice medicine and what his/her particular wages would be. In a so-called free country that America once was, this was turned down at the time. Now we are getting closer to freedoms becoming privileges that can be throttled up or down or removed altogether and it is upsetting a lot of people at this realization. This is much more than health care.....

  60. Roger


    What you say in the second paragraph is interesting. The Labour government, started dictating to us, how we should live our lives. Ever heard of the "Nanny State"??? Everything was controlled by these baurocrats, somewhare in a "somewhare building. They never seemed to listen to what the front line soldiers needed. They knew best and, bugger what the rest of us thought. This ideology spread to every day life, such as, Health and Safety rules. Some of the laws were tottally loony. One example was: a days course on how to climb a ladder. WHAT A WASTE of MONEY!!! We were beginning to feel like it was 1984. We felt as if we were loosing our freedom. Nanny will look after you, you don't have to think for yourself!! I all starts off with a good idea, but corrupted in the end.

    The mew coalition government (Thank God) has started with a clean sheet of paper and bringing back some sanity.

    So if I have got it right, you are saying, freedom of choice, FREEDOM OF the INDIVIDUAL, and resent having to pay through incometaxes. Understandable!!!

    Our system works for us, but I think it is going towards the private market. I Don't trust insurance companies though!!

    I think our Democracies are a wonderful Jewel, but I think true freedom is an illusion.

    Best Ragards

  61. duck

    It would depend on the insurance company. One of the tenets of freedom is that one does not have to deal with the bad insurance company or any bad company for that matter. Granted that one will occasionally be taken advantage of but those companies usually fall by the wayside because people being taken advantage of usually get spread around fairly fast. If politicians were honest, these bad companies would fail sooner. I am not against regulation per say... I do know that with government controlling everything, even within a limited area of society, those government controlled areas will become very restricted.

    To use the automobile analogy again, under freedom, you have the right to decide make, model, color, drivetrain, interior, etc, etc, that suits your needs and desires from a multitude of choices. These choices are competing for your money and therefore will attempt to satisfy your needs.. When the nanny state comes in, freedom of choice goes out the window, your new automobile choice is limited to, for example, one make, two models, and three colors. All drivetrains are identical. The interior only comes in dark gray or darker gray. This will usually entail a long wait when you do purchase your government vehicle, if you want something else, tough, government law prohibits any other choice.

    There are people that will gladly tell you what your wants and needs will be and think nothing of it.

    I have a neighbor that is one of these left wing know-it-alls that continual complain about other people and what they do and how they live. One of his favorite sayings is "If I were king, I would make that [whatever his daily peeve is] against the law.."

    I have a four door mid-sized pickup truck. It can carry six passengers in comfort while hauling up to a half of ton of whatever. It is a dark charcoal gray and matching interior. It is comfortable, drives like a car, gets good fuel mileage and doubles as our family sedan. There is not one thing about my truck that this neighbor hasn't criticized. That is until he wants to borrow it to haul a load for himself. I tell him to rent a truck and he will complain that I should be more sharing and giving at least to him. I do this not only because he is a twit, it is also because he took out an equity loan on his home to buy a new automobile, a boat and trailer. He recently lost his job and is having trouble meeting all of his money obligations. While I'm sorry for the dilemma he is in, he #1, made these loans and purchases at the start of Obama's presidency thinking that Obama would/could straighten things out right away. #2, He wants taxes raised on me so that my taxes will pay for his loans. #3, He has come right out and stated that since my home and vehicles are all paid for and therefore,I have less bills than he, it is only fair that I be taxed more to pay for his bills. But all the while, he'll call other people stupid for not watching their finances closely.

    Most people are idiots, he seems the norm anymore....

  62. Reasons Voice

    @Duck you are my new hero please god tell me you will load that big ol truck to the gills with voters come november.

  63. Reasons Voice

    @Alex B, Your proposition seems insane to me. I don't blithely say that, there are glaring flaws in it. For instance: A)there are no super machines that perform any and all tasks required to produce even a fraction of what is consumed. B) that only 10% of people would have to work while the other 90% pursue creativity?? Seriously?? I have known a large number of people in my life and have to tell ya that the extent of their "creativity" is the ability to either make a pot pipe out of anything or produce a completely idiotic youtube video. As to that 10% how long till they get sick an friggin tired of waking up at 5am to support all those lay about creative slack butts? Your world existed once in the mind of H.G. Wells in a book he called the time machine. Please remember that as the Eloi stated that "the food just comes" the Morlocks came to collect.

  64. duck


    Thanks for the compliment but....there are people that are a hundred times more intelligent than I that try to get the general public to think before they act, vote, or whatever and one only has to look around to see how effective that has been. The fight is also against 50 or so years of the left integrating themselves into every level of bureaucracy, government service, education, even the entertainment industry, etc, etc from the local to the national. The 'feeling' that everyone owes everyone else a living has become part of the fabric of the governing society. It would take more than one small voice to get people to believe in self responsibility and personal freedom once again. Check out Alex B's posts again. Something for nothing is a powerful incentive to give up freedom while never realizing the price is higher than they first dreamed of...

  65. Roger

    It's human nature again! The more you carry others (in the context of socialism), the more they want. It's like using an automobile to go a short distance; when you can walk it. You get used to your comforts and want more! It is a misplaced idea for the state to be a nanny, even if it is, with good intension but it becomes abused and it dosn't work in the end.

    It's the right idea to take responsibilty for ones self, if you can these days, but unfortunately there are those who are truely weak amongst us. It would be a better idea (if possible) to distinguish those from those who are genuine and those who are lazy and scroungers. The latter take the opportunity to abuse those of us who try to be an honest responsible person.

    Best Regards

  66. Alex B


    I hope you have read ALL of my posts. I think you may be doing what most people who first come across the idea of a Resource-Based Economy do, and that is project their own fears into what they "think" I am talking about. Films and novels depicting a totalitarian state and/or cyber-punk future really show the direction we are headed, so long as we continue this cycle of materialism. Money and Power is what it all comes down to. People who want freedom today really want freedom to purchase and freedom to own. This "freedom" is really power that people seek, whether it be power over possessions, or power over people, because as long as you have money, or any value system for material goods, the world will be filled with the have's and the have-not's.

    To answer how society will function with less than 10% of the people actually "working," I will try to explain the absolute waste and inefficiency our society functions by. Consider all jobs regarding the management of money, from being a cashier to being a hedge-fund manager. A complete waste of energy. Vampiristic in nature, feeding off the life-force of our current economy and contributing no actual product of relative importance. The new system would remove meaningless "jobs" and design complete efficient systems that maximize energy output for minimum input. Our current model does the same, but instead of energy, it's profit, and though many may argue that they produce the same results, that is a complete myth and I would even go so far as to call that a lie. When it's more "efficient" to exploit cheap child labour to turn a profit, or to dump chemical waste and deal with financial penalties, then there is a clear problem with our current model of economy.

    To continue my explanation of an efficiently run economy that intelligently manages the earth's resources for the betterment of ALL mankind and nature, I will try to convey the new model of "work." Work will not be what it is today. These 10% will not be working 40 hour weeks. The main purpose of this society is to function with minimal human labour, and when you break it down, the only work that might be asked (and I stress the word "ask") of you would be short supervisory or maintenance shifts. Robotics has made it so we really don't have to lift a finger. All work would be voluntary, and you'd be surprised how many people actually volunteer in today's society. Most of the "hard" work would be scientific, but do you think the greatest minds of yesterday and today do their research and discoveries only for money? Many of us have a passion for progression and self growth. And of those people, many of them not only want to better themselves, but better the people around them. But our capitalistic society makes it very difficult for people to pursue progressive technologies. Look at Nikola Tesla who had difficulty geting funding for most of his works because he believed in free energy for all. Or look at Leonardo Da Vinci who had to waste his time inventing war machines in order to fund his studies. In fact, most of our brilliant minds today are encouraged to do military research because that's where the money is. People will have the true freedom to explore their creativity, and no matter how little or large their contributions, everyone benefits.

    There's a documentary recently posted on this site that I highly recommend, called US NOW. It's clear evidence that people are more than willing to contribute if given the opportunity to do so. If people have a means of seeing their contributions directly affect society, it becomes very rewarding, and you can see that in people who volunteer their time cleaning up parts of their community, feeding people in soup kitchens, or comforting people in a hospice. I stand by the philosophy that if you treat people like animals, they will behave like ones, only I like to say that if you treat people like humans beings and they will behave like true humans beings.

    If you're still afraid that we will end up like "1984" society, I implore you to do more research on a resource-based economy. It is one of transparency and removes the means of control, which are government and money. Without these things, no one can impose rules or regulations on you. That is the point of all this. As I stated in a previous post, this society is one of self empowerment and will only function as well as the people residing within it. It's about taking back the world. Removing the illusion of freedom that we think we have today and realizing that true freedom comes from within. Choice is not choosing from a preselected group of items. Choice is choosing which direction to move, and you will cease to be free so long as you stay where you are.

  67. hawkpork

    i've met libertarians that rant like you.
    nearly all things have value. use value, labour value. these values need representation if we are to exchange goods freely.
    or should we abandon all possesions or rights to material autonomy?

    we also need to be organised as a social group, network, thus a form of government.

  68. duck

    @ Alex B

    The comparison movie would not be 1984 that depicts you 'new' society, it would more closely be something like 'Metropolis' or some bastardization of the two.

    What happened to the futurist's proclamation of the 40s that had everyone owning a robot that would go to work for him/her, clean their houses, babysit their children, and generally take care of all human needs. The wiz-bang people are still trying to develop artificial intelligence and are talking about their pie-in-the-sky new society.

    Tesla's experiments showed there was a 'free' power source, but, you neglected to say that with the exception of lightening, that power source is comprised of static electricity. I guess we can always rub two clouds together.

    Startrek's Trekies say that we should be crossing space at seven times the speed of light by now, have replicators in each living compartment that magically reorganizes atoms into a cup of coffee, a complete meal, or most anything that one may desire. In their world, no vehicles will be necessary because all one has to do is step into a transporter, disassemble one's atoms and reassemble them at at the desired destination. They get their power from dilithium crystals bombarded by antimatter. Their dream started in the 1960s, we should all be zooming across the galaxies by now....why aren't we ???? The only real break through that was inspired by Startrek was the cellphone and it took forty years to get that.

    I would say that we are where we are because this is where we are. That sounds redundant but it is true. If and when advances are made in any temperament of society, that is where we will be at that point. Dreaming of what that future society will be is not creating that future society, it is just that, dreaming. In one respect, you are be no different than Republicans, Democrats, Muslims, Marxists, Fascists, or any other ***ists that can be mentioned in that you want everyone to live in a society that you choose. No matter how altruistic that you will state you are, there will always be people that will disagree with the life you put on them, how will you handle them..and, as always, a great majority will love sitting on their collective tail and let the world support them..

  69. Reasons Voice

    @Duck. I completely agree with your assessment. Our brightest minds in the world can not create a robot to do even a single simple task with complete autonimity. What would be essential to create this society proposed is AI implanted into either numerous specialized machines or a few versatile super machines. Neither of these technologies are even on the horizon.
    @Alex, I don't fear your proposed society at all. I simple feel that it is impracticable on a large scale and that it fails to recognize that not all people are altruistic in nature. In fact perhaps a majority are the complete opposite. Tesla was a poor example since he was quite unstable in addition to being brilliant. Sadly people are just not as good as you seem to believe and you don't mention what would happen with those who do not fit the altruistic, brilliant creator mold.

  70. duck

    From the Venus Project web site. They believe Marx was a great thinker.. I still don't get the idea that Marx was humane in that he stated that he would hang the last believer in free enterprise with the very rope that he purchased from them....Lenin didn't help matters too much in helping Stalin kill 60,000,000 of their own people. The old, the educated, the ill, foreigners, etc, etc, just about anybody that might create a drag on their new order...

    Snippette from The Venus Project which is pushing the resource based society....

    # 54 Is this what Karl Marx advocated?

    Although Marx was a brilliant man for his time, he did not foresee the methods and advantages of a high-tech resource-based economy. Communism used money and labor, had social stratification, and elected officials to maintain the communists’ traditions. Most importantly, Communism did not eliminate SCARCITY nor did they have a blueprint or the methods for the production of abundance. Machine production rather than labor will dominate the future. Perhaps through no fault of their own, they also had to maintain huge military expenditures to protect themselves from invasion of fascistic and capitalistic institutions.

    # 57 How does this differ from Communism?

    While communism is a much more humane social system than what we have today, we feel it does differ considerably from the direction we advocate. While Marx offered a bold new direction in his time, it falls far short of what can be accomplished with today's technology applied with human and environmental concern.

    The Venus Project offers science and technology in the service of humankind on a global scale and eventually helps to eliminate all the artificial boundaries that separate people. The system uses no money and makes goods and services available without a price tag, debt, barter, or servitude of any kind. If we use our technology intelligently, we can create an abundance of goods and services for the entire planet. We use machines and automation to produce and distribute all manufactured products, which will be available at distribution centers to everyone. The purpose of this high technology is to free people so they can pursue their own interests and fulfillment.

    We would surpass the need for human participation in the production of goods and services. There is no taxation or obligation of any kind. We advocate no government by human systems. They have always proved inadequate. Computerized systems and cybernetics would be applied to the social system and must comply with the carrying capacity of our global resources. The machines’ main purpose is for the manufacturing and distribution of goods and services while maintaining a clean environment with service to all and profits to none. When people have access to resources, most crimes will disappear. The need for police, military, and prisons will eventually vanish with it. Of course this will coincide with the necessary changes in education. I hope this helps to clarify some points. We realize this is a simplified description of how it differs from communism.

    A system that starts out touting Marxism and expecting to do similar but only better is doomed from the start as it could easily slip into hyper communism/socialism before anyone really notices. As with most of these forms of government, they use incrementalism to ease the peons into their so called Utopias and by then, it's too late, your trapped...[even though they say there will be no government]

  71. Alex B

    ahhhhh.... as I bow my head in disappointment. Once again, I think you all fail to see my point. This isn't a system that imposes anything. It is a pure system of allowance. Allowing everyone to contribute. Did you watch US NOW? Do you see that everything ties back to money? How can you not see that money holds everything back? Why do we make technologies of lesser and greater quality? Why is there an outdated computer on the shelf, next to the super computer? Inefficiency at it's finest. It all comes down to money. Any topic you debate, with the exception of personal or religious disputes, comes down to money. Oil crisis... money. Health care... money. Poverty... money. Medical advancements and cures... money. Drugs and Gang-related crime.... money. It's all about materialism and ownership. We all feel we need to own things, and that's what makes things better. Not true. It is a complete illusion fabricated to keep people constantly killing each other for "things." We don't need to live like this. We call ourselves the most intelligent creatures on earth, and yet many of us choose not to grasp this simple concept.

    It's not by owning things that has advanced us into a "civilization." Though I would hardly call us a civilization when I look back on how we treat each other. And over what? Some meaningless possessions that provide us with temporary comfort until we die? This is the hurdle we have to step over to truly become a civilization worthy of this planet. We don't need to value anything. What good is holding on to old outdated technologies and ideologies. We are constantly evolving and changing, and the "things" along the way are simply tools that, once they've served their purpose, die as we do. A home serves a purpose, top provide shelter, so what difference does it make to claim you own it or not? You cannot stick a flag in the moon and call it yours because it is shared by everyone. I think everyone continues to live their little fantasy world of living within their own little bubble, not to be bothered by their neighbors, but the reality is, we all share this planet. Seriously, go back and read my previous posts with a new perspective and you might understand this idea that I present.

    Working together, that's the bottom line. Not money or value in things or even services. When we can provide for everyone, what difference is there if you stamp your name on it? Everyone's thinking, well I have to protect my things, or else people are going to take them away. Wow, are we whining children who lose their favorite toys? It's not about ownership, and to think that a resource-based economy is to take everything away is to completely misinterpret what I have been saying. Seriously, do the research. And don't give the excuse, "Well I'm a sociology major," or "It's been tried and failed." Not good enough. Saying that it won't work is not a valid argument.

    It's not a matter of opinion anymore. This is what the new system asks.

    Q: What do we need?
    A: Clean air, clean water, food, a place to live and grow.

    Q: How can we obtain and sustain that?
    A: By managing all the earth's resources using the most efficient methods of that time.

    Q: Is it possible to live in abundance?
    A: Yes, but we'll need the brightest minds on earth to make calculations and survey the planet.

    Q: Will we lose our freedoms?
    A: No, how can you? We take nothing from you? We ask for your help, but it is not mandatory, for there is no longer any medium through which to manipulate people.

    Q: What about people who disagree?
    A: Disagree with what? With having everything available to them? If someone should choose to continue to live in a monetary system, good luck when money has no value. It would be like how communist villages often fail within the monetary system because one cannot coexist with the other. The point of this is not to impose, but to convince people of the society we HAVE to move into. Not by the gun or by deprivation, but by common sense and logic. It's logical to do this because we know that a capitalist society is not designed to last. It's like a giant game of musical chairs, where everyone is waiting for their opportunity to grab a seat, but by the end, only one can really win, while the rest have all lost. How long can you hold out until? I tell you now that it is a matter of time before our entire economy collapses, and we better have something ready to replace it, or we'll suffer greatly during the transition period.

    I do not ask everyone to move into a society of my choosing... I ask that we move together into something of all our choosing. Quit following and start leading. Don't follow what I say, understand it. I would never ask anyone to blindly follow me, but I do ask that you take the time to educate yourself, and start coming up with rational solutions on your own.

    We've been driving an old, outdated, broken down, gas-guzzling car, and instead of trade in for the new solar powered, self-driving, low maintenance vehicle (which by the way is very possible with today's technology), we continue to do patch work, fixing problems as they come, replacing old parts with new ones, continuously refilling with gasoline. We haven't stopped to realize that if we continue driving this way, we will always have the same problems pop up, and we will spend most of our time fixing the darn thing rather than enjoying the ride. It's time we trade up. The old model has served its purpose, but now we have to trade up because now we have the means of running a pollutant-free vehicle, with fewer moving parts which result in less wear-and-tear, computer driven, saving us from human error, and sleek and quieter, removing all the noise of today's model. And don't worry about being driven by artificial intelligence, because we are the drivers and we choose the destination of the vehicle.

  72. Alex B

    With regards to anyone disputing technology and its capabilities, claiming that robots cannot complete even simple tasks, or thinking we'd all have personal robots, you are still missing the point. Society would not function like it does today, and robots would not replace human labor so much as we would reduce labour on all levels, even to reduce how many robots we need. You may think that I envision robots doing human tasks, but that is not the case. We will solve problems at their root, to reduce or eliminate problems from ever occurring. Look at it this way. We, today, have designed the roomba that vacuums our floors for us. In the future, we design floors that are self cleaning. That is the method, maybe not the greatest example, but please, ask me questions or give your own examples and I'd be glad to answer them.

    This new economy would be one of problem solvers. Always trying to make things better and more efficient. Today we have patents. What good are those? Well, in a capitalist society, it's necessary when your hard work or inventiveness should be rewarded, and we currently reward with money. Patents, however, hold us back from progressing faster. Rather than share ideas and expand on them, we horde ideas and are in constant competition when we should be in cooperation. Some might argue that competition is incentive to race towards a common goal, but you are not seeing the big picture. Yes, it can show you what the best idea is individually, but imagine how fast we could have reached the moon if all nations combined their efforts and resources.

    When we design a system that rewards cooperation then we will see technological progression on a steep exponential curve. That is what the resource-based economy promotes. The RBE rewards cooperation because all ideas and technologies are shared, and the benefits of cooperation are reflected back into society, whereas today, it's only reflected if you have the money. We have the technology to send everyday people into earth's orbit and give them an astronaut's experience, but money is what separates technology from us.

    My overall point is that in order to get the best out of people is to design a social structure that rewards innovation and cooperation. Know that when you change the environment, you ultimately change the beings within it. Take feral children for example. Or note the several scientific experiments placing lactose-intolerant bacteria in a lactose rich environment. "Survival of the fittest" would suggest that because these bacteria are too weak to survive, they'd all die off, but what really happened is that they developed an ability to adapt and were able to absorb the lactose after a metamorphic change. What I'm trying to say is that we are perfectly adapted to our greed and power rewarding system of capitalism through money, and that it should not come as a surprise that we behave the way we do. In order to change this, we have to change the environment and that will lead to one free of money. A Resource-Base Economy.

    Seriously, I know I have a lot to say, but take the time to read what I've said, watch the example films I recommended, and do additional research before refuting what I say. Like I said, just saying you don't think this will work is not a valid argument. I have yet to hear anything constructive from the comments, and no one has presented a valid argument as to why we need to hold onto money and government. All I've heard is "We need government," and "We need to give value to things."

    Like Einstein said, "You cannot solve problems with the same level of thinking that created them."

  73. duck

    Just to 'educate' myself, I did a few Google searches. Concerned with what I found, I repeated the searches with ASK, Yahoo, Blink and even used my embedded browser search engine. Came up with a lot of different sites that all had different information that pointed to the same thing. The common threads were Scientology and conspiracy theorists.

    The prime names that kept popping up were L. Ron Hubbard, Jacques Fresco, Roxanne Meadows, Brenton Eccles and useful conspiracy theorists idiots like Peter Joseph AKA Peter Merola who runs The Zeitgiest Movement, all woven together in an incestuous affair pushing Scientology cultism onto the pliable masses.

    The searches included an enemies list of companies, organizations, and individuals that makes Richard Nixon's enemies list look like a wedding invitation. There were enough entries to fill a medium sized town's phone book. Limiting the world to 500,000,000 people and then reclaiming the land for natural reconstitution was mentioned several times. The need for pliant minds to populate this new order was also mentioned.

    Enemy lists plus the limiting of the worlds population to 500,000,000 people doesn't exactly provide a picture of 'serving all mankind'.. The need for pliant minds would seem to be self explanatory. Cults need moldable material in order to fill their ranks.

    I would say that this is a wolf dressed in a pretty sheep's clothing.

    By the way Alex, just saying that you think it will work is not viable argument either.

    Albert Einstein made many statements many of which contradict his other statements.... He also said "A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be." or "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." or "He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice."

  74. aspen

    Hello all, my apologies for being out of the dialog for so long. I was busy getting married and enjoying my honeymoon. I’ve been getting updates about the discussion on my mobile email, and am looking forward to commenting on some of the posts.

    Alex B - 07/04/2010 at 09:51 "as long as money is in place, profit is placed ahead of humanity" - why is that? If we valued our highest morals over blind power, money would simply be a tool of our morals rather than our morals being subjugated to the pursuit of power. I don’t agree that the use of symbolic exchange units are the root cause of the problem.

    Alex B - 07/05/2010 at 00:11 – “When you treat people as less than human, you get humans behaving less than human.” – I certainly agree that the two are related. … “We must remove the means of being selfish at its core… materialism.” What is at the core of materialism, you suggest that it’s giving things and services a value, I would be more inclined to believe that it’s valuing things and services more than they deserve. Just because they have a value doesn’t mean we have to value it more than respect, fairness, etc. … “We are selfish because our current system requires us to be to survive.” – I don’t agree with this, we can create options within and beside this existing structure; we don’t have to be exploitative capitalists to survive, but we would have to establish the necessary infrastructure of an alternative paradigm.

    Duck - 07/06/2010 at 04:41 “I had a neighbor for about eight years. He eventually moved away. He was always sitting on his tail along with the rest of his family, never working or trying to better himself. He collected welfare as did his parents before him. He intimated that I was stupid for working so hard while at the same time complaining that I lived a better life than he did.” … This isn’t a problem for socialism, if someone refuses to contribute, then the group can refuse to provide them with the goods and services the group produces.

    Alex B - 07/07/2010 at 21:51 – I think you touched on something very important here. If we remain on our current technological trajectory in a individual ownership based model, labor saving technologies will continue to reduce the value of the human labor (and by extension, the monetary / capitalist value of human (resources)) until ultimately either the non-productive humans create viable alternative economy solutions, starve to death, or are sustained via some kind of social welfare system. Alternatively, if we adopt a model biased on the collective ownership of labor saving technologies then we can all share from their benefit and reduce the amount of human labor required to provide for our needs. That said, I think it’s important to take into consideration the rate of resource depletion verses technological advancement, will we create new labor saving technologies and implement the social changes that would allow us all to benefit from them before resource biased conflict destroys our ability to continue advancing technologically? Perhaps I’m a pessimist, but it seems to me that we’re leaning towards resource wars and dystopian private ownership / lower value for humanity options at the moment.

  75. aspen

    Hawkpork - 07/07/2010 at 23:27 I think you bring up an important concept when you talk about voting with our purchasing power. I also think you bring up another important concept when you recognize that there are differences between the economic model for which goods and services will be produced and why verses the political structure we use for self administering our social group. (Granted there are certainly ties between the two, but people often seem confuse economic models as political models and vice versa) And yes, absolutely, it would be just as important in a socialist economy as it is in a capitalist economy to reform our political process so that moral values are held above short sighted individual gain. … Does power corrupt, or does power provide stronger temptations about the equally virtuous person? One might be moral enough to resist slight temptations, but not strong enough to resist strong temptations, that doesn’t make that person less virtuous. I think it’s an important distinction because if power corrupts, then we have little if any hope for moral leaders, but if power simply tempts, then it’s possible to be powerful and moral. … What if selfishness and altruism were a false dichotomy? What if (ignorant) self interest, and (self denying) altruism only served the self or other in the short term… what if true self interest and service to other were the same thing in the long run? Would choices made with long term considerations serve everyone and undermine our current ideas about what is in our best interest? If so, would we still say that “selfishness is a part of our nature, corruption is part of civilization” or would we simply believe that ignorance leads to suffering, and be motivated to rise out of ignorance so we could reduce the amount of suffering in the world?

    Duck - 07/07/2010 at 23:49 – What you’re saying is important Duck. But I think what many socialists are saying is that we can choose to extend our sense of family like responsibility to our broader community. You chose your wife and children, will you now also choose all your brothers and sisters, all unborn children? … “The work that is provided still is labor provided for another controlling entity” Is this always the case? Is it not possible to work with / contribute to a non-hierarchal structure that shares power collectively? Isn’t that what anarcho-syndicalism is? I don’t know if I can agree with this Duck (“unless the individual is climbing within the controlling entity, anyone showing initiative will be put down, politically or otherwise.”) If we’re working collectively rather than competitively, we have no motivation to put down those with initiative, rather, because we would all benefit from their initiative, we would support and encourage them. You’re trying to think about how things might work within a cooperative system without stepping away from your competition based perspective. Of course a cooperative system would never work if everyone ‘cooperating’ within it was competing. If you can, attempt to imagine a cooperative system where the people were actually cooperating, and you might come to different conclusions. … “Things started to fall apart when a few realized they didn’t have to work to receive the same benefits as the people that labored.” Understandable, if they didn’t have to work as hard, things would fall apart, they were failing to cooperate… If the community had required their cooperation for continued participation / receiving of benefits, things would have gone differently. Just because they didn’t doesn’t mean that cooperation is fundamentally flawed. Businesses fail all the time, that’s not (in and of itself) an argument against capitalism, they just need to be run better, and the same is true for failed cooperative endeavors.

    Duck - 07/08/2010 at 00:21 “The decision has to be made in order for any Utopia to form by whatever entity that is in charge what type of indoctrination that you want to be put into place and what ramifications that you want to use on those that don’t conform to your way of thinking. Freedom will surely have to be dropped or as many socialist societies have done in the past” … Wait, why are we assuming that someone has to be in charge? And why do we have to limit freedoms, if someone doesn’t want to cooperate with a particular model, why can’t they choose to contribute to a different model somewhere else?

  76. aspen

    Alex B - 07/08/2010 at 04:08 – “Stop giving value to money, and you stop giving power to the people controlling the money.” *nods* … “it is the masses that are holding [the ruling elite] [on the top of the pyramid].” *nods*

    Alex B - 07/08/2010 at 04:35 – guidance (not rule) by the wise…. *nods*

    Duck - 07/08/2010 at 23:40 “So, how does maybe an artist that needs paint or tools or a musician that needs a piano obtain these items?? Just take the first one that he runs across?” Duck, you’re being ungracious. Alex has already stated that the self administrating system would direct production based on need and values. One would imagine that there would be those who would know how many paints / pianos / etc would need to be produced each year, and yes, imagine a future where artisans produced their goods simply because they felt good about providing their contributions to the society as a whole and what that society could create and achieve together. Why would they need any other motivation if their needs were similarly provided for by others also benefiting from their own contribution? Would self respect, contribution, be better motivating forces than desperate necessity or greed? … “Ask Carl Sagan for permission because of his wisdom?” Permission? Again, you’re taking a hierarchy / domination / control / competition mindset into a cooperation based system. You don’t ask those who know for permission, you ask them for guidance. You do the best you know to do, and you’ll probably be wrong, and future generations who have learned from your mistakes will make better choices. *shrug* so what? You do the best you know to do.. is that not a better goal than doing something because it will concentrate your power at the expense of others? … “I can visualize….” / “I can picture…” Yes, you will continue visualizing dysfunctional scenarios as long as you continue thinking within a paradigm of competition and mismanagement. Look, it’s obvious to everyone that you’re not really interested in genuinely exploring the possibility of these ideas, you want this proposal to fail, and you make up justifications for it to do so. So really, you’re not of much use towards creating a positive solution except perhaps in helping us to point out potential pit falls to avoid. So thank you for that. We’ll make sure that people who don’t want to contribute are free not to (and also free to leave), in so doing we’ll avoid your diminishing returns and your thought police. Thank you for your contribution, even if it was provided in the negative.

    Alex B - 07/09/2010 at 00:32 - “You are also assuming we will have to work 40 hours a week. With a well run system in this technological era, I don’t see why we can’t reduce work to a mere 10 hours a week, if that. And work would not be work as we know it today. Many scientists and engineers are not just in it for the money. If that was their ultimate goal, then every smart person would become financial investors and stock brokers, devising clever money making schemes.” Duck, you talk about all these lazy people who benefit from the work of others, but think of all the really active people who don’t materially contribute to this economy. Are they really any better than the lazy person who also lives off the material contributions of others?

    Alex B - 07/09/2010 at 00:47 “we fail because we forget that true power resides within each of us. We have been too scared and lazy to do for ourselves, so we constructed a system that placed our lives and freedoms in the hands people who only seek to exploit us.” … So, what’s the social mechanism by which we will over-come the fear and laziness that has motivated us to give up our power in the past?

  77. aspen

    Duck - 07/09/2010 at 01:12 – no point in responding to this post as I’ve already commented about the necessity of a cooperative system to respect the freedom of the takers to fend for themselves in some alternative social structure. Or, if they find they can’t find a social system that will allow them to take more than they give, perhaps they’ll find the motivation (still freely) to contribute sufficiently to one of the existing structures.

    Hawkpork - 07/09/2010 at 01:27 – Yes Hawkpork, certainly there are better ways of doing Democracy than what we have in the US. Proportional representation, Single-Transferable-Votes, Multimember districts, contentious building, and efforts for creating win-win solutions could all radically improve our so-called democratic structures. As would, where ever and how ever possible, getting money out of the process, and improving the access to information for the voters, and empowering them to make vote (politically, or with their purchases) in ways that are ultimately in their (long term) best interests. (and therefore, also in the best interests of everyone involved.)
    “ “common respect thing” that should guide us in choosing “resource managers” sounds like a plutocracy or something. at least a regression from the ideals of democracy.” – Plutocracy would be rule by the rich, how could that exist within a society without money, don’t you think it sounds more like guidance by the wise or the educated, or experienced, or who ever might have the best chance of pointing us in the right direction? If you gave some small group (however they were chosen) the power to rule, then yes, it would be a retreat from the principles of democracy insomuch as it would be concentrating power in a smaller sub-population than the majority (or even a coalition majority) But if we stepped away from Rule to Guidance, then the ultimate power would be in each individual. If one of the guides says, we should do this ridiculous thing, then the free people say, ‘um, no.. we don-wanna’ and they don’t. That’s a deepening of democracy, not a retreat from it.

    Alex B - 07/09/2010 at 04:19 “Politics is the other great illusion. We cannot put people up on a pedestal, leaving them the responsibility, because one of two scenarios will happen; you either overburden the minority to take care of the majority, or you minority manipulate the majority to do the dirty work, lifting the minority ever higher on the social ladder.” This seems like a limited idea of what politics is. If we’re talking about the systems by which our society organizes itself, (including its resources) then the ways that we appeal to our wise, educated, or experienced for guidance and follow, or choose not to follow their suggestions, are also a form of political structure. … “I will not believe, that with the most brilliant minds of our time, we cannot devise a system that exemplifies true equality and harmony.” I’m sure we can conceive of it, my question is, if we will manifest it?

    Duck - 07/10/2010 at 00:26 Though I don’t agree with most of what Duck has to say, and won’t try to argue or request validation for his personal experiences / opinions, this quote does seem reasonable: “Maybe you should pick a country and get that population to subscribe to and live your dream, then if successful, more will follow.”

  78. aspen

    Alex B - 07/10/2010 at 11:32 “We have the means, now we just need enough people to get the ball rolling.” How many people do you imagine needing to get started? I would imagine that 34 million would still be a challenge to implement the kind of change you’re talking about. Do you have stages of smaller shifts you can implement in phases, or perhaps a smaller social structure that can serve as an example to others? Are you familiar without Costa Rica is co-managing its environmental resources with its economic strategies? It seems like an encouraging step in the right direction.

    Duck - 07/10/2010 at 20:39 “Even in the simplest of tribal societies, there is a hierarchy of authority. There has to be because someone has to decide and calm disputes.” Ug… Ok, ignoring the ethnocentric prejudice and ignorance in that statement, it’s also plainly false. Most non-western / pre-litigation based forms of conflict resolution in cooperative social structures make use of 3rd party arbitrators who help the parties figure out a reasonable solution. Though they are typically in the position of a wise elder similar to the servant-leaders Alex is suggesting rather than an explicit authority as you suggest. … “[do] people become one of the throw away items that one can pick up at the ‘library’?” oi… Duck, maybe you’re just making a bad joke here, but if you really want to be a part of this dialog, your tone isn’t helping. You’re just coming off as an angry old white guy looking for a fight. Eventually people who are looking for solutions are just going to ignore you because you don’t play nice and you can be miserable by yourself, or find other bitter old white guys to be miserable with. If you have a real question about non-material aspects of the legal system associated with the proposal Alex is making, I think your question could be asked in a more respectful and civil way.
    duck07/11/2010 at 05:04 “I am an old fart and will probably kick off in the next few years. If Obama has his way, I’ll be gone sooner…” *shakes head and sighs* “These are the same type of people that cut in line or walk into a restaurant and tell people that is sitting in a particular booth that that booth is theirs, move out.” *nods* Certainly, there are those who abuse their power, and that will have to be addressed in any society.
    Lion - 07/12/2010 at 23:24 “This was made by the American Enterprise Institute… if i was interested in propaganda film, i would’ve watched The Eternal Jew.” *nods* Thank you Lion….

    Roger - 07/13/2010 at 16:52 “Please explain to me why some people resist the changes in your welfare system.” As outlined below, there are some valid concerns with the industry regulation that the government has put into place. There are also some very valid concerns about the mis-management of our current political structure. Where the influence of money doesn’t undermine the intent of a particular piece of legislation, the struggle between the two dominant parties often results in underfunded, inadequately executed half measures that fail to live up to their intended purpose; then the right points at the failure and whines about the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of government programs when the programs might very well have had a chance of success if they had been given the opportunity. That said, none of that really answers the underlying issue addressed by your question. From what I can see looking around it seems like the middle class and upper middle class are starting to be touched by the consequences of our economy, they see the wealthy getting wealthier, but they also see people around them falling through the cracks as the middle class shrinks and descends into the working poor. Also, as the generation of baby-boomers age they are relying more and more on their savings and investments for retirement, they fear taxes as erosion of those personal safety nets making the threat of working poverty more and more poignant. That seems to be compounded by subtle racist notions of laziness, or people taking advantage of the system to get something for nothing. Never mind that where these perspectives do exist, they might have more to do with chronic poverty and lack of realistic economic opportunity than with race or personal character. (Granted, we’re each responsible for dealing with our circumstances in the best possible way, even if / when those circumstances are challenging. Recognizing that the chronic poverty and lack of opportunities is a contributing factor is not justification for release from personal responsibility.) Anyhow… We’ve got this (totally false) myth in the American consciousness about the totally independent man making a life for himself. From the original white settlers on the east coast, the pioneers who moved west, to the small business owners and on down the line. We’ve got this idea that we did, and can do it on our own. But that mythos totally ignores the support those people received from the Original Inhabitants of this land, the wealth they were able to accumulate from stolen lands and slave labor, or the economic opportunities afforded by military dominance and violence. I think maybe the psychosis that makes the well-to-do middle class white guys so paranoid about someone taking from them is the sub-conscious recognition that they built up their wealth and comforts on the backs of so many others, and the fear that eventually people are going to do the same to them.

  79. aspen

    Goose - 07/17/2010 at 06:59 “As to that 10% how long till they get sick an friggin tired of waking up at 5am to support all those lay about creative slack butts?” Good question Goose. I wonder how long it will take before everyone who actually produces the goods and services that we need will get tired of the wealthy money manipulators and their legions of related laborers (lawyers, insurance providers, security forces, etc) profit from their efforts?

    Duck - 07/19/2010 at 20:50 “Dreaming of what that future society will be is not creating that future society” I agree Duck. Dreaming has its place, it’s important, but we also need to manifest those dreams if we’re going to move forward. … “you want everyone to live in a society that you choose.” Did Alex say that? I thought they said that people would be free to live outside of the society they described, but that when they saw the benefits provided by the new society that they would want to join? I imagine there would be people who would chose not to join regardless of the benefits, but I didn’t hear anything in what they’re saying that would suggest that that would be a problem. … “a great majority will love sitting on their collective tail and let the world support them.” Seriously? I don’t know… Even in an imagined future where the basic needs were provided through labor saving technologies, I don’t agree that a majority of the population would be content to just sit around and do nothing. Sure, a minority perhaps. But I suspect that in time most people would get bored of making pot pipes out of anything and would want to contribute in some more meaningful way.

    Goose - 07/20/2010 at 00:03 “Our brightest minds in the world can not create a robot to do even a single simple task with complete autonimity.” That’s not true Goose, modern robotics and software engineering have provided robots and software that do complex tasks without human intervention. They have even created robots who are able to learn from their experiences and independently devise strategies for problem solving. The progress we’re making in this field is remarkable.

    Alex B - 07/20/2010 at 05:17 “I bow my head in disappointment. Once again, I think you all fail to see my point.” Alex, at some point I think you might have to concede that they don’t want to see your point. They simply want to counter your arguments any way they can. Some people can be reached with rational arguments, some cant. Is engaging in this dialog with them the best use of your energy towards creating the society of your dreams? … “It all comes down to money.” Perhaps there is a root beneath that.. power… and the questions about the informed and moral use of it. … “It would be like how communist villages often fail within the monetary system because one cannot coexist with the other.” Have you or your group taken into account the limitations on our ability to extend empathy, and by extension, feel social responsibility? Have previous collectivist efforts failed because they may or may not have included some use of value token for their exchanges, or have they failed because they systems were so big that the individuals involved were unable to feel real empathy and personal responsibility for the care of the others involved. When I was in the service, if I took a 2 hour long hot shower, who was I stealing from? Nobody? Everyone? *shrug* you can’t tell. But if we lived in a smaller community of 100-500 people and one of us takes a luxury that the community can’t afford, one person’s indulgence is felt and seen by others who they know and care for. This is the mitigating social factor that will deter the kinds of abuses that undermined previous efforts. … “it is a matter of time before our entire economy collapses, and we better have something ready to replace it, or we’ll suffer greatly during the transition period.” *nods*

  80. aspen

    Duck 07/20/2010 at 19:42 - is it possible that 1/2 billion number for the population is related to the sustainable carrying capacity of the earth in a post-oil scenario? I've heard different numbers offered, but about 1 billion seems to be the most common. If so, this wouldn't be a 'we don't like people and need to get rid of them' argument, but rather, 'how do we live sustainably within our means' question. ... I make no efforts to defend the possible connection to religious / cult perspectives and will let those identify with the movement speak for themselves on that.

  81. wow

    "Alex B07/19/2010 at 10:42


    I hope you have read ALL of my posts."

    omg who the hell would spend so much time to read a book? you are taking this subject way too seriously to write a novel about such topics... short and on topic :D good doc :D

  82. Alex B


    Well, I have to say, that was a great read. Thank you aspen for your well thought out observations and I have to mention your great job in quoting point for point with timestamps and everything. Very organized. I tried to have my arguments stand on their own with references to counter-arguments, but you stuck it to everyone, including me, with direct arguments.


    First off, I do not just say this will work. I present valid comparisons and use sources to back up my hypothesis. To counter-argue a resource-based economy by showing a list of names that pop up and linking this to human depopulation is propaganda and lies, and similar to schoolyard name-calling. I could easily link someone to say, German decent and call them a Nazi, or go so far as to relate them to Hitler. How childish. Regardless of how you feel about people who have put forward ideas of socialism, communism, or a RBE, it's not about the people, it's about the ideas and concepts. When I quote Einstein, it's not because he's my god, and his word is THE word, it's because be brings up interesting perspectives on analysis and critical thinking. The power is in the message and not the man.

  83. Alex B


    I assume "wow" is the title of your post, rather than your name, but regardless, yes I do take this seriously. I'm on the verge of insanity! - XD In fact, I am in the process of writing my first book, to at least get all my thoughts on the table. That way, I can say, "Here, read my book." I don't know why I get short of breathe when I type. So much to say! :D This is all actually research for my book, so I am quite enjoying all this.

  84. aspen

    For Alex -

    “Maybe it's not the root to power, but it definitely is a great tool for power, so much so, that the risk of having people abuse a currency system far outweighs any good that comes from trade.” It seems to me that if you take the knife out of the hand of someone who wishes to do harm, they’ll just find another weapon. If you want to do something that will result in them not doing harm, wouldn’t it be better to work with them until they’ve decided that they don’t want to do harm anymore? Some of the people who have participated in this discussion have expressed concern that cooperative efforts in the past have given rise to those who have abused their power. It seems as if the solution you advocate for is to remove value associations with goods and services, and I can certainly see how that might help, but I’m not convinced that it would eliminate the drive to abuse some form of power from our hearts. (though I hear what you’re saying about a fundamentally different social environment leading to different conditioning experiences and therefore perspectives by the citizens.) I think my preference would be to deal directly with the moral questions of the use (and abuse) of power in any form so that in either society, whether cooperative production and distribution through agreement, or one that utilizes some form of value exchange model, the power would, hopefully, be less likely to be abused. Though I like the idea of cooperative production and distribution through agreement, I can also see some of the concerns expressed by others about the relative contributions of various members in society. I can see how, where you’re coming from, in a future with great abundance through the use of technology and the consistent implementation of best practices, that might be acceptable, but thinking of more immediate cooperative structures, and having some personal experience with relative contributions in cooperative efforts, I tend to think that a community / society could request a certain fundamental contribution in exchange for a guarantee of a certain fundamental share of the benefits of our collective effort. The baseline wouldn’t be extravagant or necessarily highly desirable, but it would keep people from freezing or starving to death if they really wanted to spend the maximum amount of their time pursuing their art or other non-material support activities. Those who were willing to contribute more, might be compensated for their additional contributions, or those who wanted to pursue secondary capitalist enterprise (whether outside the framework of the basic needs the community provided for, or in direct competition with it if they thought they could compete with a non-profit supplier) would be free to do so in their spare time for whatever additional luxuries their efforts could afford them so long as their activities took place within the community’s commitment to sustainability, human / animal rights, and good stewardship principles. If someone wants to spend their extra time making teddy bears and can exchange the results of their efforts for nicer duds… power to them. I don’t have anything against that form of capitalism as long as it’s not exploiting the planet, people, or our fundamental needs. The guarantee of one’s fundamental needs being met provides motivation to participate in cooperative effort. Beyond that, further contributions to the social group, independent self advancement, or sitting under a tree doing nothing is up to the individual. This addresses the concern of members not contributing their fair share in the interim while we develop the technologies and best practices that might make your abundance possible.

    “what is "fair?" Who decides what's "fair?" It seems like a waste of time to put a price-tag on everything” *nods* Trying to determine a specific price / value for everything does seem like a waste of time. One of the benefits of a symbolic exchange unit being used after the basic needs have been met is that the parties involved can agree on what’s fair without one party using the denial of necessary goods or services as a threat in the negotiations. I think this goes a long way in balancing the power between the producers / providers and the consumers. “I see a value system as an unnecessary step between people and progression.” It might be, but in the absence of the abundance you describe, and in the context of wants rather than needs, it might be a necessary tool for allowing for compensation for relative effort. “By placing a value on things, we begin … creating income gaps. There are studies that show a direct correlation between general happiness, and the size of a population's income gap.” *nods* Fair enough, but once a society’s basic needs are guaranteed, is there something so wrong with relative wealth disparity (that doesn’t threaten one’s ability to survive) based on relative effort or contribution? We’re not talking huge wealth disparities here, nothing like what we see in the states today. We’re just talking about the ability for someone who puts in a little extra effort to see a little more ability to see their wants satisfied in the absence of the kind of abundance that would satisfy all wants at all times. Something that might work within the technologies and social structures we could utilize today, rather than depending on future technologies and perspectives.

    “This (we’re leaning towards resource wars and dystopian private ownership / lower value for humanity) is exactly why we need to remove ownership altogether, so that there can be no war for it.” Hmm… well, if you could remove the ownership model and implement a viable alternative, then it might address the issue, but I guess I have my doubts about the owners giving up their power and resources, even if it means saving society / the planet.

    “Purchasing power and voting are not power in themselves, for they serve a system that puts preselected "options" in front of us and ask us to choose, giving us the illusion of freedom” I’m not denying that it’s limited power, I’m simply saying that it’s still power, and it may be among some of the only power we currently have, and that it can and should be used (along with other forms of power that we currently have) towards making necessary changes. “When you ask someone to choose the gun or the sword, it's not really a choice, because either way, you die.” *nods* Sometimes you need to choose not to play, to play a different game, or sometimes you can co-opt their provided options for better solutions than they intended… *shrug* You just gotta do what you can with what you’ve got, and it certainly helps to be aware, informed, and creative. “the power is not in the one making the "choice," but the one making the offer.” *nods* Certainly, the one making the offer has more power, but if that’s not you, it’s not really the issue at hand… we have to do the best we can with what we do have. Yes?

    “As I've been advocating all along, the resource-based economy. To overcome our fears is to give power back to the people.” Hmm… how is this not circular logic? The RBE can’t be the mechanism that brings itself into existence initially, even if it does serve the function of addressing fear and sloth once it has been established. I was intending to ask, how do you overcome these obstacles initially to allow your vision to come into existence?

    “Politics is merely imposing policy on the masses.” Hmm… ok.. still seems like a limited definition of the word. Isn’t it also the process by which those policies are derived? … “Never should anything be put to a vote. We either all subscribe to it, or we don't do it at all.” Hmm… Don’t you vote to see if you reach consensus? I like the idea of full consensus, but it seems to have proven challenging in the past when it’s been tried. Perhaps with the abundance (including time) that you speak of it might be more possible. For myself, I’ve imagined a kind of freedom where those who support a proposal (or whose support you can win) do so, and those who cannot support the proposal do not… That way freedom can be preserved, consensus doesn’t have to be perfect, but proposals with sufficient support can still move forward. “Politicians bicker back and forth about budgets and law, but don't actually solve the problems.” I think to be fair; some politicians have solved some problems. Not to say that they haven’t created new problems or that there isn’t much room for improvement, but I don’t believe that all that effort has been a total waste. Even if the regulations don’t stop a particular behavior (as you point out) some policies to give people pause when considering the consequences. “Let's stop telling people how to behave and show people how to behave.” *nods* I can certainly support that.

    “The very idea of conceiving it is to create it.” Well, it’s certainly a very important first step. But at some point a shovel has to go in the ground if you know what I mean… I’m not so old, but I’ve seen enough to recognize the vast distance between someone’s mouth and their hands. “I do believe that this will have to be the option once the current system fails, and the population demands something better.” Perhaps. At that time do you suspect that you’ll have access to the resources that would allow you to create this high technology alternative?

    “I like your figure of 34 million, because coincidentally, it's roughly the population of where I live, here in Canada.” *grin* It’s not much of a coincidence, I remember you saying something about proposing it to the Canadians… “to persuade our government to sever ties with the WTO and start only exporting to get out of debt.” It certainly seems as if it would be in Canada’s best interest to distance their economy from the US and develop a stronger internal market, but in the end Canada will need US military cooperation to keep interests on the other side of the Arctic from capitalizing on their natural resources. It’s unfortunate for Canada, but it seems nearly unavoidable. “The proposal would be to gather the smartest people and volunteers to begin the planning stages. We develop a first city from the ground up, and this will serve as a hub to mass produce more cities that would be self-sustaining.” It sounds like quite an undertaking, but I wish you luck.

    “That is why we will produce abundance” Well, I certainly agree that the way we do things now is not the most efficient, nor does it produce the highest quality products. We could certainly do better, and I think it might even be possible to produce the kind of sustainable abundance your proposal would depend on. But I imagine that there might need to be a staged implementation to transition from here to there. It seems like the success of your proposal is almost dependent on this abundance being pre-existing… that seems unlikely, and I imagine it might be a challenge to work with while implementing the ideas. “Don't just tell people not to waste, design the system not to allow wastefulness. Of course, we will educate people on consequences of waste, but in the meantime, we design a system that anticipates our flaws and avoids mechanical failure.” Hmm… You’re not worried that if you don’t allow mistakes, and the opportunity to learn from them, that any education you provide will be hollow? I like the idea of what you propose on the surface, but worry about unintended consequences. Not the nanny state criticisms leveled earlier exactly, if you’re successful in creating the abundance you describe that wouldn’t really be the issue, but way that kind of handholding might undermine our growth and development, if that makes sense? Life is a little messy, or… ok, life is a lot messy… it seems like any effort to pretend that it’s not (or make it seem like it isn’t) hasn’t only caused problems, no?

  85. aspen

    "hasn’t only caused problems, no?" == "has only caused problems, no?" (I'm sure that's not the only one.. I'm tired and jet lagged... time for me to head home, sit, and crash. :) Good night all.

  86. Alex B

    For aspen

    I think, what you're getting at, if I understand correctly, is to tackle the moral problems, or in other words, "human nature." And I believe that I advocate the necessity for effecting "Human nurture" (ie. the environment). So it's come back to this again, Nature vs Nurture. I don't think it's fair for me to pit the two against each other, and I think, in order to solve our little dilemma we have here on earth, we have to find some way to improve both nature and nurture. Maybe this is why we fail. We've got people on the right, promoting religion and moral values, trying to change society from within. Meanwhile, you've got people on the left, promoting social regulation, trying to change society from without. We have to find some way to bring the two together and end the conflict. Leftwing vs Rightwing, Religion vs Science, Individualism vs Collectivism, Capitalism vs Communism, Masculine vs Feminine, Nature vs Nurture. Maybe this goes even deeper... Left Brain vs Right Brain? I think, if we can simultaneously improve both humanity and its environment, there may be some hope. I definitely don't think this will happen overnight, and that the stages for moving into the "new age" (if I can call it that without offending anyone) will have to carefully planed and executed.

    I am interested to know why you still stick by a monetary system, though. It may have served its purpose in the past, promoting trade between nations that, under normal circumstances, may not have communicated, but I believe the old paradigm is finished, and we are seeing that in our financial markets. Maybe we won't do away with money right away, possibly a transition period with better regulation and fair distribution, but I believe that this will eventually fade when we can all agree its irrelevance to human advancement. It could be a matter of me looking too far into the future, and you seeing the more immediate future.

    Ultimately, I believe we can do this, and I think it comes down to convincing the public to believe in themselves. We've come this far, and it would be a shame for us to simply kill each other off. We're all gonna die anyway if we continue like this, why not give it a shot? What's the worst that could happen that we haven't already experienced?

  87. Alex B

    Okay, I just thought of this. Not sure if I'm borrowing this quote from someone else, or if I genuinely created it.

    "You have to build your house before you can live in it."

    This may counter what I just said earlier, but not totally. I agree we cannot ignore the morality shift in human evolution, but we need a safe place to learn, and right now we are in hostile territory. I'm thinking of this like rehab for humanity. Build the padded walls and provide a safe, warm and loving environment so that we may help each other grow both technologically and spiritually (however you want to interpret spirituality is up to you but I think you get the picture). I think priority would have to go to the environment, but social growth would follow immediately after and possibly during. We cannot ignore one or the other, as the outer and inner environment are both so critical to our existence.

  88. aspen

    Alex B – “I agree we cannot ignore the morality shift in human evolution, but we need a safe place to learn, and right now we are in hostile territory. I'm thinking of this like rehab for humanity.” *nods* Ok, fair enough. “the outer and inner environment are both so critical to our existence.” *nods* I can see that. I was just curious because it seemed like some of your previous posts were saying, ‘this or that (social concern) won’t be an issue because we’ll have abundance (no ownership, free access to everything we need, etc)’ and I was thinking, that’s cool once the system’s in place, but how do you get the people from where we are today, without abundance, or having had the life experiences of having grown up in abundance, to that place where they can build and live within the system that provides abundance.

    I wonder if some kind of open-source technology initiative might be appropriate? There are several focusing on capturing sustainable energy, or utilizing sustainable building practices. I imagine your group (of people who support this vision) could contribute to those initiatives. Perhaps someone could start a fab shop where working examples of those technology proposals could be built for themselves and others. The workers contributing to this shop could organize it along the lines of the society you imagine. Perhaps eventually tying it to some kind of co-housing collective that would allow for the kind of seed-society that would serve both as the safe space for social rehab, but also as a small scale example of how the principles might be put into practice?

  89. Alex B

    Exactly. Right on the money ;)

    Right now, I would say that it is more important to gather more support for this movement, to help people understand the illusion of money and the importance of managing resources. How we move into this would have to start with a first city and expand from there. I don't think we'll have a problem with abundance with our current technology. We just have to be smart. As far as the details go, I know we have geothermal energy, wind, wave, tidal, and solar energy at our disposal, and with the proper use of hydroponics, we can grow healthy food anywhere at any time. So if energy, food, and shelter can all be provided for with relative ease, then I don't see a shortage of much. Abundance is certainly an issue if we continue our current lifestyle. In the event that abundance is an issue, the new system is to work with what we got until we can develop better and more efficient ways of doing things and providing for people. It's better we all take a smaller portion of the pie than to fight over each slice. Though I don't see abundance being an issue when we put our minds to it, worst case scenario I see is we all eat 2 meals a day instead of 3.

    The way I see it, when enough people are on board, it's simply a matter of getting together and sorting everything out. It seems as though everyone wants the entire plan laid out in front of them, with such accuracy as to indicate even where to scratch their ass. The plans haven't been completely flushed out because we will make the plans together. I think the problem goes back to people looking up to some savior to fix everything, when it's time we realized WE are the saviors and destroyers of our world.

    You're definitely on the right track, as you've already proposed some great ideas. And that is the point of all this. No linear solution. No one-stop shop for a paradise. This is a learning experience and we all have to put our minds together and agree on a common direction, but how we get there will be up to us. Maybe some of us will choose to do things one way, and others another, so long as the core principles of resource management are maintained, and that we don't conflict with each other. Let's just provide people with the necessities of life and figure things out as we go. Once everyone has been fed and sheltered, we will move out of our survival instincts and be free to explore and move beyond the limitations of merely fending for one's self.

  90. aspen

    Alex B – “Right now, I would say that it is more important to gather more support for this movement, to help people understand the illusion of money and the importance of managing resources.” You might be right. I’m only speaking from my own experience in working with envisioning alternative futures and though getting the word out is certainly an important step, I found some significant difference between those who were willing to talk and those who were willing to act. Next time I figure to put a shovel in the ground and see who shows up. But that said, I think that people are also inspired by action as much or more than they are by words.

    “I know we have geothermal energy, wind, wave, tidal, and solar energy at our disposal, and with the proper use of hydroponics, we can grow healthy food anywhere at any time. So if energy, food, and shelter can all be provided for with relative ease, then I don't see a shortage of much.” I take it that though within the society you wouldn’t have money or exchange, that the society as an international entity might have to engage in some form of trade in order to purchase products or supplies you can’t produce locally, perhaps by selling power from your renewable sources, or food or technology that you produce for yourselves?

    “The plans haven't been completely flushed out because we will make the plans together.” *nods* I like the idea of that, and I wish you luck, but I think you might find that one of the challenges you’ll find is our relative lack of experience / ability in working together in a non-hierarchical structure. I suspect that any effort to transition from the power-over authoritarian model that we’re all familiar with to a power-to cooperation model will have to balance servant-leadership with skill building and personal empowerment of those involved so that we can learn how to be free agents within a cooperative structure.

    “so long as … we don't conflict with each other.” Hmm… this seems like a potential issue… I can certainly understand wanting to avoid unnecessary conflict, but don’t you imagine that some conflict will be a natural part of the process and that processes to deal with that conflict in a healthy way might be appropriate?

    “Once everyone has been fed and sheltered, we will move out of our survival instincts and be free to explore and move beyond the limitations of merely fending for one's self.” *nods*

  91. Alex B

    I do agree that actions speak louder than words, but we have to reach a critical mass of volunteers to get the thing moving. Believe me, I would be the first one to start getting my hands dirty, but I wouldn't want to make too hasty of an effort and have it fall short. This has to be done well enough to hold its own ground.

    Trade wouldn't be necessary. Each city would be designed for self-sufficiency. In the event that a city cannot meet its needs, nearby cities would help out. I am sure we can reach a point where cities could start producing over-abundance for emergency purposes. I also suspect that cities would not grow too large to burden themselves. We design cities for a certain capacity, and if we exceed that, build a new city. The larger the community, the harder to manage. But these calculations of peak population can only be determined when we actually implement this system. All cities would be connected, and travel between them would be made very easy and accessible. Trade will happen, but not a trade of goods, rather, an exchange of ideas. All goods are shared, remember. We'll bring back the World's Fair and people will be exposed to the latest in technological innovations.

    When I speak of avoiding conflict, I don't mean we just throw away the opposing ideas. I think we can reach an agreement that we cannot move forward until we somehow resolve any conflicting issues. The conflicts I can think of are ones where maybe there are a limited amount of a particular resource, and we are contemplating what would be the best use for it. Everything should be discussed in the open, and we all don't have to agree, but we should all agree on our priorities which would be providing a standard of living for all. Another conflicting idea might be if someone proposes to do an experiment that may threaten the safety of some people... I don't know. I just don't think people should simply say, "Give me my share of the resources, and I'll do whatever the hell I want." Maybe we can come to agreements where we say, "Okay, you can do that experiment, so long as it's somewhere safe and you take full responsibility for the outcome." Maybe we try experimenting two different methods of transportation. We don't have to do things one way, we just have to make sure that everything is out in the open; that we are all aware of what's going on, and that nothing we do will be of any threat to our survival.

    We won't have law or anything, but I think if we were to write a rule, it would be to practice respect and responsibility.

  92. aspen

    Alex B – “we have to reach a critical mass of volunteers to get the thing moving.” *nods* Fair enough. “I wouldn't want to make too hasty of an effort and have it fall short.” True, I imagine like any undertaking there will be a balance between planning and action.

    “Trade wouldn't be necessary. Each city would be designed for self-sufficiency. In the event that a city cannot meet its needs, nearby cities would help out.” *nods* I get the idea in principle after your vision has reached its full manifestation, but I’m wondering about the journey to getting there. Not all the mineral resources required for the kinds of technology you’re talking about are available in all locations. When it’s just getting started, I imagine you’ll have to purchase some of your resources from locations that haven’t yet adopted your economic model. Never mind larger organizations that might think they need tax revenue from you, etc..

    “Everything should be discussed in the open, and we all don't have to agree, but we should all agree on our priorities which would be providing a standard of living for all.” *nods* That sounds good. Some communication / conflict theorists suggest that even where people share common needs / values, conflict can originate from differing strategies they might support for meeting those needs / manifesting those values. Never mind the simple personality conflicts that we all have to work with regardless of our circumstances. But I’m confident that if your vision is successful that you’ll have found a way to address these issues.

  93. duck

    Alex B 07/20/2010 at 22:25

    One of the main purposes of opposite view discussions and each side relating real world information that one might find is to convince one or the other of the merits of their side of said discussion. While your precepts have not convinced me when they might have eventually, your characterization that one is childish and by extension, a liar is not the way to win converts. If you truly want to win converts, I suggest that you refrain from attacking people on a personal level. Especially since Aspen expressing from a different direction has made many of my arguments for me. It is too bad that your supposedly open mind is so closed

  94. Alex B


    Sorry, if I offended you somehow, but in all "fairness," I was making the comparison of schoolyard name-calling to your "argument" against a resource-based economy, which was lacking merit. When I mentioned propaganda and lies, I was referring to the idea of "Human Depopulation." I can see how you may have interpreted that towards you, but my argument still stands. Disputing an idea or message because of the people who (you claim) are associated with it is not valid. Ever hear the expression, "Don't shoot the messenger?" The information speaks for itself, and placing false idols in front of messages is wrong. You claimed to "research" a resource-based economy without actually going to the source. Read what the material it entails, not second-hand information leading to a trail of uneducated conspiracy theory, propaganda, and thus lies through misinformation. If your only response to any of what I've stated is that there are "bad" people associated with this, so I don't trust it, than, I cannot apologize for your refusal to understand the material. You don't say, "I don't believe physics because Einstein was flawed, and I simply don't like the cut of his jib." His work has merit in and of itself, and any mistakes in his work will also make themselves evident.

    I've listened and responded to everything you had to say, providing comparison analysis and source material and films. To call me closed minded is, once again, name calling. If that's how you debate, then you have already lost. I am open to hear your arguments, but not when they are presented so poorly. If you can't make a valid counter-argument, do the research and find the flaws within the source material and not in the characters. When I say do the research, I recommend going to the Venus Project website and reading his essays. It's all there. A FAQ section is there as well. I don't hide behind people to back up a resource-based economy. I've made my own cases through multiple sources, and I have yet to hear a valid response.

  95. hawkpork

    your posts are simply too long for me. lol.
    i try to be concise. and hope you will be able to answer my questions in a similar manner.

    it seems silly to me to conceive of having money as a medium for some goods, services and not others. one cannot eradicate money completely. it is historically proven to be an integral part of an evolving society. prohibition of money? ha..
    so i recognize it can and must evolve eventually. but you're talking about extinction of money. which can't happen in society.
    i guess agreements can be reached whereby essential goods and services are communally provided. but only within a strong and transparent democratic system.

    the real problem is not the value denomination, but the value distribution inequality.
    since societies arose we have had such horrifying statistics as 90% of wealth owned by top 10% of pop. it has been a pretty stable constant in human societies. and is only waning in places where there is something resembling transparent political representation. such as here in denmark.
    the problem is the human propensity to hoard in self interest. the solution is education that communal participation is in everyone's interest.

  96. Alex B


    Thanks for your post. I can understand why one might hesitate to read my chapters for comments, but large ideas take large explanations. And the removal of money shouldn't be taken lightly. Historically, money has promoted trade between conflicting nations, but the real factor in human evolution is technology. When we invented fire... was money the incentive? When we invented the wheel... was money the incentive? When we developed new techniques for agriculture... was money the incentive? When Isaac Newton developed modern physics by contemplating gravity.. was money the incentive? When Tesla invented Alternating Current... was money the incentive? When the internet was created... was money the incentive? Most progressive technological revolutions were designed to make parts of life easier, and though we've only known a world with money or trade, it does not make money the source of human evolution. In fact, I've stated many times that money is actually holding us back from progressing faster.

    I don't deny that there have been cases where money and war have provided some kind of incentive to produce goods and services, but keep in mind, that the incentive was not to produce those goods or services, but for survival. Money is a means of survival today, and in war times, priority is to win at whatever cost.

    You said - "the real problem is not the value denomination, but the value distribution inequality." but neither will work in the long term because no matter how "fair" you think you are making things, there will always be those craving more, so long as there is a means of obtaining more. If we can understand the illusion of possession, knowing that the only thing we can truly own is ourselves, then we will have made progress. Things come and go. Technologies are constantly improving and replacing old ones. You can't take your possessions with you into the "afterlife," so why do we hold on so tightly to things? We need access, not ownership. You don't need to own a house, you need to live in one. You don't need to own a car, you need to travel in comfort.

    I hope this isn't too long for you, but if you want to challenge these concepts, you have to be willing to do the work and understand the material before giving your opinion. Anyone can give their opinion on a book, but who's opinion is more valid? The one who reads one page? the one who reads one chapter? Or the one who reads the entire book?

  97. Alex B


    You said - "the solution is education that communal participation is in everyone’s interest." Very well said. That's the core principle of a resource-based economy, to educate people on how we can all benefit from public participation. Unfortunately, our value system and any other kind, keeps us working hard for dollars to survive. We can't expect people to volunteer their services or tell them what businesses to work for, when it means reducing how much income they can obtain. We have to first provide abundance for all, and then we will no longer be fighting to survive. Once that is achieved, our efforts can be towards making life even better and more fun than it already is.

  98. aspen

    Good morning Hawkpork. I will certainly try. (to be concise)
    “I guess agreements can be reached whereby essential goods and services are communally provided, but only within a strong and transparent democratic system.” *nods* Absolutely, a moral political system is certainly a prerequisite for a moral (and sustainable) economic system.

    “The real problem is not the value denomination, but the value distribution inequality.” I agree. I get the impression that Alex believes that the value (association to the resource as a commodity, beyond its intrinsic value as a recourse) is at the root of the distribution inequality. I can see how that certainly might play a part, but tend to focus on individual moral standards / development as the place to focus my efforts for addressing the issue of distribution inequality. (That said, I’m not advocating for perfect equality regardless of contribution, though I believe some basic needs should be guaranteed, I’m open to inequitable distribution related to contribution after that.)

    “Since societies arose we have had such horrifying statistics as 90% of wealth owned by top 10% of pop. It has been a pretty stable constant in human societies and is only waning in places where there is something resembling transparent political representation. Such as here in Denmark.” *nods* I think that is the case because transparency (which both you and Alex also seem to advocate for) allows actions to be reviled for public evaluation and inspires more moral choices. (someone’s watching you… :p)

    “The problem is the human propensity to hoard in self interest. The solution is education that communal participation is in everyone’s interest.” *nods* I agree.

    I know this is getting longer, but I don’t feel like I’ve adequately addressed your concern about some goods and services being monetary and other goods and services being non-monetary. Imagine a barn raising.. Your neighbors might come in, have a potluck, and help you put up your barn without expectation of payment beyond your willingness to help them out when their time comes. Now imagine you want to build a private roller-coaster in your back yard that only you will be able to use, I’m guessing your neighbors might be less inclined to volunteer their time. Or imagine a public hospital. A child comes in with a broken arm, you might set up your social structure so that the family doesn’t have to pay to have the arm mended. Then again, if some guy comes in and wants some vain cosmetic procedure done, you might feel that it’s fair to ask him to pay. What I’m suggesting is simply an extension of that. The community collaborates so that everyone’s got basic food, shelter, clothing, health, education, etc. But if you want a private car that bounces up and down at the stoplight, sorry, get a night job.

  99. Alex B

    @duck again

    I didn't address this in my last post.

    This isn't a matter of being right or wrong. I am not trying to "win converts." Is a math professor trying to convert his/her students to calculus? I am simply putting forth my logic, and trying to help people understand why we really don't need money and government. My logic is consistently being challenged, so I make my points through analysis and use source material to educate on particular areas of my argument. Even if I don't live to see the society that is necessary for humanity sustainability, at least I will have contributed to sparking interest in the subject and maybe the next generation can take this research further. This isn't about winning or losing debates. When both sides present valid arguments with new and possibly overlooked information, in reality, both sides win, so long as both sides are willing to listen. I've learned a lot already because you and others have challenged me to really present my case thoroughly.

    This also, inadvertently, backs up my point on voting inadequacies in our modern society. To vote is to pick sides, or pick arguments, but that really can't be the way to solve problems. You can't solve problems by putting them to a vote. When presented with a math problem, you don't shout out random numbers and have people vote on them, you have to work it out, possibly make some mistakes along the way, and arrive at a solution. To relate this to money, you can't also buy your way out of a solution. Sure, you could pay your teacher or a smart classmate to get you through the course, but nothing will ever be learned that way. What happens when these people no longer accept your money? How will you solve the problem then?

    I know I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but I am trying to bring new perspectives to everything being discussed here.

  100. Alex B

    @aspen & hawkpork

    Yes, transparency is definitely needed. I don't think any real good has come from secrets or closed room deals. I am not sure where I stand when it comes to privacy, because a lot of people are very anti-big brother, and I see their concerns. But I think it comes down to transparency wherever decisions are made, and currently, our governments have big-brother technology everywhere except where it's needed most, in our legislative buildings.

    Regarding the barn-raising/roller coaster analogy, I too feel that priorities would have to be sorted. I am sure I stated that before, placing human well-being before all else, but I guess these are areas of concern. In the system I advocate (without money and government, with access to everything), I imagine it would play out, where if someone did want to get cosmetic treatment, they could, but they'd have to find someone willing to do the procedure. It's not as if we will have any higher authority to tell us what we can and can't do. It will be a matter of public priority. When someone's hurt, you'll find plenty of willing participants, but when there are personal projects, it will depend on who wants to help, and will be up for discussion as to what can be done so as not to take any important resources away.

    We could live under guidance, and if there was something you really wanted to do, there would be information and tools made available to you. If you say, wanted silicon implants... :D (though natural is more appealing to me), you might be guided to learn how silicon is made, and there may be someone around the world, willing to do such a procedure for you. Of course, if such a scenario occurred, rather than let people do this in their backyard, we would likely have professionals overlook the procedure within a safe environment, because our main concern is for the safety of all people. Kind of like how, in Vancouver, Canada, there is a heroin clinic, where trained nurses help drug addicts inject the needles safely. You can't force people to give up their habits, but you can educate people. In the meantime, we want to make sure these people are being as safe as possible.

    The system would provide access to all you might need to do personal projects, but it may not be as easy as walking in an office or store with a credit card like today. Same would go for artists who want to create art or music. Art supplies and a recording studio may be made available through participation of a group of passionate individuals.

  101. aspen

    “currently, our governments have big-brother technology everywhere except where it's needed most, in our legislative buildings.” I don’t know about that… the hearings are open, we have access to much of the process.. is it that the government hides things from us, or is it that we just don’t care to investigate and hold them accountable?

    “if someone did want to get cosmetic treatment, they could, but they'd have to find someone willing to do the procedure.” I imagine you’re going to have a difficult time communicating your vision of a system within the context of abundance to a society so conditioned to think in terms of scarcity. I can understand wanting to get people excited about the potential so that they might contribute towards manifesting it, but I suspect that to win over skeptics, you’re going to have to address the question of scarcity, even if it only applies in the transition to your context of abundance rather than within it.

  102. aspen

    “we have most of the major metals and minerals.” *nods* Canada does seem well positioned for natural resources.

    “The strongest materials to use for structures however, are composite materials like carbon-fiber, and I believe you need oils and such, which could be easily grown.” It’s a shame the palm oil would be difficult to grow in your current climate. For natural production of oils it sure seems hard to beat. But that said, the process for creating the resins for those composite materials seems fairly intensive, and though I’ve looked a little, I haven’t found anyone producing them from plant oils (yet.)

    “intelligent designers would place everything for quick and easy access. I think we should always be prepared to update our technology.” I imagine the engineers that designed the various products are fairly intelligent, but I also imagine that they might have been working from a different set of priorities than what you might have. Though your point is well taken, anything that you produce could be designed with a stronger value for simple maintenance over replacement.

  103. Alex B


    Well, in government, definitely not everything is open. There is a formal show they put on, but consider the closed-door meetings between politicians, corporate CEOs, and Bankers. What about all the WTO and UN meetings? Also, I am not sure if you're familiar with the Bilderberg Group. Annually, over a 3day weekend, the most influential people (Kings, Queens, Presidents, Prime Ministers, International Bankers, etc) gather at a hotel for secret conferences, and not even major media journalists talk about their discussions. There are a few rogue journalists and activists trying to expose this. If you search this on youtube, there's plenty of information. I recommend looking at Daniel Estulin's work. He does a more journalistic and historical report, compared to somebody as extreme as Alex Jones, who means well, and has exposed a lot, but does too much shouting for my taste. I'm not sure how you feel about conspiracy theories, but this is conspiracy fact, and there's evidence of gatherings of this magnitude all throughout history. Jekyl Island is another event that comes to mind in the early 20th century. Most of what is discussed in these meetings cannot be proven and leads to speculation, but the fact remains that these types of secret meetings happen.

    To add, transparency isn't also just a matter of seeing politicians in action, but having the ability to voice public concern on political discussions. Too much faith is put into political leaders, and I highly doubt most politicians have your best interests at heart when it is too easy to line their pockets and fill their wallets with money. If something like 5% of the population control something like 50% of the world's wealth, then what kind of "voting" power do we, the people, really have?

    Regarding scarcity, and how we address that during the transition period, I think it will have to be business as usual until one of two things happen. One: the financial system collapses, forcing us to subscribe to something better. Two: a first city will be constructed while we continue things as we always have, and people will begin moving into these new cities (of their own choosing of course). If people are scared that things will get worse, I have to remind people that things aren't getting better. The sooner we act, the easier the transition. We will come out of this strong in the end, even if we have to face a transition period of scarcity and poverty. This war cannot be won by the gun. This has to be something people want. Transition is no easy thing to get through because we've built all these mental barriers that need to be overcome. This is a war against the ego, and rather than fight, we have to reason. I think we've proven that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to in human history. Even if someone says, "Well we failed at socialism and communism." I respond by saying, actually, communism lives in today's world, though not the original conceptual model, it still exists because people believed in it so much to manifest it. Where's all the money now.. China. Where's communism now... China. Can we really say it "failed?" It's doing exactly what it was designed to do. No we just have to understand that a resource-based economy can work. Not to blindly believe in it, but to understand its structure.

    Skeptics today have been not been doing their homework. They're so busy trying to prove something wrong, that they don't often see what's right, and don't understand the full scope of the material. It seems to me that skeptics feel that if they can find one fault in a theory, that the entire thing is proven wrong. What about finding solutions to those faults? Try answering your own questions and see what you come up with. For instance, if you're concerned with the transition period, try coming up with possible solutions and scenarios. I know you (aspen) have already put forth a few a ideas, and that's what is needed out of skepticism today. Skepticism is good, because it challenges ideas, but it should not be a tool for flat out denying ideas. The skeptic has to be as knowledgeable, if not, more knowledgeable than the person who's theory they are trying to disprove. My purpose is to educate, and when I come across a tough question, I don't throw my hands in the air and say, "Alright, I give up." I study the question and look back at my notes, trying to come up with a solution. There may be times where I am wrong in some areas, but I need a knowledgeable person to present that to me with professionalism.

    The conditioning of scarcity is a hard habit to break, and it's not like I was born with these thoughts and theories. I came across information that challenged what I thought I knew, and after careful consideration and research, I began to understand the importance of a Resource-based Economy, and the illusion of Power through money and government. I have never asked Jacques Fresco questions about a RBE. I understood the principles and began answering my own questions. And when I ran out of questions, people such as yourself, put forth new ones for me. It's not like I have a handbook that I refer to when answering questions. Once the seed has been planted, ideas can grow enormously. That's my true aim. Not to provide all the answers, but to help people discover the answers for themselves. Once enough people understand these concepts, there's no holding back empowered peoples.

  104. Alex B

    @ aspen

    "I imagine the engineers that designed the various products are fairly intelligent, but I also imagine that they might have been working from a different set of priorities than what you might have. Though your point is well taken, anything that you produce could be designed with a stronger value for simple maintenance over replacement." - The point is that the engineers today do, in fact, like you said, work with different priorities... and that's to make money. That is why I continue to stress money's hindrance on technological development. With abundance and efficiency in mind, engineers will be free to design things in the best way they can, without considering market value. All things will be designed for as little maintenance as possible, but once a newer and better way of doing something comes along, it is better to replace it than to hold onto an outdated technology. Old technology will be recycled and new technologies will always be implemented into society as soon as possible, and not restricted to the affordability of it.

  105. aspen

    “consider the closed-door meetings between politicians, corporate CEOs, and Bankers. What about all the WTO and UN meetings?” *nods* Good point… I was thinking of the dog and pony show… not the places where decision$ really get made.

    “To add, transparency isn't also just a matter of seeing politicians in action, but having the ability to voice public concern on political discussions.” I tend to believe we still have the ability to speak our peace most of the time, not that we do, or that if we do too many people listen… Which, I imagine is why we still can generally. :p

    “If something like 5% of the population control something like 50% of the world's wealth, then what kind of "voting" power do we, the people, really have?” We have whatever we have… perhaps it should be more, but I think we should leverage what we do have while we work for a more equal voice.

    “This is a war against the ego, and rather than fight, we have to reason.” : ) I think I hear your intent, and I support the direction you’re going, but I wonder if ego (beyond reaction) isn’t reinforced by reason / intellectualization… (Duck will have a field day with this next statement.) Perhaps what we need to do more than reason is to feel? Do you think ‘war’ is the healthiest / most effective metaphor, not just for the process, but for how you want to engage the process?

  106. Alex B

    @ aspen

    "Perhaps what we need to do more than reason is to feel?" Hmmm... I agree that war is probably not the best metaphor, but I think what we all tend to do is make everything out to be a war (including myself sometimes), and that is why we fail, because we are fighting rather than, (I say) reason, and (you say) feeling. I think I understand that by feeling, you mean compassion or understanding of the other side. I can definitely agree with that. I too can get caught up in my own little war, but what is important is to step back from the canvas every once and awhile to gain perspective and see the big picture.

    I think this is why I argue for human nurture, because it is not that people in positions of power are all bad, but that they are influenced by their environment. Their reasoning is justified within the context of their own paradigm, and therefore they do not feel they are doing anything wrong. I think it's our job to enlighten people and begin helping those who are trapped within a finite structure of thinking, to see the bigger picture and think outside of themselves. When people become conscious of their actions, I think we will see more public involvement.

  107. aspen

    *nods* I think a part of that might also be helping people that their actions, even small ones, make a big difference when taken by large numbers of people. Individually we might be relatively powerless to create meaningful change, but if we neglect our responsibilities because of our individual powerlessness, we abandon the real opportunities we have to make the necessary changes collectively.

  108. Alex B

    To put it like you, aspen... *nods* I couldn't have put it better myself.

    Thanks, everyone, for all your challenging questions and insights. This is all very useful for the book I am writing. I am open to more questions and ideas.

  109. duck

    I still have trouble visualizing some plumber or sewer worker coming to unplug your toilet be cause he/she just loves altruistically working in your waste matter no matter how you hand out resources….

  110. hawkpork

    you are not concise where you could be.

    when we invented money..was fire, the wheel etc; the incentive? in a sense yes. money is a facilitator to exchange. some would say it's a prerequisite of civilization. a tool.
    money is a wonderful tool. it is proven to have enabled much more than "trade between conflicting nations". but i would agree, it's also one that has inherent risks. these risks must be countered by moral, communal dilligence ie; government.

    ".I’ve stated many times that money is actually holding us back from progressing faster."

    i believe in godwin's "perfectability of man" so i welcome visions of a moneyless, just society.
    but such a society is long from where we are now and we cannot evlove to such a point by cutting out one of societies major organs.. regardless of how corupt it's become. it's still essential.
    it is the application of our value exchange system that is wrong.
    such sytems as fractional reserve banking.
    we must first correct the system we have.

    i don't really konw what you mean about creating abundance first. seems to me, we've got the abundance. just not the inclination to equal distribution.

    i like the meme "We need access, not ownership." but really think you're jumping the gun a bit.. to say the least.

  111. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    To try and fix our current system is just patchwork. We will end up with the same problems again and again. It's more efficient now to pave a new road of society than to try filling all the pot holes of this one. Holding onto money is the equivalent of holding onto horse & carriage rather than commute by an automobile.

    In what "sense" was money the incentive to invent fire? Innovation comes from a need to be more efficient, and to improve the quality of life, not just for one's self, but for the rest of the community. You think the first caveman to rub sticks together said "Pay me first?" You haven't really given me a reason to believe we should keep money. You explanation is very vague.

    hawkpork - "money is a facilitator to exchange. some would say it’s a prerequisite of civilization. a tool. money is a wonderful tool"

    This doesn't say too much. Yes money is a tool, but outdated for this generation. It is not a vital organ, no more than a pencil is to the hand. By your logic, you could say guns are necessary to civilization, because based on historical records, it has won wars against nations that could not compete against heavy artillery, and thus spread "civilization" across the globe. Money is a tool, but what does that make you when money controls you?... a tool of a tool. Please, don't be upset with me, I am not directly calling you a tool. In a sense we are all tools for allowing the monetary system to control every aspect of our lives, and we will continue to be until we stop relying on money and start relying on ourselves.

    hawkpork - "but such a society is long from where we are now and we cannot evlove to such a point by cutting out one of societies major organs.. regardless of how corupt it’s become. it’s still essential."

    We only believe money is essential through propaganda. We think we need money to get and do things. Truth is, in all simplicity, you don't need it at all. The earth provides, and we partake from it. If you truly believed in a value system and ownership, we are all indebted to the earth, and not to corporate elite and their international banks.

    Imagine coming across a brand new world, with no humans, identical to earth. Who owns it?... the first people to stick their flag in the ground? Is that how we should be really running things? Wouldn't it be more efficient to survey the planet first, assess how many resources there are, and figure out a way to efficiently occupy the earth without being a detriment to it? Money does not inherently provide such a system of resource management. Money is a system of resource-hording. "Mine, mine, mine," is what we all say today. My house, my car, my TV, my wife, my toys. Realistically we own nothing but ourselves, and sometimes even that's not the case, because we even sell ourselves for money, and I don't just mean sexual prostitution. Haven't you ever tried to haggle with a salesman, or bargain for a trade? By trying to get the better deal, you are in a sense selling yourself, because you are putting profit before moral integrity. If you wanted to be moral, you would simply give the other person a better deal and take the loss on profit, but we're all trying to survive here, so what do we say?... "Hey, it's just business." I am guilty of this, and most of us are, so long as we function within this monetary system.

  112. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    hawkpork - "i don’t really konw what you mean about creating abundance first. seems to me, we’ve got the abundance. just not the inclination to equal distribution."

    When I talk about creating abundance, I mean creating a system that provides abundance. You are right, we do already have abundance. Now if only we could all realize that. Money functions through scarcity, and the more things are scarce, the more profitable things are, so to create abundance within a system that relies on scarcity is a paradox.

    Now, you said I was "jumping the gun" when I said we need "access and not ownership" of things. That's the point. I am leaping forward ahead of the rest, because I don't want to wait for the gunshots before I make a move. I think you've provided me with the perfect metaphor for our time. We all seem to be waiting for some kind of trigger event to get us moving. That's not being proactive, that's being reactive.

  113. Alex B

    @ duck

    Of course you're having trouble seeing plumbers and sewer workers do their "dirty deeds." This is because we will eliminate those types of jobs. We'll design a whole new plumbing and sewage system. One that is designed with longevity and simplicity in mind. We could design such a system to be easily managed by the people occupying the place. Right now, our entire piping systems are outdated by at least half a century. Remember, the new system is DESIGNED. Designed with all these things in mind. We can't keep doing patchwork. Replace our system with something that is self cleaning and requires little or no maintenance. All the jobs we consider, poor, disgusting, tedious, boring, or labor-some, will be eliminated through proper design.

  114. hawkpork

    you've had me thinking..
    hmm where to start.?
    i like the socialistic principles of the RBE theory. those of providing communaly, all essential services and goods.

    the problems you raise seem to be, and validly so i would agree, fractional reserve banking, inflation. the inequality in worldwide labour value and the immoral application of labour and capital. not money itself.
    in the interests of transparency i'll admit. i'm suspicious that the two of you, alex/aspen are one and are in some way invested, or receiving some sort of immediate reward for promoting this idea.
    it's the rabid, rambling, repetitive, ideologically weak posts that does it.

    you want examples.
    i haven't given more than one yet because it seems so obvious that many of the things we take for granted might not exist without a universal means of swapping stuff at will.
    luxuries, travel, precious metals, drugs etc; how would the value of such things circulate?
    is anyone allowed to have as much as they want in your system? or are they deemed unworthy of production by the wise elders?
    how do i earn my smoke?
    i hesitate to give you myself as an example. but hey. F!"k it.
    i'm a self employed house painter. i'm an aussie, i live in denmark.
    i see the market value or exchange value of my work affected by supply and demand. and don't believe any system can prevent that fluctuation in value.
    how would your system allow me to fly to an from aus and denmark yearly?
    how would my job be distributed? who would decide what was essential work or luxury work?

    why would i want to change from a system where i have free comprehensive healthcare, free education up to doctorate level, with government financial support. 6 month paid leave for both new parents. 3,000 kr per 3 months for every child until 18 yrs from government. enforced holiday pay on top of wage. enforced superannuation. free libraries and more that i don't remember.? tell me please.

    i see the market value or exchange value of my work affected by supply and demand. and don't believe any system can prevent that fluctuation in value.

    whatever capitalists do, they do it as quickly, cheaply as possible. it's called competition. and generally it keeps productivity high. regardless of the specific product.

    your plumber solution "We’ll design a whole new plumbing and sewage system. One that is designed with longevity and simplicity in mind." is really funny. i know a few plumbers that'd love to hear who's gonna design this new system.
    think anyone can design a plumbing system that has more longevity than the mesopotamian's or romans did? or be simpler than designed to use gravity?
    how long do you think before the robotic revolution? will there be painter robots flooding the citites soon?

  115. duck

    @ Alex B

    What are you going to design first ?? Self cleaning toilets? Self cleaning sewer? Self repairing water system? There is a huge infrastructure that needs designed and built. Why wait? Start designing and building now. There are hundreds of thousands plumbers, sewer workers, maintenance people that would probably like to pursue a dedicated hobby or something else.

    Publish the designs, schematics, the engineering data of the various machines that are required for this new society now. Show the design and layout of the super computer and of how to build this magnificent thinking edifice that is to control life and the environment. Release the software so that it can be used to improve society now.

    Put the designs out to the public, patent them in public domain so that anyone can begin building these systems now and you will be on your way to changing society in your image.

  116. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    Great questions... But I have great answers (and by great, I meant quantitatively) :D

    hawkpork - "i’m suspicious that the two of you, alex/aspen are one and are in some way invested, or receiving some sort of immediate reward for promoting this idea.
    it’s the rabid, rambling, repetitive, ideologically weak posts that does it." Well, we (aspen and I) are definitely no the same person. Aspen has raised many concerns and I have tried to answer them. I think we agree on the principles of Socialism, but differ in how it can be executed. I know that what I say appears as ideological rambling, but haven't I given analogies and examples to back up my claims?

    I really am not doing this for money... though, I am in the process of writing my first book. Firstly for myself, as a means of gathering all my own thoughts; secondly, for spreading my ideas in hopes that people might reconsider what kind of world we live; and thirdly, for financial compensation. I am not sure how this book will be published, and I am considering posting it free on the web with a [donate] option. I also have all these ideas for large motion picture film scripts and short films.

    I don't think I am being too pushy with this topic, as I present logical arguments and raise reasonable questions. I think many people fear that any ideology is having your head in the clouds and not close enough to earth. My "ideologies" don't really tell you to do things my way. I am simply giving my perspective and trying to find solutions to our world predicament. We all want peace and love, but at some point, we seem to have lost confidence that we can do any better, which is understandable. I want to bring back that spark of passion, that things can be different, but change doesn't happen until we change our thinking. More ideological rant... I know, but it doesn't make my statements any less true. What if Gandhi or Martin Luther King didn't speak up? I just can't lose hope... not now, especially at this time, when I think hope is needed more than ever in this pessimistic world. I think I've made my optimism clear, so let's get back to answering hard questions.

    hawkpork - "you want examples. i haven’t given more than one yet because it seems so obvious that many of the things we take for granted might not exist without a universal means of swapping stuff at will." Why is it so obvious? Isn't that statement taking money for granted? Kind of a cop-out, but please, at least try to come up with an example. Help me understand why you value money so, and why it has been so beneficial to the world.

    hawkpork - "is anyone allowed to have as much as they want in your system? or are they deemed unworthy of production by the wise elders? how do i earn my smoke?" The system I advocate does not simply distribute resources, for that would imply some standard of "fairness," and as I've stated before, "fairness" is relative. The system steps beyond individual growth into communal growth. Everybody seems to want their share, and I will continue to express the illusion of ownership and the importance of access. It's not about having your share of the pie. It's about trying to feed everyone with that pie. Though the two statements seem identical, the level of thinking behind them is completely different. The former concerns itself with owning a piece of the pie, and shows little concern for what the pie has to offer. The latter expresses the importance of using the pie to benefit everyone, and the sharing of the pie may come down to helping those less fortunate first, so long as no one starves. Nobody is ever "deemed unworthy" because the system does not have any authority to cast such judgment. Everyone will be provided with access to things. If you want a smoke, the system may not find it important to mass produce cigarettes as they are proven unhealthy and our number one concern is human health and safety, but... (please read on) a means of obtaining cigarettes would definitely be provided. What you choose to do with your health is your choice, but the collective will focus its energies on benefiting mankind, not harming it. So, to help out someone who craves a cigarette, you would have access to a database of information and be connected with people of similar interests. You could grow tobacco yourself, and there would be plenty of resources and people available to help you do this. It doesn't appear as though this may be a hindrance on our global resources, and thus does not conflict with the overall health and safety of humanity. Remember, it's access to things and not owning them that people really need. You don't need to own a smoke, you just need to smoke a smoke and get a high from it.

    To answer some of you personal questions, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this system. Now, I don't end it there like many others do. All those things you are currently provided with through your job and such will be provided to you and everyone else in this system, less the financial compensation as there will be no currency of any kind. As far as travel goes, the system will, yet again, be designed for efficiency, and commuting anywhere in the world will be made available (this is of course, considering the entire world has fully implemented this system by now. It has to in order to make EVERYTHING available, otherwise, we're competing with capitalism). A place to stay would also be provided to you wherever you go. With regards to "work," I first have to ask, do you enjoy what you do? If so, great, and what is it about your job you really enjoy? If not, what would you want to do? However, painting houses by this point, would not need to be handled by people as simple robotics can accomplish such tasks when housing pieces are assembled. We won't have the outdated houses we live in today, with drywall, wood, and screws. They would be made with energy efficiency, for quick and easy assemby, and per order as requested by each individual. In the event you are heartbroken by you job loss, ask yourself what it is you really enjoy about painting houses. Do you enjoy painting artwork? Whatever you enjoy doing, the system will provide you with access to resources and people who can help you accomplish your goals. If you really enjoy painting walls, then I don't see why we couldn't provide you with a wall to paint on. I am not mocking you, just in case you were thinking it. To each their own, and that is the point of this project. To help everyone explore their real passion for life. What do you want to do? How can we make that happen? No longer will you ask how much it will cost to do what you want, learn what you want, or travel where you want. Consider the earht like a library, and when you need to use something, learn something, or have a question about something, it will be provided free of charge. The only thing we ask... (now you might be thinking, "Wow, here's the catch...") We ask that you respect yourself, the people around you, the environment, and also to take responsibility for your actions. Now, these aren't rules subject by law, as there is no punishment system in place. The overall rule for this society would be for the health and safety of all humanity, and should you decide to not respect this, you may encounter people that you've disrespected and have to face them. Now, we don't advocate vigilanty justice by any sort, and such actions would be subject to their own disrespect of the health and safety of another human being. Think of this like a bar scene, where everyone is drinking and having a good time, but someone may step out of line and pick a fight with a stranger. Now, I used to work in a bar, and the way this scenario usually turns out, is they begin to scuffle, but there are friends on either side holding the two back from each other. Security will then step in and are well trained to handle these types of disputes, and their primary objective is to detain the ones fighting, and prevent them from hurting both themselves and others. Once things have cooled down, they are questioned. Sometimes this is a misunderstanding, and the two shake hands and make up. Other times, the conflict is deep rooted, and they need to be separated for the remainder of the night. Their friends take them home, and things usually blow over as they come back next week without beef. I won't argue against there being times where things get really serious, but my point is to exemplify how there are people willing to step in and handle situations without police authority. In fact, Many off-duty security pitch in because they want to help and don't want to see anyone get hurt. Now I can't say I've figured everything out, and I will admit that there can and will be conflicts like we see today, but not on such a large scale. I believe most disputes can be handled within the community, by the community. Have you ever been to a party where two guests get out of line? I don't think every time the night ends in bloodsheed. Usually the rest of the party guest handle the affair as there are usually friends on both sides.

    hawkpork - "who would decide what was essential work or luxury work?" The "who" you refer to would not exist and therefore could not make decisions for you. Work would be up to you. How do you want to contribute? Imagine entering into the mainframe database, your proposal for what you would like to do. Before this process, we all would have agreed that Health and safety of all life on earth is our mission. I think that's pretty fair and to the point, unlike most of today's politics with their long pages of fine print. Now after entering your proposal, the database computer considers these factors and sends you back suggestions on how you may be able to accomplish your goal respecting the forementioned protocol. I also imagine there may be a council of very wise individuals, but they would act only as a source of guidance and have no authority over you. Let's say that your proposal conflicted with environomental safety, maybe a scientific experiment of somesort. Rather than be denied access, you may have to back up your proposal and convince your community and the council that your experiment is worth doing. This could be done over the internet, with no long awaited court dates, and your peers could comment on this. A massive discussion would take place, and until we can all agree on a solution, the initial proposal would not take place. Maybe you were uneducated at the time with regards to how your experiment might effect the environment, and it would take some wisdom and professional advice to convince you that that experiment would conflict with environmental concern. But rather than flat out deny you, you could very well be offered alternative experiments that you may enjoy doing. It all seems very "talkie talkie," and not enough "walkie walkie," but it's hasty decisions without consideration of the consequeces that gets us into trouble. This way, we would really think before we act.

    hawkpork - "whatever capitalists do, they do it as quickly, cheaply as possible. it’s called competition. and generally it keeps productivity high. regardless of the specific product." Productivity is not a progression of civilization. Exploiting cheap child labor is considered productivity. The ability to produce, by itself, is not productive. What is being produced? Shoes, cars, soda, food? Productivity by capitalist standards is producing high volume of goods at the lowest cost (moneywise). But what about humanity's cost, or the environment's? How do we factor that in today? It's more productive to oursource today, but exploiting low wages is not productive for the outsourced workers. It's also more productive to ignore environmental and safety codes, becasue the fines later are superseded by their huge profits. True productivity would be to produce abundance for all with minimal effort and high efficiency.

    hawkpork - "i know a few plumbers that’d love to hear who’s gonna design this new system. think anyone can design a plumbing system that has more longevity than the mesopotamian’s or romans did? or be simpler than designed to use gravity?" Why is this funny? You think we are at the peak of indoor plumbing? Using metal pipes that corrode and decay is not being very efficient. I think, if some engineers and plumbers got together, they could come up with something very reliable and efficient, such that the need for a plumber would be unnecessary. A plumber could say, "I expereince these plumbing problems regularly." then ask "How might we avoid these problems from occurring in the first place?" Having the solution to a problem is not problem solving. Everytime we encounter a problem, we shouldn't just fix it, we should be attempting to prevent the same problems from occurring again. This method can and should be applied to every industry. Why capitalism doesn't allow this is because this would mean reducing jobs for plumbers, or anyone who wanted to completely irradicate a problem. The system I propose thrives on job reduction because that means more time for people to pursue other things.

    hawkpork - "how long do you think before the robotic revolution? will there be painter robots flooding the citites soon?" Once again, the fear of someone or something taking over. Movies are quite creative in portraying such a robot versus man complex. So long as we are creating the machines, how can robots ever take over? To solve this problem is through redundancy. Design the Artificail Intelligence with fail-safes, and not just an overwrite button, but several redundancies, such that there is no way for robots to ever take over humanity. I am no programmer, but I understand the concept of covering all your bases. Consider Elevators that are towed by something like 7 cables, where only one of which is actually required to lift the elevator. This is redundancy. In the event one cable breaks, there's six more ready to hold the elevator up. In order for an elevator to fall, all seven cables would have to snap at once, and even then, the break shoes whould prevent the elevator from freefalling. Now, I am no programmer, but if you got enough of them to come up with AI redundancies, I am sure they can do it. If you are afraid of robot painters taking over all your jobs, you are correct, but it is unnecessary to be afraid. As I stated earlier, human job reduction is essential to a Resource-based Economy, becasue the more jobs that are eliminated the more opportunites for everyone to do bigger and better things.

  117. hawkpork

    i find it hard to take you seriously. i ask you to be concise and not ramble. it just gets worse.

    you ignored my examples of luxuries. you skipped right over it.

    if i want to get married, can i get a diamond ring for my wife, or 20 diamond rings? can she keep them? do they have value?

    your grasp of what's possible to redesign better and what's not is really laughable. no more house painting? a new plumbing system?

    you also ignore my valid point that the problems you have with the system are inflation and inequality. not the existence of a value exchange system.
    this is supported by the example of denmark (which you evaded referring to specifically). where all essential goods and services are provided in a social democratic, capitalist frame work.
    so why not make the easier step first? change to a system like ours first, then evolve from there.

    yes capitalism encourages designed redundancy and low quality. but it also encourages maximum productivity and efficiency.

    if you're gonna write a book worth reading you'd better learn to think and express yourself more clearly and concisely than you have so far.

  118. hawkpork

    oh yeh.. and the economy is already based on resources.
    so you should find a new name for your idea.

  119. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    Have you actually read what I said, or just skim over it? I can't make my points with one liners. If you want.. . I will address every little detail. My aim was to paint a larger picture to help answer all your little questions and concerns.

    - "if i want to get married, can i get a diamond ring for my wife, or 20 diamond rings? can she keep them? do they have value?" My explanation of obtaining a cigarette answers your diamond ring question. You are provided with access to things, so even though there may not be a store for you to walk in and buy a diamond ring, a means of obtaining one will be provided. Did you know we have the technology to create diamonds?

    - "your grasp of what’s possible to redesign better and what’s not is really laughable. no more house painting? a new plumbing system?" Why is this laughable? Sure you are keeping your comments short and "concise," but you are not explaining yourself.

    - "you also ignore my valid point that the problems you have with the system are inflation and inequality. not the existence of a value exchange system. this is supported by the example of denmark (which you evaded referring to specifically). where all essential goods and services are provided in a social democratic, capitalist frame work." You are partially right, those are problems, but problems created by the fact that our system is based on currency. Scarcity drives up prices and abundance lowers value. You can't solve these problems without tackling what causes the problem in the first place... value-based system.

    - "so why not make the easier step first? change to a system like ours first, then evolve from there." I do admit, you have it pretty good with that example you gave me. And maybe, yes, this could be a transition period if we gave everyone that opportunity. Unfortunately, that would very easily lead to inflation of your dollar and drive up national debt... that is unless the government could produce money without incurring debt. Either way, I've tried stating again and again how this process of price-tagging everything holds back technological progression. This system still requires you to work, meaning jobs must be created rather than reduced to produce efficiency. Efficiency if better than productivity. It's a question of quality versus quantity.

    - "yes capitalism encourages designed redundancy and low quality. but it also encourages maximum productivity and efficiency." In my previous post, I argued that capitalism promoted inefficiency and cannot survive with efficient systems and technologies. My example of the 100 year old car explains how this product would fail to compete for profit after it has sold to all that need a car. this would also reduce service and repair jobs, putting people out of work.

    ... trying my best to keep it simple, and the reason I usually continue on with analogies and examples is because I anticipate that you, or anyone else, might take my statement and project your own vision of what I mean, which usually ends in things like depopulation or totalitarianism. This information and topic is so important, that I feel I cannot leave anything to interpretation.

    One last thing, I need a convincing argument that advocates money from you. Why we need it and why it is essential to human and technological evolution.

  120. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    - "oh yeh.. and the economy is already based on resources. so you should find a new name for your idea."

    You are mistaken. Our system is based on value of goods and services, and by design, scarcity. It gives all resources a value, but is not based on resources and their ability to provide for humanity. If we valued things properly, we'd realize that diamonds do very little to support life, while apples can feed you and trees can shelter you. So why are diamonds so "valuable?" Because they are scarce... and they want to keep it that way. If we found a diamond mountain, with enough diamonds to give a wheel-barrel full to every human being, the price of diamonds would drop to next to nothing. Now, does that effect the quality of the diamonds?

  121. hawkpork

    hi alex,

    once again, where to start?
    i see a contradiction in your words. i hope you'll clarify it for me.
    "our system is based on currency."
    "Our system is based on value of goods and services,."

    i believe the latter to be most accurate.
    currency is just paper, or digits on a hard drive. our economic system is based on valuable resources ie; labour, food, oil, diamonds, drugs etc; we use money, currency to represent how much these things mean to us.
    "Our system is based on value of goods and services, and by design, scarcity."
    maybe some things are scarce by design. but most are scarce by nature. or haven't you noticed the energy wars? it's a finite world.

    i've heard US has got to the point where they don't actually make anything, and the whole economy runs on selling imported goods to each other from wallmart with borrowed money. but the basis of all systems, your body, my body all societies and organisms is basic resources, water, food etc;
    "You can’t solve these problems without tackling what causes the problem in the first place… value-based system."
    all systems are based on value. things, stuff we want and need. money is just a rep'

    "why do we need money?"
    well unless we get rid of posessions, we need a way to swap them. simple..
    you want to get rid of all possesiveness? what about hereditary title? can't i own a family home and pass it on? can't my wife leave her 20 diamond rings to our daughters?

    your painting plumbing solutions are silly because. "necessity is the mother of invention" basically.
    we alerady have prepainted parts from factory. but wear'n'tear requires them to be repainted.
    no robot can cover the fullrange of possibilities that a human can. they're aeons away from it.
    plumbing's evolution has been a bit like the shark's. got it right the first time.

    capitalism has a self righting, driving force called "competition" and unless hindered by cartels or monopolies it functions well.
    if i could invent a painting robot tomorrow i'd be a rich man.
    i aknowledge capitalism can reward obselesence, low quality etc; but you don't aknowledge that it also encourages competition, efficiency. the car maker who invents the perfect car corners the market

  122. hawkpork

    i like the socialist principles you raise. and agree human
    ingenuity and productivity are not fully utilized under the current system.
    ie; we spend too much energy making weapons and useless crap.
    i also agree the financial system is corrupt. that banks devalue our labour by printing too much money. that corp's monopolize etc;
    but money itself is just a tool.
    i don't think it's right to get rid of all possessions. and i see money as a necessary representation of those possessions value's.
    so a balance between socialism and capitalism must be struck. like the social democrats we have here. with the system i described. all are provided for and can have their possessions and participate in politics at will.

  123. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    ahhh... *sigh*

    No contradiction. Money does represent value. If you were willing to read all my posts, you'd understand that money is an illusion because you cannot determine something's worth with a gold standard or any standard. The value of something is relative to the one using it. Access above ownership.

    Energy wars is necessary because we have been duped into believing there is a very limited amount of energy. Scarcity. Energy is electricity, not oil. You don't mine for electricity. Electricity is produced through many methods. We can make almost everything electric. The combustion engine is outdated.

    - "but the basis of all systems, your body, my body all societies and organisms is basic resources, water, food etc;" You are right, but through what method do we distribute those resources? That method is what a system is. A resource-based economy looks at all resources and rather than put some artificial standard of value system, it asks, "What do we need to do to sustain abundance and provide health and safety for all?" It bypasses this exchange of "wealth" and eliminates the need for ownership. No need to own if you have access to all you need.

    - "Wrong. all systems are based on value. things, stuff we want and need. money is just a rep’" I have made many arguments before explaining how adding value to things is what causes most problems within our economy.

    - "well unless we get rid of posessions, we need a way to swap them. simple.. you want to get rid of all possesiveness? what about hereditary title? can’t i own a family home and pass it on? can’t my wife leave her 20 diamond rings to our daughters?" Once again, it's access to things and not owning those things that we need to address. In a resource-based economy, we pass down knowledge and the system we have built, and each generation will build on that and make it better, rather than hold onto things. Also, What is the difference if you pass on your home and diamond rings, and the system providing access to all those things and more. By this method, you will not be limited to heredity title. Is it fair that someone should be well off because they were born rich? Rather than horde things for ourselves, why not share so that everyone can benefit? So long as we have a value standard, and we continue to attach ourselves to objects, we can't share because everyone doing the sharing would feel resent for those benefiting from their work, rather than feel compassion.

    - "your painting plumbing solutions are silly because. “necessity is the mother of invention” basically. we alerady have prepainted parts from factory. but wear’n'tear requires them to be repainted. no robot can cover the fullrange of possibilities that a human can. they’re aeons away from it.
    plumbing’s evolution has been a bit like the shark’s. got it right the first time." You are right about necessity being the mother of invention, but how does that back up your claim that my ideas of redesign are silly? With wear n' tear, there's a necessity to prevent such weathering. I never said robots will do everything humans can do, I said robots will eliminate tedious and unnecessary tasks, allowing us to be free to do those things that robots cannot. And you really think that plumbing today is perfected? That having sewers under our paved streets is designed for optimum efficiency? When a problem occurs, you need to tear apart the road, block traffic, send men down there to do patchwork, replace piping, and fix leaks or whatever. That does not sound very efficient. Make piping out of something like Plexiglas, or something that doesn't corrode or warp do to warming or cooling, maybe make it transparent so that you can see where the problems are instead of guessing, and figure out ways to prevent clogs and leaks. You could also design this with simplicity, such that any person who can read can fix any minor problem that may happen with ease.

    Nothing is perfect, not even a resource-based economy, and with each new technological innovation we will eliminate a need for old outdated technologies.

    - "capitalism has a self righting, driving force called “competition” and unless hindered by cartels or monopolies it functions well. if i could invent a painting robot tomorrow i’d be a rich man." Cartels and monopolies are a byproduct of capitalism. They are inevitable because of the principles capitalism is based on... competition. Corporations and government are cartels and monopolies. Working together to own large portions of the resources in order to make profit, preventing smaller companies and political groups from being able to compete. Big dogs versus little dogs. No fairness here. Also, you are right about being a rich man when you can invent a painting robot, but have you considered what effect that has on other painters? You would put all other competition to shame and thus have yourself a little monopoly in that area. When you set finite boundaries on all our resources, the larger the piece of the pie you take, the less someone else can take, or in capitalism... make.

    - "i aknowledge capitalism can reward obselesence, low quality etc; but you don’t aknowledge that it also encourages competition, efficiency. the car maker who invents the perfect car corners the market" I continuously argue that competition promotes inefficiency. Nothing efficient about designing cars to break down after so long, or building super computers next to lesser models. Competition for money is detrimental to society. Competition today shows me that we haven't progressed much from primitive man. Still fighting one another for resources in order to survive. Sure, some technological revolutions have worked their way into our system, but it wasn't the profit motive that encouraged that. Many posts ago, I referenced the candle experiment and linked to a TEDtalks on the science of motivation. Basically, money drives the incentive to complete tasks quickly, so long as they involve very little thinking. Any task which requires even the most rudimentary level of problem solving proved that money is counter-productive and produces less than poor results.

  124. hawkpork

    thanks i'll check out the candle thing. if i can find it in this voluminous thread.

    "access not ownership" the library analogy. it's great and we need more of it. but can't see it being universal. i think it's good to have a family home one can always return to. and that people have a right to ownership of things for eg because of emotional attachment. like the rings.

  125. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    I can understand the sentimental value of things, especially gifts from a loved one, but keep in mind that the system I propose wouldn't take anything away from you. Maybe you'll choose to continue to live where you are while the rest of us build new homes that are very built to the highest standards.

    When you said you can't imagine this being universal, I think that this has to be universal for it to work. It can't be some backyard hobby of a system. It promotes abundance for all. The idea being that capitalism and socialism cannot work together because they are based on different principles. Competition and cooperation oppose each other. We can either all get a long, or all struggle to compete for resources. In Lord of the Flies, if they had all just learned to work together and sort out differences, they might have. Many argue it's human nature to behave like animals, but I say we have just been conditioned to. Competition ends with a winner and a loser. We can't all be winners when we compete.

  126. Alex B

    * - "In Lord of the Flies, if they had all just learned to work together and sort out differences, they might have.... survived"

    - typo

  127. Alex B

    Ah yes, now I remember what I wanted to say.

    What if everyone today was granted a Billion dollars, and each dollar held its current value? How would the world function? What would people do with their time? I think you might see a change in how we do things. For every service that you'd want, chances are it wouldn't be available because the waitress, the plumber, the McDonald's employee, the limo driver, the cruise ship driver, the bartender, the airline pilot, etc, wouldn't work with so much money. What would happen to farming? Not saying everyone will stop what they do, but I can see a large number of people quitting jobs they despise.

    My point for putting such a scenario into your imagination is to show you that capitalism and money only provide us with what we need when there are those of us who don't have enough. The system we live in now demands that some people remain poor and others get rich and reap the benefits of the working class. For people to work today, they need an incentive to make money, but when that incentive is satisfied, what jobs are worth doing anymore? The illusion that anyone can become rich is quite evident here. Yes, some may get rich, but the system cannot have everyone rich.

    Maybe giving everyone all that money might be the transition we need. It might force us to realize that money cannot buy you happiness. With very few people working to produce food and other services, maybe we will transition into a system where we develop better ways of doing things.

    One might ask himself, "What do I do now? I don't want to work anymore. I have all this money. I still need to eat though. All the food has been purchased and the grocery stores are all closed because no one wants to work anymore. What kind of technology could I buy to produce food for me?... but who will develop and make this technology? Who will operate it for me? I don't know how to do anything that complex..."

  128. Alex B


    I think this overabundance of money would show people how little value money actually has, and we would eventually do away with it.

    What are your thoughts on such a case of everyone winning the lottery? What do you think would happen? How might this play out?

  129. Reasons Voice

    Goose, @ Alex. You asked for example of where currency has actually done good. OK I could go into great length on that but wont because one overly verbose responder is enough on here. A few years back a Tsunami laid waste to the south pacific. The US among other nations donated massive amounts of cash to aid those affected. How is this an example? Well sure we could have sent food water and building materials but that takes quite some time to ship from here to there. Where as with the click of a key funds are trasfered and supplies can be bought from a much closer source. I have to agree with Duck and his assessment in that you by far have far too much faith in the altruistic nature of man. I will not be responding here any longer since it is apparent that you go well out of your way to dilute your responses and thereby avoid answering very simple questions. I may as well be posing argument over the existence of elves with Tolkien for all it is worth. I truly hope that your imaginary little world is fulfilling in your mind as it will never come to pass.

  130. Reasons Voice

    PS please don't feel offended by my post. It was not my intent to insult or belittle you. From my point of view you are like a little child waiting for Santa. I, as well as most others are well aware that it is a dilusion. However why point it out and destroy a harmless fantasy.

  131. hawkpork

    what you describe is hyper-inflation. it's impossible for money to hold it's value when everyone has a billion. so i think it's a stupid mental exercise.

    you've ignored my point about possessions and their need for a universal exchange medium.

    i want to build a house on land i own. i want it to be mine to sell or whatever.

  132. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    I didn't ignore your point on possessions. My point is to show you the un-necessity of a universal medium of exchange. You want things so you can have access to them. What's the point of locking everything up in a safe? What's the point of owning your own land, simply to call it your own? If you have access to all those things, you don't need to claim ownership to it. If you want, sure, claim ownership, but it doesn't change anything about the land or the house you live in. If you wanted to sell your house, why? What is it you need? It can be provided for you. If you read my cigarette example, you can apply that to anything material or luxury. My message is that we have to break our current social paradigm of thinking we should have private property and are entitled to things, and begin to see the value of cooperation and providing for all.

    As far as my mental exercise, I made it clear that this scenario involves not inflating the currency and holding its value. I understand with our current system that this would be hyper inflation, but my point was to give you a scenario where everyone was wealthy, and how nothing would get done this way. And how ultimately, any dreams of everyone becoming rich are impossible within a monetary system. You answered my point when you said "it’s impossible for money to hold it’s value when everyone has a billion" That is the point. Money's value is only valuable when there is scarcity. So how can you provide abundance when scarcity fuels the economy? To think that any system can sustain itself with money is the real fantasy.

  133. aspen

    It seems a shame the way your exchange with Hawkpork is progressing. You two seem to share many common values, and even a compatible vision of human potential, but it seems like the differences about what you each is possible now, or perhaps just your communication style is preventing you from having a mellower, perhaps more positive and productive dialog.

    “in the interests of transparency i’ll admit. i’m suspicious that the two of you, alex/aspen are one and are in some way invested, or receiving some sort of immediate reward for promoting this idea.” - *grin* I appreciate your transparency Hawkpork. I get the impression that Alex is very attached to the particular solution provided by the venus project, but I don’t get the impression that he’s profiting from sharing their ideas. I imagine it’s more about seeing some of the challenges the world faces, and feeling passionate about having found an answer that seems to address those challenges. Though, as they stated in their response we do share some common values / ideas, we also differ in some significant ways. Alex seems to pin the root of our problems on the fact that we assign a market value on goods and services. In contrast, I tend to be less concerned about that (though I can imagine how we might move beyond it to a purely intrinsic value association in time / process) and more concerned about our inner moral development that would allow us to make healthier decisions regardless of the economic model we were working within. Also, Alex seems to believe that we’ll have access to the energy and resources necessary to create these high tech cities and that’s something I’m in serious doubt about. Given the realities of peak oil, and the relatively small investment in renewable, It seems to me that when the global financial markets truly implode, each particular region will be fairly isolated and struggling just to meet the basic needs of those who live there, and unable to invest and create on the scale proposed by the Venus Project. Because of that belief, the technologies that I am personally investigating are simpler, and more easily applied by small groups with limited resources. Rather than looking forward to computers and robots, I’m tending to look back at bamboo and (as has been suggested above) gravity. I’m less concerned with artificial intelligence and more concerned with figuring out how to make baking soda. : )

    “So why not make the easier step first? change to a system like ours first, then evolve from there.” – I think that’s a good call Hawkpork, I think the northern European social-democracies are an excellent model for us to learn from. Though, I think their examples are slightly miss-leading because of the wealth they have to distribute because of their (from the outside, what seems to be rational) management of North Sea oil resources, but nonetheless, they certainly seem to offer excellent examples about what other societies could look like if we were more willing to take care of each other’s basic needs, and work together to provide a higher quality of life for everyone. Alex wrote before about a safe place for society to heal from his previous madness and be able to evolve into something more ready to manifest the vision of the Venus Project. It would seem like the social-democracies of Northern Europe might be one of the closest examples we have of what that safe place might look like within the global markets we have today.

    “I’ve tried stating again and again how this process of price-tagging everything holds back technological progression.” *nods* You have, but you don’t seem to have convinced too many people. Perhaps there’s a better way to make your argument? Perhaps your understanding is incomplete? I’m not trying to tell you “your wrong” but I think we have to be willing to consider that possibility so that we can look at all the information at hand in as rational a way as possible right?

    “all systems are based on value. things, stuff we want and need. money is just a rep’” It might be interesting to consider the difference between a resources intrinsic value (what it can do) and its market value (what we’ll give up so that we can make use of what it can do.) When you talk about our assigning value to things as being the root cause of many of our troubles, I get the impression you’re talking about the second rather than the first. And when you advocate for the RBE, I get the impression you’re suggesting that we just look at the first and how that value might be best utilized for the benefit of all. Goods and services would still have value (in the first sense), but what you’re advocating for (if I understand your position correctly) is that we get rid of the manipulation / exploitation of need that inflates the market value beyond a good or service’s intrinsic value, because it’s the profiting from another’s need or desire that contributes to our moral and social downfall?

  134. Alex B

    @ goose, or whoever wishes to read.

    I don't think you see the big picture. This system would be spread throughout the world. Rather than wait for some people to donate money, the nearest cities simply begin helping like neighbors during a flood. Sure, within our current system, money provided a means of sending "resources" electronically, while transportation of goods from across the world take much longer, but you're not seeing how technologically advanced we will be once the money illusion has faded. Systems will be in place to anticipate natural disasters and we won't be restricted to how much people can donate financially.

    Too much faith in altruism? I don't just believe that we can change, but that we have to change, and in order to do that, we must analyze our current situation and see what causes us to behave so poorly. You only see what's in front of your face and not beyond the horizon. Of course you see greed and selfishness plague our society, because capitalism rewards such behavior. If being greedy and selfish (competition) is a means of survival, people will behave as such. Look at the board game Monopoly. Can everyone win? It ends when someone bankrupts everyone else, eliminating all competition. It's our system of valuing resources (putting a price-tag on them), that creates such aberrant behavior. I made case after case explaining how it's our society that influences how people behave.

    To dream of a better world is not fantasy. According to your logic, we should just bend over and take everything up the tailpipe. If it wasn't for dreamers, we may not have circled the globe, or explored outer space. I am not waiting for anything. By me writing all this is at least the first steps to making progression. We get nowhere when we bury our head in the sand. How can anyone say this could never come to pass. Claiming the existence of Santa Claus is blind because there's no evidence to back it up. I, on the other hand, continuously support my claims with source material, analogies, and examples. Where have I been outright wrong? What simple questions have I missed. When someone points out something I may have neglected, I respond back.

    It seems to me, before you are ready for change, you would like everything wrapped up in a neat little package. Were you consulted when humanity decided to implement the gold standard? You inherited all this, and even though the house and everything you stand for collapses around you, you still do nothing. Too busy to be bothered to read or ponder. Too busy to see the faults in society and come up with possible solutions for it. What are we passing on to the next generation? Is this our legacy? Ignorance and unwillingness to make drastic changes?

    I take no offense to anything people say. I know, or at least am on the discovery of knowing who I am, and no one can convince me otherwise. I am willing to change my views without feeling like I am betraying myself. I am not the same person I was three years ago, and three years from now, I will be someone else. There are core principles that I stand by, and I make it my priority to see how I can integrate these into my life. I think my determination to want to help is proof in itself that people can be selfless. If I can, you can. I am not so different than anyone else on this planet, and people are transforming their lives every day. I just want people to realize that they have it within them to change. I see people slaving away at 9-5, coming home tired, from jobs they don't really enjoy, trying to get by. Survival shouldn't be a struggle. We're smarter than that. And then I imagine all the people living in third-world countries in unhealthy living conditions with no hope of ever experiencing more than what they already have. I can't see how this is the height of human civilization.

  135. aspen

    "if we had to pinpoint our differences, I think it would have to be in our understanding of money, or any form of currency for that matter." Perhaps. I’m no great fan of money, but I recognize that the whole world isn’t going to adopt a social / economic revolution simultaneously and even if the system you advocate for is preferable or necessary, it seems as if some form of exchange with outside economies will be necessary while your vision spreads. For myself, I tend to lean towards dual systems of production, one focusing on meeting basic human needs that is non-monetary, and one that revolves around luxuries / indulgences / enjoyments / etc that is elective, non-exploitative (because it doesn’t threaten your basic needs) and can benefit from some medium of symbolic value exchange. In this model, the problems a community seeks to solve could be addressed outside of the monetary model and benefit from a more open ended problem-solving model.

    “When our current system does implode, I think you will see great change for the better. It's when things get their worst when we are at our best. Rather than sit around on our butts looking at the devastation around us, most of us will take action and begin building something better.” : ) I hope you’re right. And I’m sure for some people you will be. But I also think we’ll see the scavengers and warlords, etc that we’ve seen throughout history and that we should take into account how we’re going to interact with people who don’t share our commitment to the cooperative solution.

  136. hawkpork

    hi all,
    thanks for your words of clarity.
    i'm glad i didn't offend either of you by basically calling you shills. hehe.
    Denmark has many things right. and it's true it's a rich country. but not in natural resources. norway owns most the northsea oil, sweden has all the ore and wood, denmark's traditionally a framing community. today it's more intelligence, service economy.
    and they are all soveriegn nations so there's not much sharing as far as i know.
    denmark got it's social roots and relatively equal wealth distribution a long time ago. when the farmers federated and formed a commune. not sure on the details. but it was hundreds of years ago and it sounds like it was pretty close to the ideals of socialism.
    i'm not trying ot portray it as utopia. there are many things that could be improved, and that are deteriorating.
    we have a private central bank (not sure thats bad) fractional R banking, highest tax rate of 60%. but higher min wages as counter, and welfare standards are lowering.

    i'm no fan of money either. i've said many times, i hate it. but it's silly to hate or blame paper.
    i'm wary of being adamant about anything but my existence :). but i'm pretty fracking sure i wouldn't like a world without ownership.
    not unless i can go back to a hunter gatherer life.
    ever seen an aussie movie called "the castle"? about a guy who's house is in the way of an airport extension.
    currently most of us don't really own our land. we rent it long term from govt. i think that sux. but RBE system sounds even less secure. it sounds like utopian anarchy. which is a fairytale.
    at least now we have laws on paper and courts to fight them in.

    i admire your passion and willingness to help the world. it's very refreshing.
    and as i've said a few times now, i like some of the principles of the RBE idea.
    if i could have total access and assurity noone would ever restrict me i'd be on board. but for that you need laws, police, gov't. in the real world at least.
    the idea is too big and optimistic.
    like aspen, i, and some of my freinds, are thinking more local. "can't help others if you can't help yourself" focus on community solutions to problems. take money out of the equation from the bottom up. start a labour swap website for your hometown. barter.
    i wanna build a permaculture display home/farm. and try and get off the grid and produce my own food. then i don't have to earn money as much. or my children won't have to. if the system lets me pass it on.

    oh. 1 more thing alex,
    know what else we've got here in copenhagen? (besides all the blonds).

    Communal electric and normal cars, communal bikes.
    car just plugs in at your local depot.

    "access not ownership" in reality.

  137. hawkpork

    "I see people slaving away at 9-5, coming home tired, from jobs they don't really enjoy, trying to get by. Survival shouldn't be a struggle. We're smarter than that. And then I imagine all the people living in third-world countries in unhealthy living conditions with no hope of ever experiencing more than what they already have. I can't see how this is the height of human civilization."

    yeh i'm inclined to agree, the world sux. lol.

    but doesn't that nice swedish guy with all the pretty graphs from ted talks disagree?
    i thought his graphs kinda indicate that we just need to focus on bringing down infant mortality and then all nations will be at western (hopefully danish) level within 100 years.

  138. hawkpork

    the net is awesome. certainly accelerates meme evolution.

    "Anarchy is a fairytale because it requires a certain degree of moral development that we’re not going to find in general population?"

    no. i said earlier. and perhaps i was unclear or you missed it in the haystack. i believe in godwin's "perfectibility of man".
    and by extension perfectibility of society.

    "sound reasoning and truth, when adequately communicated, must always be victorious over error: sound reasoning and truth are capable of being so communicated: truth is omnipotent. the vices and moral weaknesses of man are not invincible: man is perfectible, or in other words susceptible to perpetual improvement"

    so debate and education is the key.
    although i'm not sure most people can see the difference between education and indoctrination. it's not always easy in the matrix.

  139. aspen

    I do remember you saying that. So why is anarchy a fairytale? Isn’t it simply cooperative rather than competitive based governance?

  140. hawkpork

    lol. ok so maybe “fairytale” was a bit pessimistic. but moral, just anarchy is a long way from where we are now. so far i can hardly imagine what it is. lol.
    if we are “subject to perpetual improvement” and we define just/moral anarchy as the pinnacle of society, then we’ll never reach it.
    but maybe i’m being pedantic. i mean. of course it can’t be perfect for everyone. simple maths.
    we’re presently closer to the “survival of the fittest” idea of anarchy. and i fear the current “crisis” might push us towards anarcho-capitalism, or a major reduction of human rights and political participation. but then, maybe i’ve been indoctrinated. :)

    “Isn’t it simply cooperative rather than competitive based governance?”
    no!. oxymoron..co-operative gov’t! ha!
    how many kinds of co-operative gov’t are there? isn’t a plutocracy a form of co-operative gov’t?
    for it to be representative and therefor just/moral i say we need the vote and that anarchy is a dream.

  141. duck

    @Alex B

    Thankyou for making my argument for me... Replace the billion dollars for each person with resource availability for everybody and you will get the same results that you mention below that I have 'TRIED' to convey.

    Unless indoctrination, brainwashing is utilized, you will end up with billions of people sitting on their tails because all their needs are being taken care of.

    Someone mentioned that if people don't contribute, they will either be frozen out or it would become evident that they need to be part of the 'collective' in order to participate. That puts things squarely back to the '1984' scenario and people doing things they don't want to do in order to keep the system going.

    Then there is the huge time transition from the 'value' system to the 'resource' system. Do you use money up until a certain day and time, then suddenly state that money isn't needed any longer or do you have some of the people still on a monetary system and the rest getting all their freebies? Do you tell all those fast food employees to keep serving those hamburgers while telling them they can have anything they want or do you keep paying them for their time with money while another segment of society gets a free ride? How are you going to handle a person that gets the freebies demanding a free hamburger from the hamburger outlet that still has to work on the monetary system?

    What are you going to do with all of those farm workers that your machines are going to replace? Make them into hamburger flippers?

    There is going to be a huge period of time where some sort of government control of people's lives is going to have to occur in order for your vision to come to be. For all this to work, there will most likely be a period of time where the '1984' propaganda/control scenario will be laminated over a 'metropolis' forced infrastructure/support system like society and this would lead to some very unhappy citizens of the new world order. Marx and Lenin would be sitting up cheering you on.

    Something for nothing has historically never led to respect for anything, this is going to be a huge hurdle....

    "Alex B 07/26/2010 at 00:47

    Ah yes, now I remember what I wanted to say.

    What if everyone today was granted a Billion dollars, and each dollar held its current value? How would the world function? What would people do with their time? I think you might see a change in how we do things. For every service that you’d want, chances are it wouldn’t be available because the waitress, the plumber, the McDonald’s employee, the limo driver, the cruise ship driver, the bartender, the airline pilot, etc, wouldn’t work with so much money. What would happen to farming? Not saying everyone will stop what they do, but I can see a large number of people quitting jobs they despise.

    My point for putting such a scenario into your imagination is to show you that capitalism and money only provide us with what we need when there are those of us who don’t have enough. The system we live in now demands that some people remain poor and others get rich and reap the benefits of the working class. For people to work today, they need an incentive to make money, but when that incentive is satisfied, what jobs are worth doing anymore? The illusion that anyone can become rich is quite evident here. Yes, some may get rich, but the system cannot have everyone rich.

    Maybe giving everyone all that money might be the transition we need. It might force us to realize that money cannot buy you happiness. With very few people working to produce food and other services, maybe we will transition into a system where we develop better ways of doing things.

    One might ask himself, “What do I do now? I don’t want to work anymore. I have all this money. I still need to eat though. All the food has been purchased and the grocery stores are all closed because no one wants to work anymore. What kind of technology could I buy to produce food for me?… but who will develop and make this technology? Who will operate it for me? I don’t know how to do anything that complex…”

  142. aspen

    @hawkpork – Would it look something like an extended family perhaps? Where the people involved collaborate towards mutual support and collective problem solving without power-over dynamics? (ok, so perhaps that’s not all families, but hopefully more often than not.)

    “if we are “subject to perpetual improvement” and we define just/moral anarchy as the pinnacle of society.” What if rather than perfect (on paper) in application (prefect execution, perfect participation, etc) we simply shot for a imperfect but constantly improving process that would provide social agreements for how to cooperate / problem solve / work through challenges / etc.. Sure, we’re still imperfect (but hopefully maturing) humans, subject to our weaknesses, ego, and ignorance, but we could provide a social context where guidance, support, and power sharing were used to move the community forward?

    “i fear the current “crisis” might push us towards anarcho-capitalism, or a major reduction of human rights and political participation.” That’s certainly a very real possibility, and I’m sure that will happen in many places. But does it have to happen in all places? Perhaps there will be small groups of people who will choose to cooperate and provide an alternative example for how we might move forward together.

    “no!. oxymoron..co-operative gov’t! ha!” *grin* You are a cynic. *grin* Or am I just innocent (ignorant) to think that governance can relate to the process by which a society determines it’s actions, and doesn’t have to be synonymous with authoritarianism?

    “how many kinds of co-operative gov’t are there? isn’t a plutocracy a form of co-operative gov’t?” Hmm… Well, the wealthy might cooperate within their own ranks; but the wealth itself is a form of power used over those without it. So it would still seem authoritarian to me.

    “for it to be representative and therefor just/moral i say we need the vote and that anarchy is a dream.” Hm… I think, at least from my perspective, whether or not a society uses representational or direct participation in the decision making process is separate from whether or not they claim to have authority to impose their decisions on their citizens. It would seem to me, that either a representational or direct participation system could still employ a model of elective compliance with the decisions reached.

    @Duck – “Someone mentioned that if people don't contribute, they will either be frozen out or it would become evident that they need to be part of the 'collective' in order to participate.” It might have been mentioned in more than one place, but I know that I mentioned the possibility of something like what you’re referring to. I was suggesting that in a circumstance of limited resources, those who choose to contribute to the collective effort would benefit from the results of that collective effort, and those who chose not to contribute to it, might not. But please keep in mind that the systems that Alex and I each advocate are not only separate, but exist in very difference circumstances socially and with regards to resource availability. I don’t remember reading anything from Alex’s suggestions that seemed to indicate that he was advocating for denying anyone access to anything. You say: “That puts things squarely back to the '1984' scenario and people doing things they don't want to do in order to keep the system going.” Hmm.. Because no one’s doing any jobs they wouldn’t rather do, just to get by in the US free market economy. :p Besides, how is it that if you tell someone: ‘you have the freedom to contribute your fair share, and benefit from our collective effort, or you have the freedom to try to do better on your own or with someone else’ that that puts us in a 1984 scenario? Maybe somewhere else, doing things in a different way is a better fit for that person, perhaps they really can do better alone than the community can do collectively. I imagine that would be rare. I imagine their experience attempting to provide for themselves will educate them about the benefits of cooperation, but this isn’t some kind of social engineering brainwashing agenda; its simple choice and consequence.

    “There is the huge time transition from the 'value' system to the 'resource' system. Do you use money up until a certain day and time, then suddenly state that money isn't needed any longer or do you have some of the people still on a monetary system and the rest getting all their freebies?” … That seems like a valid question Duck. You’re a smart guy, do you have any suggestions about how it might work? … “What are you going to do with all of those farm workers that your machines are going to replace?” btw: didn’t machines already replace the vast majority of farm workers? And what’s capitalism’s solution? Seems to me their either flipping burgers, living pay-check to pay-check and barely getting by, if they’re getting by at all.

    “There is going to be a huge period of time where some sort of government control of people's lives is going to have to occur in order for your vision to come to be. For all this to work, there will most likely be a period of time where the '1984' propaganda/control scenario will be laminated over a 'metropolis' forced infrastructure/support system like society and this would lead to some very unhappy citizens of the new world order. Marx and Lenin would be sitting up cheering you on.” … That’s one option. Or, perhaps they could cooperate towards the designing and manufacturing of their technology proposals using a distributed R&D collective based on open source and anarcho-syndicalist models. They could build their initial factories to utilize the technology and social systems their advocating for with provided food / housing / medical & child care / etc.. and profit sharing to ensure that the workers had some measure of ability to interact with the external economy. They could sell their technology to the external economy for moderate prices, making the focus of their business the distribution and access to the technologies themselves rather than simply profit at any cost. As their technologies improved the quality of life for everyone (including those still living in the exterior economy) they could invest what profits they did make in developing more robust and complete infrastructure, eventually culminating in their self-sufficient cities. In time, more and more people might be drawn to live and work within the cities and have less and less need for monetary remuneration for their contributions since more and more of their needs and wants would be provided for by the city-collective. As the technologies and efficiencies improved and were refined over time, rather than capitalizing on those improvements as profits, they could scale back the required contribution of each person freeing up more time for whatever pursuits their might be interested in. Perhaps in time (even if it’s 200-300 years from now) these improvements would lead to the kind of circumstance that Alex is talking about.

  143. duck


    It is still going to take indoctrination from birth on. Some people cannot even get along with their next door neighbors much less anyone else. You, yourself made a condescending remark about if someone wanted to have a car that bounces up and down at stop lights, they will have to go outside the commune and work to pay for it. Indoctrination is going to have to be applied in one form or another in order to keep people's wants within, in this case' your prescribed likes and dislikes. I figure that you'll come up with some sort of peer pressure to have people live and think within the collective group-think. That is why I used my next door neighbor as an example. He truly believes that I should help pay for his financial hardships of which, he created himself and he does think that people should live as he sees fit. I don't know if you have ever met one of these kind of people. They are insufferable. My uncle was one of these know it all types also. No one could live up to his idea of life no matter the situation. He eventually became a cop, doling out his ideas to a lot of innocent people. His own daughter won't have anything to do with him. Having to live under collectivism twits would be a lot worse than the occasional individual twit. We can side step or ignore the individual, collectivism twits could be worse than the Salem witch hunts.

  144. aspen

    @duck – “It is still going to take indoctrination from birth on. Some people cannot even get along with their next door neighbors much less anyone else.” Indoctrination feels like a loaded word, but socialization (much like we do in this, or any other culture) is certainly an aspect of our lives. I think one of the important differences might be the relative ability one has to choose alternatives. In this society there are bureaucratic and monetary obstacles that make choosing to live in an alternative structure difficult if not impossible for many. I would like to see that freedom encouraged in the alternative I advocate for.

    “You, yourself made a condescending remark about if someone wanted to have a car that bounces up and down at stop lights, they will have to go outside the commune and work to pay for it.” Is it condescending to suggest that if someone wants something above the utilitarian necessity (or whatever level of luxury the group chooses to set as their productivity goal) that they should work for that individually? (Whether your interests are bouncy cars, loud motorcycles, or little civil war figurines, I don’t care. It’s none of my business as long as you’re doing your part to contribute at the level we’ve agreed is fair.)

    “Indoctrination is going to have to be applied in one form or another in order to keep people's wants within, in this case' your prescribed likes and dislikes. I figure that you'll come up with some sort of peer pressure to have people live and think within the collective group-think.” Is it? Will we? I think what I’m proposing is just the opposite. That people will have the time and ability to pursue their interests, regardless of what they are. They’ll have that freedom in part because, as long as their contributing their fair share, they won’t have to worry about losing their home, going without food or medical care, etc. Sure, some interests might not be in alignment with the stated aims of the community. If we make environmental stewardship or mutual consideration a foundational principal of our community, your private afterhours for-profit coal-fired electric plant might not work for us.. But outside the general bounds of whatever agreements are made within a particular community for their particular preference of values, I imagine people having pretty broad freedoms. And if one community doesn’t like your coal plant, maybe the one down the road won’t care. … Gee, I’m sure glad there’s no social pressure to conform to society’s expectations in America.

    “Having to live under collectivism twits would be a lot worse than the occasional individual twit.” *grin* Agreed. So it’s settled then, no one would HAVE to live UNDER anyone. People should be free to live where they choose (and convince the group to put up with them) and I imagine most people will agree that it would be preferable to live along side, rather than under their neighbors (cooperation and power sharing rather than authoritarianism and power-over approaches.) And who knows. While we’re in the process of imagining a new future, perhaps we can through in a little indoctrination (err… “socialization”) to help fewer children grow up to be twits (collectivist or competitive verity) so that we can live along side neighbors rather than twits. : )

  145. duck


    Which way is it?? You state 'basic needs' and then you state that one is free to pursue what they want.

    A blanket, some food, and a place to sleep are basic needs. Prisons give that.
    Socialization is indoctrination as has been pointed out by many at this site and others. Once the socialization is completed and everyone is walking in lock-step with the 'community', the 'socialization of the masses will construed as the 'freedom' that the 'community' has striven for and we still end up slaves to the community. The scientists, technicians, programmers, engineers, etc, etc will become the new elite eventually replacing the wealthy, politicians, lobbyists, etc, etc that we have today.

    Technically, conspiracy is any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result. IE; a conspiracy is anytime a group gets together and makes plans to effect some other group of people. Conspiracy does not have to have a criminal intent. The very act of ZT or the Venus project can be construed as a conspiracy. It would depend on one's point of view. Those wanting remake society in their own image would not think of it as a conspiracy while those forced to live under the 'community' control might find it highly conspiratorial. I am sure that the communists did not think of themselves as conspirators.

    I know, I know....the answer to this is that the people are not forced to live in any fashion and they can live like they want as long as they go somewhere else to starve themselves until they learn that it is the communities way or no way.........

  146. duck

    So much for freedom, you have made my case for me. All hail the collective. The Borg is in control..... [sarc]

    aspen said.................
    “You, yourself made a condescending remark about if someone wanted to have a car that bounces up and down at stop lights, they will have to go outside the commune and work to pay for it.” Is it condescending to suggest that if someone wants something above the utilitarian necessity (or whatever level of luxury the group chooses to set as their productivity goal) that they should work for that individually? (Whether your interests are bouncy cars, loud motorcycles, or little civil war figurines, I don’t care. It’s none of my business as long as you’re doing your part to contribute at the level we’ve agreed is fair.)

  147. duck

    aspen said..............
    Gee, I’m sure glad there’s no social pressure to conform to society’s expectations in America.

    Yes there is, but when one starts examining the background behind many of these 'social' pressures, one can find a political agenda which you state you want to get rid of on one hand and then support with the other hand. No different than today's politician.....

  148. aspen

    “Which way is it?? You state 'basic needs' and then you state that one is free to pursue what they want.” Both. We work collectively to meet our basic needs (or whatever level of luxury the community decides it wants to produce) and then in your spare time (any time not spend contributing to that collective production) one is free to pursue your interests. We’ll have more free time to pursue our interests because we won’t be wage slaves and because we won’t be putting in extra effort for other people’s wealth and everyone will contribute to those basic needs rather than having so many people expending their efforts on essentially parasitic professions.

    “Socialization is indoctrination” *nods* It is, but without the loaded connotation that makes it a manipulative argumentative tactic.

    “Once the socialization is completed and everyone is walking in lock-step with the 'community', the 'socialization of the masses will construed as the 'freedom' that the 'community' has striven for and we still end up slaves to the community.” 1. The socialization doesn’t ever have to be completed, continued emotional / moral / spiritual maturation could be included as an essential element in the social consciousness. 2. What exactly that maturation might look like doesn’t have to be controlled. I imagine each group of people will have their general ideas, and I imagine each new generation will build on and expand them. Social evolution. *shrug* That will be the case in a cooperative or a competitive society / economy… we might just be more civil about it in a cooperative one. “The scientists, technicians, programmers, engineers, etc, etc will become the new elite eventually replacing the wealthy, politicians, lobbyists, etc, etc that we have today.” No one has to be the elite. We can cooperate as equals.

    :) “Technically, conspiracy is any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result. IE; a conspiracy is anytime a group gets together and makes plans to effect some other group of people.” *nods* What’s your point? I could conspire to through a surprise birthday party for my wife… So?

    “People are not forced to live in any fashion and they can live like they want as long as they go somewhere else to starve themselves until they learn that it is the communities way or no way.” *shrug* You and I have both brought up that cooperative conspiracies won’t develop in a vacuum. I’m sure that there will be some who leave and participate in a competitive society / economy and find that more to their liking. Power to’m. People won’t necessarily starve outside of a cooperative conspiracy, but I do believe that the majority of people, once they’ve seen the relative benefit of cooperation over competition, will choose cooperation.

    “So much for freedom, you have made my case for me. All hail the collective. The Borg is in control.” I’m not sure I follow your snark? (and usually I’m pretty good with sarcasm. *grin*) Some things we choose to cooperate on, (necessities, a certain standard of living, whatever that is) other things we pursue on our own (whatever above and beyond that standard of living calls your heart.) What’s wrong with that? How is that controlling people’s lives?

    “when one starts examining the background behind many of these 'social' pressures, one can find a political agenda which you state you want to get rid of on one hand and then support with the other hand. No different than today's politician.” Can you offer some examples? Perhaps gender roles, or inequitable access to the rights and responsibilities of marriage, or prohibitions on employment for people with tattoo, pressure to conform to a Judeo-Christian tradition (at least the exterior trappings of it) or to be economically ‘successful’… Perhaps you could pick one or two of these, help me understand how the political agenda at its origin is one that I want to get rid of, yet also advocate for on the other hand? Thank you for the clarification.

  149. hawkpork

    "aspen said...Gee, I’m sure glad there’s no social pressure to conform to society’s expectations in America."
    yes. gave me a laugh.
    socialization/indoctrination; all societies by deffinition have a doctrine. we must be forever vigilant that it's one that welcomes debate and improvement.
    "cooperative rather than competitive based governance.."
    ok, i'm not sure exactly what you mean by this. seems a bit ambiguous.
    all i meant in my reply was that all gov't's should compete for public approval in the form of a vote.
    and that if it's trully representative of what's usually a diverse community then it will have different parties that don't co-operate.
    seems south africa calls their system, or part of it "co-operative gov't" but i can't see how it differs majorly.

    i found this idea for "competitive gov't" , is it what you were referring to?
    "In democratic government, people take jurisdictions as given, and they elect leaders. In competitive government, people take leaders as given, and they select jurisdictions."
    doesn't sound particularly promising to me.

    i much prefer Anarcho-syndicalism. which i just found and am reading about on wiki. although i'm yet to decide where in the spectrum of anarchic thinking my heart lies.
    i still see ownership as a fundamental right.

  150. aspen


    “socialization/indoctrination; all societies by deffinition have a doctrine. we must be forever vigilant that it's one that welcomes debate and improvement.” Absolutely. And if necessary, perhaps even build into the social dynamic / dialog, some kind of check & balance that motivates self reflection / dialog about how we’re currently doing in that regard. I like the idea that a community’s agreements are a dynamic / living document that are continually being questioned / improved as our understandings and preferences evolve. Alex talked a bit before about how the infrastructure would be updated once better technologies became available, I think we should extend that way of thinking to social technologies / practices as well. As past experiences have shown and as Duck points out, groupthink is a very valid concern, but we know that, and can develop strategies to minimize it’s risk.

    “‘cooperative rather than competitive based governance.’ … all i meant in my reply was that all gov't's should compete for public approval in the form of a vote. And that if it's trully representative of what's usually a diverse community then it will have different parties that don't co-operate. Seems south africa calls their system, or part of it "co-operative gov't" but i can't see how it differs majorly. I found this idea for "competitive gov't" , is it what you were referring to? ‘In democratic government, people take jurisdictions as given, and they elect leaders. In competitive government, people take leaders as given, and they select jurisdictions.’ doesn't sound particularly promising to me. I much prefer Anarcho-syndicalism, which i just found and am reading about on wiki; although I'm yet to decide where in the spectrum of anarchic thinking my heart lies.” *nods* I can see where you’re coming from. I think we have similar preferences and its primarily just a difference in framing the concept. I certainly agree that there is benefit in having a diversity of proposals, and true dialog about their relative merits, and that the community should participate in the process of deciding which direction they pursue. But when I say cooperative governance rather than competitive governance I’m aluding to the ‘how’ of that processes implementation. Is it an argument / fight in which the best solution (or strongest politicking) ‘wins’ or is it a more rational exploration of relative merits wherein the community supports one path over another? I think in the end, the fundamentals are the same, it’s just a question of how we approach the process.

    Are you familiar at all with the work of Dr. Karlberg? (“How can social change come about? Is it possible to have democratic government without political parties? Can we have a productive economy without unfettered and aggressive competition? How can social and ecological ills be addressed without resorting to a ‘culture of protest’ Adversarialism has become the predominant strand in contemporary western-liberal societies. Throughout the contemporary public sphere, competitive and conflictual practices have become institutionalised norms. In his analysis of contemporary society, Michael Karlberg puts forward the thesis that our present ‘culture of contest’ is both socially unjust and ecologically unsustainable and that the surrounding ‘culture of protest’ is an inadequate response to the social and ecological problems it generates. The development of non-adversarial structures and practices is imperative.”)

    “I still see ownership as a fundamental right.” *nods* Fair enough, I can certainly relate… Especially when it comes to things that we’ve worked hard for, or that have personal / sentimental value. I can imagine some utopian society where perhaps ownership was outdated, but in the reality of the world we live in, and especially as we need to interface with other social philosophies I certainly understand that it’s probably not something we’re going to get away from any time soon. And I think that’s ok. I don’t see how it would be a problem to have some things be in collective ‘ownership’ by the community (the community buildings, tools, etc) and other things be in private ownership (your family Bible, personal clothing, wedding rings, your kid’s teddy bear, whatever.) I can even imagine a third level of ownership somewhere between the two where ultimate ‘ownership’ might remain with the community, but families or individuals might be granted access / exclusive use of the property for so long as they remained in the community (home / fields / etc.. something like how a land trust operates)

  151. Roger

    Excellent debate by all. Many truths have been bought out, but I can't help but think that we are all like, "Twigs", in a fast flowing river, sending us to where it wants to. The fast flowing river being "Human Kind". Are we too complex for our own good, (Society) or just apes that have a few more brain cells? I think we have to become a wiser, more advanced species to realise and acheive a better society.

  152. aspen

    :) Hi Roger. "I think we have to become a wiser, more advanced species to realise and acheive a better society." That sounds reasonable. Any ideas about how we might get from here to there?

  153. hawkpork

    "Is it an argument / fight in which the best solution (or strongest politicking) ‘wins’ or is it a more rational exploration of relative merits wherein the community supports one path over another? I think in the end, the fundamentals are the same, it’s just a question of how we approach the process."
    obviously the latter, as implied in the question.
    what that "approach" is, i guess to be: productivity, management and viability committees, public political participation programs (on the net might work). greater emphasis on community and politics in education. all of this must already exist to differing degrees around the world.
    no i'm not familiar with Dr karlberg. but i'll look into him. it sounds like pretty heavy stuff.
    "Adversarialism has become the predominant strand in contemporary western-liberal societies."
    my initial interpretation of this sentence was "there's a lot of hippies that complain too much in the west" lol.
    but i realize that's not it. or at least that there's more to it than that.
    "culture of contest, culture of protest" i'll have to look into it. but initially i think all species, whether majorly or minorly social, have interspecies contest. it's a function of evolution.
    but i guess he,you're talking about the specific manfestation of the function, and how it could be more constructive. both for individual and society..
    community ownership...yes definitely! and strong unions and all that.
    an example of "good gov't" closer to home for the US is co-operative commonwealth federation, of canada. now changed unfortunatley.

    and also the "mendragon corporation" seems to be an example of community ownership.of which there are many other examples. also here in denmark.
    we also have a system of budget housing here. pay a lump sum investment and then a reduced monthy rent. i trhink it's just communal ownership of building. i was on the management of ours for a couple of years. but the socialist principle and function is being lost as people are or were (before the crash) speculating and profiting on market value

  154. duck



    “when one starts examining the background behind many of these ‘social’ pressures, one can find a political agenda which you state you want to get rid of on one hand and then support with the other hand. No different than today’s politician.” Can you offer some examples?


    Political correctness comes to mind for one example, another is illegal aliens..ooops, 'scuse me, undocumented guests,... mustn't go against two social 'no noes in one breath....

  155. aspen

    “Political correctness comes to mind for one example, another is illegal aliens.” And the political agenda that I support and also want to get rid of that inspires political correctness or illegal aliens?

  156. duck


    You are very adept at either not reading what was written or twisting to fit your view which is also a socialist trait.

    I stated that many social pressures have hidden political agendas in response to your statement that we now live with social pressures and you asked for an example, which I answered. Your stated use of peer pressure to pull people into line with the collective is in of itself a political act and which you say you want to get rid of. You can't have it both ways,.......well, left leaning people can. Sort of like being against the Klu Klux Klan but keep voting in a grand poohbah of the Klan like Senator Byrd.

  157. duck

    The very premise that one can work beyond the collective to enhance one's living standard or to acquire something extra beyond what the collective 'feels' one needs can create the inequities that you rail against now. Your 'class warfare' which is the basis of a resource based economy starts to fall apart again. The only way it will work is that no matter how hard one applies oneself is to keep them down at a certain approved level so as to keep everyone equal no matter how un-equal any one person is. Instead of today's controlling of money through penalizing taxes, it will become resource penalties in order to eliminate class envy which is what Marx and company attempted with the resulting failures...

  158. aspen


    “The very premise that one can work beyond the collective to enhance one's living standard or to acquire something extra beyond what the collective 'feels' one needs can create the inequities that you rail against now.” Keep in mind that ‘the collective’ isn’t something out there… it’s you and your neighbors deciding how much you want to do together, and how much you want to take care of on your own. And I’m not convinced that individual pursuits, even if some choose to increase their luxuries while others choose to nap in the shade will lead to the kind of wealth disparity and exploitation that I ‘rail’ against now. Even though some might have comforts or abundance in some areas where others have only the utilitarian necessity, I’m much less inclined to be upset by that because people’s basic needs are met, not neglected or exploited for further wealth.
    “Your 'class warfare' which is the basis of a resource based economy starts to fall apart again.” Disparity in the amount of creature comforts or decorations or other non-essential luxuries do not directly equate or lead to class warfare. Umm.. I think you might be confused. Alex was the one advocating for the RBE. I appreciate his vision, but am not advocating for it myself.

    “The only way it will work is that no matter how hard one applies oneself is to keep them down at a certain approved level so as to keep everyone equal no matter how un-equal any one person is.” I think I addressed this concern above, so I won’t rehash it here.

    But what does any of this have to do with political correctness or illegal aliens being examples of something motivated by a political agenda that I (so you claim) both support and want to get rid of?

  159. hawkpork

    my ".. comment is awaiting moderation." again.
    sup Vlatko? can't you take me off the blacklist? :) hehe

  160. duck

    Once again. ...I never claimed you support political correctness or illegal aliens. The question was "Can you offer examples..?' of politically motivated peer pressure and I gave it. Nice side stepping.

    Lets see now, two posts, one addresses political correctness as requested and the other, addresses a completely different subject entirely. You don't seem to be able to correlate thought too well and you want to remake the world in your image ??

  161. aspen


    “I never claimed you support political correctness or illegal aliens. The question was "Can you offer examples..?' of politically motivated peer pressure and I gave it. Nice side stepping.” I could be mistaken, but I believe the question was: (Duck) ’when one starts examining the background behind many of these ‘social’ pressures, one can find a political agenda which you state you want to get rid of on one hand and then support with the other hand. No different than today’s politician.’ (aspen) ‘Can you offer some examples? … Perhaps you could pick one or two of these, help me understand how the political agenda at its origin is one that I want to get rid of, yet also advocate for on the other hand?’ I think perhaps you caught the first half of the question but missed the second half?

    “Lets see now, two posts, one addresses political correctness as requested and the other, addresses a completely different subject entirely. You don't seem to be able to correlate thought too well and you want to remake the world in your image?” : ) You must be right, I don’t remember addressing PC at all, just asking for you to finish your response to my question. The ‘different subject entirely’ was only a response to your direct statements, so it couldn’t have been so far off topic was it? As for remaking the world in my image. Ha… that’s an idea.. But no.. I’m just a guy contributing to a dialog about how we might move forward in a healthier more moral way… I’m not suggesting I’ve got all the answers or that the world needs to be this way or that. :p

    “I stated that many social pressures have hidden political agendas in response to your statement that we now live with social pressures and you asked for an example, which I answered.” As you’ll see above, I asked you to show how one of the examples that I provided (or one your choosing) represented an example of my supporting a thing and supporting getting rid of a thing. You provided the examples of PC and illegal aliens, but didn’t offer examples of how they were motivated by political agendas that I both supported and advocated getting rid of.

    “Your stated use of peer pressure to pull people into line with the collective is in of itself a political act and which you say you want to get rid of. You can't have it both ways” If you’re referring to the discussion of socialization as an element of any society to attempt to bring up young people according to the values of that particular culture, you’ll also note that we discussed the potential for socializing influences to go too far and become group-think and the value of integrating checks and balances that would motivate people to question our social practices in an effort to ensure the healthiest possible balance between freedom and moral development.

    ,.......well, left leaning people can. Sort of like being against the Klu Klux Klan but keep voting in a grand poohbah of the Klan like Senator Byrd.”


    “"Adversarialism has become the predominant strand in contemporary western-liberal societies."
    my initial interpretation of this sentence was "there's a lot of hippies that complain too much in the west"” *grin* I think he was using the classic definition of ‘liberal’ though, he does advocate for other alternatives for working for change rather than protest. (“hippies that complain too much”) :p
    “But initially i think all species, whether majorly or minorly social, have interspecies contest. it's a function of evolution.” Sure… it can be a brutal world out there. But I think part of the question is if we have to be brutal in our response to it?

    “an example of "good gov't" closer to home for the US is co-operative commonwealth federation, of Canada. now changed unfortunatley.” *nods* Canada does seem to have some good things going for it, though I was a little disappointed to see BC strike down the Single Transferable Vote last year. I understand though, it’s not immediately intuitive and its supporters need to find a more effective way to educate people about its benefits.

    “The socialist principle and function is being lost as people are or were (before the crash) speculating and profiting on market value” I imagine the temptation for individual gain can be a challenge for keeping energized and productive people engaged. Kind of like asking a 20 y/o to invest in retirement, most will probably have a difficult time seeing the benefit, or at least being motivated by it even if they can see it rationally.

  162. aspen

    Sorry, neglected to delete ",…….well, left leaning people can. Sort of like being against the Klu Klux Klan but keep voting in a grand poohbah of the Klan like Senator Byrd.”" before posting. (btw: "I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times ... and I don't mind apologizing over and over again. I can't erase what happened.")

  163. duck

    @ aspen

    I think there is a misunderstanding on both sides. My main problem with any collective is that it is so easy to take advantage of the system. Indoctrinating morality usually does not work. The Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, and other moral organizations treatment of under aged children can attest to that.

    Maybe some experiences of a more personal nature can explain the point of view I am coming from.

    When I was in high school, I was working for a grade based college scholarship where if I kept my grades above a certain level, I would receive a full four year paid college tuition. The newly formed Department of Education decided that grade welfare was the way to insure that high graduation levels be achieved, so a convoluted grade scheme was hatched based on grade averaging against 'a' bell curve. I and 42 other students lost our scholarships and kids that mostly got Ds and Fs were handed diplomas when they normally wouldn't. So, the collective [student body] was to have a more even outcome at the detriment of those who planned to do something more with their lives than flipping burgers or pumping gas. The students who had earned Ds and Fs thought it was very fair and taught them that this is how life should be. I had met a few of them later on and they still thought the same way. Everyone else owed them a living.

    My first job was with a contractor. He refurbished older homes and designed and built new homes. He was also black. My third job was for a black ranch owner. A black man was my swimming instructor at school. I lived next door to a black family and went to school with their son. We even swam, ate, went on double dates together. Why do I mention this?? Because the political agenda that is spreading 'common' PC knowledge that this was impossible to have happened. I never saw any racial strife until I moved to another state. The group thinking that all whites, especially conservatives hate all minorities.

    I opened a business. I became one of those awful people known as a 'coachbuilder' That was a double whammy. Got hit with both group think and class envy at the same time. Lost my business, home and bank account and ended up homeless for a while. My company and others were in the business of re-bodying automobiles. While there were regular people that would put in orders for a vehicle, the majority were from the wealthy. We would construct all metal reproductions of rare classic automobiles or design and build a custom body to fit any new car that one would like. We even built electric cars. These were not cheap fiberglass knockoffs that were creating problems for the public. We were put out of business by the Department of Motor Vehicles because, as they informed me, they were having problems with 'some' of the coachbuilders so all coachbuilding businesses are to be closed or each vehicle will have to be crash tested at a cost of $250,000.00 each test. In an effort to save what would be left of my business, I asked if this meant the electric vehicles also. The answer was it meant everything and it was added that the rich will have to find somewhere else to get their expensive toys. So group think that everyone is guilty and all have to pay for a few plus class envy screws another small business. I still had to come up with monies to pay the state for unemployment insurance for my employees that the state put out of work.

    There are other situations but the thought occurred to me that in light of your view, it doesn't really matter. My view is that a collective can screw people just as quickly as any other society.

  164. aspen


    “My main problem with any collective is that it is so easy to take advantage of the system. Indoctrinating morality usually does not work. … The Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, and other moral organizations treatment of under aged children can attest to that.” Yes, social structures can be taken advantage of. Are cooperative systems more or less subject to that than adversarial based systems? Yes there have been examples of failures alongside the examples of successes, should we stop trying to offer moral guidance? Perhaps there are new strategies (social technologies) that we could implement that would be more effective than the ones we’ve used in the past?

    “Because the political agenda that is spreading 'common' PC knowledge that this was impossible to have happened.” Hmm.. ‘impossible’ sounds like fairly black and white thinking, don’t most left-leaning types tend to see things with a slightly more ‘shades of gray’ kind of perspective? (Or at least claim they do) It seems reasonable to me (with my liberal indoctrination) to believe that those kinds of relationships were an exception to the norm, but not to think that they were impossible.

    “My view is that a collective can screw people just as quickly as any other society.” *nods* Absolutely, a cooperative group can mess with someone just as much as a competitive group can. It would seem apparent that a group of people structured around either principle would have to develop strategies to avoid that, and address it effectively when it did happen.

  165. duck

    @ aspen

    “Because the political agenda that is spreading ‘common’ PC knowledge that this was impossible to have happened.” Hmm.. ‘impossible’ sounds like fairly black and white thinking, don’t most left-leaning types tend to see things with a slightly more ‘shades of gray’ kind of perspective? (Or at least claim they do) It seems reasonable to me (with my liberal indoctrination) to believe that those kinds of relationships were an exception to the norm, but not to think that they were impossible."


    I have had people tell me to my face that it was impossible. Blacks weren't allowed to rise that far, conservative whites held them down. I would then ask if they knew about the Dixiecrats and how these democrats refused to accept integration and later wanted to introduce separate but equal as the solution. Things almost went to fisticuffs. They would look it up then come back and tell me it was all rightwing propaganda.

    On the same front, women were in positions that were not excepted in other parts of the country. Two of our local theaters were owned by women, many of the ranches and farms were owned by women, my own mother started and ran a restaurant. The local Harley Davidson outlet and repair business was owned and operated by a woman. I was pretty lucky to grow up in such an environment. No one was really held anyone back. This is not to say that other parts of the country didn't have problems. My point was that propaganda was saying that this could not be and therefore it WAS impossible and I was a lying.

    Where I live now, there is a large group of Russian immigrants. About 4/5ths of them are refugees from the communist blocks. When we get to talking politics, every one of them tell me that the Democrats scare them. Some of them are saying that it might be better going back to Russia now that it's more free over there. They say that the Democrats and the liberals are doing almost the same thing that the communists were doing early in the formation of the communist regime. The rhetoric is also similar and it does frighten them. One told me it was like jumping from one sinking ship to another. Another stated that what the liberals think is helping is really pulling everyone down. This is from people that have lived through socialist hell and don't want to live through it again.

    Liberals and conservatives are just wired different. Your shades of gray look very dark from my view and I suspect that with your "liberal indoctrination", I would be north of Atila, the Hun. But you know, I haven't killed one baby or elderly person yet, but I hear that from left wing pundits all the time what an evil person I am......

  166. hawkpork

    "Sure… it can be a brutal world out there. But I think part of the question is if we have to be brutal in our response to it."

    we have to create a less "brutal" society and a less "brutal response to it" will result.
    but i guess that's being too general or stateing the obvious.
    less brutal might be; greater public ownership of industry, greater emphasis on communal participation etc; pls fel free to add :)

    "I was a little disappointed to see BC strike down the Single Transferable Vote last year."
    so am i. although i was ignorant of it.
    proportional voting, preferential voting! those are the words i was looking for earlier in counter to alex's assertion that equated to the "two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner" metaphor of 2 party system. thanks for putting me on the right rack. i couldn't find it earler.
    pretty sure i've heard citicism of it, such as that it slows the P process to a crawl. but it sounds like better representation.
    i think we have it in both australia and denmark. hehe my indifference is proven! i haven't voted in years. and we have an election coming up in aus too. my freinds running for greens :)
    we all have a moral and political doctrine. it's up to all to prevent it from including sodomy of youth.
    sounds like you're a pretty traditional american libertarian. which i respect, i can see many merits to the ideal. i personally lean more towards...well i'm not sure. social democracy, or democratic socialism, or christian socialism, although i'm not a christian, nor really a socialist :)
    i mean, all that c!"#¤ you went through in school could easily have been avoided by free universal education.
    it's an investment for any nation. one america should've made a long time ago.

  167. aspen


    “we have to create a less "brutal" society and a less "brutal response to it" will result.” *nods* Absolutely. It seems like one of those circumstances where both aspects feed each other – regardless of whether they do so in a positive, or a more challenging way. But the good news there is that we can step in to work for change at any point in the cycle. : )

    “less brutal might be; greater public ownership of industry, greater emphasis on communal participation etc; pls fel free to add :)” Perhaps a ‘criminal justice’ system that was more focused on behavior modification and healing rather than punishment and behavior reinforcement; perhaps a guarantee that if you or your loved ones should face some unexpected medic al emergency you won’t have to spend the rest of your life in poverty; perhaps mental health support rather than just putting people out on the street to fend for themselves; oh, I’ve got one… How about not spending HALF our FRIGGIN GDP on weapons!!!!!!!!! Free up a bit of that cash for making the world a better place… ug.. well… *grin* Like I mentioned above… plenty of places to make a difference. : )

    “proportional voting, preferential voting! those are the words i was looking for earlier in counter to alex's assertion that equated to the "two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner" metaphor of 2 party system. thanks for putting me on the right rack. i couldn't find it earler.” *grin* No worries. Multi-member districts, proportional representation and STV/Hare-Clark system are important steps towards a truer democracy.

    “pretty sure i've heard citicism of it, such as that it slows the P process to a crawl. but it sounds like better representation.” *nods* I imagine, especially if they’re hand counting, that it would. Though if you didn’t need a hand count, I can only imagine that computers can crunch those numbers fairly quickly. And yes… Absolutely better representation. It seems like the only way to avoid the ‘lesser of two evils’ syndrome that decimates the potential for true democracy.

    “i think we have it in both australia and denmark. hehe my indifference is proven! i haven't voted in years. and we have an election coming up in aus too. my freinds running for greens :)” *grin* I vote, even if it doesn’t ultimately make a difference, I figure I have to take action in the ways that I’m able, and it doesn’t take much from me to do it, so… *grin-shrug* I certainly like how the Greens have included social issues along with ecological and economic stability with their (generally speaking, more) long term focus of return on investments over short term profits / cost savings. I’m hopeful that they’ll be getting more traction in other countries in the years to come, though that will be difficult in winner take all style systems like we have here in the states. We really need STV and PR to break the strangle hold the two main parties have on our political system.

  168. DG

    Socialism is still alive in Australia too just look at the stand in Prime Minister Julia Gillard She's a Socialist.
    The opposition leader is not much better,I think they are both Socialists.
    The other parties are just in bed with the 2 major parties,so its a big joke here.
    I will start voting again when the person I vote for actually gets the vote, in the mean time "Democracy" says that I get fined for not voting,compulsory voting in a democratic society,WHAT A JOKE!
    Up Yours .i.

  169. DG


    It doesn't matter who you vote for.
    Your vote will go to either Labor or Liberal because they do deals with the smaller parties to get their preference votes.
    So you vote Greens and the greens will do a deal with Labor and Labor gets all the Greens votes.Our election system is a complete joke!
    Lets say for example the Liberals won the majority votes on the day,because Labor had a big win last election,the Liberals must win and win big by at least 70/30 or 60/40 whatever it is this election.
    So what I am saying is out of say 100 votes if Labor had 60 and Liberals had 40 then the Liberals would win because they had 70/30 or what ever last election.
    Its the most corrupt inaccurate system going it doesn't reflect anyones true vote.
    Everyones vote should go to the party they voted for and no one else,and the votes should only effect this election,not because you had a good win last time.
    Thats how the N.S.W Labor Gov. got back into power after Bob Cars loss,because even though on the day they lost,the Liberals had to have a 70/30 win to gain power.
    So because Labor lost on the day they still maintained power because of their big win previous election and with preference votes from the Greens and other smaller parties.
    It is so corrupt and backwards its embarrassing to vote at all.
    Then you get fined for not voting? even though the people you vote for give your vote to Labor or Liberals,Its a joke.
    Good luck! I refuse to vote in a backward corrupt system like this,make it real and truly reflect who you vote for and i will vote again.

  170. aspen

    Hello DG,

    That certainly does sound like a convoluted system with some fair opportunities for reform. Though, speaking as someone from the states, I'm a little leery to speak poorly of anyone's electoral process. :) I can certainly see why you might not be motivated to participate in such a system. I wonder some times though, if perhaps that's not part of the reason for the systems being designed the way they are, to dissuade some voters from participating. I know that's certainly the case here in the states.

    I'm not judging, far from it, but I do feel compelled to ask, how will the system ever be reformed to truly reflect your vote if you don't participate in it to initiate the reform?

  171. hawkpork

    aspen & dg,

    "How about not spending HALF our FRIGGIN GDP on weapons!!!!!!!!! Free up a bit of that cash for making the world a better place…"

    well said..

    yes, the complaints DG raised are the ones i've heard before. they sound very compelling.
    i don't really see the value of preferential voting without proportional representation.
    but then, my understanding is hazy, to say the least.
    i'll ask my father. an aus politics prof, but i don't expect a clear answer :)
    when i said earlier that proportional representation, a many party system, slows things down i meant because they can't decide. can easily have a hung parlament where no party can pass their legislation.
    but it's practiced by numerous nations in various ways.
    denmark being one of the best i believe.
    in aus it's only in the senate.

    "The Venus Project" is in town this weekend :)
    they're having a 3 hour seminar tonight, think i'll give it a miss. rather go out on the piss.

  172. Stephen

    Wow my head is spinning after some sporadic reading of the comments above I can tell ya - !!!

    With all political correctness - I say drop the bombs 'n start again! Let mankind experience the worst of the worst, then maybe he'll wake up to himself.


    BTW - hey Mr Hawk - I'm not "Insulted" in this thread. lol
    'n I don't vote either - ssshh!!

  173. Reasons Voice

    I am just happy in my knowledge that this forced labor collective will never occur through any means besides a violent one. Wealth redistribution and resource based economy idealist will never gain ground in any other way. Since media and propaganda are the only other method of indoctrination I hate to tell ya that you will get no help there. Try telling Oprah that not only will she have to forfeit all of her wealth but also will have to learn to produce some resource of tangible value to be a part of the collective and watch how fast she books ya on the show...not!! The corporate structures that control all dissemination of information from fliers and tv to schools and churches provide no resource of value and would therefore become an enemy to the state you propose. That being said The fact that most Commune minded people I have ever met are also pacifistic in nature your ideal will never ever come to pass. Honestly I spent a great deal if my time reading the posts here and honestly could only laugh. Super machines that can autonimusly do every single job man could require while we sit around and ponder great things...hahaha yea except none of those machines exist, nor could they. Theoretically a fully self repairing automimus machine that requires zero oversight or repair is essentially a sentient "living" creation. Which implies that your Ideal bacicaly is to create life of a sort and force that life to act as slave to your master race of consumers. That my friend has the makings of a great apocolyptic action flick maybe we could put Arnold in it....wait too late.

  174. hawkpork

    "Since media and propaganda are the only other method of indoctrination.." no they're not.
    indoctrination/socialization starts in the home, with the parents when one is a baby.

    "That my friend has the makings of a great apocolyptic action flick maybe we could put Arnold in it….wait too late."

    hahaha..yes, the terminator sprang to my mind aswell. "rise of the machines"!
    or the matrix has the same theme too.

  175. Reasons Voice

    I do apologise if my previous statement came out as harsh and or sarcastic. I just cannot help that my reaction to what was proposed in depth in the preceding posts is one of bemusement and befuddlement. I truly cannot see how any rational thinking individual who is in touch with reality can foresee this ever coming to pass.

  176. Joey

    Aspen- couldn't have said it better myself, weird link on your name though?!?!

  177. aspen

    Hello Joey. Sometimes I added a link to something I thought was relevant to the conversation.

  178. esma

    i ve just finished watching propoganda film made by the capitalists..and now i know that the worst thing that has happened to humanity is socialism..

  179. Alex B

    Hey all, it's been a while. Glad to see the discussion is still strong. As usual, I have a lot to say and comment on.

  180. Alex B

    You seem to have this idea that what I propose will force people into jobs they don’t want and that we will all have to conform to the rules of a resource-based economy. Do you think we have choice NOW to work where we want? Maybe some of us do, but what about people born in impoverished areas, where the more practical solution for a child is to start working as soon as they are able to help support the family? Or how about in the example you gave of your business that went under? Were all your jobs really of your choosing, or were they a means to an end, to make ends meet? Some people are lucky or have worked hard to find a job that pays and suits their personal creativity, but what would you do if that job no longer paid the bills? Would you continue what you’re doing and live in poverty, or would you find a second or third job to provide for you and/or you family? Our current system gives us the illusion of choice, a concept many people cannot seem to grasp. We are all living within the means of the system and are limited by its ability to provide for us.

    Indoctrination? Always with this term. To be completely free of “indoctrination” is to grow up from birth in an enclosed room with no windows or doors and no contact with anyone. Everything we do is in some way indoctrination for someone else. We do not live in individual bubbles. We are a network of people interacting with each other and the only way to move “indoctrination” into a more positive form is to change the system. Our current system promotes greed, power, competition, materialism, and ignorance. No matter how hard you try to raise your children right or set laws or regulations, the effects of the system and its core principles will still have great influence, and most people will be susceptible to this.

    The new elite, you claim, will be technicians. Well, that’s assuming there will be an “elite,” which there will not be. My previous posts go pretty in depth as to how this works. You don’t need people telling you what to do. A Physics textbook doesn’t tell you that in order to move a heavy object up a flight of stairs, to build a ramp, but simply provides you with the necessary education to make a well informed decision as to what method you might choose.

    The Venus project and The Zeitgeist Movement are not a conspiracy to affect other peoples without them knowing or without their consent. It’s quite open and its prime directive is to educate people. This will never be imposed. What don’t you get about that? To live in a resource-based economy is to be an integral part of it.

    You said...“I know, I know….the answer to this is that the people are not forced to live in any fashion and they can live like they want as long as they go somewhere else to starve themselves until they learn that it is the communities way or no way………” And capitalism doesn’t do this? If you don’t follow the rules of this system, you starve. But even better, if you cheat, you become wealthy beyond belief. The system I propose would leave no one behind. Even if you refused to work within the system, we’d still make hospitality available to you. No more “My way, or the Highway.” Our motto would be more like, “Which way is the best way for all? Let’s do it this way until we can come up with a better way.”

    It’s not peer pressure to follow a particular movement. It’s peer example. There’s a difference. Peer pressure has an agenda of accumulating followers for the sake of conforming to a particular ideal. Peer example leads by example to show others how their ideals can work when put into practice. Rather than acquire followers, peer example hopes to give birth to leaders; to turn sheep into shepherds.
    I agree with you in that going outside the system to obtain luxuries would create the class warfare. However, the system I advocate would be at the highest standard of living, and no outside luxury could compare to all that a resource-based economy can offer.

    Resource penalties? What penalties? It’s not as if people will own things in a resource-based economy to be taken away. There would be no regulation because all would be available to all. It’s a management of earth’s resources and there is no ruling body to force anyone to conform.

    “The only way it will work is that no matter how hard one applies oneself is to keep them down at a certain approved level so as to keep everyone equal no matter how un-equal any one person is.” First off, all are equal when it comes to human existence. No one person deserves better treatment than another. Secondly, it’s not a matter of keeping everyone down so that we are all equal, it would be a matter of bringing everyone up to the highest standard of living available.
    Your personal High School example shows what happens when resources are made scarce. We could easily make post-secondary education available to all, but choose not to for the sake of separating the wealth and intellectual class. It’s our divisions that make us weak as a society. When we can band together for a common purpose, such as the well being of all, we are capable of achieving anything.

    You talk about the “collective” as if it’s some external entity bent on making your life miserable. The collective doesn’t have to be separate, like the governments and agencies of today. The collective includes you in the process and if you were a part of it, you wouldn’t allow policies to pass that would hurt your situation. Imagine a group of people (a collective) coming to you and asking you if what they propose will be alright with you.

    You seem to be very confrontational. Us against them, left against right, liberal against conservative, individualism against collectivism. This is what we have to remove from our society. We cannot continue to progress like this, otherwise it’ll be a matter of whose gun is bigger.

  181. Alex B


    I like this Anarcho-Syndicalism. I will have to read further into this. Though, the idea of ownership must still be addressed.

    You continue to hold onto this idea of being free to own when it is ownership that creates the problems of today and yesterday. The very art of saying something is mine and not yours is confrontational from the start. When we live today, in a capitalist society, and any society that puts price-tags on labour and resources, it is natural to horde and be fearful of another person taking your things away. But when you trim away all the fat and get to the barebones of it all, we really can’t own anything but ourselves. You can’t take things with you when you’re dead, and though you may pass on possessions to next of kin, the ownership we all think we have over things is another illusion. Things come and go, are created and destroyed, or rot away, much like humans. We know it is wrong to own another human being, so why stake claim to inanimate objects? Objects, in and of themselves have no value other than the value you give it. It’s all subjective. Owning the object by law (ink on paper) doesn’t mean it’s yours. It just means that the parties involved have agreed that it’s yours. But that object can easily be taken from you. Do you still own it now after it has been stolen? Or does it belong to the one who now possesses it? The object has no value when you cannot use it. So it is not the entitlement to property that we should be worried about, but the access to things. You don’t need to own food in order to consume it for nutrition. You don’t need to own a home to live under a roof. You don’t need to own a television in order to watch it. You get the idea?

    You advocate voting, yet you don’t vote? Is this because you think there is a better way of conducting this process? I say voting is but another illusion of choice, meant to ease the minds of the enslaved. Voting is what you do when you cannot come to an agreement. Rather than work things out, we put it to a vote. Lazy if you ask me. We could end this entire thread by calling for a vote right now. That doesn’t solve anything. In any vote but a unanimous one, someone is left disappointed. In decisions where either choice has no dire consequence, a vote might be handy, for simple gambling purposes, such as deciding what to wear to a party. You might ask your friends for a vote, where either dress or garment will suffice, and the matter comes down to mere personal opinion. However, decisions that affect large groups of people should never be left to public opinion, but rather public discussion. Opinion implies that a verdict has been determined by an individual beforehand, and to call for a vote is to only get a limited understanding of the situation, and is not up for debate. Discussion, on the other hand, is direct participation in the community and serves to educate everyone on the matter.

  182. Alex B


    I like this Michael Karlberg. I will do some more research later.
    -“I vote, even if it doesn’t ultimately make a difference, I figure I have to take action in the ways that I’m able, and it doesn’t take much from me to do it... I’m not judging, far from it, but I do feel compelled to ask, how will the system ever be reformed to truly reflect your vote if you don’t participate in it to initiate the reform?”
    I have said my piece on voting in my previous post, but my comment to this quote is about working within the system. Participation within the current system will not help change the system. You are confined to the limitations of what this system has already set in place. Monopolies and cartels have been established, and those who are at the top of the game are not going to let their system fail them. It’s designed for the benefit of the few, and though some battles may be fought and won, in the end, we have to look at the big picture to see that “The Powers that Be” have home team advantage. The best way to win is to quit playing their game. Through non-participation, you have truly made a genuine choice, and those left playing the game will have to play with themselves. Pun intended. ;) I understand that when people don’t participate, they can’t hope for change, but there is a second part to non-participative activism. Those who get themselves out of the “Rat Race” game should band together to form a better community. The one I propose is clear, a resource-based economy, but others may choose something different. The transition would be much easier if governments and the ruling elite would subscribe to change the entire system, but these people feel they have too much to lose. Right now we live in a pyramid structure, but if the bottom half decide to quit holding up the top, they will fall.

    -“We really need STV and PR to break the strangle hold the two main parties have on our political system.” This quote just adds to what I previously stated. It’s very difficult to win against those who wrote and continue to write the rules to the game.

  183. Alex B


    The very fact that these ideas are being formulated means we are becoming wiser. Don’t fall into despair, feeling as though no matter how hard you try, the “human condition” will always drag you down. There is no set or finite human condition. We condition ourselves and each other, and are forever changing.

  184. Alex B


    Thank you on your comments on voting.

  185. Alex B


    “With all political correctness – I say drop the bombs ‘n start again! Let mankind experience the worst of the worst, then maybe he’ll wake up to himself.” I may not have put it so apocalyptically, but your point is clear. I agree, in that rather than try and reform our already messed up system, we need a fresh start. I foresee a financial collapse, and I actually hope for it. It seems as though people need to see their house crumble around them before they wake up and realize that it’s time to move on. People seem to believe that without all that we have built thus far, we would parish, but I beg to differ. As long as some of us survive any major cataclysm, we can always build anew. We are resilient like most animals, and will not simply wither away and die without our toys. We will see what failed before and try to correct those mistakes. There really are only two scenarios left for us. Doomsday or transition. Either way, we cannot sustain this consumer lifestyle that we’ve created.

  186. aspen

    Hello again Alex. Certainly, voting is not the only, nor necessarily the most effective way to work for the change we need. Nor do I imagine that ultimately it will result in creating that change. But for the potential that it does have, I imagine it’s worth the time that it takes. I would never suggest that it was sufficient on its own, but I don’t think it does any harm to do it, while we also work for change in other ways.

  187. Alex B


    “Try telling Oprah that not only will she have to forfeit all of her wealth but also will have to learn to produce some resource of tangible value to be a part of the collective and watch how fast she books ya on the show…not!!” This is the misunderstanding of moving into a resource-based economy. No one is giving up anything. It’s not like trucks will come by and start hauling away all your processions. We will build newer and better cities that people can move into. The only things Oprah will lose are all her house maids and servants, but other than that, a bigger and better place awaits her, as do the rest of us. It’s not her wealth that makes her happy; it’s just that within a capitalist society, her wealth provides her with access to just about anything she wants. When a resource-based economy is fully integrated, we can all live better than Oprah or any other wealthy person. There will be no need to own a dozen fancy cars, but accessibility will be there. You want to drive a Ferrari, go ahead. It’s a waste to have a eleven cars sit in your driveway while you cruise around in one vehicle. The new system is unlike anything you’ve imagined. Things will no longer be business as usual. Brand new cities and transportation systems. All the latest gadgets on Discovery Channel will not be for the privileged few, but will be integrated as soon as possible, without the hindrance of financial obligations.

    “Super machines that can autonimusly do every single job man could require while we sit around and ponder great things…hahaha yea except none of those machines exist, nor could they” What do you mean they don’t exist? We have robotic arms that assemble entire cars. We have self-serve cashiers in grocery stores. We have planes that you can fly by remote control and I am sure ones that can pilot themselves. More robotics are in the works, and the only reason they haven’t been implemented in today’s society is because they would take away more jobs and many of these projects require large sums of money. In a resource-based economy, the elimination of jobs is beneficial to society, and money is not an issue.

    “I truly cannot see how any rational thinking individual who is in touch with reality can foresee this ever coming to pass.” What does it mean to be “in touch” with reality? To slave away 9-5 every day until you get old enough to retire? And by this point, if you are fortunate enough to be compensated for your work, you realize that you are not as youthful to enjoy all the free time you have? To realize that there are a billion starving people in this world who struggle to get by, simply because of where and when they were born? To realize that wealth is not accumulated by hard work, but mostly by the manipulation of the system and exploitation of others? You claim to be a rational thinker within an irrational society. It is no measure of sanity to adjust to an insane world. So I turn your comment back to you and ask who is really the one “in touch” with reality, or sane?

  188. Alex B


    Certainly, voting does no harm, but I think it is more productive to think of solutions outside of the methods our system provides for us.

  189. aspen

    Perhaps you're right and eliminating the unit of measure will eliminate the jealousy, envy & greed. If so, power to you. I wish you luck.

    Personally I suspect it might be more worth my own effort to work to step away from my jealousy, envy & greed, and perhaps my other endeavors will be moral / healthy / life supporting / etc.. regardless if there is a unit of measure involved or not.

    As a side benefit, this is something I can do here and now, where we are, as well as where we might someday be.

  190. Reasons Voice

    @ Allan B: Point 1 "You want to drive a Ferrari, go ahead." You do know that at maximum production Ferrari turns out like 40,000 cars a year MAX. That s one reason they are so expensive so to say someday they will churn out on demand up to 6 billion if everyone wants one is silly.
    Point 2 "What do you mean they don’t exist? We have robotic arms that assemble entire cars. We have self-serve cashiers in grocery stores. We have planes that you can fly by remote control and I am sure ones that can pilot themselves."
    We don't have robotic arms that build robotic arms. and the robotic arms we do have require programig, safety management, debugging, and maintenance. Self serve cashiers still require SELF SERVING they do not push the cart pick what we need ring it up and transport the goods directly to our homes. And Remote controll anything is still ...well...controlled remotely.By an operator. Not Autonimous all of these items while convenient require maintenance.
    Point 3 Yes being intouch with reality to a certain extent does require suffering. Weather it be due to starvation or simply doing a job you do not enjoy. Prior to industrialization and in all cultures man has always had to DO something to survive. Cave men had to hunt and gather. Early settlement type communitioes had to tend crops and livestock etc etc. Survival is an active process not some passive hobby. So in essence yes I do feel that I am way more in touch with reality by accepting that if I wan't anything I will have to do something to have it. A simple metaphore is if I want to live I must eat, I must first procure food. Weather it be by shopping or hunting or gathering what have you. Then I must prepare that food. Then I must chew that food. All of that could in theory be eliminated by hooking me up to a feeding device, however I would preferr to put in the effort required to enjoy a nice steak dinner than to spend my time strapped to a machine punping nutrient slush down my throat for me.
    I don't know you and I am loathe to judge others but honestly you "Ideal world" being as you describe it sounds like a paradise only for the lazy. People who feel entitled to everything while contributing nothing. If by some wild miracle your utopia arises could you please set asside a few acres of land where I may toil like a primative beast to support myself as that is far more spiritually fulfilling to me than waiting with open arms for my free handouts.

  191. Alex B


    I never said we would all "own" a ferrari. You would have access to one. Still not getting the point I see. It's about having access to things rather than owning them. Ferraris aren't on the road 24/7. They're parked for about 95% of their life. It would be more like going to a library and taking out a Ferarri for week, or even just a spin around a race course. The removal of personal ownership is what I have been trying to explain.

    As far as robotic arms and stuff, yes, you're right, we do have to build and maintain them. I never said that machines would do absolutely "everything." They would eliminate most jobs, and I am pretty sure I stated in a post a while back about having to maintain and supervise equipment. It's about choice and how the society can accommodate you, and hopefully you will contribute something in turn. In a well run and efficient society, it would only require a small percentage of people contributing but a few hours a week, if that, to maintain and manage the machines. All work would be voluntary. If you want to sit around all day and do nothing, go ahead. There's plenty of willing people to do the "work," which won't be as laboursome as in the past. With advances in technology, we make work easier. Much like how modern agriculture has made it so that even one man can tend to several acres of land compared to a small community with shovels and ploughs. Using even more efficient methods, though costly now would not be an issue in a resource-based economy, we could grow crops via hydroponics and not be limited to farmland. As far as maintenance goes, we design the machines to be weather resistant and anticipate problems that may occur with the machines. Rather than build machines using special tools, we could easily design a tool-less system so you don't need a particular screwdriver to access the inner workings, and all components could simply snap in and out of place for easy part replacement. It just requires a little bit of thinking on our part.

    With regards to your view on earning your bread. I have to say, shopping for food is a modern convenience that many of us take for granted. I don't really think that you can consider that producing your own food. The whole point that I continue to repeat is having ACCESS to things. Not forcing you to do anything any particular way. If you choose not to chew your food, we will provide you with a means of going about that. Not that we will spoon feed everyone, but maybe like minded people can get together to design a contraption that blends your food and sends it through a straw. I don't know. I also don't claim to have all the answers. By providing access to people and resources, we can accomplish many things.

    Your rebuttals are layered with thoughts that a more modern and technologically advanced society would rob you of doing the simple things that we love to do. This new society wouldn't stop you from fishing or growing your own food. Where do you come up with these ideas? I have to stress that you should not be projecting your own ideas of what you think I am talking about. Listen to what I say and ask questions. Don't assume I mean one thing when I say another. Did you read my example of someone wanting cosmetic surgery or a way to make their own cigarettes? The same principles apply. No double standards in this society. We have to be consistent in our behavior and treat everyone with respect and as equals. If you have a concern with how things are run, you will have access to people of similar concern and be provided a means of voicing your opinion. Then we discuss until we can all reach an agreement. Though this may be "slow" for our current society, this is only because we value time as money. In a resource-based economy, public health and well-being comes first, and when that's taken care of, we can debate all we want. If you can't agree that public health and well-being for all is adequate, I think you may have trouble finding people who will support you on that.

    If you think it is being realistic to sit back and watch as people across the globe suffer and starve while most of the western world benefits from this suffering, then what hope is there for humanity? Is this the pinnacle of human civilization? Really!? I am not saying to jump out of your seat and fly over to Africa or something. I am saying that if we cannot dream of a better reality, then how do you expect anything better to happen? It all starts with a dream. "Intelligent" people who were "realists" throughout time have been telling us things like, "the world is flat," "there's no such thing as microscopic organisms," "it's impossible for something heavier than air to fly," and so on and so forth, and continuously we are proving the old paradigms wrong. What makes this any different? The submarine and the rocket ship were written in Fictional novels before being made reality. So I challenge you to rethink your view on what is possible.

  192. Reasons Voice

    You do a very good job of contorting and reflecting any questions toward the obvious flaws in your plan. I am not going to continue on this thread because it is just pointless. Access to this Access to that. What is someone else took the ferari out first and the next guy got pissed. could lead to a scuffle. No one will maintain the machines cause there is nothing in it for them. The ones who contribute would go home to the same as those who do nothing resentment would grow and eventually your system breaks down. I like tall thin model bruinetts will i also have Access to one of those? all competition is gone so There is nolonger any means by witch to impress a potential mate so i guess the status of committed relationships will also be gone. Keep you world of the future. And yes I do believe that it is mans highest point to struggle and to overcome the obsticals in life. A man who does nothing but hold out his hands for his bit of the Access is no man at all in my mind. I bid you good day and that is all.

  193. Reasons Voice

    Ok bottom line after all of your prattle and your dodging of major flaws you have stated not one thing that shows any viability in this model. How? How? and How? are questions you skirt at every turn. You say essentially it will just be. By that premise I would like to propose a Unicorn based economic model wherein all goods and services will simply appear for all undiscriminantly from the aerse of a unicorn. Your belief in this system is beyond reason and therefore beyond debate. Good luck to you sir I hope one day your world comes true for you so that you may learn by it's subsequent utter implosion just how unrealistic it is. However I will not be taking part in it.

  194. Alex B

    I never say this will just be, I am saying that this is something we have to make reality. We cannot sustain our current method of conducting business. Our current economy is imploding before your eyes and why can't anyone see this? What if someone takes out a book at the library before you do? You wait or find some other alternative to satisfy your needs at the time. Not saying there won't be disagreements, but we will no longer be obligated to fend for one's self, rather we work out problems as a community.

    You think no one will maintain the machines? I for one would, and there are plenty of others who would as well. Basically, The Zeitgeist Movement is over 400 000 strong, and every advocate of this would be on board to help. What do you mean there would be nothing in it for the contributors? If we don't learn to work together, you not only starve yourself, but your lack of contribution affects your community. People will learn that the more you put into society, the more you get from it. When you are growing up, do you contribute to your parents' household income? No, essentially, you mooch off of them until you are educated and willing to start work. Why can't we implement that on a large scale?

    You also think that you can't get a girl without impressing her through material means? If that's the case, then only rich people would ever be happily married. Whatever happened to loving someone's character and not their car? The reason that wealth attracts women today, is because they need to feel like they will be provided for, and that their children will be taken care of and monetary wealth is today's form of security. What happens when all women are taken care of, regardless of who they are with? True love can finally be discovered based on one's character and not one's bank account balance. This is what's wrong with society, today. We're all thinking, "What's in it for me?" Tomorrow, we might ask, "What can I do for someone else?"

    If you were following my posts, the documentary, Us Now, which you can find on this site, is a perfect example of people contributing for no direct personal gain.

    By no means have I avoided any "obvious" flaws, as I am clearly explaining myself and addressing each point you all make. All arguments against what I propose are based on your assumptions on human behaviour. I have already made my point on how human "nature" and human "behaviour" are two clearly different traits. Nature is inherent and is not controlled consciously. Behaviour is susceptible to the influences of society. When we can change society, we can change human behaviour... for the better. You can't just skim through my points, you have to read and understand everything I am saying.

    To address the ones who fancy tall, thin model brunettes, I have to make it clear that people are not objects. I have stated before that the only thing we can truly own, is ourselves. When people are empowered there's no need for them to prostitute themselves to get ahead, unless of course, that's what they want to do. As far as access to such desirable women, I'm sure there will continue to be dating websites for people of all tastes. The difference is, when you eliminate the money factor, there is no medium through which to exploit people anymore, so socially unacceptable things like child porn will not continue.

    As far as not being a “man” for taking handouts is strictly opinion. If you’re not able to make your bill payments, will it degrade you as a person to ask your spouse or family for money? When you have hedge-fund managers and stock brokers who don’t lift a finger and simply make money from money by exploiting the system, is that not abusing the system as well? They are not contributing to society either. It seems to me, that the only way to really get ahead in our current system IS to abuse it, whether it’s by making more money than you need, or by living off of the working class dollars. Also, how does another person choosing to “abuse” the system affect you in any way? As long as you are happy and have everything you need, your frustration isn’t really with their contributions anymore, but more against their character (their laziness). Today, it’s acceptable to be angry with welfare users and the super rich because it’s “your” money that they are taking, in a sense. Do realize, though, that your taxes and interest are taken regardless of who benefits from them, and once your money is in the government’s or the bank’s hands, they can and do whatever they want with it. In a resource-based economy, everyone is provided for, and yes, there will be those who decide not to contribute. Who has the right to say who does and doesn’t deserve to live? Also, understand that you will work significantly less than we do in a monetary system, as I’ve stated before, and your work will not be drudgery, but will accommodate your creative desires. Basically, do what you enjoy to do, and no more of this slave labour we do today. Think of the many jobs out there that are virtually useless, and do not contribute at all to the well-being of society. When you’re happy with what you are doing, knowing that your work is benefitting your community, why begrudge those who benefit? That would be like hating the poor and starving people who you just donated money to. You could respond by saying, “Well, that’s different, because they are worse off and don’t have the same opportunities as we do.” I would have to say that it’s not different because we are all playing the money game, and that is how the system is designed, for the few to benefit from the hard work and exploitation of the many.

    It is great when humanity struggles and then overcomes that struggle, but when you observe our society we haven’t even come close to solving our problems. Are we overcoming our struggles, or just brushing them aside and saying to ourselves, “Oh well, that’s just how things are.”? I, and many others, advocate a resource-based economy because it provides realistic solutions and not temporary fixes. Donating to charity, volunteering, voting, putting people in jail, creating more regulation or deregulation, and joining an environmental group have never and will never solve the problems we face today. That’s not to say that a resource-based economy will solve ALL the problems of the world, but will definitely resolve all issues related to money... which is mostly everything. The only problems left, after money is done away with, will be personal disputes which may include rape and murder. Things like theft, the drug and prostitution trade, poverty, starvation, homelessness, inflation and deflation of currency, bribery and blackmail, government secrecy and corruption, corporate corruption, war, job-loss, lack of education, etc, will not be an issue. As well, many issues that may be of human behaviour often stem from lack of money, such as couples who often fight about money, poor people who vandalize and steal, gang violence, and children who become social disturbances because of the lack of parental guidance under poor living conditions. If you can’t see that all of the problems I gave examples of could be resolved simply by eliminating money, then you are truly lost. Even if there are new problems that arise from a resource-based economy, wouldn’t the trade off be well worth it? The only problems that have been presented have been issues of laziness and lack of cooperation. I think these issues are much easier to work with than poverty and corporate corruption. Solving poverty alone would be worth it. Today, we seem to think that by throwing more money at our problems, that they will be solved. When has that ever happened? When will people learn that it was money that caused these problems in the first place?

    I have made my points over and over, and I have attempted to draw you a picture of what the future can be. When I get responses that say this will never happen because of human nature, or when people ask, “What will you do when this happens,” I see that there lacks a certain amount of creativity and problem solving ability. I don’t claim to have the rule book on how things will be organized, though I have a pretty good idea. If there is one thing I want to convince people of, it’s that we CAN create a new society that isn’t based on money. Doesn’t have to be exactly the one I envision, but so far, it’s the only solution that makes sense to me, and I have yet to hear anyone else come up with ideas. Though, Aspen has put forth a couple ideas that still fit into a monetary system. A lot of the arguments against me nit-pick on small aspects, seeming as though if I can’t paint a perfect utopia for you, that it’s not worth considering. Once again, I never claim that this is a utopia. When you ask me things like “What will you do when this happens,” try asking yourself that. Rather than say it won’t work, try figuring out how it can. A big concern is how to motivate people to contribute to this society. I’ve made my case, but if you legitimately want to know how it can work, try doing some research, or try coming up with your own solutions. The whole point of the society I propose, is that we are primarily concerned with providing for all, and it’s going to take the brightest minds of our generation to get together to come up with such a system. Rather than put faith in government officials who couldn’t tell their head from their arse, why are we not gathering all the Stephen Hawkings of the world of all different expertise to formulate a sustainable system? I’m trying to contribute to a movement for a better earth, and all everyone else has to say is, “it can’t be done.” If it’s not possible, then why is it not? Explain yourself. Everyone is so afraid of making people “lazy” in the society I propose, and yet, everyone’s too lazy to put forth a valid argument as to why we should keep a monetary economy. Everyone is so smart, and apparently it is so obvious why. [sarcasm] Well, humour me and let me know why. To simply discredit my ideas without any hint of an alternative solution means that you must think this is civilization at its best, and by definition, that would make THIS a utopia.

  195. Alex B

    With regards to how a resource-based economy will transition from today, I can`t give an answer to that. I can`t predict the future or how people will react. Why not ask yourself how we can transition into a new society?

    I have stated before that there are two possible scenarios for a transition. The first is when our financial system collapses and the masses loose faith in money altogether. From this point, a resource-based economy will be more appealing when it is clear that money does no good. The second would be if a large percentage of people subscribed to this idea and started working towards building it, completely bypassing government or corporate permission.

    An idea I may have mentioned way back, would be one where we get an entire country to subscribe to this new economy. From here, we could build the new cities while still functioning in our current system. The pitch for this to the government, would be that once the first cities are built, the country stops importing all goods, and only exports, because the entire country would be designed for self-sufficiency. By only exporting goods, the GDP of the nation would be incredible, and would only be a positive example for the rest of the world. Once the nation pays off its debts to the international banks, it would be time to completely integrate the population into this self-sustaining economy. By eliminating dependencies on other nations' resources, and becoming self-sufficient, there will be no need for money as a means of exchange. Hopefully, the success of this would spread and other nations would adapt this.

    Now, my example isn't perfect, but it's a basis for people to contribute to. This requires a lot of planning and will need many perspectives to make this more effective. If there's something anyone has to add or take away from this proposal of mine, please, make an effort to provide possible solutions rather than simply telling me this won't work.

    I am not sure what people want. You want solutions but you won't put forth ideas. You complain about our global state and the economy, yet you continue to stand by it. You say things are so obvious, yet you can't explain yourself. You act as though you know it all, yet you don't understand the fundamentals of what I am saying. You counter-argue that people will be lazy, when it would seem that you are too lazy to contribute to a solution or too lazy to read all that I have posted and watch the documentaries I listed. Now, this either applies to you (the reader) or it doesn't. You know who you are. What I am trying to ask, is "What do you want?" If you want to be left alone and don't want to hear what I have to say, then why even post on here? If you are here to make a point, make it, and make it good. If there's something logically wrong with one of my statements, let me know. If I haven't addressed something, let me know. Put your ego aside and lets start having intellectual discussions on society.

  196. Reasons Voice

    One, I do not claim that people are posessions by any means. But ome must observe that when selecting a potential mate women tend to look for financial stability in their suitors. Secondly I would never claim that there are not emense flaws in the current economic structure. Those flaws should be addressed in some constructive manner. What that solution may be I havn't a clue. Don't pin me as the selfish type. I work in medicine because it is the helping of others that drives me in this world. Yes i am financially reimbursed for my time and effort but my compassion is what drives me to do my job well above and beyond the norm. My issue with your proposed scenario is that it does show a lack of reality. We will never agree on this because you are obviously committed to the point of zealotry. If you have 400,000 members why not pool your resorces and purchase a piece of land and start in. perhapes if you can make it wirk on a small scale it will inspire others. My issue is that greed is present in humanity on a large scale and to deny that is naive. What will happen to those who will inevitably want what you are using and take it from you by force if necessary. The only way to do away with greed and jealousy is to sanitize and standardize everything. I for one have my own style and tastes and do not want to live in an identical home with identical furnishings on an identical plot of land wearing identical clothing as my neighbor. However if anyone in your world stands out it opens the door for someone to covet what they have. And by your reasoning those covetous individuals have a right to just take it because it does not belong to the current posesser anyway. For example I enjoy a nice Zen garden. In your world if I spent my time and effort to build, in the backyard of my current home, a beautifull Japanese water garden that some other person foud to their liking they could just simply move in and userp what I created. In your world the fruits of my labor do not belong to me but to the masses and therefore I havn't a leg to stand on to retain said creation. I am not covetous by nature and if anything I share of myself more than the average person. However I do feel that by right anything that I create is mine to share or retain as I see fit. Not to be taken on whim by another.

  197. Chory

    There is no such thing as human nature, only human behaviour and that's always been changed.

  198. hawkpork

    alex b,
    i thought you'd given up. i see i was wrong.
    i agree with goose. ownership is a right.
    i own my body, life and everything said produces. including, to a degree, children until aged 18.
    if i make a pretty sculpture out of my own faecal matter, is it not mine by right, to do with, as i wish?
    should others have right of access to it?
    where does one draw the line?
    i think we need proportional representation in government and communal ownership of capital/means of production.
    focus on that first, then maybe, all the rest.

    chory also raises a valid point (nice and concisely too), education/indoctrination is the basis of all societies.
    "human nature" is animal instinct, and we're smart enough to overcome it. the system you promote relies on this truth.

  199. Alex B

    Goose's personal example of choosing to be in the medical profession is the kind of logic and behavior you can expect from most people that completely supports a resource-based economy. Choosing to do it to help others and not for financial gain debunks the notion that we need money or any form of compensation to do our part.

    Chory keeps it short and sweet by expressing the illusion of human nature and emphasis on human behavior. Greed is not natural and it is our current social structure that promotes such behavior.

    It's not selfish to cherish one's work of art or living space, but I am trying to embody the philosophy of materialism and it's fundamental flaws. When I say people will no longer own but have access, this does not mean that all within your possession will be up for grabs. When you borrow a book from the library or rent a movie, does someone else have the right to just come and take it away from you? If you are borrowing something of importance from a friend, perhaps a socket wrench set, for a set period of time, and before that time is up, your friend asks for it back because they need it for a particular job, you would be inclined to give it back. Also, when I speak of access, it's not as though if someone likes what you have, they will just take it. Remember that this is a community full of people that care, and though some may not, remember that you can choose who you want to be around. If someone really likes what you have, they can go to a local distributor and see about how they might accomplish creating such a thing or whatever. They could even ask you personally how you created your beautiful Japanese garden and you may give them tips or help them create one for themselves. As far as living in identical homes, that's another false propaganda idea that you are bringing to this. I never once stated everything would be identical. With the freedom to choose where you want to live may also come how you want your house designed. You would be provided with the most modern materials and the know-how to assemble such a house to fit your lifestyle. I envision houses designed for quick assembly using little or no tools. Also plans would be drawn out for where on the city grid your house would be located for access to essential plumbing and electrical. Though, I am sure there would be houses also designed for self-sufficiency so that you could live off the grid and away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Be creative when thinking of how the system CAN work rather stopping when you naively think it CAN'T. Remember that there is no "one way" of doing this, there's just good ways and better ways.

    I have stated before that the only thing you can actually own is yourself, and that to think you can own anything else is an illusion. True, you can live in a home and call it your own for the rest of your life, but you never really own it, you simply are using it. So when I continue to illustrate this idea of access, your counter arguments suggest that while I am using a hammer to nail two pieces of wood together, that someone would just come along and take the hammer away from me in the middle of striking the nail. Now, to me, that is sounding like borderline paranoia. Theoretically, someone could do that even in a monetary system, just take things from you. Difference is, in a monetary system, you would have to repurchase that item, wasting more of your time and resources. In a resource-based economy, in the unlikely event of someone taking something from you, simply go to your local "library" and retrieve another of whatever was taken. Now I can understand if something holds sentimental value, that it is irreplaceable, but what do you do today if your home burns to the ground? Sad, but we do move on because in the end, they are just things, and it's not things we should be cherishing, but our memories and our experiences, especially ones with those we care about. Those are things that no one can take from you.

    Regarding "proportional representation in government and communal ownership" - hawkpork, what better way to express that than through a resource-based economy? With public forums and discussions, you are directly interacting and participating within your community, and by sharing all resources, that is communal ownership. Via "capital/means of production" - hawkpork, however, is to drive us back into competition, and to put our time and resources in conflict with each other rather than working together to provide abundance for all.

    Now I just finished reading a book that was recommended to me called ISHMAEL, by Daniel Quinn, and I found it to be quite enlightening on how and why we are where we are today. I definitely recommend this to everyone interested humanity (which should be everyone, but I understand the importance watching the next season of Big Brother). I don't want to ruin anything, but hopefully my next statement won't deter anyone from reading this book (remember that it's not the answer that's important, but how you arrive at it). Basically, an important point in the book is how we, as human beings, are not living in accord with nature, and how we have really been defying it for ten thousand years. I think, that in order to know what we must do to be more harmonious with the earth, is to observe it and see it's working parts. Notice how the planet itself provides abundance for all its creatures, and how the creatures in turn, don't take more than they really need to survive. This is harmony, and the only way we can survive is to follow nature's example. I am not saying to revert back to hunter-gatherers, but realize that there seems to be this universal and instinctive understanding that what we take, we must eventually give back, and so far we've done a lot of taking with our capitalistic ways, and not a whole lot of giving. In the human body, the organs do not compete for nutrients(resources), but they simply take what they need, and do so collectively. Should nutrients be scarce, then we don't prioritize one organ over the other, but all organs take a little less to ensure the survival of the human being. Our diversity makes us strong, and it is when we neglect to see that, when we segregate ourselves from each other, hording resources, that we doom the entire system.

  200. Alex B

    To add to my human body analogy, yes, it would seem, we do horde nutrients (resources) when we store fat. However, this is meant to be for temporary means, and we have seen what happens when we are continuously taking in more than our body requires. As our bodies increase in mass, it takes more to fuel the body, and when we are not in harmony with our body, we continue to take in more, creating a viscous spiral of more mass requiring more nutrients. Ultimately, this leads to all sorts of medical problems as we are all well aware. Basically, this shows you how such a trend (though at first seems like you are preparing for the worst and freeing yourself from experiencing starvation) can lead to an early death.

  201. Alex B

    Oh, also, by no means am I belittling anyone struggling with weight, as we are all struggling to find balance with ourselves and the world. If you understand fractal patterns and their relevance to the universe, then you might see the western world's obesity problem as a proportionate manifestation of society's overindulgence.

  202. Alex B

    :) One more thing. I never give up, though that does not mean I am closed to suggestions or when people point out flaws in my statements. Had a little family reunion and spent a couple weeks in Alberta, Canada. I was a bit fearful of all the responses that would accumulate, but I read all the posts and now I'm back. I can be very intense with my discussions, and I realize that that can be intimidating and even annoying. I just want to make the world better, and the best way I know how right now is to talk it out, absorb ideas and present some of my own. Look out for my book when it comes out.

  203. hawkpork

    you are wrong with your body, organ analogy.
    the human brain (and i think heart) takes precedence. the body begins to shut down less vital organs and processes when lacking energy.
    and the same is true for societies. the elite take what they need or want first and the rest goes to the body of society.

    the system you're promoting is in essence, unanimous voting and comprehensive representation, effectively every person is their own political party.
    can you imagine trying to unanimously pass legislation/ idea/plans in a system of over 6 billion parties? or even 400,000?

    we just had a national vote in australia. we now have a hung parliament. and that's in a two party system.
    the more parties the slower the decision making. one extreme being,
    "it'd be a lot easier if this was a dictatorship" (g.w.bush).
    the other extreme being your idea of all of us reaching unanimous decisions.
    a middle ground must be found. something like the proportional representation we have here seems a good idea.
    it seems we are both advocating communal ownership of means of production. the difference is that i'm talking about reality, you're not.

  204. Randy

    Alex B.

    Are you saying we do not need money? Because that is some serious, whacked-out hippie stuff, man.

    Money is, indeed, everything. It is health, wealth, security, justice, and yes, LOVE. Your options for mating are directly related to money.

    There can be no freedom without economic freedom. The poor have no choices.

    Anyone who tells you money ISN'T everything? Is probably trying to take it from you.

    I mean, I just glanced at your long posts, if I am misjudging you, let me know...

  205. Randy

    Oh, and I am NOT saying this is right. This is America and a lot of the Western World...

    But we are infecting even the more progressive Democracies with our greed.

    I mean, it ain't going away any time soon, might as well make as much money as you can, all the time...

  206. aspen


    "I mean, it ain’t going away any time soon, might as well make as much money as you can, all the time…" ... At what cost Randy? Both to ourselves spiritually, but more immediately, to those who suffer for our wealth. At what point do we look around and see that our exploitation fails to ultimately serve our best interest?

  207. Alex B


    It is only after extreme circumstance when the heart might take priority when it comes to nutrients. In an example like hypothermia, your body focuses its attention on warming the core which contain its most vital organs. The brain, you may notice, even takes a hit when less blood and oxygen are supplied to it. In scenarios such as this, this is no longer about sustainability, it is about survival of the species as a whole. If you were to compare this to our planet, something like a coming ice age would be the equivalent. Think about what we do when cataclysmic events happen to large populations. Save the women and children! Right? No vote necessary, no rating system where only the wealthy or the most intelligent are to be spared. We simply react in such a situation, and it only seems natural to protect our future which is, biologically, our women and children.

    Now, in the case of our current society, when the wealthy elite keep taking from the rest of the population, no cataclysmic event is even in sight. The human body equivalent of our modern system of capitalism would be where the brain (the ego) begins to take precedence while the rest of the body slowly deteriorates, but functions just enough to keep the body alive. Very much like the condition Stephen Hawking has, where his brain functions very well, but leaving his body paralyzed. Not to insult Prof. Hawking, but this is a fact, and though he has done great things with his mind, much like our society has done in a few thousand years, he will never experience the pleasures that a fully functioning human will.

    In a sense, I am saying, right now, we are all living in a society that functions like Stephen Hawking. Brilliant, yet confined to our physical limitations. When I promote a resource-based economy, I intend to cure Stephen Hawking of his physical disease by redistributing nutrients and creating neuro-networks that will reanimate the paralyzed body, giving him the full human experience. Imagine what more Stephen Hawking could accomplish when his body functions as a complete organism. Imagine what our global society can do when we free ourselves from the limitations of money.

    I have already explained myself on voting a few posts ago, but to sum it up, we vote today because we value time as money, so decisions must be made quick. In a RBE, money is no longer an issue, and it would be more important to find proper solutions than hasty ones. Also, we wouldn't debate many of the useless things that are debated today. Most often, it's policy and budget that are debated today. We don't need a vote to realize that all human beings should be cared for. We just do what is right. Most problems of today are technical and would have scientific solutions. The only things we may debate would be what to pursue with excess resources, or how we might deal with a murderer or rapist. Also, debate is conflict of interests, pinning one idea against another, to say that only one is correct. I think we can agree that there are many ways to "skin a cat" (for lack of a better expression), and rather than say I'm right and you're wrong, could we not arrange something where you do one thing, while I do another?

    Lastly, you said, "it seems we are both advocating communal ownership of means of production. the difference is that i’m talking about reality, you’re not." How vague is this statement? If what you advocate is "reality" and what I say is nonsense, please explain. I've made many arguments to support a resource-based economy and its core values that are far more holistic and concerning of the entire population, compared to our monetary system that encourages competition, greed and selfishness.

  208. Alex B

    @ Randy

    You made a contradictory statement when you said, "There can be no freedom without economic freedom. The poor have no choices." This is exactly the problem with thinking economic freedom via money is actual freedom. When you said that the poor have no choices, you are exactly right. So where is the freedom?

    I am not saying that, right now, you burn all your money and then you are free. We function as a society, and as an individual, you are limited by the environment and its resources. If we are to do away with money, and for many reasons we should, we need a system that can replace it and can avoid all the problems money creates. I advocate a resource-based economy.

    If this is the first time you have been exposed to such an idea, do a little research on The Venus Project and watch some of the available documentaries. There's plenty of links I've posted on this page. Just skim through and you'll see the clickable links. Most of the documentaries can be found on this site. A recent one was Future by Design posted maybe a week ago.

  209. hawkpork

    this one gave me a laugh. and is an example of what i perceive as being your dislocation from reality, although not the specific one i was referring to.

    "When I promote a resource-based economy, I intend to cure Stephen Hawking of his physical disease by redistributing nutrients and creating neuro-networks that will reanimate the paralyzed body, giving him the full human experience."

    i imagine you think the technology required for such a feat is currently being oppressed or is somehow not profitable enough to have been invested in. that's just rediculous. there is plenty of profit in such a cure and many resources are currently allocated to curing the likes of cerebral palsy (i think that's what he suffers from).

    i give examples of a better system than the one you live in. ie; the one i live in. or the anarcho-syndicalism i reffered to earlier after a brief wiki search.
    i'm not knocking the vision you promote. it sounds good. but incremenatlism or evolution of society is the only sustainable way forward.
    get preferential voting, proportional representation, communal ownership of means of production. then we can evolve to a state of utopian anarchy from there.

    but i still want a medium of exchange so i can swap MY faeces sculpture for a bonzai tree from goose's garden. :)

  210. hawkpork

    lol my last sentence was pretty stupid i see. as swapping/bartering requires no medium of exchange.
    but the idea still seems valid.
    if goose didn't want my sculpture and i had nothing else to entice him with, a form of money seems the only solution.

  211. Reasons Voice

    @hawkpork: Good thinking as i am not currently in the market for fecal sculpture. I would gladly swap a bonsai of your liking to you for some form of curency with wich i can then purchase some beers that i will enjoy by my coi pond, as i sith there with loaded pistol ready to frighten off any userpers.
    @Alex b: thank you for you recognition of my work ethics and my humanitarian principals however I have to point out that I enjoy my work. If I worked in sanitation for example I would not feel as i do about my current employment and there in is the flaw of your design.

  212. Painter

    I have read a few comments above. Some great ideas are expressed in many of those but unfortunately, to the extreme, that the great ideas appear quite impractical.
    Those who reject governmental system, are rejecting human nature and needs. The system that can work can only be the one that satisfies human nature and the needs at the same time. Govt is very much needed, resource based economy would soon fail, considering the evil and good sides of human nature. We need a system where govt. is only a protector of rights, and cannot even exceed in rights, itself. It is the system that controls and not one person or group of persons having accumulated power. The system should be devised where every person gets the fruit for his/her efforts. But at the same time people who have been unlucky and remain weak in a society should be offered help under the same system. People who can afford luxury have to give away a percent part of their income to the needy and poor. It will happen until, you would look for the needy and poor and you would not find a single one. This is not just charity. It is a percent income that goes to needy according to the system. It is a way of letting the wealth distribute and not just remain in a few hands. The state should not be defined with the territorial boundaries. A state would mean a group having the similar ambitions and goals, following the same system, sharing responsibilities.
    This would also ensure a complete religious freedom. You would pay the state for your protection, and the tax goes to improve your life standard. State follows the system, with transparency, and if corruption detected at any level, should be dealt with very harsh punishments, so as to discourage others to follow the path of dishonesty. There would remain no shortcut but the honest way of earning and getting a complete reward for your efforts.
    This kind of system is completely in agreement with human nature, checks and balances are there, competition is there and yet the weak is not left behind. Power is there but no one wants to grab it because under this system power will have more burden of responsibility than luxury. The ones having the power to make decisions, would be living a same life standard as the people who they are making decisions for. That is the kind of system we would need, having equality, justice, above color, creed or language.

  213. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    My "cure" for Stephen Hawking was a metaphor for society. Sorry that I didn't make that clear enough. I thought my last sentence was tying our society to Stephen Hawking's condition and I didn't intend for the "cure" to be taken in the context of Stephen Hawking but our current economy. That is after all what we are talking about.

    As far as an actual cure though for such illnesses, how can you not see that the profit motive has no intention of curing anything? If there was a one pill cancer cure, you think that Big Pharma is gonna let that out? That would lose them huge money that they make from treatments. It's much more profitable to continuously sell us symptom relief than to cure us altogether of our illnesses. That is why money or any medium of exchange holds back progression. It's a consumer driven economy, where in order to keep cash flowing, people have to continuously be buying. So it makes no sense for us today to make things last or efficient. I've been explaining this forever.

    Money is NOT true freedom. To think that having the option to buy what you want is freedom is actually a form of anarchy. Let me explain. Basically, we want to be able to purchase whatever we want, when we want, and how we want, and by this way of thinking, it seems to me we don't want to have to be responsible for how our purchasing affects people and the environment. Freedom to do whatever the [bleep] we want is anarchy. No respect for the people or environment around you. Just give me what I want for this price, and I care not how this affects anyone else. People may not say it like that, but when we turn a blind eye to child labor, famine, pollution, and job loss, we are saying this via our purchasing power. In a monetary system, there is no room to care because we are all struggling to survive, and when we are in survival mode, it seems to be everyone for themselves. So, it is through money, we aim to rid ourselves of responsibility to our community and to the planet.

    It is very easy for money to make people do things that conflict with their morals, ethics, and health. This is another reason why we have so much crime, corruption, and sickness today and throughout history. It can lead women and children into prostitution, or employ hundreds of desperate workers to work in unhealthy environments. It motivates drug trade and theft. It convinces political leaders to move in favour of their financial supporters. So why hold onto money?

    It would seem that the same excuse for why we should have money continues to pop up. "I want to be able to exchange money for something someone else has." So basically, in selfish terms, you're thinking, "I want this thing, and the only way I can convince someone to give it to me is to bribe them. I want it, and I want it now!" Now, I gave a scenario of how you might be able to work something out with Goose in order to have your own Japanese garden, where such a friendly neighbor might be willing to show you how you can make one yourself. Now when you continue to reply by saying you want to trade, it seems you don't want to do any work, and you would rather open your checkbook and ask, "how much?" What if Goose does not want to simply give you the garden, or any piece of it or spend another week of hard work making one for you? Do you continue to bid for it until you get what you want?

    Now, I am always hearing how most of you think that in a resource-based economy, someone could just come and take "it" away from you because nothing is owned, and I have explained the flaws of that logic, and how there are a variety of means of obtaining something of interest to you without stealing. So you fear that someone could just take your stuff, but you advocate a means by which you can "legally" take someones stuff. Consider scenarios where property owners want to build a mall, but they need this particular piece of land, however, the current occupants refuse to sell because their farmland means more to them, as it is their means of survival. What does the rich property owner do? Well, with money at hand, he can pretty much do what he wants, and somehow, through bribery or some other means, this tycoon will get what he desires, regardless of how this affects the farmers. So how has money been beneficial in this scenario, and who does it benefit?

  214. Alex B

    @ Goose

    You said - "If I worked in sanitation for example I would not feel as I do about my current employment and there in is the flaw of your design." I see no flaw. I never say people will be forced to do any particular job. If you don't like doing sanitation work, don't. If we all agree we hate that type of work, but realize something must be done, we figure out a system that can do the work for us, or eliminate the need for such work. That's the point of my system, is to eliminate jobs, especially dirty jobs.

    Don't you see what money does to us? You say you don't want to be forced to do the dirty work, yet our monetary system does this to so many people. How many people are working right now in jobs they hate? You think they want to do the dirty work? No, they need to eat and somewhere to sleep, and this is the only opportunity for them, within a monetary system. You call that freedom? Freedom to slavery is more like it. We are all wage slaves, and whether you enjoy your job or not, you are bound by the restrictions of money. You can't take a three month vacation because you have bills to pay. If you can, well, hats off to you, but for every person who can afford such luxuries, there's a hundred or more people who can't afford a single day off. Money should never be the incentive to work, and we should all be so lucky as to do what we love, and still be able to live a comfortable life.

    To add to the trade agreement between you and Hawkpork, in a resource-based economy, I never said you couldn't trade amongst yourselves. Though, this would not be how we provide food and shelter for all humanity, certainly two people can agree to do something for one another. Like when you gather a bunch of friends to help with building a deck, and at the end of the day, you all relax and enjoy a beer. No medium of exchange, just people working together for the sake of helping each other out.

  215. Alex B

    @ Painter

    It would seem that the system you are aiming for already exists especially in America, Canada, and Europe, and look at where we are now.

    Why is Government human nature? Explain. How does government protect your rights? It doesn't, it only enforces punishment against those who step beyond the boundaries of the law. We can write as many laws and regulations as we want, but it doesn't solve the problem. Tell people what not to do and you are bound to have people disobey. What about protecting the right to food and shelter? We don't seem to put much emphasis on that. Why argue about what laws to pass and why not just do what is necessary? Why can't we have a system where everyone knows what needs to be done rather than some body telling us what is needed? Really look into a resource-based economy before rejecting it.

    You said - "...resource based economy would soon fail, considering the evil and good sides of human nature." Please explain this further. I assume you haven't read where I talk about human nature versus human behavior. The good and evil you speak of are not biologically embedded in us. It is how we are raised and the influences in our lives that shape who we are and our actions. We can change human behavior if we can change the environment that we live in. The whole point of a resource-based economy is to restructure society into something that doesn't promote greed, power, selfishness, bigotry, bribery, extortion, prostitution, corruption, and all that good stuff that capitalism rewards.

    First, you have to see that we live in a society that is clearly failing, and to hold onto it is blind hope that things will turn out okay in the end. Now let's examine why our current economy does so much damage, and you'll find that money plays a large role in how we conduct business. Secondly, government gives the illusion of security and order, but at a moments notice, they can turn against you and use that power we have given them for their own selfish needs. If government is so orderly, then why all the chaos, and why after centuries of doing this, we still can't make it run smoothly?

    Know that when you write a law on a piece of paper, it doesn't make it more true, or protect you in any way. Contracts can be broken as easily as they can be written. So what good does writing down our human rights really serve? Do you need a law that tells you not to kill? I hope not. I hope we're not all thinking, "Gee, I really want to murder that guy, but gosh darn it, I can't because the law says I can't." We have to stop telling people to be civilized, and start educating people on how we can live harmoniously with one another. It's not a matter of making rules and regulations. If you can teach someone WHY they should or shouldn't do something, they will be smart enough to make mature choices that don't conflict with the balance of human society.

  216. Reasons Voice

    @Alex: I See what you are saying in regards to showing someone else how to build his own, and that makes sense to a degree and yet it falls short. I Enjoy fine art however I am no Rembrandt. If I cannot obtain even a print of a piece of art that I enjoy an enriching part of my life is gone. I am not able to create works of art of that calibur so I am out of luck. As to the issue of people coming and taking. You say ownership does not exist in this society so therefore one can simply procure what one wants from whome ever as there cannot be theft without ownership. I could easily show a mugger how to flip burgers so that they do not have need to take my wallet. Sadly that will not stop them from taking my wallet because to them that is easier. That type of person will exist nomatter what base your economy has. Value may not be a numeric quality but simple an etherial quality based on individual disire yet it still is value. That being said, that value is a constant so follows greed, covetousness,and dishonesty.

  217. Painter

    I understand, here we are talking about awareness and moral values to be inculcated. This is not impractical but we still need to define how to make a resource based economy work successfully in all areas of life. To implement such a system, I feel, human race will take another hundred years or so. And even if we achieve such a perfect system running in USA, what about other countries of the world where you assert no control. How would you go about foreign policy, which will finally again affect the internal peace of your country.

  218. Alex B


    With regards to theft and ownership, we have to understand why one steals. Simply, it's because they do not have what you have. In a monetary system, someone else may not be able to afford what you have and may resort to theft. In a resource-based economy, the person who may envy something you have could easily be consulted on the matter, and since we would have access to things, we could definitely make prints of that artwork and give it to the guy. In the society I propose, we ask, "What do you want?" and go about helping every person get what they want, rather than tell someone they don't have enough money for that. Also, like I have said many times before, in the unlikely event that that "thief" is still bent on taking that thing from you and succeeds, the system would simply get you another thing, whatever it was. Say a child loses their favourite teddy bear, or another young punk steals it. The parent could very well say, "Don't worry, honey. We'll get you another one." Now, if you want to cry about it and say, "Waa, it's not the same!" that would just prove how childish and immature we really are to not accept a new teddy. [metaphor]

    Actually, funny you should mention a painting, I am a realistic artist, and I have given all my paintings to friends and family. In a resource-based economy, it's not unlikely to find more people who would be more than willing to make you something, especially with all the free time people would have. We are all so focused on the people who might stir a little trouble that we forget there are genuinely kind people, and not everyone is trying to take your s***. If someone does, we can deal with it as a community. You know, even if there was say a terrorist, don't they always have demands? What if we changed our "We don't negotiate with Terrorists," policy? Let's just give them what they want, with the exception of people. Let's see what we can do for people and start respecting one another. Let's start to listen to what "bad" people have to say, and we might find that they are human too.

    Why steal when you have everything you need and want? Also, we would choose where we want to live, and likely, you would move close with friends and family. You wouldn't be limited to the housing market prices and availability. So, when you live in a community where everyone knows everyone else, what is there to fear?

    One last thing. About how long it will take, that is determined by how bad we, as a species, want it. If just a few of us try to compete with the capitalism beast, we'd surely loose, but if there were a large enough population that wanted this, it could very well happen. We've done things in years where we could only have imagined would take decades. If there's a drive and a passion for it, then people will make it happen, and there is no time scale under which all things take to make a transition. We adopted computers very fast. We're all on cell phones that do more than a computer tens years ago could do. You can't let time be a factor as to whether or not you believe this can work. It's not a race, nor does it have to be a struggle. If you can understand the necessity to grow out of this s*** hole we call civilization, then it's a matter of finding a solution that works to benefit all.

  219. Alex B

    @ Painter

    My last paragraph regarding time (@ goose) refers to your comment.

  220. Alex B

    @ Painter

    - "This is not impractical but we still need to define how to make a resource based economy work successfully in all areas of life"

    I like this statement. This is what it's all about. Not just signing up for an idea, but seeing how we can make things work. This is how you participate in your community. By contributing ideas and not settling on a plan until we are all okay with it, we ensure that we are creating what's best for everyone rather than what's best for a select group, whether that be a majority or a minority.

    Regarding foreign policy, I would say we would respect other cultures and be very patient with them. We would never enforce our ideals on them. We have to be the example. We would also accommodate immigrants who want to live better. We may still have defense technology, but nothing that is destructive. With no limit to financing defense research, I could see developing large quantities of some kind of foam that physically restrains people. All homes could be built using bulletproof and fire proof technology, to protect the people. When the resource-based economy it running at high efficiency, our technology would dwarf any competition. It would be like how useless firing lead bullets at a genuine Alien UFO would be. When the technology gap is large enough, even hostiles would not be feared. Another analogy would be like us against dangerous beasts like Grizzlies. We leave them alone, and they leave us alone, but should one ever wander in our streets, we could tranquilize it and send the Grizzly back on its way.

  221. Painter

    We can always start from the lowest level. Develop one community, around you or whether distant like online, start dealing with problems. Steps like education, designing new courses, creating new syllabus, providing services based on compassion, uniting as a human race and not as white, black or Asian.. if you can find people, I can try too. A community that works on one thing, compassion and that doesn't know one thing i.e greed. Start an online magazine with me. We both will paint and donate... we both can teach and convey, what we need to, in order to save our future generations from the misery where even death would be luxury one day.

  222. hawkpork

    gotta go to work but i'll probably read your posts, in full later.

    stop blaming money. as i've said it's a tool for trade. trade is inevitable in a modern society.
    we need gov't. we need social responsibility in gov't, which currently we don't have enough of.

    the problem with the financial system is the fractional reserve lending, private national bank system.
    watch "secrets of oz" here on TDF. they're talking about the real root of our ills.
    you seem like a nice guy alex, with your heart in the right place, but to be honest, i think you're deluded.

  223. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    Finished watching "The Secret of OZ." It's definitely factual and I can't argue facts. However, to try and fix money problems with a different type of money seems redundant. I understand that money is a tool, but what happens when we outgrow the need for that tool? You wouldn't use a hammer to drive a screw.

    Solving the Fractional Reserve Banking only solves national debt. It doesn't solve poverty or corruption. Needing money means you need jobs, and what happens when automation eliminates more jobs? Also, looking at the facts of history from that film, it would seems government issued money has been implemented several times, but is always thwarted by the bankers and wealthy elite. Could this be because, with money, they could still bribe or hire assassins to push policy in their favor? The solution to move currency in control of government is to simply change the hand that holds the gun to your head. As long as there is money, we are all slaves to it by consent.

    You say trade is inevitable, and I say that a resource-based economy doesn't eliminate trade, but how we conduct it. We wouldn't call it trade, it would be sharing... the sharing of resources. What was one of the first things we learn growing up? To share. To play nice with others. And it would seem as we get older, we abandon those values and begin to horde and play dirty.

    You say we need social responsibility in government, but that is another problem in our society. You can't pass on responsibility from one person to the next. Responsibility is inherent in each individual. To expect a small group of officials to take responsibility for all its citizens leaves room for corruption of power and burdens the few with the responsibility of the many. We have to learn to govern ourselves. We are taken care of by our parents, and for a time, while we grow and mature, our parents do govern and take care of some of our responsibilities, but when we are educated and are fit to take care of ourselves, we do just that. We stop relying on our parents and begin a journey of self respect and responsibility. That is what it means to grow as a society. There may have been a time where we were ignorant, uneducated and immature, and a government was probably what we needed to maintain order, but now, we are coming of age. We are not our ancestors. We are learning from the mistakes of the past, and it's time to move forward.

    Seriously though, watch "Us Now" here on TDF if you already haven't. This will explain how we are learning to self govern with the advent of the internet.

  224. Alex B

    @ Painter

    Hmmm... an online magazine? What did you have in mind? I have to admit, I'm a little thrown off by your complete turn around from your first post. Your last post is quite inspiring, and it would be a shame if I didn't spot the sarcasm. I guess I'm not used to such a calm reaction. I also feel conflicted sometimes because it can feel like I'm preaching the Bible or something, trying to get people to join my church. I want to inform and educate, but I don't want people to follow blindly and learn nothing. If you are sincere, then welcome to earth 2.0 open source, where we can all contribute to the new upgraded system.

    A magazine sounds pretty great. I wouldn't know the first thing about creating one, but sign me up. I'm also interested in creating some short films and possibly some feature length ones that can be a more visual representation of the decline of our current social structure, and the possibility of designing a better future. The zeitgeist movement is gaining support and is at the stage where education is key. They are about spreading information and letting the public know that we can hope for the future if we decide to create it. The Venus Project also wants to make a feature length movie to show what Jacques Fresco is talking about when he describes how he envisions the resource-based economy to function.

  225. Ron

    I don't even need to watch this film, I can tell from the synopsis that it is nothing more than American/capitalist propaganda

  226. Reasons Voice

    @ Alex: "You know, even if there was say a terrorist, don’t they always have demands? What if we changed our “We don’t negotiate with Terrorists,” policy? Let’s just give them what they want"

    Here I will have to stop you. Listen I can see, as can most others who read your posts, that you are a kind hearted person with good intentions. You are also quite naive (no offense). There is reason we do not negotiate with terrorists. Caving in to the demands of extremists will lead only to more demands. Once the flood gate is opened it is much harder to contain the flow. There are many types of terorists both foreign and domestic all of whome have their own agendas. I will use the most prevalent in example. The extremist Muslim terorists of today who are by far the most active and prevalent. You say give them what they want and that will solve the issue. Well what they want is that either you become as they are (convert to Islam, adopt shria law, and submit to their athority) Or Die. Thats right they are not asking for land or food or understanding or self governance. They are striving for dominion over all and in their minds killing you, a non believer, is a free pass to eternal glory at gods side with a harem. So what we all convert? or we all lay down our lives to them? I think not. They do have more tangible desires such as the elimination of the state of Israel in the mid east. I am not pro Israel as they have prooven to be just as vile in their practices as the Muslim extremists. Yet I would not condone the erradication of either their people or their soverighty. That is not my place. As a metaphor for terrorism I will use children. If authority such as parents were to cave in to the tantrums and whims of children all that acheives is to create a spoiled bully of a child. The tantrums will only increase as a result, as the child now knows that their method works.

    As I said you seem to be a well intentioned kind hearted individual, yet your ideology is blinded to the dark side of humanity. You would be well served to study and understand that man can be an irrational and terrifying creature. There will always be men who want nothing but the suffering of others and dominion over them. Handing them their wish only feeds their desires.

  227. Alex B

    @ Goose

    I am not quite as naive as you think I am. All people can be reasoned with. My statement may not have explained itself very well, as I did say to simply "give them what they want." By this, I mean we have to find out what it is they truly want and figure out solutions together. You quoted my example of the terrorist situation, but left out the last part where I said we don't hand over people (meaning we don't do anything that would conflict with another's well-being). Remember, the only thing we own is ourselves, and we should respect all people's personal sovereignty.

    It's not that I don't think people can do terrible things, but if they are actions, then that implies thought and choice, and by that understanding, all thinking people can be negotiated with. What do you do with a child with a temper tantrum? Do you kill him/her? Do you exile them? Do you cut off their food supply? As responsible "parents" with a better understanding of the balance of nature and society, we should talk them through it rather than fight whoever disagrees with us. On the surface, it may seem religious extremists want everyone to convert, but I think there is a more deep rooted want or desire. Maybe they feel threatened that the western cultures are having too much impact on their societies (bringing democracy to the middle east). Maybe the ignorant are promised a better after-life, and it's our job to educate them and explain how we can create a better life for them right now. I don't have all the solutions, but how can we expect to solve problems if we can't sit down and take the time to work it out?

    Basically, when we can learn to solve problems rationally, with respect for one another, we can arrive at solutions that benefit both parties. In the end, everyone wants something out of life, and in today's society, people are deprived of so much (even the basic necessities of life), that they feel the need to lash out and "throw tantrums." When governments and other authorities cannot help the people, what other option is there? If people's needs are satisfied, what reason is there to be violent? You need only look at nature to see this logic in practice. Lions don't kill all gazelles to ensure their appetite is satisfied. They kill when they are hungry, but when their stomachs are full, they lay in the grass right next to the gazelles as they feed on the grass or drink from the river. Do you know how they can keep sharks in an aquarium plentiful of a variety of fish? They keep the sharks well fed, such that they never feel the need to hunt the fish in the tank. The term "Survival of the Fittest" is so burned into our brains, but we have little understanding of how it actually works. Yes, when it is a matter of survival, you may have to compete for scarce resources, but when food is plentiful, that reptilian part of the brain is no longer necessary. Also, being the fittest is not limited to physical strength, but mental strength as well, and to recognize when it is more beneficial to cooperate than to compete for resources/food can improve survival odds. In the short term, it may be beneficial to cooperate with another to obtain some food and then not share the spoils (trickery), but in the long term, those creatures will be remembered and over time, only the generous creatures will cooperate with each another, and the selfish ones will starve until they learn to share amongst themselves.

    Google "Nice Guys Finish First," and Richard Dawkins will explain everything. Also youtube cooperating monkeys or apes. Don't fall for the propaganda of capitalism and survival of the fittest, as they are only half-truths. No who's naive?

  228. Alex B

    right at the end a typo.

    *Now who's naive?

  229. Painter

    I'll write in detail some time later. I don't think anyone is naive. We can all respect one anther's point of view. The system you talk about is a perfect one. Just have to see if it is achievable and how.

  230. Painter

    One more thing, why have robots to do things and machines or self doing systems, when a better idea is to manage our work ourselves. Every person doing his/her work himself/herself. IF we are thinking of a system where we are reducing the element of greed, then we would not be racing to achieve a certain amount of material success and have dead lines. Then we will still have a lot of time to do creative things, to do research and educate people, even after managing our own personal tasks with our own hands.

  231. hawkpork

    i've been away for the weekend which is why i didnt reply earlier.
    i'm reading a rather heavy book at the moment. you might like it. "demanding the impossible-a history of anarchism"
    many minds have been at work on the issues we raise here.
    yes, i believe ownership and thus trade to be fundamental rights of beings. maybe humans are the only ones to trade, and have hereditary title, but external ownership is inherent to many lifeforms.
    both "responsibility" and "sharing" are aspects of everyone's natural abilities, to some widely varying degree. it is the environment that will shape that nature, i'm sure you'll agree.
    dawkins also talks about the profitability, and thus inevitability of any being that practices "trickery" in a population of "honest" beings.
    i think he uses another person's hawks and doves metaphor, but i can't remember exactly. anyway the point is that any population will reach an equilibrium of predators to prey, or cheats to honest people.
    but don't get me wrong. i don't deny that we have the conscience and social ability to educate/indoctrinate people to be fairer, more honest, altruistic, empathetic etc;.
    but the human continuem of social potential can be, as history has proven, heaven or hell.
    so we must always be wary of the cheats or predators.
    thus i believe some form of police, gov't to be essential. it should of cousre, only prevent inpingment apon others natural rights. and not itself impinge apon others, as many organisations around the world clearly do and always have done.
    i've watched Us now...i think. i see so many doc's here it's all become a bit of a blur to be honest. lol.
    perfection; the perfection of humankind, or perfect anarchy, or perfect society, or the venus project as i perceive it, although ultimately impossible, must be striven towards in the drunken gait of our species.
    the internet may sober, or accelerate the gait. as it's a wonderful tool of communication/education. but i can't quite imagine a utopian world of equality where everyone had net access and we all formed some sort of huge gov't and every person was truly soveriegn.
    because to get to that stage, we'd first have to reach such a level of tolerance and empathy so as to make it unnecessary.
    evolution will be incremental.

  232. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    Again, The Venus Project is NOT a utopia. It is simply a better way of managing earth's resources and providing health and prosperity for all. There will be disputes between people on personal levels, but that should not hold us back from feeding and sheltering everyone. I don't think we require a police or government to manage ourselves or enforce law and order. As a member of the community, we should all be looking out for one another, much like a neighborhood watch, and if someone does cross personal boundaries, we can deal with it as a community. To have police or government is to give power to a group of people or an individual, and that opens the door for corruption and abuse of power. We have to conduct ourselves as equals and there should be no figures of authority if we are to live in harmony with one another.

    What is it that you hold onto that is so dear? A definition of "insanity" can be the act of repeating a process and expecting a different result every time. So why use the methods of the past to solve the problems of today? Are they tried and true? Have police and government and money actually solved problems, or have they only perpetuated the cycle of problem-reaction-solution. Think of it like this. If you install a security camera, does it actually prevent the crime from taking place, or does it merely witness the crime in action? It may deter some people who are fearful of being caught, but what about the people without fear? Laws and police and government only instill fear into society to keep the masses at bay. In the end, it really only keeps honest people in line as they adhere to the law, while those who act with disregard for consequence will continue to break the law.

    Your predators to prey comparison to cheats and honest people I thing is inaccurate. Predators and prey are inter-species, while cheats and honest people are amongst a single species trying to live in harmony. We are not cannibals by nature and should not regard ourselves as predators and prey. The equilibrium in nature is that the prey understand they are prey and in some respects, unconsciously have accepted their role in the balance of nature, knowing that it is quite possible to be eaten. On the predator side, they understand the balance as well, knowing that if they were to wipe out their food supply, they would starve. So it is in the best interest of the predator to only take what he/she needs.

    It is true that animals can be territorial, but it is not because they feel they "own" that space. They are simply saying "Hey, I or we live here and we want you to know that." That is how things would be in a resource-based economy. Where you live is where you live, and what difference is it that it be written on paper? When I talk about removing ownership, it's not to say that everything will be taken from you, and you left with nothing. It's about removing the concept of ownership. It's just another boundary that gives us the excuse not to share. If we understood that nothing is ever truly owned, then there would be no reason to horde things for ourselves or to take from someone else because you don't have as much stuff as someone else. I've explained this before, and I was sure I made my point clear about how things would be conducted with regards to belongings and trade between neighbors.

    Here's the thing. I am constantly having to prove myself and the resource-based economy, in which I do make valid points with back up source material. No? Well, I would like to hear some arguments in favour of money, police, and government. If these things are so important to our society, then please explain. And by explain, I mean really explain. Not just "This is what we need," or "It's proven that we can't live without this." Those are empty statements that hold no bearing. Give examples of all the good that government and money have given society and continue to give us. If it's proven, please show me the proof, otherwise advocating for government and money is void of rationality and becomes religious verse spoken from the "Holy Bible" of capitalism.

  233. hawkpork


    I think Dawkins' point in "the selfish gene", or that which i understood, was about our ability to counter our instinctive selfishness and apossing altruism with intelligence.but in reality, it has never been universally realized in any population. there has, and i dare say will, always be a balance of cheats to honest people.
    the balancing factors are the tough bits we can define and change. education, custom etc; but only incrementally, i maintain. .

    I get what you're saying. we should all be free and equal. but how's it gonna be done? Why hasn't your group of 400,000 started a Venus project city? Can't get it to function in a capitalist world? Need many millions or billions upstart money? How will you procure those things your city can't produce without using the value systems of the rest of the world?

    Small societies need to trade with larger ones to get the technologies or resources they require and can't self provide. There are communities out there that function on similar principles to those you espouse. But none quite so perfectly anarchistic as the Venus project i think. All have some form of labor value representation i believe. Do you expect a world wide revolution is needed to implement it? Incremental change is the only sustainable way. i repeat, you're jumping the gun.

    re' police and gov't, even the venus project, if realised, would require some form of policing and gov't. you referred to something like universal altruism/empathy to make policing obselete and a council of the wise of some sort in place of gov't.

    i believe some form of the later might be possible with sufficient moral and social evolution, but the former is unrealistic. there will always be a wish of the majority to sanction or prevent those actions of minorities the majority finds offensive. total freedom in society is an oxym@#$%.

    what have gov't, money or police ever done to help anyone? what a ridiculous question. they are simply evolving organs of the human social system. you want something concrete. watch a cop reality tv program. the police save lives every day.

  234. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    With freedom comes responsibility, as freedom means to empower a human being. If we want freedom, we have to free ourselves from the system, and all boundaries that prevent us from taking action. The only thing we should serve, is the environment. We have to adhere to the laws of nature, and nature alone. You cannot break the law of aerodynamics or gravity. You can always break a man-made law though. If you choose to defy nature by defying its rules, you will surely die. You can't say, "well, I don't believe in gravity, and so I think I will fly today." We have to understand how nature creates balance and learn to harness nature without disrupting it. There is great power in physics, and when we finally understood the laws of aerodynamics, we learned that we could fly, but only when we understood balance between wind resistance and gravity. Now, the majority have always been saying throughout the centuries, "we can't do that," and it's always been a minority of people who said we can. We didn't understand aerodynamics until the Wright brothers decided that they wanted to fly. They were bicycle experts, not physics experts. So, continue to believe that a better society cannot be created, while I and a few others will show you that we can fly.

    How is asking what Government and Police done, a stupid question? By done, I mean how have they solved any problems? This is not to put down people who put their lives on the line, but have they "solved" the crime problem? They are simply putting themselves in danger when danger arrives, never questioning how the danger came to be. This is why we fail. Never solving the problem, just putting our fingers in the holes of a crumbling dam. Putting ourselves in harms way because we are not willing to dismantle the dam and build anew. A police system and a government are not natural human organs "simply evolving." They are the pacemaker and the artificial lung, that keep us alive just a little longer, never addressing the issues of heart disease or lung cancer. Sure, they put up signs and tv ads, but if that's solving the problem, then we shouldn't be looking to governments or police, but rather the advertising agencies. you said i should watch COPS on tv, and so I did. I see them getting a call reporting a robbery in progress or domestic dispute, and they rush to the scene. Now, sure they catch the bad guy and settle the domestic dispute, but did they have any hand in preventing such crimes from happening? No. They react to situations. And most of the time, they're catching people with drugs on them (not really a crime against society). That's it. It's necessary to have good police men and women today, within our current system, but if we are ever to evolve as a species, we have to figure out ways of conducting ourselves in such a manner, that the very thought of stealing or hitting your spouse wouldn't even arise. We can police ourselves. Maybe a team of dedicated people will put themselves out there to handle disputes. We could also develop new technologies that don't kill, but restrain irrational people. We have to stop expecting someone else to come and save the day, and begin to take responsibility for yourself and your community. You think that without police, a neighborhood of like-minded individuals would let domestic violence take place? Bad things happen when good people do nothing. The thing is, more police or police with authority does not solve the problems, they only create more divisions of class in society. We have to be asking "Why do people do these things?" instead of just telling people what not to do.

    In a capitalist society, we are all alone, left to fend for ourselves, thinking "it's just me against the world." This is not how we should be doing things. Can't you see that? Our greatest strength is our ability to function as a team. No one person ever does great things on their own. Sure, we have inspirational and inventive people who lead the way, but if there was no support for those movements, whether they be social or technological, then we wouldn't move anywhere. Right now, we consider teamwork as "I pay you to do this while you pay him to do that..." and so on. Why not get together? Rather than figure out what's "fair" to pay someone, just do what needs to get done, and the end result IS the reward... for ALL.

    Regarding the balance of cheats and honest people, why do we continue to live in a society that rewards cheaters? Why can't honest people design a system that rewards good behaviour? It seems that you've given up on any extreme change because the "cheaters" are holding us honest people back. You say the only way to evolve is incrementally, but I assure you, we are growing at an exponential rate. The curve was slow at first, but now we are reaching the point on the curve where our rate of technological innovation is measured in seconds rather than years. You only need to look at the rapid growth of cell phones to see how technology is exponentially increasing. If we continue this path of capitalism however, it will take greater and greater change to balance the curve. So the longer we debate the issue of change, the greater that change is gonna have to be.

    I have given some suggestions as to how we might transition, but this really should be a global shift. At the very least, this should be implemented across an entire nation or group of nations. I recommend Canada, but we'll see. If we can get the money, then we could begin construction within a capitalist world, but to buy enough land with enough resources would be quite a hefty sum. The other alternative is that the financial system collapses, and we start fresh, meaning there would be no need to buy land as it would be understood that all of Earth's resources are shared. It's hard to imagine, but history has shown us that it all starts with an idea, and we are constantly surprising ourselves with each new invention. We have done more in the last one hundred years than we have ten thousand years prior. You can't tell me that's incremental change.

  235. hawkpork

    oh alex,
    once again, where to start?
    the venus project is an unrealistic, idealistic mixing of socialism and anarchy. not a new idea.
    i suggest you read a bit about anarchy and socialism.
    the incremental change i was referring to was social. not technological. social evolution, like all evolution is incremental.
    yes gov't, police, courts, money are all "organs" of society.
    you admit so when you say "we'll police ourselves". society always has rules, customs, laws, ownership, trade and money.

    i hope you can see the venus project could only work with a world wide revolution. got any examples of a happy ending to any revolution? corruption always rears it's head again.
    what's canada gonna do when the americans attack cause canada doesn't want to trade anymore?
    check out bakunin, great ideas about anarchy, freedom and socialism, but in the end he tried to set up secret societies to control the masses too.

  236. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    Anarchy does not mean revolt or violence. This will be a peaceful revolution. A revolution where the masses decide not to go along with the system anymore. You speak as if you know everything about the Venus Project. In order for you to logically debate the realism behind all that is entailed in a Resource-based Economy, you have to understand all aspects of it to a level equal to or greater than my own. I see you have yet to grasp the entirety of the proposed solution.

    Once again, you have yet to convince me of the reasons and the logic behind money and government. You say that "society always has rules, customs, laws, ownership, trade and money." This statement is accurate only when you look at now and the past. What about the future? Why does this have to be the way? Just because it has always been within our very short modern existence, does not mean that things have to continue this way. Pretend I live in a resource-based economy, where we don't deal with money or government, and you are trying to explain to me why I should transition into a monetary system with government authority. Explain to me how this brings about peace and prosperity. Explain to me why this is social evolution.

    Social mechanisms are in sync with technology. All social revolutions have bee a result of technology. The invention of fire, of the wheel, of mathematics, agriculture, concrete, aqua-ducts, hydrolics, the industrial revolution, the internet. Technology is what changes how we conduct ourselves, so to tell me that they are not relate is simply unobservant. It's also proven that evolution is not always this gradual process. Consider the Dinosaurs, which under extreme climate changes, made a drastic evolution into what we know today as birds. Some reptiles and other creatures were capable of adapting and still live among us. Don't you see? It's the environment that sparks social and biological growth. When we have natural disasters, countries normally at war with each other, put aside their differences and work together. It's quite sad that we need such devastating events in order to be rational and cooperative, but I guess that's how we learn.

    You know, there's a first time for everything, and if there was an example of where we changed society for the betterment of all humanity and life on earth, we wouldn't be having this discussion. It has to start somewhere. I DO believe that this has to be worldwide, but in order to cater to your demands, I have tried thinking up possible scenarios where it could start on a national level.

    In my example of starting in Canada, first off, we wouldn't stop exporting goods, simply stop importing them. So it's not like they are not getting anything from us. Secondly, you think the US would just walk over and invade? You have this idea that we'd just roll over because we're all "tree-hugging pushovers." We'd obviously negotiate first, but if that doesn't work, we would have developed defensive technologies to ward off any invaders. Our technologies would be far superior because we wouldn't limit ourselves to financial expenses. If our lives were at stake, many of us would be volunteering our time to defend the nation. As well, I don't think other supporting nations would tolerate that too much. The US would definitely have their hands full. With our use of robotics, we also wouldn't be putting people in harm's way. Remote control machines would push back any army and our cities would be prepped with the best defensive technologies modern science has to offer. No need to fund our defense systems, we just do it.

    When I say we police ourselves, it means without any artificial means of authority stepping in. The analogy would be our natural ability to defend against disease (immune system) versus putting us in a sterilized bubble that protects us from germs. So rather than rely on some outside force to stop bad germs from harming us, we can develop ourselves (build up our immune system) so that even if germs come our way, we are prepared to deal with them. This will make us stronger as human beings and as a society. That is why Government, police, and courts are not NATURAL organs, but artificial ones that think they can solve the problems by disconnecting us from them. These "solutions" only attempt to cover up the problems rather than face them head on.

    You also should not fall into the trap of discredit through association. Simply because vaguely similar ideologies were attempted and corrupted in the past does not mean this one is too. By that logic, you should at least admit that our current system should be dismantled because it too has been corrupted on all levels, in government, police, military, courts, corporations, and banking institutions. A resource-based economy recognizes how easy it is to corrupt systems that distribute wealth and power, and its design is tailored to remove the devices through which corruption can be attained. If you can remove the weapons of choice from the greedy and power-hungry people, then how can they ever overpower the fair and honest people? If you don't understand what weapon it is we are trying to remove, understand that FEAR is the ammunition, but without a gun to discharge that fear, we will no longer be subservient to those who spread it. The means by which fear is spread is through LAW, AUTHORITY, MONETARY WEALTH, and POWER. All of which are elements of government and the financial system. Remove these tools and you have nothing left to fear.

  237. Alex B

    Back to my first post on this page, I mentioned how socialism had all the right ideals, but did not address the root problems and thus did not provide ample solutions for these root problems. Socialism even talks about weening out the need for government. The only things socialism was missing, fundamentally, was the removal of the monetary system, and the need for socialism to be implemented on a large, if not global scale. It cannot work side by side with capitalism because the two are in direct conflict with each other.

    Anytime Socialism or Communism was implemented, it has done so with naivety. The philosophy and science was there, but they rushed into it without consideration of the capitalistic world around them. When Socialism failed, Communism argued that the working class didn't know what was good for them, so it should be force upon them. Well, to bring the ideals of socialism under a dictatorship, or any government for that matter, is in direct conflict with its own philosophies. Therefore, you cannot actually call recent attempts at socialism and communism by these names. They were hybrid abominations that merged aspects of capitalism and socialism. The reason these early attempts failed are mostly due to not adhering to the fundamentals of the philosophy.

    What also made socialism difficult to execute was the lack of technology. Technology has reduced manpower over the last century and increased productivity ten-fold. This is why our capitalistic society cannot sustain itself, because reducing manpower means reducing jobs, but capitalism only works when people work. It is technology that is showing the error of capitalism and paving the way for something better and more efficient... a resource-based economy.

  238. hawkpork

    i've watched the presentation, seen some pretty pictures, and read quite a lot of rhetoric from followers :) but you've yet to tell me why i should get up tomorrow and paint someones house in an RBE.

    "Social mechanisms are in sync with technology. All social revolutions have bee a result of technology. "
    yes society has changed in many ways for many reasons, technology being a primary one. but the maldistribution of wealth has stayed pretty constant since the beggining. i know hans bliks kinda disagree's but i think the odds are still pretty bad. something lke 90% of wealth owned by 10% of pop.this has not really changed in step with technology has it? that's the social evolution that seems majorly relevant to RBE. you're asking for an evolutionary quantum leap in society/humanity.we can't all change our stripes over night.

    "Pretend I live in a resource-based economy, where we don’t deal with money or government, and you are trying to explain to me why I should transition into a monetary system with government authority."
    ok, pretend i'm the US or china. you wanna borrow our robot mechanics, production lines etc? well give us your tar snds and everything else you got, and then we'll help you build your toy robots.. if not...well, you haven't got that robot army yet have ya?.
    your robot run RBE is reliant on technology and resources, just like all other E's. and most societiEs don't have everything they need, let alone a futuristic, fantastic, robot run RBE. so you're gonna have to import/export stuff and people from outside. thus sucking you back into the system.
    and how would you build your robots in a smaller anarchist/RBE state? somewhere like iceland for example. out of fish?

    "We’d obviously negotiate first, but if that doesn’t work, we would have developed defensive technologies to ward off any invaders. Our technologies would be far superior because we wouldn’t limit ourselves to financial expenses. If our lives were at stake, many of us would be volunteering our time to defend the nation..With our use of robotics, we also wouldn’t be putting people in harm’s way. Remote control machines would push back any army and our cities would be prepped with the best defensive technologies modern science has to offer.."

    that really gave me a laugh. and made me realize your devouteness to your delusion, and the futility of this discussion.

    "When I say we police ourselves, it means without any artificial means of authority stepping in."
    what? you're not gonna have a robo cop?? oops sorry, a robot civil and criminal dispute mediation group i mean.
    i like how you skip to a metaphor to avoid the embarrassing contradiction of trying to directly explain policing without police.. which i believe comes from the latin. polis, city, thus one is a city officer. wouldn't you have these in your circular cities?

    your last paragraph is quite compelling. or at least i didn't laugh.

    "Simply because vaguely similar ideologies were attempted and corrupted in the past does not mean this one is too."
    get real!...
    "A resource-based economy recognizes how easy it is to corrupt systems that distribute wealth and power,"
    resources are wealth and power.

  239. hawkpork

    i live in one of those abominations of hybrid socialist, capitalist societies.
    do you remember half the list of social benefits i named earlier that are part of it?

  240. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    Well, you've managed to make no point at all. I have given more than an adequate amount of material to work with. Your remarks are mere ignorant laughs, thinking me a fool when you can't justify the very system you advocate.

    Canada has plenty of natural resources, and though much manufacturing is done in China, does not mean they hold all the power and resources. You're thinking to use the manufacturing plants that already exist, while I am thinking of creating new manufacturing plants. When a country can extract its own resources, what need is there to import? What does it take to build robots? Metals such as copper, iron, and gold (all available in Canada), used and refined to follow the blueprints created by intelligent engineers. The idea is to become self sufficient, and non-reliant on any one or group of nations. This should be globally implemented and you're right, it cannot work for very long along side capitalism. The idea is to inspire and show people a better way of doing things. How do you think people will react when they see an entire nation running on its own, with zero homelessness and zero starvation?

    "something lke 90% of wealth owned by 10% of pop.this has not really changed in step with technology has it?" - Yes. This correlates with advances in manufacturing productivity. By reducing human work through implementing advanced robotics in manufacturing, you create less jobs, thus, less people making money, and therefore, as people continue to spend while their income is being reduced, you create a wider and wider income gap.

    Why have you held onto this idea of robots running rampant? I say none of the sort. Did you not understand my explanation of police? Was the analogy too much to comprehend? I was killing two birds with one stone there. [not sure if you got that analogy either] I was tackling the police issue and your organ analogy. To keep things more simple... there's a difference between a neighborhood watch type of police, where the community takes care of itself, and an authoritative police force that demands respect and enforces government policies.

    Resources are only wealth and power when someone stakes claim to them over another human being. This is why we can't have ownership. Resources are only power when you horde them from people who desperately need them. What power is there if both you and your neighbor share the same apple tree?

    And to reflect back on your rebuttal, phrases like "get real," are not gonna cut it. You should be telling yourself that. You still, have yet to answer any questions I have asked. What is your aim? Will it ease your mind, knowing that all hope is lost and that we should just wait for humanity to meet its demise? Not really being a part of the solution. If there's a problem with a resource-based economy, don't just point it out, but offer a solution. Also understand the problem before you snicker at it.

    You asked "why i should get up tomorrow and paint someones house in an RBE." Why are you asking me? Is that what you want to do? If not, why do it? Do you need incentive to do something? What do you want out of life? What motivates you, other than money? What is your passion? We're all so busy trying to survive, that we rarely get the time to ask ourselves these questions? You're responses to a RBE are diluted with propaganda from the media and projections of your own pessimistic views on society. Try understanding the system objectively, without twisting the concept into your own distopia. If everyone thought as you, we'd still be living in a world believed to be was flat.

    Please!!!! I'm begging you! Answer my questions. Take your time if you need to prepare source material and come up with logical explanations and analogies as to why we NEED money and government. Explain how these things can lead us to a peaceful and harmonious way of life that does not endanger the environment. If it's so obvious, then this should not be a problem for you.

  241. hawkpork

    houses need painting. someones gotta do it. most people don't want to, so incentive is required.

    i've offered other "solutions" to the ills of the world. but the perfection of society is an eternal process.
    put simply.. socialize all states.
    if we can't do it from the top down. like turning the whole world to RBE, anarchy or even democratic socialism. or from state level, then lets start from community level and conglomerate and grow.
    i told you i wanna make a self sufficient perma-culture display farm where others can learn how to do it.
    i've seen perma culture communities here in denmark.
    there's heaps of socialism in the world. it's not as bleak as you make it sound.
    we just need to learn to respect the environment and look after each other. maybe change the banking system and laws about profit on capital. but that would come with socialism.
    change must be manageable.

    as i said in my previous post, which is still awaiting moderation for some reason.

    i live in one of those abominations of hybrid socialist, capitalist societies.
    do you remember half the list of social benefits i named earlier that are part of it?

  242. hawkpork

    what's with the moderation??

  243. hawkpork

    you want a better answer to;
    “Simply because vaguely similar ideologies were attempted and corrupted in the past does not mean this one is too.”
    than, "get real!…"

    that's basically what you said when u said repeating the same experiment over and expecting different results id crazy. i just simplified the meme.

  244. Alex B


    We should never incentivise people to do things they don't want to. How do you think women end up being objectified in the media, end up in the porn industry, or even the sex trade? Money is a great way to get people to do things they wouldn't normally do. It's a clever way to make a slave think they chose to do the dirty work. Money can even incentivise people to kill. ie. the military, drug runners, or assassins. The one expression I hate to hear people say is "I'm just doing my job." What kind of excuse is that? You can't expect people to behave morally when they are conflicted with providing for themselves and their family. Not everyone resorts to drastic measures of obtaining wealth, but others find the opportunities difficult to pass up. Eliminate money and you eliminate the means of bribery and extortion.

    If people don't like painting houses, we could very easily develop technology to help us with that. And no, not all technology is a bipedal robot awaiting your command. The technology could be how we design houses of the future. We are living in outdated houses. The same building techniques have been used for a hundred years with a few improvements, but nonetheless, still the same. Why not construct a house from plexiglass? or carbonfiber? Why not design houses that snap together with no need for tools, or maybe only one special tool is required? While we're at it, we could possibly design coatings on the materials that could change color when activated by a specific electromagnetic charge.... Okay, that could be pushing it to the extreme, but dare to dream. You never know what scientists could come up with. Look at those hotwheels cars that change colour when you splash water on them. Simple ideas can be achieved. Maybe if people don't like painting houses, we provide a tool that makes much less work of the process. Basically, there is no "one" solution to any of the issues you may have. The point is that we are free to devise solutions without the burden of money on our shoulders. We should not be asking "How much will it cost?" We should be asking "What will it take, and what resources will be needed?"

    You talk about how you live in a hybrid socialist capitalist society, and it would seem Canada too has forms of socialism embedded into it. If socialism is making things better within a capitalist society, why not explore what makes socialism successful and what makes it difficult? I think you'll find the benefits are that people are provided with access to public services such as health care and education, but the down side is the money/debt it takes and the taxes that follow. Though, the taxes to benefit the many are a small price to pay, but what happens when more and more people lose jobs? Less people paying their taxes while more people are taking advantage of public services. This is not sustainable. We have taken small steps, but it would seem at this pace, we cannot outrun the tsunami of financial instability that's headed our way. I see your point of gradual change so as not to excite the crowd, but it's a little too late for that now. We haven't been taking big enough steps in the past. We got too comfortable with simply providing for ourselves that we never anticipated the debt crisis up ahead. We are like frogs in a pot of hot water. If the temperature change is sudden, the frog leaps out, but since we got comfortable with gradual change, we didn't realize that we were headed for disaster. If we don't bail out soon, we'll be cooked alive.

    You cannot say that a system without money and government have been attempted before. And to place a RBE under the definition of insanity is inaccurate. It is not using any of the methods of the past. This is radical, a bit scary, but to me, really exciting. The thought of being a part of the transitional period is really a rare experience. Imagine what it was like when agriculture was first introduced, or as far back as the invention of fire. Those people who experienced both the life before and after that new innovation must have been excited. Or how exciting was it when man first went to the moon? Scary, and yes, some casualties, but they were a part of something great. We can't fear change anymore, because change is the only thing that will get us out of this sad sad world.

  245. hawkpork

    would you agree that prohibition of drugs doesn't work? if so, then why should money be any different?
    there is always going to be dirty/dangerous jobs that people don't want to do. money, or personnal incentive/reward for a job will always spring up. in an RBE it will be illegal black market though. which i guess goes against the theory of RBE as we're all supposed to have complete freedom and not be subject to laws, as long as not impinging on others right?
    the "problem" with socialism, is that it takes away some of our personal autonomy. one must act in the interests of society as well as oneself. yes, this means higher taxes. some danes (mostly upper income earners) complain about this, saying it's oppressive, but by far, most are happy with the trade off.

    you bring up the subject of growing debt. i referred to this problem earlier. as i think it is very important to your complaints about the system.
    all the debt and the current financial crisis is fictional. it's digits on a computer.
    it's the bankers conning us and trying to enslave us.
    i don't think you really gave full attention to "the secrets of oz".
    currently capitalists control money production and profit from its production. when really. no one person, or group of people should profit from said. it should be a service provided by and for the people.
    imagine the populace of all countries owned all the industry and commercial institutions in that country. and decided what policies would benefit their share holders, namely themselves, the total populace. instead of industry and economic policy being decided by, and for, the benefit of a few capitalists. that's real socialism. and should be where we are headed.
    if the people are truly represented, or represent themselves in some sorta internet gov't where we all vote on policy (would be real slow process tho) then money, gov't can be an innocent tool and not the devisive means of control and selfish hoarding it is today.
    the RBE does use many ideas from the past. socialists tried to get rid of money before. they failed and resorted to money by another name, labour credits. anarchists tried to get rid of money, ownership, gov't and all that. they failed too. now it's your turn.

  246. hawkpork

    do your posts await moderation for ages alex?

  247. Alex B

    Sometimes my posts await moderation for a while, but I don't think I've missed a post from you hawkpork.

  248. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    You're right, prohibition doesn't work because it's simply a law that tells you you can't and enforces that. With a RBE, it has to be agreed upon that money really serves no actual good, and has potential for more damage than well-being. RBE cannot rule by force... that is where socialism became communism. It's when they began to feel that the masses didn't know what was good for them, that they imposed the ideology, but therein lies the rub. An ideology isn't an ideology if it is forced upon you. This is why I fear that most people won't understand how money hurts until it collapses in front of them.

    The reward for work should be more than just paper or digital funds. The reward should be your society as a whole. What kind of work would you do to ensure that every citizen is fed and sheltered, crime is at its lowest, and all technologies and luxuries are well within reach (access)? That could be the incentive, could it not? It's not as linear as receiving some kind of material reward, but the cost/benefit ratio would be far less than what it is today. The cost to you might be a few hours a week, where today, at least in Canada, a 40 hour week is necessary, and sometimes not enough, to ensure a comfortable living. When we all contribute a little, we all gain a lot because we all benefit from each other's work. The ideology is embedded within our tax system, but just look at how poorly those socialist funds are distributed, abused, and wasted away. Money is a transaction that slows down the process of progression. It's the bottleneck of our society. It reduces flow and is squandered away on trivial things. No matter your job, you should never be denied access to things that only the wealthy can afford.

    Should there be a "black market" of trade, it would not be illegal in RBE terms. It would be considered trivial to most people. Even if drugs were made legal, which they should, does not mean that everyone will use them. As long as trading between people does not affect the well-being of anyone else, than there is no harm, but as it stands, money controls every aspect of our lives, and the only ones who should be in control are the people. You know, if we had to write laws for a RBE, they would be written in a positive context. Most of our laws today say "don't do this, or this will happen." The "laws" of a RBE would say "we should do this to ensure the well-being of our society." It would be more like a creed, or words to live by. It would have more understanding involved. It should be understood that if you don't contribute, you are not respecting the hard work of your fellow citizens. It won't be forced upon you, but after a while, it may sink in that some things need to get done, and by helping out, you do a lot more than just support yourself, but you know you have made an impact on the people around you. It's hard to picture such a system because we've known no else than rule of law and money for labour. I say, what else do we have to lose? We're already on board a sinking ship. Also, the RBE allows room for improvement, analysis, and reformation, where as any other construct says we do things this way, and is very rigid.

    I think the most important aspect of a RBE is its design for improvement and modifications. It's flexible in design, and understands that people, technology, and values change, so it is unnatural to build a society that is rigid and not subject to change. We need the ability to make adjustments when we find problems within the system. This is why I say that a RBE is not perfect. You can't build a concrete box for a plant to live in. That restricts growth and mobility. Sure, some laws have changed, and political leaders have risen and fallen, but the foundation has remained firm. Now, we are seeing the foundation crumble, there are leaks and mold, but we still say to ourselves, "it'll hold." We need something more flexible, something that can withstand large changes in climate. The strength of a RBE is not it's "prohibition" of money and government, but its ability to change with society; it's ability to adapt to our needs and desires. Today, we must adapt to the needs and desires of the system.

    The debt of the world is a result of those central banks, and I am not saying that moving to government issued money wouldn't help, but you will still end up with all problems financial in nature. You may have solved the national debt crisis, but how will you prevent corruption within corporations and government? How will you solve homelessness or joblessness? How will you prevent inflation? How will you stabilize the real estate market? I can see how you may respond with one solution at a time, but that's like trying to maintain an old rust bucket on its last mile. You can put all this time, energy, and money into it, just to get it that little bit further, but it would be much easier to scrap it (recycle the parts, of course) and invest in a newer, more efficient, longer lasting, and more flexible to technological innovation vehicle that runs on renewable energy. It may be hard to part with your old beater, and you may not understand how it all runs, but that's why education is essential. You shouldn't get into a vehicle when you don't understand how it works, or how to solve problems when they arise.

    With the number of problems we'd solve versus the number of new problems that may pop up with a RBE, the former far outweighs the latter, both in quantity and quality. And any problems that do pop up can more easily be addressed without playing the politics and money game. It won't be a matter of who will do something, or how much it will cost. It'll be simply a scientific process of analyzing the problem and designing a solution that works for everybody.

  249. hawkpork

    you brought up prostitution. it seems like another good example of the right to personal autonomy.
    they say it's "the oldest profession" and thus one unlikely to go away regardless of the system we are in.
    how would a prostitute receive reward in a RBE?
    would she/he do it for the good of society? or for their own personal gain? what do they get out of it if not some sort of pay?

    "What kind of work would you do to ensure that every citizen is fed and sheltered, crime is at its lowest, and all technologies and luxuries are well within reach (access)?"
    sigh.. how many times do i have to tell you alex? i live in a system like that now. there's almost no homeless here. healthcare, education and all that are free. and all i have to do is paint houses and pay taxes. plus i have the right to choose what i do with my excess produce.
    how would it be decided how often i can go on holiday in an RBE?
    or use the services of a prostitute? if i was so inclined :)

    "how will you prevent corruption within corporations and government?"
    i answered that already. public ownership of corporations and capital.
    better representation of the people, something like the functional democratic socialism we have here.

  250. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    You ask - "how would a prostitute receive reward in a RBE?" That's exactly the point. They wouldn't, thus, no need for prostitution. If a woman or man wanted to have sex with someone out of pure pleasure, then there is no harm there. But look at the many people who prostitute themselves for necessity, or other times for luxury. As long as you can dangle some sort of carrot in front of someone's head, you can lead them almost anywhere. I'm sure this might disappoint the many avid prostitute clients, but that might just mean they'd have to learn to communicate and socialize to acquire sex. If you object to this, does that mean you feel that people have the "right" to have sex with others who might not otherwise want to with them? I am sure there will still be some men and women who will freely have sex with strangers, but without compensation, only the genuine sex enthusiasts will be available, and the one's who only do it for the money would not make themselves available. Many industries would fail, because without money, there would be no incentive to do things you wouldn't want to do.

    I don't doubt you have it pretty good, as do I, in some sense, here in Canada, but at what expense? Your clothes and merchandise and many other items are made available through cheap labour from abroad. Does everyone live as well as you? It's not always about how hard someone works, but some people are raised in conditions or circumstances that don't allow them the same opportunities you may have had. As well, the debt accumulated from social programs is bound to catch up with your nation. Is your nation self-sufficient? What happens when more and more jobs become automated? With limited jobs, how will people afford to live? The fewer the jobs, the more social programs are used, the more debt accumulated and the less people there are to contribute to taxes. Your system may be working right now, but it has no flexibility for changes in technology or the economy.

    You asked how often you could take holidays, and I think almost anytime would likely be permissible. The idea is to design the system to be as autonomous as possible, with little need for human labour. Right now, most of our labour goes to production and services. Mass producing many things that we don't really need and working across the counter, and taking people's orders. It definitely wouldn't be less than what you get right now. At your work, chances are, if you're considerate, you don't take vacation during the most demanding part of the season. Same would go for a RBE. If food production or something of necessity is falling behind, you wouldn't just up and leave, would you? These things can all be worked out, because, as I said, the system would be run by the people, and it's up to your community to figure out what's best for everyone.

    You advocate "public ownership of corporations and capital.
    better representation of the people, something like the functional democratic socialism we have here." and I couldn't agree with you more. But what have you said here, that is not represented in a RBE? The public will be running the show, so production is determined by the people and no longer the corporations. People will be better represented as each individual will be a part of the "democratic" process, but it would be more involved than a simple vote in a RBE. Transparency will be a must and all actions of the community should and will be made aware to everyone. Now, if we sent out mass emails today on every policy, we'd flood the internet, but think of how inefficient government really behaves. No more worrying about budget or laws. Simplicity is key, and the only issues should be that which concern the well-being of all life.

  251. Alex B


    I might also add to the prostitution topic, that when meeting men or women, without money, relationships can also be more genuine. You wouldn't have to worry if someone will like you even if you're poor, or worry that someone is a "gold-digger." People will be able to express themselves and take comfort in knowing that there's nothing to prove anymore. You won't have high rollers waving wads of cash and getting beautiful women all the time. Money and ownership of any kind can turn people into wild animals, all trying to get in with the alpha male. It's very difficult to make genuine friends and lovers when money plays a role.

  252. hawkpork

    you seem to be missing my point.
    money is inevitable. it cannot be stopped from appearing in society.
    "no need for prostitution"...as i said, "it's the oldest prefession in the world". and one that won't disappear, regardless of the system. whether a person sells themselves for paper value representation, or direct value, ie; barter, they will do it all the same.
    you said "With a RBE, it has to be agreed upon that money really serves no actual good,...Should there be a “black market” of trade, it would not be illegal in RBE terms...the most important aspect of a RBE is its design for improvement and modifications. It’s flexible in design,"

    so you seem to admit that the idealism of RBE allows people to choose to trade and use some sort of money if they want to.
    thus they inevitably will. some form of money will always exist, whether labour credits, gold coin, conch shells or robot parts. it won't ever be eradicated, only controlled through legislation.

  253. Alex B

    Yes, people will be able to choose, but money and trade should not be what determines one's survival. Right now, we all conform to our society and have no choice but to make money or to live off the grid, and not benefit from the collective. How can you say money is inevitable? What proof is there that it will last forever? It can't continue to be the root of our economy. We are seeing this with the first great depression and the upcoming one.

    We need to build a society that conforms to our needs, rather than us submitting to the needs of the economy. Check the definition of "prostitution" and you'll find - "a person who offers his talent or work for unworthy purposes." What need will there be to sacrifice one's labour when money and trade are virtually non-existent? You say it's the oldest profession, but you are taking that within the context of a money and trade system. Really think about it. Would someone, who has everything they need and want ever WANT to sell themselves to a stranger? And for what? What could you possibly provide for someone that would have that person give themself over to you? If you had access to everything, your options are, "Well, I could have sex with this person for this particular item, OR... I could just get something equally good for free from the RBE system." Hmmm... what do you think a logical person would choose, unless of course they want to have sex with that person?

    Also ask yourself, "why do we have black markets?" Simply because it is much easier making money that way than to conform to the system that is in place. Now in order for there to be a black market in a RBE, some people would have to get together and agree that the system is not giving them everything they need and want. But, like I've been trying to say, the RBE does just that... gives people what they want. So if everybody is taken care of, and there's no need to work so hard for these things, what need is there to organize a black market?

    By this point, I'm not sure what the problem is with a RBE. Is it that you simply believe it to be a fairy tale? - Why? Because all you've ever known is money and you wouldn't know what to do without it? Is the RBE sounding unfair? - Unfair that everyone is raised to the highest standard of living regardless of where you live or your ability to contribute? Is it because you might be neglected something that you can only get in a monetary system? What could those things be? - Prostitution, gambling, war, bribery, extortion, political and corporate corruption? Which one of these will you miss? It's not that money and trade will be outlawed, but they will not be what society feeds off of anymore. Ever heard the expression, "Money should never come between friends?" Well how can you expect to have real relationships with people when there's always that famous line, "Hey, it's just business."?

    Once people see the that money does not serve humanity, but controls it, they will reject it. If your main disposition is that money can never be removed from society (that it's a fairy tale), then let's debate that. If it's that you think it's possible but don't think it can work, let's debate that.

    I just don't understand how one can simply claim to KNOW what can and can't be done. Is it a fact based on evidence (not just circumstantial ie. history) that money can't work? Or is it that because you can't imagine it, it can't be real? Explain to me WHY we can't get rid of money. Also, WHY do we need it so bad? I've asked this a dozen times, and still with the same old "just because" remark, or a statement with no merit like "it's the foundation of human civilization." I don't just say "We HAVE to drop money," I give case and point as to the logistics behind money, its ability to dehumanize people, and explain the methodology of the proposed RBE solution.

  254. Alex B

    More to add on prostitution, mostly because, I believe that we are all prostitutes to our current society (including myself). We all sell ourselves in one form or another. The whole economy is based on "What can I do, and for how much am I willing to charge?"

    Now, don't freak out, as there is a point after I ask this horrific question. If someone were to ask you to give a horse a bl@wj$b, would you do it? What if they offered you a hundred... a thousand... a million... a billion dollars? How much would it take? Now don't be modest, you're probably thinking to yourself, "wow, a billion dollars?" Myself included. That's not to say that you or I would actually do it, but the very idea that we'd even hesitate, just thinking of all that money, degrades us. It's actually not a selfish thought, for most people are thinking, "Well, if I sacrifice myself this one time, imagine all the things I could do. I could support my family, and do a lot of good in this world." Do you see how money can make people do undesirable things? What good will come from this? Maybe a well-off person would turn down such an offer because they are humble and have everything they really need. But consider someone in a more desperate situation. How low do you think they'd go for? When it comes to survival, it's natural to do whatever it takes, and I would never think less of someone because we're all slaves to the system, and sometimes "You gotta do what you gotta do."

    You know what? We're better than this. We shouldn't even be in survival mode. I thought the whole point of agriculture and the several social and technological revolutions to follow were to progress mankind past mere survival and serfdom. It would seem we were all duped by the wealthy elite. We are actually no better off, if not worse than the old hunter-gatherer tribes. Even they did not work 40+ hour weeks to provide for their families. They also didn't wage massive war campaigns on other tribes. Now, I can see that being highly debated, but the only fighting amongst tribes was a result of scarcity and not for profit. Study tribes of today that live outside of our modern civilizations. Many of the history books spread propaganda and lies to make you believe that we are so much better off. In fact, they work less, are healthier, are less stressed, less violent, and I am sure very happy. They also live without money. I guess money wasn't inevitable for them. There's a lot we can learn from them, but that does not mean we have to live in the wild. We should understand what makes their society work, and apply those concepts to our own technologically advanced society.

    Nobody said the transition from money to no-money would be easy, but we have to want it bad enough to reject our current social paradigms.

  255. hawkpork

    please don't ask me rhetorical questions like "Is it because you might be neglected something that you can only get in a monetary system? What could those things be? – Prostitution, gambling, war, bribery, extortion, political and corporate corruption?"
    i've explained myself well enough for you to know that is not the case.

    yes my point is just that money, ownership and gov't cannot be completely removed from society.
    they are integral to it.

    i feel like i'm repeating myself and getting nowhere.

    why would goose give me one of his bonzai plants if i had nothing to give him in return?
    and please realize this is just one simple example. the exchange of goods enabled by money is universal. and can only be negated by abolishing ownership.
    which, as i've said, i believe to be a natural right.

    "I just don’t understand how one can simply claim to KNOW what can and can’t be done. Is it a fact based on evidence (not just circumstantial ie. history)"

    the evidence of history is not "circumstantial". but it is evidence to support my case. whereas you have no evidence or precedent to support yours.

    i maintain, if we have ownership, we have money. it's the role of gov't (the people) to control it through legislation.
    capital/means of production must work in the interests of many, not few.

    so ownership is natural. but the extension of that can be hoarding, profiteering and all the ills of the world. so we must find a way of putting "checks and balances" on ownership. to abolish ownership is to restrict (at least) autonomy.

  256. hawkpork

    perhaps i should've said, ownership, and therefore money, is integral to personal autonomy. and will always be part of any fair society.
    gov't must ensure that the individuals autonomy does not conflict with others rights.

  257. Goose

    @hawkpork: I have been refraining from comment on this doc to save my sanity. But your last post hit it right on the head. Personal Autonomy!! I really does seem to me that for the proposed society to work all individualism would have to be gone. That to me would be the worst thing imaginable. The ability to do for yourself to create for your own enjoyment and to poses that which you have made or earned. For so concisely summing up my thoughts I will give you a bonsai tree free of charge. Just don't tell Alex

  258. hawkpork

    hahaha, thanks goose. can you make me a ganja bonsai?
    yes these comments have lacked concision. to the point of being ridiculous.

  259. Alex B

    @ hawkpork

    "yes my point is just that money, ownership and gov’t cannot be completely removed from society.
    they are integral to it." - How? Why? This is not a valid argument to just say something IS. You are making a statement. Just because we've had money in the past is not evidence to support continuous use. If we argued like this from the beginning, agriculture would never have come about because, by your logic, we might have said "We've always been hunter-gatherers. That's the way things have to be. It's integral to human survival."

    So you want to trade something for a bonzai tree. Go ahead. I've repeated over and over, it's not as if you create something and someone can just take it away because we've declared all resources available to all. Is that bonzai tree a resource of necessity? Does it play an integral part of modern society and the well being of human life? You question how you might obtain such a bonzai tree in a RBE, and then to top it off, Goose even admitted he would give you one. Think of it like this. Between friends, you don't always make fair trade? You offer your friend a beer, and you don't ask for anything in return. Same deal in a RBE. We have to create a society that allows such generosity without the thought of how much something costs. A RBE is radically different, and you can't imagine business as usual. The cities would be built from the ground up, and would be much more organized than the cluster of buildings we have today. You'd also be able to choose where you want to live, and who you want to be around. No longer restricted to the property market, your budget, and your job. I could go into this further, but I think the biggest concern right now is this idea of ownership, and your assumptions for what it means to own, and what I mean to have access.

    You feel you have the right to ownership, but with the bonzai tree, that's not what you are arguing for. You are actually saying, "I want one of those, and the only way I know how to obtain one today, is to buy or trade for it." So what you are really arguing for is ACCESS to such material items. In a RBE, we make things available. Is it that you want A bonzai tree, or just Goose's bonzai tree? The former can easily be provided for you, or at least the means of obtaining one, whether that be you are given seeds, or directed to a community of avid bonzai tree growers, who are probably in such abundance, that they'd likely just give you one. If not, you could bargain by offer some sort of service that you negotiate, but there is no market.

    You're not really understanding the fundamentals of this RBE. The economy itself, the thing that connects information, technology and resources, should not be subject to personal ownership. Ideas, technology, and resources should be shared, so that ALL can benefit. As far as trivial things like paintings or bonzai trees, that is to each person's discretion how they go about obtaining such things. So long as it doesn't affect the well-being of your neighbors, then the matter is between you and Goose, or whoever.

    You're not going to lose individuality in a RBE. How? Like I said, no law, which seems like anarchy/disorder, but is more like pro-human-empowerment. To follow the government is actually to lose freedom as an individual because you must conform to society and its laws. It's one thing to tell your child what he/she can't do, but another to raise that child in an environment that teaches that child to recognize the difference. Do you understand? You're not free if you have to obey, but when you are educated, you don't need someone to tell you that stealing or murder is wrong. Still free to make the wrong choice of course, but that's a part of the whole learning experience. And you can't say that law has made people more obedient, as crime of all sorts is rampant in our world. A RBE is an environment that exemplifies how people should behave. Not by rule of law, but by a collective understanding that it is through cooperation that we achieve great things and sustain a high standard of living.

    So here's what I propose. You give me case and points on how ownership is essential, and I will continue trying to explain how it is access before ownership. Still, all I get are statements that you might find on a pro-capitalist poster that have no supporting analysis. You can't tell me that I haven't been going through great lengths to give you analogies, examples in nature, and source documentaries to support my claims. Let's hear what ownership has to offer. Try creating a metaphor or two to help give me a better understanding of where you are coming from. The bonzai tree issue, has pretty much been solved. No issue with that, unless you think otherwise.

  260. Alex B

    You also said "so ownership is natural. but the extension of that can be hoarding, profiteering and all the ills of the world. so we must find a way of putting “checks and balances” on ownership." Don't you see that you are admitting that money/ownership can easily lead to hording and profiteering? And to combat this, you suggest regulation. This is just patchwork for a design flaw in our society. The reason government came into existence was to regulate money. Courts were originally designed to handle trade disputes between ships. Jordan Maxwell explains this quite clearly when he talks about Maritime Law.

  261. Alex B

    @ Goose

    "I really does seem to me that for the proposed society to work all individualism would have to be gone. That to me would be the worst thing imaginable. The ability to do for yourself to create for your own enjoyment and to poses that which you have made or earned." - What are you basing this assumption on? You seem to be coming from the understanding that we have to change or "regulate" human behavior in order to create such a society. If you understood me correctly, you'd know that the aim is to change SOCIETY because there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is our society that has great influence over how people behave. A RBE flourishes on personal autonomy, but with personal autonomy comes personal and social responsibility. If you want real freedom now, you should move off the grid because while connected to utilities, you are benefiting from the collective, aren't you? No matter what, unless you live off the land, you are benefiting from someone else's work. Even living off the land, you have a responsibility to it, to take care of it and maintain it, because the things the land provides for you are not of your own doing. In a RBE, you will be free to explore all trades or hobbies you may not have otherwise had the opportunity, and as I've said before, it's all voluntary. But, like I said when living off the land, if you live off of society, you have some responsibility to it, but that responsibility is completely yours, and it's up to you to own up to that. No one will force you to contribute, but if your friends and neighbors are, and see you aren't, there could be some conflict there.

    It's time we stopped living in our own little bubble worlds, thinking we should just have things, and everyone should leave us alone. We live amongst people, and should play well together, but the way capitalism is designed, we are conflicted between providing for yourself and your family, or being kind. Capitalism doesn't reward kindness. It rewards greed, corruption, and power because it's every person for themself, and that's not a very nice game to play.

  262. Alex B

    If everyone is so smart, and knows just how things have to be, then why is it so difficult to explain why money/ownership and government are vital to human society? You show greater intelligence when you can teach something, so teach me oh wise masters of the universe. Anyone can recite from an economics or business textbook, but do you truly understand why we do what we do? Are you losing your sanity because I will not conform to your beliefs, or because you cannot come up with a reasonable argument to advocate ownership followed by regulation? Step outside the box and see the world for what it is and not what you've been told it is.

  263. Goose

    What I mean by that statement I have tried to express repeatedly on here. Like my garden. Individuality leads to one of a kind creations that cannot be mass produced for the masses. In your society you say that all have "access" to everything they wish. That would lead to chaos. If I built a pool in the yard and it was the only pool in the whole town anyone and everyone could feel free to jump in. Thus turning my hard work into something that I it's builder cannot access due to the crowding. Essentially as i said everyone would have to have identical material environments to avoid jealousy and subsequent userpation.

  264. Goose

    And Alex I don't mind at all that you don't conform to my beliefs. What drives me bonkers is that even the strongest logic expressed to you is simple deflected by a blanket statement in one way or another. You have given no indication as to how these things would be done. How supply could meet almost 100% global demand for all items. How to solve the issue of singular items. You simply say things like we will all have access and that is a null argument without the how being provided for.

  265. Alex B


    You're not understanding what I mean by ACCESS. I said the system provides a means of obtaining such goods. It doesn't allow someone to simply jump in your pool. That's not very respectful, now is it? You're thinking too literally. I think you'd make a great lawyer, as they are very clever at taking a statement and making radical assumptions. Why would someone want a pool or a garden? Because they don't have one. So how do we solve that? How do we prevent someone from jumping in your pool? Build them one. An I don't mean YOU build them one, I mean we provide a means of obtaining one, or provide access. There's recreation centres with pools, and there's also materials and blueprints for designing a pool yourself. By having access to all this, there are several ways you could enjoy a relaxing backstroke.

    You say I deflect event he strongest logic. And what logic would that be? Everything I say is related. I talk about technology booms because money holds back technology. I also talk about how efficiency is not applied today because money is to be made. That is how you provide for the entire population. Through proper design and efficiencies without concern for financial costs and only worry about what materials, intelligence, and human labour are required. I think YOU have been deflecting logic. If there's a logistics problem with a statement I make, make that clear.

    The "how" we can achieve a RBE is not even the issue. I've made points on how money holds us back from performing the tasks required to run a RBE. Think about it. What do we ask when we want to send a rocket to the moon? How much will it cost? That's not the question we should be asking. It takes raw materials, intelligence, and human labour (most of which now can be replaced by robotics). It would seem you want the full schematics for a RBE with a fully-functioning society already built. That is unreasonable. How would anything get done if nothing is attempted with even a little uncertainty? What certainty is there in this economy? I get the feeling you don't even completely read (maybe skim over) my posts. The Wright Brothers didn't know "how" to fly when they attempted it.

    Basically, my main argument is that money holds back everything. We can't do anything outside the borders of the economy without money. The "how" comes from the people who will figure out everything technical in nature. If humans ever come across a technical problem, like crossing a great river, we build a bridge. I don't know exactly how bridges are constructed and what supports are needed, but with enough people working together, it can be accomplished.

    I've answered the trivial bonzai tree or other personal items thing. It's not that it will be legal to just take something from you. How ridiculous is that? How do you stop someone from stealing something from you today? Access will also provide a means of satisfying those who feel they have less (jealousy). I told you the system will work like a library. There will be access centers where all things can be obtained, whether that be the item is at hand there, can be manufactured and shipped, or the necessary information, tools and resources will be made available, or you could be referred to a community of people who could help you out. Since money isn't an issue, transportation is also not an issue.

    I don't even think you're trying to see such a system work. You actively look for reasons to dismiss a RBE as rubbish, without even understanding it in its entirety. You assume too much. "Oh, someone will just jump in my pool then." - Really? You're thinking within the context of how our current society is. It's not a free-for-all. It's very collectivist. We are stronger when we work together. Is that statement not logical? Really, try and imagine wiping the slate clean. Start fresh with a brand new city, built from scratch. And instead of jumping to conclusions, when you come across an idea like "How would I obtain a painting from someone in this society?" think to yourself, "Alright, now how would I solve this problem?" A RBE is designed to leave room for problem solving. It's not a system designed for you to conform to, it's a society that will take shape with each person's contribution. As long as we can all agree that everyone should have access to the highest standard of living, and that we should all respect each other, the system will conform to OUR needs.

  266. hawkpork

    ok.. why do i support ownership and by extension money and trade?
    i'll give you some metaphors and an example based in reality..again.
    the bear owns it's cave, the bird owns it's nest, the wombat, rabbit owns it's burrow. bees, the perfect socialists, own their hives and don't share them with other bee families.
    i want to own a farm, house and be able to pass it on to my children. i also want to be able to decide where the produce of my farm goes.
    i would support society, or those in need to the best of my ability, whilst retaining my right to do as i will with what i have made.
    this is called "personal autonomy". a right of all beings.

  267. Alex B


    Okay, based on your metaphors, do you think that these creatures obtained these things through some sort of trade system? No. The bear found a suitable cave, the bird built a nest, the rabbit dug a hole, and the bees built a hive. They don't "own" these things, they have access to resources (all supplied by mother nature, but with a little effort on their part). Should some other creature try and intrude, they defend their home. A RBE does not say, "Your home belongs to everyone, therefore anyone can come in and take it." If you live somewhere, that's your home. You don't have to "own" the property, you just need access to it. Like a child living under their parents' roof, who doesn't own the home but certainly lives under it. Everyone will be provided with access to a home so that there is no need to take someone else's. Like a global Hotel system perhaps, where you check in and check out. No one comes in and invades your privacy because you are occupying the suite. Simple as that. You can do what you want with the space, produce what you want, and access to the necessary resources and information will be made available to you. What don't you understand about this concept?

  268. Alex B


    1.independence or freedom, as of the will or one's actions: the autonomy of the individual.

    2.the condition of being autonomous; self-government, or the right of self-government; independence: The rebels demanded autonomy from Spain.

    3.a self-governing community.

    All definitions of how a resource-based economy will function. Nowhere does it say free to "ownership." Independence isn't in material things, but in being free to be who you are. This also supports the idea of a system without authoritarian governance. Autonomy is self-governing, and to do this is to be responsible for one's actions, and not hold the state responsible for what happens. In a RBE, there is no state that holds precedence over an individual. This is TRUE freedom, and not subject to laws and regulation. We should self-regulate and self-govern to ensure we don't abuse our resources and disrespect other people, because to do otherwise would put everyone's well-being at risk.

  269. hawkpork

    "Like a global Hotel system perhaps"
    i don't want that.
    what part of "perma-culture farm" don't you understand?
    i believe we all have the right to own enough land to live off,the produce of it and the produce of our labour.
    from this stems trade, economics, money bla bla.
    the metaphors were clear examples of species having a right to home ownership.

  270. Alex B


    Yes, we do have the right to a home, and food, and clean water, and generally a high standard of living as technology permits. We ALL deserve to live. At no point would a RBE not allow you to have a perma-culture farm. It would provide you with what you need (resources, seeds, information, whatever). No need to work and save money or get a loan. Do you understand the difference? You don't need to sign a piece of paper that says the farm is yours. It's yours only while you use it. Just like the bear who will either move to another cave or die. The cave belongs to no one. It is simply there for a creature to occupy it. No need to pass property on to your kids because they would have the opportunity to live where they please, and not have to wait until you pass on.

    No one should have to be limited by their occupation and salary in order to attain a sufficient standard of living. You understand how it is really access you seek? You don't need a perma-culture farm to stick your flag in and call it your own. You need it to live in and from. Did you get how you're misinterpreting the species home analogy? They don't own and trade. They live off the land that provides access to resources, free of charge. The land is not owed anything. It only hopes that you take care of it while you occupy it.

  271. Alex B


    You're thinking too literally/superficially again. When I say things like "a global Hotel system perhaps," it's not to suggest we build hotels all around the world and those are your only options. It's the concepts I am trying to get across, and the details come after. By Hotel system, that means it would function as a hotel does, but not be physically a hotel. If you want details, here you are.

    So you go to your local distribution center/library and ask, "Hey, what kind of homes you have available."
    - "Well, what are you looking for?"
    You - "Hmm. I'd like to live on a farm and be self-sufficient."
    - "Okay, well, there are none available at the moment, but we can provide you with all the necessary materials, building blueprints, and available land, as well as an assortment of information on crop growing. We can also provide you with contact information of those who've already built such farms and are willing to help you out."

    This process could also be done communicating with a computer that is interconnected to all information. So what is wrong with this kind of a system? This CAN work, but it will require, at minimum, national cooperation, but ideally global cooperation.

  272. hawkpork

    they don't trade, because we are the only species that trades. maybe chimps a tiny bit. but they do own their homes. possesion is 9/10 the law.
    even if i can have eternal acceess, with total security that noone will ever take my home to put in a new robot factory (equates almost to ownership). i still want ownership of the the fruits of my labour.
    and if i own all that, do i just give the eccess to the wise elders and get whatever i need in return?
    i believe that from a persons right to own what they produce, comes trade, money etc; otherwise it's oppressive communism. we are not ants or bees, we have au-ton-o-my.
    the system sounds great alex. but i really think all successful new systems start from the ground up. not with a global or national revolution.

  273. Alex B

    Well, I guess at this point, we can agree to disagree. Great discussion. Only time will tell what the future has in store.

  274. Ajay Kumar Singh

    Communism, not socialism, died.
    Socialism lives on. Socialism is a not an idea but the ultimate social dream for mankind.

  275. hawkpork

    yeh, guess it will.
    just saw burningman festival. here on tdf. nice example of how order or rules spring from accumulative chaos.
    thanks for the discussion.
    hope you'll be more laconic in future.


  276. opinin

    in capitalism, one group of people exploits other group of people. in socialism it is the exact opposite.


  277. aspen

    I think what that joke fails to recognize is that in capitalism the economically powerful exploit the economically dis-empowered, whereas in socialism the economically equal cooperate to co-ordinate their economic activities. If there is any 'exploitation' it might be the angst of recently equalized previously empowered capitalists as they have to abandon the excesses of their previous exploitation to participate as co-equal actors in the socialist process.

  278. gto

    guys every democratic country is a socialist! since they have a goverment..

    the way the democratic goverment move for its people is a socialist style. that is if they do what their design to do and that is giving "social" services.. they should give higher taxes to the rich and a target service's to the poor..

    democracy or even a capitalist playing field is not the problem.. because this system only faction in the middle(local business) and the low(employee/normal citizen) part of the power bracket.. the high(goverment) and the extremely high(international corporation and bankers) bracket of power is highjack by a mafia style system. you know elite trust making, placing/establishing/nurturing cronies to power that will help you back when they gain power, use PR or a more aggressive approach own the media tool of the age, and of course the use of force in a cunning way.

    oh and if your on that power bracket the currency is not money but control(the ultimate form of power).

  279. mishko

    Ultimately some form of socialism has to take place in order for the global economy to work. Capitalism as we know it can't survive globally....

  280. duck

    @ Alex B & Reasons Voice

    @Alex B because of his allusions, @ Reasons Voice because of his medical background.

    I didn't plan on posting here again. When I read Alex B's post about people that gain weight, I believe he has fell for the popular propaganda, [there's that word again..] that all people that gain weight are glutenous creatures'

    I am starting to have a weight problem but, I am never hungry, About a year ago, I began to lose my appetite. There are days that I don't eat at all, but when I do it is only around 250 calories. Yet, I gain weight. Doctors don't know what is causing the gain. According to the medical people, I should be losing weight.

    My ex-wife gained during pregnancy even while on a strict diet.[ which she followed irritatingly to the letter..]After the child was born, she didn't lose weight at all. The doctors kept saying that it will come off, just wait. After a while and the weight stayed the same, she was put in the hospital and a series of tests run. The tests shown that there was a serious hormone imbalance and all the diets and drugs in the world would not change it. She even tried starvation diets which damn near killed her and she ended up back in the hospital having to be fed intravenously.

    Alex B, there are people that are larger than what is considered normal and are not gluttons. Not all of us are trying to corner the food resource for our selves. There is also data that has shown that genetics can play a part in larger people but this doesn't fit today's political correctness.

  281. Reasons Voice

    @Duck. Wasn't gonna post here again either but wanted to respond to you. You are right and wrong on your post. You are absolutely right that genetics can and does play a roll in weight. Wrong in saying that is not supported by political correctness. It is the propensity of political correctness to bury legitimate criticisms under a blanket of excuses. In this country perhaps 10 - 20% of overweight and obese people have genetic predisposition or medical reasons. For the other 80 -90% they can simply hide behind that reason to protect themselves from scrutiny. From a strictly medical standpoint being heavy is horrible. The incidence of major health issues in the clinically obese almost surpasses that in heavy smokers. Conversely for those with predisposition the health risks are mitigated. My regard to this is that one should get yearly medical screening and if weight is actually causing issues correct it if not be a happy jolly chubby angel and enjoy.

  282. duck

    @ Reasons Voice

    Mentioning anything except overeating doesn't fit into today's political correctness because it is incorrect to mention that hormones, genetics, illnesses of any kind can cause weight gain, The only correct way, the politically correct way, is to state that all fat people are fat because of their diet, their sloth, their lifestyle. Although some do use genetics, etc, for an excuse. If any overweight person attempts to mention anything else as causal for excess weight except the 'politically correct' excepted reasons, they are rebuffed by the politically correct crowd with hundreds of platitudes that may be partially correct but not 100 percent correct which brings us right back to politics and seekers of utopia. Agendas............!!

  283. Reasons Voice

    @Duck; I hate Utopia. Haha Give me a complex difficult and at times sloppy life any day. Utopia would bore me senseless they can keep it.

  284. Peter

    The idea of Comminism and in effect, it's realization, has caused more human agony than any other ideology. It is merely a control mechanism created by jewish bankers as part of their dialectic. It should be put to rest forever. In excess of 100,000,000 million people have perished from it. Peter

  285. aspen

    Good morning Peter,

    1. This documentary was about Socialism, not Communism.

    2. "caused more human agony than any other ideology" I think that's a statement that might require more support. It seems like other ideologies, perhaps some closer to home, have caused some not-insignificant agony over the last 100 years, and that doesn't take into account the suffering of future generations who will have to live with the consequences of our choices.

    3. "It[Communism] is merely a control mechanism created by Jewish bankers as part of their dialectic." ... hmm... I suspect this is another statement that might need more support. If there is some banker conspiracy to profit from the suffering of others (Jewish or otherwise) we might look to our own central banking systems before throwing stones at the Communists.

    4. Did the idea of a command economy kill "100,000,000 million" people, or did the abuse / neglect / incompetence of the people putting the idea into practice kill or result in the death of x people?

    5. "It[Communism] should be put to rest forever." Without more support for your arguments, I'm not sure I can join you in your conclusion.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  286. jim

    a bit one sided...

  287. SouthAB

    I scroll through the lists of films available, and check out comments to get an idea of how good or bad the documentaries are. Then I decide to watch or not. I have been hooked on the comments that this film has generated. Such future minded thinking!

    This thread has been immeasurably more enjoyable and informative than any short documentary could deliver. I have been checking out the links and sites as I go along.

    One point that has only been peripherally addressed is how natural selection plays into the scenario. There are proven drives inherent in all species to maximize potential in the offspring. “Opposites Attract” is a kind of given, as we need genetic diversity to survive as a species.

    The urge to mate (survive as a species) is an innate part of our “animal nature”. To say that our animal behaviour is subject to reason is to ignore the biological urges that overwhelm our higher minds.

    True, great education and working towards the common good could produce highly motivated youngsters, but then puberty hits and reason has no role. It’s back to emotion and feelings.

    Hopefully, this stage will be understood and accepted, so that society can move along and wait for hormonally driven breeders to become more productive members of the society.

    Don’t ignore that human instinct, like all species, are driven by the need to survive and make life better for our offspring. This is where I see the ‘world utopia’ falling apart.

    True, we may have the resources to feed and clothe everyone if we all worked together, but then what??

  288. gto


    it actually 1.3million death in the gulag, 14 million have work themselves almost to death here

    a million in just 1 great purge 1932-33

    total death 4 to 10 million minus the famine death

    6-7 million death by famine directly cause by stalin repression

    you can check this yourself if you dont believe it.

  289. aspen

    I'm not denying the people died.

    I'm 1. questioning whether it was the idea of cooperation or even a command economy that killed the people or if was the abuse / neglect / incompetence of the authoritarian regimes putting it into practice that killed the people. And 2. questioning if command economies, whether headed up by authoritarian murderers or cooperative democracies, have resulted in greater death and suffering than competitive economic structures? I see people pointing fingers at the 'other', but I don't see us taking a rational look at the consequences of capitalism.

  290. gto


    its the systems fault! the system allow stalin to gain that much power uncheck by no one..

    you'll never see that kind of power in are system now.. so blunt in killing and atrocities.. even the devil of the west CIA will never and cant even if there's a couple of stalin in their group to do that kind of thing. system should always be build to deal and control are bad side. forget about the goodside if you want to be good system doesnt matter unless its a reward system. the fact is pure socialism is wrong cause.

    1. goverment is to powerful since he absorve the business sector
    2. democracy and socialism cant be combine because of #1. because of the fact that goverment being too powerful he/she will destroy the circle of power..(people>goverment>military/police>people) the arbiter (constitution/justice)
    3. the meaning of justice depends on the rulling elite or god=stalin not some paper.
    4. the disparity of class is as wide as monarchy system and permanent. read the history of many pure socialist country if you dont believe me

    as churchill said are democracy is the worst system ever if there's no other system. meaning you find it bad cause you havent experience other system..

    im not againts socialism in a whole only the pure one, and why can i be againts it were living in a part socialism age to begin with! just one example of social structuring progressive tax if you want look for the others its right at the top of goverment agenda..

  291. aspen

    Hello GTO

    *nods* I think I hear where you're coming from, certainly, pure socialism, pure collectivism of all property is very problematic. Not that it's impossible, but I do believe that to do it in a healthy / moral way would be a challenge for just the reason you state, it's a centralization of power, the political system that distributed that power, those economic goods and services, would not only need to be moral and just, but also skillful and knowledgeable in the relevant areas of commerce / production / distribution, etc.

    That said, to assume that a socialist or communist economy inherently equates to a specific political system that allows a particular person to gain massive amounts of unchecked power is failing to see the potential if applying socialist principles beyond the several tragic, but very public examples of our past.

    I think you'll find few of us who are advocating for socialist principles who are actually advocating for full blown collective ownership of all property. I believe most of us believe and support some form of mixed system where the basic necessities of life are mutually provided for, and those areas of free enterprise that have the potential to do harm appropriately regulated, and the rest of the economy can be as free as possible.

    I think the main problem that most of us have with the extreme version of capitalism is that it allows those in power to set up the economy such that the very things that we need for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, can be denied to us if we fail to make ourselves the economic slaves of this (in external appearances) free system.

    I'm not sure that we won't see that kind of power in this system now. Do we not kill massive amounts of people over seas to ensure our continued access to relatively cheap resources? Do massive populations not live in serf-like conditions to produce our cheap walmart goods? How many people are hungry so we can eat so well? Can we justify these imbalances with capitalist ideology? At what point does the ideology break down and our human heart recognizes that others are suffering for our comfort and leisure and distraction? At what point will we be willing to give a little of our ease and relative affluence to provide for the basic human dignity of another?

    I think you make a good point about being conscious of the distribution of power and the relative value of checks and balances. But I am convinced that those political mechanisms can be utilized in a political/economic system that ensures the basic needs of all, regulates where necessary to protect the interests of all, and provides freedom where ever possible for all other aspects of our lives.

  292. gto


    iraq is a resource war, its not the systems fualt. i personally think the other system would have been more blunt, no need to be cunning about it, and more harsh..

    the economy is already somewhat protected and regulated except the low paid jobs, extreme manlabor once that no west man would do with that kind of salary.

    now about walmart.. forget it you cant stop globalization that result in extreme competition in a global scale. its like trying to stop the internet! no one can regulated the world.. it actually have defeaten or about to be defeaten any socialist regulation in the private sector already whether that country like it or not like china and russia. watch the "Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy" in this site.. see the history of your enemy so you can see why i say its inevitable you cant defeat it.

  293. aspen

    No? War seems like a fairly competition based approach to resource distribution. If we had a more cooperative approach to resource distribution, perhaps we might have found different solutions. Similarly, war as a tool for funneling tax-payer money into for-profit capitalist enterprises wouldn't have been a motivation for conflict if those arguably necessary industries were nationalized as non-profits. The idea that a nation-state that organized it's internal economy around a collectivist ideal rather than an ideal of competition would be more blunt / harsh / etc seems like baseless conjecture. If you use the authoritarian regimes of the past command economies of this century as your basis for that assumption, you're attacking a straw man. As I mentioned above, few, if any of the people who are advocating for some form of socialist ideology are advocating for pure / total collective ownership of all property under an authoritarian regime. And, also as I mentioned above, if such a regime does take immoral action, I suggest that it is the failing of the regime, not a failing of cooperative effort.

    With regards to our economy being 'somewhat' protected and regulated, I would put a heavy emphasis on 'somewhat' our regulations are a joke. Asking the wolves to guard the sheep is not regulation.

    :) Yes, walmart and other, similar, global capitalist empires seem very powerful, but I do not accept defeat for one very simple, undeniable fact. Their unsustainable linear practices are built on a foundation that requires continual growth, and that continual growth requires ever increasing amounts of relatively inexpensive energy. We are reaching the capacity of the earth to provide that growth and energy, and when the growth slows, or the energy is not longer cheap enough (same thing) those systems will crumble. Only sustainable solutions (cooperative or competitive) can provide for our needs in the long run.

    I don't have to defeat global capitalism, it's already defeated itself.

  294. gto

    come on man read socialist goverment history you'll see its no different, except their more blunt in their approach in war.

    as i said before system should be build to check are bad side not the other way around.. do you really think people will share power? again read the history of socialist country.

    also are you saying they will only unionist the commanding heights? if you are then im sorry to say soviet has the same system.. their system is like socialism dip in capitalism, and you really should love your goverment more since socialism effectively equals big goverment.. dont say its not, its inevitable.. read libertarians comment about it.

    now if your for social democracy like i am(capitalism dip in socialism)? then your already in one. since workers is already protected maybe some are not unionist like walmart your wolf. well thats the union problem its not like there's no legal process to deal with it, also the name social democracy should be change to capitalist socialism! since democracy is in a different spectrum in line with fascism=totalitarian. i personally think they only name it like that because of the bad blood in the cold war and the revolutionary age.

    about globalization.. well good luck to you cause its like a man battling a forest fire with a tablespoon of water. defeated itself? well ok if you think so...

    i understand what your saying about the resource thing.. i personally think who ever invent a tech that will secure are energy needs should be awarded with a new medal. cause he/she would have effectively stop 90% of war(resource war) and noble peace prize medal is not enough(and i personally think its already politicized)

  295. aspen

    It's true. The history of authoritarian communist regimes is littered with examples of abuse and violence. Clearly there was something wrong with the way they were doing things, and any effort towards a more cooperative economy in the future should certainly take those lessons into account. But having looked at that history, the lesson I took away (among others) is that authoritarian / power over structures are unhealthy for the long term success of a society, and as messy as cooperative political effort might be, it's a necessity for a truly fair and sustainable society.

    *nods* I agree. There should be recognition of our human capacity for weakness, fear, selfishness, etc, built into the political system. On one hand I believe we should support people in growing to become stronger, more moral, etc... But at the same time, I also agree that there's value in setting a system up so that those who are best able to make the healthiest choices, will be in positions to do so, while those who are least likely to make the healthiest choices will have the least political capital.

    I do think people will share power. I think it's our fear that motivates us to try to grasp at power to try to control our environment. But I believe we have the capacity to rise above that. Perhaps not all of us, but perhaps those of us we support in guiding our society.

    I'm not sure what you're asking in this question: "are you saying they will only unionist the commanding heights?"

    I believe our current government leaves much to be desired as I see it primarily being in the service of moneyed interests while presenting the illusion of a democracy.

    Yes, socialized economies will likely have larger governmental structures than non-socialized economies. I don't think that's the worst thing in the world. I prefer larger non-profit democratic institutions managing certain aspects of our economy with our best interest in mind, over for profit corporations who explicit aim is to maximize profit at our expense.

    There are some protections. Though far fewer than what are necessary for the best interest of society, IMHO. Sure, there's a legal process, and who knows, some times what's right wins out against the influence of money in it, so at least that's better than nothing.

    I think you bring up a good point in distinguishing between the economic system and the political system. It seems like the two are often confused in these discussions.

    *nods* I imagine we'd find something else to fight about. Is the problem that we don't have enough energy, or that we don't use the energy we have in appropriate ways? In any event, it seems like you recognize the vulnerability of the global economy on the access to relatively cheap energy. And as such, when taking into consideration the consequences of peak oil, how globalism itself might be vulnerable. Certainly, we might come up with some impressive alternative. Then again, economic endeavor might have to be scaled down and become more local / regional.

  296. gto

    sorry for me what ever system we have even if its a utopian one unless we fixed are energy system and pass oil behind thre will still be conflict.

    it means socialist goverment controling the commanding heights(resourse/energy business type). sorry i just quote lenin.

    really you like big goverment? sorry for me a big goverment is a no no.. i always view people in power in contempt. for my belief its should be basic for a system to kickout are leaders in power if we dont like them anymore.. but big goverment system allowed them to stay even if that leader is a criminal

    you know the more i talk to you the more i think your not a socialist but a utopian guy..

  297. aspen

    *nods* Certainly, if you put people in a position where they think they have to compete to meet their needs (real or perceived) there’s going to be conflict. I certainly agree that any sustainable peace, in any economic or political circumstance, will have to address our current energy practices and find more sustainable solutions.

    If the population of a society shouldn’t control resources / energy, who should? Is your argument against cooperative economies, or against the abuse of power?

    No, in all honesty I don’t think ‘big’ government is a sustainable solution in the long run. I agree with the research that suggests that humans are only able to maintain empathic connections with a relatively limited number of group members. And I think those empathic connections are essential for a healthy society. So even though, in terms of today’s huge nation-states I might advocate for governments large enough to effectively control the potential abuses of self interested institutions, I don’t necessarily think those large structure’s are really the best possible solution for how to form healthy society.

    Have you ever stepped back to question the assumption of power-over political structures? Perhaps cooperation between equals could apply in questions of political organization as well. Then there wouldn’t be people in positions of power over us to feel contempt for, just neighbors to work with to work towards the best interest of our community.

    But yes, certainly, within the context of an authoritarian political structure, I certainly advocate for democratic processes that would allow the people to replace their leaders.

    Are the two mutually exclusive? It’s probably a fair label, but I also think of myself as a realist. I recognize the struggles of the human condition, and that any social organizing structure that hopes to improve on what we’ve seen in the past will have to take those struggles into account.

  298. gto

    i like the current system now.. i like the monopoly law.. i know some big business are bad. but for me the goverment is the worst.

    your a nice guy(well your utopian guy).. you should run for office.. but first throw away your view that there is a perfect system cause were inperfect creatures..

    utopian socialism(dreamed by the socialist revolutionary) is just an illusion after the revolt there dream system is turn to fascism.. cause a perfect system is incompatible to such an inperfect creatures..

  299. aspen

    Fair enough.

    There are certainly ways that our government could improve. (Real democracy would be a nice start, but even that won't happen until we can find a way to limit or remove the influence of money over our processes.)

    : ) I don't need a perfect system, I'll settle for what ever improvements we can make, and let the next generation improve on our work.

    Revolt is also a competitive based approach. I think there are viable alternatives for that as well. But you're right, regardless of how an alternative system is formed, it will be essential for the people involved to be diligent to watch for attempts at grabbing power. I think that's one of the most important reasons for the transition to be economic / political / and moral/philosophical all at the same time.

    *nods* I also think you're right that our human challenges are at the root of most if not all of the things we might hope to change about our economic / political circumstances. Perhaps then, rather than running for office, I would be better off working with people to help them grow through those challenges so they can make healthier decisions in whatever economic or political system they happen to find themselves in.

  300. ruffkutt

    Informative but biased. Both the narrater Ben Wattenberg and the author are members of conservative funded think tanks.
    View this documentary, since it is informative, but keep in mind that for most of human existence, some form of feudalism, whether through power or media illusion has been the basis for economic inequality...
    ...and do not confuse socialism with liberalism or progressivism.

  301. TheDocumentarian

    I'm still unsure as to why they termed it "The Rise and Fall" of Socialism and not "The Continual Rise and Fall" of Socialism, since most, if not all countries across the world have taken their chunk of the idea, regardless of what they want to claim to be.

    Similarly, a "1" is a "1" and a "2" is a "2", but you cannot say the same about any type of government, anywhere, even though that is what they may want their people and others to believe. American's call themselves a "Democracy", even though our government, through corporations own and control 80%+ of our property, while at the same time promote multiple methods of socialistic systems; Welfare, "Social" Security and so-called "Free Health Care".

    However, I am not blinded and am fully capable of seeing through the propaganda, I am glad that I see it for what it is and has been for decades, while continually becoming more-so each and everyday, until all will see. Perhaps there will be a follow up to this Documenting series in around 25-100 years from now, depicting the downfall of our very own imperialistic western society.

  302. Guest

    What? Not a word about the scandinavian social democracy? I am disappointed!

  303. clay dawson

    Solid points made; I like you Aspen, allow me to chime in:

    I'll venture a presumption that the likely reason economic and political systems have been conflated in the discussion is that they remain as such in reality.

    Our present political system is currently flawed such that economic/ large corporate interest has effectively replaced the public interest as our "democratic" government's top priority. Our public is supposed to hold the government accountable to its (the peoples') collective interest, but as corporations have gained wealth, they have also gained influence; this influence, in numerous forms has corroded the efficacy of our political system. As more money is permitted to the system, more greedy and corruption-prone people will seriously consider running for office. When their personal interest of wealth is motive, we see more policy enacted which caters specifically to corporations which have the most wealth. Now, in many cases this corporate wealth comes at the distinct expense of the public interest (i.e. health, socioeconomic opportunity) Unfortunately, our system has no inherent way of weeding out those in politics for money and those in it for the interest of society. The only hope is from the people.

    The influence is also seen in the legal system. In the last 50 years our legal processes have extended rights, originally assigned constitutionally to the people to protect them from moneyed institutions, to moneyed institutions. For instance corporations have been extended freedom of speech, and "speech" has been extended to include money (buckley v valeo). This is why last years Citizens united case was so controversial. That "freedom of speech" is now unlimited within federal elections. Thus, giving greedy politicians more incentive to run and take money in return for corporate-catering policy (de-regulation etc..). This trend will not be alleviated until a large population within the country realizes what exactly their best interest is. Only then will they see how it is inherently subverted by that of large unregulated corporations.

    I just hope this happens sooner than later.

  304. clay dawson

    Then what? Then we enjoy life...because life and well-being of our offspring is secure. There is a difference between ensuring the survival of your genes and having excesses of billions of dollars that have no implications upon your genetic legacy whatsoever.

    Yes we are biologically driven to survive; but its not a matter a black and white, as if your playing king of the hill trying to be the last person standing so ruthless mistreatment of others is necessary for you and your genes to survive.

    Since you've adopted a natural science perspective; it is in your best interest that there be a large and high-quality gene pool for your species, so your best interest is your species' best interest (so long as survival is granted--which it is)

    Of course we are animals and we have instincts etc... but we are "rational animals." We differ from other animals by virtue of our brain s, complex societal and intellectual capabilities. Civilization is a culmination of these factors; a mastery of our instinctual more basic animal instincts so that rational capacities can be further developed. That is not to IGNORE the basic instincts, but to master and go beyond them.

  305. weisefading

    thaths not socialism in the same sense.
    scandinavian social democracy isnt really socialism but rather capitalism with a big welfare state, strong unions and workers rights

  306. avg1983

    the documentary is merely a documentary, only the opinions of some teachers at some universities. The facts are no facts. "Lenin didn't like humans", bolseviks claimed power and stayed there during the civil war
    but nothing is said on what they did and if the lives of the people in russia got any better related to the former regime. Is there any possibility that lenin and the party lead people to a better living that they throught the workers gave their country a plan to prosper instead of leading wars and try to make money for some capitalists?
    And of course there is no historic timeline to follow. They speak of the revolution in russia and after even mentioning stalin for the gullags they return to america to talk about trade unionism a way of straggle that was before ww1 and was rejected by lenin, because it wouldn't lead to a revolution. It is nonsense all aspects of the documentary. Here in greece every university student would see that the documentary is being presented in an unscientific way just to "prove" that communism failed. As if Capitalism had never failed when it struggled with feudalism, untill the french revolution that was it's final victory.
    As for the second part when it sais that leninsm led the way to fascism that's a lie because the fascist ideology has nothing to do with communism. First of all fascism rely on the capitalists and tries to maximize their profit while communism produces without businessmen running any enterprize. And of course if fascism and communism are so alike then how come and communists were always trying to fight fascism.
    How come and hitler came to power by burning down the reicjstag and then framing Dimitrov, who was a communist that he plotted against germany. History proves that fascism is Capitalism blended with Nationalism, while communism has nothing to do with this mixture of economic growth, So the american think tanks should better read the history of communism instead of trying to write their own history about what they would like to hear.

  307. VicFrank

    Oh man this has to be a personal record.

    I turned it of after about 30 seconds when the guy said that the socialism has collapsed and some pictures of the end of Berlin wall where shown.

    I have some news for you buddy.
    Socialism is full blown in the whole western world and many other parts of the world. The whole EU is one ever fatter socialist pig*. No it's not about freedom of migration or one big free market unrestrained with borders - that's what Schengen Agreement is about. Only things that EU is about are centralizes power and socialism.

    In fact socialism today is in better shape then ever before.

    Surprise, surprise.

    By the way, have you heard that EU recently tried to kill Schengen Agreement? Probably not since virtually no media has reported this...

    *No, I'm not trying to be offensive. I'm just saying that it's existence is similar to the one of a pig. It tries to eat as much as it can so it grows bigger so it can eat more, you know what for... The only difference is that at the end when they get slaughtered you can't make any ham of EU.

  308. VicFrank

    Oh I see. So now things are not what they are but rather what you want them to be by choosing one or another sense for them?

    Man thanks for straightening this out for me. Now all that crap called politics makes sens to me.

  309. Erik Persson

    Well that may be true from a moderna perspective but the Swedish social democrats has strong rots in socialism and it is a broad party. With falangs both to the left and right. The new party leader has reverse back to classical (swedish) socialist rhetoric promoting the strong welfare state.

  310. Woodboot

    Is it because the second S in USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) that almost all Americans equate Communism with Socialism? Not so!

    Ben Wattenberg, from the American Enterprise Institute no less, is, like so many of his fellow enterprisers, as dumb as a brick. Also, I'm old enough to remember when PBS was first class (but that was a long time ago). So sad.

    No political philosophy is perfect, but Social Democracy comes closer to being fair to most citizens than any other. Its inherent fairness brought peace, wealth, universal healthcare, excellent mainly free education, paid vacations, and much more to Western Europe after WW2. It lasted until Reagan and Thatcher got their claws on the throttles of power. And we all know that for most workers not much good has happened since.

    This ducumentary is a dud.

  311. noname7777

    american anti-socialist propaganda

  312. Joe N.

    Having actually lived under it in the DDR, I can tell you that this idea that "Soviet style marxist-leninism was bad, but not..." is one giant canard.
    The repression was bad, but that wasn't all that was awful about it. What was awful about it was exactly what contemporary no-nothing socialists espouse: the fealty to the state (which is inevitable), the monoculture in thinking it creates (which is inevitable), and the ruling class which emerges though theft, venality, and social connections, not merit or effort (which also is inevitable in every form of socialism)

    Even modern social democracy is a dessication of the indvidual.

  313. Joe N.

    Hitler was a leftist. In fact he was a socialist, his political ideas were perfectly typical of leftists of his time. That he percieved other shapes and forms of leftism as a challenge to him is immiterial.
    Owing to his general racial outlook, it was likely that his hatred of communism had more to do with a hatred of slavs and jews, as Marx was jewish by heritage.

  314. Joe N.

    I think that's simplistic. Social democracy may not have identity papers and assigned housing, but it IS socialism, and what's rotten about it aside from the repressive practices of the Marxist-Leninists is the collectivism and the inevitable narrow conformity that it creates.

    So they structure a system to eventually eliminate the wealthy in society. What does that get anyone, aside from some satisfaction for the dim-witted? Nothing. In fact it forshadows misery because, quite simply, the poor aren't hiring. They never will. That requires wealth and success, despite the best efforts and maximum programming of governments.
    Don't forget: the Communist east HAD recessions. What they didn't really have is any reasonable ways of digging their way out of them.

  315. Joe N.

    Typical revanchist European. The only way you can reason through the wrongness of one idea is to bait it with something else you bait.

  316. Woodboot

    Joe ~ Did you read my second-last paragraph? The one that starts with "No political philosophy ..."

    Also, I never said "Soviet style marxist-leninism was bad, but not..."

    Social Democracy (NOT Communism) is what elevated West Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, along with Norway, Sweden and Finland and other countries from heaps of rubble in 1945 to very wealthy countries by 1970. I know, I lived and traveled there until 1960 when I moved to Canada (in those days more like Western Europe than the US, politically).

    Since the early '60s I've been covered by Universal Healthcare, and I've saved in a modest but sufficient state-run pension plan. As a senior I pay no premiums or co-pays for heath-care, including dental and eye-care, and I pay less than $350/year in co-pays for over $3,000 worth of drugs.

    I have never felt NOT FREE, even though I am not allowed to carry a concealed gun when I go to the library, a bar or the opera. Social Democracy works for the vast majority of a population, Capitalism does not.

    We are, right now, watching the USA disintegrate, and it is not a pretty sight. In fact, it's downright scary!

    Keep dreaming sweet dreams, my well-watered friend.

  317. avg1983

    I have to admit that Hitler was a leftish.
    He only attacked Soviet Union because Marx was Jewish....(?)
    In fact i also think he Bombard London because Marx lived there for a great deal of time.....(?)
    Ok excuse me for joking on such serious matters.
    I 'll get straight to the point.
    Marxism - Leninism in other words Diallectic and Historical Matterialism is the scientific theory by which nature and society can be explaind.
    We know when a state is a Socialistic one, if we examine the way the products are being constucted.
    For example. If we have a state where i can pay 10 workers to work in my factory then that is a capitalist state.
    You see the main point from which you can tell a Sosialistic state from a Capitalistic one is IF SOMEONE CAN BUY A MAN'S WORKPOWER.
    On the other hand at a Socialistic state.

    So if working is obligatory you can't be unemployed, state is obligated to create a place for you in the productive system were you are functional for your society and feal good about creating something for your fellow citizen.

    So what is Socialism.
    A system where: you are not alllowed to sell your workpower
    you are working and getting paid according to the quality and quantity of your work.
    you are obligated to work and rest.
    you are entitled to your own home or homes, that you are not allowed to rent.

    SWEDEN? Sweden is not socialist.
    Socialism means the first step to Communism.
    Socialism means that working class gained control over the means of production, created a new mechanism of goverment and through that mechanism tries to apply politics that are in their favor.

    If in Sweden there is that kind of society i strongly dought it because:
    Every time that a state was trully Socialist, the Imperialistic Countries started wars or assasination attempt to their leaders in order to overthrow them.

  318. Joe N.

    It didn't elevate anything. The postwar dissolution of soverign debt by the US of, you guessed it, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and well as the liberalization of the market and letting prices float did.
    Of course none of that was possible with the hard work, ambition, and industriousless of the population.

    All Democratic Socialism did was join in on the ride and spend all of that expansion in its' way. Democratic Socilaism in itself doesn't create anything, the private sector acting on its' own best judgement does.

    Growth also came in the form of aligning with an era where they got the boot of totalitarianism off of those very same peoples' necks as well.

    And if you're looking at Norway and the Netherlansd especially, you might want to look at a chart of their growth in the last century, and make a note of when those two nations found oil reserver in the North Sea. You can't miss it - it's the inflection point.

  319. Joe N.

    Well, if you can't deal with an opinion any other wat thatn to call it propaganda, then so be it. I actually KNOW what real propaganda is, spanky.

  320. Joe N.

    What's so fair about rewarding failure?

  321. Guest

    What's so fair about paying executives $30 million a year, or hedge-fund managers $40,000 an hour? Do you really think those geniuses do any more work than a common elementary school teacher? Or is that just the way a meritocracy is supposed to be, with the vast majority of the wealth going to the top 1 or 2 percent?
    In recent history, for example, this really has very little to do with "rewarding failure," unless, of course, we're talking about bailing out bankers and other financial institutions at the taxpayers expense, to the tune of trillions of dollars, thus far.

    Quite a little corporate welfare nanny-state they've insured for themselves, and BULLY for them!

  322. Cristi Vidrascu

    It is interesting how most of the supporters of socialism (such as those on this forum) have never lived in a hard-core socialist society (or probably even visited one for an extended time). I, as one who has lived in one of the most orthodox of socialist societies, can attest that, while this documentary is not the best from an artistic point of view, and has certain omissions, it is accurate about the rise and fall of an ideology. And as one who personally lived during the fall of the Eastern Block regimes, I can tell you that the best way to describe the end of socialism from our perspective was an overwhelming sense of freedom. Sweet, overpowering freedom. Capitalism, with all its inequalities, basically means freedom, but with all indulgence I cannot expect someone who has lived in a free society their entire life to understand the real meaning of the word freedom. In the West, it is just a word that is thrown around, without real meaning.

  323. wpsmithjr

    Socialism doesn't work. Socialism CAN'T work. It reduces the incentive TO work.

    Anyone who thinks capitalism is to blame for our current economic woes is out to lunch. In capitalism, banks aren't "too big to fail", welfare and social security payments are non-existent, interest rates aren't set by men in ivory towers but rather by the marketplace, and money is not created out of thin air.

    Free market capitalism and property rights, started first in the U.S. (prior to the Declaration of Independence all property was owned by the king) is what got man out of digging in the dirt for worms to eat and created all that we have today.

  324. Altus Pienaar

    Socialism and economic growth or prosperity can never sit at the same table!
    Socialism can never be run by centralized government and socialism can never be forced onto people.
    Collapse of the current capitalist system is inevitable as resources and oil are running out and as global corporates and banks are growing more greedy and powerful.
    I predict that for those fortunate to survive peak oil and societal collapse communal socialism will become a means of survival.
    We don't need growth on a material level, we need growth on a human level.
    A self sustainable lifestyle can be very basic and simple but we need each other in order to survive.
    Our world is full of socialist groups and societies being very successful today, lets stop looking at the reasons why socialism did not work and find the things that did make it great.
    Socialism is the only way we can move away from consumerism to complete self-sustainability.

  325. Guest

    I absolutely, hands-down, unequivocally LOVE this statement!
    You can see this coming, too, can't you? Either we are going to do this sooner or later, or something very much like it, or we are not going to make it on this planet for an indefinite time. And if anyone (in the U.S...) should need a little inspiration, just look at one of "Socialism's" greatest successes, and which is very seldom recognized as such: The NASA Space Program, particularly of the '60's and early '70's. Imagine what great things could be achieved if the majority are on board, and outright greed is not heralded as the ultimate virtue...

  326. Guest

    I got an idea a while back to make 'uncomfortable cushions' and got in touch with a few people asking for quotes to embroider onto them, things you dont want on your sofa. One of the few people to get back to me was Billy Bragg, his quote
    ' Socialism is nothing more than organised compassion '
    Took some stick for it at the craft fair, luckily I like sticks :)

  327. Guest

    Part of my current, personal, somewhat avant-garde definition of "Socialism" is: Any society in which the top-earners percentage of income increase over the past decade doesn't top almost 1300% (I think it is), while everyone else's stays almost precisely the same...

  328. Guest

    Over here we like to pay bonuses to the managers of banks the taxpayers have bailed out, oh and then we sell the failed banks to Richard Branson at a loss. I'm going to fall over now so they can kick me when I'm down. Hopefully they'll leave my teeth in so I can thank them for it.

  329. Guest

    Sure sounds like home to me...
    Over here, a couple of years back (among other things...), the airlines all positively DOOM-CRIED for a bailout of their very own, in order to protect the thousands of workers they would otherwise have to let go. The skies would fall for these people, they said. Well, they got their (I mean, our) money, of course, and then turned around and fired the workers, anyway, and celebrated by passing out a fresh round of huge bonuses to their executives.

    Sooner or later, these people's heads are going to be "rolling in the gutters of the New Republic."

  330. Guest

    Or will they, seems like anyone with a bit of cash in their pockets could make a killing if they can buy now and bide there time, money makes money. I keep hoping that people will stop spending and start bartering, take big business out of the equation, create an alternative economy and only buy what you cant get some other way. Probably not realistic but hey, I'm still young enough to be idealistic. ish.

  331. Guest

    My man just got back from America, was telling me how the Occupy movement was gathering pace over there, as is the police brutality. Also mentioned just how expensive things are getting. You dont notice it so much when you live with it, a penny here and there but walking into it after a year away it really surprised him.

  332. Guest

    In this country, repealing the Citizen's United ruling by the Supreme Court in 2010, and reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act would go a long way towards curing a lot of the ills we have now, and are going to have later, if nothing is done about those two things, in particular. That latter, especially, which was repealed in '99, was largely responsible for the financial meltdown of the last 3-4 years, because the FACT is: Economically, you cannot depend upon people to play by the rules of what is best for anyone but themselves, and deregulating the financial system in this way was exactly akin to putting a gun in the hands of a robber, with the stipulation that you were trusting him not to rob you blind. Turn your back on greed, and he will take you for everything you've got or ever will have. And... keep vast amounts of corporate money in politics, and the people will never have a voice again.

    edit- On a much lighter note, I hope your girl's Holiday program went well... :)

  333. Guest

    You cant separate government from business, we have a magazine here called private eye. Superb, journalism at its best in my opinion, the dodgy deals back-handers are enough to make you cry. You probably have an equivalent ? Wish i could send you a copy.
    The Christmas concert was truly brilliant, she sang her little heart out and mine burst with pride, thanks for remembering :)

  334. Guest

    (I meant to ask you a couple of days ago how it went for her, but it slipped my mind... Happy to hear it!)

    You can make, though, or reinstate legal consequences for breaking laws or circumventing regulations regarding these things, with oversight from an "independent" body, which worked pretty well in this country, once upon a time. In fact, overall, the whole place used to be much more socialist than it is now, and times were positively booming, economically. Back in the good old days of the progressive income tax!... when everybody was happier, including (probably) the rich, until they realized how much richer they could be... And then along came Ronnie, and ever since then, one way or the other, things for the ordinary citizen have been sliding down the toilet, almost unnoticed for a long time, and rising into the stratosphere for the wealthy, completely unabated.

    Look... These folks had BETTER get these things done, one way or another, if they want to keep anything like the status quo for very much longer. There is a definite sense of demand for real (perhaps even paradigm-shifting) change in the air here, despite all the tactics and strategies, lies, obfuscations, subterfuges, etc., from these endlessly bullsh*tting career politician mofo's of either stripe, if you'll pardon my French. I believe Occupy has gotten their attention, and I also believe when the weather warms again, in the spring and summer of this coming election year, some mighty interesting things are going to be seen and heard from every side, if all who are able to will park themselves on the Mall in Washington, and endure whatever needs to be endured.

    I could go on, but I'm a two-finger typist, a slow thinker, and I could really use a cup of coffee right about now...

  335. Guest

    And I could use some sleep. Glad to have caught you, catch you soon. If you find lak say Hi. Sweet dreams Mr Pysmythe x

  336. Guest

    Night, night, sweet lady.

  337. Altus Pienaar

    Throw enough idealists together with a few good organizers and you will have new ideas taking shape. I believe we need to stop waiting on centralized government to run the show for us as they are in the pockets of the large corporates whom they will much rather support.
    We need to start to organize our self's into more self sustaining communities and so become less dependent on central governments.
    What props up government is not our vote but rather our tax money. A bartering system will erode away their power and influence.

  338. Altus Pienaar

    Interesting to note that socialism always seems to fail the moment capitalist principles like growth, development, banking and economy is applied.

    Socialism has been seen as political model but really at heart it is a spiritual one. To function in a socialist society you need to be able to relinquish your own ego and give everything you have for the greater good of the group or the community. Letting go of the ego is a spiritual quest but something unobtainable through the murky haze created by mainstream religion.

    Socialist ideals should strive for self reliance and sustainability, Surplus should only ever be produced so that it can be bartered for those commodities really needed for survival and that is simply not viable to produce in a community itself. Everything else should be planned around putting back what you have taken. The circles of live.

  339. Altus Pienaar

    Mr Ben Wattenberg I am sorry to say that your democratic capitalism is failing miserably. There is no democracy and the capital is owned and exploited by a few powerful people.
    The world my children is about to inherit is poisoned, polluted and it's resources exhausted. There is no democracy in democracy and I am forced to to live as others believe I should.
    Wake up and see the rot you are living in and please tell me it really makes you happy and content every day of your life!
    Kibbutzine systems failed not because of what was going on inside of these institutions but rather because of the lure of the capitalist propaganda of constant marketing and advertising going on outside of its boundaries. If the younger generation could not see the value of what they were brought up with it is because no one bothered to teach them that. To leave your children growing up in front of the TV is simply suicide. Get mainstream broadcast TV and news media out of your homes. These people should not be welcome there the same as a stranger of the street would be.

  340. Guest

    Here here. He who controlls the spice controlls the universe. Take the money, take the power! :)

  341. Guest

    They are all from House Harkonnen, it's true, and they all need to have their plugs pulled.

  342. Guest

    I agree with this idea of bartering to take back control from government, but if it became too successful...do you really think they would continue to allow it?

  343. Guest

    Psymythe, your a star!

  344. Guest

    Isn't that revolution ?

  345. Guest

    That's what I was getting at, yeah. I can't see them standing for being usurped like that... I think they'd jump all over it with legislation to prevent their power from changing hands, and then, with enough people committed to it, the sh*t would really hit the fan.

  346. Guest

    As long as I'm not the Kwisatz Haderach, I think I can live with it, lol.
    Just a simple Freman worm-rider, looking for a stash of water and a slice of melange.

  347. Guest

    It should be do-able, I like to think so. I have an idea that you lot will take the lead on this one, we Brits are a bit complacent and need someone to follow. The student riots should have been the catalyst but for some reason it petered out, perhaps because of the disdain shown by the press which was taken up by middle England. Students became the lowest of the low. The power of the tabloid press is something to be realised, regretted and then ignored but that is by the by. We're running scared and possible future poverty is the beast on our tail. If only people would notice we're bitten already, there really isn't much left to lose.

  348. Guest

    And a weirding module, got to have one of those :)

  349. Guest

    How do you legislate against swapping ? How would they police that? Not possible :)

  350. Guest

    Same here, with the press and the students, and probably a slight majority of the middle-class (what's left of it, that is). But, of course, what else can you expect when all those corporations own all the major news outlets? Like I said before, I just think with this being an election year upcoming, when things warm up again nationwide, there will at least be the potential for some really interesting things to happen... People may have a chance to see just how committed both sides are, and it wouldn't surprise me too much to see a lot of the same kinds of violence go down here as happened in the 60's, though it would be better to avoid it, of course. But I KNOW Washington will not budge on these issues in any substantial way until it really feels compelled to (and, needless to say, Wall Street certainly won't before Washington tells them they have to), and I don't think they're feeling that yet. In short, if the haves who have stripped far too much of this country's (and the world's) wealth for themselves really want to make it a war, I'm thinking they're going to get precisely that at some point not too far distant. I mean, among many, many other things touching on this subject, have you seen any of the details, the charts and graphs, etc., about how income disparity has diverged over the last 30 years? It's insane, how we've been had by these sub-humans who hold themselves the Masters of the Universe, and have STILL got so many bible-thumping, Jesus jumping "God wants it this way," neocon, Conservative PR*CKS, especially (though many Dems are guilty, too) voting time after time against their own best interests. All you have to do is preach "God and America" to these idi*t sheep, and you can corral them for their own d*mn ultimate slaughter with nary a single word of protest.

    It is profoundly disgusting.

  351. Guest

    I thought you might point that out, lol. But what I mean is, if the thing were carried out on such a scale as to impact the revenues of government substantially (and, conceivably, it would be possible to do that), believe me, they'd pass laws to make it more illegal than shooting drugs, etc. You'd continue doing it at your own risk.

  352. Guest

    So much for separation of church and state, seems to be such an issue - why is that? Strange to us Brits that religion is still so important in politics over there. Frankly if it were to raise its head above the bar here it would be answered with blank stares. As for the long arm of the law, not sure its long enough. People would still work and produce would still be sold, taxes would still be collected. With no paper trail what is there? I think what I would be aiming for is sub-economy, but that would need people to trade skills, bypass the banks by insisting on cash transactions and giving up personal debt, credit cards and loans. People are skint enough to fear each other right now, we need to relearn trust to make it possible. But your right, its moving that way if only because trust in the banks, government, police etc is waning. There are more of us than there are of them all we're lacking is the front line, who is ready to be the first, the forlorn hope.

  353. Guest

    You should head over to AlterNet . org right now and read a short article called "The Rise of the New Confederacy," which is there on the home page right near the top, for a much better explanation of this political connection to religion here than I could give you. It's an excellent article, in brief, about some of the mentality that prevails among our crazy, manipulative conservatives.

    edit- And the history of it, I should've added... I know you're already familiar with the crazy side of it, lol.

  354. Guest

    Good read, always suspected that most people in the public eye over there were just paying lip service to the Christian element when they thanked God for their good fortune etc. Didn't think they really meant it or that it was so deeply entrenched, just that they were playing it safe. For the most part we Brits are pretty dismissive of anyones faith, at worst we consider it an irritant. Having said that we are struggling to find a way to deal with rise of Islam. A country basing its politics/ethics on an interpretation of a 'holy' book is fundamentalist and dangerous. I am constantly amazed that Palin (for example) is allowed to open her mouth let alone express her opinions. Both laughable and frightening, a joke on a par with our deputy PM.

  355. Guest

    I gave you four likes for the overdose, lol.

    Yeah, I've heard some things about the Islam thing in England, and you Brits should really be as careful as you can with these folks. ANY fundamentalist group (excluding moderate Muslims, obviously...) that gets a good foothold in the political process will always try to make everyone conform to their view.

    Simplest thing in the world to understand, really, and yet even though the majority (from what I've read) in this country don't subscribe to what these people advocate, just look at all the influence they still have... I really wish more of our voters would stop overlooking this as a factor in their decisions, EVEN IF they largely agree with a candidate's positions otherwise.

  356. Guest

    There is a lot of showmanship in US politics that makes it all seem a bit false, must be night-mare picking through the flags and bunting in search of policy. All our liars are middle aged, upper class white men so we can spot the bs with very little effort. Depending on the paper you read there is something of a sliding scale for the level of us v Islam hatred. The gutter press have us on the verge of all out war and the Rivers of Blood speech is aired at every opportunity, The high and mighty broad sheets have it that its more a problem of disaffected Muslim youth, most likely caused by our misunderstanding. In truth i think we just dont want to care about any of it, we're a bit lazy that way and this is really only a problem since 9/11 and the london bombings. We want to go back to the good old days and ignore each other again.

  357. Guest

    Think I accidentally liked myself today :/

  358. Guest

    I just found my version of "like myself" in a bottle of antidepressants about 9 o'clock this morning, lol.
    Ahh, modern life.

  359. Guest

    Feeling a bit wobbly today ? I like you :)

  360. avd420

    That was definitly worth the three hours spent to wath it.

  361. Nicholas

    The only problem with Socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money - Margaret Thatcher

  362. buttons1994

    No where in the Bible does God say you have to give what you earn.. He does say that we should help the poor.. but in no way does he expect us to give what we earn to people, in no way is it right for government to take from the rich or middleclass.. they already have been for decades, now they just want it all .. we are free to choose.. and America, has always been the most giving country.. even in our taxes, money goes to welfare, food, medical.. the problem is you can give people a hand up, but we should never be a nation of handouts.. We have generational welfare, SSI etc.. people become slaves to welfare.. There should be requirements that people must find work.. I guarantee you after not eating for awhile people will look for work.. We cannot save the world.. and Jesus said, "the poor will always be with us." How many countries have we helped.. and they hate us, how many have we helped, who now refuse to help themselves...We can no longer hold up the world... its time to be responsible for self..

  363. kgiles1

    Although I have not read the entire Bible, I am familiar with both the Old Testament and the New Testament enough to know that it is a book that has the potential to be interpreted in many different ways.....and has been over history. Socialism - successful or not - is a contract between people, not between people and God. To justify a political system based upon religious beliefs or writings is not only misleading but outright dangerous and at times devastating to humanity. History has numerous examples of this whether it be Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. All of these great religions are based on the premise that one should not do to others as one would want done to oneself. Treat your fellow human fairly and with compassion. The teachings of these religions, and others, provide guidelines on how we need to interact with one another on a daily basis......to respect one another is to respect God. The teachings do not belong to nor preach any specific political system be it capitalism, socialism, or fascism. Jesus does not support the American political system and in fact would very much be saddened to find his name attached to a government that more often than not has been self-serving rather than truly serving the needs of the people. America, Canada, Russia, China, France, Iran, and many more countries all fall in the same league. God is a spiritual advisor to many of us, not a political opportunist. Leave him out of politics.

  364. Jonny Bell

    Luke 12:33 "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys."
    Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money"

    Might wanna check your Bible, im not even Christian and these passages just sprang to mind when you said God doesnt expect you to give what you earn to the poor.

  365. Dennis O'Neill

    I just like to comment on the Canadian Socialism thing, actually most Canadian socialists were Canadian and the first "socialist leaning" governments where not lead by the CCF and the NDP but rather by the various united farmer-labour parties across the nation in Alberta Manitoba and Ontario. Also i'd say in Canada socialism is on the rise as the popularity of free market ideals in Canada is declining and the popularity of the NDP is rising, which we most recently saw in the 2011 election with The NDP getting 103 seats and a nearly stratospheric rise to official opposition to the new conservative party (which has also in recent years moderated it's free market rhetoric)

  366. paulterryburgess

    If we are going to survive and only use our finite planet as a recourse, society is forced to go in the direction that Alex talks about. The UN and global economics is a trend I think you can apply as evidence. Still RV, you may perceive Alex's idea naive, but be careful. To dismiss ideas that are independent to the present is naive. The most prominent founding fathers knew slavery would and needed to end, but saw society was vulnerable to existing with that reality and came to the conclusion that people weren't ready. It didn't mean it wouldn't change though. Why are terrorists, terrorists? Usually due to religious fundamentalism. With education, that's changing. When religious fundamentalism goes away, tribalism, individualism, perhaps even capitalism goes with it. In an infinite world, these methods and ideas would last. But obviously that's not the case.

  367. paulterryburgess

    Misstatement. We are all naive. Unless you know somebody that knows everything about anything... even nothing.

  368. Brandon Nolin

    Interesting program but coming from a very American point of view. One must note that both the "Standard of Living" and the "Quality of Life" is much higher countries with Social Democratic policies, namely Canada, Sweden, Denmark etc. The problem with pure capitalist economies is that institutions and corporations that are necessary to life are privatized. This privatization jeopardizes the "Standard of Living" and the "Quality of life" among middle and lower classes causing an ever widening gap between the aforementioned and the upper class. The U.S. with its powerful economy consists of a population that in comparison equal to or greater than Western Europe combined. When put to scale the reason behind its economic prosperity becomes a little more prevalent. What also must be said is that regardless of this economic prosperity the average debt is astronomical, not just with its government but with its individual person. This causes a sense of security in a debtor’s society, a security that can quickly be extinguished when the debt runs to high to control (As was seen in the bubble collapse of 2008 as Reaganomics proved a corrupt failure).

    Social Democracy is on a course of resurgence within the Western World again as debts rise and bankruptcy becomes more prevalent. Capitalism is well and good and works, but must be kept in check by the Governments in which they operate under whom are elected by the people. Healthcare, Education, Transportation, Public Security and Utilities must be Government owned to keep a moral and ethical check on a society that is inherently selfish and ignorant.

    This is a debate that will last well past our lifetimes as Utopia does not exist and equality is a pipe dream. That said, there is no reason we should not strive for a better life both individually and collectively.

  369. Jeremy King

    It is utterly idiotic to suggest that because Communism does not work, Capitalism automatically becomes the de-facto "standard model".

    That aside, all the isms till-date have absolutely nothing to do with how humans have evolved over millennia and tend to evangelise utopian visions built on ever expanding layers of theoretical nonsense from armchair "experts". Short of an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, dictatorship, we have no solution to the problem that all the isms attempted to resolve. Recall the conversation between Neo and the Architect in The Matrix Reloaded. I think philosophically, that exchange puts the problem into perspective – choice. How do we account for the anomalous choices that do not conform to the standard model? Ignore? Engineer? Exterminate?

    "The Architect - Please. As I was saying, she stumbled upon a solution whereby nearly 99.9% of all test subjects accepted the program, as long as they were given a choice, even if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level. While this answer functioned, it was obviously fundamentally flawed, thus creating the otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly that if left unchecked might threaten the system itself. Ergo, those that refused the program, while a minority, if unchecked, would constitute an escalating probability of disaster."

  370. 510naf

    "The American Enterprise Institute"????
    Oops. There goes the old credibility thingy.

  371. JasonBoissonneault

    If we hope to interpret the complexities of history accurately or with any semblance of philosophical depth, shallow accounts such as this written, narrated and produced by fierce opponents of the content itself do not paint a picture with any basis in reality. This is still a worthwhile viewing if you can gaze through the fog of ideology -- knowing full well that history is written by those who won. The value here is not what's said, but what's implied.

  372. Jacek Maciag

    Being a person of social views I must say I enjoyed this documentary. Although it portrays capitalism as the ultimate destination. Theres a lot of history here and for a person who just began his journey with this ideology I'd definatelly recommend it. Plus it makes a clear distinction between socialism and later totalitarism - something that is commonly mistaken.

    One thing bothers me and it's mentioned somewhere along this doc: how do we get people to contribute to a socialist society. I do favor movements such as Zeitgeist (thou some ideas are just sci-fi or simlply far-fetched) but it is very hard for me to convince myself that a great leap in human conciousness can be achieved. Everywhere I look around, folks just care about securing enough money for themselves and beyond that being entertained. Plus most of them are so spoiled and shallow, that the only word that comes to mind is 'id**t'. And you simply can't have them take part in any direct democracy or social democracy. The values that beam from media, educational system and elders are just wrong. And they are the values that capitalism helped shape. Just like socialism unintendedly contributed to totalitarism.

    Both ideas seem to be wrong. Perhaps the answer is somewhere in between.

  373. racol5

    Hi Thomas Hobbes best describes man. Most top economist feel systems are best built around Hobbes ideas.

  374. Enzu

    I come from Sweden, and I would like to invite you here, a country who hasn´t been involved directly in war for around 200 years. Come here, travel around a couple of months, and then tell me socialism has never had fair or humane objectives. And then let me ask you, sir, how many wars have the US been involved (started) in only the post WW2 years?

  375. O'Shay Muir

    If you grew up in the former Eastern Bloc and exposed to Marxist teachings then you should know that according to Lenin, Marxism is a form of analysis that starts with material empirical evidence and then proceeds to construct an analysis of those facts using critical theory (dialectics) or as Lenin says Marxism is Materialist, Empiric-Criticism. Now material empirical evidence like statistics (not second-hand testimonies) from former Eastern Bloc countries (the archives are open and you can check yourself) proves that the Communists greatly improved living standards in a short period of time, turning countries of illiterate peasants with life expectancy's that averaged in the mid 30's into modern industrial nations with highly educated populations and living standards (based on health, education, housing and life expectancy not big screen TV consumption) that rivaled the West.

    Lets face it, if it wasn't for the Communists chances are you would still be pulling a plow and wouldn't be able to respond to this comment since you were never given the opportunity to go to school. And as for your rant about freedom check the Marxist definition of ideology; An ill-fitting mental construct that doesn't quite explain its subject matter. The Capitalist wants the freedom to extract the full use-value of labor-power from their workers and workers want the freedom to receive the full exchange-value of their commodity (labor-power). There's a contradiction between these two forms of freedom and as Marx says when both sides are 'right' only force can decide.

  376. Jeremy Hughes

    The propaganda is strong with this video lmao, sadly, 10 years ago I would have gobbled it right up, thanks Adam Curtis for setting me straight.

  377. Jeremy Hughes

    Actually, as an ex-christian / zionist I can tell you that you are completely wrong. In fact, the most telling verse I can remeber is the one about "It would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven"

    Nice try tho, see the problem with people like you is that you actually justify your perverse world views with a mis-translation of an elementary level book.

  378. Deborah Macaoidh-Selim

    No, thank you. You seem to be getting tangled within the US's web lately.

  379. Will Hayes

    The US is socialist fascist and controls more of our economy than the Swedish state does its. The US government controls our means of production through regulation, taxation, favoritism, selective prosecution and other forms of force. We are far more socialist than Canada or England, and we are sniffing at Sweden's heels. Oh, and our middle class is taking it in the can, The biggest lie of all is socialism helps the middle class. Sweden has more free trade than the US and currently more worker flexibility, as our fascist health care disaster continues to hobble us. Food for thought.

  380. altazorx

    Well yes, you can call Sweden socialist, just as much as you can call it a capitalist state.

    The US involvement on wars is not related to capitalism, in how many wars was involved the soviet union?

  381. Enzu

    In my opinion, and i think for everybody that has even a tiny little bit of open mind/critical thinking/as unbiased as can be, in them, it´s quite obvious that the U.S economy pretty much is based on war-mongering...

  382. Enzu

    Fascist - Maybe
    Socialist - No

    But then the U.S have never cared what political "side" it´s "enemy" had.

    They have fought Fascism, Socialism and even Capitalism when it suited it´s agenda and vice versa

  383. altazorx

    Your "opinion" is not important, what matters is what you can support with evidence or at least logical arguments.

    When you say "a tiny little bit of open mind/critical thinking" you are using the ad-hominem logical fallacy.

    Talking about arguments and evidence, these are the wars of the Soviet Union, the Socialist state:

    Soviet Invasion of Manchuria (China)
    Spanish Civil War
    Soviet-Japanese Clash on Manchurian Border (Lake Khasan)
    Soviet-Japanese War over Mongolia
    WW II : Soviet Occupation of Eastern Poland
    WW II : Soviet Occupation of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
    WW II : Winter War (Invasion of Finland)
    WW II : Soviet Occupation of Bessarabia, N. Bukovina
    World War II : German Invasion
    Latvian Partisan War against Soviet Occupation, Annexation
    Lithuanian Partisan War against Soviet Ocupation, Annexation
    WW II : War with Japan
    East German Uprising

    Wars of the USSR 1955-1991

    Hungarian Rebellion
    Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia to terminate Prague Spring
    Sino-Soviet Border Clash
    Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan
    Osh Riots, Kyrgyzstan
    South Ossetian Rebellion (Secesion from Georgia)
    Communist Coup d'Eta


  384. bumpercrop

    I would love just once, just one time, to enjoy reading comments following a documentary on socialism, in which Republicans could make an intelligent argument based on factual knowledge, and for pity sake, leave the christian religion (and badly understood scripture at that) completely out of the argument.Are they just obsessed with their own version of reality? The reason any social program does not work is because many people refuse to give up their ego for 5 minutes.

  385. bumpercrop

    and for the record. Ayn Rand took both social security and medicare.

  386. bumpercrop

    The United Church of Gov/Corp can only sell to us what we purchase.

  387. bumpercrop

    But because people have bred carelessly and prodigiously and the religious prevent the masses from obtaining effective reproduction education and contraception, we have used up most of our natural resources. You can't eat nor drink money.

  388. Henrik Gøtke

    i have lived in Sweden, and I can asure everybody, that Sweden is the worst socialist piece of **** country in the entire western world. People don´t know that, but over half a million danes has been persecuted back to Denmark, when they tried to settle down in Sweden. And for what reason? It´s good business. Realestate thrives, bu the main reason for the swedish evil is, that there has to be made room for more muslims. They can´t get enough of muslims, which in the future will guarantee Sweden to be an absolute socialist muslim hellhole.

  389. Thomas Leo

    It's amusing, that all these comments, declare that socialism works. Socialism has never worked. It didn't work before, or after, WW1 & WW2. It's on life support now, and modern socialism only thrives in Europe because of the USA. Now that the US is declining, economically and culturally, we see that Europe's socialism is finally coming to fruition; and it's falling apart everywhere. Cypurs, Greece, Spain, etc.

  390. Kir

    Socialism is good if you haven't own capital

  391. Ana

    The Socialists conferences in the west (4:00) show that the majority of the people advocating socialism seem to be leftist Jews. In the former Soviet Union the majority of Communist at the top were Jews. I wonder why so many Jews seem to be believers in this nonsense? What is it that makes some Jews want to create a Tower of Babel that makes an ideology a god over the people.

  392. Jörgen Larsson, Skoghall

    Sweden is not socialistic, has never been. It has been socialdemocratic, which is a huge difference. Socialdemocracy is about mixed economy, a flirt with socialist values whilst basing the main part of the system firmly in capitalism. Sweden today is involved directly in war despite what Enzu thinks. Afghanistan. As for your own comment on US warring not being related to capitalism, it has EVERYTHING to do with capitalism, at its highest point, imperialism.

  393. 11BenJamin11

    I never watched this doc but as far as im concerned in the world today it is socialism for the rich (bank bail outs, corporate tax cuts and loopholes etc.) and capitalism for the poor.

  394. Sixlo

    Propaganda much? I tried to watch all of it, but it was just too much nonsense. When they got to the part about how wonderful things were at the turn of the last century in the U.S., I nearly got sick. The BS detector rang itself off the wall. The credits scream "Think Tank Propaganda";

    Brittany Huckabee

    Ben Wattenberg
    American Enterprise Institute

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