The Economy of Abundance # 7
The Secret Future and New Economic Law:
In the Economy of Abundance Work Performed is
No Longer the Effective Determinant for Compensation
or Participation in the Wealth of the Community.
[Or, the most successful nations in the immediate future
will be those that discard the pay-for-work model and
replace it with either pay for responsible citizenship or
pay for whatever social values that the society wants.]
Copyright 2012, John Manimas Medeiros
The economy of abundance and the success of the industrial revolution reduce the need for human labor to the extent that being fully employed can no longer be the only justification for receiving money in order to participate in the consumption of the gross domestic product. As we experience long periods of high unemployment, which will continue through the 21st century, people will gradually come to realize that because human labor has been replaced by machines, we cannot hold unemployed individuals responsible for their economic status. Our economic system and technology has succeeded in reducing the need for human labor. The ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato (The Republic), said that this was the highest human aspiration, for a man to be free to spend time with his family resting from the demands of hard labor, enjoying the beauty of nature, and playing instead of working. The inspiration for the rise of modern science that began around 1500, known as "The Renaissance" or rebirth, included the conviction that the scientific method, beautifully rendered in the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, would save society from the negative consequences of scarcity and hard labor. Now we have it. Summertime and the living is easy, as well as during spring, autumn and winter. Our technological economy does the work for us, and we are getting into trouble trying to figure out how to adjust to our technological success. The painful obstacles to our adjustment is the set of economic ideas that apply to the past and not to the present. Those economic principles appear to be fundamental moral precepts -- that people should be paid only if they work, and if a person is not employed it must be because they are lazy. Both of these views of reality are dead and must be buried.
Together with our medical advances, and the greater acceptance of human sexuality, we not only have less of a need for human labor, we also have not yet come to understand that we can, and must, deliberately limit the human population. Since we no longer need a large army of workers, we must develop a population policy that applies economic principles to the production of people. Abundant people too, excess people, are a product of the economy of abundance, and we must have lower population targets. Our technological success means we are called upon by the finite reality of our planet to determine how many people are the right number, the same as we do for deer, bear, cups of coffee, cars, and sneakers. We are economically doomed if we overproduce people, even more so than when we make the mistake of producing too many televisions or too many boxes of macaroni and cheese. Economists so often argue that they are cold blooded and rational, and that we must be hard-headed and scientific when choosing our economic policies. However, they are as weak as baby birds when it comes to the issue of population control, because the stale, destructive tumor of "growth" stuck in their brains requires larger markets for the old products forever. The primary obstacle to human understanding of the economy of abundance is the infantile viewpoint that growth is infinitely good. But cancer is the reality of growth that is unlimited and uncontrolled. The economy of abundance is vulnerable to cancerous growth and the only cure is stability, an economy that does not depend on growth for profits and capital, but rather has the health and stability of society, of the people, as its highest goal. This was promised by the moral visions of ancient Greeks and the imaginations of the scientists of the Renaissance. Human civilization has been reborn, and now, in order to survive, it has to live within concrete boundaries. The sky is not the limit. The Earth is the limit.
Therefore, here and now I use my science of economic abundance to make a scientific prediction: those nations and societies that recognize the need to provide consumers with money to spend even when they are not employed, or not "fully employed" will experience economic and social success and relative political peace. Those societies, like the USA today, who cannot let go of the past and insist that only those who work shall have money to pay for all of the things that society produces, will experience political turmoil and will follow a tragic, downward spiral toward persistent economic and social crisis.
This prediction is in fact already being demonstrated as correct, because the Scandinavian countries, as well as Taiwan and Cuba and several other small and medium-sized nations understand that the greatest harm is done -- to individuals and families and to the society as a whole -- when a system of economic abundance renders people isolated and excluded from the economy by having little or no money. Unemployment is not caused by laziness or a lack of motivation or any voluntary withdrawal from the economic system. Unemployment is caused by the success of the industrial and technological revolution that began around 1500. We have succeeded, and now we need to adjust to the new world we have created. As usual, making real changes in our expectations of one another is harder than designing and building new machines. We are very good at building new machines and developing new industrial processes. It is ourselves that we find very difficult to change.
Watch. You will see those societies that practice the unifying art and science of "socialism" will succeed easily, while those who insist on social control and mandated labor and the dominance of private corporations (similar to a slave society), will fail.
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