True Economic Factors
- 1 Overview
- 2 General Systems Theory
- 3 Social Goals
- 3.1 (1) Optimized Industrial Efficiency; Active Pursuit of “Post-Scarcity Abundance”
- 3.2 (2) Maintain Optimized Ecological Balance & Sustainability
- 3.3 (3) Deliberate Liberation of Humanity from Monotonous, Dangerous & Irreverent Labor
- 3.4 (4) Facilitate Active System Adaptation to Emerging Variables
- 4 Macroeconomic Factors
- 5 Microeconomic Factors
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 References
- 8 Source
In Greek, economy means the management of a household. The defining qualitative attribute of an economy is its level of “efficiency”. As opposed to the practice of “market efficiency” common today, this form of efficiency relates to physical systems – not the inter-workings of “money”, the “market” and other arguably cultural contrivances.
In this process of physical evaluation, we inevitably end up with a set of interrelated components appropriately called economic factors. Again, these components, unlike the vast financial theories in play in the modern world today, have nothing to do with the act of commerce or the like. Rather, they factor in the actual technical processes, hence trends, potentials and measurement requirements, needed for optimized system organization of industrial extraction, production, distribution, design, recycling protocols and the like.
However, for the sake of comprehension, even though this manner of economic thought is a vast departure from the traditional monetary-based economic theories we endure today, this essay will still frame these resource-based economic components in the context of traditional “microeconomic” and “macroeconomic” categorical distinctions, as would be found in common textbooks with respect to monetary economics.
The macroeconomic components have to do with the largest possible physical system degree associations we can comprehend.
The microeconomic components relate to specific industries or sectors, usually associated with singular good production, regional distribution and regenerative specifics. (This will be expanded upon more so later in this essay.) By system extension, macroeconomic components naturally govern the logic related to the microeconomic components as well. For example, the macroeconomic attribute of global resource management has a universal bearing on the proper unfolding of microeconomic operations such as product design efficiency (which invariably use such global resources).
However, before these component factors are addressed, a further discussion of systems is in order, along with a declaration of what our societal goals actually are.
General Systems Theory
General Systems Theory is an idea likely made most famous by biologist Ludwig Von Bertalanffy. He stated: “...there exist models, principles, and laws that apply to generalized systems or their subclasses, irrespective of their particular kind, the nature of their component elements, and the relationships or "forces" between them. It seems legitimate to ask for a theory, not of systems of a more or less special kind, but of universal principles applying to systems in general.” While systems theorists throughout the years have put a great deal of intellectual complexity and elaboration forward, the basic recognition is rather simple and intuitively easy to grasp.
The human body, for example, is composed of various system interconnections which not only natively regulate specific processes for a given purpose (such as the heart and its role in blood circulation), these systems always have smaller and larger degree relationships as well. In the case of the heart, the blood it circulates has its own set of defined chemical properties and system behaviors (smaller degree system relationship) while the heart itself is also a component part of the total human organ array (larger degree system relationship) and hence connects with, for example, the lungs which assist in oxygen distribution throughout the blood stream.
Extending this example to larger degree relationships, this human system is connected to an ecological system, which invariably has a direct correlation to human health. For instance, poor industrial methods existing within this ecological system can introduce, for example, pollution into the air, causing conditions that might set the stage for lung problems or other detriments to human health.
Of course, system relationships to human health are not only “physical” in the traditional sense of the term, they are also psychologically and sociologically causal. Science has come to better understand how human learning and behavioral propensities are generated through both genetic and environmental influences, invariably engaging a larger systems context. For example, as noted in prior essays, addiction problems, such as with drugs or alcohol, can often be found linked to early life stress and emotional loss. In truth, the very basis for understanding public health is of a systems recognition, without exception.
Now, binding all systems are what could be termed “generalized governing principles”. In scientific terms, a “generalized” principle or theory is a foundational characteristic or assumption that governs an entire system. A notable, ongoing quest of modern science has been the search for universally governing principles that apply to all known systems in the universe, as gestured in the prior quotation by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy.
While a great deal of theoretical debate exists with respect to the complex behavior of certain systems, (finding clashes of perspective between, for example, “classical mechanics” and “quantum mechanics”) the understandings relevant to efficient economic organization - a system design intended to optimize human well-being and long term ecological/social sustainability - need not get lost in such abstraction. Thus, the economic relationships presented in this essay are fairly obvious and easy to validate.
However, let it be stated that when the systems worldview is truly understood in its profound ramification of immutable interconnectedness and hence interdependence/co-responsibility of literally everything in the known universe, traditional cultural notions based on human or social division - such as religious loyalty, race loyalty, class, nation states, patriotism and other manifestations born from a world arguably ignorant of this reality in the past – can create nothing but confusion, maladjustment and conflict in the long-term.
Realizing and striving to think in the context of interconnected systems is critical for intellectual development, hence creating an educational imperative for people to also learn more as “generalists” as opposed to rigid “specialists”, which is the current pattern due to the structure of our traditional labor roles. Sadly, our educational system today has been shaped and structured not to create well-rounded understandings of the world, but rather directs focus to isolated and narrow specialties, which reduce systems comprehension consequently.
So, returning to the specific context of the creation of an economic model, this system relevance inherently creates an essentially “self-generating” causality that reduces subjectivity greatly. When we relate current understandings of the human system to the ecological system, we find a process of objective calculation with respect to what is possible and sustainable, both in the general structure of industrial processes and the value structure of society itself.
In the end, once this reality is understood, knowing that we may never have an absolute understanding of the total, universal governing system, our task is hence to derive an economic model that best superimposes upon such known properties and relationships of the physical world, adapting and adjusting as efficiently as possible, as new feedback (information) continues to prove valid. Put another way, the creation of an economic model is really a process of structural alignment with the existing ecological system already in play on the planet earth. The degree to which we are able to achieve this, defines our success.
While diverse global cultures today show many unique features and interests, there is still a basic, virtually universal set of shared needs which revolve around survival. In concert, this essentially comprises the basis of “public health”, in its broadest definition.
Below is a list of general, seemingly obvious social “goals” which this new economic model would work to meet, with detailed explanations following. Overall, they are component goals of the pursuit to increase quality of life for the whole of humanity, while maintaining true sustainability in the long run.
- Optimized Industrial Efficiency; Active Pursuit of “Post-Scarcity Abundance”.
- Maintain Optimized Ecological/Cultural Balance & Sustainability.
- Deliberate Liberation of Humanity from Monotonous/Dangerous Labor.
- Facilitate Active System Adaptation to Emerging Variables.
(1) Optimized Industrial Efficiency; Active Pursuit of “Post-Scarcity Abundance”
Unlike the current, structural economic mandate to preserve inefficiency for the sake of monetary circulation, economic growth and power preservation, this goal seeks to optimize, both technically and structurally, all industrial processes to work towards and create what could be gesturally termed a post-scarcity abundance.
In short, a post-scarcity abundance is an idealized state that eliminates scarcity of a given resource or process, usually by means of optimized efficiency regarding production design and strategic use. Needless to say, the idea of achieving universal post-scarcity - meaning an abundant amount of everything for everyone - is rightfully an impossibility, even in the most optimistic views. Therefore, this term, as used here, really highlights a point of focus.
Common examples of current post-scarcity realities, which will be addressed at length in a later essay, include the statistically proven ability to generate an abundance of nutrition for the world's population, an abundance of energy for responsible human use, an abundance of domiciles to shelter, at a high level of quality, every family on earth, along with an abundance of goods, both needs-based (i.e. tools) and reasonable want based (luxury/specialty items) to facilitate an ever-easing and improving quality of life unknown by likely 99% of humanity today.
These and many other possibilities have been proven as statistical realties for the Earth's current population and beyond, accomplished through what R. Buckminster Fuller gesturally called the “Design-Science Revolution”, or the re-design of our social infrastructure to enable this new and profound efficiency.
Needless to say, this societal redesign suggests a radical departure from current social norms and established traditions, including the very nature of our socioeconomic/governmental structure itself. (The complex subject of transition will be discussed in a later essay.)
(2) Maintain Optimized Ecological Balance & Sustainability
Maintaining environmental sustainability is of obvious importance given the human species has no independence from its habitat and is strictly supported by it. In fact, evolution itself reveals that we are actually generated from the habitat, further expressing the deeply symbiotic/synergistic connection.
Any negative disturbance of these interconnected ecological systems will likely result in proportional negative disturbances of our wellbeing over time. Therefore, making sure the economic system in practice has a structural, built-in respect for these natural orders is critical to public health and sustainability in the long term. This aspect itself is, in fact, a gauge of an economic system's own practical validity as a life-support structure.
It is worth reiterating that the current market model of economics maintains literally no structural acknowledgment of these natural order laws. The market simply assumes such balance will be maintained through what are rightly deemed metaphysical mechanisms related to monetary-market dynamics alone - A false assumption.
(3) Deliberate Liberation of Humanity from Monotonous, Dangerous & Irreverent Labor
As will be described in technical detail in a later essay with respect to the powerful, ephemeralization oriented trend of what is termed mechanization (meaning the application of machines, displacing labor roles commonly held by humans) the need for human toil and suffering in monotonous, irrelevant or dangerous occupations has become increasingly less needed.
This new technical reality has also created trends which were once unimaginable, such as the fact that the application of automation has proven to now be more efficient than human labor, making the persistent tradition of “earning a living” an increasingly irresponsible social convention given that we can now do more with less people in virtually every sector today.
Likewise, it is also important to consider the pattern of human employment over generational time, recognizing that the current social detriment of “unemployment” is entirely manifest from the application of technology to labor. The great myth of the 20th century, propagated by market economists is that technology creates jobs in the same proportion as jobs are taken away by it. This is now proven as statistically incorrect as the exponential increase in information technology and its translation into ever-advancing machine efficiency proves the fallacy of this once seemingly true observation. Today, the 21st century labor crisis shows no sign of subsiding and will only find resolution through a restructuring of industrial labor methods, altering the “work for a living” tradition dramatically.
(4) Facilitate Active System Adaptation to Emerging Variables
While this goal might seem more abstract than prior goals, acknowledging the emergent reality of intellectual and industrial evolution is critical. We must structurally allow for adaptation.
The aggregate intellectual culmination of human knowledge is and, as the trends currently show, will always be, incomplete. Many practices that might be deemed “sustainable” or in accord with public health today, might very well be found to be detrimental in a relative or absolute sense in the future. An example would be the decades past of oil combustion. While little negative retroactions were found during its early use, today there is a strong push to move away from hydrocarbon energy use due to the growing consequences resulting from its employment as the primary energy source for society – especially given the current state of more clean and more abundant alternatives.
Therefore, the industrial/economic system must be dynamically updatable, enabling rapid error correction and improvement as progress unfolds. Again, this type of flexibility is currently missing in the market economy today, since any such changes often have a destabilizing effect on the profitability of related industries. Change in general is extremely slow in the modern period in this regard due to the paralysis that originates from the preservation of market share and group power. It can be well argued that progress is often detrimental to existing profit schemes.
In traditional, market-based economic theory, macroeconomics deals with the broadest influences and policies that affect, in part, the dynamics and probable outcomes of the microeconomic condition. This usually relates to growth measures, employment levels, interest rates, national debts, currencies and the like.
In the context of a NLRBE, we can also establish economic components which could be categorically thought about in the same way, only this time it has to do with the largest order governing pressures of the physical world directly, along with how these physical principles relate to the more “microeconomic” actions of good production, design, distribution and the like. In other words, it is an overarching rule structure, supported by essentially physical science, to ensure true economic efficiency is maintained and optimized.
At the core of the macroeconomic (and, by extension, microeconomic) approach rests the method of thought and analysis itself. This is “The Scientific Method”. It is often said that nothing in science can be proven, only disproven. This is the beauty of the method as its inherent skepticism of its own conclusions, if uninhibited by human bias, can assure continual progress and adjustment. Science gives a vehicle to arrive at conclusions, not “make them”, and it is this system-based logic where all economic decisions are to be oriented regarding both possibilities and restrictions.
Inherent to The Scientific Method in the context of “macroeconomic policy” for a NLRBE are what we could consider Earth-wide recognitions. These components have to do essentially with the following:
- Global Resource Management
- Global Demand Assessment
- Global Production and Distribution Protocols.
These three factors are considered “macroeconomic” since they embody core, near universal infrastructure considerations, regardless of what a given production specifically entails or where it is on the planet. (It should also be immediately recognized that the concept of a “national economy” is no longer viable in this perspective, nor was it ever, in truth, technically speaking.)
1) Global Resource Management
Global Resource Management is the process of tracking resource use and hence working to predict and avoid shortages and other problems. In effect, it is no different than the logic underlying most common inventory systems we might find in the commercial arena today. However, this system has to do primarily with tracking the rate of natural generation to maintain dynamic equilibrium.
All known natural resources - whether lumber, copper ore, water, oil, etc. - have their own rates of natural regeneration, if any. In certain cases, such as the state of certain metals or minerals, regeneration rates are so large scale that it would be more appropriate to simply assume a finite supply outright. Overall, this process would begin with a total Earth survey to whatever degree technically possible, tracked in real-time to whatever degree technically possible.
The catalogue of tracked resource components would include all forms, from biotic resources such as trees, to abiotic resources such as iron ores and the like. Pollution and other ecological disturbances of resource integrity would also be accounted for. While such a total systems approach to this Earth-wide resource accounting and tracking system might seem like a difficult task, it is actually very feasible in the modern day, with such technology already being employed by respective industries in the corporate setting.
(2) Global Demand Assessment
Global Demand Assessment is the process of realizing the demands of the human population. In short, this process would be broken up into a series of regional surveys, coupled with the release of publications that inform the public as to new designs possible in consumer or industrial production.
Whereas from the current cultural practice, which consists of public advertising by profit seeking corporations, often impose status/vanity oriented values on the population in many respects rather than serving to assist them with existing needs, the process of engagement in a NLRBE deals explicitly with creating awareness of new technical possibilities as they emerge, while also allowing public consensus to decide what is of interest to produce and what isn't.
This could be termed the “market” of a NLRBE. In many ways, it can also be considered the mechanism of societal “governance” itself since this type of social interaction towards decision-making does not have to be restricted to mere good design and production. After all, at the core of any society are really the technical mechanisms that enable order, well-being and quality of life.
We often forget what the purpose of a government really is in the modern day. At its core, it is a means to assist economic organization to improve life, ease stress and create safety. The problem is that government today has necessarily turned into a system of essentially organized corruption and “mafia” type protectionism rather than a facilitator of life support.
In this new approach, a purely technical/interactive system is established which works, in gesture, similar to how the notion of “direct democracy” has been proposed to work in the modern day, where decision-making processes involve group participation in a direct way, goal by goal. With the exponential increase in computer-based calculation power, this type of aggregate societal “thinking” is now possible.
The details of this interactive system, along with an expansion of an integral concept termed as “automated design” or the calculation of utility-based systems (in this context the system being a good in question), will be addressed in a following essay. However, let it be stated that all designs have a built-in logic towards what works, what is sustainable and what reduces negative retractions (or problems). It is this new, technical referential benchmark that guides the process of industrial design.
Now, a final note worth mentioning in passing is that in the current market economy, the demand assessment process is orchestrated in a deeply haphazard manner via what is traditionally termed the “price mechanism”. Many in traditional economic schools have even argued that the dynamic variability of human interests makes it technically impossible to calculate such demand without the price mechanism. While this may have been somewhat true in the early 20th century when these claims were made, the age of advanced computer calculation, coupled with modern sensing and tracking technology, has removed this barrier of complexity.
(3) Global Production & Distribution Protocols
Global Production and Distribution Protocols address the reasoning by which the overall industrial system is to be laid out in the context of Earth surface infrastructure. This simple notion has to do with where these facilities are located and why. A basic economic factor to consider here is what we will call the “proximity strategy”.
In the current system, the property orientation forces facilities for production and distribution to be scattered and rather random in placement. The advent of globalization and the constant search for cost efficiency by corporations via cheap labor and resources creates enormous inefficiency and waste, not to mention a basis for inhumane labor exploitation and other problems.
In a NLRBE, the organization of global industrial processes are based on optimizing efficiency at all times, creating a network of facilities, logically based around factors related to the purpose of those facilities. This is actually simple to consider since the variables related can be quantified in importance fairly easily. Since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, coupled with the modern technical capacity to produce many goods without the need for regional conditions (e.g. advanced, enclosed food production systems), a core concern to reduce energy and waste is to localize, as much as possible.
(3a) Global Production Protocols
The best way to express this is to provide a specific example by which variations can find a common context. We will use the example of the textile industry, specifically the manufacturing of clothing. Today, 98% of the clothing Americans wear is imported, mostly from China. Most clothes are still made from cotton today. Where does China like to get a great deal of its cotton? - the United States. So, today, the United States produces a core raw commodity for the textile industry, ships to China to make the clothes, only to have it shipped back to the US when done.We can use our imagination with respect to the millions of barrels of oil alone wasted over time on this movement of materials, when such harvesting and production could be localized very easily. Again, this is a product of the market economy's internal economic mechanisms that have no regard for true, Earthly economic relationships - which require physical efficiency and waste reduction - not financial efficiency and a reduction of monetary costs. This is a clear disconnect.
(3b) Global Distribution Protocols
The same basic logic applies to post-production distribution. Once goods are created, they are to be made available regionally in the most efficient way possible, based on demand and proximity. Once established per regional needs, distribution has three basic components:
3b1) Facility Location
3b2) Method of Access
3b1) Facility Location
Facility Location is based on logical proximity of a population concentration. This is best exemplified with the current practice today of (usually) placing grocery stores in average convenience about a community, though even this strategy is often compromised by the market's inherent logic. However, other technological factors could come into play to ease the movement of goods and reduce waste, along with more convenient access. While local facilities containing the most commonly needed goods might exist in close proximity around a community, delivery systems, such as automated pneumatic tube structures for medium-sized products, could be installed into homes in the same manner as plumbing is built into a home today. Other variations could include systems of access based on specific, regional needs, such as the case with recreational activities. Access facilities can be placed on location for various interests, such as sports resources, supplying needed equipment at the time and place of use.
3b2) Method of Access
Method of Access is best described as a shared “library” system. This isn't to imply that all items retrieved must be “returned” to these access facilities, but to show that they can be for convenience. It is certainly a welcomed practice since this process of “sharing” is a powerful enabler of both preservation efficiency and public access efficiency. In other words, fewer goods are needed to meet the interests of more of the population through sharing systems, as compared to the 1:1 universal property system practiced today. A common example would be specialized tool needs that are used relatively sparsely in the population. Production equipment for a specific project and recreation equipment that might be used only a few times a year, are simple examples. On the other side of the spectrum, everyday needs, such as personal communication technology and the like, are made available in the same way, with an expectation of return likely only when the item fails, so it can be recycled or repaired. This concept of moving from a property-oriented to an access-oriented society is a powerful notion. Today, certain “rental” industries have already seen the fruits of this concept in the form of convenience, even in a market system.Again, comparing to the current model, these facilities exist like “stores” do today, with regional demand dynamically calculated to ensure supply abundance and avoid shortages and overruns. The difference is that nothing is “sold” and the ethos is of an strategically efficient, interactive system of sharing, with, again, returns occurring also when product life expires or when the good is no longer needed.As an aside, there is a common reaction to this idea that problems such as “hoarding” or some kind of abuse would ensue. This assumption is basically superimposing current monetary-market consequences on the new model, erroneously. People in the scarcity driven world today hoard and protect impulsively when they have something to fear or wish to exploit goods for their market value. In the NLRBE, there is no resale value in the system since there is no money. Therefore, the idea of hoarding anything would be an inconvenience rather than an advantage.
Tracking and Feedback, as implied above, is an integral part of keeping the system, both regional and global, as fluid as possible, when it comes to not only the meeting of regional demand through adequate supply, but also keeping pace with changes in extraction, production, distribution technology and new demands. Naturally, these factors are highly synergistic. Sensor systems, programs and other resource tracking technology have been rapidly developing for various industrial uses. Modern commercial inventory systems are already quite advanced in the proper context when it comes to demand and distribution. The issue is merely its scalability in certain contexts to account for all necessary attributes. In conclusion to this section on macroeconomic factors, the overarching consideration is efficiency on all levels and this has its own causal logic as noted before, when considered in the larger ecological and physical system interconnectivity inherent to the natural world. This efficiency has to do with waste reduction and meeting human needs, always oriented in its possibilities by the current state of technology via the scientific method.
Given these so-called macroeconomic concepts, it is important to restate that the underlying principles regarding optimum efficiency, productivity and sustainability are the same throughout the whole model, from top to bottom. This is, again, the train of thought coming from the scientific method, calculated within the near-empirical framework of natural law logic itself.Now, while traditional market-based economic theory considers “microeconomics” as something of a study of the behavior of individuals, households and businesses making decisions around markets, price determinations and other factors based essentially around the movement of money in various ways, the microeconomic context of a NLRBE is quite different.Microeconomic considerations in this new model revolve around the actual methods of good design and production itself. This is basically organized around two factors:
- Product Design Efficiency
- Means of Production Efficiency
Product Design Efficiency
Product Design Efficiency relates to the integrity of design itself. Today, cost efficiency and the resulting technical inefficiencies, coupled with the corporate process of competition and the vast unnecessary duplication of specific goods, has created a climate of unnecessary waste and limited product lifespans. There are also, as will be discussed in greater detail in a moment, few built-in recycling protocols, if any, during these production designs as well. This is important because advanced recycling would assist in more preservation of materials in the long run, adding to long-term efficiency.
Likewise, proprietary technologies, serving the interest to preserve market share for a particular business, have created an environment where there is very little compatibility of component parts across multiple manufacturers of the same basic products.Therefore, five component factors are relevant here:
1a) Optimized Durability
1b) Optimized Adaptability
1c) Universal Standardization
1d) Integrated Recycling Protocols
1e) Conducive for Automation
1a) Optimized Durability
Optimized Durability simply means that any good produced is done so with the intention to last as long as possible, in this most strategic manner possible. The notion of strategic is important here for this is not to imply that all, for example, computer enclosures should be made out of titanium, simply because it is very strong. Once again, this is a synergistic design calculation where the notion of the “best” material for a given purpose is always relative to parallel production needs which also might require that type of material. Therefore, the decision to use a specific material is to be assessed not only for its use for the specific good, but also by comparing it to the needs of other productions which require similar efficiency. Nothing exists outside this system-centric comparison. All industrial decisions are made with consideration of the largest system degree of relevance.This interest to create the “strategically best” is critical to human sustainability, especially when it has been reported that we are using our natural resources today faster than the planet is generating them, due to such inefficiencies. The modern “throwaway” culture is not only driven by a hedonistic, short-sighted value system imposed by modern advertising and current measures of “wealth” and “success”, it is also needed to maintain the paid labor system, a pivotal part of keeping the market economy going.
1b) Optimized Adaptability
Optimized Adaptability is really a sub-component of “Optimized Efficiency” in the context of design engineering. Today, from automobiles to cell phones, efficiency increasing technological advancements continue rapidly. Yet, even with this rapid rate of change, other larger order attributes remain the same for relatively longer periods of time, as per historical trends. In other words, different production components have different rates of change and this means a system of “adaptability” and active “updating” can be foreshadowed through trend analysis, with the resulting expectations built into an existing design to the best degree possible.An example would be the rate of change of a computer system's chip processor (CPU). The advancement of chip power has been accelerating rapidly due to Moore's law. As a result, many software applications, as they improve to embrace these new speeds enabled, will not work on computer system with older chips. This typically forces the user to buy a new computer system, even though the only true issue is the CPU, not the whole system. While other factors can come into play such as system compatibility with the new chip, seldom do people update these chips alone, even though it is feasible.This kind of adaptability is critical today on all levels, which alludes to the next economic component, “universal standardization”.
1c) Universal Standardization
Universal Standardization is a set of optimized protocols, generated from mass industrial feedback in a collaborative way that works to create uniform, universal compatibility of all components associated to a given good genre. Today, this lack of standardization is a source of not only great waste, but great instability in the functioning of common goods, since the competitive ethos and proprietary intent restricts efficiency in a powerful way.This practice has been justified under the guise of “progress” in design with the premise that competing corporations, incentivized by financial gain, will “outdo” each other and hence be more productive with advancement. While there might be some truth to this, the retardation, waste and instability caused does not justify the practice. Furthermore, it has, and will always be, the sharing of information in the long run that has led to advancement, both personal and societal.
Creating a research database of known component parts by industry, actively shared across the world as a point of design reference and feedback in the creation of common parts and goods, is not a difficult task and certainly would not inhibit technological advancement or ingenuity. If anything, it would present more diverse information and perspectives and hence better decisions could be made faster.
1d) Integrated Recycling Protocols
This simply means that the current state of component and material reuse is optimized directly and strategically considered in the very design of the product itself. Again, this does not happen in the modern day, in any efficient way. A survey of landfills in the world finds many useful component parts that have been discarded in association with larger systems (goods). Since a normal corporation who makes such items rarely encourages them to be returned for direct reprocessing, this is the inevitable outcome. Furthermore, while traditional plastic, glass, paper and other recycling systems are in place with moderate efficiency, this process is really crude and ineffective in comparison to direct, industry-connected regeneration. In a NLRBE, optimized recycling considerations to reuse materials, preformed or not, would be standard. In the end, “landfills” would not exist in this approach, as there is a way to reuse virtually everything we produce, if we had the interest to do so.
1e) Conducive for Automation
This means that a given good design accounts for the state of labor automation, seeking to remove human involvement whenever possible by more efficient, often less complex design. In other words, part of the efficiency equation is to make the production easy to produce by automated means, taking into account the current state of automation techniques. We seek to simplify the way materials and production means are used so that the maximum number of goods can be produced with the least variation of materials and production equipment. More on this in the next section.
(2) Means of Production Efficiency
Means of Production Efficiency as an economic component refer to the actual tools and methods used in industrial production itself. While this could also be considered a macroeconomic factor in many ways, it is considered microeconomic based on the fact that it relates to direct, specific production as well, along with human labor roles.
The means of production of anything is directly related to the state of technology. From the Neolithic Revolution, with the advent of stone tools, to the birth of “cybernation” today and “thinking” machines that can assess, execute and problem solve, the core foundation of all “labor” has been an engagement with available, assisting technological tools.
The trend has been an easing of labor overall, with a general reduction of the human workforce in each sector as related to capacity. Two hundred years ago, the agricultural industry employed most of the people in the United States. Today, only a very small fraction is working in agriculture due to machine application and automation. This phenomenon and trend of “mechanization” is important because today it is challenging the very basis of the labor for income system, along with foreshadowing productivity moving towards a point of what could be termed “post-scarcity”.
Today, we are more productive with less people in any given sector, relative to time and capacity, due to the application of machine technology. In many ways, this reality marks one of the most significant shifts in our social evolution, challenging the very fabric of our current social system, revealing immense possibilities for the future as far as the creation of a strategic abundance.
So, in a NLRBE, this ability is maximized, reducing the human work force as we know it by a liberal application and expansion of automation, increasing productivity vastly. Human labor involvement, while still necessary even in more advanced phases, is reduced to broad oversight of these automated systems as they are established. Factories are also no longer bound by traditional restrictions due to an eight hour long, five day a week schedule since there is no reason, given the massive reduction of human contribution possible. These systems could now function 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if needed.
As an aside, the question is often posed: “How many people are needed to oversee fluid operations and handle problem resolution?” This kind of question can be answered by assessing current statistical trends, averaging them and then extrapolating them forward.
However, there is a common confusion between “work” in the sense of common drudgery by which the monetary incentive is a common reward, and the “work” which all humans, due to pure creative interest and contributive intent, perform as well. A deep value shift assumed by TZM is that progress in the classic distinction of “work” will morph into a type of social contribution that is actually of enjoyment and interest to people. Today, all across the world, the human interest to explore, create and improve exists, regardless of the monetary imposition.
However, due the constant pressure for income in the current model, nearly all such acts assume the needed context of a pursuit of money for survival. It could be argued that this has polluted the more natural human incentive system to explore, learn and create, without such a pressure.
That noted, the notion of “work” then in the context of overseeing operations, repairing systems and other maintenance would likely not be reduced to the type of drudgery we so often considered the “work” reality in the modern day. Rather, the act is respected as a form of personal contribution for personal and social gain, since every act engaged in this type of system has a direct personal benefit to the people working to keep it operating smoothly.
Again, this incentive is almost non-existent in the current mode since the capitalist system is designed for all the core profit benefits to go to the owners of the businesses, with the fruits of production often never relating to the worker in a direct sense, absent mere wage rewards. Today, employee/owner relations exist as something of a “class war”, with animosity between the groups a common occurrence. In this new approach, all acts of contribution benefit the person performing the act, and the community at large. They are connected directly.
That being understood, only a very small fraction of the population would be “required”, as it were, to engage in maintaining the core systems, likely about 5% of the population when industrial methods reach modern possibilities. This 5% could then be broken-up across the population. So, if a given population of a city region is 50,000 people, the industrial system would require 2500 people, assuming a traditional work week of eight hours a day for five days per week. This translates into 100,000 hours being worked a week. In terms of the total population this work responsibility amounts to a mutual obligation of each person “working” only two hours a week.
Clearly, this is a hypothetical as in such an advanced system, a system that serves everyone, human values would change greatly and many would likely be honored to take on more hours, reducing the obligation of others. Once again, we are talking about barebones maintenance here, as opposed to an immersive "job" as is currently understood and required. In reality, a free society of this nature could create an eruption of creative advancement and progress never before seen, with people working to contribute in vast, robust ways. Why? - Because, again, such individuals would also be helping themselves directly in the process. Any invention, or breakthrough in efficiency serves the entire community in this model. Self-interest becomes social interest.
So, to conclude this point, this new means of production is about focusing core labor on true technical productivity that has a direct social/personal return, with the most liberal focus on automation and such efficiency increasing technology and automation as much as possible.
As with anything of this brevity, we have an inevitable incompleteness. Other factors, both macro and micro, could be expressed in further detail. However, if one follows this basic train of thought, a train of thought governed by scientific logic to ensure optimized physical efficiency and sustainability, these other parameters inevitably make themselves known.In short, the outcome of this NLRBE system requires the same type of respectful engagement as with any other natural system. Just as our understanding of the forest and its regeneration and biodiversity has led a basic philosophy to engage this ecosystem with respect to its vulnerabilities to ensure its long-term integrity, the same logic applies to the NLRBE as a whole.
This social model is an attempt to mirror the natural world in the most direct way possible and could be considered a “natural system” just like anything else we find in nature, such as an ecosystem. Would it ever be perfect? No. But the logical foundation is there for constant improvement, far beyond the state of affairs today.The following summary tree, as a general outline for this essay, has been generated for review:
NLRBE: An Economic Model Overview
- System (Social) Goals
- (1) Optimized Industrial Efficiency; Active Pursuit of “Post-Scarcity” Abundance.
- (2) Maintain Optimized Ecological/Cultural Balance & Sustainability.
- (3) Deliberate Liberation of Humanity from Monotonous/Dangerous Labor.
- (4) Facilitate Active System Adaptation to Emerging Variables.
- Macroeconomic Components
- (a) Global Resource Management
- (b) Global Demand Assessment
- Creating awareness of new technical possibilities
- Public consensus to decide what is of interest to produce
- (c) Global Production and Distribution Protocols
- Global Production
- Strategic Localization
- Global Distribution
- Facility Location
- Method of Access
- Tracking & Feedback
- Global Production
- Microeconomic Components
- (a) Specific Good Efficiency
- Optimized durability
- Optimized adaptability
- Universal standardization
- Integrated Recycling Protocols
- Conducive for Automation
- (b) Means of Production Efficiency
- Applied Mechanization
- (a) Specific Good Efficiency
- Steven Hawking, A Brief History of Relativity, Time Magazine, December 31st, 1999
- The term 'economy' in Greek [Oikonomia] means the "management of a household; thrift” - hence to e·con·o·mize, or “increase efficiency”.
- See the essay Market Efficiency vs. Technical Efficiency.
- Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, General System theory: Foundations, Development, Applications, New York: George Braziller, 1976, p.32
- Ecology is defined as: the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment, including other organisms. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ecology)
- Dr. Gabor Maté in his work In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (North Atlantic Books, 2012) presents an enormous amount of research regarding how 'emotional loss' occurring at young ages affects behavior in later life, specifically the propensity for addictions.
- Reference: “Education and the Market Model”, John McMurtry, Journal of Philosophy of Education Volume 25, Issue 2, pps 209–217, 1991 Online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9752.1991.tb00642.x/abstract
- See the essay Market Efficiency vs. Technical Efficiency.
- The matter of degree, in fact, becomes arbitrary. Even if only possible with a few resource sets, it does not change the goal and importance of the pursuit of post-scarcity. Social improvement in general has been based upon such alleviations.
- See the essay Post-Scarcity Trends, Capacity and Efficiency.
- The physically unsustainable, excessive property and “hoarding” mentality common to the current culture's ideal of high social status and success today needs alleviation.
- Suggested Reading: R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path, St. Martin's Press, 1981
- See the essay Transition & The Hybrid Economy.
- See the essay History of Economy, where Adam Smith's notion of the “Invisible Hand” is discussed.
- See the essay Post-Scarcity Trends, Capacity and Efficiency
- Economists would likely dispute this statement today, with the claim of "outsourcing" and other issues brought into the equation (along with other narrow, truncated distinctions). In truth, looking at human labor without borders, on the global scale, over generational time, we see that it has been technology and only technology that has shifted both production methods and what is of interest to produce. If this progress were not seen, humanity would never have experienced the Neolithic Revolution and hence would still be hunting and gathering in a primitive way.
- This assumption is part of what has been historically termed the “The Luddite Fallacy”. It is worth noting that even if one were to entertain the Luddite Fallacy's claim that new jobs are created to equally compensate for displaced labor in a now-mechanized sector, increasingly it is becoming realized that such jobs arguably have little to no actual relevance to the viability and function of life-support. Hence, the "new jobs created" invariably serve as a kind of waste of human energy. It is one thing to perform acts of interest in one's life, on one's own accord. It is another to be coerced into such meaningless labor simply because you must "work for a living". Suggested Reading: David Graeber, On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs, Strike Magazine, 2013 (http://www.strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/)
- The issue here is the rate of technological acceleration. One hundred years ago, this rate of change was much less rapid, while today the rate of change is increasing exponentially forward. While social shifts in industry and labor were able to dynamically compensate for this change in the past due to the relatively slow pace, as time moves forward, it will become ever more difficult to maintain "labor for income" as we know it in the current tradition. This is also because the exponential growth curve reduces the cost of machine automation tools over time, setting up a general inevitability that human labor in a certain sector will not only be outdone in performance by machine but they will be cheaper in the long run. Suggested Reading: http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of-accelerating-returns
- News and statistical reports on an emerging Global Unemployment Crisis have been prolific in the early 21st century, specifically with young adults. Reference: Generation jobless (http://www.economist.com/news/international/21576657-around-world-almost-300m-15-24-year-olds-are-not-working-what-has-caused)
- Reference: Could Automation Lead to Chronic Unemployment? Andrew McAfee Sounds the Alarm (http://www.forbes.com/sites/singularity/2012/07/19/could-automation-lead-to-chronic-unemployment-andrew-mcafee-sounds-the-alarm/)
- See the essay The Scientific Worldview.
- Dynamic Equilibrium is defined as: “A condition in which all acting influences are cancelled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced, or unchanging system.” Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dynamic+equilibrium
- For example, metals such as copper are now widely accepted to have originated in stars, with the earth collecting these materials as it formed.
- Today, it is only through price and profitability that demand is accessed. Very rarely is the public invited to participate in future designs.
- This will be addressed further in the essay: The Industrial Government
- Unlike “Representative Democracy” where elected representatives make decisions, Direct Democracy allows individuals to vote on issues. This association is used loosely here as the traditional notion of direct democracy is too primitive. The suggested system has to do with public participation in cumulative design of goods to meet needs, in part.
- See the essay The Industrial Government.
- Ludwig von Mises in his famous work Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth argues that the “price mechanism” is the only possible means to understand how to “efficiently” create and move goods around an economy. This criticism of any kind of “planned” system has been touted as sacrosanct by many today and as a vindication of the capitalist system.
- See the essay The Industrial Government.
- Source: Clothing 'Made in America': Should U.S. Manufacture More Clothes? (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/MadeInAmerica/made-america-clothes-clothing-made-usa/story?id=13108258)
- Source: China Said to Buy 1 Million Tons of U.S. Cotton for Reserves (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-15/china-said-to-buy-1-million-tons-of-u-s-cotton-for-reserves-1-.html)
- Reference: Why do competitors open their stores next to one another? - Jac de Haan (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-competitors-open-their-stores-next-to-one-another-jac-de-haan)
- Bike and Car sharing systems are common examples. The “ZipCar” is a company that provides localized access to car rentals in a regional context, based on need. Likewise, Europe has seen a rise in on-location street bike rentals as well, with various docking/access stations strategically located around a city.
- A summarized explanation of why a monetary economy is structurally incompatible with the level of efficiency and goals of this new model is detailed in the essay: "Post-Scarcity Trends, Capacity and Efficiency"
- The subject of seemingly unpredictable, human behavioral aberration (i.e. “crime”) is addressed in the essay "Lifestyle, Freedom and The Humanity Factor"
- Reference: HP invents a central nervous system for earth. http://www.fastcompany.com/1548674/hp-invents-central-nervous-system-earth-and-joins-smarter-planet-sweepstakes
- Source: Report: Consumption of Earth's resources unsustainable (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57434525/report-consumption-of-earths-resources-unsustainable/)
- See the essay Structural Classism, the State and War.
- This essay belong to Zeitgeist Movement Defined: Realizing a New Train of Thought