I think people want to be rich. Every mainstream rapper talks about being rich. And all they had to do was perpetuate a culture of excess and non utilitarian things, and then bam! Some record executive will give you riches. Riches bring you bitches and status, respect and power and sure it can’t buy love, but it can buy all the substitutes to love. Like the splenda of love. But with your riches means someone else remains poor. And if you’re a mainstream rapper, it could be someone that tried to shoot you or rob you or just called you fat in middle school.
But what if there was an economic system that didn’t have the inherent flaws of poverty, scarcity and wasn’t a detriment to our public health? Jaques Fresco, an architect, designer and inventor proposed we start looking into Resource Based Economics back in the 70s. This is a economy not based in money, but rather allocating and accounting for our resources and their availability. You know, basing an economy in what’s real, instead of an invisible hand that’s been reaching up Mother Earth’s skirt even though she’s said no a bunch of times and even given you swine flu. Capitalism is a persistent little predator.
Hyperbole aside, Resource Based Economics or RBE could be a way we resolve a lot of societal, socio-economic problems. Peter Josef, of the Zeitgeist Movement and the author of the new book, ‘The New Human Rights Movement’, has outlined how this can work. First and foremost a Resource Based Economy would have to take care of inefficiencies in the current Capitalistic system. Peter Joseph talks about the inefficiencies of the system on Abby Martin’s show, Empire Files.
In order to increase efficiency we’d have to look at what is technically right. What’s the fastest, ethical, safest way to make things we all need. And if we take account of real things instead of the unicorns the current economy is based on, we can allocate how much of a particular resource we would need. Sorry mainstream rappers, it looks like your distractions of bling and spinning rims is now not only setting the black community back from being empowered, but it’s also making you look like an asshole.
If we make the amount of things that we actually need rather than saying we need buy more, spend more and be in debt more, we’d have the right amount of necessities, less poverty and less starvation across the planet by adopting this model. This also helps us learn self control and it’s a return to modesty. It’s the literal lesson behind less is more, instead of what the followers of Capitalism say it is. “Less is More, so when you have less, you’re actually more rich than the guy that wants you to be in debt by buying more of his shit. Also listen to this rapper we sponsored! He’s a big believer in Jesus”
This also means that we’d focus on reaching a steady state rather than a constant growth. Now within the Capitalistic system, when the market skyrockets, it’s comes back down. This proves the only law Capitalism obeys is the law of Gravity! But we wouldn’t have to worry about stock market crashes if we built a system that was keeping things steady. Proposing a system the built on exponential growth, a math lesson that most Americans slept through, means we’re constantly a nervous wreck about when it’s going to crash. And if we’re not, then we learned nothing from Icarus or physics class.
It’s like dating someone you know is out of your league. Instead enjoying the relationship of someone that loves you for you, you’re wondering about when they’re going to leave you because of something your mother and your entire middle school class said about an insecurity you have. So then while they’re toasting you at Christmas dinner you have a paranoid outburst about how if it’s a setup and crash & burn. I’m sorry about slapping your grandfather in the face Jenine. At the moment I literally did believe he was the Marvel Comics villain Red Skull.
This steady state would mean that we would be in a collaborative effort to maintain this system and make sure that people had enough of the necessary resources to live a comfortable life. The way we live now is wrought with the childish thoughts of “well they have more, so I should want more!” Basically if you want to start ‘adulting’ we can start looking to collaborate for the sake of the species, if not we can remain in a state of arrested development in greed based Capitalism.
And the systems that would be ensuring this would be based on automation. This means that humans don’t have to do dangerous, repetitive tasks, unless we want to of course. Some of us are into BDSM even when it comes to labor and I guess that’s cool. But with automation, that leaves us to discover more things about the world we are a part of, create and design things, and maybe talk to that rapper about how their excessive behavior wasn’t a real replacement for their mother’s love.
The question is how do we know the demand of these resources? That takes us back to allocating and accounting the resources. The demand will be accounted for as well. If it turns out that New York City doesn’t need cars because they prefer walking, we can send a few more cars to Iowa. They need it to get from One corn field to the next.
And all of this would be done with no money in mind. RBE would work on a non monetary system. This is part where opponents of this idea bring the hammer of Capitalism down. The question that is on everyone’s minds is how will we know what the value of something is? This means that we’re all going to have be honest with each other and it’s going to be ok not to like something. Because it doesn’t make or break someone’s career. And ideally we would have reformed the education system to include a class on how to engage and deal with your emotions. Self reflection 101 really, or How Not To Be A Total Asshole.
Even the word career would have to be changed. When the idea of monetizing labor is out of the question, and we’re working on creating, our passions are our careers. Instead of asking “what do you do for a living?”, people can ask “how are you living these days?” or an even more biting question “how are you contributing to global human progress?” It also means that intellect would be on the forefront rather than physical prowess or status.
This would also mean that we don’t have ownership over certain things. We all deserve to have food, shelter, water, healthcare and education. And just because we’ve turned something into a necessity instead of a luxury doesn’t you can put a price tag on it to exploit people’s need. Like skyrocketing the price of healthcare or pharmaceuticals, or remove regulations to a utility like the Internet so you can censor and weaponize information. All of these things would be inherent to every person in the global village.
The construction of the cities is very important for how we work within a Resource Based Economy. Jacques Fresco proposed the city to be a circle. Holy shit we’d get rid of traffic all together! Children will learn about the age where vehicles were traps for human anger management issues and highway side masturbators! The dark ages of the internal combustion engine!
Now I know this can sound like it’s some strange utopia where everyone dresses the same, eats the same, but it’s not. And that’s real fear here, that we’d live in these cookie cutter cities. But what makes you think that we don’t already? We live in apartment buildings that are made to look the same, so we’re all confused as to where live and have to spend more time in malls. All offices tell you wear the exact same outfit to keep that professional decor. But fear not, you get to choose what shade of grey you wear. Amazon now has Amazon Basics, where all the products look like they are bastardized versions of dinnerware from the Starship Enterprise. This is the illusion of choice we live in NOW. The illusion that you can own the entire Starship Enterprise, even though that was a television set.
A Resource Based economy would really give us REAL freedom of choice. The choice to be who we want, live how we want and create how we want for a sustainable future. It sounds restrictive when we say that resources will accounted for and allocated, but when so much of food, energy and and our lives are wasted having a little control over those things means we utilize finite resources better. The children of Capitalism have to grow up someday.
And for fans of competition, it’s not like competition would disappear. If there are only 200 pieces of diamond around, that means that each city can only have a certain amount of diamonds available. This means that some cities might not want diamonds. Which then means that a city that REALLYwants that diamond can get a few extra pieces. And not everyone in that city is going to get the diamond. It’s kinda like first come first serve. It’ll be like a buffet but more sanitary.
And diamonds are just an example here, you can substitute that with anything. Like Iowa might not want to eat corn ever again, but Ghana loves it! This allocation would mean that Math finally has a practical use. Those SAT word problems that we’ve all been complaining about, has really been setting us up for a Resource Based Economy. They made it a hypothetical but now we can actually make it happen!
The current society has eyes bigger than it’s stomach. Resource Based Economics will help us understand not only our limitations as a society but personal ones and be ok with them. Progression of society doesn’t come with excess. It comes from being better about taking care of a growing population with finite resources in a limited amount of space.
That’s just a flowery way of space, we’re eating this planet alive and we probably shouldn’t do that. If we do ever figure a way to go to a different planet, and repeat the same course of action, we’re effectively going to become a virus on the universe! The Universe is a lot more vengeful than Mother Earth. Remember what it did to the dinosaurs? And that was only because they had a weight problem they weren’t doing anything about.
Putting more weight on our minds rather monetary needs means that we can cure diseases, create better and more sustainable options food and better rappers without the restrictions placed by the almighty dollar. And I’d use another form of currency, but when you move away from the dollar, it tends to want to start wars with that entity. The dollar is fickle and desperate for friends, hence why it’s so aggressive. All it wanted was a hug from the founding fathers.
Without the aspect of money, mistakes aren’t a huge issue. If we run an experiment and muck it up, we start over. There’s no pressure of disappointing investors or not getting a grant. As long as the resources are available the pressures of failure and perfection are limited. There’s still a chance that mothers will be disappointed though. I feel like there’s no economic model that can will get rid of mom guilt. That is a powerful force that rivals the Universe itself.
Even Capitalism’s mom keep saying “You know Socialism is very nice their mothers”. And Socialism’s mom is like “You know Capitalism just bought a third house”. And Communism’s mom says “You sure that’s your role in society? I feel like you can do better.”
Now I will admit that this is a pretty large shift from the current paradigm we are living in now. But there are options we can take now to help transition us into a economic system that runs on ideas and resources. Universal Basic Income is that transitioning step. UBI helps equate passions with careers. It places value on ideas and progress. It enables automation and advances our thought.
Resource Based Economy would take us out of the survivalist mindset. We are no longer cave dwellers that had to forage for food and make fire or else we’d die. We have these necessities that logically should be available to everyone so we can progress as a global society. And if you want bonus comforts, they’re redility as well.
RBE is about Global Cooperation. If we slip backwards any further, we will head back to the caves and money won’t matter then. You who doesn’t care that you have a Rolls Roylce? A pack of wolves that’s hungry for your flesh. You are part of the predatory food chain regardless of what car you own. So money shouldn’t matter for the future.
Consumerism and excess doesn’t make humanity better. Spinning Rims, a bigger house and brand name purse aren’t sustainable. We can do better than just survive and want some riches. We can enrich our lives with progressing ideas, cooperative societies and curious discoveries. We can start progressing and creating a better a future where we live with the planet we’re on, instead of constantly trying to get in her pants.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!