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    Thread: Communism, the Venus project, and common ownership societies. Will you help me find the flaws?

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      The one who rambles. Lucid_boy's Avatar
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      Communism, the Venus project, and common ownership societies. Will you help me find the flaws?

      Hey Gang.

      So I'm sure all of this has been talked about a thousand times here on the forum, and I could in fact just search the place and find the answers I seek. However, I want to be able to asks questions, get feedback, and have a dialogue. Notice I said Dialogue, not debate. I want someone to answer my questions, help me hash things out in my head.

      So, I've been reading a bit about our world's environmental problems, poverty, and the other major issues that plague the planet. I've read, to an extent, the material put out by The Venus Project, as well as a few E-books on the obsolescence of the monetary system. My favorite one being "Mind your Elephant" by Tomi Attikson. From what I gather, all of these people are saying that because of the way the banking system works, with fiat money and Fractional reserve Banking, that it has to continue to grow in order to function, or it stagnates and starts to collapse. Even with slow growth this begins to happen. The Anti-currency world says that the world economy has gotten so large that there are no more new markets for it to expand to, and the amount of resources available isn't enough to support continuous growth of the economic system. They argue that anything which requires constant growth to exist has to eventually collapse.

      This is where the world and it's people come in; at that collapse. Some people say that the money system has gotten so big it is driving our planet to destruction, causing half the world to force poverty and slum-hood on the other half and destroying species. That it isn't doing this intentionally, but that it is a by-product of the markets growing more than they can safely be supplied. That the whole world is suffering from this big giant beast we've unleashed in the last 1000yrs called economy.

      Now, they say that because money has created a system that is growing beyond our means to control, it should be done away with and everything should become common ownership. That the artificial Scarcity created by economy must be destroyed and that all people should have access to earth's resources. Some people have said that the earth does not have enough resources to supply its population and that only through repression of a part of it can others be well-off. I reject this argument. I firmly believe that with force recycling and extremely careful management of resources, everyone can have a prosperous and excellent standard of living. I believe that because of the technology we have, that this is a fact.

      Now as for how this world would function, all resources would be held as the property of all people. The world would be divided into houses, neighborhoods, districts, regions, provinces, and then finally the earth as a whole. On the basic level housing would be communal in nature with each person having their own room and the rest being common area. All food and materials would be considered common property. Obviously some people would treat certain items nearly as if they were there own. A favorite basketball, a painting, things like that. But sharing would be extremely encouraged. If disputes do arise they are solved by a vote of house members. If someone does not get on with their housemates, they are free to go find new living quarters in a different house or neighborhood. I envision groups of people who sharing living quarters teaming up to start projects, play in bands, do artwork, ect, and then showing these things off at an optional nightly house gathering. So that not only would people be constantly sharing, but interacting and experiencing life together. No one would be 'leader' of a house, but things would be done by vote.

      Neighborhoods would be made up of a specific number of apartments. in set intervals, every housing structure would choose someone at random to represent them at the neighborhood level. Things like inter-housing disputes would be handled by neighborhoods and they would take a part in managing the infrastructure of the housing and other buildings in their area.

      Districts would be a grouping of neighborhoods, and committees to decide district matters would be chosen at random from among the neighborhoods. They would handle issues that effect multiple neighborhoods.

      It would be like this until finally it reached a global level. If a committee fails to reach a decision, the people can vote to call another or to replace a defective one. This process would keep people from being corrupt because the representatives would change back an forth in a manner that is not easily corrupted.

      Anyway, that's the basics of what I have. All things in the world would be held in common. Travel would be free for all using easily replenished alternative energy, or the fossil fuels in existence would be fairly distributed through the globe.

      Obviously this is just the vaguest of outlines, and I will explain my thoughts further as we get a few people who are kind enough to help me find flaws. Remember, while I expect debate to happen, I really want this thread to help me explore these ideas further and expand on them. I'm looking for knowledge, not argument. I want to learn.
      Last edited by Lucid_boy; 04-10-2013 at 11:30 PM.


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      Before I read your post and respond to it, I'd like to present my own idea, which I've done in the past before but only once and I was too wordy so no one read it. It's essentially my thoughts on how the Venus project could work better.

      I believe competition is healthy for society, but the problem is that the competition in our current society is between individuals that are then required to use other individuals without compensating them for the work they give, or compensating them through what the anarchists call wage-slavery. This is inherently unfair, which is why I would suggest that competition take place between communities rather than individuals. Socialism as the world has seen it in the modern era centralizes power in the state, and this design is dysfunctional. Rather than a central power structure, or an individualized oligarchy (which also inevitably leads to a centralization of power) I'd like to see Communities own what they produce.

      One remains motivated to come up with brilliant ideas which push society forward, because these ideas wouldn't simply be robbed by the state without fair compensation, as in a socialist or fascist society. Instead the community could move forward and gain the advantage together. Every team needs and idea man, but the idea man doesn't deserve sole ownership either. Ideas require a team, after all. I could debate this more thoroughly but moving on, let's take the example of a mining town. The Miners own what comes out of the mine, but the people that ship and trade the product are also subject to a piece of the pie, as well as the people that keep the town's infrastructure running. The product would be shipped to some sort of trade nexus where traders would barter. The trader working for the mining town would essentially barter for the needs of the town, and would be able to ship back these necessities in exchange for the product. That's the idea in a nut shell, but it gets more complicated when you factor in manufacturing plants, etc. It's a very simple example to help you understand the ideal.

      So government is essentially created out of value, the police department is subject to the producers that decide whether or not they should be fed because the producers decide whether or not they're offering value. The community could also end up choosing for themselves how many days a week they'd want to work, and would no longer be in direct conflict with automation. Rather than losing their jobs to a robot, they could lower their workloads and live off the labor of machines without suffering lay-offs. Instead, individual employees may only have to spend a few hours a week manning a post because the automated system produces enough product to keep every fed even if they don't work very hard. This frees them up to pursue arts and sciences.
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