Welcome to the next post of my ideas blog. Even though i usually tend to write in german, I'd like to jot down a summary of my STEGA and VEGA concept in a more international way.
First and foremost I need to come up with the most important thing about 21st century ideas: slashing acronyms. Thats why the VEGA will be called ACES as it is an altruistic community effort society. The frontpage association for those ACES will be FACE, as a foundation for altruistic community effort.
First, let me go down on the basic assumptions. I assume that the human social behaviour tends to lead them into two general social directions. One being acting for individual profit, while the other one is the altruistic action for the groups people associate with. Those two path boils down to Capitalism for those wanting peaceful individual endeavours, while the peaceful altruistic action tends to head toward Communism. Unfortunately, history already told us that both tend to lead to extreme and rather unpleasant systems like the national neo liberal elitist Oligofeudalism of the 1800- 1900s, Stalinism, Oppressive Socialism, and what we have now: the bubble building Social Democracy with a surge towards eternal economical growth, spiced with the lie of looming complete safety.
This lead me to the question: Was there ever a try to combine both paths? One might think yes, as we are currently living in a system that combines the freedom for individual endeavours as well as social security, healthcare, security etc. being financed from taxes (more or less) paid by those being successful in their individual enterprises. But after looking at it closely I tend to answer it with a no. Whenever I followed an altruistic path it sooner or later ended up at one person or a very limited group controlling and benefiting from those actions. With money vaporizing as it trickles down to those that should get help from donations, with charity societies being quite social but only to those that fit into their schemes. With boards not caring about their members interests or possibilities as the financial aspect is more important. In the end it all went down the money drain right to those in control over it, no matter how important the societies goals are, there are always people wanting to turn it into their own piece of power and money.
Thus I came up with the need to seperate finacially expressed individual effort and enterprises from altruistic community-oriented actions. Don't get me wrong: There are a lot of individually successful people who also act inspiringly altruistic. But, they are forced either go for money and power there as well, or succumb to individual interests of others in a basically still financially structured community/ social enterprise.
Second, this requires me to explain the separation. Even though there are two parts to be separated, we need a third part to actually separate, control, balance and protect the one side from the other. Very much like a pot protecting the fire from the water and vice versa. the pot protects the water from dousing the fire or the water from being vaporized in the fire in one big puff of steam, or protects individual enterprises from too much social limits as well as it grants the social action room and even more important room to develop.
Lets look at it like three parts of a swing. In the center we have Individual, it decides if it wants to spend his performance individually or altruistic. So it either goes left to the individual side or right to thr altruistic side, transforming or joining a juristic person acting there.
Below the Individual resides the State. It sits in the center of the swing and consists of Individuals with their main task being to balance the arms, by moving performance from one side to another and protecting one side from being pushed off or harmed by the other.
Below the State lies the actual swing, the Infrastructure, it reaches from the individual side, over the state to the altruistic side. It is everything that is not an Individual, it is ideas, patents, land, machines, resources etc. Obviously it can be owned by any juristic person or the State, and those decide about it as well as over their performance.
Third, we need to look at the performance. Right now our only measure of performance is money. Money or its trading equivalents allows us to fulfill our individual target qualities. Those qualities are the thing a person needs to achieve to reach a certain state of content, happiness, joy, satisfaction or bliss. This is mainly a qualitative thing as it is usually irrelevant if you own 5 Apples or 1 Apple Inc., you got to be happy with it or it wont be worth your while. Those target qualities and their achievement is the key to both money and the separation from it when it comes to altruistic efforts. The fulfillment of target qualities by individual efforts is a well known thing dealing with trading goods or services from one individual to another for the trading equivalent. One Individuals performance flows to another individual with a clear vector and interest, usually on both sides.
The fulfillment of target qualities by altruistic efforts is different, but also known from alternative communities that share everything, and every performance is put into a common pot and diverted from there to serve those where it fits most.
Now the human is quite complex and usually has problems with fitting into one of those side for ever. Rich people notice that they have been terrible egomaniacs, have run for public office and everything, but always had their own interest in mind, and now decide to help people.
The hippie moonshine brewer might decide that he has outgrown the years of youth and likes to sell people the fine whiskey he actually learned to make.
For both, their target qualities changed. Yet they are still limited by their former performance and choice in our current world, with a rather huge bias on the moonshine guy, needing money, infrastructure and counsel. The rich guy on the other hand might want to put his money to a good use, but has to decide where to put and whom to trust with the cash and needs a transparent system to avoid being ripped off.
This is where the concept of ACES and FACE (finally) comes into play. The FACE is as the name says a foundation for supporting altruistic community efforts. It is also one huge money storage and performance association system. One task of the FACE is to supply ACES with money to develop their individuals (by learning) or infrastructure (by buying, renting, leasing). the second task is even more important, as the FACE supplies a system that allows ACES to interact with each other based on their needs to fulfill the target qualities of people in need and their members.
But what are the aces doing? They are basically public charity societies with defined goals like feeding homeless people, entertaining the elders or providing a volunteer fire brigade. Sounds familiar right? But the difference is: the major load of money acquisition and management is of their shoulders AND even more important, there is room for synergy, as there can be a produced surplus either in goods or service. But instead of having to sell it for money and transforming into an individual enterprise, the goods and services can be moved over the FACE portal to other ACES in need. Remember the ACES that wanted to feed people? Well they got their own fields now, growing vegetables and sometimes need help from burly men that are capable of driving large vehicles around. Like those in the fire brigade...
Now I hear you ask: Why for gods sake should the fire brigade move over to help the gardening guys? The answer is Target Qualities! Besides the altruistic feel good karma involved, humans need and should recieve a reward for their performance. But if we start to pay the fire brigade it will sooner or later turn into bidding wars and we would be close to capitalism again. So we need something else... you get it... Target Qualities. The main thing that gets about in the ACES is the fulfillment of target qualities. But not in an individual way, but in a community way. The synergy of ACES interacting is increasing the production of their goods and services and increases the level of surplus. If we want to reward people for their altruistic efforts, the reward should be the promise of target quality fulfillment. This fulfillment is either saveable like money on a bank or grants access to goods and services right on the spot. But instead of cold cash, it is always just a timed equivalent of access to the goods and services of the ACES.
Let me give an example. Mr. B is a skilled welder, but lost his job at the age of 50. Now he is struggling to find a new one and joined the aforementioned Food ACES. He recieves his wellfare money and has a lot of free time at hand, so he works as a jack of all trades at the ACES, does maintenance on the engines and drives stuff around. All together he spends about 30 hours a week working for the ACES. For working more than 5 hours a week he gets access to the Food Bag twice a week which is filled by his and other ACES in the area. It is mainly produced for people in need, but requires a little fee. Mr. B gets it for free. For supplying 10 hours he is allowed to travel by public transport for free as part of a community partnership program of the FACE with the local transport authority. He is also granted additional things like access to free seats at the cities theatres.
For supplying over 20 hours he is getting access to advanced FACE and ACES goods and services, like clothing produced by ACES, help requests over the FACE portal and whatever a growing system of cooperating ACES could produce and serve. And, even more important, the additional 10 hours add up for him to be used later, when he cant work at the ACES that much anymore. Or if he gets a part time job, and does not need the services or goods, he also might decide to save all of his ACE hours he acquires by still working for the ACES for later. Which add up even more as he got a drivers license for trucks and bought some tools that he supplies as his own Infrastructure for the ACES which grants him a multiplier on his gathered hours.
So wheres the difference to money? Its the access. The access to goods and service to fulfill your target qualities, you might have to get on a waiting list (like for an ACES restored bike, or a suit), but as long as you have the access, you will get what you need. It might not be as posh as newly bought, but it comes from a community effort that is basically sustainable and the perfect opposite to the individual enterprises as it grows to the needs and does not overgrow and shrink to the needs like the individual endeavours like to do. Oh and of course.. if you are unable to supply performance because you are disabled or have to take care of your children and are in need. Well, thats where the State gives you access to the certain levels as part of the wellfare. Easily balancing it with tax money put into the FACE, like they do with individual social enterprises right now. As well as the rich guy from above has a place to put his money to transparent and good use.
The last question: Why should people do it? Why should they act like that, when the rewards are propably mediocre compared to working wages? The answers are:
1. No blaming as parasite anymore.
2. Safety in the Future, with access to the goods and services.
3. Work and Experience, with application of your talents and the chance to learn new skills.
4. Society and Networking, with people of equal interest and a network of vitamin R.
And this is where I like to end my summary with the conclusion that the whole idea not as much as a fantasy you might think. It just needs FACES and ACES. ;)
P.S. 5. Doing good for society, but I guess thats a rather uncommon motivation...