A Better World?---It will not happen without us.

 

As individuals we are one, with others we are a team.
Intentional Communities are about pooling resources to achieve common objectives.


This meetup

Strict Equality society to guaranty equal freedom for all.

an alternative political/economic system


forest


 


 

Past meetups

2013 starts a new long period according to the Mayan calendar. It is fitting to talk about the future of our species and ways and means of changing the direction towards which our 21st century global civilization is heading.

Let the great story of evolution be our inspiration in inventing the future

Watch this exceptionally good presentation of our past adventures on youtube.

Of particular relevance to today is, in my opinion, the advent of the industrial/scientific revolution.

In the past, most work (70 to 90 per cent) had to be performed by labouring humans. With industrialization, the ratio of machine and animal muscle power to human is reversed: Today most wealth is being created by sophisticated hi-tech production and management systems.

The age of leisure has arrived for all of us, not just a privileged minority as in the past.



Has anyone seen the "Thrive" video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lEV5AFFcZ-s)?

At two hours it may be too long, It was for me:
The video is too long (puts me off watching the pretty graphics).
I have known about most of the "scary bits" and am more interested in the positive parts:
Beyond conspiracies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lEV5AFFcZ-s#t=6150s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lEV5AFFcZ-s#t=6920s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lEV5AFFcZ-s#t=7292s Wonder what my Zeitgeist colleagues make out of it?




Continuing to explore Capitalism 3.0 as a Commons-aware economic system

Exploring economic significance of "Commoning"

*Why 3.0?

Capitalism 1.0 came to an end in the 1950s; Capitalism 2.0---Corporatist Capitalism---needs now to give way to Commons-Conscious Capitalism 3.0.

Also, reporting on 12 commoning seminars--7-18 May--convened by various organizations to identify and confirm resources in common. Some of these are unduly privatized currently or under threat of so becoming.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

A change of theme.

We are extending a virtual invite, via his work, to the author of an important resource book. Peter Barnes will not be there in person---need not be, that is why he, like any other author, wrote the book.

The book is well worth getting but it is also available on line at http://capitalism3.com/downloadbuy there will be a spare copy to hand around.

It is suggested that we start with the last chapter, What You Can Do---as Parents, Wage Earners, Capitalists, Commons Entrepreneurs, Lawyers, Economists, Religious Leaders, Politicians---to help usher in A New Economy For A New Era.

The book's message is summed up as The Price Of Nature Will No Longer Be Zero. The details of who will collect that price as payment, and how it will be collected and used is what he book is about.

*Capitalism 1.0 came to an end in the 1950s; Capitalism 2.0---Corporatist Capitalism---needs now to give way to Commons-Conscious Capitalism 3.0.

-----------------

We are the 99%

But more precisely,who are "we"; who is the 1%?

Modeling a real life situation is a systematic way of mapping details relevant to understanding it.

Some numbers first:
Assume adults constitute 50 per cent of world population of 7,000 million;

  • 1% of 3500 million is 35 million
  • 35 millions are exploiting 3,465 millions
  • = 1 against 99 (note: one person with a machine gun could hold to ransom 99 (unarmed) people)

The real situation is more complex needing a second "iteration" in modeling it:

  • The one employs 9 other people who justify, support and defend her/him
  • These nine possess what is equivalent, in effect, to a (metaphorical) machinegun: about 80% of higher education and the public media
  • Through this dominance of the channels of information dissemination 50 per cent of the exploited majority is confused and and turned against the rest of us

Thus we have a more realistic model of what the world wide Occupy Movement is confronting:
45 against 45 + 9 + 1, that is 45 facing (temporarily*) 55...
(to be continued. Crude metaphors---intellectual tools---need to be refined, not just discarded.)
---------------
* this can be changed; but it indicates the vital importance of efforts to neutralize the "disinformation machine" used by the paid defenders of the real tyrant. Furthermore, the 45 misguided critiques of radical change include the regular police and military personnel.

Discuss here if you can not join us in real space

-----------------

Past meetups

First Things First:

One of the first steps towards making the Zeitgeist/Venus and similar projects happen---a social policy based on Universal Basic Income.

Political democracy is not enough

The most insidious part of the system is its insistence that we have to earn the right to live by working for others—mostly the 1% and the 10% who are its lackeys and defenders.

We are the 99%—how come the 1% can keep us as their slaves or regard us as mere “trouble makers”?

Demand your right— a Basic Income.

Where will the money come from?

This is one three types of questions that comes up. There are several ways of paying for this reform. The following is just one of them:

There is enough money and other resources locked up in the current inefficient means testing bureaucracy to cover a good part of the cost of a universal social security payment system. Another tranche of finance can come from the several streams of unearned income which our political and financial leaders manage to channel upwards into the pockets of the top 10%.

Start the process of dismantling the current punitive control bureaucracy by organizing the “jobseekers” to form a campaign for

Basic Income—unconditionally.

See also a discussion relating to the world wide "Occupy Movement".

-----------------

A sample of conversations needed to take that first step: discussions to get past mere opinions and arrive at the relevant facts underlying propositions.

Janos Abel

Hello Ben,
Some while ago you posted a searching question in response to a post of mine about universal basic income. I just discovered that you are interested in economics and talked about machines displacing human labour.
UBI is just one of many names for similar policies aimed at dealing with diminishing need for direct work in production and it goes back at least to Thomas Paine.
Unfortunately, I can not remember the exact question you asked but if you are still interested I would like to talk to you.

Janos

Ben McLeish

Janos - my answer was along a few basic lines:

a) UBI is hugely inflationary. Generating income (still from nothing, still from debt) means that whatever you're trying to take care of with money is going to become less and less purchaseable as the inflation kicks in.

b) Who do you pay if automation becomes the norm?

c) the system is still based on need, and differential advantage. It is also open to gaming strategies. To make it any use you would also have to get rid of interest, which alone would ultimately cause any monetary system to have defaults.

d) People can still misspend a UBI - hence their life needs are not even if you're throwing money at them. It's down to educating and conditioning the population into understanding what is really necessary and important - look at the rise of flat screen TVs. Who's buying them? In Australia, where Baby Bonuses exist, people spend the thousands from the government on the latest TVs. It may be a policy, but it's not a system.

e) Why not go straight for the resource-allocation? A UBI, unless hyper means-tested (leading to massive beaurocracy) will not account for each person's differing needs. Transport might be more expensive for one group of people, health issues for others. It's actually "cheaper" to take account of all needs and have general systems in place for those most widely shared needs, beyond anything we have now. We need freedom FROM this sort of allocation, to something much more flexible.

Janos Abel

You have raised many points. Some of the difficulties you mention are valid; others seem to come from underlying assumptions that are not necessarily correct. We are examining here a piece of radical policy design. To do justice to the process a sharper intellect than mine is needed, but I will try (only the first point here).

Reply to a). Financing UBI does not have to be inflationary because it can be done by redirecting existing streams of money flows and by savings of wasted money that goes into the hugely inefficient welfare arrangements currently...
As I write, I am conscious that you may be fully convinced that money, per se, is a problem. If that is the case, there is not much chance of talking without being at cross purposes until we clear some ground in that corner of the "problem-space". I only say this because I believe that good communication needs some awareness of where the participants are "coming from". (And this is not a cop out, honestly

This could be about zeitgeist; but it is about basic income: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=111108462241041

---------

A resource of theoretical insights for activism: discussing The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: And Its Cure

by John McMurtry.

(The full text is at https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=1wtWQ57njH4haxRQAmg0FseaexhbPd0TGxXqnLD666U_3UAG-LYtObrRhohOe&hl=en_GB)

A clear understanding of a problem takes us more than half way to the solution.

It is time to "stand on the shoulders of 'giants' ".
Thirty years of interdisciplinary research presented in this book must contain a wealth of information need to inform efforts to make necessary changes to our failing capitalist (so called) society.

--------

“The Economy of Abundance” has been delayed by 80 years. Why? The possibility (even necessity) of an “economy of abundance” is a favourite subject in Zeitgeist circles. A book with this title by economist Stuart Chase had been published (and still in print) in 1934 .  We should be well into the reality of that world instead of dreaming about its latest imagining via the Zeitgeist movement and the Venus Project.

Why this delay? What is missing from the toolbox of the “social change movement”?

This is a vitally important question if we are not satisfied with just dreaming about a possibility without doing what is necessary to bring it into reality.



Past meetups

Suggestions welcome

  • Anybody has visited The People's Supermarket ? Looks like a real activist project, worthy of interest and support from Zeitgeisters.
  • Maybe we could deal with any business left over from... Lets create a Z-house in Central London together: http://www.meetup.com/Zeitgeist-Movement-Lo...
  • Books for the attention of Zeitgeist members, supporters, sympathizers:
    Engines of Creation 2.0--- The Coming Era Of Nanotechnology
    Capitalism 3.0---A Guide To Reclaiming The Commons
    Adulthood of Humanity---The Science and Art Of Human Engineering
    The Next Hundred Years---Will We See In The 22nd Century?
    ... add other titles for this suggestion list..
  • Meetup on moneyWed 20th July 6.00 pm., The Ark - by Angel Station, Torrens Street, City of London EC1V 1NQ London

...to think together

  • Community is two or more people
  • Zeitgest Movement is an analysis of world conditions; the Venus Project is a response to that analysis
  • The Venus Project vision---getting from here to there with the Critical Path methodology
  • First Things First : "The Main Thing Is To Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing" Stephen R Covey
  • "A dwarf sitting on the shoulders of a giant sees the further" Anon

 

Two days before the Z-Day (Zeitgeist day) 2011 event.

Mark will bring topics and extra awareness of the movement to the meeting.

Although this meeting isn't specifically the forum for such discussions, the meetup has a wide remit ("Communities for creating a Better World"---in case we have not noticed it ). So it is a very appropriate place for exploring the vision embraced by the Zeitgeist community.=

---

Making things happen


"Increment of association" is a term to signify the obvious fact that things are possible for a group of people to do which can not be done when one person only is available.

 

An intentional community is the the intent of a group of people to come together and work together towards an agreed goal.



Realising the promises made by the Industrial Revolution --- with Peoples' Capitalism

Details of a grass-roots level development project in Sierra Leone.

 

See below comments this meetup is interested in.

 

"...an economic hurricane has spread across the world and lashed our shores..." (Gordon Brown)

That hurricane was not an "act of God" but the natural consequence of inadequate fiscal policies pursued for many years.

We got into some heavy stuff about economics and politics/politicians. Ignorance and incompetence of our "experts" regarding economics of the real world (as opposed to the theoretical models used as a guide) was claimed to create unnecessary inconvenience and hardship for an economically illiterate voting population.

 


 

Employment is a byproduct of production, not its purpose.
The real economic problem is lack of purchasing power rather than wages or the banking system.

Recessions are caused by the inability of people to buy all the wealth (goods and services) being produced.

Solution lies "outside the box":
As wealth grows through technological advance, The “wages of the machine” (above any of its costs) should be divided each year among everyone, whether they worked or not, and passed to them as their share of a national dividend.
The Credit of a community gives the value that makes money worth anything. So the credit of a community belongs to the community as a whole.
As societies grow richer through technical progress, people have to work far less: the 'leisure society' could be born. “Unemployment” is the sign of an economy’s success in producing more of the wealth needed and desired with less need for human effort.

 


 

Topical
So we are to endure severe cuts in public services in order to reduce our borrowing requirement.

But wait, the financial crisis we heard so much of up to a month or so ago was the work of people in the financial sector who acted in their own self-interest.
The industry that employed them got rewarded by a rescue package of massive proportions.
Is that why we have to pay the price now by enduring the effects of all the "cuts" that we are being prepared for?

The public is duped from left right and center. And that succeeds because of a lack of basic economic literacy.
Do we know, for example that banks do not lend to the government depositors' money --- or their own, for that matter?

Only 3% of the economy's need for national currency is met by the government. The remaining 97% has to be created as "credit" by the banking system so that we, via the government, have to become debtors instead of creating it for ourselves.
It is a bit more complicated but is correct in principle.

 

Understand the illness in order to find the remedy

 

 


 

An intentional community is defined by the purpose its members adopt.
What purposes and goal are worth adopting and forming a community around?

Most people agree that our world could be a much better place than it is.
What changes would contribute to that transformation?

Join others to plan and carry out socially responsible action.

 


 

Two fledgling community experiments came onto our radar screen. One in Croatia the other a bit further away, in New Zealand.
Visit it at http://www.thenzp.com...


I can report on the New Z-Land Project, having just come back from New Zealand;

The Croatian project will be introduced by Rakesh

 


 

 


A vision is a deeply held picture of where a person or group wants to get to in the future. When everyone in a group thoroughly understands and shares the same vision they become intensely motivated. They will apply their whole selves to achieve their vision.

 

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