It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
If something we need is abundant, we just take what we need, because we know it is pointless to accumulate things that are abundant.
You have to realise that it is not money you need, but the things that money can offer you.
That is why I would like you to define what is for you the "human nature" because this is clearly the heart of our disagreement.
Also, please give me a concrete example of what you mean by "some things will always be scarce".
How many people in the current system actually possess a private jet? How many people currently wanting a private jet will ever get one in the near future? Do you really think that anyone "working his ass off" will be able to buy a private jet? Also, do you want a private jet for the self-esteem boost, "social status improvement" that you believe it will give you, or do you just want to be able to fly to any place any time?
Furthermore, do you really want to support and advocate a system that teaches you to crush others and to walk on their heads just to be able to own a private jet? Do you think the 1% versus 99% is fair and efficient system/way of life/whatever? Do you really buy into the "you can become who you want to be if you work hard enough", don't you see that it is a slogan made by the powerful and rich to control the masses? Where do you think that this wealth comes from if not from the 99%?
If the system was fairer in this way then it would certainly be possible for many more people to work enough to acquire the wealth required to purchase a private jet without having to resort to devious tactics. Again, you are blaming the tool instead of the people who have rigged that tool to only work in their favor. Therefore you ignorantly see the tool as "evil" and want to destroy it rather than seeing the necessity of it, and how it should be fixed to work properly for all of us.
We will never reach a state where they will just say "take as much as you want of what ever you want"... it's absurd and unrealistic! The only way it can possibly work is if people are entitled to an amount which is relative to their contributions to that society. It's the only logical and truly FAIR way of operating any society. Therefore money will always be needed. If you want to make sure that people can always buy what they need when they need it, then you need to make sure they get payed fairly. Instead of having CEO's and shareholders payed ridiculous sums of money, instead of letting bankers screw us all over and rob us blind with inflation, instead of having the average Joe work his skin to the bone for his whole life while never really earning anything significant, you need to ensure that the system is fair and that equality is considered an important aspect of that society.
And no, the heart of our disagreement is not money itself, but human nature, because you think a monetary system is the only way to accommodate "human nature", something you have yet to define.
About the choices and the watch you talk about,
I don't know if you are aware of the current state of technology, but really big progress has been made in 3D printing with astonishing precision, and the watch you talk about could well be just printed in the near future, that's just a matter of a few years. Then there is the added artificial value you give to that watch, the "social status" value, and it is something that is relevant only to the current system. You want that watch to represent your monetary success, to improve you social standing, and frankly it is some kind of social disease.
Also, as a side note, you have the choice between 37 different smartphones (all designed to fail at some point), but when it comes to important choices (politics, economics etc.), do you really have the choice?
If you have looked closely, like you said you did, on all stuff related to the venus project, you would know that one of the goal is decentralisation. The cities would be built to be self-sufficient, meaning that they would be designed with interchangeable fully automated factories built-in that could serve many different purposes and would require little maintenance. Really, the technical aspect of the project is not the problem here.
More general points,
So, you assume there will always be jobs? But what about automation? Or do we have to create useless jobs just to give the impression that the system works and print some more paper? What you see today is only the beginning, more automation will come and more jobs will go, that's just the way it is, since profit is the only thing that gives incentive in this system. In China they are now replacing whole millions of slave-workers by machines. What do you think will happen in 10, 20 or 50 years from now? What will happen when 99% of the things you or I buy will be manufactured by machines, how will we buy those things with no purchasing power, no money because no jobs?
Basically, it's like you are saying ; "yeah well we can create abundance, but it's better we don't, let's just continue to use money"
About human nature,
So, you acknowledge the fact that human behavior depends on the environment, yet you assume that if we change the environment human behavior will stay the same? I don't understand, or maybe you assume that there are some things in human nature that never change? If this is the case, I would like to know those things that don't change.
Money corrupts, it's simple, because it is a means to accumulate power. As long as you will use a tool that enables people to accumulate wealth at the expense of others, it will be harmful to society and its members.
You assume a lot of things but you view the proposed system with the values that the current system has created. What is really the value of gold, why do people want to keep gold and store it? What do they want to have in exchange of it? What is the real purpose behind that behavior? You can't eat gold, you can't drink it, it serves no purpose other than a technological one in certain specific applications, and even that gold could be replaced by an even more efficient and more abundant material.
Just imagine now the progress that will be made in the coming years.
Also, the future will not be about "take whatever quantity of whatever you want", but more about "take whatever quantity about whatever you need".
Again, you are transposing the values that the current system has created into the proposed system. As I said, a different environment will create different behaviors, a world of scarcity produces different values than a world of abundance where things that you need are available to everyone. Frankly, I am beginning to think that you lack the imagination to mentally conceive what is proposed. Just imagine a population of children born, raised and accustomed to that new system, they have never seen money, they have never heard of it, they just know that the stuff they need is there, they have been taught how it works, they have been taught about all stuff related to science and technology, it would feel as normal as the air they breathe, just like for you money is part of the air you breathe.
Do you really think people will sit on their butt just because they have every physical need met? Because that's not how the brain works. Look at today's open source movement, look at all those volunteers around the world doing stuff for free. That's what people want, that's where civilisation should be headed, and money and the artificially maintained struggle for survival just get in the way.
Today, in the current system, a company couldn't sell the "perfect smartphone", with state of the art technology, design and materials, because it is not cost effective, and in this system profit is all that matter. A company like this would soon drown and disappear. It is the same for practically everything that is made today, it is designed to fail, because what keeps the system alive is cyclical consumption. Look it up.
what I am talking about is that there is no "world center of production" in the proposed system, but rather modular and multi-purpose factories that are planted where needed and when needed. Compare this to the current system and tell me that the current system is more effective. So you actually believe that a today company that does what it does only for profit is much more effective? That's wishful thinking. That reminds me of the "invisible hand" concept which says that some kind of magical harmony would emerge if everyone was selfish. In the current system, if there is no profit to make, nothing is done, that's that simple.
As I said earlier, more automation will come, and more jobs will go. And then you assume that in the proposed system, we would become like in "wall-e", fat useless dumb people. Tell me how many people do you think today know how their cellphone works, or television, or computer, or car, or an air plane? Very few, yet you assume the current system is somewhat perfect.
Nowhere it is said that there will be a central authority that decides. It would rather be about rotating inter-disciplinary teams composed of several scientific branches dependant on the problem to solve. That's really simple when you think of it. The needs of people in a particular area would be surveyed and the work begins on a voluntary basis.
We have to chose between evolving or surviving, we can't do both at the same time. If you put people in a system where their first and most important concern is surviving (food, shelter, medical care etc..) you will create a population that cannot evolve, or very slowly through violent behaviors and related behaviors.