Possible requirements for the transition to an RBE.
This article doesn't pretend to be the guide for the transition, but a prospective view on it. On the issue of how to reach a resource-based economy (the transition) there is a wide variety of possibilities. Probably the key to change begins with changing how we interact with the monetary system every day.
The transition will be carried out not only by organizations that promote a resource-based economic model, but for all those individuals and organizations with common goals with the resource-based economy (even unknowingly). It will be a change involving everybody sooner or later.
The transition could be summarized in three phases:
1) Dissemination of the concept of resource-based economy to involve a sufficient number of people committed to change (critical mass).
2) Development of specific projects of limited scope.
3) Phase of global action, interacting face to face with the system, introducing what would become the seed of the new system.
As a result of the measures taken a dense network of individuals and organizations free of the existing structures of economic and political power should emerge. They would be capable of creating abundance of goods and services, without a “price tag” eventually. These individuals and organizations could finally declare the planet's resources as common heritage of mankind (of our generation and future generations).
In the development of the mentioned phases, we will probably find more concrete proposals such as the following, some from organizations that promote resource-based economy, and others from related organizations:
- First and foremost is the cultural change through education and awareness of people. There are media organizations controlled by banks, telecom, electrical, and other companies of all kinds, as well as governments,... There should be a serious alternative in the form of new independent media and social networks. Investment in a new education must also be a priority, focusing on new human values that encourage cooperation, promotion of positive human behavior, the use of non-violent communication, critical thinking, technical and scientific training, art, sports, creativity and so on. This would generate a critical mass of people required for the change.
- Collaboration of all social organizations in promoting the sustainability of the planet, developing new technologies, transparency of governments and corporations as well as defending human rights.
- Measuring the quality of life of the population by new human development indicators. Measuring the standard of living of the population through growth of GDP is false and dangerous, because it favors a conception of the economy that is unsustainable on a planet with finite resources.
- Development of projects involving the scientific community to show people and institutions how a resource-based economy could be implemented in a few years. This is the case of a “Global Redesign Institute.”
- The use of our power as consumers to influence the economic structure and its rules.
- Creation of foundations, cooperatives and social economy enterprises could be required for the management of resources and economic activities whose purpose would be the implementation of a resource-based economy. It seeks to foster the creation of nonprofit organizations designed to develop open source technology, produce and distribute goods and essential services throughout the world, regardless of the limitations of the market system eventually.
- Avoid as far as possible the use of money and credit. The promotion of alternatives to the current monetary system (time banks, complementary monetary systems, etc.), is a topic discussed, bearing in mind that the ultimate goal is to phase out the use of money. Therefore, these alternatives would have to be transcended someday.
- Pressure to standardize the most enabling technology components of a brand to be used in another. Technologies that maximize the durability, reliability, and possibility of continuous updating of the equipment without having to replace it. Minimization of the impact on the environment and people's health, caused by products and services during its creation, lifespan and recycling.
- Promotion of open source technologies so that technological advances are available to the entire world, not hijacked by corporations, by means of patents to prevent them being used (as with alternatives to fossil fuels), or used for profit at the expense of the death of millions of people (e.g. AIDS). The knowledge and solutions drawn from it should be the heritage of humanity,not for the few.
- Development of clean and renewable energy, and energy independence by providing access to all regions of the world.
- New efficient transportation systems that minimize energy consumption and increase the speed with the same security.
- Making available, to all individuals and organizations, the inventory of resources that exist in the world. Resources should be located and monitored, and such information should be shared with everyone.
- Creation of distributed computing systems that operate a system of global resource management. The systems have to be sufficiently decentralized and secure so that no agent can take control. Such systems must be redundant to prevent failures due to problems of malfunction or system intrusion.
- Accepting the existence of technological unemployment, not fighting it, but using it to free people from endless working days. Automation has the power to free people from monotonous or dangerous work and must be developed to the fullest. Workers should have more time for training in new technologies. At the same time, automation would increase productivity.
- Development of agriculture and the search for systems to produce locally as much as possible, minimizing energy consumption in transport. Hydroponics, aquaponics, etc.
- Local production of most products and services as long as it is efficient. In principle, local production shouldn't take precedence over the use of economies of scale, scope, etc., as a result of placing production centers in certain strategic locations for its proximity to key productive resources, or because they are simply less “costly” (in terms of resources) to produce in one place away from the cities for whatever reason.
- Improvement of existing city infrastructures, construction of efficient and environmentally friendly cities, even promotion of self-sustaining communities in many places during the first stages of the transition.
- Overcoming gradually both corporate and governmental structures. A key for the transition to a resource based economy is to get people to find ways to be free from market power, because we will need to avoid the constraints of the supply and demand system that is designed for profit from scarcity. It is also necessary to dispense with the political class, gradually replacing it with the real participation of citizens in the process of solving problems.
- Promotion of horizontal social structures without hierarchies of power, denouncing those cases in which individuals or groups monopolize any form of power and use it abusively. Development of mechanisms of control that depend on the minimum of the subjectivity of human beings.
- Stabilization of the global population through education and voluntary birth control.
- Restoration of damages caused to the environment.
- Progressive elimination of weapons of mass destruction and armies.
Spanish version of the article available HERE
Thanks to Root and Quasar for their feedback on this article.