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Peter Joseph - An Introduction to a Resource-Based Economy - TEDxOjai (Repository)

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Hello, my name is Peter Joseph and welcome to 'Introduction to a Resource-Based Economy'. The goal of the following brief presentation is to outline the basic train of thought that arrives at this new economic model which is based not on the movement of money but rather the intelligent management of the Earth's resources drawing inference from the physical world as to the most efficient, strategic and sustainable method for meeting the needs of the human population. In the world today, societal decisions are essentially the responsibility of individuals or groups within the arena of politics or business; in fact, one could note that politics and business are the governing group entities of the social order as we know it. And as history has shown whenever anything goes wrong on the societal level the tendency is for one group or a sub-group to simply impose blame on another. The left will blame the right, the Conservatives will blame the Liberals a new administration will blame an old administration, etc. Yet rarely do we hear any criticism of the foundation of the social operation itself; it appears to simply be presupposed by most. In other words, the culture seems to unconditionally accept the socioeconomic paradigm without question and politics and business are assumed to be a natural human state of affairs. Even in a world of growing unemployment, growing poverty growing mental health disorders, drug abuse, raw resource depletion overall environmental degradation, violence and war propensities systemic global debt defaults accelerated inflation, atmospheric destabilization and many other social and ecological problems - too numerous to name at this stage - there still exists a general refusal to consider that maybe the socioeconomic system itself could be at fault. What if the very game we play is really the problem? What if the very nature of the dominant institutions and methods of our time are actually creating and reinforcing certain behavioral tendencies which are (to put it simply) unsustainable and destructive yet we simply don't see it? As time has moved forward with the exponential increase of human knowledge we've seen a natural erosion of various forms of superstition and provably non-progressive social practices. We are slowly inching into a true age of reason which recognizes that there are indeed proven governing natural laws with direct physical reference and that this method of thought, which we can term scientific allows us to extrapolate viable approaches to our conduct which almost virtually guarantee a tangible return - if of course properly assessed. This 'Scientific Inference' is what has produced the vast technology we see around us from airplanes to life-saving medicine to even our understanding of the universe itself. Simply put, science is an approach to our comprehension of the world and ourselves, guiding us to the closest approximation of reality as we could possibly have. And of course while we all see the obvious fruits of this method of thought and its vast applications there is however still one area which stands virtually untouched by the scientific methodology: our Social System. In this context we appear to be stuck in time using antiquated traditionalized practices which show clear signs of deficiency. For instance: we give dictatorial powers to politicians and political parties under the guise of something we label 'Democracy' - politicians who on average clearly have no education or training in the technical affairs of social organization. In a world where one child unnecessarily dies every five seconds from poverty and deprivation many look to government institutions for resolution not really considering the scientific reality that feeding and caring for the people of the world is not a political issue. It is a technical one resolvable by simple resource management and allocation and the intelligent and strategic application of technology. Likewise, we have these things we call corporations or businesses which are able to arbitrarily claim property of the finite natural resources of this planet - resources we all need. They utilize those resources for the betterment of an isolated group through a self-interest-based system we call free-market exchange. In fact, when it comes down to it the message of this system is quite clear: either you submit to this game of differential advantage and self-interest or you simply do not deserve the right to live. You must earn your right to life on this planet, if you will which, to a thinking mind, is clearly a pseudo-totalitarian construct to perpetuate one group or class over another. Yet again, this inhumanity goes unnoticed for it is structurally built in. We are born into this system and we are groomed to think it is a natural fact, an empirical way of life... Just as if years ago perhaps you were born into a society as an abject slave since you have never been exposed to anything contrary you might even believe that you are supposed to be a slave as though it is again a natural order of reality. And if we couple that fact with a monetary system based explicitly on debt which, unannounced to most, mathematically guarantees that a subclass of the human population will always be deprived we begin to see that we live in an advanced variation of feudalism and nothing more. It is technically impossible for everyone to have their needs met in the current system. The economic game of differential advantage simply isn't designed to allow everyone to live and prosper. It is a win-lose system, regardless of the state of the natural world and what we are able to produce and technically accomplish. Put succinctly, our economic system is completely decoupled from natural processes of the physical world a characteristic which can only lead to further problems if a radical shift away from these outdated assumptions is not commenced. So, let's now take a large step back putting aside everything that we might have been taught about our social constructs and consider the following question: What are the immutable foundations of human health and prosperity and how do we construct a system which meets those needs for the entire human population - understanding of course, we live on a finite planet - while ensuring the sustainability of this habitat for future generations? To answer this question we need to first consider the issue of human need itself. For eons now, philosophers have contemplated the nature of mankind trying to find those 'human universals' we all share. This of course, is an ongoing debate with many speculations yet when it comes to the arena of human needs we do find a virtually universal set of commonalities amongst the entire species. Needless to say, if we do not get proper nutrition food, air and water we will cease to exist over time. If we are exposed to substances which are chemically toxic to our biology such as ingesting mercury or the like, we will likely get very sick. If we suffer serious vitamin deficiency as a child there is a predictable detrimental outcome for one's personal health such as stunted growth or immunity problems. But as human sciences have progressed we find that human needs do not stop at this basic, commonly observed level. Humans are bio-psycho-social organisms meaning we are affected by our environment symbiotically in many subtle and often complex ways. For instance, if a mother in the late stages of pregnancy suffers extreme emotional stress flooding her system with cortisol (a stress hormone) the nervous system of that unborn child could be predictably compromised in a negative way for the rest of his or her life for the fetus itself technically is learning about what the world is going to be like. This also goes for infancy and early childhood as well a critical developmental period where the organism is literally being programmed or adapted to the possible nature of the world they exist in - an impression which has been found to carry over for the entire life of that person in many ways. And if that critical period is met with negative stress, suffering and pain that child's development could possibly evolve into predictable tendencies of behavior including propensities for addictions and violence in later life. The point here with respect to human need is that the physical, mental and emotional health of a person can no longer be considered an isolated or temporal affair. We are socially and environmentally connected in a very real and multi-faceted way and if our intent as a society is to produce psychologically and physically balanced human beings the whole of society must be designed to meet those needs - not to mention adapt as our understandings change and knowledge progresses. So public health in the broad view is really the ultimate measure of the performance of any social system along with of course, the intelligent sustainable management of the earth which provides the core resources we need coupled as well with a social arrangement which is actually conducive for a healthy individual to prosper and hence the health of society itself and its progress. So given this basic understanding how do go about designing a society that actually supports the human species while maintaining environmental balance? This brings us to the concept of a Resource-Based Economy. A Resource-Based Economy is a direct response to this natural, physical, scientific understanding inferentially derived to calculate how to best meet the spectrum of human needs in the most efficient and sustainable way; taking into account what actually supports us which again, is the symbiotic relationship of this delicate, providing biosphere we all share. From there we are able to arrange society with very little need for human opinion if of course our collective goal is to maximize our sustainability and economic efficiency. The system that we describe is self-generating; it is self-evident once these parameters are assumed. There are three dominant economic considerations which need to be considered immediately: Resource Accounting, Dynamic Equilibrium and Strategic Design. As far as resource accounting: we live in a virtually closed planetary biosphere with a set of mostly finite resources at our disposal. Given this reality the logic becomes quite clear as to our responsilbility if we wish to allow our habitat to sustain itself for future generations and meet the needs of the current population. We must organize and account. Proper economic resource allocation really can not be made unless we have a clear understanding of what we have and where it is in a complete unified way. Eventually this understanding will lead to what we could call the 'Carrying Capacity of the Earth' which is very important information. But this accounting of course, is only the first step; we also need to track the rates of change and regeneration where applicable. Here we have what we call 'Dynamic Equilibrium'. The classic example of this issue today is deforestation. Trees have a natural growth rate and cycle and if our use of wood exceeds the rates of natural regeneration - which is of course the case today unfortunately - we have a problem. For it is, by definition, unsustainable. Remember, the monetary market model requires as much consumption as possible to keep the growing population employed and the economy operational. This is of course, simply Eco-cidal. Remember, a core requirement of a true economy is to economize or be strategically efficient and conservative. Today we live in what could be called an 'anti-economy' and this leads us to Strategic Design. Efficiently meeting the spectrum of human needs on a finite planet in a sustainable way means resource allocation must be optimized strategically and of course, conservatively. Today this is, not done - or you could say, 'haphazardly done' through arbitrary monetary realizations. It is about what could be afforded by the producer and hence the consumer not what the most scientifically efficient and strategic usage actually is. Not to mention the issue of longevity of a given good and the method to be used for its eventual breakdown, hence recycling. All of these elements need to be considered in the initial design without the interference of the market system and cost efficiency which serve as inhibitors to sustainable design. Again, an economy is about increasing efficiency at all times. It is about doing what is most scientifically correct not what some company can afford in order to remain competitive in the market model. We need strategic accounting, allocation and design as derived from proven technical parameters that assure maximum efficiency and sustainability. Anything less is simply negligence. So, Resource Accounting, Dynamic Equilibrium, Strategic Design set the basic underlay for this resource-based economic model. So let's now continue this inference... Building upon these we can then arrive at the following more specific organizational points: 1 - We need to move from a growth to a steady-state economy. Dynamic Equilibrium simply cannot be maintained in a growth economy for constant growth is literally impossible on a finite planet. 2 - We need a collaborative system, not a competitive one. Strategic design cannot be fulfilled when cost efficiency is in play. In fact quite simply, monetary efficiency is inverse to technological efficiency. 3 - We need a planned, designed system. a system designed to take into account resource allocation Dynamic Equilibrium and Strategic Design explicitly. The dispersed, haphazard corporate system does not even come close and the lack of efficiency and waste is simply, unacceptable. 4 - Automation is put before human labor on all levels. This falls under the component of Strategic Design once again. Not only do we design consumer goods to be as efficient as they can be but the very design of the production methods themselves to produce these goods, needs to be equally as strategic to maximize accuracy and output. Unannounced to many, productivity is now inverse to employment in most sectors studied which means it is socially irresponsible not to automate for it can help us generate an abundance. And 5 - We move from a system of property to a system of access and hence the removal of monetary exchange itself. There is a very large difference between the current state of affairs today and the scarcity that was intrinsic in the past. We have advanced production technology now which can enable what you could term an access abundance or a system of resource allocation which could enable universal free access to goods and services without the need for anyone to use currency. Rather than having a property-based investment approach value approach, which requires hoarding and protection we design a system of interchangeable access like a rental or library system as we might see today. In a society where I, for example might drive my car for only a few hours a week at most does it really make efficient sense for me personally to store this vehicle where it will sit unused for probably 90% of the month? And if you extend that idea to the whole of the goods sector the realization is that we can actually reduce production create more efficiency, reduce the use of resources while counter-intuitively, simultaneously enabling more access of goods to the population when they need it. The term would be 'Strategic Access'. Now I know for many it's very difficult to think about an access-based society rather than a property-based one given the materialism we have been groomed into which serves to support the conspicuous consumption that perpetuates the market system and hence the demand for labor and everything else but the efficiency of this concept when all of those other requirements are removed - those false requirements of the monetary system - if done correctly, the efficiency of this approach is simply unparalleled. Demand could be dynamically tracked to avoid access shortages and overruns and using the most advanced forms of automation and distribution technology the convenience could far exceed anything what 99% of the world knows today - not to mention a reduction in crime as we know it, by at least 90%. The bottom line is that money is no longer needed in a world that has an access abundance. Now this concludes the basic summarization of the core attributes of the resource-based economic model. Is it perfect? Is it Utopia? No - But it would be cataclysmically better than anything we have today which is continuing to damage ourselves, our environment and shows all signs of getting much worse. If you would like to learn more about a Resource-Based Economy along with the global organizations working to make it happen please visit and for more information. I thank you for your time. [] [] Voluntary Transcription by Linguistic Team International

Video Details

Duration: 18 minutes and 49 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: The Zeitgeist Movement
Director: The Zeitgeist Movement
Views: 337
Posted by: ltiofficial on Oct 4, 2011

A 20 minute presentation by Peter Joseph at TedX.

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