To ask a community of individuals that have spent their entire lives entrenched in a monetary system, (which incentivises them with the profit mechanism to place personal profit over communal prosperity) to simply switch, on faith alone, to an altruist pure-cost system, would be practically impossible since it would imply complete trust in the entire community. Also, the competitive paradigm these individuals have existed in has many positive psychological adaptations that should not be ignored in the attempt to move forward to a profit-free environment such as the ability to meet deadlines under enormous amounts of stress. In fact, by not providing a logical and plausible means to remove profit from the monetary system as a transition step toward achieving a Post-Scarcity Economy, anyone proposing a Post-Scarcity Economy is immediately alienating large sects of society that require tangible assurances when making any changes in their lives. So, simply providing a VIAAC framework is not enough to catalyze communities to shift to a profit-free life.
The Distortion of WealthEdit
In many historic cultures, and throughout nature, the display of wealth is associated with physical and intellectual prowess, which makes a member of a species more attractive to potential mates, and thus ensures the survival of the species. This display of wealth is still strongly prevalent in modern human culture, but under the auspices of the monetary system the means to display wealth has become a distorted one. It is through materialism and competitive achievement that modern the human attracts a mate. This materialism has provided a marketing and advertising industry that creates societal standards of beauty, instead of allowing natural attractions to emerge. While the competition we throw ourselves into with each other breeds the apathy that can allow “Winners” to thrive at the cost of the “Losers”.
If people exist in a “Profit = Wealth” paradigm then what is needed is an economic disambiguation of the term profit, separating communal profit from individual profit, so that the maximisation of personal wealth in a community would entail ensuring not just personal profit, but communal profit, because the communal wealth would ALWAYS be greater than individual wealth. And since part of the general understanding of the profit mechanism is to lower costs and maximize efficiency, communal wealth would rely on lowering EVERYONE’s costs, streamlining everyone’s consumption practices, and efficiency and most of all, creating abundance to ensure the highest communal standard of wealth.
Uniting the CommunityEdit
But this assumes an already united community and it is relatively easy to show that no such community truly exists today and that every attempt to force unity has resulted in oppressed societies. So then how does one unite people without eventually oppressing them?
The answer lies in the concept of a co-operative. A VIAAC can essentially be described as a community of interlinked co-operatives, and each of these co-operatives could serve, on their own, as a viable starting point for a community to unite.
Co-operatives are joint ventures for groups of individuals looking to achieve the same single economic goal.
But a Co-operative is not enough to effectively unite people and get rid of profit incentives. The Co-operative must be aimed at project that fulfills several important criteria.
Criteria for a Startup Project
· Does the project fulfil at least one Basic Need? (Air, Food, Water, Shelter) *to make sure demand for the project is constant and universal*
· Is the project environmentally friendly? *this should be checked and rechecked thoroughly*
· Does the project create, or expose, abundance when fulfilling the need?
· Does the project provide open access to the created abundance? *if the abundance is sufficient, you should be able to make the access completely free instead of following pure-cost structures*
· Is the project disruptive to current systems fulfilling the same need through scarcity? *is your project more efficient than existing systems?*
· Does the project make use of existing local resources? *the logistical costs involved with external resources will place a project outside the self-sufficiency requirements*
· Does the technology needed for the project to work exist? *if all the functioning parts of the project do not currently exist, then a project to develop all the technologies will take longer than simply starting a RepRap Co-Op*
Rapid Replicators (RepRaps ) are fast becoming the most important technological breakthrough of our generation. Using a RepRap to print 3-dimensional objects using various plastics, holds the key to a turning a co-operative into the mechanism of unity.
The first item on any RepRap list of things to print is another RepRap. This process can be repeated until a ‘production line’ is established. This production line can focus on purely producing sustainable items and the tools required to produce sustainable products that cannot be printed.
A second (networked) production-line can produce items that can be produced locally without the need for competitive proprietary processes or massive logistical super-structures, can provide a basis for the altruistic switch to a complete VIAAC.
The RepRap project is still in its infancy, but has chosen to develop as an Open Source platform, which has permitted exponential growth in development of supporting technologies and in the variety of customized RepRaps themselves, as individuals printing their own RepRaps are encouraged to adapt and improve on existing designs.
RepRap printer heads and plastic technologies have advanced to the point where one is able to print biodegradable plastic for eco-friendly use, as well as recapturing refuse plastics currently polluting the planet. There are plastics that can be used to print electronic devices by using trace metals in the mixture. There are methods for printing in colour and probably most importantly there are medical 3D printers that are able to print entire human organs. The possibilities are virtually endless.
But what would a Co-operative, using such a printer, print that could unite people? One answer is a brick, although admittedly it is not a brick in the traditional sense. By printing a stackable brick that holds water and interlinks as a piping system that uses either thermoplastics (biodegradable) or refuse plastics, a steady supply of solid, reliable and sustainable, houses and greenhouses can be built. The greenhouses could provide an abundance of vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants, while sustainable houses can replace outdated and inefficient and often ecologically harmful construction
methods. An abundance of food, shelter and potable water are the true needs of any individual or community. And thus, with the simple printing of a brick, the essential needs of a community can be provided by even a small core group forming a co-operative.