So I just brought up the topic of the guy making $2000 per hour as a way to “get free of the system.” Let’s look at how this works, and why it isn’t quite freedom yet.
Money is a proxy for value, and value is in the eye of the customer. The amount of value we attach to a burger-flipper is low (“I don’t REALLY need a burger right now, plus anyone could do that job!”) so the burger-flipper is paid accordingly.
To make a LOT of money you therefore have to identify some BIG need which people have, ideally one that’s non-obvious enough world+dog hasn’t set up businesses filling it.
Therefore the successful entrepreneur must develop the habit of reading potential customer’s minds (“doing market research”) to identify where they’re inwardly crying out… “man, I’d give my left arm for something that did X!”
Because even if you pour a million bucks into developing something that does Y… if nobody wants a widget that does Y, that widget is worthless. Value is in the eye of the customer.
(Alternately you could play Edward Bernays and associate Widget Y with sexual urges, but we don’t do that kind of thing here.)
The long and short of this is that the whole “money” thing creates an interesting condition. The limit as t goes to infinity of this system is… a world in which everyone is constantly “listening” (via any available means) to everyone else, in order to figure out what they want and give it to them. (Because doing so is the only way to get paid!)
This is disturbingly close to the Heylighen ideal, and downright creepy in a “peer to peer Stasi” way too.
To be sure, there is the advantage that it’s hard to manipulate (either people value what you give them, or they don’t).
It’s also unlikely to ever get this far; at the moment, most people prefer let their employers handle the “customer mind reading” for them — “just tell me what to do and give me a paycheck!”
Nevertheless this begs the question… what kind of system DOESN’T have fascism as the ultimate outcome?
Going back to nature isn’t bad until you get into Gaia hypotheses and all that, we’re not gonna go there here.
Therefore let’s do some “thinking like Tesla” and look at the fundamentals. WHY does all this stuff arise?
According to the lefty-anarchist types, capitalism is all about exploiting your fellow man. Which is why it’s evil and must be smashed!
Now those same people are also all about smashing the state (another ‘corporate organism’) and the like too, so perhaps they’re on to something with this line of thinking.
In fact this situation arises because needing money to pay the rent, buy food, hookers, blow, etc makes us DEPENDENT on others.
To make money you have to GIVE SOMEONE ELSE something they value. Doesn’t matter who, as long as that person’s also given other people value in some way, shape or form.
(The “exploitation” part arises when you realize it’s a lot cheaper and easier when that “value” you give contains a “hook” that makes people have to come back over and over again to get what they originally wanted. See also — cults promising something that doesn’t exist.)
Corporations, socialism/National Socialism/communism/whatever, all use this principle in an “official” way — rather than being dependent on the “mass of humanity,” you are dependent on the Company or on the State for your paycheck and ability to survive.
Therefore… anyone see the source of the problem?
My hypothesis here is that it’s DEPENDENCE. And therefore the solution would be INDEPENDENCE.
In practical terms… what form would this take? I say, who the fuck knows.
Fans of Neil Stephenson’s “Diamond Age” would recognize what I’m talking about as the “seed.”
Fans of Internet paranoia-conspiracy-whatever forums would recognize this as “free energy.”
Neither of which have so far emerged in a widely-believed-to-be-non-ficitional form so… unless someone’s got any better ideas… we may well be fucked.
Fortunately this is “fucked” in the long-term future tense, so you can still get plenty of freedom for the moment by massively increasing your level of personal value-creation-and-delivery efficiency.