If you would like a fully detailed sketch of the organization of direct democracy and how it would function, please see the following link: http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secI5.html
A great first step toward direct democracy is a proposal to create a ballot initiative at the federal level. Please see: http://ni4d.us/.
I used some footage from the Venus Project. I just came across the videos and apparently they are pretty big on YouTube. I don’t necessarily indorse the VP. I actually just heard about it and I’m ordering a book about the subject. Im just letting everyone know so I dont create any kind of confusion. From what I’ve seen (limited to about 3 videos) it looks interesting but I would need more information. From what I can tell, it looks a little bit like libertarian communism but that’s just my first impression.
I should also mention that Mutualist (a school of Left-Libertarianism) foresee a society in which direct democracy takes place in the workplace but not in the individual community.
The Venus Project is based on developing a post monetary Resource Based Economy where all the worlds resources would have shared ownership of all people, much as air does today. It's unlike any past socio-economic system.
I could go into great detail for you but there are those here (not all) that have made up their minds and will flame any attempt to revisit it. I have even been accused of being a conservative, which I equate as being just below child molester. So, I'll keep it brief.
It has some libitarian qualities in that we believe in discontinuing the use of money, trade and ownership will eliminate the need for most traditional government institutions and laws.
As far as being communist, no, whether you apply Marxist communism or Soviet communism. Soviet communism was actually a monopolistic state Capitalism, not communism. Even Marx defines Communism in terms of how the surplus labor is distributed. In a RBE, all production and distribution is automated to the extent possible, and activities that involve non-production such as sales, CPA'S, stock brokers, attorneys, etc become obsolete. Therefor all value is surplus because there is no significant human labor. People are free to pursue their passions.
If I were forced to place a label on it, it comes closest to "Inclusive Democracy". It is very much not related to the Technocracy movement which is government rule by technicians and scientists.
I am an active volunteer on the Venus Project.
For some good supplemental research, I suggest looking up The Zeitgeist movement also. They have some good video's on the RBE model.
I also recommend reading Marshal Brains "Manna: Two Visions of Humanity’s Future " listed on the home page of this site. It's free from Amazon on the Kindle. In his fiction, the Australian Project is based based on The Venus Project, with one difference. He uses energy credits as a sort of new currency to ration resources. That is from Technocracy, and we do not support it.
Posted by CygnusX1 on 11/16 at 06:02 AM
"I could go into great detail for you but there are those here (not all) that have made up their minds and will flame any attempt to revisit it. I have even been accused of being a conservative, which I equate as being just below child molester. So, I'll keep it brief."
You should not be deterred from flamers attempting to bring the conversations down to their levels? And don't be afraid of airing any conservative views as here is opportunity to rise above polarised thinking. We all have at very least conservative viewpoints on what is fundamentally right and wrong on any given issue, especially ethics and freedoms?
Indeed, let's here more of your opinions - in all fields and topics!
"If I were forced to place a label on it, it comes closest to "Inclusive Democracy". It is very much not related to the Technocracy movement which is government rule by technicians and scientists."
My view and description of Technocracy would not necessarily be that of government rule by technocrats, but rather abundance for all based upon technological enterprise. And this would include the integration of machines, robots and supercomputers for application of central administration, transparency, scrutiny, accountability, security, logistics and provision of global Human needs.
I normally welcome a healthy and rational debate. It helps me to either prove or in some cases, reevaluate my ideas. Most people here do engage in rational debate, it's just a few that led me to withdraw from the conversation.
Posted by Intomorrow on 11/16 at 10:02 PM
"Soviet communism was actually a monopolistic state Capitalism, not communism..."
Communism was the same system as fascism, with a different ideology. As long as no alliance is made with Communists (high case 'C'), what you recommend is worthwhile.
@Intomorrow, I'm not sure what you mean by alliance, or who 'Communists' refers too.
I can tell you this:
The one and only resemblance to what the soviets did, will be the elimination of property ownership. There is nothing else that they did or said that has any resemblance to our project. Even here they didn't eliminate ownership, it just transferred to the state. The Soviet state just became the Capitalist, and used there workers as slaves to build up industry.
Now, the loss of property rights can get people upset, until you understand the structure of the new system.
There will be no money, no currency, no coin, no electronic funds, no banks or bankers, not stocks or stock brokers. Without money, you can't buy anything, therefore you can't own anything in the traditional sense. Because the production and distribution of everything will be automated by the system, to the extent possible, the concept of the company/corporation is obsolete.
Your Home: what people want is the security and control that comes with home ownership. In our system you can choose to live anywhere in the world, and will get your home free of charge; that means no debt or bank. We will have fewer laws, but one law will be that once assigned a home, no one anywhere can take that home from you against your will. You will be free to do with it what you want just as you would private property today.
A big difference though. The bank can't take it away from you because the economy tanks and you lose your job at no fault of your own. If you get the itch to move to a different climate, or to be near family, no big deal. Release you claim on the home and go claim one elsewhere, anywhere. No need to sell, or moving fees. You will experience freedom the likes of which very few people have.
If you transportation is free and available to go across town or across the world, do you need to own a garage full of cars that sit idle 80% of the time.
If you can go down to the lake, and rent free of charge a ski boat on Saturday, then on Sunday rent free of charge a sail boat, do you need to own and maintain those toys that sit idle 99% of the time.
You will still have personal property, and possessions so that no one an take anything that you do not want to part with.
Will we still have crime when people can get what ever they want; there is no need to steal.
Will we still have drug dealers getting our kids hooked when there is no money or any way to profit from selling drugs.
Will people feel the need to go to war, when they are safe and secure in their warm homes and all of their needs are met.
I wish we had a way to edit our posts. Sorry for all the typos in the last one.
Posted by Intomorrow on 11/17 at 03:13 PM
"@Intomorrow, I'm not sure what you mean by alliance, or who 'Communists' refers to."
Groups such as CPUSA (Communist Party USA), Socialist Workers Party, Workers World Party, and so forth are still quite active in trade and labor union organising-- which isn't what I object to, they may very well do workers some good.
However the following is an example of what is insidious concerning Communists, and they are real Communists: after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, Communists posed as pacifists opposed to war when in fact they are as militaristic as fascists. It may appear a small matter, esp. now that the number of true Communists has declined greatly since 1989; yet Communist front organisations involved in anti-war activities deliberately deceived genuine pacifists starting after the war in Afghanistan began in 2001. When ANSWER was revealed to be a Communist front group, pacifists were embarrassed and chagrined that they had been misled, and left ANSWER.
A few non-Communist allies of ANSWER did say "good for ANSWER that they are doing something against the war", and naturally the number of Communists post-Warsaw Pact is so small they cannot dominate. Nevertheless, forging an alliance with Communists against war is comparable ethically to making an alliance with white supremacists against racism.
Thus in the future if Communists say they want to ally with us in what you rightly recommend above, the answer should be no because deep down, Communists are only interested in aiding workers-- due to their indoctrination, their interest in helping technicians and peasants is negligible, though that is tantamount to missing the point; the Communist niche has of course been and still is aiding workers and again it isn't their involvement with labor & trade unions that is a problem. The difficulty is when such Communist activists go beyond helping workers and attempt and sometimes succeed in infiltrating anti-war organisations; this sort of thing may not be important but it is evidence of extremely bad faith on the part of Communists.
Now, we have to distinguish between Marxists and Communists: there are many more Marxists than Communists, and Marxists are not necessarily militaristic/militant; so if a Marxist wants to ally with us, no problem. However going by past performance, Communists-- real Communists-- are highly motivated, the whole point of their being Communists.. they say enough of talk, let's go out and agitate, propagandise, and have revolutions or attempt revolutions. Communists 'succeeded' (in the same manner fascists suceeded) in pulling off revolutions in diverse nations and, so the old joke goes, "solving he population problem" by killing tens of millions. Though the number of bona fide Communists in the 21st century is small, they are dedicated fanatics and will continue their agitation, propaganda, and activities even though their overarching cause of a classless world is now hopeless. So will white supremacists continue to do their Thing; important thing is that the Thing of totalists not be our Thing and we ought not ally with them. Communicate, perhaps-- but not ally.
Just as long as we don't join together with them; just as long as we indicate to them that they can organise workers but we aren't interested in posing as pacifists tilting at Quixotic revolutions in service of hopeless, outdated causes.
The Venus Project does not advocate any sort of militant or violent action. We are pacifists. We have no intention of making allies with any political, quasi-political, or militaristic groups. The ultimate goal is a united planet, free from military conflict. When everyone has everything they need, there will be much less incentive for people to go out and try to kill each other.
I have only one qualm with your post, as a personal opinion. The application of the "Communist" label to people who are evil is not fair. Are some people who happen to be Communist who do terrible things? Yes. Just like there are people who are Muslim and Christians who do terrible things. When we use a label that represents a broad group of people as an identifier of villainy, we risk lumping a lot of good people into that ugly category.
There were a great number of Communists in the former Soviet Union who were wonderful, hard working family people; the kind you wouldn't mind having a dinner with. The same can be said of the majority of Communist Chinese people, and Muslims in the middle east. Just because you are a Communist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Mexican, Indian, Republican or Democrat doesn't mean your going to be good or evil; it doesn't define who you are as a person.
Throughout our history we Americans have built up a culture of hatred toward one group or another; the blacks, the Japanese, the Germans, the Communists, and now the Muslims and Mexicans. It's a very effective tool used by some countries to create a nationalist solidarity, to rally people to a common cause. It was used very effectively by Germany leading up to WWII, and has been adopted to a lesser extent in the United States.
I guess what I'm saying is that I would like to undo or reverse that part of our culture that drives us to hate or fear anyone who is different. Anyone, from any race or culture will be welcome to adopt the RBE and join us in creating a world free from war, poverty and hunger.
Posted by Intomorrow on 11/17 at 08:30 PM
All true, you have written all the comments that are relevant, Kelly.
What colors my thinking is what I witnessed from 1965- circa '80, the largely pacifist anti-war movement was infiltrated by some profoundly militaristic individuals and organisations who preyed on the gullibility of those with little or no experience of militarism (America has not experienced war since 1865. Please remember, Communism (high case 'C') was more influenced by Lenin than Marx; Lenin meant well yet he was described by Gorky as having "steel shavings" in his mind, bringing to mind how Sovietism was industrial-oriented, paid little attention to the peasantry... whereas the Chinese Communists did pay attention.
"There were a great number of Communists in the former Soviet Union who were wonderful, hard working family people; the kind you wouldn't mind having a dinner with."
Same is true of a great number of white nationalists/supremacists. IMO it is probably best not to have dinner with such people as one risks subtle manipulation- infiltration of the mind. And don't forget a great many Nazis (not merely in Germany) in the '30s and '40s were wonderful, hard working family people; the kind you wouldn't mind having a dinner with-- just as long as one didn't eventually wind up in a different sort of oven.
Count me in; but let's all keep an eye on the lookout for less ecumenical persons and groups.
Posted by Intomorrow on 11/17 at 10:48 PM
Here's an idea which is guaranteed to work because it involves the most cosmopolitan location, a campus (perhaps two campuses) in the world in the most progressive city in America.
If you would kindly write up a one-page flyer that would appeal to progressives, I'll print it and hand it out on campuses. The best literature is the sort that readers don't want to put down, they want to read it all the way through without stopping. If you could write a flyer of such quality-- something academic yet activist-- it would be a Go; because of present conditions this may be just the time to attempt to communicate.
Best might be to post it at IEET so anyone who cares to can read it.
Your right about the timing being right. That's why I have written a book which I hope to publish early next year titled "Civilization 2.0, Hope for the Future of Humanity".
There are several ways to become an activist. The Zeitgeist Movement has been a very successful group at getting the word out. They currently have over 1,000 activist chapters in 70 countries. A few months ago they held a huge media festival in L.A. and got a lot of people to take notice. If you're eager to get started I would start there. If you have software or engineering skills you can start directly with The Venus Project as a volunteer as I did.
The house of cards that Capitalism built is about to tumble down, and people are eager for alternatives. Regardless of who is in the white house, the economy is going to go through a prolonged depression.
Let me give the flyer idea some thought and get back to you.