Individual Decision Power
Capitalism allows one person with an idea to make a change, if that person happens to be rich. That is what allows Capitalism to produce new technology. Even though Capitalism prevents 99% of the people from producing new technology, it is Capitalism's ability to produce some new technology that allows it to succeed. How could a system so bad, succeed? Because it had what the others didn't have, until now.
Now we have a system which allows anyone to make a change or create new technology. A new system which allows 100% of the people to make changes and create new technology, if they are so inspired. A system which will bring out the best in all people, not treat the majority like garbage.
The diagram below shows 3 different systems for decision making. "Majority Voting" is regular Direct Democracy, where each person has a vote, and the majority wins. "Consensus" is the same as "Majority Voting", except 100% of the people must agree to make a decision. "Consensus" is very common in communes. "Voting Credits" represents the new system.
Keep in mind, a diagram is an extreme simplification, to help you to understand. It does not tell the whole story.
Imagine you are an engineer. Your purpose is to make decisions. Now, imagine how you would feel if the boss, who sits in his office all day and has little or no contact with the project, comes out and over rides all of your decisions. You are stupid. All your thinking was a waste of time. This is basically what the boss is telling you. An engineer takes pride in his or her ability to make good decisions, but the boss walks all over your pride. This affects all workers though, not just engineers. This is called micromanagement.
Here's another example. Say you are building a house. If your boss hangs over you and tells you where to put each and every nail, tells you how to hold the hammer, etc. How would you feel about your work? You want to hand your boss the hammer and say, "here, you do it", don't you? In fact, the work would get done faster if you did. That is called micromanagement. Now it doesn't have to be that extreme of course, that is just an example.
The effect of micromanagement is it de-motivates the worker and creates serious resentment. It makes one hate their job and hate working. Good worker or bad worker, it doesn't matter, all will work poorly in micromanaged situations.
Look at how people resent being told that they have to wear their seat belts. People who might otherwise wear their seat belts, don't wear them in protest.
In any situation where a boss exists, there is some micromanagement going on. It is not avoidable. Some bosses are better than others of course. Micromanagement determines the size that a company, organization, or community can reach. A good boss can have a large company, a boss who micromanages more, can not have more than 10 or 20 employees. A nation can have more people, but that is only by force. If people are allowed to freely leave, they'd leave.
Now, most people would agree that a dictatorship is bad. I don't really need to tell you that. The USA has what is called a Representative Democracy, but this is also a system with leaders, so it also has micromanagement problems.
It has other problems as well, resulting from the election process. Perhaps you've noticed, that the election process almost always yields about the worst possible candidate. It also creates mass hatred and violence.
To avoid that, many believe in Direct Democracy. That is where all the people vote on every decision, rather than electing people to vote for us. Some believe in a slight variation of that, where they require a consensus for every decision. Consensus means 100 percent agreement.
Direct Democracy also has a major problem with micromanagement. Even with the consensus requirement that some have, it still has a major problem of micromanagement.
In Capitalism, the decisions are made by the money, so a lot of micromanagement is avoided, so the system works to some extent. We however are talking a system without Capitalism, so we have to fix the micromanagement problem.
The key is in creating a system which allows individual decision making.
Some things are not a problem, for example, the community could allow the people take as many transistors as they want from stock. People don't get greedy about transistors. There is no "my transistor is better than yours" crap associated with transistors. This applies to most basic resources used for manufacturing and what not.
Areas where there are problems, are the more expensive items, like computers and machines. We all want the fastest most expensive computers, but we can't buy them. How do we make the decisions about what computer you are allowed to buy? How do we decide how much money you are allowed to spend on your computer?
Each of us has different needs. Some can function very well with very slow antique computers. Others need as close to top of the line as they can get to do their work, 'cause they do work which requires a lot of processing power. Me for example, I have 2 gigabytes of ram in my computer, and it is not enough.
I believe the solution is something like this. Say you have a community with 100 people in it. Each of those people get $1000 a month to spend, but the money belongs to the community. Anything purchased belongs to the community, for all to share. 'Course it'll be a lot less than that at first.
Now compare that with the old system, which is to put all the money into the community pot and the community decides what to do with it. With the old system, everything is micromanaged. The decision to buy my computer with 2 gigabytes of ram would be made by the community. I was not even sure myself, at that time if it was the right decision, but with the old system I would need to convince the whole community.
With the new system, I make the decision myself. No micromanagement. It is my decision. Everyone in the community is free to use the computer, but it can be designated a dedicated work computer with only specific software installed. Since it was my purchase, I have control of the software and rules, as long as my rules are legal.
The exact specifics of this system are not yet set in stone. There is still a lot of thinking and discussion which needs to be done.
Most people who see this website think it is a bad idea. That doesn't mean it is a bad idea. Most people thought the air plane was a bad idea, and most new inventions for that matter. Almost all good ideas are considered bad ideas by the majority. We therefore can't rely on the majority to make decisions. We must make it possible for the individual to create. We must make it possible for a visionary to create a vision.
Another variation on this idea, is a voting system which uses a voting credit system. It works something like this. Each person gets 10 credits a day, capping out at 10,000 credits. You can spend a maximum of 20% of your credits on any one decision. So a person could spend up to 2,000 credits on one decision, if they felt that strongly about it.
What this does, is creates a situation where people must determine how important a decision is to them. Do you care if they play rock and roll music in the computer room? Do you care what color they paint the walls in a building across town that you've never even been in? If you don't care, you don't vote. You save your votes for issues that are important to you.
Many decisions are not final. Sure, if the wall is already painted, that decision is final, but whether or not they play Rock and Roll in the computer room, remains an open decision. People can cast their votes at any time. We have computers to keep track of these things.
To encourage negotiation, it might be that you choose how many votes to "risk", but if no one is in opposition, you don't loose any votes. You loose only according to the opposition. The more you talk to people, make compromises, and iron out disagreements, the more voting power you retain.
You might compare this system to punishing a child. If you give a kid a spanking every day, they become less affected by it. If you give a spanking maybe once a month or so, the effect is quite a bit stronger.
People who want to control everything, might vote on every issue. They spend voting credits each time, so they might have never have more than 10 vote credits to spend on any issue. A visionary might spend 2,000 credits on an issue, which might make others stop and think "well, if they feel that strongly about it, maybe we should respect their opinion".
I believe that the system will not work without a system of allowing individual decision power.
There are many communes in existence today and new communes forming today as well. Many use majority or consensus voting systems, and suffer from that. Here is an example of an extreme of this problem.
If you look at the Amish, they vote on whether or not to accept new technology. The result, is they live in the past, driving horse driven buggies. Many religious communes have existed for hundreds of years. I don't know if the Amish have communes, but the Mennonites do. Also the Israelites very often have communes as well.
Their decision making system almost works. It suffers, as you'd expect, when the population rises. The Mennonites adapted to this problem by keeping the size of the communes to 150 or something like that, and then splitting and forming new communes once their size reaches that point.
My system, theoretically, would not suffer from size limitation. It should work fine with a billion people, theoretically.
A small community would not need a computer program to operate the voting system. It would use a simplified variation of it. I know people want to own things, but then people also get tired of owning the debt along with the things.
As for unforeseen things. Remember that you can only spend 20% of your votes on any issue. That is why that is there. Anyway, say you start with 1,000 votes. You spend 20%, you now have 800 votes. A new issue comes up, you spend 20%, you now have 640 votes. A new issue comes up, you spend 20%, you now have 512 votes. A new issue comes up, you spend 20%, you now have 409 votes. After 8 issues, you still have 209 credits.
The smart people will not vote that way though. They won't feel so strongly about every issue that comes up. Most of these issues are pretty much meaningless anyway. In a whole year of saving credits, you can only save 3650 credits. Your cap is 10,000. You don't want to spend them all at once!
I suspect around 30 percent of the people will be smart enough to maintain vote credit balances of 2,000 or more. Maybe as high as 10 percent will cap. There'll probably also be 30 percent or so, who will maintain vote credit balances of less than 500. With a distribution like that, a surprise issue would never be a problem. You wouldn't be able to sneak something past people. You could maybe get a little bonus by trying to sneak something through, but not a lot.
Most people don't actually want a Ferrari or a Mercedes. They want to maybe sit in one and drive it, once in their life, but not actually own one. Remember, these things are available for everyone to use them. No one will say "I have a better car than you", 'cause you are free to use the car too. So what you have, is in a community with 100 people, you'll likely have 5 to 10 cars. People are not that interested in spending money on a car, when the community already has plenty of cars.
People who want something to brag about, will need to find something else to spend their money on. Say for example, "I invested in this robotic arm that does the work of 3 people". Or, maybe someone will get sick of that guy saying that, and say "I put my money in developing our own robotic arms, and now in about 3 months we'll be mass producing robotic arms".
I think we'll still have diversity, but it won't be stupid diversity. All cars will be super high quality. There'll still be sports cars and mini vans, but there won't be good and junk. There'll still be different body styles, but often the engines and components be identical. I'm talking cars only as an example, in reality I expect cars to vanish completely soon.
The fact that we don't own things as individuals (except things like tooth brushes), might mean that we don't need to ration them so much. The spending allowance thing, might be temporary, or it might be that we need to keep that system even when we produce everything for ourselves. We only know how humans act in the Capitalist system, in a different system, people will act differently, and so we do not know for sure how they will act.
When an inventor wants to invent something, they must take time and invent. Some inventors were lucky enough to have had their own companies, like Thomas Edison for example.
Many think that Thomas Edison was like the best inventor ever or something, but he really wasn't that unusual as inventors go. He was not exceptionally creative or anything, he was more or less a typical inventor. What seperated Thomas Edison from the rest of the inventors, was the fact that Thomas Edison had a company. That is all. He was able to not only spend all of his own time inventing, but also he could tell others to do things for him.
Thomas Edison was near starvation, when pure luck struck. A machine broke down and Edison just happened to be there and able to fix it. That slice of luck put him in a position, in touch with the right person, where he soon made a huge sum of money.
Many inventors never meet the right people, and therefore are never able to get a company going. Many who create new product ideas, have their ideas stolen, or they sell them for next to nothing, and remain without money and with no control over their time.
If Thomas Edison lived in a commune, he would not accomplish hardly any inventing. He'd spend his time doing work for the commune. If Thomas Edison approached the commune, and said he wants to spend his time working on making a light bulb, they'd laugh and say it can't be done. Remember, in typical communes, you need to convince either 50% or 100% of the people that it is a good idea.
So what we need to do, is we need to allow people to choose what they will do for work, as much as possible. We can require a small amount of a person's time to do required tasks, but we must permit them freedom of decision for a large portion of their time.
I was thinking something like this. People work 10 hours a week on required tasks. The computer would randomly give those tasks out, and they'd rotate. Also the computer would handle trading of those tasks as well, and bidding with some variation in hours to hours ratio.
Then I think, maybe another 5 or 10 hours a week which you'd do work which other people request of you. Those who nobody request, would do randomly selected tasks the computer assigns. This allows people to get help on a project, even if the other person doesn't believe in it. For example, I used to experiment with methane generation a lot. I don't know anything about biology, but in such a system I could request a biologist to help me. I could then pick this person's brain, and figure out what I need to know. Of if someone wants some plastic part made, but that person doesn't know anything about plastic molding, they could request me to help, and I'd design a part that is easily moldable and high quality, 'cause I know how.
We are going to create a highly cooperative environment. A place where inventors will be able to accomplish things easily. Others will be inspired to get the manufacturing process going to produce the products that inventors create. Others will be inspired to market those products, to bring the community money, so that we can all live better.
I believe the key to making this happen is freedom. This is what this individual decision making system is about.
Don't forget to check out the Growth Rate Explained
, to see how we'll make this happen in just a few years.