I saw a Fox News commentary on the Occupy Wall Street movement. They interviewed a bunch of kids who were taking part in the parade and asked them a simple question: “So, what do you expect to replace Capitalism with?”
Then Fox, in their fair and balanced tradition, portrayed their subjects as the poster children of a failed education system (some children left behind after all) and further testimony to the failure of the Obama Administration. because obviously “These kids don’t know how the real world works”.
The Pundits can’t climb the tree any better.
Unfortunately, nobody else has an answer to that question either – none of the pundits or anchors produced anything except the tired argument that we tried Socialism and it failed so therefore more Capitalism is the only way to fix Capitalism.
It’s a Simple Problem
Market Capitalism only articulates value in the things that people make which can physically sit on a market shelf. Market Capitalism does not articulate the value of individual people; those things that people make in society.
Of course, it is also a double edge sword since those that really don’t produce anything – like hedge fund managers, pundits, and politicians – will become impoverished. Meanwhile, those who really do produce things – like teachers, engineers, and firemen – will become wealthy. So watch how the lines are redrawn in this debate.
How the world really works
The Internet and social media have shifted the factors of production away from land, labor, and capital to a higher order of human organization. This is what we need to be talking about. People today produce things with knowledge – social, creative, and intellectual knowledge. These are the factors of production for that 99% of the value that exists on Earth.
A Simple Solution
After many a blue face, I’ll say it again; there is no way to build anything meaningful without an inventory of parts. Car companies have inventories of parts, Banks have inventories of assets, even biology has an inventory of genomes – but there is no knowledge inventory for our communities. We don’t know what we do or do not know. We have absolutely no idea how valuable we are yet we complain that we’re impoverished. Meanwhile corporation create technology to replace people when people could be just as easily be creating technology to replace corporations.
How on Earth can we determine supply and demand for knowledge assets without an inventory? How can we expect to create any type of fair and rational economy from a bunch of invisible stuff milling around the parks? There is no escape from Market Capitalism and no path to Social Capitalism without a Knowledge Inventory, period.
A Stunning Omission
This is a very easy problem to solve and we have all the cards waiting to be stacked in our favor using the tools that are right in front of our collective noses. If we fail at something so simple, then we deserve to be enslaved. After all, 100,000 years ago, such people would have been eaten by tigers. It’s time to Evolve.