The movement became viral and spread around the country and abroad. For once in my lifetime, the economic injustices of nations will no longer be tolerated! (Disclaimer: All of this is happening a year and some change after I became an Economic Activist and dedicated my life to finding solutions to the economic crisis.)
I am very proud of what The Occupy Movement has done so far. It is doing a great job in expressing the disparities and dishonesty in our economic and political systems. The continuous harmony of the movement impresses me the most. It’s very rare for me to see people with different backgrounds come together for a common cause. It offers hope that a better society is emerging. The micro-communities that are being formed are strengthening that hope by showing us solidarity, collaboration, direct democracy, and most importantly, love in action. It’s also the perfect platform for people to express themselves openly about the status quo without worrying about ridicule from others; it’s actually encouraged!
With that being stated, there is an important issue I would like to touch on that deeply worries me about the future of this movement. With the rapid worldwide growth of this movement, there hasn’t been any practical, people-powered solutions being presented where supporters can use this momentum to build a society that benefits the whole. Civil disobedience such as protests, marches, and occupying locations are great for sparking awareness to a movement, but what actions actually provide solutions to the economic injustices we face? Let’s go deeper...What keeps the world going around? That answer is the “ultimate occupation”, which I’ll touch on in a few.
As I feel I take a futurist outlook on most things, I would like to present two scenarios; one describing what will happen if we wait for a solution from a bought government and one describing what will happen if we self organize our way to a sustainable economy and planet.
This is Chess, Not Checkers
Scenario 1: Expose The Problem & Wait For A Solution From The “Authorities”
Occupy Wall St. is a great medium to learn about the insustainablity of our economic system. It’s also doing a great job at keeping people harmonized and motivated under an important cause.
My main question to the movement is why are we making demands for more bank and corporate regulations to a government that is owned by those same banks and multinational corporations?
For true freedom to exist, we have to become responsible for our own lives in an interdependent way. Crisis has a great technique of doing two things to groups of people: it either brings us together to solve a problem or it leads us astray into further dilemmas. The elite are fully aware that this system is on the verge of collapse and may have a “loaded solution” to offer to further their agenda. It’s called the “If you can’t beat em, join em” technique.
The Egyptian Revolution was based on ousting Mubarak from rule. Mass support for the movement helped to make that happen but what was the outcome? A military regime whose outlook is possibly not much different from that of when Mubarak was put in power. The people protested in the streets, got their voices heard, and got what they demanded. Unfortunately, nothing is really going to change because the root problems weren’t solved, which are the systemic flaws of our current economic system.
This type of negligence on our part will eventually lead to more and more concentration of power by the few because that’s what a debt-based money system leads to!
“You don’t remove poisonous fruit by picking them off the tree, you change the seed.”
Scenario 2: Occupy The System
Our economic system is the foundation of society. It is the pulse of the nation. It’s like the body’s circulatory system. Imagine if you didn’t have enough blood to circulate to all of your organs? Well that’s exactly the problem with our economy. There’s not enough money circulating to satisfy everyones’ needs. But this is crazy! We have way more than enough money in existence, but it’s just being hoarded (the system rewards hoarding money by the gain of interest). The irony of this is when money is hoarded and doesn’t circulate, we have a bad economy; and when money is constantly circulating, we have a good economy.
Imagine if you needed to borrow blood with interest from a 3rd party to live? This is exactly what the current economic system does to the people.
So it seems to me, we just have to devise an economic model that keeps money flowing (economic booms) without the reoccurring blockages (depressions, recessions). How will a system be structured in this type of way? We need to foster the evolution of four things: Money, Enterprise, Education, and The Social Network.
Due to our debt-based money system, there’s not enough national currency circulating in the economy to satisfy everyone’s needs. It’s like we have a full circle of people existing, but only a half circle of money circulating in the economy. With the lack of funds to go around, this forces us to ruthlessly compete with each other for resources necessary for our survival.
We evolve money by turning it into information of measurement (numbers) instead of being a thing or a commodity. A commodity can be manipulated to be scarce, but you can not do that with numbers. No one can control how many numbers exist.
This type of evolved money is people-powered and it is called mutual credit. It is a digital “producer to producer currency” that tracks how much someone produces for the community and how much someone consumes from the community. It is abundant and available when needed (just like numbers and inches), so nothing is in the way of exchanges continuing to happen. And the great thing about it is, it’s backed by the goods and services in a community. Starting off, it will be complementary to our national currency. But as our economy gets worst, mutual credit will become more and more preferred as the medium of exchange.
The catch is in order to get this type of money, you’ll have to produce something of value for others. In our current economy, there’s many people available (13+ Million Unemployed Workers) to produce value for others, but there’s just not enough money to pay them. This solution solves that problem.
Money creation is now in the people’s hands. It’s being done in over 2500 local communities around the world, but major media isn’t covering it. We no longer need a “middle man” for our money. We just need to produce value!
Money is supposed to be like "Producer & Consumer Inches" not "Producer & Consumer Certificates". (Information vs. Commodities)
The traditional corporation is an entity that has legal authority to seek profit over the well being of people and the planet. But people operate these fictitious entities. Why are we, the people, letting something artificial exploit nations for short-term gain, but with long-term socioeconomic and environmental losses for us and the planet? With the rise of social entrepreneurship and cooperatives, we, the people, now have a way to operate business in a way that not only makes a living for us, but also improves communities and gives our work meaning.
We evolve the enterprise by giving it a heart. It then transforms from a for-profit to a for-purpose company. Not only does it generate a profit to be self-sustainable, but it also improves social and/or environmental conditions in the communities it operates in, while distributing control and wealth to the workers of the company. This evolved enterprise is called a Social Enterprise Cooperative.
We can build a federation of social enterprise cooperatives within local communities in the U.S. It will spur rapid career creation, revitalization of communities, less burden on government to provide public services (while increasing tax revenue), and happier workplaces. With a debt-free money system added to the picture, investment in innovation for social good will always be available. Just imagine if a socially-conscious Silicon Valley startup culture was active in all of our communities. Just imagine if everyone in the Occupy Movement decided to band together and create these types of businesses. Those thoughts are really powerful! Now it’s just time to manifest them.
In order to get ourselves out of this economic crisis, we have to start creating opportunities instead of just looking for them. This happens by evolving education to give students a producer mindset instead of a job seeker’s. This is done by creating a variety of complementary education/economic development centers called startup hubs, which help people develop their natural talents and passions into a business.
The curriculum will be personalized and game-based; personalized so it caters to that person’s unique interests and game-based so it’s more engaging and fun. (Here’s a study that has shown how game-based learning is very effective). People will actually get paid to learn! Gamification, which is the art of using game design to solve real world problems, does wonders my friend!
In addition, we need to build a public knowledge inventory, which is a web-based platform that stores the quality and quantity of knowledge assets that exist in a particular location. The idea has been developed by my associate, Dan Robles, of The Ingenesist Project.
This type of education will fill in the gaps left by the traditional system.
Occupy The Social Network
Social networking platforms are very powerful tools to create social change. They efficiently connect like-minded people and are slowly but surely becoming our main source of communication. Many of us even saw what Facebook and Twitter did for countries in rebellion in the Middle East.
Numbers also give social networks much force. If Facebook was a nation, it would be the 3rd largest one in the world. It currently has around 800 Million worldwide members. Just imagine if all of those people operated under one cause, for a purpose? Imagine if 800 Million people self-organized a new economy that benefits the whole? The 3 topics I covered earlier (Money, Enterprise, & Education) make up the components to start an economy. The social network is the glue that connects them all together.
Since I’m not a person who just speaks about making change, my team and I has been actively working on a potential solution. Our idea incubator, The Illuminated Ventures Project (IllVP), is developing a project called Producia (Here’s the link to the presentation), which aims to be the online/offline social network for the new economy and has the goal of taking humanity on journey to self-actualization. Imagine that; everybody reaching their full potential. Great thought, isn’t it? Our current economic system was the barrier from making that happen. It no longer has to be; not if we self-organize a complementary system. In fact, why not self-organize a complementary society? Why shouldn't we build a world that benefits the whole? The Occupy Movement has shown us that we have the capability to build micro-communities within cities ourselves. Here’s an excerpt from an article on how a group of affluent people could of created their own nation...
Lifecast, a small entrepreneurial company in Dallas, worked to assemble an enormous online community of wealthy and powerful individuals in 1999. During its 14-month existence, and with less than $10 million in seed money, Lifecast's online membership grew to a staggering 1.4 million affluent participants. Their combined annual incomes totaled more than $240 billion, and their documented personal net worth exceeded $1.28 trillion.
Lifecast members included some of the world's most powerful politicians, educators, and athletes, as well as leaders in businesses, governments, and militaries around the world. More than 40,000 doctors and 80,000 attorneys signed up. As a group, members flew more than 32 billion miles annually. Economically, Lifecast would have ranked twenty-third among the world's nations.
Had this group wanted to, it could easily have created its own stock trading exchange, research centers, universities, and security force for protection. It could have bought its own airline, insurance company, health-care centers, and financial institutions. It could have driven the politics of many countries, influenced laws, and even started its own barter currencies. In other words, it could have become the equivalent of a nation, with an ability to provide the three basic functions of a nation: to defend and protect its people, provide opportunities for the health and well-being of its members, and implement a monetary system.
Lifecast no longer functions as a corporation, and it was never the intent of Lifecast to become a virtual nation in the first place. However, that small company demonstrated the ease with which an online group could form very quickly and amass potentially tremendous power.
Members of the Lifecast community had ample communications access through the Internet and the technical infrastructure that supported the group. However, the group never sought to effect change; rather, members were content to use their community for social bonding and information gathering. With no cause to promote, there was no need for a leader to step forward. This conceivable v-nation was likely unaware of its potential power and certainly uninterested in using the community for a nation-building purpose.
What I’m ultimately trying to say is, we’re at a crossroads; one way leads to tyranny and scarcity and the other leads to love and abundance. The tyranny and scarcity awaits us if we wait for “them” to provide us with solutions. Love and abundance awaits us if we self-organize the solutions to our problems. We’ve occupied locations and got the people’s and media’s attention. Great! Now they’re waiting to see what’s next. Yes, it’s time to occupy the system and drive the change we so desperately need. We’ve protested. Now it’s time to produce! From protesting to producing! And always remember...A revolution can be stopped, an evolution can not!
If you are interested in implementing this model immediately, we have Working Groups available for people to contribute their talents to our campaign. You'll receive virtual currency redeemable for prizes and more.
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