Challenges

It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one. – Machiavelli (1532)

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it! – Upton Sinclair (I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked, (1935)

Naturally, the greatest resistance will come from the holders of the status quo who perceive that they have more to lose: imperial powers, autocrats, transnational corporations, cartels, banking interests. It is likely that the US will be the last to join in the new economic system. This will be regrettable as the US is currently the world’s largest player in current economic terms and wields the most power and influence. US recalcitrance would further contribute to and be yet another reflection of its declining influence on the world stage. The system is broken and traditional approaches are being tried to fix it. Nothing will change unless US citizens take it upon themselves to try another way.

Socialism never took root in America because the poor there see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. – John Steinbeck (attributed)

The high degree of systemization may lead some to think this is a post-modern attempt to introduce communism while the emphasis on collective values may suggest socialism. The NPV system may reflect some shared values but it is not a political system; it provides only an economic framework that can be applied to existing systems. Capitalists may choose to retain the current monetary structure as a parallel system for as long as they can but will soon come to accept the futility of their intransigence as that system self-destructs. Greed and the pursuit of profit are the very things which will bring on its demise. The more successful they are, in their terms, is the more quickly the structure will collapse. Benign forms of capitalism are peripheral, too little, too late.

No matter the holdouts, the Planetary Index can be set up and running based on available data and accounts created for each and every accountity whether they participate or not. Due to the global calculation necessary to arrive at NPV, everyone and everything will be included. An initial valuation will be made of holdout accounts which will rely on available data until they are online. It may be an incentive for holdouts to know that a starter package of access indices is reserved for them and only awaits their activation.

Citizens of countries which do not opt in, may bypass national connections to still receive access as they fall under the jurisdiction of a higher level holon (Fig. 19), covered by the larger umbrella. An advantage of the NPV structural design is that it is holarchic, a nested hierarchy in which each entity is a holon. Interrupted or broken connections are circumvented and replaced in a similar way that new arterial pathways are constructed to restore blood-flow, or new plant roots project out around obstructions. Solutions to most problems have already been found in natural systems.

Anomaly

Figure 19. Missing links.

Gatekeepers and owners of technology and skill necessary for successful start-up and implementation may not lend their resources without the promise of profit, unless they can devise an angle that subverts the intent, and instead pursue a hidden agenda for power, growth and profit. Misapplied, the system has the potential for total control, reminiscent of the dystopias conjured in Revelations and the Matrix.

The biggest risk to this initiative is delay in achieving critical mass, thwarted by entrenched belief in the monetary system as the only means to manage affairs. The immediate and increasingly tangible relief from poverty and suffering by the bulk of humanity should mitigate this risk, coupled with the ease of transacting with minimal regulations to ensure compliance with common good.

Costs

Under the current economic system, funding will have to be identified to support research, system design and infrastructure for the NPV system. The scope and revolutionary impact of the project may attract voluntary contributions and participation, but certainly global organizations, research institutes, universities and think tanks will have to be engaged. Ideally, it will attract the right minds and talent to take it to implementation on the basis of understanding that they contribute out of their own belief in the project as a critical solution, as their next vocational option, and with the expectation that their respective NPV will be enhanced. In practice, some team members will require subvention in the absence of an operational system of support as envisaged by PI. Similarly, data processing capacity, servers, and development costs will be incurred. Budgets and funding sources will depend entirely on the team and implementing body that emerges to carry the project forward. As the project evolves it will begin to sustain itself, putting into effect the value principles and mechanism on which it is based. Its success will feed further success.

The real cost for the individual will be some loss of privacy as personal information will become the price paid for participation. This is a trend that is already evident in the business practices that harvest detailed personal information from the internet. Mobile phones are inherently insecure and can be used to pinpoint a user’s location so we’re already trading off privacy for convenience in using communication devices. Some will regard the inability to trade freely and accumulate tokens of wealth as a great loss but this would be likely to occur anyway as the current system goes into meltdown. Perhaps casinos and game environments can be maintained to provide therapeutic value to these so addicted.

‎There are a number of industries inflicting environmental damage that’s worth more than the sum of the wages they pay and the profits they earn — which means, in effect, that they destroy value rather than create it. – Paul Krugman1

The present monetary regime will come to be seen as the real cost – to the environment, to human well-being and indeed, to continued survival on the planet. It is based on a self-fulfilling delusion that resources are scarce, controlled by symbols called money which is hoarded in off-shore accounts out of the reach of everyone else.

Who is going to pay?

How much does it cost?

How is it to be paid for?

How much profit will it make?

Value is it own reward.

US-specific implications

Participation by US resident accountities in the Planetary Economy is not contingent upon US Federal or State governments acceding to integration. Existing monetary or regulations will not apply. There are no current laws that are applicable, as there is no precedent.

Qualifying programs that are now threatened by reduction or withdrawal of federal funding will be able to proceed regardless of what the US Congress decides. The chaotic slew of entitlement programs – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers, school vouchers, SNAP, WIC, and more – would all be replaced by PI’s Universal Basic. Cultural institutions like the Smithsonian Institute, NPR and public broadcasting will have automatic PI support and will accrue increases to their NPV reflective of their intrinsic value (BV), activity level (FV) and social contribution (DV).

Both major political parties will find much to like. Instead of spending time and effort wrangling over fiscal policy, deficit spending and national debt, elected representatives can focus on governance on behalf of their constituents unswayed by corporate lobbyists. Republicans will welcome smaller government which will result from many institutions and regulations being rendered obsolete by the checks and balances integral to PI; individual choice and initiative will continue to bring individual reward. Democrats will approve of the universal safety net and will be able to concentrate on social justice and building and maintaining commons infrastructure. Campaign “financing” is equally available to all, giving third parties an even chance for the first time, limited only by strategy, imagination and ingenuity and not on who raised the most money. As the perceived value of money dwindles, oligarchs, corporations and their lobbyists will no longer be able to buy governance. Legislators will more closely represent the will of the people, purported democracy will be more palpable.

It may prove difficult for many Americans to let go of the Almighty Dollar. Moreover, they have a conditioned reflex against anything that smacks of socialism, or promotes the collective good (see Steinbeck quotation).

Them that’s got shall have
Them that’s not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own

Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own2

What may be most challenging are entrenched attitudes around money, private property, and rugged individualism. There will be great resistance from those fortunate to be born, or aspire, to a class where “daddy’s rich and your mama’s good-lookin,”3 resenting the universality of entitlements that come with PI. The surprisingly provincial smugness, which rejects the International System of Units (ISU), is not likely to acknowledge that wealth is intrinsic and the emergent property of a whole system; that the American Dream is built on foundations of occupation, genocide and slavery; that American exceptionalism has reprehensible roots.

Those “that’s got his own” are free to keep what they have for as long as the holding accountity maintains commensurate NPV, that is, continues to produce value to access value. Resources in excess of required NPV may be transferred to qualifying accountities, or revert to the commons. Reparations to Native Americans, people of African descent, and other victims of state oppression, will be made superfluous, as each group may claim sovereignty as a Class 4 holonic accountity.4 Moreover, each individual comes into their own with PI support.

Overall, the standard of living will fall as the US (and to a lesser extent other developed countries) is living beyond its sustainability means.5 Fundamentalist Christians of the Bible Belt may well believe that Isaiah’s prophecy6 has come to pass, heralding the end of the world, certainly as we have known it, and befouled it.

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car, and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it. – Ellen Goodman

The majority of Americans, hopefully, will embrace the need for systemic, syntropic change. Without the need to exploit or be exploited, without having to earn a salary just to stay alive, without being trapped in the consumerist hamster wheel, Americans finally will be free to pursue lives of liberty and happiness.


1 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/opinion/party-of-pollution.html

2 Arthur Herzog and Billie Holiday, God Bless the Child, 1939

3 George Gershwin, Summertime.

4 This holds true for all displaced peoples, descendants of slaves in former European colonies, victims of war or trafficking.

6 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain – Isaiah 40: 4.

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