The Next Stage of Capitalism
I believe the next step in the evolution of capitalism will be to free the currency from the normal restraints of distribution and allow it to be its own force in driving society forward. To date, we have been hampered by a persistence of feudalism in our system, albeit one that is more dynamic in nature than the birthright royalties of its beginnings. Personal value is currently measured in usefulness to an ownership class, or in whatever degree of charity the society deems appropriate.
If you can’t, or won’t, perform a function of adding value to resources you become dependent upon those who can or will. This is a natural result of allowing the producers of goods to also organize and control the distribution of the currency that represents those goods. The more useful [job] you are to the producer [employer], the larger your share [wages] of the goods is likely to be.
This system is very adept at protecting the status quo of the distribution hierarchy and limiting the possibility of individuals to become producers themselves, even though it is touted as being the opposite by those who have been rewarded by it. As the producer hierarchy became more entrenched in the society and controlled the currency distribution entirely it became even more self protective, involving an elaborate financing system that elevated the status of existing producers by allowing some individuals to “bet” on its day to day success in return for more concentration and control of the currency.
You might find support for an idea or product that poses no risk or offers benefits to the production status quo in such a system, but any threat to it will be met with unified opposition by all that have interest in its profits and continued existence. This is why we find ourselves awash in “new” trivial technology while entire key industries of centuries old technologies seem to be practically forces of nature in their durability, even in the presence of more efficient products and methods. Threatening an entrenched producer rallies a broad spectrum of opposition with vested interests. While this is technically a market based system, it is anything but free.
Breaking this feudalistic strangle hold that entrenched producers have on society can only be accomplished by separating control of the currency and production, limiting producers ability to blackmail individuals by threatening to withhold currency from them. The flow of currency must be reversed with its origination carrying no obligation of loyalty or service to the producers. This means the currency must be first given to the individual consumer, who then makes decisions about its distribution based in the perception of value s/he has, even in the absence of employment.
A society of such empowered individuals may find that existing producers are not good values worthy of the currency they demand for their goods and services and may form co-ops to replace them. I would venture to say that this would be the case very early for many critical goods and services, such as energy and food production/distribution. Decentralizing critical production categories would open them to innovation and modernization without concern for the fate of the entrenched producers. A system more locally responsive to consumers could also serve as test zones for innovations and new technologies without facing overwhelming opposition attempting to protect a status quo.
The methodology of such currency distribution is an ongoing debate, with some advocating for a universal basic income and others for a federally funded job guarantee administered locally. While important, these are only tools to accomplish the reversal of currency flow from what we now have. The important thing is to recognize and validate the individual’s birthright to the resources and decentralize their monetization. We may well find that many resources now being extracted are viewed by a consensus of individuals to be too important, as is, to be monetized and extracted. A critical component to this reversal is changing how we view currency in society and freeing it from dependency upon debt creation that encumbers the beneficiaries of the currency. Their entitlement to the currency is satisfied by their birthright ownership of the resources the currency represents and no further encumbrance is necessary.