It doesn’t matter if what threatens our society is job-consuming automation or economy-crippling Coronavirus. When we go to reconstruct, we need to remember certain basic principles.
I was going to reproduce just one section of a two-part article I wrote on the subject in 1995, the section on “value is a function of agreement.”
I wanted to make the point that nuclear weapons, homes for the homeless, and a living wage for everyone are all ideas whose value consists in us bestowing it upon them.
Value is not inherent in an action. An action has value because we say – and agree – that it does.
But then I considered that the whole of the two articles is germane to what is happening now. So I reproduce the series in whole in the hope of assisting the discussion of how to recover from Coronavirus and rebuild our world as a world that works for everyone.
I became aware of the impact of automation on employment in 1991 and soon began to write articles on it. (1)
By 1995, when the first version of this article was written, I was looking into the principles of creating largescale employment projects.
Very soon we’ll launch into the building of Nova Earth and these principles have never seemed more relevant to me.
We’ve been told that it’s time to re-examine all our limiting beliefs, look at processes as generically and globally as possible, and borrow from what often lies in front of us to come up with radically-new solutions to creating a world that works. This article is meant to be a contribution to that outcome. In two parts.
At a time (1995) when the bottom is falling out of the economy, when we’ve automated people out of work and shipped whatever jobs remained overseas, I think we need to seriously look at how to put our population back to work. The following principles may clarify, and can be adapted to, the work of creating largescale employment projects.
The first principle underlying the creation of largescale employment projects is that work is a function of unworkability.
If we think about it, workability is invisible and only unworkability is visible.
Any tool or machine that works usually doesn’t attract our attention. But the squeaky wheel does and it gets the grease.
My computer, as long as it works, receives little or no attention from me. However, the minute it ceases working, I swing into action, attempting to fix it myself or having it repaired or replacing it.
With the exception of preventive-maintenance programs, we usually do no other work on anything until it ceases to work; that is, until the situation becomes unworkable.
Therefore all largescale employment projects will in the first instance arise as the result of identifying a largescale instance of unworkability and then turning it into workability. There’s no lack of unworkability or “problems.” So there is no lack of work for our population.
Examples of largescale instances of unworkability include global famine, disease, pollution, illiteracy, homelessness, etc. Unemployment is not a function of a lack of work. It’s a function of a lack of means.
[And after the Reval, and later NESARA, there will be the means.]
The second principle that I’d like to point to in the creation of largescale employment projects is that a change, solution, or opportunity, I believe, has value only because we say it has.
Take for example the case of nuclear missiles. To the best of my knowledge, every intercontinental ballistic missile that I’m aware of has only either sat in a silo or been launched up into the air to fall into the ocean.
[In fact we now know that no military on this planet has been allowed to explode a nuclear bomb with hostile intention since at least the 1950s.]
In fact ICBMs have value only because people regard them as valuable. They serve no direct useful function as, say, a car serves a function by transporting its passengers.
Some might say they serve the function of ensuring national security. I would argue to the contrary that they simply produce a condition of national insecurity. ICBMs have value only because we say they do.
Though they serve no direct useful function in the same way that a car does, they are still massively funded.
What this principle demonstrates to me is that a new solution or opportunity shouldn’t be measured in terms of fictitious ‘inherent’ value, but in terms of the value that we attach to it. If a country deems the ending of hunger and poverty within its boundaries as valuable, money will be found to end them.
This principle gives us permission to allow ourselves to explore unheard-of or unthinkable opportunities and to focus our attention on how to create agreement around value rather than looking for non-existent inherent value. I believe that value is not inherent in a thing or event. Like beauty, value is in the eye of the beholder.
A third principle is that the social alignment needed to create a largescale employment project requires targetable, society-wide deadlines. If we want alignment on a planetary scale, we cannot agree to accomplish our project “some day.” We must have a specific deadline to orchestrate the coordination involved.
Putting a man on the moon succeeded, all other things being equal, because President John F. Kennedy attached a deadline to it – the end of the Sixties. Had President Kennedy left the matter without a deadline, the necessary coordination of efforts might never have taken place and the goal might never have been achieved.
A fourth principle in the creation of largescale employment projects is that win/lose solutions prevent alignment. Alignment is created with win/win solutions that leave no one out. Win/win solutions are global, contextual. They create no “us against them” divisions. They leave no residue.
Many society-wide solutions create as many problems as they solve. Their formulation creates new conflict. Their accomplishment transfers a burden from one shoulder to another. Their completion leaves a festering wound.
Social programs to fight crime, help minorities, or combat disease go on within a fragmented context, with some people left out of their scope, some people winning at other people’s expense, and some people, identified as the cause of the problem, being penalized or ostracized.
At the moment our global scene is riven with divisions. Blocs of nations, rich and poor, of varying religions and creeds oppose one another. Typically these days , alignment is sought by justifying one’s own side and blaming the other.
Righting one imbalance or injustice at the cost of creating another will not create social alignment. Only global, win/win solutions to unworkability will win the degree of alignment that ensures success.
(Part 2 will be published tomorrow or you can read ahead at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2018/01/03/the-principles-of-largescale-employment-projects-part-2-2/.)
(1) I wrote politicians, labor leaders, anyone I could think of. No one listened. I think people were too fascinated with their computers at the time to realize the tremendous stripping of employment and the turning of the job market into a buyer’s market that was soon to happen.
Here is one article from 1998, published in the Toronto Globe and Mail. “If This is Your Job, Watch Out!” at https://goldenageofgaia.com/accountability/automation/if-this-is-your-job-watch-out-1998/.
Equally ironic is that I collected probably the largest library of hard-copy magazine articles looking at how automation worked its way through the job market, collapsing firms, stripping entry-level jobs or any jobs that a computer could do, and ending entire careers.
But when it came time to seek a library or archive for this collection, no institution was in the slightest bit interested. A phenomenon had just occurred that caused hardship to millions and ended forever the equitable workplace that we were building since the Fifties and not a person I knew or contacted had any interest in it.