In December 2007, Annie Leonard started a movement. Today, she continues the wildly successful “The Story of Stuff” with a new video “The Story of Solutions.” That video takes viewers on a ride…directly toward Copiosis.
Yes, I know. She didn’t really mean to highlight traits of a system that can shift the world from a consumerist to a resource-based, practical gift economy. Even so, the universe works in incomprehensible ways and inadvertently, that’s exactly what Leonard did.
In the Story of Solutions video, she outlines how we need solutions that move us from the status quo of ever-increasing consumption, to a new paradigm of “better” game-changing solutions. She highlights solutions people are bringing to the table such as bike sharing programs and tool lending libraries, things we’ve touched on before. We love both the nascent and the mature solutions that point to a world of “better.” Leonard is on to something.
Like the Zeitgeist movement, Charles Eisenstein‘s Sacred Economies strategy and supporters of “gift economies” we believe Leonard’s efforts help concretize in the public awareness that something is possible. That’s a good thing as shifting public consciousness from what we have to what we can have is really important. She doesn’t go far enough in shifting that consciousness as Eisenstein and TZM does, but maybe that’s because she feels the public isn’t ready for that yet.
What we love about this video most though is GOAL. In case you haven’t seen it GOAL stands for solutions that:
- Gives people more power
- Opens peoples eyes to the truth of happiness
- Accounts for all the costs
- Lessens the wealth gap
Copiosis meets these criteria. Let’s see how:
First, Power in Copiosis is 100% in the hands of the people. There is no government. There are no corporations. The main controlling entity, the Payer Organization, is an all-volunteer group of people who determine how much Net-Benefit Producers create for people and society. The more Net-Benefit they create, the more Producers earn. The Payer Organization is 100% voluntary, so anyone can become a Payer.
The Payer Organization seemingly has enormous power. It really doesn’t. That’s because the people who aren’t Payers control access to the food, clothing, healthcare and shelter Payers need to survive. This means, the people who depend on the Payers to determine their pay actually hold authority over the Payer Organization. You can’t get more power in the hands of more people than that! Since people earn income by freely giving goods and services to others, people will not abuse this power or they’d risk not getting the goods and services they need to survive and thrive.
Second, Copiosis Economies are based on human happiness and individual self-actualization. With all Necessities (basic food, basic clothing, basic shelter, education and healthcare) provided to all at no cost to all as needed, people are freed from the need to consume, the need to earn a living and the stresses that come with debt, interest, credit and all that other stuff that runs capitalist economies. In short, people can just relax.
Ask anyone “what would you do if money were no object?” and you’ll find after some contemplation that everyone to a person says they would help their fellow human beings in some way that expresses their natural talents and skills. Isn’t this the epitome of Maslows Hierarchy of needs (known as self-actualization)? Copiosis fosters individual self-actualization by removing the challenges preventing the majority of people from experiencing spiritual happiness. Self-actualized people are happy. Period.
Copiosis’ inherent design eliminates all externalities that happen in traditional economies. The way people are paid and the Net-Benefit calculation Copiosis Economies are based on naturally drives human behavior to do things that drastically curtail pollution and other forms of environmental degradation, war, poverty, crime and then some!
The wealth gap becomes irrelevant in Copiosis economies because opulence replaces poverty. People living in a Copiosis Economy have unlimited healthcare, education, basic food, clothing and shelter provided at no cost to them. That alone makes everyone more wealthy than ever in the history of mankind! Beyond that, they have access to resources they need – again at no cost – that allows them to express themselves fully provided those resources are used to benefit others. In essence then, the ability of a person to become truly wealthy is only limited by access to their natural talents. Since money’s function is drastically limited, having a lot of money really doesn’t mean anything. So the wealth gap is neutralized as a civic issue.
In short, Copiosis is the only meta solution we are aware of that offers so much in a single solution. We believe the Story of Solutions is a finger pointing straight towards Copiosis. Maybe Leonard would agree.
If you haven’t already seen the new movie, you owe it to yourself. It’s a great addition to a movement Leonard began six years ago.