Posted by on June 12, 2014

psychotic stress.001A reader asked how Copiosis would deal with psychosocial stresses and deprivation caused by stratified societies. Good question….

 

When a societal system restricts access to basic needs, and further forces people to trade (labor for income) to access those needs, it’s not long before system inhabitants begin experiencing deprivation as wealth concentrates.

Such deprivation breeds desperation. When the powerful thwart desperate acts, unhealthy psychological stresses emerge. We see this in nearly all industrialized societies: Societal coping mechanisms.

 

Are stresses normal?

These stresses underlie problems modern civilization faces. Problems are compounded when deprived people compare their situation with others, especially the wealthy. And vice-versa.

Comparisons alienate us from each other. Your superiority or inferiority fails the reality test. When I feel inferior, it’s challenging to contribute my best or see another as my equal. When I feel superior, its challenging to not judge actions of another from my false superiority. Normal? Perhaps. They don’t have to be society’s normal. Here’s how.

 

Society can foster wholeness

In Copiosis, people get basic needs at no cost. Basic needs providers earn Net Benefit when providing necessities at no cost to consumers.

Instead of earning a living to afford basic needs, people are free to pursue what they want. Stress today often results from restrictions on time and freedom. In Copiosis people are free to choose what to do with their time, without risking their homes, retirement, their jobs. They don’t have to worry about getting sick or starving.

Next, wealth is stripped of it’s coercive power. Wealth in Copiosis can’t be transferred between people. It can’t be owned by organizations including government. Wealth provides access to luxuries. That’s it. Confining wealth this way prevents it from becoming a coercive power. The wealthy may still get more sex, more opportunity, more stuff. But they can’t use wealth in Copiosis to get their way on a massive scale.

Copiosis eliminates debt. Debt impedes stress-free living. That’s why “getting out of debt” movements are popular. Being debt-free is literally freeing. You can’t get into debt in Copiosis. You can’t consume luxuries on credit, nor can you get loans or be charged interest. Debt doesn’t exist.

 

Government = stressor

Government – the epitome of violence waged on humanity – goes away too. There is no lawmaking body, enforcement agencies or politicians telling you what you can or can’t do. Instead a simple principle, enforced by the Net Benefit Algorithm guides everyone: Make people and the planet better off and you earn societal recognition affording access to luxuries. Don’t do this and you don’t earn recognition. No penalties for not doing so. Do so and you can be richly rewarded.

 

What is “wealthy”

I’ve studied wealthy people’s lives. Particularly what changed when they became wealthy. By “wealthy”, I mean people whose net worth (not including their home) exceeds $10M. What they say the money allowed:

  1. Not to have to worry about paying bills
  2. Having freedom to do whatever
  3. Never having to worry about working again
  4. Able to pursue their passions (self-actualization).

In a Near-Term, Post-Transition Copiosis Economy, you may not understand how free or how wealthy you have become. You may still habitually live as you do now. Your debt will be gone. Amassing new debt is impossible. You can do whatever you wish with your time. Meanwhile, all your “needs” are provided. In essence, you will be functionally wealthy.

Earn modest Net Benefit Reward and you can access Luxuries. You will have to continually earn Net Benefit Reward to keep consuming such luxuries. But “work” in this case is making people and the planet better off. There are way more ways to do this than today’s jobs. “Work” in Copiosis is personally rewarding: helping people and the planet be better off is a rewarding experience. That’s why we volunteer for nonprofit causes right?

So, accessing luxuries is relatively painless, especially once people learn to identify, then pursue what “lights their fire.”

 

Utopian difficulties

At first people won’t understand this. They’ll struggle to shake off capitalism’s psychological shackles. However, anyone who helps people “transition” will earn Net Benefit Reward. Such transitions will happen quickly because people will be motivated to help others shift. Gradually people will realize how free they are. Without gaining a $10M+ net worth, they will have achieved the equivalent of such wealth simply by living in a Copiosis economy:

  1. They will not have to worry about paying bills because there won’t be any.
  2. They are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want.
  3. They won’t ever have to work again (Work as defined by capitalism).
  4. They will be able to pursue their passions, even if that means going back to school.

Cool right?

 

Utopia gets better

Ever notice that ultra beautiful, hand-crafted goods or services tend to be created by people who adore what they do? Imagine what would happen if nearly everyone in a nation was doing only what they adored? Would productivity go up? Would product and service quality increase? Would customer satisfaction with such products and services be higher? Would others be motivated by such improvements and want to offer something they love? As a nation’s Copiosis economy matures, its productive capability will increase as people align their effort (work) to their passions (natural gifts). I imagine a world – seemingly unimaginable today – where hundreds of millions of people are working, but only on things they genuinely enjoy. Imagine the quality of such work, the happiness of such a population and how productive a nation like this would be….Work in this nation is no longer work. It becomes a kind of nurturing play, exciting, leading to positive anticipation for the future as everything naturally gets better.

When everyone is working at that level, the neuroses described above begin to wane.

 

Claims justified

Several works support my claim. One is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Copiosis allows every person to pursue self-actualization. With basic needs covered, people experience life differently. The wealthy I studied attest to this. All people in a Copiosis economy are functionally wealthy.

Another body of work supporting my claim is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Flow. Csikszentmihalyi explains how People who align effort to passion experience blissful moments more frequently than those who don’t. Such moments, where time stops and people experience maximum pleasure in a state of oneness with what they’re doing, is rewarding in the extreme. Flow is a state experienced only by masters of a craft, art or activity. Usually, people experiencing flow experience it doing something they adore.

Imagine if you have access to all your necessities (food, clothing, shelter, healthcare) and all the education you desire. Are you not wealthy? Of course you are. Doesn’t that wealth open opportunities to spend time on what you’d prefer, what you’d adore? If you’re doing what you love, isn’t there a higher likelihood you’ll experience flow? Seems to me if you’re experiencing all that bliss, it’s near impossible to experience psychosocial stress of any kind.

My assertion is people don’t care how much others have unless what they themselves have (or don’t have) prevents them from experiencing life in a personally fulfilling way. Flow is the most fulfilling experience one can have.

 

Is inequality harmful?

Harmful inequality exists when the gap between those who have and those who do not:

  1. Is large
  2. Is difficult if not impossible to close perceptually and objectively due to barriers often built by the haves and
  3. When one is reminded frequently of the disparity over periods of time via social cues and personal interactions and
  4. When those who have have the ability to determine the state of existence of those who do not have.

Transitioning to Copiosis eliminates all these conditions. People who have wealth are still wealthy, and the not-wealthy now are. What’s more, those who choose to refine their skills, seek out opportunities to express their talents and successfully do so can become wealthy in terms of what Luxuries they have access to. Perceptions of inequality between people are not as harmful, because wealth can only be earned by helping make other people’s lives better…do that and you are rewarded. In some cases, the award can be enormous.

What is possible then?

 

Far future vision

In advanced Copiosis Economies, the idea of Net Benefit Rewards fades into the background. After several years (perhaps decades) of people operating in the context of our innovation, the level of innovation, the explosion of new technologies and advances I can’t predict because they haven’t been invented, creates a level of societal wealth far beyond what we have experienced today. Material wealth isn’t the only kind of wealth that grows.  Psychological wealth and well being, emotional wealth and well being, familial wealth and well being and social wealth and well being emerge as people build the “muscles” or habits/propensities that go with making people’s lives better.

Several virtuous cycles spurred by technological advancement begin: increased leisure for humanity, increases opportunity for self-expression, which increases opportunity for healing through freedom from oppression and domination coming from capitalism + representative government. All these reinforce each other creating an environment where societal wealth gets so high the concepts of poverty, inequality, and wealth disappear. People turn away from the notion of needing wealth as they discover true wealth: self-development, self-expression, and using those two to benefit the planet and each other.

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