Copiosis Turns One

Happy Birthday Copiosis.001We’re one year old.

Last year on Independence Day in the US, we launched our innovation as an alternative to the status quo. We’ve come a long way in 12 months. Not as far as I thought, but at the same time farther than I thought.

Sounds paradoxical, I know.

Our team has swelled. As a result of their great contributions we have made some amazing progress. More about that in our next monthly report. Don’t get our monthly report? Contact us.

Next year: even more amazement. We’re an idea whose time has come. It may not be clear to you now. But it will be.

 

Accomplishing the extraordinary (and impossible)

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What makes people who accomplish extraordinary things extraordinary?

Is it living free of commonly-held beliefs about success and failure?

How many times are you willing to try something before you succeed at it? Three, three hundred, three thousand?

How many years are you willing to work on a worthwhile goal? One, 10, 20?

People give up after a few attempts at something, even if their life depends on succeeding. Smokers, who want to quit, who know quitting will add years to their lives, try to quit 3.8 times before giving up. Contrast that with Lightbulb inventor Thomas Edison who reportedly failed 1,000 times before succeeding. How many more times was he willing to go beyond try 1001?

Extraordinary people who accomplish the extraordinary know success is often 20 or 30 years away. They settle in for that long haul focusing their efforts on what they must do today to get to tomorrow. This way, time becomes their ally, not their enemy. For they know the longer they’re at it, the closer they come to success.

Other allies: patience, perseverance, luck. In time, success is delivered.

In May, at one of our twice-monthly Skype sessions (which are free to all who wish to attend), a new regular attendee proffered the notion that a congressional convention may be needed to make our innovation a reality. It may just come to that.

Changing the world’s economic system is a mother of a task. It’s not going to happen over night. It’s not going to take a few years. If overturning Citizens United is a bear, what could be said for installing a better socioeconomic system?

How about this: patience, perseverance, luck. What we’re doing is extraordinary. Thankfully, we’re in good company, with strong allies.

What comes next?

Temporary.001Ask around and I bet you’ll find someone among your friends’ network who believes one of two things:

1. The United States is already in decline and will soon face an economic and social collapse of some magnitude.

2. The global economic system is stressed to the maximum by wealth disparity. Soon (though no one knows when) we will see massive revolution.

My own belief is we’re facing the potential of both events happening. And yet, I don’t expect them to be foregone conclusions survivalists or members of Transition Towns think. Even if they do happen, it will happen slowly, meaning there will be time to avert the worst of such scenarios. While people are preparing for the worst, there are others wondering what comes next after capitalism.

Some people are working under the impression that alternatives could emerge well before capitalism is done for. Sacha Stone’s New Earth Project, Charles Eisenstein’s, Sacred Economics, Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) and Gar Alperovitz‘ work on Coops, are all notable efforts to discover what’s next for the US and the world.

At first starting Copiosis, I looked at these movements with envy. All these movements have large numbers of followers and fantastic web presence.

  • Sacha’s organization proposes what appears to be utopian enclaves separate from the status quo, and yet immersed in it. The imagery his team uses to promote their ideals is high concept and beautiful. No wonder people have flocked to what they’re proposing. The New Earth Project ran an indiegogo project that did quite poorly, raising less than 10 percent of their $150,000 target. That doesn’t mean a whole lot as crowd funding projects can fail for many reasons. There’s a lot to ogle about The New Earth Project and what it proposes. I find it light on details, but love that they have and continue to generate vigorous conversation on their Facebook page.
  • Charles Eisenstein’s work appears more human scaled. People literally are in love with not only what he’s doing, but what he says. There is a resonance of truth to his assertion that humanity is a spiritually connected One and that we have accepted an economics that creates the illusion of separation where there is none leading to the troubles we face today. I agree with this of course. What I find difficult about Charles’ work is there is no concrete idea about how to actually create the end-state he speaks about. Still, the pictures he paints of us working together are compelling, clearly sincere and come from his heart. It’s no wonder his followers hang on his every word.
  • TZM has been around since 2008. I had never heard of it before starting Copiosis. Their beliefs seem in parallel with the Technocratic movement of the early 20th century.  A quote from Wikipedia:

Movement members say the current socioeconomic system is structurally corrupt and needs to be replaced with a system based on efficient and careful use of resources through the technological potential of sustainable development. The Zeitgeist Movement advocates the implementation of renewable energy and computerized, automatic systems world wide in order to collect, process, and distribute equally the necessities of life, such as food and shelter, transportation, recreation, and so forth.

  • The Zeitgeist movement by its messaging appears to be anti-religion. That does not bode well considering the vast majority of people on the planet believe in a higher power of some sort. Like Charles’ work, TZM appears to have no transition plan taking the world (or the US for that matter) from today to their ideal vision.
  • Gar’s work, I believe is by far the most practical. His position that cooperatives are the best place for people to become practiced at democracy. Armed with that experience, they can then do something to govern themselves beyond capitalist-based systems. I like this claim because there already are tons of cooperative organizations out there. It’s something we’re familiar with. My credit union is a kind of co-op and it’s one of the best financial institutions in the country.  The transition seems to plague all movements looking to make change in the world. I don’t see a clear transition path in Gar’s work either. Admittedly, I haven’t researched it very thoroughly.

This post isn’t meant as a critique of alternative systems and ideas. Rather, I’m writing this post to praise these movements. Every one of them have become immensely successful in generating supporters for their causes, despite what I believe is a common challenge of all of them: a clear transition path.

What if these movements serve another purpose? Charles speaks a lot about interconnectedness. What if all these movements serve to warm people up to the idea that an alternative to the status quo is possible? Each in its own way is showing hundreds, thousands of people that it may be possible to live on the planet without having to earn a living, without government, and without the problems that come as natural byproducts of capitalist economies. That’s a good thing.

Of course, here at Copiosis we have a transition plan ready. We are, in fact, implementing that plan today. We have no idea our plan will work. Already it is working faster than we imagined. That’s a good thing.

To existing movements in our ecosystem, we say keep up the good work.

 

Story of Solutions points to Copiosis

Working for all.001In 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:

  1. Gives people more power
  2. Opens peoples eyes to the truth of happiness
  3. Accounts for all the costs
  4. 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.