You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new….It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
–– Steve Jobs
Right now according to long-running polls, what people around the world want more than anything else is a good job.
But that’s only because they don’t believe something else far better is available.
Steve Jobs is right: People don’t really know what they want. That’s why someone has to make them aware of what’s available.
But when someone does that, they are often vilified for doing so. People will call them dreamers, socialists, communists, out of touch with reality….or worse.
The fact is, however, we’re now at a time when humans can stretch their imaginations…and reality will match what they are reaching for.
This includes a life once barely imagined. Where “work” of the kind typically imagined is a thing of the past. The world is quickly evolving. It’s becoming a place where human beings can spend far more of their time doing anything but working.
They may do things that could look like work. But they certainly won’t feel that way.
This transition is humanity’s newest frontier. It directly confronts hundreds of years of human thinking that must change. That thinking must change because the newest frontier demands it.
Before it changes, people first must understand the thinking. It goes:
- People need a job because a job provides life meaning
- People must work or else they’ll be lazy
- I must have a job to feel I am contributing to the world
- I need income to get the things I need
- I need income to get the things I want
- I must work for someone else because that’s the only way I can satisfy the five statements above.
There are so many people on this adventurous road figuratively pointing towards this new frontier, it boggles the mind to think about. That they don’t think the same strengthens the cause. No single answer will create humanity’s future. But each one amplifies the others.
Paradoxically, Trump is a major contributor to this effort. Albeit indirectly. His presidency shattered our stupor. Our belief about traditional establishments that have long become archaic relics of the past. And yet still curry favor among those for whom it enriches, as well as those brainwashed to believe it helps them too.
Shattered illusion is why so many people agree fundamental structural changes to our nation’s framework are necessary. Quoting the survey findings directly:
About six-in-ten Americans (58%) say democracy is working well in the U.S., though just 18% say it is working very well. At the same time, a majority supports making sweeping changes to the political system: 61% say “significant changes” are needed in the fundamental “design and structure” of the U.S. government to make it work in current times.
The only problem with the 61 percent is, they aren’t clear on what “significant…fundamental” change looks like.
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Recently, for example, Hillary Clinton called for the end of the electoral college. While this is certainly ambitious, it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Many ideas offered today are similarly bounded by in-the-box thinking.
Socialism and democratic socialism are of this ilk. They, like capitalism, are anachronisms of the past. Systems highly corruptible while money, markets, and government abound.
Now is the time for Americans to take a “moon shot mindset” towards changing our fundamental national structure. The rise of artificial intelligence, dramatic social shifts in human existence, including its ability to blur gender lines; and the environmental shifts we’re seeing underway, all demand something far beyond business as usual.
This is no time for conservatism and preserving tradition. Unless the future scares the bejesus out of you. Meaning, you feel insecurity as you think about how a fundamentally different future might cause you loss.
But there are alternatives in which everyone wins. Even the one percent. For no future is worth pursuing if anyone suffers. We can create a world where everyone wins. Not just the 99 percent. Not just the one percent.
Our international leadership is our mandate
Americans are still looked at as leaders of the world. Sure, there are a lot of People in other countries whose minds changed about our leadership. And for good reason.
But their minds can change again.
And they will (for the better) if America is willing to take on changes the majority of Americans now deem crucial. We can, once again, earn international respect by declaring a new world. One that creates real equal opportunity for all, while preserving unequal outcomes for individuals.
For it is not possible for everyone to benefit equally, because outcomes are dependent on preceding effort. Though not all effort is created equal.
Equal opportunity combined with unequal outcomes is impossible with capitalism because there is too much self-interest in preserving unequal opportunity. The future demands something better than that. There are all kinds of options. Some better than others.
Taking advantage of American’s will puts the onus on those who think they know what real fundamental change looks like. They must make a compelling case why their idea is sound. Most don’t do very well at that. And while the ecosystem is crowding, there is always room for more.
Steve Jobs was right: people don’t usually know what they want until it is shown to them.
It’s time to show them the vast variety of options, instead of the old traditional ones. Options that move us much farther down the evolutionary road. Options more consistent with the AI-dominated world we’re seeing emerge.
Here’s what we suggest must be included in viable options leading to fundamental change. If these aren’t present in an idea, the idea doesn’t promise anything fundamental and instead represents in-the-box-thinking:
- Any idea proposing to replace what we’ve got must promise something better than what we have. “Better” means it improves or surpasses what’s being replaced. If the idea takes us backwards, it’s a non-starter for most human beings, who are used to life getting better.
- Any idea which includes debt, monetary systems, and using those things to restrict resource distribution is not a “better” system. It’s just more of the same. In other words, a new system must promise access to all resources for everyone in a context of plenty, which is the natural state of the physical world.
- A new idea must do away with institutional politics. This may sound crazy, but only because we haven’t yet seen a system both promising to do away with politics and offering an effective way of delivering on the promise. Yet, any idea that includes politics creates a losing proposition for the minority vote, leaving the majority controlling the speed of progress. Unless the minority has (economic) power over the majority. Progress is the land of the powerless minority: for it is those who dare who create progress, often in the face of extraordinary odds. Those who dare are always a powerless minority. Usually, initially, a minority of one.
- A new idea must inspire each human being to reach for her fullest potential and throw up no barriers on that path. It must not condition them to rely on the leadership of others, to follow orders, or subordinate their innate desires in favor of someone else’s. Each human being is a potential game changer. A better idea should detail how it will unleash that potential.
- The new approach should offer a compelling way to accomplish many functions government does, without government or the effects of government (regulation, taxes, entitlement programs, subsidies, etc.). Government and its functions acknowledge a system’s inability to self-monitor, self-correct and automatically improve its flawed functions. A new approach should not need such interference.
- The new idea should do away with corporate personhood, yet retain value offered by large organized groups employing capital goods for societal and personal gain. It should also replace competitive markets with an environment where information is freely shared, with incentives that motivate direct, fast and efficient sharing of intellectual property, innovations and breakthroughs. All this should happen in a spirit of private enterprise, transparently and collaboratively practiced.
- The new idea should offer a way to inspire people to produce from their passions, as passion is what produces the best human output. It should enable automation to the fullest extent possible, allowing humanity to dedicate its focus to pursuing self-actualization, thereby improving and increasing humanity’s ability to match its effort-output with every person’s specific passion. Doing so would dramatically increase opportunity for everyone. Because everyone has a passion and everyone’s passion is valid and valuable to humanity.
- The new idea should offer a compelling way to free people to aggressively pursue environmental remediation — including halting global warming, freely offer resources to those doing such work, and award people who produce measurable results which improve, remediate and enhance the planet’s life-sustaining ability.
- The idea must reward both individual and collective efforts to improve society and restore the planet and it must do so in a way that does not create even the simulation of a zero sum game that penalizes those who weren’t involved in such acts.
- The idea must re-create community while simultaneously preserving the growing interconnectedness between nations and people leading humanity into the future, not the past.
It should also inspire hope for the future for every individual, regardless of their beliefs, experiences, background or other superficial characteristics. Such inspiration should result from an individual’s personal experience interacting with this new idea and seeing results in their life-experience which directly confirms and validates that hope. Hope should not be based simply on someone’s say-so. It should be grounded in personal experience.
Moreover, the system should have a realistic transition plan addressing the following:
- Compensating note holders for the value their debt instruments represent thereby freeing all humanity from debt once and for all
- Compensating asset owners for the value their assets represent to society and to themselves so those assets can be employed to the maximum societal benefit
- It must recognize and quantify the extreme value of the natural environment
- Compensate people for the time they have spent investing in their life’s work, whether that work is valued by capitalism or not
- Recognize the role the current system must play in making the transition happen
- Any transition plan must be based on sound sales and marketing strategies, strategies proven the world over as effective
- Credible transition plans must create demonstrable, real-world results in the lives of ordinary people living ordinary lives in ordinary cities around the world
- Transition strategies must include wins for everyone, including the one percent
- It must offer opportunity for anyone to get involved, no matter where they live, or what their beliefs might be
- It must allow a single individual the opportunity to make a difference by participating in the transition
- It must offer a transition process less susceptible to agent provocateurs and infiltration as are demonstrations and other “movements”.
Any approach you examine must have elements that are forward-looking. These elements should offer us a way out: After taking that path, we must be in a brand new, inspiring territory. Anything less promises more of the same.
You can use these bullets to compare and contrast solutions you may hear from political, business, community and spiritual leaders, inventors, talk show hosts. We set a high bar. But our goals must be lofty to cross over the problems we’ve created. If solutions offered don’t check off on all these items, it’s not likely to get us out of the mess we’re in as a country, or as a species.
Likely you haven’t thought of many of these let alone all of them. Like Steve Jobs said: you don’t know what you want.
That is why we’re sharing this: for you can have it all. But first, you have to consider everything.
Learn more: download this free table comparing some of the best ideas out there, as well as more traditional approaches to making the world a better place. You don’t have to give us your email and it’s completely free. Open the google file then save to your computer.