Friday, May 17, 2019

A Case For Technological Or Corporate Reparations

One of my favorite books is the Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. In this PBS clip, Campbell discusses a myth that I believe characterizes human psychology very well, especially as it relates to politics. In Ep. 6: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘Masks of Eternity’ , Bill Moyers asks Joseph Campbell to comment on an African myth:

BILL MOYERS: There’s a wonderful story in some African tradition of the god who’s walking down the road, and the god has on a hat that is colored red on one side and blue on the other side. So when the people, the farmers in the field go into the village in the evening, they said, “Did you see that fellow, that god with the blue hat?” And the others said, “No, no, he had a red hat on,” and they get into a fight.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Yes. He even makes it worse by first walking along this direction, and then turning around and turning his hat around, so that again, it’ll be red and black or whatever and then when these two chaps fight and are brought before the king or chief for judgment, this fellow appears and he says, “It’s my fault, I did it. Spreading strife is my greatest joy.”
BILL MOYERS: And there’s a truth in that…
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: There sure is, yes.

Moral: Humans have an innate ability to focus on the wrong problem.

  • Democrat Vs. Republican
  • Progressive Vs. Conservative
  • Trump Haters Vs. Trump Lovers
  • Racists Vs. Sexists Vs. Every other ism

These are all red had/blue hat distractions; these are old tricks used by the rebranded gods of media and war.

What can we do to focus in on the real problem?

I believe the real problem is automation. We need a non-government solution; a mechanism for funding a nation with its own technological innovations.

It's not ideal, but we live in a corporate state that's driven by profit. To narrow in on the problem even more, it's not the corporation that's bad, it's the power we give them as corporate entities. Their only directive is one of profit as stated in the corporate bylaws. The good news is that corporations are very efficient organizations where profits are concerned. If you dangle the right candy, they can make change happen over night. I think it's time to start using corporations to our advantage.

I'm working on a proposal that places a retroactive corporate dividend (in the form of cash or corporate coins) on all jobs that have been automated. The dividend goes straight to the worker and the people that live in that community. The dividend is connected to the capital asset (automation technology) that was created when the job was automated -- legally it is set up in the same way. The automation effectively created a capital asset that only the company is benefiting from and I'm suggesting we ask for technological reparations.

Why would a company do this? The corporation benefits from increased spending on their products and an improved corporate image. The payment is connected with increased productivity and profitability, so the profits are aligned. Viable corporations need to figure out a way to stay viable and total automation doesn't work unless workers have an income. Corporations can provide that basic universal income.

Focusing on the needs of the people (many) renders the power structure (few) impotent.