Friday, 5 August 2011

Motivation; abundance

So a critcism of TVP/RBE is that people won't work without the motivation of money. Well we know this is not true of everyone at all times -  we know that people do voluntary work, give to charity, and undertake all kinds of recreational activities in their own time and often at their own expense. But there remains a logical possibility that there will be those who if given their fair share of the plantet's resources for nothing, will input nothing from their own resources to the maintenance of an environmentally sustainable, socially just and peaceful planet for the benefit of humanity.

To overcome this problem, basically everyone has to work. Access to resoures is tied to money and money to work. Therefore, it is in the workers' interests that there is work for them to do. Police need crime, doctors and nurses need people to be ill, firefighters need fires, and so on ad infinitum.

This artificially created need to work is supposed to capture those people who would not contribute without being rewarded, but how many of those people are doing work that is actually productive for society and the planet now? Some, like many people, may be doing a job because they have to, and some may be doing jobs that involve clearing up the mess created by the system - to quote my favourite example, they may be employed mitigating or solving the effects of smoking to counterbalance the cigarette promotion industry in which people are paid more the more people smoke. Or they may be doing "jobs" that are unequivocally anti-social, even by current standards - acquistive crime, drug dealing, or whatever.

So, the naysayers' claim is that we can't risk a moneyless society just in case there are enough people who currently do something socially productive but will stop if no longer paid to mean that the required human work in an RBE - work that is increasingly encroached upon by automation -  won't get done.

Well look. If we in fact found it to be a problem that the human work  needed to have a successful RBE was not being done because people felt there was nothing in it for them and were not motivated (even though they would benefit from the successful RBE), we could re-introduce money. We would see it though for what it is -  a claim on the planet's resources over and above one's fair share.

If there truly is abundance, this wouldn't make sense. It would surely be a rare person who would seek to deprive someone else of something of which there is plenty for all, just because s/he could.

So these are the  issues: Will there be motivation to do the human work that needs doing, and will there be abundance so that people will not try to reserve resources for themselves to the exclusion of other? Maybe this is a risky experiment, but I don't think it is. We can easily switch back to our current system if the RBE doesn't work, but if anyone can stand up and say that the financial collapse, war, starvation and servitude that the planet currently faces is clearly better, then I would like to hear their arguments.

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