A Progressive Economic Primer
We stand at the gates of a new world. The time has come to claim our real inheritance, put an end to wage slavery at last, feed the hungry and house the poor, and we can do all of this at zero or negative net cost. There is a new economic theory – with a substantive math at its heart – and it will show how this is not heresy, and not only possible but imperative. The General Theory of Organomics will demonstrate where Keynesian, Austrian and other schools of mainstream economics are failing to account for tens of trillions of dollars in GDP-relevant wealth, annually, in the United States alone. We are now the richest generation in world history, with unprecedented access to resources, technology and infrastructure, with an artificially restricted and misunderstood currency that is failing to serve us in broad and important ways. Raising the invisible mammoths of Organomics – the value of Process Improvements, Home Economics and Modern Employment Theory – we uncover more Real Value, lost in the margins of 20th century accounting, than as much as thrice current GDP combined. Activating it, we combine Modern Monetary Theory with a Resource Based Economy and Universal Basic Income. We thus find ourselves equipped to face Climate Change and rise to the challenges of our time, NOW. This Revolution of Value need not fire a gun, or directly appropriate a dime, but it is already being sown and we will provide detailed steps to reach these specific goals, with an entirely solvent economy, on the world stage. Bridging capitalist and socialist ideologies, avoiding the middle trap and all weak or broken compromise, we’re not here to end the game but to just keep it on the table. Only sustainable systems survive. All others will perish. We call rally to this point.
Will it be too late?
The banner of Organomics waves on the hill of progress. Combining these ideas and more, Organomics pulls back the shroud on our shell games, revealing the self-perpetuating, parasitic system that rules us all. Profit is the singularly most powerful motivative mechanism on Earth, but it is not our inevitable master, and today is way beyond simply out of control. As we burn through our material resources in the name of consumption – nearing the ends of our real oil stores – we’re addicted to the increase, systemically devoted to growth above all – like a cancer. But this relationship is complex, clearly. We’re addicted to the very stuff of life.
You see, self-perpetuating systems spring up from the positive feedback loops of capitalism like fungi in the rain. Yes, this does mean that the rich get richer. But it does also mean that as incomes rise, so do expenses, and these synchronized positive feedback loops often become viral – like climbing vines on a trellis reinforce each other naturally. This is not to make false equivalencies, but in reality the masses across class lines – both haves and have nots – are spending the majority of our productive years in pursuit of the next dollar. The bottom 85% of us – from $10/day to $100K/year – are each on our own treadmill, set all to different speeds, but what matters isn’t getting fit, it’s keeping up with the machine, because you can’t turn it off and you won’t slow it down. The real class stratification of society is more varied than a simple “us and them,” and even the richest are generally servants of the profit motive itself, oil barons and oligarchs alike.
Importantly, half of the world lives on less than $5/day, and any revolution that leaves them all behind – for nationalist, classist, senseless or simply selfish purposes – is absolutely missing the point. Let the workers of the world unite to understand that our call is no longer the seizing of the means of production, so much as the relinquishing of the means of consumption. We are called to create at last a sustainable world body. We must achieve this without rolling backward.
This Primer makes no pretense of proof – which we will come to in due time. We offer here a succinct tour of the new science. There is room for lifetimes of heady analysis, but this is where we start, with a Sustainable Systems Science approach to the large questions of economy and societal anatomy. Simply put, Organomics is the study of Real Value, its processes and flows.
We introduce a new measure of Real Labor Intensity, defined without complex math as Newtonian work per labor-hour, and by tracking this over time we’re able to put a dollar figure on the widespread effects of process improvements and efficiency trends – many of which have spread via non-divisive and free distribution mechanics over thousands of years, taken for granted as the backdrop of our modern commercial world – for the first time. These improvements routinely level up entire industries, and until now this Real Value was simply lost in the margins of the balance sheet. While some of it shows up as dollars and siphons upward as Intellectual Property, the whole of the math is conservatively larger than our entire GDP, the 1st invisible mammoth of modern macroeconomics – trillions of dollars of annual productive capacity, completely unaccounted for by classical theory. It is massive, and while for the moment you may be forgiven your skepticism, we assure you that once seen, it can’t be unseen.
From laundry machines to crop irrigation, consolidation of distribution to the development of our very language, process improvements are worth exponentially more than their incidental costs, in Real Value terms, conserving practically endless energy over older and more labor-intensive ways, in every single sector of the economy bar none. This sum total is the first of the unnamed pillars that have been propping up our house of cards, our false idols and half-science, despite a growing wind.
This makes sense, when you consider it has taken millions of years to earn the combined productive wealth of all process improvements – since before the dawn of civilization. We accept these gifts of our ancestors with grace and gratitude. It is our proper inheritance, bringing with it the infrastructure of modern life – homes, heritage, food, power, technology and so much more. With these institutions, we inherit the responsibility to maintain them, but not the need to pay for their origination cost into perpetuity, despite any long-term shell game of interest rates and phantom wealth. Special Organomics provides steps by which we will change our relationship to the infrastructure of society, releasing it from the dominating, endless costs of the self-perpetuating machinery of profit. Origination costs are finite. We advocate for the nationalization of infrastructure via direct purchase in the public interest, using but a fraction of average discretionary spending. We may begin even within classical budgetary constraints, by buying up empty houses, outright, and giving them to the people. This will not add debt or asset liabilities to government balances, taking nothing from the private sector without full payment. Modern Monetary Theory demolishes the old analogy of public budgeting, illuminating the differences between currency users and currency issuers, and we build out from there to show how societally we’re more than ready to implement UBI for homemakers and infrastructure workers. The Special Theory of Organomics eliminates the taxation shell game for the government as an employer, and with a Jobs Guarantee ensures that we not only maintain the miracles of our cities, but specifically upgrade and realign them with 21st century sustainable design principles. We must build the world we will leave to our children, and this will require work, education and dedication, but it will not require a cent that we don’t already have. Raising the mammoth of Process Improvements will begin to reveal just the tip of the reserve wealth we stand to inherit and how to activate it, to achieve nothing less than sustainability.
Money is not the sole cornerstone of Real Value accounting, and so no financial storm – inflation or market crash – should ever threaten the foundations of a robust Systems Economy, or the survival security of the individual. Infrastructure must function, and nobody should lose their livelihood due to economic disasters – pandemic, dustbowl, inflation or otherwise – any more than debts should outlive a game of Monopoly, or ever leave the table. We could end abject poverty worldwide with half the budget of the US military, but consistently choose not to. So let’s simplify the question. A follower of the Special Organomic Theory is not actually suggesting we feed the hungry by defunding the Pentagon. Rather, we’re saying that profit has no place in the defense infrastructure of a nation. Or, generally, in the distribution of food to the poor.
This is not a utopian scheme to get you to give up your money, or your entrepreneurial spirit. Organomics will make your money go further. This groundbreaking collaboration of systems sciences will empower the industrious like never before, with the education to capitalize on the real breadth of our wealth, and the understanding that real costs are the only kind that matter. Real Value is much larger than cash, and in truth our short-sighted idolatry of money – this medium of trade or stored value – above all else, has been immeasurably costly, as any true capitalist should be able to see, given today’s thorough environmental analyses. The processes, ideas, objects and labor that we produce, consume, own, share, gift, trade or steal – the original Organomic Spectrum of Real Value – are simply much broader than what can be represented by classic theories of trade economy. Any modeling of our societal economy without a thorough understanding of Real Value will be truly lacking, and so we shouldn’t be surprised when its outcomes are violently at odds with reality. We are not advocating any backward moves. Profit can serve life. Skylines do not build themselves. So how can we expect to have this modern world of high technology, comfort and information without blazing through our resources – plasticizing the oceans, presiding over mass extinctions, and potentially nearing the ends of our real oil stores? How can we expect to progress without paying the price? Well, this is exactly the kind of question Organomics is designed to answer.
We have the means to feed the world, and choose not to. So how did we get here?
The ‘dual mandate of macroeconomics’ is to maintain low but steady numbers for unemployment and inflation. Organomics blows out both ideas, like a puff of color during Holi – the Hindu Festival of Color. Our economic and societal bodies are much larger, more dynamic, more modern, and their true intentions do rise beyond exponential, cancer-like growth and short-sighted, single-dimensional profits.
Inflation, as part of a varied, diverse set of systems, is related complexly to the balances of production and social cohesion, and has not reacted as predicted according to Keynesian or Austrian macroeconomics, reliably, for nearly 100 years. Organomics will explore why, with a systems science approach to the massive and complicated questions of financial circulation. Here we’ll revisit process improvements in the context of automation trends, and how overloading our production has left us with negative inflationary pressure. Firstly, however, we identify inflation as a specifically market-based problem, and so must isolate it systemically from all infrastructure – via financial circuit-breakers, UBI, a Housing Guarantee and other ready solutions. Like much of the market game, we believe it has its place, but firstly we must keep it on the table. Life is much more important than pricing, and Organomics provides the scientific framework for building this essential value into substantial, robust systems.
Moneyed economics and the profit motive comprise a self-perpetuating, consuming, parasitic system that has come to rule over the top of every government and household, with an OCD math that is merely pretending to understand exactly how much everyone has, owns, or earns, down to the hundredth of a labor-hour, without consistent yardsticks or any true check. It overrules presidents and the law itself without pretense. At best achieving a rough accuracy relative to class lines, completely ignoring any value that can’t be traded – it need not be this way. Organomics will demonstrate thoroughly both why, and how, we must not remain in bondage to our grandparents’ misunderstood rules of cashflow.
We hereby release ourselves from the mysticism of modern macroeconomics and its dense yet wholly ineffective math. Nobody knows what the market will do tomorrow, so we will not set our societal heartbeat to its rhythm. Recognizing the very real choice we have, the Organist orients Real Value to the support of life, science, art and infrastructure. Straightforwardly, if we knew what we were doing as a society it would be working. We’re falling out of balance in significant, measurable ways, and the time for a new science is heavy upon us. The alarm is ringing. Will we wake?
Modern Employment Theory is a new set of degrowth ideas intentionally promoting high unemployment and UBI in response to the rise of automation and the many-headed crises of our mass consumption. We offer a groundbreaking understanding of how this is made possible by MMT and RBE. Directly contradicting macroeconomic theory, the math of resource consumption here is faced squarely at last. There is no trade that can compensate for the obliteration of our planetary oil reserves in the course of 100 years, and even less for the unprecedented environmental cost. We face a planetary crisis, of mass extinctions, desertification and broad sea level rise, and it seems we did it all for the privilege of joining rush hour, which we generally despise being a part of, literally burning through our shared societal resources while sitting in traffic, waiting to economically justify our very existence for the day, to an out-of-date system that even our grandparents never quite understood. The Theory of Special Organomics will show mathematically how these asphalt playgrounds are among the costliest endeavors in the history of humankind.
We must end the cycles of consumption and wage slavery much faster than current systems of cash idolatry will allow, and we’ll provide the framework to make it happen immediately, sustainably. Less work will in truth not cost us a dime, but make us all richer, broadly beyond our costly 20th century fixations. We can’t afford to wait for sustainable power, endorsing solar and wind, among others. Progressively we recommend limiting both the government and the market, while reorienting both via Digital Democracy. Simultaneously we introduce far more wealth to the measured system than we propose taking out, exposing that much of what we must remove are net-cost systems. With a resource-based approach, we do not require any increases in taxation to make the accounting balance. Organomics reveals tens of trillions of inactive dollars, annually, between us and dangerous inflation, along with the systemic ability to nullify most of that danger, should we reach it. Overproduction and consumption threaten the stability of our world, NOW. Much has changed since the time of Adam Smith, and it is time for our understanding of the world to change with it.
Homemakers are not unemployed. As we move beyond debt-based economics, intentionally removing money from the central role of wealth understandings – building our systemic models of the anatomical structure of society beyond only trade, like a doctor in 1900 who just realized there is more to examine than circulation alone – we’ll be hard pressed to completely miss the economic sectors which maintain our homes and raise our children. The household has been suppressed by 20th century economics, but in General Organomics its central role is at last regained. Without homes and children there is simply no economy. So where Keynesian and Austrian schools have measured these massive systems of subsystems often as consumption, Organomics recognizes more potential modifiers to wealth than trade alone. The smoothly functioning household is one of the most productive and important organs of our collective anatomy, period. Be they nuclear, communal or caretakers at an orphanage, implementing UBI for homemakers is not simply a matter of responsibly investing in the maintenance of our housing infrastructure. It is the observational understanding that Home Economics is worth as much as our total GDP in productive terms. Whether this egregious error of macroeconomics comes from a place of entrenched patriarchal authority or a more innocent lapse in vision regarding the real mechanics of trade, production and infrastructure, we find it is at least 70 years late to the table. This is the 2nd invisible mammoth – an ocean of massively uncounted wealth which we are fools to continue to ignore. Like a small business that neglects to pay the owners’ wife for her time running the register and doing the books, we take the massive results of the homemakers of society completely for granted, incorporating them without payment or even accounting, having relegated the entire sector to subservience for so long now that it is no surprise to see its atrophy, or where it survives in a contorted, commodified or prostituted form, the marginalized essence of its rightful stature. Organomics provides the principles to flip the modifier – to support this central load-bearing pillar of every real society properly, with the wealth, tech and wisdom of the modern world at its fingertips.
Our time is marked by scientific advancement, education, and population levels unmatched in all of history. The Organist is here explicitly to demonstrate the powerful possibilities of this moment. This is not when we collapse under the weight of too many people and outdated ideas. Now is when we rise to the challenge of empowering the largest, most creatively enriched generation in history, actively to address the impending storm our very rising has summoned. Our call is to show that this population boom is not in fact an apocalypse, but the 3rd invisible mammoth of our collective inheritance.
This epic resource pool is worth many uncounted trillions of literal dollars, and there is no denying that it is ours, collectively – the inheritance of our time. Regarding potential labor and imaginative powers, it has no comparison, but only so far as the work we set ourselves to is sustainable and productive, in harmony with a future that serves us here on Earth – only in a paradigm that empowers the imagination, with a vision of life that is not indebted to the dollar by mere birth and poor math. Again, we flip the modifier, recognizing that society does not become indebted by providing health care and education to its most important and versatile resource, any more than gold is worth less when it is removed from the ground. Investing in our people is not only imperative, it is unavoidable and exponentially profitable.
Raising these mammoths, we find that traditional measures of GDP are coming up short by significantly more than their total recognized sums, if not, by a more liberal accounting, multiplicatively so. This is why deficit spending for decades has not caused notable inflation or decreases in purchasing power but in fact the opposite, why trillions of dollars of Quantitative Easing has been absorbed by the economic body as a thimble to an ocean. This is why our debt-based moneys have continued to thrive even when we insist on measuring consumption as production and only busy-ness as business – even as we see the ends of our oil reserves impending and careen toward them with all of the might of a raging tempest, in the name of our two blind gods, Rush Hour and Taxes.
These three uncounted sectors represent epic pillars of wealth, and along with the rest of the Real Value economic body have been upholding this house of cards, despite even our most destructive efforts. When we recognize them at last for the massive, unlocked riches that they are, we may take the chance to build out, instead, an infrastructure that is both sustainable and soulful, worthy of our full heritage and future.
Organomics is not a reinvention so much as a synthesis. Modern Monetary Theory has been around since the 1990’s, and its centerpiece revelations – of the mechanics of a fiat monopoly and the relative freedom of a currency issuer – have been gaining ground recently, as economists reach for answers about the long-missing inflation corresponding to our record-setting deficits. MMT says we can spend until we reach the limits of our real resources, and Organomics picks up right there, with a substantial framework for measuring – and specifically not measuring – Real Value. However where MMT seeks to refine capitalist tools to run the societal body, Organomics throws off the yoke of these falsehoods entirely. We seek the abolition of taxation, and high unemployment directly alongside a Job Guarantee. We seek nothing less than a sustainable world society, ready and empowered for the 21st century.
Resource Based Economic Theory has also been getting some light of late, as belief spreads alongside the living sciences, in the fragility of our finite Earth, faced with ballooning populations. Organomics uses this as a starting point, and Real Value Accounting takes it to the next level. Incorporating the Inheritance of Infrastructure, Home Economics and Sustainable Design at the axiomatic level, we begin with our priorities properly aligned to the support of this Earthly life. Measuring our access to resources in this view, we see clearly now that we are, in fact and without hyperbole, the richest generation in human history, and it is both our honor and responsibility to stand up and recognize what we have been given. We squander this inheritance at our immediate peril.
Potential wealth, like potential energy in physics, sits in accounts like a ball atop a hill, awaiting the systemic understanding that will actualize its motion. Activating this wealth empowers us to invest in infrastructure, not with loans but with outright governmental purchase and gift – not creating debt, only committing the new owners to maintenance costs, long term, be they cities and states, government workers, layoffs of the automation era, or simply the previously homeless. With a Jobs Guarantee and UBI, Special Organomics aims to deliberately end homelessness and hunger, build out sustainable grids, end wage slavery and lower both consumption and production simultaneously, dramatically, without the loss of modern progress, to retain a livable and vibrant world for our children.
MMT, RBE, UBI and Organomics together provide a foundation beyond left or right, nationalism and all small-minded or militarist worldviews. We come to a precipice here, between educated choice and inaction. We anticipate the resistance of those to whom this is a new language, contrary to their foundational beliefs about scarcity, as with those to whom it may seem altogether too simple, a common-sense paradigm that somehow has eluded clear definition for just a few years too long. We anticipate that humanity, rich and poor alike, will not willingly give up their dollars for the meager prospect of a livable future. As Organists we are privileged to witness the false dichotomy of that struggle. Our revolution comes to the table unarmed, but with truth, science and a clear mind. We represent a new generation, and we need not ask the rich to step down, just to step aside as we rise up, bringing with us a new science to show that this massive wealth left behind by our ancestors is not only measurable, but it is not locked away in any vault, and it is real, and here, and it belongs to us all.
Watch for The Organomic Manifesto Part IV: The Tenets of Special Organomics
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