Organomics: Year Zero

A Progressive Economic Primer

This begins the Organomic Thesis

For continued reading see:
The Organomic Manifesto III – V
The Tenets of Organomics VI – X
4 Books to Change the Future of Economics

Updated: 10/13/21
PDF & MP3 Coming Soon

I

We stand at the gates of a new world.  The time has come to claim our inheritance, put an end to wage slavery at last, feed the hungry and house the poor. We must end war, fight climate change, 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.  This Organomic Thesis demonstrates where Keynesian, Austrian, Marxist and other mainstream economic schools are failing to account for tens of trillions of dollars in production, 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 3 Mammoths of Organomics – the value of Process Improvements and Technological Evolution, Home Economics and the Invisible Economy, and Modern Employment Theory including the Ready Unemployed – we uncover enough Real Value, lost in the margins of 20th century accounting, to more than double current spending, completely redefining our economy.  Compiling verifiable and official statistics, we find a conservatively adjusted US GDP of $49.93T (2020), revealing a literal mountain of surplus that we are otherwise just sitting on. Combining Modern Monetary Theory with a Resource Based Economy and Universal Basic Income we thus equip ourselves to face ecological disaster in no uncertain terms, end poverty once and for all, and rise to the challenges of our time, NOW.  This Revolution of Value need not fire a gun or directly appropriate a dime, and in these pages we outline detailed steps to reach specific goals, with an entirely solvent economy, on the world stage.  Bridging capitalist and socialist ideologies with modern tech and new theory, 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 popular proposals like Universal Healthcare, UBI, a Housing Guarantee, the Green New Deal and more, we pull back the shroud on the con, 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 and beckoning mass extinctions – 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. 

Self-perpetuating systems spring up from the positive feedback loops of capitalism like fungi in the rain.  Yes, this is why the rich get richer.  But it also means that as incomes rise, so do expenses, and these synchronized 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 – all experience significant poverty of time, spending 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 class stratification of society matters, but 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. As a society, we’re trapped in a prison of our own making.

Importantly, half of the world lives on less than $5/day. Any revolution that leaves them behind – for nationalist, geographic, senseless or simply selfish reasons – is absolutely missing the point.  Let the workers of the world unite to understand that our call is no longer seizing the means of production, so much as relinquishing the means of consumption.  Scarcity is over. Our economic theories have little to say about the problems of surplus and degrowth, which stand before us now as existential emergencies. We are called to create at last a sustainable world body, and we must achieve this without rolling backward. It is no small problem, with no analog in our history, requiring nothing less than new science.

This Thesis includes pages of evidence, statistics and mathematical analysis – which we will come to mostly in Sections VII – X.  This Primer presents a tour of the Tenets in a less formal mode.  There is room for lifetimes of study, but this is where we start, with a sustainable systems science approach to the large questions of economic and social anatomy.  Simply put, Organomics is the study of Real Value, its processes and flows.

We introduce a new measure of Real Labor Intensity, defined as Newtonian work per labor-hour. Tracking this, our surplus and other variables, we’re able to put dollar estimates on the widespread effects of technological revolutions – many of which are simply powerful ideas, having spread via free and non-divisive distribution over thousands of years, taken for granted as the backdrop of our commercial world.  These improvements routinely level up entire industries, and until now this productive value was largely ignored, in the margins of the balance sheet.  While some of it shows up as dollars and siphons upward as intellectual property and ROI, the whole of the math of technological evolution is conservatively much larger than our entire GDP – literally tens of trillions of dollars of annual productive capacity, completely unaccounted for by classical theory.  What is the value of the entire internet? How much time is saved by all of the dishwashers, dryers and sprinkler systems of the world? It is absolutely massive. Once seen, it won’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, conserving practically endless energy over older and more labor-intensive ways, in every single sector of the economy bar none.

This makes sense, when you consider it has taken about two million years to earn the combined productive wealth of these evolutions – since long before the dawn of civilization.  We accept these gifts of our ancestors with gratitude.  It is our proper inheritance, bringing with it the infrastructure of modern life – homes, heritage, food, power, technology and so much more.  We inherit the responsibility to maintain these institutions, but not the need to pay for their origination cost into perpetuity, despite any long-term shell game of interest rates and cyclical debt.  This Thesis provides the steps by which we will change our relationship to infrastructure, releasing it from the endless costs of the perpetual machinery of profit.  Origination costs are finite.  We advocate for the nationalization of infrastructure via direct purchase in the public interest, a process we call OPN (Organomic Paid Nationalization).  However radical this may sound, we can begin even within classical budgetary constraints, by buying up empty houses, outright, and giving them to the homeless.  This will not add debt or asset liabilities to government balances, taking nothing from the private sector without full payment.  Modern Monetary Theory demolishes old concepts of federal budgeting, demonstrating that we are not limited by deficits or taxes, but only by our ecological and inflationary limits. We build out from there to show how the US is more than capable of implementing a Universal Basic Income today, and make the case to begin immediately with homemakers and the unemployed.  The Special Theory of Organomics is yet more radical than the General, eliminating taxation and isolating inflation step by step, with a Jobs Guarantee designed to ensure that we not only maintain the miracles of our cities, but specifically upgrade and align them with 21st century sustainable design.  We must build the world we will leave to our children. This will require work, education and dedication, but it will not require a cent that we don’t already have.  Raising the Mammoths of Process Improvements, Homemaking and the Ready Unemployed, we begin to reveal the immensity of surplus wealth that we stand to inherit, and how to activate it, to achieve nothing less than a thriving modern world.

Money is not the only cornerstone of accounting, and so no financial storm – inflation or market crash – should ever threaten the foundations of a robust society, or the survival security of any individual.  Infrastructure must function, and nobody needs to lose their livelihood in 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 about a quarter the budget of the US military, but consistently choose not to ($175B/year, “Peace, Dignity and Equality On a Healthy Planet,” United Nations, 2020).  So let’s simplify the question.  A follower of the 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 enterprising 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 actual 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 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 – what we call the Spectrum of Real Value – are simply much broader than what is represented by classic theories of trade economics.  Any model without a thorough understanding of 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 important natural resources?  How can we expect to progress without paying the price?  Well, this is exactly the kind of question Organomics is designed to answer.

II

We have the means to feed the world, yet 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 must in fact rise beyond steady prices, exponential growth and short-sighted, single-dimensional profits.

Inflation, as part of a varied, diverse set of systems, is related complexly to the balances of social stability and economic security. It has not reacted as predicted according to Keynesian or Austrian macroeconomics, reliably, for nearly 100 years.  The Organist posits: When social stability drops, prices rise. We explore why, focusing on the real costs of war, environmental degradation and more.  We’ll examine deflationary options, like opening borders and utilizing our surplus production.  Firstly, however, most importantly, we identify inflation as a problem wholly assigned to the market, and so we must isolate it systemically from all infrastructure – via financial circuit-breakers, UBI, a Housing Guarantee and other ready solutions.  Even inflation has its purpose, but firstly we must keep it on the table.  Life is simply much more important than steady 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 fraction 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, and at worst subjugating entire generations to the whims of imaginary wealth – it need not be this way.  Organomics demonstrates 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 insolvent math.  Nobody knows what the market will do tomorrow, so we will not set our societal heartbeat to its rhythm.  Recognizing the very present choice we have, the Organist orients Real Value to the support of life, science and infrastructure.  Straightforwardly, if we knew what we were doing as a society it would be working.  We’re falling out of balance, threatening to take the entire biosphere with us, 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. Building a large pool of the Ready Unemployed, we implement UBI and free college in response to the rise of automation and the many-headed crises of our mass consumption.  Directly contradicting macroeconomic theory, the math of resource depletion 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 often despair 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 parents never quite understood.

We must end the dangerous cycles of overconsumption and wage slavery much faster than current systems of cash idolatry will allow.  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, endorsing broad rollouts of solar and wind, among others.  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 that economic danger, should we reach it.  Overproduction and consumption threaten the stability of our world, NOW.  In Section VIII of this Thesis we discuss the true costs of war, environmental degradation and more. 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 – building our systemic models of the anatomical structure of economy beyond only trade, like a doctor in 1900 who just realized there is more than one kind of blood – 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 pivotal role is at last regained.  Without homes and children there is simply no economy.  The smoothly functioning household is one of the most productive organs of our collective anatomy, period.  Be they nuclear, non-normative, communal or caregivers at an orphanage, implementing UBI for Homemakers is not simply a matter of responsibly investing in the maintenance of our housing.  It is the observational understanding that Home Economics is worth as much as our total GDP.  Compiling estimates from various governmental, UN and think tank reports, in Sections VII – IX of this Thesis we find that measuring this production is not only doable, it has already been done. Somehow we just haven’t given a lot of attention to the results. 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 production, we find it is at least 70 years late to the table. 

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, richest 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 Mammoth of our collective inheritance.  

The epic resource pool of the Ready Unemployed is worth 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 activity 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 bad math.  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 smart, it is unavoidable and exponentially profitable.

Raising these Mammoths, we find that accepted 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 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, though we insist on measuring consumption as production and only busy-ness as business – the ends of our oil reserves in sight, careening toward them with all of the might of a raging tempest, in the name of our two blind gods, Rush Hour and Taxes. 

These 3 Mammoths represent epic pillars of wealth, and along with the rest of the Real Value Organomic body have been upholding this house of cards, despite our most misguided and even tragic efforts.  When we recognize them at last for the unlocked riches that they are, we may seize this unique chance to build out, instead, an infrastructure that is both sustainable and soulful, worthy of our full heritage and future.

Organomics is a reinvention and a synthesis.  Modern Monetary Theory has been around since the 1990’s, and its centerpiece revelations – that taxes don’t fund federal spending, and we are primarily limited not by debt but by our resources – 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 production, 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, step by step, 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 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 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 understanding that will actualize its motion.  Activating this wealth empowers us to invest in infrastructure, not with loans but with outright governmental purchase – not creating debt, only committing to maintenance costs long term.  With a Housing 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.

With the coming tech of Digital Democracy, they will at last have proper voice. Online voting, like a bank account, has the potential for secure, private and verifiable elections. We advance that the populous must be lifted alongside any Congress or President at last, with checks and balances alike, taking our rightful place in steering this ship.

MMT, RBE, UBI and Organomics together provide a foundation beyond left or right, 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, it is not locked away in any vault, and it is real, and here, and it belongs to us all.

Continued reading:
Year Zero: A Progressive Economic Primer I – II
The Organomic Manifesto III – V
The Tenets of Organomics VI – X
4 Books to Change the Future of Economics

7 thoughts on “Organomics: Year Zero

  1. Thanks Joshua. This was a really great read. I’ve tried to reconcile these ideas but it’s always a jumbled mess! thanks for putting this utopia in clear view for us all who have been dreaming of it. I’m interested in the “what are we building?” of monetary reform for a while and I’ve been working with groups that have been brainstorming the “how do we build, and more importantly, transition?” I can’t wait to read the next part! There’s a youth caucus starting up among the AmericanMonetary Institute/AllianceForJust Money and I’d love it if you could share your ideas with us there!

    1. Fernando, thanks for the feedback. The new essay goes live this week, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. We’ve started a group dedicated to Organomic Theory on Facebook’s public groups, and you’re welcome to join. Please, share the work far and wide. Welcome to the conversation.

  2. Thanks for this food for thought! So far, some lofty promises have been made here. I am looking forward to seeing the math to back up the concepts here. I hope you can show how organomics will work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *