This continues the Organomic Thesis. If you’re new, you may prefer to start with the
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A storm is coming. Let there be no doubt. The ghosts of our children’s children loom in this cloud, a banshee wailing with the sound of a typhoon, and they warn of a changing climate, mass extinctions, the acidification of our oceans and desertification of our lands. A machine is churning around us, a deafening, mindless complex, devouring resources – the undead beast, aimless and self-perpetuating. This storm does not come without warning, but without empathy, and it presents a pass/fail test for humankind, requiring us to reprioritize and act in concert as a world body like never before, setting aside our differences and recognizing that no system alone can hold the blame – or the answer. To face this challenge will require collective will and imagination – an intelligent choice to evolve together, looking past our shortsighted aims for the greater good of our children, who are unable to defend themselves from our mistakes, and for the generations yet unthought of, who may look back on us with disdain or new hope. It is up to us to rise to the challenge, but the real questions brought by this storm require new answers.
This General Theory of Organomics is a rephrasing of the large questions of economy and society, a process to study the principles that govern these superstructures of our lives. In essence it may be viewed as a specific kind of Systems Theory, separating the endless subsystems of the societal body into manageable blocks. Sections VI – X of this Thesis will present the Tenets in a bulleted list, coming to mathematical conclusions, compiling studies from around the world. Before we get there however, this short Manifesto makes the case not only that emergency action is needed to change our cataclysmic path, but that these ideas, which may seem radical at first, are in truth far more grounded than the idolatry, nationalism and bad math which has come before. General Organomics will change our thinking, helping us create sustainable, scalable, realistic plans for the simplification and liberation of our lives.
The common sense paradigm here revealed leads unavoidably to answers that are among the great modern heresies – demolishing the common understanding of economic limits and how they shape our future. The eradication of poverty does not require taxes. We can raise living standards, worldwide, without dangerous inflation and without reducing unemployment – ending the cycle of wage slavery. In a robust, thriving systems economy, nobody need lose their house due to disaster – market crash, pandemic or otherwise. Organomics provides the very tangible means by which we may face down climate change and mass extinction, with both feet on the ground and every possible tool at our disposal.
The study of Scientific Organomics is in original form here and makes no pretense otherwise. As such, all readers and thinkers, professors and children alike, are encouraged to take part and bring this necessary body of thought closer to fruition. We need graphs, more studies, memes. We need community-builders, speech writers and active leaders. What we must have in common is a will for evolution, and a general understanding of the stakes. We don’t need to agree on every detail, to push forward aligned. All that must bind us together is the simple belief that yes, a new way can be defined. Yes, these problems, however complex, can in fact be solved. If at the end you believe as we do, that applied systems science is the route to a sustainable future for us all, then we invite you to take the mantle as your own. Welcome.
Let’s talk about money and how it has come to rule our lives. We’ll take a page from the classics of thought, and define our own bloc, as in one fateful turn others have said, “Let this new measure of distance be called an inch.” We’ll start however with a negative, and as obvious as it may seem right off, it is in fact the hinge on an epic door:
Money does not equal wealth.
Sometime between 5,000 and 700 BC, people started using forms of basic money as a medium of exchange. Many have since tried to understand it. Around 500 BC, Confucius considered true wealth to be measured not by coin at all, but by a lack of wants. Adam Smith, taking a different approach in 1776, defined it in terms of scarce goods and authoritative power, and nothing has been quite the same since. Karl Marx, in 1867, made his name by putting wealth into materialist, scientific terms when he analyzed class division, labor-hours and the means of production. Modern economists have defined wealth as a stock of money with intrinsic, stored value (Keynes, 1936), a fiat monopoly (Mosler, 1995), more specifically as net worth (Business Insider, 2019), or a combination of these along with such intangible values as living with a sense of purpose, and good health (Huffpost, 2017). The concept of Gross National Happiness was first coined in 1972 by Sicco Mansholt, gained international recognition in 2012 when it was recognized at a high level by the UN, and includes a still broader set of 9 basic values. Lastly, the macroeconomics favored by large financiers today run on systemic models known as DSGE, and utilize literally hundreds of data points in an attempt to pin down and predict the moving targets of the marketplace – to figure out just what a thing is worth.
Taking a less common angle, given the average modern lifespan at 79 years, it has been only 89 lifetimes since the earliest evidence of the dawn of coin, 32 lifetimes since Confucius pondered the concept, 3 since Adam Smith and the founding of the United States, and barely 2 since Marx introduced us to the labor-hour and brought the question into the realm of scientific inquiry. In this view it becomes clear that our history may be shorter than we often suppose, the question itself younger, and our own part, however humble, more likely than we may have thought to alter the course. What is evident is that the question “What is wealth?” is very much alive and unfinished today. Each generation has revealed an answer more complex than the one before, until we are left, in 2021, with a science of macroeconomics becoming more and more like trying to forecast the weather.
Let’s aim our view a moment longer then at worth itself – as the fundamental concept in all of economy. Studying economics without a definitive concept of worth would be like playing in the NFL without a consistent standard of the yard, where every 10-yard line is different than the one before, and no two fields are the same. Could you imagine if the value of a touchdown depended on fluctuations in the stock market? There are plenty of variables as is. The density of the air will change depending on the stadium, the muscles of the throwing arm will change for each QB. Yet without a consistent yard and reliable scoring mechanics, there would be absolutely no game.
This is the situation of modern economics. We live and die for a system of relativist wealth. Dollars and yen may be compared, but without a shared conceptual basis any more stable than the reflexive idea that they represent agreed trade value, purchasing power or labor time. From fiat to gold standard systems, Keynes to Marx to MMT, the relativist nature remains. The importance of this should not be understated. Major institutions and billions of dollars every year are devoted to ensuring the variability of our currency remains in-bounds. In the clear light of day, we’ve reached an extreme where civilization itself depends on it. Preventing inflation and market crashes is a matter of national vitality. Between the lines we have conceded human wants can’t be easily predicted – an understandable caveat – and so we focus intently on that dollar. From dense equations like the logarithmic Thiel*, a macroeconomist will draw hyper-specific numeric answers, but what do they mean? We busy ourselves, pretending to understand the ceaseless motions of this medium of trade, and the science now, though specific to the logarithmic dime, is notably less accurate than meteorology. While no small achievement it has very limited use. Nobody knows what the market will do tomorrow, or even today. All that we know for sure is that it costs money to survive, and if we’re not careful the value of that money can quickly spiral out of control. In personal and collective life we end up chasing this medium of exchange as if it were the holy grail – the football at the center of the universe.
As Organists we do not shy from complex questions, but simplicity is our guiding star.
Wealth is anything at all that reliably advances the aims of humanity.
The Spectrum of Value – the processes, ideas, labor and things that we produce, consume, own, share, gift, trade or steal – is itself only the beginning of a description, even yet no pretense of a yard. Think of it more as the wood out of which we will carve our rulers – natural and practically unavoidable in their true form.
The masses of humankind share a fundamentally similar reference frame. We don’t here talk of quantifying, only of describing and then grouping, leveraging an object oriented approach to algorithm, incorporating even those intangibles we’re still searching to understand. In this light it becomes clear that we can do many things at once. Subjectively, even among those of us with bold plans, some may value, say, feeding Africa over colonizing Mars. Both are within scientific reach, and this Thesis will demonstrate in Section X how they are both within economic reach as well. At home amid the more mundane, an individual may rightly value a nap, where another wants a new canvas, ready and stretched to paint, and yet another is preparing for their doctorate – or AA meeting. As the math will show, there is plenty to go around. Our currency has been artificially restricted. The question is changing beneath our feet. The problems of scarcity are vanishing, leaving us instead to solve for sustainability as paramount, with a more Shakespearean dilemma. What will we choose to be?
Very few of us, even at the fringes, would outright prioritize an effort to accelerate the greenhouse effect. Only the insane endorse eugenic genocide. Collectively we like to think we’re smarter than to poke ourselves in the eye with a stick. Just so, the scope of our aim is not in fact infinite. In a post-scarcity paradigm our priorities are not actually so hard to define.
Even our divisions, like the relentless conflict of capitalist and socialist policies around the world, have much to say regarding our shared values. While the 20th century put these two systems at opposite ends of the socio-political spectrum, we identify powerful similarities. Avoiding any middle trap, we instead carve our own, inclusive path. Both systems concern themselves primarily with aspects of value, labor and trade, and overlap far more frequently than their die-hard adherents would avow. We step off gratefully from the train of Marx’s materialism and Smith’s accounting, but there is no question that the full picture is larger even than their combination.
As Organists we’ll be charting flows – inputs, mechanics and outputs that together describe systems within the larger body – and for this we need simply to see this definition of Value, and how it can be both legitimately phrased and organized. With this fell swoop, understand that it naturally includes other theories on the subject, without simplification, building on the daily, wide-ranging, tremendously varied experience of society and bringing it into a form that is increasingly ready at last for fruitful scientific analyses.
So if we agree that the objectively real means to our ends can be represented here by this Spectrum of Real Value and it, like a dark container, is expected to be full of categorized unknowns, we have yet one important variable to clarify.
What exactly are we going to do?
We’ll return to that outrageously complex question in Section X. What may have gone underappreciated in all that philosophy, is the establishment of a scientific, open framework with both feet on the ground, one in which money does not equal wealth. Wealth has a much wider meaning than trade. Worth is about far more than this illusion we’ve exalted and put in charge of our lives. In servitude to profit itself, we’ve become nothing less than an addict, full of self-destructive need, enraged at the mere mention of self-control. We will continue to explore this for quite some time. What real costs have we been ignoring? Here the premise is bare. In modern life we often act as if everything has a price. In fact, believe it or not, it doesn’t. So long as we refuse to face it, we remain like a Narcissus at the reflecting pool, unaware as our true appearance becomes more and more zombified.
Organomics is born as a science in protest. The General Theory is not anti-capitalist or anti-Marxist, but is diametrically in opposition to the absolute domination of economic and societal thought by moneyed accounting. This false crown has circled the world, corporations run vast segments of society, and nearly everywhere the masses are expected to spend our lives competing for a dollar. Our system has us beat, across class lines, to the point of the commodification of nearly every hour, talent, square foot, home and organization. Even non-profits must balance a budget to exist – rich and poor alike must pay their bills – and it is widely believed that this is inevitable. Under a restricted currency we often scrap for every dollar, pressed to be the cheapest in order to survive. Organomics demonstrates that this allegiance to money is not only unjust and avoidable but unscientific – a wishful mysticism – and truly counter-productive to both micro and macro, a great mechanical terror robbing us all, individually and collectively, rich and poor, of our real Earthly inheritance. For money in itself we are depleting our resources, poisoning our ecosystems, privatizing infrastructure, and spending the productive years of our lives. We plan the obsolescence of our products before we buy them, in service of a relativist medium of exchange that is poorly understood, often parasitic and universally desired.
As plain as it may seem, looking at economic and social structures in the context of algorithm and systems science has been a late comer to the scene. Our urban evolution progresses, with thousands of miles of blueprints that, if not always brilliant, bear testament to unfathomable lifetimes. Yet in its dominant market alignment our expansion to every corner of the Earth has been driven often by blind evolution, resulting in entrenched, profit-bearing institutions today that are widely in need of deep correction, from self-destructive, viral miscode. Wherever you go on Earth today, the masses across class lines will be spending the majority of our productive years in economic pursuit.
In the societal body there are many definable organs, which may be charted as algorithmic systems. When the input and output are in the same medium – like a snake eating its own tail – the risk for cancer-like expansion accelerates.
Money in –> money multiplied –> money out [repeat]. From wall street and casinos to retail and even churches, this simple positive feedback loop has wound itself into the inner workings of every form of distribution, governance, real estate and recreation, demanding absolute legal obedience, at all costs. It preempts the law itself, often taking its place without pretense. Our judges dole out punishment in monetary terms, our leaders are broadly judged by the money they spend to compete to lead the world, limiting the pool of serious candidates even among democracies, most often, to multi-millionaires, for no reason other than that they are multi-millionaires. The moneyed vine winds in – you’ll find the fingers of the machine – in the arts and sciences like anywhere else. Without funding their programs evaporate. Our best athletes are rewarded in money. Heart transplants take a back seat to the exchange. Mechanically we pillage, before we even know it blazing through our resources in the name of consumption – destroying forests, leveling mountains and potentially nearing the ends of our real oil stores. An economy is only considered healthy by macroeconomic theory if it is endless, fueling linear growth, and full of constant labor – productive or not. The more we are involved in normal economic activity, the more we consume. Single use plastics and disposable diapers are but the foam in the rapids of our burning rivers of oil.
A storm is coming, and unequivocally, that storm is us.
We are addicted to it, to this cycle of temporary satiation that constantly needs to be bigger, but it is no straight-forward chemical dependency. We’re addicted to the stuff of life. The interplay of capitalist/socialist politics and innovation for hundreds of years has fueled a growth spurt in our collective evolution like no other. Our addiction – stripping the rain forests bare – is to the same coin, the exact same coin, that feeds us like never before, clothes us like never before, houses us with 80-inch TVs and robot vacuums like never before. Our cars drive themselves and our 4K cameras are either in our cool pocket-communication-device, or they are integrated parts of ultra-stabilized flying drones that we can control by remote with our cool pocket-communication-device. We have the means to end world hunger and colonize Mars, and to what can we give thanks for that modern world if not to those policies and revolutions – the investors, inventors, workers and the incentives driving them to create these incredible things every day? Skylines do not build themselves. How could we expect to have all of this without paying the price? Well that, you see is exactly the kind of question Organomics is designed to answer.
We lack a mechanical understanding of the societal body as it stands, obsessed instead with ROI graphs and endless data points. This makes some sense, if your primary concern is the movement of a few dollars here or there – the amount of a monthly rent or price of a single stock. These movements are based on the whims of unpredictable, volitional individuals, and so understanding them as an amalgamation like a rainstorm seems to make some common sense. We fixate on this level of microeconomic result – knowing our survival depends on it. Whether we can pay rent or not is the difference between us and that guy on the corner, asking for anything. So in fear and artificial scarcity we mistake the purpose completely, restricting our currency to avoid minor inflation, yet simultaneously needing it on every wound. It’s as if we were cruising down the road in our FSD Tesla, drinking motor oil from the bottle. Oil belongs in the engine, contained and precise. No matter how much you bring along, it won’t quench your thirst.
Think of a record player. Now think of dumping a suitcase of cash on top of it. Does it play better? Or does all that paper get in the way of the needle? It’s nowhere near as far fetched as you may initially believe. Imagine the record player as a flow, an algorithm with inputs – in this case essentially a record and a power source –> internal mechanics – it’s kind of complicated (you’ll want actual schematics) but basically what you need to know is that the plate is going to spin and the needle on its arm is going to wiggle across the record –> and output – believe it or not if you line up these things properly the box will come to life and actually sing. It’s kind of amazing. This algorithm, with proper input, can bring to life the voices of the dead. That’s science, certainly not classical economics, but if you don’t think it’s wealth then you must never have heard Prince, Sinatra or Megadeth. Does that system function better under a pile of cash?
Many institutions will function better with a more distant, simplified or restrained relationship to their monetary accounting – or by removing it from the flow entirely. Origination cost notwithstanding, the player’s function is identical no matter if it is bought, stolen, gifted or shared – powered by coal or a crank. What happens if we can demonstrate, systematically, a similar inverse relationship of profit to function, or the same distinction of origination vs ongoing costs in, say, national higher education? – the judiciary? – grocery distribution? – public housing? What if removing the profit motive from the machinery of war is not extreme at all, but the first step toward an intelligent end for violent international conflict, worldwide?
In fact, from micro to macro, small business owner to despotic warlord, money will never be the primary form taken by real world wealth, so let’s just shake that out of our heads once and for all. As a medium of exchange or stored value, its role is necessarily and always subservient to the Real Value – the processes, labor, ideas and objects which it may or may not represent as medium. If today it clearly seems that money has ascended to the primary role, to represent every want, some abstract and under-defined reflexive ‘worth,’ these trillion-dollar whims of rich nations and daily needs of impoverished families, that there doesn’t seem to be anything solid to back it up (like a gold standard), that it is all a house of cards – it somehow just hasn’t been caught in the wind – the Organist will remind us that in fact real wealth comes in more forms than we have been accounting for.
Beyond labor or resources, processes have been building in our stockpiles. We’ll quantify the surplus in detail in Section IX of this Thesis, but it can be seen in the very things destroying us. Plastic oceans, brown clouds and landfills only decorate our opulence, taken as the backdrop of our lives, like a grotesque Narcissus lost in our own reflection.
The truth is, together we ride at the crest of a wave of wealth. We have too many McDonalds, too much retail, too many roads. Surging with the power of all of our ancestral heritages, worldwide, coming together as one heritage for the first time, dripping with the energy of the fossil fuels we’ve been burning – as if our cigarettes were made of liquid gold – transforming, multiplying, like the internet or high speed rail – even our waste is just the shadow of what we could really do. The only thing that could bring us down from this launchpad may be the exact lack of scientific awareness that we see all around us. If we act like paupers, because all we’ve accounted for is the paper, then yes, we may starve, or far worse kill our incredible biosphere, draped with all of the jewelry, but naked, blind, lacking even a concept of what we had, for a moment, right there within our reach.
The General Theory of Organomics is not a scheme to get you to give up your money, or your entrepreneurial spirit. Organomics will make your money go farther. Properly applied it will empower us to seek our potential, to work hard but to think first, to build sustainable systems because those are the only ones that last.
Life is a self-perpetuating system, where among other things life goes in –> life multiplies –> and life comes out [repeat]. Through trillions of interweaving iterations, evolution solves problems by leaning systems against other systems, in a web not unlike a spider’s, or a neural network. Emphasizing growth, natural cycles rise and fall across millennia, never quite a perfect balance but always tugging, pulling. Our tragic struggle, no matter our mistakes, is a relatively innocent, possibly inevitable result. Moneyed economics has been a wildly positive evolution in the short term, for the broad collective while not always the individual, often at environmental expense, until recently when it seems we may have crossed multiple thresholds for an important phase transition. The trouble is that we’ve changed the time scale on which our own evolutionary cycles occur. One system feeds into another in our economy every day, all day, and we’ve built innovation-reward networks so effectively into them that the systems are now mutating – organically changing within – so fast that evolution can’t keep pace with the pull, and we are falling out of balance in heavy, measurable ways. However we wouldn’t be on this edge, were it not for the evolution of our minds, and institutions of change. We’ve established methods to allow ourselves to adapt. Many of these too are now as mired with monetary vines and unable to effectively move for fear of losing profit, as any half-rate casino. Yet we do have other avenues, other precedents for augmented, intelligent evolution.
Applied Organomics is often a science of non-destructive elimination. What is not essential, hinders. This is not a genocidal commitment to efficiency, let’s be clear, but it is a guiding principle of all Organomic design. If any element fails to lead prominently from the input to the output of the system, it is either tangential, parasitic, or completely irrelevant. This is Occam’s Razor applied to systems theory, granting that if a process can be described in simpler terms, it should be. It is the experiential understanding that energy wasted is wealth lost.
In listening to music there is a give and take, push and pull, between the artist and listener. The artist isn’t even present in the room when the record is heard, but the distribution of ideas occurs all the same. And in time this is part of how listeners become musicians. Absorbing information, transforming it according to their own, internal methods, and learning to create, putting back out into the world – perhaps a new song never before heard.
Like water in a rainforest or blood in a body, healthy circulation is not a matter of a snake eating its own tail to survive, but rather a layered system with intrinsic filters and varied inputs. Our systemic boundaries will depend, as they do in anatomical study, on divisions of both function and form. They will rarely be completely separable save in theory. Yet like medicine, our study will rely on understanding these separations as they are, in all the reality of their nuance.
The organic world is our model, most often, but the Organomic Theory does not promote any simple return to nature. Only sustainable systems survive. So together we must find ways to simplify, understand and evolve our modern life into a sustainable version of its better self. By recognizing that money is not the central pillar of economics, we can free the masses from superstitious devotion to this overbearing, little understood, often parasitic system, from within, without abandoning any momentum toward the possible future where we are a technologically advanced, space-faring race, with the power of innovation and endless imagination at our disposal. The choice is real, and ours.
What will we be?
Anticipating initial critics and the future of the science, the Organist brings many tools to the table. Here we’ll look at some fast critiques, and broaden this Manifesto with a look forward to the Tenets, and the Special Theory of Sections VI – X.
An Austrian-trained economist might say: “These problems are environmental, not economic. This sounds like a slide – no a jump – into communism. The bill will always come due. If the government would just get out of the way, the market would correct for all of these things.”
Market processes favor short-term effects, having no memory or foresight, to the detriment of the world. We’re burning through resources, presiding over the largest mass extinctions since the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, simultaneous with an upsurge in greenhouse gases on a timeline nearly unrivaled in geologic history, and it is actively destabilizing the planet. We have the means to end world hunger but choose not to. Ravaged by pandemics, threatened by extinctions, sold to the lowest bidder, humankind is ready for a real, open, scientifically grounded answer. While factions persist that disagree about these causes, still the existential need for systemic change cannot be overstated in 2021.
Organomics agrees in part though. We favor simplicity in government. We’re desperate to lessen the importance of money in our lives, demonstrating it as uninvited and often parasitic, and this call means direct changes to the ways we govern. Governments are, by and large around the world, obsessive and compulsive about their ultra-detailed but inaccurate accounting, and in fact subservient, dedicated to it. We count every penny but forget somehow to house the poor. Occam hasn’t been to Washington in a while, it seems, and the Special Theory of Organomics insists we alter our priorities, NOW. Profit frequently corrupts, so we must quarantine our governments and markets alike. Let it become taboo to fail to serve the ecological reality of our world. In the Real Value framework, we avoid the middle trap, and profit is given its rightful place without being moved. In the lake of aGDP revealed by our 3 Mammoths, we see clearly for the first time that even our billionaires have been swimming in the shallow end. Greed is a game for the young. Money is freed to exist as a medium of exchange, a means to store value, continuing to do every good thing it has ever done for humanity – sales, investment, recreation & philanthropy alike. Among the important changes to Market Theory offered by this science is an axiomatic commitment to sustainable design, and this is clearly to the markets’ – and governments’ – own benefit every single time.
The ghost of Keynes might argue: “We concede that money is an imperfect yardstick, but you give us nothing solid to replace it. What is the unit for Real Value? What good is wealth that can’t be counted?”
While the Organist is pleased to lump unknowns together into containers, to make them malleable for analysis, the General Theory straightforwardly forbids naming a single value in the claim that it simultaneously represents the accurate value of everything. Real Value is more complex than that. Such false singularity – the lie of universal trade – is the snake itself, revealed.
Old macroeconomic pillars require a steady currency above all else. Inflationary crises can absolutely destroy economies as of 2021, bringing whole nations to their knees. We’ve become pretty good at it, but the threat remains, like a typhoon that could materialize out of nothing at any time from a single, complex or misunderstood variable, like the subprime mortgages of 2008. This fragility of moneyed social foundations is among the strongest arguments in favor of a more robust, understood, systems framework which has no such abstract vulnerability at its foundations. The General Theory of Organomics argues that money is not the foundation of the economy, and so any fluctuation in the supply or inflation rate, while potentially disruptive, can’t be allowed to threaten the stability of society or even the security of the individual.
Perhaps, among the reasons our markets are so susceptible to collapse, is the unnecessary weight of the world we hoist onto them?
Intentionally designing robust immunity into our societal organs, as we discuss in detail in Sections VI – X, will far better prepare us to meet nature on her own terms, answering the challenges of our evolving world. Climate upheaval and mass extinctions may well teach us new things about our limits, even if we do finally find the path to our collective best.
For the OCD aim of hyper-computing how much everyone has, down to hundredths of a representative labor-hour, money serves the function just fine – and good luck to the fool who tries to pry it from all of our hands at once. Instead we lay out the common sense principles underpinning the idea that money is not the only measure of wealth that matters, and how it is poorly suited to represent the kinds of worth that are not generally traded. There are things in life that multiply permanently when shared, and are every bit as real as any barrel of crude. Processes and ideas have an outsize effect on our modern economies, leveling up entire industries. This is the Mammoth of Process Improvements, mother of the freeway and the internet, conservatively worth many trillions of very real dollars, and as Organists we dare to measure it for the first time in history. This is why deficit spending has not bankrupted the world, despite failure to ever balance taxes and spending, why both MMT and UBI are realistic options: Much of our wealth is not represented by moneyed economics, has absolutely no relation to gold, silver, credit, debit or even oil, lumber and aircraft carriers. Printing more money does nothing at all to deplete our cultural and informational stockpiles, or even our material stores in any substantial way – which have been measurably overflowing for decades.
In the Special Theory and beyond we will discuss in more detail why this fountain of value does, unavoidably, belong to us all, and what its realistic limits actually may be. Yes, we will use yardsticks, but what we’ve said in the General Theory is that first, football should be played on the field. Life is not a game, it is much more complex than money, and multiple kinds of non-tradeable value must be accounted for to model our economic body. Much has changed since the time of Adam Smith, and it is time for our understanding of the world to change with it.
A great-great-grandchild of Marx might rage today: “You completely gloss over the class struggles that have defined human history, and the labor that underpins all value. There is no going forward without destroying capitalism and overthrowing the oligarchy.”
We are not here to undermine any true revolution. However we find that fighting amongst ourselves is sometimes just a distraction from the realities of those who suffer. Let’s look at some statistics, to decipher the class structure of this conflict, and assess how it has changed since the early days of Socialist Theory.
60% of the world lives on less than $5/day. Nearly 700 million live on less than $1.90/day. This number is shrinking. In 1981, 52% of the world was living on less than $1.25/day, and by 2008 that number had dropped to 22%. This lower level of abject poverty is estimated to kill some 50,000 people daily. Over 100 million children are living on the street. Malnutrition is prevalent in about half of all child deaths, worldwide. 1/3 of the world’s urban population lives in slums. These are dark truths in 2021. When does Narcissus wake? Don’t be ashamed, don’t look away. It is our time to fix this.
There are programs in motion hoping to feed the world. Some projects are aiming to wipe out abject hunger in the next five years, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the first generation that may achieve this.* How did we get here? It’s estimated that feeding the world might cost something approaching 1/4 of the annual budget of the US military.
For the Organist, the argument for class warfare tends to stagger when one realizes that they are, in point of objective fact, in the wealthy half of the world population. Yes, we know it usually doesn’t feel like it. We suffer with you under this artificially restricted currency. Yet we will show that access to money is not the primary cause of poverty, by any realistic measure. Infrastructure is inherited, always. Only via complex structures of finance are we able to overcome the broad natural process, whereby we are all unavoidably born into a world that has been shaped by our ancestors, and socially privatize infrastructure whose finite origination costs may have already been paid many times over.
Those of us making less than $50K/year will almost universally attest to spending much of our time fighting for the next dollar. Crossing $100K/year/individual is about where we meet the ‘wealthy’ in America today, who are defined by our greater stockpiles of Keynesian money, our investments in successful corporations which we will never go near in a board room, the positive feedback loops in our finances, and our leisure time.
Emphasis on the labor-hour persists, and steady but low unemployment is taken as the 2nd pillar of macroeconomics. This despite our consistently, incredibly successful cross-cultural efforts through the millennia for a one-way reduction in necessary work – Real Labor Intensity – in every sector. We’re left with a conflict of interest where it doesn’t matter to the market whether what you are doing is creative or net-productive, it only matters, you only exist, if someone will pay you for your time. Following this logic to conclusion we find, contrary to theory, an inverse relation common between work and pay, across cultures and industries, siphoning the most money to the accounts of those who have the most say over how much they make. The Organist will recognize this as an exceptional feedback loop, bubbling like a corrupt volcano, complete with its own volition and a will to defend itself.
We’re concerned with broad strokes here in this Manifesto, and so will stop the inquiry there, to be returned to again and again. In Section IX we demonstrate handily the actual value of the Ready Unemployed. It is up to you then whether you choose to accept the math. In plain English what this means is that we are wasting our time on unproductive busywork and consumption, to feed the parasitic profit motive, for its own sake. This restless motion – rush hour, lunch hour, prime time, night life, school, work, eat and play – is comparable, from the right distance, to an insect hive. With no predation, we are in dire ecological need of an evolutionary balance check.
Organomics is a Unified Theory of Economy, combining many elements of both left and right philosophy with an eye toward the future and where we are headed within it. We agree with Marx that material history matters, but contend it is incomplete. The class stratification of the social body is much more complex than ‘us and them.’ Organomics is a science born of desperate protest, against the dominance of the monetary system over all aspects of society, and resolutely against any class analyses that shrug off the impoverished half of humanity as unfortunate casualties or somebody else’s responsibility – part of some other system.
The wealthy half, believe it or not, is often confined by this same system, and nearly everyone in the 1st world experiences significant poverty of time. This is not to make false equivalencies, or to diminish the struggles of the working class, should they be making $10/day or $50K/year, but only to realistically acknowledge the complexity of current social structure. The future belongs to us all. Let the workers of the world unite to understand that there will be refugees from climate disasters, that are not their fault, and their poverty is as distinct from yours – as jealous as yours – as you are from the top economic 1%. Their struggle is every bit as real. The organs with which we care for the poor and sick will be forced to evolve, and it is up to us to decide how.
The fundamental class struggle now is statistically, empirically, described as between the 1st and the developing world, where the righteous call to justice is no longer the seizing of the means of production, so much as the letting go of the means of consumption. We are called now to create a sustainable world body. The 1st world of the 21st century is characterized by value beyond Smith or Marx’s wildest dreams, in part due to the successes of their influence – despite the comparable rise in living costs which prevent most of us from actualizing it into quality of life.
Whether we absolve the upper classes of their errors or hang the oligarchs, from the poorest to the wealthiest people will defend their money as if it were life. This won’t stop us. The processes of production are our common heritage, of tremendous value, and are not accounted for in any direct way by classical economics. Vaults of cash are not an accurate depiction of the larger Spectrum of Value. Together we may cycle to the next phase of our evolution, without firing a shot or appropriating a dime.
The Dalai Lama might then chime in: “It sounds like Gross Domestic Happiness is the way to go. Or at least Democratic Socialism and MMT. In any case there are many groups already in motion, promoting environmental and humanitarian solutions. This is just a basic systems science approach to the large questions of society, and while it’s pointing in the right direction, it’s nothing new. How do you address our unsustainable growth? How do we each, individually, help?”
We practice a multi-disciplinary, open-source approach, incorporating techniques and reasoning from many sciences, from classical sociology and economics to modern environmentalism and cosmology. We aren’t afraid to take advice from great leaders.
Systems Theories of Economy have taken many forms over the past 100 or so years – or about 1.5 lifetimes – with a definition loose enough to include the Keynesian and DSGE theories we’ve been speaking of. However the algorithmic systems approach developed here as Organomics, with the foundational Tenets presented in Section VI, creates a uniquely workable framework for measuring – and specifically not measuring – Real Value, and not only limiting the role of money in society, but thoroughly understanding both why and how we must do so, coming repeatedly to conclusions that directly contradict established theory, with the statistics, studies, math and logic to set it apart. By the time we finish Section X, we will have revealed tens of trillions of dollars as yet unrecognized by the combination of all prior economic theory.
Democratic Socialism and MMT, civil engineering and RBE are all applicable to the Organomic approach, which provides the space for these ideas to not only coexist, but to enhance each other for the first time. Unlike mainstream MMT theorists we view unnecessary employment and taxation as logistically counter to the science of sustainability. We respectfully expand as well on the RBE concept in our attempt to model the real economic body, which goes far beyond resource allocation. However, we aim to be incorporated by progress-minded scientists, politicians and economists in these living fields and beyond. Should our contribution be, in the end, only so much more fertile ground for what is to come, at least it will then be fertile.
We’ve been missing a large part of the equation, like a doctor who believes circulation alone describes anatomy and determines health. The Special Theory demonstrates, for the first time, how UBI not only solves important economic and social problems, but makes mathematical sense. The theory declares for the first time that high unemployment can be combined with sustainable productivity, and is a positive and important goal – essential for the healthy development of humanity in a high-technology world.
We may be further specified as Scientific Algorithmic Organists of the Humanities, where necessary, but the basic organizational principles and organic models – the organs which subdivide our societal body no less – grant that this name applies better than any other to what we’re exploring. It is our driving motive to conceive of ever-simpler, ever-more-accurate flows by which society and individuals alike may thrive – like the musical instrument of our namesake, with its many pipes and keys. We aim to take economics further into the realm of applied science, like a player-piano, but to respect it in the end as inherently an instrument of art, and never an end unto itself. Call us simply: Organists.
We release ourselves from the mysticism of popular macroeconomics and its dense yet wholly insolvent math, the short-sighted and costly worship of money over wealth, and in accepting the broader reality of our experience with all its inherent subjectivity, we step out humbly without all of the answers yet in hand, confident only in our submission to science and the betterment of the Earth.
Share this living Manifesto, and these ideas.
“I’ve been drawn to new age, utopian promises that claimed ‘science’ in the past, and it just seems like not enough ever gets done. There are thriving communes, a few cities that are really getting it right, but collectively we’re all still hurtling toward annihilation. The hurdles to reimagining the world are just too large, and the community that cares is just too small, to make enough of a difference in time to stave off the catastrophes headed our way.”
We incorporate the study of Algorithmic Structure, techniques of Object Oriented Programming, Algebra, Geometry, much of established Sociology, and Economic Theories including both Socialist and Capitalist historical development. We welcome into this fold the deep sciences of Home Economics, conservatively representing productive value in many trillions, including the keeping of homes and raising of children, an absolutely massive system of economic subsystems. We borrow principles from Biology, Physics and Quantum Theory frequently, sometimes in metaphor but often in literal practice or emulation. We stand among giants, inheriting this trove of our ancestors, and we add their sciences to our vault with gratitude. Our real worth here is not divided by the size of our wallets, you may see clearly now, but rather multiplied by the agility of our purpose.
Simply put, we are not pretending. Follow through to the end, and you’ll know, like we know, that these truths just can’t be unseen.
In more formal language: Organomics is the application of systems theory to economic and social science, the cataloguing of the various organs which comprise these same, with a primary emphasis on the understanding and sustainable development of Real Value, insofar as it serves the aims of humanity. It is the study of wealth, its flows and purposes.
We will not hold back, suggesting powerful action, from abolishing taxation to implementing UBI across national boundaries. Market Theory is both streamlined and emboldened by Special Organomic thought. By promoting change from within, without ever de-incentivizing the market, we aim to free the private sector to do with all its might exactly what it is best at – innovate. Without the consequences of failure imposed by artificial scarcity and absolute poverty, humanity may be freed to experiment, scientists in the safety of a lab, giving our historically unprecedented energies over to the pursuit of those aims which do have heavy, natural consequence – sustainable development, the reseeding of our ecosystems . . . the defense of our planet from disaster and the understanding of our place in the universe.
We make no pretense yet of having proven anything beyond the uniqueness and potential of our approach, having defined but two thoughts conclusively. All else will be reserved now for future writings, further study and the Tenets of the Special Theory of Scientific Organomics. We warn against blindly leaping to the conclusions we’ve as yet only teased. Successfully weeding out the machine of taxation, after thousands of years of its steady undergrowth, will require us to examine with fresh eyes whole bodies of evidence. It has us by the throat, after all. So for now let’s just review these two principles, as with their acceptance we can move forward together, to explore just what it really is we’re all aiming for. The first is the definition of General Organomics as named above in bold italics. Beyond this there is but one, powerful bit of negative logic upon which we must agree, by which the world itself may be flipped – to set at last upon its feet:
Money does not equal wealth.
DSGE: Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium, MMT: Modern Monetary Theory,
UBI: Universal Basic Income, Poverty & Related Statistics Drawn From: The US Census Bureau, World Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute, the Human Development Report, Wikipedia et al 2010 – 2020, RBE: Resource Based Economy,
Fresco’s: Referencing the work of Jacque Fresco and his Venus Project including his RBE Theories, Designs and Experiments, Thiel Index to Measure Economic Inequality:
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