A storm is coming. 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 the desertification of our lands. A machine is churning around us, a deafening, mindless complex, devouring resources – the undead beast, aimless, self-perpetuating, consuming. 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 none of our systems alone can hold the blame – or the answer. To face this challenge will require collective will and imagination – an intelligent choice to evolve together, look past our shortsighted aims for the greater good of our youth, 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, harnessing what we’ve learned so far in a new framework, a way of thinking about the systems of our economy and society.
This General Theory of Scientific Organomics is not a final solution, but rather a process for finding solutions, a new method of rephrasing the overarching questions of economy and society, by which to study the principles that govern these superstructures of our lives. You will not find here an outline for a utopian vision, either communist or capitalist in nature – but a new paradigm for understanding such systems, democratic, socialist, Keynesian and oligarchical alike. In essence it may be viewed as a specific kind of Systems Theory, separating the seemingly endless subsystems of the societal body into manageable blocks, combined with unique definitions, methods and purposes that shed light on these organs and their interrelations. Later sections of this writing will come to the point of conclusion regarding our modern world, but the aim of this first General Theory is explicitly to present a framework of principles that will assist humankind regardless of circumstance, class, wealth or need, in brief and simple language. From a household looking for smooth function and a balanced budget, to an international bloc of complex trade agreements, Organomics will change our thinking and assist us in creating sustainable, scalable, realistic plans for the simplification and liberation of our lives.
Concerning ourselves primarily with a process of conversational deduction, which at first may seem altogether too plain, by the time we reach the Theory of Special Organomics it will inexorably lead us to answers that are among the greatest possible modern heresies – upending the common understanding of economic limits and how they shape our future. We will provide a substantive mathematical basis – demonstrating that the eradication of poverty does not require taxes. We can raise living standards without dangerous inflation and without reducing unemployment – ending the cycle of wage slavery. In a robust systems economy, nobody need lose their house or close their business due to disaster – market crash, pandemic or otherwise.
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 in this blossoming act and bring this necessary body of thought closer to fruition actively, in your own way. What we must have in common is a will for this active evolution. This paper will present specific concepts and definitions, but we don’t even need to agree on every detail of these, to push forward this evolution together. 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 properly applied systems science is the route to a sustainable future for humankind, then you too are invited to take the mantle of the Economic Organist. Welcome.
Let’s talk about money, how it has come to rule our lives and the common understandings of why. We’ll look at world philosophy and some historic conceptualizations of worth itself. Finally 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.”
Our first definition will however be negative: Money does not equal wealth.
We’ll keep the history lesson very brief, but a couple of paragraphs will be helpful to understand the context for this pivotal moment in which we stand, in the conversation of the philosophy of 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, with varying degrees of nuance and success. Confucius, around 500 BC, considered true wealth to be measured not by coin but by a lack of wants. Adam Smith, taking a different approach in 1776, defined it in terms of scarce goods and authoritative power. Karl Marx, in 1867, made his name by putting wealth into scientific, non-monetary terms when he talked about labor-hours and the class struggle. Modern economists have posited wealth as defined by 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.
To put it another way, 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 in the dialogue, however humble, more likely than we may have thought to alter the course in significant ways. What is evident is that the question What is wealth? is very much alive and unfinished, in our generation. Each iteration has revealed an answer more complex than the one before, until we are left, in 2021, with an unwieldy mass of life that may likely be termed wealth, and an established science of macroeconomics more akin to meteorology than any other physical study.
Enough. Let’s cut to it. Among the core Tenets of General Organomics is the understanding that any singular system, no matter how complex, is in fact finite and knowable.
We’ll come to the Tenets in more detail in Section IV and beyond, but for the purpose of this manifesto let’s aim our view, in this light, at worth itself – as the fundamental concept in all of economy. Studying economy without a definitive concept of wealth (or worth, as you like) would be like playing American football 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. Surely the density of the air will change depending on the stadium, the muscles of the throwing arm will change for each QB, but without a consistent yard, there would be no game. This is the situation of modern economics, where currency itself is most often taken as the fundamental unit of worth, while both its value and definition are often in flux, not only in time but around the world simultaneously. This is a system of relativist wealth, where dollars and yen may be compared, but without a shared conceptual basis any more stable than the reflexive definition that they represent a general trade value or purchasing power. From fiat to metallist systems, Keynes to MMT*, the relativist nature of the instrument remains. The importance of this should not be understated. Entire macroeconomic institutions are devoted to ensuring the variability of our currency remains in-bounds, and the stability of society depends on it – preventing inflation or a market crash. Between the lines we have conceded human wants can’t be easily predicted, and so we focus on the dollar. From dense equations like the logarithmic Thiel* a macroeconomist will draw hyper-specific numeric answers, but what do they mean? The base unit of the scale is necessarily relative, and its agents volitional. We busy ourselves in practice with trying to understand the relentless pseudo-random motions of this relativist object, this medium of trade or stored value, and the science now, though specific to the logarithmic dime, is notably less accurate than our predictions of the weather – while no small achievement it has limited use. Nobody knows what the market will do tomorrow. 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 humankind, individual or collective.
Clearly, this is not yet a yard. Think of it more as the wood out of which we will carve our rulers, natural, not contrived, and practically unavoidable in their true form.
Among the persistent obstacles to narrowing this meaning, therefore, are the many differing perspectives on exactly what our aims are, and even further just what will advance them properly. So let’s focus first on the other elements of that sentence, where agreement is simpler. Like an algebraic equation we may then solve for the remaining variables. Biology and experience provide us with similar definitions of humankind, individual or collective, and this is far more powerful as a starting point than may often be assumed. Given a subjective conceptualization of wealth, the masses of humankind share a fundamentally similar reference frame, allowing us to describe a series of absolute, objective ideals, within the subjective relativist framework. Note that we don’t here talk of quantifying, only of describing and then grouping. Saving the more rigorous cataloguing techniques for now, we might begin by noticing that even among those of us with bold aims, some may value, say, feeding Africa over colonizing Mars, though both are widely thought to be within scientific reach. Organomics will demonstrate how they are both within economic reach as well. Noble or mundane, at any given time an individual may rightly value a nap, where another wants a new canvas, ready and stretched to paint. Very few of us however, even at the fringes of society, would prioritize a national investment in accelerating the greenhouse effect, or eugenic extremes such as executing groups based on their heritage or skin color, or collectively poking ourselves in the eye with a stick, intentionally and for their own sake. Just so we narrow the scope of possible aims from infinity to humankind. While many sorts of insanity do grip entire groups at times, they are no basis for the slightly more objective question of What is wealth to us?
Broadly, humankind may be said to produce, consume, own, share, give or trade processes, labor, ideas and objects, widely, based on a general set of aims that often crosses national and cultural boundaries, with many outliers and disagreements that while real and worthy of discussion, do not significantly change the trajectory of the whole. In fact the relentless dominance of capitalist and socialist organizational tendencies around the world has much to say regarding our shared values. While classical theory will put these two systems at opposite ends of the socio-political spectrum, the Organist identifies many powerful similarities – which we will return to in their due places – while avoiding any middle trap and instead carving our own, inclusive path. For now we will content ourselves with the observation that both systems concern themselves primarily, if not exclusively, with this Spectrum of Real Value and its relation to wealth, that is the producing, consuming, owning, sharing, giving and trading of processes, labor, ideas and objects, to further the aims of humankind. Often something might embody more than one of these categories, but don’t worry this is fine, without negating them. Let’s discard here at last the weakening pretense of needing a full accounting, or a complete listing of subcategories and rules already in hand in order to phrase or grapple with the concepts as totalities, instead approaching things as scientists, with no given larger than what we don’t know. We can take a page from Quantum Theory and intentionally treat groups of probabilities, intangibles or unknowns as units themselves, without needing to individually name or pretend to quantify the entire set of properties within.
One thing we’ll be doing as Organists is charting flows – inputs, mechanics and outputs that together describe systems within the larger body – and for this purpose now we need simply to see this definition of wealth, and how it can be both legitimately phrased and organized into workable categories of both tangible and intangible worth, with defining characteristics – from the shared perspective of humankind. And with this fell swoop, understand that it naturally includes many 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 for fruitful scientific analyses.
So if we agree that the objectively real means to our ends (while not yet fully defined), 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 then but a single variable left to clarify in the general sense.
What exactly are we trying to do?
We’ll return to that outrageously complex question momentarily. What may have gone unnoticed, in the sleight of hand we just witnessed, seeming altogether too simple in its common sensibility, is the broad establishment of a Real Value framework in which money does not equal wealth. Wealth has a much wider meaning, in both practical and subjective terms. We will continue to explore this for quite some time, but here the premise is bare. In the current reductionist Keynesian system we often act as if everything has a price, when, in fact, it doesn’t.
Organomics is born as a science in protest. The General Theory is not anti-capitalist, but is set diametrically opposed to the absolute domination of economic and societal thought by moneyed accounting. This same 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 or organization. Even those that are non-profit must balance a budget to exist – rich and poor alike must pay their bills – and it is widely believed that this is inevitable. Organomics will demonstrate that this allegiance in prime to money is not only avoidable but unscientific – a kind of 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 medium of exchange that is both poorly understood and universally desired.
As plain as it may seem, looking at economic and societal structures in the context of algorithm and systems science has been a late comer to the scene, if not entirely new in this sense. Our evolution progresses, with thousands of miles of blueprints and suburban engineering that, if not always selectively brilliant, bears testament to lifetimes of educated development. Yet in its dominant market-based elements our increasingly urban 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. We will demonstrate as we go, but this claim is made on a multidisciplinary background of deep systems analysis and sustainable design. What we’re saying about this as Organists is that 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 that wherever you go in the world today, the masses across class lines will be spending the majority of our productive years in economic, moneyed pursuits.
In the societal body there are many definable organs, which may be charted as systems with finite inputs, mechanisms and outputs. When the input and output are in the same medium, the risk for cancer-like expansion accelerates.
Money in –> money multiplied (more often than divided) –> 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 to its little-understood relativist value, and the growth thereof, 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 millionaires, for no reason other than that they are 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. The eminence of profit as the central and singularly most powerful motivative mechanism in the international world, is unmatched and way beyond simply out of control. 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 – from Keynes to MMT – 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 endless momentary 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 and/or 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 both capitalist and socialist policies, revolutions, the investors, inventors, workers and the moneyed incentive that drives 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, to the point that our science of macroeconomy more resembles weather predictions than schematics. 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, for instance. These movements are based on the whims of relatively unpredictable, insanely complex and outright 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 of our medium of exchange completely, pouring it on every wound, 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. 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? 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. Does that system function better under a pile of cash?
Many of our societal organs will function better with a more distant, simplified or restrained relationship to their monetary accounting – or by removing it from the flow entirely. Surely we can agree on the record player as an intentional, if artistic, exaggeration. It doesn’t require cash to play (origination cost notwithstanding, the player’s function is identical no matter if it is bought, stolen, gifted or shared). What if we can demonstrate, systematically, a similar inverse relationship of cash to function, and the same distinction of origination vs ongoing costs in, say, national education? – the judiciary? – grocery distribution? – public housing?
In fact, from micro to macro, small business owner to despotic warlord, money will never be the primary form taken by real world wealth. 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 a medium. If today it seems that money has ascended to the primary role, to represent mere wants, some abstract and under-defined reflexive ‘worth,’ these trillion-dollar whims of rich nations, 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 and somehow just hasn’t been caught in the wind, the Organist will remind you that in fact real wealth comes in more forms than we have been accounting for in our models. Beyond labor or resources, important processes and ideas have been building in our stockpiles – measurably, as we will show below – during the industrial revolution at a pace to dwarf our material stores, and together we ride at the crest of a wave of wealth upsurging with the strength 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 with our information structures alongside the evolution of the internet – and the only thing that could bring us down from this launchpad may be the exact lack of cultural awareness and Real Value accounting 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 less of the understanding of the wealth of our time.
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 (more often than it divides) –> and life comes out [repeat]. Through trillions of interweaving iterations, evolution solves the problems of life by balancing 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, and so our struggle, no matter the errors of its agents, is a relatively innocent, possibly inevitable result. Moneyed economics has been a wildly positive evolution, for the broad collective while not always the individual or environment, 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 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 on their own – so fast that evolution as a natural force can’t keep pace, and we are falling out of balance in heavy, measurable ways, refusing change out of reverence for what got us here. However we wouldn’t be in this predicament were it not for the evolution of our minds, and institutions of change. We’ve established methods to allow ourselves this adaptability. 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 or process does not lead prominently from the input to the output of the system, it is either tangential, parasitic, or completely irrelevant to the algorithmic analysis. This is Occam’s Razor applied to general systems theory, granting that if a process can be described in simpler terms, it should be. In terms of Real Value, it is the experiential understanding that energy wasted is wealth lost. The Organist is not a disciplinarian by design, but let’s talk plainly. In the system of, say, napping on the couch, any introduction of complex trade mechanics would be in direct competition with the aim of REM sleep. One of the things an Organist is, is organized.
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. A record player is a linear device, but its long-term use requires complex and circular flows.
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, and 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 divining of parasitic flows becomes a process of categorical, diagnostic questioning. What does it consume? Can it be turned off? Is it alive?
The organic world is our model, most often, but the General Theory does not promote any simple return to nature. Only sustainable systems survive. So together we must find ways to simplify, codify, understand and evolve our modern life into a sustainable version of its better self. By recognizing that money is not in actuality the central pillar of economics, we can free ourselves from the superstitious devotion to this overbearing, little understood, often parasitic system, from within, without abandoning any momentum toward our future as a technologically advanced, newly space-faring race, with the power of innovation and endless imagination at our disposal. With a solid framework beneath us, the Organist is not here to ask the rich to step down, but rather to recognize us as we step up, a new generation inheriting the vast wealth of our economic and societal forebears. And we bring with us a new system for understanding that this wealth, which is not kept in any vault, is real, and here, and belongs to us all.
Anticipating initial critics, disambiguation and the future of the science, the Organist brings many tools to the table. Here we’ll look at some critiques of the General Theory, and broaden this manifesto with a look forward to the Special Theory and some of the near-term implications of this body of economic and social philosophy.
“The problems illustrated so far are mostly environmental. This sounds like a slide into communism, but if the government would just get out of the way, the market would correct for all of these things.”
Internal market processes tend to favor short-term effects, having no mind, memory or volition of their own, 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, the masses are 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 favors simplicity in governance. What is not essential, hinders. We motion broadly to lessen the importance of money in our lives, demonstrating it as uninvited and often parasitic, and this call means changes to the ways we govern. Governments are, by and large around the world, obsessive and compulsive about their ultra-detailed monetary accounting, and in fact subservient 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 Scientific Organomics suggests substantial changes to our priorities regarding public sectors from taxation to justice and from welfare to war. Still, simplifying government is no reason to exalt market forces that favor costly short-term gains, for their own sake. In the Real Value framework, we avoid the middle trap, and profit is given its rightful place without being moved, simply relieved of the burden of fueling our every activity on Earth. It 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.
“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 container in the claim that it simultaneously represents the accurate value of everything. Real Value is more complex than that.
Our macroeconomic pillars require a steady value for currency, avoiding inflation and market panics. These can absolutely destroy economies, 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. Infrastructure must function, and in its explicit purpose often has no use for a profit motive which necessarily lessens efficiency by diverting resources to secondary ends. The General Theory of Organomics argues that money is not the cornerstone of the economy, and so any fluctuation in the money supply or inflation rate, while potentially disruptive, cannot itself threaten the foundations of society or the survival security of the individual. This does nothing to secure society against all potential upheaval, but it can be 100% effective against the myriad existential threats of market collapse in itself. By clarifying the financial circulatory system in this way – as functionally separate from, while socially entwined with, the standing infrastructure of civilization – it becomes excruciatingly evident by exactly what mechanism disasters like pandemics or market crashes need ever result in lost livelihood, and we begin to see the shape of our real potential future – how we may choose to overcome this entirely.
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 will far better prepare us to meet nature on her own terms, answering the challenges of our evolving world, be they weather, tectonics or disease rearing their many heads. 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.
The General Theory does not replace money with another universal numeric placeholder for wealth, with the OCD aim of hyper-computing how much everyone has, down to hundredths of a representative labor-hour. To speak plainly, we are not here offering a new medium of exchange. Money serves that function well – 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 treasures 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 – as they clearly should when non-divisive distribution mechanics are understood – leveling up entire industries. This is the 1st invisible mammoth in the room of macroeconomics, conservatively worth many trillions, and as Organists we will be attempting to measure it properly now for the first time in history. This is why deficit spending has not bankrupted the world, and why both MMT and UBI* are realistic options. Because there is more than enough to go around. Much of our wealth is not represented by moneyed economics, has absolutely no relation to gold, silver, credit or even oil, and printing more money does nothing at all to deplete our ideological or informational stockpiles, or often even our material stores in any substantial way – which have been measurably overflowing for decades.
In the Special Theory and beyond we will explore the many ways this wealth is a part of our societal body, how and when it functions and grows, and the means to measure it, with varying degrees of objectivity. We’ll discuss in more detail why it 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 Real Value must be accounted for to model our economic body with any degree of mathematical accuracy. Much has changed since the time of Adam Smith, and it is time for our understanding of the world to change with it.
“So far 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 the revolution but to empower it, with a mandate based on facts. 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.
According to recent, official international numbers, 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. 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.* But how did we get here? It’s estimated that feeding the world would cost something approaching half of the annual budget of the US military. Among the infrastructure we’ll discuss in the Special Theory, military expenditure is one of the more obtuse examples of a parasitic, miscoded profit motive, which often derails the proper function of multiple systems, to deadly effect. An Organist following the Special Theory is not suggesting we pay to feed the hungry by defunding the Pentagon. Rather, the Special Theory is saying that money has no proper function in the defense structure of a nation – or, generally, in the distribution of food to the poor.
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, even though they usually don’t feel like it. 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 been paid many times over by the social body at large.
Parallel positive feedback loops become robust and viral, particularly when they synchronize – like climbing vines on a trellis will reinforce each other naturally – as we see where costs most often rise proportionally with income. Those of us making $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.
As you go up this scale you find that the common idea of labor changes as significantly as any other variable. Organomics makes use of the Newtonian definition of physical work – force applied to mass – while acknowledging the labor-hour as an important economic unit, even in the relative absence of manual labor. We utilize the concept of labor intensity, as work/labor-hour, and by tracking this over time, using simple algebraic deduction, are able to quantify some of the Real Value added by various intangible process improvements, many of which were never required to be paid for – recall the non-divisive concept of distribution we introduced above when talking about shared ideas – and so they simply inject scalable value into the system – the 1st invisible mammoth here becomes measurable. The strict Marxist claim that all wealth is the result of labor breaks down on this critical scrutiny, given modern factories and tech that was not yet imagined in his time.
Emphasis on the labor-hour persists today, 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 – and therefore 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, 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. Let it be spoiled that Special Organomics demonstrates handily the inverse function now common between active employment numbers and the Real Value of the social body. In plain English, we are wasting our resources and time on unproductive busywork and consumption, to feed the parasitic profit motive, for its own sake. The Special Theory will demonstrate the massive Real Value debt incurred daily by any society that practices the insane phenomenon known as ‘rush hour.’ This restless motion is comparable to insectoid hives with no predation, in dire need of an evolutionary balance check. In Real Value terms these asphalt playgrounds are among the costliest endeavors in the history of humanity.
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 General Theory favors revolution but sees the class stratification of the social body as much more complex than ‘us and them’. Organomics is a science born in 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, at nearly all levels, is confined by the 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 of the working class is alongside the rest of humanity, among whom even the richest are nowhere near as alive – in terms of potential Real Value – as current technology has already provided the means for us all to become, likened to Kings of ages past with piles of gold but no cell phone, no internet, no flu shot. The future belongs to us all. This potential wealth, like potential energy in physics, sits in accounts like a ball atop a hill, waiting for the systemic understanding that will actualize its motion. Let the workers of the world unite to understand that there will be refugees in the coming years, across national lines due to climate, infrastructure or economic disasters that are not their fault, and their poverty is as distinct from 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 is characterized by potential Real Value beyond Marx’s wildest dreams, in part due to the success of his influence, with or without overt revolutions – despite the comparable rise in living costs which prevent most of us from actualizing it. These parallel positive feedback loops cross class lines, immobilizing, and lacking a science of Real Value accounting, are not significantly resultant from a singular dominating class so much as a self-perpetuating, parasitic system that rules us all.
Marx, however, might approve of the Organomic principle of inherited infrastructure, defined in the Special Theory through the understanding of finite origination costs, as the means by which the masses of humankind may lay rightful claim to their economic heritage, worldwide. Whether we absolve the upper classes of their errors or hang the oligarchs, Special Organomics importantly accepts that humanity should be expected to want to keep their money. From the poorest to the wealthiest, people will defend their money as if it were life. As Organists we are privileged to understand the false dichotomy of this struggle. We aim to make money go further, while at the same time enriching the world. The processes of production are our common heritage, of tremendous measurable Real Value, and are not accounted for in any direct way by classical economics. Through this revolution of value – calmly begun with the math of labor-intensity as we introduced it above – we find that 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 directly appropriating a dime.
“It sounds like Gross Domestic Happiness is the way to go then. Or at least Democratic Socialism and MMT. In any case there are many groups already in motion, promoting environmental and humanitarian solutions. Have you heard of the Venus Project? This is just a basic systems science approach to the large questions of society, and nothing new. Pretty sure you didn’t even coin the term.”
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.
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, creates a unique 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.
Democratic Socialism and MMT, civil engineering and RBE* are all applicable to a General Organomic approach, which provides the space for these ideas to not only coexist, but to enhance each other without overreach. Respecting MMT, we agree that classical deficit spending is a myth, but offer a method for computing how this is actually so, and unlike mainstream MMT theorists we view high employment and taxation as logistically counter to the science of sustainability and goals of simplicity. 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. Be they utopian designs like Fresco’s*, new revolutionary governments, or living nations bold enough to be experimenting already with a modern UBI or MMT, Organomics will enable the sustainable flow and balanced value of money, resources and other Real Value toward these necessary ends.
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 high unemployment, combined with sustainable productivity, as a positive and important goal – essential for the healthy development of humanity in a high-technology world. With finite resources, it is imperative that we end the cycle of consumption faster than current economic idolatry will allow, and we may accomplish this immediately, through a revolution of value, as money ceases to be an attractive end unto itself, even for the educated entrepreneur, mathematically and scientifically.
We are not the first to use the term Organomics, but this paper is distinguishable from any other common usage. We may be further specified as Scientific Algorithmic Organists of the Humanities, where necessary, but the omnipresence of basic organizational principles and organic models – of the organs which subdivide our societal body no less – has granted 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 smoothly function and thrive, like the musical instrument of the same namesake, with its many pipes, keys, and complex inner workings. 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 or volitional expression, and never an end unto itself, by definition.
We hereby release ourselves from the mysticism of popular macroeconomics and its dense yet wholly ineffective 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 humanity.
If, to you, this already seems common sense, we welcome you to join us and help take it to the next level, wherever that may lead. 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, 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.”
The General Theory of Organomics is not an attempt to redesign society from the ground up to meet grand ideals. It is a framework by which we may be able to better understand the questions of social and economic function as they stand – a practice for finding common answers and moving forward together, in realistic steps, toward a sustainable world body.
We hereby incorporate Systems Theory, 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 – the 2nd invisible mammoth, conservatively representing positive societal value in many trillions, including the keeping of homes and rearing of children, an absolutely massive system of subsystems that are nearly all accounted for today only as net consumption. 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 minds.
Our time is marked by technology, education, and population levels unmatched in all of history, and the Organist is here explicitly to demonstrate the powerful possibilities inherent in 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 mammoth of our collective inheritance.
Organomics is the application of systems theory to economic and social science, and 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, individual and collective. It is the study of wealth, its flows and purposes.
The wary reader may feel we’ve laid the groundwork for a tremendous amount of central planning, and at the same time a dangerous level of deregulation. However the Special Organomic approach explicitly aims for far less and more intentional central regulation than current systems. National and corporate models have evolved dominance regarding infrastructure worldwide, being algorithmically aligned to meet broadly definable needs. Yet often they are demonstrably counterproductive, whether or not they create monetary profit, and the advanced Special Organist will suggest powerful action when possible, from abolishing taxation to implementing UBI across national boundaries. Market Theory is similarly 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. Raising these mammoths, and learning to account for them, we find that standard measures of GDP are, conservatively, tens of trillions short. Without the consequences of failure imposed by artificial scarcity and absolute poverty, humanity may be freed to experiment much more freely, like biologists in the safety of a petri dish, 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.
For the purpose of this original 3-part manifesto, we make no pretense 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.
Keep an eye out for Part IV, the Tenets of Special Organomics, Coming Soon!
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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