Philosophy of FAZ
Post-scarcity economy. To facilitate change in our society it is necessary to change the economy, basing it on the abundance rather than scarcity. According to Richard Stallman (GNU Manifesto, 1985) and Cory Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, 2003), an “economy of post-scarcity” is a system for the management and allocation of resources always sufficient to meet the needs perceived by individuals, where instead the economy as we know, or the ‘”economy of scarcity”, is a system in which there is an efficient allocation of scarce resources for definition, or always below the needs perceived by individuals.
Abundant resources. According to Frank Tipler (Physics of Immortality, 1988), resources are unlimited – so abundant but, of course, not endless – on the physical realm, in the sense that they are always sufficient for each living unit in the time of his life. Concrete example of unlimited abundance and yet finished is solar energy: mankind receives from the sun 3,850,000 exajoules of energy each year, while the total power consumption is less than 440 exajoules (Wikipedia). The fact that this abundance is not yet available shows that the problem of resources is an issue to be seen as not-objective but in perspective, that needs to be placed on the cultural level and not on a level of mere counting of them, given a certain capacity utilization. This, in fact, depends on the scientific knowledge, that has a capacity of growth at least equal to the growth of the expansion of the life in the universe.
The demonstration provided by Frank Tipler is based on considerations of Friedrik Von Hayek (Selected Writings, 1972) according to which the capital of a company is given by the revenue streams generated from the company itself. The corporate capital is not a sum of goods which have their own intrinsic value and it’s how the existing resources are used that determines how the income streams are generated. Income opportunities generated by how the company’s total assets are used is a function of information flows that can be managed by the company itself. It is possible, therefore, to define the resources in terms of opportunities and therefore of information flows, manageable by an organism. Tipler comes to the conclusion that the resources in the universe are always sufficient, since it is demonstrated that the amount of information that can be managed in the lifetime of an organism is necessarily less than the total available information, whatever the speed of
management of such information. This organism could be an elemental life, a society, a galaxy or the entire universe and does not change the nature of the phenomenon.
Wealth as information. If resources are not infinite but abundant and their use is related to knowledge, must be redefined the concept of wealth. The wealth of a community is given by the ability to organize information flows that generate income opportunities and this ability of the organization depends on the creativity and the cultural level of the given society. If wealth is not material, it follows that it is no longer necessary to be accumulated. That’s change the idea of money, paving the way for the emergence of a not-money that’s a flow before a status, so – as in the case of gift – is possible to conceive a money that can be spended without causing an impoverishment.
The first and most revolutionary consequence of this assumption is that there is no need for any material accumulation of capital. The capital required for the development of a company is given by the knowledge of a society and their ability to organize it. Without this element, all the raw materials of the world would be useless and could not produce anything.
Social Capital. This body of knowledge is the “Social Capital”, the engine of development and growth of a society that should be considered a factor of production along with other commonly considered necessary for the production, such as raw materials, labor, financial capital. It is formed by the multiplication of the knowledge of all members of society and is a reciprocal function of the division and specialization of labor. In fact, the increase of the division of labor involves increase of collective knowledge, but also the increase of these involve an increase in the division of labor.
Life Credit. The remuneration of capital as a factor of production justifies a theoretical level the establishment of a basic income, defined “Life Credit”: all members of a society have the right to participate in the distribution of income resulting from the use of a factor of production in the formation of which everyone participates, regardless of any measure of participation, since the capital would serve no purpose without the contribution of all, without that knowledge it would not be possible any activity of production. The Life Credit is a basic income and as a redistribution of the Social Capital proceeds, generates an idea of social equality that does not involve leveling of differences and individual merit, these differences do not translate into economic inequalities but tend to place themselves on the level of social recognition.
Investment Credit. Is well known that for the Kahn and Keynes multiplier, the investment of a sum involves a return into wealth, ranging from two to five times the investment done. The basic income must be commensurated with the scale of the investments being made in a society and must be derived from the effect of the multiplier that any investment produces in the society. A portion of each investment goes to remunerate the production factors and the risk of enterprise, but another part must remunerate the Social Capital. Currently, however, this part goes into the financial speculation in a downward spiral that can not come to an end because the interest on the monetary capital always tend to grow and to be repaid must generate more debt that will add to the interest component of the total capital. Life Credit does not replace income from work but it complements it and its determination must tend to an amount at least sufficient to subsistence, so that everyone can have the means and the time required to develop their talent and creativity. Only stimulating creativity and freeing at least for the part relating to the vital needs, the income from work, you can get an increase of the Social Capital.
The creation of money has to be carried out on investment on a strictly automatic basis. This prevents the management of the credit to be transformed into a discretionary power which is absolutely deleterious whether it is managed according to a political criterion, whether it is instead held by technicians who, through it, handle enormous power. The Social Capital may be expressed by a number which substantially coincides with the money supply as a whole or a portion of it. Of course, this coincidence will be much more precise in an economic environment that issues money on investment, but roughly even today we can say that in essence the non-speculative money supply (ie the set of financial instruments, which provide money excluding substantial part of the derivatives instruments) coincides with the Social Capital.
We can determine the individual credit capacity in the amount of money supply of each member of a society. A share on which each can have credit and must have at its request. We define it “Investment Credit”. This credit capacity can be transferred to a third party exactly as now you are buying shares of a company on the stock exchange or at the time of the enterprise constitution. From the individual point of view, when someone asks for a loan based on his credit capacity, this resets and reconstitutes itself as the person returns the credit obtained.
Briefly the FAZ after has a request to carry out an activity, creates the money by issuing a sum for investment, (Investment Credit), and consistent with the timing of the realization of this, it creates a corresponding sum to be distributed among all the participants (Life Credit). This issue is fully justified in the Fisher equation on investments, since an increase of the activity must need an increase in the money supply.
Not-Money. In the FAZ, money is issued in the form of negative rate bonds (TITAN). The money supply is made up of different monetary instruments and paper money is only one of them. Another tool is the bond. The proposal is to issue negative rate bonds expressed into the currency existing in a country (euro, dollar, yen, etc. ..).
This has two important consequences: the first is that the money does not create debt or interest and the second is that it disappears from the system as the assets that it has helped to create become obsolete. The level of negative rate depends on a function that is described by the average rate of obsolescence of the created assets. The negative rate also prevent the accumulation of financial capital and promotes maximum velocity of money circulation (demurrage). The loss of value, namely money supply, is crucial to create a not scarce money. Since the currency gradually expires and leaves the money supply which decreases, you can issue money in surplus, in fact operating a keynesian “deficit spending” without creating debt. The inability to accumulate the money will eliminate the problem of the liquidity trap that’s one of the problems underlying the current financial crisis and the inability to get out. At the same time, on the perspective view of the
Fisher equation, the negative rate describes an economic environment that tend to be deflationary, since the money supply tends to decrease gradually and grows only for investments. If wealth creation is greater than the factor of two hypothesized, the prices should tend to decline and this could justify further issues of money as Life Credit. This environment makes reasonable the Say’s law, since each issue of money for investment is accompanied by a for monetary emission for consumption and therefore favoring their collocation.
While the ordinary positive rate bonds are issued as loans to fund the issuer and therefore must be redeemed at maturity, the negative rate bonds, since at the end have zero value and therefore the issuer does not have to repay the principal, may be given away for free. While remaining “official” circulating money in all respects, because bonds and banknotes are legal instrument of payment both.
In the current system there have been several negative emissions rate bonds, convertible bonds generally have a fixed date with a warrant negative in anticipation of a strong increase of the shares to be converted. One of these loans was issued long ago from the bottom of Warren Buffett and signed by more than a billion dollars in a few hours, another issue of bonds with negative rate was carried out in 2001 by the Société Générale in yen on the expectation of deflation in Japan that would reduced the prices of goods to a greater extent the negative rate applied.
Beyond the WIR. In the thirties, a group of Swiss entrepreneurs, in order to cope with the crisis of 1929 that can be compared with the current – with a 50% unemployment rate and a dramatic shortage of liquidity – decided to began to print money. They were 16 on 1934. They made a particular kind of money, that could not be accumulated because it was burdened with a negative rate – a “demurrage” as we say in technical terms – so after a certain period completely it lost its value. They called it WIR, abbreviation of “Wirtschaftsring”, which in german means “economic circuit” and also “we”. The association took the unredeemable debts of the members -, which are fractions of the Social Capital – and gave him in exchange for an equivalent in WIR currency, with which the member could make payments only within the circuit. In a few months the members and the association became thousands. WIR contributed to the recovery and stability of the Swiss economy during those difficult times. The experience is then continued in the post-war period, and the association at some point has turned into a bank. It had to give up negative rate due the diktat of the Swiss Central Bank, but the operations are still made at zero rate. Currently the WIR circuit counts 65,000 companies in 2011 and has made loans totaling more than 18 billion Swiss francs.
Our project aims to retrace the WIR road, excellent for small and medium-sized enterprises, with the necessary adjustments and corrections suggested by the past experiences, involving in the project not only businesses but also individuals and governments.
In conclusion, the FAZ is the most direct way to build a society based on the solidarity behavior without requiring sacrifices and relying rather, on selfish individual. It’s a tool that supports aggregate demand, resulting in recovery of the real local economy, do not create harm to the economic and financial system because it does not affect the debt and encourages the development / evolution of the network culture and society. The not-money is a measure that prevents the accumulation of money and drives people to spend the money to feed their skills and therefore their creativity. In the end, the main stimulus will be the individuals’ creativity and the achievement of ambitious personal and collective targets. Using the same logic that drives the open source world, people will be brought to work together to seek personal glory and not money which only became an unit of account. It will be a long and painful process to remove from the minds of the people the gods of money and its salvific function. But in the end, the not-money has essentially this function: if the value is no longer in things but in people, what is the point to look out for himself?