The rise of an RBE is in the works

ChosunSharingEconomySo, perhaps the world is starting to pay attention to dire and impending collapse of our civilisation. Recently, a study from NASA was released in which they give us a couple of decades before our civilisation will collapse if we were to continue the trajectory we are currently on.

In the past, civilisations have risen and fallen from the Roman Empire to the Han Dynasty and even the advanced Mesopotamian Empire. It shows us that even the most technologically stable empires are fragile and impermanent.

What this NASA funded study tells us is that there are two inevitable outcomes. One where “the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of Nature.” This is also known as “Rich people are dicks collapse.” Another scenario would be a natural one where resources are consumed at a faster rate than sustainable and “with a larger depletion rate, the decline of the Commoners occurs faster, while the Elites are still thriving, but eventually the Commoners collapse completely, followed by the Elites.” This is also known as “Nature is a dick collapse.” Also “greed is a bitch collapse”

The study concludes that “[c]ollapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.” In other words, we need to get rid of income inequality and share and sustain our global resources. It’s up to the elites to stop this collapse.

Now with that NASA study out of the way, we can move on to what we can do to change that. Currently, we are already working against the modern day capitalist paradigm.

Since the internet took shape in the 1990’s, the way we did business changed dramatically. It started when “many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces.” The first time we witnessed this was in 1999 with Napster. It was a file sharing network where music could be downloaded for free and completely bypass the market. “Similar phenomena went on to severely disrupt the newspaper and book publishing industries. Consumers began sharing their own information and entertainment, via videos, audio and text, nearly free, bypassing the traditional markets altogether.” And today with the rise of 3D Printing, it has made the manufacturing industry difficult to keep up with making large profits. “Thousands of hobbyists are already making their own products using 3-D printers, open-source software and recycled plastic as feedstock, at near zero marginal cost. Meanwhile, more than six million students are enrolled in free massive open online courses, the content of which is distributed at near zero marginal cost.” Not only does this apply to manufacturing and education, we can also apply it to general access of goods. This can be shown with schemes where we share tools, cars, homes and access to other goods as you would with books at a library. 20130309_LDP002_0Car sharing companies such as ZipCar has made a dent in actual ownership of automobiles. People are more keen on the access to a vehicle rather than owning one. Why take up space on a driveway or on the road in front of your house just to drive your car maybe once a day for a couple of hours. So this shows we are moving into a free access or a sharing economy. The sharing economy is believed to have had projected revenues of $3.5 billion in 2013.

This sharing economy has also made huge dents in the labour industry. Automation is increasing in many areas including factories and offices, virtual retailing and automated logistics and transport networks. The majority is moving to non-profits such as healthcare and education and strengthening the social infrastructure.

We are moving into a new era where corporations will no longer have control of the market and each of us are “entering a world partly beyond markets, where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent, collaborative, global commons.

Sources:

Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian, “Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?“, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists , 2014

Sourcefed (Joe Bereta and Lee Newton), “Civilization Is Going To Collapse in Decades“, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hATMwbgncts , 2014

Jeremy Rifkin, “The Rise of Anti- Capitalism“, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-anti-capitalism.html, 2014
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