We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Developing a New Economic System

by hannes grassegger Wednesday, May. 18, 2011 at 10:36 AM
mbatko@yahoo.com

The stubborn Basel businessman Georg Hasler has a new economic system in mind. He joins two economic concepts that are often discussed these days: unconditional basic income and a radical change of property rights in ideas called free knowledge.

DEVELOPING A NEW ECONOMIC SYSTEM

By hannes grassegger

[This article/blog is translated from the German on the Internet, http://hannesgrassegger.twoday.net/stories/55997731.]

This may sound very tempting. With enough money, one has time for ideas that are really interesting. Because one isnt dependent, one can share these ideas with others. A wealthy Swiss businessman took the time to present his economic system that could make this privilege possible for everyone.

The stubborn Basel businessman Georg Hasler has a new economic system in mind. He joins two economic concepts that are often discussed these days: unconditional basic income and a radical change of property rights in ideas called free knowledge. In the IT area, Open Source is an example of free knowledge. Hasler emphasizes this. The wiry self-made man is a trained violin maker, worked as a programmer for a long while and is now a successful property giant. Hasler is 38 and very unexpectedly gained whole blocks in the Basel center, the Basel caf and cultural center (where one doesnt have to consume anything and can freely spend a lot of time).

The working title of his first book is Pollen Economy. I am an economist and read his work. Discussing Georg Haslers ideas is not a waste of resources. His concept appears in a renowned Swiss publisher.

We find ourselves in a great chaos. We live with habitual ways of thinking and laws of an industrial society amidst an information society. The two worlds do not match. Information and ideas are opposites and should not be treated as objects but as a new economic system that uses this potential.

What is the difference between objects and information regarding their economic use?

There is a fundamental distinction between a chair and an idea, for example the idea of how to build a chair. Only one person can sit on a chair. Many persons can apply a certain idea. A chair can only have one owner. Who that is must be settled to avoid a dispute. Conflict does not occur with an idea because no one is deprived when the same idea is used by everyone simultaneously.

What would this new economic system look like?

A new more effective and freer economic system is best oriented in nature: wasteful in diversity, generous in passing on genes and economical in dealing with scarce resources. The industrial age leaves behind the opposite: material waste and intellectual property. The result is a damaged eco-system and a stressful daily routine that is alarming for many. I propose the introduction of an unconditional basic income to interrupt the forced production of meaningless goods. Open Source could be a model in all areas of knowledge.

Why Open Source? Why basic income?

The main argument against free knowledge, for example free music, is always the question how the thinkers, researchers or musicians should live. The two questions are directly connected.

What do you mean by basic income?

No one should starve to death. Industrial states achieved this long ago. The conditions tied to achievement are the problem. An unconditional basic income for every person from birth is crucial. This income must be sufficiently high so people have the genuine choice of intellectual freedom and material freedom and of doing something different.

Open Source refers to open source codes in software. Do you mean communal ownership of ideas, free knowledge?

Knowledge could be simply viewed as cultural inheritance. How is bread baked? How are computer chips formed? Culture means sharing, spreading and developing knowledge. If culture only passed on its freshly mutated genes for fees, there would be no evolution.

What does free knowledge mean in the daily routine, for example, for an advertising firm that lives by selling its ideas?

The economic distinction between knowledge and ability is important here. Transferring ability to a concrete contract pays. The knowledge that arises should not be withheld from neighbors.

What part of the value creation of the economy would be affected by your idea?

The economic system is completely affected because everything is connected. Many things would be shifted in a very interesting productive direction because the human core of economics, creative work, would be freed from many obstacles and difficulties.

Is your proposal socialist or capitalist?

For me the two systems are like man and woman. Each must complement the other and developed much further for an information society.

What is the nature of the person in your eyes? Is a person a hollow profit-maximizer or is he or she productive by nature?

Obviously both. For example, children simply want to do something from their first day. The unemployed receive an income but are unhappy about idleness or doing nothing. People want to do something, something that is meaningful. Discovering this is what is pleasurable in work.

Can the unconditional basic income function in nation states generally? If an individual country would pay out the basic income unconditionally, everyone would set out for that country to utilize this system. Must not the state limit the basic income to citizens? What would happen with the non-participating inhabitants of a country? Would a class society arise?

This is a difficult question that demands practical answers. A basic income system only makes sense in the large framework. This means the next task is to design models and do unbiased theoretical work. Then courageous decisions will be necessary. Iceland could be an excellent test case today. A plebiscite could be carried out in Switzerland. The dimension of the challenge reminds me of situations in the 19th century when slavery was abolished. For a long time we stopped doing this.

Will introducing free knowledge necessitate giving away all ideas to everyone?

Property is not a natural law but a legal title, a cultural invention. The question is what things should be owned. This must be constantly redefined. In the past, for example, people, slaves, counted as property. That was abolished. In the last decades, property titles were given to biological and physical discoveries. This is new and catastrophic. These areas are economically more relevant but less visible than downloading music or software.

The present copyright system is fantastic. Anyone can float any idea that he or she wants. He has the freedom of reserving patents etc. If your proposal takes away these possibilities, would the freedom of individuals be less? Is your system illiberal?

The present system is not so free now. For example, whoever is a member of the GEMA may no longer be published under Creative Commons (a flexible copyright system). Whoever researches at the university or in firms is subject to strict rules.

What stands behind combination of free knowledge and unconditional basic income? Will you profit from this?

This is not only my idea. Many have worked on the unconditional basic income and Open Source for a long time. Both seem to be logical solu9tions for creating a more sustainable joyful world corresponding to our technology.

Will your idea break down?

I dont think so.

If you are for free knowledge, will your book be free of charge on the Internet?

The book can be downloaded. Printed books are still easier to read. Hopefully the ideas will be taken up and developed further.

RELATED LINKS FREE INTERNET BOOKS!

"Enough is Enough" by Herman Daly and others
http://steadystate.org/wp-content/uploads/EnoughIsEnough_FullReport.pdf
http://steadystate.org/wp-content/uploads/EnoughIsEnough_Summary.pdf


"Free Culture" by Lawrence Lessig
http://www.feedbooks.com/book/2750.pdf
http://www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf


"Free: The Future of a Radical Price" by Chris Anderson
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-07/mf_freer


"Needs and Limits" by Frank Rotering
http://members.shaw.ca/needsandlimits/pdf_files/needs_and_limits-3rd_edition.pdf


"Culture Change" by Alexis Zeigler
http://conev.org/ren14x.pdf
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy