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By now most of us have shopped at the dollar stores. Not long ago if anyone had discussed making the price of everything in a store only one dollar they would have been labeled a fool. Soon here in North America we can do even better. Providing we keep track of what is being used and where things are taken by people any and all of our citizens can not pay anything for what they need to get from any store. Sounds foolish, ahhhh, before you say yup it sure does check out this presentation.
How wonderful as this would mean that those whose jobs have been automated, or out sourced to other countries, or even those who choose not to work at anything will never have to beg. An end to poverty and deprivation is at hand people. This presentation shows how we can have it if we want it. Or not; it is quite simply a matter of choice.
Of all the "reasons" offered by doubters as to why this plan is impractical, none is uttered oftener nor with more conviction than this one: "How are you going to change human nature?"
At the onset it can be stated that this plan in no way attempts to change human nature.
You see, there is a catch to answering this question. It is this: the questioner is in all likelihood not thinking of human nature at all but such things as greed, criminal tendencies, lust for power.
The contention is that these things with the possible exception of greed, are NOT part of human nature. They are questions of human behavior. There is a wide difference in the meaning of the two terms. In order to avoid misunderstanding here, let us attempt a definition of each of these terms.
What is human nature?
Webster defines nature as meaning among other things "essential qualities; natural disposition," Human nature then, would refer to the very roots from which our actions spring. It refers to primary cause, not to the outer effect, which may be the basest perversion of the "essential quality."
Human behavior is quite another matter. It is the effect of environment on personality. In other words, when natural desires are crossed by environment, the resulting action is human behavior.
In the light of these distinctions, one can see it would be folly to try and change human nature. The fundamental instinct of human nature is self preservation. From this instinct grow the basic desires common to all mankind--food, clothing, shelter, sex.
Take a man ruled by these necessities, designed by nature to make their fulfillment his first concern; place him in an environment where their attainment is made extremely difficult. If not well-nigh impossible; what would be the inevitable result? He would set about getting what he wanted by whatever means he could. Undoubtedly he would resort to some means that are anti-social. He might steal or even kill, to obtain food, or the money to buy it. What needs to be changed? Human Nature? No, of course not. Change his environment, put him in surroundings where he will have free access to things he needs and you will change his behavior completely, unless he is a pathological case.
So much for criminal tendencies. What of greed? Under the Price System, self preservation becomes simply a matter of every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. We cannot let tomorrow take care of itself. We must do our utmost, not only to provide a living for today, but to snatch from the hands of the less nimble the means to sustain ourselves in the tomorrow when conditions may be even less favorable than they are today. It isn't that we really want more than we can use today of goods and services. It is simply that we want to be sure we will have the means to obtain those same goods and services tomorrow.
When every man, woman, and child is assured of all the goods and services he is able to consume all his life, greed would soon cease. Greed and abundance are as incompatible as fire and water. You do not begrudge your neighbors the air he breaths. There is plenty left.
Then there is the lust for power, which can be considered as just another form of the desire to excel. This desire being rooted far back in human history. In the days when the man who wielded the meanest club ruled the tribe by right of might. Under the Price System, the club has gone out of favour. Now it is the man who can accumulate the greatest number of debt certificates (money), thus holding power of life and death over his less cunning neighbor. The desire to excel is still there; the current social system has changed it from a means to benefit the human race to a shoddy shabby desire to hold the whip hand.
There was a valid reason for the best club-wielder ruling the tribe. He was contributing to the future of the race. But now-a-days the men who accumulate wealth for the sake of power, or the politicians who get to the top by reason of having a greater imagination and so think up better promises to ride on, are not concerned with the future of the race. Their primary motive is greed--a way of providing for tomorrow. The power is a pleasant by product.
By replacing our current accounting system with one like energy accounting, the desire to excel would find it's proper outlet in furthering the future of the race. The only means of promotion would be to excel in functional ability above the others in your field. If you want to get to the top, you must get there by right of superior ability to function. Every means of training would be at your command, without the need to get money first. What use you made of it would depend on you. Fortunately, not everyone wants to be a leader, whether you become one depends entirely on your ability to excel. If you do not elect to become a leader neither need you fear that you will become a servant. There will be no servants in the type of social system which will result from using energy accounting. Every needful job will be done proudly as a contribution to the good of the whole because the one who does it wants to do it. Not because circumstances forced him into it in order to live. How many people would have chosen their present jobs had they been free to make an actual choice?
Emphatically this plan does not propose to change human nature. As a matter of fact, it stems from a great faith in human nature, which contends that granted economic security and physical comforts, the normal human being will gladly make his contribution to the good of humanity, by performing his chosen job to the best of his ability. Simply for the fine feelings it produces within the person and within those around him, and the confidence that he will choose to live in peace and harmony with his fellow men.
This plan however will most assuredly change human behavior. How? Very simply--by changing his environment.
A Price System is any social system whatsoever that effects its distribution of goods and services by a system of trade or commerce based on commodity evaluation effected by means of debt tokens, or money, debit cards, et cetera.
The term Price System must not be confused with such terms as profit system, or capitalist system. The factor of ownership does NOT alter the mechanics of operating a Price System, and it may be added in passing, that unless it be in some remote and primitive community, none other than Price Systems exist at the present time.