How much human effort do you suppose is wasted because of our outdated competitive systems? I have a feeling the answer has already been calculated but for me, jumping to an actual statistic isn’t anywhere as much fun as using this question as a thought experiment. So, let’s go!
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about wasted human effort are household appliances. How much proprietary technology would you say is in a washing machine, for example? Does it seem that clothes washing is so top loaded with innovation that every appliance company on the planet needs its own R&D, marketing and manufacturing departments to avoid having to throw in the towel?
Or how about power tools? Drills are pretty much just a battery, powering a motor, spinning a chuck, in a plastic housing. Do manufacturers really need to challenge one another in the marketplace, comparing the size of their … triggers?
And what about the automotive industry? The car has been around for 150 years. Over that time, there’s no question many advancements have been made in safety, efficiency, comfort, style, etc. But aside from Tesla reinventing the entire playing field the most innovative feature the industry has come up with recently is turning a headlight out when the blinker goes on. (Pure genius, right. I sure hope that guy got a raise!)
With pretty much every manufacturer jumping on that piece of futuristic tech, how many adult humans do you think have spent their time recreating a simple electrical circuit that a fifth grader could do with a hobby electronics set.
Do some quick math in your head. How many appliance, power tool and automotive companies are out there, each with design teams essentially poaching the same lame idea as everyone else? What do you think, 10,000 people all together? And how many people do you suppose it actually takes to keep humanity at the forefront of clothes washing innovation, spinney drill innovation and blinky light innovation? A couple hundred maybe?
That would mean 80% of human effort is being wasted from redundancy. And for what? So we can perpetually chase an imaginary bottom line and clock enough mandatory labour to prove our worthiness to acquire groceries? Get real. I’m sorry but that story doesn’t cut it anymore.
Think about your own job. Are you doing the very same work as others in “competitive” companies – filing paperwork, designing ads, making sales calls? The only thing that probably isn’t redundant is the actual manufacturing and assembly … if you don’t consider planned obsolescence of course (which is the practice of designing things to break so that replacements have to be purchased).
What if you worked in an environment where effort was coordinated between people from these (formerly) competing organizations rather than spread out across a redundant playing field?
First off, it would free up time in everyone’s life. It would make room for personal growth or discovering actual innovations previously hidden by not having enough time. It would naturally gather the top innovative minds in each respective field, creating an all-star team of innovation. And those who aren’t part of those all-star teams now have room to find or create their own all-star team innovating in what they’re passionate about.
All in all, we’d have a scenario of humanity innovating further while at the same time using less effort. Not bad.
This reorganization of human effort not only reduces (eliminates?) redundancies by sifting each person into places that align closest with their passions and interests, it also allows for change as people’s passions and interests evolve. With the same net output, even after killing a huge number of jobs, tonnes of room is made available where one can flourish, expand and explore; like a slow moving murmur of birds for human society.
At this point if you’re one of those “yah, but how do we pay for all this” kind of people, I’ll refer you to our video modules where the economic portion of freeing up space is outlined. For the rest of us, just feel it in your heart for now and know that this transition is already underway.
Certainly the competitive capitalist model has played its part levelling us up from the days of feudalism. But that was also during a time of scarcity, and competition was a useful driver to build access to resources. Times have changed though. Statistically we have more than enough of everything for everyone, distribution and storage are firmly in place, 3D printing is available to fill in any gaps and humanity’s level of awareness has evolved and continues to evolve quickly.
Capitalism is now the Old Paradigm. It’s time to say good bye as we foster a new way of life more in tune with natural processes. Knowing that one day, as human awareness continues to unfold, the society we’re creating today will also need to step aside making way yet again for systems more aligned with the society of that time.