This is an article in progress. Part of a research effort in alternative systems of management and governing systems, from the ubuntu contribution movement in Africa to the Venus Projects resource-based economy. Feel free to tell me about other systems that might shock people for my article. It’s important to point out that I’m not anti-government as culture and society needs intelligent management – I’m interested in studying the outcomes of different society and culture models – are there other more ancient systems that are tried and tested that do provide better results – a happier society? Can we pick n mix the best ideas and remove the less effective ideas? Can I find long-dead systems that can be replicated into a computer system to use as a tool alongside our own society for managing large-scale consensus with technology? Do we have the best system possible? I’ll always remember the quote “you can always tell how advanced a society is by looking to see how it treats its lowest member” – based on this alone, I’m certain that no perfect system has been found. So since I start by looking at nature…lets look for radical systems already used or considered. I’m constantly surprised at what I don’t know about systems foreign to me. Can you guess which country these bullet points describe that operated like this until very recently?
- No electricity bill, electricity free … for all citizens. (I find it odd that we’d consider this odd).
- No interest on loans, banks are state-owned and loans were given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
- If a citizen is unable to find employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
- Should citizens want to take up a farming career, they receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms –this was all for free.
- The leader started carrying out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country and convert it to farmable land.
- A home was considered a human right, the leader published his ‘green book’ which said “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.”
- All newlyweds would receive £30K / $50K from the government to buy their own first apartment to help start a family.
- A portion of oil sales would be credited directly to the bank accounts of all citizens.
- A mother who gives birth to a child would receive £5K / £3K to help with costs.
- When a citizen buys a car, the government would contribute 50% of the price.
- The price of petrol was £0.09p / $0.14 per litre, and this was also the price to buy 40 loaves of bread from a shop.
- Education and medical treatments was free. It had one of the best health care systems, all people had access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.
- If citizens could not find the education or medical facilities they need, the government would fund them to go abroad for it – not only free but also £1.5K / $2.3K per month as accommodation and car allowance.
- 25% of citizens have a university degree. Before the leader came into power only 25% were literate and today it is 87%.
- The country had no external debt and its reserves amount to £97billion / $150billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.
I was just describing Libya under the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi. I’d been educated by the television to believe he was a bad guy dictator and I was lucky to not be a citizen under his dictatorship style.
After reading these things I found flash-backs to the best advice I ever received at school which my History teacher who said in his very first class- “When you hear or read anything it will always be one of two things – FACT OR OPINION – It is always our job to consider which it is”. I was also thrown by the notion that HIS-STORY is nothing more than the victors side of events. Considering the negative image of Mr Gaddafi I’d grown up around – it makes me realise how important curiosity is to decipher fact and opinion before making any assumptions. I did not expect such strong ethics and policies towards his citizens. Before he was was violently killed in 2011 he wrote the following “They want to do to Libya what they did to Iraq and what they are itching to do to Iran. They want to take back the oil, which was nationalized by these country’s revolutions. They want to re-establish military bases that were shut down by the revolutions and to install client regimes that will subordinate the country’s wealth and labor to imperialist corporate interests. All else is lies and deception.”. The country’s bank was among the 25 largest gold reserves in the world which helped when the US and other countries seized the assets. Before he died he had plans to introduce a single African currency made from gold. A man named Dr James Thring said, “It’s one of these things that you have to plan almost in secret, because as soon as you say you’re going to change over from the dollar to something else, you’re going to be targeted”. There were two conferences on this, in 1986 and 2000 which would have rendered the dollar and the English pound useless in Africa. I was shocked to find out about his style of management woven with so many ethical considerations…what other styles are out there? Sometimes we have to visit ugly information. I just mentioned an alternative view on a dictator, so in-case you were wondering – no I’m not a political person. I like the best system for people that keeps us all safe and happy to raise families in peace and it’s irrelevant where I find my inspiration or good examples. Just like you – I had no part in deciding where I was born or where the borders were drawn on maps. These things don’t really come into my logic, to me they are just not that important. You can get a ‘world citizen’ birth certificate / passport and travel with these instead….finding this out also shocked me. I have to wade deep into foreign un-known systems for inspiration – I’m constantly surprised at what I find!
The Venus Project
The Venus project is based on a concept of educating new generations to think differently to address the long-term problems a culture has when these young people grow up and end up leading society. Jacque Fresco is an old man now, and has spent his life studying psycology, large scale systems etc to architect a whole workable new system to run a town, village or planet based on something known as a resource based economy – where money does not exist and there is no price in shops, time is spent on education, research and exploration. This is the venus project:
The word Ubuntu has african roots, it means ‘What is not good for everyone, is not good at all’ – this is the basic theory that governed African tribal culture across the Zulu nation’s for hundreds of generations until ships were invented and outside invasions began from most cultures on the planet. The archeologist Michael Tellinger is currently leading a movement in Africa to run a political party pushing this original idea back into South Africa. It’s very interesting to hear about this concept – the meaning of Ubuntu is a nice principle.
The Charter For Compassion
There is an interesting movement called ‘the charter for compassion international’. It revolves around the idea of ‘3D Compassion’ which I believe was coined by Dr Jane Goodall (yes the monkey woman) where we would care for 1. Ourselves, 2. Others (including other species) 3. The Environment (earth). Only 110,000 joined the charter after 5 years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxO-6SaNMvg http://charterforcompassion.org