I thought perhaps another approach to defining Open Empire would be to talk about what it isn’t …
So Open Empire ISN’T the following things:
- Open Empire is the antithesis of capitalism, with neither property, trade nor currency;
- Property is a redundant concept if you have utility access of resources;
- Trade is a redundant concept if you can get anything you want without any return to the provider;
- Currency is redundant if you have neither trade nor property;
- Abundant resources may be had by all by simply acknowledging receipt;
- Scarce resources may also be had by acknowledging receipt, and showing merit for access;
- Producers of goods & services take care to minimise deleterious consequences of supply;
- Distributors of goods & services take care to minimise deleterious consequences of distribution;
- Consumers of goods & services take care to minimise deleterious consequences of utilisation;
- Everyone benefits from the direct & indirect beneficial consequences & flow-on consequences of their actions.
In capitalism you maximally exploit resources per unit of resource & time – while minimising any responsibility for costs of deleterious ecological & social consequences – in order to maximise “profit”.
In Open Empire you go about your day, pursuing what interests you. You can have all the abundant resources you want, and you’re motivated both in the way you use those resources, store them, dispose of them etc. – and in the way you conduct all other activity – to minimise harm, thus show merit for access to scarce resources.
If you don’t want to work, you don’t have to, that’s fine … there’s no need for a job … BUT … the less people who work, the less abundant resources there are, so the more you’ve got to do for yourself, because if you’re not contributing to the world, you probably won’t qualify for access to scarce resources … in turn because those supplying scarce resources want to maximise their own access to scarce resources, and providing them to someone who doesn’t contribute much (if anything) – especially where such scarce resources have a deleterious impact resulting from production methods – isn’t necessarily in their interests, as there needs to be a nett benefit if possible, and if all you’re going to do is go off and selfishly use that resource and still contribute nothing, then you’re not a valuable consumer of that resource.
If you do want access to scarce resources, there’s no one taxing your work, no one regulating how you do it … BUT … the way you do it has consequences that must be measured (& verifiable), so that you’re free to do the things you love, and free to do them any way you want to – you’ll just get the best benefit from taking at least some care as to how you go about it – but otherwise:
- You set your own hours;
- You do what you want to do;
- You do it how you want to do it;
- The less harm you do in the process, the greater the benefit;
- The more utility resulting from your output (& those who use it), the greater the benefit.
Comparison vs. Capitalism:
People say capitalism is about liberty & freedom … no it isn’t – capitalism is about slavery & exploitation:
- Communism is about freedom;
- Socialism is about liberty.
Capitalism is wasteful with a tendency for runaway positive feedback loops to cause immense destruction ending in wars, social unrest, economic collapse & environmental destruction … Open Empire is the opposite, a self-regulating system requiring only the feedback of data, resources & capabilities into the evolution of the underlying framework, all of which can be governed by evolving AI algorithms without requiring any central authority.
Capitalism is about social hierarchy control power exploitation & authority … Open Empire is about freedom, liberty, collaboration, personal responsibility, and the betterment of our world through careful & considered action.
Capitalism is a self-destabilising system, Open Empire is a self-balancing system.
- Most people have no idea what communism is, it’s probably not what you think;
- Communism is ONLY where the workers own the means of production, it’s NOT central planning;
- Open Empire is similar to BUT different from communism, because their is no property;
- So there’s no ownership by anyone, property is redundant – just utility, self-sovereignty & responsibility:
- If you produce something, you don’t need to own it, because forcibly taking it from you causes harm;
- Thus without the concept of property existing, no one is motivated to take anything from you without cause;
- Since people can have all the abundant resources they want, there’s no need to take from someone else;
- Since scarce resources are easier to earn merit for access than under capitalis, again no reason to take;
- Since taking by force causes harm & reduces merit for access to scarce resources, there’s even less cause to take;
- Since taking by force motivates others to stop you, there’s a strong disincentive to take.
Comparison vs. Communism:
Open Empire isn’t communism by way of a technicality:
- Communism requires the workers own the means of production;
- Open Empire says that even the machine is self-sovereign;
- Open Empire says all “resources”are self-sovereign, especially the living & especially the sentient;
- Therefore the only means of production the workers own, is themselves;
- Thus it is but isn’t communism, because there’s no property, no trade & no currency.
Similar to communism, if you operate a machine, then you’re responsible for the output; but someone else worked to supply the power, to design the machine, to build the machine, to maintain the machine, to supply raw materials for the machine, and nature itself supplied all the raw materials for all of this … so you’re in partnership with many other human & natural world players in everything that you do, and everyone (& everything) shares proportionally in the merit generated by the output according to their proportion of the input … thus even other species get a place at the table.
All people, all other sentient beings, all non-sentient organisms, and all non-living objects alike are the commons of the world … every such object is self-sovereign, and its individual needs are part of the collective needs.
When the individual benefits, the collective should benefit; when the collective benefits, the individual should benefit.
Open Empire is congruent with the aims of communism (to free people from slavery), but it extends this further to freeing other species, and it goes about it all a very different way.
- Again, people don’t understand what socialism really is;
- Socialism is ONLY people collectively agreeing to pool resources for the common good;
- Socialism IS NOT authoritarian dictatorship taking resources & allocating as it sees fit;
- People can take collective socialist action in Open Empire, but the system is impartial to such things;
- Whether you operate individually or collectively is up to you & task dependent;
- If your actions (individually or collectively) produce results that are beneficial to the collective, that’s great;
- The only thing (in simple terms) that matters, is nett benefit – but there’s no collective government;
- If a small group or community wants to organise collectively, that’s fine … but they can’t cause harm – just because some action is agreed to collectively – without responsibility for consequences, nor can they force compliance of those who wish to do something else.
Comparison vs. Socialism:
So again, much like communism (freedom from slavery), Open Empire is congruent with socialist objectives & principles (pooling resources & efforts for communal benefit), but it isn’t actually a form of socialism … it’s just a system in which the organising of groups of people and the allocation of resources towards communal good can be made easier, because such actions tend to be generally congruent with ecological & social benefits.
In other words: Open Empire respects self-sovereignty (communism), and allows for collective action for social good (socialism), but it isn’t actually either … it’s just congruent with their principles. In fact, all the things capitalist apologists claim are better achieved under capitalism, are arguably destroyed by capitalism, and made possible by communism & socialism … BUT … the problem is that capitalism has acted as the underlying economic system FOR attempts at communism & socialism, but is not itself congruent with their principles, and so it corrupts them & turns them into something else. Open Empire is a completely different paradigm altogether, and so it’s not technically communism or socialism, as they were both defined with reference to capitalism, but it is congruent with their underlying principles.
- Definitely not … Open Empire doesn’t even recognise the concept of authority;
- Authoritarianism is congruent with power, government & capitalism – thus diametrical opposites;
- Authority leads to power, power leads to corruption, thus Open Empire avoids & denounces authority;
- Every sentient, non-sentient & non-living object is considered self-sovereign in Open Empire;
- There exists no need to govern nor rule if you create a system that motivates action while respecting freedom;
- Authoritarianism uses various excuses, but ultimately it tries to legitimise itself through violence.
Comparison vs. Authoritarianism:
Open Empire is a framework of integrated systems – it only needs to operate, and to govern itself by its own principles … this sets up feedback loops for evolution of those systems & principles. So long as it is self-sovereign and follows it’s own systems & principles, it doesn’t need authority over anyone, authority is redundant.
People are motivatated by pleasure and pain, so authoritarianism converts these to reward & punishment … Open Empire instead converts them to incentivisation coupled with freedom & disincentivisation coupled with consequences – but those consequences aren’t punishment per se, it’s simply whatever the consequences may happen to be as a result of quantifying the consequences of your actions, and motivating both you & others around you to minimise harm.
- if you cause harm, you’re motivated to stop doing it;
- if you continually cause harm, others are motivated to stop you doing it;
- if you cause consistently serious harm, others can justify more harm in stopping you.
So there’s no authority, but there’s no lack of it either, it’s a redundant term as everyone is self sovereign … so you’re free to do what you want, but at some point this is not in your best interests to do so, and you should either shift your methods or your objectives to reduce harm, or perhaps make up for it in some other way if neither of those options are viable.
Hierarchy of power is virtually synonymous with authoritarianism, except that authoritarianism is more generic, and can include both totalitarian and hierarchical versions or combinations of such power structures.
In the early days of Open Empire (until systems are developed & sufficiently evolved), there may be a temporary need for some internal management of the system itself which uses such hierarchical authority for decision making, but this will be engineeered out (relatively quickly) over time.
There is otherwise again no hierarchy except in a technical sense as to how the framework looks as a model … ie – both natural & artificial systems can be arranged into hierarchical models, but this is in the context of such things as computer software coding, not for social control.
As above, there may be some early stage usage of direct democracy to temporarily fill the gaps in the systems as they grow & evolve, but again this would be engineered out.
The origins of democracy were a means to include all opinions in a debate that followed with a vote, people with different perspectives & agendas could state their case, and resolution came through the strength of their arguments … however this system was quickly corrupted, as a person’s vote could be bought, excluded, coerced, or in some other way manipulated; thus the failure of the principle, so long as there’s a motivation to undermine the process.
Typically democracy (voting) precedes action, thus it leads to leadership (authority), thus it leads to power (corruption).
In the absence of definitive equations to determine a course of right action – by looking at the quantitative difference between beneficial & deleterious ecological & social consequences – Open Empire may utilise a system of direct democracy (yet to be decided), either as a tie breaker where the maths is close … OR … merely as an indicator of sentiments, used to influence a decision by the internal management of the entire framework (with respect to its own internal issues); or used similarly by any project being conducted by anyone under the framework, if they hit a similar stumbling block & desire a means to clarify a direction.
Open Empire makes no claims about a “perfect world”, it merely acknowledges the unnecessary and ridiculous flaws of the status quo, and the injustice & unsustainability of the consequences of those flaws.
I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s Utopianism – to me it’s merely common sense, but problems will undoubtably persist, they’ll just be less prevalent & less extreme without a valid reason to be extreme or frequently occurring.
Open Empire merely aims to minimise harm & maximise benefits … nothing else.