The Rise of the Collaborative Commons

I have been very disillusioned by capitalism in my older age. Capitalism only works for the good of all if the people engaged in the system adhere to the principles of an unwritten social contract in which we work hard to succeed but ensure that everyone can somehow benefit, and that no one gets stepped on in the process. There is basic sense of decency that we should be able to expect from each other and that, maybe it can’t benefit everyone, but the system shouldn’t be messed with so that only one succeeds at the expense of everyone else, especially the competition.

But we’ve reached a point in our civilisation where it seems like it’s every man and woman for him or herself and greed has become the backbone of many corporate mandates. Money or profits equals success and those on top want to stay on top and push everybody else down to the ground.

That just doesn’t sit well with me. And not at the cost of our precious natural resources and the environment. Something has got to give and I think the Capitalist system needs to be reviewed and maybe changed. I’ve been thinking this way for a good while now.

My problem is, I don’t believe in communism, because what I’ve read about it takes away the rewards of hard work and innovation and somehow puts equality over individuality and there’s something untruthful about that. I’m all for equality but not at the expense of the truth. Some people just don’t work as hard as others and they don’t deserve to get the same as those who do.

I’m not a political science major or an economics major. I don’t have the answers but I read what I can to search for something new to put my belief into.

That’s when I came across this article: Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons.

It’s an interesting article about how capitalism is becoming obsolete and how the Internet ushered in a new way of thinking about the world and how we produce and share in this new order of things. It’s called The Collaborative Commons and it is written by Christopher J. Dew (or at least I think it is, I had trouble finding the name of the author on the website) and it lists down the changes that can potentially occur in the world when the younger generation starts to call the shots.

It relies heavily on the “Internet of Things” and how the Internet is more than just a tool for communication and finding information — but a bridge to actual collaborative effects on a global scale that can and will redefine the way everything works.

There’s a lot of it that spells out a Utopian type of society for the future but, again, there is a strong sense of the democratisation of future policy and I’m always scared about that word “democracy” because if there is anything that the Internet has made apparent, is that not everyone can think logically and clearly and I’m of the mind that we do not have the proper mindset as a race to properly govern ourselves.

It’s not a popular opinion, I agree, but there are a lot of stupid people out there who cannot think further than the tips of their noses and can’t see the bigger picture and only think about what it means for them. I don’t want these people having a say on how things are going to be run.

In my experience, the collective IQ decreases exponentially in larger groups and very rarely does a mob ever get to show any intelligence at all. A mob runs on instinct. An individual has the full use of his mental faculties available to him.

But what I like about it is that there is this pervasive and clear-cut message of watching out for each other and sharing the burden. That the value of things come from what can be shared and not by what you individually own. It’s what you contribute, not what you acquire.

I kind of like that. I’ve always felt like an individual and I’m happy about what I can contribute into any organisation or project that I’m involved in.

I also like all the stuff about preserving the environment and becoming more connected to the biosphere. It discusses the full usage of renewable energy and fixing the damage done to the planet. That’s a great way to look at things.

It’s probably a good starting point but there are a lot of things that I still don’t particularly understand so it sounds a little too lofty. I want to study this further and see all the implications. It’s the fine print, you know, and being able to read between the lines and anticipating worst-case scenarios because, again, it involves a social contract — an expectation that people are all on-board and that they are all out to protect and help each other — and history has proven that there will always be individuals who will try to put one over the other.

I’m idealistic enough to know that a change is coming and that we will all get behind a system that can work but I’m also realistic enough to expect a lot of challenges along the way.

It’s a step. That’s all I’m asking for.

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