Monday, January 19, 2015

Social Architecture 2: freedom of expression

Part of the reason of USSR failure was going against human nature. The ruling party tried to standardize everything: how people speak, what they wear, sometimes even what they think. That contradicted with human desire to create something new, to differentiate from others, to find oneself style and identity. People were jealously looking at the West, scrambling whatever bits they can get from there (jeans, VHS players, gums anyone?). This was a huge contributing factor to the crash of the empire: people wanted to be liberated.

Capitalists, on the other hand, played upon human psychology instead of fighting it: they understood the basic human needs and they pushed them above the initial meaning. Capitalists created *new* needs, and this is still how our market evolves (take any Apple product as an example). Remember what they say in business "If you are competing, you've already lost"? Now think about it again, now within the context of consumerism culture.

Now, back to USSR. The reason soviets unified everything was not only the need to control the crowd. It was also the most efficient way to manage available resources (manufacturing, materials, work force, etc). In a sense, this was a real *economy*, while capitalists were not concerned about it on the global scale. The interesting bit here that I found is that Communism in general does not require unification, it was just a technical limitation in this particular implementation.

Imagine a city of the future again (say, the Venus Project). People share everything they can (outside of their rooms). There is freedom of thought, because there of no need to control everyone: people are self-organized, and most decisions are made by a smart computer program. There is freedom of style and expression, because everyone can design their own appearance, or a commodity, and 3d-print it, thus making the design instantly available to anyone else. What happens is the advanced computing and manufacturing technologies allow us to express ourselves while still preserving the earth resources.

Concluding, it just wasn't the right time for Communism to be adopted. We needed to transit from the industrial to informational era. We needed the Internet, computing power, 3d printing, and other key technologies to be developed in order to build the new order. *Now* can be the right time. Delay half a century longer - and there will be nothing to save: our irresponsible treatment of Earth will change the atmosphere and the biosphere to the point of no return. We need to stop consuming and start thinking: about how we live, where we live, and what we can do to sustain ourselves.