In order for principles to go from the abstract to the concrete they have to be operationalized via practices; the things we do to understand principles more deeply. In the case of the principle of necessary subtraction one of the things we need to do is reduce our dependence on the capitalist world-system through the active practice of demonetization.
The currently accepted way of subtracting oneself from the capitalist world-system is by becoming a successful capitalist. If you work long enough and hard enough as a wage slave, then freedom is granted via retirement. Or if you get lucky with investments, then you're free. But the retired person is dependent on state-based systems, like Social Security & Medicare, as well as on other organizations that have contributed to their retirement funds. And even the independently wealthy person must diversify against ever-present uncertainty.
Another way of subtracting oneself from the capitalist system isn’t to work hard and have a “guaranteed” income for the remainder of retired life, or to win big in the system and be able to retire out of it, but instead is to reduce the cost that it takes to live toward "0." Fortunately, the trend of demonetization is on our side.
"'demonetization' means the ability of technology to take a product or service that was previously expensive and making it substantially cheaper, or potentially free (in the extreme boundary condition). It means removing money from the equation." - Peter Diamandis, 📃 Demonetized Cost of Living
This practice of demonetization means actively lowering one's cost of living. One can do this by choosing free solutions where they exist and by collectivizing and distributing the cost of things.
In a typical enterprise one considers it basic financial success for revenues to exceed expenses. You've turned a profit if what you bring in (revenues) exceeds what's going out (expenses). But in this scenario what we're aiming to do instead is create a situation where the cost of expenses can continually go down, heading toward "0".
Demonetization is being enabled by new technologies that are continually aiming to increase productivity and reduce the marginal cost of production. The result are more and more products and services moving toward a near-zero marginal cost. This started with digital media, but is moving from bits to atoms, and is encompassing more and more of what we need in order to live.
Here are the 7 core areas that humans tend to spend money, as well as what the Buddhist Geeks Farm & Retreat plans to cover for residents.
On the Buddhist Geeks Farm & Retreat our goal is for all medium & long-term participants to have all of their basic needs, in terms of the 7 areas above, met by the Farm. Housing & Food are provided for all residents by default. Energy & Transportation are also covered for all participants. Collective Entertainment options will be plentiful. And though we won't be able to provide full health insurance for all members, we will negotiate a special arrangement with our friends at the Integrative Family Medicine of Asheville, so that everyone has access to Healthcare. Finally, Education is at the heart of our project, and we'll do our best to continue expanding educational opportunities for all farm residents to learn & grow, including our children under 18.
By Vince Horn