Matthew Smith on Fri, 25 Sep 1998 08:05:56 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Re: The Manifesto for Jan.3rd2000

Mr. Sterlings idea for saving the planet sounds quite valid. But somehow i
just cant get my mind around the one concept that dominates the
While it is true that most people in the western, industrial world live
with the itch to continuosly consume, and many other areas strive for a
similiar valueset, i sincerely believe that exactly that attitude is the
problem. It doesnt matter what is consumed, it always leads to a "market".
This is where the problem ultimately lies. The socalled world-economy is
based on the transfer of commodities and funds from A to B and then to C
(Consumer?). And even the "culture industry" falls into that trap,
organizing events where the important people get flown in (aka the
commodities) and the interested public specially goes there to "consume"
these rare "commodities". Also the internet is so swell because "you can
go around the world in the privacy of your own home". Then, when you
purchase something on the net (the ultimate goal), the product gets stuck
in box and shipped a couple of thousand miles - producing a whole chain of
emissions, dirt and labour. But even when you just download something, you
are still in the loop. You are basically consuming somebodies labour. Und
so weiter... 

So maybe i am naive, but what it boils down to, is the classic work by
Buckminster Fuller - "Critical Path".
In this book Mr. Fuller explains how the world could work for everybody
and itself. His opinion, with very profound mathematical and intellectual
proof to back it, is that if we would leave the concept of paid labour
behind and concentrate on orchestrating our ressources, this world could
be a far more healthy and entertaining place. And what draws me, an
average 20th century casualty, to his conclusion is the sole prospect of
not having to participate in a fake economy by working for X hours in
order to have X amount of green paper to pay for the X amount of leisure
time i CONSUME. 

(Just for the record...i am not talking about a totalitarian regime saving
the world, for more information on how this whole plan of Mr. Fuller is
supposed to work, check his book "Critical Path" or


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