Utopia is a term with two Greek roots – ou (“not”) and τόπος (“a place”). A free translation would read something along the lines of “a place that does not exist”. This concept was first introduced in 1516 in an eponymous work by Thomas Moore.
The very meaning of the concept – a place that is unreal – might eventually be evaluated very differently in the future. Thanks to unprecedented technological progress, humanity is drawing closer to things that to date belonged to dreamland.
Why a society that does not suffer any material deprivation and has an ever decreasing number of unsolvable problems would not succeed in establishing a social system that individually protects the good of each and every individual and is externally and internally equitable beyond any shade of a doubt? The above is perfectly doable in its entirety, with a little change in the course our society is currently taking.
Humanity is at a crossroads and it must correct the direction of its future development because without a correction our current course leads to a disaster. There is currently an unprecedented number of people on earth, however, the technological development achieved by humanity is equally unprecedented. With the current pandemic in mind, it is very easy to imagine that even an average biological laboratory is able to develop something that may send mankind back to the Stone Age before any counteraction is taken.
But how can an individual Z – a frustrated biologist – be prevented from annihilating the world when all the necessary means are at his/her disposal, and the core of his/her frustration lies in the righteous anger he/she feels towards society because of some injustice? How to achieve the necessary micro scrutiny over the life of every individual? After some changes in society, this unsolvable task becomes a reality. So how do we ensure the micro control and the correct and self-satisfying development of each one of the eight billion people on this planet?
A society based on micro-communities is the answer. Each person lives in a micro-community of other people. But for his/her inner circle to have a better access to information about his/her life and exert better influence on him/her, it is necessary to open all aspects of his/her life more widely. The vast majority of what is happening in the human community is somehow tied to money and property. Should money and possessions gradually become visible, it would turn into a very solid information base for analyzing the life of every single human being. How money and possessions could become visible is described in detail at https://visiblemoney.org In short, it could be achieved by establishing an information system similar to the banking system where under certain conditions any person could look at the cash flows and property of other people. Such a system would be an invaluable tool for the functioning of any community. Your neighbor would never turn into an Islamic fundamentalist, drug addict or Marian Kočner.
Such a system would address a wide range of other issues that stand out in contemporary society. Any form of corruption – from a simple bribery in the health sector to the corruption of dictators – would become a thing of the past. A credible system where one screen can show the income of individual Z and immediately below the income of Prime Minister in his/her country, and where it is possible to literally (simply put) roll down the list to the last euro and see the individual income and expense items, will become a tool that changes the mindset of society – from “my money is my castle” to “here’s my money, by putting my equity flows out in the open I participate in building a better society for tomorrow”.
Fraudulent credit unions and financial fraud could be eliminated right in the inception phase because thanks to open financial flows, skilled journalists would immediately debunk these suspicious activities by a mere glimpse at the data.
So, what is possible with today’s means – for example, to provide the rebels with an anti-aircraft system, let them shoot down a civilian aircraft and then pay an army of trolls to launch an aggressive information campaign on social networks that denies the nose between the eyes and even reasonable people begin to question the truth – will be impossible. All hoaxes are obfuscated by a network of financial flows, which would be immediately visible – thanks to visible money.
Such a system would have a crucial impact on the countries where corruption and the problems of young democratic systems are omnipresent. Suppose that the North Korean regime falls to its knees by some strange coincidence. Should this country suffer for another 200 years from the ills of young democracies (hoping to stay on track and stick to the democratic principles) and wade through everything the Western democracies had to combat in the past? There must be a way to solve such problems in a civilized manner. When the system of visible money is implemented, the country has the best and most developed social system at its disposal on the very next day. All it takes is to supervise the functioning of the control mechanisms and await the flourishing and blooming economy.
The countries such as Belarus, Venezuela or even Russia would do away with their authoritarian rulers for good. Thanks to visible money, everybody would see that the emperor is actually naked.
Even climate change would be solvable. I personally do not consider it to be a big deal – it’s just about how to remove the necessary amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere – and it is more of a technical than political-economic and socio-environmental hurdle. There must be ways to filter gas from the air and store it wisely. But even if it turns out to be a really big problem, with the existence of visible money there will be a global system where all the transactions are visible. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a problem to technically ensure that each transaction is taxed, for example, in a manner that takes into account its ecological footprint on the environment.
I think that within 50 years, life on Earth will be what people of the early 21st century describe as paradise on earth. Just as today we look at the Middle Ages or the problems of the people only two centuries ago, and consider them to be so miserable that we wouldn’t change places with them under any circumstances, the people from the turn of the 21st and 22nd century will be looking at our lives as barbaric and primitive. I believe that the discoveries such as extending human lifespan or achieving immortality are a relatively low hanging fruit in the garden of technology that awaits us around the corner. But first we have to solve the acute problems that prevent us from living in a mutually efficient way in our relations. Visible money and the principle of micro-communities are an indispensable tool in this effort.