New Thinking Society
A thought experiment from my senior year in High School.
From my current understanding, societies require two things to function appropriately—first, the incentive to achieve more. Secondly, a sense of accomplishment/compensation for work. The sense of accomplishment is essential, and for the majority, it is defined by what other people view as an “accomplishment.”
In capitalism, for example, the incentive is for more money for more possessions. The money and possessions give a sense of accomplishment. From this, money + possessions = merit. In my understanding of communism, the incentive is patriotism and a need to provide for oneself and family while accomplishment is not rewarded. The lack of accomplishment within individuals in communist societies leads to low quality work and insufficient progression.
In thinking about how universal basic income could affect society, one must re-envision society’s sense of accomplishment and merit. The ideal accomplishments are new thinking and breakthroughs in technology. Therefore, merit should be given to those who bring about new thinking and breakthroughs.
To eliminate social class structure based on wealth and bring about a social class structure based on meaningful merit. To encourage all to push boundaries of thought and technology and to glorify and honor those who achieve such.
Astronauts are not honored across the nation because they make a lot of money or own many things. They are honored because they presumably (I don’t know what they have to go through) work extremely hard as the face of the space race and the projects that pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible.
An example of new thinking is the flying machines envisioned by Da Vinci. A breakthrough in technology in the Wright brothers succeeding in flight.
This society of new thinking cannot exist within capitalism due to its merits based on money and possessions. I do not believe capitalism can sustain itself as it runs on private consumption. Very few people can resist a fridge full of junk food while in private. Just as we often cede to our hedonic tendencies, capitalist business often gives in to its all-consuming nature.
My thoughts derive from a societal perspective, and I cannot currently process the government’s role. I imagined a society where merit is not given based on money or possessions but from new thinking and breakthroughs and the role universal basic income could have in providing such.