The Third Place: Defining the Third Place

The discussion of the Total Educational Effort within the State of Total Mobilization has been building toward the articulation of a new institution. Based on the information provided in the last four Sections, we now have a number of specified requirements that this institution must fulfill. It should serve as a “Third Place” to compliment the “First Place” (the Household and the Council State) and the “Second Place” (the Student Government and the Student Economy). The Third Place, as an institution, is defined by the presence of two specific facilities and the infrastructure accompanying them. Those facilities and their infrastructure can be built anywhere, from metropolitan areas to the small towns out in the countryside.  

Basic Characteristics

The Heimarbeit (Homework or Work-from-Home) of the Cottage Industry require a location beyond the National Intranet to sell its handicrafts. Its related Professions are vulnerable of becoming part of the “Informal Economy,” which leads to Arbeit and Geld not being properly added to the Life-Energy Reserve. They also need to be attached to the Domains of the Work-World that are under the auspices of the Services and Manufacturing Sectors. They reflect the economic livelihoods of the communities of families who reside in the nearby Households. Those Households and their surrounding infrastructure are designed to be self-contained and self-sufficient enough for its residents. The proposed institution will need to be capable of enhancing, rather than detracting, the residents from their ability to live within their own means of production.  

The Guilds of Workshops, Small Businesses, and Cooperatives need to be able to coexist with the proposed institution. To use an analogy from the English-speaking world, these Guilds form the “High Street” (the British term) or the “Main Street” (the American term) equivalent to Enterprises owned and operated by families as PDEs (Public-Directed Enterprises) and POEs (Public-Owned Enterprises). They are able to coordinate their operations alongside the Cottage Industry insofar as there can be a direct line from Heimarbeit to those Enterprises. A good example is a Workshop manufacturing goods that a Small Business can then sell to residents and visitors alike.

The SSE will also be operating its own Enterprises and Guilds part of the Student Tournament. It operates its own Guilds of Workshops, Small Businesses and Cooperatives that are capable of operating independently from the preceding two groups of economic activities in the local area. It also runs the Department Stores, Supermarkets, Second-Hand and Antique Stores. Department Stores and Supermarkets sell national products, Second-Hand Stores process excess materials and convert them back to Equipmentalities, and Antique Stores oversee the refurbishing and reselling of rare or heirloom items. A special facility is needed to house the Student Tournament.

Outside of the Student Tournament, the direct orchestration of the Total Educational Effort requires another special facility for the Student Body to apply the information gained from Academic Classes and Specialty Classes to acquire Specialties and EGOs (Extracurricular Guild Occupations). This other special facility brings the Student Body closer to realizing their Vocations through the mastery of Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld. It will allow the SSE to engage in more specialized production capabilities that can include Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld as well as Military Arbeit and Military Geld. And it provides the the Economic Planners and Inspectors, not to mention Students at the tertiary educational level, extra opportunities to apply MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning) in other Industries and Economic Sectors.

Moreover, to deter the wealthy from wasting their wealth in the Informal Economy, the solution was to provide them with ways to invest their wealth in NSFIs (National-Socialized Financial Instruments) that will not only provide them with Actual Geld, but also provide others with Actual Arbeit. The idea called for the conceptualization of the Scholarship, the Apprenticeship, and the Sponsorship as NSFIs designed to fulfill that particular aim in mind. But unlike most conventional NSFIs, the wealthy can look forward to getting a return on their investment within the immediate to short-term because of the inherent specifications of those three NSFIs.  

Lastly, the infrastructure connecting these two facilities as a single institution is designed to facilitate the institution’s activities and provide local residents with reliable mass transportation systems. Its adjacent mass transportation systems can be used to travel across the countryside to the major cities and back or provide movement across international borders as part of an RTA (Real Trade Agreement). They can even be used to ferry large amounts of Equipmentalities, machinery, finished goods, and other items to their destinations in a timely manner. Such transportation systems may be on land, in the air, or on water.     

Potential Specialization

Everything covered so far has been introduced previously in various Entries from the preceding four Sections. However, no introductory discussion of the Third Place would be deemed complete without addressing the other specifications of the Third Place. After all, the two empirical case studies (the Kitchen Debate and the Goodwill Ambassador) and the empirical case studies of the Counterculture can also be recontextualized to further clarify the Third Place as an institution.

The configurations of this institution are capable of being repurposed as cultural, social, and political attractions. Together with mass communications applications and information technologies, we can turn the Third Place into a tourist destination, a recreational area for the whole family, or a location where the Student Body can congregate and socialize. Certain spaces within the Third Place may be reconfigured to allow a “Municipal Student Council” to govern the local affairs of the Student Body under the jurisdiction of its adjacent Municipal government. Its facilities might even host the Chambers of the Municipal Student Council and/or its Municipal government, implementing Council Democracy in the process. The methodologies of Codetermination, Worker’s Self-Management, and Joint-Ownership can all be applied here.     

Moreover, the Third Place is capable of providing ways for the Student Body as well as the Totality access to the International Internet, negotiate with the State Commissariats of Wages and Prices, and visit the Kontore to invest NSFIs. Its facilities can act as a servicing station and motor pool tasked with overseeing the deployment and operation of unmanned “MATVs (Miniature Automated Tractor Vehicles),” “MARVs (Miniature Automated Repair Vehicles),” and “C-Wings (Civilian Aerodyne Wings),” thereby harnessing the latent potential in today’s drone technology. While the first two have been discussed already in an earlier Entry, the latter was not introduced yet and will be addressed later in Section Five.

The Third Place also provides opportunities for the Student Body and the Totality to encounter foreigners and visit Specialty Shops selling foreign goods and services or even foreign Enterprises operating under the terms of an RTA. The Student Body can repurpose the facilities to open bookstores, movie theaters, music venues, opera houses, auditoriums, conventions, and other types of Enterprises that would let the Student Body’s demonstrate their Specialties and EGOs to domestic and foreign audiences alike. It could serve as the meeting point for the Student Ambassadors or Student Governments of foreign SSEs, up to and including the operation of tourist hotels and special residencies for key dignitaries or envisage luxurious “Youth Palaces” and fine dining restaurants. Those topics are worthy of mention in another relevant Entry that involves revisiting the story of Samantha Smith.        

And on top of all of these possibilities, we may even be inclined to view the Third Place as a way to implement the Socialization of Young Minds and counteract the opposing Liberalization of Young Minds. We could take cues from the distant past, give them new and different forms, and convey our own definitions of Pure Socialism and the State of Total Mobilization. Or we could blaze new paths and forge a different way of life befitting of Production for Dasein and the Work-Standard in particular. An authentic and genuine Counterculture would then be allowed to take form and rejuvenate the old, breathing new life into it with revolutionary fervor and creative passion. Whatever intentions we may have for the Third Place, its basis as an institution is akin to a blank canvas on which all kinds of architectural designs may be turned into lasting works of art in the history books.

Finally, over the course of Section Five, I will devote two Entries that each present a case study designed to build upon the implications of either the Kitchen Debate or the Goodwill Ambassador. The topics covered in those Entries are well-known in America and the rest of the world, and they both tie in with everything discussed in the previous four Sections. Their historical developments parallel those of American Suburbia and have gone on to become influential in the economic policies of Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. Nothing discussed in those Entries is out of the ordinary. In fact, one might have encountered them at one point in their personal life.  

Categories: Third Place

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