The Third Place: Applying MTEP in Shopping Citadels and Arenas

The “Shopping Citadel” and the “Shopping Arena” are designed to serve as Production for Dasein’s antitheses to the Shopping Mall and Shopping Center, the latter of which are manifestations of the first and second Modes of Production. The economic capabilities, production processes, and organizational models of the Shopping Citadel and Shopping Arena are all tied to the Total Educational Effort and its eventual convergence with the State of Total Mobilization. Both facilities can be used by the Student Tournament of the SSE and the official Tournament of the VCS Economy as extensions of their respective economic activities. It is even possible to envisage them facilitating interactions between the Student Tournament and the official Tournament under MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning). Such interactions have the potential to allow the two Tournaments to coordinate their separate economic activities, coalescing them into a single, united effort to bolster their country’s TPP (Total Productive Potential) value.

If we were to recall everything described about the two Tournaments in the previous four Sections and apply them to the Third Place, we discover the makings of a logistical supply chain. In the Student Tournament Guilds of Cooperatives, Small Businesses and Workshops provide goods and services exclusive to their local community. The Department Stores and Supermarkets compete with each other to offer goods and services which reflect the National Consciousness of the Totality. Antique Stores sell heirlooms and other rare items, while Second-Hand Stores either resell donated wares or break the rest down into scrap to create Equipmentalities.

In the official Tournament of the VCS Economy, the various other Guilds, NSEs, SOEs, and SAEs operate independently of the Student Tournament. However, there may be educational opportunities where the Enterprises of the Student Tournament may have to either work with or compete against the Enterprises of the official Tournament. In those cases, the Implicit Intent is to allow prospective Economic Planners and Inspectors an opportunity to demonstrate to the real professionals their training and expertise. The Student Tournament, to the prospective Economic Planers and Inspectors, was only there to help them prepare for the official Tournament of the VCS Economy. The same is also true for the rest of the Student Body, particularly those whose Vocations will deliver them to Professions operating within the VCS Economy.

When the Total Educational Effort allows the Student Tournament to interact with the official Tournament, it does not necessarily have to entail a transactional sale of Equipmentalities or goods and services for Actual Geld. It might instead be an opportunity where an Enterprise from the official Tournament assumes Command Responsibility of a “Student Enterprise” as its Subsidiary. Outside of the educational curriculum, such a decision can be arranged with a Kontor by means of a Sponsorship. Unlike Apprenticeships, which are similar NSFIs geared toward Professions, a Sponsorship allows a “Student Enterprise” to exit the Student Tournament and join the official Tournament of the VCS Economy. Under the Sponsorship, the affected Student Enterprise works as its Subsidiary until the NSFI’s Maturity Date has been reached. The Maturity Dates for Sponsorships, compared to Apprenticeships or even Work-Plans, can be designed by the Kontor to last up to twenty-five years before its Maturity Date.    

After the Maturity Date, the Enterprise that bought the Sponsorship now has a Legal Duty to let the Student Enterprise become an independent Enterprise of the VCS Economy. The purchaser of the Sponsorship is allowed to hold onto the NSFI long after the passing of the Maturity Date. The exchangeability of the Sponsorship, including the ability to cash them in at the Kontor, will only be applicable as the national currency is a Sociable Currency pegged to the Work-Standard.

Since Sponsorships allow Enterprises in the official Tournament to take control of Student Enterprises as Subsidiaries, it is only logical to assume that the Shopping Arena are the textbook example of a Consortium. The ownership and operation of the Shopping Arena is to be evenly split between the SSE, the VCS Economy, and the Council State. There are Enterprises from the official Tournament that operate at the Shopping Arena due to the specifications associated with their Professions and Industries. The Council State maintains its local branches of the Kontore and State Commissariats of Wages and Prices, Internet Cafés for accessing the International Internet, and Specialty Shops selling foreign goods and services. The rest of the Shopping Arena is reserved for the SSE’s Student Tournament as part of the educational curriculum. It is precisely here at the Shopping Arena where the training and experience of the prospective Economic Planners and Inspectors at put to the test alongside the rest of the Student Body.

The decision to consider the Shopping Arenas as Consortiums also tie in with the earlier discussions about the dynamics of Productive/Personal Property-as-Power and the abolition of Rents and Mortgages. In most Shopping Centers (and Shopping Malls by extension), privatized commercial firms operate as tenants that must pay Rents to its Landlord, which oftentimes are privatized commercial banks or real estate firms. The arrangement is, to cite a similar context, reminiscent of the manner in which Rents are paid to the Landlords of apartments in a large city. But as I had pointed out in Section Three on the topic of housing, apartments under the Work-Standard are capable of becoming Cooperatives in themselves. With that consideration in mind, it becomes inevitable to expect similar arrangements for the tenants of the Shopping Arena.

Speaking of which, that in turn brings us back to an earlier discussion about the role of the Council State regarding the allotments of developed land and unoccupied buildings. The workspaces inside the Shopping Arena also count as Personal Properties that can be readily converted into Productive Properties attached to compatible Domains in the Work-World. However, barring the Student Tournament of the SSE, in the official Tournament of the VCS Economy, the Council State will only be selling the workspaces to interested Enterprises instead of issuing them as Prizes or providing them to recipients as part of their Vocations. The Council State, relying on the Municipal government to act on its behalf, will provide the land and buildings outside of the Shopping Arena to those who need them as part of their Vocations. Enterprises that purchase the workspaces are considered to be voluntarily joining that Consortium.

We can expect similar arrangements to made at the Shopping Citadel, except the scope of its economic activities fall within the auspices of an Industrial Concern. Enterprises with high enough Social Ranks in their respective Industries may be allowed to operate alongside Council State’s SOEs and SAEs. Likewise, personnel occupying the upper half of the Social Ranking System can be encountered here. The administrative buildings of the State Commissariats and Kontore, which operate in each region of the Socialist Nation, are situated within the vicinity of the Shopping Citadel. Enterprises devoted to the production of media from the Council State and Student Government can be also found here.

While the Shopping Citadel is capable of sharing traits that are exhibited by the Shopping Arena, there are some important differences that deserve mention. The Socialization of Young Minds, in addition to the fostering of a National Consciousnesses, can be conducted at the Shopping Citadel. The best cultural and social achievements that the Totality and the Student Body have to offer can all be found on display or at specific venues. All manner of media created by the Totality and Student Body will also be shown for Nationals and Foreigners alike. In fact, the Shopping Citadel will be further distinguished from the Shopping Arena by having international hotels and special residencies for important dignitaries built within walking distance of the Shopping Citadel. Cultural festivals and political gatherings by either the Student Government or the Council State can even be arranged at the Shopping Citadel as well.  

With the tacit approval of either the Council State or regional governmental authorities, the Shopping Citadel is capable of operating Foreign Enterprises, in addition to hosting the Heimarbeit (Homework or ‘Work-from-Home’) for the Cottage Industry to sell on certain days of the year.  Beyond the designated Real Economic Zones (REZ) that the Council State may establish as part of its Real Trade Agreements (RTAs), the Economic Foreignization (EF) of the Socialist Nation is expected to occur at the Shopping Citadels as well. The presence of Foreign Enterprises is an addition to the Internet Cafés allowing patrons to access the International Internet without needing to use their digital passport.

The extent of Economic Foreignization at the Shopping Citadel is far more pronounced than at the Shopping Arena for both the Totality and the Student Body. In the context of the SSE, the Student Government may even be inclined to invite another Student Government or two to run and operate its own Student Enterprises as part of the aforementioned Real Trade Agreement. It can be a worthwhile opportunity for young people of different nations to foster cultural understanding and build good diplomatic relations between their respective Totalities and States. And, if Samantha Smith was to be believed during the early 1980s, this could in fact be a chance for the Student Ambassadors of Foreign SSEs to reside in the country as a way of minimizing the risk of war.

Moreover, Economic Foreignization does not just signify the possibility of the Totality and the Student Body having access to imported goods and services from Foreign Enterprises owned by Foreigners. It also serves as a barometer that gauges the extent to which Foreigners are capable of exercising their own Socialization of Young Minds, assuming these Foreigners are not arriving to the Socialist Nation from Liberal Capitalist countries. As Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev had attested in the Kitchen Debate, even Technology itself can be used as the means by which the Socialist Nation prosecutes its Socialization of Young Minds. The overt displays of a Technology are meant to be contextualized as its promotions of a ‘technique’, its own unique way of getting something done. In a Socialization of Young Minds, the widespread adoption of a Technology by other nations should be interpreted as signs of the Socialist Nation’s ability to influence the National Consciousnesses of Foreigners and convince their governments to enact policies which benefit the Socialist Nation and its long-term pursuit of the World State Organization (WSO).       

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  1. Revision (5 October 2022) – The Fourth Estate

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