The Third Place: On Economic Foreignization

The term “Economic Foreignization (EF)” was introduced in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.) to describe a phenomenon that often occurs as part of Real Trade Agreements (RTAs). When the Council State agrees to the terms of an RTA that it has negotiated for itself, it is opening the door to Foreigners and their Enterprises to participate in the economic life of the Totality and Student Body. Those Foreigners will make their presences known in the official Tournament of the VCS Economy, the Student Tournament of the SSE, or both. They may operate in the Real World or they can be allowed to operate in the National Intranet by establishing a connection through the International Internet. They even be in the country as instructors and educators, diplomats and tourists, military and intelligence personnel, artists and filmmakers, and international students. Thus, some might be in the country as part of their Vocations or Professions, while others have chosen to visit on their own volition.

In its original context, Economic Foreignization meant the extent to which the Foreigners and Foreign Enterprises exert influence over all economic activities. There are many vectors in which Economic Foreignization is capable of occurring, but they all revolve around a recurring pattern of contextual behaviors and actions. The most basic metric by which to gauge Economic Foreignization in Production for Dasein is the Balances of Trade and Payments. Another can be discerned from Economic Foreignization’s effects on the Life-Energy Reserve, particularly how RTAs affect the TPP (Total Productive Potential) and RPF (Requisitionary Productive Forces) values. Other metrics include the Exchange Rate, Attrition/Inaction Rate, and Sovereign Schuld.

Known EF Vectors

In any given RTA, every Export or Import represents the influxes and outfluxes of Arbeit and Geld. Greater dependency on Exports involves achieving a lower Quality of Arbeit and a higher Quality of Geld conducive to Currency Depreciation. This is done in order to ensure that Exports will be cheaper and Imports more expensive within international trade. Conversely, greater dependency on Imports relies on a higher Quality of Arbeit and a lower Quality of Geld. Since Exports will become more expensive because of Currency Appreciation, Imports will likewise be made cheaper. If we were to articulate this in terms of an RTA, it would resemble as the following:

75% Arbeit and 25% Geld → Emphasis on Exports (Currency Depreciation)

25% Arbeit and 75% Geld → Emphasis on Imports (Currency Appreciation)

However, dependency on Exports and Imports are not the only source of Economic Foreignization under the Work-Standard. Other examples of Economic Foreignization include, but not limited to:

  1. The number, size, and composition of Foreign Enterprises operating in the country. Increased numbers of Foreign Enterprises of larger sizes and diverse economic activities will increase Economic Foreignization. If Foreign Enterprises are providing goods and services that the Totality could otherwise be producing themselves, that will discourage Enterprises owned and operated by Nationals from being capable of sustaining themselves.   
  2. The cultural and social contributions of Foreigners living in the country as Expats. For those whose Vocations are in the arts, the Foreigners may be in the position to commission their artworks that may or may not reflect the National Consciousness of the Totality and State. In fact, it is possible to envisage their artworks embodying their own homeland’s National Consciousness. It counts toward Economic Foreignization if the Council State ends up becoming mesmerized enough to commission their artworks, especially if the Council State decides to disseminate them en masse.   
  3. The number of Foreigners controlling Enterprises owned and operated by the Totality or Student Body. Often, foreign control of Enterprises can arise from allowing them to work at those Enterprises at a professional level. This could be the result of requiring Foreigners to train and educate personnel in the workspace. Assuming we are referring to two Socialist nations with Sociable Currencies pegged to the Work-Standard, no Arbeit and Geld will be contributed to the host nation’s Life-Energy Reserve. Instead, they will be registered in their homeland’s Life-Energy Reserve unless the host nation negotiates with their homeland to ensure that they receive some of their Arbeit as part of the arranged RTA.   
  4. The number of Foreigners working and studying in the SSE. This may seem like a contradiction of preceding Entries in Sections Four and Five, but Economic Foreignization can still occur from Foreigners interacting with the SSE as international students. They too do not contribute Arbeit and Geld to the host nation’s Life-Energy Reserve, instead transferring that Arbeit and Geld to their homeland’s Life-Energy Reserve.  
  5. Foreign ownership and usage of NSFIs. NSFIs like Fiefs, Work-Plans, Work-Tenures, Scholarships, Sponsorships, and Sponsorships can all be used as financial vehicles for Economic Foreignization. Foreigners who manage to get their hands on those NSFIs will be able to cash them in for Actual Geld with the Kontore. If the host nation finds it necessary, its Council State could consider levying a special “Tariff” that limits how much Actual Geld a Foreigner can be expected to acquire from their ownership of NSFIs.
  6. Sovereign Schuld owed to Foreigners and Foreign Banks. If the State, Totality or Self decides to somehow live beyond its own means of production, they run the risk of creating Sovereign Schuld. Moreover, there is also the likewise risk that the State, Totality, or Self may end up having to borrow Geld from Foreigners or Foreign Banks out of necessity just to maintain a high standard of living. Should that be the case, expect an increase in the overall rate of Economic Foreignization.  
  7. The level of access to the International Internet and any Foreign Intranets. Going back to the discussions about the Noösphere from Section Four, the International Internet is akin to a central repository of human consciousness on a worldwide scale. Information about practically anything affecting the world at large can be found there. It can also serve as a source of Economic Foreignization, especially if access also includes Foreign Intranets. Vulnerabilities to disinformation, propaganda and misinformation can affect the National Consciousness of the Totality, while cybercrime and cyberwarfare are capable of undermining the feasibility of the Mechanization Rate (MR).

Those are some of the more common “EF Vectors” of Economic Foreignization. As one can surmise from each of them, they all involve Foreigners having the ability to create Arbeit and Geld for their own homelands by participating in the economic life of a host nation. If properly negotiated in the RTA, this can be a fruitful opportunity to promote cultural understanding and initiate a Socialization of Young Minds for the Student Body to develop lasting impressions of other nations. Under normal peacetime conditions, it is inevitable for the Socialist Nation to have a small, but governable amount of Economic Foreignization. After all, there may be goods and services that cannot be made in the country and require Foreigners manufacturing or providing them. Sometimes, those same goods and services may be related to their National Consciousness as the tangible expressions of their cultures and traditions. The practice of any true Autarky requires the Council State to ensure that the Totality is capable of fostering healthy relations with Foreigners and knowing when it is necessary to create goods and services that do not require the training and expertise of Foreigners.   

But as with a lot of things in Life, Economic Foreignization also happens to be one of those phenomena that needs to be done in moderation. The Totality cannot afford to become too dependent on Foreigners for their entire economic livelihood or their standard of living. The same is to be expected in the Totality’s interactions with Foreigners. The Specialty Shops are only there to provide foreign goods and services, not to assist in maintaining foreign currency reserves. “Immigration” cannot be reduced to a purely economic endeavor about trying to get rich from the Totality’s prosperity. Rather than create a permanent underclass of people, the Totality should be compelling the Council State to help Foreigners return homelands and build them up to the standard of living. “Overtourism” was a genuine problem prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic, allowing the Pandemic to become a worldwide phenomenon.     

Those ideas were already discussed in various Entries related to international trade in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.). The conclusions which I had made in those Entries are still valid here as well. What I did not discuss in those relevant Entries is whether or not Technology itself could serve as an “EF Vector” in its own right. If one can envisage an art style that resonates with aspects of Pure Socialism, can something similar be said about Technology? Are there any technologies whose design philosophies are derived from aspects of Liberal Capitalist ideology? If so, could similar counterproposal be made for any form of Pure Socialism?

Technology as an EF Vector

In other Entries from The Work-Standard, I posited the possibility that certain economic activities and social behaviors may have been influenced by Technology imbued with a Neoliberal design philosophy. One obvious example involved discussions about the technical specifications of Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain technology which made them possible. Their deployment in the Socialist Nation constitutes as an unwanted source of Economic Foreignization that the counterproposal was to develop the LERE Process with its Blockcycle and LERE Refineries. Another involved the counterproposal of NSFIs and Kontore, which came in response to the apparent lack of suitable alternatives to the LCFIs and Financial Markets. The National Intranet and International Internet serve as a counterproposal to the World Wide Web (WWW), just the Total Educational Effort of the SSE is also a counterproposal to the Custodial-Care Function of the OECD-Type Student Economy. And instead of Shopping Malls and Shopping Centers, the counterproposal was to implement Shopping Citadels and Shopping Arenas more suited for the specifications of the Work-Standard.

Those are all of the more obvious examples where, in response to the implications of a Technology derived from a Liberal Capitalist design philosophy, the decision was to implement a suitable alternative that would mesh well with the Work-Standard. But let us suppose for a moment that the Technology in question does not reflect any design philosophy aligned with Neoliberalism. It can be argued that a Technology’s design philosophy may be derived from a particular version of Pure Socialism in either its Scientific or Artistic variants and subvariants. Sometimes, the Technology might be derived from the National Consciousness of a certain Totality.

Does the adoption of Technologies derived from the design philosophies of Scientific and Artistic Socialisms count toward Economic Foreignization? Yes, because those technologies do not reflect the National Consciousness of the Totality insofar as their design philosophies may reflect another interpretation of Pure Socialism or adhere to another National Consciousness. This phenomenon can be discerned from the distinct social norms and values shared by the Totalities of different nations. What may be seen as acceptable behaviors for one Totality may be not necessarily be the case for another Totality. Similarly, certain trends that apply to a Totality might be something entirely different for that other Totality.

We can certainly point to some examples where Technology has acted as an EF Vector as part of Economic Foreignization. For instance, consider the direction in which automobiles travel on major roadways. In the countries influenced by the British, it is customary for vehicles to drive on the left side of the road, while most countries usually drive on the right side. Similarly, those same vehicles driving on the left side have their steering wheels on the right side of its front. In other words, their steering wheels are installed where most vehicles have their front passenger seat. A country’s initial adoption of left-hand traffic and subsequent transition to right-hand traffic is to be seen as a sign of Economic Foreignization influencing the decision to standardize traffic laws to ensure that all vehicles travel across international borders on the same side of the road.   

Another example is Daylight Savings Time (DST) and the advancing the clock by one hour at certain times of the year. The historical argument in favor of DST was that by having an extra hour of perceived daylight, people will try to limit their energy consumption. As a form of Economic Foreignization from the English-speaking world, it was later adopted by the German-speaking world during the First World War for that specific purpose. The veracity of such statements has been disputed since the First World War and there are even some studies suggesting that the changeovers from non-DST to DST or DST to non-DST has inherent socioeconomic costs related to sleep deprivation. In the Natural Sector, the Agriculture Industry does not appreciate DST because the milking of cattle does not conform to DST. And in countries close to the Equator, there really is no need to implement DST due to their geographical positions relative to the sun. Outside of the Western world, most countries do not rely on DST in their economic activities.

Although there are countless different ways in which Technology can serve as an EF Vector, the general idea is that Technology can impose Economic Foreignization by convincing the Totality and State into adjusting their behaviors and activities in response. The result is a concerted effort to conform to the occurrence of a new set of norms and values introduced by the widespread adoption of a Technology. This effort can be officially promulgated by the State as part of its domestic policies, while the Totality will try to normalize the behavior so that the Self will follow suit. However, as with any Technology, there will always be those who oppose the adoption of that Technology and if they are influential enough, they might be in the position to counteract the effects of Economic Foreignization. The countermeasure could be the repealing of laws which stem from the Economic Foreignization introduced by the Technology, but it can also be the deliberate effort at trying to propose a viable alternative that is more suitable for the National Consciousness and Authentic Dasein of the Totality and State.   



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