Work-Standard Analysis of Second Life (Pt. II of II)

As stated previously in the first part, the Virtual Economy of MMOs deserves to be understood as the direct subordinate of the Digital Economy. Similar to how the Student Economy (regardless of whether we are referring to the SSE or the OECD-Type Student Economy) is subordinated by the National Economy, the Virtual Economy is spun out of the Digital Economy. The Virtual Economy’s economic activities, when they do interact with the Digital Economy, are dependent on a shared conception of Currency that binds them to the National Economy and Student Economy. This underscores the importance of the Financial Regime, implying the roles of Parliament or Council State. Virtual Economies also reveal the limitations of “Virtual Fiat Currencies,” which supports the assertions of the Work-Standard as well as Cryptocurrencies and the Gold Standard. Virtual Fiat Currencies like the Linden Dollar are worthless without being backed by “Hard Fiat Currencies” such as the US Dollar.

The idea of having a Virtual Economy function as another source of economic activity to the National Economy has become an area of intense interest in and around Silicon Valley. True to their inclinations of developing Technologies designed for Neoliberalism, Silicon Valley could only replicate the metaphysical logic driving Production for Profit/Utility. Of the two Modes of Production, Production for Profit takes greater precedence over Production for Utility. Every virtual economic activity is designed to create Kapital and Schuld for either the developer, the player base, or both.

The idea of exacting weekly Rents from players for ownership of virtual land was taken straight out of the Rents extracted from privatized commercial banks in the Real World. Just like in the Real World, the Kapital for virtual land can be pretty high, and one has to wonder if not all of that Kapital is going toward the upkeep costs. In fact, virtual privatized commercial banks already exist in Second Life to offer Interest-laden Loans and the same is true for the Interest incurred on the virtual credit card system.

Aside from including rudimentary aspects of a Fractional-Reserve Banking System, how does anyone generate wealth in terms of Kapital and Schuld? Usually, it involves somebody introducing an Incentive for somebody else to spend Kapital on something. There is always some virtual privatized commercial firm selling some virtual goods like apparel, accessories, decorations and other baubles. The most notable part about this is that, because MMOs like Second Life operate on the World Wide Web (WWW), one could argue that something well-known and recognizable can be sold for far more than what it is worth offline.  Conventional taxation policies related to Virtual Economies automatically become matters of international trade. Not between the developer and the Parliament per se, but between the nations of the Private Citizens who are considered members of the player base.

That being said, on the topic of Second Life, it bears mention that Meta’s Metaverse seeks to push the boundaries between the Digital Economy and the Virtual Economy. But if the Virtual Economy concept has thus far been shown, the Metaverse is at risk of becoming an overhyped fad that will lose its relevance. Let us never forget that there was already hype about Second Life in the years leading up to the Great Recession. In the years since the Great Recession, Second Life has lost its relevance as the player base moved on to the usual Social Media platforms. While there are still hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people on Second Life each day, it is not as if the entire World Wide Web has jumped on board with it.   

For proponents of Cryptocurrencies, I should stress that Blockchain Technology was never designed to accommodate the amount of transactions that could occur on a Virtual Economy. Even in Second Life, conventional Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum were designed to accommodate the people who already have access to the Blockchain. The instabilities of Prices among most conventional Cryptocurrencies deter people from adopting them to any Virtual Economy.

In retrospect, we have Virtual Economies unable to gain enough relevance to National Economies and Student Economies due to the concept of Digital Economy being impossible to fully realize on the World Wide Web. The Liberal Capitalists in the Western world, from the Jeffersonians in the Democratic-Republican Party to the EU/NATO, still prefer things to be this way. Even if they were swayed by the economic and financial advantages of a National Intranet, there is way too much distrust toward the Russians and Chinese offline that deters Neoliberalism from entertaining such a concept. At the same time, most Virtual Economies operate on a Production for Profit basis that expect stable Virtual Fiat Currencies, rendering the Blockchains of conventional Cryptocurrencies impractical. If this is the current conception of Virtual Economy, how different would the concept be for the Digital Economy of a National Intranet?

With the National Intranet under the jurisdiction and administration of the Council State, a direct line is established between itself and the Totality in the digital realm vis-à-vis the Life-Energization Reciprocal Electrification (LERE) Process. Aside from the Services Sector providing the usual goods and services on the National Intranet’s Digital Economy, a Virtual Economy could be the ideal avenue for the VCS Economy’s Manufacturing Sector to stay relevant in spite of Deindustrialization and Automation.

Imagine that there are a number of Enterprises in the VCS Economy’s Manufacturing Sector or the SSE’s Workshops occupying the lower Social Ranks of the Tournament. Unlike the manufactories of the higher Social Ranks, which manufacture and assemble finished products on a large scale, these Enterprises are able to carry out the specialization and customization of items, tools, and others normally not be offered by the manufactories themselves.

Someone may design something on an AutoCAD from home as a form of Heimarbeit, upload it to the server of one of these Enterprises, which will reproduce the design for them in the National Intranet within the Digital Economy. The LERE Blockcycle registers the creation of Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld as well as the transactional sale to manufacture the design in either the Digital Economy or else the Virtual Economy. But unlike something out of Second Life or the Metaverse, the design itself has dual-purpose applications. There are two ways in which that design could be employed.

One possibility is that somebody intends the design to be applicable for video games or the Artform known as Machinima. Assuming the Council State has managed to implement a flexible and accessible game engine, video game developers or Machinima directors could repurpose the designs for their own productions as a form of Economic Socialization (ES). The design goes straight to the Virtual Economy. Alternatively, the other possibility involves the design being intended for Real World applications, transferring it to the VCS Economy (and the SSE by extension). If the design remains on the Digital Economy, the physical production is carried out offline through 3D Printers owned and operated by those Enterprises. Once the requested part or item is manufactured, it gets loaded onto an MATV (Miniature Automated Tractor Vehicle) and delivered to the mailing address of the person who requested it.

Going back to that example cited in “Test Demonstrations of LER & LERE Processes,” which could not have been written without finishing Work-Standard Accounting Practices (1st Ed.), we can now begin to envisage how that production process ties in with the LER and LERE Processes and this Student Enterprise operating in the Student Enterprise of the SSE:

Suppose there are 250 Students at the tertiary educational level working for a Student Cooperative within the Student Tournament of the SSE. In just 8 hours, each Student has computer systems contributing Digital Arbeit with a Value of 10 GDM to their National Intranet’s Blockcycle. Given a Mechanization Rate (MR) of 0.0%, their overall Value of Digital Arbeit is 2,500 GDM after all Expenditures have been factored.

In the conversion to Digital Geld, there is no Economic Socialization (ES) because their production process happens to be not contributing to any other production processes. The “Solidarity Rate of Scale and Duration of Production (SR1)” is 1.25, which is in reference to the aforementioned Value of 10 GDM per 8 hours (or 2.5 GDM for every 2 hours). But since it is not facilitating Economic Socialization, the “Solidarity Rate of Scope and Density of Production (SR1)” is just 1.00. Therefore, their overall Price of Digital Geld is 3,125 GDM before all Revenues have been factored.

GDM/USD Exchange Rate is 1.00 GDM per $75.00 USD.

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