Scenario 1999: Economic Functions of Social Forums  

Back in “Organizational Structure of the Social Forum,” the details surrounding how the Social Forum acts as the main hub of the National Intranet had been elucidated. The Social Forums, despite them and the Intranet Service Providers (ISPs) being organized under the administration of the Regional Government, are still beholden to the Council State vis-à-vis the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Social Forum is where economic life under the Work-Standard occurs on the National Intranet. All the usual features associated with the Work-Standard are to be carried out as part of the LERE Process. The Social Forums preside over the “Digital Tournament,” which functions as the intermediate between the National Tournament of the VCS Economy and the Student Tournament of the SSE.   

Furthermore, the various organizations and institutions responsible for running and operating various sections of the National Intranet have also been identified in that Treatise. The purpose of this Entry is to outline the various economic capabilities of the Social Forum have either been implied to exist across the previous Treatises or have not yet been given any proper designations or descriptions elsewhere.

Converting Websites to Productive Property

We begin with one obvious conclusion that has already been articulated in “Political Functions of Social Forums,” namely how websites are registered and owned by the Totality and the Student Body. Back in the Real World, it was established in The Third Place (1st Ed.) that the Totality owns all the land in their nation on grounds of National Sovereignty, entrusting the Council State to look after the land on their behalf. The Council State in turn allows the Student Government to let members of the Student Body take care of the land and buildings outside of their regular classroom instruction. Such activities are administrated by the Student Government as part of the extracurricular activities at the Student Tournament. Even though the Totality owns the land and the Council State oversees and maintains it, these facts do not imply that either the Self or the Student is incapable of purchasing the land or buildings from the Council State.   

When somebody buys a plot of land or a building from the Council State, that plot of land or building belongs to that Self or Student who purchased it from the State. Upon concluding the purchase, the land or building becomes their Personal Property-as-Power. This means that they are incapable of contributing any Arbeit and Geld to the Life-Energy Reserve. If they plan to sell the land, the building or both, the Council State reasserts control, the Student Government gets to administrate it, and ownership will be returned back to the Totality. There is no “Real Estate Market” under the Work-Standard insofar as the concept itself presupposes that all plots of land and buildings generate Kapital and Schuld on their own because they simply exist as physical objects within the Real World, not because they are potentially capable of creating newfound wealth. The same is also true for Rents and Mortgages, as these two concepts from the Fractional-Reserve Banking System will be phased out altogether by the Reciprocal-Reserve Banking System. Different methods of obtaining land and buildings are to be implemented by the Council State.

Should somebody acquire land and buildings from the Council State, they are allowed to keep the land and the building, but they will never gain Value on their own under the Work-Standard. Their Values are ultimately dependent on what that Self or Student intends to do with those plots of land and buildings. Only when the Self or the Student decides to convert the land and buildings to Productive Properties-as-Power will their Values increase because of the fact that they are now creating newfound sources of wealth in the forms of Arbeit and Geld. When that happens, the land and the building thereby become a new Enterprise attached to a corresponding Domain within the Work-World.

A similar procedural process will also occur on the National Intranet involving the registering of new websites. The most fundamental difference is that the roles have been reversed in this context. While the Council State technically owns the National Intranet on grounds of National Sovereignty, the Ministry of Science and Technology entrusts the Totality to oversee the National Intranet on the Council State’s behalf. The Council State engages in such behavior as part of upholding Council Democracy through the Social Forums and because it must ensure that distinctions between itself, the Totality and the Self are upheld. That feature in particular is what separates the National Intranet from the World Wide Web (WWW), where National Sovereignty and Personal Privacy are both unrecognized and unguaranteed to actually exist.

The Totality, through the Social Forums and Intranet Service Providers (ISPs), establishes Websites, Servers, Computer Systems and Networks under the oversight of their Municipal and Regional Governments. The Self or the Student may purchase any or all of them from the Totality vis-à-vis the Social Forums as Personal Properties-as-Power. On their own, none of them is capable of contributing Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld as part of the LERE Process. Only when they are converted to Productive Properties-as-Power will they become formally recognized as Digital Enterprises working alongside the preexisting State, Social, or Student Enterprises.

Digital Arbeit begetting Digital Arbeit?

Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld are created from production processes, while the transactional sales yield Actual Geld, in the Digital Tournament of the National Intranet. But to continue what was established originally in The Third Place (1st Ed.) and expanded upon in this Treatise, it is possible to envisage one source of Arbeit eventually facilitating the creation of more Arbeit (and Geld by extension) for the Life-Energy Reserve. The Council State achieved that possibility by allocating portions of its State Budget toward the construction and maintenance of physical infrastructure. National highways, railways, seaports and airports were all key examples cited in The Third Place (1st Ed.).

There is no doubt that the construction and maintenance of digital infrastructure will follow similar parameters. But unlike physical infrastructure, the digital infrastructure is split between the hardware and the software. Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld are to be created on the National Intranet by means of interacting with the software. The hardware, on the other hand, will enable contributions of Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld from having to build and maintain the machinery required to facilitate access to the National Intranet and the broader Digital Realm.  

While the Council State is responsible for building and maintaining the digital infrastructure, the Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld to be contributed from the National Intranet will be created by the Totality. Aside from production processes and transactional sales, the Totality can facilitate additional sources of Digital Arbeit by devoting Life-Energy toward creating Digital Arbeit from building and maintaining new Websites, Servers, Computer Systems and Networks. All of those can then be readily bought and converted into Productive Properties-as-Power, which will in turn yield more Digital Arbeit.

Aside from those features of the National Intranet, it is also tenable to speak of the Internet Cafés contributing Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld from rendering their services to Nationals and Foreigners. Depending on their overall sizes, an Internet Café may be located inside a Shopping Arena, Shopping Citadel, and the more specialized SATHs (Shopping Arena Transit Hubs). Simply maintaining and operating rows of vacant computers as part of a shared Computer Server would not yield much Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld as part of their own economic activities. Getting those computers occupied by Nationals and Foreigners will allow them to create more Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld, in addition to receiving Actual Geld from providing access to the International Internet for patrons.

Furthermore, what is to be said about production processes and transactional sales elsewhere regarding the National Intranet are to be reapplied to the Social Courts of the International Internet. The economic functions of those Social Courts, as stated earlier, would follow the parameters of the SATHs. Since every nation in Scenario 1999 is going to employ multiple Social Courts for every entryway into the National Intranet, it is inevitable to envisage Digital Enterprises creating Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld from supporting the economic activities of the State, Social, Student and Foreign Enterprises under the terms of a Real Trade Agreement (RTA).

Compared to Shopping Citadels, SATHs situated along international borders are more likely to receive foreign currencies from Foreigners as opposed to Nationals. In Shopping Citadels and the conventional Shopping Arenas, it is oftentimes the Nationals who are spending foreign currencies on imported goods and services at the Council State’s Specialty Shops and Specialty Department Stores or at Foreign Enterprises allowed to operate under the Council State’s RTAs. The Enterprises operating inside SATHs also follow the same conventional formatting as their counterparts at the Shopping Citadels and Shopping Arenas. The tenants could be of any economic organization and operating as either a State Enterprise, Social Enterprise, Student Enterprise or Foreign Enterprise. There would be the usual meeting spaces and local branches of the State Commissariats and Kontore.

Thus, what has been said about the SATHs can also be said about the Social Courts. There would be Enterprises offering goods and services at the Social Courts part of a given Social Court. The Tourist and Hospitality Industries will no doubt play prominent roles in the Social Courts, with the Retail and Video Game Industries trailing behind them. The Student Government will reserve a few areas in the Social Court for its own Student Enterprises as part of the Student Tournament for any economic activities with other SSEs. Unlike the SATHs, where the Council State is the one playing the predominant role in Arbeit begetting Arbeit, the Totality will be the ones operating the Digital Enterprises to facilitate the production processes and transactional sales in the Social Courts and the Social Forums for the National Intranet. These Digital Enterprises are also needed to work with the State Banks to ensure that the Blockcycle Technology will enable the LERE Process to function.

It is because of the fact that Digital Enterprises are responsible for supporting the economic activities of other Enterprises that Digital Arbeit has the potential to become more valuable than Actual Arbeit. There are plenty of many opportunities for a single Digital Enterprise to create newfound wealth through Economic Socialization (ES). Such thinking is only entertainable when Information and Computer Technologies have been properly designed to operate under the Work-Standard as part of Production for Dasein. Technologies employed by the Digital Enterprises, such as Blockcycle Technology, are incompatible with Production for Profit and Production for Utility, both of which are more suited for the World Wide Web (WWW) as opposed to the National Intranets and International Internet.    

That being said, Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld should not constitute the bulk of an entire nation’s contributions to the Life-Energy Reserve. While the Mechanization Rate (MR) can be reapplied to the Digital Realm vis-à-vis the National Intranet, a similar conclusion deserves to be made for the Attrition/Inaction Rate (AIR) insofar as Digital Arbeit itself is still another form of Arbeit. Let us not forget that the AIR, which controls the rate of Currency Depreciation/Appreciation, is dependent on the balance between the Quality of Arbeit (QW) and the Quality of Geld (QM).

One of the purposes of the LERE Refineries and the LERE Process by extension is to convert Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld into Actual Arbeit and Digital Geld. Under the Work-Standard, it is impossible to determine how Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld will impact the AIR until they have been converted to Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld. The conversions will allow their real impact on the AIR to become apparent. Accountants will be able to know the impact while finding the RTEP (Real Total Economic Potential) and RTFP (Real Total Financial Potential) as part of determining the TPP (Total Productive Potential) value.    

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