What could a world without the dictates of profit look like?
The subject of the Caravan are questions – the task of the Caravan is to give representatives of the whole of humanity the opportunity to discuss these questions and, if possible, to find answers to them.
The character of the questions is not how something can be improved within the existing conditions, but what has to change in the conditions in general, especially in the material dependency relations of people among each other:
Would the food supply of all people in the world be realisable if no shareholders earned from it? Would hospitals, roads and schools, cars, airplanes and toys be built if no stock market players earned money from them? How would banks function if there were no more interest? How would property relations change if there were no more inheritance?
– Water is the most important means of survival. After three days without water, everyone dies. The material conditions are in place so that every human being could have drinking water. Nevertheless, 70% of humanity has no access to drinking water, which is why countless people, especially children, die every day from dirty water: What is the reason for this? Could this be changed? How could it be changed? Why is this not the top priority of all politics?
– How could drinking water be distributed to all 8 billion people?
– There is enough food, space, knowledge, technology, in the world today to feed 8 billion people, but a µ-fraction of people own unimaginable amounts, the vast majority of people almost nothing: What is the reason? Is it „human nature“? The greed of the few? Existential fears? Even if these were perhaps justified in the past, have they not long since become superfluous?
– How can it be realised that 8 billion people have enough food, a roof over their heads, and that all people can develop according to their talents without being subjected to repression?
– Through a change in the consciousness of all people, these contradictions could be changed overnight: What would be the character of this other consciousness? How could this other consciousness be developed? How could it be brought about?
– Would rich people have to „do without“ „advantages“ or would they become humanly richer?
– What is the role of religions that demand human equality but have not been able to realise it for thousands of years? Is this because of their claim to sole representation? – Has the idea of justice not yet been developed clearly enough?
– What has caused the model of socialism to fail?
– Would republic of counsellors structures make sense as a form of political organisation?
– Have elections through voting become obsolete after the experiences made so far?
– Would it make sense to return to the original Greek system of elections by lot?
– Are there perhaps completely new ways of voting and decision-making that actually correspond to people’s wishes and needs, perhaps with the help of IT?
– What does „freedom is always freedom of the other“ mean in concrete terms? Where do the limits lie?
– What is the character of a communication structure among people that makes rule by people over people impossible?
– How can we convince the current profiteers that they would be better off if they used their power and resources to create a humane world?
– How can we make the powerful people in charge rethink? They are really so incapable of empathy that they do not understand this necessity?
– Movement is a basic human need, an expression of human freedom: but is the automobile a basic human need?
– What would reasonable means of transport look like? What conditions does their optimal use require?
– If travelling, getting to know other people, cultures and countries are basic human needs: How can they be satisfied without destroying the environment for it?
– Would an app make sense that coordinates all movement requests in such a way that there is no longer any need for timetables, but as soon as so and so many people want to go in the same direction, the app organises the means of transport and its operator so that everyone reaches their destinations – or would that be a new horror idea, even if all the data were deleted immediately, so no one could misuse it?
– If only one and not many competing companies produced automobiles, countless highly qualified IT specialists could do other work: what useful things could they produce?
– What are the pure material costs of an expensive BMW/BENZ/AUDI/VW etc.
– How many millions of tons of steel, how much labour and working time would be saved if only ten percent of the automobiles were produced?
– How are superfluous products defined?
– How much energy is consumed for superfluous production?
– Does the question of nuclear power plants go away on its own because they become unnecessary if no more superfluous products are produced?
– How can you recognise products that were invented primarily to make money?
– How can you recognise products that are exclusively useful?
– How would chairs, tomatoes, cars, hospitals, educational institutes, etc. be realised if no one earned money from them who is not involved in the work process?
– How is wages calculated if no outsider earns money from the work of the person to be rewarded without collaborating? Effort, education, time, age, needs, with or without fun, etc.?
– How much lower would prices be and how much higher would wages be if no one earned from it who did not collaborate?
– Has anyone ever seen money „working“ in the sweat of their brow?
– What are right needs and what are wrong needs?
– Since the invention of the worldwide web, it could be calculated which needs all people in all places of the world have and how they could be satisfied in the simplest way: what would the programmes for this look like, which do not, as with Google, Amazon and co, serve the profit of the owners and whose findings do not serve to suggest false, superfluous needs? Who could and would want to programme them?
– If consumption is substitute satisfaction: for what substitute? Lack of communication, sex, gratifying work, etc?
– How can we realise what consumption is a substitute for and thus make consumption superfluous?
– How can we transform the idea of competition into one that does not displace others, but rather mutually inspires competitors?
– How could we avoid factory-produced food with excessive amounts of sugar, salt and minimally dosed addictive poisons that make people dependent and sick?
– Is it really necessary to slice cheese, put a plastic sheet between each slice and package it in tiny units to make it accessible to the consumer?
– How much effort does it take to do such work oneself and go shopping with a container?
– Why is it that „applesauce with mango“ is available in tiny jars that require a lot of work and material, even though anyone can make it much tastier themselves?
– Everybody knows people who like to prepare something like this and like to give away surpluses, and everybody has lovers themselves whose surpluses they like to give away: how could we organise this exchange among 8 billion people?
– How much time do you save if you buy a jar instead of making its contents yourself?
– Is this time so important that one has to accept the disadvantages of industrial production? Where does the supposed time pressure come from?
– How much material, time and effort would be saved if such jars were no longer available for purchase?
– How could the labelling and distribution of fresh food be designed and organised without producing countless cardboard, plastic, glass or ceramic containers with costly advertising?
– Couldn’t all this look much more appealing, wittier and more varied if the respective producers realised this in their respective environments?
– Mainly because of the high meat consumption, the ozone layer is disappearing: are there other reasons for this consumption besides addiction to meat and the profit-seeking of its producers?
– All over the world, research is being done on meat alternatives: how could a change in thinking towards less meat be achieved?
– What could be produced instead of weapons? Toys for adults? Amusement parks? Racing cars and tracks for the car-obsessed? What else?
– How many people are involved in this area of production? What special skills do they have? In what other fields could they be used?
– Interdisciplinary teams of scientists could work out a plan for how much time would be needed to close down the defence industries and into what alternative industries they could be restructured: did such a thing make sense? If so, how could such a procedure, or one similar to it, be enforced?
– Is it necessary to look for work alternatives at all, or is it not precisely the purpose of technical development to free people from undignified work in order to give them free time to enjoy their lives?
– Is it perhaps due to the dictatorship of profit that instead „unemployed“ people are created who become poor, while the „entrepreneurs“ who do not work productively become richer and richer?
– Advertising determines everyday life to an enormous extent and is unnecessary except for information: what is the difference between information and advertising?
– What do advertising and packaging do to people?
– What is the difference between necessary and superfluous packaging?
– How could packaging be reduced to a minimum?
– Would a world without advertising look boring?
– What would make the world colourful if there were no advertising? Painted houses? Facades of public buildings designed by artists? Billboards in public places, parks and on public transport?
– Can the graphic artists who are freed from advertising then apply their freed-up energies in these areas?
– How much social effort could be saved if advertising were eliminated?
– How many people in the world have shares? What do these people contribute in productive work for everyone else?
– How much of the world’s total money exists in the form of shares and stock market quotations?
– Would production and distribution of the products necessary for a decent life function even without the existence of interest rates, shares and stock exchanges and commodity futures?
This is only a fraction of the questions that should be expanded from now on – to be discussed at the Caravan.
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***