"Money is just stones and paper." Jimmy Walter
A Sustainable, Luxurious Life, for the Entire World: A Practical Utopia
Is Achievable Today
The Walden Three Project has developed an engineering model (click here) of a super-efficient, car-free, sustainable city that uses extensive recycling, permaculture, and integrated, co-generation, pollution-free factories to manufacture most of what its citizens consume. The project is based upon ideas from many different disciplines, which have been time-tested. The city is built with proven technology available today.
Anything that saves labor and resources makes us richer as a whole. Our engineering model is apolitical. It is just a labor and resource saving device. It frees them for whatever the political-economic body wants. Our model allows political systems to maximize their available labor and resources. Thus the underlying basis of economics: conservation. There is no need to "take" from the rich to solve our economic problems. This is a common economic fallacy. In fact, the rich will profit and benefit greatly from what we propose here.
Libertarians, socialists, objectivists, communists, fascists, capitalists, or a combination of economic systems can use our hypothetical city-factory-machine. Libertarians or objectivists could float such a city in international waters free of all governments and "freeloaders" (see abandoned novel - New Hong Kong). Communists and far left socialists can use it to eliminate capitalists. One of our plans is built from mud and starts in a prison (see current novel in progress: Walden Three).
While there is no one solution for everyone, most need and prefer some group's economic and political compromise. Our compromise has "radical", "middle-american", "conservative", "liberal", "capitalist", "socialist", "religious", "atheist" and other components. Anything that must be pure, must fail. A world wide system must allow for all.
Please comment. We invite you to play with the model. Please correct us. Give us your insights and add to it. Use what you like. Everything we create is free and without copyright. Why are we doing this? Selfishness! The founder, chief benefactor, and CEO of Walden Three realizes he does not need any more material things. He finds more money and things to take care of boring, while helping and seeing people change for the better is fun. A material thing can only give you a good feeling and has a cost. A spiritual act or gift returns a better feeling and, on average, a profit -- usually the beneficiary will return the favor or pass it along (see Pay It Forward), which eventually comes back to the giver with a profit. Money is a merely a symbol, open to interpretation. Feelings are real. A better world to live in produces a cornucopia of good feelings, a huge profit.
Walden Three does accept donations.
Updated 7/13/11 .
Hospitals would be available for serious procedures like surgery, however, the emphasis would be on nursing stations located in each building and at-home care. Using the city’s Cybernet, which would have the latest, reliable medical information and remote observation and data collection, nurses and physicians would make initial evaluations. Nursing stations are located in each building for more thorough initial examinations and scheduled exams by physicians.
In sum, Walden Three provides quality care to every citizen, not sub-standard care that views each person as a group of risk factors or ‘the best care [your limited] money can buy.’ (more)
Avocation, & Leisure:
No Taxes: The Walden Three Project has no sales, income, property, tangible, or intangible taxes, nor fees. (Click here to see how to eliminate taxes in the USA today) People who want non-residential locations pay a fixed rent (no percentage over-rides or escalation) to offset construction costs and maintenance. The city fosters new businesses by providing online support and efficient customer service that waits on you, not you waiting on them. Citizens can apply for an available “bricks and mortar” business location, or pay for the construction of a new one using materials produced locally at cost. Each apartment and business complex has a state-of-the-art office support complex for printing, copying, etc., as well as secretarial services, meeting rooms, and catering facilities. Designers, engineers, inventors, machinists, sample-makers, factories, artists, and writers are connected online. Thus the city assists businesses in turning new, important ideas and inventions into reality.
Since needs, by definition, must be met, the city is the single supplier providing citizens with all utilities, waste processing, transportation, and housing in return for the citizens’ community service time without the unnecessary costs of promotion, duplication of facilities, accounting, legal assistance, etc. The city maximizes service by redirecting this previously wasted labor towards improving the quality of its products or services. The system rewards those that do their job well with vigorous, positive feedback, social prerogatives, and reduced work time. The cybernation of services (computers and high speed internet in every home and business) combined with ample staffing reduces wait time to a minimum.
Skills, Philosophy, Psychology:
The city improves behavior by helping people find and set practical life goals. They are then trained to reward themselves as they accomplish short-term goals to that end.
The city's civil law system is based on giving "value for value received" using bona fide [good faith] contracts, not "let the buyer beware" in which the clever defraud the average. When a person enters into a contract, it should be with confidence that the legal outcome will be fair. The legal system is streamlined with legal aids staffed sufficiently to give everyone fast, equal legal protection.
Since everyone is provided with necessities, crime would be greatly reduced, the remainder of crime would largely be caused by mental problems. Mothers and fathers would never have to steal to feed or take care of their babies.
The city’s solution to preventing crime is the same as a small town or village: Watchful eyes--everyone knows what is happening. All public areas are viewable from any computer terminal, open-access video observation, so anyone in the city can see through any public camera at any time. However, there will not be cameras in areas where there is an expectation of privacy: dressing rooms, public restrooms, at home, or in the car. The system allows a parent to "follow" their child to the playground or school room and report any bullying or accidents to the authorities for immediate attention. Parents can watch what their children are being taught and how they are handled by their teachers. All of the city’s government buildings, bureaus, and meetings would be viewable at all times, true “government in the sunshine“.
The system interrupts anti-social behavior at its start, swiftly, without revenge. The city's socialization (corrections) system does not lock up one disturbed individual with three others in an eight-by-ten foot room for decades and expect them to come out knowing how to get along with normal people. Rather, the city assigns police officers and councilors that stay with the troubled or violent individuals at all times during their socialization, physically and electronically, until the offenders can control their emotions and function well in society.
Thus, the criminal system will be swift and sure, but never harsh. As behaviorist B. F. Skinner discovered, punishment is a poor teacher, a last resort. Skinner’s experiments proved the certainty of the reward or punishment determines its effectiveness, unless the punishment is so brutal it damages the subject for life. If someone gets away with something ten times, they have been rewarded ten times. If police then get lucky and catch him or her, whether they punish that person or not, the net effect is ten rewards and one punishment, a net reinforcement of the unwanted behavior. The offender knows the punishment is a fluke, and is not likely to happen again for some time. However, if the person gets punished and the reward taken back each and every time, that person will stop the unwanted behavior quickly.
Walden Three is a work in progress. We invite criticism, comments, improvements, and suggestions. The burden of proof is upon us.