Return to site

Access Society

TLDR: Ownership is overrated

Within the context of the existing economic system, wide spread human prosperity is not only unlikely, but impossible. An implicit obsession with ownership has created a strange situation in which the planets resources are being used to create objects that mostly sit idle. For example, your car spends 95% of its time parked. In the not so distant future, this waste will be considered archaic. Across the board, ownership implies waste. For this reason, wide spread human prosperity is impossible within the existing frame work of ownership based economics.

But what's the alternative? Technology will enable a new type of economic arrangement, premised not on ownership, but access. Imagine a single autonomous vehicle providing reliable transportation to many dozens of people throughout the day. In theory no single person owns the vehicle, but functionally everyone has access to it. Due to this distributed arrangement, the cost of access is much less than the cost of ownership. It's only under this model that wide spread human prosperity is possible.

There's also interesting political implications. Individual ownership creates ideological division amongst a populace. A more collective/sharing economic backbone enforces an underlying connection among different peoples. In other words, the access delta is what creates political/economic asymmetry. It's not so much about who owns the means of production, but who has access to them. Along similar lines, an access based economy is of a more fluid nature than an ownership based society. Economic mobility provides individual citizens not just with the ability to use voice, but to exit. Put more simply, ownership favors the status quo.

TLDR: The future is about access. An arrangement in which no one owns anything and yet has access to everything (assuming collective ownership arrangements don't emerge). The question isn't about who owns the bridge, rather it's about who can drive across it.

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!