The path of least resistance: Decentralised Universal Basic Income and integral society


#1

Hi everyone!
The following is the result of a couple years of work in trying to distil the most efficient solutions that could bring positive effects across all quadrants.

The following is a paper outligning the idea, its potential merits and its challenges.

I hope you enjoy and that you can provide some feedback.
its very long, i’ll work to create an abbreviated version int he future.

The path of least resistance:

D-VUBI as the path to an integral society

(Decentralised Voluntary Universal Basic Income and Equity)

By Damiano Ramazzotti

A system of Decentralised Voluntary Universal Basic Income :

  • 1 Global Wallet
  • 8Bn sub wallets

Cash and Equity is voluntarily placed in the global wallet and redistributed equally to each human.

Index:

  • The Idea
  • Potential effects
  • Challenges to overcome
  • Additional Integral perspective

The Idea

  • Universal Basic Income:

Many people talk of Universal Basic Income. Among it’s proponents there are intellectuals, entrepreneurs, rich and poor, educated and ignorant. Its an idea that makes increasingly sense but somehow we are yet to wait to see in action.

Instead of building new services, system, procedures, that are often inefficient and wasteful, UBI (universal basic income) would aim to give money directly to the people who are then free to spend it in anyway they see fit.

Especially when this money ends up in the hands of poorer people, its value is immediately put into circulation as these people don’t save as much as extremely wealthy people do.

What I propose (and many other have too) is a system of decentralised basic income that adds an additional element of simplicity: let’s take the government out of the equation and simply, as a humanity, lets redistribute wealth directly to individuals.

Thanks to the blockchain (the technology that powers bitcoin), we are now able to have a system of financial transaction that is completely independent from the control of states and corporations and therefore impossible to stop.

  • Decentralised Universal Basic Income:

A worldwide “wallet” (a blockchain account that contains cryptocurrency) in which any company can put any percentage of its income it wishes to share. From 0,0001 to 99.9%,

The money in this wallet is divided into 8 Billion sub-wallets.

Each human is entitled to one (and only one) wallet.

By the moment we begin putting money into the system, the entire humanity gains a little money, for however infinitely small the amount may be.

Each human, can claim his or her own wallet and either collect the money or renounce it and share it with everyone else.

Since at the beginning the amounts of money potentially collected would be extremely low, most people who live in developed countries could forfeit it.

On the other hand, in the countries in which citizens face the most hardship, those small amounts could already make a significant difference in improving people’s lives.

Remittances (the money sent by immigrants back to their own country) is already the largest and one of the most efficient source of International Aid: their impact is considered even superior to the impact of international development projects and this is without taking into account that the system is still ruled by financial institutions that take a large chunk of it.

Decentralised Universal Basic Equity:

Part of what entrenches poverty is poor people’s inability to have passive income and compounded interest that comes from having invested ones own money. (maybe say savings)

Another use of this global blockchain wallet system could therefore be to allow sompanies to share part of their equity with the entirety of mankind.

Many legislations now allow to “tokenise” equity of private companies: this means that equity fo companies can be shared in the form of a cryptoasset allowing it to be traded independently and tracked through blockchain technology.

Such Tokens are infinitely divisible making them a perfect asset to redistribute to each and every human.

This makes the solution legally feasible as well as potentially technically so.

Potential effects

To download image click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hpzrz77orosptgk/d-vubi%20.pdf?dl=0

Why could this be the a radical change towards an integral society?

  1. It would be a soft shift to universal basic income
    Lower Right - Money and Equity

Our system is based on exploitation. The poorest of the poor don’t have a choice and are therefore often forced to do the most inhumane, humiliating and dangerous jobs in the world.

As soon as these people have access to a decentralised currency, that governments or institution do not have the power to block, they gain agency. They gain the increasing freedom to make free choices.

What this means is that from the poorest of the poorest, at the bottom of the human pyramid of exploitation, something would begin to have to change.

The employers who wish to employ those people would be forced to provide better wages or the system that are simply unsustainable without would begin a process of forced change.

Since this process would begin impacting the poorest of the poorest, only a minimal amount of economical structure would need to adapt. As the revenue share increases, the process of transformation from an exploitation based society to a vocation based society would be inevitable and ever more pervasive.

  1. It would be a soft shift to a vocation based society as opposed to an exploitation based society
    Lower Right to Upper Left

Ask yourself: are you more effective and creative when pursuing your vocation, or when working a job you are obliged to perform by economical circumstances?

If you agree that pursuing a vocation based work is both better for you and your environment, how does a world in which the entire humanity works in this way look like?
Isn’t that a better world?

The society that would result out of this change is a society in which people engage voluntarily in labour. This is the single most radical change in history as any previous age has been characterised by the obligation to work.

Such new system would provide large benefits in terms of mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing as people would be much less impacted by the heavy social conditioning of a modern capitalistic society.

  1. It would set the gradual development of a radically new mode of education
    Lower Left

While most think such a change is unsustainable, as many people would simply do nothing, we must remember that our entire education system is based on the fact that work is an obligation.

In a system in which work is not an obligation anymore, we would simply need to device a system of education that focuses most of its energy in instilling in people an active desire to do so for their benefit and that of humanity.

A lot of attentions would be placed not only in giving skills and information but also on:

  • Teaching compassion in order to motivate young people to do good for all
  • Teaching dexterity and resilience in order to show the positive value of hard work and the larger person freedom it provides, rather than it being a simple tool for conditioned exploitation
  • Supporting the identification of one’s own vocation and purpose in order to enable people to find a job they would be happy engage in voluntarily

We haven’t done so until now because there was simply little need to do so and the job market would not be able to account for such demand. A new system, especially in lieu of increasing automation would on the other hand leave a lot of space to vocation based economics.

Automation would in fact free many jobs that people would normally not do unless forced to and would leave space for a humanity in which every human pursues his or her own true vocation.

  1. It would set the stage for decentralised automation
    Lower Right - corporate governance

The increasing automation that we are witnessing poses the thread of centralising power in the hands of a view corporations

The best alternative to this direction is the creation of cooperative companies and possible decentralised companies.

Such companies would be co-owned by all their stakeholders, becoming a direct shared property of large populations and possibly humanity, without the state as a middleman.

The system of cooperatives, having proved to be efficient in traditional contexts could be upgraded to work at a global scale. Its hard to argue that a collectively owned Facebook or Google are more likely to work in the people’s best interest, and this is both legally and technically possible today.

By enabling the sharing of companies equity via this system with the entirety of mankind, we would set the best base for the growth and decentralised companies.

Sharing increasingly larger portions of equity with large parts of the population would become increasingly normal and in doing so companies would increasingly develop decentralised governance and monitoring systems

Many of the improvements in governance needed to support decentralised companies would set the stage of a new form of lean democracy where data drives and measures the impact of new innovations, experimentation is constantly recorded and responsibility is increasingly distributed.

Moreover the increasing degree of financial interconnectedness would be a strong detriment to conflict and an incentive to a shift to a Resource Based Economy.

  1. It would support a cultural shift towards a global human identity
    Lower Left - Global consciousness

From a cultural standpoint, the mere act of donating to humanity, can be a way to cement a sense of human citizenry. A global cognitive switch, in which in lieu of having donated part of our wealth to all… upon meeting all other humans we are more likely to see them as part of a single ingroup and not a scattered, competing humanity.

Cognitive studies show how the mere act of doing something “positive” for another human, results in increased positive feelings and thought towards said human: this is because the mind tends to justify its own actions with perceptions that fill the gap of potential incongruency.

  1. Increased capacity for innovation resulting from larger safety nets
    Lower Right - Innovation

This does not by any means, the complete elimination of inequality. Some degree of inequality is still needed to provide an additional reward to those who wish to take risks and use most of their life to work.

What would be created is a Human Safety Net: a system onto which every human can fall back onto if something goes wrong. A system in which people can afford to make life and business decisions that are not driven by fear but by purpose.

A system in which any dishonesty that previously plagued business, driven by the need to survive, would be greatly diminished as people would be able to turn down opportunities that are not truly in line with their vision or capability.

  1. Building the foundation for the decentralised Internet
    Lower Right - Data

Many other opportunities are related to the issue of a unique personal identity.

Building a way that can create an economical incentive to build a global unique identity system has the advantage that upon doing this many other positive changes can be enstated.

A slew of applications could be built to provide services related to such accounts.

New technologies would allow such accounts to work in a way that the data would be in the direct hands of people, allowing them to control and monetize their own digital identity in full safety.

A great part of the power that large tech corporations have to this day, is the tendency to own or control user data.

This is not just due to the fact that they were the first to collect data in the first place, but because they work with technological system that strongly link data to applications.

This means that for an application to give you any value, it needs to access your data.

This seems logical but its not necessarily something that always needs to be true.

  1. Tim Berners Lee for example (the inventor of the internet) is working on Solid, a protocol that allows to separate data from applications, that enables to separate data from application. This not only has the value of giving much larger powers to the users, but it would become the foundation for building a standard ontology of the web.

Platforms and websites would no longer need to spend large resources in “translating” their data structures to transfer data across the web. This would increase radically the efficiency of how we transfer information across the web.

  1. Moreover, this data is generally hosted on technology infrastructure controlled by the giants of the web. This also is no longer something that has to remain a default option: technologies such as HAT are allowing people to host their data whenever they want, while applications remain able to “call it” from multiple servers and sources.

  2. Hosting itself is now opening up to becoming decentralised with projects like IPFS.

If such a new system would be built already with such technologies, it would inherently cause a massive shift in the way internet is organised.

Such a system could therefore:

  • Bringing data in the hands of users
  • Create a standard ontology for the web
  • Promoting the use of decentralised hosting system

This would not impair the companies that use people’s data from providing their services or monetising it: it would simply mean they would need to do it with the full authorisation of users and potentially force them to share part of the revenues with them.

Separating data from applications is a potential multi billion dollar business as new providers will emerge to host the data, support the management of identities and facilitate the connection between data and applications.

Existing identity providers, such as Apple, Facebook or Google, would be heavily threatened by such shift. Provided that they are willing to adopt a standard ontology and divest direct control over user data, a potential mediation is that they themselves would adopt these new standards and shift their business model from data ownership and control to data exchange, leveraging their existing platforms but giving final control to the users.

In doing this shift they would also become leaders in a new market of data management that is more user centric, collaborative and that provides opportunity for immense growth.

Additional Integral Perspective:

Lower Right: D-VUBI and increased information in the system to reach the tipping point

Integral theory gives us the idea that global consciousness evolves in a non linear fashion: when a certain tipping point is reached a new level unfolds.

For such non linear systems to evolve to the next stage, a certain amount of information needs to be added, after which a quantum shift happens.

One could argue that every layer of the Lower Right quadrant is caratherised by an “asset” or a form of information that is exchanged.

At the tribal level you have the basic tools and resources of the village and the resources offered by nature.
At the agrarian level you have land ownership.
At the feudal level we begin to have currency.
At the industrial level you have equity over companies: ie ownership of means of production VS production itself.
At the informational level you begin to have data and decision making power.

In each new unfolding, the asset that characterised the previous stage becomes increasingly more decentralised and accessible to larger parts of the population.

The capacity to bring about new structures of society, and the advent of new cognitive levels across the population is likely to be greatly impacted by the relation between the

N° people at a certain level of development X their relative power (financial, informational and decision making power)

Such power can also be seen as the access and capacity to exchange information: Information comes in many ways and sizes: equity, cash, decision making, data are all forms of information.

We should also consider that higher the level of development the higher the capacity to benact change in society efficiently due to a higher level of congruency and fitness in understanding the state of the world.

The issue is not merely to produce more information in these forms, but to make its circulation more efficient.

  • Highly affluent people stash a lot of cash: that is information that the system is deprived from
  • Most poor people never have access to stock and therefore struggle to have any compounded interest and passive income
  • Data has become an increasingly important asset but its circulation is heavily controlled by large tech corporations and by the inherent inefficiencies in exchanging data due to different ontologies

The more this information circulates and is available to larger parts of the population, the more its likely that an unfolding may take place.

D-VUBI would, in a a “single shot” could provide a framework for the increased availability and exchange of cash, equity and data.

Voluntary society as the key quality of the next stage

Why voluntary many people ask?

If we are to build a new society we are also to do away with what has been common across all previous structures: obligation.

If we want to imagine what a new unfolding of consciousness would look like we must infact look at what has been a single key underlying feature of all previous levels.

Something that, for however different the previous states were, allows to put them in a similar category.

The nest stage would infact be a new category that comes in opposition to the previous but that is able to include its predecessors.

If we therefore at all previous levels we can see that one of these features is obligation and labor.

Obligation has long provided an alibi for not placing effort in educating people to have the necessary motivation, compassion and understanding to participate voluntarily in most institutions: work, education, taxation…

There is an increasing sense that the the future will be characterised by the freedom from labor but this notion, however potentially correct, does not provide a new positive descriptive framework for the society to come which I believe to be: Voluntary.

A Voluntary society is a society in which people choose to engage in the world but do so free from financial and social constraints.

We already have evidence of this trend growing:

  • A lot of innovation is already created by Voluntary participation (look at Wikipedia or Linux for example) demonstrating its huge potential.
  • Countless amounts of money are already gathered through voluntary donations, showing people’s desire to redistribute wealth voluntarily.

That said, the idea of a voluntary society could be heavily extended tho beyond labor or charitable giving.

I strongly believe that the best thought exercise to re-imagine the society of the future, is to try to re-imagine every single institution as being based on voluntary participation.

This would force us to re-immagine all systems of incentives and all systems of education.

Two examples of radical ideas are:

  • Voluntary education in which children are never forced to attend: this would force a radical evolution in how we engage children’s passions, ability, desire to play and even how we train them to enjoy hard work and seek it voluntarily. Education itself would need to be focused on educating people to freedom: if we cannot account for people to be forced into working, the principal purpose of education would be to instil in young people the desire to do so.
  • Voluntary taxation: this would force public services to compete for people’s support, increase their efficiency and simultaneously to comunicate their essential nature. They could would become increasingly efficient and their ownership could become directly decentralised placing its stock in the hands of citizens without the state acting as a middleman.

The biggest challenge in such a shift is how to make it gradual, allowing for cultural and educational structures to re-adapt.

Since D-VUBI would impact the poorest of the poor initially, and gradually increase in its impact on economical structures of exploitation,it would provide the best way to gradually move to a new cultural mode that enables this new form of voluntary society.

In this sense it would facilitate a healthy co-development of the Lower Right and lower Left quadrants to harmonically support such a society.

Lower Right and States: Vocation Based society and Spiritual Awakening

Building a society in which people have a sense of purpose or passion is a key accelerator of spiritual awakening.

For most practitioners this may sound like a counterintuitive arguement, since awakening is generally seen as the freedom from any direction, purpose or condition.

While that is true it is also true that:

  • Virtually none of us are free from any on it
  • Even people who do have experiences of awakening, do not immediately become free from all desires and attachments as they come up again once the experience subsedes to the world of matter.
  • Moreover the people who are able to maintain states of non dual consciousness 24/7 are rare so its not really logical to build an entire map of awakening with a goal that seems so hard to attain!

But most importantly what is true is that one’s own capacity to “let go” is often a negotiation between a capacity to tap into “unconditional love and acceptance” which may very easily spur experiences of release and awakening…

and a sense of having completed and accomplished one’s own duties and tasks.

The first case (tapping into unconditional love and acceptance) is a combination of the minds current capacity to accept unconditional love and acceptance, as a result of

  • either a very positive upbringing and life experience,
  • of an intense practice of self healing
  • or a context that allows the mind to accept this new state of mind: an increadibly pleasant life condition (such as absorment in nature) or the experience of meeting a guru is a typical example of this third case.

Most spiritual practices generally encompass at least the second two, while spontaneous awakening may account for the first one and the third.

The second case on the other hand (accomplishing one’s own mission or duty), can be exemplified in those instances in which people’s awakening is triggered (not caused) as a result of a great effort… climbing a mountain, fighting a battle… and awakening often happens either as a result of letting go of the goal itself, or finally accomplishing or completing a mission.

In a moment of release, the self is momentarily free from duty, which is the social opposite of unconditional love. In such moment the mind is free to let go, and reek the benefits of any prior spiritual training or positive state of mind.

My arguement is therefore that to help people awaken, one should not only provide all the necessary tools for spiritual awakening, but simultaneously help people find healthy “battles”.

The term Jihad, sadly now ruined by its appropriation of integral terrorism, incarnates this sense of positive struggle.

In this struggle one feels both accepted within society, and fulfilled in one’s on passion and inclination. The term ikigai in japanese also well explains this concept.

In this outlook therefore, allowing as many people as possible to identify a “struggle” a “passion” or a “purpose” is a positive way to negotiate with society, the necessary sense of relief, which would otherwise require total abandonment of society itself.

While one must ultimately also accept to let go of all purposes, it is not sustainable to expect society to do so, before having found the most possible balance in these regards.

An additional value in this approach is that:

  • Compassion is easily a byproduct of doing something which society deems acceptable. Compassion is very helpful in bypassing the ego and thus fueling awakening.
  • Self love is needed to allow oneself to not merely pursue what is societally accepted as good, but what one considers his/her true calling or passion. This force a negotiation between the most duty bound traditional self, and the other selves which are often alienated during socialisation. This very process of negotiation can help disidentify from the most traditional structures in the self, and re-integrate any alienated ones.

The reason why this arguement is so important is that in modern day society, most people cannot afford the freedom to leave society or duty, and therefore we must negotiate our awakening with the objective needs to live in a society.

In this sense, more traditionally archaic communal societies used to provide a healthy sense of belonging and purpose: a shared sense of identity within a collective allowed societal participation not to interfere with spiritual liberation, while still giving the freedom to people to “walk into the forest” if and when needed.

Our modern day society, on the other hand, while embedding individuals into a system of interdependence, robbed them of their sense of belonging and purpose.

In this context achieving one’s own duties does not provide a sense of liberation for two reasons:

  1. For most people it is seemingly impossible to satisfy all the necessary requirements of society to feel completely “fit” and accomplished
  2. Society often works against people’s natural inclinations and passions

This last point is particularly critical:

How can people awaken in a society, which alienated then but from which they cannot escape?

The new age movement began building collectives and essentially drifting backwards to a more simple time. This was beneficial for the few people involved but was not a logical route for all others who still found benefit in the modern society in which they lived.

Moreover these collectives often fell apart due to the difficulty in maintaining sustainability, showing evidently how a new economical system must support a new balance between modern society and people’s needs for purpose, passion, belonging and fulfillment.

Nevetheless, using integral theory it may be easy to reverse engineer such system, by simply mapping what aspects of life, have been alienated in the process, namely, passion, purpose, belonging.

Any new system must infact trascend but include all previous ones, providing a sustainable level that hold new freedom and completeness.

It is my belief that a society which would include the need for growth and sustainability with people’s need for belonging, passion and purpose would be able to sustain efficiently the integral mind and provide a much broader space for awakening as a result of people capacity to attain release from societal pressure, in conjunction with the accomplishment of their own desire and vocation.

Challenges to overcome

Is it feasible?

There are two main levels of complexity:

  1. Financial
  2. Technical

The financial issue is:

1.1) Are people willing to put money?

1.2) Can we raise enough money and equity to make a difference?

1.1) Are people willing to put money?

We live in a world were corporations (and individuals) are more and more looking for way to:

  • Increase their public image
  • Deduct from taxes the money spent on positive impact

If a global campaign of pressure was to encourage companies to engage in this system, it could be made a standard and companies that do not share some of their profits with humanity would simply look bad.

Many individuals moreover want to help but they are becoming increasingly wary of the efficacy of large international organisations or NGOs.

Without discounting the crucial role of NGOs and international organisations, such a system would allow a new novel way to help out.

Wether people put money because they want to support the wellbeing of others, or because they are weary of economical migration and wish to help “people at home”, sucha system would provide a new avenue for people to share their wealth with the less fortunate.

1.2) Can we raise enough money or equity to have a difference?

As mentioned before, the poorest countries would be the first to benefit from this, even in a phase in which the least amount of money is available could make a significant contribution.

Moreover initial phases of this initiative could focus on a limited number of countries so to better demonstrate its efficacy and focus its impact.

The option to also share equity would compensate the lack of “chash” at the beginning of the project, offering anyways the possibility for people to gain an important asset which could grow in value and provide dividend over time.

  1. The three major technical issues to face in the implementation of such a system are:

2.1) The management of unique identities & Fraud prevention

2.2) The computation of transactions

2.3) Access to an internet connection

2.1) The management of unique identities

In order to avoid hoarding of money, it is key to ensure that each human citizen has access one and only one “wallet”.

In order to resolve this we have at least three options

  1. Governments could be put in charge to ensuring a unique identification. As money is added to the system a bottom up pressure from citizens may arise to push their governments to adopt new and efficient systems to ensure individuals identity and recognition so people can “downloadW the money in the wallet that is waiting for them.
  2. Biometric identification could serve as an alternative system for identity recognition.
  3. Peer identification may serve as a system in which peers who are already identifies by the system acknowledge the unique existence of an individual

Since governments may strongly oppose the adoption of such systems, in particular to prevent marginalised group access from capital, it may be essential to find a way that completely bypasses their role into it.

That said, since the wallets can be created before a system of identity is build to redeem them, the fact that a lot of value will begin to get accumulated onto the system may become a huge factor in pushing populations in pressuring their governaments to let them access it.

2.2) The computation of transactions

The biggest flaw of the blockchain at this stage is the high cost of computation.

This is not only related to the cost of a transaction but to the environmental cost of blockchain mining.

Quantum computing offers the greatest opportunity but is still an emerging technology.

At this stage this issue remains the biggest technical challenge for the implementation of this system

2.3) Access to an internet connection

While access to the internet is constantly growing, still large percentages of the human population have no access to it.

This is either due to lack of infrastructure or due to an active resistance on the part of the countries to allow access to free information.

In this sense, this system may serve as a direct financial incentive for the promotion and creation of a decentralised internet.

This also remains an open challenge to face for this project.


#2

Hi, Damiano, I love what you are doing. I haven’t read your whole post in detail because I am a humanities nerd who is most at home in the UL and least at home in the LR where your work seems to belong, and my attention bounces out of it. But IMHO, some form of Basic Minimum Income is inescapably part of our Integral future.

So glad that people like you are chewing into this and helping make it happen. I will do my best to support you from the UL.

I’ll try to put you in direct contact with another member of our Integral Community: Theo Van Brabant, who I think is also a member of this forum. He is also hard at work on the economic aspect of our Integral aspirations for the world.


#3

Love/Agree with everything, this is the way.

I would be working on this right now 12 hours a day if i could, but life circumstances prevent it, for now.

Not going to go into full break down detail of every point, just some thoughts/ideas.

  • To avoid unnecessary spending and increase the incentive for donations its possible to limit wallets so they can only purchase specif things like food/water/shelter. Does that do not need these resources wont receive them. This could be a seperate project entirely. Many use cases.

  • There are many components to this, might make sense to start smaller, the minimal viable product. A decentralized charity maybe, there are many popping up, Try to work with one of these technologies, what will it take for them to get the attention of government? Government funding?

  • Its possible the best way to go about building this is not to start by building the 8 billion wallets, but by working on a small decentralized country, Give people the tools they need to live independently off the grid (mostly). Could be as simple as online decentralized work/jobs. From here there is cash flow and the possibility to add the other components (governing system, collaborative companies, global basic income, user controlled taxation)…