The communist civilizations era collapsed with the Berlin Wall in 1989. Our economies being increasingly fragile, capitalist civilizations will not be eternal either. The excessive accumulation of capital by a tiny part of the population exacerbates tensions day by day. In recent years, Oxfam started to make a lot of noise by yearly issuing two warnings that explicitly show a sense of urgency.
Oxfam calculated that in 2010, the combined wealth of the world's 388 wealthiest people was equivalent to the world's poorest half of the world's 3.5 billion people. The most prosperous men's and women's assets growth was tremendous over the next four years. In 2014 it was only necessary to group the 80 wealthiest assets to obtain the 3.5 billion most poor people combined wealth equivalent. And five years later, by 2019, only 26 of the richest were needed to match the bottom half of the world's population with the least resources 1 .
Then, along the lines set out by the Occupy movement, Oxfam projected figures on the wealth growth of the richest to the rest of the world. They calculated that the combined wealth of the 1% of the richest among us should surpass the combined wealth of the remaining 99% of the world population by 2016.2 . That showed the accuracy of the popular movement's slogan. Some also wanted to calculate the 1% versus 99% exact threshold in practical terms, whether relating to the world or one's country. The conservatives use the former figure ($32,400) to reassure the West's middle class. On the contrary, the income needed to count among the United States 1% wealthiest ($421,926) is much more alarming regarding economic unfairness. 3
For centuries, our capitalist economy stands on uninterrupted growth. Several voices are rising today, even among the richest, to sound the alarm. Indeed, despite this movement's laudable efforts towards "sustainable development," we are close to reaching the practical limits of this economy based on consumption growth and wealth accumulation by a tiny number of individuals.
Matriarchies present a more sustainable economic system in the long run. It is the sharing and giving economy (or "Gift Economy"). We call it "donarism" (from the Latin "donare": give) as opposed to other well-known economic systems such as capitalism, communism, or socialism. Donarism means the equitable sharing of livelihood resources within the population primarily. Then, community members kindly offer other goods and services among themselves. That helps build lasting bonds between the inhabitants.
Offering a good or service as a gift without requiring anything in return is an effective marketing technique, already commonly used in commerce to ensure consumer loyalty4 . By generalizing this approach to the entire local economy within the community, matriarchies' experience demonstrates that it maintains healthy relationships among community members. Furthermore, this circulation system of goods and services based on gift-giving allows establishing a sustainable development genuine marketplace.
This type of gift economy already exists very concretely in ICT. The free software world has established an efficient and widespread system of values that has created a reputation-based economy. The relationships stand on people's self-esteem and the prestige and recognition that comes with having certain activities succeed5 .
On the other hand, the sharing of livelihoods is still far from reality in our prosperous societies. In 1989, the Federal government unanimously promised to eliminate the shameful existence of Canadian children's poverty. They have set a deadline by the year 2000 for the beginning of the third millennium. We are now thirty years later and twenty years passed the solemnly committed deadline. And there is still one in five poor children in Canada, according to the Campaign 2000 latest report6 . Not being able to lodge, clothe, and feed properly is a tragedy that no child or even citizen deserves. We must immediately eliminate poverty for all.
A guaranteed minimum income is a possibility mentioned earlier, and recent decades enabled formula's refinement. Many prefer to speak today about a universal basic income (UBI)7 . Finland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands had plans to implement a basic income8 . Results came out from experiments in Finland and Canada.
The amount granted to all unconditionally varies greatly depending on the proposals. Indeed, UBI is an idea that seduces leaders from the entire political spectrum. Progressists see the possibility of eliminating poverty, finally. But liberals and conservatives are also looking at UBI positively. They see it as a way to reduce the massive and inefficient state bureaucracy. Another concern of the ruling class is to prevent social turmoil, knowing very well that profound economic disturbance is in the short term forecast.
Not surprisingly, at this point, the results of UBI experiments did not fully satisfy the majority of observers9 . However, there are more than enough benefits from the past forty years of trials, to implement UBI globally10 . Whatever the chosen formula, it must ensure that no one remains below the poverty line. That is the minimum objective to be achieved.
In our asset-building society, many parents and children begin their lives in an isolated nuclear family. Without the benefit of guidance, adequately equipped housing, or sufficient financial resources. Just at the time of their life when they would need it most. At the end of this ordeal, a golden retreat supposedly dangles before us, a dream far from materializing for everyone. Letting that many children start their lives in an inadequate environment and that many elders end up miserable and isolated is not acceptable.
Our matriarchy’s matriages will naturally offer better conditions of guidance and housing to young children and the elderly. But in terms of financial resources, the universal basic income is, for us, the first stage of economic donarism. That will ensure the entire population can feed, clothe themselves, and find adequate housing. Digital communications will facilitate the pooling of our resources and our energies. A multitude of new networks will emerge. Genuinely original goods and services will circulate free of charge. These new economic exchanges will be animated above all by the rewarding pleasure of emancipating through what we do best, offering it to others11 .
The political aviacracy, our families in matriages, and the economic donarism will allow our societies to become the world leaders of the digital revolution (DR). Our matriage families' breadth and geographical stability will allow us to develop our civilization rather than expand it. Ultimately, we will be able to put a brake on continued growth. Focus instead on developing more effective ways and techniques to take advantage of our skills and share our knowledge.
The sprawl of our suburbs swallows gross amounts of energy and resources. These will finally serve much more collectively exciting projects. Examples include:
- Revolutionary commuting alternatives.
- Food self-sufficiency.
- Local renewable energies’ production and distribution.
- Artistic performances more original and impressive than ever before.
It is necessary to add a vital aspect concerning the DR. It generates locally produced energies distributed using a point-to-point network, just like the Internet. The US military initially designed the Internet network technology to guard against a possible enemy attack. Indeed, at that time, it would have been enough to target some neuralgic points of a telecommunication network, then centralized, to paralyze it completely.
Our electricity distribution network suffers from the same weakness today. And two very present threats weigh on it: a climatic catastrophe and a terrorist attack. There was a foretaste of this severe risk during the 1998 North American Ice Storm. Fortunately, a relatively small area at the time suffered prolonged breakdowns. Therefore, the surrounding communities could organize effective relief for the people in distress to avoid tragedy.
Imagine what could happen in the future if the electricity grid throughout Ontario, Quebec, and the Northeastern United States was completely disabled for a very long time. That could happen if the whole of this area suffered a climate catastrophe of a much larger scale than that of 1998, something very seriously announced by our scientists. Or if a terrorist attack succeeds with few very well targeted means, to entirely paralyze the electricity network without being possible to set it up again within a reasonable time. With the events of recent years, the seriousness of the terrorist threat does not need to be justified.
The most exceptional quality of the Internet is to allow information to flow from one point to another without knowing in advance the path that it will take. It is virtually impossible to prevent the flow of information without destroying the entire network.
With large matrilocal families grouped in matriages, resources will be stable and numerous. Our communities will quickly be able to set up a distributed network of electric power-sharing. Indeed, with lower prices and anticipated power gains, each family will gradually produce their electricity locally. Our matriarchy will then have a way to put back its energy-sharing network on foot much faster in case of catastrophe12 . Besides, it would discourage any terrorist attack that could target this great weakness.
By becoming the world leader of the DR, our communities will be able to experiment and develop technological know-how that will be of great value during the transition from capitalism to donarism. Several existing or newly created technology companies will be able to take advantage of these skills. They will offer this know-how to countries that have not yet chosen matriarchy so that they did not have the opportunity to take as much advance as us.
In every community, it will be crucial to identify the existing organizations supporting the transition to matriarchy. In Canada's province of Quebec, the Desjardins Cooperative Group and the Deposit and Investment Fund are of great interest. They will play a critical role in the transition to economic donarism, serving as bulwarks against economic upheavals. Indeed, we can expect capitalism to fight hard not to lose its supremacy.
There are many public electric utilities in Canada. They serve millions of customers with the most extensive grids in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. It will most probably be necessary to review fundamental aspects of their hierarchical and centralized operations. But the fact that they are already public gives them a step ahead when radical economic changes occur. Already among the world's largest hydroelectricity producers, many of these companies are world leaders in renewable energy production. Their organizational model will not harmonize seamlessly with the collaborative network that will emerge in the coming years. However, as many are already public-owned companies, it may help use their facilities for the new local energy sources sharing and distribution.
Finally, the cooperative organizational form will play a significant role in this DR. The very nature of the cooperative model corresponds directly to the emerging collaborative movement's essence. Existing cooperatives will serve as models for many new flagship cooperatives that will naturally promote the transition to this new form of sharing economy: donarism. For example, we will need networks of local, regional, and national cooperatives to organize domestic production and sharing of energy and food, as well as for 3D production of various objects and buildings. And to extend and generalize electrified collective and individual transportation, without forgetting, of course, a universal, open and unrestricted access infrastructure to a wireless Internet.
Wealth: Having it all and wanting more, Oxfam issue report, January 2015 and
« ... last year 26 people owned the same wealth as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, down from 43 people the year before. » (p. 5)
Public good or Private wealth? Oxfam briefing paper – January 2019
Wealth: Having it all and wanting more, Oxfam issue report, January 2015
Daniel Kurt, Are You in the World's Top 1 Percent?
Investopedia, September 25th, 2019 (visited February 17th, 2020)
Jim Taschetta, Why Gift Marketing Is the Next Big Thing
Eric S. Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar : Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary,
O’Reilly Media, 2001
2020: Setting the Stage for a Poverty-Free Canada
Campaign 2000 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada
Original quote: « Le revenu de citoyenneté a une vocation universelle. Il est évident que le remplacement des anciens programmes fait partie de l'objectif … Pensons à l'aide sociale. En effet, tous les citoyens auraient un accès garanti aux biens premiers. Les programmes destinés à aider les parents seraient aussi remplacés puisque les enfants obtiendraient un revenu de citoyenneté dès la naissance. » (p. 79)
Michel Bernard et Michel Chartrand, Manifeste pour un revenu de citoyenneté
Éditions du Renouveau québécois, 1999
Adam Boult, Finland is considering giving every citizen €800 a month
The Telegraph, 2015-12-06
Luke Martinelli, Basic income: world’s first national experiment in Finland shows only modest benefits
The Conversation UK, Academic Journalism Society, February 21st, 2019 (visited February 18th, 2020)
Tyler Prochazka, Basic income’s experimental wave is over: Time for policies
Basic Income Eatrh Network, June 4, 2019 (visited February 18th, 2020)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/31/capitalism-age-of-free-internet-of-things-economic-shift Jeremy Rifkin, Capitalism is making way for the age of free
theguardian / Economics, 2014-03-31.
Jeremy Rifkin, The Zero Marginal Cost Society
St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2014