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OSE Case

OSE promotes distributed, collaborative, open source production as a solution to wealth inequality and general political discontent of 2020.

As productive jobs shifted from America to China - and in general from developed countries to less 'developed' economies - finance capital was part of the issue. Who controls the economy? Those who fund it. Who funds it? Banks and venture capitalists in general, with a small upsurge of crowd funding in the 21st century. But for the most part, the Corporate Charter - specifically its separation of agency from ownership - is a fundamental design flaw in the current economic system. See the Agency Problem.

What does that mean? It means the agent - operatorator or worker or producer or CEO - cannot act against the owner. The owner pays for and essentially controls the show. Even a progressive CEO can do little - being bound by the corporate charter to maximize the benefit to the owner. Not the worker or operator - and not nature - from which all material wealth is extracted.

OSE proposes that a new level of responsibility needs to happen, where the actual producer, and nature - are taken care of. This is nothing controversial or new - but it doesn't happen in practice.

OSE is working on creating financing mechanisms that leverage the public interest, as opposed to further concentration of power in finance capitalists. Wall Street controls the world. But because it is removed, physically and mentally - from the effects that it creates - the feedback loops are weak and structural evil is a generic result as society races to the bottom.

A strong case can be made for funding mechanisms where the stakeholder is the producer, not the finance capitalist. Unfortunately, the current funding mechanisms based on finance capital - do just the opposite: producers get a tiny slice, and finance capitalists gain the most. Generally speaking, those ratios are 80% of the wealth goes to the capitalist, and 20% to the worker or producer. That is an important part of how Trump supporters are filled with a sense of injustice.

OSE's proposed solution is distributed production, where collaboration displaces finance capital. Collaborative open source means drastically reduced cost of product development - think of it as cost-share among the beneficiaries. Strong finance capital is not required - but instead - the work and development of designers, producers, and all other supporting parties.

The trouble with finance capital is the lack of feedback loops. Schumacher has already explained that beyond a certain scale of operation, societal structures break down. Finance capital does not heed this lesson, and makes money at the expense of people and nature. Thus, the financialization of the world needs to be looked at carefully, and an alternative must be created - which allows meaningful enterprise to be fully funded. The solution is not cooperatives, which are mostly proprietary - such as Mondragon. Only open, collaborative entities can solve the wealth distribution issue at the core, while leaving nobody behind.

Structural Solution

Distributed, flexible, digital, open source production is OSE's proposal. One form that it can take place in is Open Source Microfactories or Open Source FabLabs. This has been discussed in The Second Industrial Divide, Small is Beautiful, Ghandi's Autobiography, The Third Wave, or The Zero Marginal Cost Society. None of this is new or controversial - it just doesn't happen in practice.


  • Wikipedia - [1]