Citizendium - a community developing a quality, comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free.
Click here to join and contribute
CZ thanks our previous donors. Donate here. Treasurer's Financial Report

Energy accounting

From Citizendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Discussion
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.

Energy accounting refers to a system that replaces money, advocated by the technocracy movement. The idea of energy accounting has its roots in the thermal dynamic interpretation of society. In energy accounting, experts would measure the production capacity of society in terms of energy required for production. Citizens within a Technate would then receive an equal amount of energy certificates or energy credits representing a share of the production capacity of a Technate. Each citizen could then allocate their share to the production of good they require.

Energy Accounting as a Replacement for Money

Energy accounting would replace money in a Technate, but unlike traditional currencies, energy credits could not be saved or earned, only distributed evenly among a populace.[1]

In this proposal, the Technate would use information of all available natural resources, industrial capacity and citizen’s consuming habits to determine how much of any good or service was being consumed by the populace, so that it could match production with consumption.

The amount of energy credits each citizen would have would be equal, within a sustainable context, the constraining factor being the Technates resource base and technological level.

Energy accounting as proposed, uses a post scarcity type of economy as its basis.[2]The Technate design as projected, would include such post scarcity aspects as free housing (Urbanates), transportation, recreation, and education. In other words free everything, including all consumer products, as a right of citizenship.[3]Everyone would receive an equal amount of consuming power via this Non-market economics, post scarcity method, in theory.

Proclaimed Benefits

Under the Energy Accounting system, a car, for example, would be valued by the energy it takes to create the product (energy to run and supply the factory, plus the energy to transport all materials and the final product, plus energy consumed by humans involved with production or transportation, etc.). In this way, ecological costs are accounted for, since energy is the main non-renewable resource consumed by humans. A manufacturing system which produces a car using less energy, would be more environmentally sustainable. In this way, quality and efficiency are maximized through careful review of their toll on the total reserve of energy and resources available to the population.

Another example of why technocrats support the energy accounting system is that they say it can eliminate (or greatly mitigate) many social problems, which are caused by problems in the current Price system. Since the productive capacity of the technate is equally available, technocrats state that things such as theft, gender inequality, and class hierarchies would be mostly eliminated from a consuming point of view, as all citizens would be equal in consuming power.

An additional advantage to energy accounting would be its empirical accuracy, namely, energy units could not appreciate or depreciate in value, and would themselves be direct representations of physical quantities. This would eliminate the possibility of debt and inflation, credit or debit in monetary terms, and release humans from a class system based on money. Everyone would receive an equal amount of consuming power via this Non-market economics, Post scarcity method, in theory, and the reward and punishment aspect of money is not in play. Things like education funding would no longer be measured in a money budget, but would be allocated the amount of resources needed to accomplish educational goals. Special interest groups would also be precluded of power as the system outlined can not be influenced as our political price system is currently influenced.[4]

Since technology is continuously evolving, there is much debate on what method would be used to record and measure expenditure of energy among the populace, however as with most things connected to a science based social system as the Technate design is made out to be, the most efficient and practical method would be the one used. In any case, the Technate would have to use technology to eliminate security risks and make the process seamless.

Opposition

Some arguments against energy accounting are briefly listed here:

  • The money incentive is lost; people will not work
  • There is no structure to the society, and people need hierarchies
  • It creates too much equality

Technocrats would agree that, as consumers, every person would be equal in a Technate. Technocrats argue that communism and capitalism are both systems evolved from scarcity, and that mankind has never attempted to implement a system based on abundance, using science and energy accounting to arbiter government decision making. In this way, the technocratic system would not be susceptible to the failings of Communism or Capitalism or price system economic concepts.

One argument against a system that is used to distribute an abundance within the context of protection of resources is that there will always be scarcity. While technocrats argue that technology can eliminate scarcity, opponents see it as a far-fetched dream at the present time. Technocrats argue that modern technology can produce more consumable goods and services (such as food, clothing, transportation, communications, etc.) than human beings are able to physically consume, and this is what defines an ability to deal with scarcity, and furthermore, that using a science based social system without the monetary concerns now used to arbiter economic choice, protection of natural resources for our future survival is attempted as a priority, instead of money making.

References

  1. The Energy Certificate essay by Fezer. An article on energy accounting as proposed by Technocracy Inc. [1] Article on alternative system to money 'energy accounting'
  2. The Energy Certificate essay by Fezer. An article on Energy Accounting as proposed by Technocracy Inc.
  3. Ivie, Wilton A Place to Live: 1955 Technocracy Digest
  4. R. B. Langan, "I Am The Price System", Great Lakes Technocrat, No. 66 (March/April 1944).