On this blog I’ve published several posts about the Internet Revolution, and how the Internet is changing our society (for example here, here & here). In the book Netocracy: The new power elite and life after capitalism, Alexander Bard and Jan Söderquist, speaks of a new society emerging. One of the things they mention that caught my interest, is the idea that money will lose a lot of its importance, and instead other aspects will be regarded as more important. Lately I’ve also been thinking about how money doesn’t play any big role in many people’s life. Many already have what they need, and the basics of making a living (such as money for food and rent) isn’t very costly for most people compared to average wages (at least not in western countries).
On the other hand, it can be quite hard to make a living as a culture worker. Many things which culture workers produce are only accessible on the Internet, and it is quite hard to earn money on what is on the Internet. For example, I used to buy cd:s, but now I just listen to music from the computer/internet, I used to subscribe to papers, but now I get that information on the Internet instead. Books I read, movies I look at, also a lot from the Internet. I often aim at doing things legally, I pay for e-books etc, but I know many who don’t.
Some sites, like Wikipedia, asks for donations. I believe many people are willing to donate money for what they think is good and benefit from the Internet, but one can feel uncertain about the use of it. For example, how can I be sure this money goes to someone in need, ain’t it so these money goes to someone who already has a lot of money?
My idea would be to start a project intended to collect money for culture workers, and donations are only accepted for a smaller sum, enough to make a cheap living. Any donation exceeding that sum, is kept for someone else involved in the same project. The sum is only intended to be big enough so that one can keep doing one’s culture work, instead of being forced to look for some job which one doesn’t want to get involved in. A criteria could be that it is only offered for people who have no other income, or that their income is so small they can’t even afford food and rent. A suggested sum could be $1000 per month.
So who would this be for? Who is allowed to take part in this $1000/month deal? Well, that is a question up for discussion. It could be bloggers, writers of books and book reviews, writers of wikipedia-articles, students of the humanities, unemployed journalists, people who involve in forum discussions, political commentators, music producers etc.
Many things could be questioned. What are the criteria for inclusion? Does one have to prove certain amount of competence or merit? If so, how does one measure that? Do one have to prove that this culture producer has no other income, and is therefore in need of these money? Or is that criteria not required at all? A suggestion could be that each donor gets to set their own criteria. Ranking systems and queues could be applied. There could be different divisions, where people could apply for say either $2000, $1000 or $500 per month, depending on their merits and on their personal demands.
So far this is only a vague idea, and I have no plans to try and implement any of it for the moment. However, if someone else reads this, and wants to implement this kind of project, or something similar, you (probably) have my support.