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Less Retarded Society
Less retarded society (LRS, same acronym as less retarded software) is a model of ideal society towards which we, the LRS, want to be moving. Less retarded society is a peaceful, collaborative society that aims for maximum well being of all living beings, a society without violence, money, oppression, need for work, social competition, poverty, scarcity, criminality, censorship, self-interest, government, police, laws, bullshit, slavery and many other negative phenomena. It equally values all living beings and establishes true social equality in which everyone can pursue his true desires freely. The society works similarly to that described by the Venus Project and various anarchist theories (especially anarcho pacifist communism).
Note that this society is an ideal model, i.e. it can probably not be achieved 100% but it's something that gives us a direction and to which we can get very close with enough effort. We create an ideal theoretical model and then try to approximate it in reality, which is a scientific approach that is utilized almost everywhere: for example mathematics defines a perfect sphere and such a model is then useful in practice even if we cannot ever create a mathematically perfect sphere in the real physical world -- the mathematical equations of a sphere guide us so that with enough effort we are able to create physical spheres that are pretty close to an ideal sphere. The same can be done with society. This largely refutes the often given argument that "it's impossible to achieve so we shouldn't try at all" -- we should try our best and the closer to the ideal we get, the better for us.
The following is a basic description of just some features of the ideal society, some of which are however only speculative. Keep in mind it is impossible to plan a whole society exactly -- even if some of the speculations here turns out to be somehow erroneous, it probably still doesn't present a fatal obstacle to implementing our society, things may simply just turn out differently or to be more or less challenging than we predict.
Our society is anarcho pacifist and communist, meaning it rejects capitalism, money, violence, war, states, social hierarchy etc. Money, market, capitalism, consumerism, private property, wage labor and trade don't exist, people are free and happy as they can pursue their true interests and potential.
People don't have to work, almost everything is automated and the amount of work needed to be done is minimized by eliminating unnecessary bullshit jobs such as marketing, lawyers, insurance, politicians, state bureaucracy, creation of consumer entertainment and goods etc. One of the basic rights of an individual is the right to live, without having to deserve this right by proving worth, usefulness, obedience etc. The little remaining human work that's necessary is done voluntarily.
Society is NOT based on competition, but rather on collaboration. Making people compete for basic life resources is seen as highly cruel and unethical. The natural need for competition is still satisfied with games and sports, but people know competition is kind of a poison and know they have to practice self control to not allow competitive tendencies in real life.
There is abundance of resources for everyone, poverty is non existent, artificial scarcity is no longer sustained by capitalism. There is enough food and accommodation for everyone, of course for free, as well as health care, access to information, entertainment, tools and so on. Where there used to be shopping centers, parking lots, government buildings and skyscrapers, there are now fields and people voluntarily collaborate on automating production of food on them.
States and governments don't exist, there are no artificial borders. Society self regulates and consists of decentralized, mostly self-sufficient communities that utilize their local resources as much as they can and send abundant resources to communities that lack them. The is no law in the sense of complex written legislation, no lawyers, courts and police, society works on the principle of moral laws, education and non-violent actions (e.g. refusal of people to use money etc.). Communities aren't hugely interdependent and hyperspecialized as in capitalism so there is no danger of system collapse. Many decisions nowadays taken by politicians, such as those regarding distribution of resources, are in our ideal society made by computers based on collected data and objective scientific criteria.
Criminality doesn't exist, there is no motivation for it as everyone has abundance of everything, no one carries guns, people don't see themselves as competing with others in life and everyone is raised in an environment that nurtures their peaceful, collaborative, selfless loving side. People with "criminal genes" have become extinct thanks to natural selection by people voluntarily choosing to breed with non-violent people.
Technology is actually simple, good and helps people. Internet is actually nice, it provides practically all information ever digitized, for example there is a global database of all videos ever produced, including movies, educational videos and documentaries, all without ads and copyright strikes, coming with all known metadata, subtitles, annotations, accessible by many means (something akin websites, APIs, ...), all videos can be downloaded, mirrored and complex search queries can be performed, unlike e.g. with YouTube. Satellite images, streams from all live cameras and other sensors in the world are easily accessible in real time. Search engines are much more powerful than Google can dream of as data is organized efficiently and friendly to indexing, not hidden behind paywalls or registrations to websites, which means that for example all text of all e-books is indexed as well as all conversations ever had on the Internet and subtitles of videos. All source code of all programs is available for unlimited use by anyone. There are only a few models of standardized computers, not thousands of slightly different competing products as nowadays. There is a tiny, energy efficient computer model, then a more powerful computer for complex computation etc. All are of course without malicious features such as DRM, gay teenager aesthetics, consumerist "killer features" or planned obsolescence. All schematics are available. Personal computers, such as what we would nowadays call a phone, last weeks on single battery charge thanks to lack of bloat and bullshit, and are far more responsive and faster than computers nowadays despite having lower raw specs because software is written in a good way. Computers and other tools remain working and usable for many decades. The computing world is NOT split by competing standards such as different programming languages, most programmers use just one programming language similar to C that's been designed to maximize quality of technology (as opposed to capitalist interests such as allowing rapid development by incompetent programmers or update culture).
Fascism doesn't exist, people no longer compete socially and don't live in fear (of immigrants, poverty, losing jobs, religious extremists etc.) that would give rise to militarist thought, society is multicultural and races highly mixed. There is no need for things such as political correctness and other censorship, people acknowledge there exist differences -- differences (e.g. in competence or performance) don't matter in a non-competitive society, discrimination doesn't exist.
Computer security is not an issue anymore, passwords and encryption practically don't exist anymore, there is nothing to "steal", no money on the Internet, no way to abuse personal data, no possibility to ruin someone's career, no celebrity accounts to hack etc.
All people speak the same language, possibly Esperanto. Though some speak multiple languages, most of the world languages have become archaic and are studied e.g. for the sake of understanding old texts. Of course dialects and different accents of the world language appear, but all are mutually intelligible thanks to constant global communication and also people being so responsible as to willingly try to not diverge from the main form too much.
People don't wear clothes unless for practical reasons (weather, safety, ...). Fashion and shame of nudity doesn't exist and it is seen as wasteful to keep manufacturing, cleaning and recycling more clothes than necessarily needed. Of course it is NOT forbidden to wear or make clothes, people just mostly naturally don't engage in unnecessary, wasteful activity.
Anyone can have sex with anyone, with consent of course, but there are no taboo limitations like forbidden incest, sex with children, animals or dead bodies, everything is allowed and culturally acceptable as long as no one gets hurt. "Cheating" in today's sense doesn't exist, marriage doesn't exist, people regularly have sex with many other people just to satisfy the basic need. People have learned to separate sex and love.
Cannibalism is acceptable as long as high hygiene is respected as it puts a dead body to good use instead of wasting food by burying it or burning it. Even though most people don't practice cannibalism, it is perfectly acceptable that some do. Many people wish to be eaten after death either by people or by animals (as for example some Buddhists do even nowadays).
There are no heroes or leaders. People learn from young age that they should follow ideas, not people, and that cults of personality are dangerous. There are known experts in different disciplines and areas of science, but no celebrities, experts aren't worshiped, their knowledge is treated the same as we nowadays e.g. treat information that we find in a database. This doesn't mean there aren't people who lead good moral examples and whose behavior is admired, people are just separated from their actions -- all people are loved unconditionally, some had the opportunity to take admirable actions and took it, some were born to perform well in sports or excel in science, but that's no reason to love the individual any more or any less or to worship him as a god.
Education is actually good, people (not only children) attend schools voluntarily, there are no grades, degrees or tests that need to be passed or prescribed courses, only recommendations and guidance of other people. There is no strict division to students and teachers, teachers are students at the same time, older people teach younger.
People don't kill or otherwise abuse and torture animals, artificial meat is widely available.
People don't have tattoos, dyed hair, piercing etc., that's simply egoistic bullshit of our individualist age. It is correctly seen as immoral to try to persuade by "good looks" -- for example by wearing a suit -- that's simply a cheap attempt at deception. Everyone is valued the same no matter their looks, people don't feel the need to change their gender or alter their look so as to appeal to anyone or to follow some kind of fashion or trend or to infiltrate specific social class. Of course cutting hair e.g. for comfort is practiced, but no one wastes their time with makeup and similar nonsense.
People live in harmony with nature, the enormous waste of capitalism and consumerist society has been eliminated, industry isn't raping nature, cities are greener and more integrated with nature, people live in energy-efficient underground houses, there are fewer roads as people don't use cars that much thanks to efficient public transport and lower need for travel thanks to not having to go to work etc.
Research advances faster, people are smarter, more rational and more moral. Nowadays probably the majority of the greatest brains are wasted on bullshit activity such as studying and trying to hack the marked, in our ideal society smart people focus on truly relevant issues such as curing cancer. People are responsible and practice e.g. voluntary birth control to prevent overpopulation. However people are NOT cold rational machines, emotions are present sometimes much more than today, for example the emotion of love towards life is so strong most people are willing to die to save someone else, even a complete stranger. People express emotion through rich art. People are also spiritual despite being highly rational -- they know rationality is but one of many tools for viewing and understanding the world. Religion still exists commonly but not in radical or hostile forms, Christianity, Islam and similar religions become more similar to e.g. Buddhism, some even merge after realizing their differences are relatively unimportant, religion becomes much less organized and much more personal.
People live much longer and are healthier thanks to faster research in medicine, free healthcare, minimization of stress and elimination of the antivirus paradox from medicine.
- Isn't it utopia? As explained above, the society is an ideal model that's probably not 100% achievable, but we are pretty certain we can get extremely close to the ideal in the real world implementation, there are no known obstacles to it. Even if we couldn't get very close to the ideal, it would be better to get a little closer than not, there is no logic in refusing to try. Every major invention happened for the first time one day, even when it's been called impossible; for example before Wikipedia practically everyone would tell you the principles on which it would be built (free voluntary work, allowing anyone to edit) were utopian. History is basically a constant stream of events proving our disbeliefs wrong. Things such as abolishment of death sentence, universal literacy, universal health care, women in science, abolishment of black man slavery, instant world wide communication and similar things might have once been deemed a similar utopia.
- How is this different from "communism", "socialism" and other movements/ideologies that brought so much suffering and eventually failed anyway? We are very different especially by NOT advocating revolutions, violence and forceful application of our ideas, we simply educate, show what's wrong and what the solution is. Harm has only ever been done by forcing specific ideas, no matter whether rightist or leftist ones -- the key in preventing harm is to avoid the temptation of forcing ideas. We know that only a voluntary, non-violent change based on facts and rational thinking can succeed in long term. The mistake of every failed "utopian" ideology was that it was forced, oppressive and in the end served only a few as opposed to everyone, no matter what the initial idea was. These ideologies fought other ideologies, creates cults of personalities and propaganda to manipulate masses. We do not fight anyone, we simply show the truth and offer it to people and believe that this truth can't be unseen. Once enough people see the truth and know what the logical solution is, a change will happen naturally, peacefully and inevitably, without any force.
- Isn't your society unnatural? In many way yes, it's unnatural just as clothes, medicine, computers or humans living over 70 years are unnatural. Civilization by definition means resisting the cruelness of nature, however our proposed society is to live as much as possible in harmony with the nature and is much more natural than our current society which e.g. pushes sleep deprivation, high consumption of antidepressants, eating disorders, addiction to social networks and so on.
- Won't people get bored? What will motivate people? If they have everything why would they even get out of bed? Haven't you seen the mouse utopia experiments? It is a mistake to think that competition and the necessity of making living is the only or even the main driving force of human behavior and creativity (on the contrary, it is usually what makes people commit suicides, i.e. lose the will to live). Human curiosity, playfulness, the joy of collaboration, boredom, sense of altruism, socialization, seeking of life meaning and recognition and many other forces drive our behavior. Ask yourself: why do people have hobbies when no one is forcing them to it? Why don't you bore yourself to death in your spare time? Why don't rich people who literally don't have to work bore themselves to death? Why doesn't your pet dog that's not forced to hunt for food bore himself to death? Maslow's hierarchy of needs tells us that once people fulfill basic needs such as that for obtaining food, they naturally start to pursue higher ones such as that for socializing or doing science or art. Unlike rats in small cages people show interests in seeking satisfaction of higher needs than just food and sex, even those that aren't scientist try to do things such as sports, photography, woodwork or gardening, just for the sake of it. It's not that there would be a lack challenges in our society, just that we wouldn't force arbitrary challenges on people.
- If you say it's possible, why wasn't it done before? Firstly small scale communities working on anarchist and peaceful principles have existed for a long time in environments that allow it, e.g. those that have abundance of resources. Globally society couldn't reach this state because only until recently we lacked the technology to provide such an ideal environment globally, i.e. only until recently we have been forced by the nature to compete for basic resources such as food and space to live. However with computers, factories, high level of automation and other technology and knowledge we posses, we now have, for the first time in history, the capability to establish an environment with abundance of resources for everyone. Nowadays only social inertia in the form of capitalism is ARTIFICIALLY keeping scarcity and social competition in place -- getting rid of this obsolete system is now needed to allow establishment of our ideal society.
- How will you make people work? We won't, in an ideal society people don't need to work, all work is done by machines -- that's the point of creating machines in the first place. In practice there may in a foreseeable future be the need for small amounts of human work such as overlooking the machines, but the amount of work can be so small that volunteers will easily handle it -- especially with people having no burden of working day jobs there should be no shortage of volunteers. Remember that by abandoning the current system 99% of "bullshit work" (marketing, lawyers, bureaucracy, fashion, ...) will disappear.
- Does elimination of bullshit jobs mean my favorite activity will disappear?! Unless your hobby is something like killing people for fun, we don't aim to force anyone quitting anything he likes to do, on the contrary we aim exactly to establish the freedom to do anything one desires. So if you like e.g. designing clothes, you are free to do so as a form of art, we just argue against e.g. socially forced necessity to follow fashion in clothing and making capitalist business out of it, which is what we call "bullshit". We believe most bullshit activities that were invented by capitalism, such as marketing, will simply naturally disappear once capitalism ends, there is no need to force it.
- How will society make progress? Just as it always had: by science, curiosity, necessity etc.
- How do you prevent natural human selfish and violent behavior? Violent and selfish behavior is natural in us just as peaceful and altruistic behavior, we have two sides and which one shows is mostly determined by the conditions in which we live. Nowadays we think people are extremely selfish and violent because we live in society that highly fuels the "evil" side in us, when we're forced to fight for basic living and grow up in a highly competitive environment, it's no surprise most adapt to this and grow up being "dicks". If we're forced to fight for food and brainwashed since birth that "life is a fight", we will be selfish and violent, just as wild wolves are violent while pet dogs whose needs are secured and who were raised peacefully are mostly completely peaceful. If we have abundance and grow up in a society that naturally rejects any violence, we will grow up to solve conflicts peacefully and think of others, just as nowadays we e.g. naturally learn to wear clothes because simply everyone does it and there is little reason not to. If we make resources abundant, there will be no need for selfishness -- do you see anyone stealing air from others out of selfishness? No, because there is no need for it, air is abundant. By changing the environment people live and grow up in we will make 99.99% of people abandon violence and selfish interests (note the remaining natural need for selfishness and competition can be satisfied e.g. with games).
- How will you prevent chaos without laws or rules for the people? We don't say there should be no rules, we are just against complicated written law that no one can even comprehend (even lawyers don't know all laws nowadays) and that has so little in common with morality. Our society works on the basis of moral rules that all stem from the common goal of well being of living beings and that are derived and taught by people themselves -- for example one moral rule that all people would learn would be that money is bad for society (along with the reasons why it is so) and even though there would be no police "enforcing" this rule, the rule would be effective by the fact that absolute majority of people would simply refuse to use money -- in a society where most people know capitalism is bad for them capitalism can't work. Note the importance of the fact that people wouldn't just be taught to memorize such rules as "facts set in stone" (as is our current law), emphasis would be put on people deriving their moral code and understanding how their behavior affects others, people would learn and teach by example.
- How will you prevent criminality such as stealing, murder and mafia organizations? In a society with abundance for all which works for the good of all criminality simply won't make sense, i.e. we will eliminate criminality by solving the root cause of it, not by curing the symptoms (building prisons etc.). People have no reason to revolt against a system that benefits them or attack other people if there is no conflict between them. Large criminal organizations also cannot exist if most population rejects them, for example there cannot arise a capitalist corporation (or a similar mafia organization) if most population is educated and refuses to engage in capitalism. In addition to this a more mature, educated and responsible society will naturally minimize genetic predisposition to things such as aggressivity and self interest by natural selection as females will choose to rather have offspring with good people (unlike today), making genes associated with bad behavior go extinct. Of course, we probably won't eliminate criminality 100%, but that's not possible under any other system -- even in your current society with prisons and other punishments there still exist criminality. Of course in practice, until we achieve our ideal, we will likely need to keep some anti-criminality precautions as a necessary evil, but generally we will be able to greatly relax them (reduce police numbers, abandon death penalty, ...) as we move towards the ideal society. For example in an intermediate state of our society dangerous criminals won't be killed but only immobilized and they won't be put in prisons as a punishment but only sent to e.g. a remote island so as to be isolated, without punishing them by restricting their freedom within the island.
- How will the economy work without money? With abundance of resources there will be no money and no trade, resources will be available to anyone who needs them. Various anarchist schools already have proposals for how distribution of resources could work. The Venus Project calls this a resource based economy and proposes using computers and globally placed sensors to collect data and make decisions about where to distribute resources. Resources would be gathered and distributed more locally and cities would be more self sufficient so as to prevent waste and vulnerability of the system, we wouldn't see a huge globalization like nowadays, there is e.g. no need for transporting exotic food all over the whole world to places where there is enough local food available, however anything could be distributed to places where such resources are scarce (e.g. water to deserts). Each community could have food banks and other storage and distribution centers.
- How will you prevent discrimination and racism? Things such as racism appear when one group of people feels endangered by another group, in a society without social competition these issues will naturally disappear.
- How will you fulfill the natural need of people for competition? With sports and other games. Competition of people won't be forbidden, it just won't be mandatory and it won't be the basis of society.
- How will you prevent overpopulation? By voluntary birth control.
- How will you force people to change so radically? We won't force people to change, the change has to be voluntary, and that will be achieved by education. We don't advocate revolution but rather a slower, evolutionary transition. Just as now you're learning about our ideal society, more people will. With more people on the board the word should spread more quickly and with better conditions and greater general education of people over the world more will start to see and realize this is the only way forward.
- Do you really think you can convince even diehard neonazis to accept these ideas? Not in their lifetime -- some people can't practically be convinced, it would take longer than they will be alive. But these people will die one day and there will come a new generation, a tabula rasa, which will have the opportunity for a better upbringing and not growing up to become diehard nazis.
- Without any censorship how will you prevent "hate speech" or protect people's personal data? As mentioned above, racism and issues of so called "hate speech" will simply disappear in a non-competitive society. The issues of abuse of personal information will similarly disappear without any corporations that abuse such data and without conflict between people, in the ideal society there won't even be any need for things such as passwords and encryption.
- How will you prevent psychopaths from just going and killing people? In the ideal society maximum effort will be made to prevent wrong psychological development of people which can happen due to crime, poverty, discrimination, bullying etc., so the cases of lunatics killing for no reason would be extremely rare but of course they would happen sometimes, as they do nowadays, they cannot be prevented completely (they aren't completely prevented even nowadays, a psychopath is not afraid of police). Our society would simply see such events as unfortunate disasters, just like natural disasters etc. In transition states of our society there may still exist imperfect means of solving such situations such as means for non lethal immobilization of the attacker and his isolation (but not punishment, i.e. not a prison).
- You say you want equality of all living beings -- does this mean you will force animals to not kill each other or that you will refuse to e.g. kill viruses? Ideally we would like to maximize the happiness and minimize suffering of all living beings, even primitive life forms such as bacteria, and if that cannot be achieved at the time, we will try to get as close to it as we can and do the next best thing. Sometimes there are no simple answers here but the important thing is the goal we have to keep in mind. For example provided that we want to sustain human life (i.e. we don't decide to starve to death) we have to choose what to eat: nowadays we will try to be vegan so as to spare animals of suffering but we are still aware that eating plants means killing plants which are living beings too -- we don't think the life of a plant is less worthy of an existence than that of an animal, but from what we know plants don't show signs of suffering to the degree to which e.g. mammals do, so eating plants rather than animals is the least evil we can do. Once we invent widely available artificial food, we will switch to eating that and we'll stop eating plants too.
How To Implement It
This is the hard part, however after successfully setting things in motion it may start to become much easier and eventually even inevitable that the ideal society will be closely approached. However at the moment society seems too spoiled and change of a direction seems very unlikely, it seems more probable that we will destroy ourselves or enslave ourselves forever -- capitalism and similar misdirections of society connected to self-interest, competition, fascism etc. pose a huge threat to our endeavor and may ruin it completely, so they need to be strictly opposed, but in a CORRECT way, i.e. not by revolutions and violence but rather by education, offering alternatives and leading examples (i.e. means aligned with our basic values). It has to be stressed that we always need to follow our basic values of nonviolence, love, true rationality etc., resorting to easy ways of violence etc. will only prolong the established cycle of suffering in the society which we are trying to end. Remember, we are not creating a revolution, we aims for a rather slow, nonviolent, voluntary evolutional change.
We already have technology and knowledge to implement our ideal society -- this may have been the most difficult part and it has already been achieved -- that's the good news.
For the next phase education is crucial, we have to spread our ideas further, first among the intellectuals, then to the masses. Unfortunately this phase is still in its infancy, vast majority of intellectuals are completely uneducated in this area -- this we have to change. There are a few that support parts of our plan such as simple technology, nonviolence, not hurting animals etc., but almost no one supports them all, or see the big picture -- we need to unite these people (see also type A/B fail) to form a small but dedicated community sharing all the proposed ideas. This community will then be able to collaborate on further education, e.g. by creating materials such as books, games, vlogs, giving talks etc.
With this more of the common people should start to jump on the train and support causes such as universal basic income, free software etc., possibly leading to establishment of communities and political parties that will start restricting capitalism and implementing a more socialist society with more freedom and better education, which should further help nurture people better and accelerate the process further. From here on things should become much easier and faster, people will already see the right direction themselves.
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