We're Meant to be Collaborators

In the 21st century we’ve created a system of dependence that is unnatural. A system of principals and agents; the principals are the owners and the agents are the employees. This seems like a very inhuman way of operating. Yes, we’ve always created hierarchy and rank but that doesn’t automatically assume total dependence.

This makes being free in the 21st century extremely difficult.

Perhaps what is most human is to be beholden to no one, but accountable to everyone. Being a freelancer that builds a skill and sells that skill on markets like any other commodity. Doing jobs by the gig and then taking time to rest, reflect, pivot and scale. Being geographically independent so long as there is a WiFi signal. The era of the Internet Immigrant.

As a human you feel the constraints of being beholden to other people in a very real way. You feel it before you know it: the 9-5 is horribly unnatural and doing mindless menial tasks should be left to machines with no mind.

As our human groups grew too large we created agriculture. We didn’t move around anymore. We stayed in one place and eventually we were able to store a surplus of food. Once we had a surplus of food we began to specialize: someone became the baker, the barber, the mason, the brick-layer and the scribe. After generations of this system only a select few knew how to properly grow food, build shelter and keep the power on. We can’t even feed ourselves anymore. I recently read an estimate that said the urban, wealthy nations have 2 weeks of food max if our energy and transport systems fail.

Being un-free has probably made us less skilled. Instead of intentionally developing skills that are traded for value, we intentionally remained unskilled, did repetitive tasks all day and traded it for $15/hour.

The reality, even in my own life in some ways, is this:

If you are dependent on someone else to eat, you are not a free person.

If you are dependent on someone else to put a roof over your head, you are not a free person.

If your political views fit neatly in one pre-determined bucket, you are not a free person.

If you can’t go one hour without checking your phone, you are not a free person.

What we’re meant to be is collaborators; an economy of people with skills that they trade on an open market like any other product or service. We do jobs together if it makes sense and if we choose to and then we retreat back and engage again when the time is right.

Entrepreneurs who are beholden to no one but accountable to everyone.