At first, I thought the “basic necessities” of Copiosis were a little goofy, and not just because of the redundancy. As far as I was concerned, food was the only universal necessity on the list—food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education. The rest were optional, depending on where you happen to be. As practical promises, clothing, healthcare, and shelter make sense for a reasonable quality of life in most places, but guaranteeing education struck me as going too far, especially if “education” turned out to be anything like public schools, whose primary aim is docile sameness.
For me, education is pretty much anything other than public schools and I hope somebody in a Copiosis society will agree with me and make sure that education includes all sorts of learning and development, especially in areas currently poo-poohed by capitalists. We’ve given enough attention to exploitation to last us a while. It’s time for chakras and qi.
A Copiosis society seems to me to be based essentially on the values mentioned in the Declaration of Independence of the United States: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all . . . are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The way I think of it, to secure Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, Copiosis assumes five necessaries—shelter, food, healthcare (including clean water), clothing, and education.
Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Dictionary says necessaries are “things that must be had (as for the preservation and reasonable enjoyment of life).” For me, “. . . the preservation and reasonable enjoyment of life” is interchangeable with “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” which pleases me because I’ve had a soft spot for “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” since I memorized that bit in grammar school, and the Third New International is the Bible.
About food, it’s obviously required for life, and still some food is clearly not necessary. Caviar or truffles, say, seem like they ought to be considered luxuries and needn’t be provided at no cost to everybody, like grace or consciousness. Potatoes and broccoli, fine; Kobe beef and saffron, probably not. That’s how I thought. Now I don’t know.
If I’ve got a thing for organic shiitake mushrooms it’s up to me to figure out how to satisfy that yen. Since people in a Copiosis society are free to participate or not, no particular food could be guaranteed, just like it is now. We don’t run out of stuff here because we can buy whatever we want, and there’s always somebody around willing to sell it to us. For instance, I think that to be eligible for government assistance food has to be unheated and unserved. No hot meals and no servers, but cold lobster on a bun would be fine. I like that.
Copiosis is a long way from having to deal with practical issues like those, and they’re still what most attract me to the discussion. I love ideas.