- a report from New-Borderland
As a utopian writer
I sometimes feel like Abbott’s poor friend from Flatland whose reports
from Spaceland were condemned by his fellow citizens. It consoles me that
this was the fate also of those visionaries whose imaginations later proved
to be facets of our present two-dimensional, dual economy.
Beyond the former
totality of the global system economic transactions are nowadays also facilitated
in local markets, an institutional arrangement which has probably become
too self-evident: Sales are recognized only as far as they level with expenditures;
at the end of the year the balance is drawn and treated like a non-local
credit or debit – subject to income or value-added tax it is payable in
global currency. Certainly, local markets depend on the global system -
only the traditional economy generates both, the capital base which is
necessary for local production as well as the minimum income in global
currency guaranteed to anyone. But there is also a reverse dependency -
only the local markets offer sufficient opportunities for occupation, and
thus the social stability which again is a precondition for the efficient
operation of the global market.
Since any of our
local currencies is absolutely non-convertible, these markets form a second
dimension of our economic structure. The comparison to the one-dimensional
structure of the last century where high-tech production or financial services
were treated like labour-intensive ecological food production or social
services reminds us of the first voyage of Abbott’s friend to Lineland
where the message of a second dimension also remained unheard.
refers to Edwin A. Abbott "Flatland.
of Many dimensions" originally published 1884)