A Sorta New Direction

The Greatest Never Artist Collective

Realistically not much has or ever will change in terms of our goals. Our path remains the same. What has changed; is the detail of our perspective and the depths of our understanding on where that path is leading us.

The Greatest Never as an association, has ascribed itself to the long term goal of transforming into and establishing it’s presence and functionality as a non-specific Artist Collective.

You may be familiar with the term collectivism, though i’m assuming most of you probably aren’t. If by chance you are, than it’s likely you may have heard it tossed around with other big name economic and political ideas like communism, socialism, and anarchism.

 In relation to these, collectivism is one of  socialism’s many ideological offspring. Simultaneously collectivism itself also has many different sub-types and interpretations.

Broadly speaking one could generalize it as economically resembling a form of libertarian-communism while being both anarchistic in nature and functioning like a direct-democracy in terms of it’s administration.

What is a Collective?

To answer more specifically we must define collectivism. 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides the following definitions for collectivism both of which are applicable:

1. A political and economic theory advocating collective control over production and distribution. Also a system marked by such control (collective). 

2. Emphasis on the Collective rather than individual action or identity.

So a collective is essentially a system; in our case a small autonomous, mixed-motive organization; in which the means of production, and distribution are collectively shared.  So an artist crollective would simply be a collective that shared their means to create works of art, as well as market, promote, showcase and distribute such works.

On a very basic level we already have this established. Any member of the team is able to promote just about any creative work they want on TGN or any of it’s related platforms. Reguardless of whether it’s for profit or not, TGN is our collective hub and utility for reaching an audience and showcasing things that we’ve done,  made, want to say. etc.

For the sake of building upon and entertaining my fantastical visions, what if we somehow managed to step up our size in one way or another. That way could be anything from finding a patron, releasing a high selling album, or book, or even just organizing ourselves better and being more consistent, efficient, and proactive with our content creation and output.

I suppose if that were to happen the next step would be to acquire a warehouse. Therei Set up an office, a couple DIY recording studio, practice and jam area, acquire a variety of instruments, art supplies, areas for painting, sculpting, modeling, crafting etc, bookshelves full of resources and areas to write, think, and work. Create and maintain our own promotional platforms like newsletters, magazines, etc.

Even more fantastical what would the step after that be? Operating our own venues? museums? libraries?laboratories? studios? radio station? etc? I should stop myself, this is getting too good. Though such talk sounds ambitious and crazy, I know it is, but I’ve always found it better to dream big, and I believe I speak for most of the crew here at TGN when I say that.

Just to clarify this is not collective profit system. Obviously if money was made using the collective equipment, we would expect a very minuscule return to help pay for supplied equipment, and a minuscule cut to contribute to charity.

The idea is not to make money off it’s members, but if the capital is for the benefit of each, than everyone who’s receiving a monetary benefit ought to be doing their part to keep it afloat. Not that we wouldn’t love to see our members contributing as much excess to the growth of the collective as possible, but we understand that won’t be in everyone’s best interest, but perhaps a few of us will be inclined to do so.

If non-for profit, or if for profit but none was made, than obviously we would not expect any form of  monetary contribution. However their are many ways each of us could contribute that wouldn’t cost anything but our time and effort; the more we can manage to accomplish through DIY tactics the better.

10 Ways Anyone can help and contribute that won’t cost a cent.

  1. Turn off Adblock!!!!!

  2. Spread our name through word of mouth, spam our link in random corners of the internet. 

  3. Take some time to read our articles, and check out our various content. 

  4. Share and talk about us through social media, text, email or even just press the like button!

  5. Comment with your thoughts, criticisms and feedback to help us improve on any of our works or aspects of our organization.

  6. Follow us on Social Media: Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn

  7. Submit something you’d like us to promote or showcase for you. 

  8. Give us a shout-out on you own blog, website, social media, youtube channel etc. 

  9. Become a member! (contact us through email or our facebook page)

  10. Come back and visit soon! Spend some time in our corner of the internet! browse our other sites and content! Leave us a message in the forums!

10 Ways to help and contribute that won’t cost you a cent (Members Specific)

  1. Writing, Creating, thinking up, conjuring, coding, crafting, fashioning, Recording new content to be published, shared, linked to, advertised etc. 

  2. Assisting with the cleaning and maintenance of our as of yet imaginary warehouse/collective safe house and the half imaginary equipment that would be found therein. 

  3. Creation and Distribution of homemade promotional materials. 

  4. Interacting with  readers, followers and fans through comments sections and our social media pages. 

  5. Motivating, assisting, educating, learning from and collaborating with other members. 

  6. Acquire a new skill, form of knowledge, or connection that could be in some way shape or form useful to the collective. 

  7. Turn a skill or form of knowledge you have into a How to, Guide, and or Tutorial. 

  8. Generate, discuss, share and explore ideas for ways to expand and grow the reach, production power, and overall economic value of our organization. 

  9. Sift through old content for mistakes in grammar, spelling and formatting, as well as ways to simplify and or add value. 

  10. Improve yourself in any way shape or form in return making you more useful and valuable to the team. 

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On Socialism and Proxy Societies.

In a dog-eat dog world, where does one find peace?

 In Utopia? That’s a funny ass joke.

Socialism has never worked right? Cry the yuppies; who are already lined up to give me a hundred reasons why socialism only works on paper. Most of which are likely derived from a conservative twitter page.

What is socialism?

Socialism however contrary to popular belief, is a broad umbrella term rather than a concrete system. Many commonly conflate socialism with it’s ideological offshoots such as , Collectivism, Communism, Mutualism as well as various forms of anarchist, socialist, and communist ideology.

It’s true that all of the above have their roots in socialism, along with many other strains of ideology. The key concept common among all forms of socialism is the social/communal ownership of the means of production.

This means that instead of controlling private corporations controlling production and manufacturing, it would be controlled socially or communally.

Alternative control systems for means of production

1. by the state (communism, fascism),

2.by the workers (anarchism, Anarcho-communism ),

3.by voluntary associations (collectivism, Mutualism, Anarcho-syndicalism)

Socialist revolution?

I am not advocating for a full fledged revolutionary uprooting of capitalism, but in the same breath I think it would be quite far from the worst thing to happen to our species.

While of course, the young revolutionary forces revived time and time again by the Fiery works of Marx and Proudhon always make for a great story; usually leave a positive mark on society (provided they didn’t attempt any violent revolutionary tactics) and have a lot to offer in terms of education on a surprisingly wide variety of fronts.

I don’t  by any means believe a large scale socialist revolution is either sufficient or necessary for our salvation. But do believe a lot of our problems could be fixed by the adoption of various elements of socialism into our society.

I don’t see a violent revolution on the horizon, what I do see however is a revolution of knowledge and ideas. A revolution of economic systems and Socio-political policy. A revolution in technology and science. A socio-techonomic war of words and numbers if you will.

Why keep capitalism?

Some people are always going to prefer the competition; and we should not be fast to stop them for the fruits of their battle are rapid and significant advancements in technology, research and policy.

Why does capitalism needs proxies?

As for the ones whom wouldn’t benefit from nor wish to participate in an economic and social system based on constant competition with their peers. I do believe some sort of alternative remedy is in need, and indeed it already exists to a certain extent.

Examples would be advent the productive commune or collective. This would allow liberation from the clutches of capitalist realism without actually having to subversively change anything.

A society within a society?

This is possible because a group of people living communally could focus on some sort of export in order to pay taxes and maintain their property, without requiring any internal economic competition.

Earlier I noted there are many forms of socialist ideology, and each of those containing many different sub forms, and methods of implementation.

Regardless of exactly what system is used in this context I believe they can all be described with the branch terms: proxy society and micro society.

Due to functioning as mini societies within a society, some may rather function similar to a corporation ran in alternative social and economic fashion. Some may be both a corporation and a communal living area.

Even Google has their own village for employees!

That being said the systems I describe throughout the essay are based on my respective interpretation and how I would implement these type of ideas based on my currently limited but ever growing understanding of socialist economic and political systems.

NOTE: not to be taken as a set in stone description of a communal society/collecgive society, they all have their flavors and variations

What precisely is a proxy society?

Think about it, because this has already been done by many. What if the hundred socialist thinkers in x square miles, decided to throw down on a large plot of land, live communally under their own terms, and as a collective, contribute some form of tangible and or intellectual export for the rest of the outer society without necessarily being required to be apart of it.

Many Amish communities do just that and export/sell their crops and farmed goods.

Artist collectives

Artist collectives focus on the export of intellectual property. They may live collectively but for many it’s purely about the work. Why though?

Benefits to working in a collective

1. Access to resources and equipment,

2. Sets the stage for collective productivity & enhanced collaboration,

3. Working toward a common goal or with people who share a common worldview/ideology

4. The freedom of creative expression that goes with producing music and other artwork outside the main industry labels and standards.

5. To avoid a traditional capitalist work setting.

6. To feel and be a part of something bigger.

In depth explanation

A settlement, organization and or productive association where the means of production would be communally or collectively maintained controlled, and distributed through a system of possession (as opposed to a system of property. )

Where everyone can retain autonomy and individualism the sense that their talents and aspirations would shape their overall purposes within the group and that any work undertaken would be purely voluntary in nature.

Self management

Team leaders may be appointed for the sake of things like bookkeeping, budgeting, business related communications, and as a sort of administrator.

Besides administrative tasks this system will put everyone in a position of increased responsibility for themselves and their productivity. Unlike a typical work setting, a collective requires everyone to be their own manager, since their is no inherent group management.

Group Administration

The collective interest would overrule all higher group-level decision making in a profoundly democratic fashion. Everyone who contributes whether that is monitarily, or through the group labor/task system gets a vote. Membership in itself does not earn a vote, one has to be useful and make some form of contribution to the collective as a whole. One cannot buy more votes or a greater position by donating or working more towards group efforts. The only thing this will get you is more respect, appreciation, and potentially an administrative positions.

This creates a decentralized system of consensus and decision making. Where anyone who contributes, has an equal say and representation in the affairs of the whole.

Voluntary participation

Anyone would be able to leave at any given time. People who are violent, troublesome, subversively destructive or in some way or another; intentionally trying to hinder productivity or make the work of the group more difficult would be forced away from the settlement, as peacefully as the situation allows.

Relationship with host country

Another key prerequisite required to make this work would be a productive and mutualistically beneficial relationship with the host country.

This will be absolutely necessary if a communal/collective setting wants its existence to be tolerated. As a benefit of functioning independently within a larger capitalist society, it would have no real need for a military force.

Economics of a communal society

In a traditional communal society: The Individual member would not directly deal with money.

Since The work of each member toward the export of some type of goods would be essential to providing necessities to members as well as paying taxes and property fees that go with existing within the host country.

All external economic affairs would be decided by the commune. Everyone who does their part is provided for. No economic competition or market systems exist within the internal life of the commune.

Now on to my preferred approach:

Economics of a collectivist organization

If this was a collectivist work setting such as an artist collective this would function a bit differently in terms of productivity, economic distribution and group finance.

For example if I was running an artist collective,Anyone who used collective resources to produce, market and or publish/sell art, music, literature etc would obviously keep their profit.

Yet they would be highly encouraged (though never coerced or required) to return at least a minuscule portion of their profit back to the collective and a minuscule portion to charity.

If the collective was successful enough; food and quarters may be offered to members but even in that case living there would not be a requirement for membership.

Group projects and collective task-work.

Aside from individual projects the ‘team leaders’ would organize group projects in which we would come together to work on something for the sake of raising money to keep the collective afloat.

The idea is to be able to function without relying on income from the self-guided work   individual members; making sure everyone has the right to their own profits and the right to create non profit work if they so desire.

Group work may consist of group art/music projects, but there may be other forms of unrelated group work too depending on the situation.

Alternative group efforts

The group could for example own a greenhouse and ask everyone to go tend it, for a small portion of their time each day, with the growth exported for collective money(with a small amount of whatever was grown being allocated to whomever took the time to tend it.)

Alternative group work could also be self guided; any way someone can think of to help the collective will earn them respect and notoriety within the group.

Its a bit of a gray area because theirs lots of ways this can be done, but it seems it would be important to diversify the groups sources of income, so-as not too rely too heavily on any one form of export.

While one technically cannot be forced to participate in group work as with contributing a share, team members may become disgruntled if someone is constantly using up resources and equipment to make money without ever contributing monetarily nor through effort on group work.

If the people democratically vote someone out for being a leach than so be it.

Benefits of group projects.

1. Encourage productive collaboration on other projects,

2. Increased interconnectedness, better inter-group relationships.

3 Develops a sense of culture and community within the group.

4. Helps lesser known members establish credibility and build a following in their respective industry by creating something alongside better known members.

5. Generating collective income; any excess would primarily be used for better equipment, supplies, and advertising/marketing solutions. (Or in a full fledged communal society used to provide everyone with food, shelter, toiletries, etc.)

6. Increased potential for creativity due to collective brain power being utilized for a common goal.

Closing comments

 I hope this helps shed some light on alternative economic and political systems; as well as some light on the direction this group is headed in.

If you found this piece to be interesting, useful, inspiring, stupid, boring, or however you have it please let us know in the comments, we want your feedback so give it here!