In “The Objectivist Ethics” chapter of The Virtue of Selfishness (1964), Ayn Rand wrote: “The principle of trade is the only rational ethical principle for all human relationships, personal and social, private and public, spiritual and material. It is the principle of justice” (p.27, original emphases). Although Rand defined society as a mere collection of individuals, society as an interconnected whole is possible, but it is only possible on the basis of the economic environment in which we all live. This economic environment–our immediate reality–is Capitalism. The soul of Capitalism is its economy, and it wants to be free of any political restrictions. The following is a new kind of a free-market economy, and it is my response to Rand’s words.
Introduction to the Theory of Emotional Economy
Would you like to live in a world where there are no taxes, no material costs of production, no wars, no crime, no corruption, and there is always one commonality between all people – emotional love? “To love is to value,” as Ayn Rand said, and genuine emotion is that value.
The world that is proposed is real and practicable. There will be no financial crises that are caused by emotions economists cannot predict. In the beginning and transitional stage, we will live in a hybrid economy with more than one currency. In the long run and ideally, there will be no taxation or any other economic regulation necessary because it will be either a pure emotional economy or an advanced hybrid economy.
The basic mechanics
There are positive and negative emotional responses that can be measured. A sharp interstitial interval on an electrocardiogram is negative, and its round edge is positive, as shown by Institute of HeartMath’s neurocardiological research and technologies (Science of the Heart, pp. 18f., 44). Imagine a rubber bracelet on your hand that can measure your heart rate, has an electronic scanner, and holds an account connected to the National Emotion Bank (Neb) that authorizes it. To pay is to give a “thanks” and be scanned or send it to a public account number by using a number pad. When someone pays you directly, your reputation grows by the person’s positive response or decreases from a negative response.
Why is reputation important?
Reputation is the key to social and career success. It is like an emotional history. More expensive purchases and stores may require a specific reputation clearance. Reputation will not decrease through purchases, one cannot pay directly to one’s own account, and one is not scanned continuously – only at transactions volunteered by the purchaser.
To be employed as an executive with power and influence over others, one will be required to have some minimum reputation. One can also make one’s account public within a company or outside of it. If you are a public figure outside a company, you are allowed to permanently publicize your account. The reputation at the moment of publicizing will be frozen and will not decrease or be lost. It is also impossible to transfer individual reputations. This way, employees can find public accounts online (or through advertisements or word of mouth) and may pay positive or negative emotions to this person over distance.
The government will be a constitutional republic, so people who will take care of the Neb will be a board of trustees that will make decisions in addition to electing a leader. Being a member of the board will also require a high reputation and a public account.
Basic outline of features
There will be three kinds of accounts: individual, company, and property; and two types of each account: private and public. Private account numbers (whether individual, property, or company) will not be known by anyone and will use encrypted traces, but one’s own account transactions and reputation balances can be securely checked online on the Neb’s website. For a simplistic representation, see the infographic.
How are emotional payments managed?
There will be emotional credits (what you are being paid over time) and debts (what you have to pay over time), but only one payment to a particular account per day will be allowed by the Neb (this is true of any payment, not only debt or credit). Debts will have no interest, will not change in value, and will only be counted in terms of a minimum amount of personal daily responses in which they have to be paid in full. However, profits on one’s account can help pay off debts faster.
Some debts may also require minimum emotional responses, so people will study at emotional institutes or find other ways to increase their positive emotions while working, climbing the career ladder, or being public figures. Since reputation will not go below zero or a set limit (as in public accounts), negative responses may automatically become debts and would hinder reputational growth. An ability to maintain a constant positive disposition will be like a permanent wallet with money and will be indispensable as well as helpful in getting others to pay off one’s debts.
There will be no bankruptcy because all debts must be paid off through individual accounts, and all payments will be genuine and will come from the heart. Disbanding a public company will unfreeze the company’s reputation to pay off any debts and may deplete connected property accounts, if necessary. Only company’s reputation can be transferred to connected individual accounts as profits. Only company and property accounts can be bequeathed. There is no way to lose a reputation or debts. Disbanding a property account also destroys all of its reputation and transfers debt(s) to connected individual account(s).
No multipliers of any kind will be allowed to increase emotional payments, so managers will be motivated to have close personal relationships with their employees. This means that a manager will have to pay each employee per task, quota, or day, depending on business practice or contract, or an employee may be paid directly through the company’s account.
How will you make purchases?
In a hybrid economy, hybrid payments may be required or motivated: for example, a less expensive gas price per gallon plus one emotional payment for the whole purchase. In the long run, there will be two general types of stores. In the beginning there may be stores that are less expensive, convenience outlets to shop for items of first need, and these stores will not require high reputation from its customers. The following is an example of a simple grocery store purchase in a developed emotional economy.
Take two gallons of milk. As you are walking past an exit scanner, it will blink green (positive), red (negative), or yellow (error) after your bracelet and the codes of the products are scanned. A positive payment is divided and distributed to the store and the producer, who receives only one payment for all produced items in a single purchase. Since businesses will ideally have no costs of production, it will not matter whether a payment is received for one item or many (of course, this is only true of less expensive items).
In a different instance, a negative payment will be automatically sent to the payer’s account as an emotional debt, the positive equivalent of which (or more, if it takes several lesser payments in a later generational economy) will have to be paid to the automatically saved trace of the store’s private account. In the case of an error, either scan again or wait for an employee with a store’s account bracelet to approach you and motivate a positive response.
Ultimately, the store’s account will follow its programmed procedure on distributing payments among all the owners of the company’s account (if the account does not own an emotional debt, which needs to be paid first). In the case of more expensive stores, there may be a high reputation requirement in order to shop there. In this type of stores, all items will cost a specific amount of emotional points, so purchases may require an emotional debt.
You can create a property account (whether private or public) that will be connected to an individual or company account, but only in form and not in contained reputation. In other words, their reputations will be fully contained on separate accounts. You could also make a profit on a property reputation when it is sold on an emotional credit. General property can be measured as a percentage of a company’s account. If you are alone connected to it, it belongs to you 100%, but by connecting others, the percentage will become shared.
You can even self-insure your own property. Imagine, for example, getting up at home every time in a good mood and sending a positive response to the account of your apartment (one can also do so online through the private account). Every day, your property’s reputation will grow as a result. And if someone other than you will destroy this apartment, and he or she is proven guilty by a court decision, then this person (or people) will own a reputation debt to your account plus potentially an additional penalty of emotional debt (as for any other crime). This credit can also be used toward a purchase of another apartment. However, a reputation requirement will be in order unless you insured your apartment by an insurance company that already has an ongoing relationship with a real estate company.
 cf. “Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another” (Atlas Shrugged).
 There are many criticisms of HeartMath. It’s true that HeartMath’s presentational philosophy is crude and imprecise, but their scientific research is based on facts, and their technologies actually work. You may read a few interesting quotes from their book, Science of the Heart.