FTA:” These features aptly characterize key dimensions of today’s operating system—the political economy of today’s American capitalism. It’s important to see these features as a system, linked and mutually reinforcing. Taken together, they have given rise to an economic reality that is both colossal and largely out of control. An unquestioning society-wide commitment to economic growth at any cost; powerful corporate and banking interests whose overriding objective is to grow by generating profit, including profit from avoiding social and environmental costs; a government beholden to corporate interests and thus not strongly inclined to curb corporate abuses; and a rampant consumerism spurred endlessly on by sophisticated advertising—all these combine to deliver an ever-growing economy insensitive to the needs of people, place, and planet.”
FTA2:” The following transformations hold the key to moving to a new political economy. Consider each as a transition from today to tomorrow.
• Economic growth: from growth fetish to post-growth society, from mere GDP growth to growth in human welfare and democratically determined priorities.
• The market: from near laissez-faire to powerful market governance in the public interest.
• The corporation: from shareholder primacy to stakeholder primacy, from one ownership and motivation model to new business models and the democratization of capital.
• Money and finance: from Wall Street to Main Street, from money created through bank debt to money created by government.
• Social conditions: from economic insecurity to security, from vast inequities to fundamental fairness.
• Indicators: from GDP (“grossly distorted picture”) to accurate measures of social and environmental health and quality of life.
• Consumerism: from consumerism and affluenza to sufficiency and mindful consumption, from more to enough.
• Communities: from runaway enterprise and throwaway communities to vital local economies, from social rootlessness to rootedness and solidarity.
• Dominant cultural values: from having to being, from getting to giving, from richer to better, from separate to connected, from apart from nature to part of nature, from transcendent to interdependent, from today to tomorrow.
• Politics: from weak democracy to strong, from creeping corporatocracy and plutocracy to true popular sovereignty.
• Foreign policy and the military: from American exceptionalism to America as a normal nation, from hard power to soft, from military prowess to real security.
In America the Possible, our dominant culture will have shifted, from today to tomorrow, in the following ways:
• from seeing humanity as something apart from nature, transcending and dominating it, to seeing ourselves as part of nature, offspring of its evolutionary process, close kin to wild things, and wholly dependent on its vitality and the finite services it provides;
• from seeing nature in strictly utilitarian terms—humanity’s resource to exploit as it sees fit for economic and other purposes—to seeing the natural world as having intrinsic value independent of people and having rights that create the duty of ecological stewardship;
• from discounting the future, focusing severely on the near term, to taking the long view and recognizing duties to future generations;
• from today’s hyperindividualism and narcissism, and the resulting social isolation, to a powerful sense of community and social solidarity reaching from the local to the cosmopolitan;
• from the glorification of violence, the acceptance of war, and the spreading of hate and invidious divisions to the total abhorrence of these things;
• from materialism and consumerism to the prioritization of personal and family relationships, learning, experiencing nature, spirituality, service, and living within limits;
• from tolerating gross economic, social, and political inequality to demanding a high measure of equality in all these spheres. “
Why the Hell Not?!
Why is this deemed an impossibility? A Utopian, Hippy-Dippy Fantasy?
As I’ve said…because WE have allowed the Worst among Our number to Dictate the Shape of Reality….to decide what is Real, what is Important, and what is Possible.
The naysayers, who will crap all over this, and other similar Manifestos, are the ones who have benefited most from the current, unsustainable, and iniquitous Paradigm…the Error.
The most vocal defenders of this Error are, when one strips away the rhetoric and posturing, Cowardly Men…bereft of Nobility, or of Honor.
A Hedge Fund, a Corporation, an LLC, a Gated Community….Modern Fortresses, all….and the biggest Fortress of all? The Lie! The Mythology peddled by these same Cowardly Men.
And whom do they Fear?
US. WE. The People.
As things Fall Apart, I expect an increase in Police, especially the Militarised variety, and an increase in surveillance, more draconian laws to further Fence Us in…
As more of US awaken to the Failure of the current Paradigm…and realize that it is NOT set in stone, that it is NOT handed down, from God, that it is , instead, the product of Human Minds…in other words, as more folks stop Believing, implicitly, in the Machine, things will change.
The Question is, what will We believe in, as a Replacement?
Will the Machine foist upon us a New Mythos? Undoubtedly. But WE have the Choice of whether to Believe it, or Not.
It’s high time that Humankind Grew Up!
We have been stuck in Adolescence for 500 years…take an Honest look at the systems and structures and Beliefs operant, today.
Who are the Utopians?!
WE must insist on Adulthood. The Teenage Boys who run the show, must be put into their place.