Possible transition?

The quote below is from an article that provides an overview  of the transition that the author envisions if our invasive human species is to avoid collapse of the civilisation that we have created:

“a cultural transition from seeking happiness in material excess to seeking happiness in material sufficiency and spiritual abundance. It will require an institutional transition from corporate rule to deep democracy.”

There are many such articles available, not so much in the mainstream corporate-controlled media, but in self-funding ‘progressive’ websites – in this case http://www.truth-out.org. The article is entitled “Time to grow up into a living earth  economy”. It contains a concise summary of the assumptions (dominate nature, venerate money; centralise power) behind the failed economic system that is pushing us rapidly to socio-ecological collapse:

The current failed system is a collective human creation based on human choices made over thousands of years in response to the unfolding circumstances of history. In the big picture, these choices reflect three foundational assumptions:

  1. It is our human right to dominate nature.
  2. Money is wealth and therefore a suitable object of sacred veneration.
  3. Social order depends on institutions that centralize power in the hands of the few to rule over the rest of us so long as these institutions are subject to the discipline of the market and/or a system of popular elections.

If we step back and examine these assumptions, most of us immediately recognize profound fallacies:

  1. Our human existence depends on the health of nature and the systems by which Earth’s community of life self-organizes to maintain the conditions essential to the existence of all life.
  2. Real wealth is living wealth — those things with real intrinsic value, beginning with the land we depend on to grow our food and the water we depend on to quench our thirst. Money is useful in facilitating the exchange of things of real value but has no intrinsic value in itself
  3. Life exists only in living communities that self-organize in response to diverse and ever-changing local conditions to create and maintain the conditions essential to their own existence. There is no equivalent in nature of the centralized command-and-control structures we humans currently favor. That is because they block the community’s ability to self-organize in response to the ever-changing local needs and circumstances characteristic of any living system.

These three assumptions are part of the ideology of power and greed that has reached its peak with the rise of neo-liberal values (see George Monbiot’s brilliant critique of neo-liberal ideology here) in recent decades that has accelerated human expansion and the destruction of nature, that has enormously concentrated wealth and power, and that has turned homo sapiens into an invasive species that has exceeded the capacity of Spaceship Earth to ensure a sustainable future for ‘business-as-usual’.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s