The main contradiction today is between the possibility of free, abundant goods and information; and a system of monopolies, banks and governments trying to keep things private, scarce and commercial. Everything comes down to the struggle between the network and the hierarchy: between old forms of society moulded around capitalism and new forms of society that prefigure what comes next. Paul Mason
And it doesn’t mean that finding this core of inner imagination and resiliency means that the world doesn’t continue to be in a dark place. It does mean that as this great crisis and great sorrow washes through the world, we can learn to find ourselves again and again, and learn that the inner star that used to be called the light inside the soul, the light found in the depths of darkness, does not simply run out of energy and lose its brightness, because it is secretly connected to something divine. — Michael Meade
Earth’s collapsing environmental systems provide the imperative to reverse humanity’s current course. A now seamless global communications web provides us the means. This convergence creates a brief moment of opportunity to birth an Ecological Civilization that brings people and planet into balance, nurtures innovation and creative expression, and provides to all an opportunity for material sufficiency and spiritual abundance…Put in simple terms, we face a classic choice between life and money as society’s defining value. One will be the master; the other the servant. Earth’s collapsing environmental systems provide the imperative to reverse humanity’s current course. — David Korten
The natural world is breathing a sigh of relief at the moment, as human activities stop for a while. We have already exceeded the Earth’s capacity to sustain itself at the same time we chase money as the primary life purpose. I don’t think we are going back to status quo after we defeat this virus. If we do, we are finished. Things have to change radically now, not just superficially. No more tinkering around the edges. We Americans have the opposite kind of governance, education and financial systems we will need as this shift happens. The world is going to look different, and we are going to think differently about it.
Already some countries have instituted a universal basic income as robots assume the jobs humans no longer do. The US is going to be behind the curve on this issue because not working is sinful here.
People will be put out of work by machines, regardless. Societies will have to reorganize. Information is the new commodity, but it’s cheap or free now. Those entities that try to sequester it for the market, like universities and patent offices are being challenged by the Wikipedias of the world.
There is a change coming. Humans will change their ideas of why they’re living. Money will become a servant instead of a boss. Our mental landscapes will include passions, talents and motivations not having to do with money. Our view of life on this planet needs to expand now. The optic we have held as self-evident truth is too small for the new paradigm.
The vision and means for creating a new structure for us to inhabit have been percolating for a while now. Nobody expected the status quo to crumble so suddenly. We thought the transition would be more gradual, more logical. We also didn’t expect the retrograde forces to cling so fiercely to the old ways even though we could all see the end of nature right over the next hill. We underestimated the political and financial powers of greed.
The next decade is going to be interesting. One is reminded of the ancient curse, “May you live in interesting times.” It will be fraught, no doubt. I do think though, that we have a golden opportunity to create a more healthy and more beautiful world.
- Anima Fire is my publication