“However it is accomplished, when the costs of pollution are internalized, the best business decision comes into alignment with the best environmental decision.”
–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.179
“Anything you learn to do for yourself or for other people, without paying for it; any utilization of recycled or discarded materials; anything you make instead of buy, give instead of sell; any new skill or new song or new art you teach yourself or another will reduce the dominion of money and grow a gift economy to sustain us through the coming transition.”
–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.140
“I foresee a future in which we maintain local, regional, and global ceilings on the use of various resources. Fishery catches, ground-water use, carbon emissions, timber harvests, topsoil depletion, and many more will be carefully monitored and held to sustainable levels.”
–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.181
“Ultimately, I envision decentralized, self-organizing, emergent, peer-to-peer, ecologically integrated expressions of political will.”
–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.187
“I have been gratified to discover, in my interaction with people from all parts of the political spectrum, a near-universal reverence for community, for nature, and for the beautiful products of human culture. Around these common values, which political language tends to obfuscate by superimposing divisions atop our common humanity, the currency of sacred economy will emerge.”
–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.186
“Armed struggle seems to be for now a self-defeating prospect. However, what anarchists may consider in this speculative context is the possibility of creating the appropriate conditions for its success.… The strategic outlook already prevalent among anarchists is that the road to revolution involves the proliferation of urban and rural projects of sustainable living, community-building and the development of skills and infrastructures. But while this is usually couched in terms of ‘hollowing out’ capitalism, it can also be considered as the creation of a sustainable social base for more militant activity, up to (possibly) insurrection. In such a situation, armed struggle would be undertaken, not by isolated groups of desperadoes, but by communities which have already carved out a significant space of autonomy within hierarchical society.”
–Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive! Anti-Authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory, p107-108
“Not only must we stop celebrating greed (and enabling it to run rampant through our policy choices), we also have to provide supports for pro-social cooperative behaviors that embody the altruistic and compassionate aspects of human nature that are expressed through the remaining 99% of us.
A sketch of the solution might look like this
Gather together the best knowledge we have about human nature — as it emerges from the cognitive and social sciences — to inform the design of institutional policy, legislation, incentive structures, and regulatory bodies. Employ it to critique long-standing assumptions about economic behavior and political power.
Diagnose the current global economy to reveal pathways where psychopathic tendencies are expressed. Target these areas for policy reform as a “damage control” measure while engaging in broader debate about how to build replacement structures.
Create policy-development frameworks that promote cooperative behavior amongst people and with the broader environments on which we depend for our survival. This includes new metrics of success (e.g. replace Gross Domestic Product with more systematic measures like General Progress Indicators or Gross National Happiness), greater investments in societal infrastructure (e.g. public education, medical research, Earth monitoring systems, etc.) that enable us to integrate our increasingly sophisticated knowledge about global change into the management of social and economic systems.
Introduce incentive systems (with clearly defined and enforceable punitive measures) that enable our psychopaths to participate in society in a more beneficial and less disruptive manner. We need to recognize that people with these behavioral tendencies will likely always be part of the societal mix. Helping them find ways to participate as productive members of society will go a long way towards containing the harms they might produce and promoting social cohesion across our pluralistic societies where past harms remain to be fully healed.
I have intentionally set out these parameters at a broad conceptual level because this topic is too nuanced and complex for any one person to hold all the answers. Hopefully what I’ve written here will encourage you to think more deeply about what is happening in the world — and what role(s) you might fill in helping to create a new economic system that serves us all. It is safe to assume that I’ve made significant omissions and that much more needs to be brought into the conversation before we can begin to implement the solutions I recommend or any others which improve upon them.
For now, it is my hope that the ideas presented here create new insights for us as we struggle to articulate the path beyond the political impasse that has stalled action on financial reform and climate change in recent years. Perhaps these thoughts will also inform our next steps as we ponder how to improve upon the Occupy Movement and Arab Spring of 2011 to elevate and meld together the social movements of the world into a coherent new economic and political system capable of delivering complex outcomes for our interconnected and rapidly changing world.”
–Joe Brewer, How Will the 99% Deal with 70 Million Psychopaths?