Historically speaking, economic crises come and go and revolutions happen only to be transformed into dictatorships that are even more repressive than their predecessors. I hope that America can navigate this current economic crisis in the most compassionate and productive manner possible we’ve had too much history to learn from to make the same old mistakes. So in these times of economic turmoil – I would urge that people would act locally and begin setting up alternative economic institutions. These can take radically different manifestations and can be constructed according to each environment. So be creative!
My suggestion is the following alternative economic institution of FREE.
It would work as follows: All goods, services, and time would become free to all that participate in the social experiment. On a city by city basis we can cultivate trust and rebuild our infrastructure and re-educate a significant portion of society about morality. With the establishment’s consent we can leave our current infrastructure of transportation and municipalities in place as we transition into a sustainable civilization.
What are the costs of this alternative economic institution? There would be significant sacrifices that many people would need to make to their lifestyle. There needs to be way less driving and burning of fossil fuels as a whole. All people should be required to produce some sort of food to contribute to community meals. Another cost is the perceived “freedom to do whatever the fuck we please” which so many people think they’re entitled to – that will need to be sacrificed in order that a freedom based on morality be established. Freedom is not free. But the only cost is liberating our hearts and minds from the attachment to money and wealth. We should all be able to have our little creature comforts, but too many people have taken it wildly out of control. There is no excuse for homelessness to exist in America (unless someone is willfully choosing to not live in a house – that is their right).
Another cost of this alternative economic institution would be that many people would have to begin doing new jobs. For example, in a “free” paradigm, the jobs of stock traders, economists, and other wall street wealth absorbers would cease to exist. The people who occupy these jobs presently should definitely attend morality re-education classes and then begin doing jobs that are actually productive to society. Likewise, the fossil fuel energy jobs will need to be converted to renewable energy jobs. The infrastructure needed to accomplish this transition is sizable and should be started as quickly as possible.
What are the benefits to this alternative economic institution? Ultimately, the benefits are a sustainable civilization that provides free energy to it’s whole population. Other societal benefits are the trust that will be developed within communities and around the world. This trust will develop quickly because in the alternative economic institution of FREE the value of transparency will be elevated which will require everyone to always tell the truth. (In this sense, the only “freedom” we would be giving up would be the “freedom” to tell lies. But the truth will set us free – so why continue with the nonsense?) If we can effectively eliminate the bullshit of money and wealth from our society than we will be diminishing the bullshit of lies from our society.
The concept of “ownership” will not exist in this alternative economic institution. Replacing ownership will be The Commons which holds that all resources on earth (including ideas) are for the common benefit and self perpetuation of the earth. Any attempts to privatize the air, water, and land should be considered some of the most heinous and corrupt activities possible.
Another benefit would be that people would begin interacting with each other without having the unspoken norm of money always lingering. If money does not exist, then there is no amount of financial exploitation that can take place. This would also allow us to be trusting of one another’s motives and essentially eliminate crime.
OR: We could continue our economic crisis by printing more money, racking up more debt, and burning more fossil fuels. This guy has it figured out: http://www.stansberryresearch.com/pro/1108PSINEWVD/PPSIMC43/PR
Capitalism has failed. We need an alternative. There is no need for riots or civil war. Let’s just morally evolve together.