vrijdag, maart 02, 2018

Towards a generative economy

Most of my conversations are in some way associated with one of my main concerns: 
How does human society evolve to a more durable form?
The technological revolutions have brought unprecedented wealth, but the side effects turn out to be life threatening in the long term. The complexity of it all is staggering and increasing. Too much of too much.

So back to simplicity. To the founding principles behind the universal laws that shape our lives.
I am trying to see, sense, feel and think into the truth of stable patterns for humans that are common sense across cultures. The generative traits from which progress is made.
(Noting that the destructive ones automatically get enough attention. Thanks to our amygdala function)

I very recently formulated -more distilled- two interesting points:
  1. We are in this world individually. We are born and die alone. Each choice in between is our own. (Even if we are made to believe differently.)
    This innate autonomy gives any person the freedom to bring to the world what ever they decide is the right thing to do. And every single one of us by definition brings something that is unique.
    But the point is that contribution is individual.
  2. On the other hand receiving is not. Whether it is actively taking or passively accepting. Because what ever you receive comes from a source that is not you.
    It could be from another person, directly from mother earth or anything in between. This is to me a crucial difference that we need to deeply understand. 

Whether and how and what I contribute is my autonomous choice. 
Whether and how and what I receive involves more than just me.

Makes sense?

These actions seemed to be mirrors, but now I think they represent essential different qualities.
And I now suspect understanding the implications and consequences could point to 'doing us differently'.

We have built our society on transactions. This mercantile approach seemed to me the best way to get along with each other. And it is in fact a great improvement above bluntly stealing and fighting. Yet the underlying principle remains the same: Competition. 
There is enormous evidence of the negative side effects. History is full of grueling examples. 
The most negative effect being the spread of inequality. That is a threat to the harmony and stability of human society. There inevitably comes a point in which it seems worth while for the poorest to use violence to get their needs met. 

So after acknowledging this unpleasant truth, could we imagine a modern way to interact without that outcome? A more durable form of human society?
Can this
new dicernment between the nature of contributing and receiving be of value here? I think it can. And I sense this awareness is rising not only in my mind.

Can we imagine the natural interaction between those two principles
  • That what I bring is mine to decide freely
  • That what I receive is up to the other, or the others, or the larger context.
To me the interaction between those two points evokes a very old archetypical pattern: 
That one of a tribe gathering. Every one brings their contributions and put them in the middle. And when everything is present (either scarce or abundant) it is distributed between those present. Without any need to measure or weigh or negotiate or compete about who brought what.  In this context that is irrelevant. What is relevant is that everybody needs to eat and survive.

That image shows me more overlooked truths:
  • The need of people show far less variation than their ability to contribute.
  • In a healthy society the majority is of good will and likes to be perceived as such by their neighbours and peers.
Before exploring this concept deeper and further I want to note the major implication it suggests:
The commons seem to enable a more stable and pleasant economy.
This sharing or gifting economy might be less naive that it felt at times.
Looking at it this way, an economy revolving around the quality of our relations instead of our transactions, not only seems to be more natural and desirable but also achievable.

What do you think?
Is this a coherent and sound reasoning?
  • If not, help me to stop waisting our time and attention. 
  • But if it is, I would love to explore this further.

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