Social Structure

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Contents

Introduction

Overview

Status

Proposals

Economic Systems

Introduction

This Regenerative Economy for a New Earth will dwarf and render the industrialized war complex and extractive manufacturing industries obsolete. In order to transform, it is imperative that we shift from scarcity consciousness to “abundance consciousness"

Abundance consciousness has many characteristics that parallel the nature of currency, which requires the consistent exchange of value for currency to expand. The expression of abundance consciousness leads to regenerative practices that create a world of beauty, health, happiness, sufficiency, collaboration, sharing, harmony, gratitude and peace.

For example, when the money supply is flowing abundantly, new businesses are created, existing businesses can expand, more jobs are created and more money flows resulting in a robust economy. However, when the money supply is shut down, like in the 2008 economic crisis, businesses fail, people lose their jobs and homes go into foreclosure. Although many factors contributed to the 2008 economic crisis, including significant manipulation of the monetary system, it was largely due to a monetary system based upon debt and scarcity. The current monetary and banking system arose from and is based upon debt and scarcity. The effect of such a system is a resulting internal consciousness of scarcity, fear, insecurity and dependence. This internal state of being leads to an expression of competition, poverty, war, toxicity and injustice.

For example, as of January 28, 2013, the world human population was estimated to be over 7 billion by the United States Census Bureau and the United Nations. Overconsumption by the developed nations is putting more strain on the environment than overpopulation, according to the Fred Pearce, author of “Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat.” Mr. Pearce states “The carbon emissions of one American today are equivalent to those of around 4 Chinese, 20 Indians, 30 Pakistanis, 40 Nigerians, or 250 Ethiopians. “The lifestyle of the average American takes 9.5 hectares, while Australians and Canadians require 7.8 and 7.1 hectares respectively; Britons, 5.3 hectares; Germans, 4.2; and the Japanese, 4.9. The world average is 2.7 hectares. China is still below that figure at 2.1, while India and most of Africa (where the majority of future world population growth will take place) are at or below 1.0.

Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environment Institute, calculates that the world’s richest half-billion people, totaling about 7 percent of the global population, are responsible for 50 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile the poorest 50 percent are responsible for just 7 percent of emissions.

While universal energy and consciousness is abundant, under our current belief and economic system, it is easy to view our planet as having a finite size and a limited capacity to support life. Shifting mass consciousness from a scarcity-based mindset, from which our current exploitive and extractive economy arose, to an abundance-based belief system, will lead to a restorative and regenerative economy.

Abundance consciousness requires that balancing of growth with resources and the equitable distribution of resources to create sufficiency for humankind in a way that allows all life to thrive and be in balanced abundance.

In order to realize an abundant and regenerative economy, it is critical that we first evolve our beliefs about “success” from hoarding, exclusive overconsumption and competition to sufficiency coupled with ecosystemic (including human) balance and health that brings abundance, wellness and enlightenment to humankind and allows all life to thrive. This shift in beliefs and will lead to a shift in behavior.

These behavioral and cultural shifts include (i) using only abundant and renewable energy sources, (ii) eliminating the manufacture of unneeded collectibles and obsolescent products destined for landfill, (iii) adopting collaborative consumption, (iv) reusing and recycling waste, (v) providing water infrastructure along with necessary resources (e.g. agricultural education, tools, appropriate technologies and market access) to empower people living in starvation and poverty access to food and water, and (vi) providing education that balances population growth with the carrying capacity of the local community and planet.

Abundant expansion of energy requires exchange with each other and the planet. This exchange requires a commitment to Regenerative Behavior. Regenerative Behavior requires that we repair what we have destroyed and create systems to replace more than we take. For example, if we chop down one tree, plant two. If we catch 1,000 fish, hatch 2,000 more. Of course, this is an oversimplification. As has been demonstrated on numerous occasions, human interference has caused ecological imbalances and catastrophes, even when done with the best intentions. So in engaging in restoration and regeneration, it is essential that we take whole-systems approaches that incorporate great awareness and sensitivity to ecosystemic wisdom. Mother Nature has great wisdom and powers to heal, restore and regeneration. We need to allow Mother Nature to guide us and support her in healing, restoring and regenerating her ecosystems. Being mindful of our impact and a commitment to regenerative whole systems dynamics, it is essential to maintain the balance between the needs and desires of humankind and the ability of the planet to sustainably support humankind. The planet and its systems are abundant. By respecting and emulating natural systems that evolved over 4.5 billion years (“biomimicry” or “biomimetic approaches”), we can go beyond sustainability to create abundance for humankind and the planet.

Historical Trajectory

Tribal Economics

Early Empires

Modern Mercantilism

Development of Corporation

Colonialism / Imperialism

Evolution of Modern Monetary System

Growth of Speculative Economy

Neoliberal Economics

Collapse of USSR

2008 Crisis

Uncertain future

Basic Concepts

Central Banks
Structural Adjustment Programs
Gross Domestic Program
Capital: What Is It?
Environmental and Social Justice
Sharing Economy
Crypto-Currencies

Regenerative Strategy

Introduction

The Regenerative Economy will be based upon regeneration, conservation, innovation, open access to knowledge and information, global cooperation, and collaboration.

Regeneration, in biological terms, is the ability to recreate lost or damaged tissues, organs and limbs. By studying principles of biomimicry and the applying them systemically, we can transform our socio-politico-economic system to serve the needs of humanity and safeguard the natural capital of the Earth for future generations. Following the example of natural systems, we will utilize renewable, non-polluting sources - that have the potential for almost unlimited abundance - to satiate our needs and wants.

This encompasses such areas as (i) energy from plants, waste, solar, wind, hydro, tidal and geothermal, (ii) materials and chemicals from renewable resources (e.g. plants, algae, spider silk, bioresins, regenerative forests) rather than extracted materials (e.g., oil, metals), (iii) food from agricultural practices that return nutrients to the soil and support prolific reproduction, and (iv) balancing human needs with that of the ecosystem to support integrated ecosystemic health.

Conservation is the ethical use, allocation, and protection of resources with a primary focus on maintaining the health of the natural world. A primary focus of conservation has been the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystemic health. Using the ethics of rethinking, recycling, reusing, repairing and reducing consumption, conservation seeks to minimize negative impacts on the planet resulting from human consumption (e.g., food, energy, natural resources). For example, rather than consuming more energy to make more solar panels to support ever increasing consumption, Conservationists support both the reduction of consumption plus the use of ethical and non-destructive renewable resources.

Innovation is the creation of highly effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas for the betterment of society and the ecosystem. In order to facilitate the balance of human consumption and wellbeing with the carrying capacity and health of the planet, innovation in the fields of renewable energy, agritech, waste upcycling, biology, regenerative economics, living systems, communications, information and ethical nanotech will see massive explosion that will dwarf the current economy and can be used to repair the damage we have done to the planet.

Social innovation will also play a major role in reshaping our world. Social innovations include such things as smart growth communities, the sharing economy based upon collaborative consumption, global open source currency exchange, biomimicry, evolutionary consciousness, emotional literacy, social networking and applied education.

Information, for purposes of our discussion, consists of symbols, data, sensory stimulus and thoughts that are received, constructed and assembled to provide meaning, purpose, education, entertainment, empowerment and enlightenment. Information consists of written, visual, audio, kinesthetic materials such as news, books, periodicals, blogs, music, art, film, research, reviews, recommendations and experiential learning. Information, media and communications have reached a level democratization never known in the history of mankind.

Internet, information and communications technologies (e.g., web, mobile, email, digital content) have already caused massive transformation in our socio-politico-economic system, launching entirely new industries and processes for the production, distribution and consumption of information. The information age has arrived and will continue to provide massive influence and wealth in the future. By coupling information with practical applications and capacity building for the regenerative economy, we can transform human machines doing destructive jobs into human being with meaningful and sustainable work.

Collaboration is a cooperative relationship of teamwork with the intent of yielding synergistic results based on combined efforts. Because the carrying capacity of the planet to address human consumption was exceeded in 1979, our future socio-economic-political system will require increased collaboration that will include sharing resources, living in sustainable communities, value-based exchange and currencies and conservation consciousness. Regenerative economics differs from standard economics by valuing, respecting and regenerating the natural capital of the planet to provide for human needs (e.g., water, food, timber, feedstocks, materials, fuel, energy), and to clean, restore and regenerate itself in a way that contributes to ecosystemic thriving, including the well being for humankind. The failure to recognize the value of the planet’s ability to provide abundance and regenerate itself has led to unsustainable exploitive and extractive practices that have damaged the planet’s ability to abundantly regenerate it natural capital for benefit of the ecosystem and the well being of humankind.

By reconnecting with nature and valuing the unified ecosystemic thriving of nature and humankind, we can reshape our civilization from its current path of self-destruction into a regenerative life-enhancing society that creates a net positive ecosystemic thriving for all life.

The new regenerative social-political-economic model will provide for greater abundance and efficiency, with zero waste, through localized water, food, energy, bio-materials, waste-upcycling and a sharing economy (e.g., zero-balance reputation based economy). The new reputation-based credit score will be adversely affected by hoarding and practices that are destructive and exploitive and will be enhanced by objectively measurable acts of generosity, beauty, love, kindness, compassion and exchange that create value for our world (e.g., replanting forests, restoration of the wetlands and fisheries, greater collaboration and sharing, new living technologies that create ecosystemic thriving, elder, child & sick care, civic engagement, education, entrepreneurial support, donations to humanitarian causes).

New indicators of progress

In order for us to achieve happiness and live in abundance, we need to shift our beliefs. This requires us to clear the non-serving conditioning and definitions of "success" that perpetuate unsustainable and destructive growth that reinforce the illusive pursuit of happiness through the acquisition of "stuff." This perpetual cycle of unsustainable economic growth creates significant harm to the biosphere and our health while the engine of perpetual desire and greed prevents us from experiencing the true state of abundance we crave. By changing our definition and metrics of “success”, we can transform our socio-economic-political system from being destructive to regenerative.

The perpetual and unsustainable desire for more than is sufficient is substantially due to societal programming that defines “success” as being a “productive” member of society. In this context, “Productive” means generating and purchasing goods or services that add to, and continually expand the Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”).

GDP is a model of measurement that rewards productivity even if such productivity is destructive to humankind and the planet. For example, when the Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million gallons of crude oil destroying the pristine ecosystems of Prince William Sound, it was considered good for the GDP of Alaska because of the money generated from cleanup efforts.

Likewise, Hurricane Katrina was considered good for the GDP of Florida due to the money generated from the post-hurricane construction. As well each case of cancer is good for about $250,000 of GDP. Moreover, creating a war, destroying a country’s resources and culture and rebuilding it in our image is considered good for the GDP (e.g., over $1.2. trillion USD spent on the Afghan and Iraqi war).

Thus, to be “productive” in our current society often means supporting a system that perpetuates a cycle of destroying, devouring, collecting and consuming resources in excess of what is sufficient or sustainable. When we are “productive” in this society, we often produce destruction, war, suffering, pollution and injustice, not greater happiness, health or abundance.

Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”)

The most widely used definition of progress is known as Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”). GDP is a measure of country’s economic performance based upon the market value of all final goods and services produced within the borders of a nation in a year. Thus, progress is productivity as objectively translated into dollars – the more dollars the more progress.

GDP is a quantitative measurement that practically omits any qualitative measurements. For example, disease, war and disasters are good for the GDP, as they cause people to spend money, create jobs and support industry. Things like health, love, happiness, home and family care, community involvement, peace, respect for each other, preservation of indigenous culture have relatively no measurement in GDP.

GDP is a destructive, inhumane and wasteful measurement of progress and leads to blind consumerism. For example, think about the precious natural resources and energy required to (i) build, power and operate polluting factories in China to make cheap low-quality products for Wal-Mart, (ii) ship the merchandise from the factory first by rail or truck then overseas by boat, (iii) ship the products on rail or trucks to one of Wal-Mart’s 112 distribution centers, (iv) ship the products from the distribution centers to over 4,100 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations across the U.S., (v) to build, power and operate each of the over 4,100 Wal-Mart stores (Wal-Mart’s electricity bill alone runs approximately $7 billion a year), (vi) build, ship and drive cars to and from Wal-Mart, (vii) pay for, power and maintain the additional square footage to store these products, and (viii) move them to a landfill after the product fails or becomes unfashionable or obsolete.

Add to the foregoing example, the millions of relatively useless products being shipped and stored all over the world. The cost and ecological impact of our consumerism is staggering.

Much of what drives consumerism is central bank manipulation, media mass hypnosis and runaway greed. Most jobs support an inefficient, extractive, exploitative, destructive and toxic supply chain. Yet, our society's mass-hypnosis perpetuates the belief that these jobs and the broken education that fills the job pipeline with functional cogs for a dysfunctional system is somehow good. We, as a society, have been led to believe that the collective resources of planet earth and humankind to serve a toxic quantitative measurement of GDP is somehow noble.

However, the stress and damage caused to people and planet from this definition of progress demonstrates just the opposite – we are killing ourselves and the planet, not progressing.

Real progress would be less stress, greater health and happiness, more time for intellectual, spiritual, creative, family and social activities. Real progress would be an abundant, healthy and peaceful planet.

The largest and most powerful economies of the world are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The members of the OECD accept the principles of representative democracy and free-market economy. Since inception of the OECD, the members have adhered to GDP as a measurement of success. Below are the countries and the dates they ratified the convention.

AUSTRIA: 29 September 1961 BELGIUM: 13 September 1961 CANADA: 10 April 1961 CZECH REPUBLIC: 21 December 1995 DENMARK: 30 May 1961 FINLAND: 28 January 1969 FRANCE: 7 August 1961 GERMANY: 27 September 1961 GREECE: 27 September 1961 HUNGARY: 7 May 1996 ICELAND: 5 June 1961 IRELAND: 17 August 1961 ITALY: 29 March 1962 JAPAN: 28 April 1964 KOREA: 12 December 1996 LUXEMBOURG: 7 December 1961 MEXICO: 18 May 1994 NETHERLANDS: 13 November 1961 NEW ZEALAND: 29 May 1973 NORWAY: 4 July 1961 POLAND: 22 November 1996 PORTUGAL: 4 August 1961 SLOVAK REPUBLIC: 14 December 2000 SPAIN: 3 August 1961 SWEDEN: 28 September 1961 SWITZERLAND: 28 September 1961 TURKEY: 2 August 1961 UNITED KINGDOM: 2 May 1961 UNITED STATES: 12 April 1961

As of 2005, the OECD started formally re-examining GDP as a measurement and found that it is a flawed measurement as it does not account for the wellbeing of a country.

The wellbeing or quality of life of a population is an important concern in economics and political science. There are many components to wellbeing. A large part is standard of living, the amount of money and access to goods and services that a person has; these numbers are fairly easily measured. Others like freedom, happiness, art, environmental health, and innovation are far harder to measure. This has created an inevitable imbalance as programs and policies are created to fit the easily available economic numbers while ignoring the other measures that are very difficult to plan for or assess.

It is clear that our definition, mindset, lifestyle and measurement of progress need to change.

Genuine Progress Indicator

One of the primary areas in need of transformation is replacing GDP with True Cost Accounting measurements such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (“GPI”) to include transparency of subsidies, environmental impact, health costs and social costs of a business or activity.

By the early 1990s, there was a consensus in human development theory and ecological economics that growth in money supply was actually reflective of a loss of wellbeing. GDP values all economic activity regardless of its true costs on society or the environment.

GPI, however, measures whether a country's growth, increased production of goods, and expanding services have actually resulted in the improvement of the wellbeing of the people in the country. GPI advocates claim that it can more reliably measure economic progress, as it distinguishes between worthwhile growth and uneconomic growth. Accordingly, the GPI will be zero if the financial costs of crime, poor health, pollution and environmental devastation equal the financial gains in production of goods and services, all other factors being constant.

The "costs" of economic activity include the following potential harmful effects:

§ Cost of resource depletion

§ Cost of crime

§ Cost of increased health risks

§ Cost of global warming

§ Cost of war

§ Cost of energy

§ Cost of family and social breakdown

§ Cost of air, water, and noise pollution

§ Loss of farmland

§ Loss of wetlands

GPI takes account of these problems by incorporating sustainability as a metric. A determination is made whether a country's economic activity over the fiscal year has left the country with a better or worse future possibility of repeating at least the same level of economic activity in the long run. For example, agricultural activity that uses replenishing water resources, such as river runoff, will score a higher GPI than the same level of agricultural activity that drastically lowers the water table by pumping irrigation water from wells.

Another application of GPI is to calculate the true costs of goods sold. For example, when determining the cost of a gallon of gasoline, GPI would calculate the government subsidies, the cost of the military to secure the oil supply, the cost of pollution and environmental impact, the impact on human health and the impact on society and indigenous culture. Using these metrics, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting, a gallon of gasoline costs approximately $15 per gallon. Thus, using the true cost accounting measurements of GPI would reveal that renewable energy and biofuels are already a less expensive, viable and practical choice for energy.

Gross Happiness Index (Bhutan)

Another metric used in Bhutan to promote a more kind, just, healthy and happy society, is Gross National Happiness (GNH). Using metrics and surveys, GNH is a measurement that defines quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than GDP. The term was coined by Bhutan's former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972. It signaled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. According to Adrian White’s study entitled "A Global Projection of Subjective Wellbeing: A Challenge to Positive Psychology?", Bhutan ranked 8th out of 178 countries in Subjective Wellbeing, a metric that has been used by many psychologists since 1997 and the only country in the top 20 "happiest" countries that has a very low GDP.

The four pillars of GNH are 1) the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, 2) preservation and promotion of cultural values, 3) conservation of the natural environment, and 4) establishment of good governance.

Many of the metrics of GNH are somewhat subjective and easier to state than to measure. To address this, a second-generation GNH concept, treating happiness as a socio-economic development metric, was proposed in 2006 by Med Yones, the President of International Institute of Management. Through the use of detailed surveys and statistical measurement, the GNH metric measures socio-economic development by tracking the following seven development areas:

§ Economic Wellness: Measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution.

§ Environmental Wellness: Environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic.

§ Physical Wellness: Measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses, addictions such as drinking and smoking and weight

§ Mental and Emotional Wellness: Measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients as well as rating of emotional states such as contentment, generosity, anger and guilt.

§ Workplace Wellness: Measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits

§ Social Wellness: Measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates and free time

§ Political Wellness: Measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.


Another example of these studies is the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index developed by Deakin University, which monitors the subjective wellbeing of the Australian population based on surveys. The Index has identified the importance of several factors including personal security, feeling part of the community, sound personal relationships and health status, all of which have potentially important implications for socio-economic-political policy.

Clearly the foregoing metrics are much more holistic and meaningful for measuring true progress, success and quality of life. By implementing such metrics as a foundation for progress and success, we would make major transformations in our socio-economic conditions and build a world supportive of human and planetary abundance, wellness and enlightenment.

New Accounting and Valuation Principles

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) as established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) are used to set the standards for accounting, auditing and determining the value of companies. The value of a public company is generally known as “Market Capitalization” (aka “Market Cap”). Market Cap is a measurement of corporate or economic size equal to the share price times the number of shares outstanding of a public company. Public perception and market dynamics are major factors in determining stock price. Another major factor is a company’s economic performance. A major benchmark of that performance is known as Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (aka “EBITDA”). This is in essence a simple benchmark for determining the operating pre-tax net profit of the company before the creative accounting begins. EBITDA multiplied by the Price/Earnings (“P/E”) Ratio is another method of determining Market Cap. Companies in industries that are seeing long term growth potential tend to have a higher P/E Ratio than companies in declining industries.

Thus, if a company has an EBITDA of $1 billion and P/E Ratio of 10:1, the company will have a Market Cap of $10 billion. If the company’s board and management decide they want to spend $100 million on programs for social and environmental good, their EBITDA would be reduced to $900 million and the shareholders would potentially suffer a loss of $1 billion dollars of Market Cap. Suffering market cap losses often creates shareholder aggravation leading shareholder suits against the company and its board and/or management for making a decision that cost the shareholders money. However, if the majority of our time, labor, efforts and energy go to benefit of fictitious entities (e.g., corporations) to increase the circulation of worthless currencies (e.g., Federal Reserve Notes), without real benefit to people and planet, then who is all our activity benefiting?

If we truly want a more abundant world, we may want to reconsider our demand for unceasing growth and high returns and look toward new metrics that have more holistic benefit to people and planet.

The current measurements and GAAP standards do not have mechanisms specifically designed to offset social and environmental good or long term investing beyond quarterly reporting without diminishing shareholder value.

To promote long term investment in social and environmental good, will require new accounting standards and principles. This will include redefining EBITDA as a measurement for valuation.

The interesting thing is that EBITDA is not a GAAP financial measure, but rather a creative measure approved by the SEC that allows companies significant subjective latitude in defining their performance. According to a release by the SEC on June 13, 2003 entitled “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures,” EBITDA should be reconciled to net income as presented in the statement of operations under GAAP. Operating income would not be considered the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure because EBIT and EBITDA make adjustments for items that are not included in operating income. Yet many companies reconcile EBITDA to operating income rather than net income.

Since the creative corporate accounting happens after EBITDA calculations, a new standard is proposed for a baseline. This baseline measurement would be known as Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization, Social and Environmental (“EBITDASE”). Thus, when P/E ratios are multiplied times EBITDASE, the company does not suffer a market cap loss in valuation for doing social and environmental good.

The trick is that the investment in such social and environmental programs must be objective, measurable and auditable. These programs can measurable in terms of dollars invested or objective impact (e.g., reduction of waste per ton as measured in dollars per ton). These programs can include investment in such things as (i) reduction of waste, (ii) reduction of resource and energy usage, (iii) implementation of proactive environmental programs, (iv) implementation of programs for employee education, advancement and wellbeing, (v) community betterment such as parks, farms, gardens, upgrading of schools, job training programs and promotion of community cultural events.

Working with such agencies as the U.S. Treasury, FASB, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the White House to promulgate new legislation to redefine and implement these new standards that reward corporations for doing good without penalizing shareholder value, the foregoing goals can be achieved. Thus, with a little creative adjustment in performance measurements, the conflicts between corporate profits and social responsibility can be removed so that corporations, corporate management, shareholders and humankind can benefit from widespread corporate social responsibility programs.

New mediums of exchange

Mutual Credit Clearing houses - Tom Greco
Negative interest trading currencies - Bernard Lietaer
Community currencies incentivize empathic behavior
Economic Direct Democracy - John Boik

Social technologies for cooperative economy

Reinventing corporations as biospheric guardians

Interim strategy: Carbon pricing/taxation?

Components

The Regenerative Economy can easily exceed $10T globally and will include, by way of examples, the following:

  • Abundant, renewable and healthy supply of water, food, shelter & energy are for all people
  • Distributed, inexpensive, renewable energy generation (e.g., magnetic, zero-point, weak force, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, tidal)
  • Distributed, inexpensive renewable fuel generation (e.g., algae, cyano bacteria, cellulosic, vegetable oils, hydrogen)
  • Cost effective, long lasting, powerful and eco friendly-biodegradable battery storage (e.g., USC’s organic redux flow water battery, St. Louis University’s sugar battery, NEC’s organic radical battery
  • Permaculture & living technology approaches to increase organic yields, improve soil conditions and foster ecosystemic thriving of land
  • Water catchment (e.g., rain catchment cisterns, atmospheric water, sealed reservoirs), conservation & recycling (reduced usage, infrastructure and leak repair, energy efficient pumping, localization, composting & low flush toilets, recycling, segmented use with potable, grey & black water systems, wastewater reuse, evaporation controls, high pressure low-use nozzles, showerheads, water efficient appliances), purification (desalination, molecular resonance hydrogen cells, pressure pasteurization, vortex spinning) and socio-economic solutions (tiered rates based upon usage, incentives for water conservation systems in agriculture and manufacturing)
  • Repair and repopulation of the wetlands, rivers, oceans & fisheries
  • Removal of toxins, heavy metals and contaminants from land and waterways and from products and manufacturing processes
  • Developing regenerative “smart” communities (urban, suburban and rural) & environments that increase abundance, wellness & enlightenment for people & planet
  • Education & training to build regenerative capacity & skills
  • Waste reuse and upcycling
  • Carbon sequestration and upcycling
  • A regenerative, collaborative, zero balance, reputation-based social-eco currency owned by and the people for the benefit of all ecosystemic stakeholders
  • Ethical government that works for the people and enhancing the quality of life,
  • Ethical healthcare that aligns the economic interests of health providers with the health of people rather than “sickcare” that aligns the economic interests of “health providers” with the sickness and disease of people.
  • Ethical, efficient, ecological conscious and socially responsible supply chain, manufacturing and business practices
  • Energy & resource efficient built environment (homes, commercial, industrial), appliances & processes
  • Ethical and organic foods and biodegradable products
  • Building and upgrading eco-infrastructure for efficient resource use and conservation including energy, water, food & product supply chain, transportation and built environment
  • New paradigm belief systems, communication, thinking behaviors and metrics that enhance the quality of life including love, respect, interconnectedness, compassion, happiness and ecosystemic thriving as the core qualitative values & principles of society
  • Living Technologies & Whole System Approaches
  • Paradigm shifting ecopsychological education, communications & media that shift beliefs and behaviors (e.g., a eco-socially conscious version of Edward Bernays and Madison Ave.)
  • Incentives, Rewards & Metrics that foster, motivate and reinforce ethical, socially responsible and ecologically conscious practices that support the Regenerative Economy
  • A socio-political economic matrix that builds fulfilling, abundant, healthy and happy lives with meaningful work devoted to ecosystemic thriving (rather than jobs that support war, pollution, disease, exploitation and extraction)

MODELS

Introduction

Thought leaders

Critics of Current System
Matt Tiabbi

Matthew C. "Matt" Taibbi (/taɪˈiːbi/; born March 2, 1970) is an American author and journalist. He has reported on politics, media, finance, and sports for Rolling Stone and Men's Journal.[1] He has also edited and written for The eXile, the New York Press, and The Beast.

Taibbi joined Mark Ames in 1997 to co-edit the English-language Moscow-based, bi-weekly freesheet|free newspaper, The eXile. It was considered controversial for its tone and content, and it was written primarily for the expatriate community in the city. In the U.S. media, Playboy magazine published pieces on Russia both by Taibbi and by Taibbi and Ames together during this time.

In 2002, he returned to the U.S. to start the satirical bi-weekly The Beast (Newspaper)|The Beast in Buffalo, New York. He left that publication, saying that "Running a business and writing is too much." Taibbi continued as a freelancer for The Nation (U.S. periodical)|The Nation, Playboy, New York Press (where he wrote a regular political column for more than two years), Rolling Stone, and New York Sports Express (as Editor at Large).

Taibbi left the New York Press in August 2005. It was shortly after his editor Jeff Koyen was forced out over issues raised by Taibbi's column, "The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of The Pope".[2][3][4] "I have since learned that there would not have been an opportunity for me to stay anyway," Taibbi later wrote.[5]

Taibbi became a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, writing feature-length articles on domestic and international affairs. He also wrote a weekly political online column, titled "The Low Post," for the magazine's website. Taibbi writes for the print edition of Rolling Stone, and contributes to their website in his current blog, "Taibblog". [6]

Taibbi covered the U.S. presidential election, 2008|2008 presidential campaign for Real Time with Bill Maher.[7] He was invited as a guest on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show (TV series)|The Rachel Maddow Show[8] and other MSNBC programs. He also has appeared on Democracy Now![9] and served as a contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.[10] Taibbi is an occasional guest on the Thom Hartmann radio and TV shows. He is a regular contributor/guest on the Imus in the Morning Show' on the Fox Business network.

William Grieder, Who Will Tell the People?

William Greider, a prominent political journalist and author, has been a reporter for more than 35 years for newspapers, magazines and television. Over the past two decades, he has persistently challenged mainstream thinking on economics.

For 17 years Greider was the National Affairs Editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where his investigation of the defense establishment began. He is a former assistant managing editor at the Washington Post, where he worked for fifteen years as a national correspondent, editor and columnist. While at the Post, he broke the story of how David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's budget director, grew disillusioned with supply-side economics and the budget deficits that policy caused, which still burden the American economy.[11]

Who Will Tell the People is a passionate, eye-opening challenge to American democracy. Here is a tough-minded exploration of why we're in trouble, starting with the basic issues of who gets heard, who gets ignored, and why. Greider shows us the realities of power in Washington today, uncovering the hidden relationships that link politicians with corporations and the rich, and that subvert the needs of ordinary citizens. How do we put meaning back into public life? Greider shares the stories of some citizens who have managed to crack Washington's "Grand Bazaar" of influence peddling as he reveals the structures designed to thwart them. Without naiveté or cynicism, Greider shows us how the system can still be made to work for the people, and delineates the lines of battle in the struggle to save democracy. By showing us the reality of how the political decisions that shape our lives are made, William Greider explains how we can begin to take control once more.[12]

Jerry Mander, The Case Against the Global Economy

Jerold Irwin "Jerry" Mander (born May 1, 1936)is an American activist and author, best known for his 1977 book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. His most recent book, The Capitalism Papers, is about the momentous and unsolvable environmental and social problem of capitalism.

The Case Against the Global Economy is the first comprehensive, point-by-point analysis of the global economy, its premises, and its social and environmental implications. Represented here are forty-three leading economic, agricultural, and environmental experts who charge that free trade and economic globalization are producing exactly the opposite results from what has been promised.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, Too Big to Fail

Andrew Ross Sorkin (born February 19, 1977) is a Gerald Loeb Award-winning American journalist and author. He is a financial columnist for The New York Times and a co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk Box. He is also the founder and editor of DealBook, a financial news service published by The New York Times. He wrote the bestselling book Too Big to Fail (2009) and co-produced a movie adaptation of the book for HBO Films (2011).


Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves, also known as Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street, is a non-fiction book by Andrew Ross Sorkin chronicling the events of the 2008 financial crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers from the point of view of Wall Street CEOs and US government regulators.[13] The book provides an overview of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 from the beginning of 2008 to the decision to create the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The book tells the story from the perspectives of the leaders of the major financial institutions and the main regulatory authorities.

Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty (French: [tɔma pikɛti]; born May 7, 1971) is a French economist who works on wealth and income inequality. He is professor (directeur d'études) at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and professor at the Paris School of Economics.[14] He is the author of the best selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013),[15]which emphasizes the themes of his work on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years. The book argues that the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, and that this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future. To address this problem, he proposes redistribution through a global tax on wealth.[16][17]

Piketty specializes in economic inequality, taking a historic and statistical approach. His work looks at the rate of capital accumulation in relation to economic growth over a two hundred year spread from the nineteenth century to the present. His novel use of tax records enabled him to gather data on the very top economic elite, who had previously been understudied, and to ascertain their rate of accumulation of wealth and how this compared to the rest of society and economy. His most recent book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, relies on economic data going back 250 years to show that an ever-rising concentration of wealth is not self-correcting.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century focuses on wealth and income inequality in Europe and the US since the 18th century. It was initially published in French in 2013, with an English translation released in April 2014. The central thesis is that when the rate of return on capital (r) is greater than the rate of economic growth (g) over the long term, the result is concentration of wealth, and this unequal distribution of wealth causes social and economic instability. Piketty proposes a global system of progressive wealth taxes to help reduce inequality and avoid the vast majority of wealth coming under the control of a tiny minority.

David Harvey

David W. Harvey FBA (born 31 October 1935) is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge in 1961. Harvey authored many books and essays that have been prominent in the development of modern geography as a discipline. He is a proponent of the idea of the right to the city, as well as a member of the Interim Committee for the emerging International Organization for a Participatory Society.[18]

In 2007, Harvey was listed as the 18th most-cited author of books in the humanities and social sciences in that year, as established by counting cites from academic journals in the Thomson Reuters ISI database. On that basis, the books of Harvey were cited 723 times in 2007.[19] In a study of the most-cited academic geographers in four English-speaking countries between 1984 and 1988, Harvey ranked first.[20]

Social Justice and the City (1973) expressed Harvey's position that geography could not remain 'objective' in the face of urban poverty and associated ills. It has been cited widely (over 1000 times, by 2005, in a discipline where 50 citations are rare), and it makes a significant contribution to Marxian theory by arguing that capitalism annihilates space to ensure its own reproduction. Dialectical materialism has guided his subsequent work, notably the theoretically sophisticated Limits to Capital (1982). LTC furthers the radical geographical analysis of capitalism, and several books on urban processes and urban life have followed it.

The Condition of Postmodernity (1989), written while a Professor at Oxford, was a best-seller (the London The Independent named it as one of the fifty most important works of non-fiction to be published since 1945). It is a materialist critique of postmodern ideas and arguments, suggesting these actually emerge from contradictions within capitalism itself. Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference (1996) focusses on social and environmental justice (although its dialectical perspective has attracted the ire of some Greens). Spaces of Hope (2000) has a utopian theme and indulges in speculative thinking about how an alternative world might look. His study of Second Empire Paris and the events surrounding the Paris Commune in Paris, Capital of Modernity, is undoubtedly his most elaborated historical-geographical work. The onset of US military action since 2001 has provoked a blistering critique –

In The New Imperialism (2003) he argues that the war in Iraq allows US neo-conservatives to divert attention from the failures of capitalism 'at home'. His next work, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005), provides an historical examination of the theory and divergent practices of neoliberalism since the mid-1970s. This work conceptualises the neoliberalised global political economy as a system that benefits few at the expense of many, and which has resulted in the (re)creation of class distinction through what Harvey calls "accumulation by dispossession". His most recent work The Enigma of Capital (2010) takes a long view of the current economic crisis. Harvey explains how capitalism came to dominate the world and why it resulted in the current financial crisis. He describes that the essence of capitalism is its amorality and lawlessness and to talk of a regulated, ethical capitalism is to make a fundamental error. A series of events linked to this book across London academic forums, such as the LSE, proved hugely popular and sparked a new interest in Harvey's work.

David Korten

David C. Korten (born 1937) is an American author, former Professor of the Harvard Business School, political activist, prominent critic of corporate globalization, and "by training and inclination a student of psychology and behavioral systems". His best-known publication is When Corporations Rule the World (1995 and 2001). In 2011, he was named an Utne Reader visionary.[21]

When Corporations Rule the World is an anti-globalization book by David Korten. Korten examines the evolution of corporations in the United States and argues that "corporate libertarians" have 'twisted' the ideas of Adam Smith's view of the role of private companies.

Korten critiques current methods of economic development led by the Bretton Woods institutions and asserts his desire to rebalance the power of multinational corporations with concern for environmental sustainability and what he terms “people-centered development”. He advocates a 50% tax on advertising.

Korten criticises consumerism, market deregulation, free trade, privatization and what he sees as the global consolidation of corporate power. Above all he rejects any focus on money as the purpose of economic life. His prescriptions include excluding corporations from political participation, increased state and global control of international corporations and finance, rendering financial speculation unprofitable and creating local economies that rely on local resources, rather than international trade.

Tim Jackson

Tim Jackson is a British ecological economist and professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey, England. He was the founder and director of RESOLVE (Research Group on Lifestyles Values and Environment) and is director of the follow-on project: the Defra/ESRC Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group (SLRG). Tim Jackson is the author of Prosperity Without Growth: economics for a finite planet (2009) and currently holds the ESRC Professorial Fellowship on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy. Prosperity without growth summarizes the evidence showing that, beyond a certain point, growth does not increase human well being. In addition, the book argues that the mathematics of continual growth are fundamentally flawed.[22]


Visionary Economics: Solutions
Tom Greco

Thomas Henry Greco, Jr. (born 1936) is a community economist, who blogs, writes, and speaks on the subject of free market alternative currency and monetary systems.

Greco’s 2009 book The End of Money and the Future of Civilization has been reviewed in Ecologist magazine and BuzzFlash.com. The Ecologist reviewer described Greco's analysis of the problem and his alternatives which range from "a complete web-based trading system to creating local, community- based exchange systems which can be linked to regional, national and international networks." He noted "The book leaves you thinking that given the political will and empowerment of grassroots and community -based systems, the environment and civilisation as we know it is not doomed after all."

Lynn Twist, The Soul of Money

For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. From working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the threatened rainforests of the Amazon, Lynne’s on-the-ground work has brought her a deep understanding of the social tapestry of the world and the historical landscape of the times we are living in. [23]

The compelling stories and insights gained from her experiences inspired Lynne to write her best-selling, award-winning book “The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life” (W.W. Norton, 2003).

The Soul of Money is a wise and inspiring exploration of the connection between money and leading a fulfilling life. This compelling and fundamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money– how we earn it, spend it, invest it, and give it away–can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values and the essence of prosperity. Through moving stories and practical principles, Lynne demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity and guilt with experiences of sufficiency and freedom. Lynne shares from her own life and work, a journey illuminated by remarkable encounters with the richest and poorest people on earth, from the famous (Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama) to the anonymous but unforgettable heroes of everyday life.

“Lynne Twist’s deep insights into our human relationship to money, coupled with her life’s work in the arena of personal abundance and fundraising make her a must-read author. The Soul of Money is on the top of my list of reading for anyone wanting to understand and improve their relationship to money.”Lenedra Carroll Businesswoman and Author, The Architecture of All Abundance [24]

Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is an author and public speaker, and self-described "degrowth activist". He is the author of several books including The Ascent of Humanity (2007), Sacred Economics (2011), and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (2013).

Eisenstein's 2011 book Sacred Economics revolves around the theme of how the current monetary system based on interest and usury, along with the abandonment of the gift economy, has led to alienation, competition and need for an economic system predicated on continuous growth.

Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

This book is about how the money system will have to change—and is already changing—to embody this transition. A broadly integrated synthesis of theory, policy, and practice, Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with “right livelihood” and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen.

Bernard Lietaer

Bernard Lietaer (born in 1942 in Lauwe, Belgium) is a civil engineer, economist, author and professor. He studies monetary systems and promotes the idea that communities can benefit from creating their own local or complementary currency, which circulate parallel with national currencies. Bernard Lietaer has been active in the realm of money systems for close to 40 years in a wide variety of functions. He co-founded one of the largest and most successful currency management firms; GaiaCorp, and managed an offshore currency fund (Gaia Hedge II) which was the world's top performing managed currency fund during the 1987-91 period he ran it.[25] Business Week named him "the world’s top currency trader" in 1992.

The Future of Money is a book written by Bernard Lietaer, published by Random House in 2001, and currently out of print. It was written as an overview of how money and the financial system works, the effects of modern money paradigms, especially relating to debt and interest, and how it can work to everyone's benefit to solve a wide range of problems, especially with the use of complementary currencies.[26] The book is meant to be written for thelayperson, while bringing light to subjects that only relatively few are aware of at all levels of society. Lietaer gives examples of different currencies that have been used in the past or are being used today, and his assessment of the positive and negative effects they carry. He writes that while the modern money paradigm has both positive and negative consequences (e.g. that it induced industrialisation), these currencies can exist in complement at the local, regional and international levels, as well as there being currencies for various sectors, such as healthcare. Lietaer writes that in order to optimally solve problems and create a healthy society, the world needs a variety of currencies in our "toolbox", and that otherwise we are "painting with a screwdriver".

Henry George

Henry George (September 2, 1839 – October 29, 1897) was an American writer, politician and political economist, who was the most influential proponent of the land value tax, also known as the "single tax" on land. He inspired the economic philosophy known as Georgism, whose main tenet is that people should own what they create, but that everything found innature, most importantly the value of land, belongs equally to all humanity. His most famous work, Progress and Poverty (1879), is a treatise on inequality, the cyclic nature ofindustrialized economies, and the use of the land value tax as a remedy.

Georgism is an economic philosophy holding that the value of natural resources and natural opportunities should belong equally to all residents of a community, but that people should be permitted to own the value they create. [27][28][29]

Progress and Poverty: In Progress and Poverty, George examines various proposed strategies to prevent business depressions, unemployment and poverty, but finds them unsatisfactory. As an alternative he proposes his own solution: a single tax on land values. This would be a tax on the annual value of land held as private property. It would be high enough to allow for all other taxes—especially upon labor and production—to be abolished. George argued that a land value tax would give landowners an incentive to use the land in a productive way, thereby employing labor and creating wealth, or to sell the land to those who could and would themselves use the land in a productive way. This shift in the bargaining balance between resource owners and laborers would raise the general level of wages and ensure no one need suffer involuntary poverty.

Kropotkin

Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин; December 9, 1842 – February 8, 1921) was a Russian geographer, economist, activist, philologist,zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, writer and prominent anarchist. Kropotkin advocated a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between workers. He wrote many books, pamphlets and articles, the most prominent being The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops, and his principal scientific offering, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. He also contributed the article on anarchism to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. [30]

The Conquest of Bread (French: La Conquête du Pain; Russian: Хлеб и воля) is a book by the anarchist communist Peter Kropotkin. Originally written in French, it first appeared as a series of articles in the anarchist journals Le Révolté and La Révolte (both edited by Kropotkin). It was first published as a book in Paris in 1892 with a preface by Élisée Reclus, who also suggested the title. Between 1892 and 1894 it was serialised, in part, in the London journal Freedom, of which Kropotkin was a co-founder. It has been translated and reprinted numerous times: it was translated into Norwegian already in 1898, and in Japanese, for example, by Kotoku Shusui in 1909. It has been reprinted by Elephant Editions (1985),Cambridge University Press (1995), Vanguard Press (1995), Freedom Press, AK Press (2007), and BiblioBazaar (2008).

In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the defects of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they thrive on and maintain povertyand scarcity, as symbol for richness and in spite of being in a time of abundance thanks to technology, while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organisation already exist, both in evolution and in human society. He also talks about details of revolution and expropriation in order not to end in a reactionary way.

Projects

WIR Bank, Switzerland

The WIR Bank, formerly the Swiss Economic Circle (GER: Wirtschaftsring-Genossenschaft), or WIR, is an independent complementary currency system in Switzerland that serves businesses in hospitality, construction, manufacturing, retail and professional services. WIR issues and manages a private currency, called the WIR Franc, which is used, in combination with Swiss Franc to generate dual-currency transactions. The WIR Franc is an electronic currency reflected in clients' trade accounts and there is no paper money. The use of this currency results in increased sales, cash flow and profits for a qualified participant. WIR has perfected the system by creating a credit system which issues credit, in WIR Francs, to its members. The credit lines are secured by members pledging assets. This ensures that the currency is asset-backed. When two members enter into a transaction with both Swiss Francs and WIR Francs it reduces the amount of cash needed by the buyer; the seller does not discount its product or service.

WIR was founded in 1934 by businessmen Werner Zimmermann and Paul Enz as a result of currency shortages and global financial instability. A banking license was granted in 1936.[31] Both Zimmermann and Enz had been influenced by German libertarian economist Silvio Gesell;[32] however, the WIR Bank renounced Gesell's "free money" theory in 1952, opening the door to monetary interest.[33]

"WIR" is both an abbreviation of Wirtschaftsring and the word for "we" in German, reminding participants that the economic circle is also a community. According to the cooperative's statutes, "Its purpose is to encourage participating members to put their buying power at each other's disposal and keep it circulating within their ranks, thereby providing members with additional sales volume."

Although WIR started with only 16 members, today it has grown to include 62,000. Total assets are approximately 3.0 billion CHF, annual sales in the range of 6.5 billion, As of 1998, assets held by the credit system were 885 million and liabilities of 844 million, i.e. the circulating WIR money, with equity in the system of 44 million. These WIR obligations being interest free have a cost of zero. Income from interest and credit clearing activities were 38 million francs.

as of 2005. [34] The currency code is CHW as designated by ISO 4217.

The WIR Bank was a not-for-profit entity, although that status changed during the Bank's expansion.[35] It has a stable history, not prone to failure as the current banking system is. It has remained fully operational during times of general economic crisis. The WIR Bank may even dampen downturns in the business cycle, helping to stabilize the Swiss economy during difficult times.[36]

Mondragon Worker’s Cooperative, Spain

The MONDRAGON Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. It was founded in the town of Mondragón in 1956 by graduates of a local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. It is the seventh-largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. At the end of 2012, it employed 80,321 people in 289 companies and organizations in four areas of activity: finance, industry, retail and knowledge.[37] Mondragon cooperatives operate in accordance with Statement on the Co-operative Identity maintained by the International Co-operative Alliance.

Mondragon co-operatives are united by a humanist concept of business, a philosophy of participation and solidarity, and a shared business culture. The culture is rooted in a shared mission and a number of principles, corporate values and business policies.[38]

Over the years, these links have been embodied in a series of operating rules approved on a majority basis by the Co-operative Congresses, which regulate the activity of the Governing Bodies of the Corporation (Standing Committee, General Council), the Grassroots Co-operatives and the Divisions they belong to, from the organisational, institutional and economic points of view as well as in terms of assets.[39]

This framework of business culture has been structured based on a common culture derived from the 10 Basic Co-operative Principles, in which Mondragon is rooted: Open Admission, Democratic Organisation, the Sovereignty of Labour, Instrumental and Subordinate Nature of Capital, Participatory Management, Payment Solidarity, Inter-cooperation, Social Transformation, Universality and Education.[40]

This philosophy is complemented by four corporate values: Co-operation, acting as owners and protagonists; Participation, which takes shape as a commitment to management; Social Responsibility, by means of the distribution of wealth based on solidarity; and Innovation, focusing on constant renewal in all areas.[41]

This business culture translates into compliance with a number of Basic Objectives (Customer Focus, Development, Innovation, Profitability, People in Co-operation and Involvement in the Community) and General Policies approved by the Co-operative Congress, which are taken on board at all the corporation’s organisational levels and incorporated into the four-year strategic plans and the annual business plans of the individual co-operatives, divisions, and the corporation as a whole.[42]

Sharing Economy / Collaborative Production

The sharing economy (sometimes also referred to as the peer-to-peer economy, mesh, collaborative economy, collaborative consumption) is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organisations.[43] These systems take a variety of forms, often leveraging information technology to empower individuals, corporations, non-profits and government with information that enables distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services.[44] A common premise is that when information about goods is shared, the value of those goods may increase, for the business, for individuals, and for the community.[45]

Collaborative consumption as a phenomenon is a class of economic arrangements in which participants share access to products or services, rather than having individual ownership.[46][47] Often this model is enabled by technology and peer communities.[48]

The collaborative consumption model is used in marketplaces such as eBay, Craigslist and Krrb, emerging sectors such as social lending, peer-to-peer accommodation, peer-to-peer travel experiences, peer-to-peer task assignments or travel advising, car sharing or commute-bus sharing.[49]

The idea of collaborative production is generally referenced around a host of enterprise collaboration tools. However, many of these tools are designed to benefit the for-profit enterprise allowing them to collect high value knowledge assets while eliminating high risk employment liabilities under the noble flag of “Crowd Sourcing”.

True collaborative production is related more to the idea that communities decide what to produce. In classical economics, the merchant class allocates land, labor, and capital and largely decides what will be brought to market but also what can be withheld from a market. Collaborative Production starts with the idea that a community allocates it’s own knowledge resources to produce what they need and withhold what they don’t need.[50]

Occupy Bank: effort to form cooperative financial institution
Represent.us

Represent.us is a non-profit organization that is building a mass non-partisan movement to pass tough anti-corruption laws and end the legalized corruption prevalent in American politics today. By establishing chapters across the country, Represent.us brings real people together to buy back the government, supporting initiatives to pass anti-corruption laws locally. These chapters provide a solid foundation of grassroots political power, which then builds political momentum from the bottom up, providing the fuel to enact major reforms in cities, states, and eventually on the national level.

An important purpose of this movement is to campaign for the American Anti-Corruption Act (AACA), an act crafted by former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter with dozens of figures across the political spectrum. This act brings together all of the best legislative proposals into one comprehensive bill, taking care of the whole issue at once while minimizing potential loopholes. It seeks to greatly diminish the financial impact lobbyists have on Congress through initiatives such as limiting the amount of money lobbyists can donate to politicians, requiring full transparency of all political money, and enabling voters to support politicians of their own choosing by providing them with $100 tax rebates, and ultimately shifting financial dependence from corporations to the people. By doing this, the people would regain control over the government, giving politicians no choice but to realign their interests.

Represent.us additionally provides a concrete, 5-step plan that can lead to success:
  1. Pass The American Anti-Corruption Act, which provides a real solution to corruption that sets the standard for local, state, and federal laws.
  2. Create political power through uniting ordinary citizens across the political spectrum and taking organized action.
  3. With this coalition of people, especially through Represent.us chapters, pass laws in towns, cities, and states that match the standards of the American Anti-Corruption Act, building momentum from the bottom up.
  4. With this wide network of support, pressure politicians at every level of government who are not aligned with the standards of the Anti-Corruption Act and make corruption a ballot-box issue.
  5. Win nationally by building a cross-partisan, populist movement to pass anti-corruption laws in all 50 states.

RESOURCES

Introduction (how to use)

Organizations

New Economy Coalition

New Economy Coalition is a US-based nonprofit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. The New Economy Coalition draws on new economics, an aggregate field of alternative economic thought that challenges the fundamental assumptions of mainstream neo-classical and Keynesian economic theory. The theory is based on the assumption that people and the planet should come first, and that it is human well-being, not economic growth, which should be prioritized. It draws on a number of other approaches, including ecological economics, solidarity economy, degrowth, systems thinking and Buddhist economics.

The New Economy Coalition works to promote the new economy movement. This movement is entirely distinct from the definition of a service-based new economy as popularized during the late 1990s by Stephen B. Shepard, among others. In 2009, Sarah van Gelder wrote, “The new economy is about increasing quality of life, improving health, and restoring the environment." As described by Gar Alperovitz, “The New Economy movement is a far-ranging coming together of organizations, projects, activists, theorists and ordinary citizens committed to rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up."

Post Growth Institute

Post Growth Institute conceives of their organization as a catalyst for identifying, inspiring and implementing new approaches to global well-being.

They are an international network of people committed to tackling the cause, rather than the symptoms, of a myriad of social and environmental problems to create a positive world future that does not depend on economic growth. Their aim is to create a movement of 10 million people who are convinced of the need for futures beyond economic growth, believe they are possible and feel inspired and supported enough to play a role in their emergence. Post Growth members work to create thought-provoking and reasoned information and initiatives, opportunities for meaningful action and connect like-minded individuals and groups working towards post growth futures. Currently Post Growth is a virtual community, with collaborators spread across many countries and their core team hailing from Australia, the United States, Canada, Greece and (occasionally) Sweden.

Schumacher Center for a New Economics

The Schumacher Center for New Economics is a US-based nonprofit organization based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1980 as the E.F. Schumacher Society by Robert Swann and Susan Witt. In 2012, legacy programs of the E.F. Schumacher Society were reorganized as the Schumacher Center for New Economics. The Schumacher Center combines theoretical research with practical application at the local, regional, national, and international levels—deliberately designing transformative systems and communicating clearly the principles that guide them.

Their BerkShares program seeks to foster collaboration among producers, retail businesses, non-profit organizations, service providers and consumers. It is an attempt to strengthen the local economy. The program also seeks to increase public awareness of the importance of local economies and to foster optimism for the prospect of gaining local economic self-sufficiency. The New York Times referred to the BerkShares program as a "great socioeconomic experiment."

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance or ILSR is a nonprofit organization and advocacy group that provides technical assistance to communities about local solutions for sustainable community development in areas such as banking, broadband, energy, and waste through local purchasing. The organization was founded in 1974. ILSR has two main offices, one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Minneapolis, MN.

The 1990 edition of the Whole Earth Catalog summarized ILSR's mission as follows: “ILSR specializes in urban community economic development that isn't dependent on welfare handouts. Unlike many similar organizations, they develop clever technical solutions to problems - they've been particularly successful in material recovery and other schemes to reduce waste. Their experience and thoroughly professional demeanor, together with a Washington DC location, has enabled them to be influential in policy decisions.

BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies)

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is a North American alliance of nearly 80 fully autonomous local business networks, representing about 30,000 US and Canadian entrepreneurs.

BALLE envisions a sustainable world economy made up of local living economies that build long-term economic empowerment and prosperity through local business ownership, economic justice, cultural diversity, and environmental stewardship.

BALLE's building blocks include: Sustainable agriculture, Renewable energy, Zero waste manufacturing, Independent retail, Green building, Community capital.

The BALLE networks has 20,000 members. As of September 2009, it will be headquartered in Bellingham, Washington.

Reports

The Venus Project: Designing the Future

The Venus Project developed plan for a transition to a Resource-based economy that could manage a post-scarcity economy. Their 25-acre center in Florida produces well-researched proposals for how a shift to this economy could arise. According to Christopher Dew, their recommendations are as follows:

  • Under a unified global society the governing power of individual states must be drastically decreased. Much of that power would dissolve downward to cities, or city-states, in terms of overseeing the governance of civil society. Each city would manage its own affairs and any major decisions would be voted upon democratically. Some of that state power, however, would need to be transferred upwards, to a transitional federalist global council. This global federation would be made up of elected representatives from every major city-state with a population greater than one million. Powers would be limited and the global council would be tasked with three primary objectives:

1. Maintain peace, security, and stability — Any major military action undertaken by the global council must first be approved by a global democratic vote from all citizens. It may be initially necessary for nation-states to maintain security outside of city-states until these duties can be fulfilled by the council.

2. Coordinate efforts to establish the global infrastructure required for a resource based economy — Develop clean and sustainable free-energy supplies for the global population. Develop an automated economy to efficiently manage, produce, and distribute global resources; monitored and directed by an artificial intelligence network. Fully implement a resource based economy.

3. Assume control of all national military hardware and carry out a complete global demilitarization.

A Guide to Community Capital

Community capital harnesses the financial wealth that exists within a region to support local, community-serving businesses and organizations, and keeps this wealth re-circulating for the benefit of the whole community. The guide recommends changing the ways capital flows through our economy by developing tools, networks, and infrastructure to replace a broken financial system. It offers the basics with links to more resources. For those ready to make the next step, by getting money out of big banks and finding local investment for personal and corporate projects, it outlines a new understanding of community capital you can use to support your efforts.

Ecuador National Plan for Good Living, 2009-2013

Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation and member of the Commons Strategies Group, worked with the Government of Ecuador to launch a major strategic research project to “fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador” based on the principles of open networks, peer production and commoning. The project seeks to “remake the roots of Ecuador’s economy, setting off a transition into a society of free and open knowledge.”

The FLOK Society project builds on a larger, preexisting national development vision that Ecuador has been pursuing. Includes penetrating critique of the neoliberal trade vision and its skewed ideas about development -- a refreshing alternative to the usual prescriptions peddled by the World Bank. Ecuador is the first country in the world which is committing itself to the creation of a open commons knowledge based society. While Buen Vivir aims to replace mindless accumulative economic growth to a form of growth that directly benefits the well-being of the Ecuadorian people,Buen Saber aims to create the open knowledge commons which will facilitate such a transition. FLOK stands for 'Free Libre and Open Knowledge. In order to establish these transition policies and documents, IAEN has connected itself with the global hacker and free software movement, but also with its extension in the many peer to peer initiatives that directly aim to create a body of knowledge for physical production in agriculture and industry.[51]

They outline 4 potential value regimes/scenarioes that could arise in the future of economics:

  • Netarchical Capitalism as a technological regime
    • peer to peer front end, hierarchical back-end (current/facebook/centralized)
  • Distributed Capitalism as a technological regime the commodification of everything
    • an anti-systemic entrepreneurialism directed against the monopolies and predatory intermediaries, they retain the focus on profit making
    • despite the ideals expressed by the political and social movements associated with such a model (such as anarcho-capitalism and Austrian economics), in practice, these dynamics inevitably lead to consolidation and concentration of capital.
  • Resilient Community Platforms Designed for Re-Localization
    • lifeboat strategies. Initiatives like the Degrowth movement or the Transition Towns, a grassroots network of communities
    • critique, doesn’t confront capitalism, so need a counter model in tandem (what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri call the counter-power)
  • The Global Commons Scenario as the desired alternative
    • Though production is distributed and therefore facilitated at the local level, the resulting micro-factories are considered as essentially networked on a global scale, profiting from the mutualized global cooperation both on the design of the product, and on the improvement of the common machinery

They foresee capitalism and the new movement of the commons becoming intertwined in paradoxial, unexpected ways. The emerging global knowledge economy, can today take two competing forms, as:

  • continuation of proprietary IP, and the realisation of economic rent by financial capital; combined with a new form of 'netarchical' capital, which enables but also exploits social production. It is not difficult to see that the riches of giants like Facebook and Google are based on the hyper-exploitation of the free labour of the citizens using their social networks. or:
  • knowledge-based economy is based on open commons of knowledge, but which are preferentially linked to an ethical and equitable economy. This is the form of knowledge economy and civilisation that is most compatible with the vision of the Ecaudorian government that emerged from the citizens' revolution, and with the values expressed by the National Plan in its various iterations.

The public value of state-chartered commons-based institutions is that they would help

​1) limit the creation of negative externalities that get displaced onto others (as corporations routinely do); ​2) declare certain resources to be inalienable and linked to communities as part of their identity; 3) assure more caring, conscientious and effective stewardship and oversight of resources than the bureaucratic state is capable of providing; and ​4) help commoners internalize a different set of stewardship values, ethics, social practices and long-term commitments than the market encourages.

References

[Carbon Tax http://www.carbontax.org/]
Shareable.net

PROPOSALS

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Introduction

SCOPE

Introduction

Historical trajectory

Nonhierarchical tribal societies.
Nomadic groups.
Partnership or matrifocal cultures.
Hierarchical, complex societies based on agriculture
Patriarchy.
Monarchy.
Oligarchy.
Fascism, Totalitarianism
Religious Fundamentalism as a postmodern phenomenon.
Bourgeois revolutions of 18th Century.
Industrial Revolution.
20th Century - World Wars, birth of modern propaganda.
US Government’s abdication of responsibility

CONTEXT

Introduction

Current status

Outdated systems
Expressions of historical process - new system can arise
New World Order
Media and political organization

Future projections

Promise of politics

REGENERATIVE STRATEGY

Introduction

Localization and decentralization

Intentional Communities Movement

From the Intentional Communities Wiki:

An “intentional community” is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.

This definition spans a wide variety of groups, including (but not limited to) communes, ecovillages, student cooperatives, land co-ops, cohousing groups, monasteries and ashrams, kibbutzim, and farming collectives. Although quite diverse in philosophy and lifestyle, each of these groups places a high priority on fostering a sense of community–a feeling of belonging and mutual support that is increasingly hard to find in mainstream Western society.[3]

Co-Intelligence for Group Decision-making

From the Co-Intelligence Institute:

Healthy communities, institutions and societies -- perhaps even our collective survival -- depend on our ability to organize our collective affairs more wisely, in tune with each other and nature. This ability to wisely organize our lives together -- all of us being wiser together than any of us could be alone -- we call co-intelligence.In its broadest sense, co-intelligence involves accessing the wisdom of the whole on behalf of the whole.

Co-intelligence is emerging through new developments in democracy, organizational development, collaborative processes, the Internet and systems sciences like ecology and complexity. Today millions of people are involved in co-creating co-intelligence. Our diverse efforts grow more effective as we discover we are part of a larger evolutionary enterprise, and as we learn together and from each other.

The Co-Intelligence Institute works to further the understanding and development of co-intelligence. It focuses on catalyzing co-intelligence in the realms of politics, governance, economics and conscious evolution of ourselves and our social systems. We research, network, advocate, and help organize leading-edge experiments and conversations in order to weave what is possible into new, wiser forms of civilization.[4]

Democracy and Politics - Co-Intelligent political theory explores how human society at all levels -- from neighborhoods to nations -- can self-organize wisely. The Co-Intelligence Institute's work focuses on catalyzing wiser democratic systems. High quality dialogue is perhaps the most important factor in developing the capacity for wise democratic self-organization.

New infrastructure that makes old obsolete

Universal pacification/demilitarization

MODELS

Introduction

Thought leaders

Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, Empire and Multitude

Multitude is a term for a group of people who cannot be classed under any other distinct category, except for their shared fact of existence. The term has a history of use reaching back to antiquity, but took on a strictly political concept when it was first used by Machiavelli and reiterated by Spinoza. The multitude is a concept of a population that has not entered into a social contract with a sovereign political body, such that individuals retain the capacity for political self-determination. For Hobbes the multitude was a rabble that needed to enact a social contract with a monarch, thus turning them from a multitude into a people. For Machiavelli and Spinoza both, the role of the multitude vacillates between admiration and contempt. Recently the term has returned to prominence as a new model of resistance against global systems of power as described by political theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their international best-seller Empire (2000) and expanded upon in their Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004). Other theorists recently began to use the term include political thinkers associated with Autonomist Marxism and its sequelae, including Sylvère Lotringer, Paolo Virno, and thinkers connected with the eponymous review Multitudes.

Empire theorizes an ongoing transition from a "modern" phenomenon of imperialism, centered around individual nation-states, to an emergent postmodern construct created among ruling powers which the authors call "Empire" (the capital letter is distinguishing), with different forms of warfare. According to Hardt and Negri's Empire, the rise of Empire is the end of national conflict, the "enemy" now, whoever he is, can no longer be ideological or national. The enemy now must be understood as a kind of criminal, as someone who represents a threat not to a political system or a nation but to the law. This is the enemy as a terrorist. In the "new order that envelops the entire space of... civilization", where conflict between nations has been made irrelevant, the "enemy" is simultaneously "banalized" (reduced to an object of routine police repression) and absolutized (as the Enemy, an absolute threat to the ethical order").

Empire elaborates a variety of ideas surrounding constitutions, global war, and class. Hence, the Empire is constituted by a monarchy (the United States and the G8, and international organizations such as NATO, the International Monetary Fund or the World Trade Organization), an oligarchy (the multinational corporations and other nation-states) and a democracy (the various non-government organizations and the United Nations). Part of the book's analysis deals with "imagin[ing] resistance", but "the point of Empire is that it, too, is "total" and that resistance to it can only take the form of negation - "the will to be against". The Empire is total, but economic inequality persists, and as all identities are wiped out and replaced with a universal one, the identity of the poor persists.

Hannah Arendt, On Revolution

Johanna "Hannah" Arendt (14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-American political theorist. Though often described as a philosopher, she rejected that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular" and instead described herself as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact that "men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world." Her works deal with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, direct democracy, authority, and totalitarianism. The Hannah Arendt Prize is named in her honor.

On Revolution Arendt presents a comparison of two of the main revolutions of the eighteenth century, the American and French Revolutions. She goes against a common view of both Marxist and leftist views when she argues that France, while well studied and often emulated, was a disaster and that the largely ignored American Revolution was a success. The turning point in the French Revolution occurred when the leaders rejected their goals of freedom in order to focus on compassion for the masses. In America, the Founding Fathers never betray the goal of Constitutio Libertatis. However, Arendt believes the revolutionary spirit of those men has been lost, and advocates a “council system” as an appropriate institution to regain that spirit.

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein (born May 8, 1970) is a Canadian author and social activist known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization. She is best known for No Logo, a book that went on to become an international bestseller, and The Shock Doctrine, a critical analysis of the history of neoliberal economics.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is a 2007 book by the Canadian author Naomi Klein, and is the basis of a 2009 documentary by the same name directed by Michael Winterbottom. The book argues that libertarian free market policies (as advocated by the economist Milton Friedman) have risen to prominence in some developed countries because of a deliberate strategy by some political leaders. These leaders exploit crises to push through controversial exploitative policies while citizens are too emotionally and physically distracted by disasters or upheavals to mount an effective resistance. The book implies that some man-made crises, such as the Iraq war, may have been created with the intention of pushing through these unpopular policies in their wake.

Chris Hedges

Christopher Lynn "Chris" Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist specializing in American politics and society. Hedges is also known as the best-selling author of several books including War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002)—a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction—Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), Death of the Liberal Class (2010) and his most recent New York Times best seller, written with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012).

Hedges is currently a columnist for news website Truthdig, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City, and a contributing author for OpEdNews. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005).

In 2002, Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey. He writes a weekly column on Mondays for Truthdig and authored what The New York Times described as "a call to arms" for the first issue of The Occupied Wall Street Journal, a newspaper associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, New York City. The author describes himself as a socialist.

David Korten, The Great Turning

David C. Korten (born 1937) is an American author, former Professor of the Harvard Business School, political activist, prominent critic of corporate globalization, and "by training and inclination a student of psychology and behavioral systems". His best-known publication is When Corporations Rule the World (1995 and 2001). In 2011, he was named an Utne Reader visionary.

Korten's 2006 book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community argues that the development of empires about 5,000 years ago initiated unequal distribution of power and social benefits to a small portion of the population they controlled. He also argues that corporations are modern versions of empire, both being social organizations based on hierarchies, chauvinism, and domination through violence. The rise of powerful advanced technology combined with the control of corporate as well as nation based empires is described as becoming increasingly destructive to communities and the environment. The world is shown as about to face a perfect storm of converging crises including climate change, peak oil, and a financial crisis caused by an unbalanced economy. This will cause major changes to the current economic and social structure. These crises present an opportunity for significant changes that replace the paradigm of "Empire" with one of "Earth Community". Korten's "Earth Community" is based on sustainable, just, and caring communities which incorporate mutual responsibility and accountability.

Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute

Tom Atlee founded Co-Intelligence Institute, a nonprofit organization, in 1996. His early co-intelligence research in the late 1980s focused on the relationship between group dynamics and collective intelligence. Beginning in the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s, his focus shifted to developing society's capacity to function as a wise democracy. From 2005-2010 he explored possibilities for the conscious evolution of social systems, grounded in a sacred science-based understanding of evolutionary dynamics. In 2011-2013 he has focused on public wisdom and co-intelligent economics. He hopes these intertwined, expanding explorations can help channel the energies surrounding our 21st century social and environmental crises into positive possibiities and system-transforming initiatives.

Tom's social change vision is grounded most deeply in new understandings of evolving wholeness which recognize the value of diversity, unity, relationship, context, uniqueness and the spirit inside each of us and the world. Co-intelligence is intelligence that arises from that kind of wholeness. It has collaborative and collective dimensions, and intrinsic interconnectedness which we see clearly in wholesome forms of politics, governance and economics. Co-intelligence theory also highlights the many facets of intelligence (like head and heart), wisdom, and the higher forms of intelligence (natural and sacred) that move through and beyond us. Although Tom and the Institute focus on very practical issues of group, social, political, and economic dynamics, co-intelligence has many esoteric dimensions as well.

Carl Boggs, Prefigurative Politics

Prefigurative politics are the modes of organization and social relationships that strive to reflect the future society being sought by the group. According to Carl Boggs, who coined the term, the desire is to embody "within the ongoing political practice of a movement . . . those forms of social relations, decision-making, culture, and human experience that are the ultimate goal."

Prefigurativism is the attempt to enact prefigurative politics.

Boggs was writing in the 1970s about revolutionary movements in Russia, Italy, Spain, and the US New Left. The concept of prefiguration was further applied by Sheila Rowbotham to the women's movement of the 1960s and 1970s, by Wini Breines to the US SDS;[3] and by John L. Hammond to the Portuguese Revolution.

The politics of prefiguration rejected the centrism and vanguardism of many of the groups and political parties of the 1960s. It is both a politics of creation, and one of breaking with hierarchy. Breines wrote: “The term prefigurative politics … may be recognized in counter institutions, demonstrations and the attempt to embody personal and anti-hierarchical values in politics. Participatory democracy was central to prefigurative politics. … The crux of prefigurative politics imposed substantial tasks, the central one being to create and sustain within the live practice of the movement, relationships and political forms that “prefigured” and embodied the desired society.”

Anarchists around the turn of the twentieth century clearly embraced the principle that means used to achieve any end must be consistent with that end, though they apparently did not use the term "prefiguration." For example James Guillaume, a comrade of Bakunin, wrote, "How could one want an equalitarian and free society to issue from authoritarian organisation? It is impossible"

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and various libertarian-socialist and anarchist groups refer to this as "building a new world in the shell of the old." If a group is aiming to eliminate class distinctions, prefigurative politics demands that there be no class distinctions within that group, nor should that group's actions reinforce classism. The same principle applies to hierarchy: if a group is fighting to abolish some or all forms of hierarchy in larger society, prefigurative politics demands they individually and as a group adhere as closely to that goal as possible.

The concept of prefiguration later came to be used more widely, especially in relation to movements for participatory democracy. It has especially been applied to the antinuclear movement of the 1970s and 1980s in the US and the antiglobalization movement at the turn of the twenty-first century.

David Graeber

David Rolfe Graeber (born 12 February 1961) is an American anthropologist, author, anarchist and activist who is currently Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics.

Specialising in theories of value and social theory, he was an assistant professor and associate professor of anthropology at Yale University from 1998 to 2007, although Yale controversially declined to rehire him. From Yale, he went on to become a Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London from Fall 2007 to Summer 2013.

Graeber has been involved in social and political activism, including the protests against the 3rd Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001 and the World Economic Forum in New York City in 2002. He is also a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Pierre Claustres, Society Against the State

Pierre Clastres (French: [klastʁ]; 17 May 1934 – 29 July 1977) was a French anthropologist and ethnographer. He is best known for his fieldwork among the Guayaki, now better known as Aché, in Paraguay and his theory on stateless societies.

In his most famous work, Society Against the State (1974), Clastres criticizes both the evolutionist notion that the state would be the ultimate destiny of all societies, and the Rousseauian notion of man's natural state of innocence (the myth of the noble savage). Knowledge of power is innate in any society, thus the natural state for humans wanting to preserve autonomy is a society structured by a complex set of customs which actively avert, ward off and refuse the rise of despotic power. The state is seen as but a specific constellation of hierarchical power peculiar only to societies who have failed to maintain these mechanisms which prevent separation from happening. Thus, in the Guayaki tribes, the chief has only a representational role, being his people's spokesperson towards other tribes ("international relations"). Internally, the chief only holds a supposed, apparent form of power and, in fact, is constantly rendered powerless by the tribe. If he abuses his role as chief, he may be violently removed by his people, and the institution of "spokesperson" is never allowed to transform itself into a separate institution of authority. Pierre Clastres' theory thus was an explicit criticism of Marxist theories of economic determinism, in that he considered an autonomous sphere of politics, which existed in stateless societies as the active conjuration of authority.

Saul Alichinsky, Rules for Radicals

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer, and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his book Rules for Radicals.

In the course of nearly four decades of political organizing, Alinsky received much criticism, but also gained praise from many public figures. His organizing skills were focused on improving the living conditions of poor communities across North America. In the 1950s, he began turning his attention to improving conditions in the African-American ghettos, beginning with Chicago's and later traveling to other ghettos in California, Michigan, New York City, and a dozen other "trouble spots".

His ideas were adapted in the 1960s by some US college students and other young counterculture-era organizers, who used them as part of their strategies for organizing on campus and beyond. Time magazine once wrote that "American democracy is being altered by Alinsky's ideas," and conservative author William F. Buckley said he was "very close to being an organizational genius."

Starhawk, The Empowerment Manual

Starhawk (born Miriam Simos on June 17, 1951) is an American writer and activist. She is known as a theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism. She is a columnist for Beliefnet.com and for On Faith, the Newsweek/Washington Post online forum on religion. Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance (1979) was one of the main inspirations behind the Goddess movement. In 2012, she was listed in Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

The Empowerment Manual is a comprehensive guide for groups seeking to organize with shared power and bottom-up leadership to foster vision, trust, accountability and responsibility. This desperately needed toolkit provides keys to:

  • understanding group dynamics
  • facilitating communication and collective decision-making
  • dealing effectively with difficult people

Drawing on four decades of experience, Starhawk shows how collaborative groups can generate the cooperation, efficacy and commitment critical to success. Her extensive exploration of group process is woven together with the story of RootBound—a fictional ecovillage mired in conflict— and rounded out with a series of real-life case studies. The included exercises and facilitator’s toolbox show how to establish the necessary structures, ground rules and healthy norms.

Peter Josephs, Zeitgeist Movement

Peter Joseph (born 1979) is an American independent filmmaker and social activist. He wrote, directed, narrated, scored, and produced three documentary-style films: Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007), Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008), and Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011). He founded The Zeitgeist Movement and is on the steering committee of Project Peace on Earth. His work, epitomized by his short series Culture in Decline, is a satirical yet serious expression that challenges various cultural phenomena existing today which most of society seem to take for granted. Nothing is considered sacred, except for a detached benchmark of fundamental logic and reason - forcing the viewer to step out of the box of “Normality” and to consider our societal practices without traditional baggage and biases. Common themes include Politics, Economics, Education, Security, Religion, Vanity, Governance, Media, Labor, Technology and other issues centric to our daily lives.

Gar Alperovitz, What Then Must We Do?

Political economist and historian Gar Alperovitz is a Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, College Park Department of Government and Politics. The author of several books, including America Beyond Capitalism, he points to capitalism’s increasing dysfunction as the impetus for the rise of another economy, one built from the ground up by democratically owned organizations like cooperatives, community land trusts, and municipal institutions.

He is a former Fellow of King's College,Cambridge; a founding Fellow of Harvard’s Institute of Politics; a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Alperovitz also served as a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a Special Assistant in the Department of State. Alperovitz is a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, and a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute.

He is also the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy and was named "Distinguished Finalist" for the Lionel Gelber Prize for The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth. His research interests include:

  • community-based political-economic development, and in particular new institutions of community wealth ownership;
  • political-economic theory, including system-wide political-economic design particularly as related to normative issues of equality, democracy, liberty, community and ecological sustainability;
  • local, state and national policy approaches to community stability in the era of globalization;
  • the history and future of nuclear weapons; arms control and disarmament strategies, including work on the conditions of peace and related long-term political economic structural change.
Rob Hoskins, Transition Town

Rob Hopkins is an independent activist and writer on environmental issues, based in Totnes, England. He is best known as the founder and figurehead of the Transition Towns movement, which he started in 2005. This grew out of many years experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and setting up the first 2 year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as co-ordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission.

He has written three books in support of Transition: ‘The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience’, which has been published in a number of languages, and which was voted the 5th most popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008, and more recently of ‘The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times’, published in October 2011. He publishes the blog Transition Culture, recently voted ‘the 4th best green blog in the UK’(!).

Carne Ross, Leaderless Revolution

Carne Ross is former British diplomat who resigned in 2004 after giving then-secret evidence to a British inquiry into the war. He founded the world's first non-profit diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat, which advises marginalized countries and groups around the world. In 2007, his critique of contemporary diplomacy was published: "Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite".

His new book, "The Leaderless Revolution: how ordinary people will take power and change politics in the 21st century" (Penguin Books) goes into these ideas in more detail.

His experience from inside government dealing with some of the most difficult of contemporary challenges - climate, terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan - convinced him that government, as currently constituted, is a poor and failing mechanism to deal with the world's problems. He suggests the need to look for alternatives, not least action by us, ourselves.

Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence "Larry" Lessig (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic and political activist. He is a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has been active in efforts to curtail the corrupting influence of money in politics. In May 2014, he launched a crowd-funded political action committee which he termed May Day PAC with the purpose of electing candidates to Congress who would pass campaign finance reform. He has previously called for state-based activism to promote substantive reform of government with a Second Constitutional Convention, and has suggested potential language for an amendment to create publicly funded elections and give congress the power to regulate campaign finance spending. Lessig is director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Previously, he was a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Center for Internet and Society. Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons and the founder of Rootstrikers, and is on the board of MapLight. He is on the advisory boards of the Democracy Café, Sunlight Foundation and Americans Elect. He is a former board member of the Free Software Foundation, Software Freedom Law Center and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Projects

The Participatory Budgeting Project

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a non-profit organization that empowers people to decide how to spend public money, primarily in the US and Canada. PBP creates and supports participatory budgeting processes that deepen democracy, build stronger communities, and make public budgets more equitable and effective. PB has been used for cities, counties, states, schools, universities, housing authorities, and other agencies.

The standard cyclical process begins with hundreds of people attending public assemblies to brainstorm spending ideas that could improve their communities. Afterwards, they select volunteer “Budget Delegates” to represent their neighborhoods. With guidance and training from PBP and other experts, the Delegates transform the initial ideas into concrete project proposals. Finally, the people vote on the proposals they want to see in their communities. The government or institution then funds and implements the winning projects.

Founded in 2009, PBP is the only organization in North America whose focus is to advance participatory budgeting, by organizing trainings and conferences to educate the public, providing technical assistance to develop participatory budgeting processes, and conducting research and evaluation to help participatory budgeting grow. PBP presents 3 core principles:

1. Build real power over real money
Develop processes that let people make real decisions, moving beyond consultation. Facilitate grassroots democratic decision-making over: the design of the budgeting process; what proposals go on the ballot; and what gets funded.
2. Transform democracy
Rebuild the relationship between government and the people. Change how government works and how people can engage in democracy creating processes that: build individuals’ skills and knowledge to develop new community leaders; bring neighbors together across divides to build stronger communities; and connect residents, experts, and officials to make better decisions together
3. Address inequality
Recognize that many people face obstacles to participating in government and work to ensure that everyone has an equal voice. How: prioritize engaging underrepresented groups, such as youth, people of color, and low-income people; partner with local organizations that are already engaging marginalized communities; and provide people with the tools to make fair and equitable spending decisions.


PBP has directly launched and supported 8 processes over the US and Canada:

Boston, MA
Level of PB: City
Institution: City of Boston
Summary: In 2013 The City of Boston initiated the first youth PB process in the US, for $1 million in capital funds. It was officially launched in January 2014 as an initiative of the Mayor’s office. The process lets the city’s youth ages 12-25 decide how to spend $1 million of the capital budget. The City contracted the Participatory Budgeting Project to support project implementation and recruited a Steering Committee of 30 organizations. The youth of Boston designed the process through the Steering Committee, and developed and voted on projects between March and June 2014. The pilot year of PB Boston focuses on five underserved neighborhoods. The process already works with over 2,000 participants.
Brooklyn, NY
Level of PB: College
Institution: Brooklyn College
Summary: In 2012, the student government of Brooklyn College started a PB process to better address the needs of students by cultivating a more bottom-up and inclusive budget allocation process on campus. The project had over 600 participants and only lasted one year, working with a budget of $200,000.
Chicago, IL
Level of PB: District
Institution: City of Chicago Wards (3 of 50)
Summary: In 2009, PBP and Chicago alderman Joe Moore launched the first PB process in the U.S., in the city’s 49th Ward. In 2012 the Participatory Budgeting Project and the Great Cities Institute partnered to expand PB to include additional wards and accommodate additional funds, launching the broader PB Chicago initiative. In the current process, residents of three Wards decide each year how to spend $3 million of taxpayer money. The project works with almost 3,000 participants annually.
New York City, NY
Level of PB: District
Institution: New York City Council Districts (10 of 51)
Summary: New York City is host to the largest PB in the U.S. in terms of participants and budget amount. The widespread interest and commitment to PB from elected officials, and its rapid growth over three years, makes it the leading model for the rest of the nation. The Participatory Budgeting Project’s worked with four City Council members to initiate it in their districts in 2011. In Cycle 1 of PBNYC, more than 7,700 people in four Council Districts participated. This doubled during Cycle 2 (2012) in which almost 14,000 people in eight Council Districts created proposals and voted to fund more than 45 projects, totaling almost $10 million in public funds. Cycle 3 (2013) grew to include 10 Council Districts and 17,000 participants. This cycle opened up more than $14 million in public funds to direct, community-level decision-making. Today, more than 21 City Council Members have committed to implementing PB in their districts in 2014—nearly half of City Council.
San Francisco, CA
Level of PB: District
Institution: San Francisco Board of Supervisors Districts (3 of 11)
Summary: Supervisor David Chiu initiated a pilot process in 2013 for $100,000 in discretionary funds, with both capital projects and programs eligible for funding. Winning projects included a public awareness campaign to educate seniors about consumer scams, one-time back rent and homelessness prevention grants for up to 25 households, employment training and job matching for youth, and 500 new Chinese language books for public libraries. The 2014 process involves three districts, each allocating $100,000, with 1500 expected annual participants.
St Louis, MO
Level of PB: District
Institution: City of St. Louis Wards (1 of 28)
Summary: PB St. Louis began in 2013 with 6th Ward alderman Christine Ingrassia committing a portion of the neighborhood improvement budget for a pilot program developed in partnership with the Participatory Budgeting Project. Over several months, residents brainstormed spending ideas, developed concrete proposals, and voted on which to fund. The project allocated an amount of $100,000 and included 436 participants.
Toronto, ON
Level of PB: Housing Authority
Institution: Toronto Community Housing
Summary: Since 2001, Toronto’s public housing authority has engaged tenants in allocating $5 to $9 million of capital funding per year. Tenants identify local infrastructure priorities in building meetings, then budget delegates from each building meet to vote on which priorities receive funding.
Vallejo, CA
Level of PB: City
Institution: City of Vallejo
Summary: In 2012 Vallejo City Council approved the first city-wide PB process in the US, as part of the city’s return to fiscal stability and accountability after bankruptcy. The City of Vallejo contracted the Participatory Budgeting Project to implement the process. The funds for PB came from a 1% sales tax approved by voters in 2011. Residents decided how to spend 30% of this revenue, which amounted to over $3 million in 2013. Winning projects included streets repair, parks improvements, equipment and improvements for school libraries, small business grants, improvements to senior center, and security cameras/enhanced street lighting. City Council approved a second cycle to allocate $2.4 million in 2014. With over 5,000 annual participants, the City also has hired three full-time staff members to oversee the process, while the Participatory Budgeting Project continues to provide technical assistance.

RESOURCES

Introduction (how to use)

We've provided a list of organizations working to implement the ideas, projects, and theories discussed in the preceding sections. A next step in the process will be evaluating and critiquing the approach of each organization. In order to foster a collective understanding of best practices within an environment of experimental learning, researchers and scholars will need to vet each organization and their corresponding reports.

Organizations

Peer2Peer Foundation

The Foundation for P2P Alternatives proposes to be a meeting place for those who can broadly agree with the following guiding ideas, principles and propositions, which are also argued in the essay or book in progress, P2P and Human Evolution:

  • that peer-to-peer based technology reflects and holds the potentials for a change of consciousness towards individual and networked participation, and in turn strengthens it
  • that the "distributed network" format, expressed in the specific manner of peer to peer relations, is a new form of organizing and subjectivity, and an alternative for many systems within the current socio-econominic and cultural-political order, which though it does not offer solutions per se, points the way to a variety of dialogical and self-organizing formats, i.e. it represents different processes for arriving at such solutions; it ushers in a era of ‘nonrepresentational democracy’, where an increasing number of people are able to manage their social and productive life through the use of a variety of autonomous and interdependent networks and peer circles; that global governance, and the global market will be, and will have to be, more influenced by modes of governance involving multistakeholdership
  • that it creates a new public domain, an information commons, which should be protected and extended, especially in the domain of common knowledge creation; and that this domain, where the cost of reproducing knowledge is near zero, requires fundamental changes in the intellectual property regime, as reflected by new forms such as the free software movement; that universal common property regimes, i.e. modes of peer property, such as the General Public License and the Creative Commons licenses should be promoted and extended
  • that the principles developed by the free software movement, in particular the General Public License, and the general principles behind the open source and open access movements, provides for models that could be used in other areas of social and productive life
  • that it reconnects with the older traditions and attempts for a more cooperative social order, but this time obviates the need for authoritarianism and centralization; it has the potential of showing that the new more egalitarian digital culture, is connected to the older traditions of cooperation of the workers and peasants, and to the search for an engaged and meaningful life as expressed in one’s work, which becomes an expression of individual and collective creativity, rather than as a salaried means of survival
  • that it offers youth a vision of renewal and hope, to create a world that is more in tune with their values; that it creates a new language and discourse in tune with the new historical phase of ‘cognitive capitalism’; P2P is a language which every ‘digital youngster’ can understand. However, 'peer to peer theory' addresses itself not just to the network-enabled and to knowledge workers, but to the whole of civil society (the 'multitudes'), and to whoever agrees that the core of decision-making should be located in civil society, and not in the market or in the state, and *that the latters should be the servants of civil society
  • it combines subjectivity (new values), intersubjectivity (new relations), objectivity (an enabling technology) and interobjectivity (new forms of organization) that mutually strengthen each other in a positive feedback loop, and it is clearly on the offensive and growing, but lacking ‘political self-consciousness’. It is this form of awareness that the P2P Foundation wants to promote.
LiquidFeedback

LiquidFeedback is an online system for discussing and voting on proposals in an inner party (or inner organizational) context and covers the process from the introduction of the first draft of a proposal to the final decision. Discussing an issue before voting increases the awareness of pros and cons, chances and risks, and allows people to consider and suggest alternatives.

It combines concepts of a non-moderated, self-organized discussion process (quantified, constructive feedback) and liquid democracy (delegated or proxy voting). Following the idea of interactive democracy LiquidFeedback introduces a new communication channel between voters and representatives (in this case members and board members), delivers reliable results about what the members want and can be used for information, suggestion, or directive depending on the organizational needs and the national legislation.

This system allows all members to participate not only in voting but also in developing ideas and at the same time it is helping board members to understand what the majority really want, to make right and responsible decisions based on the “popular vote“.

The Co-Intelligence Institution

Tom Atlee founded Co-Intelligence Institute, a nonprofit organization, in 1996. His early co-intelligence research in the late 1980s focused on the relationship between group dynamics and collective intelligence. Beginning in the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s, his focus shifted to developing society's capacity to function as a wise democracy. From 2005-2010 he explored possibilities for the conscious evolution of social systems, grounded in a sacred science-based understanding of evolutionary dynamics. In 2011-2013 he has focused on public wisdom and co-intelligent economics. He hopes these intertwined, expanding explorations can help channel the energies surrounding our 21st century social and environmental crises into positive possibiities and system-transforming initiatives.

Tom's social change vision is grounded most deeply in new understandings of evolving wholeness which recognize the value of diversity, unity, relationship, context, uniqueness and the spirit inside each of us and the world. Co-intelligence is intelligence that arises from that kind of wholeness. It has collaborative and collective dimensions, and intrinsic interconnectedness which we see clearly in wholesome forms of politics, governance and economics. Co-intelligence theory also highlights the many facets of intelligence (like head and heart), wisdom, and the higher forms of intelligence (natural and sacred) that move through and beyond us. Although Tom and the Institute focus on very practical issues of group, social, political, and economic dynamics, co-intelligence has many esoteric dimensions as well.

Transition Town

A transition town is a grassroot community project that seeks to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability. Local projects are usually based on the model's initial '12 ingredients' and later 'revised ingredients'. The first initiative to use the name was Transition Town Totnes, founded in 2006. The socioeconomic movement is an example of fiscal localism.

Transition US is a nonprofit organization that provides inspiration, encouragement, support, networking, and training for Transition Initiatives across the United States. We are working in close partnership with the Transition Network, a UK based organization that supports the international Transition Movement as a whole.

MoveOn

MoveOn is a community of more than 8 million Americans from all walks of life who use innovative technology to lead, participate in, and win campaigns for progressive change.

For over 14 years, the MoveOn family of organizations have used online tools to lower the barriers to participation in our democracy, so real Americans have a voice in a political process where big money and corporate lobbyists wield too much influence. Increasingly, MoveOn members and progressives are stepping up as the leaders of their own campaigns for social change, using MoveOn’s cutting-edge technology, such as MoveOn Petitions, to tap into our collective people power by enlisting other MoveOn members’ support.

The MoveOn family of organizations is not-for-profit and funded by small dollar donations from our more than 8 million members — no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way.

TheRules.org

The Rules is a global movement to bring power back to people, and change the rules that create inequality and poverty around the world. They operate as a decentralised network with several campaign hubs around the world, including in Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York and Rio. The focus of these hubs is to identify issues, opportunities, technologies and regional strategies for each campaign. The ‘engine room’ for their campaigns is our Working Group, which is made up of more than 70 people from around the world. Members come as individual volunteers, not as representatives of their respective organisations. They come from a broad range of organisations – from civil society, to grassroots advocacy groups, to policy think tanks, to technology providers. The sole objective of the Working Group is to help create campaigns for viable, alternative rules that serve the interests of the world’s majority, with disproportionate benefit to the poor, vulnerable and marginalised among us.

Mayday.us

Mayday PAC is a crowd-funded political action committee in the United States created by Harvard Law School professor and activist Lawrence Lessig to elect candidates to the United States Congress to pass campaign finance reform. Although a report in Time noted there was tremendous opposition to substantive reform from both political parties, Mayday PAC will try to raise funds to unseat five congresspersons who are on the "wrong side of this issue" in 2014, according to Lessig. The PAC and its associated website, Mayday.US, whose purpose is to "end the disproportionate influence of all SuperPACs", raised $1.1 million in the first thirteen days, surpassing its self-imposed goal. The PAC plans to raise $12 million by the end of June 2014, by raising $5 million which is boosted by matching contributions. To generate media attention, Lessig led 200 people on a walk from Dixville Notch to Nashua in the state of New Hampshire, stopping at coffee shops and small events to talk with people about money in politics; further walks are planned.

Integral Politics, Tom Atlee

Tom Atlee is co-director and research director of the Co-Intelligence Institute, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1996.

Integral politics can be a process of integrating diverse perspectives into wholesome guidance for a community or society. Characteristics that follow from this definition have ramifications for understanding what such political processes involve. Politics becomes integral as it transcends partisan battle and nurtures generative conversation toward the common good. Problems, conflicts and crises become opportunities for new (or renewed) social coherence. Conversational methodologies abound that can help citizen awareness temporarily expand during policy-making, thus helping raise society’s manifested developmental stage. Convening archetypal stakeholders or randomly selected citizens in conversations designed to engage the broader public enhances democratic legitimacy. With minimal issue- and candidate-advocacy, integral political leaders would develop society’s capacity to use integral conversational tools to improve its health, resilience, and collective intelligence.[52]

Reports

Politics as Process
Ecuador National Plan for Good Living, 2009-2013

The government of Ecudaor worked with Michel Bauwens on a report that outlines an ethical, knowledge-based economy based on the concept of the commons. It also had important implications for the future of political regimes. The project seeks to remake the roots of Ecuador’s economy, setting off a transition into a society of free and open knowledge, supported by a new notion of the state.

"In a mature social knowledge economy, the state will still exist, but will have a radically different nature. Much of its functions will have been taken over by commons institutions, but since these institutions care primarily about their own commons, and not the general common good, we will still need public authorities that are the guarantor of the system as a whole, and can regulate the various commons, and protect the commoners against possible abuses."

They see the role of the Partner State as being responsible for incubating the Ethical Economy through various support policies, which may take the following institutional form:

  • The Institute for the Promotion and Defense of the Commons: this is an institute which promotes the knowledge about the commons and their legal and infrastructural forms, for example, the promotion and protection for the use of Commons-Based Licenses, such as the GPL, the Creative Commons, etc .. This Institute supports the creation of common pools of knowledge, code and design, both generically and for specific sectors and regions.
  • The Institute for the Incubation of the Ethical Economy, supports the emergence of economic practices around the common pools of knowledge. It helps the civic and ethical enterpreneurs to create livelihoods around these common pools. It teaches enterpreneurial commoners what the possibilities are to create added value around the commons, and what the legal, commercial and technical enablers are. It promotes the creation of enterpreneurial coaltions in new sectors, and supports established ethical economy players to solve common problems.
  • The Transition Income: before commons can create thriving ethical economies, a period of civil engagement and investment is needed, which may not immediately yield livelihoods. Thus, a structure can be created which can materially support the creators of new common pools to sustain themselves in such transition periods. This will be a vital mechanism in combatting precarity in the early stages of commons creation, before the enterpreneurial coalitions can take up their role in the new commons economies in various sectors.
How the US can Help Stabilize the Climate and Create a Clean Energy Future

The Climate Plan calls on the President and congress to take action by:

  • adopting a Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Fee that puts a price on emissions of greenhouse gases to account for the costs of pollution and drive our market towards more efficient outcomes
  • creating a National Green Bank to provide financing for GHG-reducing initiatives to individuals, the private sector, and municipalities
  • managing our resources with Supply-Side Fossil Fuel Regulations to ensure valuation at their true costs and better weigh the impacts of extraction
  • establishing a Presidential Commission on the Unfolding Climate Crisis and America’s Energy Future
  • implementing the additional administrative actions outlined in our critique

True Energy Security Must tackle three key areas inadequately addressed by the status quo:

  • Current Account Deficits (when imports of goods and services exceeds exports) and Reliance on Foreign Services of Energy
  • Vulnerability to Global Oil Price Spikes

-Global Warming Pollution

Reductions can occur in 2 non-mutually exclusive ways:

  • adopting a Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Fee that puts a price on emissions of greenhouse gases to account for the costs of pollution and drive our market towards more efficient outcomes
    • incentive industry to profit from methane capture
    • most effective at point of extraction, where there are fewer sources of escape for methane emissions and leaks can be easily monitored/controlled
  • EPC exercises authority from congress to create technology standards for natural gas systems and regulating fugitive methane emissions under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (more on page 14[AT8] )

“The US must instead enact policies to reduce overall oil consumption, not simply net imports, in order to pursue the goal of energy independence while protecting consumers from global oil price shocks and mitigating global warming pollutions.”

National Security and the Threat of Climate Change

As a follow-up to its landmark 2007 study on climate and national security, the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board's National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change re-examines the impact of climate change on U.S. national security in the context of a more informed, but more complex and integrated world. 12 retired military leaders who published the report recommended that the U.S. armed forces should create a 30- to 40-year plan to address the risks. “Failure to think about how climate change might impact globally interrelated systems could be stovepipe thinking, while failure to consider how climate change might impact all elements of U.S. National Power and security is a failure of imagination.”

The Board’s 2007 report described projected climate change as a “threat multiplier.” In this report the 16 retired Generals and Admirals who make up the board look at new vulnerabilities and tensions posed by climate change, which, when set against the backdrop of increasingly decentralized power structures around the world, they now identify as a “catalyst for conflict.”

In the seven years since the first Military Advisory Board (MAB) report, developments in scientific climate projections, observed climate changes (particularly in the Arctic), the toll of extreme weather events both at home and abroad, and changes in the global security environment have all served to accelerate the national security implications of climate change. While there has been some movement in efforts to plan effective responses to these challenges, the lack of comprehensive action by both the United States and the international community to address the full spectrum of projected climate change issues remains a concern.

References

Liquid Democracy

PROPOSALS

Health Care

References

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