Here’s a brief summary of Living Between Worlds conversation #2.4
(You’ll find the recording here, and the entire series here. My extended written excursion on these themes is still in the oven, and will post here (and other places) when it’s baked. Meanwhile, you can register for the continuing conversation here).
- Accumulation without limit.
- Extraction without reciprocity.
- Alienation without care.
- Abstraction without ground.
- Privatization without solidarity.
I proposed that the structural defects that I’m ascribing to “capital-ism” are not uniquely its own but rooted in the “economism” that has captured the world mind for centuries, and has gone to town in the last half-century.
“The takeover,” as Hazel Henderson put it, by “the philosopher kings” of economics, “of public policies, mass media, political discourse and the narratives of business, entrepreneurship, human motivation, and social organization…in both industrial and developing countries.”
So, we wondered, how do systems change? We turned to Dana Meadows’ classic Places to Intervene in a System, which pushes our habitual thinking upstream, from the metrics and mechanisms readily at hand to tweak and fiddle, to the underlying, shaping, less tangible phenomena of rules, goals, norms, and mindsets, and vision.
We concluded with Antonio Gramsci’s century-old declaration that “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” Monsters can represent the terrifying, or the unknown. I asked “How shall we live in the time of monsters?” and suggested that we do—and must do—three things:
- Build— technology, policy, relationships.
- Fortify—bodymindspirit, life support systems, networks of care.
- Do battle—for democracy, climate, the living world.
- What might an economy that is not in the death grip of economism look like?
- How might the capital-ism reformers escape that grip?
- What would we each need to bring this conversation forward in our lives, ventures, companies, cities, families…and hearts?