I must admit that I was a Von Hayek styled Free Marketeer, and I still am in some ways, however the inevitability of ‘imperfect information’ in the market, makes ‘imperfect’ markets the inevitable result. That ‘imperfection’ & imbalance has not arisen merely from the ‘greed’ of corporations, but from the failure of the populous to exercise restrain; everything from traveling, eating, buying, building, burning, burying, fattening, impregnating, competing, conspiring, poisoning, & ‘watching’ it all. The Data doesn’t ‘lie’. People make up markets, and people’s choices determine trends, and trends meet demographics. Of course there’s been significant lobbying & competitive corruption, but the state of the nation is mostly the result of our desire to detach our ‘Thinking’ from the reality of the world beyond our field-of-view. I don’t resent the competitive environment we’ve inherited, but I do find contempt for the feeble effort made to educate the populous about the deep study of human decision-making and the neuro-chemistry that affects addictive tendencies in the human animal; irrespective of race, religion, creed, age, gender, nationality, or geography.
In my, and Citizen Solutions, perspective, what we need to do, is implement a massive educative program in which we help every human being on the planet understand the nexus of self-restraint, discipline, healthy choices, and the scientific foundations of our awesome technological achievements. There is a deep connection between the most transcendent aspects of the human experience and the ‘context of abundance’, that has enabled such immense emancipation the world-over. However, that ’emancipation’ has been made possible by the removal of the ‘reins’ from Debt, Resources, & Human Sensibilities.
Where did those ‘reins’ once come from? The Protestant ethic provided some tradition. The Great Depression & the Dust Bowl reinforced some others. The pre-nuclear era was constrained by its limited access to fossil fuels. Religious fundamentalism followed so strictly the ethereal injunctions against vice provided the moral rationale for pulling the ‘reins’ on human sexuality, sloth, greed, gluttony, selfishness, etc.
It may not be an exciting proposition, but if we’re to regain the intelligent high ground from which to exercise greater command, not dominance, but command & coordination of this global system of Human Civilization, then we’re going to have to become the most righteous human beings that have ever existed on the planet. Sorry. I’ve been working on this for 10+ years, and can be frustratingly making the choice to not get the bbq, or driving 55 mph instead of 75 mph, however when someone makes those choices knowingly & purposefully with the intention of protecting the grandkids of their grandkids grandkids, it has the potential to amplify one’s sense of commitment & connection. The most important thing to do is utilize the power of the visual & auditory cortices. Images that show the inequality & injustice in the developing world. Hearing the ideas articulated by writers & thinkers that continue to expand my understanding and inform my action to expand Understanding. The information is there, but we do a terrible job of distilling the most ‘important’ books, documentaries, & thinkers to comparatively analyze. Therein lies the transcendent potential of an ‘Open Society’; you’re ‘free’ to buy what you want and/or watch what you want, all you need is money.
The ‘free market’ has decentralized the power to influence Human Society, however it’s also diffused the power of Governments to change the world. More people have ‘more to lose’, and in exchange for ‘more’, we’ve accepted less power to reform our lives. The elites have larger ‘moats’ around their castles, the poor have a few more plastic home-furnishings; made in China of course.
The US produces more food & weapons than any other country in the world. China produces more products than anyone else. The Saudi’s have more oil than anyone else. The Chinese are dependent on US grain & farm-products, while the Saudi’s are dependent upon our military industrial technology. It’s a terrifying nexus in which the most powerful of the Powerful are creating a less independent global populous, when we should be creating a more independent world. We should be creating a healthier, more efficient, more intelligent, more honest, more dynamic, more creative Global Human Culture. That’s a culture capable of permanence, but we have to resist the addictive abundance of sports, celebrity, political, & cultural spectacle. It’s not all the corporations, or dictators, or transnational corporations, we too, the people who populate this world, who are at fault for our current predicament. Who do we want to be?
There are countless generations yet to come and I want each and every one of them to become their ‘Bestselves’; and we can’t get there if we don’t try to ‘transcendent our sensibilities’ & in so doing, save us from ourselves. The ‘Free’ markets proved that they were a better way to organize our exchanges, but we can still do better. Citizen Solutions’ MAPP hopes to be part of that process. Whether or not the climate is beyond saving is immaterial b/c each of us should have the motivation to enhance the potential for our grandkids’ grandkids’ grandkids to have the opportunity to feel the transcendence of the human experience without negating its transcendence by their exploitation of other people in order to meet their sensibilities vulgar definitions. In order to save us from ourselves, we have to change our sensibilities.
It’s not going to be easy or painless, but something like a WPA 2.0, CCC 2.0, or a New Deal 2.0 is going to be necessary to un-paint the corner into which we’ve painted ourselves. An honest assessment of where we are, and a willingness for creative re-construction to take place is going to have to be buttressed by a collective achievement of the moral hierarchy. Not just personally but globally. There’s no reason why we can’t utilize the globally-connective technology we have to harmonize the 7,000,000,000+ humans’ understanding to inform their actions. Why don’t we utilize it? I don’t think it’s b/c our ‘leaders’ are evil, they’re just cynical & ignorant. That’s why it falls to those of us on the ‘outside’ to come back from the futures that we’ve seen and blow the whistles & get in the trenches. I know I’m not alone and I intend to do all that I can to defend and advocate for all of us &, for all future generations.
Thanks for reading.