The Garden, Second Year, 2013
1 day ago
~A source for book reviews and hopeful signs of intelligent life
I'd really like to give back to my community because let's face it, I took too much the first time!Hidden in plain sight is the notion that with abundance comes obligation and a requisite amount of guilt. The quest for wealth is made less problematic because one can so easily get rid of this guilt by giving back. Thus you can be admired for your accumulation without incurring any righteous disdain because you've done your part to relieve the burden the rest of us must feel for not being you.
...the New Testament scriptures are seen as teaching the concept of "free will offerings" as a means of supporting the church...That should read supporting the work of the church which presumably is caring for the less fortunate. And what about free will?
He proposes a solution of annulling the debt to the top 10% --the oligarchs, and readily admits it is highly unlikely to happen.“ 'You will never get back what we have taken from you.' That’s what brought on the dark ages. If you let the concentration of wealth accumulate in the hands of a financial class, this class isn’t going to be any more intelligent in the long term in disposing of the wealth than their predecessors were in other countries.”
“They would rather annul the 90% right to live than annul the money due to them. They would rather strip the planet, shrink the population and be paid, rather than give up their claims. That’s the political fight of the 21st century.”
"We have masses of capital and masses of labor, unemployed, side by side in a world full of social need. How stupid is that?"
"Nature changes in its own way. We have to cope with that, even as we see that the natural things that seem to be occurring are partly a consequence of what we do."For a much more granular look at human history and the progression of consciousness and social organization, listen to Rifkin's lecture. He lays out this chronology in terms of how humanity has evolved socially in ever increasing levels of awareness. For example, during the time of foragers, hunters, and centralized agriculture, theologic consciousness formed the bonds of family through religious affiliation. When a greater convergence of communication came about through the invention of the printing press, an idealogical consciousness emerged. This in turn brought about a fictional domain known as the nation state. Presumably, the connection with a larger social identity known as my country, my nation, is more powerful than the limits of family. However, the key ingredient to Rifkin's talk is empathy and he asks if we are capable of evolving to a level of biosphere consciousness within the next 25 years. In other words, can we care about ourselves and each other enough to extend that empathy to the earth.
"When energy and communication revolutions come together they change consciousness, they change temporal/spatial orientation, they change dwelling habitats."
We have reached the point at which what most people do for a living is not truly necessary anymore. We've managed to continue by means of heavily marketing all of those unecessary goods and services to convince people to spend their excess purchasing power on them. When times are good that keeps purchasing power circulating. When times are bad though, the only things people truly need to buy are made and distributed by a tiny fraction of the workforce. The circulation becomes limited to those sectors of the economy.In six simple sentences this comment sums up a self-evident force of our economy that few often speak about, but it will remain an unavoidable truth until such time as we create new models on which to base our economy.
A society that doesn't need workers requires an entirely new economic system - one for which there is no model in existence.
Could a society entirely devoid of the religious impulse stir itself to pursuit of the common good? We doubt it.Excuse me!? Are Robert and Edward suggesting what I think they mean? Let's see. So without a god consciousness the whole of humanity cannot summon the will to solve its problems with, for example, capitalism as the overriding force controlling our mental framework. As much as I concede it will be difficult, I can't bear to give in to this level of cynicism just yet. Besides, the so-called religious impulse they're referring to is hardly a universal human trait, whereas the fact that we live in a capitalist state is incontrovertible. I find this level of doubt about the base impulses of humanity a sad commentary even if it appears to be true.
The shift from a psychology of scarcity to that of abundance is one of the most important steps in human development. A psychology of scarcity produces anxiety, envy, egotism (to be seen most drastically in peasant cultures all over the world). A psychology of abundance produces initiative, faith in life, solidarity. The fact is that most men are still geared psychologically to the economic facts of scarcity, when the industrial world is in the process of entering a new era of economic abundance. But because of this psychological "lag" many people cannot even understand new ideas as presented in the concept of a guaranteed income, because traditional ideas are usually determined by feelings that originated in previous forms of social existence.
| The last sentence of this quote reminds me of Einstein's:
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.And so, while I love this idea, I think I am not willing to wait for this "lag" as Theobald calls it, to catch up to us in this highly productive era we live in, especially given that those who have created all this incredible productivity are not the ones taking advantage of it. I don't expect the owners of empire to be loosening their grip on capital any time soon.