4549Re: How do we define "economy"? and "work"?
- Dec 1, 2009CC: Voiceful, Holistic Helping, Suresh Fernando
Thank you to Virmantas Galdikas for an important letter about our
economic thinking which I've placed here:
referencing David Ellison-Bey's words "We have to learn to be family".
I've summarized Virmantas's points with headings. Thank you also to Tom
Wayburn for your comments below on Virmantas's rhetoric which I shared
with him here in Lithuania.
Virmantas notes the conflict between human creativity (mental) and
nature's creativity. He questions the widespread idea that "we need
money to survive". How can we depend on our own creation for survival?
We depend on society, not on money. He proposes that if we distinguish
between human's creativity and nature's creativity, then we will have a
proper perspective on money, and can switch from cheating to sharing. We
can work together to change our thinking.
I add my own first hand experience with the homeless, with the poor in
Chicago, Bosnia, India, Palestine, Lithuania and second hand through our
colleagues in Africa. People manage to "survive" without money or
regular income. They may take handouts, depend on families, scavenge,
collect trash, hustle, grow staples, rob, steal, barter sex for fish or
drugs. They thereby survive for years and even decades, long enough to
have children and even grandchildren, and lead misfortunate or
destructive lives. I've never observed money as an issue of survival,
but rather of dignity, of self-esteem, of inclusion, of security, but
mostly dignity. We equate our physical survival with our psychic
survival (our self-esteem) which leads to absurd results where people
kill themselves because they've gone bankrupt.
I agree with Virmantas that ultimately we can't ever insist on or depend
on technological "solutions" (like money) because ethics is an
individual's foundation for their behavior and is ultimately independent
of our creations, of our surroundings, of our technology. The only real
"solutions" are social ones, which are all about learning to share,
learning to be family, expanding our humanity.
However, I think that the line between human creativity and natural
creativity is very subtle. A turtle has a shell which it depends on.
Every living thing depends on natural relationships. Likewise, we are
part of nature and our artifacts are part of that relationship, such as
a plough, a harness, an apartment complex or an electric generator. Even
our mental constructs (like money) are part of our natural surroundings.
Where the line seems to be is between our creation of a culture of
creativity rather than our subjection to nature. Our mental life is an
arena that we can claim for our own culture our sharing (enjoying our
freedom as a gift of nature) or we can cede our mental life to an
"oppresive" natural world. It's our choice and it's about our way of
thinking. Conceptually, it's about living in the Public Domain,
economically, it's distinguishing between the work we do for money
(external motivation) and the work we do because we care (internal
motivation), and practically, it's about responding to each other as
brothers and sisters.
We're blessed with participants who offer personal angles. Virmantas
Galdikas is an economist and entrepreneur who has experienced the Soviet
and post-Soviet realities. David Ellison-Bey uplifts people in one of
the most dismal neighborhoods in the USA. Leon Benjamin
http://www.winningbysharing.net at the London advertising agency The Law
Firm broke through the corporate wall to provide Minciu Sodas lab's
global teams with corporate work on behalf of Mornflake cereal. Benoit
Couture is a stay-at-home dad who cares for his daughter and wife in
Canada and ponders God's economy.
http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?BenoitCouture Tom Wayburn is a retired
chemist who sobers us with the limits of natural economy
http://www.dematerialism.net John Rogers leads us at Cyfranogi
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyfranogi/ and is a leading expert on
community currency http://www.valueforpeople.co.uk
I'm making a list of venues and conversations about alternative economy,
including transforming corporate economy:
Thank you to Wael Al Saad for alerting us to Suresh Fernando, the Pooled
Fun Initiative, Open Kollab and Radical Inclusion (see the link above
for further links).
Yesterday I opened our exhibit "May I dream?" for UNESCO Human Rights
month (December) at the hub in Vilnius, Lithuania. Here are pictures:
and I urge us to write about our "dreams-in-life" which we'll be
intensively collecting and with your help creatively expressing:
I also encourage us to work further to consider our economic thinking
and how we might educate ourselves for a culture of sharing.
+370 699 30003
Tom Wayburn wrote:
> Hi Andrius,
> If you ask me (and you didn’t), the following paragraph is a perfect
> turn-off. The writer begins by implying that he knows something I
> don’t know. In fact, with the words “true reasons” he implies that he
> knows better. Notice that I abstain from bringing this sort of
> criticism to the whole group. It’s your group and you like to set a
> tone of agreement. I looked at his website which I found equally annoying.
> I would like to ask you at this point to open your minds, to free them
> from all the dogmas you know and have. Please don't say for yourself -
> it is not true, it does not work, I don't believe. Please just read and
> think what is said openly, even if the idea will look against your
> believes and knowledge. This is an innovative approach and it should
> break something what was protecting our minds from the possibility to go
> further and solve the problems we try to solve for hundreds of years
> So lets go step by step towards the true reasons of the problems we are
> discussing here.