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Re: How do we define "economy"? and "work"?

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    CC: Voiceful, Holistic Helping, Suresh Fernando Thank you to Virmantas Galdikas for an important letter about our economic thinking which I ve placed here:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2009
      CC: 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.

      Thank you!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +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
      > already.
      > So lets go step by step towards the true reasons of the problems we are
      > discussing here.
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