Moving towards post-capitalism, or: why I’m working on mutual credit
Looking ahead to a future post-capitalism, Dil Green of NonCorporate.org shares how and why he’s working on mutual credit as one of its core pillars.
This piece was originally published on the blog ‘Digital Anthropology‘.
Despite the bad name economics has earned through the cruelties and negative impacts of the last few centuries of rampant expansionism, it seems clear that the messaging system facilitated by markets is fundamental to what we require from our civilisation – and that we cannot simply junk these without abandoning much that we value.
We have to accept that economic activity is at the core of our capacity to have a recognisable civilisation, at least until we can evolve further, to a gift economy of abundance.
In order to transcend capitalism, though, starting from where we are, we must fundamentally change the way that money, markets – and thus the implicit incentives that drive overall outcomes – work.
From the Transcender Manifesto:
We seek not to destroy capitalism, nor to reform it, but to transcend it – to consciously and rapidly evolve past it. We acknowledge its current hegemony, and accept that this arose as a result of its dynamism, adaptability, and ability to offer value to those who built it (while also recognising with horror its inherent violence towards the people and places which it so forcibly transformed). But the law of diminishing returns has set in, and the future negatives now dangerously and imminently outweigh any historic positives.
We will enact and intensify social relations that produce a human culture which supports the abundance of the biosphere, in confidence that this will require human flourishing that transcends what is considered possible under capitalism.
THE PARADOXICAL REQUIREMENT
If we are to take this intent seriously, then we must face, head-on – and resolve – a harsh paradox: that in order for new social relations to change the self-destructive path of capitalist world culture, they must be adopted at a faster rate than capitalism grows – we must accept that we are required to out-grow the most growth-oriented human invention to date, on the basis of a new and developing culture that consciously rejects using economic growth as a positive feedback loop.
This is a tall order.
In the first instance, capitalism must be acknowledged to be an astonishing human invention – incredibly adaptable, utterly amoral, utterly short-termist, operating always on the basis of giving those who push it forwards a speedy return. It has been hegemonic for centuries, and many aspects of its operation have become deeply embedded in our culture, to the extent that they are perhaps more real than physics for many people (despite being entirely contingent).
There are three broad options in the face of the civilisation-threatening end-game of such a virulent meme:
- Violent revolution – abrupt change at the centre. Historical examples suggest that this is ineffective as regards systemic change. Since the capitalist system is now a global machine, revolution would have to succeed on a significant scale – an unimaginable prospect given that the idea currently has so little public support. Further, there is no believable plan in place to support a civilisation of 7 billion plus humans if we were to overthrow capitalism. That is even if we ignore what people have to become to fight a revolution and win. If you are thinking about some peaceful transitions that took place as the Iron Curtain fell – which were described in terms such as ‘the Velvet Revolution’ – don’t let this confuse you; these were not revolutions against capitalism, but surrenders to it: a whole society giving up on a defeated attempt at a violent transition to what was little more than a theory.
- Reform – the appeal to reason. The idea here would be to convince capitalist cultures that it is imperative to change the fundamentals of their model if we are to avoid collapse. On the face of it, this should have a chance – democracy is the accepted world governance standard, and all it takes is enough of us to vote for change, and we’ll get it, right? Sadly, this is dangerous naivety. Economic systems are only ever the means whereby power structures reproduce themselves – economics is not the power structure itself. Capitalism is not the be-all and end-all for the global elites – it is their enduring power they are really concerned about. Many of them are already pondering a post-crash world and various versions of neo-feudalism – with them as the new nobility. These elites, it seems to me, are hard for us to understand because they do something strange: while the rest of us oscillate between the short term (how do I pay the rent?) and the long term (how do we deal with climate change?), it seems that they think mostly in the medium term – about the power their children and grandchildren will inherit. This makes them discount long-term threats, while playing deeper financial games than we do. We can have no real dialogue with people who think this way – and even if we wished to they do not act as a class (in part because they rely upon the mystification of power provided by mainstream economics to the extent that many of them are unaware of their own reality). I think we can discount reformism as a busted flush – see Piketty.
- Transcending capitalism. This third option seems weak by comparison at first – but I think it is the only safe way forward. It consists in: not fighting capitalism (unless absolutely necessary), not reforming it (because the history of reforms is that capital absorbs them and sells them back to us as the new engine of growth), but building better, more humane and healthy systems and structures in the cracks and gaping holes capitalism has ignored or created. What is interesting is to consider how capitalism destroyed feudalism. There was no war, no revolution, no reform (although wars, revolutions and reforms accompanied the change). Capitalism didn’t even know that it was capitalism until long after it had won. How did this happen? Through the accretion of new cultural modes, tricks, habits and tools that were developed, not with any intent to undermine feudalism, but to make things work for people in the places feudalism could not reach. To provide real value to people where feudalism was ineffective, or simply uninterested. To enable flows of human desire satisfaction and value creation that feudalism could not or would not do – or even conceive of. Through this process, it built a suite of cultural structures and stories that people voted for ‘with their feet’ – including the feudal elites; in the end, this is the approach that leads to peaceful revolution – when we can simply demonstrate a working social system that does better for everyone. For those who can bear to read speculative fiction, Cory Doctorow has written a rather good novel – Walkaway – that puts flesh on this approach.
If we are to succeed, I believe we have to understand this third option. But we haven’t time to wait for a few centuries worth of accretion of random experimental outcomes (the normal evolutionary process). So we have to engage in conscious cultural evolution.
This approach – which I am calling Transcender Culture – is nascent, untried, and chooses as its success metric a complex criterion: the carrying capacity of the biosphere – which is unlikely to align with simplistic measures of economic activity, at least not before deep cultural transformation.
So we will need to be careful, wise, determined and adaptable. Above all, we will need to take people – ordinary people – very seriously indeed. We cannot achieve our aim by expecting that a majority of the world will read things like this post, and become conscious cultural evolutionaries. Instead, we must expect that most people will be people – will care about the things that humans care about (while remembering that the things that capitalism tells us they care about are mostly a distortion) We must meet them there, and demonstrate a world that serves them well; helps them live in sufficiency and security with dignity, believe that their children will have decent life chances, experience positive community, connect with place, live in societies where care and trust are operational.
In order to achieve this, if we are to create some sound building blocks for a new economy, those building blocks have to work at least as well as, and reasonably quickly, better than, the existing system, for the participants. Hoping that people will engage in something economically non-productive, in a context completely dominated by deliberately scarce money, rapacious corporations and the culture that surrounds these, is a fool’s errand.
I suggest we have to:
- Look for the gaps where real and deep human desires and characteristics are ignored or suppressed by capitalism. These are not hard to identify, and they are at the base of what makes us human, Capitalism has had to fight hard to suppress them, and cannot eliminate them. Dignity, Love and Care, Autonomy-in-community, Place, Mutuality, Respect for ecosystems, Education for life – satisfying any of these in our lives entails working against the grain of our culture. People will welcome and seek out modes of making a living that embody these more, on one proviso – that ‘making a living’ is not made harder: bringing one’s children up in security will always trump less immediate needs, and the current model will always seem the most obvious in times of stress.
- Find ways to make the provision and satisfaction of these needs have an economic value. This seems a cringe-making thing to say – it sounds as if I am proposing turning love into money. But this response is only an indication of how deeply the made-up and outdated stories around debt-based, monopoly issue, inherently scarce money have been incorporated into our psyches. Economy is NOT money. Economy is the management of social resources and sufficiency for well-being. Our new systems (including money systems) must incorporate ways of making love, trust, dignity provide more well-being – on a full-spectrum that explicitly includes what we would now describe as economic security.
- Consciously design and evolve these on a continuous basis. Capitalism has proved its capacity to adapt and incorporate new ideas at a rapid pace. We need to move faster, while assessing proposals on a broader spectrum.
- Carefully avoid head-to-head battles with capitalism (for as long as this is possible). We can’t do capitalism better than capitalists (we shouldn’t try to) – and certainly can’t compete with them head-on in spaces they already define and own. This will waste our energies and destroy our hopes (this is what happened with local commodity currency experiments, imho). We need to find spaces that capitalism is uninterested in, and there build strong, self-sustaining, dynamic, economically-viable institutions, cultural understandings, mutual assurance networks, social relations.
- Further, understand that we can use capitalism’s short-termism against it. We must design and use investment platforms that are happy to offer attractive rates of return to capital (this is not a pipe-dream. Chris Cook’s nondominium structure is able to offer attractive one-off returns while ratcheting assets and capacity into common control). Again, this sounds as if I am proposing feeding capital. In fact what I am suggesting is doing to capitalism just what it did to feudalism – use its assets as the fuel to build a new system. If that system is attractive to people, then for a while, it will – must – outgrow capitalism, and so provide ‘returns on investment’. The trick is to pay those returns in kind – in the products of the new way of working, rather than in fiat currency. In this way we can gradually hollow out the debt, scarcity and monopoly-framed money that underpins so many destructive incentives.
- Carefully building every single thing we do to protect the value we create from being re-absorbed by capitalism. Building societies are a perfect example. Insufficiently protected, having forgotten the purpose of their existence, they were swept away in a wave of short-termist destruction. We need to design all our institutions, all our mechanics, to operate on a ratcheting basis – once value has entered the new economy, it can’t be taken out (in just such a way capitalism took all the land from feudalists and commoners – buy buying or stealing or legislating it out of primogeniture inheritance, and putting it on the market). It is worse than pointless to build things that can be bought back into capitalism – like Mickey Mouse chopping the broom in half in the ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ scene from Fantasia. Please don’t do it! Asset locks use another plank of capitalism against it – its requirement for strong property law.
- Build all our systems with Elinor Ostrom’s commons governance married with the best that new democratic thinking has come up with (Deliberative democracy, Viable Systems, Sociocracy – there is so much good stuff that gets only marginal attention).
- Understand that we are building human-scale systems, that cannot and should not ‘scale’ in the way that we have become used to considering a fundamental requirement for ‘success’. Anything that scales the way capitalism does cannot support the list of humane and life-centred drives that I listed above. We must build a culture that can do something new – can be local and at the same time support and build the complex value chains that make our civilisation possible (more, we will need to make these value chains work in new, non-extractive ways that do not replicate the imperialist and externality mindset of capitalism). This will require federation, subsidiarity, Viable Systems thinking and more to be made operational.
For me, right now, building a viable and economically-attractive mutual credit system is a key plank of this strategy – the place I feel I can be most useful.
Mutual Credit is a money system that provides just enough money to match and develop the capacities of the community using it, without enforced debt or interest, and governed democratically by that community. It disincentivises hoarding and builds trust and inter-dependency. Mutual credit cannot be ‘cashed out’ into debt-based commodity currency.
[The Open Credit Network, which I work on, is developing a UK mutual credit network, with support from many of the leading practitioners and thinkers in this domain. UPDATE Dec 2019 – OCN is launched Sign up for your business here.]
A Director at Lowimpact.org and NonCorporate.org, Dil Green was an architect and builder for 30 years, working on projects from an extension to London’s Science Museum to an award-wining eco-surgery. He now works away at systemic leverage points around Governance, Wisdom: Pattern Language, and Economy: the Open Credit Network, . He lives in Brixton and blogs at digital-anthropology.
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
1Daniel Rounding May 13th, 2019
A deeply inspired and inspiring article, thankyou Dil,
You very succinctly describe all the difficulties we face with a commendable depth of understanding; nuancing outlines for sustainable solutions in an equally comprehensive and thoughtful way. Your article’s contents and its synchronistic appearance had a meaningful effect on me the day after you published it here.
Since then, when time and my energies have allowed, I’ve been formulating the following response.
Einstein was right, in my view, when he mentioned that you cannot solve a problem using the same mindset that created it. Instead, individually and collectively we have to ascend outside of the box of current thinking to solve problems, and to achieve them on a permanent basis. This is what we are attempting to do here.
As to how our global culture can move towards post-capitalism, I’d like to suggest that there is a fully functional, trustworthy and alternate modality that can assist that transition. One that has a universal application, and that also transcends all conceivable boundaries. One which is experienced by every man, woman and child on the planet. It also fits perfectly with any local condition, is infinitely adaptable and easily recognised via direct experience.
This is the experience of human consciousness, also known as awareness or a sense of presence.
Consciousness has been described as the blank canvas onto which all our experiences, both waking and dreaming when asleep, are projected. Without consciousness there is no experience. Therefore within our human experience consciousness has primacy under all conditions and in every situation.
Its speed of operating has no comparable equal or adequate indicator of telemetry, and hence total security is written into its functioning. Therefore consciousness is the most trustworthy attribute each of us can claim.
“I, open, empty Awareness, am aware of thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions but am not made of any of these. All these come, go, move and change, whilst I remain as I am, without birth, death, movement or change – eternal and infinite.”
Everyone experiences consciousness, hence its universal application. The experience of consciousness imbues each of our unique characters with the timeless and experiential qualities of Love, Truth and Beauty. In my opinion, and experienced in a collective context, these are the three cornerstones of any sustainable society, and paramount in a diverse and healthy natural world. Namely:
1. Truth. The transcendent understanding of our experience as it arises as reality. Collectively this quality is embraced by all the sciences: politics, economics, natural and applied sciences, commerce and industry, teaching and education, health and well being. This is an aspect of the mind or our thought processes. In the context of this article this is the self-regulating aspect of consciousness, one that pre-determines our deployment of being honest, discrete and discerning.
2. Love. The experiential quality that disolves the illusory sense of separation from others. The emotion that unifies and unites us all.
3. Beauty. The experience we have in response to objects, and thoughts that possess symmetry. Beauty is integral to all the arts: visual, musical, applied, literary and performance. Via these capacities a culture celebrates itself and its achievements.
Its interesting to note that any of these three experiential qualities cannot exist in isolation from one another. It’s equally self evident that when one of these qualities is compromised it negatively affects the other two.
For example when truth turns to deceit. Love, by degrees turns to indifference, then antipathy and ultimately hatred. In response Beauty morphs into ugliness.
“Thought does not know truth; it dissolves in it. Feeling doesn’t find love; it merges in it. Perception does not see beauty; it dies in it.”
So who is currently leading the field of broadening our understanding of consciousness in order that we may investigate the phenomena more rigorously? It’s no surprise that the study of consciousness is not anyone’s sole domain, in truth it’s evidently within everyone’s remit!
Here in the UK Rupert Spira approaches the subject from an experiential and spiritual standpoint, a teacher of non-duality. Within academia, philosopher and physicist Bernardo Castrup is the tip of the spear in my view.
Two different methods, one singular vision – the primacy of consciousness. Critics of these approaches will be found aplenty in any of the schools of materialism. Castrup’s and Spira’s domain is entirely rooted in the emerging understandings of idealism. Comparisons of these two models of reality can be found here:
So in this part of the discussion we are asked to choose between one of two standpoints. Does consciousness arise as a result of each of us having a body? Or does the mind, body and the world arise from consciousness? In my opinion, there is a significant distinction to be made between these two views here.
At the risk of revealing my biased viewpoint. Someone once posited that medical science, (materialism), attempting to find the seat of consciousness within the human body is the equivalent of taking apart the radio to look for the announcer!
More seriously, here Bernado Kastrup presents an introductory view of his findings on the issues of consciousness from 2015, (32 minutes.):
Rupert Spira’s relevant comments on the errors of the inherent within the arguments of materialism, (12 minutes.):
When I perceive myself as being separate from everyone and everything else, and then project that perception onto the current global crises I can find no viable and sustainable solution. Only insurmountable problems birthing ever more insurmountable problems. In the process I reach the limitations of my mind and, in turn, experience the emotions of frustration and exasperation.
As you rightly state Dil, in response to any perceived threat to its powerbase capitalism would send out a posse to marginalise, stifle or subsume solutions soon after their birth. What to do?
For me the consciousness first model opens avenues of opportunity and the prospects of solution previously unseen. It’s a pre-birth of ideas modality. Consciousness via its expansive and speedy qualities facilitates the liberation of the mind, which in turn presents the resolution of paradox and the eradication of conundrum. In otherwords consciousness facilitates the evolution of the mind.
Potentially this way of being also allows the experiencer to tap into something far bigger than themselves, the collective Self. A way of functioning outside of the box of limited and limiting thought. It also liberates me from shoving my head further and further up my arse as my circularity of reasoning processes are want to take, by gently bypassing previous thought habits.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
In this response I’m not presenting a prescriptive view of overcoming the negative effects inherent within our economies or politics, but rather a simple opportunity to perceive experience radically different and investigate accordingly.
Spira here again explaining the nature of the the interconnectedness of our minds as they arise within the singularity of consciousness. While listening and watching this consider that all the potential remedies and resolutions we need to see within our global society can be achieved by people working together within the solidarity and opportunities that consciousness provides. If you like it’s an invitation to use our immaginations. (24 minutes.)
I would like to suggest that everything between plastics and plutonium – stuff harmful to our existence, plus all the difficulties we experience either side of these manmade products can be addressed and permanently rectified by the application of consciousness. Including the prodigal son called capitalism.
Two final thoughts. It took me a long while to understand in a deeply appreciative way that I experience problems because I also need to experience their solutions. Therein lies freedom – the transformation of problems; the presence of opportunities. The same could also be said in the collective of humanity sense. Although in the end I just need to be the change I wish to see.
Last words to Rupert Spira…
“You are not made of anything that is found in experience, but everything that is found in experience is made out of you.”
Bernado Kastrup https://www.bernardokastrup.com/
Rupert Spira https://non-duality.rupertspira.com/home
2Dave Darby May 13th, 2019
I don’t deny that these speculations are interesting, but ultimately, they don’t change anything, because they don’t challenge the existing power structure – either ‘head on’ or by building alternatives. The wrong tool for the job, if you like – if the job is system change.
The majority don’t recognise the need for change, let alone want to ‘be’ it.
However (and away from the subject of system change), it seems to me that the reason no-one has been able to find the seat of consciousness is that it doesn’t have a seat – in the same way that the announcer you mention doesn’t have a seat in the radio.
If I kiss you, where’s the kiss? My lips exist, but not the kiss. The kiss is a verb rather than a noun, and I believe that consciousness is the same (although ‘believe’ is probably too strong a word. It will do, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.)
It seems to be what our brains do. Remove part of a brain, and consciousness is affected. Remove it all and surprise surprise, consciousness disappears. What else is there to be curious about?
More intelligent beings than us might laugh at my idiocy; but they might also laugh at yours or Spira’s.
Who knows? Not humans, that’s for sure. Consciousness-as-verb seems the most likely explanation – Ockham’s Razor and all that.
3Daniel Rounding May 16th, 2019
Thankyou, Ockham’s Razor will do to further our exchange ?
In response to your comments I would like to invite you to consider the possibility of consciousness being the primacy of all experience. This is what I was alluding to above.
The two questions that have plagued me for most of my life, and probably common to most others, is ‘who am I?’ and ‘what am I doing here?’ Yep, the big ones!
For me consciousness has answered those questions, and perhaps not surprisingly the answers lay in the questions. Who am I? is answered experientially as ‘I am’. What am I doing here? Well, right at this minute, the, er, I am is typing a response – another experience. I’d imagine you’ll chime with the verb like inferences here Dave?
How do I know that it is ‘I am’ that experiences every experience? For me simply the truth of the knowing of each experience as it arises from moment to moment. I’d like to suggest these are investigations that everyone can undertake to test the validity of the primacy of consciousness. Simply by assessing and testing their direct experience. Ockham’s Razor rules apply, the more rigorously they are applied the quicker to the heart of the true nature of experience.
This leads to another question I’ve asked myself. Thoughout my life has my experience of consciousness changed, or has it been just my mind, body and my perceptions of the world that have changed?
Again that razor of Ockham’s has played its role in revealing the truth of my existence to me. Honesty obliges me to admit that my experience of consciousness is like a steady state of being that has remained unchanged from birth right to this present moment. My experience of my mind, (emotions, thoughts, intuitions – perceptions), and my body, (the 5 senses), have changed and evolved. Leading to the inevitable conclusion: that which experiences them does not.
Further reflection and examination reveals that when I sleep my 5 senses, the body, become absent, I am no longer aware of them. Leaving me the experiencer with just the 3 perceptions within the world of dreams. An alternate reality, but just as experientially real as my waking state. When the mind with its attendent perceptions withdraws so called deep sleep occurs. Or as the non-dual teachers call it awareness returns to its source which is dimensionless awareness. From there, once again, awareness emerges as mind, (dreams), then the world as a body in the waking state.
Again this standpoint needs to assessed and tested by everyone’s direct experience. Easily done in a few minutes of quiet contemplation, in my experience.
So when we consider that awareness or consciousness, or that sense of presence we experience, has absolute primacy in our every experience and is the constant within all that changes, then we have a reliable datum point in my view. From that perspective we can see that when a part of the brain is removed, the experiencer will experience certain effects, loss of motor functions et-cetera. In that instance consciousness will remain totally unaffected. With the entire brain separated from the body to the observer the body ceases to function and dies. To the experiencer their waking state ceases to function and a return to the domain of the mind becomes a fixture. Eventually consciousness follows its imperative and withdraws into itself, infinite and eternal dimensionlessness of pure consciousness knwing only Itself. This is also the experiential component of idealism, see references in my first post.
I agree with you Dave that the consciousness model is the wrong tool for the job of system change. Simply because consciousness has no agenda, it’s only the mind and the body that have imperatives of all kinds.
In the video above, (“The Universe is Not Conscious”, 12 minutes), Rupert Spira pronounces that all the social, political, economic and industrial crises we witness is the result of the paradigm of materialism reaching its end note. His suggestion is the adoption of the consciousness first model, or idealism, as the replacement paradigm. There are no systems to change within this new understanding. Leaving the only thing each of us can change – our perspective of who and what we are based on the evidence of our direct experience. When that is acheived individually and collectively system change will naturally follow on.
When pressed by his devotees for a code of practice St Augustine replied, “Love, and do what you like.” This I suggest is the degree of freedom we can all experience in the emergent paradigm of consciousness, and possibly more besides.
4Dave Darby May 19th, 2019
Daniel – thank you. I guess I’ve had enough of being plagued by unanswerable questions (although I do lapse from time to time). I see that as individuals, we’re all going to die – i.e. we all have to submit to something more powerful than us, whatever we do (shades of Islam, and I think on this, they’re right); but as a species, it’s a different matter. We have two options – the path towards extinction or evolution. For all other species, this will be dictated by external forces, but we’re the first species that can make conscious (that word again) decisions that will affect the outcome.
I think that the path towards evolution is self-evidently the better of the two (I accept that it may not be, but I think it is, whether I’ve come to that decision because of species-centrism or not).
The problem with a solution that is based on individual change is that the majority won’t do it, whatever it is. Plato was complaining about this 2.4k years ago and it’s still true. I dare say it always will be. And it’s not to do with poverty. The majority in relatively wealthy countries won’t do it either – bread and circuses are way more appealing.
System change is and always has been down to a relatively small percentage of the population.
The challenges are a) how to reach them, and b) what to say to them. There are so many messages vying for attention, often conflicting with each other.
So you have to nail your colours to a particular mast. Like Dil, I’ve chosen mutual credit, because I think that the global finance system is the sticking point that will block any meaningful change – either spiritual or material, individual or collective; and – that mutual credit is the only alternative that is a true alternative – i.e. separate from fiat AND that separates means of exchange from store of value. It’s a tough call to get that across to the public, but the ‘cultural creatives’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cultural_Creatives) are growing in number, receptive and intelligent. I think there’s a chance.
5Daniel Rounding May 20th, 2019
Hi again Dave,
Sincerely, all credit to you for choosing mutual credit. One free of usury and notions of store of value. This form of exchange has long since resonated with me, particularly it’s honesty and community affirming values.
My understanding is that the complacency of the majority towards any kind of meaningful change will never happen until comfort zones are intruded upon. Meaning the curtailing of the bread and circuses you mentioned for a duration. Invariably the various crises we are witnessing will have to deepen first. A scenario easy to envisage given the various economic and political tipping points we are witnessing and moving towards.
Our history has shown us that it only takes a few focused people to create lasting positive change. A virus only has to infect one individual for an entire community to experience an outbreak. So no need to prescribe and achieve maximum bandwith in order to proselytise to the majority. Very likely a time waste anyway amidst the competing distractions as you rightly point out.
So one individual experiencing and growing into their true nature based on Self Awareness will incrementally affect others they come into contact with. In turn this will inspire others to deeply investigate their true nature. Done with the speed of Love I’d be inclined to hedge my bets against a snails pace, especially in the midst of a crisis. But ideally to gain any validity there that phenomena will need to be experienced rather than endlessly speculated about. I’ve witnessed this on a very small scale and so far the evolutionary effects are noticeable and permanent.
Back to Brother Ockham and his useful razor. We arrive at the heart of a matter when all the concepts, assumptions and belief systems are stripped away. Only consciousness can completely stand alone in that regard. Evidenced by our direct experience that ‘I am’ is self affirming. Or another way of viewing it is becoming aware of awareness, no labels there at all.
The last century saw the development of quantum theory. Around then some determined that consciousness affects matter. Instead of investigating that phenomena more closely it was allowed to drop off the radar. I propose that as our understanding of consciousness increases it’s reasonable to state that so will the relationship between consciousness and what some term to be matter. Despite the obvious self evident statement that in the absence of consciouness nothing exists! Perhaps a so called enlightened view is needed here to refresh and deepen our understandings, which according to wikipedia at least, are far from conclusive.
Last words to Rupert Spira.
“Love is the confirmation that awareness is unlimited.”
6Dave Darby May 21st, 2019
Daniel – accepted. More than one way to skin a cat, as they say (but don’t tell my cat). The more switched on people, the greater the chance of wider system change. Two sides of the same coin.
” … all credit to you … ” – like it! ?
7David Calver August 19th, 2019
Dil says the following:
“Understand that we are building human-scale systems, that cannot and should not ‘scale’ in the way that we have become used to considering a fundamental requirement for ‘success’. Anything that scales the way capitalism does cannot support the list of humane and life-centred drives that I listed above. We must build a culture that can do something new – can be local and at the same time support and build the complex value chains that make our civilisation possible (more, we will need to make these value chains work in new, non-extractive ways that do not replicate the imperialist and externality mindset of capitalism). This will require federation, subsidiarity, Viable Systems thinking and more to be made operational.”
“Mutual Credit is a money system that provides just enough money to match and develop the capacities of the community using it, without enforced debt or interest, and governed democratically by that community. It dis-incentivises hoarding and builds trust and inter-dependency. Mutual credit cannot be ‘cashed out’ into debt-based commodity currency.”
The capitalist approach has been scalable largely through big-volume market mechanisms, that grew out of a barter-style system and overcame some of the barter system’s scalability problems by removing the necessity of close human-scale links between the parties engaging in transactions – removing the need for most transactions to involve goods/services exchanged within short time windows between people who trusted each other. In big-volume capitalism, most of the trust is placed by the customer/consumer in one or more institutions (eg banks).
So a big question for transcender systems is “how will they be scalable to big volumes (to serve 8 to 10 billion people) while maintaining human-scale interactions and trust and achieving sustainability within one planet of resources? Dill seems to place a lot of confidence in “federation, subsidiarity, Viable Systems thinking” in the context of transformation of value chains (which I assume are the ones needed to serve 8 – 10 billion people once capitalist systems have been transcended). I’m not getting a clear picture yet of what these new or transformed systems look like at volume. Any further pointers appreciated.
8Dave Darby August 20th, 2019
David – I’m sure Dil will respond to this, but for me:
1. just finished reading David Graeber’s 5000 years of debt. current market mechanisms didn’t grow out of barter. https://euronomist.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-myth-of-barter.html. It was actually a form of mutual credit. Local people had tabs with each other.
2. we don’t have to invent anything. We just have to federate and scale what exists. Energy – community energy. Food – CSA. Manufacturing – craft-based (Dil might disagree with that one) co-ops and sole traders. Land – the ELC is the model – and so on. Exchange – mutual credit, obvs, in a C-M-C economy, rather than an unsustainable, undemocratic and extractive M-C-M’ economy – https://www.lowimpact.org/capitalism-free-market/.
9Dil Green August 20th, 2019
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your thoughtful comments.
I started writing a response, and it turned into a 2000 word post all of it’s own – so thanks again!
Here’s a link: https://digital-anthropology.me/2019/08/20/operationalised-trust/