It takes a village
"Changing the system does not mean changing it from the inside; changing the system must be an act of creating new ones which gradually attract more components, more relationships, more people"
The basic tenents of Anarchism. See The Accidental Anarchist Carne Ross' interview with Russell Brand some years ago.
The idea is that you can protest up to a point, but it's far better to set up the systems you want to see. When people see them working, they will simply abandon the failing system and join in with the new one(s).
The atomisation of society into neo-liberal individuals competing for resources over the last 40 years has made this far more difficult for people to do this (which was the intention). A lot of humans are going to have to relearn that we are biologically wired to co-operate in small communal groups of up to 200 people, sharing resources, not operating in 'nuclear families' competing for all resources. The damage that capitalism has done since 1400, especially the neo-liberal version foisted on us since 1980, is uncalculable. Not just in ecological terms of overshoot and resource depletion, but the damage to relationships to fellow humans and, more significantly, the damage to our relationship with nature.
SUPERB summary: just posted the following to my dharma curation whatsapp group:
Real world systems dharma today...
Wonderful and poetic short read, explaining how trying to change existing and damaging systems from within has a progressively weakening impact.
Instead efforts should be made to diversify our systems and attract people to entirely new ways of operating.
Like Dana (generosity) practice… this is something we can all engage with every day, and the care of it attracts others to join us.
Gradually having implied reciprocity inhabit more space in our way of life becomes easier and fills more and more of our needs.
Thankyou. This is so well written and thought out. Now I can point people to something to explain what I've been trying to say and do. Thankyou for this act of generous community.
Sometimes (and more so lately) it can be difficult to be optimistic about the future of humanity. I always try, and it is my greatest belief that communities and relationships will be what saves us. I really enjoyed reading this. It makes so much sense but at the same time it’s also explains why systematic change is so difficult and feels so impossible
I sit with these words, spoken by Rachel @19:43, "moral imagination is a combination of what is possible and what should happen …” as I remember a recent conversation with a newly appointed head of ESG and Stewardship at a prominent public pension fund here in the US, in which the asked allowed, "What is stewardship?". This is stewardship: "a combination of what is possible and what should happen".
I loved this from the moment I heard the opening line. Thank you, very inspiring
I like your work Rachel... @CrisisReports. Its interesting... germane and I would love to financially support... if I could afford it.
@PhoebeTickell 's positioning and investigations sound valuable as does @NATHALIEMARTINEKPHD There must be many more of you here.
I need to share things and sadly I need to be quick so hopefully I can communicate the gist of what I need to say.
"She also spoke of the “action gap” between the technology, democratic process and economic frameworks we have at hand and making the right choices....
If moral imagination is a combination of what is possible and what should happen, what is the other should which impedes that action?" I like the use of the term Should and Other should... my favourite has been 'must-do's'.
"System dynamics dictates that no one individual can manifest a complex system;" I tend to agree but...
When you say "economic frameworks", as one obvious 'Other', forgive me for highlighting that this is answered with stunning dynamic detail by @ProfSteveKeen and some of his colleagues. I've experienced too much spent opportunity at every possible level of Governance in my activist life (that amounts to zero) and in my deeply reasonably cynical view, Steve brings all of the missing qualities ('lab testing' of Policy options and efficacy forecasting) to the table. His own hard knocks, hard work and years of focus provides us all with access to what has to be a timely, 'one chance in my lifetime' software (Minsky/Ravel); analysis tools that require immediate and widespread adoption (by Politicians, Academics, Activists and Journalists) as we now seek to affirm and embed those Policies that will must benefit the future of our wonderful earth systems and ourselves. Engage with that software in UK or wherever and we are all well on our way... no more cul de sac please.
The Action Gap is a new and excellent term; it explains better my somewhat less satisfactory question on societal context... "where does all the go go?"
So then, as for my own significant, missing 'Other', "Low hanging fruits" and "expectations management" come to mind in the discrete parlance of the brotherhood of Politics and administrations. With my own wholly frustrating local Administrative level of experiences (ie local and Regional Economic Development Team), I observe that the one way to short circuit these 'Mediocracies' is for us to enable Public Engagement in the briefing and scoping of new prospects/programs/projects prior to what they term, and we know, as Public consultation. Scoping is forever a narrowing exercise... without the ambition or support of the public, hence injurious of and limiting the intellectual energy of the wider democratic realm. Consultations are a 'fait accompli' by onside 'stakeholders' and jobsworth, all with purposes other than common?
The Public and interested parties, I am confident, expect more from our decision makers... harvesting of opportunity... not simply spending it? In my view, Scoping exercises always define what is easy and never what is actually possible.... all opportunity to be sapient humans squandered? We can see this at national level with Energy Policy, Water, Climate, 2ndary Resources, Industry, NHS, over so many decades even with HS2 and Transport Policy... everything really?
Painfully slowly, I have been developing one proposal to short circuit all of this... I suppose, to bridge your Action gap... to have us better engage our potential. I would love to have that prospect explored in public... scoped properly in an open, energetic like-minded and critical multidisciplinary team context. having failed at all else so far, what I propose, comes from my own experiences and doesn't need to be done by me but it does need to be done and done by 'us'.
When I think us, I think this can only mean all of us... pluralist and Global. Haven't we tried everything else that brings us to this now miserable excuse for civilization... apart from proper engagement of all based on interests?
So, following general tennants discussed within the chat with Phoebe, we've create a new purpose-built organisation to 'complement' the UN. It starts and ends with the highest values, morals, principles, ethics, and standards. Used AI to create a Charter/Constitution for it. Purpose: fix the planet crises (plural). It's hanging together quiet well. Let's put it this way, a constructive use of LLM-based AI. Highly recommend others try the similar. How'z that for imagination activism - using AI to 'assist' activism. Now that it is in AI, we can ask it how to roll it out.