daniel on peaceful leap
I just published From Pandemic to Post-Capitalism https://t.co/o3HNNDcYSD
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/DanielPinchbeck/status/1245675891382013954
apr 2020 – 14 min read
It is time to seriously investigate how we can make a peaceful transition to a cooperative society. If humanity chooses sharing and cooperation over control and competition, we can convert corporate and private assets to commonly held resources.
ie: cure ios city
But the alternative requires a collective awakening followed by a disciplined effort. Enough of us have to focus on creating the alternative. This requires, first of all, space for reflection, which we now have.
not all of us.. needs to be all of us
Humanity desperately needed a time out, a pause, to reassess the direction of our society and the meaning of “progress.”
Right now, we must take this opportunity to consider where we are going as a species. Perhaps, finally, people are willing to consider radical ideas for how we reorganize and redesign our social and technical systems for the benefit of people today as well as future generations.
It’s time to propose a radical line of thought. The current division of the world into “Haves” and “Have Nots” is rooted in private property and hoarded capital. But these are not natural phenomena. They are mental constructs that we impose on the physical world. The alternative is what groups like peer2peer foundation call a “commons transition.”
The institution of private property, Rousseau reasoned, was the root cause of most suffering. In a society founded on property rights, everyone finds their positions insecure. We are forced to compete against each other to attain wealth, to protect what is ‘ours’. This has a traumatic psychological effect. Those who inherit or generate capital become vain and self-important, while those without it feel depressed and marginalized.
hardt/negri property law et al
I am well aware it is hard to even imagine how we could make a humane and peaceful transition to a different system at this point, without mass violence. On the other hand, impossible things do happen sometimes. Many seemingly impossible things are happening now.
Can we envision, and then design, a process that would transform property rights over time, gently and nonviolently?..t
Can we return *much that is now privately owned to the commons?
has to be *all or we’re just perpetuating tragedy of the non common
Can we make a transition into new cooperative arrangements?
w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money..people forget about measuring
Can we learn from the mistakes of failed revolutions of the past, to establish a nonhierarchical social order based on mutual aid and direct democracy?..t
Under Capitalism, we are indoctrinated to confuse the abstract ‘sense of having’ with a real sense. We imprison ourselves in this abstraction.
to have or to be – fromm
If humanity overcame the restrictions caused by private property, if we collectivized our resources, Marx reasoned, people would be free to live in the present again.
They would open their senses and reconnect with reality. They would meet each other as equals. This would end our alienation and estrangement from the world.
Oscar Wilde is not remembered as a social theorist, but he wrote one wonderful political essay, ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’, advancing similar ideals. Like Marx, Wilde saw that private property, hoarded capital, damaged the human personality. He agreed that we have substituted a removed, abstract social relation for our direct connection with the living world:
‘By confusing a man with what he possesses, [Capitalism] has led Individualism entirely astray. It has made gain not growth its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be. The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is.’
wilde property law – the proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible
w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money..people forget about measuring
Private ownership supports the low-frequency delusions of the ego that wants to control, possess, and hoard. Capitalism turns the invisible “sense of having” into the most important thing. We forget this is just an idea — an illusion that exists only within our minds. We are programmed to believe that social inequality supported by state-sanctioned violence is natural and inescapable.
this is ridiculous ness
Wilde did not see a contradiction between art and individuality — which he prized as the highest ideal — and a socialist or post-capitalist civilization. Under socialism, individuality would, he proposed, flourish for the first time. People would be liberated from domination and control, freed to think and create for themselves.
art (by day/light) and sleep (by night/dark) as re\set.. to fittingness
let’s do this first: free art-ists.
He noted that ownership of property ‘has so many duties that its possession to any large extent is a bore. It involves endless claims upon one, endless attention to business, endless bother. If property had simply pleasures, we could stand it; but its duties make it unbearable. In the interest of the rich we must get rid of it.’
too much ness.. inspectors of inspectors et al
Now, in today’s ‘Brave New 1984’, a gigantic surveillance and security apparatus covers everything like an invisible spider web. Its main purpose is to protect property rights, both physical and intellectual forms of property. In fact, Wilde realized, many of our current nightmarish entanglements are based on property rights.
‘When private property is abolished there will be no necessity for crime, no demand for it; it will cease to exist,’ Wilde wrote. The enormous waste generated by the capitalist system is caused, at the root, by the individual’s thirst to attain personal wealth — the only way to have at least some security in this system.
best means to global security: gershenfeld something else law
Like Wilde, the design scientist Buckminster Fuller thought that private property would become a thing of the past once humanity liberated its creative powers through a design revolution. It would be much better for the planet and more efficient, Fuller reasoned, to subsidize people so they could live in self-sufficient communities where they produced their own food and energy. He proposed giving everyone on Earth who didn’t already have a mission, a ‘research grant for life’, in whatever subject interested them.
today we can go deeper.. so that people aren’t even thinking they need that grant
Already in the 1960s, he noted, ‘Possession is becoming progressively burdensome and wasteful and therefore obsolete.’
fuller change law et al
The economic crash caused by the pandemic is going to intensify the movement toward sharing and mutual aid out of necessity. But rather than this happening in piecemeal ways amidst mass destruction, we need to build a movement around it. We can project a vision of a future where people own little — or nothing — yet they live abundantly, joyfully, able to access whatever they need or desire, when they need it.
ie: cure ios city
In The Ecology of Freedom, the social ecologist Murray Bookchin declared that we need to end the ‘private ownership of the planet by elite strata’ if we want to survive. As an alternative, we must establish ‘a fully participatory society literally free of privilege and domination’. Bookchin believed that *partial ‘solutions to the ecological crisis, like green consumerism, renewable energy, or carbon taxation’ would not work or liberate us..t
*not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake
bookchin utopian law.. et al
The notion that we could engineer a voluntary transition to a society where private property and hoarded capital is either eliminated or reduced to a minimum seems far-fetched. But, as Wilde noted, the progress of humanity is based on ‘the progressive realization of utopias’..t
Human nature is not fixed. It changes constantly. Due to the pandemic, it is changing quickly right now. We can realize — as Wilde and Marx did — that our civilization made a mistake when we prioritized ‘having’ over being. We can correct this error.
Wilde proposed we launch a new social system which liberates humanity from drudgery through automation and frees us from the ugly burden of property through socialism. He admitted he was offering an idealistic, utopian program. But he did not think it was unattainable even so:
‘It is unpractical, and it goes against human nature.
doesn’t really go against human nature.. rather goes against the nature of whales in sea world
This is why it is worth carrying out, and that is why one proposes it. For what is a practical scheme? A practical scheme is either a scheme that is already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under existing conditions. But it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to; ..t and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish. The conditions will be done away with, and human nature will change.’
Some radicals believe that the only way we can have meaningful social change is through a mass uprising. They note that many millions of people remain subject to violence, incarcerated in prisons for drug use, and so on. We live in a world of total surveillance, controlled by military force. While mass protests, whether in Hong Kong, the UK, or France, make an impact, they have not yet brought about systemic change. They often lose their force, get stamped out, or co-opted.
A traditional uprising or revolution, on its own, is unlikely to succeed in our current circumstances. The preponderance of military force, surveillance systems, killer drones, biological weapons and other insidious things makes the overthrow of developed world governments hard to imagine. However, these things can and do happen, often in surprising ways.
As an alternative, or perhaps a parallel process, could we engineer a nonviolent transition of global civilization?..
ie: cure ios city
Can we supersede the current system of private property and hoarded capital by developing new infrastructures that convert property into cooperatively owned resources or trusts, over time?
For this to work, we need digital tools and social networks developed specifically for this purpose..t
We are now seeing new networks of mutual aid springing up due to the pandemic. These local and regional networks could be prototypes; trials for the systemic transition.
Can we establish a global network of early adaptors who have committed to switching to a system of open cooperativism and peer-to-peer production? According to post-Darwinian theories on evolution, cooperation and symbiosis are evolutionary advances over competition and domination. *If this is the case, then a system built for cooperation should outperform the old model. Within a few decades or at most a few generations, it might be possible to engineer a global conversion — a planetary reboot of our social operating system..t In fact, this may be our last and only hope.
ie: short bp et al..
To supersede private property, we need a new social model based on stewardship instead of ownership. Rather than bringing about an abrupt and disruptive change, people could transfer their property over time. There are already many examples of land trusts and worker-owned cooperatives that provide models for this.
the word stewardship conjures up (at least in my head) ideas of measuring and duty ness.. which to me are red flags we’re doing it wrong
One option is to revive the medieval principle of usufruct. “Usufruct” gives people the right to continue to use a property or a tool productively, as long as they do not damage it, and particularly if they add value to it. Under a system of usufruct, nobody can have their primary home taken away from them.
again.. usufruct sounds great now.. but seems to me to be only partial.. and so eventually we’ll circle back around
ie: who decides what damaging is.. who decides what productively is.. who decides what adding value is..
this just gets us back to bucky’s inspectors of inspectors too much ness
Perhaps there could be a compromise where we transition to a regenerative society while continuing some forms of private wealth and ownership. No doubt we require, at the least, a redistribution of wealth to create a much fairer and more equitable world. Wealth redistribution through taxation can happen during declared emergencies like wars — there’s no reason we can’t do it as we face this pandemic and the ecological crisis.
like above.. partial has never worked before..
and why.. in the incredible opp.. would we not go for a leap.. rather than a incremental ness..
People assume private property is good and natural. We think it motivates free enterprise and drives innovation. In any event, we believe it is a fixed and irreversible aspect of our lives. Examples of collectivized property from Marxist countries like the Soviet Union, where the state owned the land and the factories, have no appeal (although there were some benefits to this system which have gone under-appreciated). But state ownership of land and factories is not what we should seek. Our goal is to develop a program which, over time, dissolves the aberrant mental concept of ownership entirely.
People need to have their basic needs and desires fulfilled.
this is a huge example of the partial ness.. that keeps messing us up.. (tragedy of the non common et al)
perhaps we focus on just 2 basic needs.. all the rest will
If they were guaranteed a basic income, they would not have to work to survive.
the goal of bi would need to be that needs were met w/o money..people forget about measuring
Rooted in a shared sense of security and social trust, freed from the anxiety of market fluctuations, they could then participate in models based on stewardship and usufruct. This might liberate a great deal of human creativity and innovation, as Wilde proposed.
beyond stewardship and usufruct (meaning we wouldn’t even think about those things)
Peer-to-peers network could make surplus or unused resources — a room, a piece of land, a second car — available to those who need them. Social trust could become the new valued currency, on all levels. People could use commonly held resources as long as they *agree to abide by a set of principles.
*red flag we’re headed for tragedy of the non common
These values would include caring for the land, adding tangible value to physical and virtual projects, and sharing with others. When we reach a point where multitudes of people have the capacity to pool their resources voluntarily and work together cooperatively, the shift toward post-Capitalist society will be under way.
red flag words: adding tangible value; projects; voluntarily; work together cooperatively;..
which would free us from trying to see/observe/record/measure tangible value/projects/coops.. et al
actually adding page day michel fb posts on daniel talking about conspiracy theories and then he adds link to this article by rory spowers (is the virus our vaccine) in comments.. [notes on rory and article on his page]