How to Build a New Economic Model
There seems to be a general feeling through all levels of society that the recent events in economic history could mark a real potential space for change and a movement in a different direction. While many people want and feel the need for deep and sustained reform, far removed from the quick fixes and patching up currently offered by governments, there is very little inspiration coming from academia or elsewhere on how to build a new social or economic model which values all peoples and the planet equally.
Frustrated by a surfeit of winging and a dearth of constructive dialogue and with these questions in mind, I attended the Colours of Money seminar. Did it answer my questions about where we can go from here? Yes and no. It soon became apparent that many of the old questions would simply become irrelevant.
It began by citing a need to construct a new paradigm based on the evolution of consciousness laid out by Rudolf Steiner and where we are in our current epoch. From the development of the 'I' and the concomitant materialism developed since the late Middle Ages, we are now entering a new age where the 'I' must also be imbued with a moral consciousness incorporating the environmental and social 'other'. This then naturally creates a new subset for economics, no longer based on the single bottom line of profit and the God of Cheap. With the human and environmental costs calculated into prices and a different consciousness of what it means to be profitable, businesses will look like very different beasts indeed.
Many other aspects were explored including the importance of explicit and transparent double entry book keeping and a new basis on which money could be created and distributed amongst others, but for me the core message was that of the responsibility of the individual, how we are all responsible for creating our own economic realities through our buying and selling choices and are thus complicit in the current system.Although systemic changes are important, what is crucial to understand is that the current paradigm can only exist because we all, quite literally, buy into it. Unfortunately two days wasn't really enough to achieve the depth of understanding I would have liked, for instance how to take these ideas to effect reform in the educational arena. Nevertheless, I definitely came out of the weekend more positive about viable alternatives and feeling that it was up to us now to continue the dialogue and make this new paradigm a reality. (more)