I havn't read this thread but i'm about halfway through this book which i think many of you in here might be interested in. Anyone else read it ?
In my eyes it's a very clear overview of how we got to where we are and what possible challenges and solutions like ahead.
An excerpt from Daniel Pinchbeck's new book, How Soon is Now? From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation
"Never-ending revolution remains our ideal in art, fashion and tech. Commercial society today requires continuous disruption, rebellion, the shock of the new. Capitalism is brilliant at absorbing anything that might threaten it. Che Guevara becomes a face on a T-shirt. The anguish of young black men is packaged as Gangsta Rap. Social outrage is turned into cultural product, more distractions to assimilate. The energy of dissidence and rebellion feeds the system and keeps it running.
The incessant onslaught of pop culture kitsch confuses and entrances people. Made to believe we are powerless, we forfeit our power. It is easy to forget – until some problem leads to a crisis, and the crisis reveals a design flaw in the operating system that cannot be addressed by any reform.
Our society has revealed a number of severe design flaws that cannot be fixed within its current operating system. One is the grotesque, ever- growing increase in wealth inequality. Economists like Thomas Piketty have shown that the accelerated accumulation of capital by a few is built into the system. As the middle class collapses, we are experiencing something like the return of the ancien régime, a regression to a two-tier society of serfs and overlords.
..."Crisis Is Opportunity
It is possible that the next revolution will never come. Although we are in a massive, out-of-control civilization barrelling towards ecological breakdown, the current system is also intricately interdependent and hyper-defended. While the underlying mechanism of the global financial system is broken, while shadowy webs of conspiracy and corruption extend everywhere, while billionaire financiers toast their own cleverness as millions lose their homes, while the planet’s eco- systems buckle and collapse, it may be the case that our global oligarchy will manage to hold it all together for a while yet – like Major Kong in Doctor Strangelove, with a final ‘Yee haw!’, riding the bomb all the way down.
On the other hand, some series of unforeseeable events may create an opportunity for a massive, sudden change. Social experiments currently proliferate all over the world. They are happening in many countries, often as a result of the extractive practices and domination of empire. In southern Europe, where countries like Greece, Spain and Italy have undergone financial collapse, new political parties are emerging, based on grassroots activism. Finland is testing out a basic income. Many movements around the world, from La Via Campesina (the landless peasant movement in Brazil) to the Zapatistas in Chiapas, are starting innumerable local actions, from time-banking systems and worker-owned cooperatives to community farms. The hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of small-scale actions, occupations and resistance movements around the world could weave themselves together, causing the spontaneous emergence of a new social being.
We therefore need to understand what is at stake, and what is possible – even at the furthest edges of possibilities. If we don’t have a plan or a new model ready, a social breakdown or series of disasters may only lead to new forms of despotic control and intensified repression, which will ensure further ecological breakdown.
Milton Friedman, the leading neoliberal economist, understood this. ‘Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change,’ he wrote. ‘When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.’ In the 1970s and 80s, Friedman and his fellow economists developed their model of intensive privatization, arguing that ‘free markets’ created the greatest benefit for all.
Radicals can learn from the Pyrrhic victory of Friedman and the neoliberals. Rather than stumbling blindly forward, we must define, in advance, the outcomes we desire – much as the Wright Brothers worked towards an aeroplane, or Steve Jobs organized Apple to produce the iPhone. Then we must define a strategic plan to attain our goal.
What we want, I believe, is to launch a social infrastructure that supports participatory democracy to grow and take root organically, without getting snuffed out by ideologues of the right or left. We also want to devise a system where resources are shared far more equitably. The goal should be a post-capitalist society where distributed manufacturing, renewable energy, participatory democracy, efficient cooperation and conservation combine with a universal subsidy or basic income to guarantee everyone on Earth – our human family as a whole – the opportunity for a good life, free of unnecessary insecurity and pointless suffering."
Full article here;
http://realitysandwich.com/321407/the-s ... evolution/