An open space for global conversation
Your idea of turning Capitalism around by using the profits made for the benefit of the people sounds generous and kind. But it is also patronising and humiliating. Giving handouts to the 'neediest' people - (how do you judge who are the neediest? this is charity writ large, but it is not addressing why these people are needy. It is the inequalities inherent in capitalism which create this neediness in the first place. I guess you would say some people are just better at business than others, and we shouldn't grudge them their talents or their luck. Yes that is the way it is set up. But it doesn't need to be that way. Neediness is not a natural state. it is created by the system we have. The world is abundant with natural resources, and human ingenuity can create from that all that we need, enough for everyone. But the way it is set up, some go without, and some have too much. The answer is not for those that have too much to give some 'out of the kindness of their hearts' to those who have nothing. The answer is to change a system that deprives people of access to the wealth that is their birthright, and stop those who would use this system to drain precious resources, create and ignore pollution and destroy the possibility of human life continuing on this planet.
Quite the opposite in fact Anna,
If you've read the synopsis from the white paper it argues the case against charity and to invest instead in stimulating local economies such that those in poverty may help themselves.
In Russia 10,000 were able to help themselves with the help of a community bank. In Ukraine, those in greatest need were seen to be disabled children render to and neglected in state care. In their case, organised crime profits at their expense
Your interpretation would appear to be an inversion of what is described.
I shall quote what is on your website to prove my point.
In 1996, I simply set up a hypothetical 'what if' proposition. What if some businesses decided to change their practices, or institute themselves as new enterprises completely, for the sole purpose of generating massive profits as usual and then using those profits to help people who have little or nothing? That's the way to correct and improve classic capitalism for the broadest benefit worldwide. It's now called social capitalism, or, social enterprise. I still call it the same as I did in 1996: people-centered economic development, and that remains the name of my organization and my web site."
This is back to the feudal system where the lord of the manor generously cares for his subjects, but actually keeps the power for himself. The problem with capitalism is not just economic, which is why charity doesn't work. It is also political, in other words people need to take back the power which has been stolen from them.
Actually they never lost it. When we realise that it is us who keep this system going, that we are the ones who make these 'massive profits' for the owners, by creating the wealth with our work, then it is not difficult to see how we can turn the situation around by withdrawing our labour from those enterprises which do not serve the people directly, ie are not owned by the people. Ownership is the factor which distinguishes what really serves the people, not where the profits go, but who is in charge to make those decisions.
Sorry Anna, But you just haven't read far enough. Otherwise you'd have read "Clearly, profits can be used very effectively in ways other than traditional investment and profit outcomes. Moreover, this is not charity, it is business--good business."
The case for a business whose profit serve the community instead of going to private hands is based on a critique of capitalism. People who are necessarily real are disenfranchised by numbers which are not necessarily real, but imagined into existence as debt.
You will read that it was considered an insufficient paradigm as evidenced in the continued existence of poverty in capitalist democracies. There is no constraint on community ownership. Many cooperative endeavours have been successful as comsumer entities and in some parts of the world also as producer coops. They benefit a membership rather than a community have made little impact on poverty which is external to that membership. That seems to have been realised more recently with the introduction of the Community Benefit Society or BenCom which is entirely congruent with this approach.
Corporate power now dominates and there's no simple solution to get around that.
In the mid-1800s the corporation emerged as a legal "person." Imbued with a "personality" of pure self-interest, the next 100 years saw the corporation's rise to dominance. The corporation created unprecedented wealth but at what cost? The remorseless rationale of "externalities" (as Milton Friedman explains, the unintended consequences of a transaction between two parties on a third) is responsible for countless cases of illness, death, poverty, pollution, exploitation and lies.
From The Corporation
Sorry, Jeff, but I agree with Anna. Your suggestion is so dehumanizing that it undermines the value of a person, thus is isn't a solution that I would ever want to be a part of. You are arguing for slavery while calling it by a different name.
Thank you, Anna. How rare it is to hear from one who can see that capitalism creates the problems it that says it needs capitalism to solve. There IS a better way, but until people are willing to let go of their tight hold on great demon that is consuming them, "They are the sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered, and who battle fiercely to preserve their right to be victimized." (James Randi)
I'm in the process of preparing myself to "opt out". How I wish that I were not alone in my vision. The greatest price of knowing the answer humanity is looking for is the isolation that it creates in this world of great darkness and profound ignorance. Capitalism, like the 3 religions of the Abrahamic traditions is FEAR-based, and anything that is fear-based in self-destructive.
The feeling of being alone is also a product of Capitalism, which needs to divide us from each other, from the earth, and from ourselves in order to exploit us and prevent us from gathering collectively which would make our strength obvious. It takes work to get over this conditioning but know that it is not a reality, it is an illusion created to enslave you.
This is a time of connecting, we have the tools as never before. Where are you based? Lets keep in touch
Gail. In support of what I describe above the UK coop movement have recently raised the banner of 'cooperative capitalism' which is the talk without the walk. .
Would you be prepared to die alone for your vision as the author did, challenging the extremes of capitalism over those enslaved?
There will always be those who throw around accusations of wrongdoing and Terry was no stranger to those with other agendas
Here's part of what he had to say on the matter
So it is safe to say that all these players in the Information Revolution -- the enterprises that created it -- have engendered almost immeasurable social benefit by way of connecting people of the world together and giving us opportunity to communicate with each other, begin to understand each other, and if we want, try to help each other.
It is that last phrase -- "try to help each other" -- which is what the phrase "social enterprise" is getting at. As Bill Gates said in 2000, "poor people don't need computers." and rejected a business approach to alleviating poverty. That statement served to mark the clear distinction between what traditional capitalism did and did not do. Gates' aim at that time was to profit from people who could afford his company's products, while those who couldn't were largely or completely ignored. That has been the accepted limit of traditional capitalism. It has been a marvelous means of social benefit and economic advancement for many people. Nevertheless, those excluded are just left out.
'The term "social enterprise" in the various but similar forms in which it is being used today -- 2008 -- refers to enterprises created specifically to help those people that traditional capitalism and for profit enterprise don't address for the simple reason that poor or insufficiently affluent people haven't enough money to be of concern or interest. Put another way, social enterprise aims specifically to help and assist people who fall through the cracks. Allowing that some people do not matter, as things are turning out, allows that other people do not matter and those cracks are widening to swallow up more and more people. Social enterprise is the first concerted effort in the Information Age to at least attempt to rectify that problem, if only because letting it get worse and worse threatens more and more of us. Growing numbers of people are coming to understand that "them" might equal "me." Call it compassion, or call it enlightened and increasingly impassioned self-interest. Either way, we are all in this together, and we will each have to decide for ourselves what it means to ignore someone to death, or not.'
I hear your compassion. YOu make that very clear. But I also hear your fear, and, in my opinion, it is our fear-based culture that creates the very problems it seeks to divest itself of. Thus, the suggestion that you offer is essentially the same as the ones you want to rid humanity of. In essence, I see you moving the letters around to form new words, but I do not see the addition of any other letters so that new opportunities arise. The problems that you see, I see as symptoms of one illness. As each problem is worked back to its source - from poverty to war and environmental damage, etc., it becomes more and more clear. Humanity is unaware of some important discoveries in science.
this being the case, as I read the links given in the introductory post, I sense that you are discounting the very thing that I believe is the essential missing element. What you suggests lacks credulity is what I suggest is that missing element that will unify all and inspire individuals to release their tight grip on all that they do not want.
I am new to Integral Theory - though I am studying to make sure that I understand it - but it seems that unless people are able to see themselves as whole (first and foremost), they can never see themselves as a whole of wholes. I think that it is an insult to individuals to suggest that they are merely parts of a whole, thus the whole is to be preserved at the expense of the parts. I am more worthy than that. So are you. That's what I am now in a body of humanity 7 billions strong. That's why I joined the Occupy Movement. Such a view is disempowering. The light at the end of the tunnel isn't even visible from my tiny corner of reality.
I have recently been introduced to the massive evidence in favor of the Unified Field of consciousness. I have been following research into the nature of personal consciousness. I found these recent discoveries as a result of my passionate interest in quantum mechanics. What I am going to say next may confuse you, as it did me, but it has everything to do with the solution that we are all looking for:
Time is not linear. Time is multidimensional. Think of our lives as a global culture of stick figures drawn on a sheet of paper. The sheet of paper is their global reality. The stick figures may or may not be aware that there is a third dimension. They certainly cannot see it, but if they pay attention, they can see evidence of its existence, just as science has already found evidence that time is not two-dimensional (backwards and forwards).
When you can see time as a multi-dimensional construct, the implications of what that means for the individual is profound indeed. The questions that will come to mind will demand answers. The answer I found is that the individual is a powerful being - VERY powerful in his/her own right.
I spent many years studying my thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Through this study, I have made some amazing discoveries.
I have found that I am a powerful being - vulnerable to no one or no army of many. I have found that Ii can manifest what I want by using beliefs (thought constructs) and then connecting with the unified field. This means that I have no fear of hunger or war, or even unsustainable economic models. I have learned that humans are always manifesting, but not knowing how to use their power, they manifest that which they do not want and then struggle to find a way out of the prisons that they have built for themselves. In essence (in the words of James Randi), ""They are the sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered, and who battle fiercely to preserve their right to be victimized."
I see this as two-dimensional stick figures not being aware that they are literally one-with (rather than part of) a great power source. This causes them to perceive themselves as vulnerable. Believing that they are something that they are not, they create socio-economic systems that are designed to protect them from the consequences of their beliefs, but that actually bring the fears (of vulnerability) into being.
So, I would suggest that rather than focus on how vulnerable the human being is, I would suggest that we all start telling others how powerful they are and the simple steps it takes to access that power. Then, if the world wants to go down in flames, the self-aware individual remains safe and secure.
Just as a life-saver must not approach a drowning man from the front, or a parent on an airplane should secure her own air mask before attempting to help her child do the same, only a whole and complete self-aware human is able to step out of the vacuum to help others. But they do not work from a belief in the legitimacy of rational fear, thus they add to the whole the sanity that is essential for us to bring sane systems into being.
So would I rather die without saving the world? Yes - if the alternative is to prolong that which is creating such suffering. You cannot change the world by simply arranging letters in a word. You have to add letters and create different words.
Gail I studied quantum mechanics some years ago with the OU. I responded to another comment you made recently with a reference for the need to work things back from the worst problems rather than taking a position in direct conflict with the solution.
In Ukraine part of the effort which I couldn't describe until after our founder's death was his collaboration with the nuclear physics lab in Kharkiv where the H-bomb was developed: It led to an international agreement to develop medical isotopes.
Everything we contributed in our work was by means of using revenue from business to invest in social objectives as a social business which set out to "redefine profit in human terms" which is founded on the power of reciprocity.
On social business I offer the words of Muhammad Yunus who says that to justify the totality of a human being we need at least two kinds of business, the business which is all about me and the business which is all about others - the social business.
Bottom line - how many childre are coming out of poverty - how many children are coming off the streets
It's up to you if you seize upon the words 'generate massive profit' without taking into account the purpose. You can spend the rest of your life pursuing intellectual theories Without fear there is no courage and without taking a stand for social justice, no humanty
I can assure you that this is far more than rearranging letters.
OK, but I propose a way to preclude (thus eliminate the possibility of) poverty. I see what you suggest as being an impotent hope for a cure. I don't mean to be demeaning or harsh. I think that I am as interested in you in finding the solution. I just don't see how this hypothesis can work if it totally ignores what we now know about the nature of time itself.
I understand how you see the clear, simple, and brilliant logic of what you propose. A few years ago, I would have as well. Now that I see a more robust world than I was once able to perceive, it is not something that "I" would call logical - which, in my opinion, is its structural flaw.
But I do appreciate your taking the time to fill out the words that I still see as incomplete.
PS: You said you studied QM with OU. What, who, and/or where is OU