Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
This dude also deserves a thread, a postmetaphysical visionary of an integral paradigm different from the trademarked variety. And quite "spiritual" to boot, if by that we mean creating a more equitable and humane lifeworld in which all can thrive and aspire to their highest potentials. From the integral capitalism thread:
Have you discussed Jeremy Rifkin's notion of "distributed capitalism," based on emergent peer-to-peer technological models, which he discussed in his book, The Empathic Civilization? I skimmed the thread and didn't see mention of it, so I thought I'd add it to the mix. Here's a brief article on it.
(An interesting notion of his, which is not directly relevant to this thread but possibly relevant to this forum, is Rifkin's notion of an emergent "dramaturgical self" as a stage of self-making beyond the "existential postmodern self." I haven't explored it in depth -- I've just been reviewing his book for a class -- but I'll look into it more and will comment further if it's relevant.)
Thanks for these links. I've heard of Rifkin but have yet to read him. I agree with most of what he's saying but he is stretching the definition of the term capitalism beyond its intended meaning. Recall its meaning from the beginning of the thread. Private ownership of the means of production with profit flowing to the top is antithetical to shared, open and distributed ownership of resources and information and P2P relationships, much like selfish concern and cosmocentric morality are so in a moral hierarchy. Rifkin is right to make the connection between the worldview and economic-communication systems, and that the internet correlates with an empathatic, biospheric view necessary for such shared resources and environmental consciousness. But again, capitalism was all about the exploitation of natural resources as if they were infinite with little to no regard for the environmental consequences. Rifkin laments this destruction and rightly analyzes the consciousness and systems that created it, capitalism, yet by keeping that name in his new view of P2P distribution is a functional misfit.
One can also view him speak on his new book at YouTube. Just watching the first couple minutes it seems to be the same info in the text linked above.
I also had posted this video on his work here on IPS awhile back.
Now I understand hybrid systems during transition phases. For example we have hybrid gas-electric cars which are better than just gas-driven. But we know that it is a transition to a full electric car when we develop the technology and infrastructure to make it feasible. That is, we know we must completely leave behind using a limited resource like petrol for a more sustainable energy source. So with economic systems. There are hybrids of capitalism with open source and of course it is a step in the right direction. But like with petrol we know that at some point we will leave capitalism behind in a more equitable, humane and environmental consciousness with correlative political economy.
So for me it says something about our consciousness to which economic system we attach. Given the I-I agenda of a kinder, gentler capitalism it appears to be on the transition of rational-pluralistic and it calls that integral. Hence you get no language or values about open source, distributed networks or P2P. Whereas I think what Rifkin is describing, that ecologic empathy that is growing out of the informational-pluralistic into the internet P2P network, is what we might call integral. And it is open source, not private property. But again, it is currently a hybrid in transition but we know where it is going and what must be left behind.*
*As to worldview and moral level replacement, see the previous thread on ladder-climber-view. Like I said, I don't think it's a strict or clean dividing line between one level and the next, with transitions containing mixes and hybrids. But we see the trajectory of where it's going and what it will eventually leave behind.
You can find Rifkin's website here. Following is an excerpt from the synopsis on his lecture "The age of access":
"The new information and telecommunications technologies, e-commerce and globalization are making possible a new economic era as different from market capitalism as the latter is dissimilar from mercantilism. In the new century, markets are slowly giving way to network ways of conducting business, with far-reaching implications for the future of society....The notion of exchanging and holding on to fixed property becomes an anachronism in a society where everything is continually evolving."
Rifkin on Germany's current efforts to move beyond the financial cr..., using ideas he has explored in several of his recent books.
This may also be of interest (the link contains a video excerpt from a recent event he held in Rome on the Third Industrial Revolution).
From the opening of the article:
"Although stringent austerity programs will have to be enacted in the member countries to reduce government debt, and new regulatory mechanisms put in place to oversee European financial institutions and markets, there is a dawning realization that these measures alone will be insufficient to assure the future of Europe and its member states. What's required, above all else, is a new sustainable economic growth plan that can take Europe into the future."
Our US conservative brethren are into the austerity but will have no truck* with necessary financial regulation or investment in sustainable energy tech.
A new Forbes interview with Rifkin on The Third Industrial Revolution.
But again, his recommendations requires a free and open internet so that we can create a grid to share energy. This new IP legislation is about destroying the internet in that regard by protecting the 'old guard' with its top-down ownership paradigm. I wonder what Rifkin has to say about this legislation?
Rifkin on the 99%
Ok Jeremy, as you say distributed energy must be managed by distributed communication, so where's your response to the speciously named Protect IP From Piracy Act? If that passes it will set back your agenda on a global scale for some time to come.
I did that very thing, sending an email to that address yesterday. If I get a response I'll share it.
I'm reminded of the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car, showing how alternative transport was prevented by very powerful lobbies who would not be destroyed, just have to take maybe 20 gazillion in profit instead of 40 gazillion. * Same thing now with this IP bullshit...I mean proposed legislation.
* Also see the filmmakers latest, Revenge of the Electric Car.
A new Rifkin essay on the third industrial revolution.