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."
Here are a couple of links along the line of what David mentioned. They couldn't be more contrasting.
I know which one lines up with my values.
Interestingly, I've been thinking of buying a small mobile home like the first link. I don't need much living space and like the idea of moving whenever and wherever the mood strikes. One can rent space in mobile home parks that provide sewage and electricity etc. at far lower rates then renting apartments or homes. It's not only economical but reduces energy use so contributes to a more sustainable ideal. Sure, having solar panels on top to generate one's own energy would be better. And then connecting to the smart grid to share excess or buy when deficient would be better. But one thing at a time.
A new book by Rifkin:
"In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.
Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces..."
He has a new blog post with another excerpt from the book. This time it addresses net neutrality, an issue I've been harping on. If the greedy capitalists have their way they'll undermine this entire project but privatizing the internet. If we the people don't get our government to correct this recent ruling we will only go further down this road and Rifkin's dream will remain only that.
"Until the present, the Internet, and now the more expansive Internet of Things, has been managed as a global Commons with three primary stakeholders playing a collaborative role in its governance -- the government, private sector, and civil society. Now, however, the private sector is beginning to stray from the three-party stakeholder alliance, seeking increased income and profits by way of price discrimination -- a move that threatens to undermine one of the guiding principles of the Internet: network neutrality, a principle that assures a nondiscriminatory, open, universal Communications Commons in which every participant enjoys equal access and inclusion."
And this on the internet monopolists like Facebook. I keep trying to make people aware of just what they are participating in by using this fascist tool.
"And it's not just the telecom and cable companies that are muscling in from the outside, attempting to enclose the IoT. [...] Some of the biggest Internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are cashing in on the very rules of engagement that made them so successful and selling the masses of transmitted Big Data that comes their way to commercial bidders and businesses that use it for targeted advertising and marketing campaigns, research efforts, the development of new goods and services, and a host of other commercial propositions. They are, in effect, exploiting the Commons for commercial ends."
Also the energy companies are fighting to prevent an energy smart grid. But the EU, unlike the US, is smart enough to fight back, as they are on the forefront of this evolution:
"The European Union, the world's largest economy, has taken steps to keep the Energy Internet an open architecture by requiring that conventional power and utility companies unbundle their power generation from their transmission of electricity. The unbundling regulations came about because of growing complaints by millions of small, new renewable energy producers that the big power and utility companies were making it difficult for them to connect their local micropower plants to the main transmission grid. The companies were also accused of discriminatory practices that favored speedy connectivity for green electricity generated by affiliated business partners and of imposing bureaucratic delays and even refusing to accept green electricity from others."
Regarding the internet, don't forget the link Andrew posted:
I suspect that the messianic structure of the modern corporation is no random coincidence. I suspect that the beginning of the last century went something like this: the burgeoning power brokers at the time were well aware of the psychic hold and pull of the traditional father / son archetype in western culture and tradition; this is evidenced in allegory at the time in works like The Great Gatsby- A Jesus allegory. These power brokers had a vision of embodying the character of Jesus in a monolithic global entity that has all the character traits of the father/ son traditions. At the time, they made moves to insure the global father structure became omnipotent in a pyramidal all seeing hierarchy by setting up fiat currency within the fed system; and concomitantly , started setting up the son character in the guise of what is now the global corporation; with it's global hegemony, charitable foundations, apostles, disciples, Wall St. evangelists; with its soteriological prowess being its technological wonders.
I think this is probably the structure that Rifkin is talking about in the article. I not so sure that the people who created the internet had any intention of it being anything other than a device to serve the ends of this theorized global superstructure.
Interesting times indeed!
The people who created the internet:
"The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the United States government in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks."
The history section shows that it was originally for scientific research. Only as it developed did the greedy ones get excited.
As for Walter White, before he became Heisenberg he was a hard-working, ethical man who played by the rules. His dire financial circumstances due to getting deathly ill with poor health insurance led him into meth cooking. True, one he got into it he was corrupted by the easy money and the power it brought. But our corporate Heisenbergs were corrupt from the beginning, as it's inherent to their metaphysical system.
One of my friends back in the day wrote a song called 'Shot in the Dark', one of my faves of his. It's not easy to figure out or see what in hell is going on here on planet earth these days.
My allusion to Breaking Bad was more along the lines of Walt's secular view; that if someone did set up the corporation to look like the character of Jesus, that it wasn't necessarily anyone within religion that did it. J.P Morgan and all those boys didn't come across as all that religious to me.
On the second part i was thinking that in the end Walter loved his attachment to his baby more than anything else even though he new he created a nightmare. That's the way it might be with these bankers and corporations.
I know that rationally your point about the internet origins is true, but seeing the way things are playing out these days its hard to believe these guys didn't at least envision this all seeing eye even way back then.
I read an article today that says Briton is going to undermine the green grid by giving huge subsidies to nuclear.