Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
After reading the Intro and first chapter a few comments. On p. 6 he discusses how monopolies intentionally thwart competition and innovation so as to maintain their stranglehold. But he claims entrepreneurs find a way around it and end up forcing competition with their better tech and price reductions. Yet he discusses on pp. 7-9 Larry Summers 2001 paper, wherein Summers acknowledges the emerging information economy was indeed moving to near marginal cost. Summers though didn't propose something like Rifkin but instead recommended "short-term natural monopolies" (8).
Recall Summers was Obama's pick for Director of the National Economic Council. His policy suggestions were well in line with the earlier promotion of "natural monopolies," and his resume attests. And we're seeing exactly this economic philosophy at play with the FCC Chairman Wheeler's proposed pay-to-play rules, where the ISP monopolies will destroy internet neutrality. Recall that Wheeler was another Obama pick, and was a former, and will return to being, a cable and wireless lobbyist. While Obama claims to back income equality and net neutrality he appoints the likes of Summers and Wheeler who make no bones about their support of monopolies. And without net neutrality good bye to Rifkin's entire plan, which requires it to succeed.
If you haven't yet, please take action to preserve it. Here's one place and you can find several others if you but look.
Obviously, if this were implemented there would be few if any gas powered cars on the road ; all commercial cattle farming would be halted for 50 years and only cattle farming for small local farms allowed . Now sure , huge changes ; but we would get to choose this and there would be a ton of upsides ! Business as usual and no one gets to choose much but live with the inevitable destruction .
Of course , religious people can keep their private property but have to follow green laws and rules no matter which economy they choose to live in . Finding a solution to Israel is paramount ! IMO ., they've only ever had one sustainable choice: risk peace or face an inevitable reaping of what one sows when one behaves badly . As the corporations move out of Muslim lands; Islamic people can choose , also, which of the two economies they would live under. I get that this would be one of the most difficult aspects of this plan ; but I don't see it as impossible .
Anyway , no one gets to skip stages : one doesn't magically go from 15 years old (orange) to 55 ( possibly integral ) ; what I posited is a possible conversion to a global green civilization , there is no integral civilization until we realize this next step .
I'm quite sure JMG would agree with me that a green tech eco civilization to scale is simply not possible within the next 50 years . But it needs to be legislated into effect where it is possible (Europe/Canada).
Integral shouldn't pretend that the TPP and neoliberalism juxtaposed to Zionism and Christian Zionism ( and tribal Islam) is anything other than unsustainable mean orange /blue and red.
From Rifkin's latest HuffPo post, noting that the third industrial revolution is "shifting the human journey from an unswerving allegiance to unlimited and unrestrained material growth to a species commitment to sustainable economic development. This transformation is being accompanied by a change in the human psyche -- the leap to biosphere consciousness and the Collaborative Age."
It's an interesting vision! i will go over all four parts in the next few days . Some more thoughts for now:
-Rifkin seems to be suggesting that Keynesian re-investment into a renewable energy society is a viable ave. of success for transition. I'm not so sure this is a given ( although I don't see a lot of other options for the hi-tech solution), the problem here, I think, is that that re-inverstment will create massive deficits for all countries involved. I'm not sure if P. Pogany thinks that the transition can be achieved via this method ( I believe we have to try anyway).
-That current trends show the E.U. is actively promoting austerity( transfer of wealth to a corporate oligarchy) which is diamettrically the opposite of what they need to achieve Rifkin's vision. Can anyone say cognitive dissonance?
-that civil war in Europe is just as likely as the E.U. becomes the E.U. of Islam Thank-you western oligarchs in probable collusion with the China/Russian alliance . ( How many of these refugees are going to China and Russia?)
-That the U.N. will place Goldman-Sachs as custodians of the biosphere! Genius!
-That his non-profit second economy would need its own non-debt currency to be most effective, Imo.
This is from a comment section on the Huffington introduction. I am going to post it here as it is a perfect explanation and expose on my 2 spiritual protocols. There isn't going to be one over-arching solution to these problems . Christian nations should implement this strategy and once again come to live in a manner that is congruent with what their supposed master taught :
For the last many hundreds of years humanity's focus has been directed to the desires of the CEOs of profit centers. Like a vast dam all the creativity of humanity has been stored up and filtered through the ideas of the predatory capitalists. Our infrastructure and our very lives have been manipulated to comply with the whims of the hoarders of wealth.
Professor Michael Perelman in his book The Invention of Capitalism tells us how the self indulgent destroyed the rights of the people to live sustainably on the land as they had done since the beginning of time and instead forced them into unrestrained service to the well-off. This was begun with a lot of name-calling and denegration of those who weren't "working enough" to create wealth for the "upper class", then moved to distortion of the laws to take away individual rights and replace them with corporate rights, then to violence of the state police to enforce what was created for the benefit of the few.
"Primitive accumulation cut through traditional lifeways like scissors.
The first blade served to undermine the ability of people to provide for
themselves. The other blade was a system of stern measures required to
keep people from finding alternative survival strategies outside the system
of wage labor. A host of oftentimes brutal laws designed to undermine
whatever resistance people maintained against the demands of wage
labor accompanied the dispossession of the peasants’ rights, even before
capitalism had become a significant economic force.
For example, beginning with the Tudors, England enacted a series of
stern measures to prevent peasants from drifting into vagrancy or falling
back onto welfare systems. According to a 1572 statute, beggars over the
age of fourteen were to be severely flogged and branded with a red-hot iron on the left ear unless someone was willing to take them into service for two years. Repeat offenders over eighteen were to be executed unless
someone would take them into service. Third offenses automatically resulted in execution (Marx 1977, 896ff.; Marx 1974, 736; Mantoux 1961,
432). Similar statutes appeared almost simultaneously during the early
sixteenth century in England, the Low Countries, and Zurich (LeRoy
Ladurie 1974, 137). Eventually, the majority of workers, lacking any alternative, had little choice but to work for wages at something close to
By creating a debt jubilee and freeing everyone from any obligation to and support of the predatory system, and then by freeing land and resources enough so that every person has a human right to a share of the things she or he needs to be self sustaining we can tear down the dam that has been restraining us and free the people to use their time and creativity to secure themselves in comfort and happiness, and together clean up the messes in the environment that we have permitted through wars, industrial aggression against the environment, and pollution and waste through enforced consumerism.
I envision the world as a vast landscape of free, self sustaining eco villages in which the people work together to grow their food, share resources, create free housing, common kitchens and dining halls and laundries that greatly reduce the strain on the environment that now equips billions of individual, high tech living centers. Without the need of jobs we can work together to provide local organic food supplies and we can provide ourselves free education and free health care and other basics while using our creativity and technology to clean up the environment and restore the earth to a place of peace and plenty and playfullness for everyone. The extravagance of extreme self indulgence and hoarding has to end. The development of a healthy, harmonious culture that protects everyone is the future we must create together.
A bit more on this if it is not too annoying to you , Edward . This is the way I see it : there is a multiplicity of people on this planet at differing levels of development and inclinations . In light of that fact, specifically within the context of pollution, ecology and economics; it might be better to source a multiplicity of solutions rather than 1 global mono-system where everyone is forced against their will to obey . One of the first divisions is the urban/ rural divide . I see Rifkin's solutions being more tenable within urban centres because of density within contained areas; and because urban centres generally have people at pluralistic levels of development (so some type of pluralistic enviro-techno-capitalism may be sustainable). However , for the next century I would rather see rural communities revert back to Amish type lifestyles ecologically even if that entailed a marginalization of some people ( these communities would still be voluntary even though at less developed memes). At this point I'd probably choose the latter and set up town meetings where I would get to debate the prejudiced bigots within these quasi-religious communities ( nothing would be perfect there:) These communities would look something like described above . It would be a given that the corporate takeover of rural areas would end and that polity and economics are given back to the people .
This is the first geo-engineering technology that i've heard of that makes any sense as a solution to carbon in the air:
You'd think that every capitalist and oil company in the world would jump all over this one and install this tech within the next 10 years . It will be interesting to see if they do or not . Where's the Donald when you need him? Oh, yes, out giving nonsense interpretations about why America sold its soul to China.
The US Secretary of Energy says that solar and wind energy are now cost-competitive.
Yes, and if there were going to be a Keynesian move within economies this would be the target area . Billions of buildings need reto-fitting . This is what Trudeau should aim for ; not putting more money into hi-ways.
The cork is a poppin' for Mr Rifkin:
I remain highly skeptical . I don't suppose that a religious group that espoused non-materialism would be all that welcome in China.
BTW: supposing that this schematic were benevolent, I would think that the implementation would be greatly diminished because of religious conflict . This is why I find it so important not to be anti-religious or anti-god, per se. What we need in a post-secular world is a mediating council for religion ; one that understands religiosity profoundly and one that couldn't be corrupted by capitalism . The council dispute mechanisms would be binding on all parties implemented by non=profit militaries . For Instance , the dispute between Islam and Judaism might entail a solution where Israel's boundaries are limited to previous agreements and that a new Palestinian state would be set up within a new pan-arabic trading block . The new Islamic trading block would sign non-aggression treaties with Israel to guarantee Israel's right to exist .
Thinking that we can solve complex environmental issues while continuing religious exceptionalism type conflicts is incongruent at best and myopic at worst .
Also, trading goods and services is a priori for humanity . It is how we go about doing that that is significant .
Though not a student of sustainability, energy efficiencies, or economics, I like to keep some awareness of new breakthroughs and potential improvements in efficiencies in the realm of energy.
In this pop science article, there is discussion of storage of energy.