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.
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Bruce Gibb, an organizational psychologist and SDi practitioner, reviews the new book. His premise: "[Rifkin's] analysis proceeds from a Yellow, Stage 7 (S:7) stance." He notes that while foundations are built upon and not eliminated, nonetheless a "more adequate theory replaces a less adequate one." (My emphasis.) Also of note is the emphasis on how socio-economic infrastructure is what drives our evolution: "He recognizes that life conditions—and in particular the sources of energy and the technology of communication—are the drivers of cultural evolution."
While Gibb admits near the end that biosphere consciousness is turquoise, he also said right before that statement that the collaborative commons is a horizontal extension of green consciousness into all sectors of society. He led up to that conclusion by noting that green's psychological consciousness extends empathy to larger associational ties to include like-minded others. His own logic doesn't follow here, as the collaborative commons goes beyond associational, like-minded ties into biosphere consciousness, given its expansion of empathy to all people beyond associational ties as well as the entire biosphere.
Also he doesn't provide a description of an SDi yellow cultural mode. His progression seems to indicate we can jump from associational communities (green) to the biosphere (turquoise) with no yellow in between? Granted he's following Rifkin's empathic levels here, which don't account for what Gibbs describes as yellow. But Gibbs doesn't account for a yellow cultural stage either.
In my opinion there is tons and tons of hubris about! We don't even have one town green let alone a city or a country. Composting toilets for all; then we can talk about higher stages. I see this same hubris in Hollywood: a new movie called interstellar when we don't even know how to land a man or woman safely on mars yet. So, I put out a challenge here and now to the supposed smart people in the worlds universities: make your campuses bastions of green consciousness on every level and then lets talk. Now how they do this when mired in orange unhealthy neoliberalism is going to be interesting as Einstein said we can't get to green with orange consciousness ( paraphrased). The neobliberals always tell us we can't afford green; yet it's funny what we can afford: trillions on imperialism , colonization and war.
composting toilets would be a base metaphor for green as all the lower stages are so full of ………..
oh yeah, i'm just mean when i make remarks like this….more composting metaphors please!
Very encouraging. The end of the article notes though that US cities talk a good game but don't follow through.
It does make sense that the cities may be a good place to start these green initiatives as the cities are more prone to other elements of green pluralism. The eco part simply needs to catch up to the other areas; we may need to, however, re-stratgize some base systems ( lower chakra energies) as in making sure at a minimum that cities are not dumping raw sewage into waterways, or even better- come up with sustainable toilet composting on mass ( get healthy on the most immanent level).
As for rural conservatives: they are close enough to the land that they should be able to see that nature does strive for balance and that there is an interconnectedness within all natural eco-systems. They must lose the terrible interpretation of social darwinism and re-embrace balance and sustainable agriculture practices. Having farms do whole eco- systems ( permaculture type models/ organic methods). The biggest challenge is within big cattle: they need to re-think the way that they run their businesses. Highly destructive and out of harmony with the eco-systems as is. It would not take much to correct this distortion, though.
A giant problem with rural conservatives in the US is that 1) they are Republican and 2) buy the Party line hook line and sinker. The Party leaders knows this and shamelessly manipulate them with lies and misinformation, climate change denial being a huge example. Hence these well meaning but ignorant rural farmers buy into the entire capitalist meme, including pesticides, chemical fertilizers and so on. They are so programmed to think climate change is a hoax that organic farming seems out of the question for most of them, a commie plot to destroy the American way of life. They tend to watch Fox thinking it's actual news when it's the propaganda arm of the regressive spin machine.
The only way I am going to touch this one is if you can manage to write some good things about conservatism . Zappa was a Republican, so they can't be all bad although, of course, he wasn't rural. I don't even have a problem with Ted Nugent although recent events in Canada show where that line of thinking can go toxic. The militarization of society is extremely disheartening and dangerous. The idea that anyone really needs personal use assault weapons is very skewed thinking , indeed. Mr. Saturday Night Special by Lynyrd Skynyrd comes to mind. Sick society all around. Also, ( and I'm not looking for an argument) Taibbi mentions that no one has given a free pass to high financial crime like the Obama administration. Neoliberalism homogenizes those two political spheres, anyway. Not that there is no difference , but the differences becomes less meaningful in practice , imo. Proportional Representation perhaps, but we both know they will never allow that kind of change.
Bush and Clinton 2016! Gag!