The world needs a new, nonviolent, non-trashing, economic and social system: wholosophy is a term I use (web-search for more).
Here's a Blog that suggests what that Better New World could look like - a co-operative, fair-world, not-hierarchical possibility - based on an ethic and practice of peace, nonviolence minimized harm and maximized well-being.
And by Tuesday!
For more - please ask for a Reader - from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Economic Strategies for Sustainable, Respectful Responsible
fairly spread, within, and between, Generations
A Fair World, Co-operative Socialist Vision
Courtneidge, The Fair World Project
development requires not only raising the wealth, the equality of
wealth sharing, and the well-being of a community, but has also to
ensure that well-being processes sustain over time.
the five mechanisms that cause inequality (and which cause the
consequential erosion of well-being) are discussed, and sustainable
solutions for their eradication are outlined
are five ways in which wealth leaks away from a community and cause
inequality to grow, poverty to increase, and ecological damage to
five adverse mechanisms are:
(of and from the Commonweal),
Interest, and Dividends (distributed Company Profits), and,
pay for work (including no pay for work).
we are to help avoid such illness mechanisms, we need to have
strategies that reverse all of these five mechanisms: each adverse
mechanism needs a sustainable-wealth strategy to create a
self-sustaining whole: one alone is insufficient, all together create
an emergent, co-operative synergy.
for the minimisation of inequality, and maximisation therefore, of
human, social, and ecological well-being
Abolishing theft from, and of, the Commonweal.
most blatant way in which people, communities and environment are
impoverished is by theft of shared community assets (‘the
of and from the Commonweal (the creation of ‘ownership’) is the
precursor of the other mechanisms: on grand scales, the theft of
Africa’s resources, the theft of England by William ‘the
Conqueror’, and of North America, (and much of the rest of the
planet) by his inheritors, are notable examples. However, the theft
of the Trustee Savings Bank (the ‘TSB’ or ‘Penny Bank’)
during Margaret Thatcher’s many piratisations (‘privatisations’),
and imposed ‘Structure Adjustment Programs’ by the World Bank
(sic) and IMF are some more recent examples.
strategy for dealing with this probably includes the concept of
‘active co-operative stewardship by the community’, rather than
delegated ‘representative’ ownership by state organisations
(directly or by Quangos).
(Consequential) Land Issues (Rents and so on).
people are impoverished when local land-based resources are in the
hands of external (and indigenous) owners. Such land resources are,
both, within the local area (external landlords charging rents for
local residential and business accommodation), and, also, external to
the locality (external landlords selling food, energy and raw
materials into the locality). These factors clearly need multiple
strategies if wealth is not to be leached away from the area.
the many such strategies for avoiding such pit-falls, one action is
the gradual transfer of local land-ownership into the local
stewardship of local land trusts, probably constituted as Community
Co-operatives: each of which would then lease local land resources,
on a limited-term, needs-justified basis, to local co-operative
their turn, these local co-operatives would then pay local corporate
(co-operatives') taxation (and rent, perhaps), to the local community
trusts and/or Co-operative Community Banks, to make local community
development possible, and, also, to make grants to more those in need
elsewhere (including, perhaps, Citizens’ Incomes: see
food growing, sustainable public transport, and materials’ re-use
are also worthy of local action. Recent developments in 'urban
agriculture' merit investigation, as do local recycling schemes for
materials' and energy recovery, and rail-based,
local co-operative housing and co-operative co-housing strategies
retain local housing rents, along with the benefits of local
stewardship of the local environment.
Interest and for-profit banking and financial systems: 'The
For-profit Money-Lender Issue'.
Jubilee 2000 activities (and so on) have shown the pernicious effect
of the debt-plus-interest spiral. These wealth-sapping mechanisms
act both upon, and within, communities, creating inequalities in both
wealth-creation and in individual-, social- and ecological-wellbeing.
interest-free credit creation, through local, public service
Community Banks (probably operated as Community Co-operatives – see
clearly called for.
the individual level, interest-free credit unions are inclusive
structures (interest-based variants are not available to certain
ethical and religious groups and, moreover, charging interest on lent
money and created credit is socially iniquitous and ecologically
destructive: see, for example, links and ‘Papers’ section at
), while not-for-profit, commercial credit for co-operative
businesses (and local public services – perhaps run as community
co-operatives) can be delivered through the not-for-profit,
Co-operative Community Banks referred to above.
Dividends (Distributed Company Profits): The ‘For-profit Employer’Issue.
employment by both local and non-local employers is a prime route to
local impoverishment (through global and local inequality).
Moreover, external investment and local development only lasts as
long as local profits are possible, and when these evaporate, jobs
and wellness go.
suggests that local investment by the community, for the whole
community's benefit, but within a global, co-operative consciousness,
is the antidote.
worker- and whole-community co-operatives are clearly the answer (for
work in the market-sector and the monopoly-sector respectively). If
these co-operatives carry out Annual Co-operative Audits (to show
their fidelity to the Seven Co-operative Principles of the
International Co-operative Alliance) community well being (through
response to the Seventh ICA Principle) will be ensured.
Unequal pay (and no pay sometimes) for work: ‘The Fat Cattery
local (and external) workers come into an area demanding higher than
average wages, salaries and perks from the work in that area, then
immediate resentment and long-term impoverishment follows.
strategy for dealing with this is to measure the spread of local
incomes, and, so, make sure that non-resident workers receive local
wages (perhaps supplemented by their travel costs to and from work).
deeper level, inequalities of income are socially-divisive,
ecologically-damaging and the source of innumerable consequential
ills (recorded, for example, in Richard Wilkinson’s books: see
individual incomes need to be set (and guaranteed) within a fairly
narrow range: with an impassable lower level and an equally
impassable upper level (this is the place for open, democratic
decision-making: a true politics, perhaps).
latter point probably requires a host of new thinking as regards
income: with mechanisation, and so on, the link between work and
income becomes increasingly absurd. Ideas such as Guaranteed Basic
Income, ‘free at the point of use’ social services (an extension
of the Public Library idea), etc, become necessary.
generations might even conclude that a greater part of the economy
could just as well be run on a no-money basis: the economics of love
and friendship replacing the present economics of ownership and
Theft from the Commonweal, the payments of Rents, Dividends and
Interest, and Income inequality, generally, are all corrosive of
individual, community, ecological and global well-being.
is because they all lead to financial and functional inequalities
that are of benefit to no one: rich, poor and middle income humans,
non-human species and global sustainability, alike.
Wilkinson's books, for example, contain relevant epidemiological,
sociological and psychological evidence for such analysis. See, inter
alia, 'Unhealthy Societies', Routledge, London 1997; ‘Mind the
Gap’, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London 2000; and ‘The Impact of
Inequality: How to make sick societies healthier’, The Free Press,
New York and London, 2005.)
Inclusive, co-operative structures – explicitly and demonstrably
operating according to the Statement on The Co-operative Identity
(The International Co-operative Alliance, Manchester 1995) - maximise
local wealth creation, and ensure that prosperity is not only
sustainably created, but is evenly spread: within and between
By working on each of the five mechanisms that create inequality, the
present ‘economics’ of ownership and exploitation might (will?)
one day be replaced by a true economics (‘oikonimos’:
‘the care of the household’), based on the values and practices
of love, care, co-operation, equality, and friendship.
it is clear that, without strategies to ensure 'prosperity, fairly
spread', individual, social and environmental poverty, illness and
degradation will always be with us.
with work to 'build-in' income equality, created by long-lived
wealth-creation and retention structures, sustainable development
becomes truly sustainable:
- A world, in other words, of locally created,
locally determined, internationally-related, globally-responsible
practical co-operation: the economics of truth, peace, love and
The Fair World Project
Halsey Avenue Toronto Ontario Canada M4B 1A7 Now: Flat 10 Coleridge House, 79 Bromley Road, Beckenham, Kent UK BR3 5PA