Those who are mindful are beginning to realize that only an entirely
new operating system can prevent the collapse of civilization. However,
to date, no one has presented such a system. This presentation outlines
a system that has the potential to serve as a viable replacement for
the current paradigm.
Many of us will find that our retirement savings will be substantially eroded. From an organic standpoint, this was to be expected. In nature, it is only prudent to store enough to get through the winter season. Our retirement plans assumed that we could store up decades worth of "nuts" and this is just plain nuts in an organic or natural world -- the world that we will revert to either willingly or unwillingly. Bottom line is that most of us will be working for much of the rest of our lives. Depending on how we structure this work, it can either be pleasant or a hellish experience.
Most of us will not be able to pay for expensive college educations for our children. "Higher" education will have to be restructured and it's about time.
We will be forced to transition away from an energy-intensive lifestyle to one that uses less energy. This will mean smaller and more energy efficient living quarters. It also means that big, inefficient homes will decline -- yes, even further -- in value.
We will shift from an emphasis on financial engineering to sustainable development engineering.
Currently, we are all scrambling to make a living. This scrambling makes it difficult to be bodhisattva-like. We can transition to a system that encourages us to find right livelihoods.
Independence will mean being near our food sources and possibly having our own paradise -- a walled garden.
It makes sense to integrate education, work, and leisure in a comprehensive institution/system that also integrates Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
Where would you rather have your wealth stored? In a fund in which the principles have multiple houses and a big office or in an asset-backed account that is administered by a group of independent scholars that have taken an implicit vow of non-accumulation and sustainable living?
A fitting "post"script:
Right living is no longer the fulfillment of an ethical or religious
demand. For the first time in history the Physical survival of the
human race depends on a radical change of the human heart. However, a
change of the human heart is possible only to the extent that drastic
economic and social changes occur that give the human heart the chance
for change and the courage and the vision to achieve it. [p.9&10]
The following is an excerpt from a Bertrand Russell piece that I linked to in 2005:
The method of a hereditary leisure class without duties was, however, extraordinarily wasteful. None of the members of the class had been taught to be industrious, and the class as a whole was not exceptionally intelligent. The class might produce one Darwin, but against him had to be set tens of thousands of country gentlemen who never thought of anything more intelligent than fox-hunting and punishing poachers. At present, the universities are supposed to provide, in a more systematic way, what the leisure class provided accidentally and as a by-product. This is a great improvement, but it has certain drawbacks. University life is so different from life in the world at large that men who live in an academic milieu tend to be unaware of the preoccupations and problems of ordinary men and women; moreover their ways of expressing themselves are usually such as to rob their opinions of the influence that they ought to have upon the general public. Another disadvantage is that in universities studies are organized, and the man who thinks of some original line of research is likely to be discouraged. Academic institutions, therefore, useful as they are, are not adequate guardians of the interests of civilization in a world where everyone outside their walls is too busy for unutilitarian pursuits.
In some respects I've spent a great deal of time casting about for a Darwin when it is far more practical to cast for "country gentlemen." I'm spending far too much time on the independent contractor side of the equation and not enough on the client side of the equation. I recently took the time to edit a portion of this blog into book form. While it was lovely to see it in book form, the material is only going to appeal to a small portion of the population. By contrast, the concept that has evolved on these "pages" is something that most of the population will find appealing. This should be my focus.
Most people need a hedge against the "economic growth" paradigm. Joining a club that builds only ecologically sound projects is one way to hedge the existing paradigm -- and it is far more comprehensive than any of the carbon offset schemes. Instead of sending your money off to one of the offset schemes and never seeing it again, it makes more sense to deposit the money in a private club account. Utilize it to have access to an eco-spa some time in the future. For those who are placing property in a land trust in order to prevent it from being turned into a sprawling subdivision, it makes far more sense to contribute the land to a club that builds eco-spa villages. The value of your land is credited to your account and you can access it in the future.
There are thousands of potential partners for this effort of growing a club that provides a hedge against the current paradigm. Authors of a wide range of books. Environmental groups. Individuals. Equipment coops such as REI and Mountain Equipment Coop.