1. The United States is already in decline and will soon face an economic and social collapse of some magnitude.
2. The global economic system is stressed to the maximum by wealth disparity. Soon (though no one knows when) we will see massive revolution.
My own belief is we’re facing the potential of both events happening. And yet, I don’t expect them to be foregone conclusions survivalists or members of Transition Towns think. Even if they do happen, it will happen slowly, meaning there will be time to avert the worst of such scenarios. While people are preparing for the worst, there are others wondering what comes next after capitalism.
Some people are working under the impression that alternatives could emerge well before capitalism is done for. Sacha Stone’s New Earth Project, Charles Eisenstein’s, Sacred Economics, Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) and Gar Alperovitz‘ work on Coops, are all notable efforts to discover what’s next for the US and the world.
At first starting Copiosis, I looked at these movements with envy. All these movements have large numbers of followers and fantastic web presence.
- Sacha’s organization proposes what appears to be utopian enclaves separate from the status quo, and yet immersed in it. The imagery his team uses to promote their ideals is high concept and beautiful. No wonder people have flocked to what they’re proposing. The New Earth Project ran an indiegogo project that did quite poorly, raising less than 10 percent of their $150,000 target. That doesn’t mean a whole lot as crowd funding projects can fail for many reasons. There’s a lot to ogle about The New Earth Project and what it proposes. I find it light on details, but love that they have and continue to generate vigorous conversation on their Facebook page.
- Charles Eisenstein’s work appears more human scaled. People literally are in love with not only what he’s doing, but what he says. There is a resonance of truth to his assertion that humanity is a spiritually connected One and that we have accepted an economics that creates the illusion of separation where there is none leading to the troubles we face today. I agree with this of course. What I find difficult about Charles’ work is there is no concrete idea about how to actually create the end-state he speaks about. Still, the pictures he paints of us working together are compelling, clearly sincere and come from his heart. It’s no wonder his followers hang on his every word.
- TZM has been around since 2008. I had never heard of it before starting Copiosis. Their beliefs seem in parallel with the Technocratic movement of the early 20th century. A quote from Wikipedia:
Movement members say the current socioeconomic system is structurally corrupt and needs to be replaced with a system based on efficient and careful use of resources through the technological potential of sustainable development. The Zeitgeist Movement advocates the implementation of renewable energy and computerized, automatic systems world wide in order to collect, process, and distribute equally the necessities of life, such as food and shelter, transportation, recreation, and so forth.
- The Zeitgeist movement by its messaging appears to be anti-religion. That does not bode well considering the vast majority of people on the planet believe in a higher power of some sort. Like Charles’ work, TZM appears to have no transition plan taking the world (or the US for that matter) from today to their ideal vision.
- Gar’s work, I believe is by far the most practical. His position that cooperatives are the best place for people to become practiced at democracy. Armed with that experience, they can then do something to govern themselves beyond capitalist-based systems. I like this claim because there already are tons of cooperative organizations out there. It’s something we’re familiar with. My credit union is a kind of co-op and it’s one of the best financial institutions in the country. The transition seems to plague all movements looking to make change in the world. I don’t see a clear transition path in Gar’s work either. Admittedly, I haven’t researched it very thoroughly.
This post isn’t meant as a critique of alternative systems and ideas. Rather, I’m writing this post to praise these movements. Every one of them have become immensely successful in generating supporters for their causes, despite what I believe is a common challenge of all of them: a clear transition path.
What if these movements serve another purpose? Charles speaks a lot about interconnectedness. What if all these movements serve to warm people up to the idea that an alternative to the status quo is possible? Each in its own way is showing hundreds, thousands of people that it may be possible to live on the planet without having to earn a living, without government, and without the problems that come as natural byproducts of capitalist economies. That’s a good thing.
Of course, here at Copiosis we have a transition plan ready. We are, in fact, implementing that plan today. We have no idea our plan will work. Already it is working faster than we imagined. That’s a good thing.
To existing movements in our ecosystem, we say keep up the good work.