Taking notes 28: The next step for digital currency

by Charles Eisenstein: Today’s national and supranational currencies have become a blight on this planet. Created through interest-bearing debt, controlled by financial elites, tracked by the surveillance state, and necessitating endless growth, money as we know it is a primary agent of inequality, injustice, and ecocide. What to do? One response is to attempt to transform the money system; another is to create alternatives that may supplant it when, as is inevitable, the present system stops working. The most famous of these alternatives is the digital currency Bitcoin. It was designed to mimic gold in both its sourcing and its … Continue reading Taking notes 28: The next step for digital currency

Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

by Daniel Pinchbeck At last, we have reached the end of the classic Mayan Long Count calendar, the 5,125-year cycle that ended on December 21st of last year. The mainstream media has, predictably, used the occasion to ridicule the straw man they irresponsibly helped to set up: That this was a doomsday threshold, as silly as Y2K. At the same time, the worst and best predictions of alternative theorists ranging from Graham Hancock to Paul LaViolette to Jose Arguelles, Terence McKenna, John Major Jenkins, David Wilcock, and Carl Johan Calleman have failed to materialize. Apparently, a galactic superwave is not … Continue reading Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

Wise capitalism?

by Tom Atlee Wisdom involves taking into account the larger truths about what is and why it is that way — and then living into that understanding in one’s everyday actions. When I speak of ‘wise capitalism’, I’m not speaking of wise business.  I’m speaking of the ideology and economic system of capitalism maturing into awareness of what’s happening in the world and its role in that, and having that understanding transform it into a higher form of its own being. The businesses within it may or may not be wise, themselves.  But they will behave in wiser ways because … Continue reading Wise capitalism?

Economics, happiness, and life-coherent societies

by Jeff Noonan In a 2007 report on the environmental and economic impact of intensified exploitation of the Alberta Oil Sands, then Chief Economist of the Toronto Dominion Bank, Don Drummond, re-affirmed orthodox economics’ faith in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of economic performance. “Gross Domestic Product,” he wrote, is the best available indicator of the overall health of the …economy, as it measures the market value of the goods and services produced.” [1] I begin with this example because the oil sands, at current global oil prices, are both hugely profitable and massively environmentally destructive. [2]  GDP … Continue reading Economics, happiness, and life-coherent societies

Anarchist economics

by Uri Gordon  It cannot be enough to criticize capitalism, even from a distinctly anarchist point of view. Nor will it do to merely construct models of free and equal economic arrangements, no matter how inspiring and realistic. In addition to these, the discussion of anarchist economics must also involve a look at ways of getting from here to there. In other words, it requires that we examine anarchist economics in terms of concrete, present-day practices and assess their role within the more general context of anarchist revolutionary strategy. In this chapter I attempt to initiate such a discussion, by … Continue reading Anarchist economics

A new age of reason

by Ali Shehzad Zaidi There is no better time, in this age of global warming and mass extinction of species, to rediscover the liberating thought of Thomas Paine, which recalls that of mystics and poets of many ancient cultures. In his iconoclastic The Age of Reason, published in 1794, Paine transfers the locus of the sacred from religious texts to the material Book of Nature, since “it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man” (Age 29). With these words, Paine anticipates the emergent romanticism of his times by envisioning … Continue reading A new age of reason

The Tao of economics

by Geoff Davies In the tropical forests of Central America are great stone temples and monuments, remnants of the Mayan civilisation that collapsed over a thousand years ago.  We can never know exactly why the Mayan civilisation collapsed, but some of the main factors were probably shifting climate, over-exploitation of natural resources, warfare and internal rivalries.  However a telling observation is that the grandest temples were built just before the final collapse.  It is not uncommon that the grandest accomplishments of a past society came just before a precipitous decline.  This pattern indicates the society was busy, right to the … Continue reading The Tao of economics

Life after capitalism

by Michael Albert “Most everybody I see knows the truth but they just don’t know that they know it.” — Woody Guthrie The British Victorian liberal thinker John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) tells us that we… are not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each other’s heels which form the existing type of social life are the most desirable lot of human beings. The American social critic Noam Chomsky says he … would … Continue reading Life after capitalism

A Marxian interpretation of the economic crisis

by Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff Two different and contending mainstream theories have explained capitalism’s repeated crises over the last century. Each time each theory proposed correspondingly different solutions. Today’s crisis is no exception. One theory—called, after one of its founders, “Keynesian economics”—claims that unregulated private markets inevitably yield price movements that react back on the decisions of businesses, workers, and consumers to produce out-of-control price spirals. These periodically push the economy into inflations, recessions, or even depressions. Without intervention from outside, capitalism’s private economy may remain depressed or inflated long enough to threaten capitalism itself. Keynesian—or now more generally … Continue reading A Marxian interpretation of the economic crisis

A new form of activism

by Douglas Rushkoff As highly corporatized people, it’s only natural for those of us interested in addressing our social and environmental rehabilitation to do so from within our roles as employees, consumers, and maybe shareholders. We rarely relate to one another very directly as it is, so it’s a bit much to expect us to engage together in a pursuit as foolhardy as the reinstatement of the social fabric. Instead, like corporations, we tend to prefer to express our charitable and community impulses from afar. Lord knows there are plenty of people who need our help, and their advocates seem … Continue reading A new form of activism