Economic Systems Can Change
Throughout the human journey, economic systems have changed. This is a normal (yet chaotic!) event. We are at the end of the industrial/consumer economy and moving into the knowledge/service/caring economy. It's time to be proactive, expand the rules for this new economy and create the solutions we need for the 21st century.
WE HAVE A CHOICE
We have a choice. We can keep complaining about greed, fraud, and cutthroat business practices. We can put up with the daily stress of unsuccessfully juggling jobs and family. We can tell ourselves there's nothing we can do about policies that damage our natural environment, create huge gaps between haves and have-nots, and lead to untold suffering. Or we can join together to help construct a saner, sounder, more caring economics and culture. ~ Riane Eisler
We’ve spent the last 5,000 years largely under the dominator system and built an economic system that perpetuates these values. We need to examine the reality that the dominator economy has wreaked havoc on human and natural systems. Everything seems to be in collapse—half the world’s population lives in poverty, air/land/water are under siege, animal population extinctions are increasing by the year, and wars rage throughout the world. Half the United States budget is now spent on war. How much longer can this go on? Isn’t it time for a new economy?
It’s time for a new economy:
Full Spectrum Economy
Based on the ideas outlined in The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics, the next phase of the human journey can be a shift from the domination system prevailing over the last 10,000 years to a partnership system. This lays the foundation for a Caring Economics.
Eisler's work--from the Chalice and the Blade all the way up to The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics has meticulously documented the history of the human journey and how systems have changed over time. Change is the natural order of life--and today we have a choice that has never been possible before--we can examine our history, see what has worked, what hasn't and then design a system that works for all.
Can't we do better than this? Yes, we can!
A little history of where we've been---
As artifacts show, our species has been in existence for a very long time -- functioning in small tribal villages and supporting each other. These ways of living were generally successful. As proof, we’re here! If these ways of living were not successful, we would not be here today.
The tribal economy was primarily based on cooperation and support. It was the earliest "caring economy," and it was necessary for survival. These were not ideal societies, but they show that we can live in greater harmony with one another and nature.
Then, around 10,000 years ago, these tribal groups began to farm. Farming and the security of sufficient and consistently available food enabled the rise of larger populations living in permanent locations. However, contrary to popular beliefs that farming brought warfare, the archaeological record indicates that for thousands of years these early agrarian communities lived in relative peace. Catal Huyuk in Turkey, for example, lasted a thousand years with no signs of war.
But then there was a dramatic shift that Riane Eisler documents in The Chalice and The Blade, Sacred Pleasure, and other books, using the work of many scholars. We begin to see archeological evidence of incursions from nomadic tribes who brought a very different way of life. In Europe, we see for the first time “chieftain graves” with sacrificed women, children, and horses buried with a large male skeleton. We also see the gradual disappearance of female figures in the art, figures typically associate with life-giving, as well as images such as those of Minoan Crete of women in positions of leadership. Instead, we see the glorification of warriors, chieftains, and kings, with images showing battles and “hallowed leaders” lording it over their “subjects.”
This was the start of dominator economics as tribes and later city-states sought to secure their place while eliminating others who threatened them. Eventually the Industrial Revolution took over, but it too was heavily based on domination values. Today, the mix of high technology with an ethos of domination and conquest is threatening not only environmental devastation, but destruction through nuclear or biological weaponry.
The old "normal" is not sustainable.