Just when we are facing massive challenges that will grow over the next 100 years, we find ourselves incapable of building consensus and taking effective action.
The problem is the way our current form of capitalist democracy has turned out. Parties lack vision and ambition. Vested interests pervert democracy. Plutocrats buy elections. Demagogues stir up old animosities. Party whips stifle independent thinking. Party interests work against collaboration. We believe in an invisible hand, where good will somehow come from individual greed and competition. People are duped, solutions are implemented regardless of whether they actually work and they are done to us not with us. No wonder there is widespread anger, distrust and disengagement with politics. The fabric of civil society and our ability to deal with problems, or imagine and build a better future has been impaired.
We can fix this in a sustainable way; lets call it holistic political economy (HoPE). Science is showing us that cooperation is a driver of evolution and that it is natural for human beings to work collaboratively. The best businesses know that involvement generates commitment and that groups work better than individuals. All around us people are just getting on with it in co-ops, social enterprises and other forms of organisation. There are many exciting experiments in democracy. The solutions are out there but they need to become joined up, scaled up and rolled out.
In this ebook I explore firstly what we are learning about ourselves, and how we work best together. I then look at the implications for political economy and how an equitable, democratic and sustainable future can be brought into being fully engaging with the practicalities of power and change. I make two very specific proposals which will help get things moving.
This better future is possible, within our capabilities and can be brought about peacefully, starting from where we are now, but it will not happen by chance. So this is also a call to action; assert your citizenship, demand HoPE and act.