Just when we are facing massive challenges that will grow over the next 100 years, when we need vision, consensus and effective action, we seem incapable of imagining, let alone building a better future.
Our current form of capitalism and its domination of a weak civil society distorts our world view and stops us fixing structural problems. Greed and competition, supposedly inevitable, are by an invisible hand, somehow expected to deliver good outcomes. Our political institutions seem designed to bring out the worst in us, encouraging conflict, whilst out of sight they become insider clubs where democracy is quietly subverted, and influence bought. Party interest and discipline stifle thinking. After winning control parties use the state to do things too us not with us, all to be undone by the next administration. No wonder there is a paralysing mix of populist anger alongside distrust and disengagement.
This couldn’t be more different to what we know works. Science is showing us that cooperation is the driver of evolution and that it is natural for human beings to work collaboratively. It increasingly uses systems thinking and multi-disciplinary approaches. The best businesses know that involvement generates commitment, they encourage teams and facilitate groups for creativity. All around us people are just collaborating in co-operatives and social enterprises, there are many exciting experiments in democracy. Solutions abound, but they usually go un-noticed.
In this ebook I argue that we design and build a Holistic Political Economy (HoPE). Firstly, I explore what we are learning about ourselves, and how we work best together. I spell out the political implications, the different story it implies and the vison it makes possible. Secondly, I look at the reality of power and change. I work out what that means for practical politics and the work needed to bring HoPE into being.
HoPE is well within our capabilities, it can only be brought about peacefully and it starts from where we are now. It will not happen by chance, but if we assert our citizenship, demand HoPE and act, it can be done.