The Great Turning from Empire to Earth Community. Joanna Macy curates a blog “The Great Turning” which provided me with some great thinking. As a society we are beginning another change. We started as hunter gatherers, moved through the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, the information age and now are moving toward earth community. This will instigate a change to a greener, more bucolic lifestyle, a major upheaval in the monetary system and sensible automation.
Hunter Gatherer Stage
Back in the day when we were hunters and gatherers, we needed to move constantly to follow our food. Animals migrated and fruit and grain ripened in different places and times. There was a balance of sorts and the human population was pegged at whatever our patch could support.
Then, some bright spark realised that if we planted grains the animals etc would come to us and we would not need to follow them – maybe he or she had sore feet! This led to the agricultural revolution. People cropped, tamed animals and lived in one place – this was a massive paradigm change – but it worked.
Populations increased as we increased the production of the land.
All progressed smoothly with the exception of a few border squabbles until another bright spark in England had the idea of using machines powered by water and steam to make things. Thus was born the factory. This single thought totally turned society on its head – again. Cities expanded and people were being PAID to make things rather than making them for themselves. The biggest change was that the production line came into being with each person just making his or her part of the whole rather than the whole item. Thus was born the Industrial Revolution.
Each of these changes totally upset the established order of the time. We are undergoing the early stages of yet another major stage of our evolution.
The Information Age
The invention of the computer is really only a natural extension of the factory – BUT – it enables machines that were being controlled by people, to be controlled by other smarter machines. Add this automation to runaway science which is increasing the rate of change by rapid development and you have two effects.
1. Increasing pollution from waste products and
2. a very rapid mechanisation of our lives
Pollution is a result of inefficient manufacturing. In time these wastes will be tamed and become raw materials for some other process and the dirty processes like fission and fusion power will be replaced by cleaner and more efficient ways.
This is the danger period. We must clean up our act before the planet is poisoned and future generations are given an insurmountable challenge. We are close to a tipping point with global warming – this is only the first of the upsets we will experience unless we take notice of what we are doing.
The other side of the Information age is that affordability is better than it has ever been.
In every change the “establishment” have been unable to change. The new paradigm confuses them and they cannot see how to maintain their comfort and status in the new world. They resist and that resistance causes hardship for the masses. Strangely, the masses also resist change and so bring hardship upon themselves.
The key change here is money. It is on the way out and this causes great fear.
What people do not realise is that the very act of resisting change is what gives us the difficulty. The change is bigger than any nation or group of nations and WILL occur. Of that there is no doubt – the smart people are watching the change and working with it. It is then helping them just as it will steamroller the dinosaurs resisting it.
Automation done properly and ethically is a very great thing. It will allow people to spend time doing the important things in life. They will have the basics provided as a given – those that want more will be able to get more by doing more. The emphasis of life will totally change from economic survival to self fulfilment.
Political / Monetary Structure
Both communism and democracy as we know them today are really only dictatorship by committee serving the big money interests. Money is a definite necessity in our current and past existence. It provides a means of achievement for all.
In the future I believe that we will head to a more level rather than hierarchical society. Imagine just how fast our social and technological development can occur when the basics of life are a given not a commodity. Competition between people will change to competition with ourselves to improve our personal best.
I will be writing more on this theme. There are ways to recognise the components of the change and take advantage of it. They are becoming clearer.