It is becoming increasingly evident, to just about everyone by now, that the Economy of the Dominator Era now drawing to a close is neither genuinely "economic" nor actually sustainable for much longer. To use the analogy of the Titanic as I often do to illustrate our present situation, the ship in which we're travelling together has taken on so much water and is listing so badly that even the people on the top decks can no longer pretend that it's unsinkable.
The last ones to admit this, of course, are the people in "first class". They have most to lose, and most of them will do just about anything to prevent anyone around them from revealing the "bad news". It is not, repeat "NOT", a message that they want to hear -- or to have taken seriously by anyone around them. (And there are penalties ...)
There is, of course, quite a mixture of people in the first class compartment of the Titanic. The biggies are the first-class passengers - the super-rich, the "stars", and the owners and managers of the huge corporate structures in the modern world in whose interest everything is really run and done. They share their decks with the captain and most of the officers who control and operate the ship on their behalf. Also on their decks are the chefs, stewards, stewardesses and others who cater to and amuse them. In my analogy these represent the politicians, academics, bureaucrats, professionals, entertainers and salaried workers of all kinds in first-world countries. Last and least, on the upper decks, are the maids, sweepers, cabin-boys/girls and assorted clerks whose services are needed in the first-class section. They're really second and third-class passengers of the ship, but get to spend most of their time on the top decks and enjoy lots of the goods, services and amusements available there.
That last group in my analogy is most important for us, because it's the group that will include most of the readers of my article : We may not be rich or high-up on the social scale, but most of us still manage to live pretty well in the "upper-decks" environment of the global economy. Three- quarters of the world's population are not so fortunate. For those in steerage, the decks are under water, and many are drowning as I write. The third-class compartments have been flooding badly, and people there have been in pretty desperate straights for quite a while. They're struggling to survive or to make their way up to the higher decks, and clearly recognize the personnel in the pay of those "above them" who prevent them from doing so. They're in no confusion about the true nature of the Dominator culture whose power in the form of military and economic force and violence they experience directly, every day.
What's new is that the inrush of water has now reached many parts of the second-class decks, and a lot of those previously very comfortable and undisturbed passengers are now personally and directly experiencing that something is very wrong with their ship. Until recently, all "bad news" about the ship filling with water and in imminent danger of going down were dismissed by this group as "irresponsible talk" and stupid rumours.
As the waters are now beginning to rise under their own feet, lots of "ordinary" people in first- world countries are sensing that some really major events are happening on a global "world-wide" level -- that something big is going down, and that they would be well-advised, to say the least, to make some preparations for a major shift.
From this perspective, the frenzied activities of the various groups preparing for End-of-the-world scenarios come as no surprise. Among these, the right-wing orthodox and fundamentalist movements seek safety in a "return to basics", trying to go back to an earlier time and an earlier faith in authority to take them out of and beyond the present dangers. The various "survivalist" groups seek shelter behind massive barricades by stockpiling food (and often weapons) which they hope will see them through the impending crises. "Spiritualists", charismatic movements, and many "New Agers" look for various forms of "rapture" and "ascension" to "lift them" out of and beyond the ordinary ( read : "lower", inferior, "sinful", and "miserable" ) earth plane. You can think of lots of other examples yourself.
The New-Partnership networks hold and share a very different attitude to what is happening all around us at the present time. We recognize clearly that the Dominator Culture/civilization is in its very last phase. That means that the hierarchical " power and control" aspects of all our mainstream social forms and institutions will "go down" - much as computer systems in the local bank or library "go down" when they become virus-infected, overloaded, or simply lose the power they need to keep them operational.
From the New-Partnership perspective, however, this is no time to retreat to the past, take cover under some grand "authority" old or new, to spin out into some other-worldly "spiritual" hype, or to bury one's head in the sand and try hard to pretend that nothing's happening and everything's going to be OK, somehow. For New-Partnership-oriented people the time of great danger indicates the need for great changes and presents great opportunities for constructive moves-at all levels of human evolutionary activity. That includes specifically also the construction of a whole new "Economy", from a very clear and grounded level of awareness and spiritual consciousness.
And that goes far beyond any manipulation or tinkering with the present Dominator system. While we applaud and support those who are working hard to redistribute essential goods a little more fairly among the passengers of the Titanic, before it goes under, we see this as a humane but necessarily limited "band-aid" approach. New-partnership people are deliberately and very practically beginning a process of massive change and transformation. We recognize that the very ship we are on constitutes the basic tangible resource we have from which to create the new humane and sustainable Economy. Our job, therefore, is one of massive de-construction and re-construction. We're into ripping out planks - and nails, pipes, wires, etc. -- whatever is useful in the old ship, to construct new boats as quickly and carefully as possible to accommodate everyone who is prepared to give a hand and work together when the old ship finally fails all of us.
That work is important, very practical and highly spiritual. It is, in fact, the development and engagement of all the faculties of consciousness and awareness of what is happening and urgently needed at this time. It gives us the opportunity to construct new social forms of "work" and "wealth" in an "Economy" of production and distribution which is genuinely economic and truly sustainable : That means suited to the needs and requirements of all of the human family and all other life forms on our home planet, Gaia, Mother Earth.
There simply isn't the space in a short article like this to present a comprehensive, detailed outline of what these new-partnership economic forms are beginning look like. But I can give you some basic guidelines for their construction, and a couple of examples of what is now being set up : The new-partnership forms of production will be environmentally benign and ecologically sustainable. Moreover they will allow as much automation as we desire and can implement, without the constraint of "putting people out of work", "causing unemployment", and therefore having people "without money" to purchase what they need and want. The old competitive power-game for obtaining money in which there are, necessarily, a few "winners" and a lot of "losers", is on its way out. The hoarding of money and the top-down control of huge financial and corporate enterprises by fewer and fewer (predominantly unbalanced "masculine") individuals will be replaced by very new forms of distribution and accumulation of funds among networks of people in new forms of "economic units".
Such new-partnership economic forms are beginning to take shape now, both in small and in very large-scale units. At the small end of the scale are the new-partnership intentional communities, such as those now being developed by Aluna and similarly oriented networks. In those, the objective is for a group of people to own and manage their own land, manage their own resources, and provide themselves with the affective personal relationships that human beings need to feel recognized, appreciated and loved. At the large end of the scale, large numbers of people are linking together through electronic means of communication and particularly the Internet. In this way they can pool their resources and create world-wide ventures for their common "economic" interests, in alignment with Mother Nature and the needs of our planet.
It is a specific feature of the new-partnership ventures that the old Dominator "power hierarchy" is replaced by what Abraham Maslow and others have named the "actualization hierarchy". Requirements for participation meet the tests for genuine democracy -- very different from the liberal capitalist forms which now prevail in the so-called "democratic" countries around the world. In both cases it is important that only small investments are required for entry, so that ordinary people at the "grass-roots level" are able to participate.
Moreover the New-Partnership forms are not pyramid-shaped schemes or structures, at either end of the scale. At the local level, cooperative communities are structured and operate as true democracies. At the global level, in world-wide networks of such New-Partnership economic ventures, it is important that entry is continuously available to anyone - unlike "pyramid-organizations" in which people joining "early" get in at the "top" of everyone else.
I personally visualize these new forms as growing crystalline structures, or fractals, in holographic never-ending expansion and unfoldment of cooperative economic collectives.
In order to be able to participate in new-partnership ventures, a clear capability of TRUST is most essential : moving from the trust that comes from BELIEF in some person or authority outside of themselves (as we have been taught in the old Dominator culture), to a deep confidence in one's own capacity to make sense of what is genuinely useful and appropriate for each person. That means learning/discovering basic trust first in one's Self and one's own whole-body-intelligence; and from that the confidence in one's own inherent capacities to determine what is appropriate and hence useful and "good" for oneself, one's family, one's neighbours far and near, and one's whole environment.
Many people may well find it too time-consuming or too difficult to comprehend huge new-partnership economic groupings, technically, "in mathematical detail". That doesn't differ much from their lack of technical comprehension of the workings of the old Dominator "Economy" in which people work as "labour units", and its banking system in which they deposit their money now. Most people do not understand those either. What is fundamentally involved here is a "transfer of trust" -- from the old system, which tends to treat most people as pawns, to a new "partnership" economic form in which people participate as mutually supportive partners in a cooperative enterprise. The Dominator culture ranks people; the New-Partnership culture will link people.
The "transfer of trust" thus operates at many levels : It literally involves the transfer of one's funds, energies and resources of various kinds, into a different form of "investment"; and, at the most basic level, it means the transfer of one's confidence -- the fundamental feeling of human TRUST -- out of the old Dominator Culture and its institutions and into one's Self, one's higher knowing, and one's connections with other, equal, human/spiritual beings in the new-partnership "economic networks".
It is in particularly in such cooperative communities and networks that we can learn to practice and develop our abilities of INNER TRUST, which are potential capacities inherent in every human being. They give us powerful opportunities to follow our own innate "knowing" and inner guidance as it relates to practical and tangible human affairs, collectively, in "New-partnership businesses". In this way we can effectively put our energies -- in all sorts of forms and varieties -- into activities and directions which are genuinely useful for us. After that, "by their fruits shall you know them", or, more prosaically, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". What counts -- "at the end of the day", as the Kiwis like to say -- are the results that are actually and tangibly experienced by those involved : not at the end of one's life or in some promised "hereafter", but in terms of the time that one might reasonably expect between sowing seed and reaping a harvest.
Furthermore, as is evident from the literature, there is much more to such networks of people than the money produced for its members and the products that are and increasingly will be available to them in such ventures : they are all people-based initiatives to get communication, involvement, and relationship "facilitated" among new-partnership-oriented human beings.
Acting at the local level, small groups of people such as those in the Network For a New Culture and the Aluna clan in America, for instance, are in the process of starting new-partnership intentional communities at the present time. Although large new-partnership economic models at the global level have appeared only very recently, their tangible results are already evident and the networks are growing rapidly. ( I suggest you have a close look at www.biglotto.com , for instance , as a new sort of global 'credit union' with its own 'green dollar' system to get away from the dominant and dominating 'hard currencies' which hold most of the world's populations in thrall. )
Social projects, particularly care and assistance for orphaned and otherwise severely disadvantaged children, need to be sponsored and tangibly underway within this network -- not merely as "charities" as they were regarded and funded in the old system, but as intrinsic parts of this form of new economic partnership. Forums for sharing and discussion of spiritual/ economic/ business issues are well underway on the Internet. A vast new-partnership economic movement is just beginning.
(c) March 1998 Ayran Aluna
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