The Power of We

Blog Action Day

The Power of We

We are an amazing power.
We are able to understand anything given sufficient time and incentive.
We have the power to create radical abundance, radical security, radical freedom.

It seems that evolution has taken some 3 billion years to take a semi random walk through possibility space from replicating RNA molecules to cells, to cells with nuclei and cellular organelles to multi-celled entities to all life we see on this planet – including us. The randomness is provided by mutation and external circumstance.
The non randomness by differential survival of variants giving natural selection.

We seem to be something rather unusual in forms of life, in that our very large and very complex brains come with very little genetically controlled responses, so we are able to learn patterns of behaviour from our peers (we call it culture), and adapt those patterns rapidly if situations require it.

It seems that the awareness that all reading this enjoy of self and our existence in time and space is a result of language.
It seems that language is crucial to most of what we recognise as human behaviour.

It seems that we are creatures of pattern at many different levels.
It seems that we are able to create new levels of pattern, if we make the required distinctions and have appropriate incentives.

Throughout most of our recorded history, money and markets have served us well, in giving us a mechanism to create new levels of abundance from scarcity.
Markets, and their tool money, are fundamentally founded on the notion of scarcity, and are great tools for allocating scarce resources.
This process has allowed us to develop amazing technologies.

It seems that we now have developed technologies that give us the potential to create radical abundance for all.
We have built such automated things as the Google self driving car.
It is now perfectly conceivable that we could build and program a set of machines that could build and maintain themselves, and produce a range of goods and services for human beings.
If it took one such set of machines 2 weeks to make a copy of itself, then within two years we could give one to every person on the planet.

This creates a fundamental conflict.

For thousands of years, thinking in terms of money, and market valuations, has served us well in getting scarce resources to where they are most effectively used.

But markets cannot deal with abundance.

A market must always value real abundance at zero, as no one is willing to trade anything of value for something that is so abundant that they already have all they need.

If you doubt that, then consider oxygen in the air. It is certainly the most valuable thing for the maintenance of human life, yet it has no monetary value, because it is abundant.

This brings forth the great dilemma.

Our modern world is built upon economic systems, and monetary valuations.

We have the power to create abundance, freedom, and security for all humanity (no exceptions) but the very existence of such abundance undermines the entire concept of money and markets.

No market is ever going to deliver that sort of radical abundance.

So we appear to have come to a point in our development where we, as individuals, have the option and the ability to do something very different from what we have done in the past, and to choose to create radical abundance, security, and freedom.
Doing so, will necessarily require us to rethink all of our control systems, laws and institutions, that are currently built upon concepts embedded in the ideas of money and markets.

We have the power to deliver that sort of freedom and abundance to all.

The current economic system is delivering the prospect of austerity – the exact opposite of abundance and freedom and security.

We have a real alternative, which is to go beyond the ideas of money and markets, beyond our laws and institutions, and to deliver abundance, freedom and security to all.

Will we choose to exercise that power.

I am doing my little bit to answer – YES!

How about you?


About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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2 Responses to The Power of We

  1. debyemm says:

    Ted, I’ve learned my lessons from you well. Your sharing with me about markets and their influence on our lives informed some of my thinking, on my own Blog Action Day offering for 2012 “Yes, WE can do it!!” ( The producer of food products, due to a profit-driven, market approach has every incentive to put reducing the cost of goods sold, above the healthy welfare of the people who are consuming these damaging products, widely distributed within the global food supply. Food-like substances which have been altered – especially since the 1970s – so much that they are real threat to all of us, even to our survival as a species.

    I love your thinking, Ted, about how to create a world that works for us all. In some way, my optimism believes that – your vision will have a real impact, on a better future, and that is even within reach today, as you point out.



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