The fourth and fifth part of David's book center on evolving a new story for our economy. The old story is about greed, usurious practices and unlimited growth. 

Now, what is your story for a new kind of economy? How does it look? Which values do you feel should be embodied in this new economy? Are there already examples of this?

I really like focusing on change. The old system is rotten and crumbling. How can we build a new and better one? Take  your time to reflect on this. 5,000 years of Empire cannot be undone with the stroke of a pen. We need to develop new patterns of thought on economy, cooperation, spirituality, politics, and the like.


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The Great Problem
Wendell Berry

The great obstacle may be not greed but the modern hankering after glamour.

A lot of our smartest, most concerned people want to come up with a big solution to a big problem. I don't think that planet-saving, if we take it seriously, can furnish employment to many such people.

When I think of the kind of worker the job requires, I think of Dorothy Day (if one can think of Dorothy Day herself, separate from the publicity that came as a result of her rarity), a person willing to go down and down into the daunting, humbling, almost hopeless local presence of the problem--to face the great problem one small life at a time.

Source: Sex Economy Freedom and Community

Dorothy Day (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980) was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert; she advocated the Catholic economic theory of Distributism. She was also considered to be an anarchist, and did not hesitate to use the term. In the 1930s, Day worked closely with fellow activist Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker movement, a nonviolent, pacifist movement that continues to combine direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf. - wIkipedia

Are (new) patterns developed, or realized/seen?

To Serve Is To Live: Envisioning An Old Economy
- In response to, "What Would A New Economy Look Like?"

(please note, I do not speak for any of the organizations which I will now use as examples; I speak only for me)

‎"Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found 
we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always 
followed spiritual progress; it never preceded." - Bill Wilson 

"He who looks Outside dreams; he who looks Within awakens." - Dr. Carl Jung

Trying to create an efficient system with defective parts is to dream. 
Using unified, wholesome parts, an efficient system is realized. 

How does a society go - in 36 realizations - from "greedy bankers" to "trusted servants?" 

12 steps to security: Awakening of the Individual
12 steps to Unity: Awakening of the Individual in Relation to its Whole
12 steps to Service: The New Economy Realized

The organization known as Alcoholics Anonymous has grown from two to 2.5 million members in 75 years. How? One person at a time, helping others not by giving, but by giving and receiving. Some members kill themselves, while some members help others, not by doing for another what he/she can do for him/herself, but by sharing how they were liberated. This organization has lead by example, and now there are over 200  different "twelve step" groups. Some of these other groups die (kill themselves), while others live. 

There are 36 guiding principles. They're not new. They're just a new Expression (of Truth). "I Am Responsible," is their declaration, while Al-Anon's declaration is "Let It Begin With Me," which is not in conflict with many members expressing, "this is a We program." "I am responsible" suggests that I look at me, and trust You to look at you (even if I don't prefer the choices you make). One of the co-founders suggests, in their "Service Manual," that one "lead by example; don't drive by mandate." 

These principles are "practiced," until - or unless - they (maybe as a result of practice, maybe as a result of Grace) are integrated - when one is, as Jung would say, individuated. 

Using their model as example, a new - old - economy may look like this:

12 Steps to Security 

1. I'm f*****. The world and its economic system is for s***. I'm a dead man....
2. No, wait, maybe My way isn't The way! What a revelation!
3. I'll try to do what has worked for those who Experience security!
4. I'll take stock, I'll inventory myself!
5. I'll show my inventory to someone who Is secure, and listen to what he sees in it.
6. Can I see how attached I was to My system - of thought and action - that didn't work?
7. "I know that I don't know." - Socrates
8. What a wake I've left behind me. Must tend to this.
9. I seek to create equanimity where I've, through my misperception, caused ripples: I'll "sweep my side of the street."
10. This new system is no quick fix. I'll inventory (observe) myself daily now.
11. Instead of looking for the right economic system, I'll listen for it.
12. O my God, I'm experiencing security! Now I WANT to do steps 10 and 11 daily. Why did this self-inquiry once seem like so much work?

...but wait, our new/old system has only just begun to blossom...

12 Traditions to Unity

1. "Personal progress for the greatest number depends upon Unity."* Man, life is great. Hey, not everyone sees that. Wow, there are a lot of everyones. What is my role in this whole?
2. Vox populi, vox dei -  "The voice of the people [is] the voice of God", is an old proverb. - wikipedia. "Our leaders are but trusted servants - they do not govern."*
3. Anyone who chooses can be a part of this society and system; and if they choose not to be, that's great too. For those who care to participate, "we all have a seat at the table." 
4. The glorious paradox of Autonomy... Each separate unit (family, work, bankers, drivers on the road etc) is autonomous, and can do what they - as trad 2 suggests - decide; provided that it does not affect another group or our society/system as a whole. 
5. Each cell, each group has a single-pointed purpose: to serve. We do this by practicing the steps ourselves (leading by example), by encouraging and understanding others, and by welcoming and giving comfort to those who are suffering.
6. Let's not "endorse, finance, or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary aim."*
7. Every cell, every group "ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions." I am, after all, responsible, so no need for a bail out. If a business cannot sustain itself, its business will, naturally, change. 
8. Our service to others "should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers."*
9. "Our groups, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve."*
10. Let's "have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy." * As individuals we have opinions, but as a whole, let's not have this Whole express an opinion, and thus speak for the individuals. 
11. "Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV."* And by anonymity (literally, without name) we mean none of us will be a spokesman for the organization, claiming that he/she is the keeper of the flame. The person writing this essay, for instance, does not claim any of this as the Truth of any 12 step organizations, but rather as merely his expression of the truth these organizations point to; and he suggests you do not take his word for anything.
12. "Anonymity is the... foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities." * I see that I am both an individual (personality) with a glorious part to play, as well as part of the whole (principle); I no longer have to choose (neither fearing for my security as an Individual cut off from the whole, nor as an absence of self who functions as a pale automaton), as I see Both. I am both separate - uniquely special -, and essentially whole. 

* Asterisks here and below denote quotes from a particular 12-step literature

...Sounds like bliss. Surely that's all there is to it: just let go, right? 
Well, after the letting go, there's the picking up (the "practical" stuff, what might be seen as the "new economy," but which needed the preceding foundation), but picking up with non attachment, which is far mire efficient than the old economic system that leads - via attachment - to greedy bankers and fearful protestors.
So one final more leg of this triangle...

12 Concepts to Serve 

1. The ultimate responsibility and authority for services belongs to the groups themselves. "We, the people...."
2. The groups delegate complete administrative and operational authority to the Conference and its service arms. The Conference is to be made up of Delegates and members of Headquarters (see below). Each Delegate represents a certain Area, which is made up of multiple Districts. Each District Rep Represents multiple Groups. Each Group Rep represents each group. No Group has to choose a Group Rep, but each Group, or cell,  is encouraged to participate (by choosing a Group Rep, one is connected to the whole; no one even needs to participate in a group, as this is not about agreement or promotion, but merely attraction). Each group Rep, District Rep, and Delegate is chosen by a 2/3 majority vote - this allows the Rep to not be stifled by a 51% victory but with that predictable conflict that will ensue. If, during election, no candidate receives a 2/3 majority vote, the the top 2/3 of the candidates voted on are voted on again, until... If there is no clear 2/3 majority winner, but two remaining, one of the two names are drawn from a hat. Seriously. Just like Tradition 2, "The voice of the people [is] the voice of God." No conflict then ensues, as the voice of God is then speaking through the hat. Who says an election can't be fun?
3. "The Right of Decision makes effective leadership possible."* I trust my trusted servants to make decisions according to their conscience. My agreement or disagreement is beside the point.
4. "Participation is the key to harmony."* Agreement is not the key, participation is. As the voice of the people is the voice of God. Participate or don't; either way is fine, as there is a "group conscience" either way. "Decisions are made by those who show up."
5. "The rights of appeal and petition protect minorities and insure that they be heard."* To create this harmony, we serve others, meaning we are receptive to them: we hear them out. Now, having heard them, do we wish to change our minds on our decision? Regardless, the minority vote experiences the peace of being fully heard, as their view is valid, which does not mean that it needs to be acted upon. 
6. "The Conference acknowledges the primary administrative responsibility of the Trustees."* .
7. "The trustees have legal rights while the rights of the Conference are traditional."* Checks and balances.
8. "The Board of Trustees delegates full authority for routine management of Headquarters to its executive committees."* There is a pattern of delegation, which implies trust (letting go), that is emerging here, which dissolves any "us" versus "them" fear. 
9. "Good personal leadership at All service levels is a necessity."* And a Board of Trustees assumes the primary leadership. "Good leadership cannot function well in a poorly designed structure. Weak leadership can hardly function at all, even in the best of structures."* So this system is not static, but dynamic!
10. "Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority and double-headed management is avoided."* I will be responsible to clarify what I am asking for of others. And I will be responsible to ask for clarification from others if I am asked to do something that I do not fully understand.
11. Headquarters "is composed of selected committees, executives, and staff members."*
12. The foundation for services includes that:
    A. "only sufficient operating funds, including an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle."*
    B. "no Conference member shall be placed in unqualified authority over other members."*
    C. "all decisions be reached by discussion, vote and, whenever possible, by unanimity."*
    D. "no Conference action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy."* If those who choose to not participate attack the organization as a whole, we listen. Perhaps we can learn something. Same goes for those who do participate - we serve by being receptive, which is not a choice, but flows naturally as a result of the first 24 principles.
    E. "though the Conference serves the whole, it shall never perform any act of government, and that, like the groups it serves, it shall always remain democratic in thought and action." 


If we wish to change any of these principles, "we" may do so. It requires a 3/4 majority vote by All of the members of All of the groups. 

None of the above is to suggest "we" (here meaning "all of us") should use this system. It is enough that some already do; that "some" always have (see any spiritual text); what need to reinvent the wheel? This "system" does not end conflict; it allows one to see conflict for what it truly is - glorious opportunity. Each moment's an opportunity to serve.

To implement an economic system before the parts are made whole, and unified, is to dream of efficiency, and can only "succeed" temporarily; and there is no success without failure. The economic system above sees beyond success and failure. Each part which realizes its own efficiency, and unifies with the whole, leads by example. This is nothing new. This has always happened. Right now, this moment, this - and other - efficient economic system(s) is used by many; they are our true leaders. You may or may not be aware of them. 

About 2500 years ago, Lao-tzu realized,


If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The Master leads
by emptying people's minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.

- Tao Te Ching 

Liberated from attachment, an efficient economic system, one realizes, reveals itself. Until liberation, man will continue to seek an efficient economic  system. 
Both realization and seeking are natural. It seems you can't go "wrong" if you tried.

Greed, hoarding, are natural, and have no end in this world. Its "polar opposite" too,  exists is this world, without end. To seek greed's end is to be naturally seeking. To fear compassion's (greed's opposite's) end is this same natural seeking: a play of opposites. The sleeping man seeks one, renounces the other. The waking man sees them both, experiences both, and is unattached to them both. Every day I wake, and sleep, for this too is as it is, not as it "should" be; not as it is "hoped" to be.

The root of the verb "to serve" is "to hear," as in to receive, be receptive, open, vulnerable. In this realization giving-and-receiving cease to be two "things," and are seen as they truly are - in their glorious polarity - as one circuit. 

An efficient economic system will be sought; unless it is realized. 

The above expression of truth is symbolized as Triangle (parts/36 principles) and Circle (whole).

"To serve is to live," realized Bill Wilson, who also asked that he not be considered a co-founder of an organization, but merely a grateful member of the whole. 


Michael, you make some excellent points here. I cannot go into all of these here at once, and will leave a lot open for others to comment upon. I have many points of consideration to present, which I will do only gradually to avoid overload.

A theme that probably will recur often is that of grand design versus micro change. David Korten concentrates more on the grand picture and some general principles in his book Agenda for a new economy. That is fine, because that was the goal of his book. In Yes! magazine there are stories of local action, which supplement as it were the big picture story.

At this historic point in time, we may need global action. That requires a lot of cooperation between groups and organizations. This seems difficult to realize. Many groups have their own agenda and perspective and distrust and/or ignore other groups.

However the case may be, I believe that local action is of paramount importance to change things. In nature, we often can observe the emergence of islands of activity (example: cells in a developing organism), that grow and start interconnecting with other islands, to form new structures. Repair of broken bones works the same way, If I recall right.

So, I really like the idea of autonomous groups doing their thing. Even better if these groups can interconnect in meaningful ways to serve a healthy purpose. In the Do-it-yourself handbook for changing our world, there's a whole chapter on autonomy and consensus forming. I really like that idea. Listen to what others have to say. Not 51% majority vote and neglect the 49%, no: learn to listen to others. How many of us can do that? Listen, without preconceived notions of the other. Listen, without thinking: I will push my ideas through anyway.

Another facet of natural organisms is, how control is established between the parts. I have written a bit about that in my articles on integrative philosophy. Stafford Beer is the important writer in this regard. Maybe more on him later, when the occasion warrants it. David Korten briefly mentions fractal organization in his book too. Another, related point, is the innate, hardwired, urge for cooperation that David mentions in his lectures and his book. Research confirms this point of view. Darwinian struggle for life is of far less importance than many believe. We can explore that at some point. There seems to be a new book on that topic around.

So, we can discuss many things, including examples from Yes! magazine, micro actions like Local Exchange Trading Systems, permaculture, community gardening, Transition Towns Initiatives, repair shops, and other forms of local action.

It's all open to the member's considered input. I will not "give all the answers", if any such thing exists, all members are requested to give their ideas and experiences. 

As to your question "Are (new) patterns developed, or realized/seen?" I would say: both. Patterns and possibilities are grasped through the visionary mind and realized through a series of developmental steps, which I have described in my postings on creation philosophy and psychology on this board.


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