Sunday Open Thread – June 24, 2007


What I’m thinking about, and planning on writing (and podcasting) about soon:

Performance Art: A group of us in Toronto are spreading the project started by artists Melisa Christensen and Matt Lein in NYC last month. It involves putting their poster (Canadian version above) in coffee shops and other sympathetic places, with an envelope attached full of their beautifully-designed stickers inside. We expect the stickers to show up in some surprising locations, and perhaps get some media attention. If you’d like to take the project to your city, let me know.

Learning How to Live a Natural Life:
I’ll be writing more next week about Natural Enterprises and how, ideally, they fit into a model of Intentional Communities which are further networked into a Natural Economy. This has got me thinking about who I would love to work with in Natural Enterprises and live with in Intentional Community, and also about the nature of work and why so much of it is soul-destroying. I’ve concluded that it’s because of the people working in them and how they’ve been socialized to behave in modern society. There are some people I know, however, who are living what I would call truly Natural Lives. They refuse to be negative, to hate, to give up hoping and trying. They genuinely love everyone and are always ‘creating’ love. I’m beginning to recall being that way, when I was young, before I got angry, shy, bitter and depressed. I recall wanting to be that way at various points in my life since then. I think perhaps my next self-change will be in that direction. It will not be easy for me, though. I’m so impatient, so quick, still, to judge.

Coming up soon, vignettes #4 and #5.

Blog-Hosted Conversations: Plan is for 30-minute conversations, once a week, on the subject of identifying and acquiring the essential skills and relationships we need to be models of a better way to live, and what those models might look like. Still working on practice podcasts, readings of my own works just to try out the new medium. Be patient with me.

Open Thread Question:

Who do you know who’s relentlessly positive, forgiving, understanding and loving, despite the fact they know the crises we’re facing in thecoming years? What’s their secret?

This entry was posted in Our Culture / Ourselves. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Sunday Open Thread – June 24, 2007

  1. David Parkinson says:

    I don’t think I know anyone who matches your description. I wish it was me, but it’s a long road to get there. :-)David

  2. I hope you will listen.I wish someone could hear.I have discovered what is wrong with our economic Operating System, and (this is where you will turn away) have even found a straight-forward solution. Is that so unbelievable? If there is no solution, then why even try? If there is a solution, then won’t it need to be found by someone?Ok, if you are still reading, here is another attempt to describe the problem:The photo for June 24, 2007 shows Melisa Christensen’s poster which asks “Why don’t our companies care?”.That question has a faulty assumption built into it that we consumers tend to overlook or maybe have given up on solving – an assumption that the companies are somehow ‘ours’.We (the consumers) do not OWN the corporations. Corporations run almost every government on earth, and yet WE do not OWN any of them.This is a terrible problem because when the OWNership of productive resources is not held by those that will consume the outputs of those sources, then the disease of profit begins to cause those groups of OWNers to work against the rest of humanity to artificially increase scarcity through destruction and pollution of all sources that they do not OWN – so they may ‘corner’ the market, thereby further increasing profit.Profit has nothing to do with work. Wages for work are rightly considered a cost of production, and are usually based on the performance of that laborer. But profit is the difference between Consumer_Price and Owner_Costs. It is a plea from the consumer – an admittance by that consumer that he is dependent on the source OWNers. Profit is an inverse measure of development and a direct measure of power over those that are vulnerable because of their lack of OWNership in productive sources.A solution:If we (the consumers) were to begin forming corporations where any price a consumer paid above cost (what is usually called profit) were to be an investment for that same consumer in more productivesources, then the OWNership of the corporations and hence the control of our earth would be disbursed in direct proportion to the amount each human is willing to invest (as profit is a perfect measure of a consumer’s desire to grow).These corporations would easily outperform all others as consumers would no longer pay the externality of profit to feudalist usurists, so price would eventually equal costs – a condition most corporations consider failure, and is the reason small farmers (and other, less important businesses) cannot ‘compete’.Consumer owned farms would hire talented farmers, and likely pay them more than they currently make while safely pushing price toward cost.

  3. Hm. I frequently see the anti-China stuff as being as much about promoting Canadian business interests as in being anything about human rights abuses.

  4. Jon Husband says:

    We (the consumers) do not OWN the corporations. Corporations run almost every government on earth, and yet WE do not OWN any of them.Mostly, the senior management of corporations OWN, for all intents and purposes, the corporations they manage .. I think the term for the system under which most of us struggle is managerial capitalism. Their objective is always short-term, to maximize share priices, so as to feather their own nests well. Their masters are the capital markets, and the capital markets’ master is relentless growth … just like cancer.

  5. Christopher says:

    I’m interested to see you’ve been focussing on China lately in your posts. It’s definitely worth considering all of the impacts of the massive shifts the country is going through. Living here for a while, I don’t feel safe about where most of my food comes from, and I’ve kind of lucked out getting all these opportunities to study Mandarin and taking a degree back in Canada that relates to environmental science, since many of the crises going on globally right now, like massive water shortages, are already being felt on a large scale here…But having said all that, I think that sign is pretty extreme, and not being Chinese per se, I still find it pretty offensive. The runaway rush to rise above the West in economic development has definitely taken first priority in many many people’s mindsets here, but they’re really just one heavy part of that much larger global system. I’m not sure what the objective of those stickers would be?It seems the same as any other place in the world to me – the best way to help Chinese society shift away from this unquenchable thirst for money at all costs – is probably through education about consequences of different kinds of development, options that have already been tried or have yet to be tried, the concepts behind sustainability, things like that.

  6. Matthew says:

    Reading the above comments, it looks to me that the sticker project is a success. It’s encouraging discussion. Its not trying to solve problems through one method or another. Yes education is the answer to every problem, but realizing that there is a problem even procedes that. And that’s where discussion comes in.

  7. Dave Pollard says:

    I think there is a difference between performance art and other forms of political protest — it’s called artistic licence (license in the US). What’s more, anyone who believes education is all that’s needed to reform the Chinese dictatorship and Chinese corporations is a bit naive, I think. These guys know exactly what they’re doing.

  8. Christopher says:

    What do you mean by performance art here?

  9. Dave Pollard says:

    I explained Performance Art in my February 28, 2007 post. For some reason Radio Userland won’t let me put the URL in these comments (infuriating) but if you google “performance art” in my google search bar it’s the first result.

Comments are closed.