One of my longtime favorite websites is this one, geo.coop. Ethan Miller has written an excellent, definitive piece in response to the Occupy Wall St. Movement, deconstructing the popular term "the economy," and drawing on most essential issues to understand the history and nature of capitalist society and neoliberal ideology. His discussion is firmly rooted in the solution, and concludes with an excellent conceptual overview.
OCCUPY! CONNECT! CREATE! - Imagining Life Beyond "The Economy" (part one)Email Print
"Fall in love with hard and patient work-we are the beginning, not the end."
"Lost my job, found an occupation!"
This text, grounded in several years of collective thinking and writing, is meant to be a contribution to this vibrant conversation. My basic premise is this: if we want to effectively envision and create alternatives to the economy of Wall Street, we need to re-think the very concept of "the economy" itself. We have inherited an economics that stifles our imaginations and dampens our collective sense of power and possibility. Only by telling new stories about what economies are (and might yet be) can we most effectively kindle the fires of our creative, transformative work to build new forms of livelihood. I propose here a set of five core economic principles for "rethinking the economy" that might be helpful steps in this process, and may also usefully inform the direction of our concrete strategies. Our work can be strengthened by:
(1) shifting from a mind-numbing concept of "the economy" to more enabling concepts of diverse forms of livelihood;
(2) moving beyond the destructive tension between "economy" and "ecology" in conventional economics to an acknowledgement of our participation in a community of life;
(3) challenging our either/or thinking about "the market" and "the state" and opening up creative political space within and beyond these institutions;
(4) escaping the limiting logics of "economic laws" that tell us what we can and cannot do, and embracing the work of creating new possibilities through collective imagination and action; and, finally,
(5) reclaiming economics from the "experts" to become a practice of solidarity-building and democratic organizing in which it is "we the people" who can and must make our own economies.These are not proposals for an alternative economic "system" to replace the current one. They are, rather, a set of tools to support our diverse, collective work of imagining new livelihoods together. This text is part theory, part strategy and part call-to-action for the immediate and long-term work of identifying and seizing spaces of democratic practice (occupy!), linking them together in networks of mutual support and recognition (connect!), and drawing on our collective strength to actively create new ways of meeting our needs and making our livings (create!).
The #Occupy Movement is a vital spark, already creating and demonstrating-in public experiments with democracy and solidarity across the U.S. and around the world-elements of the new economies we are working to build. This movement calls us toward long-term commitments, generations of work that we have only just begun. Everything is at stake.
I refer quite often, in these pages, to a "we." Who is this "we"? It is everyone who reads these words and finds some resonance with them; it is everyone who participates in the larger conversation (of which this text is one tiny part) about what it means to be alive at this moment in history, and about what it means to respond to the urgent call for occupation, connection and creation. The "we" is you, and you, and you, and I, who are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work on building a different way of living together on this earth....
The NY Times has just published an opinion that shows their good-intentions:
What They Don’t Want to Talk About
Published: January 14, 2012