Replanning Human Life

A common theme of my thinking, praying and writing, is the fundamental injustice, evil, of capitalism. What is the alternative?

My experiences with the Kheprw Institute (KI) in Indianapolis showed me how a community can not only exist, but thrive, with practically no money. I saw this as an example of Beloved community. With my current work in Mutual Aid, I can now see KI is also a Mutual Aid community.

I now see the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March I was blessed to be part of could be seen as creating a Mutual Aid community. We walked, camped and shared stories for the eight days it took for our sacred journey. Other than buying food prior to the start of the March, we didn’t need money for anything. Being together, often in trying circumstances like rain and heat, began the process of getting to know and trust each other. Which is the foundation of Mutual Aid. Although we separated geographically after that journey, we have worked together in many ways since.

I’m excited to be part of the Des Moines Mutual Aid community for many reasons. It is a Beloved community. I’ve made many good friends, and they are teaching me about Mutual Aid.

Now I understand Mutual Aid is what should replace capitalism. But that has led to some frustration. I tell anyone who will listen Mutual Aid is the path forward. I’m having trouble convincing those living in the capitalist system why they should work for alternatives. To build Mutual Aid communities where they are.

Mutual Aid is premised on people in the community being together, physically. It is not a difficult process. The hurdle is getting people to decide they want to do this, then begin. I was fortunate to find a Mutual Aid community already in existence.

Another part of the process is learning how to live in a community with a flat, or horizontal structure. Not the vertical hierarch we are used to living in.

Finding and building alternatives to capitalism will soon no longer be a choice. The system is already breaking down.

I’m glad to have found the article cited below, based on the work of Jeremy Rifkin, an American economist, social theorist, and activist.

Rifkin’s latest book is “The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth.” After predicting the collapse of the current fossil-fuel regime, he formulates a new economic model and guides readers in the construction of a post-carbon world.

But, where to begin? Great economic paradigm shifts in history can point us in the right direction when replanning human life on Earth.

Three defining technologies have emerged and converged simultaneously, changing the way society manages, powers, and moves its socioeconomic life.

The first is communication, which helps us bring our species together and organize ourselves.
The second is energy, which powers our social life, allowing us to continue living together on this planet.
And the last is mobility, which offers us a way of logistically organizing ourselves.

Together, these three pillars form our infrastructure, functioning much like cells in a living organism.

What Comes After Capitalism? Forget communism, socialism, and capitalism — the days ahead are green by Vitoria Nunes,, June 8, 2021

Rifkin says there have been two industrial revolutions that demonstrate these ideas. The first was led by the British. Two new methods of communication were steam powered printing and the telegraph system. Coal was the energy source, and steam driven locomotives for mobility.

The second industrial revolution took place in the United States. The telephone, radio and television became forms of communication. Texas oil the energy source. And Henry Ford revolutionized transportation with the internal combustion engine.

Incidentally, these paradigm shifts alter our economic model, and that’s how capitalism took center stage. Previous industrial revolutions centered around fossil fuels, the most expensive to extract, ship, and refine (along with uranium). Pre-existing monarchic systems wouldn’t have been able to finance these processes. Enter the capitalist stockholder corporation, characterized by wealthy players’ investments in coal, gas, and oil.

From the start, industrialization was engineered to be a centralized, top-down system. And other industries followed, bolstering the absurd levels of wealth concentration we can all witness these days.

Vitoria Nunes

A third revolution is emerging now.

Engineered differently from the first two, a third industrial revolution is on the rise. A new era of enlightenment is upon us, as more people begin to realize that together we are much more agile than the vertical organizations that have been seeking world domination.

Digital communication, energy, and mobility are converging to form yet another paradigm shift, a true internet of things. Millions of people — in the form of SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises), communities, farm associations, and cooperatives — are already consuming energy from the wind and sun and sharing it on a renewable energy internet. Solar- and wind-powered vehicles are emerging on a digitized mobility internet and are predicted to be autonomous in the next decade.

The same digital technology we use for communicating with each other will become the cornerstone of how we power and move our social life in just a few years. And it will change our economic system, allowing for the emergence of one that is compatible with a new infrastructure.

As marginal costs drop, thanks to more efficient, costless energy consumption, the sharing economy will gain new strength, taking us into a world that is in equilibrium with the finite natural resources the Earth has to offer.

None of this is sci-fi; the cost of solar and wind power just dipped below the cost of every other energy we use (nuclear, coal, and oil), giving power to the people.

Vitoria Nunes

The first two industrial revolutions were built with centralized, top down systems.

This third revolution will be built with Mutual Aid concepts. Local communities fight climate change locally.

Central governments don’t have the capacity to handle a task of this magnitude. Power originates from local regions; with every community taking responsibility for its biosphere.

By recruiting everyone — from large institutions and universities to high schools and local businesses— to join in, we can come up with the roadmap to scale up our local infrastructure. We must step to the floor and get this done. We must be fearless, turn to our communities, run for political assemblies, and create the infrastructure to make it happen. There’s no other way of getting it done.

Vitoria Nunes

This article was based on a conference Jeremy Rifkin held at Sciences Po in October 2019. To view the full lecture, click here.

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