The Empathetic Civilization
The topic of economics is always on my mind. It's what makes the world go round. Each country has its own economic agreement. Developed nations all utilize some form of Capitalism. The US has its own brand of "American Capitalism" that sets it apart from other developed nations.
About 60 years ago, we left the Gold Standard behind and moved to using fiat money, allowing banks to loan around 9x the money they have. Fiat money is not backed by anything physical. It's just an agreement.
American Capitalism now operates at the expense of people and resources. It values profits over all else, at any cost. Our economic agreement no longer protects the vitality of people and planet. American Capitalism is off the rails.
For those reasons and endless others, I believe we're in dire need of a new economic agreement. We absolutely must have a form of value and trade. It's part of our social DNA. But it's time for reform.
We can moan all day about the state of our economy, but unless we provide an alternative to the status quo, it's just that; impotent moaning. If you want to learn about what a new economy could look like, you'll find it in the following paragraphs.
Jeremy Rifkin is an American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist. Rifkin is the author of 20 bestselling books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than 35 languages.
I recently finished reading his book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism. And yes, the book is just as epic as it's title. Jeremy is a skilled historian, and he holds the keys to a very bright future for humanity.
If you truly want to understand how we can create a harmonious society, and see how it's already happening, watch Jeremy's latest production from VICE Impact (also an excellent educational resource).
The Third Industrial Revolution (VICE produced, 104 min documentary) describes the birth of a new economic system that can address climate change and create a more equitable and empathic world. Simply put, I believe this is the answer to our economic crisis. Period.
Rifkin began implementing his plan in Germany about ten years ago. Now, Germany leads the world in sustainable energy and divestment from fossil fuels, (the bedrock of American Capitalism). In 2016, they passed a resolution that calls for a total ban on internal combustion engines by 2030.
At this point, when people ask me, "What's the one thing you think we can do to save the world?", I just reply, "Put Jeremy Rifkin in charge of saving it. He's already got a plan."
In 20 years of activism for humanity, I view this as the most important information I've ever shared. Hands down. I hope you'll check it out.