Blogger-SMS | Déjà Vu ~ Times

Econocentric—Our current GODD

Not so long ago—say 400 years or so—the powers-that-were claimed the earth was the center of the universe—AS IN geocentric. [Update: it appears as of 2015 that the question has reopened.*] A newer version of these “good old dogma days” (GODD) has been with us now for over 100 years—AS IN econocentric—wherein money (under the wings of capitalism) has become the center and measure of all things. This déjà vu of GODD is in dire need of utter rejection. Here are three quotes from David C. Korten’s book, The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, to speed the process of awareness and action:

In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy and the market economy. For those of us who grew up believing that capitalism is the foundation of democracy and market freedom, it has been a rude awakening to realize that under capitalism, democracy is for sale to the highest bidder and the market is centrally planned by global megacorporations larger than most states (p. 1).

Life rather than money is the appropriate standard for evaluating economic choices and performance. Using money as a proxy measure of our wellbeing shifts our attention from life’s priorities to money’s priorities. We thus seek to maximize the returns to money rather than the returns to life. If we were to use life as our measure, it would lead us to ask which among a number of financially viable options will yield the highest anticipated contribution to improving our lives and the health of the planet. These, of course, become questions of values that cannot be reduced to simple numbers and therefore call for broadly participatory choice making (p. 156).

This poses a truly revolutionary idea for a species that spent much of the last hundred years tearing itself apart in the often violent struggles between those who called for the suppression of the individual in favor of community (communism) and those who rejected the obligations of community in favor of unrestrained individualism (capitalism). Life is telling us that these are both pathological extremes. In fact, life tells us, there is no conflict between community and individuality—indeed in a healthy living system they support and strengthen one another (pp. 116-7).

It’s all a matter of balance in a world that has become critically unbalanced by accepting and perpetuating a scheme that is as flawed as other abandoned  “knowledge.” Perhaps it is time to raise our awareness of the many latter-day voices crying in the wilderness of GODD, urging us to wake up and smell the catastrophe.

* See: