Initially, humans honored the Earth’s ebb and flow cycles of abundance, bartering for resources, livestock, plant products and other goods and services. This symbiotic form of “currency” mirrored nature in that it mutually served both parties.
However, the clumsiness of bartering, i.e. the difficulty in establishing equitable value, and the desire to expand the money supply acted as impetuses toward developing the first forms of money. We soon realized the amount of wealth that could be generated, now a powerful entity in and of itself, and began borrowing from the future through the creation of debt instruments. A complicated economy grew out of the simple origins of money. We could now ignore Earth’s biorhythms all together, engineering much more than an economy that operated 24/7.
Inflation the bane of fiat currency, money was tied to a standard of value—gold in England in 1816 and in the U.S., the Gold Standard Act of 1900, before once again, the desire to expand the money supply led to ending that relationship. A planet struggling to heal itself of human habitation, inflation unchecked and our future mortgaged a generation and beyond, many are calling for an economy that brings to an end exploitive and repressive boom/bust cycles; one in harmony with Nature.
When we rely solely on our humanity, we struggle in a state of fear, the creators of our own misfortune, believing we must compete for resources that freely exist. When we become still, we re-remember that we are also the formless infinite, the Being, from whence all supply is sourced. It is with our Being that we transcend the human condition. It is our Being, anchored in love rather than fear, that calls forth right action.
Science tells us that an atom containing an equal number of positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons is electrically neutral—balance re-established, polarity is transcended. Buddhism calls this the middle path.
Nature shows us that holistically, symbiosis means working together cooperatively for the collective good. What does not co-exist for mutual benefit brings its own death, more accurately described as the un-survival of the un-fittest. As competition means there are one or more losers to every winner, we immediately see that capitalism is a limited, bi-polar third-dimensional construct and that it is consuming itself toward its own demise.
What more all-encompassing means of economy can we utilize that still generates wealth, induces investment, weathers the ebb and flow of business cycles and even makes conservation part of its operating plan?
It is the not-for-profit cooperative business model which most mirrors nature for its economic, social and cultural benefits, in most cases. Beyond charitable organizations that may first come to mind, which rely on outside funding, cooperative non-profits are owned and managed by the people who use its services or are even employed there, in the case of a hybrid cooperative. Many thriving health care service providers and, of course, credit unions are NPO’s.
There are retailer cooperatives, utility cooperatives, housing cooperatives, agricultural cooperatives… Non-profits are not fail-proof, however, according to Switzerland’s Int’l Cooperative Alliance:
“Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members. Whether the members are the customers, employees or residents they have an equal say in what the business does and a share in the profits. As businesses driven by values not just profit, co-operatives share internationally agreed principles and act together to build a better world through co-operation. Successful co-operatives around the world are allowing people to work together to create sustainable enterprises that generate jobs and prosperity and provide answers to poverty and short term business practices.”
Executive salaries are kept in check without being limited when percentage-based on the health of the organization while simultaneously, profits are shared within membership to create a livable wage or provide reduced fees on goods and services. Organizations that fall short economically, socially or culturally, naturally drop away without predation.
As we move through the digital age, we are slowly evolving full circle, returning to exchange without physical currency. A new movement of cooperative consumerism is well underway. CollaborativeConsumption.com says:
“Named by TIME as one of the 10 Ideas That Will Change the World, collaborative consumption describes the shift in consumer values from ownership to access. Together, entire communities and cities around the world are using network technologies to do more with less by renting, lending, swapping, bartering, gifting and sharing products on a scale never before possible.”
These trends are great for us and great for the planet, but not for a capitalism dependent on growth as we shift from me to we. For a planet to sustain a population of nine billion by 2050, these shifts must occur along with many more. Nothing less than full cooperation and the lifting up of the poorest among us will save us all…
Except, something else is happening. Borne out of the appearance of limitation is the miraculous. Join me next time when we leave the third dimension for the fifth for… The New Dream.
Dedicated to the advancement of human consciousness, Christine Horner is the founder In the Garden Publishing, Bodhi UniversiTree and is the author of the recently published “What Is God? Rolling Back the Veil.” The host of the new radio show, From Mystery to Mastery, her web site is www.ChristineHorner.com. This article may be reproduced with full attribution only.