Colin Cook, Bangalow
The lecture on Sacred Economics last Monday week was a tour de force by Charles Eisenstein; the near capacity crowd gave him rapt attention for more than an hour. His personal insights and experiences were paralleled by observations on global trends covering a very broad spectrum.
He observed that relationships and activities that in time past were just normal family/community activities were being increasingly monetised into the ‘services industry’; he cited childcare especially, entertainment, sport and exercise. This is good for GDP/growth but bad for us as humans and community. Needing money to access the services adds another layer of difficulty with our present deeply flawed monetary system. Communities are strengthened when people need each other – and are weakened as the services are monetised.
Another insight, that we are all the recipients of such wonderful gifts – life, family and friends, air – that we are predisposed to generosity. However, the present ‘narrative’ that we are individuals, separate from each other and nature is obviously failing. The paradigm is coming to its end as multiple crises arise; we should not resist this because prolonging the process will exacerbate the inevitable. The present system is unsustainable and unfair and will be replaced by a system that recognises our humanity and interconnectedness with nature. The transition will be hard, the end result good beyond our present imaginings; from scared to sacred!
For readers who remember Fritz Schumacher of Small is Beautiful fame of the 70s, Charles Eisenstein is a worthy and timely successor. Schumacher’s book was subtitled, ‘A study of economics as if people mattered’. Eisenstein’s book, Sacred Economics, is subtitled, ‘Money, gift and society in the age of transition’.
For those who missed the meeting, the film at http://sacred-economics.com/ will be rewarding.