For eight years I worked with my mate to help bring about world peace, fair distribution of wealth, and a forgiveness of debts. Oh, yes, also a system of world government that would honor and encourage local diversity of economies and ethnic cultures along with an ecologically sustainable economic system. We went for the big picture.
Without much ideological celebration, all these goals are being currently attained. This is why things seems so bleak economically, politically, and socially at this time. Readjustment is always a painful process.
For many years my friends all talked about how "small is beautiful." Somehow most of them thought that we could move to a "human scale economics" without going through disruption of peoples lives via unemployment, bank failures, business failures, and down-sizing of large corporations. The very same liberal people who wanted human scale economics are also the people who are most upset about the loss of many large corporate jobs with which to work to earn money for a good not-so-used car.
The hippies and flower children of the 60's and 70's are now middle aged. They'll never have, and may never want, what their parents had. Yes, a house with a two car garage would be nice -- but how about some time to enjoy life without a mortgage before the age of 65? What about the consumption of natural resources required to sustain this "standard of living?" In the 80's we blew ourselves out with consumer and corporate debt financing in the hopes of getting back the life of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson in the 50's. But Harriet did not work -- and, they were happy with one car.
Very many people these days are depressed about losing their job, or house now or in the near future. The man on the street may just be you or me. Those bums may be us someday. Life is no longer clear cut. The handwriting is on the walls of all the major cities. Worse times may come before things get better, regardless of who is the President of this or that country.
Time to look for a silver lining. Most wage slaves have not been happy at their jobs for years. They were just happy to not be on the street and to to be paying for their house. In America, having a "job" means "working for the man." Among the middle class, there has been an implied ethic that everyone that one personally knows is not good enough to work for themselves. The middle class is just as much self-repressed as it is repressed by the rich. This has much to do with the very heavy premium that we place on having an absolutely certain fixed income flow. People who are self-employed do not have fixed incomes with graduated cost-of-living increases on a yearly basis.
Now, however, it's time to create a new economy -- bit by bit, company by company, client by client. Many years ago, one brilliant African socialist leader said that the "real goal of socialism is to make everyone a capitalist." Instead, of pitching for more jobs (as wage salves), now is a good time to think of creating more self-employed people -- more capitalists. That means us, ourselves. Let us stop making "job security" a religion, and replace that with the freedom of being one's own business owner.
I went down to the Alameda County Records office to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement for one of my clients. I've done this many times over the past 12 years. This was the first time I had to wait in line to do the name check and filing. I asked the clerk, "Are there more people here than usual?" She said, "Yes, people are making their own businesses who can't find jobs; other' s are working but trying to establish a back- up."
We now have the technology for truly decentralized ways of work and economic organization. For example, a person with a pager, cellular phone, voice mail, and a small computer with fax-modum can act like someone within a large scale company. One need not even rent an office. The truth is that the old well-known company names can, over time, act more like clearing houses for information that is passed on to battalions of independent business people who coordinate there own activities progressively from there own individual personal environments. New cottage industries will emerge.
For years people have talked about the "office of the future." Advocates of this future office always ran up against the problem of old style management within a large corporation. Everybody was still thinking in terms of still being an employee within a big information factory. Managers responsible for budgets, however, always need to directly oversee what people are doing if the work is paid for on the basis of time, not project.
Old factories that waste more energy, material resources, along with expensive labor are just having to give way to more well engineered processes with less fixed operating expenses. This is good for the planet, even if it is not good for a group with its own special interests.
We are now bankrupt of time and money. Numbed to the possibilities of creative self-expression. Instead of becoming like gods, we have become less than human. The streets of the inner cities and the survivalists in the rural areas testify to this terrible trend.
This is the New World Order -- i. e., the New World Chaos. It's really an opportunity to change -- actually surrender -- to real human values instead of the bloated unrealizable expectations beyond the touch of human time, human scale, and human life.