People Power: Create a New Business Model

Fall Line Farms Co-op

Back in December 2016 I wrote a series of posts about bring a spiritual, peaceful attitude to the political arena and in one of them, I wrote about the secondary economy I’d seen evolving for years among the “cultural creatives”.  Now I see a grass roots cooperative movement joining this secondary economy and in the two I see hope for leaving the 2% behind as we quit doing business with them and use only socially conscious businesses’ products and locally owned and run co-ops and small businesses.

I’ve spent a lot of time hunting around the internet on this question — and often Yes Magazine and Good News Network are dropping info into my lap.  I’m so encouraged by seeing the many ways in which people around the world are stepping up to create their own solutions.  From Black farmers creating cooperatives to neighborhoods like Northeast Minneapolis cooperatively buying buildings and supporting local businesses to the Village Financial Cooperative providing Blacks with fair banking opportunities people are coming up with creative sidesteps to the greed and unfairness of the 2% and their institutions.

There are also neighborhood repair events where people can bring their broken items and to skilled workers and either learn how to fix them or have them fixed (different ones have different practices).  Community markets where people can give unwanted items and anyone can take what they want.  Support for local produce and products.  Neighborhood solutions to environmental issues.

These things are already happening.  What I don’t see yet is a collective consciousness of purposely evading global corporations and creating an economy that doesn’t need them.  Bureaucracy tends to destroy more than helps so I’m not saying I want some unified organization to start running the show, just more people who are getting how much power we have to freeze out the 2% and their shady businesses and build our own system of trade on a more local and sustainable basis.

As I said in my last post, we don’t need the 2%.  Now we just need to grow the consciousness that not only do we not need them but we can create our own new economy.  [Way down at the bottom you’l find a list of links to the other People Power posts so far]


Some more to read:

Degrowth:  A Call for Radical Abundance

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/solidarity/a-radical-vision-for-food-everyone-growing-it-for-each-other-20171225

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/solidarity/no-price-tags-these-neighbors-built-their-own-economy-without-money-20180124

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/solidarity/a-populism-of-hope-begins-when-people-feel-their-own-power-20180116

and don’t forget my regular fave:

The People Power posts:

Are there changes that could stop shootings of unarmed citizens?

NYPD Police Academy

As I’ve explored various issues for the People Power series, I’ve come up with a side issue that doesn’t quite fit with the theme of those posts though it’s relevant to the overall topics so I’m interrupting the PP series to throw in some thoughts and questions about the issue of police shootings and why some remedies aren’t being pursued.

For several years I’ve been running into articles occasionally about former military people who’ve joined the police after coming home.  In some cases the vet has shot someone just to wound and sometimes it’s been vets who are in trouble with their department for either failing to shoot or for only wounding.

In each case the big mention that gets my attention is military training and how they’re taught to do more of an evaluation and NOT to shoot as the first instinct, nor to kill as the first objective.  Police training, on the other hand, is to shoot first and think later and apparently always to shoot to kill.

As we keep following along in horror as unarmed person after unarmed person is killed by the police*, I keep wondering why I’m not seeing a big movement for changing the police training to follow the military example.  I’ve long said “you can’t legislate people’s hearts” and in the same way, I understand that changing the training will not change blatant racists in police departments.

But many stories involve police officers who are mostly just afraid and in fear instinctually use the shoot-to-kill training.  So it seems a shift in training could eliminate a significant percentage of the killings of unarmed citizens.  Some departments have added more on de-escalation techniques to the training but there doesn’t seem to be a widespread movement to change the training across-the-board.

All of this falls much more heavily on Blacks (and I suspect Hispanics but I’ve found far less discussion…) so changing the training is just one piece.  I’m also wondering why they aren’t doing more psychological screening in hiring to try to screen out blatant racists.  And then more gender and racial sensitivity training to reduce unconscious bias.

These changes seem so “duh” to me, I’m puzzled that (1) among those who are outraged about the unjustified shootings of so many unarmed Blacks they keep saying “this needs to change” but I’m not seeing suggestions like this for how and (2) among the many things I keep reading from various Democratic candidates so far I’m not seeing any of them making such practical proposals either–if they address this issue at all [noting Marianne Williamson as an exception].

Since police departments are locally run, federal action may be harder to get.  The better way to push for change might be concerted community efforts; change police academies and policies one city at a time.  Often when a few departments have adopted changes and can show improved statistics, the change begins to spread. NYPD seems to have done more than most so I’m thinking some focus on changing even more there….

Am I missing something here? Or just not landing on the right articles when I “google”?  Or just nuts to think these ideas would be worth pursuing?

* I’m not stating Black citizens till below because this shoot to kill directive leads to deaths in a wider spectrum; farther down in the post I get to the racism issue.

People Power: The 2%…we don’t need ’em

The corporate machine has been growing ever more powerful, perhaps since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution–or has concentration of wealth in the hands of a few just always been the norm? At this point global corporations “own” far too many politicians, have far too much power and create havoc on the environment with their never-ending greed and will for “more”.

They puzzle me, though, these theoretically smart billionaires.  They seem to live in a delusion that we are still a feudal society.  They are lords who own the land and can half starve the peasants who will still manage to produce enough crops.  But, hello, it’s the 21st century.

You people are not feudal lords. You own hotels and restaurants, you manufacture goods and hawk technology.  And in order to have profits you need us, the 98% to have enough money to buy your crap or you won’t make a profit.  You also need a work force that’s healthy enough to do their jobs.

So why do you refuse to pay people a living wage?  Why do you buy politicians and attempt to keep the 98% from having health insurance, or having enough money to afford to buy more than the basics?  Amazon, for example, pays a wage that’s barely enough to rent an apartment, works their employees to the breaking point, setting targets that mean people can’t even take a break.  And that’s just typical.  And not the worst wage or conditions.

Deep rooted in society for centuries has been a belief in scarcity that’s built into capitalism.  The idea that there’s a limited supply and some will have to go without, which encourages people to hoard.  A simple shift to the belief that there is abundance enough to go around could change the world completely. (See below for links to some insights on this history)

In the meantime, if the 2% break the 98% too badly, profits go down.  So they need us.

Not so clear how much we need them.  Their advantage at the moment is lots of people who think they need their stuff and can’t imagine an alternative.  But we can create our own goods and services.  And in building those businesses we can create our own jobs.

Do we need the 2%?  Not so much… Stay tuned for more.

For some interesting insights about how indoctrinated we’ve been for centuries:

  1. Myths of Capitalism: The Myth of Scarcity
  2. Degrowth: A Call for Radical Abundance

The People Power series so far:

Working on a plan…

The class on Co-Humanity and Compassion more or less ended last weekend (material stays up for six months and we can keep working on it and post about it) and I sort of dropped off.  As mentioned in another post about the class, I struggled early on with the secular viewpoint and the final push was to make a plan concerning what we intend to do to help “bridge the/a divide”.

In the end, while I seemed to fall out of step with the class and its goals, its thought-provoking nature and my deep contemplation of my discomfort with it have brought me in step with myself.  Seeing where I’m aiming more clearly.

Pretty much all instructions made it clear that creating a meeting, setting up a facilitated dialog, joining an interfaith discussion were the intended kinds of plans.  Action out in the world would count as “doing something”.  Prayer, meditation, raising consciousness, etc. don’t count.

The issue of what constitutes “doing” is one with which I’ve grappled for a long time–in fact I wrote a post some years ago asking what If prayer is something?  I’ve now come down firmly on the side of believing that praying, envisioning, meditating, clearing issues and any other forms of clearing lower energies and raising vibration are not only doing something but perhaps the most important something we can do.

In a world where SO many people don’t believe that last statement to be true, I also see the proliferation of attempts to build bridges, change policies, etc. as important steps in the process.  So I’m not discounting the efforts of the do-tasks form of action, just stumping for the great importance of understanding we’re all part of one great consciousness and every time we lift the level of vibration we change the world.

When I read David Hawkins’ Power vs. Force to some extent I felt I was reading confirmation of something I already knew.  His extensive studies on energy levels and how they impact the whole are, I think, probably just a beginning.  When science really learns how to study this stuff I imagine there will be many refinements.  But the basics he lays out in the book I think describe how it works quite well.

There’s a scale of energy vibration/consciousness:

The higher the level at which a given individual is vibrating the more people he or she can counterbalance:

One individual at level 700      counterbalances…       70 million individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 600      counterbalances…       10 million individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 500      counterbalances…       750,000 individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 400      counterbalances…       400,000 individuals below level 200.

One individual at level 300      counterbalances…       90,000 individuals below level 200.

Twelve individuals at level 700          equals…                  one Avatar at 1,000

Hawkins, Power vs. Force 1995, p. 282.

Accepting these numbers means a relatively small number of people who raise their own vibratory pattern to a higher level can not only counterbalance many who operate at lower frequencies, but can lift the consciousness level of the whole. My personal take on some of the anger and chaos unleashed now is that the huge number of people around the world who have been on a spiritual journey of clearing old issues and meditating, etc. to raise consciousness have lifted a huge portion of the population out of the 50 and below range into the 75 to 100 range where jealousy, anger, etc. dwell.

When enough of the world is lifted above 200, I think that is when we will begin to see peace and harmony unfolding.

So my plan is to continue on my People Power series. From the spiritual perspective there are two main points to the series and then a third more secular one.  (1) In many places I’m pointing out places where cultural issues are embedded in our collective consciousness and need to be released; (2) spoiler alert I’m going to advocate for the power of creating visions, meditating, etc. to help shift the planet; (3) I’m suggesting some”practical” doing steps that move outside the normal boxes and suggest radical change.

So that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it!