We cannot go back to 2016
We must tie our economic and political principles together.
In times of great upheaval there are great harms, severe and tragic losses, and glimmers of hope and opportunity. But as we begin to comprehend the world of today, there is something that we have to work hard to internalize.
The world has fundamentally changed. As much as we people say we cannot go back to 1950, nor can we seek to go back to 2016.
Progress is forward looking, and time moves in one direction. With this hatchet job to the baseline structure of our world, we are not actually moving backward. We are moving forward, simply in what many would say are in the wrong ways.
To be truly progressive, we must stay forward looking, and we must look to affect trajectory by bending it to our principles. We must envision a new world using the current facts on the ground.
Yes we must know our history. But we must decide and invest in our principles above all else.
We are and we should decry the destruction of hallowed instituions, like government, that we value. Institutions have some inherent value, and represent significant investment of time, money, and ideas. But do not misktake the value of an institution as it being the only way to achieve a principle.
We must defend institutions when we can, but we must also build new institutions when we cannot.
The economic disruption we have been seeing for decades, yes actually decades, has reached our government institutions. It did so partly due to backlash and partly because we failed to change these instutions enough to meet the economic realities of our time. We did not update the fundamentals of government in alignmnet with our principles.
There will be great disruption yet to come. It will cause harm. But it will create, also, new needs and new opportunties. We want to maintain our values and we should, but we must see the economy as a key tool and a necessary part of staying true to those values.
So here is the deal. For those who see the horror of what these first few weeks of a new adminsitration have wrought, yes we have to to fight and resist democratically and politically. Of course.
But we also need an on the ground economic strategy to weather these storms, find private market solutions, and end-run around the economic destruction that is coming. People have to eat, and in a capitlist society they must have options for work or business that allow them to eat today.
The economy is about to have massive shocks. Stability will be a thing of the past. Foundations and philanthropy will be overrun.
We critically need social entrepreneurship, and we need to privately invest in it. What you buy matters, and at this moment its hard to pick a prescription for conscious consumerism that meets all the political and civic needs that are erupting.
But I encourage you to find a way to spend your dollars wisely that support greater ends than just the widget or commodity you just got. If we all start being more mindful now, we’ll organically create market strategies that support the interests we all have.
In a certain lens of the world, everything reduces to market operations, and we need to take responsibility for our individual market actions, now more than ever.
And whether it is in the political or market economy, keep an eye on the prize (the money, follow the money). Scenario plan for many possible futures. Be ready to pivot while holding tight to that core base of your principles.