A Few Hints for Survival
We must be rebels for life.
[This article is a transcript of the most recent Groupe Intellex podcast — available now via Spotify — and it follows a particularly doom-laden episode. With so much bad news around it seemed appropriate to search for positive ideas that might, if there is common will amongst those elected to serve their people, might deliver our grandchildren from very bleak futures)
There is, in truth, no shortage of major policy ideas — almost too many. The challenge is time.
The more radical and potentially effective proposals need time to be absorbed and to gain willing commitment, and then even more time to work their magic. Policy conception and Policy delivery are two different art forms.
The transitional journey to economic and societal behaviours that are more-equitable and less-divisive, is littered with obstacles. The journey demands high-calibre leadership skills — skills which, in many parts of our world, near and far, are yet to be discovered.
And all the while, throughout this journey, there’s the danger of diversions — wars, pandemics, accidents, and disasters — that will distort survival plans. But their degrees of difficulty are no reason to not invest time and effort into curating and prioritising those ideas with the best chance of effective large-scale impact.
The shock of major disruptions always encourages fresh thinking. In the UK, for example, the twin traumas of Brexit and Covid-19 have fuelled the beginnings of a revolt against prevailing economic conventions. Minds have been sharpened and not yet blunted again. Enforced pandemic lockdowns have given folks time to think, and care, more deeply — and that’s evident from the rash of publications and an upsurge in study across entire populations.
Tim Jackson (Post Growth — Life after Capitalism), Marianna Mazzucato (Mission Economics) and Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics) have all made great contributions — indeed Kate’s Action Lab provides useful tools to help communities think about their local priorities.
But, if you need a jab of optimism to fuel your endeavours, go directly to the second part of Jason Hickel’s Less Is More, and feast on chapters 4, 5 and 6 — particularly chapter 5 ‘Pathways to a Post-Capitalist World’ where he opens by quoting Greta:
“We cannot save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed”.
It is in reading this chapter that I gain the most hope that societies can, and possibly will, act in sufficient time to ensure our survival.
Nothing is certain but, given our common culpabilities for the mess we now find ourselves in, we must all be activists. We must all be rebels — rebels for life.
The Groupe Intellex podcast series can be found here