Life Inc. by Douglas Rushkoff opened my eyes regarding our economic system, and in a larger sense, our way of living. In this excellent book Rushkoff explains how we have become accustomed to dealing with corporations instead of real people. A quote from his website:
"Corporatism didn't evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living – the operating system on which we are now running our social software – was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality." (source)
So maybe what we are doing right now is not the way to go? Maybe we should rethink our way of living? After reading this book I wanted to know more and I found a documentary called Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. You can watch it in full here:
This movie might be exaggerating on some levels but it hits home for me on several points:
- Our monetary system is illogical and thus failing us. As is shown with the latest mortgage and euro crisis.
- Value has to be directly related to resources. Putting money in between is only creating an unnecessary detour.
- We need to invest in alternative energy sources besides from oil. Eventually we will run out of oil and when that happens there has to be a viable alternative.
The question remains: Do we need a hard reset? I don't think so. I believe we can take small steps and start making things better. Here are some suggestions and solutions:
- In his book Rushkoff proposes trading. Why not trade and bypass money altogether? He doesn't have the illusion that trading will replace money but he sees it as an alternative which you can use besides money.
- Start using alternative energy sources. There is a great example of a German village called Wildpoldsried. They generate (through solar panels and wind turbines) 321% more energy than it needs.
- Support the Venus Project as envisioned by Jacque Fresco (see video below).
You might think the video above is just an utopia and will never become reality. But if we are not working towards an utopia, then just what the hell are we doing?