We need to build a parallel system

Robert Paterson has one of the most consistently bleak yet optimistic takes on reality that I’ve come across. Today he critiques the economic system we live in as being dominated by finance to the detriment of “making and doing things that benefit us really.” He looks to the end of the Soviet Union and of the Raj for solutions.

What worked was that they then stood aside and built a new system in parallel. That worked.

Gandhi took the same path in India. How was he to get the Raj to leave? He could not take the British on directly. He could not persuade them morally. What he had to do was to help the mass of Indians recognize that THEY did not need the Raj any more.

So what to do? I think that we have to disengage from the system and start to engage with each other. We have to start in our small local way to build a paralel system that works for the planet and for people

Why we don’t make things any more

After World War II, large corporations went on acquisition binges and turned themselves into massive conglomerates. In their landmark Harvard Business Review article from 1980, “Managing Our Way to Economic Decline,” Robert Hayes and William Abernathy pointed out that the conglomerate structure forced managers to think of their firms as a collection of financial assets, where the goal was to allocate capital efficiently, rather than as makers of specific products, where the goal was to maximize quality and long-term market share.

via Upper Mismanagement | The New Republic.