Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Economist says Human Time-use is the “Currency” for Bonding With the Universe

By Horace Carby-Samuels II, The Canadian

As I face each day, together with the rest of us, I recognize that, alongside with the trees and the grass, the rocks and the hills, the birds and the animals, and the rivers and the oceans, my carcass is here on terra firma. However, ever since the day when Sputnik I (that Russian satellite of the late 1950s) went up, and circled planet earth, my reference context has changed. Sputnik liberated me from the prison of the reference context, where, earth and heaven were framed as the alternative domains of our existence.

Today, while I know that my body may be here, I feel no guilt that my mind roams among everything else that may be “out there” in the universe. Therefore, although we are all – like the rest of the material complement – a part of planet earth, and essentially a part of the prevailing flora and fauna, I cannot help but to also contemplate beyond this earthbound part of my existence.

Accordingly, even though I expect that I will be required to “ship out of here” one of these days, I may not overlook the fact that, that which counts, is what I do as a component in, and as also a part of, an operating universe (which does not pivot primarily on results that accompany what economic markets are doing here). Furthermore, I believe that “out there” one may very well find (among other features), other minds that are correspondingly focussed on what must be done, so as to foster (by means of effort and resource management initiatives), outcomes that will enhance the meaningfulness of living; and that will also foster an informed bonding of individuals with their environment, and with the operating universe.

On making these reflections about a wider universe of sentience, the recognition of my very small presence in thisoperating universe, does not make me feel any less important, as a component. Indeed, in order to avoid conceiving of myself as being irrelevant in this type of operating environment, I merely need to reflect on the following reality-centred question: “Where does the circle or (in this case) the sphere, begin?”

Meanwhile, we live in a society which is principally moderated by capitalism. Indeed, globally, capitalism has conditioned people as human economic agents, along a narrow focus which expresses itself as the pursuit of greed. That pursuit pivots on the securing of financial-equivalent gain, which manifests itself in business communities as commercial profit. It also manifests in the pursuit of personal ambition that operates in association with materialistic objectives; and it also manifests in strategies where the environment in which we live, is treated primarily as a source of profit-generating raw materials.

Correspondingly, persons in the society are also conditioned to take a similar narrow financially-centred focus, on what their activities and their use of time, should be all about.

Currently, however, it is vital that Earthbound Humans, who contemplate their essential identity in the universe, should now begin (as responsible sentient beings), to also consider a matured perspective on their prevailing economic operations.

Such a matured perspective would take humanity away from an infantile context of economic understanding, which is largely stuck in a nineteenth century appreciational context. Humanity should move, instead, into a truly New Economy. Meanwhile the currently promoted “New Economy”, primarily exists as a slogan, in behalf of the most greed-driven agents of the Old Economy that was articulated in the most popularly touted part of the writings of Adam Smith, the classical economics scholar.

In contrast, herein, inspired by my reflection on my identity as a human being, (who shares in a broader community of human beings), I propose a critically needed shift to a functionally “New Economy” that would emphasize how we use the time-space. It also emphasizes the use of the prevailing resources, toward the achievement of meaningful survival, which flows out of an economic development emphasis on the quality-of-living of people.

In its expression, this “New Economy” contrasts with the currently accepted environmentally and socially destructive focus on the accumulation of financial returns, that is the norm under “capitalism”. Accordingly the new focus is toward a Renaissance of Humanity, within a survival-centred aggregate economic management context.

Substantively, capitalism has so far taken humanity to the verge of destruction, by way of greed-driven wars, oppression, and also paths of environmental and of self-destruction. I therefore draw on the background of reference of an analytical emphasis on quality-of-life attainment, to propose an alternative “People-centred Survivalism”. Its effect would be to overhaul the focus of economic thinking, and help to ensure that aggregate economic development objectives, under responsible and enlightened human guidance, will support rather than undermine human quality-of-survival.

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