Comments on: Collaboration and cooperation – Sleeping giants of economic shift change Community-led economic change. Wed, 14 Mar 2018 17:13:12 +0000 hourly 1 By: Admin (Shane Hughes) Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:17:50 +0000 the above article was reposted here and a valid comment was made that;

“we do not live under free-market capitalism”

my response is that yes i agree. this article is actually only part written and an area that needs a lot more detail is the idea of showing that the emperor (free market capitalism) has no clothes. it’s not just that we subsidise and tax break/loophole big business and that corporates externalise costs, socialise losses and privatise profits, and that the 1% use slight of hand to switch from trickle down to a hoover up money from the real economy through banking, property ownership, as well as the way that large corporates exploiting labour and their small independent suppliers and in fact they’ll hover up money out of the real economy with any other means possible. It’s also the fact that we’re entranced by a believe that without capitalism we wouldn’t have the goods and services that we need and love or have a functioning system but actually as i say above, that’s not true because the collaborative and cooperative movement try to work with different rules and deliver many of our needs. but also we have to realise that already some 60% of our economy is ‘informal’ i.e. friends helping each other out with no cost and that another huge percentage is actually ecosystem services that are recorded off balance sheet, then when we factor in al the services from charities, government, social enterprises, coops and collaborative enterprises, plus the fact that much of our monetary economy and job creation comes from small to medium enterprises, which in turn are funding much of the taxes and donations needed for the governments and charities. we start to realise that the corporate economic model actually provides very very little to the economy of the 99`% and is no more than a confidence trickster and we need to unveil it for what it is. Shane

By: Admin (Shane Hughes) Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:13:48 +0000 Hi Paul, i don’t think you’ve upset anyone, the question of self interest is a very important one, and you perception of the question has been the prevailing story for a long time but self interest is clearly just a part of a larger story and to focus only on a part of a story and not the whole is sometimes the same as being wrong. we need to start creating new stories… i’ve never heard of a dove mating with a hawk in the same way as dogs eating dogs is a useful analogy to back up a preferred understanding of the world.

What’s actually emerging as a more nuanced understanding is that you can find loads of symbiotic relationships in nature as you can also find competitive ones. the same as happens in our economy… all i’m suggesting is a rebalancing of the competitive versus the cooperative relationships is a tendency that we’re seeing through our work at REconomy and through the emergence of new economic models and disruptive enterprises. not least because supporting the community dynamic in business is also often seen as supporting ones self interest. Cheers Shane

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By: PaulS Sat, 08 Dec 2012 15:18:18 +0000 Good article, great ideas, one problem: human nature

You may not like to hear this, but humans and many other higher level animals, have evolved to cheat.

We, you, I, they, almost everybody, cheat all the time. We lie, we pretend, we mislead, we confuse and we manipulate. We do all that, weather we admit it to ourselves, to gain an advantage – be it immediate monetary advantage or a long term image or perception advantage.

This is a natural consequence of the development of our brain over the past few million years to accommodate living in mutually dependant groups and apparently co-operating to achieve common goals. Except that each member of the group is actually also competing with all the other members of the group for, in the final analysis, breeding rights. The more successful a group member is the more his more successful treates and genes are passed on and the more dominant/ manipulative/ resourceful his offspring.

I say His, since this evolutionary pressure applies primarily to males. Females have their own secret manipulative strategies to obtain both the protection of a reliable male and if possible by one means or another also the genes of a dominant, but perhaps less reliable male.

If you don’t believe me, try a little thought experiment.
Suppose that we have a tribe of couple of hundred of utterly truthful, straight forward sharers and self-less co-operators and they run a wonderfully utopian paradise society of doves.

One day a random gene variation occurs and a new boy is born, who has some rudimentary abilities to pretend, lie or manipulate, a hawk.

That hawk will have a much greater chance of becoming a leading member of the tribe since he can everything that the doves can, but in addition can tweak situations from time to time to his advantage. What is more, the females of the tribe will notice that and their own selfish genes will drive them to seek to have their own offspring by him… and the gene spreads. We see that all around us, indeed our culture of celebrity makes that quite explicit (although of course granted that celebrities are not always just cheats, some have a measure of talent or strength or other apparently desirable but inoffensive characteristics.

Eventually, the ration of doves and hawks within any one population stabilises usually at around 80-20 ratio. That of course implies that 20% of us tend to the hawk side. Some become criminal, others politicians, most become businessmen or even businesswomen.

Hawks are not all bad! They are proactive, inventive, energetic, driven experimenters who tend to be in the forefront of developments in all areas, even environmentalism and (dare I say it) Transition (!!!). The problem is that we have allowed them to slip the leash, to get away from regulations and even to establish an atmosphere in which the worse of their behaviour is encouraged and praised (although I do detect a very small and timid reaction in the public domain against some (not the worse, but the most visible) of the excesses.

Whatever economic system we try to design for the future, we need to bear in mind the constant presence of the hawks amongst us and the absolute necessity of having double and triple controls in place to keep their exploitation of the doves to a minimum. On the other hand, we as a society should be able to take advantage of their drive, inventiveness, need for reward, etc. to help use invent or discover a way out of our predicament and to a harmonious future for all our kids

I hope i have not upset too many people!