Transformative Ideas

John Cavanagh and Robin Broad, The Nation: It’s the New Economy, Stupid, Nov 28, 2012

A strong case is made here for a complete overhaul of the economic system: to let go of and replace the everlasting tug-of-war between corporate interests pulling for unfettered free markets and the advocates of stronger government regulation and job creation. Cavanagh and Broad argue for government intervention, but with greater refinement than has been done in the past. They emphasize that advancing climate crisis and dysfunctional democracy are in desperate need of attention. Job creation needs to focus on healing environmental and societal wounds, not on deepening them. They describe some positive steps already taken by new economy advocates and note the substantial obstacles yet to be overcome. Finally, they point to specific realistic actions that can be taken immediately. The overall picture is a hopeful one.

Slavoj Zizek, video from We Need Thinking May 28, 2012

Žižek wants a revival of classical philosophy. Although ususally defining himself as a Marxist, he thinks it is more important to look further back to Hegel in order to form a better picture of what’s going on in 21st century thought.

Paul Gilding, video from TEDtalks: The Earth is Full Feb 29, 2012

Gilding: “For me the pressure was really on because I was going into the lion’s den of “techno optimists” – those who believe that technology can solve everything. My message is a tough one for this audience – that sure technology will do wonderful things for us, but the reality is we are going to face some very difficult consequences of our overloading of planet earth and its too late now to stop those consequences. I argue strongly that humans are amazingly capable and will recover from this inevitable crisis and indeed in the end build a stronger and happier society.”  (Youtube link)

Peter A. Victor, video from Council of Canadians: Managing Without Growth, System Change Sept 13, 2011

Professor Victor of York University demonstrates it is possible to create a better and workable society in developed countries, with low or no economic growth. He outlines steps that need to be taken such as non-material definitions of success, shorter work schedules, more generous anti-poverty measures, limits to use of materials, and carbon pricing.