More Downshifting Deliberations

The Bigger Picture

There's too much noise out there anyway.
The new wave is not value added, it's garbage-subtracted.

Esther Dyson

Prevailing Reality

Preferable Reality

Means to ends:

Domination Partnership

Cause of progress:

Competition Collaboration

Center of interest:

Personal Social

Concept of systems:

Closed Open


Win / Lose Play / Play


Victor / Victim Partner / Ally

Primary goods:

Capital Information

Source of leverage:

Monopoly Polyopoly


Hierarchy Flexiarchy


Victor / Victim Server / Client

Scope of self-interest:

Self / Nation Self / World

Source of power:

Might Right

Source of value:

Scarcity Abundance

Stage of growth:

Child (selfish) Adult (social)

Reference valuables:

Metal, Money Life, Time

Purpose of boundaries:

Protection Limitation

Doc Searls

The goal isn't win/win,
it's play/play.

Craig Burton

Try the Prisoner's Dilemma
for a 'game' exploring win/lose and play/play strategies!

When the Exxon Valdez spilled its load of oil into the Gulf of Alaska - a dark moment in recent American history - America's GDP went up. (A lot of money was spent on the cleanup, media coverage, ecological testing, legal fees, etc.).
When the Gulf War broke out, America's GDP went upagain. Money changed hands. The country became "healthier".
Indeed, every time there's a car accident or a newly diagnosed cancer patient, whenever personal or societal catastrophes occur, the GDP goes up and the economy "gains".

Walking, biking and mass transit contribute less to the GDP than using an automobile.
Trains contribute less than airplanes;
an extra blanket or sweater less than raising the thermostat;
one-child families less than six-child families;
eating legumes less than eating beef;
starting a vegetable garden less then buying at the supermarket;
staying home to raise your daughter less than getting a part-time job at Wendy's.

Kalle Lasn
in "Adbusters" , Summer 1997

Imagine our ending this century *without the intellectual courage or capacity to question a depeopled economics.
Imagine a public morality that places the economy as a trancendent entity above the human inhabitants of nations and the international community.
There is an urgent need to reconstitute the orientation of the Social Sciences.
There is a public need for moral courage, for rage, agitation, organisation and struggle in favour of the humanistic project.

Michael D. Higgins
*Speaking in the mid-1990s