I posed this question to Q&A, a political TV show in Australia, sometime last year. They didn’t air it but it’s had a lot of views on their website, and a comment or two…
“We need a new system”
There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that puts profit before people and our planet. Billions suffer so that few of us can accumulate more “stuff”, leading to poverty, depression, and pollution If we continue our current trajectory, our own consumption will cause our own extinction. Big problems require big solutions. We don’t need another meaningless tax – we need to change the system.
As embarrassing as it is to watch, and as blonde, simplistic, idealist and immature as I sound (“capitalism equals extinction” lol… I’m the first to laugh at myself, so you’re welcome to join me), I think the ideas behind the question are important to address.
As I see it, we are at the precipice… http://www.julietbennett.com/2009/10/20/at-the-precipice/ … and we have to do something.
These are questions I have posed many times on this blog, and doing a full circle post-India’s hit of realism I revisit them and some of my old answers today.
How can we shift our system to one that doesn’t dictate a worship of capital?
What kind of system would not be based on an infinite growth in consumption?
How about a “stationary” economy that John Stuart Mill suggested in 1848?
How about a system that focuses on IMPROVEMENT rather than GROWTH – one that values the quality of our lives, not the quantity of stuff we accumulate?
How about valuing creativity over capital?
Creativity is the most joyous part of life, it’s where solutions to our problems come from, it’s how we evolve. And creativity is infinite!
Could “Creativism” be the answer to our political, economic and religious dilemmas?
The Urban Dictionary defines:
Creativism = ‘The theory or practice of creation as a way to live and understand life.’
Creativist = ‘someone who is attuned creatively to their surroundings; a person who understands and expresses their life through creative works or motifs.’
A seemingly similar philosophy has been called “potentialism”.
Potentialism is a fast-spreading trend. Already since the GFC, one in five Australians are downsizing their wealth in order to dedicate their lives to the things they most enjoy.
As the flight magazine I read on Virgin Blue summed, “We got greedy in the 1980s, grungy in the ’90s and geeky in the noughties. This decade, we’re eager to explore our potential.”  Read more here: http://www.julietbennett.com/2010/04/26/potentialism/
I couldn’t find an official definition of “potentialist” so from what i have read on the topic, I made up my own: A “potentialist” is an alchemist of potential – someone who strives to achieve their mental, physical and spiritual potential.
… I wonder what a society with a stable economy, focused quality not quantity, valuing creativity not capital, and with it’s sight set on the manifestation of our collective potential, would look like?
 Deborah Robinson, Australians leading the way in a return to Global Financial Optimism (November 2009) URL: http://www.australianwomenonline.com/australians-leading-the-way-in-a-return-to-global-financial-optimism/
 “The Potentialists”, Virgin Blue Magazine (April 2010) pp. 34-38.
Photo: I snapped this on my phone on the weekend: kites, colour, sunshine, nature, friends – Bondi was alive as Sydneyites enjoyed the simple pleasures life has to offer.