The Global Abyss

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Jonathan…you end your piece with the following suggestions… “Through networking and organizing, we must attempt to build an alternative global economy, based on cooperation and mutual benefit rather than profit. Where local autonomy is respected while rhizomatic trade networks grow organically.”

Do you have any specific ideas or examples of what an “alternative global economy” would look like? And how trade networks would provide a means for people to thrive, not just survive?

I am interested in having conversations with people who have a vision of what a “Less Inequal” future might look like. But I am a practical and analytical person. I am questioning whether we should strive to create a more egalitarian future by fixing our mistakes…or whether we should “Draw a line in the sand”, honestly evaluate where we are at, and move ahead with the “ingredients” we have on hand to create a new way to thrive/survive?



Greetings, Wendy:

I always thought it discourteous to not answer at all, especially a good question, so in lieu of that why not have a little fun?

The Global Abyss is a giant mouth gulping dark space and lined with chattering teeth, mechanically opening and closing, nibbling down while rotating and moving left and right like a typewriter, a rather undercooked but butter-lathered corn on the Cobb.

Ah, a bit of corn just flew down and got me in the eye!

P. S. God knows I have no answers. I think part of the solution however is recognizing strengths in each other, such as your very welcome practical and analytical bent, where another may be good at knocking down obstructions and releasing energy by deliberately crazy imaginings, and helping each other cultivate these skills and talents, and then, each contributing through what comes quite naturally, working together toward a realistic goal.

I think it’s important to stress that one doesn’t have to be a jack of all trades, or a master of everything, a Renaissance man in the mold of Da Vinci, to contribute something of use or quality.

Well, there’s my two cents, so to speak, something modest but reliable which perhaps can be used as a stone in the foundation.


Hi Wendy. Sorry to be “discourteous” in such a delayed response, but I’m not on here that often. I left my statement fairly open-ended because I’m still trying to sort through this myself. I don’t have an exact blueprint, nor do I think such blueprints would be helpful. The world we create will necessarily be built from the raw materials of the world we have. What I was attempting to indicate was that capitalist globalization cannot be reversed, but it can open up possibilities for other kinds of globalization.

I will say that in order to have trade for mutual benefit, we need to have a society of producers on relatively equal footing. What this means in practical terms is that workers should control the workplace rather than labor under the control of a ruling class. To the extent that there is hierarchy, I would advocate something along the lines of a guild system, where advancement is based on mastery of a craft, and there is no outside ownership of the industry. When workers no longer work to make their boss rich, then profit, which is based on exploitation, ceases to be the driving force of production. Instead, it becomes a simple matter of reciprocity. One worker produces something they sell to another worker, whose goods they can buy in return. One further suggestion would be that production might shift away from factories that mass-produce a single good to workshops that allow workers to produce a variety of goods. This would reduce the overall need for commerce itself.

Anyway, those are a few ideas I’ve had floating in my head for a while. Hope that helps.

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