Work in progress.  Last entry Sept 27/08




Emergency Paradigm Shift


[This a draft opening page of what I hope will become a cyber-cooperative effort that can link the many thousands of existing forces for socioeconomic change, and linking these together in a holistic way such that they may form the shape of, and develop synergistically, into a new social order.  ]







-Links on this page go to brief footnotes below with further linkages-


Time moves us reluctantly toward 2009.  Although not fully accepted, for many of us the haze is clearing on the knowledge that our search for meaningful ways to avert catastrophic climate change, have not been found. 


Perhaps we have been looking in all the wrong places.


Let us finally accept there is no possibility of finding a solution within the prevailing paradigm/worldview.  Cyberneticist Stafford Beer coined a hint of this dilemma in 1992 when he said:

We are looking at the rubble that remains of two competing empires. Soviet communism has accepted its own demise; western capitalism has not accepted it yet.


But since that time many of the soviet block countries, also China and others, have adopted many of the ways of western capitalism about which Stafford was speaking.  For this text we replace the term, western capitalism, with a more descriptive term for today, corporate governance. Systemic flaws in corporate governance make it incapable of recognizing limits to growth in human activity and the assault on Earth’s natural environment, Gaia, accelerates toward/into collapse.  The acceleration is caused by corporate influenced governments’ quest for exponential economic growth, i.e: growth in human activity. With growth being the principle success criterion of today’s governments’, human activity growth must follow a magically expanding money supply.  Capitalism has become a cult, according George Manbiot, in The Guardian Dec. 31, 2002 as he writes:

Capitalism is a millenarian cult, raised to the status of a world religion. Like communism, it is built upon the myth of endless exploitation. Just as Christians imagine that their God will deliver them from death, capitalists believe that theirs will deliver them from finity. The world's resources, they assert, have been granted eternal life.


In recent decades there have been many individual researchers, international conference committees, and UN agencies that have studied the matter: they give Stern warnings: they recommend green changes and they state oxymorons like, sustainable development. But paradigm paralysis appears to prevent a scientifically based clear-cut diagnosis with appropriate recommendations, hard-core recommendations that such as those in this story:

[Metaphorically speaking]

    Siamese-twin are joined at the head. The two bodies are, corporate governance, and human civilization.  The brain and body of corporate governance has become aggressively dominant. It has a malignancy that demands growth: it has a damaged centrally nerve system leaving the brain isolated from essential controlling feedback from the body’s sub systems and physical extremities that detect heat, and energy nutrient flows, etc. It has anesthetized the brain of the human civilization body to the point where it too has become almost unresponsive to the vital information from its body elements: information dealing with the human spirit, and all the physical and nutritional and emotional requirements of a peaceful vibrant viable human civilization.


   An emergency operation is necessary and only one twin will survive. Although the operation will be revolutionary in scope, virtually all of the procedures and process to be used have been well documented, tried and tested on a smaller scale. During the multi year operation, and before final severance, the human civilization body must supplant the essential services of corporate governance.  This will be done by empowering its distributed body organs to deal with most production control and flow decisions: The enhanced nervous system will provide multi-directional feedback to the central brain and other organs. By the time the operation is complete, corporate governance will have atrophied, partly from lack of blood (oil), and partly because of (bio)logical rejection from the now interactive system of systems that make complex human civilization viable.  But to be viable over time (sustainable), it will still take significant time to reduce from obesity of the malignant growth era.  And it will learn to live in balanced harmony with the renewable resources of its home, the mother system, Gaia.  For human civilization, this will be a déjà vu experience.  [end of metaphor]


The concept of revolutionary change is now beginning to permeate the thoughts of open minded observers of world events: Recently on an email discussion group, Pedro of Havana Cuba said:

Folks, could it be that what is needed, historically of course, not from one day to the next, is to transcend capitalism and arrive at another type of societal organization?  I know that even the thought of that might give the shivers to some of you, specially those living in first world countries.


Surely such thoughts are now widespread as the gravity of the human predicament worsens. Besides Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, wise people like Sir Martin Reese, President of, The Royal Society, predicts, in his book, Our Final Century, there is a 50/50 chance humans will be extinct before the turn of the next century.  This is not homo sapience’s finest hour. Let the operation begin!


The reason Stafford Beer is quoted at the beginning of this text is that he was a pioneer in attempts to develop systemic governance responding to feedback from remote component parts in ways not found in corporate capitalism.  The needed changes seem revolutionary in some ways, but much of the physical aspects of today’s institutions and our day-to-day activities will generally appear to be about the same after our severance from corporate governance.  Quoting Beer again, from his earlier book Designing Freedom ‘72:


I am proposing simply that society should use its tools to redesign its institutions, and to operate those institutions quite differently. You can imagine all the problems. But the first and gravest problem is in the mind, screwed down by all those cultural constraints. You will not need a lot of learning to understand what I am saying: what you will need is intellectual freedom. It is a free gift for all who have the courage to accept it. Remember: our culture teaches us not intellectual courage, but intellectual conformity.


<<<<End of: Emergency Paradigm Shift>>>>



Notes (help with better references welcome)



economic growth, i.e: growth in human activity: This virtual lock step relationship has been demonstrated time and again, with accelerating growth in both human – population numbers, and activity – energy and resource throughput. [link?]


magically expanding money:  [links?]

First Fiat $  link?


A very brief overview of our modern debt economy



Stern  Stern Report


Sustainable Development: from the Brundtland Commission ’89, Our Common Future.


Paradigm: for now, go to Wicki  paradigm/world-view

PARADIGM - from John Croft June 12/98 quote:

"What is a paradigm?  Willis Harman gives a definition that we find very useful: A paradigm is 'the basic way of perceiving, thinking, valuing, and doing associated with a particular vision of reality'.  A civilisation's paradigm shapes how we see and understand the nature of reality, our sense of self, and our feelings of social connection and purpose.  Paradigms shape not only our thoughts, but our very perceptions and experience of life.  When a civilization shifts from one paradigm to another that shift goes to the core of our lives, and represents much more than a change of ideas."




Paradigm paralysis: For now, go to Wicki  paradigm paralysis

Paradigm paralysis causes delusional thinking in order to avoid the reality of conflict between evidence of Gaiacide and economic growth.  For example, in 2001economic ministers at, Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, (OECD) adopted the concept of Decupling, to mentally separate economic growth from ecological decline. See Also.

see pychosis




Corporate governance (was Beer’s western capitalism): (draft text – improvement welcome) While capitalism was developing over the centuries the world was relatively sparsely populated; resources were so abundant they appeared to be without limits.  As human populations grew, corporatization of production was developed to give leveraged to growth in throughput of goods and services, but principally to make corporate leaders rich. Over the years exponential growth became as a systemically imbedded as a fundamental requirement of corporate governance.  This including the monetary system []. Whatever limiting regulation corporate governance may have had in the 1950s were virtually abolished with beginnings of the neo conservative era, a concept from the School Of Chicago group.  The basic tenets of neo-concervativism are to deregulate and empower corporations and to corporatize civil infrastructure, Gaian resources, natural processes (DNA etc.) and even intellectual knowledge. But the concept of deregulation is he antithesis of systemic regulation: Any system without regulation, whether mechanical, electrical, sociopolitical or Gaian, will always be driven to limits: The collapse of Earth’s natural systems does not compute in corporate governance.

In this llth hour it is too late for corporate governance to change.

Great macromoney drawing at


Quote from reviewer of Niomi Klein’s ’07, Shock Doctrine on the subject of Disaster Capitalism - Microcosm and Macrocosm
Disaster capitalism is according to Klein "...orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, combined with the treatment of disasters as exciting market opportunities." (6) It has its origins in the "Chicago School" of economics made famous and perpetuated for decades by University of Chicago economics professor, Milton Friedman, who actually coined the phrase "shock treatment" to describe the psychological pummeling of societies and individuals who might stand in the way of or could be made more useful to the advancement of corporate goals. One recent example was the dramatic use of shock and awe, including using those very words to describe it, against the nation of Iraq during the invasion by the U.S. in 2003. A more recent example to which Klein devotes a great deal of attention is the devastation of New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina.




Human Civilization: The world of humans and the human spirit, with physical requirements our daily toil, our cultures and religions, our intellectual requirements and the artifacts we create.



Gaia: The name of the earth’s sun energized interactive system of biological life and mineral within the atmosphere. The name Gaia, from Greek mythology, was the name of the Goddess of Earth, selected by scientist James Lovelock to given the whole viable system a name.



Designing Freedom Read the contents of this page, and then brows, but go to “Documents” and download, Designing Freedom.  It is a paraphrase with added data to Beer’s book by the same name. Or else get Beer’s original book from a library.



The Growth Syndrome: A presentation at the World Order Conference, Ryerson University 2003 by Don Chisholm The Growth Syndrome  




End of notes