The Redistributive, Rearrangement, Reorganizational, and the Theoretically Tabula Rasa Alternative to Capitalism (2021)
By Ingrid Katrine Amundsen
KEYWORDS: GLOBAL-LOCAL COLLABORATION • A GLOBAL REDISTRIBUTION SYSTEM • ALTERNATIVE TO CAPITALISM
"As the coronavirus continues its march around the world, governments have turned to proven public health measures, such as social distancing, to physically disrupt the contagion. Yet, doing so has severed the flow of goods and people, stalled economies, and is in the process of delivering a global recession. Economic contagion is now spreading as fast as the disease itself. [...]. In this uncharted territory, naming a global recession adds little clarity beyond setting the expectation of negative growth. Pressing questions include the path of the shock and recovery, whether economies will be able to return to their pre-shock output levels and growth rates, and whether there will be any structural legacy from the coronavirus crisis." (Carlsson-Szlezak, Reeves, and Swartz 2020).
Indeed, the global nerve after a historical shock or a so-called exogenous shock is shaky, uncertain, and unpredictable. We can all feel the tensions, just by taking in the news on TV, from social media, in the newspapers, or by listening to the radio. Because, being in a pandemic state, is most certainly, an exogenous shock, also in the classical economist's view. It is a frightening historical event. Krugman (2020c) even argued before the coronavirus that: "the rules of the game changes" after a profound crisis. But, he refered to the financial crisis in 2008-2009 (Krugman 2020c). The coronavirus crisis, adds further dramatic consequenses for our global world, our health, our loved ones, our lives, and our livelihoods, as well as for geopolitical stability. And, in the midst of this turmoil, this brooding global society, we must take a halt. Because, it is more than legimate to turn existential; on the behalf of our current economic system, and ask ourselves: what is an economy, if it fails to support the majority of humanity, and nature? Because, the corona crisis, also creates vast opportunities to rethink our economic system, for the better. We must ask ourselves: what works, and what does not? It is time for a fundamental transfiguration of the economic system, from a dysfunctional economic system; with lacks in adaptiveness (Hylland Eriksen 2019), and redistribution deficiency, to a system that is more redistributive and collaborative, inclusive and resilient, as well as adaptive on all geographical scales . It has to make humanity and nature, recover, thrive and rise again, and secure a more geographically evenly dispersion of advanced technologies, and resources. It must emphasise on technological fairness, at the expense of technological power abuse, monopoly, and exploitation. Additionally, it must accentuate on a healthy economic and political power balance globally, hence it must also address pressing geopolitical matters, and urgent global issues tied to natural ecosystem resources. We must base our global economy on renewable energy and renewable resources, in order to create a sustainable economy for the future. Given the situation our global society is in: it is time to change the rules for the better, and create new and holistic economic principles for our future. We must not let this historical shock change our planet, our world, for the worse. Furthermore, we must shape a sustainable economic system, within the framewoorks of a social-ecological economic leadership and a socio-technical system, which can take on the challenges, that our global economy is currently facing such as: a potential economic instability due to the corona crisis, heightened job insecurity and job inequality (Chang 2010b,d and f), increased social and economic inequality (Piketty 2017, Krugman 2020a and b), and a continous and emerging gap between financial assets and the real economy (Chang 2010c), fragmentation of the global economic system due to a lack of adaptive governance and collective leadership, and a need for a more just and fair redistribution of (natural) resources (Dryzek 2005). Also, inequal provisions of environmental burdens and problems (Dryzek 2005), as well as the uneven spread of advanced technologies (Dicken 2011b), increased national debts, increased household debts (Rajan 2020), and market failures (Chang 2010g). The problems are piling up! Nevertheless, even though we need an alternative economic model badly, it is important to note that the alternative system which will be stated, is not an all-inclusive answer to all the societal problems mentioned. The author has had to make her internal trade-offs, based on a careful selection of literature, which may highlight the most pressing and relevant and urgent challenges, and critiques of our current economic system. More importantly, the author have chosen to address what the majority of people, and nature need the most. Such needs are increased social and economic equality, a more fair access to advanced technologies, and a global-local leadership, which ensures us that requirements or measures of a global redistribution, and ecological measures are met, and that environmental responsibilities are taken more seriously. And additionally, we must sophistically maneuver among the challenges that the oponents of capitalism are up against, and respond to these urgent issues in a constructive manner. Because evidently, the economic language – is also the language of power (Moene 2020). Moreover, as problematic the economic and social, political, and environmental trends in our global economic system are, we have to confront these demanding societal challenges now. Certainly, these systemic societal problems will only get worse, if we do not pull the problems by the root instantly: we are up against the wall! We must confront the heart of the matter, and, get into this powerful, difficult, and demanding "game" right now. As a starter, the essence to our problems about capitalism stems from, or more precisely; the achilles heel of our global economic system, is presented by the Norwegian economist; Jacobsen (2019), in the following quotes:
"Although competition means that resources are allocated in an efficient and rational way, this does not necessarily mean that the distribution is fair. [...]. When the market economy, both nationally and globally, contributes to the ever-increasing differences, with the consequence that some live in abundance while others starve, it shows that liberalism's demands for equality and justice are not met. [...]. As mentioned earlier; the economy should assure that human welfare, efficient use of resources and adaptation to ecological frameworks are met. [...]. Since a pure market economy has not built in any principles, that ensures us that resources are distributed in a fair way, the consequence of the differential treatment is instead that the distance between rich and poor increases in a self-reinforcing way. [...]. The solution may lie within an economic paradigm based on a foundation that unites humanism with ecological responsibility" (translated from Norwegian by the author, note: the different quotes has been pulled together by the author, see: the brackets in the text, or the full text in Norwegian, in Jacobsen 2019c, p. 70 and 73, or pp. 70-73).
The most pressing challenge of the current economic system seams to be the lack of a fair and just distribution of resources (Jacobsen 2019, p. 70). This, implies that we must create a more equal and redistributive economy: a different planatary economy, which brings together both humanism and ecological responsibility (Jacobsen 2019, p. 73). In short, our global economy has to change fundamentally. This highly demanding global system change of our current economy, start out with five methodological tools from stating the alternative to capitalism, then discussing the tabula rasa situation we are in, to a brife clarification of the author's outsider role, to emphasising on transdiciplinarity. Next, the author identifies five groups of challenges to our current economic system, capitalism. And, then to discuss five cornerstones of existing theories to solve the stated problems with capitalism. After the two folded theory discussion, the author represents three real life cases that supports the author's core theoretical concept. From the three cases, the author moves on to suggest eight reinvented and reimagined principles for a planetary economy, as part of her alternative to capitalism. This section is embedded in existing, and constructed theory. Finally, the author turns to the core of her theoretical and visual concept. First, a social ecological leadership globally must be established, which have to be rooted in local communities and citizens empowerment. Furthermore: an environmental contract of guiding principles globally on constitutional reforms will be stated, that must be anchored in national sovereignty. Next, the green valuta, regrowth, and the multiple loop economy synthesis, will be discussed. And, this part of the action plan needs to be scrutinized more thoroughly.
To start with, rather than the linear capitalist system, the author will create a multiple loop system, that may tie these growth types together. The loops can be summarized by these key functions: first, it is embedded in socio-economic, socio-technical and social-ecological systems, which serves as three levels in the visual models, that will be stated. Second, it alternates between different types of growth: growth, negative and positive regrowth, and degrowth, in multiple loop systems, suggested as the core theoretical concept of the circular economy (Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2012). Third, the author make claims for a local-global economic and adaptive governance system, which means that the adaptive governance must have a presence on all geographical scales. More importantly, theories on adaptive governance, is rooted within the frameworks of social-ecological economic systems, such as e.g. the ecological economy (Schultz et al 2015, Spash and Asara 2018, Jacobsen 2019a-e). Additionally, this part of the alternative economic system is embedded in institutional economics (Ostrom 2015, Hodgeson 2018), and behavioural economics, as well as complexity economics (Kahneman 2011, Kirman 2018). Both of these; latter mentioned economic systems, discuss notions such as: bounded rationality, non equilibrium, and the economy as an open system (Kirman 2018). This, in contrast to free market capitalism, that is embedded in equilibrium processes, rational decision making in closed economic systems. The classical economists argue, that the economy is calculable, since it is claimed to appear in closed systems (Kirman 2018). However, even classical economists argue that during a historical shock; such as e.g. the covid shock, is a good opportunity to make profound system changes to our current economic model. Fourth and most importantly, the alternative is rooted in theories on the optimum currency area (Mundell 1961), and theories on the impossible trinity by Fleming and Mundell (1962, 1963), to shape a redistributive green valuta currency system. However, this poses an obvious challenge: what is the right balance between national sovereignty, and more regional and optimum currency areas? The most straightforward solution is to make these two geographical levels of economic power interdependent. This will be stressed in the theoretical section and the analysis, and it is perhaps the most demanding make-or-break point of this brief alternative synthesis. Furthermore, the alternative economic synthesis is heterodox, complementary, pluralist and eclectic, and relies on transdisciplinarity, it is therefore an holistic approach. Fifth, embedded in circularity and different growth types, the alternative must have a grip on the environmental, social and economic challenges of a responsible consumption and production system (UNDP in Guterres 2020). These are concerns and opportunities, that free-market capitalism fails to handle safely, and adapt to. Sixth, the five privious steps must work as an planetary and economic adaptive governance system, that connects all levels (local-global), and makes them interact socially and societally, politically and technologically, environmentally, as well as economically. This comprehensive system alternative, therefore, has to co-work, co-create and co-evolve with and within the environment, and its physical surroundings. In other words, this system perspective on global economic activities, must function as a redistributive and sustainable economic system alternative to – capitalism: a new planatary economy. Additionally, this alternative must have profound respect for the vulnerabilities and limits of natural ecosystems and physical surroundings as commons (Meadows, Meadows, Randers, and Beherens 1972, Ostrom 2015). Because, over consumption and production, creates irresponsible environmental vulnerabilities and problems, that puts humanity and nature at high risk. A global economy must strive to find solutions on how to prevent "the distance between rich and poor [to increase] in a self-reinforcing way" (Jacobsen 2019c, p. 73). This situation is inherited by the liberal economists' sins of not addressing their own shortcomings, when it comes to accepting that nature and mankind, have given limits. They should have created preventive, and impactful principles, that are more than mere rational, and efficient market supply and demand distribution, and competition, which has proven to be unfair and unjust in the long run (Jacobsen 2019c, p. 70). More importantly, future global principles must, therefore, be ecological, humanist, and economic, in the sense that these must provide a fair and just redistribution of resources among mankind, that does not diminish nature's path (Jacobsen 2019c, p. 73). In this context, we thereby, have to ask ourselves two more simple, but highly relevant questions. If we put our minds into it: how can we make our global economic system; an economy for the majority of people, and nature? Is it doable?
It is time to get into this powerful game. It is time for a game changer for humanity, and nature! Let us, if only momentarily, try to distract our attention from the pile of problems in front of us. We must not become paralyzed by the amounts of difficulties we are confronted with. We briefly have to ignore the profound feeling of being stuck in a system failure. And then quickly turn our curiosity to the cascade of benefits and opportunities for nature and humanity, embedded in an alternative and well-funtioning planetary economic system. The alternative suggested should, most of all, strive to be fit for a sustainable future: our common future (UN 1987). To achieve this, we must seeize the opportunity, that have been handed over to us, in the shape of a historical shock. Indeed, we have to exploit the tabula rasa situation we are in, in order to reimagine and reinvent the economic system we live by, to create a better global future for all. However, to accommodate such profound system changes, we must start by running up that hill, or mountain. Everyone have to take their part in the opportunities and challenges ahead, by creating and sharing problemsolving concepts and thoughts, innovations and actions, technologies, and ideas, as well as environmental measures, fit for the future. But, what if everything, as we know it, falls apart?
It is; in every circumstances, fundamental to have an alternative plan or method. The most fundamental methodological choice of strategy must therefore; as difficult it might seam, be to create a well-functioning alternative to the capitalist system. This, in case of emergency, or if everything should fall apart. If our global economy fails to co-work, co-create, and co-evolve with nature on a global-local level. If it fails to support a fairer redistribution of advanced technologies. And, if the present economy fails to provide us a more equal and just social and economic alternative: it will leave us; the majority, if not futureless, then certainly less prosperous, and with more restricted livelihoods and freedoms, than the privileged few. This is why we need to make the most out of the crisis or historical shock we are in, to change the principles of the game, that we reluctantly have had to play by, up until this point. We must put our trust and enthusiasm in problem solving mindsets, and believe that there are multiple economic system combination possibilities, that has not yet transpired to us. These might be far better suited to approach our urgent societal matters, such as social and economic, institutional and political, as well as technological, and environmental challenges, concerns, and hopes for the future. We are not stuck forever! Given this, the core question that comes to my mind is: why not switch to a more preferable "game", with better future prospects for humanity, and nature? Our current free market capitalist system, has proven to us that it is surely not as sustainable or resilient, responsible or adaptive, stable or equal, redistributive or collaborative, as we would have anticipated. And, which we legitimately can demand from a well-functioning global economic system, in the future. To elaborate on this, whether we like it or not, we have to pave the way for system changes of our dysfunctional capitalist model (lack of adaptiveness and lack of resilience). Because, our current economic system suppress, or ceases to support our natural ecosystems, and the majority of mankind. We have pushed ourselves; our natural ecosystems, our physical surroundings, and humanity, to the limits. Because, there are human and planetary limits to growth, which we have surpassed (Meadows et al 1972). This, measured by e.g. increased job insecurity, rapid internationalization of finance, and increased ecological footprints, which makes human beings live in economic uncertainty, as well as to live in a dysfunctional economic system. A global society which degraded natural ecosystems and – supports economic and social inequality (Meadows et al 1972, Dicken 2011a). In short, we have had to live in an economic system, in which economic growth has caused increasement in e.g. population, food production, industrialization, pollution, and consumption of nonrenewable natural resources, exceeds social, and ecological boundaries globally (Meadows et al 1972, Raworth 2012, 2017). Our core aim must therefore be to create a future world in balance, in which nature's given boundaries, and social limits are not exceeded (Meadows et al 1972, Raworth 2012, 2017). In other words: we have to construct an innovative societal contract with nature, in which each country commit to constitutionally protect nature, and human beings. Examples of such reformative legislative actions taken, are evident in e.g. the legislation of pioneering environmental countries such as New Zealand and Costa Rica (New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment, Resource Management Act 1991, Costa Rica Law 1998). Therefore, look to New Zealand, and Costa Rica for constitutional legislative reforms taken. It is possible, and rewarding for nature, and humanity, it has e.g. resulted in ecotourism, and exciting benefits the restoration of nature in both countries, as well as prosperous business opportunities. Nevertheless, we must ensure that nature's ecological bondaries are not surpassed, and that the constitutional environmental laws suggested, are not violated. An international agreement on constitutional reforms globally, must be created. To acheive this, we must create an adaptive, inclusive, and resilient governance globally with guiding principles, on the matters of the environment, and on how to make environmental friendly legislative reforms come true. It will make the transition towards a more ecological responsible future, more likely. Additionally, we need an alternative to capitalism; in case of a collapse, an emergency, or most certainly: in case of a continuous system failure to justly support humanity and nature, in an ecological responsible, and lifesaving manner.
That said, it is time to find an environmental cure to our societal problems, that must be embedded in a structural change, and a radical change of our global society, by the means of a planetary, redistributive, and collaborative economic model. This economic model must put regrowth, and a green valuta first. It must also transform the economy from being linear to resource generating loop systems. In order to support this new world order: the post-corona order, with new power configurations, new options to collaborate, new planetary perspectives, and new geopolitical alliances, we must change our global, national, regional, and local economic societies radically. This century, the 21st century, is a milestone historically. We are in a groundbreaking shock. This represents a vast and powerful opportunity, to change the inequal, unjust, and unfair economic system we have constructed, which causes an over exploitation of nature. This economic system favours the priviledged few, rather than the majority of people. We need to start rearranging and redistributing the resources we possess more fairly, and more equally socially and economically, environmentally, and politically. To acheive that, we additionaly need to start rethinking the organization or the arrangement of our global economic society. And, start this transition towards sustainability, by evaluating tabula rasa options to the arrangement of our present economic system, in which we decide what to keep, and what to throw away. At least: we must make a real effort in trying to leed the economy into more sustainable patterns. These sustainable patterns must supports the majority of mankind, advanced technological fairness, and nature jointly. We must enable nature and humanity to co-work, co-create and co-evolve, socially, technologically, politically, and ecologically. It is time to open up for a real conversation and a dialogue with nature. The corona crisis might make most of us to rethink our lives and our exsistence, as well as urgent existential matters of our global society. Because of that, we have already become more prone to adapt to changes. We must accept that we are in a favourable tabula rasa moment! The 21st century could be the year of fundamental, and rapid societal system changes, with global repercussions. The world is tossing and and turning, and changing as I write. The structures are changing. We must seize the opportunity. But, remember: we create the structures, we are the structures, only we can change them. We must breake free from pre-existing chains of societal problems we have nutured, and start reinventing and reimagening what kind of societal principles we need, to improve ourselves. What the earth needs, is what we need too! Because we are nature. It is time to clean the table, and take in all the impression from existing economic theories and notions, in order to reimagine and reinvent these. Let us start out by rethinking theoretical concepts. and notions in our mindsets, and at least to reimagine and reinvent our existing theories, and notions. The tabula rasa moment is here. We must let the structural changes unfold, and not fight against it. And, do everything in ower power to steer the structural changes in the right direction. The 21st century is our pivot moment for ecological responsible actions and behaviour. In order to create something original, or odd, fit for a different era: we must take a a moment and pause to think, and then innovatively navigate into the unknown. The final acheivement of this global system change quest, must be to make sure that we have kept the best from the past, learned from our mistakes, and added a twist; an original theoretical concept. This innovative goal, must be present in all the steps required to solve this riddle. And, the result must be fit for an ecological responsible, and humanist future: it must work for the majority of people, and nature. But, what kind of position is best suited to take on such an ambitious; or perhaps even unrealistic challenge, and unsound quest?
The uncertain times we are all in, creates an opening for the objective outsider's perspective of reinventing and reimagining economic theories, and notions – as discussed; a tabula rasa situation. This, with all the objectiveness and preconseptions, and biases, embodied in the understanding, that follows such an self-proclaimed position:
"The qualitative researcher's perspective is perhaps a paradoxical one: it is to be acutely tuned-in to the experiences and meaning systems of others—to indwell—and at the same time to be aware of how one's own biases and preconceptions may be influencing what one is trying to understand" (Maykut and Morehouse 1994, p. 123; in Corbin Dwyer and Buckle 2009).
While the insiders have access to meaning systems, notions, and theories, cultures, and interpretations of these, the outsider's obvious advantage is based on the same arguments: freedom from these meaning systems, cultures, theories, and notions, as well as interpretations. This makes the outsider prone to be objective, free form doctrined knowledge, and innovative. Furthermore, the author will address the following analysis from an alternation between these two proclaimed positions, to navigate from the known and into the unknown and scrutinize societal matter from both an architect; the most obvious outsider role, in this brief essay on planetary economics, but also another outsider role; a human geographers stance on the global world economy (economic geography). The objectivity of an outsider role, may therefore be slightly modified, because it is an alternation between both an outsider position, and a writing economic geographer (some insiders insight). However, the author's outsider role, is most certainly, the creative and organic-intuitive, and visual-spatial, architect's approach. While the slightest insider positions creates an access to core economic theories, and notions, the outsider role makes space for conceptualizing and constructing theory for a global system change. In addition: the author has chosen qualitative research towards a global economy, rather than economy as a dismal science, to enhance accessibility and democratization of knowledge (open science). In short, the task is to reimagine and reinvent economic theory, and notions, to fit the purpose of this brief paper. This purpose, is the integration of knowledge, through synthesis, pluralism, and transdisciplinarity, in order to create a planatary economy for the future. These methodological tools will be discussed next.
Since humanity is part of nature our global society can, be regarded as a natural system guided by principles, or a natural complex guided by rules. These rules and principles continuously change, whether we like it, or not (Kahil 1990, p. 11). While the economy as a dismal science, may be regarded as a complex goverened by rules, qualitative research conciders the global society as a system, which may be guided by principles. While principles are more loose, less specific, and more of a guiding kind, rules are more specific, and fixed. Furthermore, to understand the global society as a system, the author applies two cognitive styles to understand our challenges when facing demanding global system changes. Let us start by defining the two thinking styles suggested: synthesis and decomposition. While the cognitive process of a synthesis is to build or construct a theoretical concept piece by piece or argument by argument, a decomposition breaks wholeness or theoretical concepts into parts, to scrutinize these. Because, it is easier to understand a system built element by element, or a theoretical wholeness divided into parts, than understanding a whole system at once. Examples of systems are food security, the Nordic model, the institutional art world, capitalism and ecosystems. Both cognitive styles; addressed to understand holistic systems, such as e.g. the global society, are core processes needed to conceptualize and construct conceptual theory on global system change. More more importantly, these two procedures aims at creating coherance, and system understanding in this context. The strategic choice of either option; a synthesis or a decomposition, is to understand and relate to core research questions methodologically. Such questions stated are: what feels most natural in identifying the characteristics of the problem(s) addressed? What brings the most original twist? Or, what unfolds the concerns of the system analysis? And finally: what kinds of arguments supports the coherence of the system inquiry most thoughtfully? Indeed, the synthesis-decomposition procedure aim at finding solutions to impossible intellectual quests such as e.g. global system changes, by creating an alternative or different planetary economy, than what we currently live by. This, is executed by taking into account theory that are pluralist, heterodox, complementary, and eclectic, which may support a variety of approaches to a planetary system change towards a more environmentally friendly global society. It also expresses my enthusiasm about the myriad of critical and dissenting ideas, embedded in a broader perspective on the field of economy, such as e.g. a transdisciplinary approachs, or pluralism:
"Economics is a hugely varied field, with an amazing colourful array of different paradigms, methods and focuses, and pluralist economics is [a study] that includes all of these [,...by] introduc[ing] critical and dissenting ideas" (Fischer, Hasell, Proctor, Uwakwe, Ward-Perkins and Watson 2018, p. 2 and 4).
I have decided to define the key notion; pluralism, because it is perhaps the most unfamiliarly notion of the four words that are befrended. The other words, such as e.g. complementary, heterodox and eclectic, is therefore more intuitively defined, since, these are as mentioned, more familiar to us. Heterodoxity is; in this context, conceptual theory that separates itselves from standard or traditional perceptions, such as e.g. by being odd or original. Complementary; in this brief essay, means that different conceptual theories; alike colours, creates a neutral or balance, when combined, (this is utilized to create a principle of key balances geopolitically, bellow). And finally; eclectic, in this short text, may be understood as theories and notions deriving from a broad range of sources, a relevant mix of quite differentiated theories, that when applied, supports the global system change approach. Furthermore, it favours a full system account, or the more complete or more percisely; a holistic system understanding, such as e.g. to creates order when tidying up a messy room. In this case, the messy room is our fragmented global society. That brings us to the next mehodological tool, that may pave the way for a more holistic understanding of our messy world: transdisciplinarity.
It is important to note, that transdiciplinarity needs to be scrutinized or explained more thoroughly, than this brief essay can provide space for. In short, it strives to create unity or wholeness out of pluralist, eclectic, complementary, and heterodox theoretical theory in this brief essay. Furthermore, what separates transdisciplinarity from interdisciplinarity, is the aim of creating holistic systems and approaches, that fills in the gaps of an otherwise fragmented and incomplete global society. Indeed, the quest of transdisciplinarity is to unify and integrate knowledge. This, in order to create a system account or a holistic understanding, and solve our most pressing environmental, economic, social, and political matters. And, address what structural challenges and systemic opportunities, our global society has to handle, through this fundamental era of systemic global change, caused by a historical schock, that paves the way for structural processes:
“The notion of transdisciplinarity exemplifies one of the historically important driving forces in the area of interdisciplinarity, namely, the idea of the desirability of the integration of knowledge into some meaningful whole. The best example, perhaps, of the drive to transdisciplinarity might be the early discussions of general systems theory when it was being held forward as a grand synthesis of knowledge. Marxism, structuralism, and feminist theory are sometimes cited as examples of a transdisciplinary approach. Essentially, this kind of interdisciplinarity represents the impetus to integrate knowledge, and, hence, is often characterized by a denigration and repudiation of the disciplines and disciplinary work as essentially fragmented and incomplete.
If we now look at these rough and ready distinctions through the lenses of the three conceptual strands noted above, some interesting results emerge. First, consider the theoretical-practical wisdom distinction. Strictly disciplinary activities tend primarily to be concerned with theoretical understanding, while multidisciplinary activities, and perhaps even some interdisciplinary projects, are more concerned with practical results. Transdisciplinary activities, to be sure, tend toward addressing questions of theoretical understanding, especially those of the unity of knowledge, but the distinction between theoretical concerns and practical questions in interdisciplinary work seems worth making.” (Petrie 1992, pp. 299-333; in Evans 2014).
This systemic transdisciplinary approach, synthesis, and plurealist way to address urgent global societal matters, are tied to the environment, the sphere of politics, the economy, and social matters of just and fair redistribution. It intersects or supports Mokiy's (2020) perspective on 'system transdiciplinarity as a metadiscipline'; with an inherent metanarrative, metatheory, and/or metamodel.
Transdisciplinarity strives for unity of knowledge (Nicolescu, 1997; in Moghadam-Saman 2018 ). Morover, it “[…] involves intense interaction between academics and practitioners in order to promote a mutual learning process between them.” (Steiner and Posch, 2006, 4; in Moghadam-Saman 2018). In this context, three core visual models and descriptive systems, as well as three cases will be stated, later in this brief paper: the environmental contract, green valuta, regrowth, and the multiple loop economy synthesis, as well as local embeddedness, and citizen empowerment. But, first we have to look into visualizations as a methodological tool, versus descriptive systems, or as in Mokiy's (2020) metaclassification; metanarratives or metatheory. The idea of this brief paper, is to show that metanarratives or descriptive systems can co-work, co-create and co-evolve with visual models or metamodels; in a synergetic way, to pave the way for a metadiscipline. System transdisciplinarity, is a system of systems, in which the system is more important than the parts or fragments. Since it is a system (explanation) of systems (fragments), it is also a metadiscipline. However, in this lies also the weakness of system transdisciplinarity. Indeed, since it takes an holistic approach to our world, it might underestimate the power of the details. Additionally, this brief paper is not a general system theory, even though it will strive to. It will more likely turn out to be a system explanation, an outsider's take on macroeconomics. Thus, it will discuss parts of the system, with a system transdisciplinarity ambition. That said, with this methodological statement, the author will set out to identify five key problems within our current economic system; capitalism. Let us start out by scrutinizing the geographical unevenness of advanced technologies; as one of five core problems to our global economy, which is up for discussion in this brief paper.
Creating a planatary economic system is all about alternating between key balances, and make space for an improvement of social relationships, leadership connections and social interaction, between citizens and citizens, citizens and government, governments, and governments. Such relationships must be built step-by-step, and these must be based on openness and tolerance, trust and care, solidarity and collaboration, diversity and inclusiveness, as well as justness and fairness. We must welcome, and nuture the learnings from the frontiers of the future; the frontline of science and culture, in order to understand what kinds of environmental and cultural challenges, and opportunities we will be faced with in the future. The most radical, experimental, progressive mindsets of the frontline will prepare us for future societal challenges and problems tied to the economy, the environment, advanced technology, and urgent societal matters. All relationships, social interactions and leadership connections at the earth, has to work on all geographical scales, and create insightful environmental measures and policies; fit for each geographical scale, that must, most of all, must strive to create a solid foundation for citizen empowerment, an adaptive governance, and a collaborative planatery economy; in collaboration with nature and in collaboration between all geographical scales. These systems must be based on the principles of realtionships between citizens and citizens, citizens and governments, and governments and governments. It must be based on trust and care, exchange of knowledge and information, solidarity and collaboration between citizens and citizend, citizens and governments, and governmants and governments. The planatary economic model has to be founded on solid, healthy and dynamic relationships, and key balances. Since societal matters, the economy, and the environment already co-exist, these have to co-work, co-evolve and co-create too, in order to make room for adavanced technologies, that are fit for the future and solves our most pressing needs, in the most original and innovative way. Advanced techonological milieus should take advantage of the principles embedded in solid, healthy, and dynamic realtionsips, to create respectful environments, that will improve the cutting edge of social interaction, leadership connections and relationships at all geographical scales, which also includes businesses and technological hubs. Because, as Nelson (2013) argue: innovation thrive in respectful milieus. The principle of relationships, therefore, must be strenghtened in local communities, such as in citizen empowerment, in the national and regional political and economical system, and the geopolitical system. Because, these principles might also create a nuturing environment for innovative citizen empowerment, innovative national and regional politics, for advanced technological businesses, and in geopolitical innovations. Thus, this must, however, be investigated further. Indeed, the purpose of an adaptive governance system based on solid, healthy and dynamic relationships, must be its output. Because, it surely promotes counter creativity, counter evolutionary, counter intuitive co-working innovations, since these are a product of innovative social interactions, at different geographical scales. Nonetheless, it is also important to address possible solutions on how to construct a unifying political and economic system that works, and is fit for the future: a new institutional global-local design. This urgent matter will be discussed next.
“The more powers compete and pursue strategic advantage at the expense of addressing shared technological, environmental and economic challenges, the more likely it will be that a broader sense of friction will develop across the global system. A rivalrous global system will in turn make it more unlikely that shared priorities are fulfilled” (Brende in WEF 2020).
"Cooperation, [...] will ultimately prove more beneficial to individual states – and to the world at large" (Brende in WEF 2020): “At a time when power dynamics are in flux, there is an opportunity for stakeholders to make the decision to shape geopolitics in a cooperative, rather than competitive, manner” (Brende in WEF 2020).
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