VIII. Earth Earns: An Open Participatory Earthropocene to Ecosmocene CoCreativity
3. Sustainable Ecovillages: Social Protocell Communities
Wilson, David Sloan and Dag Olav Hessen. Blueprint for the Global Village. Cliodynamics. 5/1, 2015. In this Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History, SUNY Binghamton and University of Oslo philosophical biologists advocate the recognition and avail of an independent, natural wisdom that this website tries to document. Life’s embryonic evolution can now be appreciated as a repetition in kind at each nested scale of a mutually beneficial reciprocity between individual members and coherent groups. The social and environmental viability of Norway due to smaller villages within larger assemblies is given as a prime example, as the quote explains See also Wilson’s new 2015 book Does Altruism Exist? (Yale University Press).
In this essay, we have sketched a surprisingly simple solution to the apparent conflict between self-interest and mutual benefits at all hierarchical levels. We are suggesting that the social dynamics that take place naturally and spontaneously in villages can be scaled up to prevent the ethical transgressions that routinely take place at a large scale. Why is such a simple solution not more widely known and discussed? Although we immediately realize this solution when it comes to cell-organism relationships or individuals within villages, we do not realize that the same principles also hold for companies or nations. One reason is because of an alternative narrative that pretends that the only social responsibility of a company is to maximize its bottom line. Free markets will ensure that society benefits as a result. This narrative makes it seem reasonable to eliminate social controls—precisely the opposite of what needs to be done. Governments have been under the spell of this narrative for nearly 50 years despite a flimsy scientific foundation and ample evidence for its harmful effects. We can break the spell of the old narrative by noting something that will appear utterly obvious in retrospect: The unregulated pursuit of self-interest is cancerous at all scales. To create a global village, we must look to real villages. (130)
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