HOW NOT TO GO EXTINCT
Words by Daniel Schmachtenberger
Rivalrous dynamics multiplied by exponential tech self terminate. Exponential tech is inexorable. We cannot put it away. So we either figure out anti-rivalry or we go extinct - the human experiment comes to a completion. That’s the core thing
Economics is our value system codified as value equations that determines how much we value one thing relative to another thing, that determines what we are incentivized to do, and what we confer power to. So if a dead whale is worth a million dollars on a fishing boat and a live whale in the ocean is worth nothing, that is a value system codified in a value equation that then incentivizes behavior but it also incentivizes psychopathology, psychopathy so I have to kind of deaden to be able to do the thing that is incentivized by the system, or somebody else does and I am just not effective in the system. If you look at the way that economics needs to protect its own profit stream, and how to influence media to control people’s sense-making frameworks and the way it will influence governance, the way it will influence education to prepare people for the workforce, again this is getting to consciousness. So you can’t think about the evolution in human consciousness and the evolution of economics differently.
The paradigm shift is basically everything. We need new systems of governance that are not any system of governance the world has ever done so far. They are systems of how do we individually and collectively make sense of what is going on, make sense of what we actually value, and how those values can be synergistically satisfied rather than in a series of trade-offs with each other. We need totally new systems of economics, we need totally new systems of education, all the way down to at an individual level, a new basis for identity, values, our own individual sense-making. As long as I think that I am an individual that is separate from you and the biosphere and everything else, I can think about optimizing my quality of life independent of and maybe even at the expense of your quality of life or the biosphere or anything else.
As soon as I start to say, ok well I am not that tree, but what would I be without trees? I would not exist. There would be no atmosphere if there weren’t plants photosynthesizing. So I fundamentally am not even a meaningful concept without plants. So if I think of myself as “me” that is not fundamentally interconnected with plants, I am actually just not even thinking clearly. And then I start to run that and say, well what about soil microbiota and it turns out that my life depends on the whole thing.
As long as I have a sense of “I” that is separate and maybe even rivalrous, in rivalrous competition for some scarce status, resource, attention, partner, whatever it is, then we have a fundamental basis for war, and in a world with exponential increasing technology which means that the warfare gets to be more and more consequential, that will self-terminate. - figuring out anti-rivalry is a psycho-spiritual process inside of ourselves. Can we pay attention to our emotions and triggers that hijack us from sovereignty because the moment I am getting pissed and my value system is not to be an angry person, I am actually hijacked. Can I pay attention to that and actually have some sovereignty over my own inner state and how I show up in the world. And can we figure out how to do that collectively as well?
The other critical thing is that you can’t assume that other people are going to fix these issues and you can just kind of chill and the world will work out. That also doesn’t mean you should do a freak-out and go into an existential angst on hyper drive without knowing what to do. But to progressively lean in more and say okay, there is a path where we can make it. But it is not a given at all that we do. Rather than ask whether we do or not, how do I help determine that we do, and that will require learning a bunch of shit that you don’t currently know, and that maybe nobody has synthesized well yet. That’s what being an imaginal cell in the transition from caterpillar to butterfly really means. Is taking some empowered responsibility for being someone who is recognizing that you can’t just run the instruction manual that was given historically and the new instruction manual doesn’t exist yet and it’s actually the time of people in that liminal phase is to work on developing what are the new structures.