Just Transition

A journey to the New Economy

There is little doubt that we are living through a period of profound change and transition. This is hardly unique in human history. One such previous change was from feudalism to capitalism that took place over a period of a few hundred years, until capitalism settled down as our dominant economic model, and so it has remained for another few hundred years.

But now it is felt by many that this too is coming to an end. What follows is evolving and we know in many ways what makes it different, but it is still relatively new to the extent that we do not even have an agreed term for it as yet, and so we rely upon the “new economy” or “post-capitalism”, neither of which actually tells us what it is.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing

Arundhati Roy – author, human rights and environmental causes political activist

At Just Cooperate our preferred term is eco-commons. Eco, because it is intimately aligned with the realisation that we are destroying our planet, largely as a result of the shortcomings of capitalism, and commons because its focus is on what we share, rather than what we own, which was a major hallmark of capitalism where we blindly accepted that our role was to compete against others for what we needed, and increasingly for what we wanted as our materialistic consumer culture took hold.

A bizarrely complacent belief that this could somehow carry on forever is now being challenged with a number of extreme wake up calls, including soil erosion and contamination, mass species extinction, obscene pollution of our air and seas, and now, of course, climate change, denied by only the most entrenched of vested interests in the fossil fuel industries and those addicted to greed and accumulation.

If this is indeed a period of transition, then it is we believe up to us to make sure it is a just transition, focusing on the double meaning of ‘just’ as in ‘just where we live’, and also all aspects of social justice.

It is by definition egalitarian in nature. Unlike under capitalism people are not a resource to be put to work as part of an extractive ‘take, make and throw away’ culture. It is not some enormous game of monopoly with a given assumption that winners and losers are an inevitability.

Unlike capitalism that does in fact rely upon an artificially created scarcity that demands that we must compete, eco-commons imagines a world of abundance for all, but where access over ownership provides for a vastly superior allocation of resources.

It is by nature hyper-local as opposed global. Our role is to contribute for the good of each other so that we may all benefit whilst remaining mindful of our responsibility to future generations.

Most of all a just transition should we believe be a collective effort, harnessing all that humanity possitively has to offer, that values us all as individuals and is continuously focused upon building commonwealth.

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