Our economy is based on the demand we can generate, for our products and services.
So what is demand?
It’s that which responds to our perceived need.
This is why the questions by the guys from « à la racine » in this video are so relevant. They interviewed five people – including yours truly – and without meeting each other we certainly seem to be agreeing on a few things.
Need – or I’d say, our perceived need – is the result of many things we do and feel, that are in response to our perceived place within society. Over time it has grown to be more and more material-based, in response to an economically dominated society where companies seek continuous growth, quantitative growth, material growth. And this material need will indeed generate demand, the demand we feel is mandatory to keep our economy going. No alternative seems viable.
What we seem to be agreeing on in these interviews, is that Need can be more. It can be less, in the material sense… And it can be more, when we allow and discover our relation to the rest of Nature. Our current perception of the world, meant to serve and provide for the need of human kind, is a mechanistic world of growth and expansion. But when we acknowledge that all that surrounds us is ‘life’, dynamic and always changing, we can start seeing the world (and our economies) in a qualitative light and not only a quantitative one. Then we can start identifying how qualitative growth can exist. And because nature has that capacity to create and generate (i.e. grow), we can understand that life-enhancing economic activities are possible (i.e. sustainable), way beyond a few exceptions, as current examples may be perceived.
When we see our perception of Need from a qualitative point of view, we can discover how it also relates to our own capacity to realize ourselves. And that self-realization is all about our spirituality, in the most personal sense of the word.
We have consciousness, so we can choose
In the play « as you like it », Shakespeare wrote: « all the world’s a stage ». And it is up to us to choose the role and play the act. So in response to the question on how to change, either gradual or radical or through compromise, we know the answer lies within each of us. When we choose to change the way we perceive our world (for the better), this may not only have an impact on us, but on our interaction with others and on the way we perceive opportunities, values… Remember that our consciousness is one of the things that distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Or as Idriss Aberkane would say, it is what makes us Homo Sapiens Sapiens (conscious human beings).
It is up to us to choose the type of growth we will strive for tomorrow. Can we adapt our growth to one that this planet may be able to deliver and at the same time respond to our shared qualitative needs? This may well lead to new types of demand and generation of new value. In other words, leading to more, not to less.
In this video you meet Marc de la Menardière, who made the movie « En quête de sens« , translated to english as « A quest for meaning » with his buddy Nathanael. There is also legendary Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace and founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Also with Margaux Bounine-Cabalé from « Happy Cultors » and Siméon Baldit de Barral.
A special thanks goes to Fritjof Capra who, with his work on « The Systems View of Life » influenced the writing of this article.