WE AND THE WORLD: PARTNERSHIP VS DOMINANCE

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Human societies have always (or for the last 8 millennia at least) been subject to the perspective of Wealth and the power that Wealth wields. In terms of our relationship with the natural world, this has been a perspective that has always asserted that we must either control the natural or it will control us. In its essence this perspective is erroneous because it competes with the world and fails to acknowledge the self-regulatory nature of the ecosystem. It does not see that too much meddling will cause nature’s self-regulation to collapse. Instead of our arrogant manipulation of natural resources for the purposes of wealth, we need to acknowledge our dependence on the world and its self-regulating biosystem for our survival. Because of this, a belief in the continuous remoulding of nature to suit the needs of Wealth (i.e. by continual exploitation of its resources) is fatally dangerous. This needs to be replaced by a vision not of dominance for profit, but of partnership.

Once this idea of the great partnership between humanity and our world is embraced, power itself will be pushed into a diluting space. Questions like real democracy or egalitarianism, and problems like famine, organised crime, corruption and health are all determined by our erroneously competitive relationship with the world.

Dominance and competitiveness with the world is a mistake that is incorrectly linked to the idea of freedom. However, the truth is quite the contrary: Wealth creates responsibilities and duties that inhibit personal freedom. With Wealth’s power also comes the fear of losing that power, and the need to maintain control that also inhibits freedom, even for the one in charge. Ask anyone who wields it: power is often, if not always, a burden.

Freedom cannot be found in dominance or slavery, but in partnership. Of course partnerships also bring their own responsibilities with them and it requires hard and concentrated work to keep all the partners happy – but the liberating power of partnership is that neither side of the deal is being robbed of their freedom.

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