Yes, there is an alternative
By the end of the first chapter, you may fall in love with capitalism. By the end of the second, you may fall out of love with capitalism, and by the end of the third, you may look at it as a by-gone relationship and look forward to the new one.
In these materials, we make a case that the currently dominant social system, capitalism, must evolve, and we outline what that would entail. But to make it happen, we need to evolve our thinking too.
In these first decades of the 21st century, it looks as if the whole planet, including ourselves, is on a runaway train. In previous periods, the issue pertinent to all human societies was who was in charge. Now it seems that no one is.
The Rise of Capitalism
In this chapter, we clarify what defining features of capitalism are and suggest that these futures were a great asset in the early stages of the system, leading to fast economic, political and other social changes.
The Decline of Capitalism
Coupled with the Industrial Revolution, capitalism brought enormous change to the world. It was far more efficient than previous systems, as it stimulated investment and production. However, what was an advantage at the beginning, led to its decline when pushed too far.
The What of the Economy
The last phase of Capitalism is likely to be increasingly traumatic, as transition periods usually are, but we can still make a difference: we may be able to avoid collective post-traumatic stress and turn it into post-traumatic growth, by helping Capitalism evolve.
The How of the Economy - Money and Value
One of the greatest economic problems at present is an increasingly dysfunctional relationship between money and value. Money has become a value in itself, in many cases only thinly connected to what it is supposed to represent. In this chapter we discuss how we can srengthen the connection between money and value.
The How of the Economy - Other Pairs
In this chapter, we will suggest that five other defining features of Capitalism are paired with its counterparts for the system to evolve: individualism and commonality, investment and production, consumerism and needs, competition and cooperation, as well as quantity and quality.
In this chapter, we will first discuss the pros and cons of the major models of governance, and the rise and fall of American politics. Then, we will suggest, as a way forward, a synthesis of three viable options: meritocracy, indirect democracy and direct democracy.
A failure to provide a coordinated response to the Climate change, Covid pandemic and Ukraine demonstrates that we do not have effective mechanisms to successfully address global issues. We need a fresh approach. This chapter proposes evolving current global institutions into a new model that could address global challenges better.
The How of Change
To help with implementing some of the ideas we discuss here, this concluding chapter will focus on issues that may be encountered along the way. Most of them are not unique to Social Synthesis and are relevant to any attempt at progressive social change.
You will find here the list of resources that are quoted in these materials and are not available online.