Communities, Not Countries, are Best Equipped to Fix the World’s Economic Woes

By Peter Block

As anxieties about an economically unstable future grow globally, there is an alternative mindset much closer to home–literally just around the corner, in fact. Instead of relying on federal policy, our local communities are constructing an economy and a way of being that promises more stability and more local control.

2016’s surprise Brexit results in the UK and Trump’s election in the US are an indication that something fundamental is shifting in our economic and cultural landscape. There is waning faith that central governments–whether in Brussels or Washington and whether conservative or liberal–have the capacity to make a real difference in our lives.

No matter which way people leaned in the ballots, however, voters throughout the West agree that something needs to be fixed. Instead of being outwardly focussed on global forces or ceding all power to federal governments, many citizens around the world are turning their sights inward to what they can control: the cooperative economy and becoming more connected with their local communities.

These votes highlight a profound distrust in some of the closely held beliefs that affect our economic and social well-being.

This community-concentrated mindset calls for a long-term shift in our economic thinking. Modern economic beliefs have been founded on assumptions of scarcity and a near-religious belief in competition and growth. These beliefs have produced a set of betterment measurements: unemployment statistics, average income, purchasing power, and gross domestic product.

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About the Author

Peter Block is author of “Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, Empowered Manager, Community: The Structure of Belonging, The Abundant Community” and the founder and partner in Designed Learning.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Political Anthropologist.


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