It should be clear, as we watch the gyrations and excesses of global markets, that no organization/state/group has any meaningful control over its direction. The same is true for almost every other aspect of globalization, from the environment to transnational crime to energy flows. In short, we've lost control and our collective future is in the hands of a morally neutral system that is operating in ways that we don't fully understand (nor will we). The best defense against this emerging situation is not to call for new Manhattan projects or global treaties or Marshall plans, which won't work since we can neither marshal the resources necessary nor collectively agree on anything other than the most basic rules of connectivity, it is to slowly introduce organic stability into out global system. The concept I've latched onto as a solution is what I call the resilient community.This conceptual model creates a set of new services that allow the smallest viable subset of social systems, the community (however you define it), to enjoy the fruits of globalization without being completely vulnerable to its excesses. These services are configured to provide the ability to survive an extended disconnection from the global grid in the following areas (an incomplete list):
- Security (both active and passive).
The resilient community has broad applicability beyond just improving the ability of those of us in developed economies to preserve wealth and a quality of life despite severe system shocks. It can also be applied to the problems of counter-insurgency in semi-modern urban environment (to radically update a process that was built for the last century) and provide the potential for organic development in underdeveloped areas of the world. The key is that we need to support the open source efforts currently underway to expand this capability underway such as the transition towns movement to MIT's low tech solutions effort.I touched on this concept in Brave New War and here on this blog. Might need to put out a short book that really explores the concept in a way that allows people to get their heads around it.