For those of you that have been reading this weblog for years. You already know that I've been advocating that people start building resilient communities (RCs).* Why? Resilient communities will:
- Shield us from increasingly frequent shocks and breakdowns of an out of control global system.
- Protect us from predatory and parasitical non-state actors -- from globe spanning banks/corporations to local/transnational militias/gangs.
- Provide us with a path that will allow us to thrive -- economically, socially, individually, and spiritually.
Unfortunately, nobody is going to help us build them.
The nation-state can't and won't. It is losing power across the board as the global system strengthens. Organizationally, the nation-state has lost control of its finances, borders, media, economics, use of force, etc. Worse, moral and ideological moorings that served the nation-state well for hundreds of years have rotted away. The nation-state is now adrift, unable to orient its decision making cycles.
As a result, the nation-state has been largely co-opted by increasingly powerful non-state entities -- from parasitical banks that sit astride core functions of the global system (they profit from the ability to distort core financial and economic functions to manufacture virtual "wealth") to transnational gangs that puncture borders with drugs and other smuggled goods -- and that corruption is spreading. Nothing can get done at the nation-state level anymore and what does get done (as the recent health and finance legislation in the US proves), is only being done to drive forward profitability in parasitical firms or sap our resources (making us more vulnerable to predation by local threats). Worse, nation-state bureaucracies are becoming more insulated and focused on self-preservation by the day from the institutional level down the individual government employee contractor.
So, what can we do? Attempts to bootstrap resilient communities are definitely possible. However, isolated and small, I fear these efforts will either result in a reduction in the quality of life for its participants or quickly fall prey to parasites/predators (as in, you won't get far if bankruptcy, privatization, and gangs-disorder guts your community).
The dominant solution to all of these pitfalls, dangers, and threats is to team up. Create a virtual tribe that helps communities become resilient -- by financing, protecting, and accelerating them. While its possible to build a virtual tribe via a completely ad hoc process, the best way to build platforms in software that make the growth of tribal networks fast and easy. If we can build these software platforms, we can turn the transition to resilient communities from a process prone to high rates of failure, into a process that spreads virally* and generates immediate improvements for its participants. A vibrant future awaits, all we need to do is build it.
NOTE: As soon as I get some cash flow, I'm going to self-finance the building blocks of these platforms. I'll do what I can, but if there is someone with deep pockets interested in changing the world (for the better) reading this, here's a chance to do it. Also, given the number of people that have sent me e-mails expressing their intent to join in, we won't be short of high quality talent to work on this.
*Virally, as in the growth of self-reinforcing networks and not the diminutive sense of viral content/site traffic.