The following is an essay I wrote for the 2016 essay competition by the Next System Project.
The Turquoise Society: From self-destruction to self-regeneration
It is possible to build a better world. We have the technology, but we are missing the framework of ideas that we need to create global civilization 2.0. This essay will present a political/economic/environmental framework, or paradigm, that I hope will contribute to the project of turning our state of affairs around.
The progressive movement needs a new way to understand both the economy and the state. Mainstream economics, as I will argue, lays at the center of the conservative assault on the state, but mainstream economics also ignores the environment. We need a new economics which is centered around production, not exchange as in mainstream economics. Production means not only the ability to generate goods and services and thereby create the conditions for widespread prosperity, but also the production of life in ecosystems. In other words, production means producing life, both for people and for all other living things on the planet.
I am calling a society that produces prosperity for both humans and all life a ‘turquoise society’ because turquoise is a combination of the green of environmentalism, as well as the blue of the blue-collar worker in manufacturing. I will argue that manufacturing is the central process in a human economy, and manufacturing must and can be done in such a way that manufacturing supports the environment, instead of destroying it.