Three Defining System Conditions
A system condition refers to the equilibrium state toward which a healthy, resilient system self-corrects in the aftermath of a disturbance. Rather than supporting correction toward a sustainable equilibrium, the values and institutions of the old economy drive it to self-organize toward ever growing economic instability, environmental destruction, concentration of wealth, and political corruption.
The values and institutions appropriate to the New Economy system must drive it to self-correct toward:
Ecological Balance: In the past 100 years, we humans have achieved a technological mastery beyond the imagination of previous generations. Yet, lacking in the wisdom of place and community that is the heritage of many indigenous peoples, the cultures we call mainstream have lost their way—forgetting the human place in nature and our dependence on the web of planetary life. To avoid the tragedy of leaving a ruined world to our children and grandchildren, we humans must reduce our aggregate consumption to bring it into balance with Earth’s biosphere and simultaneously act to heal and nurture Earth's regenerative systems.
Equitable Distribution: Social justice and fairness are foundational underpinnings of a good society. When wealth and income are highly concentrated, the majority of people are denied basic opportunities for personal and social development. A growing body of research evidence suggests that societies that share wealth and work equitably among all their members enjoy greater physical and emotional health, stronger families and communities, less violence, and healthier natural environments. They are as well more democratic and more resilient in the face of crisis. This is not a coincidence. A large wealth gap creates severe psychological and emotional stress and insecurity even for those at the top. Sharing prosperity brings greater health and happiness for all.
Living Democracy: Living democracy is true popular sovereignty—government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is the very opposite of corpratocracy and plutocracy. Most concretely, it is a daily practice of civic engagement through which popular sovereignty finds expression as part of the essential fabric of community life. It celebrates and affirms diversity, cooperation, and local decision making within a framework of individual rights, community responsibility, democratically determined rules, and mutual accountability.