The purpose of this Paper is to propose to those (we/us) desiring to live on a peaceful, just, harmonious, sustainable, healthy planet a practical and realistic way to maybe do that. I don’t think I need to convince anyone that we live in outrageously ridiculous times and an appropriate paradigm shift would be welcome.
This proposal was developed because I do not believe the powers that be have any desire or intention to manifest a reality we would want to live in. If we want to live in a reality that we would feel comfortable in, we are probably going to have to construct it ourselves from the ground up with our own hands. This does not mean unnecessarily reinventing wheels. We will, of course, utilize what exists when it is in tune with New Paradigm values and principles. I firmly believe we possess the skills and resources necessary to do this. It will require a lot of effort but should also be a lot of fun, a lot of interacting with cool, interesting people, and, for those Emma Goldman fans, a lot of dancing.
An intentional community here, a permaculture farm there, an ecovillage down the road is very cool; but if people who are polluting and destroying the planet still control the majority of it then how long are our little oases going to last? Many credible scientists and environmental activist are claiming the days of human life on this planet may be seriously numbered. So, if you're thinking of your kids and maybe their kids, then you might want to seriously consider some serious intervention into what is going on; maybe something like treating planet Earth like one gigantic permaculture project.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller
Creating the NP can be broken down into two large phases: Building the Model and Growing the Model. This model is not just something to look at and say, "That's cool!"; but a society sufficiently robust to accommodate all those ready and wishing to join. The Central Idea is to create options. Look at the current paradigm you are living in and look at the one we are creating. You have a choice (One you don't have now). This is how the NP grows and infuses energy from the mess being created in mainstream society.
Some Key Notions First, This NP is not being designed to be separate from the mainstream. We want to be visible and interact with folks to let them know who we are and what we are up to.
Second I want to make clear from the outset that the New Paradigm Project (NPP) is not a structure/strategy we conform to but a structure/strategy that conforms to us. The vision is that the NP will have many pieces and each of us will contribute to creating a piece or few and we will fit the pieces together like a puzzle. The overall dynamic is free association and nurturing new alternatives that we participate in, in a way and to an extent that we feel comfortable with. There will be structure but it will only affect us when we give it permission. It will be as close to %100 transparent as we are able to make it. The understanding here being that to get free, competent, diverse people to work effectively together we need total transparency and a decision making process everyone trusts. All that being said, I do have a few specific suggestions!
Building the Model
To provide effective communications and organizational structure. They will have no authority over other people or projects. It will be staffed only by people who have stellar reputations in the broader community.
Very extensive, and a central aspect of the NP structure. It will keep track of who is doing what, what is wanted done, who has what, who needs what and much, much more. This is the information age and we will have a lot of it. It is believed that this makes decision-making much easier and much less contentious and efforts in general more efficient and effective.
Very little while building the model. This will change somewhat as our population grows. We want to limit rules to the minimum possible and still get the job done. Ad hoc Councils will be formed when needed and also made up of folks with credibility and solid reputations; most often picked by those directly involved, not a bureaucratic process. It is perceived that those involved in building the model won't need a lot of governance.
What's Already Happenin'
A lot of research will be done to seek out who are already doing related things and they will be contacted to get their thoughts and how their projects may fit in/compliment/support our efforts.
If we are going to build essentially an alternative economy, then we are going to have to grow a lot of food, provide a lot of living space and space to do all the things necessary to be self-sufficient. A large chunk of this is potentially available at very little up-front cost. If you've looked at the Intentional Communities (ICs) directory there are at least several hundred if not over a thousand that have acreage that is laying fallow, many looking for help and members. ICs mostly have similar values to ours and are almost all permaculture oriented. We would have to do a lot of negotiating but if it looked like we had something real going on, some good plans and resources, this might not be so difficult. Of course a lot of us have land or access and there are many other options like community gardens, growing food in your backyard, friendly farmers. etc. Also many elderly farmers are looking for help to maintain the productivity of their land. Note: Intentional communities have already dealt with much of what we will have to deal with so there is a lot of experience there.
As someone with extensive experience with permaculturists, I know the skills to do this are there.
We have a natural constituency that has not been effectively tapped. Peace, Justice and environmental activist networks, greens, bio-regionalists, many coop members, hippies, transition towns, Occupy and more, could not only donate materials and cash but patronize our cottage industries and keep our money in the community. eg. We, our natural constituencies and kindred spirits, spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year in coffee shops and restaurants. What if we owned them? How many people fear going to a mechanic, plumber, electrician etc? We could open these types of businesses and develop a nation-wide trade name so folks would know where to go and feel comfortable. Many retired Flower Children have substantial savings, pensions and free time and would love to see the dream come true. This list goes on.
What would it look like?
The thinking here is that it would require maybe 60 - 80,000 folks (%.02 of pop) to pull this off in the US (of course this is an international endeavor as there are folks all over the planet who think along these lines); perhaps living in 200-300 communities spread out across the country in rural and urban areas, independent but also interdependent, linked in highly organized, coordinated, and cooperative manner, freely associating. Of course many participants and supporters would be living in a variety of other arrangements. We need to develop the ability to effectively work with anyone willing to contribute. The model as a whole will be self-sufficient.
There is much more to this. Please send your comments.