“I think all of us here today would acknowledge that we’ve lost that sense of shared prosperity.” Barack Obama, 27 March 2008
Any prosperity is not an expanding and inclusive concept is not really prosperity but greed and self indulgence of the worst kind.
This is informed by the way I see love. Love is an expanding concept, the more you are loved the more you have to offer to those around you. As soon as love becomes an end in itself it is more about selfishness, greed and is mean-spirited, and not love at all.
This mean-spiritedness also results to erode the well being of those who practice it, as it is primarily an act of fear, anxiety and insecurity. These reduce reveal a lack of confidence and a lack of hope. These actions not only erode the current experience of prosperity but set up a frailty and fracturing to undermine future prosperity, as any exclusivity acts to establish and entrench barriers between the exclusive and the excluded only to become a target and magnet as a pedestal that needs to be toppled, as what it represents is a self-delusion and lie. The delusion being that some are more worthy than others.
The interesting parallel is that the more modern a society, the greater the despair within its population. A study conducted in 2009 (Jackson:145) shows the disparity of trust and belonging in European nations. The general verdict is that western society is exhibiting a ‘social recession’ and that this is recognised by both the left and right side of politicians, though they see the symptoms, causes and remedies differently.
With the depletion of natural resources in a world overrun by material goods and corporate values that do not improve enrich the individual’s experience of life or a deeper sense of community, we now need to find a new way forward or perish. We need to change the basis of our economic activity for our physical survival, and we need to change the basis of our economic activity for the survival of our personal and communal well being.
Jackson, Tim (2009) Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, Earthscan.