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Desirable Directions for Y2K Breakthroughs

Not all Y2K breakthroughs would be desirable. For example, collapsing governing systems could be replaced by local mafia bosses, as happened in some areas of the former Soviet Union. So I will be explicit about the directions I would like our culture to evolve in. You can decide if you agree, and weigh my comments accordingly.

Local self-reliance -- communities capable of functioning independently of centralized systems -- whether corporate, economic or governmental. Like healthy individuals, self-reliant communities are not isolated, but are able to choose their associates and activities, rather than being drawn into degrading dependencies. One requisite for community self-reliance is a good relationship with local land and ecosystems, what some call bioregionalism. (read the paper Why Community-Based Responses Make More Sense than Survivalism.)

Sustainability, or resilience -- cultures which can sustain themselves over time, operating in such a way that they can produce benefits for all the generations of the present and the future. This includes ecologically wise technology and a collaborative bias in all things, great and small. All systems in such a culture have responsive, corrective aspects -- such as answerability, democracy, dialogue, checks on extremes, statistical measures of "quality of life," etc. Things never get too far off course, and are capable of evolving when the situation warrants.

Holism or integral culture -- a recognition that everything fits -- and that that Fit has power. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The part is greater than its role in the whole. Everything is interconnected -- and awakening to those interconnections makes us wise. People in an integral culture realize that whenever they make one thing more important than another -- such as the individual or the society, or humanity or nature -- they lose sight of something even more important: the way the two fit together, the dynamic through which they co-create each other and their world. This is the fundamental insight of co-intelligence.

Such a cultural vision includes freedom and competition, but freedom and competition in the context of community health. It includes justice, but justice in the context of whole people and healthy relationships. It includes order, but order that derives from synergy and self-organization rather than control. It includes peace, but peace based on mutual understanding, not denial and force. It includes wealth, but a wealth measured more by the quality of life than the quantity of things. It includes power, but the power to realize possibilities for life, which seldom involves the power to dominate.

Remember: This is a direction for growth, not a utopian plan. Local self-reliance, resilience and holism are yardsticks with which to measure our progress. Are we more or less dependent on centralized systems? Are we more or less capable of bouncing back in crises? Are we more or less fragmented and alienated than we were before? Y2K is an opportunity to move in either direction. Which way we move is up to us, collectively.

See also Robert Theobald's article: Alternative scenarios for Y2K: Will we break through to a new era of collaboration? , Thomas Greco's Sustainability, Y2K, and the New World Order and Tom Atlee's How to Think about Y2K and Why the Year 2000 Problem is an Environmental Issue.

And in Y2K and Our Big Bet, Larry Shook provides exciting evidence that we can establish decentralized, sustainable agriculture and energy systems throughout the U.S., if we just decide to do it in time.

For more articles and leads on appying these principles in communities, see Y2K Community Action, Preparedness and Resilience, and Strategizing for Community: Preparedness for Y2K-induced collapse