Part 4 – A new place to stand
This Part summarises how we need to live as a “civilised” society.
First, Chapter 27 expands on the general idea of a civilised society.
The following three chapters are about how we need to change our production and consumption, to address the immediate challenges we face. What basic principles and behaviours would help us reduce our footprint on the planet back to a sustainable level, so that we can then begin to build a truly regenerative society? Chapters 28 to 30 look in turn at working with nature, a new economics of thrift, and better ways of thinking to support these.
Chapters 31 to 35 then describe the principles and behaviours needed to address the challenges of power and otherness. They are mostly about how we work in the governance sphere. The chapters look at truly democratic governance (to redistribute political power); restitution and redistribution (to redistribute financial power); deweaponisation (to redistribute coercive power); and celebrating diversity (to cope with otherness).
A final chapter sums all this up as a “learning and regenerative society” – our new place to stand.
The previous Part identified five underlying causes of our current situation, but only four of them are addressed in this Part. “Consent” is the missing one.
Consent is in many ways the overall subject of this book. I am suggesting that we withdraw our consent for many of the current structures and practices of our affluent societies, particularly their economic practices. I will return to the question of how we withdraw our consent in the final Part.