Democracy Now interviews David Korten:
As President Barack Obama reveals more details of his $825 billion economic stimulus plan, we turn to David Korten of YES! Magazine.
In his new book, Korten argues that the nation faces a monumental
economic challenge that goes far beyond anything being discussed in
Congress. He writes that now is an opportune moment to move forward an
agenda to replace the failed money-serving institutions of our present
economy with the institutions of a new economy dedicated to serving
Korten's positive suggestions below are uncannily close to those arrived at by C.A. Fitts, from a conservative perspective. Korten:
I mean, basically, we need to realize we’ve been told that there are
only two economic models. One is the capitalist model, and the other is
the communist or socialist model. One, the capitalists own everything,
and the other, the government runs everything. The real alternative is,
in fact, a real market economy that looks a whole lot more like what
Adam Smith had in mind, which is—which looks more like a farmers’
market. And I think—you know, we talk about Wall Street and Main
Street, and really the solution is to rebuild a new economy based on
Main Street, which means local businesses and people who are rooted in
their community and working within a framework of community values and
a set of public rules that enforce basic conditions of market
C.A. Fitts is working from the grassroots up to divert money from Wall Street and from Washington and for that matter from the drug trade and prisons and from those who invest in both, back into local communities, so that those communities can fund sustainable ventures that create real wealth: living wealth, moral health, and a prosperous commonwealth. She envisages a local, financially intimate sphere where neighbors work, worship, and trade with neighbors face to face, in communities sustained by both love for one another (the moral sentiments) and also through the urge to self advancement. That was indeed the picture painted by Adam Smith.
Of course, C.A. Fitts, Korten, and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now are not heard in the mainstream media. They lie outside the circle of acceptable opinion. Shall we then use philanthropy to reward and keep alive the lapdog media? Again, why not invest in those capable of conceiving meaningful change? Whether you call it conservative or radical, the truth is that reviving American towns and cities around the principles on which this country was founded will meet with resistance (beginning with stony silence, incredulity, otracization, and ridicule) from those who have replaced that world with something better- for them.
Still, between Korten and Fitts there are material differences, no doubt. How far will one go in the face of resistance, when what is at stake is one's own comfort, or life? Social goods are sometimes purchased at high prices. Better to let someone else play the hero or the fool.