We are in uncharted territory. This is like no time in our civilization’s history - global food shortages, climate crisis, unending war and violence, corporate domination, rampant systemic corruption, government collusion with corporations, abject poverty and homelessness, mass extinctions - it’s a long list barely begun here. It’s enough to leave one feeling hopeless in the face of such onslaughts. And yet there is hope.
The urgency of these issues has caused an unprecedented reaction - a global uprising. It was called The Arab Spring when initiated in Tunisia last December and quickly spreading to Egypt and beyond. It’s called Occupy in the US, Europe and much of Asia. There are protests and citizen repression in almost every nation-state on the planet at this time. And with good reason. Our governments have almost universally failed us in favor of colluding with corporations to form a kleptocracy. This arrangement not only funnels our money to the 1%, it destroys lives, communities and ecologies with impunity. It is this kleptocracy that we intend to dismantle.
As this energy of Global R-evolution has bubbled up over the last several years, so has the idea of World 5.0. I stumbled on the idea seven years ago, and have developed the idea in light of Life, the experience of being we have in this moment. Indeed, the central premise of World 5.0 is that ‘Life Is This Moment.’ The past is gone and tomorrow never comes. Our experience is always Here, unless we’re so caught up in our thoughts and feelings that we don’t recognize Life Here. Living in a bubble has that effect, and so was standard procedure in the World4 culture.
Prior to the failing Industrial Age we find ourselves in currently, we’ve had three previous ages: Neolithic, Agrarian and Medieval. We were hunter/gatherers for long centuries, maybe 150,000 years. 10,000 years ago we began farming with hemp and 1,000 years ago we learned to make machines. It was but 200 years ago that we developed engines, ushering in the Industrial Age. With World4 crumbling around us, the emerging global operating system is World 5.0.
Occupy begins to understand that we require not just a less corrupt world, but a new system entirely. We require a new level of integration, based on ethics and principles like peace and love. Indeed, we can say “we intend to replace the system of globalization built on the corruptive power of money with a system of ethics that supports Life based on the power of Love.” More simply, “we intend a world based on the power of Love instead of the power of money.” This is not so hard to understand, unless you hold allegiance to the Kleptocracy, like corporate media outlets. Their difficulty is not understanding, it lies in trying to spin something so powerful, honest and peaceful that it is difficult to undermine.
There is much we can do already. World 5.0 encourages localism, spending our money with local purveyors of goods and services instead of global behemoths like Walmart and McDonalds. We can make efforts to grow and buy local food, and encourage organic food production instead of the polluting agribiz model. We can take steps to increase our personal and local energy sustainability, foregoing fossil fuel use as much as possible. We can engage in local civic actions to improve our communities and begin the process of reconstructing government.
The farther reaches of World 5.0 call for a World 5.0 Certification Process, whereas small businesses and organization are easily certified unless they act out of alignment with ethics and our principles. Corporations will typically find certification more challenging. This simple process takes us from a ‘buyer beware’ culture to one of trust in our spending decisions.
World 5.0 seeks to establish a ‘Constitution for the Earth,’ creating a document that enshrines protections for Earth’s ecologies and requires a system of ‘Natural Capital’ so that harvesters of the Earth’s resources, whether mineral, plant or animal, must pay for their extraction and for any negative effects on the system due to that extraction. Indeed, with World 5.0 we seek to replace the extractive nature of the Industrial Age with the generative energy of Occupy and World5.
With the understanding that World 5.0 provides a ‘core idea’ to Occupy, we further our efforts at positive change tremendously. First, we clarify by an order of magnitude what Occupy is about. Indeed, World 5.0 provides the context of us living as evolutionary creatures finding our shared identity for the first time in our history.
Second, we codify what Occupy already knows - that corporations are the central problem in our culture today, especially in using their vast wealth to undermine government’s inherent responsibility to meet the needs of their citizens. In the book, "World 5.0 - Healing Ourselves, Our Earth and Our Life Together," I explore the roots of the Limited Liability Corporation, and the long history of collusion with governmental entities, and how that process has lead to Disaster Capitalism and the general disaster we face today.
Third, we find areas of focus that can be personally implemented at once. These same areas of focus can be used to take on our largest challenges, like an end to war and corporate personhood.
Fourth, we find a new awareness in living in this moment, awakened from the bubble of personal thoughts and feelings that cannot be shared. We connect with all we come into contact with, and honor and respect each other. This allows us to get past long-standing hatreds, controversies and problems based on false ideas of reality and relationship. We are all here together, and the more quickly we understand this, the happier we find ourselves.
Fifth and finally, we create a path forward for the peaceful and agile transition from the Industrial World4 to our new home in World 5.0. We design and build systems that are life-affirming. We create infrastructure, buildings, homes and gardens where artistry is ingrained in the process. We nurture Life as best we are able, and in doing so nurture and restore the Earth. And we find each other as citizens, beloved sisters and brothers who understand our place, and are passionate about healing ourselves and our Earth.
And so it is indeed Here we find ourselves. Our civilization is broken, and this global uprising creates an incredibly powerful force for change. Which begs the question, “What sort of change do we want?” Which begs the answer, “World 5.0.”