These structures are systems that emerge and shift, responding to a changing environment, sometimes from the instigation of human societies. A view of these systems is fundamental to understanding the evolution of physical, ecological, cultural, economic and social systems in human culture. Structures are not static, and the interrelated patterns create new possibilities. An article on economics, by Sara Robinson, is part of a series in Alternet's "New Economic Visions" that discusses the emergence of new economic and social structures from the currently failing economic system.
How is the emergent new economy different? Her points are as follows:
Small Is Beautiful - it's local
Marx 2.0 - shared profits are smaller
Systems Theory - interrelated systems
A World Like the Web - matrices and connected frameworks
Reform, Revolution, and Evolution - evolution of the new within the old
This kind of flexible, smaller and nexus-linked structure is the necessary framework for a new economy that is responsive to a sustainable scale of human existence on this planet. It has to emerge, since the existing structures are producing destructive and corrosive situations throughout human society that are detrimental to the entire ecosystem. This is as outlined by Share The World’s Resources (STWR), a privately funded NGO:
Another fundamental concern is how a deregulated and globalised economy has locked large swathes of humanity into unsustainable patterns of overproduction and overconsumption. This irresponsible economic model is the real cause of our environmental problems, which include the rapid depletion of the world's natural resources and surging carbon emissions that governments seem unable - or unwilling - to contain. We are also confronted by an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, the excessive influence of corporate power, on-going financial instability and economic uncertainty.
A commentator in Future of Hope identified one of the root causes of their financial collapse as the domination of aggressively masculine business practices sanctioned by their government. These, he went on to explain, would still be considered successful strategies if they hadn't ultimately precipitated the country's collapse. The same blinkered approach to commerce applies across the world. The inherent flaws in the 'business as usual' model remain largely unacknowledged despite the grave financial and environmental crises it has exacerbated, and policymakers continue to blindly pursue their intimate relationship with the corporate sector.