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Proposals for Crisis Catalysed Change

Proposals for how to deal with converging crises will be based on both the image of humanity and the ten visions set out in our Universal Declaration of Human Direction. We will focus on catharses; new narratives with the power to clean the soul and replace old ways of doing, thinking, because austerity is virtuous but human beings are much better at doing more in stead of less.

The image of humanity is the foundation. As concluded in the previous chapter, we are much more social beings than the prevalent Enlightenment idea of the free individual suggests. As Frans de Waal showed,[1] we are much more empathic and cooperative than violent, while at the same time violence and destruction are intrinsic human traits. Both the latitudinal (other living people) and longitudinal (kids and ancestors) social dimensions are inextricably part of what people are.

Following, proposals should be based on the notion of Sustainable Aggregate Subjective Well Being (SA-SWB). Why? Because we want people to experience a good life (well being), which is a personal experience (subjective), and this subjective well being should hold across groups of people (aggregate). Finally, it should last across generations (sustainable). Equality – to a certain extent –  is a prerequisite for a society with substantial subjective well being.[2] Proposals for change should embody a mariage between equality and sustainability.

The changes induced by the current crises offer chances for implementation of the following proposals, bringing them within reach. Partially, and sometimes surprisingly, some are already being implemented. No small plans but Big Ideas. Recognizing that society consists of groups of people who what their children to survive and prosper, we will look into often surprisingly practical proposals, offering direction and guidance on how to live in times of turbulence.

  1. [1]De Waal 2009: 205, 206
  2. [2]See Wilkinson and Pickett (2010).