The objective of the Whole Earth Design Project is to design an ecologically and environmentally sustainable economic system capable of providing every individual on the planet with all of life’s essentials.
Why? Here are two excellent reasons:
Because we must.
And because we can.
Why must we? Because the present arrangement is not sustainable. If we don’t come up with a Plan B, the situation will continue to deteriorate, and eventually, sooner than you expect, it will have a dire effect on you personally, if it has not already done so. It has already done so on the planet itself. And if not reversed, think apocalypse.
Perhaps you don’t believe it can get that bad, at least for you. Even so, you must surely agree that the widespread suffering of others is reason enough to at least consider a better way of doing things, which is precisely the intent of the Whole Earth Design Project.
The principle on which the existing social structure is founded and that on which the WEDP is being designed are diametrically opposed. In its starkest terms, this is an attempt to demonstrate the difference between competition and cooperation as a driving social force, between the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into by competing with one another and the vision of a wondrous social arrangement possible if we would only cooperate with one another.
For me, this effort is in response to a challenge from the Beatles that I took personally. In 1968, newly arrived in Greenwich Village at the height of the counterculture revolution, I, along with millions of cohorts, did believe at the time that we had discovered the solution. It was love. But not so fast. It turned out to be much more complicated than that, as the Beatles reminded us in their White Album:
“You say you got a real solution.
Well, you know, we all want to see the plan.”
The objective of the Whole Earth Design Project is to produce such a plan, with the expectation that the social vision of a society based on cooperation that emerges will be so attractive as to result in its adoption.
After exploring this concept in THE COMING GLOBAL COALESCENCE, I appended an Afterword in which I asked the following questions: “What was that? A serious prediction of things to come, or an outburst of wishful thinking? Was it a thoughtful proposal of a realistic plan of action or a misguided fantasy that defies common sense?”
Meanwhile, for a bit of nostalgia, here’s Bob to remind us that the times are still achangin’.