Figure 1b - Implications for political economy

Not all of this system is fixed, behaviour is therefore mutable; it is realistic to hope that by learning from what we know and going with the grain of our natures we can in fact build a better society.

Once we start looking at the world through the lens of systems thinking we begin to appreciate the richness of and complexity of reality and the delicate balances that keep the world in equilibrium. We see that there is as much co-operation in nature as there is competition and we remember (rediscover, learn) that altruism occurs naturally.

When we treat behaviour as the emergent property of the human system the first thing we realise is how plain destructive and criminally insane it is to continually tell ourselves the story that the world is driven by competition and greed and that when good things happen its is as a happy by-product of greed and selfishness (as if). The thing we need to realise is the sheer power that telling a different and true story has to change things. In the appendix on systems we learned that changing the paradigm is the second most powerful way to change a system and that keeping an open mind is the first. The new story acknowledges that we can be destructive, selfish and competitive but is clear that if we reign in these tendencies and play to our collective strengths, that we cooperate and collaborate we will get better results all round. A growing number of people get this instinctive but their voices often go unheard. Whilst it may be difficult is is entirely possible to begin changing this as I discuss in What can be done and the following sections on practical politics.