Central to the argument I make is that there needs to be an integral relationship between what we know (our informed beliefs) and our actions – this is simply because what we do will cause a reaction by others and will be used to judge the veracity of what we profess. Having a set of guiding principles make this clear and helps with the creation of strategy and tactics.
We, as a species and as individuals can be argumentative, destructive, deceptive, angry and selfish; on a crowded planet with finite resources this is a recipe for disaster. Alternatively, we can act cooperatively, we can certainly show that cooperation works, and by using reciprocity can avoid being taken advantage of. We can build alternative stories to develop a new paradigm which will shift the whole debate towards holistic political economy.
In Part 1 Review - Human Activity System we saw that the system within which we live is dynamic and changes our behaviour. There is a sense in which our behaviour is a by-product, an emergent property of the system. We also saw that we can keep developing and learning and that large parts of the system is actually of our construction. It follows then, that we can (if we choose) work collectively to build institutions and environments that help to bring out the best in people. We already know a lot about this. Business calls it participation, learning, facilitation and teamwork but only uses it with small groups internally whilst simultaneously accepting extremes of competition. There is evidence that we have been slowly and haltingly domesticating ourselves (e.g. 1.5 billion people out of poverty in 30 years) but we need to redouble our efforts in the light of the challenges we face which I rounded up in (Part 2 Assess, Timeline, Political challenges).
These are the foundations for holistic political economy. It is time to start building on them instead of leaving it to chance – culture and belief are something we create not something we just have. We build a house to protect us from the weather, we should build a culture that protects us from the worst of ourselves. We need to take control where it really matters – within our political economy.