Monday, May 16, 2011

Finding the Right Negatives, Part VIII: The New Nation's Unique Economy

As a testing ground for a new nation, today's West Bank and Gaza would be transformed into a laboratory for dynamic "win-win" economic change, allowing revolutionary change in the economic culture to precede ultimate change in the political culture. Economic empowerment would thus become the foundation for effective political empowerment in the lives of the people. A basic premise of the new economic culture is the rejection of artificial and disproven assumptions of scarcity.

Today's scarcity could be overcome if West Bank and Gaza residents would work together within a justice-driven free enterprise system to create new wealth that could be traded globally, with profits and ownership shared more equitably. This would shift the primary focus of thinking from how to divide scarce resources of the past, to planning the "open growth frontier" being created by modern science, technology, and global production and marketing systems.

A second premise for rapid growth is that sound moral values, along with sound market principles, must be infused at all levels and within all institutions of the economic process. (See "Justice-Based Management: A System for Building an Ownership Culture," a paper presented at the ESOP Association 21st Annual Conference, May 20-22, 1998 — Washington, D.C., available at www.cesj.org.)

Land, of course, is finite. But as the philosopher-design scientist R. Buckminster Fuller pointed out, creative energy can be channeled into what he called "ephemeralization," the process of doing-more-with-less. This entails the continuing re-design of existing technologies, structures, and even social "tools" like money, tax systems and global corporations and financial institutions. (Zung, Thomas T.K., Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for a New Millennium, St. Martin's Press, 2002; see also Fuller, R. Buckminster, Critical Path, St. Martin's Press, 2002 edition.)

By introducing the world's most sophisticated technologies (particularly in energy and food production) and redesigning methods of participatory ownership, Arab and Jewish settlers could transcend their competing exclusive claims to the "Holy Land." They could complement each other's existing strength's and potentials: Jewish settlement experience and advanced energy and agricultural technologies, Arab financing, and Palestinian self-assertion and drive.

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