- Digital Resources
Values Based Generative Structure
Pattern number within this pattern set:353
Our current economic system is mechanistic and separated from human values. We are not a barbarian world. However, we participate in economic and scientific thought based on fact that is purposefully separated from our humanness. The entire 20th Century was spent promoting and socially accepting the "Cartesian" way. We feel that facts are truer if they are separated from our human values or opinions. We have come to think there is more integrity/objectivity in facts that are for facts sake only. There is no continent on the face of the earth that has not been affected by 20th Century thought. This line of mechanistic thought is incorporated in the economic systems of all Western societies and the remaining world also. Our world economic system reflects this Western thinking at different degrees in different countries.
Some people believe this mechanistic approach to economics can be repaired with a patch job. Just build on an addition of human values to our current economic system like adding a family room or garage to a house. I venture to say these retrofit ideas won't work. To change our current mechanistic approach, we would actually have to implode the entire world economic system. I don't recommend this type of destruction either. There are other options. The one I propose is to build a values based generative structure that is not in conflict with the current economic system. This would not be a patch or a fix; it would be more like a fizzle of the old economic system and an awakening of a new one.
Stephen Grabow said that Christopher Alexander saw a generating system like a kit of parts or components, together with the rules for combining them to make wholes---"a way of focusing attention on some particular holistic behavior in a thing, which can only be understood as a product of interaction among the parts."1 In my pattern, A "Whole" New Economic System of Household "Centers" I suggested this new economic "kit" could be made up of household economies. Each household has it's own economic pattern and these patterns make up the parts or components of the "kit". However, the "whole" economic environment is not made up of parts, components or things. Instead the parts or household patterns are defined by their relationship to the "whole" economic system. This new economic system would be generative in that it is awakened as each household pattern is defined and "centered" in relationship to the whole.
The graphic above is a drawing made my Ojibwe clan chiefs who are each represented in the picture by an animal. The clao
My thought is to design an input system along the line of this pattern system. The new economic input system would allow each household to begin developing their own economic pattern. To begin with these patterns will be very much like a 20th Century financial plan. From this old world financial plan each household would have the opportunity to begin interjecting their personal values into a new world financial pattern developed on the input system. One household might add the value of a garden to their financial pattern. Another household might add in the personal value of not working 40 to 60 hours per week. Another might add the value to their children of having a grandparent live with them. Perhaps an individual would like to change their employment so they can walk to work. Perhaps I myself would like to plant trees because this would make my world more valuable to me. As each person and each household builds on their financial pattern they become more "centered" with their own values. Each household becomes more personally involved with their own economic sustainability and who they are in relation to the rest of the economic world. As household patterns are put into the system economic relationships build and rules are developed. Economic "centers" of value emerge that become collective action groups. Trust bridges and technical links are built to allow the households to do personal business with one another. Households start to have a major effect on the economic landscape by their new voice and economic clout. Privacy and security are maintained by a system where our financial information and personal values don't flow into institutions that control our current economic system. Each individual or household is in control of their own financial pattern. The new "centered" sociopolitical system of household economies control business. The patterns generate a new economic structure based on human values. The new economic system generates "centeredness" in the household patterns. A holistic relationship develops between the patterns and the system. The old economic system begins to fizzle as the new generative economic structure comes alive. Human values are connected to our economy.