Joint Effort Society
Is there a better way to understand our economy? Should everyone have the same things and monetarily not more than anyone else? What about the pollution that fills the skies when cars emit fumes or toxic fumes fill the air? What about the injustices some face. The authors of the Joint Effort Society have created what they feel is a way for everyone in this century to make room for the next and deal with the economic differences, the financial changes and the world as they see it. Focusing on world leaders, going back in history and realizing that no one person is to blame and that we have the power to change. I will present the viewpoints of the authors but I will not state whether I agree with their ideas or not. Stating that many of the issues faced in the world focus on economy and its predominant position within our financial structure the authors define terms such as free market, the winner takes or gets all vision, tunnel vision. Titled: JES, which stands for Joint Effort Society coining the word Ecolution that is the path to take us into this type of world of society.
Creating a society according to the authors would create a new mindset for people. Rather than think in a single-minded manner, people would not just be focused on money, items and their own needs but that of others too. Imagine a world where everyone works together, respects others and the economy is not the prime focus. The authors explain how to forge ahead beyond sustainable development by explaining the basis of their thoughts and concepts: Ecolution.
What if everyone worked together as a unit for the common good? What if we all cooperated to make the world better and no one was concerned about having total control. What if we expanded a simple thought and used our mind and brain to see the world in a different light. Rhizomes: a somewhat elongate usually horizontal subterranean plant stem that is often thickened by deposits of reserve food material, produces shoots above and roots below, and is distinguished from a true root in possessing buds, nodes, and usually scale like leaves,” as defined in the dictionary. Rhizome the author’s state is like a “rootstock, a networked herb that grows underground with no other ordering principle than the search for fertile earth, water and light.” It is indestructible except if some gardener uses any kind of chemicals and keeps weeding it. It has no beginning or end but a middle from where it grows and can overspill. Imagine a thought that starts within the recesses of your mind or a road that you are standing in the center of that goes on and on forever and has no beginning or end. Imagine starting your life from the middle and not dealing with what came before but focusing on how to improve now not worrying about your final days. JES: the author’s state is a rhizome of words and concepts with no beginning or end. Reading each chapter, paragraph sets you direction and all the pages from a network that may be difficult to summarize but as they state: “offers an intuitive vision for a direction society and individuals in that society can choose.”
The authors use the term ecolution standing for a way and a toolbox for change. Change takes time it does not happen overnight and the toolbox has within it concepts, which provide plans for action. These plans are different, variable and multiple enabling people within a community, each person alone or even groups and organizations to think of their own. The author includes seven criteria or concepts supporting this constructive plan. Within the chapter titled: Featuring JES: the authors explain Ecolution and JES: JES is defined as: a new political engagement model and free association of individuals.” In this type of world or society people contribute, cooperate and co-create according to their ability. They do this out of free will and gain from what has been achieved. A JES has a healthy relationship with Nature, Understands the interconnectedness and reciprocity of systems and aims at the “Well being of all people, here and now, and later.” Interesting concept. But, in a world that is so diverse and where many live in different conditions some poor, some rich and others comfortable, this might sound as a viable way to intertwine and connect everyone to have the same things, values and economic advantages, but in reality some might not grab on to this way of thinking and others might discard it whether good or not.
Ecolution: let’s define this term even further: There are three different ways to find answers or solutions: Behavior, institutionalization and decision-making. There are several areas focused on within this book: ecolution, the matrix, deconstruction and concept that stands for a design for action. Chapter four focuses on Context, which includes the Force of the Matrix and the Assumptions of the theory of Ecolution. Chapter Five The Theory of Ecolution and Chapter 6 Plans for Action. Each chapter quite detailed and each one expanding on the theory itself. Within Chapter 6 we begin to understand Who Should Decide Change? The Power of the State vs. the freedom of the Individual, Discursive politics, the multiple lives of democracy, the dark side of aid and much more. The second solution finding cluster is Behavior discussed on Chapter Seven where the authors relate several stories about different cultures that have different values explaining that this is often used to deny a person’s entitlement to inalienable rights. The authors discuss the right or freedom to make personal choices as one concept related to the “nobody rules” principle of the proto-democrat. Decision-making and behavior focus on each other within this chapter. Democracy is stated as a way of life. Personal experiences are shared and sited within this chapter that will help enlighten readers to understand the author’s perspectives. The Will to Succeed, A Society’s Prejudices and Whistleblowers and change makers round out this chapter. The heart of the book is Chapter 9: Content: A Joint Effort Society where the authors discuss the following in detail: sustainable development, the concept of brotherhood, economics how it should be and Max-Neet’s nine fundamental needs:
Subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom followed by why the JES is a model for peace and progress. Focusing in individual diversities, justice and different democratic models to be implemented in decision-making. Hoping to lead society to understand social, psychological, economic and ever ecological systems. Other pertinent issues that are elaborated on related to challenges in democracy related to the ecological issues and difficulties that need to be addressed today: climate change, diminishing biodiversity, extreme poverty, depletion of fossil fuels and other natural resources. A question is posed as to who takes care of nature and these concerns are not only germane to the borders of one nation state or generation. The authors state that a global approach is needed and expand on this and the art of consultation and mutual gains approach within this chapter. Finally, the authors put forth eight control circuits to aid in a self- organizing system, which are self-steering:
The individual, the group, the neighborhood, the quarter, the community, the region or province, the country/state and the Federation or Union of States. They continue with the seven principles that build homes: cherish diversity, connection location to context, combine city and nature, anticipate change, keep innovating, design healthy systems and people create the town. Each principle defined and described and guided by a Cradle-to-Cradle Text of the American architect McDonough. Also within this chapter they include Pakistan’s Black Law, The ethics of Business and touching the essence of Life. To sum up you would have to read the conclusion where the authors begin by stating that for more than 200 years the dominant groups in society have focused on profits. Greed with economical equations, stating that in the end all would profit or benefit from seeping down wealth with competition at the center of society’s values. Do we need change? Do we need tighter security? Should there be a call to create and protect our freedoms? Will our difficulties benefit from more stringent laws and regulations putting more constraints in our own personal freedoms? What exactly does JES do and how can this way of thinking help us to focus on the world around us and make it better? The authors have not created a perfect world or a Utopia what they are trying to create and the message to readers and to people is that we need to focus on those that are less fortunate, tired workers, tired managers, teachers that often get ignored or are unappreciated and most of all they are conveying a message that we need to change our perceptions and way of thinking. Money, power and greed should not be paramount but cooperation, joint effort and working as one should start to be our focus.
JES! Suggests a spiritual revolution. The authors state that if the brain changes or shifts reality will too. When more than one brain shifts or many than society will too. Is the economy for the people? How would you define economics? Will the solution finding clusters- Decision-making, behavior, and institutionalization/technology contribute to a rising level of well-being? These questions and others will be answered when you read JES. The rich and the poor have been at odds for at least 250 years. After reading this text the authors hope that readers will understand and learn about why economics is out of control, how to improve our economic system, how to move away from competition replacing the rich society with a new political engagement model: JES. The rest is up to you the reader to decide if you accept what the authors are presenting, accept part of it or not at all. These are my thoughts they stand as written.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer