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Previous Publications by the ARI Institute

We, We, Wе

That we are in the midst of a “global crisis” is no longer in question. Since there is also ample evidence that the term “globalization” covers far more than the correlation between global financial markets, a more accurate meaning of the term should address the interconnected nature of society as a whole. We are “global” not just in the financial sense, but also, if not primarily, in the social, if not emotional sense. Our emotions affect those of other people so intensely that they can start social blazes in country after country, passing from one hot spot to the next via the wires that connect the World Wide Web.

The “Arab Spring” has expanded far beyond the Arab world. In each country, the causes and the manifestations of the protests wear a different “attire.” In Egypt, mass demonstrations overthrew the government. In Syria, the people’s heroic resistance in the face of carnage is a testimony to the profound spiritual change that has arisen. Citizens simply cannot tolerate tyranny any longer.

In Israel, demonstrations are peaceful but of an unprecedented magnitude. In the demonstration that took place on Saturday, August 6, 2011, 300,000 people participated, roughly one out of every 22 Israelis. If one out of 22 Americans were to participate in a demonstration, it would require space for roughly 14 million people.

In Spain, the tent camps of protestors have been standing for months, with neither a solution nor dispersion of the camp dwellers in sight. In the U.K., violent riots have erupted that seem to baffle Prime Minister David Cameron, who was caught off-guard vacationing in Italy. Even Chile is now on the protest map with violent student demonstrations. According to a CNN report [86], in august of 2011, “More than 60,000 [students] demonstrators protested in Santiago.”

Yemen, Libya, and many other countries are either on the list of countries where unrest has erupted, or are about to join it.

When you analyze the crises in each country, it is easy to see that social, economic, and political injustices are at the bottom of all of them. Yet, these wrongs are nothing new. They have plagued humankind for thousands of years. Why, then, is everyone protesting specifically now, and why is everyone protesting simultaneously?

The answers lie in the structure and evolution of human nature. As Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell beautifully illustrated in The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (Free Press, 2009), people today are not only narcissistic and self-centered, but are becoming more and more so at an alarming rate.

As narcissists, we put ourselves in the center of everything, and “grade” everyone else according to the benefits they may bring us. We connect to the world through the spectacles of self-entitlement. However, this is precisely how we must not function if we are to succeed in an era of globalization, when the world is interconnected and interdependent. To succeed, we must want to benefit those to whom we are connected just as much as we wish to benefit ourselves. If we are connected and dependent on each other, then if they are happy, so will we be. And if others are unhappy, we, too, will be unhappy, as demonstrated by Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, and James H. Fowler, PhD, in Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives – How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do.

The solution, therefore, lies in shifting our viewpoint from self-entitlement to social-entitlement, putting our society first and our egos next, in order to eventually benefit ourselves.

In practical terms, this solution entails three goals:

  1. Guaranteeing necessary provisions to every member of society.

  2. Guaranteeing the continuation of those provisions by inculcating prosocial values into society using mass media and the internet, focusing on the social networks.

  3. Using our prosocial work for self-enhancement so we can fully realize the potential that lies within each of us.

To achieve Goal 1, an international panel of statespersons, economists, and sociologists representing all the nations, must be set up to devise a plan to establish a just and sustainable economy. Note that the term “just” does not refer to equal distribution of funds or resources (natural or human). Rather, in a just economy no person on earth is left uncared for. Thus, a starving child in Kenya may not need the latest model of iPhone, but is undoubtedly entitled to proper nourishment, a roof over the head, proper education, and proper healthcare.

Conversely, a child of a similar age in Norway may already have the latest iPhone, but still feel miserable to the point of taking his or her own life, or worse yet, that of others, as recent events in that country have shown [87]. The distress in the two cases is very different but just as acute, and both must be addressed by the panel, keeping in mind that, as 2008 Nobel prize laureate and The New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, said, “We are all in the same boat.”

Achieving Goal 2 requires a shift of mindset. Since the media determines the public agenda, it is the media that must lead the way toward annihilating self-centeredness. Instead of the current “Me, me, me,” attitude cultivated by the media over the past several decades, its new mottos should be “We, we, we,” “mutual guarantee,” and “one for all and all for one.” If the media describes the benefits of mutual guarantee and the harm in the narcissistic approach, we will naturally gravitate toward sharing and caring, rather than toward suspecting and isolating ourselves. If commercials, infomercials, and infotainments begin to show veneration toward giving individuals, we will all begin to want to give, just as today when the media shows reverence to the rich and powerful, we want to be rich and powerful, as well.

Such a mindset will guarantee that our society remains just and compassionate toward all people, and at the same time that all the people willingly contribute to this society. Additionally, many of today’s regulating and restraining agencies, such as the police, the army, and financial regulators will either become obsolete or require a fraction of the human and financial resources they currently require. Consequently, those resources will be directed toward improving our daily lives, rather than merely toward keeping them relatively safe, with diminishing success.

In such an encouraging and prosocial atmosphere, Goal 3, “Using our prosocial work for self-enhancement,” will be a natural offshoot. Society will encourage, strive, and make efforts to guarantee that each of us realizes his or her personal potential to the maximum, because when that potential is used for the common good, society will benefit. Moreover, liberated from the need to protect ourselves from a hostile environment, a treasure trove of new energies will lend themselves to our self-realization. The result will be eradication of depression and all its related ills, and dramatically enhanced satisfaction from life.

After a few months of living in a society-oriented mindset, we will be baffled by how we could ever have thought that self-interest was a good idea. The evident success and happiness of such a society will yield ever growing motivation to promote and strengthen it, thus creating a perpetual motion in favor of society, and at the same time, in favor of each of its members without neglecting a single one of them.

In our globalized reality, only a form of government that deems the happiness and well-being of all the people in the world equally important can prove sustainable and successful.

The Road to Social Justicе

Throughout the world, nations and peoples are awakening, demanding that their governments listen to them, recognize their pain, and resolve their problems. The uproar is not only over food or housing prices. At its base is a firm demand for social justice.

Yet, social justice is an elusive goal. With so many sections of society affected by inflation, unemployment, and a lack of education, one person’s justice may very well lead to another person’s injustice. In the current structure of society, whatever solution is reached, it will only perpetuate, if not exacerbate the current injustice, causing widespread disillusionment, which could trigger more violence or even war.

Thus, the solution to the demand for social justice must involve all parts of society, none excluded. The 2011 “Spring of the Nations” proves that the world has changed fundamentally. Humanity has become a single, global entity. As such, it requires that we acknowledge every part of it—both nations and individuals—as worthy in their own right. Nations no longer tolerate occupation, and people no longer tolerate oppression.

If we compare humanity to a human body containing numerous organs of different functions, no organ is redundant. Every organ both contributes what it should to the body, and receives what it needs.

Likewise, the approach to resolving the worldwide unrest must include all parts of society. The keywords to all negotiations involving government officials and protesters should be “thoughtful deliberation.” The negotiations should be based on the premise that all parties’ demands have merit and should be addressed respectfully. Yet, because so many parties have legitimate demands, all parties must take the other parties’ demands into account, as well.

In such deliberations, there are no “good guys” or “bad guys.” There are people with genuine, legitimate needs, sharing their problems with one another, trying to reach an acceptable, dignified solution for all.

Think of a large and loving family. Everyone in the family has his or her needs: Grandpa needs his pills, Dad needs a new suit for his new job, Mom needs her yoga lessons, and brother Ben has just been accepted into a high-priced college. So the family gets together for a family meeting, a bit like Thanksgiving but without the turkey. The members talk about incomes, argue over priorities, share their needs, squabble a bit, and laugh a lot. And in the end, they know what’s necessary, what’s not, who will get what he or she needs now, and who will get it later. But since they are family, connected by love, those who have to wait agree to wait because after all, they’re family.

In many respects, globalization and growing interdependence have turned humanity into a giant-size family. Now we just need to learn how to work as such. If we think about it, a big family is always safer than being alone, provided it functions as a loving family.

Also, we must keep in mind that in almost every country, governments are struggling with mounting deficits and debt. There are not enough resources to go around, but there are certainly enough resources to allow respectable living for all, if only we acknowledge each other’s needs. Therefore, the “big family way” is the best concept to ensure that social justice is eventually achieved. Just as in a family, the idea is not to break down the system, but to adjust it to cater to people’s needs, rather than cater to the desires of various pressure groups.

King Arthur had a round table around which he and his knights would congregate. As its name suggests, the table had no head, implying that everyone who sat there was of equal status. Similarly, governments and citizens need to understand that there is no way to resolve social problems without sitting together at a round table (metaphorically if not physically).

We must remember that we are all mutually responsible for one another and that we are interdependent, like a family. The problems that seem to tackle us around each corner are not the causes, but the symptoms of our real problem: lack of solidarity and mutual responsibility for one another. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we resolve them by calling in the “spirit of the round table.”

By resolving these problems one at a time we will gradually build a society governed by mutual guarantee. Indeed, the mindset of mutual guarantee is the real reason we are presented with these problems. Once we achieve mutual guarantee, the problems will be gone like the wind.

Toward Mutual Commitment

Why shared responsibility in facing the world’s challenges is the key to resolving them in an interdependent world

Despite decades of unimaginable efforts, resources, and planning on the part of the UN to eradicate inequality, exploitation, and lack of basic conditions for sustaining life, these problems still pose major challenges in many countries. Around the world,some 1.4 billion people are living on less than $2 a day, while $5.2 billion worth of food are wasted every year inAustralia alone.

Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food, writes that “More than 40 percent of the food produced for consumption is wasted by Americans. The total cost of food wasted comes out to an annual amount of more than $100 billion.” Worse yet, the gap between those who have and those who have not continues to widen.

For decades, the efforts of developing nations to seek aid in food, health, and development from more affluent countries have been met with highly inadequate results. Until today there was no other choice. After all, the name of the game was “Winner Takes All.”

The gaps are not only among countries, but also within them. The sense of deprivation causes both national and international tension, and clearly, given the global crisis, the situation can escalate drastically.

But now the game has changed. The recent emergence of the Spring of Nations is teaching all of us a lesson we should heed carefully: The world is connected, and what goes around comes around. Globalization has made us all interdependent, and no nation can exploit other nations simply because it is stronger, or it will pay dearly. As we can see, countries that yesterday seemed unassailable are crumbling today. They remain solvent only by the mercy of nations that, just a few years back, were treated as inferior.

In today’s globalized reality, either we all win or we all lose, because we are interdependent. When enough people in the world open their eyes to the facts of globalization and shared responsibility, a major shift will begin. No longer will countries and peoples exploit one another; no longer will mammoth consortiums exploit tens of millions of underpaid workers around the world; no longer will children be allowed to die of hunger and illnesses that can be treated with common antibiotics, and no longer will women be abused simply because they are women. Indeed, in a world where people realize that their own well-being depends on the well-being of others, they will care for others, who will later care for them in return.

When that shift begins, terms such as “first world” and “third world” will cease to exist. There will be only one world and the people living in it.

Carrying Out the Shift

To actualize the above-said, two things are of utmost importance: 1) first aid, 2) education.

By “first aid,” we mean that we launch a worldwide campaign that explains why, in a globalized reality, insufficient food supply and lack of clean drinking water are inexcusable and must be corrected without delay. It is easy to show that the cost of such investments pays itself back with interest within a few short years. Countries such as India, Vietnam, and Indonesia serve as wonderful examples, despite all their still existing challenges.

Education means informing people of the new era of globalization, mutual dependence, and shared responsibility, of which we are all part. The recent global financial crises, and the series of uprisings around the world are sufficient evidence that we affect one another on all levels of life—economic, social, and even emotional (see Thomas Friedman’s reference to “Globalization of Anger” [88]).

At Stage One of the education process, people will realize that it is unthinkable that over a billion people are starving while another billion is throwing away almost half the food it buys and struggles with obesity. Once the bare necessities of life have been provided to the entire world, Stage Two will begin.

Stage Two will focus on enhancing unity and solidarity among individuals and nations, in congruence with the current, interconnected reality.

In Nature, unity, reciprocity, and mutual responsibility are prerequisites to life. No organism survives unless its cells operate in harmony. Likewise, no ecosystem thrives if one of its elements is removed. Until recently, humanity was the only species that did not follow the law of mutual dependence and reciprocity. We believed that Nature’s law was “Survival of the Fittest.” But now we are beginning to realize that we, too, are subject to interdependence and must play by that rule if we are to survive.

The Campaign

To integrate the messages of mutual responsibility and interdependence, we suggest the following: to declare next year, which the U.N. titled, “The Year of Cooperatives,” the starting point of shifting the global mindset toward the urgent need for mutual commitment in order to keep society and economy sustainable.

The Steps of the Shift

1) We should assemble an international forum of scientists (from hard sciences as well as social sciences and humanities), artists, thinkers, economists, successful businesspersons, and celebrities under the auspices of the U.N. to declare the start of the Year of Cooperatives. In that conference, the participants will commit to doing their utmost to eradicate hunger and deprivation. They will be chartered by their countries to devise a worldwide campaign to instill the awareness of globalization, shared responsibility, and interdependence.

2) At the end of the forum, teams from the U.N. will work with each country to create media campaigns, school programs, street signs, and other means of advertisement to promote the abovementioned concepts. The goal of the campaign will be to make the idea of exploiting others abominable, and the idea of sharing and caring praiseworthy—and eventually, second nature for us all.

3) The U.N. teams will convene on a regular basis at U.N. headquarters to report on and synchronize their moves, thus promoting uniform global progress toward a sense of mutual responsibility. The teams’ meetings will be broadcast live to demonstrate transparency and enhance their credibility. Most important will be the opportunity to show just how productive we can be when we work together.

4) Countries, consortiums, and even individuals who excel in demonstrating solidarity and shared responsibility will be praised and glorified, much the same as movie stars and pop stars are admired today. This will be a powerful incentive to encourage those who excel to continue excelling, and to those who are not, to join in.

5) From numerous experiments on the effects of prosocial behavior (such as David W. Johnson and Roger T. Johnson, “ An Educational Psychology Success Story: Social Interdependence Theory and Cooperative Learning” [89]), we know that typically Western afflictions such as depression and drug abuse will be all but gone when the campaign takes root. This, in turn, will free up a tremendous amount of financial and human resources to tend to humanity’s other needs. International hostilities will also decrease tremendously, even if only for lack of moral and financial support of the adversaries. In an interdependent world, it is simply unwise to battle, and this will be very clear to all.

We at ARI Research have years of experience in international collaborations, networking, and circulation of ideas. We have an online system of free broadcasts simultaneously interpreted into eight languages, and we can produce text and video materials almost at a moment’s notice.

We are already collaborating with UNESCO on the topic of global education, and we offer all our services and facilities gratis to the U.N. in hopes of expanding our fruitful partnership.

Today, Nature demands that we unite. Over time, that demand will intensify until we have all consented. At the same time, that demand is the key to our success in building a sustainable reality for ourselves and for our children. In light of all that, we must unite, work together, and we will succeed.

The Benefits of the New Economy

A balanced economy is not only mandatory in the global and integral reality, it also benefits us all

Key Points

An Escalating Crisis in Europe and the United States

The global economic crisis is rapidly worsening. The United States suffered its first ever downgrade of its credit rating, and the Eurozone is threatening to collapse altogether, or alternately, face insolvency of sovereign debt, which would shake up financial markets all over the world. At the same time, leading economists are making foreboding statements, such as Nouriel Roubini’s, “There's a significant probability ... that over the next 12 months, there's going to be another recession in most advanced economies,” [90] or Joseph E. Stiglitz’s, “In a way, not only there is a crisis in our economy, there ought to be a crisis in economics.” [91]

The economic interdependence among countries makes it impossible for them to isolate themselves and resolve their problems separately. An example of that is the attempt of the Eurozone to save the faltering Greek economy. The Polish Finance Minister, Jacek Rostowski, speaking before the European Parliament, warned that “Europe is in danger, and the breakdown of the Eurozone would lead to a chain reaction leading to the breakup of the European Union (EU) and ultimately to the return of war in Europe.” [92] Also, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that “Euro-region leaders must erect a firewall around Greece to avert a cascade of market attacks on other European states.” [93]

Naturally, investors are concerned about the future of the world economy. During weekend talks of policy makers, investors and bankers in Washington, Mohamed A. El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond investor, predicted, “Economies will stall over the next year as Europe slides into a recession.” [94]

At that same event, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers, said he has been to 20 years of International Monetary Fund (IMF) gatherings, and “There’s not been a prior meeting at which matters have had more gravity, and at which I’ve been more concerned about the future of the global economy.”

Unemployment in Europe and the United States is high and rising. For example, Spain's unemployment rate rose sharply to a new Eurozone high of 21.3 percent in the first quarter of the year, with a record 4.9 million people out of work [95]. In the United States, the unemployment rate is 8.6, with 13.3 million people out of work [96].

The Economy Needs a Makeover

The failure to resolve the global crisis that began in 2008 baffles the most prominent economists and exposes the limitations of the current economic paradigms. The expansive monetary policy was meant to reverse the decline and gradually heal the world economy, but the reverse seems to have happened. It appears that the economic “toolbox” in the hands of decision-makers treated only the symptoms of the crisis rather than the crisis itself.

The interest rate cuts, expansion of budgets—intended to boost industry and commerce—tax cuts, reforms in finance, interference of central banks in bond and currency markets have all failed to reinvigorate the stalled economy.

To resolve the crisis, we must first diagnose the root of the problem and adopt a solution that corrects it. Treating only the symptoms doesn’t resolve the crisis itself, as its recent re-emergence indicates.

At its very heart, the economy is an expression of how we relate to each other. In the current economy, our primary motive is to maximize our profits in a competitive environment that perpetuates in us the sense of lack. This results in a zero-sum-game, where one’s gain comes at the expense of another.

The solution to the economic crisis requires us to first change our relationships into those based on mutual guarantee. Such a change will be possible only by creating a supportive environment, including information systems that educate us about this change. These will include use of the media, as well as adult and youth education systems. The educational framework will endorse such values as solidarity, collaboration, empathy, care for others, and mutual guarantee.

Social sciences provide ample proof of how the environment influences people [97]. Hence, we must build a society that teaches us to think differently and to adopt prosocial values.

Today, society rewards us with money, power, and glory. Such rewards create competition and induce aggressiveness as each of us tries to exploit or manipulate others on personal, company, national, or international levels. If the rewards were to change and, instead, encouraged mutual guarantee, the change would be easy to make and would have broad public support. This is the power of the environment to influence our behavior.

First Things First: Putting Out the Fire

First, we must put out the fires and deal with the most pressing issues facing us. To do so, we must come together, deliberate in a round-table format, and discuss—just like a family—how we can help those among us who are in desperate need, living below the poverty line. Without a solution for such problems that we can all agree on, we cannot make any progress.

Agreement is a precondition of forming the mutual guarantee among us. Agreeing on mutual guarantee will enable the more fortunate to make the necessary concessions to assist others and create the economic amendments that will thoroughly deal with the challenges of poverty.

Some of the financing to mend the imbalance will come from state budgets, reflecting the change in socioeconomic priorities. However, the bulk of the money will come from new sources created by the transition from excessive consumerism to reasonable consumption. That transition will reflect the change from an individualistic, competitive economy to a collaborative, harmonious one that is in sync with the laws of the global, integral world.

At the same time, we must acquire basic life skills and initiate consumer education to qualify us to pursue an independent, balanced way of living in the new world. Combining immediate economic and financial solutions with proper consumer education will act as “CPR” for the lower-income individuals in society. It will also forge the common basis necessary to adopt mutual guarantee as a social and economic treaty, tying us all together, in sync with the laws of the global-integral world.

Toward a New Economy, Under the Umbrella of Mutual Guarantee

It is easy to describe the improved socioeconomic system at the end of the transformation process toward which this crisis is drawing us. The inadequacy of the current economic systems in the global network and the increasing personal and political interdependence are the real reasons for the escalating global crisis. When decision-makers and leading economists grasp that these are the core issues, the solution will become obvious, though we will still need to change our relations to those of mutual guarantee. Once accomplished, we can move to a new economy that reflects this shift of ideas and values in the world.

Under the umbrella of mutual guarantee, both the economy and human society will be in harmony with the global network of connections. Instead of “sailing against the wind,” wasting energy and resources trying to maintain a failing economic method, a new economy will form, both balanced and stable, relying on solid social cohesion on all levels, expansive international cooperation, balanced consumption, and stable financial markets. This will be a far cry from the current financial markets, which produce destructive bubbles every 5-7 years.

The Benefits of the Economy of Mutual Guarantee

There are many benefits to an economy based on mutual guarantee. By attempting to cling to the existing, failing economic model and ease the immediate problems following the financial crisis, we are making it harder to appreciate the vast potential of the mutual guarantee economy. If we imagine that we are already in a state of mutual guarantee, we will be able to see its many advantages:

1) A just and fair standard of living for all: An economic policy based on mutual consideration will help us allocate the necessary public funds to raise the lower classes above the poverty line. At the same time, workshops, life skills training and consumer science will help people develop financial independence. Living beyond our means and over-consumption have become a global liability that requires correction [98], [99].

2) Lowering the cost of living: When greed is no longer the basis of our economic relations, when each of us is content with a reasonable profit and does not aspire to maximize profit at the expense of others, the prices of products and services will drop to near-production cost. Today, the prices of many goods and services are too high because each link along the commercial chain strives to maximize its profit. Extolling the value of mutual guarantee in communication networks and in the public discourse will make firms add public benefit to their equations. This will make life more affordable for all of us.

The first signs of a cost-lowering movement are already emerging. Social unrest is actually causing manufacturers to lower the prices of products and services. For now, these are variable, occasional, minor, and passing discounts, but the trend is clear. When we transition to a relatively balanced consumption pattern, both demand and prices will come down.

Also, diminishing the cost of living will diminish inequality and social gaps, one of the primary advantages of the mutual guarantee economy.

3) Diminishing social gaps: One of the primary ills of the present global economy is a constant increase in inequality. This is the prime initiator of the worldwide unrest that demands social justice. When we treat each other like family, we will not tolerate inequality of opportunity or means among us or anywhere in the world. Instead of unrest and fear of revolution and violence, the mutual guarantee economy will yield broad consent as economic gaps are diminished, and the stability of the system is enhanced.

Diminishing inequality means, among other things, economic and social concessions on the part of the top income earners. Education, the influence of the environment, and an effective mechanism of communication—such as the round table—will make certain that all decisions are reached with transparency and fairness, and reflect the social and economic consensus—imperative for mutual guarantee. In return for their concessions for the common good, those who make them will be rewarded with public appreciation for their contributions. Additionally, those who receive assistance and resources will be able to enjoy a better, more dignified life. They, too, will appreciate the new method.

4) A genuine, thorough budget reform: The only thing that can create a sense of social justice and mutual guarantee for each individual in society is the belief that we are all in the same boat, and must work together. This will require a fairer method of prioritizing in the national budget, reached by broad consensus, not through the squabbles of lobbyists and pressure groups.

An economy managed with transparency will allow everyone to understand how decisions are made, and will even help people influence them. When we feel a sense of partnership and involvement, we no longer feel negative emotions such as the frustration that currently exists toward policy makers. This lessening of negativity will allow people to agree with and support the decisions made by decision-makers, even when some of their choices are not popular. The satisfaction of acting as one family that makes decisions at the round table will encourage us to make concessions to each other.

5) Increasing the financial “pie”: If every citizen, business, and government office feels part of the global family, many extras will appear in money, goods and services, state and municipal budgets, and even in our personal budgets. Consider how many things we have at home that we never use. We can take our surplus food and clothing, give it to the poor, and put the financial extras toward covering a significant portion of others’ current needs. This will not even require an increase in the budget deficit, or impose austerity means or taxes.

However, we are not suggesting charity as a solution, although charity is a great expression of a solid community life and mutual assistance. Rather, we are talking about efficacy. For example, according to a CNN report,30% of all food produced in the world each year is wasted or lost. That’s about 1.3 billion tons, according to a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization [100].

Why can’t countries where hunger is a real problem receive that surplus? The answer, in a word, is “interests.” Distributing the surplus food means increasing the supply, which would lead to lower prices. This, in turn, would diminish the profits of food producers and marketers. In an economy based on mutual guarantee, such a situation would be impossible. How can we throw away food when members of our family are starving?

This is just one example. For more examples of the benefits of mutual guarantee economy, see chapter, “Surplus and Improving Public Well-Being,” in The Benefits of the New Economy.

6) Improving employer-employee relations and firm-government relations: Research in behavioral psychology indicates that wealthy people seek respect, not money [101]. Yet, today companies and CEOs are evaluated based on their profits and gains. Greater profit means a higher ranking in rating firms or appearance on the list of “most successful CEOs of the year.”

Possibly the best example of this narrow, self-centered thinking of maximizing profits is the U.S. job market. The reason why the American job market is not adding more jobs, even as the economy grows, is that firms prefer to increase their workers’ overtime, or shift part-time workers into working full time, rather than hire new people.

Today, such considerations are considered logical. But in an economy conducted by mutual guarantee, the values will be such that more people will be able to share in the prosperity of the economy, rather than fewer people sharing more of the profits. Similar improvements will be made in companies’ relations with the government and tax authorities, leading to fairer taxes and fewer tax evasions.

7) Stability and long-term solutions: The new economy will be based on the values of mutual guarantee, and will necessarily be consistent with today’s global interdependence. Such an economic method, in harmony and balance with the global and integral network, will be more stable and sustainable than all the existing economic and social methods. It would match its environment and reflect a broad consensus among its elements: people, companies, and states. A balanced economy that is friendly toward both man and Nature would allow each person to live in dignity, to feel that the system was personally “friendly,” and to receive sufficient sustenance, along with the opportunity to reciprocate by contributing to the system.

8) Certainty: The transition to the new economy will be gradual. At first, there will be dynamics of change and hope, a new spirit in society, a sense of cohesion and personal security. The current fear of being exploited will make way for concessions and gestures of generosity in several areas, such as more affordable housing prices, employment contracts that do not exploit workers, a simpler bureaucracy that truly serves the public interest, fair banks, and service providers that actually provide the intended service at a sane price. In short, people will feel confident in their interrelations, a feeling so badly needed in these uncertain times, and one that money truly cannot buy.

9) True happiness: The new economy will create in us a sense of fulfillment that cannot be measured with money. As described in The Benefits of the New Economy, chapter, “Studies Challenge the Notion that Money Means Happiness,” beyond a certain level of income, additional money does not improve one’s feeling. Instead, people get satisfaction from successful relationships, from a sense of confidence and self-fulfillment. The new economy and its benefits are not transient, but are solid and stable because they are in sync with the laws of mutual guarantee. These enable a decision-making process based on a broad consensus.

10) An applicable decision-making process: As the new economy will be conducted with transparency, everyone will see how decisions are made and will be able to influence them. This is the only way to establish a practical decision-making process that will make people feel that decisions are both fair and unbiased, reached after thorough consideration of everyone’s needs. This will also enhance the stability of the socio-economic system.

11) Economic and financial stability: Money markets have changed from a meeting ground for companies and investors into a battleground of aggressive global players, with enough power to rattle and shake global market in pursuit of “an extra buck,” regardless of the soundness of the system. A mutual guarantee economy will allow money markets to avoid repeatedly falling into financial bubbles that pop and lead to disaster in the real economy.

12) Balanced consumption: The pursuit of excessive consumption has long become a key element in our lives and in the world economy. In the mutual guarantee economy, this will gradually make way for balanced consumption. In fact, the process has already begun, thanks to the present crisis and the gradual transition from a competitive, wasteful, and unequal economy to a balanced, functional one whose goal is to provide for everyone’s basic needs. Commercials and other forms of social pressure to convince us to buy redundant products and services will disappear, as will numerous superfluous brands and products. Instead, the desire to contribute to society and participate in community life for the common good will replace them as one’s pride and joy.

Also, because of the decreased demand, prices will drop and reasonable, dignified living will become affordable to all. Companies will produce only what is truly necessary for us to lead a comfortable and balanced life.

13) Global balance and harmony: The transition from excessive consumption to balanced buying will reveal that Earth contains sufficient resources to sustain all of us comfortably for many years to come. The exploitation of natural resources will stop, and we will discover Earth’s magnificent rejuvenation abilities.

The stability of the mutual guarantee economy is based on strong social cohesion and mutual concern. That stability requires that we understand that in an era of globalization, our interdependence requires us to adapt our connections and our social and economic systems into a single, harmonious system. It will provide for the needs of all of humanity, and support and encourage everyone’s needs to realize the great potential within them.

The Mutual Guarantee – Educational Agenda

Education is a recognized problem and a painful issue the world over. Uninterested children, declining grades, violence, and disorderly conduct indicate that the education systems in many countries have become dysfunctional.

Some of the problems originate in the structure of the education system and its inability to adapt to changes. Yet, a change is clearly necessary, particularly because little has changed in schools since their inception back in the days of the Industrial Revolution some 200 years ago. Crowded classrooms, children behind desks, forced to sit still for extended periods of time, short breaks, and vast amounts of useless information to be memorized are still the norm. In the days when schools were first established, there was a genuine need to educate masses of workers to fill the assembly lines.

Thus, the current structure of schools reflects a very narrow perspective of the concept of education. The Encyclopedia Britannica, however, defines education in the following way: “Education can be thought of as the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society. In this sense, it is equivalent to what social scientists term socialization or enculturation. Children—whether conceived among New Guinea tribespeople, the Renaissance Florentines, or the middle classes of Manhattan—are born without culture. Education is designed to guide them in learning a culture, molding their behavior in the ways of adulthood, and directing them toward their eventual role in society.” [102]

Yet, schools today merely aim to equip students with tools by which to continue their schooling at universities and colleges. Schools do not educate in the full sense of the word.

Education, as has just been described, is not merely the act of providing knowledge. It is a process for designing the personality and behavior of each of us. Indeed, the essence of education is to teach the student how to cope with and succeed in life. A school that teaches merely how to memorize information is irrelevant in today’s reality.

In light of all the above, we have come to realize that we need to make a fundamental change in the educational paradigm. We must examine the challenges that the modern world presents to us and see whether the education we currently provide addresses them sufficiently.

In today’s reality, our world has become a global village socially, politically, and economically. From the moment we became attached to one another, we lost the ability to continue leading our lives by values of narcissism and disregard for others. These values may have been useful in the old, individual, and egocentric world, but from the moment humanity turned into an integral, global system, the rules have become identical to those that apply to all integral systems in Nature.

The human body is an example of such an integral system. Within our bodies, the cooperation and harmony (known as homeostasis) among all cells and organs enable the body to maintain proper health. To remain healthy, each cell and organ operates according to the interests of the entire organism. The harmony among the cells turns the healthy body into the astounding machine that it is, and the health of the body contributes, in turn, to the health of each individual cell.

The way the cells in our bodies operate manifests the law of mutual guarantee and reciprocity, which applies to all multilateral connections in Nature. Indeed, the sustainability of the system depends on the reciprocal relations among the elements that comprise it.

Therefore, as long as we continue to relate to one another egoistically, in contrast to the world that has become integral, we act in dissonance with the laws of Nature. In doing so, we are like cells that are parts of an organism, yet consume only for themselves. In the case of the human body, the result of such cells is a cancerous tumor. In the case of humanity, the result is a multilayered, multifaceted global crisis.

To resolve this crisis, we must adjust our network of connections and make it truly global. Each person must recognize the nature of the world we live in, and understand that in the 21st century, one’s personal life depends on one’s attitude toward others. Therefore, we must educate people to become sensitive toward others, caring, and responsible in their approach to the world.

It follows that in the 21st century, the world needs more than an economic or political solution to its problems. First and foremost, it needs an educational solution.

Numerous studies and books have already determined that the paramount element in the molding of a young person’s personality is the surrounding environment [103]. Therefore, to truly “educate” a child means to place him or her in the right environment, one that affects positive results and the right values. To bring up a generation that will annihilate the crises the world is currently experiencing, we must create a different social environment for our children.

From early on, children need to grow up with the understanding that egoism, the desire to enjoy at the expense of others, is the primary cause of suffering in the adult world. At the same time, we must show children—using various teaching aids—that relationships based on mutual consideration, tolerance, and understanding facilitate harmony and the persistence of life.

Ten Key Principles for Global Education

1) The social environment builds the person: The social environment is the principal element affecting children. Therefore, we must create among them a “miniature society” where everyone cares for everyone else. A child who grows up in such an environment will not only thrive and succeed in expressing his or her creative potential, but will also approach life with a sense of purpose, and with a desire to build a similar society in the “exo-school” environment.

2) Personal example: Children learn from the examples we provide them, both personally—from educators and parents—and through the media and other public contents to which they are exposed.

3) Equality: During the learning process, there should not be a teacher, but an educator. Although the educator is older in age, he or she will be perceived by the children as “one of them,” a peer. In this way, the educator can gradually “pull up” the children in every aspect of the study—informational, as well as moral and social. Thus, for example, during class, children and educators will sit in a circle and talk, with everyone treated as equals.

4) Teaching through games: Through games, children grow, learn, and deepen their understanding of how things are connected. A game is a means by which children get to know the world. In fact, children do not learn words by hearing them. Rather, they learn through experience. Therefore, it is necessary to use games as a primary method in working with children. The games should be built in such a way that children will see that they cannot succeed alone, but only with the help of others, that to succeed they must make concessions to others, and that a good social environment can only do them good.

5) Weekly outings: Every week there should be a day when the children leave the school and go to a place in the country or some other location, depending on the child’s age. Such places can be parks, zoos, factories, farms, movie studios, or theatres. Also, children should be taught how the systems that affect our lives operate, such as law enforcement, the post office, hospitals, government offices, old-age homes, and any place where children can learn about the processes that are a part of our lives. Before, during, and following the outing, discussions should be held regarding what will be seen, how the experience compared with their expectations, their conclusions, and so forth.

6) Older teaching the younger: The older age groups will “adopt” younger groups, while the younger groups will tutor those who are younger still. In this way, everyone feels part of the learning process and acquires necessary tools for communicating with others.

7) “Little court”: As part of the learning process, children should act out situations that they encounter in their daily lives: envy, power struggles, deceit, and so on. After acting them out, they should try to scrutinize them. Through such experiences, children will learn to understand and be sensitive to others. They will comprehend that others can be in the right, too, even if they cannot accept their views at the moment. They will see that tomorrow they might find themselves in a similar situation, that every person and every view has its place in the world, and that everyone should be treated with tolerance.

8) Video taping activities: It is recommended that all activities be videotaped for later viewing and analysis together with the children. In this way, children will be able to see how they reacted or behaved in certain situations. They will be able to analyze the changes they are going through and develop the ability to introspect.

9) Small groups with several educators: It is highly recommended that each group of 10 students has a team of two educators and a supporting professional (a psychologist).

10) Parent support: The parents must support the educational process unfolding at school. They should talk to the children about the importance of the values inculcated at school, set a personal example of these values in their behavior, and completely avoid instilling other values. To facilitate this, there should also be courses for parents.

Collaboration with UNESCO

The method of global education has been warmly accepted by the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs. Irina Bokova. At the moment, a UNESCO-ARI joint book on global education is in the making, and a series of international conferences and meetings has taken place and is planned for the future.

[86] CNN Wire Staff, “Tear gas flies during Chilean student protests,” CNN (August 9, 2011),

[87] J. David Goodman, “At Least 80 Dead in Norway Shooting,” The New York Times (July 22, 2011),

[88] Thomas L. Friedman, “A Theory of Everything (Sort Of),” The York Times (August 13, 2011),

[89] David W. Johnson and Roger T. Johnson, “An Educational Psychology Success Story: Social Interdependence Theory and Cooperative Learning,” Educational Researcher 38 (2009): 365, doi: 10.3102/0013189X09339057

[90] Nouriel Roubini, “ROUBINI: Ignore The Recent Economic Data — There's Still More Than A 50% Chance Of Recession,” Bussiness Insider (October 25, 2011),

[91] “Short films from the 2011 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Economic Sciences,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online, (the above-mentioned statement is in Stiglitz’s video after 10:05 minutes.

[92] Amiel Ungar, “Polish Finance Minister Warns of War if EU Collapses,” Arutz Sheva (September 16, 2011),

[93] Sebastian Boyd, “Chilean Peso Advances After Merkel Urges Firewall Around Greece,” Bloomberg (September 26, 2011),

[94] Simon Kennedy, Rich Miller and Gabi Thesing, “Pimco sees Europe sliding into recession,” Financial Post (September 26, 2011),

[95] Daniel Woolls, “Spain's Unemployment Rate Hits New Eurozone Record Of 21.3 Percent,” Huffington Post (April 29, 2011),

[96] United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

[97] Perhaps the most notable examples are the studies published in the book, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives—How Your Friends' Friends' Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do, by Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis and Prof. James Fowler:

Christakis, N. A.; Fowler, JH (22 May 2008). "The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network" (PDF). New England Journal of Medicine 358 (21): 2249–2258.

Christakis, N. A.; Fowler, JH (26 July 2007). "The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years" (PDF). New England Journal of Medicine 357 (4): 370–379

Fowler, J. H.; Christakis, N. A (3 January 2009). "Dynamic Spread of Happiness in a Large Social Network: Longitudinal Analysis Over 20 Years in the Framingham Heart Study" (PDF). British Medical Journal 337 (768): a2338.doi:10.1136/bmj.a2338. PMC 2600606. PMID 19056788.

Christakis, N. A.; Fowler, JH (26 July 2007). "The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years" (PDF). New England Journal of Medicine 357 (4): 370–379

[98] “Average credit card debt per household with credit card debt: $15,799.” By: Ben Woolsey and Matt Schulz, “Credit card statistics, industry facts, debt statistics,”,

[99] “The average British adult already owes £29,500, about 123 per cent of average earnings.” By: Jeff Randall, “The debt trap time bomb,” The Telegraph (October 31, 2011),

[100] Ramy Inocencio, “World wastes 30% of all food,” CNN Business 360 (May 13, 2011),

[101] Tay, L., & Diener, E., “Needs and subjective well-being around the world,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2011), 101(2), 354-365. doi:10.1037/a0023779

[102] “Education,” Encyclopædia Britannica,

[103] Probably the most notable example of the influence of the social environment on our psyche and even our physical well-being is the book, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives – How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do, by Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, and James H. Fowler, PhD (Little, Brown and Co., 2010).

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