Posts Tagged ‘ecosystem resilience’

Are we Heading at a Total Collapse of all Systems?

Monday, December 17th, 2007
When I finished my blog about the Great Depression in 1929 I wanted to write about the Great Depression of 2008. I was convinced this would happen again. I am not the only one. Many known and unknown people are warning about a worldwide economic disaster (a deep recession).

The Central Banks are pumping money into the market to prevent this to happen but to their big surprise the market is not able to use this money because the banks are afraid to lend money to other banks because there is no trust at all.

They want to revive the system but the system is in a very special and dangerous state called StagFlation. It is slowing down AND speeding up in terms of prices and the creation of money. Stagflation is something the Economist cannot handle. It is a Catch 22-situation. What you do, it always works against you.

Another problem is caused by the collective believe that things are going wrong. People stop to invest and to buy which generates a downward spiral. You can lower the interest rates to zero but when many people are afraid to buy they don’t need a credit.

The collective believe-system is the most important factor. When the Central Bank is lowering the rates it is telling two stories at the same time. The first story is that it is doing something to help but it also confirms the believe that something is really wrong.

The second story is more powerful than the first story. People don’t believe in the financial system anymore. It has destroyed itself. What the people need is self-confidence and a way to solve their own problems but The System that is there to help them is in trouble itself.

The only way out is that people start to cooperate without the “interference” of the big complex dying systems. The Rich could simply lend their money directly to the “poor” entrepreneurs. There are enough people available to create new businesses but they are simply stopped by the incomprehensible System that has lost its own Entrepreneurship long ago.

The Rich, the Investors, don’t want do this because they don’t know how to trust an Entrepreneur. They want to be helped by experts who really don’t know what they are talking about because they are way beyond the practices of real life. The experts live in a highly abstract world that is dominated by Models and Models have nothing to do with Reality. They are a product of the Imagination. To solve our problems we have to move back to Earth and become Practical again.

In a blog I explained to so called Domino-effect. When one domino falls all the domino’s fall. At this moment all the banking-domino’s are preventing the domino-effect to take place. They are afraid they will lend something to another bank that will fall.

The banks are unable to show their credibility because they are unaware of their own risks. The financial structure of a bank has become incomprehensible because of the very complex products based on expectations and the failing IT-Systems that are unable to show what is really happening. Everything is connected to everything. The financial community is a highly complicated knot.

Many people are trying to comprehend the current situation but they are missing the right theory. Suddenly I remembered the Resilience Alliance (RA). They have created a beautiful theory to explain ecologies. It is not difficult to see that the financial system is an ecology.

RA has defined an adaptive cycle with four distinct phases: growth, conservation, collapse and reorganization. The cycle contains two major phases, the fore-loop (growth and conservation) and the back-loop (collapse and reorganization).
At that time an Innovation in Religion came into the World. This innovation can be summarized by the famous statement of Socrate Know Thyself. When we Know Our Selves we will be inspired by our Inner Light. Know Thyself has been translated into many practical approaches like Socratic Learning, Socratic Decision Making (Sociocracy) and of course the Cooperation.

The most important point is not to believe in the Apocalyps but to understand that a collapse is always followed by growth and conservation but on a new level. Believing in the End will generate the End. Our collective imagination is one of the strongest forces on Earth. Look for the signs of the new structure that will enfold out of the old one. Join people that are driven by Spirit and Soul. They are everywhere.

The back-loop is a rapid phase. During the fore-loop wealth is slowly accumulated and competitive processes lead to a few dominant species. The fore-loop destroys diversity. This is what happening in nature and it looks like the same thing is happening in other human ecologies. When most of the diversity is gone the ecology is highly connected and vulnerable to external influences. When something unexpected happens the total ecology collapses.

My feeling is that we are now in a state were many ecologies are collapsing at the same moment. They are collapsing because Nature is collapsing at an impressive speed. We are not heading for a Great Depression but we are heading for the Big Collapse.

The back-loop is a rapid phase. Suddenly the Weather changes with an incredible speed. Suddenly the Financial Market is evaporating and we are unable to do anything. Suddenly major conflicts start and we are unable to manage them with the current systems.

According to RA after the collapse the ecology reorganizes itself by jumping back to a “hidden” state that was stored in its memory a very long time ago.

How far back do we have to go in history to find our rescue? In another blog I wrote about the destructing cycle that was caused by a new insight that was given to the world by Socrate and the Buddha.

About Social Cohesion

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Ecosystem resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to tolerate disturbance without collapsing into a qualitatively different state that is controlled by a different set of processes. A resilient ecosystem can withstand shocks and rebuild itself when necessary.

Resilience in social systems has the added capacity of humans to anticipate and plan for the future. Humans are part of the natural world. We depend on ecological systems for our survival and we continuously impact the ecosystems in which we live from the local to global scale.

Resilience is a property of these linked social-ecological systems. Resilience as applied to ecosystems, or to integrated systems of people and the natural environment, has three defining characteristics:

  • The amount of change the system can undergo and still retain the same controls on function and structure
  • The degree to which the system is capable of self-organization
  • The ability to build and increase the capacity for learning and adaptation

When we translate Resilience in the Dutch language it is translated in “veerkracht“. A “veer” is a spring (a spiraling ring).

When we pull at the end of the spring it will expand and when we stop the pull the spring will spring back into its original state.When the spring is pulled too much it looses its elasticity. It slowly turns into a line. In the end it will break because of almost nothing.

In the old times partners married and promised to stay together for the better and the worse. The ceremony was concluded by exchanging iron rings. The ring was used by the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans. The ring was put upon the left hand, on the finger that was connected to the heart by the “Vein of Love“. It was a symbol to remember them of the season “to fall in love”, Spring.

Resilience shows itself in all kinds of relations when “things go wrong“. When everything “works fine” we accumulate wealth, we are happy and the relation is a success. The partners are “Playing the Infinite Game of Creation and Cooperation“. Their relationship is Self-Organizing and they learn from each other. They adapt their relationship all the time.

The real strength of a relation shows itself when critical events happen. A good relationship is able to handle a lot of them but every critical event takes away a little bit of the accumulated wealth and decreases the elasticity of the relationship. At a certain point in time the spring breaks and the partners are “on their own” again.

Hierarchical organizations are highly organized. Self-organization is something the System cannot stand. It creates “(P)Anarchy“. Hierarchical organizations are focused on aquiring economic wealth. When they are managed with care they reserve funds to use when “things go wrong“.

What they don’t do is accumulate “social wealth“. When the economy is in its downfall they reduce the amount of people they employ. They keep the “strong” and release “the weak“. The weak are moved to another Ecology called “the Social Security System“. This Ecology is also a hierarchical structure and unable to accept Self-Organization and Play.

At the end of the line something called Social Cohesion is going down rapidly. The Resilience of Society is decreasing with a high speed. The amount of divorces is rising exponentially. The iron ring of marriage is corroded and easy to break. Many people live on their own are left alone and are even bowling alone.

Bowling Alone is a book of Robert Putnam. Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected. We are disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures. People sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know their neighbors less, meet with friends less frequently, and socialize with their families less often.

All of this is an indication that the were are in The Break, a step in the Panarchy Cycle. The Break is followed by a fast Reorganization. The disconnected parts of the relations connect again on a new scale. The new Scale is based on a old foundation that is stored in the Collective Memory, the Unconsciousness.


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