Tag Archives: Atlee

What and whom do we really depend upon?

 Tom Atlee’s recent article (excerpted below) is a BRILLIANT statement of both truth and necessity. I believe that sharing, cooperation, and restructuring are now gaining speed. The impending disintegration of the money/banking/finance sector will force us to “take off” soon. Let’s hope that we can generate enough “lift” before we run out of runway.–t.h.g.

Emerging EcoNomics #3: The New Sharing Economy

One of the key features of “the new economy” is sharing.  More and more people are sharing housing, cars, bikes, tools, meals, skills, money, books, ideas, music, energy, recreation, projects, transportation, knowledge, problem-solving, visions, jobs, ownership, clothes, stories, time…

Sharing is a resource in hard times as well as a source of intrinsic meaning and satisfaction any time.  To an increasing number of people, sharing offers compelling alternatives to the corporate-dominated money-saturated whole-society bustle we normally think of as “the economy”.


The existing economy is designed to get us to look out for ourselves so that we’ll consume, compete and work at paying jobs.  It nurtures the illusion that we are independent, building lives for ourselves in a world where everyone else is out for themselves, too.  Closer examination, however, suggests that such independence is largely a myth, a well-promoted appearance obscuring our profound dependence on the competitive buy-and-sell economy which, in turn, conceals our dependence on nature, culture, and each other.


In the existing economy we experience obligations not primarily to our neighbors, our communities or the natural world that supports everything we do.  We experience obligation to our employers, to governments, and to banks, credit card companies, and other institutions of higher lending.

This entrenched economic dependence hides the fact that we are fundamentally INTERDEPENDENT:  We need each other.  We are intimately connected to intricately interdependent natural world.  And we are co-creating the conditions of our lives and the prospects for our future, whether we know it or not.


…. Once we become grounded in quality of life rather than quantities of stuff or money, the possibilities for sharing expand exponentially, creating a sense of abundance even in the presence of some physical scarcity.

Whether or not we are inclined to share more with each other, one thing we all share nowadays is destiny.

Read the rest of the article…

Recognizing Interdependence

Money is supposed to be our servant, but it has become our master. A major step in liberating ourselves is the recognition that “we are all in this together,” that the entire web of life is based on intricate patterns of co-dependence and symbiosis.

Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute, in his Independence Day musings, provides a useful history of the “interdependence movement,” and it various proponents. Here is an excerpt:

For countries as well as individuals, independence is a dramatic move from dependence into a more self-defined, self-created life.

The next developmental step takes us into greater INTERdependence – bringing ourselves into increasingly mutual, peer, give-and-take relationships with others.

Nature has been developing interdependence as an art form for billions of years.  Animals like us depend on plants for oxygen; plants depend on us for carbon dioxide.  Flowers feed bees with nectar; bees pollinate flowers.  Rabbits feed foxes; foxes keep rabbits from destroying their own habitat and starving.

We humans have our own ways of being interdependent.  With each passing year, global economics, technology, media and mobility have woven us all together.  On the other side of the coin, climate change, ocean exploitation, terrorism and wind-borne toxins and radiation have taught us — or should be teaching us — how relative our boundaries are and how solidly real our shared destiny.

As the fundamental fact of interdependence becomes increasingly obvious, we are slowly learning how to use it consciously to further our collective well-being. We are developing new forms of mutuality, community, synergy, sustainability and co-intelligence which empower us to make our shared fate a good one.

Declarations of Interdependence and Interdependence Days can help us remember just how important and valuable interdependence is.

You can read the rest of Tom’s message here.