ENVOI: A CONVIVIAL REVOLUTION ?
There can be little doubt that the economy of the future will be different from that of today. Whether my “new framework” proposals are naïve and ridiculous, or practical and possible must be decided by the reader. I believe that keeping fossil fuels underground, introducing citizen’s income, developing communities, and educating for a cultural change would be positive moves for the UK and, by analogy, for the other industrial countries. Conviviality seems an appropriate ethos for these to happen. To those that dismiss these ideas I ask, what are your proposals?
To survive, I believe that humankind must begin to eschew the pursuit of further wealth and instead seek for quality of life for all. If we can connect the natural conviviality of people with the reality of political action, progress just might be made towards sustainable, peaceful and just societies throughout the world for our grandchildren - and for theirs.
Or to put it as expressed on the opening page of this essay: in the face of global warming we should avoid the disaster of burnt toast and, to resolve the gross inequalities of today, settle not for the unrealistic promise of iced gateaux, but for the modest pleasure of teacakes, in the knowledge that they will be warm, hopefully not overheated, and can be shared by all !
Perhaps future historians will describe how the Industrial Revolution was followed by convivial action on the ideas behind these slogans:
Seal the gas wells, stop the oil pumps, close the coal mines.
Start citizen’s income as an entitlement of citizenship
Create worthwhile unpaid work to sustain communities
Become less selfish, less greedy, more content and happier
Realise that happiness can come from convivial living