The Nondual Recovery of Sacred Economics in the Death of Modernity


That's the slogan for a webinar series from Alnoor Ladha, Lynn Murphy, and their allies (Bayo Akomolafe, Vandana Shiva, et al).  It explicates and builds upon the book Post Capitalist Philanthropy from Ladha and Murphy. 

How does philanthropy operate as the epitome and extension of the failing global economic system of modernity?  And how could it operate to help produce a more regenerative economy that privileges human meaningfulness and ecological resilience?

If large-scale changes and disruptions are already locked in, then can we, they ask, use capital to build postcapitalist infrastructure during the time of transition?

The money question is on many minds.  It should be.  Financing is largely what determines (a) how the ideology of the dominant cultural operating system structures our planet for both good and ill, (b) how the people sensitive to the need for internal and external transformation can survive, stabilize, contribute and influence the political economy.

But the webinar goes far beyond the question of economics and the Illich-like critique of contemporary philanthropy.  Here are the session topics: 

1. From Paradox to Possibility.
2. Ontologies of Separation.
3. Hurricane Water Poetry.
4. Living Transition Pathways.
5. Gesturing Toward Postcapitalist Realities.

So it is as much poetics, philosophy and paradigm theory as it is a deep dive into how the pseudo-benevolence of the ultra-wealthy reinforces the premises of Game A. 

Ladha is a journalist and political strategist who founded the activist group The Rules and works with Culture Hack Labs.  Murphy left the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation after being disillusioned by the realities of “global development and international education." (Check out this Podcast interview for more details). 

They found that modern modes of charity, helping & development are invisibly undermined from within by their embedding in a particular implied worldview and set of values.  This will sound familiar.  We are, they say, trapped in an individualistic and dualistic quasi-Christian, Cartesian-Industrial paradigm whose extractive professional (and predominantly white patriarchal) strategies inevitably regenerate the harmful rift between humanity and nature, between profit and human wellbeing.   

At this point half of us liminal folks nod gravely.  The other half feels agitated.  Isn't this just more of the same discredited green postmodern pluralism?  Well, before drawing a conclusion, consider this remark from the authors:

>>> If you do not have a critique of capitalist modernity, you are contextually irrelevant. But if all you have is a critique, you are spiritually and creatively impoverished. If we do not understand the oxygen by which we breathe – which is late-stage capitalism, neoliberalism, separation from the living world, materialism, rationalism, positivism, scarcity, control, entitlement – then we don’t understand the context we’re in.”

Make up your own mind, but these folks not just leveling a critique against the System.  They are trying to honor the paradox and locate reconstructive solutions that are sourced in a nondual sensibility.  They are not just attacking capitalism and money, they are hoping to rehabilitate, reorient and heal wealth so that it begins to regenerate reciprocity, solidarity, and reverence for life.


*  BONUS  *

Here's an article about their book.

Here's the Youtube Transition Resource Circle who is hosting and promoting their work as part of a broader effort to transition from the metacrisis into adjacent possible futures

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emerge is convening a field of metamodern praxis