Apr 6, 2010

A Revolution of the Middle... and the Pursuit of Happiness

John E. Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri Columbia College of Agriculture has put a new great book on line that is well worth reading at: https://sites.google.com/site/revolutionofthemiddle/home ... Monte

The book addresses the current economic and political situation and concludes that our current economy and society are not sustainable -- we simply can't continue doing what we have been doing for very much longer. The change we need will require different ways of thinking, not just about economics and politics but about how the world works and our place within it.

The change we need must begin with each of us. We must abandon our relentless pursuit of wealth and return to the pursuit of happiness. Beyond some very modest level of material well-being, our happiness depends on the quality of our relationships and our sense of purpose and meaning in life -- not additional wealth. I believe that each of us has a purpose in life, which is to realize the highest potential from our unique abilities, aptitudes, and aspirations. The key to happiness is not to become wealthy, famous, or powerful, unless we are among the few with the unique abilities, aptitudes, and abilities to do so. The key to happiness is to fulfill our unique purpose in life, to realize our highest potentials from our unique opportunities as they unfold before us.

The change we need as a nation must arise from the "Middle." Real change rarely comes from those in positions of political and economic power because the status quo is working for them. Real change must come from the common people whose common sense tells them the nation must abandon its relentless pursuit of individual wealth and economic growth and return to the pursuit of happiness. Those on the political Left and Right have become so entrenched in their respective political dogma that they have not only lost the ability to lead but have lost their ability to govern. Rather than focusing on the common good of the people, they are constantly focusing on the next election. In fact, our government has lost its "just power" to govern because it has lost the "consent of the governed."

We Americans agree much more than we disagree, we have just become accustomed to focusing on our differences. If we are to sustain our economy and our society, we must come together around the core values that unite us, such as honesty, fairness, responsibility, respect and compassion to find common ground on the social and political issues that divide us. We must restore the consent of the governed and with it the just power of our government. We have the public institutions and political processes in place to facilitate the changes we need -- to restore ecological, social, and economic integrity to our economy and society. Unfortunately, these changes will not take place without a Revolution of the Middle.

This kind of thinking is apparently is a bit too far out of the mainstream to interest publishers. If you are interested in such things, I hope you enjoy reading The Revolution of the Middle.

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