It is not often that I get swept up into a movement, project or programme that is all absorbing, but yesterday I jumped into my car and drove down to Philadelphia to attend the Andrew Yang Rally on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art ( which is a humongous building by the way)! Why I hear you asking? For at least four years I have been reading a book called Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein. I was introduced to it and him at the PASA conference in State College (PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture). Five years later I still haven't quite finished it (like eating a piece of rich dundee cake; dense fruity and intense), but I find myself resonating with almost all of the points he makes in it, for example the common use of land, property, (intellectual and otherwise), and social, cultural and spiritual capital which comprises of a common wealth that we should all be adding to and drawing from without limitations. He speaks of returning to a "gift" economy: We feel the absence of that social glue today. In the logic of me and mine, any obligation, any dependency, is a treat. Gifts naturally create obligations, so, in the Age of Separation, people have become afraid to give and even more afraid to receive. We don't want to receive gifts because we don't want to be obligated to anyone. We don't want to owe anybody anything. We don't want to depend on anyone's gifts or charity -" I can pay for it myself, thank you. I don't need you." Accordingly, we elevate anonymous acts of charity to a lofty moral status. It is supposed to be a great virtue to give without strings attached, to expect nothing in return. Part of living in the gift is to recognize and abide by the obligation to receive as well as to give. - Page 352-353 Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein. He talks of negative interest as a means of relieving the populace of bone shattering debt and building relationships as the paramount activity we are all supposed to be engaged in.
Andrew Yang's policies, (over 100 of them outlined on this website; Yang2020.com) echos the principles and sentiments I have been ruminating on for years. His Freedom dividend: $1000 a month to every adult citizen of America for life, a Universal Basic Income, which has been demonstrated in numerous independent studies to alleviate poverty, uplift women, reduce the wealth gap, decrease child mortality and improve general health: physical and mental. It would also provide an economic cushion for all those facing and about to face the brutality of massive job loss through automation and artificial intelligence replacing the boring and repetitive jobs that have been the mainstay of the labour market for generations.
His character reminds me of the examples of leadership outlined in the book Leadership for an Age of Higher Consciousness by B.T. Swami, which takes it's philosophical foundation from the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. In it B.T. Swami says; For all human beings love is a constant preoccupation-a never ending central theme. Indeed, the ultimate motivation behind interactions among people is often the desire to experience some form of love. The fact that love is so important has major implications for leadership. In particular , the degree to which leaders acknowledge the the value of love in their own lives and in the lives of others can determine the success or failure of their undertakings.
Far from being irrelevant or impractical, the intention to express love is fundamental for effective leadership. This is because in the final analysis, a leader's motivation is communicated to others in countless subtle ways. Leaders whose actions are perceived as self-serving often create disharmony, resentment, and disloyalty. On the other hand, those who base their behaviour upon a genuine empathy and concern for others can gain loyalty and support that make the attainment of even difficult goals possible.- Page 17 Leadership for an Age of Higher Consciousness by B.T. Swami.
In summary, I feel the love! The experience of talking about and volunteering for the "Yang Gang" as his supporters have become to be known, fills me with a hope and expectation of the possible I have not experienced in years. As a die hard Trekkie, the future depicted by Gene Roddenberry of the 25th century, where poverty, disease and desperateness has been eradicated, where "work" is something people do not because they have to, but out of passion and their desire to share their talents and abilities with others and where people live in loving harmony with their neighbours no matter the race or the "species"is beginning to feel obtainable. For more information on the policies of Andrew Yang go to Yang2020.com.