social capital

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Feeling Isolated?

If so, you're not alone
Thursday, June 7, 2018, 3:25 PM

Does anyone else in your life share your concerns for the future?

Is there someone you talk with regularly about the unsustainability of our current economic and ecological trajectories?

Do you have friends and/or family members who support your efforts to develop a more resilient lifestyle?

If you answered "no" to these questions, you're not an outlier. In fact, the #1 most commonly-reported complaint we hear from Peak Prosperity readers is that they feel alone and isolated when it comes to the warnings delivered in The Crash Course. » Read more

Insider

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Rescuing Our Future

A playbook for restoring true wealth to our lives
Friday, August 18, 2017, 6:13 PM

Executive Summary

  • The Destructive Practices To Stop Doing
  • The Regenerative Behaviors To Do More Of
  • Getting The Foundational Pieces In Place
  • The Payoff, For Both You & Society

If you have not yet read Part 1: We Need a Social Revolution available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we compared non-hierarchical, bottoms-up secular social revolutions with hierarchical, top-down political and technological revolutions managed by the state and corporate sector.  Next, we surveyed the erosion of social connectedness and social capital, and asked who benefited from this fraying of the social order.  While certain players derive some benefit from political divisiveness and from the sale of technologies that undermine authentic connectedness, it seems that much of the social-order decay is collateral damage—destruction that wasn’t intentional.

How can we strengthen or repair our own connections and social fabric in such a disintegrative era?

There are two basic approaches: stop participating in destructive dynamics, and assemble the foundational pieces of a connected social life.

How do we as individuals and households foster and nurture the social bonds that are fast-eroding in civil society?

The basic strategies are not difficult to understand, though they are extremely difficult to put in place in modern-day America:

  • Strip out busyness to free up enough time and energy for social life and connectedness.
  • Live in a place with short commutes to friends, family and public social spaces.
  • Recognize (and then.....
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We Need A Social Revolution

Our future depends on our willingness to fight for it
Friday, August 18, 2017, 6:12 PM

Governments and corporations cannot restore social connectedness and balance to our lives.

Only a social revolution that is self-organizing from the bottom-up can do that. » Read more

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Learning From The TV (Imagine That!)

Shows offering lessons in resilience
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 9:28 PM

Amidst the vast sea of cable-network detritus, every so often there's a show or two that I find worthwhile -- either for entertainment or for learning something.

Recently, there are two shows I'm currently enjoying that deliver on both counts. And very surprisingly, they're "reality TV" -- a genre I usually associate as the worst of the worst when it comes to low-quality programming. But I'm finding I'm learning some useful lessons from these two series, and I thought I'd take a moment to share my observations for those who might want to tune in and see for themselves. » Read more

Insider

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The Keys To Prosperity

How to work the macro trends to your favor
Friday, September 9, 2016, 8:26 PM

Executive Summary

  • What are the big systemic trends that will impact our personal prosperity?
  • Realizing why the future will have less of everything
  • Strategies for thriving with less
  • The importance of owning & managing capital

If you have not yet read Part 1: If Everything's Doing So Great, How Come I’m Not? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we asked 30 questions as a means of assessing whether individuals and households are doing better or worse than they were 10 years ago (2007) and 16 years ago (in 2000)—before the dot-com meltdown recession and the Global Financial Meltdown recession of 2008-09.

Identifying Systemic Trends

These questions attempt to sort out generalized decay that affects everyone—declines in purchasing power, quality of goods and services, etc.—from declines in individual/household health, well-being and financial security.

The questions also attempt to sharpen our awareness of systemic trends: are our prospects brightening or dimming? Are government services improving or declining as our taxes increase?

General trends manifest in different ways in each community/region.  For example, the city and county of San Francisco is booming, with strong growth of population (866,000 residents), jobs, rents, housing valuations and tax revenues. Yet even as the city and county of San Francisco’s annual budget swells to an incomprehensible $9.6 billion—larger than the budgets of many U.S. state governments, and four times the annual budget of the city and county of Honolulu, with 998,000 residents—the homeless problem in San Francisco becomes ever more intractable, intrusive and disruptive, despite tens of millions of dollars devoted specifically to improving the options available to the homeless.

This is an example of larger trends that manifest in one way or another in the majority of communities: increasing costs and complexity, diminishing returns on money spent, frustration by taxpayers receiving unsatisfactory services as tax revenues increase, and problems that continue to worsen regardless of how much money is thrown at them.

There are many causal factors driving these trends of decay, rising costs and diminishing returns: a state-cartel system of regulatory capture that enforces cartels and limits competition; rising complexity of regulations that result in reduced productivity and higher costs; a “vetocracy” (Francis Fukuyama’s term) in which special interests can veto any measure with their political clout that impinges on their wealth and power; central bank monetary policies that enrich the wealthy and strip interest income from everyone else; and government manipulation of statistics and markets to manage perceptions—in effect, ignore your lying eyes and believe us: everything’s going great!

Then there's the shadowy monster in the room... » Read more

Podcast

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Kauth & Alowan: Why We Need Each Other

The fundamentals for building community
Monday, September 5, 2016, 3:37 PM

Following on our recent podcast with Sebastian Junger about our shared evolutionary programming for tribal living, this week Chris meets with community-building experts Bill Kauth and Zoe Aloman, co-authos of We Need Each Other. 

Many PeakProsperity.com readers know that Chris has long found value in his weekly men's group. That group spawned out of the ManKind Project, which Kauth helped found back in the 1980s.

In this week's podcast, Chris, Bill and Zoe discuss the best practices and critical success factors for how to create tribal ties in our own communities. The work is not easy, but nor is it impossible. And it is incredibly rewarding.

For those looking to develop more Social Capital in their lives, this will be a particularly relevant interview to listen to. » Read more

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The Rise of New Models of Community

Why they're emerging & what they need to succeed
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 12:14 PM

In my previous series on the erosion of community, I surveyed a number of conventional explanations for this decades-long trend and discussed 10 other potential factors in the decline of social capital. I concluded that economic need would likely be the driver of a resurgence of community—a need that will only become apparent when the Central State and the debt-based, consumerist-corporate system are no longer able to fulfill their implicit promises of welfare, subsidies, endless credit and secure jobs. In this next installment on community, we look at the possibility that new models are arising beneath the mainstream media’s master narratives that Everything’s fine and The Status Quo is both good and eternal. » Read more

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The Erosion of Community

We're losing the bonds that once made our society thrive
Monday, February 17, 2014, 12:58 PM

In an age which seems abundantly well-served by individualism, consumerism, the central state and global corporations, why does this erosion of community matter? After all, aren’t we doing rather splendidly despite a declining sense of community? » Read more