The VUCA world stimulates us to find more adequate ways to approach social life. It is obvious that, whatever challenges the future may bring, they could be better overcome in collaboration. Although the benefits of collaboration can make the difference for human society (between collapse or further evolution), it is not easy – as individuals and society – to choose collaboration. A barrier of mistrust, misunderstanding and misleading (by old institutions) stands against increasing the degree of collaboration and cohesion between members of human society.
As John Stewart pointed out in his book Evolution’s Arrow, there is always a barrier against increasing the degree of cooperation. So far Life has found ways to overcome this barrier. Now, this responsibility is ours! Expanding the degree of collaboration between us is not a whim, but an evolutionary necessity: We need to find ways to collaborate – ways to align the interests of individuals with the great interest of human society and the planet as a whole. This is the path that evolution suggests to us. All the others involve collapse and are not desirable.
But what is this barrier against increasing the degree of collaboration and cohesion between individuals?
Regardless of the place that an animal occupies on the evolution scale, it is biologically adapted to its environment. This biological adaptation is the result of millions of years of evolution. The animal is biologically shaped by what has ensured its success in its biological past. Therefore, in the face of a sudden change in the environment, its behavior – by default – compulsively urges the animal to act in ways that have ensured its success in the past, but are useless in the face of new environmental challenges. Its old obsolete habits are unable to ensure further evolutionary success.
Obviously, that organism is, in principle, unaware of this arrangement of its adaptive mechanisms. It is unaware that it is acting in ways that have been useful in the past, but it has not the slightest clue if that behavior really has anything to do with its future evolutionary success.
Exactly in this situation are the vast majority of people. Although we are aware that the way we live – as individuals and as a society – cannot be a solution to our problems, we still continue to do so! Why? Obviously, each individual has his own reasons and explanations. However, the correct answer is that we, like all other living beings, have this fundamental way of approaching life: employing behaviors that have proven successful in our biological past – and are not necessarily adequate for future evolutionary success …
The truth is that in the last millennia our basic survival strategy has been competition. The basic mentality of capitalist society is individualism, separation and competition. Competition and the “individual pursuit of happiness” are our “by default” attitudes with which we approach social life. The vast majority of people are not even aware of what controls their perceptions and choices regarding their life strategies. Those who are aware, are feeling alone and misunderstood by the vast majority. The morality and ethics with which they are ready to approach life seem to others to be rather a naivety. They are “easy prey” to be exploited by those without too much consideration for morality.
This is the aspect of the barrier against cooperation that acts at the individual level. A second aspect has to do with society as a whole. Capitalist society continues to nurture, support, favor, and reward the individualistic behavior. In our society, where the degree of inequity and corruption is so high, it is not about “fair competition” anymore… Therefore, it is both social and economic suicide to choose moral and collaborative life strategies alone in the middle of this society.
What can we do to overcome this barrier in its double aspect: at the individual and societal level? Initiatives such as “Butterfly Communities” can be useful here. Why it is so?
First of all, people who choose collaboration as their main life strategy can meet here together; they can propose their personal projects, find support and inspiration, find resources and collaborators.
But things go much further than this level. The open project “Butterfly Communities” aims to create an alternative social space – a social space for collaboration and participation; a space for authentic expression and creativity; a community that aims to become a social and economic alternative for a fairer and greener world, harmoniously integrated into the planetary ecosystem.
The main breakthrough of the “Butterfly Communities” project, however, is not one of an economic nature, but rather one of an evolutionary nature. We propose a conscious evolution for the individual and for human society.
“Butterfly Community” aims to become a living laboratory where together we will propose, experiment and refine ways of collaborative human organization. (further reading: A mechanism for social improvement).
The Butterfly Communities open-project could be seen as the perfect opportunity to prototype, in safe political condition, an incipient human society built from the beginning in tune with Nature and based on a pro-commons legal paradigm. “Butterfly Communities” could become a politically autonomous small island where humanity could proactively prototype a new law system to work in tune with Nature’s principles.
This is our mission: to take a step forward in the conscious evolution of individuals towards greater degrees of adaptability and of human society towards greater degrees of collaboration, coherence and integration in the planetary ecosystem. You are invited to join this Open-Story and to become one of its Heroes!