Levels of transition needed to sustainability
Challenges in sustainability are multilevel.
This diagram attempts to summarize levels of self reinforcing destructive dynamics, authors that deal with them, and point of leverage for change.
The base of the crisis is a mechanistic rather than ecological worldview. This mechanistic worldview is based on outdated science that assumed the universe to be a large machine. In a machine there is an inside and an outside. The health of the inside is important for the machine, the outside not. In an ecological view everything is interconnected, there is no clear separation in the future of self and other. All parts influence the health of other parts. To retain health sensitivity and democracy are inherent. The sense of separation from other that keeps the mechanistic worldview dominant is duality. Being cut off from spiritual traditions due to a mechanistic view of science people need access to inter-spirituality to reconnect with the human traditions and tools around connectedness, inner discovery, and compassion. Many books on modern physics and biology deal with the system view implications. "The coming interspiritual age" deals with the need to connect spiritual traditions and science.
At the bottom for the dynamic is an individual a sense of disconnectedness leads to a dependency on spending and having rather than connecting. The connecting has become too painful and dealing with it unpopular in our culture. Joanna Macy deals with this in Active Hope.
This affluenza and disconnection is worsened by a market that floods one with advertisements aimed at creating needs and a sense of dissatisfaction with that one has.
National economies are structured around maximising GDP which means maximising consumption and financial capital movement. This is at the cost of local economies. These same local economies are needed for balanced happiness as well as for sustainability.
Generally institutions focus on maximising consumption rather than sustaining life support systems. David Korten covers this well.
Power and wealth is confused in this worldview. In striving for wealth only power is striven for in the form of money and monopoly.
Those at the head of large banks and corporations tend to be there because they exemplify this approach. They have few scruples about enforcing this approach onto everyone through wars and disaster capitalism. Naomi Klein and David Estulin documented this.
Power has become so centralized that we need this understanding to be widespread and include many of those in power. Progress of all of these levels are needed to show them and all that another way is possible.