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I still am somewhat uncomfortable about the very slippery slope/incestuous relationship between "creating/spreading myths" and "propaganda" and "ideology".
 I too would be uncomfortable with a superficial mythology, but I don't think this is the issue here.  I think the idea here is that, once you have a clear set of ideas that make sense, the "mythology" creates itself and is self-perpetuating.  Myths, as condendsations of ideas, are inevitable because  of their symbolic efficacy.

While I tend to be pessimistic about our ability to face the future, I tend to be optimistic about mythologizing a new economy.  I'll cite a few examples I've quoted before:

One is Post Autistic Economics, a true-cost economics movement born in the grandes ecoles in France, and spreading to Britain and the U.S..  Another is Natural Capitalism.  Natural capitalism stresses the true cost of materials and is already being introduced by corporations such as Interface.  Interface is the world's largest carpet and flooring manufacturer.  Their plan is to create a rental economy.  The idea is that corporations must be required to recycle what they produce and therefore companies that can recycle the materials in their products the most efficiently can charge the lowest rent.  This makes sense: humans shouldn't own natural resources, they should borrow or rent them, because they are mostly non-renewable. The "rental" may not be a monthly charge, but a one-time payment that requires the renter to give the carpet or flooring back to interface after X years.  Such a relationship build customer relationships with corporations, but also defines the most efficient relationship between corporations and the products they make, and the natural consequences of making those products. Anyway, I think you get the idea...

Recycling is another example of a rising mythology, one with a quasi-religious connotation.  Many people today feel guilty when they do not recycle.  Why do they feel guilty?  Because they are aware of a duty, a shared responsibility that goes beyond consumption.  As a writer for Harper's pointed out, he gets chided by his children when he forgets to take out the recycling on Monday morning, and he equates taking out the recycling to a ceremony, a ritual--and rituals always have a basis in mythology, in symbolism.

Anyway, we are facing an economy of exchange, of that there is no doubt.  But I do think the left can frame or mythologize those exchanges to make them work for the greater majority.  Great diary...

by andrethegiant on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 10:37:03 AM EST
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