Taking Back Our Lives from the Wall Street Mafia (180)

pm180_564“Get rid of Wall Street!” says David C. Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning. Wall Street is about phantom wealth — real wealth is about happy, healthy families, local living economies in balance with Earth’s resources, and caring, resilient communities that provide life’s basics, like food, shelter, and education. To do that, we must change the rules to reduce the power of corporations, the politicians in their pocket, and a destructive money system. Episode 180. [www.davidkorten.org.]

In 2006 we produced a DVD of David presenting The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and a conversation about the book A Defining Moment in History (Episode 48).

Watch videoAudio | iTunes | Transcript | Review: “Get Rid of the Wall Street Mafia” says Economist David Korten | Janaia’s journal: David Korten: Declaring Our Independence from Wall Street


  1. Supermonkey says:

    Hey friends. I hear your despair and would like to offer a hand and word of hope. This is a thorough and complex problem, but it is also inextricably all tied together–this is good. What you can do is:

    First, stop buying anything from the big brands: the box chains, the restaurant franchises, Kellog’s, GE, convenience stores, etc. I know this may be tough as hell, depending on where you live, but it is what’s necessary. I have lived all over the states, and I have to say that there are places that have figured out what it takes and it is very easy to live this way there; there are wealthy small-scale food producers and craftspeople and educated people and it is only because there is a community and a culture of this sort of thing that they are able to stay healthy, wealthy, wise, and independent. That said, you CAN do it. Farmer’s markets, local craftspeople, and personal ability to create or find what you need.

    Second, look up permaculture–geoff lawton, sep holzer, food forests, opensourceecology.com, etc.; and implement it right away. The jist is: learn how to grow your own food in a way that builds your resources and minimizes work, and to retrofit your home to minimize dependence on coal, oil, water, etc. You may want to move to an intentional community or a larger piece of land to be better able to be self-sufficient. Do this if you can, but please first try to make your community resilient, and don’t abuse virgin land–don’t be afraid to buy abused land and remediate it.

    Like he says, local banks, local community, local food. Support this, and you will be resistant, if not resilient, to peak everything. The only thing to fear will be martial law and indebtedness.

  2. I’m not an intellectual but I have a lot of horse sense. My question is how do we get the word out to the general “Joe Plumber” public about changing our economy. If I were rich, I would buy a thousand copies of Agenda for a New Economy and and Depletion and Abundance and similar books and pass them out. I have found most people don’t even know we are a corporation sick society–they don’t have a clue. First thing I’m going to do is put my money in a credit union, try to buy local, and get the word out. (And continue to read and learn more). I’m a nobody but have a big mouth (to get good ideas out there).

  3. Iselin Celestine says:

    Afterthoughts as I re-read the communication of each person here. How Ed’s last sentences linger in my mind. Will we be able to outlast the still-tenacious hold of those orchestrating the economic/monetary system(s)? Or will we citizens have no choice but to engage in revolution–hardly imaginable to most of us? CAN we allow Monsanto and other entities to further taint our food production and the natural resources upon which it relies? We can live without virtually everything else but food and water–even if we are far from accustomed to doing so. Walking away from the current systems. Yet blocking the path of those who would further destroy that which we most rely upon for life?

    And David–your approach is as inviting as that of Jenny Pell in her invitation to us to grow food:)

  4. Iselin Celestine says:

    I am grateful to you David. While some of our population have a realization of many of these points, you offer us an easily-understood (and therefore eloquent) summation of them: a whole picture. Further, you present ways in which we can “disengage” from Wall Street and entrenched corporate and political (moneyed) interests. In my opinion, it is not that we are unable to do this. Rather, it is the extent to which our population has accepted the current story. We are conflicted. Many (most?) of us no longer want to be slaves for the GDP. At the same time, we equate having any less of that which constitutes the GDP with deprivation. I do think that we are heavily dependent (the word “addicted” seems nearly hopeless to me) upon our large living spaces, driving instead of walking or cycling, taking consumer-driven vacations, having multiple mechanized “toys” and “convenience” appliances, whiling away time and money at malls, comparing our standard of living to others, being influenced by marketing and popular culture (the latter an incredibly superficial and money-laden part of the story in my opinion), etc. I think that few of us have the will to try to overcome our dependency in this regard. Many of us still do not find reason to do so? It seems that is virtually always money, fewer financial resources, that influences us in making changes–rather than conscious choice. I hope I am in error. I hope that our population continues to become more insightful and finds the will to walk away–by conscious choice rather than by choice other than ours.

  5. Dear Vera. I feel somewhat like you do, powerless I guess, a lot of the time. I kept wanting him to say, you can do this and this. But David is right to say firstly we need to come to a new understanding (the stories we tell ourselves) before we can really begin to see a different way forward.

    Be patient. This system will not be changed easily or quickly. It will take many many years. But we do each have a little power, and collectively we have a lot. Read “Depletion and Abundance” by Sharon Astyk to get some idea of this power and the steps you can take to extract yourself from the formal economy.

    This book echos what Robir says too.

  6. Robir Datta says:

    There are three levels to the economy: the primary economy – natural resources e.g. land (soil, minerals, fossil fuels) water, flora & fauna; the secondary economy – the improvements to the primary economy through human intervention (e.g. enrichment of soil, irrigation, etc.) and the proticts derived from the primary economy through human activity (food, lumber. metals etc.); and the tertiary ecnomy – the symbolic valuation of the other two economies trough the use of physical symbols such as cowlie shells, disks of rare metals (gold & silver coins), pieces of paper with green pictures of dead presidents, pixels on a computer screen, etc. and the manipulation of those symbols.

    The success of the secondary economy depended not only on individual effort but also on cooperative effort, which fostered the growth of communities and societies. However to the extent that this was not subject to valuation in the tertiary economy, it did not show up on the books (ledgers) and over time, came to be neglected. To the extent that it could be replaced by entries on the books (as by paying a wage as full recompense for a service, such a paradigm shift gradually took hold, and all the aspects of human existence that were off the books came to be marginalized. This was facilitated by the prospect of future payoffs for today’s speculation based on steady growth fueled by cheap energy. The coming age of “Peak Everythirg” is beginning to reverse the paradigm shift.

  7. “To do that, we must change the rules to reduce the power of corporations, the politicians in their pocket, and a destructive money system.”

    Oh, is that all? Well, silly us, we just did not know! Now that we do, consider it done.

    Ain’t anyone with a brain between their ears attentive to the problem of power?!!!

  8. Ed Adamthwaite says:

    You’re right on the money Stuart, the trouble is that Mon$anto has already got it’s grubby GM fingers into most of the 3rd world countries and quite a few of the others too. The US and Canada are already in trouble with super weeds, not to mention the farmers that are going broke. They have been making submissions to FSANZ down here in Australia. Guess who wrote the safety report for the GM applications? You guessed it. Mon!#$%^&santo!
    The protest marches are starting this weekend.
    Our only hope is that peak oil and debt manages to collapse the fractional reserve system that most of the world runs on before the banksters and genetic manipulators can get their talons into what’s left.

  9. Bad news: Wall Street has now discovered farmland and food as investment assets. Farmland (and soon food) prices will be driven up by big investor funds which smell the next asset bubble opportunity. They already got our retirement money and now they are going after our food. This seems like a replay of history in the 1800s when landlords discovered sheep farming was much more profitable than feeding their peasants. Hundreds of thousands either starved or had to emigrate as the peasants were driven off the farms by force. Where are we going to emigrate to?

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