The Rubrik of the Common Good

Jun 14th, 2021 | By | Category: Other Resources

By Geoffrey Holland, writer for Transition Earth.

[Photo: Image by ejaugsburg from Pixabay]

[Photo: Image by ejaugsburg from Pixabay]

The more we study the major problems of our time, the more we come to realize that they cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are interconnected and interdependent.

Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics


The world we know is coming apart at the seams. Too many people, too few resources. Greed and avarice rule. The road ahead for all of life on Earth is dark and forbidding.  We humans are entirely responsible.  Survival demands that we remake ourselves. It begins with the understanding that we are a part of nature, not above and superior to it.



If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.

Hazel Henderson, The Politics of the Solar Age


What Does the Common Good Look Like?

In a world that prioritizes biospheric health above all else, greed and avarice are marginalized.  The focus is on shaping a human culture that delivers dignity for all while also fostering the resilience of Earth’s living systems.

Here are some things one might expect to see in such a world.

  • Humans of all ethnicities would regard themselves first as planetary citizens.
  • Human society would be organized and governed under a common set of rights and responsibilities.
  • The world we know would be gender equal in all ways.
  • Love for nature would bond humankind spiritually.
  • The world would be powered entirely by clean, green renewable forms of energy.
  • The human diet would be mostly vegetarian.
  • The global economy would be circular, with zero waste.
  • Half of our Earth’s land would be re-wilded and protected in its natural state.
  • Our oceans would be cleansed of human plastic waste and protected tightly by regulation.
  • Most food would be produced using highly efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable techniques.
  • Mining and resource exploitation would be tightly regulated.
  • Most businesses, banks, utilities, and manufacturing would be community or worker owned, and all would be tightly regulated to put the public interest first.
  • Every kind of media would be publicly or worker owned and would be shaped to put the public need for unbiased information ahead of all else.
  • Education would be a readily accessible right of every human.
  • Healthcare would be a readily accessible right of every human.
  • All citizens would be obligated for some kind of civic duty.
  • Policing would be a well-respected profession, subject to strict standards to prevent abuse.
  • Governing laws and public policy would be life-affirming and compassionate, and would prioritize the welfare of our citizens and of our living biosphere above all else.
  • Privately owned guns would be strictly regulated, and military weapons would be banned from private ownership.
  • Synthetic chemicals would be tightly regulated, cradle to cradle.
  • The human population would gradually (and non-coercively) recede to a level that is compatible with our planet’s ability to provide.


The good news is a lot of people around the world are ready to embrace this ‘common good’ mantra. The bad news is it is not happening nearly fast enough.


You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller, Dymaxion Designer, Architect



Getting to Humanity 4.0

If the Stone age was Humanity 1.0, the era of agriculture was 2.0, the current industrial way of being is 3.0. What we need is a new version of ourselves. The place we need to go together is Humanity 4.0; a transformative era that will reflect the common good we all must assertively choose and work for.


Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.

Jane Goodall, Naturalist



Geoffrey Holland is a Writer/Producer, and Coordinator for the MAHB Dialogues.


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