It’s Time to Change “the System”
Neither traditional capitalism nor traditional socialism (nor any amalgamation of the two) provides the economic basis for a world which spreads out and personalizes power. Both of these systems concentrate ownership and power. Both accept the ‘wage system’ as a given – where a few own productive properties and everyone works for them or depends on the charity of others or the State.
DAS/ESJ believes that the world needs a third economic alternative based on expanded capital ownership, free markets, private property, and limited economic power of the State. As we move into a world of labor – displacing technologies and global competition, we need a “Just Third Way” that transcends the morally deficient and economically unsound systems of Capitalism and socialism.
Because power follows property, concentrated ownership leads to concentrated power. Whether through the centralized power of the state or the monopolization by a few of ownership, control and financing of productive enterprises – concentrated power leads inevitable to corruption. And political democracy without economic democracy is a sure – fire formula for class strife, widespread poverty, war, and other social plagues.
America’s founders understood this truth, as did Lord Action. Similarly, DAS/ESJ emphasizes that the ultimate check on the potential abuse of power by a non – accountable elite is to spread property and economic power broadly.
We believe that building economic justice in a technologically advancing world requires moving the economy beyond the traditional “wage – welfare state’ system to the “expanded capital ownership “system. Private sector profit distributions could then supplant dehumanizing public sector income redistribution schemes for sustaining the mass purchasing power of any market economy.
As visionaries such Dr. Martin Luther King, Louis Kelso and others have seen, the world has the potential and the untapped resources to create a food quality of life and a sustainable future for every person, where each can be freed economically to pursue his or her fullest human potential and dignity. We just need the right principles and a “win – win” strategy.
These are some of the barriers and challenges have been, to creating systems level impact in communities and particularly communities of DAS’s.
Aristotle. “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” [The Politics, Book I.]
Today our communities are plaque with violence, hopelessness, homelessness, joblessness, disparity and fratricidal conflict. The poverty rate in St. Louis city community is at 28% and of St. Louis County which has become a more diverse demographic, with a dispersion of minorities, there is also more (economic) disparity, amongst DAS it’s at a rate of 30% in suburbs. And the No. 1 cause of violent crime today, is “Poverty.” The unemployment rate near 40% of DAS’s, No one seems to look at the root of the problems that plaquing our communities. The root of the problem is Economic and Social Injustice.
“The Death of An Economy is the first step in the Death of a Civilization.” Yes, with wage slaves, welfare slaves. Charity slaves, and consumer death slaves can really cripple a community. And that’s the source of the problems that DAS’s Communities and others are faced with today. According to US Census Bureau, over 4,500 residents has relocated to other cities and states within the last year. The St. Louis region has fallen out of the Top 20 largest metropolitan areas in the country, with the urban core continuing to hollow out. With its decline in population and development.
The St. Louis region has become unattractive to prospective investors. Which has caused and revealed costly and needless systemic regional fragmentation. The city of St. Louis has gained a stigma or narrative usually push by institutions or those who live outside the community, of a dangerous place to live due to the rising alarming rate of crime. Which is not enough to really motivate citizens.
We at DAS/ESJ strongly believes that St. Louis has the people, the resources and the talent to be great. Yet it is horrendously unattractive from an economic, livable, and business standpoint. And we can change that, by citizens working in tandem around our collective objective to accomplish these goals.
There is a way, that translate beyond just politics, concentrated power, and monopolistic approaches, typically what we find is that situation, where their Institution and Organization that sort of sit in the center of communities, but a governance lead by people who don’t live in the community. And we look to them to be the leaders of the key critical components of community development, and at most we ask them to “engage” the community. Which we believe to be a very deficit based approach when working with our communities.
What we at DAS/ESJ really want to see, is the reverse. Were communities, youth, families and residents are at the center and the key critical component of their own development, were you have programs, philanthropies and other organizations and leaders, asking, how can they align themselves with the leadership, youth, citizens and communities which sits at the center of the work, rather than seeing leaders, organization and citizens shying away from investments that may go against the grain.
Investing in communities, and citizens that’s looking to build their own industries, owning their own properties and communities, rather than preparing themselves to work for individuals that are not apart of their communities. Investments in programs were they leading their own narratives, their own news, building their own centers of education.