Immanuel Wallerstein is a Senior Research Scholar at Yale University. He recently wrote an article in "Foreign Policy Magazine," the 40th Anniversary Special Issue. The title of the article was "The Global Economy Won't Recover, Now or Ever." His basic position is:
His conclusion, the present system is coming down, and the choices now are about what will replace it. That is the "real action," the struggle over what new system will be created, action that Wallerstein says is occurring "elsewhere," i.e. not in the effort to repair the existing system.
Dr. Glenda Humiston, the USDA State Rural Development Director, in her recent Nevada City, California, presentation, pointed to a graph that illustrated unemployment trends and the job loss in the current recession. Her comment, "these lost jobs are not coming back."
Most of us sense that we are in the midst of economic difficulties that are about something fundamental. In fact, this perception is not limited to the economic domain. Something equally fundamental is happening in social and environmental conditions. There is much disagreement about what is happening, why, and what should be done about it.
It is not clear that the evolution of social systems occurs in the form of the termination of the old--more likely that the old is integrated into and transcended by something new--a transformational shift. Part of the shift we are in is the emergence of "Localization" in the face of Globalization. In sustainability initiatives worldwide, there is a growing consensus that a major part of the solution is strengthening the ability of local communities to create their own future in all three sustainability domains--Community, Environment, and Economy. This is part of the foundation upon which the architecture of a "new system" will be built, an architecture that requires a re-structuring of local, regional, national, and global relationships,roles, and allocation of resources.