In the previous blog post, I asserted that states and international governance bodies need to make systemic or upstream interventions to foster stability and security in economy and society. where they have high leverage potential. Then, governance needs to continue to respond intelligently to what arises.
In Enough is Plenty, I conceptualised some of the high-leverage interventions as ‘keystones’ or keystone policies. I examined Carbon Caps with Sharing built in, such as Cap and Share ; structural support for Intelligent Agriculture; Basic Income; and Land-Value Taxes.
These policies are not the only ones that could be implemented, but they would be good place to start and are all do-able immediately in our present context. Others, such as the implementation of non-debt money systems, require a bigger stretch of the imagination for most people. The principles or attitudes behind these keystone policy frameworks are stability, sufficiency for all, equity, and an emphasis on the health of the whole system; these should be the primary goal of all governments, lawmakers and citizens when advocating or implementing policies.
Healthy ecological systems always have keystone species. Biologists take the idea of the keystone from architecture, where the keystone is the tapered stone at the top of an arch. Without it, the whole arch would collapse. In the natural world, certain species function as keystones in their ecosystems. For instance, alligators in the Florida Everglades create ‘gator holes’ which fill up with water and provide a habitat for a diversity of smaller creatures. If the alligators disappear, then all those smaller creatures also die out. Green cover crops are keystone species for soil health, and soil in turn sustains all food production. We need keystone policies that are underpinned by a vision of a rich social, personal and economic habitat for people.
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