How the Blockchain’s Internet of Transactions Can Insure a New Contract with Nature

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* Article: How the Blockchain’s Internet of Transactions Can Insure a New Contract with Nature An essay by Michel Bauwens. NESTA, Monday, 14 September 2020



Michel Bauwens:

"First, the next stable system will be a compact between humanity and nature – that is, a recognition of the interdependent nature of all life and that non-human beings are partner species. One weakness is that the systems developed to date largely ignore the huge environmental costs of intense industrial production. Clearly, human economic society can only exist with the ecological system of the Earth, but the fact that many environmental costs are often considered ‘externalities’ illustrates that our current economic systems struggle to take them into account. Communist systems of central control have fared no better than market-based systems.

Second, we suggest that this cannot be done without reinventing the ‘social compact’ and extending this to the whole planet as well. In other words, both the ecological and the social transition are interconnected and interdependent; we can only be successful if we combine both and give all of humanity a stake in the future.

Third, to be successful in this new compact, we will need stronger multilateral organisations which can represent the needs of the whole planet. This means learning, but also ‘forcing ourselves’ in some ways, to live within planetary boundaries. Yes, we need human freedom and initiative, but our freedom stops when we endanger the life conditions of other peoples and natural beings. How to achieve this transition without ecological fascism and dictatorship is going to be the great challenge.

Let us now address what kind of technologies and tools we might need to achieve such ends, and inquire whether the blockchain – that is, our capacity to coordinate human activity through shared ledgers – can help us."