An Economy of Caring

As a raised-poor, working-class woman of color living in this advanced stage of capitalism, I have lots of feelings about not being able to think. I have been told all my life that I am stupid and that what I think isn’t important. I have thought that I could not understand the economy or any terminology related to the stock market, banks, and so on.

Thanks to Harvey1 and his clarity, plus Dan Nickerson,2 Gwen Brown,3 and scores of others who have done the work on classism, I now know that I actually grew up with a well-informed understanding of how the capitalist system works: my family and I, and other working people, produce the goods, and a small group of people reap the benefits of this labor and hoard and consume the resources we produce. Turns out4 we haven’t been stupid. We may not have learned fancy words to describe the system, but it has been clear to us how things operate.

I have been thinking about the economic events and terminology of this advanced stage of capitalism: bailouts, banks collapsing, unemployment, consumer price indexes, stock markets and trading, the World Bank, gross national product (GNP), governments going bankrupt, and so on. It has gotten me thinking about production, me, and RC.

According to the capitalist oppressive society, I haven’t done much: I don’t earn a lot of money, or own a house or have a lot of degrees or titles. I don’t have a lot “to show” for my working life. I have spent much of my adult life (since my early young adult years) involved in Re-evaluation Counseling. I have benefited immeasurably from being part of this project. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The relationships I have, the way I have grown, what I have gotten to do and think about regarding re-emergence, liberation, and the world are far beyond what I hoped for as a young girl targeted by racism, sexism, and classism. I wanted the world to be different, and decided I would work to make that happen, but had no idea that it would come to fruition as it has.

In many ways my “career” choice, and the primary focus of my life, has been my re-emergence and the re-emergence of others. I decided long ago that I wanted to be as fully human as I could be and to assist others in doing the same. I wanted a world in which humans caring about each other and all living things was the basis for how the world was set up.

So what have I “produced” over all of these years—spending countless hours in sessions, at workshops, using the tools of RC in connection with other humans (in and out of RC)? I recently started putting my “productive” RC life into economic terms.

What are we as Co-Counselors “producing,” and what could be a currency of exchange based on what we know about humans? An economy can be defined as the wealth and resources of a group of people (of a country, a region, the world). What if the economy we are building has as its wealth our flexible intelligence, our caring, and our connections? We have been working consistently to build (or uncover) a resource—intelligence, based on caring—that is key to the thriving of human existence. The currency we exchange is attention, respect, and love. I have begun to think of the economy we are creating as an Economy of Caring.

There is a tremendous need in our “market” for thoughtful human interaction and connection, and flexible intelligence that will take on5 and solve the problems that exist due to the oppressive society. The demand for human intelligence is high, and always will be.

What we are producing includes the following:

  • A growing connection among us as humans and with the world around us; relationships that are forever, solid, and based on the security of human-to-human contact
  • Greater and greater access to the pool of flexible human intelligence, our innate zestfulness for life, and the inherent cooperativeness and power we have as humans
  • The removal of distress (a waste product of oppression)

We are creating a Gross (Inter)National Product (GIP). In each session, the discharging we do produces and adds to a growing “supply” of aware free attention and flexible human intelligence. As we all do this, there is more possibility for us as a society.

The GIP we’re creating includes permanent shifts in our ability to think and to show our caring and zest. With each session, and with each of our encounters that is pro-human, sustaining of all life, and contradicting distress, we are contributing to a GIP for human survival and transformation.

As more people “contribute to this pool,” the supply will grow more rapidly. At some point, the amount of attention will outstrip the inflexible waste products (distresses) caused by the oppressive society. The balance will tip toward the transformation to a more human structure of society—one based on an economy of caring.

Our “World Bank” receives a “deposit” of currency every time I do something in a human way—whether it is thinking about other people, stepping out of my internalized oppression, challenging my oppressor patterns, or reaching for other people based on my full intelligence—in RC, at the store, at the gas station, or in my family. We have created a new World Bank of Caring, which each person, regardless of age, ability, race, ethnicity, gender, and so on, can contribute to and withdraw from. And there is never a waste of production, there is always movement forward, when our attention is put toward contributing to this World Bank of Caring.

Most important, the wealth of an Economy of Caring is immeasurable and of benefit to everyone. There can be no have-nots, and no one is better or more important than anyone else.

This is an economy that we don’t have to wait for. It is in the making. We have already been building it. As we move ahead, it will be the infrastructure on which society is based. How society handles food distribution, medical care, housing, work, the environment will come from the caring human connection that we create. This will be the basis for our interaction with other humans and with the world around us. We are building a revolution that will permanently transform our society into one that is based on caring relationships first.

So, if you are going to “buy stock” in any market, I would make it the Free Market of Re-emergence. It is the market of permanent true security. No one will buy low and sell high. There won’t be any collapse of the market in the short or the long term (although it may feel like it at times). The only thing you will lose is your distress. The gains will be permanent and real.

You can’t outsource the work, and there won’t be any government (or other) bailouts for you. We each have to do the work. No one can do it for us. One of the things Harvey used to say is that in the absence of oppression, we would all enjoy work. Work is part of being human. It is one of the pleasures of life—going to work and taking charge of our part of the production line.

So, I better get to it6 now—have a session, give a session, play with my nieces and nephews, or reach for someone on the basis of my intelligence, love, and caring—so I can make a deposit in that World Bank of Caring. Let me add to the GIP!

Have fun getting in your “production quota” for the day! Enjoy!

Teresa Enrico
Seattle, Washington, USA 

1 Harvey Jackins
2 Dan Nickerson is the International Liberation Reference Person for Working-Class People.
3 Gwen Brown is the International Liberation Reference Person for Raised-Poor People.
4 “Turns out” means it turns out that, what is shown to be true is that.
5 “Take on” means
6 “Get to it” means start doing it.

Last modified: 2017-04-06 23:09:20+00