What If We’ve Been Looking At Humanity All Wrong?

Steve McAlphabet
5 min readJun 3, 2021

“We wasted two hundred years staring at the wrong portrait of ourselves: Homo economicus,” says Kate Raworth in Doughnut Economics, “that solitary figure poised with money in his hand, calculator in his head, nature at his feet, and an insatiable appetite in his heart. It is time to redraw ourselves as people who thrive by connecting with each other and with this living home of ours that is not ours alone.”

It may very well be that we have been offered the technological advances that we have because we are ready to use them. Perhaps human evolution is at the place where it is ready to make a change and redirect its energy from the rampant consumerism that the Market Economy requires to the participatory citizenship the rest of the world needs. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.

“Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies,” Clay Shirky reminds us in Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, “it happens when society adopts new behaviors.”

Moving forward, may we recognize that homo sapiens‘ highest purpose is not to make money. We are gifted with so many other capacities and talents that can enrich the Core Economy, tend to the Planetary Economy, and contribute to the Gift Economy. Let us consider how we can empower citizens to participate in each of these facets of our world, rather than continuing to merely enslave them in the marketplace.

“We need to reconceive the idea of a good society in the early twenty-first century and to find a creative path toward it,” says Jeffrey D. Sachs in The Price Of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue And Prosperity. “Most important, we need to be ready to pay the price of civilization through multiple acts of good citizenship: bearing our fair share of taxes, educating ourselves deeply about society’s needs, acting as vigilant stewards for future generations, and remembering that compassion is the glue that holds society together.”

And for those who have been trained to long for the fast life that capitalism has promised through its commercials and advertisements, promising all of the personal freedom and happiness you can possibly consume, provided you can afford it, a new path forward won’t be as boring as you may think. As a matter of fact, it will be much healthier for both the individual and the collective.

Steve McAlphabet

I recently produced a documentary about my 73 day motorcycle tour to celebrate the legacy of Will Rogers and perform my show “Get The Bunk Out”.