ONENESS CAPITALISM – AN EXTENSION OF CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM

Building a oneness economy in the Kibera slum

Economic inequality is a global concern. According to this article, in 2018, the 26 richest people in the world held as much wealth as half of the world’s poorest people (3.8 billion at that time). Unfortunately, economic inequality deepened during the Covid pandemic. Clearly, something is amiss.

In this blog, we will address a new type of capitalism – oneness capitalism, which aims to leverage the power of higher consciousness to ameliorate some of these pressing economic issues. We begin by discussing the traditional shareholder capitalism, then differentiating this from a stakeholder capitalism, and finally concluding by outlining what oneness can add to these issues.

SHAREHOLDER CAPITALISM

Economist Milton Friedman

Proposed by famous Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, shareholder capitalism makes shareholder value the corporations primary aim. In other words, the sole purpose of corporations is to maximize the financial value of its shareholders (those who have invested in the firm) only.

This type of economic system has been associated with increased wealth for a number of people. Unfortunately, it is also associated with widening income inequality, as corporations funnel much of their money to top executives. Even worse, the drive to maximize profits can come at the destruction of our ecosystem and health – for example, the use of glyphosate to increase crop yield has been increasingly linked to a host of health maladies.

As we observe widening income inequality, humankind’s negative impact on the environment, and declining human health in the West, many have proposed that shareholder capitalism is, directly or indirectly, playing a part in creating these problems. We will explore a major alternative, stakeholder capitalism, below.

STAKEHOLDER CAPITALISM AND CONSIOUS CAPITALISM

Economist Joseph Stiglitz

An alternative to shareholder capitalism is stakeholder capitalism. Stakeholder capitalism, touted by proponents like economist Joseph Stiglitz, is the idea that a corporation’s aim is not merely to maximize profits for its shareholders, but to maximize value for its stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers, and the community in which it exists.

A similar idea to stakeholder capitalism is conscious capitalism. This idea extends stakeholder capitalism by stating that corporations should be guided by four principles: 1. Higher purpose; 2. Stakeholder orientation; 3. Conscious leadership; and 4. Conscious culture. Of course, what these exactly mean is up for debate and may vary from business to business.

Stakeholder capitalism and conscious capitalism aim to address some of the deficiencies of shareholder capitalism by expanding the set of people to whom the corporation ought to be accountable to. These reforms are a step in the right direction, but lack a unifying principle and guidance regarding what sort of actions a conscious business should take. This is where oneness capitalism comes in.

ONENESS CAPITALISM

When considering stakeholder capitalism and conscious capitalism, one may wonder what motivates these ideas, and can they work? After all, aren’t humans inherently selfish, and isn’t it best to structure our economic systems around this idea? Finally, who ought to be responsible for implementing these systems, individuals or the government? We will tackle these three questions below.

First, what motivates conscious capitalism? In our view, it is the idea of oneness. As awareness grows, either through meditation, prayer, or other spiritual experiences, a person naturally begins to see himself or herself as part of a larger reality, which is whole instead of separate. From this perspective, one sees that we are all interconnected, and that one’s actions effect each other and the planet. The boundary between oneself and others may dissolve, and a person may be motivated to care for ALL life, as one see others as oneself. Naturally, one would wish to bring this persepective to all aspects of one’s life, including our economic activities.

Second, aren’t humans selfish? How can we be motivated by altruism? It is true that we were primarily motivated by selfish interests. Indeed, being self-interested may have been necessary to survive in a harsh world where there was fierce competition. However, we are still evolving. It is now known that practices like meditation can rewire the brain so we become more compassionate towards ourselves and others. As we continue to evolve into more compassionate beings, our systems, including economic ones, will change to reflect this.

Finally, who ought to be responsible for implementing these new systems, individuals or governments? In our view, the ultimate source of change is in ourselves. When we externalize our power, by, for example, relying on governments or third parties to take care of problems, a whole range of issues can arise. For one, governments may not be aligned with our highest interests (they may pursue their own selfish ones). For another, there is a great risk of coercion – that people may be influenced or forced to do things against their will. Therefore, we think it best that those who are awakening band together to discuss and implement new systems, including capitalism guided by oneness.

Oneness as a guiding principle

In summary, we propose that oneness offers a framework for new conscious-based economic systems. Implementing these systems will require those who are spiritually awakening to come together to discuss what these systems entail and how best to bring them into being.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US

We are the first business using the idea of oneness to address basic needs and economic inequality. We are building a oneness economy in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. You can support our mission of spreading the positive impact of oneness through the purchase of our products below.