I’m working on how to close out Creative Infrastructures: Artists, Money, and Entrepreneurial Action. My thinking has evolved, somewhat circuitously, since I began studying entrepreneurship and then public administration fifteen years ago. The writing has really been about me untying the Gordian knot I became trapped within as I grew increasingly aware of the conflicts between my values and my actions (or rather the actions I was teaching others to pursue). Here is what I am working on for a closing…let me know what you think:
Capitalism is not just an economic system, it is a culture, grounded in the belief that the pursuit of individual self interest is in the interest of the good of all humanity. As wealth inequity grows and the planet warms at an unsustainable pace, many are accepting that a culture shift is needed. It will take at least another generation for that culture shift to take hold more permanently. Such a shift may lead, at the macro level, to the return of social democracy as a way to the shift the balance between the individual and collective well-being. Yet, we need to also look past (or perhaps below) the macro level to the community level, each community networked in ways that enable them to spiral up to a more sustainable future for artists and everybody else. Such a “responsive communitarian” approach does not yet have much traction politically, but may provide the framework needed for a future economy that empowers artists (and other people) to not merely survive, but to thrive.