“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ~O. Wilde,1891
Tell us what #moneycantbuy
Almost everything is up for sale: personal relationships, health, education, politics...
We have somehow come to accept that market mechanisms are a neutral tool to solve societal problems. Adopt a child for 1€/month to stop poverty? Put a price on nature to save it from environmental destruction?
If money governs access to the essentials of the good life like health and education it sharpens inequality. Market mechanisms are not neutral – they can undermine our moral values.
We need to start questioning the role of markets and money in our society.
If we want to get serious about creating a more humane and sustainable world, we need to fill the empty public discourse with the big moral questions.
If destroying nature is good business, is it morally right to do it? Are there certain goods that markets do not honour and money can't buy? What does it do to our democracy that with rising inequality, rich and poor increasingly live seprate lives and don't encounter each other?
What should be the role of markets and money in our society? How do we want to live together?
The market ideology isn’t a law of nature. It was created by humans. And humans can change it.
Many people are already active in building the path to a truly sustainable and humane world. Citizens everywhere are putting into practice completely different ways of living, working and doing business along a set of common values like sustainability and solidarity.
Activists have realised that more growth and more marketisation is the cause rather than a cure for for social and environmental injustice. They are advocating for fundamental changes to our political and economic system.
About this project
Public discourse in most countries is still largely taking the dominant economic model as a given. The market as the key mechanism to solve our political problems is rarely questioned.
Similarly for most civil society organisations and most actvist networks that are fighting for justice and and a more sustainable world, questioning the underlying economic model is mostly not a core issue in their campaigns and projects. By ignoring or accepting the market ideology and even making use of its mechanisms in their campaigns, indirectly and mostly unintentionally civil society organisations are contributing to reinforce the dominant narratives of progress, markets, consumerism, globalisation and economic growth.
The Numbers has been created by a cross-sectorial civil society alliance and was coordinated by the Smart CSOs Lab. It aims to contribute to a change in public discourse by asking the big questions that really matter. The project partners believe that this is an important element of a broader and much needed transition to a new economic system that will enable human wellbeing, justice and ecological sustainability.