F.S. Michaels – Monoculture

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In Monoculture: How One Story is Changing Everything, which I got from the author, F.S. Michaels through Librarything, this Canadian researches explains the consequences of a dominant paradigm or worldview, story in her words to society as a whole. The rise of the economic story not only changes the way you think, but also the way you act, in work, relationships, education, community, physical and spiritual health and creativity. Monoculture illustrates the effects when “it’s the economy, stupid!” is applied to all life’s functions and areas. Public and private sectors that become only private, art & culture which become businesses, just like libraries, (mega) churches, hospitals, schools and universities. When you hear one story often enough, you come to believe it’s true. When that single story becomes our only story, a monoculture emerges.

Fortunately, there are other stories to read and practice. Michaels presents three alternative stories, parallel structures in her words: the Slow Food Movement, Christopher Alexander‘s pattern language and Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. That means you as an individual can think and decide for yourself which path, which paradigm or which structure you use to give life meaning. To quote Albert Einstein, as Michaels does at p.129: “Only the individual can think and thereby create new values for society, nay, even set up new moral standards to which the life of the community conforms…The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close social cohesion.”