Real Wealth Can’t Be Sold on Wall Street

Douglas Rushkoff on the economic fuffallah and why it might not be as bad as all that:

All this means is that you can’t count on capitalism anymore. Your wealth is not how many paper assets you have. It’s not even how much land you have (or think you have). It’s what you can do. It’s your value to other people.

The real economy need not suffer in the downfall of the speculative economy. If anything, the real economy has been repressed by the speculative economy. Real farmers have been crushed by Big Agra, real druggists have been crushed by Wal-Mart and real transportation alternatives have been crushed by Big Oil and Big Auto.

The opportunity here, while the big boys are down, is to rebuild the genuine, local commercial infrastructure. To make shoes, clothes, food, education, healthcare and everything else we can in a bottom-up fashion. While speculators enjoy the economy of scale, we inhabit an ecology scaled to the human being that was lost in the corporatist equation.

So, chill out people. We can still build and create and think and innovate. We just have to remember that our wealth lies not in what commodities can be bought and sold but what we can do that improves the human condition. Even if you loose your home and can’t fill the gas tank in your car, you still have something of worth to contribute to society. All you have to do is figure out what that is and how to make it available. Preferably without getting a corporation between you and the human market.

Rushkoff also has a manifesto of sorts up at Boingboing.