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Dialectical Consumerism: San Francisco's next iteration

Monday, April 17, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
David Giesen
Location Details:
Virtual via Google meet:

Oh, we much prefer in-person gathers, but for launching this project, a virtual show-of-hands will guide us to next steps.

Please join a moderated discussion of what educators (and self-considered educators) might do in reviving San Francisco.

Dialectical Consumerism

There's no mistaking that San Francisco is in a nebulous state. It's most recent life as the center (along with the lower peninsula) of the tech economy is fractured . . . not gone by any means . . . but fractured by the collapse of its downtown office culture. In addition, the catastrophic reality of the wealth divide which the tech boom accelerated is now manifest as Market Street and downtown generally have become a litter of abandoned humanity and failed do-goodism public efforts to address rampant drug use. And, of course, San Francisco's endemic housing challenges persist, with land prices hovering above the wages of a huge proportion of the population . . . like a damoclean sword.

The failure to recognize that the privatization of land values is the great engine of so many of society's recurrent miseries is the starting place for Dialectical Consumerism analysis (DCa). DCa observes that two salient facts about all land prompt a dramatic shift in public policy regarding land use. One, land exists independent of humanity. It is existentially different from everything human-made. Second, land values emerge because of the presence of humanity. Land values vary because of the matrix of interests attracting human energy to one location or another. These interests are social, commercial, and aesthetic in nature. DCa holds that the private consumption of goods and services values is in stark contrast to the private consumption of land values. In short, the exchange of privately created goods and services for access to location is an absurd equation. Privately created goods and services exchanged for access to land of community-generated value is an irreconcilable relationship leading to recurrent crises.

If DCa piques your interest, join us in this inaugural online gather. Perhaps you've agonized over how to resolve free enterprise with social impulses. Perhaps you've fantasized a reborn San Francisco, but come up blank with what economy will restart the marvelous history of San Francisco (marvelous from prehistoric times when evidence indicates a large number of first peoples gathered here to thrive in the estuarine ecology of sea, air, and land foods). DCa provides an opportunity for educators to take the lead in shaping the systems thinking that will distinguish San Francisco. It is not the next iteration of material wealth-getting (Gold Rush mining succeeded by port city dominance succeeded by banking succeeded by tech succeeded by ???) that interests us, but the very social stratum in which material wealth is generated and distributed. This holds our attention. We are in a protean stage of San Francisco's life.

Added to the calendar on Sun, Apr 16, 2023 10:43AM
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