The Arts, News, Entertainment, and Social Life

This article is based on my ideas about the Great Turning Movement. If you aren’t familiar with them, click here. It is linked to from my article Visions of a Regenerative Society. It describes how the arts, news, entertainment, and social life might look in a transformed society.

The Arts and Entertainment

The arts and entertainment industry will be more about creativity, quality, and culture, and less about ratings and money. But even more important, our entertainment will be much more personal and creative rather than watching performances by stars. For example, people will create their own music, engage in storytelling, participate in local theater or choruses, play on local sports teams, create their own art, and so on.

News

News shows will include positive, uplifting stories, not just tragedies and wars. An example of this is ourbetterworld.org. News shows will return to their original goal of being educational rather than primarily entertainment. Furthermore, news shows will return to being neutral or trans-partisan, rather than being biased toward a certain political agenda.

Through interactive television and the internet, people will come together to discuss and learn about the important issues that our species is dealing with. Rather than only being passive consumers of entertainment, part of our time with the mass media will be dedicated to thoughtful reflection and serious discussion of how to overcome our problems and move toward transforming our society. (Duane Elgin, The Living Earth, p. 179)

Social Life

In the modern era, community has largely been destroyed, because of increased mobility and the way we are less and less dependent on each other. This independence has come about because of technological advances that allow us to do more for ourselves without help from neighbors, and also the market system which encourages us to hire people to take care of many things that were previously done by family and community.

Pre-modern cultures often had robust community which unfortunately suppressed individuality in favor of conformity.  In the new era, we will return to community in a way that supports individuality. This will include local community—where you are connected to those people who live close to you—and chosen community, where you connect with people who share similar values and interests. There will be many eco-villages—small, ecologically-integrated villages, some of them nested within larger urban areas.

A regenerative society will also emphasize extended families, as in the past, rather than the nuclear families (or single parent families) of the modern era. These extended families will provide for much better child-rearing as well as greater connection and support for everyone. Some extended families will primarily consist of blood relations, as in the past, and others will also include friends and other “chosen” family members.

Because of a shorter work week (see Economics section), people will have more time to get involved in family, community, and public life, whether that is political (e.g. town-hall meetings, social movements), social (e.g. teaching local sports teams), or cultural (e.g. having a book discussion at a local library). People will also shift their focus away from consumerism, which has meant buying products as a means to happiness. They will realize that a happy, contented life comes from relationships, creativity, community, and personal growth, so they will limit their consumption of goods and instead focus on what truly makes life satisfying. This voluntary simplicity will also help us to avoid over-running the carry capacity of the planet.

In the modern era, some of us have had more money than time, so we have hired helpers or experts to perform many of the necessities of life, such as caring for elders, gardening, cooking meals, creating or repairing products, and so on. In the new era, we will have more time to handle these tasks ourselves or within our extended families and communities. This will give us a greater sense of personal mastery, community connection, and creativity.