So what are the primary drivers of social progress?
Aside from our maintaining our basic health (which is dependant on the the health of the environment around us), the drivers of just about everything else that we need are time and money.
If we can playfully work smarter (not harder) and productively commute faster (not longer), then we are already saving huge amounts collective time. Our spending choices are also taking on a democratic strength, that’s never existed before. If Consumers can become savvy about the tools and methods used by marketers to engage us in commerce, then we can approach the table with a better prepared hand, and learn how to turn the deals in our favour!
Ultimately, if we can combine these pursuits with a socialized approach for achieving health (not simply paying half our taxes for the institutional healthcare), then we could be well on our way to using the tools to build a prosperous social economy.
In the end, whether it’s what we make, or what someone takes, commerce is what drives the creation of prosperity.
So let’s consider some ways of getting right down to brass-taxes, by figuring out the ways that the ideals of social consciousness and democracy can be applied to commerce. While still maintaining the free-market economies that can encourage sustainable growth and innovation, while limiting the effects of any parasitic influences.
Unless we want to socialize every last national resource and business in the country, we have to figure out how to make our commercial and financial lives better in a capitalistic system. This is where modern marketing comes in, to show us the very best, most exciting part of building a Consumer Society.
Instead of turning into blind, greedy, materialistic, consuming drones, in a world ruled by invisible plutocrats, where fortunes are maintained (and grown on the backs of the oppressed people and exploited resources), we can start to learn about how markets can actually work in our favour instead as Consumers.
The Consumer Age brought with it the need for Marketers to learn how to see more deeply into our needs, so that advantages could be made by supplying what a Consumers desired. Those desires were increasingly hard to create by representing lifestyle-desires in broadcast media, or manufacturing consent through the invisible levers of old-school public relations and a well-managed mainstream media. The measurement tools that used to quantify entire demographics, have been getting segmented down to highly accurate consumer profiles, and are now already being applied to creating and building individual contacts. Big Data isn’t just a fad, it’s an unstoppable force, that we either learn to shape to our own purposes, or get crunched into little bits
Torontonians have all resources (media, education, technological, social, business, governmental, etc) required to at least publicly discuss options and consider how a Consumer Society can actually work best.
What’s more, ability to stand as a beacon to the rest of the world, on how a highly pluralistic, multicultural, and socialy-aware society can take charge of itself, and it’s own destiny. Simply by becoming more aware of the power we all hold as Social Consumers, while also becoming far more vigilant for the creeping influence of interests that might prefer us to remain passive, self-involved, passionless Mass-Consumers.
So rather than trying be the “Silicon” or “Hollywood” anything of the North, Toronto could be the social innovator for our cousins to the south.