...Between providing for ourselves, and providing for the communities to keep it all working together.
As the books referred to in the New Republic article, linked below, indicates, it is simply time to realize that Capitalism, with the technological change it has wrought, has taken us as far as it can in performing as a social/economic operating system.
Sure, it had it's day. It created an almost unbelieveable avalanche of both material, and technological gain. That it also did a behemoth's bulldozering of the planet as collateral damage, though, must be acknowledged as well; which is undeniably why the problem is so much more complicated now, but that is damage we just need to try and move on from.
In any case, though, the bottom line is that work, as a commercialized, and specialized, mass production for mass consumption, process can't apply anymore; especially when the principal consumer can no longer compete viably as the holder of a skill commodity. The once virtuous circle of capital to productive structure, to wage induced skill application, to market varied quality and variety, to wage earner consumption, to capital return with profit, no longer works, and doesn't make sense any more.
The thing is, there is another aspect to why Capitalism no longer makes any sense any more. And it is related to the change in sense modalities that societies go through when they move from a typographic mind set, back to a more multi sensual, oral type mindset; much as Marshall McLuhan described it (primarily) in "The Gutenberg Galaxy." Of course the arc described there was culture going from oral (the tribal default) to typographic. Electrification of information flow reversed this process so that we have been moving back to a more tribal oriented, multi sensual mind set. And just so we're clear here, this makes a big difference in how we experience, and conceptualize things (as a lot of Mr. McLuhan's work indicated).
The major point of the differences is that we require greater involvement in depth in what we do as a natural course of living. It simply cannot be oddly sequenced, disconnected chunks of busy time any more. It has to be integrated, broadly connected and, most importantly, meaningful interaction that defines daily life. Which then demands that the way we organize things must also be structured so as to facilitate this new kind of "thoughtful, loving structure." A way to make keeping things going, and keeping ourselves prospering, just part and parcel of community life. Something. I hasten to add, that is quite possible if we would just put, even a small part, of the same creativity that has kept Capitalism going far longer than it would otherwise, to work on making it happen.
This is a big choice moment folks. Your choice. Don't blow it.
The United States of Work