‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing‘ -Edmund Burke
I find that the majority of people have no faith in humanity and don’t see the obvious fact that the values they have and the actions with which they prescribe their judgement are fully encased in a system that encourages the negative morale’s and ethics with which they perceive as ‘human nature’. I believe this must be step one, to appeal to people’s noble virtues, to proclaim avidly that humanity can easily be one of caring, altruistic, civilised, cooperative empathic people. We merely need a system that supports and encourages that part of our nature to flourish and hence see good morale’s, ethics and positive actions.
We must first capture their hearts before we can capture their minds. Their hearts can be captured in this fashion. All previous socio-economic systems are inherently barbaric; free-market capitalism is structured to support barbarism and neglect. Are you happy to live without dignity, respect or integrity? A new system, what ever that may look like should be at its core one of principles, integrity and respect for one another, there is no task nobler.
One does not concern oneself with the method of pruning plants when ones soil is contaminated. Clean the soil first. Have a plan for pruning, watering and caring for the plants in the most effective and economic fashion but first let us agree that the soil needs to be clean, nutritious and healthy or all our efforts to grow healthy, happy and productive plants will be in vain.
Spread this far and wide, this simple call for dignity. The non-apathetic will have questions with which answers the following:
What do you mean by ‘Contaminated Soil’?
Currently the system is based on a perceived level of scarcity of resources. I.e. there is x amount of bread and that’s all the planet provides, there is not enough to go around, therefore a system is needed to allocate what little bread we have to the most deserving. When this is adherently agreed upon with no question, competition ensues to secure your share, hence your survival, of the scarce resources. This is compounded by a bastardisation of Darwin’s tenet of ‘survival of the fittest’, it has been adapted to mean ‘strongest or most dominant’ when really it means most able to adapt to ones environment.
Naturally this fight for bread produces winners and losers as a mathematical certainty. We are not all equal and we all have different strengths, but in a system where the ‘inherently weak’ must strive to be the strongest when it’s physically not possible. The punishment for this failure is then starvation, a street or death. This is simply barbaric, shameful and negligent. A system that instead shames the ‘inherently strongest’ for not feeling proud to help her fellow human beings that were born less fortunate than her is the obvious path to dignity, respect and integrity.
This natural result of winners and losers is called inequality. Inequality has been shown to be the driver for all negative effects in humanity that we suffer today. From xenophobia to racism, behavioural violence to early mortality rates, prostitution to paedophilia, gangs to war.
There is also a phenomenon called ‘structural violence’ which is essentially what it says, that the system is structured in a certain fashion that produces violence as a natural manifestation, this is also based on scarcity.
The book the spirit level by Professor Richard Wilkinson gives empirical evidence of the negative effects of inequality in great detail. Further, the effects of feeling poor have huge ramifications to society, the humiliation of feeling less than someone else, natural in an unequal society, causes huge stress and negative psychosis, stress has proven to be a major cause of heart disease, the biggest killer of humans currently. Literally, inequality is killing us; there is an abundance of work on this topic in support of this.
Concurrently; this inequality produces poverty, as throughout the years the winners have structured the system to control more and more of the bread, less bread for the majority equals poverty. Nothing more needs to be said: The current socio-economic system forces and creates poverty, artificial poverty; the biggest killer of humans there is or ever has been.
Crazily and in stark contrast: the system also requires infinite growth, growth through the consumption of resources, on a finite planet. The mechanics of the system have moulded into the psychology of the people to advocate a level of constant dissatisfaction so that you will forever seek to be satisfied through the acquisition of goods (resources). This constant growth, through dissatisfaction, over shoots the planets capacity to recuperate. Negligence!
Can we really continue in a system so barbaric to the ‘inherently weak’ and negligent to the environment that supports us? Where poverty is naturally produced and forced on vast quantities of people?
I can’t…. and I’m sure you have enough dignity to agree.
So we need to decontaminate the soil.
How do we de-contaminate the soil?
I have gone through simple reform to the current system in previous blogs and there is an abundance of work here on how a libertarian socialist model would function: (I don’t feel I need to reinvent the wheel)
This is a manner of which you reform to a level of comparative security and health, then the majority will have become sufficiently dependent to become independent. I.e. good health, food, water and education. From there a major revolution can occur with the support of a vast majority of educated healthy individuals: devolve the power structures completely and build anew from a fresh slate.
But here I would like to expound on a manner more inline with reconstructing rather than dismantling. Building new efficient forms of social organisation in place of old, devolving and evolving in tandem. Essentially, I’d like to expound on the 5 key points of transition that were posed by Peter Joseph in his book ‘the new human rights movement- how to reinvent the economy to end oppression’.
(If you haven’t read this book, stop what you’re doing immediately and order it)
Bottom line: A new system must be based on maximising the abundance of nutrients to the soil or ‘bread’ or resources and spreading the nutrients across the soil evenly or allocating the resources equitably. Therefore transitioning from a system based on ensuring that nutrients are kept to a certain level and allocated to a select few (perceived scarcity) to one of abundance must incorporate mechanisms that subvert the controlling factors and maximise the production of nutrients/resources in a sustainable fashion, distributing them in an equitable fashion.
Cleaning the soil
The following four points are a goal that must be reached at some stage in Human history. Hopefully in our lifetimes. Further, a system that reaches these ambitious goals will need to be one adaptive and progressive, so reaching these goals will just mean continuing progress, adapting to whatever is required. The true nature of evolution and survival of the fittest. Are we fit enough?
- Global community: The United Federation of Earth
- Environmental limits dependent economy (Resource Based Economy)
- Full stock take of earths resources: claim all earths resources as common heritage.
- Common language
But enough of daydreaming, let’s get into what can be done today!
Key point 1- Automation
From Labour-for-income emphasis to Machine Automation emphasis. In the current system we would need to incorporate a Universal basic dividend to keep people fed while machines do rudimentary works, taking jobs.
- Maximise productive capacity in a sustainable fashion
- Hence minimising poverty (in a real sense)
- Reduce human exposure
- The less attractive, monotonous or arduous the labour is the more machine automation will be focused on it on an ever-increasing scale.
- Increase efficiency
- Doing more and more with less and less (ephemeralisation as coined by Buck Minster Fuller some 70 years ago).
Follow me on this thought process to the end before you make an opinion please:
A.) Leave your current values and preconceptions (brainwashed since birth in capitalism) at the door, use your imagination to extrapolate for society:
We currently have $81trillion dollars (global GDP). 50% of the wealth of the world is owned by 1% of the people. If we were to evenly distribute that wealth, even in the current system we could provide a lifestyle akin to a lower middle class family in the west to everyone.
Of course this is outrageously opposite to the current systems mechanics of domination. Further, if everyone lived in the current system as middle class westerners live we would need a hundred Earths to provide that quantity of resources.
The fact remains, we COULD live without poverty. So the question is then, how is the system structured that we cannot. The answer is exploitation and waste. With the full use of technology in a system of equitable distribution of basic resources, focusing on these 5 key points you can provide a ‘Middle class’ standard of living for everyone while remaining in the planets limits.
Obviously, a change in values will need to be recognised, where the ‘dissatisfaction’ is recognised and that you do not need a yacht, two Ferraris and a private jet. But everyone does have food, clean water, shelter and energy. That can be achieved very soon. A sensible middle class standard of living can be achieved.
Use machines, computers and robots to their full potential. They don’t take your jobs they alleviate arduous labour. The problem is access to resources, a socio-economic problem not a technological problem.
Key Point 2- Access
From Property ownership emphasis to Strategic access emphasis
- Maximise good (e.g. a car) use-time efficiency
- Minimises production pressure
- Hence minimising resource consumption and waste
- Increase over-all good availability for use
Follow this thought process of pure logic here please,
Say we have a city of 100,000 people. 10,000 of them play tennis. 9,000 play the odd time. 900 play once a week. 90 play 2-3 times a week. And 10 are professionals. Let’s say we’ve done the calculations and found that 100 tennis courts is sufficient to always have a place for them to play at anytime they want. How many tennis rackets do we need to manufacture?
If you said 10,000 please go back to A.
Yes, the correct answer is 400. Maybe we can argue for an extra 10% for good measure. So 440. 4 rackets needed per court to play doubles if desired.
Let’s say a standard racket requires:
- 10 grams of nylon
- 1 kg of aluminium
- 10 grams of rubber
- 1 gram of tungsten
The Best Available Technology (BAT) model requires:
- 10 grams of nylon
- 1 kg of aluminium
- 10 grams of rubber
- 5 grams of tungsten
Therefore we can now say we need to make 90% of the 440 in standard models because the people who play the odd time won’t mind having a racket that has zero impact to resources (would be calculated obviously for each good). And so on respectively until the avid players request and use the BAT model.
When the system accounts for the full quantity of resources available (proclaim earths resources as common heritage) and uses that information to provide models of goods that are BAT but not exceeding sustainability limits (BATNESL) then we have true good availability. A true level of scarcity.
But I would argue that we would have a true level of ‘abundance’ if you can follow me again for a simple thought process:
Think of the 9,000 tennis rackets currently sitting in the corner of some garage doing nothing for 99% of their lives, the others that even though used by a pro still probably are only in use 25% of the time. Think of the quantities of nylon, rubber, aluminium, tungsten, human labour and GHGs used to create it all. Now, think of ALL the goods in the world sitting around doing nothing. The millions of cars parked up. Pure waste.
In a system strategically sustainable emphasising access, huge resource consumption decreases will be seen. So, that part of your brain that I know said: ‘everyone will want the BAT’ (if you’re still convinced of this go back to A) becomes invalid, as the resources saved from the current system will produce an exceptional ‘standard model’ anyway.
Further, if you compound this by letting the 10,000 tennis enthusiasts have a say in what tennis racket they would like to play with, in an open source fashion, you will constantly see a level of satisfaction and improvement on the models that will trump anything you see today.
True technological progress within the planets limits. True sustainability.
Key Point 3- Open Source
From data hoarding, proprietary research, internal development (patents and I.P rights) to collaborative commons
Cooperation has been proven to solve problems quicker than competition. Nothing could be more innately logical to me; surprised this even needs to be said.
Imagine every car manufacturer sharing info on the latest advancements in technology that they have researched. Further, imagine a system where sustainability is a pre-requisite to manufacture. One can envision extremely efficient cars, high performance, with universal parts that can be easily fixed (imagine an engine that can be easily removed and fixed with standard processes and parts across the industry).
Further, imagine an online system where anyone can go on (me not being one of them but I know 100’s of people that would love it as a hobby and more who would do it as a profession if they didn’t have the burden of debt looming) and see schematics of the cars, details on latest technologies, parts, resource availability (proclaim earths resources as common heritage) and discuss the best models and styles they like. Imagine the car that would be produced. Genuinely top of the range, most liked models, made within the planets limits with universal parts easily changeable and recyclable.
Concurrently: the item that some company makes e.g. apple and the iPhone don’t own the intellectual property for this. The people that ‘invented’ that exact first ‘iPhone’ weren’t just born with all the knowledge of humanity that gave them the base knowledge to manufacture it. In reality, a small part of it ‘belongs’ to the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, Nostradamus, Da Vinci, James Watt, Alan Turing etc. and those people owe their inventions and brilliance to the people before them. Patents and I.P rights are pure nonsense.
Society owes to society; nothing is in isolation. The surplus of capital is owed to all the people. As goods availability and quality grows so to should the standard of living for all in tandem.
Key Point 4- Localisation
From globalisation to localisation, emphasising a networked design
- Maximise production/distribution efficiency
Currently it’s estimated that about 33% of food produced in the west goes to waste, never makes it to a human stomach. While comparatively about 33% of humanity live in abject poverty, literally starving. So, immediately, this argument of hunger is due to nature’s inability to provide is complete nonsense.
There is plenty of food, there is ample technology to provide it for them, there is working examples of societal structures to organise it for them, so why are they hungry? Must be just nature. Conversation over.
Poverty has nothing to do with the quantity of bread and everything to do with where that bread is produced and who it is distributed to. Third world countries are exploited for first world benefits. Our decadence is in direct correlation to their degradation. The poor on the streets of Dublin don’t have a house due to a lack of housing; they don’t have a house because ‘bread’ or ‘houses’ are distributed in a certain fashion. I.e. through a historically heinous rigged system of resource distribution from the bottom upwards at an ever-increasing share the further you rise up the hierarchy.
If you said something like ‘people are poor because they’re lazy and can’t budget’ please go back to A. better yet, go talk to a homeless person and ask him how he ended up there, with a small bit of intuition one can see a pattern.
Follow this thought process please:
First, if you’re reading this and are not a vegetarian, grow up and have a bit of respect for animals! what did they ever do to you? it’s barbaric!
Imagine community run vegetable growth, using all available space including roofs to grow vegetables. If there is not enough space to feed the full community use vertical farming, aquaponics and all the rest of the immensely beneficial technology we have today.
A community run kitchen, where everyone’s food is cooked in one go. Zero waste, minimal heating elements, a magnitude less GHGs and the best bit: community interaction. If this were incorporated with a majority vegetable diet we would literally solve the Climate problem overnight.
Seven sentences to fix the planets climate.
Obviously this is hugely against the current economic structure of globalisation-exploiting poor nations for their labour to max profits. But again dignity, integrity and respect is the path I wish to choose, do you?
Obviously complexities regarding more complicated goods are apparent but the fact remains that feeding, watering, housing and providing electricity can be achieved locally and easily. The basic necessities of life could easily be provided for everyone, everywhere. This should not be a privilege in the 21st century, where as a species we are discussing the behaviour of quarks and supernovae. Technology is obviously at a level to provide a good standard of living for everyone. Once this is achieved we can deliberate at leisure on the nuisances of providing everybody with a snorkel to go snorkelling with whilst on holidays.
But there is something in technologies way. We all know what it is so let’s simply change it. Not easily done but simply done.
Simply: Quantify, produce and distribute earth’s resources in a structured, organised, sustainable, localised and equitable fashion.
Ok, so when we have reached a level of food security, how do we know how many snorkels to produce, where and when you ask?
Key Point 5- Networked Digital feedback
From a fragmented economic data relay to fully integrated sensor-based feedback system
- Maximises feedback and information efficacy/utilisation
- This will increase total economic efficiency
Currently, the socio-economic system sees resources as an endless pit. There is no part of free market capitalism that questions or polices the recuperation rate of the planets resources. Infinite growth through the consumption of resources is the only goal; maximise individual profit. All negative effects to the planet are in isolation and are externalities.
Each actor in the economic sphere merely acquires products related to demand of desired purchase and try’s to sell accordingly for individual gain. This failure of any approach of sustaianabilty is compounded by the comptetive nature and the wasteful practices touched upon previously.
Essentially, these isolated economic data tell us nothing about how, where, when and in what quantities resources can be used to maintain sustainability on a finite planet. At its very core our economic system is cancerous, viral.
The most wasteful and idiotic function of our current socio-economic system must be the phenomenon of planned obsolescence. Where companies, acting in complete isolation from one another and with a complete disregard for resource depletion, will purposefully make their product fail so as to ensure a repurchase or a necessity to buy their parts to fix it. Think of the tennis racket analogy above and the quantities of the tungsten etc. wasted….now double that every year.
In a system of planned feedback, deciding on what is needed to be produced in a holistic fashion, one would immediately cut out this ridiculous practice and achieve a true level of sustainability in harmony with the planets recuperation rate, constantly adapting to suit.
For goods of leisure, hobbies, tools, transport, etc.
COMPUTERS! If you don’t understand the power and potential of computers in the year 2017 to solve the relatively simple problems of manufacture and distribution computations then please go back to A, or go back to whatever rock you crawled out from behind recently.
Essentially: manufacture and distribute goods in an effective, efficient and truly economic (in the truest sense of the word) fashion. Everyone would have access to the system to feedback preferences. This is a truly sustainable, environmentally conscious system.
Caveat: ensuring global sustainability (as the climate does not stop at national borders) requires knowledge of resources globally. A full global stock take is needed. Not possible in a competitive socio-economic system. So again, the very core of our system is hindering human progress and essentially destroying the very environment on which we depend. Pure madness.
‘This shit has got to go’ – the late and great Jacque Fresco.
Essentially the steps to sanity:
- Galvanise with anyone/organisation that wants to end oppression and live in an equal and sustainable society.
- Rally under a banner
- The first: the UBD
- Then proceed to next step (banner) and continue in solidarity, forever progressing and adapting
Please join me and all the concerned individuals who understand this and want to progress, let us galvanise and whole heartedly turn the corner as a civilised species, away from our barbaric past and forward into a future of dignity, integrity and respect.
The following video was made in conjunction with this piece:https://youtu.be/6wITKoeu3b8
And DiEM25: https://diem25.org
Thanks for reading ‘Waxy wick: another candle in the dark- shedding light on the abundant nonsense & posing solutions’
Comments welcome, follow me @gavgluaisteán or check out my youtube channel ‘what’s the craic?-Gluaisteán’ for some savage banter.