Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/18/confronting-collapse
This article is totally narcissistic and humans-first. It ignores what we’re doing to the biosphere and innocent species.
The collapse we face is anthropogenic mass extinction.
The solutions aren’t found in adjusting monetary policy and subsidizing more and more humans and consumerist lifestyles.
I would not say that we are “threatened with collapse” —I believe it is happening now.
Ask the polar bears, monarchs, millions of dead birds and the species of the coral reefs etc. etc. etc. if there is only a “threat”.
With that said, I haven’t a clue how to deal with ecosystem breakdown/loss of habitat due to humans------- but I appreciate that there is an attempt here to have a discussion as to what to do amidst collapse.
We here in the u.s. may get trump et al to head up the country as ecosystems die and collapse goes exponential.
What a thought . . . . . how do you think trump and his supporters will feel about “intentional communities” springing up all over?
There is quite a bit of discussion on the internet about why at least 90% of intentional fail. Perhaps it is because of anthropocentrism (which @CarolEllison points out above).
I tried to connect to the “Great Transition” link but it failed.
For me, anything with the word “great” related to humans these days repulses me (exhibit A: “make america great again”).
What would be “great” to me is if people would stop being so anthropocentric.
There are very few people I know of that aren’t selfish especially when it comes to their needs vs. the needs of other species.
If you have any doubt about whether or not we are in collapse now watch the latest Environmental Coffee House episode with Jennifer Hynes & Jim Massa as they recap the research regarding methane and more.
A quick survey of the (GTI scenarios](~https://greattransition.org/explore/scenarios/economy)
bad link there should be ~https://greattransition.org/explore/scenarios I believe
I do find this article interesting and want to re-read it and visit the other website for thoughts.
The money / barter system is fake. Why do we continue to use it?
I do not understand the obsession of homo-sapiens to keep a tally on each others contributions.
Why do we consider some contributions more ‘valuable’ than others?
We can not ever live in a different world if we are keeping a tally, especially a ‘variable’ tally.
Everything must be free to all or there will always be those that want to have more.
I hope I have begun expressing some thoughts properly.
I intend to add to this line of thought.
I just need to get my face out of the screen for a while.
Dusting off the template and restoring FDR’s New Deal regulations and programs that have been dismantled during the past four decades is step number one. That can be done in a matter of weeks IF the political will exists.
Every global pandemic in history has wrought massive changes on human society, leading to changes to every other species. The Black Plague led eventually to not only the Enclosures Act but to millions of people leaving Europe’s economic and ecological collapse to invade Turtle Island and do the very same thing. In addition they brought enslaved Africans who were not even considered as human, but chattel, private property.
The 1918-20 pandemic brought hyperinflation to conquered Germany, along with a hyper-hedonism coupled with hyper-puritanism. People spent imaginary money in the stock market while denying access to alcohol, leading to criminals in both spheres taking over. Teapot Dome and other scandals rocked the Harding Administration. Farmers in the Great Plains overused the capacity of the land to grow more and more crops to earn a little money. It all went bust globally from 1929 on. The US came within a whisker of becoming a communist state, not just socialist. Yes, we had environmental disasters as well, with the Dust Bowl, draining of the tule lakes in California so the land could be used for Big Agriculture, mass migrations from the South to northern cities for jobs and from the Midwest to California for jobs.
What will happen now, since we’ve pretty much drained all the life from Gaia in the past 70 years? Mass population die off of homo sapiens sapiens. We won’t have any use for gold, silver, gems, things that we can’t use as food or for shelter and clothing. Cars will sit idle while we use bicycles or even animals to get around, along with walking. The money economy will be as obsolete as it was after the collapse of Roman hegemony. We will use our wits, our creativity, our wisdom to grow our own food. The concept of private property will turn back into the Commons.
One thing’s for sure. We can’t return to our petroleum based way of life. It’s done. All that’s left is for rigor mortis to settle in. As far as war is concerned…yes, we’ll have microwars even within former nation-states as people settle into their comfort zone and form tribes and clans. Corporations, Wall Street, everything based on pretend money…gone as all species deal with extremes of heat and cold, megastorms and droughts. What do you think will happen when 2020 ends with tropical storms still forming, and we’ve gone past Omega as a name?
The framing she is giving this situation is straight out of the billioaires propaganda for the WEF’s global grab which they call “the Great Reset” or “(something I forget) Churn”
Its a nauseating reminder that the oligarchs are aggressively trying to steal the planet from regular people by every trick they can possibly dream up totake unfair advantage of the power of their riches to destroy the lives of the poor to get richer.
Basically, they cant stand the idea of people leading peaceful lives and not generating money for them. the rvious incarnation of WEF was one of the forces behind the creation of the GATS - the services part of the WTO which is in every way a huge global theft of everything that makes a middle class possible.
They are not a force for anything besides stealing. They have no intention of stopping or mitigating the imact of the exponentially increasing concentration of wealth. they want huge companies to get a cut of every transaction, which means everything thats public needs to be privatized, so people who are in debt can just be cut off. This world they want is a cashless one where everybody must carry an extremely accurate tracking device, a cell phone with a built in GPS, to travel or transact any business. It is a world where jobs are going away very quickly, both to automation, (whose wealth should be shared by the entire planet, not used to steal peoples land and countries out from under them even if they cannot sign their own names they want to use biometrics so they can be identified in order to take what they have) the increases in roductivity due to computers was not invented by them, in fact they want to steal it, fighting against open source software, which is a gift to everybody-
the wealth cause dby labor saving which is natural, but also they want to take countries jobs away and give them to whomever is cheaper, nomatter where they are.
by means of new movement of natural persons provisions that basically give public jobs at all levels of government to whatever corporation bids the lowest, with the winners winning the right to perform these jobs but at dirt low prices. Even the legality of limiting the numbers of jobs taken or wages theyare paid is being challenged. Almost everything everything thats currently lublic unless its supplied in the exercise of governmental authority, a very narrow definition - meaning not on a commercial basis and not in competition with one or more service suppliers, or in some cases, some other exclusions apply, but the general idea is to be public, an area cant be in competition with any for profit entity, if it is it must relinquish its public subsidy. Imagine what this will do to higher and primary education, all areas that can be privatized, will be. Other governments helping poor people is now being framed by the US in our trade policy, as a theft of a kind, a taking from corporations of profits they are entitled to. Countries that still posess public healthcare systems and other services are beiing pressured to give them up if they want to trade with us.
This is a threat to everything public, the ability of people to expect to ever have a life, let alone job, even roads, water, social security systems, medicare, all are in grave danger,
This tremendous power is intended to control the rapidly more inpoverished losers of globalization which will expand to include a huge majority of the population because of the loss of jobs. . At the top of that list of expected losers are US, the former middle class and poor of the US. Priced out of our own job markets and likely turning the US into an “M” shaped economy. Note that they are blaming us to deflect attention from the tip of the elephants trunk, (look up "elephant chart’ and see the many arguments - and how twisted some of them are. its the tipof that trunk, however, where most of that generated wealth is going. Not to the people who are part owners of the planet too, although not for long if they get their ways.
Beware of the buzzwords…
I have a feeling this group is affiliated with the Great Reset scam. Another name is great churn, This very sneaky combined bunch of scams all trying to gobble up as much of the world and taxpayers money as they can as fast as they can.
If you have money to steal, they are trying to get it. So i guess “they care” huh?
##The World Economic Forum is planning the “Great Reset” to prevent (escape from them?) from happening
[July 29, 2020 | The club of the world’s richest people and the largest nature-destroying corporations wants the “Great Reset”. Instead of poverty, disease, overpopulation and destruction of nature, the mega-rich promise us a fair world in harmony with nature. Despite its obvious absurdity and the cynicism behind it, this initiative should not be ignored. There is a dark plan behind
Indeed, as you say this exchange economy - capitalism - has no solution to the misery of people.
As you say, from each according to ability, to each according to need
There are two movements that reflect your view - The Zeitgeist Movement who seek a resource based economy.
And there is the World Socialist Movement which also advocates for a money-free, state-free society of free-access to what we all collectively produce.
the Club of Rome in its The Limits to Growth" predicted large scale die offs… Its the most often quoted prediction now, I think around 50 or 60 years after it came out. the big oligarchs dfinitely want a mass die off. "
A much more technically literate discussion that I think is far better focused on the real challenge, the replacement of human labor by automation. that has massive implications for society that we need to cope with but instead we are in denial.
Adapting to a Highly Automated World
Thank You. More to digest.
Thank you. More to read.
The fastest way to move power from the select few to the many is through decentralisation and localism.
Create hundreds of small economies ,get people off the grid .
It’s important for humans to have most of their needs met locally.Less dependence for products from far away.
Dependence is Humanity’s Achilles Heel.
There will be many systems advocated for different communities, theres no one way or the right way many ideas will be put forward .
Perhaps merely another way which works for the highest good of all.
Nagonna happen with RBG gone. Her replacement, an uber Kavanaugh, will be named immediately after the selection (sic) or before if it becomes necessary. Now government actually IS the problem. The solution is that we now have to do everything for ourselves, with government trying to stop us. It will have to be done mostly at the neighborhood level, with some coordination at larger scales.
If humane humankind is to continue to exist, it will likely take that form.
What kind of money are these species willing to pay to buy their habitats back?
From Robert Tressell’s ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ (~http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Tressell)
‘Money is the cause of poverty because it is the device by which those who are too lazy to work are enabled to rob the workers of the fruits of their labour.’
‘Prove it,’ said Crass.
Owen slowly folded up the piece of newspaper he had been reading and put it into his pocket.
‘All right,’ he replied. ‘I’ll show you how the Great Money Trick is worked.’
Owen opened his dinner basket and took from it two slices of bread but as these were not sufficient, he requested that anyone who had some bread left would give it to him. They gave him several pieces, which he placed in a heap on a clean piece of paper, and, having borrowed the pocket knives they used to cut and eat their dinners with from Easton, Harlow and Philpot, he addressed them as follows:
‘These pieces of bread represent the raw materials which exist naturally in and on the earth for the use of mankind; they were not made by any human being, but were created by the Great Spirit for the benefit and sustenance of all, the same as were the air and the light of the sun.’
… ‘Now,’ continued Owen, ‘I am a capitalist; or, rather, I represent the landlord and capitalist class. That is to say, all these raw materials belong to me. It does not matter for our present argument how I obtained possession of them, or whether I have any real right to them; the only thing that matters now is the admitted fact that all the raw materials which are necessary for the production of the necessaries of life are now the property of the Landlord and Capitalist class. I am that class: all these raw materials belong to me.’
… ‘Now you three represent the Working Class: you have nothing – and for my part, although I have all these raw materials, they are of no use to me – what I need is – the things that can be made out of these raw materials by Work: but as I am too lazy to work myself, I have invented the Money Trick to make you work for me. But first I must explain that I possess something else beside the raw materials. These three knives represent – all the machinery of production; the factories, tools, railways, and so forth, without which the necessaries of life cannot be produced in abundance. And these three coins’ – taking three halfpennies from his pocket – ‘represent my Money Capital.’
‘But before we go any further,’ said Owen, interrupting himself, ‘it is most important that you remember that I am not supposed to be merely “a” capitalist. I represent the whole Capitalist Class. You are not supposed to be just three workers – you represent the whole Working Class.’
… Owen proceeded to cut up one of the slices of bread into a number of little square blocks.
‘ These represent the things which are produced by labour, aided by machinery, from the raw materials. We will suppose that three of these blocks represent – a week’s work. We will suppose that a week’s work is worth – one pound: and we will suppose that each of these ha’pennies is a sovereign. …
‘Now this is the way the trick works -’
… Owen now addressed himself to the working classes as represented by Philpot, Harlow and Easton.
‘ You say that you are all in need of employment, and as I am the kind-hearted capitalist class I am going to invest all my money in various industries, so as to give you Plenty of Work. I shall pay each of you one pound per week, and a week’s work is – you must each produce three of these square blocks. For doing this work you will each receive your wages; the money will be your own, to do as you like with, and the things you produce will of course be mine, to do as I like with. You will each take one of these machines and as soon as you have done a week’s work, you shall have your money.’
The Working Classes accordingly set to work, and the Capitalist class sat down and watched them. As soon as they had finished, they passed the nine little blocks to Owen, who placed them on a piece of paper by his side and paid the workers their wages.
‘These blocks represent the necessaries of life. You can’t live without some of these things, but as they belong to me, you will have to buy them from me: my price for these blocks is – one pound each.’
As the working classes were in need of the necessaries of life and as they could not eat, drink or wear the useless money, they were compelled to agree to the kind Capitalist’s terms. They each bought back and at once consumed one-third of the produce of their labour. The capitalist class also devoured two of the square blocks, and so the net result of the week’s work was that the kind capitalist had consumed two pounds worth of the things produced by the labour of the others, and reckoning the squares at their market value of one pound each, he had more than doubled his capital, for he still possessed the three pounds in money and in addition four pounds worth of goods. As for the working classes, Philpot, Harlow and Easton, having each consumed the pound’s worth of necessaries they had bought with their wages, they were again in precisely the same condition as when they started work – they had nothing.
This process was repeated several times: for each week’s work the producers were paid their wages. They kept on working and spending all their earnings. The kind-hearted capitalist consumed twice as much as any one of them and his pile of wealth continually increased. In a little while – reckoning the little squares at their market value of one pound each – he was worth about one hundred pounds, and the working classes were still in the same condition as when they began, and were still tearing into their work as if their lives depended upon it.
After a while the rest of the crowd began to laugh, and their merriment increased when the kind-hearted capitalist, just after having sold a pound’s worth of necessaries to each of his workers, suddenly took their tools – the Machinery of Production – the knives away from them, and informed them that as owing to Over Production all his store-houses were glutted with the necessaries of life, he had decided to close down the works.
‘Well, and what the bloody ‘ell are we to do now?’ demanded Philpot.
‘That’s not my business,’ replied the kind-hearted capitalist. ‘I’ve paid you your wages, and provided you with Plenty of Work for a long time past. I have no more work for you to do at present. Come round again in a few months’ time and I’ll see what I can do for you.’
‘But what about the necessaries of life?’ demanded Harlow. ‘We must have something to eat.’
‘Of course you must,’ replied the capitalist, affably; ‘and I shall be very pleased to sell you some.’
‘But we ain’t got no bloody money!’
‘Well, you can’t expect me to give you my goods for nothing! You didn’t work for me for nothing, you know. I paid you for your work and you should have saved something: you should have been thrifty like me. Look how I have got on by being thrifty!’
The unemployed looked blankly at each other, but the rest of the crowd only laughed; and then the three unemployed began to abuse the kind-hearted Capitalist, demanding that he should give them some of the necessaries of life that he had piled up in his warehouses, or to be allowed to work and produce some more for their own needs; and even threatened to take some of the things by force if he did not comply with their demands. But the kind-hearted Capitalist told them not to be insolent, and spoke to them about honesty, and said if they were not careful he would have their faces battered in for them by the police, or if necessary he would call out the military and have them shot down like dogs, the same as he had done before at Featherstone and Belfast.
I was talking about a different kind of unemployment, the kind where almost nobody needs to work, in most cases because techonlogy has gone further than their skills hsve. There is nothing wrong with them, its just that they no longer have work. Maybe hyperglobalism has traded their jobs away to somebody else who works for less. In any case, the system has moved on and they are no longer on its map of people it feels it owes anything to. At some point the world stopped being owned by its people and governed by the people to becoming a stage production thats acted in by reality TV actors, while being actually owned by corporations.
The model of workers that Communism is so enamoured with may even no longer exist because there may be no workers, with the few jobs being wholly what many people today would describe as research, or engineering, of various kinds… Factories will exist but mostly be in out of the way places, humming along with only a skeleton staff present. All very highly skilled people that wear many hats. If huge parking lots remain from the past they likely will be almost completely empty.
Apologies if we were at cross-purposes.
I think what’s been termed Fully Automated Luxury Communism promoted by Aaron Bastani is relevant to such a discussion.
But let us not forget that it was Marx’s son-in-law Paul Lafargue who wrote the pamphlet - ‘The Right to be Lazy’ - and that was way back in the 19th C.
And Murray Bookchin offered us ‘Post-Scarcity Anarchism’ in the 1960s
It is now fashionable for environmentalists to decry the possibility but the WSPUS has always argued that a world of abundance was viable and sustainable.