Sometimes it's hard to try to get across the point that unless we somehow are able to stop the madmen now piloting the locomotive (as it were), we will be heading towards assured destruction--and fast. To put it bluntly, these folks are out of their minds!
The social system based on unbridled capitalism and constant (quantitative) growth already failed. And it should not come as a surprise. Ethical and conscientious philosophers, economists, and thinkers warned us about it long ago.
Because of the massive levels of fossil fuel burning the earth is fast approaching a climate change tipping point which means massive ecological and biological destruction. The parasitic (in the truest sense of the word) capitalist system has "matured" to the point that it is now doing what those who have been warning us for generations said it would do: An accelerated transfer of wealth and power towards a tiny elite and increased economic insecurity an poverty for the rest.
Okay, so now that I got that off my chest, I fully understand that some may see it as hyperbolic, so let me take it down a couple of notches and moderate the language.
To help me do that, let me use the work of Fritjof Capra and Hazel Henderson for reference: Qualitative Growth
Most economists still measure a country’s wealth in terms of its GDP in which all economic activities associated with monetary values are added up indiscriminately while all non-monetary aspects of the economy are ignored. Social costs, like those of accidents, wars, litigation, and health care, are added as positive contributions to the GDP, and the undifferentiated growth of this crude quantitative index is considered to be the sign of a “healthy” economy. The idea that growth can be obstructive, unhealthy, or pathological is rarely entertained by economists, even though they have been criticized for decades.The emphasis is mine
The goal of most national economies is to achieve unlimited growth of their GDP through the continuing accumulation of material goods and expansion of services. The over-expansion of financial services, in particular, is parasitic on the real economy and led to the current  collapse. Since human needs are finite, but human greed is not, economic growth can usually be maintained through the artificial creation of needs through advertising. The goods that are produced and sold in this way are often unneeded, and therefore are essentially waste. Moreover, the pollution and depletion of natural resources generated by this enormous waste of unnecessary goods is exacerbated by the waste of energy and materials in inefficient production processes.
As the article also mentions, a good analogy for this situation is the growth of cancerous cells.
An instructive example is the rapid growth of cancer cells, which does not recognize boundaries and is not sustainable because the cancer cells die when the host organism dies. Similarly, unlimited quantitative economic growth on a finite planet cannot be sustainable.The emphasis is mine
And so the authors of the paper argue that instead of focusing on linear "quantitative growth" we should be focusing on the type of non-linear "qualitative growth" which is more attuned to biological and ecological systems.
From the ecological point of view, the distinction between “good” and “bad” economic growth is obvious. Bad growth is growth of production processes and services that are based on fossil fuels, involve toxic substances, deplete our natural resources, and degrade the Earth’s ecosystems. Good growth is growth of more efficient production processes and services that involve renewable energies, zero emissions, continual recycling of natural resources, and restoration of the Earth’s ecosystems. Climate change and the other manifestations of our global environmental crisis make it imperative that we shift from our destructive production processes to sustainable “green,” or “ecodesign” alternatives; and it so happens that these alternatives will also solve our economic crisis in ways that are socially just.The emphasis is mine
I don't know about you, but the authors' arguments seem pretty obvious to me; a no-brainer. And yet, the "leaders" in business and government apparently haven't gotten the memo, as they continue to do the exact opposite of what should be done. And that is a road to destruction.
Now, here's the thing... These guys in charge (how did they get there?) aren't going to do jack shit about it. They can't; it is not in their nature.
Here are the dynamics: At the very, very top of the current power structure what we are talking about are basically sociopaths in the truest sense of the word. Think of a handful of billionaires funding efforts to pass truly horrendous laws (fascistic?) across the country.
The current system is based on constant (and accelerated) growth. Corporations' sales are expected to grow every quarter. Government functionaries and economists expect constant "linear" GDP-based growth as well.
So in these dynamics, you have the sociopaths (billionaires) at the very top, and you have their institutions (Third Way Democrats, Heritage Foundation, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Oil, the Wall Street Criminal Racketeering Cartel, the NRA, the corporate media conglomerate as propaganda, and many others), and money and power changing hands between them... With the corporatist cartels as the paymasters, and (much of) the political class as their corrupt money-grabbing lackeys.
The reason you are not going to see any movement towards changing direction from the destructive path we're on is because those piloting the locomotive (of society and the economy) do not have the moral and ethical backbone to do so...
But this is not new. Basically what I'm describing is the nature of the debased "tyrant." And they (as a class) have been with us (with humanity) in every generation.
So what am I saying? Basically what I'm saying is that they will need to be stopped, or we're doomed. I know that's a big responsibility, but "the ball is on our court" now, as the saying goes.
And what does that mean? It means that a revolutionary change will be needed. Now, by "revolutionary" I don't mean violent (as I always point out). By using that term I mean, first and foremost, a drastic change in the way we (common folks) think about the system. We need to come to terms with its true nature. It is malevolent, exploitative, oppressive, and destructive.
Second, once we come to that understanding, we need to start thinking (fast) about what it would take to stop these madmen...
In a way, that's already happening, as social justice groups engage in waves of (consciousness-raising and protest) action across the country with increased frequency.
Third, we need to start thinking about what an alternative to the current destructive economic system would look like. That means really delving into concepts related to "sustainable economics," shifting towards needs-based consumption, employee-owned businesses, local food production (organic, free of GMOs), looking at employment, health care, education, and housing as rights for every individual.
Now, I'm fully aware that these are tough questions and tough issues to tackle, but again, the situation is such that we have no choice (except those who would prefer to remain on the sidelines).
From my part, I've made a commitment to carefully consider and study these issues and write a book with my findings, to be published exactly on April 15th, 2014. That means that as I write this diary, I have 129 days before publication.
Some of the questions I'll be exploring include: What is the true nature of the system? Who are the "real" power players behind it? How is the corporate media conglomerate used as a propaganda tool (if that is the case)? What are the mechanisms by which a tiny ruling class can control, manipulate, and exploit millions and millions of people? And most importantly, what would it take (planning, strategy, tactics) for people of good-will to launch a peaceful revolution to take down the corporate state, i.e., forcing the few billionaires and corporatist cartels that have captured our government to relent in favor of true democracy, respect for the Constitution, the rule of law (applied equality to all), and social and economic justice.
I will be talking to academics, researchers, activists, workers, and regulars folks in the process and welcome input from anybody interested in collaborating with me.
Finally, as I've written many times before, I think the corporate state has already failed but it will take a little longer before it becomes apparent. I've written about a tipping point, and I've argued that people like Chelsea Manning, Glenn Greenwald, and Edward Snowden, among others, may have hasten its fall.
I will test all these conclusions, theories, and opinions and by the time I publish the book, I would have endeavor to be as accurate as humanly possible.
Those interested in pondering these questions with me are truly welcome!
Oh, and by-the-way, I do think that the fast-growing social justice and resistance (against exploitation by the corporate state) is going to really kick into high gear in the spring of 2014... And so I posted a countdown clock to April 15th hoping to inspire people to join the movement.
As always, never give an inch when it comes to the political process. I don't advocate giving up on it. We just need to also work from without to put pressure for real change.
Sockpuppets & Trolls Watch: Their aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues. Their tactics include ad hominem attacks where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people. They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies. A good source of information about the tactics used by sockpuppets, trolls and hacks is "The 15 Rules of Web Disruption." Once you familiarize yourself with those tactics, it is pretty easy to spot the potential troll. Once spotted, the best thing is to ignore them.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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