A Letter to the World's Government Ministers: Let's Put Them All In the Picture
This week, I have sent the following letter to British Prime Minister, David Cameron. I would like to invite TZM members to adapt this letter as appropriate and send it to every senior government minister and newspaper in their country. Let's leave ourselves in no doubt that they have all gotten the message:
Dear Mr. Cameron,
I am writing you as to a matter of urgency regarding Britain’s - and ultimately the world’s - future options for tackling the economic and environmental crises which pose a growing threat to the future of humankind.
From the courses of action being pursued by your government, it is clear that there are some critical systemic and environmental factors that you have not taken into account during your economic decision-making processes. Therefore, I would like to begin by analysing these factors, and end by demonstrating the scientific reasoning and methodology that must be applied in designing a long-term solution that can ensure our long-term survival as a species.
Please note that the methodology I propose is entirely irrespective of political ideology.
Firstly, I would like to address the mechanisms driving the monetary system, and its historical origins:
Throughout the millennia prior to the industrial revolution c.1800, ninety-eight percent of the world’s economic productive energy was generated by human labour, and two percent by non-human energy - chiefly beasts of burden, windmills, sails and watermills. Imported goods required long, slow and perilous journeys across land and sea. Hence, at every level of their production and distribution, goods consumed could be measured directly in terms of the amount of personal toil necessary to bring them to the consumer. Monetary exchange, using tokens of direct intrinsic value therefore provided a convenient mechanism to enable people to fairly apportion the fruits of their labour. The monetary system was validated by two key factors: scarcity – imposed by the physical limitations to human output - and growth, which was necessary to expand the money supply to enable increasing numbers of people to improve their living standards whilst covering all existing liabilities. To a population measured in millions rather than billions, living on low levels of biologically derived fuel and other renewable energy, an infinite-growth paradigm seemed feasible, and such factors as climate change and resource depletion were beyond the horizon of human experience.
However, as we moved into the industrial age, the level of reliance on human energy declined in favour of rising levels of mechanical production energy. Ironically, as our capacity for producing goods grew, our capacity for buying them shrank as increasing numbers of human workers were displaced by mechanisation. Hence, the monetary system began to falter, and governments had to embark on deficit spending to cover welfare payments, and subsidies to bridge the growing gap between goods produced and human work-hours employed in their production. The two world wars necessitated an acceleration of industrial mechanisation to compensate for the departure of all the workers sent into military service. By the second half of the 20th century, governments were firmly locked into their addiction for spiralling deficit spending to cover the previous years’ spending plus interest owed to bondholders. From the 1980s, the rise of digital technology meant that middle-class white-collar jobs were also becoming vulnerable to obsolescence through mechanisation, exacerbating the gap.
Meanwhile, the phenomenon of scarcity had been nearly eliminated, since industry now had the productive capacity to provide for the needs of everyone. However, this scarcity has been maintained in order to preserve prices that allow companies to make profit, support ‘growth’ and ensure continuing tax revenue levels needed to meet accumulated deficit spending liabilities. If all the mountains of unused food that have been held back worldwide for this purpose in recent years had instead been distributed to the poorest people on Earth - using spare capacity on existing cargo vessels - then countless millions who starved to death during this time would still be alive today.
By 1971, the infinite-growth delusion driving the world’s economic ambitions reached a pitch where money had to break it's ties with intrinsic value – and hence, reality itself – to keep pace with the distortion, and the Bretton Woods Gold standard was abandoned. The world’s economy adopted a fiat currency system which creates money out of debt, and makes possible the artificial economic booms driven by credit-fueled binges.
For the past 40 years, governments and banks have been engaged in various superficial economic public relations exercises that misled the public into believing that infinite growth, and hence, prosperity for all is possible if we keep a stiff upper lip and labour on – protected by a system whose accountability to the real world has been obscured by a fog of propaganda and self-referring, self-justifying technical language. This culture has, in turn, been widely protected by self-interested media corporations. But the conspicuous global societal decay we now experience as we struggle to stay afloat against our national debts reveals a different reality. The infinite growth pyramid is finally being exposed to all as a Ponzi scheme now that it has collided with reality in the form of debt saturation and peak oil.
It is now widely acknowledged that world oil production passed it's peak around 2005, and is in decline as remaining reserves become more hazardous and energy exhaustive to extract – as was illustrated by the Deep Water Horizon incident in April 2010. Additionally, we all know that the O.P.E.C. member states are hooked into the same growth addiction spiral as every other country. And since their permitted rates of oil revenue generation are dictated by their published estimated reserves, one would have to be very naïve to take the latter at face value. The fuel supply needed to grow our way out of our ever-spiralling debts no longer exists in the real world. Global economic collapse is a mathematical certainty. For a government to knowingly propagate the deception of ‘business as usual’ and still direct it's population toward the on-going pursuit of ‘economic growth’ amounts to fraud and negligence on a grand scale.
Another key and insidious feature intrinsic to the debt-based monetary pyramid is the upward transfer of wealth through the charging and awarding of interest. The most financially rewarded, and hence, politically influential group in our market/money-driven society is the one engaged in making money through the investment of money – an activity which is of no productive merit to society in terms of generating goods that meet real-world life needs. In order for those at the top of the pyramid to maintain their levels of economic gain, a corresponding level of wealth must be lost in interest repayments by those at the bottom who are forced by lack of wealth to borrow capital to buy things they genuinely need. Hence, the poorer a person is, the more helplessly immersed they become in a vicious trap of austerity to subsidise those who already have funds to spare. Even if their fortunes change and they fight their way out of debt, it will be at the expense of someone else who will be driven down to take their place in the pit.
The erosion of human mental well-being due to being placed in such a position of inequality has been studied, and is termed psycho–social stress. It can lead to a wide range of illnesses, physical and mental, including addictions, criminal behaviours, cancers and heart disease. Note: Simply giving people welfare to provide adequate food and shelter to support their physical health is not an effective remedy for psycho-social stress because the latter is not a result of being poor, but feeling poor. Across a spectrum of many nations studied, a clear and consistent pattern emerges: The greater the inequality, the greater the manifestation of all these problems. This type of structured abusive relationship exists between countries as well as within societies. It's ultimate victims are the billion aforementioned victims of poverty and malnutrition in the ‘developing world' whose vulnerability is essential to maintain the geo-political strategy of the 'first world' - ensuring that corporate demands for cheap resources and labour are met in the name of market 'efficiency'.
It is also worth noting that Dr. Robert Hare, the eminent authority in the study of psychopathy has carried out research into the relationship between personal qualities advantageous to career advancement in today’s corporate structure, and the personality traits of the psychopath. He has concluded that there is a significant correlation. The propensity for predatory manipulation, false charm, distorted self-worth, and lack of empathy for the well-being of others is evident in – and is an undeniable advantage to - many of those who are the most ambitious, 'successful' and politically influential players of the money game. A government that seeks to deliberately propagate this social system – that clearly benefits the interests of it's own social class at the expense of the greater population - is thus in serious breach of it's core duty to the public, and is aiding and abetting a form of systemic abuse that could be termed structural classism at best, and structural genocide at worst.
Secondly, I would like touch upon the legislative and legal processes that your government continues to enforce. Extensive research conducted by doctors Gabor Mate, James Gilligan, Robert Sapolsky and other eminent experts in the behavioural science field have determined that all human social behaviour is the product of it's environment, and even if individuals manifest the strongest genetic pre-disposition to violent or anti-social behaviours, they will still develop into law abiding and supportive members of society if they are nurtured from the fetal stage in an environment that meets all their emotional and physical needs (a condition which as we’ve seen is intrinsically guaranteed to not be met for many under the ‘free’ market system). Hence, different genes are shown to be switched on or off in response to environmental stimuli. This is termed an epi-genetic effect. The psycho-social stress already discussed is an illustration of this effect. Thus, the concept of blame, presuming complete choice and free will of the perpetrator - irrespective of environment - is fundamentally flawed. Those induced into anti-social behaviours are victims of culture.
Our legal system chooses to ignore the root causes of anti-social behaviour and resists changes to it's own structure that would allow the most scientifically-supported solutions to be applied. Instead, it chooses to impose rigid, simplistic and dogmatic sets of rules on the public – the protection of whose best interests is the sole purpose for it's existence - and prescribes punishments on aberrant behaviours, which can only serve to further enforce the negative environment which cause aberrant behaviours in the first place. Those given authority to prescribe those punishments are required to have no training in current psychology and are not accountable to those who do. Many of our laws do not stand up to current scientific understanding, or even to common sense. This system of 'justice' is, thus far, closer to the philosophy of eugenics than to current psychology in it's application. It's preservation of the status quo is in direct conflict with human concern. The government’s handling of the 2011 riots, and it's failure to expose or address it's systemic root causes aptly illustrates this flaw.
The public has no ‘democratic’ power to abolish the many laws that, directly or indirectly, are harmful to their interests. The system of custodial punishment is a failed and obsolete social experiment. The willful ignorance and hubris of those who benefit from maintaining it as gospel against all reason is a damning indictment of it's credibility and shows a significant correlation with the observations of Dr. Robert Hare discussed earlier. For a government to continue enforcement of a system that is so intrinsically incapable of supporting the interests of those it was elected to serve amounts to gross negligence and human-rights violation on a grand scale.
The third point I wish to raise concerns impacts of human economic activity toward Earth, and it's consequences for the sustainability of life. The ‘free’ market system demands cyclical consumption of goods, and therefore demands those goods must perish quickly enough to create a demand for their replacements to propagate the GDP that must be generated to keep infinite growth in play. Market competition also demands the production cost of goods cannot exceed that of competitors, mutually assuring intrinsically inferior quality from the outset.
Worldwide, millions of tons of obsolete and intrinsically flawed manufactured goods go into landfill sites every year, along with all the precious, hard-to-mine minerals they contain. The description of the market system as an ‘economy’ is a grand deception. By it's intrinsic nature, it is in fact an anti-economy – a race to waste resources for differential advantage.
The artificial barrier created by money prevents us from making the transition into a global renewable energy infrastructure, forcing a continued reliance on fossil fuels. The emissions from which, are causing advancement climate change. In the U.K., we are witnessing dry winters and spring droughts that are stunting our crops and draining freshwater reserves. Much of our arable land has been reduced to barren clay as all natural organic material has been stripped from the soil by intensive farming. This land is now completely dependent upon fertilizers produced from natural gas, and is dependent upon greater levels of irrigation due the resultant poor water retention. The search for new gas reserves is becoming more desperate and energy companies are resorting to increasingly unscrupulous practices in trying to access shale gas through ‘hydraulic fracturing’, despite the irrefutable pollution this causes to groundwater.
Meanwhile, scientists are monitoring the northward shift of the melting of the Siberian tundra permafrost due to climate change. If this continues, hundreds of thousands of square miles of ancient vegetation will start to decay, releasing methane, which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. This would further escalate global warming into an extinction-level event, which would expire the majority of humans on Earth. And it could happen in as little as 20 years if we remain on our present course.
For a government to propagate a socio-economic system that directs it's population along this path constitutes criminal negligence and insanity of unprecedented scale.
The continued decay and eventual demise of the monetary/market system is a mathematical certainty. The only question you have to consider is: how much more torment will you allow it to wreak on us all before you let it go?
"You cannot solve problems by using the same thinking that created them in the first place."
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
- Albert Einstein.
In the following section, I wish to discuss the factors we must incorporate into our redesign of society, followed by the socio-economic solution. As previously stated, this is not subject to political debate, but purely the application of the scientific method to the long-term optimisation of human survival and well-being.
A key factor in the economic crisis is technological unemployment. Successive governments have sought to gain political advantage by resisting the replacement of human labour by mechanisation, declaring themselves as champions of the creation and preservation of jobs. However, mechanisation is vastly more efficient than human labour, is increasingly self–maintaining and can work all day every day with optimum speed and efficiency. It is therefore essential for a company to adopt available mechanised systems if it is to maintain competitive market viability.
Digital technology is advancing exponentially, despite the fact that it's true potential is being systematically retarded by politics and the market system. It is now possible to replace 75 to 80 percent of the world’s remaining labour force with mechanisation if we replace our obsolete societal infrastructure using updated methodologies. This means that only one quarter of the world’s working population, at most, is still technically required to contribute their own labour, with the other three quarters trapped in unnecessary and technically inefficient positions of subjugation – only to justify a monetary reward, through which, their access to goods can be artificially controlled.
But why would they need money at all in a world in which artificial scarcity has been eliminated, and unlimited economic growth is physically impossible? We know a major factor in the suppression of these realisations is the fact that those in positions of power and wealth fear that the removal of money, and the erosion of social hierarchies would rob them of the control, influence and quality of life to which they feel entitled - and leave them vulnerable to those ‘have-nots’ who have been traditionally envious of their levels of privilege. But in a technical, post-monetary society, even the richest individuals from today’s society would see an enhancement in their standards of living and quality of life. Modern psychology shows that traditional elitist desires to hoard excesses and maintain social ‘superiority’ over others are purely the manifestation of a psychological addictive disorder created by a distorted values system – and harmful to those on both sides of this unnecessary divide.
The other traditionally-held belief used to uphold the pro-money argument states that humans need a monetary reward as a motivation to remain active and contribute to society. ‘Drive’ author, Daniel Pink refers to research by the London School of Economics exploring the validity of this belief. This concluded that the ‘carrot and stick’ money incentive is only necessary in mundane, repetitive jobs, which as we’ve seen, are technically obsolete. Empirically, those jobs that do still require human input are shown to require no such incentive. They are the jobs that require more lateral and creative use of the brain, and which are, hence, therapeutic and socially rewarding in themselves. Sharing jobs evenly amongst the population would mean only a few hours’ work a week would be required from each person, liberating those currently trapped as wage slaves in pointless jobs to embark on programs of free education and development in skills they find genuinely interesting and which will be of genuine merit to society.
The rise of internet and social media access for the masses has allowed the emergence of ever more efficient and organised peer-to-peer systems using the ‘open-source’ methodology for the benefit of all kinds of projects. Instead of divisive, secretive, so-called “healthy” competition, collaboration is key, meaning that individuals involved can educate and motivate each other, pool all ideas, and allow those ideas to evolve organically in real time. An early example of a product of such a collaborative effort is the Linux operating system – a highly sophisticated product, well regarded and utilised in the information technology community and which would have cost millions to develop and maintain in a traditional structured corporate institution such as Microsoft. However, it costed nothing to develop as members of the group simply contributed their own creative energies and expertise and bounced their ideas around the group, refining them and spontaneously giving rise to new directions of thought in the process. The model refined and rearranged itself and new, more efficient ideas replaced the less efficient ones.
The efficiency of the open source, distributed system of self-governance is based upon common sense, intelligent reasoning, and a recognition of the fact that the fabric of ‘truth’ is innately fluid and subjective in nature - dependent upon the present human context of a problem requiring a solution. Individuals participating in such a system seek no differential advantage for the contributions they make as the structure is horizontal, mutual and leaderless. They also have access to a worldwide pool of knowledge from which to draw their inspiration.
Your own Big Society initiative, in fact, represents the foundations of a distributed, self-governance model which has the capacity not only to supplement local government services, but ultimately to replace government entirely. This initiative must now be developed to its logical conclusion.
From a perspective of scientific reality, Earth is a single synergistically-connected biological organism. The obsolete socio-economic system that keeps us locked into wasteful, inhuman economic and military competition is a cancer to that organism and to it's living species. We must start working on the cure. Termed the 'Resource-Based Economic Model', the solution is outlined below, with full details at www.thevenusproject.com:
We must mobilise for peace, as we once mobilised for war. We must recognise that the decaying monetary-market system and divisive governing institutions are human evolutionary baggage - no longer valid in this age of technical abundance, knowledge and mass communication, and are a barrier to our future survival as a species.
We must allow our natural transition into a new emergent socioeconomic paradigm in which the intelligent and efficient management of Earth’s resources, guided by the scientific method (as opposed to politics) is key. We must transition from a competitive growth-based economy to a collaborative steady-state economy – one that actually does ‘economise’, using the best technology available to ensure that our relationship with the environment and each other is as sustainable as possible according to current scientific understanding.
We must prepare the population for the largest rebuilding of human civilisation in history. Earth and all it's resources must be declared the common heritage of all life on it and a permanent state of ceasefire and disarmament declared between all nations. All obsolete and non-essential jobs and related travel must cease and burning of fossil fuels kept to a minimum, to be phased out with the introduction of renewable energy sources – our first priority.
The Big Society needs to be expanded into a network of neighbourhood self-governance communities that are as self-sustaining as possible in terms of meeting the immediate needs of communities – including food/freshwater provisions, renewable energy production, waste recycling, education, transportation, health, distribution of goods, and high-capacity internet access. All local authorities should be instructed to guide the formation of these groups and provide the hardware, training and support necessary.
We must collaboratively develop an integrated global resource management system, which will provide a complete inventory of Earth’s minerals, flora and fauna, potential for renewable energy production, seismic activity and land use potential. This system would track the usage and replenishment rates of those resources, and provide a guiding framework for the global rebuilding program. All industries must be reorganised into collaborative bodies whose only goals are to support the present well-being of all people and to engage in the development, design and execution of the global rebuilding using scientific guidance and the best technologies available. The designs must be based around the most efficient possible infrastructure for living and local production and distribution of goods and services. Every part of the new infrastructure must also be designed to allow for continual updates as new and more efficient technology becomes available.
It is already technically possible to create such a system and provide an optimised standard of living for every man, woman and child in the world. Malnutrition and poverty would be wiped off the face of the Earth.
Note that all those eager to preserve our national architectural and cultural heritage would have far more freedom then they do at present to give their time and efforts directly to these causes as volunteers. As spiritual leader to the British people, her majesty the Queen would have an important role to play, particularly during this time of transition.
Please accept this letter as a formal declaration of no confidence in the British government institution, and in it's ability to serve the interests of the British population under a monetary system. This should also be taken as a declaration of no confidence in all the sovereign governments of the world.
From this time forward, your government must cease and desist:
1. All actions that serve to aid and abet the perpetuation of the market-monetary system and it's intrinsically toxic manifestations as described above.
2. All other actions that willfully obstruct Britain’s transition to a sustainable, steady-state economic system.
I trust that having read the above arguments, you now realise that your government’s failure to act in accordance will constitute a crime against humanity. I have asked her majesty the Queen to launch a full public inquiry to ascertain the directions that must now be taken and a consortium of socially responsible citizens are prepared to assist with the conduct of this inquiry.
I look forward to your expedient action in bringing civilisation to our country and the world before it is too late.
(Your Name Here)