Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Alternative To Capitalism Parts 1 to 4

Why we occupy. Capitalism creates money out of...
(Translation – :
Why we occupy.
Capitalism creates money out of thin air and it is convenient to the system to keep the citizens not informed, that it is easy with lack education. Don’t fool yourself with economic growth, it only going to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.)

The past couple of years has laid bare the inequalities of Capitalism, in Europe and America there are protests at the way Governments work for the benefit of the so called 1% at the cost to the 99%, the poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer and yet, apart from a handful of countries, the world still embraces capitalism as the best way to conduct business.
When protesters are asked what they actually want, on the whole, they complain of the unfairness of the system.
So what is a fair system?
A system where one man works and has to pay tax so that another man can sit around all day and get benefits? Or a system where there is a job for everyone and everyone has the same wages? Or maybe a system where everyone has the same chances in life and no one is too big to fail?
I do not believe life is fair so how could we have an economic system that is workable in a free society and yet is fair to all those in that society with all the diverse needs, hopes and dreams that drives the humanity in that society?
Let us take a look at fairness -
Below is a table of cost in  resources if the whole world’s population lived the lifestyle of each of these countries.
• United States       4.6 Earths
• Canada                3.4 Earths
• United Kingdom   2.6 Earths
• Japan                   2.4 Earths
• Germany              2.0 Earths
• Russia                  1.8 Earths
• Mexico                  1.6 Earths
• Costa Rica           1.1 Earths
• India                      0.4 Earths
So when, for example we look at the UK we can see that if the whole world’s population were to live the lifestyle of an average UK citizen we would-
a, have to find another 1.6 earths or
b, kill off over half the world’s population!
The importance of the table is to realize that a country’s available resources is directly linked to a country’s economy. So when the UK government talk of the need for growth, they mean they need to utilize the resources they have available  (which will come from all over the world) and turn those resources into wealth.
So where is the unfairness in that? As we can see, the UK lifestyle needs to be cut by over a half to be resource sustainable, obviously this has not happened, what is happening is that the UK is using the resources of poorer countries to sustain it’s lifestyle.
Of course some wealth is exchanged for those resources but to whom does it pay? Certainly not the ordinary citizen.
For example a young mother in the UK can buy her 10 year old daughter a     t-shirt for school sports for a couple of pounds completely oblivious to the fact that the cotton was picked and processed by 10 year old children who will never have the chance of an education let alone be wealthy enough to spend a couple of pounds on an occasional t-shirt.
(India - 0.4 Earths)
This is the unfairness of capitalism, not the obscene wealth of the 1% but the obscene poverty that needs to exist so that other’s wealth can be created.
In Part 2 I shall discuss the seed of an alternative to Capitalism as it is today

Part 2
Make Capitalism History *
Make Capitalism History * (Photo credit: Sterneck)
Most people will agree we only have one Earth here at our disposal, apparently, for the size of our world’s population, we each have 4.5 acres of land from which to get all the resources we need for our lives.
So a family of four have 18 acres of Earth’s space, well in theory anyway, from which to get their needs met.
As we know the practice is very different, our systems of life management have developed cash which we acquire one way or the other and exchange that cash for our needs (and wants)
What is money? It is strange system we have, we use money to represent an amount of value of wealth, of course it used to represent a portion of gold  but nowadays it just represents a blind faith that tomorrow it will still have a value. If a government can just print money as in quantitative easing how do we really know what those notes and coins are worth. Well we don’t! So is money wealth? Well if you believe so who am I to point out that there is absolutely nothing tangible stopping the collapse of all currencies. Why should I believe a dollar is a dollar or a pound is a pound? I cant eat the currency I can’t get any energy from the currency, the paper is no use to blow my nose on so why do we all lay so much faith in our currency being usable to exchange for the things we need and want?
Well we have no choice do we, and yet if a government can just print money that does not represent any earned wealth what possible value, what wealth can be embodied in that currency? The answer is none, the only value our monetary system has is hope,(some may say ‘trust’ but I believe trust has been lost by many) hope that it (our currencies) will still be intact tomorrow.
The big problem is every other system that has been tried has failed, ending usually in mass deaths from starvation or force of some sort.
What is our most basic Human Right?
Before writing this I would have said our most basic Human Right is the Right to Life but I now believe our most basic Human Right is the Right to those 4.5 acres.
Every human on this planet is equal, what Right do you or I have that allows us to have more than our 4.5 acres of Earth resources? We have only one Earth, resources divided equally between the Earth’s population is 4.5 acres each, every resource I use over and above my 4.5 acre’s worth is being removed from someone else’s 4.5 acres.
Now 4.5 acres may be enough to sustain life but it won’t pay the mortgage, build a hospital, run a transport system or finance a war, and it is only a small population of the world that would have knowledge and determination to work the 4.5 acres well enough to get it produce enough food year round.
So where am I going with all this and what is my alternative to Capitalism?
My alternative to Capitalism is —– Capitalism!! well no point in throwing out the baby with the bath water, lets keep the baby and just throw out the bath water.
The problem with Capitalism today is two fold, first it is based too heavily on debt (and therefore should really be called Debtism!). For Capitalism to work for everyone we need Capital and not Debt, we need to save and use those savings as Capital. Secondly we need  our wealth and currencies to represent the ecological and resource sustainability of one human to every 4.5 acres of land, and it is this second point I will discuss in part 3

Part 3
“  we need  our wealth and currencies to represent the ecological and resource sustainability of one human to every 4.5 acres of land,·”

Scars of a whipped slave (April 2, 1863, Baton...

Feudalism appears to be the basis of the creation of wealth throughout the world and throughout history. Feudalism appears to be the ‘default’ we are hardwired to accept. There are those who rule and those who are ruled.
Every system of governance, from democracy and capitalism to communism and fascism ends up being feudal with the powerful and the powerless, every system, whether based on equality, class, caste, wealth or sheer force reverts to feudalism- the ‘wealthy land owners’ and the lowly ‘serfs’.
In Democracies we believe we are free of feudalism because we are able to vote for those that rule us but in reality it is only the wealthy ruling class from which we have a choice to vote.
So what has feudalism got to do with an alternative to capitalism? Well we cannot change what we do not understand. Back in time the Kings or Queens would decide to go to war  and raise taxes to pay for it, In the present time the equivalent of our monarchs have done the same to pay for their financial crisis.
Take Spain for example, with the highest unemployment figures in Europe, very little if any growth what is their answer? – its been to remove the rights of workers to make it easier to hire and fire. All this is an answer to is to give the wealthy more power over ordinary people. While the obvious course of action to take would have been to have supported small business ventures to create employment and growth instead they leave in place a mine field of bureaucracy and the ‘fine’ they levy in the form of 250 euros a month National Insurance payment that has to be paid before one even knows if one’s small business can make any money. Of course up there in the echelons of the Spanish ruling class they probably are not aware that taking 250 euros a month out of an ordinary person’s earnings trying to set up his own small window cleaning business makes it impossible to (a) do it legally or (b) do it at all!
In the UK and the US it is those on welfare that are penalised, in France it is the immigrants, in India and Africa it is the child slave labour in China it is the peasant farmers.
The Alternative to the Capitalism we have today is first to use a currencies in a way that represent the ecological and resource sustainability of one human to every 4.5 acres of land and secondly those currencies must be free from manipulation by Governments, Banks and Markets.
The first part is down to you and me and can start now if you so wish, In the UK meat is tagged, from birth to the butchers slab the meat it traceable, why not apply this concept to everything you buy? If you do not know the provenance of an item, that is if you cannot be guaranteed that it was not a 10 year old child who picked the cotton for the t.shirt you want to buy DONT BUY IT! If the chocolate you are about to buy has no guarantee it was not made from cocoa beans picked by child slave labour then DON?T BUY IT!
In the UK the removal of GM foods from the supermarket shelves was achieved this way, It is an achievable goal.
Yes, using a method of provenance will make the stuff you buy more expensive but that is only paying the real cost of the product, not the cheaper cost that is achieved by turning a blind eye to the exploitation of the earth’s and human resources and your currencies
In Alternative to Capitalism part 4 I will be taking a look at the type of currencies that can .be free from manipulation by Governments, Banks and Markets

Fehu. The Runic symbol for wealth, money and cattle
Part 4,
So let us recap, we need  our wealth and currency to represent the ecological and resource sustainability of one human to every 4.5 acres of land, and part of securing this goal is to use a method of provenance when making any purchase to guarantee the product was free from exploitation of the earth’s and human resources.
Now comes the nitty gritty, the currency,  a currency free from manipulation by Governments, Banks and Markets.
One of the arguments for ‘growth’ being an answer to any single country’s woes in these days of desperate measures to get out of the financial crisis is that there is no alternative. But if every country were to ‘grow’ we would destroy our world, there are just not enough resources for us all to ‘grow’.
Here I offer an alternative that would allow an economy to shrink while the people who live in that economy can grow, and at the same time give back to the earth what we have taken from our future generations.
Our currency needs to be free from exploitation by Governments, Banks and Markets.
Our currency needs the ability to be manufactured by the poorest of all societies, and yet trusted and used by the wealthy.
Our currency needs to be solid and understandable.
Our currency needs to have an intrinsic value.
We live in a world where everything has its life span, this should be reflected in our currencies so that they flow during their life time and not stagnate in bank vaults.
Something to ponder to which we will return later – you have 100 dollars, pounds, euros, whatever, in your pocket made up of 5 x twenties, unknown to you, 2 of those twenties are fakes, where is the problem (remember, you don’t know they are fakes)?
“Our currency needs the ability to be manufactured by the poorest of all societies, and yet trusted and used by the wealthy.”
You may be wondering how can the poor manufacture a currency ? And if they could, who would bother working at a job?
We often hear, and I write here, about those who are rich and powerful holding all the cards and how those less fortunate have those cards stacked against them (Feudalism) but if we were to see the reality beyond the wealth and power which they do not really control (they just appear to) what is it that they actually do control?
They control opportunity, the opportunity to work, the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to manufacture wealth (money) and opportunity to work land. We serfs are brainwashed into believing only they know what they are doing, only they can manufacture money.
So, for a moment, let us get back to those twenties in your pocket, 3 have been (printed) manufactured by the system that controls opportunity controlled by the ruling classes, 2 have been (printed) manufactured by those whose opportunity is limited, the working (criminal) classes, where is the problem?
Who would want to work in a job if the poor could just manufacture money? Nurses, Doctors, the Police, Shoemakers, Farmers etc etc why bother?
I am not suggesting land re-distribution, or anything or anyone from the economic systems we now have in place should be removed, what I do suggest is that an equal power of opportunity should be shared by the poor and this would be facilitated by creating the secure foundation of two additions to the basic idea of capitalism -
1 – That every human being on this planet is equal and therefore have the right to their share of this earth’s resources. Though it would not be possible for all human beings to take possession of their birthright (their 4.5 acres) it is perfectly possible to respect that as an ideal in the form of systems set up to prevent exploitation of human resources and the earth’s resources. ( e.g everything you buy should have a provenance)
2 – The wealth (money) that can be manufactured by the poor of the world is recognised globally.
So how do the poor make their own money?
Well there are many bartering and alternative currency systems in place that work well locally, but for them to work properly this must include the ability to barter for, or use your credits to, acquire food.
In the darkness of austerity ridden Greece a new currency/barter system has been developed and is proving very popular, the TEM -
“From jewelery to food, electrical parts to clothes, everything here is on sale through a local alternative currency called TEM.”
Though I believe systems like the TEM are a breath of fresh air and an excellent addition to capitalism I am suggesting something different as an addition to the likes of TEM and traditional currencies.
The reason being is that they still do not answer the single most important failure of capitalism that contributes to exploitation and that is someone else has to need or want your goods or service, this should not ever be a problem but it is when controlled opportunity reduces
a, your ability to access those goods or services or
b, your ability to offer those goods or services.
Fehu is a runic symbol, it is said to symbolise cattle, wealth and money.
From the known beginnings of history livestock and gold were valued as wealth, the method of barter and a system of money. I offer this as the basis for the poor to manufacture cash.
let us just once again return to those 5 twenty (whatever currency) notes in your pocket. I asked what is the problem that two of those notes are fake. Well as you do not know they are fakes (not having room here to discuss the concept that with Quantitative Easing they are probably all fakes!!) the reality is you will, in your innocence happily go out and spend them on stuff you want or need and so will the next person and the next. The problem lies not in the fact they are not legal because whether they are or are not legal tender your perception of them is that they are an amount of value of money.
The difference is, and let us for example say they are twenty pound notes, for 3 of them the “I” in “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds” written on the note is the Bank of England’s promise and the “I” in “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds” on the other 2 is a talented criminal.
So if one were to go to the Bank of England to redeem the promise one would just get a replacement 20 pound note, if in the very unlikely case one could go to the criminal bank, Joe the Slasher, and ask him to make good his promise all he needs do is to replace the fake with another fake. Apart from the law that makes it an offense to fake currency notes and the fact that the law does not recognise Joe the Slasher’s bank notes as legal tender, to all intents and purposes there is no difference between the two pieces of paper.
Though this blog post by nature of its word count cannot go that deep into the concept I offer this as a suggestion to help promote discussion on the subject.
First, in addition to the currencies and monetary systems we have in place I suggest we should be able to use real gold, silver and copper coins that have their intrinsic value in their weight of metal, next I suggest livestock, from chickens to oxen should be linked to the price of gold, for example 300 live chickens could be worth an ounce of gold.
That the poor could manufacture their own currencies by either using the physical livestock to buy other goods and services or create their own promissory notes (money) based on their wealth of livestock. These notes, or even coins could be made by them, could be used as credit in local barter systems, or they could be physically bartered or used as cash.
To recap -
1 – That every human being on this planet is equal and therefore have the right to their share of this earth’s resources. Though it would not be possible for all human beings to take possession of their birthright (their 4.5 acres) it is perfectly possible to respect that as an ideal in the form of systems set up to prevent exploitation of human resources and the earth’s resources. ( e.g everything you buy should have a provenance)
2 – The wealth (money) that can be manufactured by the poor of the world is recognised globally.
This of course would necessitate some re-thinking on how we own and use land
but then maybe it is time for that discussion before the political goal of universal and eternal economic growth destroys our earth.
Or of course we could just accept the imposition of slavery and Feudalism!!

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