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THE UPSIDE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN

Across the globe, chaos is unfolding at unprecedented levels.  Every day, a new country goes down, a new scandal unfolds, and yesterdays’ are forgotten.  It’s so hard to keep up! I am aware that people are suffering, and things are bad and getting worse in a lot of places on this planet, so please don’t jump to your pitchforks and torches when I, quite sheepishly, say…

Maybe this is a good thing?

Yep, sorry to say folks, but this level of absolute, complete and total breakdown is our only chance at this point… the faster and more wide-spread the better.  We’ve proven, as a species, that we’re not going to respond to minor, isolated incidents and uprisings (You know – little things like destroying entire oceans, mass global revolts and revolutions, epic natural disasters, nuclear meltdowns and the like).  We’ll continue, apparently, to pretend nothing major needs to change.  Just print some more money, bail out some banks and all will be well in the world.

We’re conditioned now to pick up a paper and go ‘hmmm, look at that, Spain collapsed today, that sucks for them,’  as if this is an acceptable and reasonable scenario.  And while the perpetrators fix the very rates that ensure their wealth, while stuffing trillions into offshore accounts, I say… fine.  Let them. Speed it up.  Bring on more.  The bigger, and more flagrantly damaging to us all, the better.

Because the only remedy for what ails this species is a complete discarding of currency and economics as it currently ‘operates.’ Personally, I always embrace the theory that you can’t have a renaissance without the dark ages. Which brings up one more consistent, routine human behavior that should be momentarily illuminated.

What is the one time that human beings set aside currency and economics and do the right thing?  What makes them behave morally and decently, en mass? What is the one, single thing that has proven will make humans stop the childish, selfish behavior this monetary paradigm demands and promotes?

Disaster.

In the wake of disaster, for a brief period of time, people do the right thing.  They stop for a minute and forget about costs, budgets, stocks, rates and profits.  They pause, for just a second, and ignore bail-outs, bankers, politicians and that guy in the office next to you with the annoying tie that totally doesn’t match his socks.  For just a small period of time, they get together and do good things… because they’re good things to do.  All the bullshit melts away, and it’s clear as can be that none of that other nonsense matters, what matters is helping out people in need.  What matters is behaving morally and decently.

Forget about the cost, just get these people food, medicine, shelter and re-unite them with family and friends.  Re-build. Share. Care.  Basic stuff.  Volunteers clamber to help.  Cheque books open, wallets pour out, millionaires work for free to help out some people who just need some help.
Well guess what.  We all need some help.  Food, medicine, shelter.  Billions of people need some basic things.  Economically, globally, it’s a disaster, and getting worse.  On a massive scale, we need to behave like we always do during a disaster.  Time to put aside all of that meaningless crap that we have given value to that has none and listen to that engrained decency buried in all of us.  That real, genuine part of you that knows unequivocally what is needed.  You know what’s wrong.  You know what’s good and what’s just plain shitty about this world.  We all do.

And it won’t happen because of a rallying cry, it will happen because it’s a disaster, and we’ve got no other choice.  We’re still trying to dice things up into hundreds of individual disasters, but the reality many are realizing is that this is one, big, all-encompassing, human disaster.  In the wake of this realization, we will have to get rid of the corrupt banks, the ruthless corporate greed, the smarmy, rhetoric spouting politicians.

Not even violently.  We’ll just ignore them.  Just phase them out.  In the momentary clarity of disaster we’ll stop pretending any of this makes any sense.  We’ll start to talk to each other, find out we all feel basically the same way.  We all knew it was false and immoral and wrong all along.  We’ll stop fighting with our co-workers and friends and family because we’ll know what we’re really angry about.  Deep down.

Once this disaster hits full force, things are going to start disappearing.  And it’s a good thing.  There’s a lot of stupid, primitive crap we still give fake, assigned value to that has none.

  • The Fashion Industry
  • Jewelry
  • The Stock Market
  • Gossip Columnists
  • Political Punditry
  • Night Clubs

But it’s okay!  These things need to die off.  This is a good thing! These things need to be phased out.  And they need to be replaced.

“Well that’s all fine and good Mr. Writer Man but what will we care about instead!?”

And here’s where I think I’ve got a decent thought… SCIENCE!  Holy crap, if you want to find a little ray of sunshine in these crazy times, have you seen what science has been up to lately?  With barely any support at all, science is landing rovers on Mars, creating synthetic molecules and uncovering gigantic mysteries of our past.  They’re working on eradicating diseases, they’re out selflessly trying to warn us about upcoming problems and find viable solutions to them, studying ecosystems, gathering data, publishing findings.  Well shit, it’s almost as if those crazy people are doing it just for the fun of it!  It’s almost as if just the sheer advancement of human knowledge and understanding is motivation enough for them.  Surely they aren’t in it for the money and the fame.  Your nearest gated community is much more likely chock full of CEO’s, investment bankers, traders and real estate moguls than it is scientists.

What if those minds were applied sociologically?  What if we freed them from the shackles of currency and allowed their own existing systems of logic, examination and co-operation to take over?  What if the currency of the future was information and advancement of our systems of life?  What if the richest man in the world was the guy who solved the biggest problems and improved society?  Imagine that!  Holy shit folks, we live in what could so easily be the greatest time to be alive on this planet.  Why does it have to be so doom and gloom?  Why is collapse and war and poverty the only outcome?  Am I seriously the only one who takes a look at science and sees what truly matters?  Isn’t that the answer?

It’s an economic disaster, worldwide, no doubt about it.  Can’t we all get together and put aside the stuff that doesn’t matter and focus on what does?  The advancement of human knowledge and understanding… isn’t that motivation enough?  It could be.  It’s enough for me.  I’d happily shed my allegiances to country, to salary to social status if I could get up in the morning and know I was actually working towards the future!  Working towards a sustainable, socio-economic model guided by scientific principles, tangible results instead of greed and oppression for the social advancement of a few gambling addicts.

Wouldn’t you?  Wouldn’t all of us really?

Isn’t that what’s eating away at all of us in the end?

The knowledge that we could be doing so much more, so much better, and yet we’re still playing this same old game with the same old rules we know for a fact don’t apply to us anymore.  The knowledge that the majority of the things we do for money have no real, tangible benefits and completely fail to accomplish something meaningful.  That our ‘leaders’ do not remotely speak the same language as us nor share our goals or desires.

Do you want to go to war with China or go to the moons of Jupiter?

Is there a single human being who answered war?

Let’s be honest… right now, it’s looking bad, terrible even.  Hopeless.  Inevitable.

But it’s also the one chance we have to cut the bullshit and do the right thing.

The question is… Will we?

The answer is…  Likely not.

But we could

And that will be the defining decision of this era in humanity.  Will we?  Or won’t we?

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September 3, 2012 Posted by | General Society Ramblings, Humans, Solutions!, The Great Collapse | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dollars, Debt and Standard Galactic Credits (A Collapse Net Exclusive Article)

Hello (tens of) readers, some good news!  The good folks over at CollapseNet have accepted my words into their midst as a regular guest writer.  Rather than cross post the full articles here in my blog I will instead be adding more detailed additions to my articles on my blog to act as supplementary additions to the pieces over at Collapse.  Please read and share the articles, and then come on over here for more in depth discussion or debates or add-ons, and some stuff that they reject (hasn’t happened yet, but surely will eventually.)

FIRST COLLAPSENET ARTICLE:

DOLLARS, DEBT AND STANDARD GALACTIC CREDITS

http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/item/8166-dollars-debt-and-standard-galactic-credits

So I quite like the heart of this piece but I was a bit concerned of two things, but they liked it at is was so we went ahead and ran the article.  I’ll elaborate on my concerns here, because I can!  And also hopefully to round out the idea some more and get into more detail.

The basic idea was that in all science fiction novels (and movies for that matter) currency is depicted with ‘Credits’.  As my friend and fellow comedian Carter Hortie observed, in a lot of ways we are now more advanced than early science fiction.

With all of the insanity around the globe in the last decade associated with massive flaws in our economic system, it seems to me that we ought to just go ahead and fast track to the seemingly inevitable “credits” found from Isaac Asimov to your average Schwarzennegger affair.  And what better time than now… when our current system is collapsing entire nations, and companies, and massive amounts of, you know, people.

My concern with how the article was written is two-fold, as I said.

1. I wasn’t sure if I was making any sense with my positive alternative example of the internet as the beginnings of a model for a system beyond the current parameters of currency.

and

2.  I didn’t have enough time to spend articulating how such a system of ‘credits’ would actually work, and thus had to resort to what felt like a bit of an empty, rhetoric and platitude filled conclusion with no real solutions (Something I hate in other people’s writing, but that is the reality of writing blogs and articles… there’s no time for a full blown, iron clad political thesis.)

But, if you’ll allow it, and if you care… and even in the likely event that you don’t… I’ll try and come up with some basic parameters as to what a futuristic, monetary system of credits would have to entail.  And I fully encourage any input in the comments, as always.  Don’t criticize my ideas, show me that you’ve got better ones!  It’s the only way we’ll move this confounded thing forward.  (We totally won’t.)

SOME THINGS THAT WILL MAKE OUR FUTURE CURRENCY BETTER (HOPEFULLY):

1.  The Future Global Currency (Hereafter referred to as “Credits”) will first and foremost need to have an adjustable Total Variable Amount (TVA), this is a whole-sum numerical value that is tied directly to population, energy, resources, economic activity, trade, etc.  A constantly evaluated and updated algorithm will have to be developed and perpetually fine tuned by a serious team of dedicated, specialized mathematicians.  Like the old system of the gold standard, this will keep a real, definitive salary cap on global economics.  Unlike the gold standard, this will be based on several tangible factors and real, measurable, useful items rather than some piles of shiny rocks cut into rectangles.

2. As is already happening, all of this new system will be digital, and paper/coin money will be obsolete and phased out.  The technology for this is already in place, and most people already use cards and digital online money over cash.  Once we fully move in this direction it will simply be more incentive to strengthen the technology and enhance it.  Right now it is still in the very early stages, but the basic idea is there with credit cards, online banking, etc.

3.  Money lending, interest, and the practice of making money by playing with numbers, trading, and manipulating money must be eliminated.  Sorry folks, but this concept is long overdue for a good, solid, tossing in the garbage bin marked ‘primitive.’  Credits should be earned, for work, trade, value and goods.  Day trading, money lending, debt, interest, derivatives, precious metals, stock trading, put options, housing bubbles… time to put these cancerous activities to rest.  Short, lucrative gains for a few, at the expense of the masses.  It’s not a moral or acceptable way to operate.  It’s the source of all of our problems.  Get rid of it.  No ifs, ands or buts.

4.  There must be an incentive built into the new monetary system for innovation and advancement of the species.  Personally, I would think that you would identify key areas of social and technological advancement that are either exempt from the constraints of the figures, or since we’re making the new system up, it has to be built into the algorithm somehow that scientific advancement and improvement of social systems are of extremely high value and should be incentivized accordingly.  Think this is utopian nonsense?  Consider that in our current system the people who are the best at manipulating others, taking advantage of the most people and exploiting the most resources mindlessly and with no intelligent oversight are rewarded with the most money and it is wasted on personal luxury items.  Wouldn’t you much rather the smartest people who have proven to have the most positive benefits for the advancement of the species, and have proven themselves to produce positive results are rewarded and can be supported in pursuing more solutions and greater problems?  Wouldn’t rewarding groups that solve problems be better than rewarding groups that sell more potato chips or find cheaper sweatshop slaves to make cheaper shoes?  Shouldn’t doctors that selflessly travel the world be rewarded greater than those who perform plastic surgery on rich, stuck up socialites?

5. Here’s a fun one.  No More Taxes!  That’s right folks, get rid of ’em.  Don’t need them.  No more parking tickets, no more fair hikes, tax raises, tax cuts, sales taxes, toll roads, toll bridges, toll booths, sin taxes, IRS, tax collectors… read my lips.  No.  More.  Taxes.  This is where we need to completely re-define our political system, and of course can’t do that in just this little blog, but more or less it works like this.  Rather than trying to ‘collect revenue’ by taxing, punishing and fining your civilians, you’ve got to have a microcosm of the Total Variable Amount and have a determined amount or percentage tied to Basic Social Structure (BSS) and then have room  to allocate more resources for more advanced levels of social infrastructure should it be plausible, possible and a proven benefit.  The key to all of this is that the infrastructure and the endeavors of the working class is born out of science; out of fact-based, peer reviewed engineering, not politics or revenue.  The whole process of taxation is outdated and in need of a serious re-examination.  As is the function of government.

6. Corporate Personhood… gone. Wall Street… gone.  The largest issue with our current monetary structure is that the pursuit of profits has completely destroyed any relationship between common sense, morality, honesty and all of that shit Jesus used to talk about and our currency structure.  If future humans are going to adapt and change our current trajectory, it can only be possible if individual rights, freedom and at the same time basic common decency can be made tantamount to the blind pursuit of profits.  Numbers and graphs are not real, people are.  The earth is.  Resources are.  Pretty basic stuff, but we’ve clearly proven that we’re willing to ignore all of the above in favor of blind pursuit of profits for a few at the expense of the rest (and the planet).

Alright, as always, I’ll probably update this later and add more detail and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  One thing’s for certain, our current system of money is fucked, and a lot of people’s lives are being needlessly ruined because of it.  Many are dying, many more will.  Pure evil is being tolerated and accepted for the simple fact that people want to make a cheap, quick dollar at the expense of their fellow man.  We all know the deal, and the sad reality is, it’s pretty obvious that most people aren’t going to acknowledge it and fight for something different, because they’ve been successfully scared into a state of apathy, fear and mental paralysis.

As always, I don’t think this blog will change a thing, I don’t think anything will change anything at this point.  It’s more just therapy for me.  Therapy and a deep understanding that a lot of you are having the same thoughts, and know that we’re headed for some pretty rough times… and a lot of you are already going through them, and looking for a better way.  I don’t profess to have any of the answers, nor to be an expert on anything.  Just making my fingers hit some plastic keys and some letters pop up on this here computer screen.

And I’ll keep doing it, because I think it’s important, and I hope you’ll do the same.  Sharing thoughts has created all of the best things in this world.  Keeping them inside has never accomplished anything, neither has stagnating and not trying to change things for the better… despite what so many will tell you to the contrary.  (With no basis in fact, no precedence and no instance in history to support this outlook.)

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Collapsenet, General Society Ramblings, The Great Collapse, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments