inbrief

It looks like a major world-wide financial crash is possible soon. If this happens, it will certainly be extremely painful and difficult, but it could open the space for a new community-based economy that really works. People who see this don’t want to rescue the existing dysfunctional money system, but do want to build the new economy and make any transition as gentle as possible.

As tasters of this here are two short videos:

  • This 3 minute comedy sketch captures the essence of why the rescue schemes for the European economy simply don’t make sense.

  • This 3 minute video introduces the Transition movement, which is spreading rapidly around the world, creating “a community response to climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap oil, building community resilience and happiness”.

The message…

The money system is in danger of collapse

The money system, that is the world of finance: banks, stock markets, currency markets, insurance companies, and more is in danger of collapse.  It could take much of the ‘real economy’ with it: people doing things for each other, growing food, making stuff, distributing it through transport and shops, looking after each other, businesses, factories, government services.  The function of the money system is to arrange who does what and who gets what, that is all,  but it determines the survival or removal or groups/organisations/businesses that make up the ‘real economy’.

‘The Economy’ as an idea, combines and confuses these two aspects. If the money system collapses, we are still left with all the farms, factories, trucks and ships, with all the people who want to receive and who want to contribute to their communities. People could just carry on, except that the arrangements for agreeing on who gets what and what should be done would no longer be there. So that is what has to be replaced.

  • In this 6 minute video, Richard Heinberg propose a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.

Our money system is dysfunctional and destructive

A crash of the money system needn’t be the disaster many people think, because the existing money system is so dysfunctional and destructive. Our economy is ‘upside down’ in the sense that the goals of business and other productive enterprises is to make money, not to serve the wellbeing of humanity and the natural world.

This has totally distorted the real economy to the point that we are destroying the natural world – climate change is now hitting hard, with extreme weather, and will get much worse. We are creating mass extinctions of species which is also undermining agriculture and fisheries, we are degrading the air and water we need for health.

Humanity is not even living well at the expense of the environment: one in eight people are undernourished, there is vast income inequality, endemic wars, crime and corruption are directly linked to our upside down economy.

  • This two minute video of astronaut Andre Kuipers launching the WWF 2012 Living Planet Report  looks at the state of our beautiful and fragile living planet.

I’ve tried to depict this desolated future in Mother Nature’s words, rather than in pictures, because the pictures are too much for me to bear. I could show images of clear-cuts, of massive factory farms, of befouled water and dying fish and birds, of dust-bowls where farms once thrived, of child labour and slave labour, of sandstorms blowing through China’s industrialized, drought-stricken cities, of dry wells and dry cracked earth and lifeless crops, of prison and refugee camps filled with despair, of slums of mind-numbing, impossible poverty. What would that achieve, except perhaps to get you angry or upset, for no useful purpose?

A positive vision is emerging..

…of a community-based, but globally linked society, not dominated by big governments, big corporations or financial markets, collaborative not competitive, one that can preserve the essentials of the real economy, enhance its resilience, reduce its environmental damage, and reduce the destructive effects of the money system on it.

  • More from Charles Eisenstein! This 12 minute film is deep and broad, covering the essence of his vision of Sacred Economics.
“We are falling in love with Earth… [Humanity] is coming into adulthood…  In the beginning that means healing the damage we’ve done…We’re in the business of creating a miracle here on Earth…”

SD30Sustainable Diss 2030 – A short booklet describing  a fictional sustainable future in a small British market town that re-invents itself after a financial crash.  See especially Chapter 2, The Good News, pages 5 – 32, a description of the future from the perspective of six fictional characters. A light read, with cartoons and illustrations. Download as pdf:  SusDiss2030, SusDiss2030cover and map

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