Why do modern societies insist on maintaining systems that deliver neither sustainability nor harmony, both at the local and global level? Understandably, at the top of these nonsensical food chains sits the ruling elite of the prevailing world order that has immensely benefited from the unrelenting multitude of global discordances. These dysfunctionalities operate in all spheres of social existence: political, economic, cultural, environmental, etc. Ultimately, the cumulative effect of all these will lead to a collapse of unmanageable proportions!
The current trend seems to be; rather than trying to change societies’ misguided ways, states are determined to double down on the very mistakes that are now threatening chaos and collapse! For example, the financial crisis that erupted ten years ago is still with us, in one form or another. No serious attempt to rectify the problems was initiated since 2008. Instead of dealing with the main underlying problems, states resorted to flimsy palliatives like, ‘extend and pretend’, ‘kicking the can down’, ‘quantitative easing’, ‘plunge protection teams’, ‘central banks bailing out stock markets’, (ex. Japan & Switzerland), etc., etc. The critical issue of thoroughly reformulating the global financial architecture is receding by the day. Inevitably, there will be another financial crisis, which, most likely, will be worse than that of 2008! The global economic doctrines that underpin all the various malice and tend to produce myriad symptoms, financial or otherwise, remain closed to enlightened debates, discussions and deliberations. Here are some of the major problems associated with the existing system. For instance, the globalization that allows only the free movement of capital, goods and services, while truncating the other factor of production, namely labor, is bound to create a globalization that is inherently polarizing. ‘Infinite growth on a finite planet’ and the fraudulent banking system of ‘fractional reserve banking’ remain amongst the major problems of the global order! The symptoms of migration, inequality, etc. cannot be addressed without changing the flawed fundamental narratives of the modern world system.
The preeminent universal culture of the modern world system is unbridled consumption. We are all forced, directly or indirectly, to worship greed and consumption, useless consumption at that. The main flaw of the consumerism doctrine is; gluttonous material consumption can liberate both body and soul. Of course, we have now enough data to show the fallacious nature of this supposition. In the most industrialized country of the world system, white middle class Americans are dying from ‘self-inflicted’ causes, so to speak. Alcoholism/drugs has become the number one killer amongst white middle aged and once middle class Americans. This was a demography that used to be rather content and sufficiently immune from self-pity and hopelessness that routinely afflict other members of the US society. For a start, the existing economic system that encourages the culture of increased consumption is at best blind, if not worse! In addition, in our economic system, consumption was not planned to be commensurate with the availability of resources. We should be reminded time and again: All life forms are critical to the maintenance of our ecosystem. Massive disruptions to our ecosystem, which has been going on for at least two hundred years is bound to have consequences from which our flimsy species might not be able to escape intact! Instead of working to increase our chance of survival, the prevailing economic order doubles down on its destructive programs. It is not the tired ideology of growth but rather de-growth humanity must be pursuing!
Superficial discourses that overwhelm our so-called institutions of higher learning are making things worse. These once centers of enlightenments are massively producing unthinking drones that are programmed, mainly to serve the existing economic order. Originality and inquisitiveness are frowned upon in these mills of institutions. Independent thinkers have to take leave of absence, for good, to engage in real world problems that require clear thinking. Additionally, media and other organs of indoctrination pervade all aspects of social existence and hardly leave sufficient room for fresh reflections, outside of establishment sanctioned narrative boxes. New paradigms that are in accordance with the propagation of life and not the destruction of it (in all its forms) must soon be forged by all concerned citizens of our planet. To think the establishment will introduce a holistic ideology that respects life/life support systems is at best naïve, if not suicidal! See Cook’s article next column and others on page 48 & 49. ‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.’ Noam Chomsky.
“It should be a natural relief to step back inside natural limits. Limits have forms, sounds and scents – we can touch them – taste them. They should feel like home. We’ll be prodigals shuffling homeward from a wild fossil-fuelled adventure to finally open the familiar garden gate.” Patrick Noble. Good Day!