Friday, April 8, 2011

Thoughts on a Resourse-Based Economy

While involved in an interesting dialogue about anonymity and accountability in everything from fundraising to campaign ads and basic political messaging, the conversation turned to economy. One of the participants mentioned Zeitgeist and The Venus Project, which inevitably led to resource-based economy as an alternative economic structure, which then caused me to think about the social structure that might support such a concept, absent of an absolute transition into a utopian society that would so capably provide for all of humanity while preserving our planet. I watched a couple of the videos, continuing to dialogue off-and-on with Anwar and Ryan. It was very encouraging just to engage in open-minded discussion about concepts that are based on the idea that there are enough resources to provide for humanity, that our monetary system is inherently corrupt, and that we ultimatley must stand for the former and against the latter. This conversation led to these thoughts, which will hopefully encourage more people to engage in the dialogue - all true change is born of such seeds; thought, dialogue, and synergy.

I agree that western societies, particularly the US, are so materialistic and so immune to common problems, so weak in so many ways, that there are far more problems than there are solutions. One of the core beliefs that I have is that we should keep ourselves physically and mentally prepared for all challenges.

Here in a major city, for example, I see men waiting at a bus stop with a bicycle to go five miles. He puts the bicycle on the bus, rides the bus to two blocks before his destination, gets off and rides the two blocks to where he is going. I run or ride the entire way.

Another concept is that the physical and (perhaps more importantly) psychological impact of a society that has not had a major war on its own soil within the last five or six generations has generated a population that is spoiled and that believes it is superior to all others.

The reason the US has not had a war has nothing to do with how much it loves peace, but rather the fear it has generated throughout the world and the fear it generates in its own people. It is the only country ever to use a weapon of mass destruction, and yet tells the world who can and cannot develop nuclear weapons. A survey of many large western and eastern countries, many of them US allies, shows that the US is the most feared country on the planet. It is also the most murderous.

These points being made, brings me to the subject of your message, which is what would happen in the case of shutting anything down for a transitional period into such a society as is presented in The Venus Project and Zeitgeist. I haven’t looked far enough into either project either, but from the general logic and common sense with which they’ve factored in various considerations, I would imagine that there are at least some very basic plans and/or contingencies drafted for such a transition and I would further venture that the transition would be over a significant period of time. I believe they still desire to get a model city off the ground (?). I plan on looking further into it, if for no other reason than to engage more in the thought process of resource based economy, which is a phenomenal concept. Just based on that, it probably wouldn’t take too much to get me on board at least from a conceptual disposition.

Here’s the biggest obstacle; money. We are living in a time when there is a very militarized and powerful movement by the global wealthy elite to solidify and finalize the stranglehold of the neoliberal economic principles of class warfare. This small fraction of the world’s economically powerful are showing on a daily basis that they are almost as addicted to war and blood as they are to avarice and greed. This group of people will not even permit the peaceful establishment of a true social democracy, let alone a movement of any substantial impact that intends to shift the economic principles from monetary to resource.

If right prevails, as the very best part of me wants to believe that it always will, then we will see this type of a shift eventually, or we will see the end of the world – perhaps neither within our lifetime. But if we intend to ever get to a social system that is anything other than gluttonous, economically oppressive, racist, and sexist, then we are going to have to have a concept in our minds that is based on precisely the fundamental tenets of the Zeitgeist and Venus projects. I do not believe that this will be accomplished without significant time and a horrific amount of bloodshed. But these things will come to pass regardless; my only question is when will the time come when people unite around a consensus of compassion, when will such a consensus recognize that the movement may not survive if it is pacifist, and how will such a movement structure itself so that it is not based on power, but rather a transition toward a social democracy that is based on a resource-based economy. If such a movement and such a transition can develop, I would think that the goal would be a hybrid of a social democracy and a resource-based economy.

There are many people who will purport (possibly quite correctly) that my position is fundamentally flawed in the assertion that seeing an ultimate global revolution or armed conflict can be a true path to a peaceful society. I find myself torn at that very point. I want to believe that we can ultimately reach peace through peace, but history shows us that we have been able to reach peace neither through war or peace. And I believe the reason for this is money. When the goal of humanity is profit, we cannot find a way around the profit of war.

Is it possible then to foresee a future where we are not led peacefully to the slaughterhouse like cattle, where we unite, organize, and provide an alternative to the current political and economic structures, and where we ultimately seek revolution on a peaceful ground? This is always how it should begin. But to look around us, literally and historically, and see that our peaceful world leaders are murdered quite regularly, that peaceful movements become as corrupt as any other political machine, that the disease of capitalism and neoliberal economics are spreading rampantly, is to see that any true mechanism of change must be prepared for a lengthy battle on many different levels.

In the meantime I try to objectively seek input from others, to consider new ideas and perspectives, and to engage in dialogue with others who do the same.

Our voices can only matter if we cause them to be heard.

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