We are born on this planet the same way we where born a thousand years ago. With less casualties amongst mothers and babies but otherwise the process has not changed. You may think that’s a wierd thing to accentuate, but other things have definitely changed. One of them is that the freedom of a newborn has been drastically reduced. The freedom of the parent in an EU country is also highly limited, maybe most so in the most wealthy member states. For one, when you are born, you are landless.
Even a farmer that welcomes a new son or daughter, is highly unlikely to be owner of his land. He is paying a bank for all kinds of equipement and the bank took the land as asset to loan against. Rich people can really own stuff, but barely ever permanently. The vast majority of people are allowed to own some land, sometimes in an organized way. Rural countries like France do allow you to own land, but the use of it is stricktly managed. The point I try to make here is that most people do not own the means to survive.
Wealth is a result of combining skills, energy and raw materials. In its most atomic form these conditions are met by a farmer that works the land. Banks worked to intermediate this process, and both the ‘farmer’ and the ‘land’ suffer.
That is a significant difference with 1000 years ago. Then all life hinged on hard work, and there where a lot of ways to earn your keep. The daily energy expense of people was 3000 Calories, what they needed to live. Now it is much more than that, because of all the modern support systems like this, the internet and much more stuff going on to keep society working. It is a luxury, but it has a downside. You can become homeless and starve to death if you don’t have your entry ticket to the theme park : Money.
The theme park is called the economy, and it makes all the trappings of modern life, what you need and what you like. Condition is that you participate in a usefull way, and as you do that you earn reserves that will get you through your later years. This all seems very sensible and sounds like a solid system you have to rejoyce of finding yourself born in. This would be 100% true, and great gratitude would be due, if it where not for the specific direction the system had, with a specific set of preferred industries and activities, which as we all know are depleting our planet of the life that supports our lives.
A basic income guarantee is something similar to granting land to each individual as a birthright. But it only works when all energy sources are renewable, or those fighting over fossil credit will try to abolish the UBI to have more fossil energy left for themselves.
I am dutch and I consider Holland a very wealthy country with a social society and lots of freedom. Yet we find that we are not moving away from destructive practices at any significant speed. Ok, if you believe wildly optimistic predictions of our remaining climate budget as well as allow for the fossil industry to keep itself alive at least until 2050, then we’re moving along fine. But this is of course NOT the case. And it is odd that our highly developed nation does not have the true agility to take exactly the most effective actions. There is a simple reason for that : We are not free and we own almost nothing.
If we listen to a citizen speak we want him/her to be neatly dressed, live in a nice house, have a bookshelve as a background, speak accent free dutch, conform to all the current hypes and memes (so wear a mask today), in short the majority of us wants to listen to one of us. A lot of the talking heads are people that seem like 99% normal, with maybe one or two elements that are a bit more inspired. This means all live in the system that is causing the problems. All are more or less afraid to insult someone and face being pushed out of the wealthy life.
On the other end of society, the poor, the consideration for climate action is on the backburner, because the lives of these people is just made too hard, either because of lack of talent or circumstances created by banks (homes in Holland are in rediculously short supply). As in the US influence starts with some kind of economic security, some kind of status. The reason for this is that land is not free, access to it is highly restricted. You can use parks etc. for free no problem, but you wil never escape the financial system that ties all the factors of life together, the system created by banks.
What can you do? You can plead like Greta Thunberg, to the highest level. The problem is because of this system, this economic system, people barely have time to develop an accurate idea about what would be an alternative. They are invested in it, they fight for it. They get very angry if you would build cheap homes, because that would reduce the value of their homes. Banks made everyone believe home prices would go up, but this is just inflation, caused by economic expansion. Its a bubble because the real value of a house is negative. It has a cost. You have to go out and have income of some kind to live in one. We all know how the rules of this system work, but if you consider the complete system a vehicle with a direction, then how do you change the direction, or how do you get off the vehicle?
Of course you can. You can go to some commune, to live alternatively. But this is never presented as a nice option. You can go into a gated community, within the system. You can rent or buy a place in a foreign country. But you can not take land and say “This is land where the financial system has a different objective. One that is not destructive. This is our coin, we pay with this so we don’t help the outside blind economistic system. We run a roboeconomic system here!”. You can not create a zone with different economic rules as a mere ‘consumer’.
Large companies can do that. Logistics companies can do it. They can run zones around harbours and airports where different rules apply. But nobody can live there. How come we where once a planet with vast open spaces, where banking and trading where thing, where money was created by the people who protected you from marauding armies, to a world where your “leaders” are constantly debating how to undermine your bargaining position versus companies resulting in an increasing amount of people ending up destitute and on the street? One in which a constant deterioration seems to have become the trend, and for no other reason it seems than that people fighting over money have become better at it, lying has become more accepted and thus confusion of the poor is near complete.
You can call for a revolution, but until now those have mostly been managed by members of the same system, to result in nothing. We’ve seen “Occupy Wallstreet” which should have been “Occupy Wallstreet Bank Offices” but was quickly turned into a hippie camp for people to freeze and juggle. You would expect there to be more neat people wanting change, but rest assured, those are all to exhausted and scared to do anything. They have been fighting for the life of their fathers and mothers, or something better, and giving that up is not a plan.
“Use politics!” Some will say. That is a common trap. It doesn’t work if all the politicians earn 120.000 Euro and insist on wealth or hang on to it by never leaving. On the right you can clearly see a servant attitude towards banks and their biggest customers. You can be a socialist and make people angry about rich people (which serves the banks) or you can be a liberal and pretend entrepeneurs will save the day. Or you can be a labour party for workers that want to work work work, flocking into the factories like hypontized moths to a lamp (a kind of Stockholm syndrom). The only party that stands out a bit is the Party for the Animals.
It is not that I propose to do something stupid and idealistic, but simply that I want to be able to focus on my craft, say software development, while there is not some dreadfull murderous and destructive activity being financed by the same neat people of my bank, or while the world is eating itself because neat economists tell us there is room for economic growth. Don’t finance the trade of firewood (biomass) when it destroys ancient forests that provide oxygen and store CO2. There must be limits to the profit seeking, a direction set by human related considerations.
A true revolution would come if people, cities and provinices layed out investment rules, rules for trade, that excluded the harmfull activities. A specific mechanism to boycot the general disinterest for the future of economic players. Banks want everything to be traded, so they can provide credit for every activity and control it. This is how they started, and they have frankly met with to little resistance. We would love to see a vegetarian city or state, a state without biomass burning, without plastic bottles. This is becoming harder due to trade agreements. There are to much limits to the power of small regions. These need to be simply asserted. Laws that restrict these choices need to be broken.
An important role of bank credit is to allow energy to be supplied to communities. Therefore it is necessary to replace those energy sources to become independent of banks.
The best way to depower banks is to go bankrupt. Nobody wants that, but if you all agree it is no big deal. Banks have to constantly be pushed back because they want people to be personally tied to their debt, and bankruptcy to be impossible, but they are in a bind because they need bankruptcies to work for big companies to get rid of responsibility after some distructive act. A good example is Tepco of Fukushima. They went bankrupt quickly. All the cost where for Japan, and it deliverd the country to gas dependence, hurting its solar PV development.
There must be other ways to conquer land from debt and rent seeking owners. This is not the time for the attitude of permanence that rentseeking banks try to maintain or establish. We need a different spirit, and this must be codified into rules that control money flow. Or we have to suffer a real war and restart the system under government authority, centralized, basically returning the land to its proper owner.