Needed: a fundamental change of our society

Posted May 20th, 2009 by konrad

Money girlThe financial crisis and the climate change should make everybody think about our current global financial system and its implications to society. Most actions that are taken by governments, banks and companies are superficial or even just populist window dressing and only aim to maintain a sick and weak system. Artificial stimulation of the consumption like consumer tickets or scrappage programs cannot be real solutions. Nobody should blame the politician for this insufficient attempts as they are just playing the card that the current system offers them. Fundamental change is not popular. Many people put hope into Obama and although he offers a promising way of dealing with things he also can just act in the arena of the current system. More than ever it is time to question the status quo and think about sustainable, but maybe radically different alternatives.

I came across different, inspiring sources, rediscovered old ones and tried to digest all that. The problem description in most of these sources is similar and simple: The monetary system is unsustainable, is based on fear and corruption, and makes people slaves to a virtual value (money). Although we are brain washed to think so – focusing on personal interest and competing with each other does not bring the best results for the whole society. As an example: If the pharmaceutical companies would fully share their knowledge worldwide an enormous amount of redundant research could be avoided and resources could be saved. Instead diseases are invented or journals are “sponsored” simply to maximize profit. The system does not only stimulate these kinds of crime it is also very unstable and frequently breaking (this is not the first crisis and a real collapse in realistic thread). One problem is that the increased automatisation leads to increased unemployment and resulting in less consumption. This again affects companies and states negatively. It is often forgotten that we are aiming for this since the industrial revolution – machines should replace human workforce so people can spend their time for higher activities instead of taking care for the basic needs.

FutureThe basic income that has some attention at least in Germany recently is based on that fact but still would maintain the monetary system. Although I like Tom Hodgkinson‘s proposal of just letting things go and live free and idle (basicially the essence of the LOVOS movements), I personally think we should additionally try to improve the whole society not only our situation and surrounding. Instead I prefer the vision of the Venus Project / Zeitgeist Movement. I admit that it sounds too far away in the beginning but please give it a chance. It basically says that we should use science and technology to generate an abundance of everything we need, apply the Scientific Method for decision making, program ourself to collaboration instead of competition and focus on sustainable, balanced solutions. If we do so we don’t need and won’t have governments, money, wars, etc. (the really bad stuff like advertisement, tax return, gadgets that break as soon as the guarantee period ends and unnecessary operations just as your doc needs a new golf bag). We would be a global community organized in sustainable, autarkic cities. “Yeah, nice science fiction” you might say. But please take a moment and think about all the technologies we have already today and the ones that are so close by if we would go for them with joined forces instead of wasting resources. I wish only a fraction of the money that was recently burned in supporting the broken financial system would have been invested in the development of such a system. There are projects around that show that parts of this vision are closer than we think – Masdar the sustainable, zero-waste, zero-carbon-emission city is an example. If you dive into the material of the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist movement you will find already very elaborated scenarios and plans how this world could look like. This is due to the fact that Jacque Fresco and his partner Roxanne Meadows are working on this project for over 30 years. But Jacque makes clear that this won’t be the final plan:

There in no such thing as Utopia. Why do people think I am Utopian? I don’t believe there is any final frontiers. I believe that human values will continue to grow, and we are not even civilized, yet. That’s an ongoing process, not something we arrived at. […] Don’t look to the future and say what if we arrive there? You’ll never arrive at an ideal society, the thing is keep changing and improving

Okay, so how can we start? Well, the question of this transition phase is not yet solved as it is I guess the hardest part of it. Maybe the current system has to collapse first, maybe not. The founder of the Zeitgeist movement, Peter Joseph, puts his hopes into the grass root movement and currently spreading the word has the highest priority. Hopefully in near future the ideas can be implemented stepwise starting with exemplary cities created by volunteers.

Are you still here? You don’t think this is complete non-sense? Okay, here are my obvious recommendations: feed you brain, get some time to think, join the discussion. I have selected some links and readings to start:

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