Friday, October 10, 2008

The Big Question

Thomas Paine's Corner

By Jayson R. Jones


Hello, All Boats here once again. Are we having fun yet? Don’t worry, things are going to get much more ‘interesting’ next year (unless the glue melts faster than I anticipate). No, I’m not going to write on the failure of the Credit Card Industry, nor about the Trillions in Debt, nor about the repayment of China, Japan and Saudi investment in T Bills that are coming due. No, you all are smart enough, educated enough, and aware enough to know all that.

I’m here today to ask a simple question. A question that should be uppermost in your mind as thinking people. A question that is largely going unasked. A pivotal question. What will we do next?

Remember the old adage that if you only have a hammer to work with, every problem becomes a nail? Revolution should consist of more than just replacing the names on the door, more than patching and ‘fixing’ a failed system, more than sprucing up the road we are traveling. George Santayana’s oft used (and oft miss-applied) statement that ‘Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’ (Life of Reason, vol 1, 1905). We can ‘remember’ the past through reading history, but are we learning form it?

A quick review is in order at this point. The concept of ‘money’ is only 8,000 years old. Capitalism is only (arguably) 268 years old. Vampire Capitalism (our current evolutionary form of the Capitalism) is less than 100 years old. Americans have tried three times to control Capitalism and utterly failed in the long term. All of you should be familiar (to one degree or another) with the situation we face now. This is the situation Capitalism has brought us to, and it will get worse next time if we do not do some Revolutionary thinking.

The discovery of radiation led to the making of the atomic bomb; then the proliferation of atomic bombs to other countries; and our current idiotic policies on who can and can not have them. The history of Capitalism shows it is even more detrimental to life as we know it than the atomic bomb. At least no one (except the U.S.) has actually used the atomic bomb. We have used Capitalism to enrich the few (2% in the U.S., less in other Industrialized Nations), and impoverish and enslave the rest. Not only that, Capitalism has destroyed much of the planet’s ecosystem, and almost eradicated our innate ability live and think cooperatively.

How much longer are we going to continue to allow 2 % of our population to siphon off X % of everything? How much longer are we going to allow the unfettered ravishing of this planet to enrich those at the very top? What are we, as the general population, gaining from this?

In 1776 Americans stood up to the East India Tea Company, and the investors who caused onerous laws to be passed protecting their investment. They revolted against their masters, and freed themselves from the tyranny of, what was effectively, Corporate Governance through the vehicle of the English parliament, and enforced by the English military. Today we have a multi-headed version of the East India Tea Company, a more subtle (yet more controlling) governance protecting their personal investments, and the threat of Military enforcement should things get out of hand. The fundamentals are all there, if you dare to look.

Do we revolt once again, and institute yet another failed version of Capitalism? Do we allow the already wealthy to abscond with the Jewels of the Kingdom once again? Ask yourself who should own and control the natural resources of this country (or any country). The truth today is that Corporate America owns or controls all of the natural resources in this country, with no benefit ‘trickling down’ to the majority of people. The illusion of prosperity some enjoy in this country is granted them by the Corporate Governing power through the artifice of “Credit”. Those few do not actually own anything, they pay a royalty each month to use what they have, and if they miss a payment they are out on the street with nothing to show for all their hard work and diligent playing of the game. Even those who actually own everything they have are but one illness, one law suit, one ‘Eminent Domain’ claim from losing it. What we have is merely an illusion as long as the game is being played; whether or not you are actually in the game.

I strongly suggest we take a look at this whole monetary concept and use our knowledge to judge its efficacy in the long term. I propose we no longer need (actually, we never needed) a monetary concept at all. Before our resources are wasted, before our innate cooperativeness is truly lost, we should stop this self-destructive game and institute a new way of looking at the world around us and our place in it. We have the resources (both natural and knowledge-based) to provide a better life for all people in this country, not just those who are good at the game. Why shouldn’t all the people benefit from the resources we have, not just those who ‘can afford it’?


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