Within the dream, you believe its true. However crazy the dream may be, impossible physics, flying high above the ground, you don’t perceive that it is impossible. When awoken, we often wonder why the impossibilities were not obvious whilst in the dream. The human race is currently dreaming about our economics. When we finally wake, we shall see it for what it really is – impossibly clever nonsense, and of our own making. In fact, it is because we are very clever animals that we created it. From Nomads who had only what they carried, to agriculture and the inevitable money systems. Initially base on underlying values and rare base metals.
In time these money systems became divorced from practical values, with derivatives of money creating ever more complex system. Currently we have global currencies based on nothing more than a whim, being traded between themselves and many other traded derivatives. Thus we now have all human endeavour measured against an unknowable quantity. Throw in human nature (see The Human Contradiction) and we get an economic system that changes by the minute simply because of what we may think at some point in time and driven by the current fashion, leading to boom and bust again and again. These money systems and thus the economy as a whole, are truely chaotic in a mathematical sense. There is no chance whatsoever of controlling such a profoundly wild and improbably complex system. This we must understand, we must come out of the dream state.
And when we do, we shall have a different perspective on many things. Lets take for example the word ‘savings’ We know exactly what it means, don’t we? We put money aside for a rainy day or for our say future retirement. Yes we do. But awakened from the dream, we ask but what is it we are saving? Money we now know represents little and maybe nothing in the future, say in fifty years when I need to use it. So, should I save something else rather than money? But what can I save that is sure to maintain its value? Many commodities are transient (corn or perishables), some may not be worth anything (oil, metals) as the world may have moved on. Shares then, but which? And they will only be worthwhile if the company continues and grows. So a basket of shares, we save our savings based on the whole world economy - this is much more sensible as we are effectively investing in the world moving forward – but will it? Take the fact that currently a large part of our savings have been lent to Governments around the world – USA alone owes about $16 Trillion. So, in effect, a lot of our savings has already gone – it does not reflect any future worth. There maybe a small part that has been used as investment in our societies that will provide future efficiencies, but these are few and far between (unfortunately).
We live for an in the present. Very little is spent on long term investment. The stock markets require short term policies too. So, we live in a short term merry-go-round. Raising money to pay for today’s issues and not investing in core programmes for the future. This is absolutely key. Our politics/economics/money systems have hijacked our ability to think ahead. (see The Human Contradiction). And to make matters worse much of the wealth in the worlds largest companies is currently ending up with a few very rich. This hampers quality, long term, investment decisions for the society as a whole.
What else can we sensibly invest in? Land and property. This is going to be controversial – but in future, having stepped out of the dream, we shall see that we the individual should never have expect to own land. Or for that mater, water, air, the sea, or basic elements. In future, the ownership of such will be thought of as just as ridiculous as we now consider slavery, the owning a person. Slavery which was the bedrock of many societies that endured for many hundreds or even thousands of years. Suggest to a Roman Plebiscite that slavery was immoral and would be eventually banned, they would not have been able to imagine this outcome as to them it was just part of their economy and always had been and always would. Why is this certain? Imagine, in the not too distant future a world where everyone on the planet has no need to work and there is enough food, water and many lifestyle choices. The world’s resources will remain (more or less) finite. The few who own the land especially in the most sought after areas in the world will be ‘disenfranchised’ by the rest whom will see it as morally wrong and unsustainable. Everyone will want their fair share and nothing will prevent them from having it.
If you disagree with this outcome, consider how the human race moved from small Alpha-Male controlled groups through the egalitarian Nomadic stage, then through dictatorships and onto more democratic systems. Why did these cultural changes occur? Technology was the key, in the form of weapons. These made it impossible for the alpha male to keep sway in his group, spears have been found dating back 400,000 years. These would have made the lesser man an awkward challenge to the alpha male and he was replaced by a more egalitarian tribal system. But the new technology of agriculture and money changed the emphasis again by creating a means for the few to use money to rule all others, and they did so as tyrants for many thousands of years, subjugating others and creating armies of paid followers using the power derived from their purse strings.
So why did society become more democratic? Again it may have been due to technology in the form of guns that allowed the ordinary man to take revenge and put the lives of these ‘leaders’ at risk. So, the easy path was to offer more egalitarianism in the way of votes and systems of fairer governance. In this way societies have changed culturally and continue to do so. What is the power now of the internet and of world wide social networking? We have seen already some changes (Egypt, et al) where this seems to have been instrumental in starting the movement for change. The power of the masses, (Marx eat you heart out), can never be put back in the box. The masses from now on will have their say and culture will change again. (see World View & Capitalism vs Resourcism).
Change is inevitably on its way, maybe much closer than we wish to believe, with China and India between them (having 2.5 billion people) ‘demanding’ a future for their people in the finite world resources, it is difficult to imagine the current status-quo enduring. The west must step out of the dream – not to do so may turn it into a nightmare.
Once we awake from the dream - perhaps we can start organising things a bit differently? The trading done for its own sake help only a few, world-wide systems of reform are required for banking, all derivatives of money and commodities should be traded only within closely monitored structures and by companies, governments and other bodies who are part and parcel of the underlying commodity. Prices for key commodities should be fixed world-wide on a practical basis on the underlying physical resource. It's difficult to see how we could move to a world currency, but meanwhile there should be international support for all currencies - and this means massive cultural & political change across all societies.
This also paves the way for quality long term investment (power production, education, infrastructure) projects across the world, the only way to 'save' for our children's future prosperity, happiness and sustainability. Better this than the nightmare scenarios? Your move.