What is happening in the World?
There are various crises, economic crises that is. But these crises are all based on the fact & caused by the fact that affairs of the World are not run on a rational basis. Most of the World is in love with capitalism. Capitalism brings greater prosperity & on the whole brings more freedom civil liberties. People all the place, all over the World were peacefully living their lives, trying to make ends meet, as goes the expression. But the downside is that materialism in the short term is the only advantage of capitalism, especially the rampant capitalism.
On the whole, capitalism takes no notice of the environmental cost of economic growth. The fact that some people are making money is considered to be justification enough for the system (capitalism) In America it seems to be known as the free enterprise system & is considered sacrosanct, sacred even. Americans get into such a 2&8 at the very sound of the word socialism. But they also get into a great state when one of the masters of the system commits fraud. The system itself, at least the American system, is totally unfair inasmuch it leaves the majority of the population either in poverty, working at practically slave labour wages or in prison – 10.5 million of its 200m citizens are in prison. In Europe, the cradle of civilisation, we consider capitalism to be a necessary evil & embrace it with a long spoon. Capitalism in Europe is mitigated with large doses of what can be called Christian socialism. All this talk in America about the debt & the balancing the books etc etc. In the end nothing is going to change. The rich will get richer & the poor poorer. America will continue to do very little about its CO2 emissions, will get warmer & more & more natural catastrophes will occur, mainly in America but also around the World.
The IMF president Christine Legard was talking on the radio. It could have been anyone. I do not doubt for one moment that she is a decent, intelligent & honourable person. But she trotted all the old clichés about toxic economics & the America defaulting on its debts having an effect on the rest of the World. This is what America wants us to believe. They want us to believe that the Universe revolves around them. Poverty in Africa is caused by drought which is getting worse because of climate change. In that it is true that America does effect the rest of the World because climate change is mainly caused by American CO2 emissions. In the matter of economics it may also true but I really don’t think that it is certain that it does. My opinion is that capitalism is so unpredictable that in fact nobody, not Marx, not Alan Greenspan understands it.
Take Greece. We have all been heaping opprobrium upon the Greeks for being lazy & for not paying tax. I think even the Chinese would be lazy in the hot climate that Greece enjoys (?) In the next few decades, it is going to be impossible to live in Greece. It will be too hot. Greece is in the EU. What would happen if all the Greeks left the country & went to live in other EU countries? What would be the position then?
What is happening in the World is that capitalism is in crisis & the World is taking it out on the system. Margaret Thatcher said there is no alternative. This is how we seem to be approaching economics. Capitalist economics make no sense to me. The ideal would be to have no large corporations. Companies, such as News Corp, would not be permitted to grow to that size, neither would Tesco nor would Chevron etc. There would much stricter controls on the running of the system which would both prevent the poor getting poorer & limit CO2 emissions.
There is too much glorification of war & violence in the world. Instead of teaching children to fight & to use weapons etc we should Buddhas in public buildings & public squares. We should take down statues of military figures & replace them with Buddhas & statues of peacemakers & people who done much to alleviate poverty. There is too much talk of jobs. Jobs can be anything. Many jobs remind me of how in the days of national service, the men had to dig holes & then fill them in. For example selling advertising space, produces nothing & the aim is to persuade people to part with their money for nothing. Nobody should be paid for playing sport. It was thought to be an advance when people, almost entirely men, in the Soviet system were permitted to be paid much money for playing sport. When socialism collapsed, the baby was thrown out with the bathwater.
In Thailand at one time, it may be the same now but somehow I don’t think so, young men were expected to spend 2 years as a monk in a Buddhist monastery. This could be a model for the future. But it isn’t the only one that could be considered. Any system which contributes to the general good with destroying the planet & many of the species therein would be better than the present system.