April 22, 2019
A Letter to the World,
People all over are hurting. Our planet is ill. We the people have created this condition. We the people can rectify this status. Before we can fix it, we need first to understand what has caused it. Greed and human overpopulation are the root culprits. Unconstrained Capitalism is an enabler of greed. It is “an economic system based on private ownership of property and business, with the goal of making the greatest possible profits for the owners” – Cambridge Dictionary.
To make the greatest possible profit, owners seek the lowest cost to produce a product. To achieve the utmost Capitalistic success, self-interest must be King. In its purest form, a Capitalist society is one in which the market sets prices for the sole purpose of profits and any inefficiency or intervention that reduces profit making will be eliminated by the market. Ergo, least possible wages and benefits for workers, extraction and processing of natural resources in the most economical fashion without regard for ecological impacts, and a governance system that supports these practices. Virtually every nation, to varying degrees, has Capitalism woven into its economic and social fabric.
Overpopulation unintentionally occurs when there is a lack of understanding about the inherent limits of life supporting natural resources. According to available data, world population is approaching 8 billion and according to scientists, our planet’s natural resources can only support 2 billion. Perhaps with a society that respects and nurtures the planet versus one that endlessly extracts and pollutes it, a population somewhat higher than 2 billion could be sustained.
We are at a crossroads. We have choices to make. There are essentially two paths we can take; each leads to a different tomorrow. We can continue along the path we have been following. This will lead to heightened suffering by most of the planet’s inhabitants. We will experience escalating poverty as the ‘successful Capitalists’ take more and leave less. Our food and fresh water supplies will become scarcer and more toxic as we continue to pollute and continue to expand human population. Crimes of all varieties will increase as desperate living conditions affect greater numbers of society. Wars will be fought within nations as the desperate lose hope and are driven to challenge the establishment; wars will be fought between nations to acquire additional natural resources that have been depleted within their own and to support the endless pursuit of profit growth and the addiction to power. Humans will eventually become extinct. This will occur more slowly through the continued destruction of the planet’s resources or more quickly through nuclear conflict. The potential for nuclear conflict has advanced substantially now that nations have developed and stockpiled tactical nuclear weapons and believe because they are more agile, mobile, precise, and less potent individually they can be used without complete risk of global obliteration.
Or, we can choose a different path. This path offers a middle ground between the human behaviors of extreme selflessness and extreme selfishness. It advocates and supports the provision of enough for all and the opportunity for many to have more than enough without creating a class of the poor or an excessively powerful class of the rich. It does not determine the worth of life on the basis of its monetary balance sheet; it acknowledges life as embodying natural inherent value and that each life, when provided with the opportunity to flourish, will contribute in its own unique way to the whole of life. This is a system of living that does not seek to dominate and control others but provides vision and guidance to enable and encourage self-actualization and mutually beneficial collaboration. It provides mechanisms that empower the direct participation of everyone in the determination and evolution of the structure and content of their own governance from an informed position. It retains the beneficial economic aspects of Capitalism – the right to private ownership of what we create and the opportunity to generate individual wealth – while curbing the Capitalistic rewards for greed and corruption. It also incorporates some necessary Socialistic components such as an equitable social safety net and public ownership of select institutions that are managed by non-governmental people with the appropriate expertise to operate them successfully for the benefit of all citizens. And, it places supreme value on the health and happiness of the planet and its people. This is not a utopian path as perfection does not exist; however, it is a path to a far better life for everyone than the path that we currently traverse allows.
If you employ a machine with a misaligned gear, it will not function properly. If you use water to start a fire, you will not produce a flame. If your destination is a western beach but you walk in an easterly direction, you will not realize your goal. If we want enduring health and happiness, we must align our values, principals, behaviors, tools, and systems toward that outcome.
What follows is a framework draft that is integrated, is interdependent, and is holistic in its scope. In other words, it is based on the principals of nature itself. This framework is an assemblage of works from many minds, disciplines, geographical locations, and time periods. It is a framework that has the potential to enable our planet and its people the realization of enduring health and happiness – a favorable future.
You will notice when you review this framework draft that it lacks some details. This is intentional as it needs to be fleshed out with additional expert input from relevant fields and general input by the public. It does however supply enough depth that the concept and connections should be clear – enabling you to see how it functions and discern why it functions in the manner it does. Included in this framework are proposed methods of transition from the current system which are intended to enable the transitional process to be reasonably smooth and benign.
Note that this framework does not offer a quick fix; however, it should not require decades to experience many of its positive effects. Our present social and economic systems are deeply rooted. To affect change will require enormous effort, commitment, fortitude, and patience. To be successful it will need the endorsement, participation, and cooperation of a large and diverse swath of the population both within and across nations. The one thing to keep in mind – it’s doable.
This is Part 1 in a series. The framework will be published segment by segment beginning with the foundational components and culminating with the finished structure. All who wish to participate are welcomed.