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Money, however, is not a force of nature. It is a concept, an idea, a figment of the human imagination. And it is real only to the extent that we allow it to rule our lives and our relationships with one another.
Money, which has been around at least as long as recorded history, is most commonly and simply defined as a “medium of exchange.” And its utility is often illustrated by such examples as the ease with which it permits a shoemaker to exchange his labor for bread without having to search for a baker in need of shoes. On this simplistic level, the concept of money undoubtedly did serve some useful purpose in times past.
Today, however, money serves a far different and insidious purpose ...
You say you want a revolution.
Well, you know, we all want to change the world.
You say you got a real solution.
Well, you know, we'd all love to see the plan.
The plan. That's what was missing then and what is still missing today. Where is the plan? How precisely do we go about changing the world? What does changing the world actually mean? And what’s love got to do with it?
If I had to reduce my life’s philosophy to a single word, it would be, Yes! With an exclam. And if I were asked to describe with one word the emotional expression of that philosophy, that word would be, Love! Also with an exclam.
So I’m sticking with the Beatles announcement that love is all we need, because it is the emotional expression of the only social philosophy that can truly change the world.
But if love is the answer, and if we all have had the pleasure of expressing it and the joy of receiving it, why have we not universally adopted it as our zeitgeist? I’m going with the Beatles on that issue as well. We have not adopted it as the solution because we can’t imagine how it would work in the real world. There’s no plan.So in the absence of such a plan, and in response to the Beatles request, I am here to offer one for your consideration. It's called the Whole Earth Design Project, inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller, the futurist whose many designs and inventions included the geodesic dome and who early on recognized that we are all passengers and crew members alike aboard Spaceship Earth.
You have certainly heard about the financial crisis. But let’s review: The cracks in the system began to appear in 2007, right about the time the stock market reached an all-time high in October of that year. By September of 2008, less than a year later, the world financial system was on the brink of total collapse and the entire international financial community was in a panic. Six months later, four years ago, the stock market tanked, losing more than half its value. Since then, as if by magic, the stock market has fully recovered and is now breaking records daily.
What are we to make of this remarkable recovery? It’s a teachable moment that confirms Scott Fitzgerald’s observation: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” How different? Let us count the ways. ...
Why? Here are two excellent reasons:
Because we must.
And because we can.
Why must we? Because the present arrangement is not sustainable. If we don’t come up with a Plan B, the situation will continue to deteriorate, and eventually, sooner than you expect, it will have a dire effect on you personally, if it has not already done so. It has already done so on the planet itself. And if not reversed, think apocalypse ...
The ultimate objective of this project is to design an ecologically and environmentally sustainable economic system that will provide every individual on the planet with all of life's essentials, and to do so in a way so convincingly that it will lead to its universal adoption. The plan is to pursue this objective in the following four stages:
STAGE I: ESTABLISH THE PROJECT'S FEASIBILITY. Here's how: ...
"This book is not a novel. Nor is it nonfiction. In the literary world, it might be described as 'a practical utopia.' I call it a fictional vision that could become a new reality. Some known and not-well-known people appear in fictional roles. I invite your imaginative engagement." - Only the super-rich can save us! - by Ralph Nader, Author's Note
Ralph and I are both visionaries but with different approaches to the challenge of turning our visions into reality. Thus far, both of us have failed. We both have an idea of how to change and improve the world but our visions depend on the involvement of other people. We can't do it ourselves. Ralph (I use his first name, not out of any disrespect, but because I'm three years his senior) set out his vision in a 500-page book called Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us Now! I did it in a 70-page book called The Coming Global Coalescence. ...
Whenever I'm in a bookstore and I spot a book with a title that sparks my curiosity, I have found it most useful to turn to the end of the book and read the last few paragraphs when the author wraps up the whole story and lays it in your lap for you to ponder. In that spirit, here are the final paragraphs of each of the remaining articles in the Capitalism in Crisis series ...
Inasmuch as the global financial system is dependent upon the universal acceptance of the concept of money and the rules by which it is utilized to control the real economy, it is more than passing strange that the preeminent global financial newspaper, the Financial Times, would run a series of articles under the title CAPITALISM IN CRISIS. Note the missing question mark. In other words, the series will not be about whether capitalism is in crisis: CAPITALISM IN CRISIS? No, it will be about the fact of capitalism's crisis.
The practice of capitalism -- or more properly, moneyism -- requires that the practitioners have confidence that they understand how capitalism works and that it will keep functioning reliably and predictably. Therefore, if the FT was willing to acknowledge that capitalism is in a crisis, despite the danger that doing so could erode that confidence, one must assume that the objective of the series was to examine the crisis, explain it, and offer a cure, thereby bolstering confidence ...
What are we to make of the news that South Carolinians have overwhelmingly chosen Newt Gingrich to become the Republican nominee to run for the highest office in the land? Why have they picked him from among the four seriously flawed candidates still standing following earlier contests in Iowa and New Hampshire? It is revealing that, when a CNN reporter interviewed a roomful of voters who were originally undecided, many favored Gingrich after viewing his performance at the most recent debate which persuaded them that "he could win the election." And what was it about his performance that persuaded them? ...
This week we got a hint of that potential. When the Internet community finally understood the threat to its freedom embodied in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) making its way through the House of Representatives and a similar Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) under consideration in the Senate, the speed and the strength of the reaction was breathtaking ...
"When the powerful world of old media mobilized to win passage of an online antipiracy bill, it marshaled the reliable giants of K Street - the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Recording Industry Association of America and, of course, the motion picture lobby, with its new chairman, former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and an insider's insider. Yet on Wednesday this formidable old guard was forced to make way for the new as Web powerhouses backed by Internet activists rallied opposition to the legislation through Internet blackouts and cascading criticism, sending an unmistakable message to lawmakers grappling with new media issues: Don't mess with the Internet." -- New York Times, Jan. 19, front page.
If one needed any further evidence that it has become dangerous to try to "mess with the Internet," it was revealed during the final debate of the four remaining candidates vying for the nomination of the Republican party in the coming election for president ...