What kind of economy would emerge if we conducted our financial processes with truth, trust, and mutual support?
One that is fair and just to ALL
Capitalism and Socialism: “Same shit, different way”
Or diplomatically speaking: the same tortilla, but of different processing and quality (imagine the toxic and low nutrient dense Maseca tortilla). If capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, what is socialism? The very opposite?
Both of them – and any other system – would be able to work if they were not based on exploitation and authoritarianism that prevent us from having a functional system with the same rules of the game for everyone, designed for everyone to win, without any losing party. Cooperation over competition would be the norm.
The Noble Peace Tribe considers that the current system is far from being able to accomplish this. In fact, it thrives on the complete opposite while it depends on dismantling the life support systems of planet Earth.
So what should take its place? It seems to me that the founding principle of any just system is that those who are not yet alive will, when they are born, have the same rights as those who are alive today. At first sight, this doesn’t seem to change anything: the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. But this statement is almost meaningless, because there is nothing in the declaration insisting that one generation cannot steal from the next. The missing article might look like this: “Every generation shall have an equal right to the enjoyment of natural wealth.”
This principle is hard to dispute, but it seems to change everything. Immediately, it tells us that no renewable resource should be used beyond its rate of replenishment. No non-renewable resource should be used that cannot be fully recycled and reused. This leads inexorably to towards two major shifts: a circular economy from which materials are never lost; and the end of fossil fuel combustion.
But what of the Earth itself? In this densely populated world, all land ownership necessarily precludes ownership by others. Article 17 of the Universal Declaration is self-contradictory. It says, “Everyone has the right to own property.” But because it places no limit on the amount one person can possess, it ensures that everyone does not have this right. I would change it to this: “Everyone has the right to use property without infringing the rights of others to use property.” The implication is that everyone born today would acquire an equal right of use, or would need to be compensated for their exclusion. One way of implementing this is through major land taxes, paid into a sovereign wealth fund. It would alter and restrict the concept of ownership, and ensure that economies tended towards distribution, rather than concentration.
These simple suggestions raise a thousand questions. I don’t have all the answers. But such issues should be the subject of lively conversations everywhere.
Preventing environmental breakdown and systemic collapse means challenging our deepest and least-examined beliefs.Capitalism is destroying the Earth.
We need a new human right for future generations
George Monbiot, a Guardian columnist