EndGeo

The End of Geopolitics?

The new Great Game

In the global arena, analysts meticulously dissect the escalating tensions between the Western sphere, helmed by the United States, and an emergent coalition of Eurasian powers led by the People’s Republic of China. This struggle encompasses not just access to raw materials and market dominance but also the quest for paramount prestige and influence among global powers.

Diverse viewpoints prevail among analysts, ranging from the belief in an imminent collapse of China and Russia with the United States emerging as the unrivaled 21st-century powerhouse, to the forecast of a multipolar world where China and India ascend as dominant forces. However, these discussions overlook a looming, all-encompassing reality—the impending spectre of global ecological collapse.

While the debate rages on GDP, military prowess, and the expansiveness of competing trade networks, the impending collapse of ecosystems remains relegated to the sidelines. This oversight pushes our world ever closer to the brink of environmental catastrophe.

A convergence of crises

Consider the alarming statistics—nearly a third of the world’s freshwater reservoirs and soils lie ravaged, while our relentless reliance on fossil-fuel-based fertilizers continues to exacerbate the perils of climate change. Even a concerted effort to curtail emissions will fail to halt the climate crisis due to the cumulative effects of past environmental neglect.

The ramifications of these actions are dire, foretelling the transformation of regions into inhospitable landscapes due to soaring temperatures. The response to such environmental upheaval necessitates drastic adaptations, such as the creation of enclosed cities, mass migrations, or the dire descent into destitution for those incapable of adapting.

Take, for instance, the Middle East—a region perpetually embroiled in conflict. Yet, the discourse around its geopolitical complexities might soon wane as soaring temperatures render vast swathes of it uninhabitable.

The most pressing challenge looms over Asia, where the impending disappearance of Himalayan glaciers threatens the very lifelines of billions dependent on rivers like the Ganges and the Yangtze.

Even Europe isn’t exempt from these impending cataclysms. Southern countries could potentially transform into arid deserts, necessitating widespread migration and a radical reshaping of their agricultural landscapes. Paradoxically, northern Europe might experience more severe winters due to the shifting climatic currents.

A projected global temperature rise of two to three degrees Celsius is set to exponentially escalate the cost of maintaining civilization, leading to reduced disposable incomes and constrained economies. The pursuit of global dominance amidst this crisis becomes an economically prohibitive endeavor.

As conflicts intensify over dwindling resources, the global landscape might witness a trend toward autarky or the creation of heightened class disparities, further marginalizing vulnerable populations. Yet, vying for global hegemony amid such existential crises would amount to a fool’s errand.

Survival in the face of these challenges demands a shift in approach—toward conservation, self-sufficiency, and the widespread equipping of populations with indispensable survival skills. The foreseeable future portends economic stagnation, possibly mirroring historic collapses if political and social systems fail to adapt to the looming cataclysms.

Another way is there

Ideally, transcending this crisis necessitates a paradigm shift—a leadership that prioritizes life over unbridled growth, human welfare over rampant consumerism, and equitable access to life’s necessities for all. Yet, such a profound alteration in trajectory mandates leaders and ideologies radically different from our current trajectory. We would need a shift towards fulfilling the Three Criteria – a global ecological budget ceiling, a shift to a fully circular economy and a global income floor for the Earth’s poor.

Ultimately, the fixation on the US-China power struggle proves futile when juxtaposed against the impending convergence of crises. It mirrors the futility of ancient empires squabbling in the lead-up to the Bronze Age collapse.

BeingConcise

Being concise about the climate issue

Introduction

Recently in my country of Sweden, a conservative news columnist has come under fire for suggesting that media reports about a record hot summer were alarmist in nature, and thus she is accused of being a climate change denier, and calls have been raised on the platform previously known as Twitter to de-platform her.

Her defenders on the other hand claim that she is not denying climate change, but offering a critique against the habit of connecting future potential heatwaves as well as weather phenomena with climate change.

What this public spat points out is that the messaging about climate change is prone to misunderstandings, and to a contentious public debate which sows confusion and depolarization.

We live in a time of ecological crisis, in terms of climate change, soil erosion, freshwater depletion and ecosystems deterioration. Each of these crises represents an existential crisis against not only industrial civilization but also for higher lifeforms on our planet. This is not the first global ecological crisis which our species have faced – but it is unique in two regards. This time we are 1) aware of the looming crisis and 2) are largely the cause of the crisis, due to our collective over-exploitation of our biosphere.

In the same time, for various reasons, it is a culturally, economically and politically difficult, nearly insurmountable task for our species to muster a comprehensive and effective strategy to stop damaging the ecosystems which we depend on for our sustenance.

It could be argued that one of the factors which prevent the effective dissemination of the gravity of the situation is information overload. A typical citizen today is bombarded with information, news, outrage, enticement, distractions and fear for all their free time. Attention is divided, and the ability to discern relevant information from trash is diminishing among the generations who are growing up with social media.

Ideally, there would need to be a cultural revolution to reduce the amount of information stasis constantly bombarding a stressed out, anxiety-ridden populace, but in the mean-time, maybe the strategy to disseminate information about climate change could be revised?

Clearing the table – instituting severity levels

Man-made climate change – i.e. how the emissions of fossil-based greenhouse gasses reduce the amount of heat evaporating from the Earth by thickening the Earth’s atmosphere – is a complex issue which affects everything on the planet. It is an elaborate, complex puzzle with tens of thousands of pieces, and scientific institutions do not yet fully grasp its implications.

I would argue that if the media would be sincerely interested in helping to provide the public with a clearer understanding of climate change, its effects would need to be divided into several levels.

These levels would be roughly constituted along the line of the potential severity of the short-, medium- and long-term effects. I will provide one example here below.

  1. Level One (Yellow): Effects which are localized, disturb local economies, increases the likelihood for extreme weather, forest fires, reduce tourism income or lead to higher demand for cooling.
  2. Level Two (Orange): Slow-moving long-term changes which will demand social intervention on a centralized, large scale, for example sea level rise and changes in agricultural productivity.
  3. Level Three (Red): Very severe effects which will not only disrupt human civilization but also permanently affect the living conditions regionally or globally, and threaten to cause civilizational collapse. Examples are the melting glaciers of the Himalayas, the weakening of the AMOC (of which the Gulf Stream is a part) and the greening of the equatorial seas, which threatens plankton reproduction and thence the global reproduction of Oxygen (arguably the greatest threat of climate change).

Ideally, I would argue that the third severity level needs to be emphasized in the public messaging about climate change.

As it looks now, it seems like most of the public associates climate change with two factors – the first one being that the temperatures generally will become warmer and the second that the seas will rise due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. It would not be surprising if most of the public primarily associated climate change with the risk of increased flooding. This causes several problems with communication, as it opens up the opportunity for climate change denialists to (correctly) point out that the raising of the sea levels is a slow process, that it is expected to take millennia for the Greenland ice sheet to collapse, that rising GDP levels (since they ignore all other factors) will make it possible for countries to invest in sea walls, and that even a poor country like Bangladesh is investing heavily in sea walls and have even regained some land during the last two decades.

The focus on sea level rise is understandable – the public interest is awoken both by the fact that most of our species are living on lowlands and at coasts, and by the Flood myths inherited from ancient civilizations. But it is not a good thing when the public cares for climate change on behalf of an issue which is understood in a flawed and dare I say alarmist manner.

That 75% of the Himalayan glaciers may be gone by the year 2100 (ICIMOD, 2023) is a much more serious threat against the well-being of the peoples of Bangladesh (and India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, China…) as it would represent a collapse of food production, ecosystems, soil and fresh-water reservoirs, and threaten the stability of the entire Eurasian landmass.

Likewise, the weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) due to the warming of the arctic seas could very well cool northern Europe to temperatures which move towards Siberian and Alaskan levels – which would probably be great for winter sports but disastrous for agriculture and heating. This would also represent a permanent and unalterable facet of climate change, which is more difficult to adapt against than building sea walls on the Danish islands.

This is another reason for being cautious on reporting about for example the end of winter mountain sports in Scandinavia, as climate change as a phenomenon is so complex that it affects other systems – like sea currents – which in their turn can affect the outcome in a different but even more undesirable outcome.

When newspapers, governments and green organisations speak about climate change, we should do it in terms of focusing on the threats which are existential in nature. Plankton and seaweed produces around 50% of the Oxygen on the planet. If the phytoplankton living near the arctic waters are threatened by extinction, it can cause a reduction of oxygen regeneration which can threaten animal life globally. This could herald a mass extinction event which will affect us.

Summary

Of course, the certainty of these cataclysms could be put into question – but what we need to act upon is not the chance that they won’t occur or that the trends would be reversed, but that these events may occur. If we would have reasoned around aerosols as the climate denialists or minimizers are doing with the climate, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina would probably have enormous amounts of skin cancer occurrences today, and would have had to adapting into becoming the first ever nocturnal human societies.

Even without climate change, there is a need to transition to a zero-fossil society before the lack of economically accessible oil does that for us, and builds us into an economic high energy trap. The economic forces which want to keep the perception of the viability of fossil energy are reactionary beyond the level of self-destructiveness, and the economic sustainability of oil must be more vigorously questioned. Not the least, there must be a demand for and a public debate about the banning of the prospecting of new oil fields.

But before that, we need a better debate about climate change.

And the debate we need may need to be more concise and focus on the most serious implications of climate change – especially regarding its effects on glaciers, ocean currents and long-term habitability. There are other severe issues which I probably for brevity’s sake have disregarded in this article, but the point is not what severe problems we are discussing, but that we must primarily highlight them, rather than bringing in everything from the problem of urban heatwaves to the increasing insurance costs of coastal habitation to the end of winter resorts in Scandinavia.

Though all of these issues may be true, the problem of including too many issues in the question of the seriousness of climate change are manifold.

  • The public will be cognitively flooded with climate change to the point of nausea.
  • Pointing out severe and mundane effects in the same setting will blunt the emotional and psychological impacts of understanding the severe effects.
  • The more points will be taken up in the same articles, videos and information briefs, the greater the likelihood that misconceptions could arise and that our opponents could utilize these misconceptions to win tactical victories.

In short, what we need to do is to design the messaging with climate change in a manner which can focus the attention of the public on the need for radical reform, and to achieve that we need to focus on a few core issues (ideally fewer than five) and then repeat them constantly. These issues must be scientifically validated, and must be focused on what constitutes an existential threat with climate change.

The opposition to climate change reform is consisting of probably the most confused political forces in human history, who actively are working to create a political situation which will bring forth the opposite they claim to support (which generally is a free-market capitalist society, while opposition to climate change reforms must bring forth ever more statist and regulatory economics in the future to help correct the course).

What the Earth Organization for Sustainability is doing

Right now, we are in the early process of developing a single player computer game which would simultaneously serve as a simulator showcasing the effects of climate change, and as a strategy game where the player themselves can interact with and initiate policies intended to mend climate change through reforms, technological innovations, cultural changes or other means.

The name of the game is Climatopia, and we hope it will help increase the understanding of this topic.

If you want to help, you can contact us on [email protected] or support us through our Patreon (or Swish number if you live in Sweden).

Reset[1]

Covid-19: the Great Reset – A review

Introduction

“Build Back Better”.

The term has recently been in vogue, and used by governments in the English-speaking world and Continental Europe to define a progressive reform approach following the Pandemic. What the term vaguely means is that the recovery offers opportunities to create a new and superior type of system.

That a disparate cluster of Western governments have chosen the same term is associated with the term “the Great Reset” which is being championed by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which holds an annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, and is sponsoring a “Young Global Leader programme” which includes political leaders at different levels from various countries – from heads of state like Sanna Marin, to legislators like Ida Auken – the latter infamous for an article she wrote for the WEF website, which was called “Welcome To 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never been better”.

For the Anti-Globalization/Nationalist Right, this new trend of Post-Covid material produced by the WEF was declared as evidence for a sinister “globalist plot” of sorts, which either would utilize the pandemic for its own end, or outright had manufactured the virus and the pandemic/pandemic responses in order to transition Western society away from capitalism and towards some form of totalitarianism.

As a representative of an organisation which actually envisions a post-monetary/post-capitalistic future, I took a passing interest in these claims – though the only sources about the Great Reset and the term “Build Back Better” either were short articles were the terms were mentioned in passing (i.e – “The temporary pandemic subsidies could be utilized as a template for our governments Build Back Better programme”, or “The Vaccine Passports together with Digitalization can become a model for how identification of citizens is conducted in the future.”), articles about WEF itself which were of medium-length and descriptive of the trends of the future, or – in the majority of the cases – more or less hysterical texts which drew maximalist conclusions about tech-dystopias run by “psychopathic communist mega-corporations”.

Comparing the writings of the proponents of “the Great Reset” with those of their detractors, a casual reader becomes none the wiser – since the descriptions vary so much in scope. While the proponents talk in optimistic terms about turning the page and installing new and more robust healthcare systems, the detractors talk about RFID chips and mass sterilizations.

The question is where one could find serious and balanced critique. In the old days, back in the early days of this century, proponents and detractors of various concepts would vehemently disagree about the desirability of political and economic goals, but their view on what those goals were would usually converge. During the heydays of ATTAC, the World Social Forum of Sao Paolo and the leftist Alt-Globalization movement, progressive critics’ generally offered critiques of the WEF programmes based upon their textual content, while the current generation of critics (who mostly are rightists of the nationalist variety) focus on single statements or articles, like that of the aforementioned one by Auken.

This is not conductive for a debate, and it is not inviting for the public to partake in these discussions.

Therefore, because I simply wanted to know better, I purchased and read Mr. Schwab’s book – Covid 19: The Great Reset.

Now I have read it, and this article is an attempt not primarily at critiquing the book, but to describe its contents, and hopefully be of some help to those who wish to better know what it is about.

Summary by points 

  • The book is divided into two segments, focusing on a macro reset for the international community, supranational institutions and nation-states, and a micro reset for corporations and individuals. For this article, I opted to focus on the macro reset.
  • Rather than offering prescriptions for a brave new world of tomorrow, the book offers broad descriptions of the society that the author(s) believe is emerging and of which the onset of the pandemic has spread.
  • The political preferences of the authors could be vaguely discerned from the focus of the analyses, as well as the probably unintentional usage of hyperboles – especially at the beginning of the text. Also, in one particular case, the lack of a counter-narrative could discern a certain – guilty or reluctant – advocacy of a political position that deserves more critique and illumination.
  • However, the descriptive nature of the text makes it difficult to ascertain what descriptive analyses are in reality prescriptive recommendations.
  • The book cannot be seen as a definite statement about the political preferences of the WEF – for a deeper understanding it would probably necessitate further studies of WEF materials, for example choices of lecturers, themes and workshops during their broadcasted seminars (of which they generously have provided a plentitude of on Youtube).
  • While the claim that the WEF controls the Western World cannot conceivably be called a serious analysis, there is a serious critique to be made against a society which allows well-connected think tanks to have an outsized influence over the democratic processes.

Covid-19: The Great Reset

The book starts with a hyperbole – namely that the recent Pandemic has “plunged the world into a challenge we have not experienced in generations”, that it means an unprecedented challenge for governments, businesses and individuals to adapt – that many will fall but “a few will thrive”.

A quick remark about this postulate is that even the West – which arguably has had the best conditions for the Post-1945 era – has undergone many crises during the preceding decades (the 1973 and 1979 oil embargos, stagflation, the 2008-2010 financial crisis). What made the Covid Pandemic unique was the actions undertaken to combat it – namely lockdowns, vaccine passports and measures of control which in some countries made the economy contract by 20-30%.

It should also be noted that Sweden, which went against the current and instituted were minimal restrictions, during the course of the pandemic did neither do worse or better than the general mortality projection of countries.

The outline of the argument proposed by the book is “to never let a good crisis go to waste” and that governments and other decision-making entities should take the opportunity to for example institute badly needed ecological, financial and political reforms. These are of course well overdue, though it can be argued that the current configuration of global resource usage cannot be solved within the current incarnation of the market system.

However, the book then outlines as its mission to describe trends which we can see emerge.

The Green New Deal

The book outlines that the Pandemic has strengthened trends towards the automation of the service industry, and is mentioning basic income and strengthened focus on healthcare and a comprehensive welfare system at the expense of a focus on economic growth. It does also state that Japan’s model – often derided as stagnant and inefficient – has seen a growth in wealth if we account for the population decline.

These statements are outlined as a description of the trends we will see in the future, and they represent trends which are desirable – at least if you have a low to medium income, is disabled, have small children or other issues which may increase the stress levels on your life.

Schwab and Malleret do not see or describe any trends in the opposite direction. For example, it could be postulated that the rise of crypto-currencies would sap the state coffers from needed tax revenue, and it can also be drawn from experience of the stagflation of the 1970’s and the financial crisis of 2008 that economic hardships which threaten the viability of the monetary stability and financial systems are often counter-measured with infusions of capital into banks and other financial institutions. These measures would often lead to the growth of deficits – and traditionally these have been paid by cuts to the welfare systems – so called austerity policies.

While the EOS agrees with the WEF that there needs to be greater focus on accessibility to resources for all human beings (see the third criterion), there is yet to be seen whether the current monetary and financial system is capable of reintroducing the social democratic model. Canada, which has a government with many Young Leaders, have recently made strides in that direction.

The question is what intent can be derived from the book. The description of what policies states may indulge in seems to line up well with what the WEF prescribes. However, this could well cause confusion when the WEF describes other trends – which are far more controversial. It remains unclear whether or not the book is endorsing or describing these policies – and if the answer is the latter it is unclear why the book has not described trends in the opposite direction.

Supranational institutions

One of the chief characteristics of international development since the 1980’s has been the gradual increase in the number of supranational institutions, as well as their growing clout and power at the expense of national governments. To a large degree, this transition has coincided with the advent of Neoliberalism and the growth of Information technology, which to a large degree has affected the policies of these structures.

The EU is the most far-reaching example – to a large but unclear degree, it has deprived the states which are members of the Eurozone of their ability to conduct monetary policies, and also of a large amount of their ability to conduct financial policy. While this can provide scope benefits for trade and growth within the current system, it also deprives the citizenry of a large degree of economic and social political power. In an article written back in 2016, I theorised that this deprivation of political power towards treaties like NAFTA or institutions like the EU is one of the main reasons for the growth of right-wing populism.

The WEF has since its increasing visibility been associated with this trend of moving political authority from democratically mandated nation-states to goal-mandated supranational bodies.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Covid-19: The Great Reset is focusing a lot on health, and especially how the WHO and other international bodies and private institutions have helped countries dealing with the supply crisis at the beginning of the Pandemic, and that the authors state that a lot could be learned from this in terms of health coordination and the introduction of health as a focus point for international travel.

There are undoubtedly a few benefits of that kind of standardization, but it is a precarious trend to transfer health policies from the state – not because the state necessarily is a superior provider (which isn’t the case with a lot of developing nations), but because the state, despite everything, has a mandate which can be affected by the decision of its constituents, whereas international institutions only have responsibilities towards their mission statements (which may be affected by numerous nation-states, where the conflicting wills of numerous peoples are diluted down to compromises which will leave most citizens with a feeling of alienation and may not even be ideal to the varying situations on the ground).

Yet again, it is unclear whether the book endorses this development or merely describes it. It should also be noted (and it is actually mentioned by the text in passing) that the crisis caused by the Pandemic also saw countries becoming more protectionist in terms of guaranteeing access to medical equipment and vaccines, at the expense of poorer countries. While the WEF are correct in their assessment that pathogens do not care for international travel, their emphasis on supranational solutions risk causing more deprivations in democratic accountability.

New avenues for surveillance

On page 166, Covid-19 (the book) describes that the pandemic will most likely lead to a demand for more surveillance and monitoring for health reasons, and that new technologies are already in the making which will make it possible for institutions such as governments and corporations to for example measure the blood pressure and heart-rate of every citizen in real-time, which together with geo-location can help authorities map an image of the feelings, thoughts and aspiration of the individual citizen. The book itself states that it could become the basis for a totalitarian society, explains the mechanisms for its arising and the technologies needed for it to occur, but does not describe any type of resistance or counter-trends (like for example more advanced VPN or cloaking technologies, or the advent of parallel economies, based on Crypto or RBE principles). Rather, the type of resistance described is formatted in passive terms, with “individuals feeling that the system is oppressive, but choosing to try to keep their personal dignity.”

While the authors seem to lament the loss of personal or communitarian freedom replaced by a techno-managerial system, they seem unable or unwilling to imagine any type of conceivable, realistic alternative to this dystopia.

In summary

Critics of Schwab, the WEF and the book seem often to believe that the main purpose of the WEF is to institute a techno-totalitarian future – which often is envisioned as an extreme version of the type of cancel culture and banning waves which often affected right-centrists and right-wingers during the waning years of the Trump Presidency and the Pandemic, and that this is the hidden, nefarious purpose of their every action. To a large extent, Schwab seems to increasingly replace George Soros as a Blofeld-esque bogeyman in this mythology.

Supporters of the WEF views the book as a well-intentioned call for a more compassionate, fair and equitable system.

Most people (who aren’t a part of the Young Global Leaders or those 0,0001% of the global population which is ostensibly following the WEF, which as of this moment has 717 subscribers on its main Youtube channel) seem to not know so very much about it and some would even believe that the terms have been created by conspiracy theorists.

What then, is the Great Reset?

The book is not that very helpful in that regard, though it briefly touches upon multiple subjects, all from Green Energy to social policies and international cooperation. If we look at the introduction video with the same title for the Davos Agenda of 2021, it is described in this manner:

“The pandemic has radically changed the world as we know it, and the actions we take today, as we work to recover, will define our generation. It’s why the World Economic Forum is calling for a new form of capitalism, one that puts people and planet first, as we come together to rebuild the world after COVID-19.”

The only thing that stands clear is that a change is needed, and that this type of change will be a “new form of capitalism” (which is described as “stakeholder capitalism”, which would “put planet and people rather than profit, first”), and that “we must come together to rebuild the world after Covid-19”.

Who are that “we”?

Among those featured in the video, with short quotations combined with a type of music that indicates that something great is going to happen, is a high-ranking official of the International Monetary Fund, the UN Secretary-General, the CEO of Mastercard, the CEO of Salesforce, and a high-ranking operative of the WEF itself.”

This leaves room for an interesting, critical perspective which has unfortunately not been aired more.

The Great Reset in actuality is a quite apt term, even if it is quite vague.

It is envisioned as a reset of capitalism itself, which is (rightfully) seen as unsustainable, and that by moving towards a type of capitalism which “takes into account” the interests of stakeholders (“working class people, indigenous peoples, environmentalists, eco-systems”) the “bad parts of capitalism” could be replaced with “good parts”, and a “good capitalism” where the inner contradictions of the systems would be negated could arise.

This is not a new idea. Already in the 1840’s and 1850’s, the early Victorians believed that charity and Christian compassion could birth such a type of society. To some effect, the 20th century Labour movement realized that in bits, though if we take a global outlook, what in reality happened was that the exploitation of the human body in debt slavery, child labour and sweatshops transferred towards the developing world (which during the 19th century merely had been the place where resources and raw materials were extracted).

From a purely ecological perspective, the ideology underpinning the Great Reset is a techno-optimistic type of green market-based social liberalism. It is an ideology that deals a great deal with hope and sentimentality as its basis, and with the perceived unity of interests between the ruling elite and the people – or rather those parts of the people who are platformed by the ruling elites for five second snippets of Sandfordian statements like “it is important that we all come together for the greater good” and “humanity has never been at such a crossroad as today”. Within the EOS, we call that type of ideology “Cornucopianism”.

The vision offered is one of a capitalism without inner contradictions, where the important actors are the leaders of major supranational institutions, powerful governments, multi-national corporations and think tanks such as the WEF. Human rights activists, indigenous leaders and other types of grass-root representatives are sometimes invited to hold speeches for the leaders of “the international community”, but are seldom parts of steering committees and workshops.

And we agree with Schwab &/co.

Humanity needs a restructuring of its socio-economic system. Currently we are living on the annual equivalent of what 1,7 Earths could renew each year, we are rapidly destroying the oceans, the soils, the fresh-water reservoirs and the bio-diversity of key life-supporting biomes.

It is highly unlikely that we can achieve a kind of sustainability within anything resembling the current system without new wonder technologies which currently do not exist (proponents of the current system mean that greed is the only driver for innovation which “will” make these technologies a reality).

Cornucopians generally present a binary choice between “Old Capitalism” and “Stakeholder Capitalism”, and claim that the only alternative to the latter is a collapse of the world.

We (as in the EOS) claim that there are more alternatives, and that one must dare think outside the box.

One of the tenets which we need to question is the term “we”. Is “humanity” responsible for the degradation of the planet? Is humanity responsible for the destruction of the ecosystems? Is humanity responsible for the advent of an ecological collapse by 2075?

Or is the culprit a socio-economic system based on a model of growth which automatically transfers 80% of any revenue to the 20% at the top of the income ladder, and where the growth in profits correspond with the growth of resource usage?

This is a system which is both emergent, as in being a consequence of the laws of supply and demand of the market, and designed, in terms of being directed, streamlined and affected by sophisticated institutions and corporations which – when put into place – would want to protect their own continued existence.

And is not the WEF to a large degree consisting of the very same people who are a part of this super-structure which has helped to move the Earth this close towards a sixth mass extinction event?

When we look at the convergence of crises which we already are suffering from, and which will be exacerbated in the future due to the type of socio-economic system that has been imposed on humanity, those who are suffering the most and who will suffer the most are the majority of the Earth’s population, consisting of farmers and workers in the developing world.

The Great Reset may be several things, on a spectrum.

In its most benign but inefficient form, it is a marketing ploy and a way for the corporate and financial elites of the planet to legitimize their continued dominance for themselves internally, by showing how much they care for the planet by producing flashy films and summits in an Alps country famous for clocks, cheese, tax evasion, money-laundering and summer holiday homes for ultra-wealthy dictators. In that regard it would be dishonest, but nothing spectacular – already l’ancien regime of France sponsored portraits of Marie-Antoinette distributing bread to the starving peasant children of France.

In its most malign form, the Great Reset might be a stakeholder capitalism in the sense that it would transform capitalism into an integrated system of corporate, financial, institutional and social leadership, where the elites in a maternalistic fashion would take a keen interest in the life of ordinary people, to the extent that their physical health, their diets, their daily routines and interests, and their values and opinions should be an issue not for the individual and not for their local communities, but for “the Davos boys”.

The WEF may mean well.

The problem is that any real solution to the current crisis would not be a “reset”, but the establishment of an entirely new system – one which would need to do away with the kind of wealth and inequality that makes possible such institutions as the WEF.

Another problem is also that a stakeholder capitalism may become a more authoritarian, dystopian, corrupt and elitist society than what we have today, and therefore far more volatile. The same neoliberal elites which brought us the Great Recession and the rise of right-wing populism are now supposed to lead the revolution towards a utopia based on green energy, progressive politics and a responsible stewardship of the planet, under the guise of a new, “green liberalism”.

This is and remains the real conundrum.

cor-1[1]

Welcome to Planet Corona

 Introduction

The emergence of a global pandemic – in this case manifested as an extremely contagious lung virus, a mutation of SARS – was but a matter of time. Since humanity started to utilize other creatures in agriculture and husbandry, viral mutation rates have seen numerous plagues emerge from the gens animalia to make the leap over to human hosts, from an animal to another. While the excess deaths caused by the sudden overstretch of hospital capacity throughout the world has been tragic, especially as said deaths were preventable, we still should consider ourselves lucky.

The pandemics of the pre-industrial era often wiped out 10-30% of entire populations. The Black Death, the hitherto most lethal pandemic, may have killed half the European population and left an entire civilization devastated. The Coronavirus Pandemic may have been less lethal if the governments and corporations of the world had been more prepared, already from the start in December 2019.

What now are at stake are the healthcare systems, and the ability to even give those seriously infected care. Many states have chosen to install quarantine regimes which has been damaging both to the service economy and to the very complex and established trade networks which have evolved since the end of the Second World War.

Pandemics will continue to emerge as long as we intend to have large-scale animal husbandry – though they most likely would still be relatively rare occurrences. As it previously has been stated, compared with the Spanish Flu and the Black Death the Covid 19 pandemic has been relatively mild, though every human who dies is a tragedy – especially as their deaths would most likely have been preventable with the proper care.

What we however could do is to design our economic system in such a manner that it won’t collapse every time a new unknown disease rears its ugly head.

TL;DR Summary

  • The two dominant theories on inter-regional economic exchange for the last five hundred years have been mercantilism and free trade.
  • Mercantilism stresses that a country should export as much as possible and import as little as possible.
  • Free trade states that there should be as few trade barriers as possible and that each country should ideally only focus on producing and exporting the good which they are “least worst at producing” (David Ricardo).
  • Both these approaches are deeply flawed, and that for other reasons than primarily epidemiological.
  • The idea that Coronavirus will create a more sustainable world is flawed if we look at social sustainability.
  • We argue there is a connection between democratic sovereignty and the ability of a polity to sustain its own basic needs.

The arguments for Free Trade

Most of our current trade theories emanate from Europe and from the European imperialist experience (proto-global trade existed before, in the incarnation of the Silk Road). With the Trans-Atlantic trade came spices, gold, silver and slaves which could be shuffled around the trade networks. At the same time as the maritime powers developed colonial empires, Europe as a whole was in a process of emergent statehood – where unified and permanent bureaucratic-administrative bodies grew from what previously had been a collection of feudal fiefdoms.

It was also a period with prevalent and expensive warfare, necessitating the acquisition of gold and silver. Thus, the predominant theory of trade, which also was the first unified theory of trade in a European context, was Mercantilism, the idea that a country should export as much as possible and import as little as possible except for gold and silver. In the context of 17th century European statehood, the state was pre-dominantly seen as a machine to help support a standing army which could expand the state’s territory.

Within mainstream Economics today, Mercantilism is often used as an example of an irrational, pre-modern theory of trade. Irrational both for the individual actors and for the system at large – because if everyone would want to maximize exports but minimize imports soon there will be no one to export to, and everyone would be poorer for this. Yet, if the goal is to acquire enough gold to both buy mercenaries and pay for the arming and feeding of your standing army, if you have a country that is mineral-poor, then Mercantilism is probably the way to go on a continent which is embroiled in a Thirty Years’ War and where the mercenaries expect to get paid in gold.

Having written that, Free Trade has for the last two centuries been the predominant theory of trade in the world. It is a theory of trade which emphasises that the goal of trade should be to maximize the wealth of a country engaging in it, and that the best way to achieve the outcome of wealth maximization should be free trade. With this would mean either two things – that there are as few laws or regulations as possible pertaining the import and export of goods over borders, or that laws and regulations are harmonized as to achieve the same aim.

This article is not going to take a stand on whether or not Free Trade always is to prefer before Protectionism. Some countries with infant industries have managed to take the leap from underdeveloped countries to industrial powerhouses because of protectionist measures which have protected infant industries. The United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea are but four examples. Yet, there is one undisputable mathematical formula which holds an argument for Free Trade, namely the Ricardian Theory of Comparative Advantages, which show that if each of two countries involved in trading focus on the good which they are least bad on producing in terms of efficiency and cost. Thus, they can shift their production toward the potential profitability maximization and thus incur economic growth.

One of the predominant arguments for Free Trade has been the argument that unrestricted trade makes countries co-dependent on one another and thus inhibits them from waging war upon one another. This argument was put to the test in 1914 and largely failed, though since 1945 at large an augmented version of that argument has held sway, namely that free trade guaranteed by a hegemon (America) or by treaties which disconnect vital resources from the state’s ability to use them for strategic purposes.

Thus the arguments for Free Trade is two-fold, namely that it creates economic growth and that it facilitates peaceful relations between countries.

The arguments against Free Trade

There are two kinds of arguments against Free Trade, the first one being the protectionist argument that Free Trade would threaten certain sectors of society, for example farmers, miners, industries or certain types of companies which cannot compete against the wages or efficiency of foreign competitors. This argument is treated with contempt by most economists, which sees this as sacrificing the well-being of the entire economy for special interests groups and driving up consumer prices, which is true under a market economy.

The other argument runs against how Free Trade was implemented visavi Developing Countries under the Washington Consensus model, where participating countries were obliged to privatize industries and utilities such as water, electricity and education. This was critiqued by the Alt-globalization movement because these policies were often demanded as conditions for the easement of debt by the IMF and the World Bank (institutions controlled by Western governments), thus bearing unfortunate similarities to blackmail or unethical employment practices built on power disparities. Some of the countries implementing these policies grew in terms of their GDP, others stagnated and others experienced crises. Yet, the common profile of countries like these were that they had large segments of their population living in poverty, and that making resources such as water less accessible helped to cement the steepness of the segments between the income levels, thus keeping the poor poor, though it is debatable whether that was the original intention.

If we also look at industrialization historically, we can see that even the wealthy countries did not initiate industrialization at the same pace. “Late-starters” include all countries apart from Britain and France, and we can see that some countries managed to industrialize under Free Trade regimes, such as Sweden, but that it has been far more common that countries have industrialized using varying means of protections, from South Korea and Japan, to Germany and the United States (protectionism used to be so commonly utilized in the United States that it often was referred to as “the American system” contra the “British system” in the early 20th century). It should also be noted that while the United Kingdom employed Free Trade ideals in their bilateral trade with other countries, that they also until the 1940’s restricted access to British colonies.

Since the 1990’s, arguably, there has been a push for an increased amount of deregulation and harmonization between economies. Examples include the transition from GATT to WTO, the introduction of the Maastricht Treaty, the NAFTA, the TTIP and TPP Free Trade treaties and the discontinued MAI treaty. This policy direction could be said to be what could be  called “globalism”, which originally was coined as a neutral or positive description but in 2020 it is having negative connotations on both sides of the debate, where one side refers to it as a nefarious plot, and the other side refers to it as an anti-semitic conspiracy theory.

The on-going pandemic has showcased the characteristics not of Free Trade, but how the Free Trade Ideology has affected different countries. This is easy to see as different governments and countries during the last 30 years have been more or less utilitarian or ideological in their implementation of Free Trade agreements, and some countries have even voluntarily moved further and made cutbacks on their stockpiles of vital goods such as food, medicine, munitions and equipment such as helicopters and vehicles intended for emergency management. Or oxygen inhalators and face masks. One example is Sweden…

Stockpiles are not trendy

The Cold War was over, and so was industrial society. Instead, we had entered into an entirely new era… one where the national stockpile of not only military equipment but also disaster relief were not essential. Instead, we would focus on a flexible system adapted for aid in distant countries and for advocacy through multilateral forums. This was very much the Zeitgeist of the 1990’s and the 2000’s, and it carried into the 2010’s. At the same point as the apothecaries were privatized (Sweden had a government monopoly on selling prescripted drugs), the government of that era – in its infinite wisdom – decided to trim the stockpile of certain medical equipment, among them face masks and certain medicines. In the case of a medical emergency, it was thought, Sweden would simply buy the things it needed on the world market or ask other countries within the EU for help.

Fast forward ten years and the entire world is engulfed in the Covid-19 Pandemic, and all countries experience a need for hospital beds, medicines, oxygen inhalators and face masks. This would cause problems for countries heavily reliant on the market forces to sort out a global crisis. This crisis is not unique for Sweden – other countries heavily reliant on Free Trade, such as the United States, experience the same kind of hardships and have initial difficulties in assembling stockpiles which they until then have been happy to import from other places, for example China.

Hardly surprising, a lot of the anti-capitalist milieu has piled upon the Neoliberal order, that the failure for the markets to make up for the absence of stockpiles without government intervention is disqualifying the entire post-1991 discourse. That and the subsequent collapse of the service economy brought forth by the pandemic. Much of the economy in the developed world consist of services which – though they may have had a positive impact on local communities and employment, are essentially non-essential for the well-being of the community. Spas, coffee shops, smaller stores and restaurants are employing a significant portion of the young urban population. Most of these companies are hardly making any profits, and are extremely dependent upon their monthly returns. A shock such as the current pandemic will kill a large amount of these companies, turning their employees unemployed, which will decrease their ability to consume and thus lead to a further decline of profits for all companies, turning what initially was a shock in consumer demand into a new great depression, ninety years after the last one.

This has led to triumphant expressions that this current crisis has proven that Neoliberalism is dead, and that we will see a new post-pandemic world. In the 2007-2009 recession, identical claims were made, and they were proven to be equally flawed. So, let us see how the Post-Covid world would probably look like…

Welcome to Planet Corona

Covid-19 will not bring forth a sustainable transition in itself. Any such transition will mean a break from the trajectory which was well underway before Covid-19, and as we will see the virus will in fact accelerate our journey through this trajectory. The world was already moving towards creative destruction of smaller and middle-sized companies. E-trading and new net-based forms of delivery were putting traditional family-owned businesses and shops under severe strain, and many firms were already closing down prior to the crisis in most developed countries.

What Covid-19 has done has merely been an acceleration of this trend, and a deepening of it. Companies dependent upon full-time employees and physical places cannot hope to compete with companies that lack physical space to occupy and pay rent for, and employees which they need to cater to. The small to medium-sized companies likely to succeed under this crisis would be companies either heavily reliant on robots or on part-time employees with flexible contracts. This will of course spur the already growing gig economy which already is existent. It will not by itself cause any migration away from the cities and towards the countryside. There could possibly be a lowering of prices of urban properties because of lowered demand, a sort of deflation of the housing bubbles – but that will not increase the demand for workers in cities.

Some may claim that the aid packages offered to companies, and the limited nationalizations which a few governments have engaged in may represent a new paradigm shift. Similar claims were made about the stimulus packages of the Great Recession, yet those gave way to a way of austerity which would hit the social benefit structures of many developed economies. In short, in order to prevent the powerful structures which underpin our financial and economic new world order to collapse under the weight of their own fundamental unsustainability, nominally democratically elected governments decided to transfer wealth previously directed at the poorest members of society to the wealthiest. The same people who were in power in 2010 are still fundamentally in power today, they are funnelled through the same educational systems and think tanks, taught in the same ideology and thus their ideological and mental equipment is based on a philosophy increasingly at odds with reality. Thus, in most countries, apart from perhaps outliers like New Zealand, we are going to see an increased amount of austerity, which will have an added effect of increasing the unemployment in the public sector.

This crisis will last – at least, until around 2024 (and that if we do not experience any other shocks which may prolong it, such as a war in the Middle East or a wave of natural disasters). Eventually, employment numbers will start to rise again, but not to the same levels as around 2019. The new jobs created will also comprise a larger share of part-time contracts, independent contracts, micro-jobs and substitution labour. We could very well hit a new baseline unemployment of around 10%. The global debt will continue to balloon, and new shocks will continue to hit us.

And then, there is automation.

What we are heading towards now if everything is moving ahead in the current trajectory, notwithstanding the climate crisis and the massive over-usage of resources, is a society of extreme inequality, where large segments have fallen into a barter economy while the idea of public education and healthcare will become successively less attractive for an elite dependent on a shrinking class of managers to administrate the IOT-heavy, crypto-funded gated communities within which they thrive, communities which ever-more will resemble medieval fortresses of old.

Does this mean there is no hope?

Rise, we will

What stands clear with the pandemic of 2020, is that the current world economy is very sensitive in the face of shocks, and we can expect the number of shocks to increase, for ecological, social and cumulative reasons. Therefore, it is essential that we self-organize and build up holonic and holarchic communities with the capability to show resiliency in the face of crisis.

The time is here and now, to build parallel institutions and parallel governance, to build online educational facilities to reach the early 21st century Zoomer generation. We need to form communities with the ability to fulfil their own needs of:

  • Food
  • Energy
  • Reserve parts
  • Medical equipment
  • Transport infrastructure

A large part of the future which we would want to help bring about for humanity would be about self-management. This does not mean autarchy or an end to long-distance trading, or that we want to isolate from the wider society. What we need to do is to reach out to, organize and provide education for the classes of people who are seen as increasingly superfluous by our automated world economy – the unemployed and underemployed youth. By giving them access to networks and an ability to create their own economy, we can and we will grow the future technate within this decaying late capitalist civilization.

But this will not come by itself. We all – that includes you – will have to organize, which means join together to increase your resiliency, your ability to survive communally and live in dignity when the superstructure contracts and no longer is capable of providing you the type of life your parents and grandparents once had.

best[1]

Best in class – but the class is not sufficient

I grew up in Sweden, as did my parents before me. They told me of their time in the school, where they were graded according to a ranking system. The student who performed best in class would get a five and the one who performed the worst would get a one. It didn’t matter how well you managed to solve a certain task, only how much better or worse you performed in comparison to your classmates. Since I grew up we´ve had a system based on individual capabilities, which of course is a more reasonable way to measure performance. Still, although this development has occurred within Sweden it has not changed the way we think of foreign and international issues. In these arenas we are still locked in the past perspective of being the best in class.

Sweden – Vanguard of the climate?
Sweden has long viewed its climate policies with pride, as a source of inspiration for the rest of the world to follow. While a sprinkle of humility could have been beneficial, there is good reasons to hold this view. When the Kyoto-protocol was underway, Sweden was a clear leader achieving its goals. Not only was the domestic target of a decrease in green-house gases by 4 percent reached, it was overreached by 5 more percent for a total of a 9 percent decrease! On top of that, Sweden´s commitment to the Kyoto-protocol simply was not to increase the emissions by more than 4 percent and its easy to see how Sweden could establish its climate policy as a source of national pride. Today however, the reason to be proud does not reflect this recent history. The Paris agreement is far from on track to be achieved. While Sweden is doing well compared to the world at large – indeed Sweden is ranking best according to the CCPI, an index on climate achievements developed by Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network – it´s still not nearly good enough. Partly because the majority of Sweden´s emissions are based on imported consumption, which is not accounted for in the index. Partly because even with Sweden ranking best, it´s still not good enough for a “very good”-grade which means it´s likely that Sweden will not reach its commitment goals necessary to fulfil the Paris Agreement and keep the global warming under two degrees. So if the best performer is not doing nearly good enough, what should you do then? With this question in mind I decided to look into Sweden´s history with climate policies chronologically – and indeed while we may walk faster now, we are still on the same path we were 30 years ago.

Re-evaluating the approach
In line with the increased threat of the climate crisis, Sweden has increased its ambitions progressively. Taxes on flight- and car traffic have been implemented, along with a climate political framework in order to integrate climate concerns into every aspect of society. These methods are core features of the environmental-political perspective ecological modernisation, aiming to integrate climate ambitions into the very essence of society as well as regulate consumer behaviour through economic-regulatory measures. As we´ve seen earlier, this line of thinking has worked wonders for Sweden´s climate politics but knowing it will not do the trick this time, perhaps it´s time to take a step back and look at other approaches. In his book The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism, Steven Bernstein describes how the market liberal climate policies that have dominated the global arena since the 90´s, did not become the institutionalised ideology to follow because of its ability to solve the climate crisis, but because of its easy fit into the social structure at the time. Put in simpler terms, what Bernstein calls liberal environmentalism – market-based solutions in conjunction with the polluter pays principle – was institutionalised because it best served the economical and political interests that asserted the agenda in the UN. It required only a little restructuring of the economy and society and was therefore asserted as the ideology to follow, no matter if there was no reason to assume this would solve the climate crisis that brought the world leaders there in the first place!

Since then more regulation has been implemented and more actors became involved in protecting the climate. Despite this the situation has only become worse and only the most naïve of analyses would claim we´re on a good track to solving this catastrophe we´ve created. The basic premise of an ever-growing economy has to this day not seriously been challenged. The ambition to save the planet has never been prioritised over the ambition to become richer and more comfortable. In other words; the right to live is subservient to the right to not have to bother, to not have to try something new.

The facts that lie within our hands tell us two stories. In one story we´re told that no matter how well we might try we will not reach our goals, which makes it even more meaningless to keep on trying. In the other story we´re told that the solution has been in front of our eyes the whole time and the only thing needed from our part is to take the leap to a new perspective on life. I prefer the latter story, the one that´s simple and brimming with hope. Which story do you prefer?

ask-for[1]

The only thing we are asking for

Introduction

This, my first article of 2019, will investigate the need for our movement, its goals for the near future and what its purpose is. Despite being a small seed of an organisation, the EOS in our view is a harbinger of the leading ideas and directions of the Third Millennium, as we who inhabit this organisation are not only offering a framework of solutions, but more importantly are guided by focusing on the most important issues for humanity, our planetary civilization and the planet itself.

Moreover, this article will focus on what separates the EOS from any other similar organisation, with which we mean organisations from the green or futuristic progressive environments which postulate new and radically transformative theories about how human resource management should be organised.

This crucial difference is that while the EOS is fervent on upholding the principles outlined in the Three Criteria, the proposed solution – the trinity of the Energy Survey, Energy Accounting and the Technate – are not set in stone and in fact only is a proposed hypothetical model, which we intend to break down in its component parts for the usage of field test runs. We intend to ruthlessly and without any emotional attachment or sentimentality question the foundations of our hypothetical model, expose it to stress and field tests and investigate ways in which for example Energy Accounting potentially could be abused by both users and nodes, as well as vulnerability for different types of attacks.

Only by a vigorous, cool-headed and scientific effort can we hope to transition from the current unsustainable model, towards a model which is more sustainable.

We are not asking for the political mandate to implement The Design. We are not asking for any kind of power, social status or adulations from the public. The only thing we are asking for is the opportunity to run field tests for The Design.

That is all.

TL;DR

  • The Earth Organisation for Sustainability is established on the basis of fomenting a transition of humanity’s relationship to its home planet.
  • The foundation of this transition is “the three criteria for a sustainable future”.
  • These three criteria are for us not negotiable but represent the minimum requirements for a sustainable Earth.
  • The Design, like the Criteria, is composed of three components – a trinity if that would make it easier remembering.
  • The main difference is however that the Design is a proposal to achieve the Three Criteria, but not the only potential proposal.
  • The Design as it looks like today will probably never be implemented in the basic form outlined by the EOS.
  • Rather, it is a basis for experimental platforms and models intended to approximate practical, scalable and implementable frameworks for solutions in terms of sustainable resource management.
  • The EOS needs the means and the space to conduct and inspire others to conduct experiments with The Design.
  • The framework is known as a “proto-technate”, a network of interconnected hubs internally trying on methodologies of energy accounting.
  • Our goal is to launch a proto-technate and find ways to break down Energy Accounting, to get empirical field test analyses of our model.

What is settled

What is beyond discussion is that currently the emergence of the industrial civilization during the 19th century has presently grown beyond our control, and that the logics of an economic system built on exponential growth has altered not only the composition of land surface and shallow oceanic regions, but is also transforming global planetary systems like climate, currents, rainfall patterns, droughts, soils and aquifers. Humanity is now on the brink of a global tragedy of historical proportions – steering the planet towards a massive loss of biodiversity and an ecological collapse, while being aware of the implications of this on a purely theoretical level.

If we had been happily oblivious of the predicament we’ve caused, it would in some manners have represented a greater tragedy, but then our ignorance would partially have absolved us of the full blunt of responsibility. Right here, and right now, nobody can claim that we are ignorant dunces. The system which we through our individual and collective choices choose to legitimise every day is driving us closer and closer to the edge of an abyss opening before our eyes. And we know it.

That is a settled matter.

And that is the singularly most important issue for our time.

If we continue this current trajectory, and degrade the planet’s ecosystems further, we will initiate not only a loss of biodiversity, but a loss of civilizational complexity. This will mean a worldwide degradation of human dignity. If we disturb the climate, leading to rising sea levels, seven out of eight humans would need to relocate themselves. If we destroy groundwater and soil reserves, producing nutrients will become more complicated and strain more resources. While this adjustment, if it relates to 10-20% of our economic output seems minuscule in relation to the world economy, it should be reminded that we are 7,5 billion people and the number is ticking up.

We can choose what attitudes we want to have in relation to this slow deterioration of our planetary habitability, but its veracity cannot be considered up for debate. It is a fact that we all must have a relationship to. The urgency of the need to adopt a position in relation to this chain of events will most likely only grow. After all, this issue will affect us all – especially those with least power to currently affect the trajectory of history, i.e the majority of the planetary population.

There are basically three paths which are not congruent but which can address this issue.

  • Strive to maximise economic growth and hope to discover some wunderteknologie which can establish sustainability and solve all our problems.
  • Strive towards efforts to expand the foothold humanity has in the solar system to try to relieve the Earth with extra-planetary resources.
  • Strive to scale back our usage of the planet’s renewal capacity and live within the framework of a global ecological budget ceiling.

The EOS is, to a very large degree, advocating that humanity would choose the third path, since it is least reliant on hope and least reliant on techs which we currently do not possess, and which in the first case we don’t even know whether or not they are physically possible to achieve on Earth.

We find that the first two paths advocated are either based on cornucopian super-optimism, or on arguments made in bad faith. Firstly, the relationship between more sneakers, hamburgers and cell-phones sold, and technological innovation, is not necessarily straightforward. Why must investments in innovation necessarily be a fraction of economic growth which is continuing to – on a growing scale – increase the stress on the planet’s environment?

Space, on the other hand, represents other challenges. The types of habitats we need to construct to entertain human life outside of Earth would need to be even less resource intense than sustainable housing on Earth, and would probably initially represent a higher cost in terms of resource usage (from planetary resources).

This does not mean that we shut the door to scientific and technological innovations and space colonisation, only that for us as an organisation our number one priority is and will always be the establishment of sustainability on Earth. Other organisations are basing their outlook on more cornucopian ideals, and they have the liberty to do so. We may be wrong in our focus, but if we are right and they are wrong, then it would be a criminal offence by us to not pursue our path to provide humanity with a wider array of options at the table.

From our point of view, the Three Criteria are – as we use to state – our minimum requirements for a sustainable future for mankind. For sake of repetition, we can mention that they consider the areas of a global ecological budget ceiling, a global circular economy and a social state of the world characterised by a living standard floor below which no human being would need to fall.

There is a delineation between the Three Criteria and the Design. One could say that the former rather than being a part of the Design constitutes an intersect between the Ideology and the Design, anchoring the Design in relationship to goals based around 1) our assessment of the current global situation, 2) our judgement in regards to what values should be the paramount drivers of human civilization on Earth. The Three Criteria are set in stone in relation to the Ideology, but are in no means tied to the particular Design we have proposed as a hypothetical model. This provides us with a flexibility which doesn’t tie our hands to necessarily one particular solution.

The Design – Survey, Accounting and Technate

The Design which we aim to test can be summarised as consisting of the following three components:

  • The Energy Survey
  • The Energy Accounting System
  • The Technate

The Energy Survey is a continuous process of creating a map of resources, resource usage and ecological system parameters, which can determine the size of the available economy beneath the ecological budget ceiling.

The Energy Accounting System is the process of creating and distributing Energy Units as well as determining the ecological cost of production processes.

The Technate is the virtual infrastructure connecting users, creators and production nodes within the framework of a de-centralised network which is responsible for transmitting impulses which then in real time will be translated into commands.

If that civilization would be comparable to an organism, the Energy Survey is the DNA map of the structure, the Energy Accounting System is the brain stem responsible for governing bodily functions and receiving signals, and the Technate would of course be the brain itself.

This theoretical model of a society has the strength that it is relatively simple as we have approached human civilization not from the point of view of its current development, its economic structures and the power relations which they entail. In short, when we first envisioned the Design, we made the conscious choice – in the words of our former chairperson Dr Andrew Wallace – to “approach the Earth as if was an alien world, where we only took into account the amount of persons living on it and the amount of surface and resources it could sustain us with and still be ecologically sound”.

This approach allows us to not show any inhibition in envisioning the rearrangement of our future without factoring in present and established political institutions. This could be seen as an attempt to undermine the existing order, to foment a violent overthrow of the planetary system of economic management and rush us towards an unknown future dictated by a Utopian vision for a better world.

If we were a political movement, so to say.

Two roads ahead – the Wager of the Millennium

Right now humanity is at a crossroad. It is widely known that we have built our current civilization on unsustainable foundations. If we look at the situation with sobriety, we see that the present debates currently dominating the political spectrum – on the most encompassing level the conflict between pro-globalization and populist nationalism, and on the most superficial level the conflict of identity politics – we can see that the only choice that matters for humanity under our current century and millennium, is and will for a foreseeable future be our relationship to our home planet. Globalists want to make permanent the current doctrine of exponential growth and capital accumulation, whereas the populist-nationalists want to preserve the conditions of the second half of the 20th century, with the working class of the West living in prosperous welfare states shielded from competition by upstarts like China, India and other developing countries. That conflict is not productive and not relating to the painful transition somewhere humanity would have to have.

The only relevant debate is about our relationship to our planet and how our current unsustainability will affect us in the long run. In this regard, the most important conflict is not whether how freely capital, goods and people should flow, but a conflict consisting of two positions, which both affirm the severity of the situation.

  1. Cornucopians, who recognise the direness of the situation, but believe that the current monetary-financial system is fundamentally good and must be preserved, and that adjustments to the system, new technological discoveries and extropian colonisation of the solar system will allow us to continue with business as usual indefinitely. This faction will support continued growth.
  2. Gaians, who view the world from the lens of humanity’s relationship to nature and see the current socio-economic system as fundamentally incompatible with sustainability. While highly divergent in their opinions regarding solutions, or even the possibility of solutions, gaians tend to favour solutions aiming for an end to the compulsion of exponential economic growth and the squirrel wheel.

Of course, the gaian position(s) can in no way currently attract mass appeal. In fact, both populist-nationalists and globalists have reasons to dislike it – the former for the loss of the type of economic standard and the individualist culture which follows it, the latter for delegitimising and undermining the current order of things.

And EOS is, for all extent and purposes, a predominantly gaian organisation, with one big caveat – that is, we accept the cornucopian position that tech has a big role to play in the transition. In fact, the EOS straddles the gaian and cornucopian positions in that we simultaneously stress the paramount importance of a global ecological budget with an emphasis of using new technologies and innovations to reduce our impact while maintaining a good quality of life wherever it is possible. We also have reasons to believe that the development of new technologies are not necessitating by the proliferation of junk production and continued monoculturization of the globe. Our agenda is the survival and improvement of human civilization on Earth.

As for the moment, the globalists are almost to the individual level agreeing that there is a severe environmental crisis – though they single-mindedly tend to focus on the climate and gloss over the way we currently utilise land surface. Yet, they insist that we continue running the current trajectory, stating that only through continued growth can we gain the resources to afford developing new wonder technologies and improve the standard of living to the extent that the public will be motivated to accept a form of transition. Thus, they are predominantly cornucopian as a faction. This is hardly surprising, as the entire legitimacy of their worldview derives from the fundamental benevolence that they ascribe to our current civilization, its monetary-financial systems and institutions, and the perpetuation of its economic, cultural and civilizational tenets. While they do not desire the collapse of the civilization, for them and for much of the world’s population currently invested in the status quo the current civilization represents the epitome of human ingenuity and history. The marvels ushered in by the industrial revolution have, no matter what we think about the issue, been made possible by our current monetary-financial system.

Our current civilization is simply the best, or at least the one with the until now best ability to realise human potential. Yes, there are glaring social problems, but these have existed in every state in every time. And yet, the tragedy is that this – the until now most developed and most dynamic of human cultures – is in the process of destroying the planetary biosphere and usher in its own collapse, while its own citizenry is aware of it happening.

The wager is this: Will this current civilization be able to continue to violate the laws of Thermodynamics and continue on with its compulsion for exponential growth indefinitely until we discover new technologies which will save us from the impending ecological disaster? Or must we transition towards a new civilization where we follow a different set of rules and institute a global ecological budget ceiling and a regime where everything must cost its environmental weight?

The wager is on, and the EOS is betting on the latter. We might be wrong, but we do not believe that and we believe that our perspective is needed.

Building the Proto-technate

The Design consists of a secular trinity of concepts – the Energy Survey, the System of Energy Accounting and then the Technate itself.

  • The Energy Survey is the process of examining the planetary ecology and its relationship with our planet.
  • Energy Accounting is the system of creating and distributing and tracking Energy Units, the post-monetary currency which would be used under our hypothesised system.
  • The Technate, finally, is the institutional system within which these aforementioned systems are administered.

While the Energy Survey and Energy Accounting are interlinked programming systems, the Technate can be described as the hardware or the cellular structure within which these commands take place. There are various hypothetical models of how technates can work and operate, but the standard model is a continental or global mechanism to oversee resource flows and serve as a conduit for information, allocation and distribution of resources.

A proto-technate, on the contrary, is a far more scalable, basic model which does not concern itself with the oversight and management of information regarding global resource usage. Rather, it concerns itself with a few environmental factors, a few resources and a small network of nodes utilising these resources. Neither would the energy units initially be distributed directly to the users, but rather to the production facilities directly involved in the proto-technate.

One could say that while a full-scale technate would involve itself with a population the range of 100 million to 10 billion, a proto-technate would consist of a minimum of two nodes, with a “population” ranging from ten and upward. The structural form would thus correspond rather to a typical eco-village than a planetary civilization.

For an example, let’s say that we possess a wind- or solar park, as well as a factory floor with 3D printers and sensor heaters. In this case, we can get an energy transfer from the power plant to the factory, which would be a one-way transfer, and measured not in terms of money but in energy units, meaning that the factory would not pay money to the park. If we would like to have a loop, the factory can devote some of its production and time to producing spare parts for the power plant.

More nodes, for example nodes producing food, can be added to the network, adding nutrients to the other holons, which in their turn will provide the newcomer with tools and electricity. And so on. This internal relay system will of course not work as Energy Accounting in the full form, but our reason is not primarily to seek an organic transition – at least not initially. Rather, we are striving towards experimentation.

The abovementioned form of model is just one of the many test formats which can be run within the framework of a proto-technate.

The goal is to test launch Energy Accounting, to refine it, morph it into various evolutionary forms, find ways for it to be implemented, scaled, and to let the test of reality put stress on it – to see where it can be improved and where it fails to provide the desired results or would cause unforeseen consequences.

In short, a proto-technate is a hub, consisting of several holons, which aims to work both for its own sake but also to find ways in which to test Energy Accounting. The data will be gathered and analysed by the EOS and with enough experiments we will start seeing trends where factors can be taken into account, adjusted and then used as the basis for more experiments.

Ideally, our model will be applied and tweaked by hundreds of holon clusters, and through numerous failures we will begin touch something resembling a working template for a sustainable socio-economic post-monetary system.

Image by Jonas Dero

The core of it all

The analysis put forth by the EOS is centred around the idea that any form of functional transition must adhere to the Three Criteria, and that we cannot rely on wishful ideas that future technologies we have not yet imagined will magically solve the contradictions of our current growth-based monetary-financial system and its relationship with the planetary biosphere which embeds it. Since our movement do not have any vested interests in the idea of the continuation of the current status quo, we look at the world and the human civilization from the perspective of the Three Criteria rather than political or socio-cultural prisms.

What prevents us from moving forward and attain what today seems unattainable, is that every discussion and therefore every solution is occurring within a framework where our current monetary-financial system is seen as inevitable. While there are thousands of proposed alternatives, none of them can be said to be tangible, since they only exist on a theoretical level as of yet.

While the Design was formed as such a theoretical model, our goal is not political advocacy, nor even traditional advocacy in its own right. We do not recommend the immediate transition from a fiat-based monetary-financial system into a post-monetary system on the global or even national level.

What we say is absolutely necessary for any form of transition from the current unsustainable system to a system that is sustainable in terms of fulfilling the Three Criteria. According to our analysis, this is not attainable within the framework of the current system and its insatiable need for exponential growth. Therefore, we need to explore alternatives, and these alternatives need to be scalable and capable of evolving organically.

When testing the Design and forming variations of it, there need to be control groups capable of making independent and unbiased studies of the processes to identify weaknesses and risks with implementing the Design. Gradually, by the elimination of theoretical models that don’t work, we will approach something that may fulfil the Three Criteria.

The EOS is nearly unique as a movement of its form, calibre and kind, because we do not assume a priori that our alternative post-monetary model, which is untested, unverified and currently not scaled, would solve all problems only if implemented. That is one of the contributing factors to our small size. Yet, those attracted by our message are not those who only want to dream, but those who want to build and who are capable of daring to stare the truth in the eye. In the long term, we are convinced that is a winning strategy.

Do you want to join our journey? Then join our community:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/eoslife/

integrity[1]

Integrity is Bad for The Economy

I am writing this article because I think it concerns a profoundly important, though delicate subject matter – namely the very thing that determines what you do with what you know, which is your integrity. But what is integrity? Is it a metaphysical, theoretical or a practical subject matter?

I would argue it is a very practical subject matter, perhaps the most practical of them all, seeing as how it determines everything you accept and allow yourself to do, in thoughts, words and deeds, in every moment of breath. So thus, it concerns the very question of who you are within and as what you accept and allow, within as well as without. It is in a way the one undeniable metric by which you can actually measure your integrity. What do I accept and allow, directly and indirectly?

In the words accept and allow lies all the power in the world. And it really matters what you accept and allow; in your thoughts, words and deeds. I believe that now, more than ever – children need to have this explained to them. It is almost as if children, as well as many adults, do not see, realize or understand that they do not have to accept and allow themselves to participate in their minds the way that they currently do. It is as if the process is automatic. But everything that is automatic in a human-being is unconscious, by virtue of its premise. So the implication suggests, that we are a very unconscious/automatically driven species, and it’s time we transition from automatics to directive self-awareness and self-responsibility.

Self-awareness should be the primary subject in schools as it determines how the students will relate to everything.

So I am here to argue the case that integrity is a very practical subject that can and needs to be taught in schools; as a long-term strategic and cautionary measure, which furthermore does not require any religious or spiritual undertones or gurus. What it does require however, are practical frameworks which one can verify by executing in a way that measurably produce outcomes in thoughts, words and deeds and based on principles and values centered around honoring life – values that ensures an ethical existential impact.

But it is a matter of accustoming the public for the adoption of certain concepts, concepts which inherently bring about dissonance, fear of change, resistance and anxiety, which speaks to the extensive challenge of making integrity a matter of education. One of the things that bespeak this existential anxiety is the undeniable truth that you are equal and one with that which you accept and allow within and without. And I personally believe that this is the premise that is required in order for one to start developing a sense of moral duty, responsibility and integrity. For integrity to matter, one simply must take ownership of ones acceptances and allowances.

The reason it needs to become part of the education process, is because without integrity one may abuse what one learn in school. So in order to ensure that children do not abuse knowledge, they must consider how to create an ethical relationship to knowledge. Here an emphasis on the ways of the students of relating to things will become primary, which thus means that responsibility and self-awareness will become primary. Current and collectively accepted definitions of ”normal” means children should blame outside circumstances and events for how they accept and allow themselves to react to them internally; which has removed self-responsibility from the equation of a child’s conduct. Grown-ups also function this way based on where we are in our evolutionary process at the moment. And before you meet that sentence with some potential dismay, let me put you at ease by saying that I understand that you obviously cannot hold a child or adult accountable for what it does not have the tools to understand.

But what I am saying is that with such tools at an early age you can expect a great deal more from a child or adult. But like all things, it requires a process. At the very least, we must get children used to the idea that they are responsible for what they accept and allow within and as their thoughts, words and deeds and that they can do something about that. The consideration of what a child accepts and allows in thought, words and deeds should be a standard tool for support at an early age; seeing as how it has such an enormously positive impact on the development of a child’s self-awareness and sense of responsibility.

So what is integrity really all about, practically? As I’ve already said, it’s about everything; including the very uncertain continuation of the human-race. But let’s get concrete. Think of it in terms of a self-aware process of integration and self-responsibility. For example, when you become conscious of an unconscious tendency that is destructive, dishonest or in any way limiting, and you begin to correct and realign such a point in an integrity wise way by stopping your participation in that which fuels its causes, what happens? The unconscious point is no longer a unconscious point. You have integrated it from your unconscious to your conscious. You have taken responsibility thus, for who you are within and as what you do/act out, think, speak in a specific context. Such is the practical process of integrity. It’s about taking ownership of who you are and who you are not. It’s about taking a stand for real in and out.

I am not saying that we can judge people based on how integrity-wise they are, or any some such authenticity policing. And it is nearly always too early to claim if someone is dishonest or not. Time will tell. Besides, you cannot really ever know, nor should you make it your mission to find out who is who, like some kind of existential judge. You should however, clarify your own integrity and focus on cultivating that through introspection, realignment, application and correction. So you get to a point where you no longer blame outside circumstances and events for how you accept and allow yourself to relate to them. I realize this is a great ask, as it means you must deliberately go against human-nature. But remember, the key to success is actually integrity. Forget those self-help books, and ponder on this for yourself.

I am confident you will realize that the key to success is to effectively cooperate with people, and for that you must deserve their trust by behaving in a consistent and integrity-wise way. People naturally want to work with someone with some integrity, courage and values. It’s not a big mystery, because what do you know about a person with integrity? They will do the right thing; no matter what.

So what I am suggesting is a slow but sure start of introducing some concepts, applications, tools, disciplines and ideas of how to practice and develop integrity, without the spiritual, metaphysical and mystical nonsense that too often come with it. Because ladies and gentlemen, if we begin to solve these issues in ourselves, it will be reflected in our approach to the world and change will really happen. I am not particularly spiritual, but I do understand that there is a correlation between what we accept and allow within, and what manifests without. This is a highly practical perspective, not mystical at all.

Now, let’s look at seriously detrimental problems with our infrastructure in the world. The whole thing is setup based on perceived short-term self-interest, profit, greed as well as the tacit assumption that this is the way it is and has always been and so shall remain, and most likely no better alternative can be created because of human nature. So if self-honesty, self-responsibility and correction would be introduced as a practical process in schools – the whole thing would collapse. This is the biggest problem of the 21st century, and one could argue, an age old problem. You might have noticed, that the most clear integrity wise examples, who told us all to leave together in integrity and peace, got killed. From Jesus, Martin Luther King etc. So this is why I say that it is the one and only problem, and that everything else should be considered as ripple effects thereof. So now that we have established that integrity is bad for the economy, what are we to do?

Policy Suggestions:

These policy suggestions primarily relates to education, which means it will in the long-term relate to everything, as education systems function as the programming people will act out in the system, directly and indirectly to a considerable extent. So let’s list a few points that need to be conveyed through the education process in terms of provoking some practicality to the subject of integrity.

  1. Self-awareness must be differentiated in terms of it being based on perceptions and it being based on facts.
  2. It must be understood that there is a difference between rational and irrational self-interest, and that perceived self-interest can actually lead people to edit memories to suit their self-interest and thereby distort the very self-image of a person. Self-interests need to be created with awareness and not automatic compulsions of addictive self-interests.
  3. You can never trust yourself if you are not honest with yourself, and thereby self-honesty should be considered as a premise and determining factor for a healthy and well-deserved kind of confidence.
  4. Reactions indicate automatic pre-programming that can be changed. The difference between an action and reaction must be understood.
  5. It is not healthy to blame outside circumstances and events for how you accept and allow yourself to relate to them internally.
  6. The only control that a human-being can exercise over their self lays in thoughts, words and deeds. It is here you are totally responsible for what you accept and allow and therefore it is in your thoughts, words and deeds your integrity is visible.
  7. Integrity means: who you are within and as what you accept and allow within every moment.

With respect to this most important subject, we propose a simple module to start with, as a means for deconstructing the various thoughts, feelings, emotions, self-definitions, belief-systems, ideas, personality-constructs, defense-mechanisms, perceptions and judgments that can be considered as dishonest, destructive or in any other way limiting to a human-being. Here we suggest a module we call Trinity. But before you read on, please note: we are not saying that we have some universal answer to the problem of self-dishonesty, but that we should treat the subject seriously and find ways of introducing the subject in schools as a practical way of taking responsibility for oneself.

Through the practical process we will naturally find ways to improve, develop and make the subject more and more practical. So we humbly suggest the above as potential content for the future of education. But as with all EOS directives, we are asking for an opportunity to test these things, and through that process we adapt and discover what to keep, refine, eliminate and take responsibility for.

Trinity:

It is based on looking at your content from three dimensions. One being the conscious dimension (what it is – anger, sadness, fear etc), then the subconscious dimension (what it consist of and as – beliefs, definition, memories etc), and thirdly, the unconscious dimension (the effects and consequences it creates within and without – manifests in the ways within which a person relates to things, experiences etc).

By deconstructing internal points from this perspective you integrate them in a more full sense and understanding. And once you understand something, you can do something about it. But you must understand what it is, what it is based on, and the consequences and effects it has in order to put yourself in a position to do something about the matter, as well as assess its integrity/substance, or lack thereof.

What this module is about therefore, is taking that which is unconscious/subconscious and making it conscious. Thus, it’s about a process of aware integration; to put the pieces of yourself back together, for understanding, responsibility, improvement, change and correction. In this we want to emphasize that once you become conscious of something unconscious by integrating it through this module, you actually take ownership of a part of your mind and put it into context/perspective in such a way that you can use it in a self-aware and integrity wise way.

As you might have noticed, many things come in the number three. We have thoughts, words and deeds. And we have the conscious, subconscious and unconscious. Then of course, many consider the human-being as a kind of trinity, as mind, body and spirit. And in organisations we often use the number in terms of the why, how and when. We speak, write and read. And so it goes…

Point is, this number seems to simplify the structure of things to make things more easily understandable and actionable. So the module we call Trinity has many applications in three dimensional reality.

Thanks for considering our current public considerations for integrity as a public education policy.

Markus Modin

Sequence Director for Relations at EOS

[email protected]

multi[1]

Life demands a multidisciplinary approach

This world is incredibly complex and interconnected, and there are laws and principles that regulate the way it all works in relation to each respective part. It’s been referred to as first order principles, governing dynamics, universal laws etc. But these governing dynamics, or as I like to call them, determining factors; play a decisive role in all fields and areas of society, nature, as well as human behavior, without exception. Yet, we tend to study such principles and/or laws in isolation from each other. Much like we tend to study various subjects in isolation from each other. I mean, consider for example the study of human behavior, in terms of how it requires a very multidisciplinary approach in order to come to terms with. You have to consider genetics, biology, history, psychology, spirituality, education systems, politics, parenting, social circle, economics etcetera. Because they all play a decisive role in the creations of human behavior.

Read more: Life demands a multidisciplinary approach

The point is that you must be able to draw from multiple disciplines and connect dots that might seem unrelated at first, but in fact aren’t. And this I believe, is what the future of education must accomplish, as an integrated, multidisciplinary and holistic approach towards everything, especially since everything keeps getting more and more connected.

At present, many people specialize by virtue of market demands. But many of these market demands are and will continue to be met with increased levels of automation, and so human-beings who specialize in one particular thing or field, are particularly at risk of becoming unemployed. Consider a PhD student in chemistry for example; someone who has basically only studied chemistry for years. How much mobility in the system does such a skillset warrant, in terms of participating in domains outside of chemistry? Whereas someone with skills and understanding in science, communication, psychology, group behavior, history, leadership and law has a lot more mobility and flexibility in terms of capacity to execute, problem solve and effectively operate in various domains and disciplines, as well as cooperate with people of very diverse culture and specialty. Even such demanding and complex professions as those relating to chemistry, programming, medicine, engineering and law are at risk. With enhanced diagnostics by means of machine learning/artificial intelligence and 3D printing, there is a great chance that even such meticulous and demanding work will become automated to a considerable extent. What this means is that a specialist has a very limited future in the system.

As the world gets increasingly more interconnected, various disciplines are integrating, overlapping and intersecting, which will increase the level of complexity, and so obviously problem solving will become a very important skill, as it always has been. So why is a multidisciplinary approach to education so important in order to develop the skill of problem solving?

Because it gives you a more deep and wide reference framework for considering the causes and effects of problems, and thus find alignments between these points in order to articulate solutions. It improves your ability to consider things from multiple perspectives at the same time, as well as measure various ripple effects, as you can consider how those manifests through different domains and collective relationships. It also makes you more able to consider seemingly diametrically opposite views in terms of similarities. Because as a multi-disciplinarian, you will recognize how two opposite views can be accurate at the same time, from different perspectives (something that might illuminate the political debate?). You learn to think more holistically around problems and solutions. You become someone that can integrate things, which means you will make sense out of things. And this is something that will always be in demand. Especially in a highly complex and interconnected world that in many cases – does not make sense.

The current approach to education is largely based on specialization, which is obviously a very foundational problem when the markets are evolving faster than the education systems; as the education is meant to prepare the student for the marketplace, but alas – the student finds that there is no alignment between the education/preparation he/she went through and the actual market place grim physical reality.

And it is particularly difficult for an eager young mind that is trapped in this type of preparation system. Because based on the current and collectively accepted and allowed market conditions, and the education systems that are supposed to be designed to serve as infrastructure in creating/improving the marketplace, we directly and indirectly force children as well as adults to define themselves within one specific category of work or field, which is frustratingly limiting for a person that might care about many different types of disciplines and want to use all of them in their work life.

And I would further argue that this type of education, that is primarily based on specialization, really limits the self-image of the student. A student who sees him or herself as a specialist, will inevitably become trapped in a comfort zone, not only of the mind, but also professionally. A multi-disciplinarian will on the other hand have mobility, confidence and flexibility, by virtue of approach. Because in the multidisciplinary students head, there are considerations of many different things and opportunities, outside of the current circle of competence. Because the self-image is not restricted to one thing or field. All in all, the multi-disciplinary approach creates a psychology of creativity, self-trust and competence. The multidisciplinary mind can walk through a lot of human territory without the dissonance of feeling totally insecure or out of depth, and it is in such a state a human-being gets real productive and constructive.

I also want to emphasize that this is actually not particularly unusual a preference for a human being, but commensurate to the natural. Everyone naturally wants to expand in their understanding, application, capacity, experimentation and responsibility. It is just a matter of encouraging and imprinting this type of mind-set early on. The beauty of humanity is that we forever more want to expand, grow and realize our potential. And if you look at various people who have made successful contributions to mankind, there is this underlying pattern of a multi-disciplinary approach. They read everything they could get their hands on, not just things that seemed relevant based on their current knowledge and understanding. In short, they read because of the thing they didn’t know, as oppose to about the things they knew.

Many of our innovations came to be by total accidental flimsies of man’s hunt for the unknown. Someone broke the rules of the classroom by thinking outside of it and crossing, blending and mixing disciplines. All of a sudden in the middle of a classroom for example, when he or she should’ve paid attention to the chemistry teacher; started thinking about how to create an interface between the mind and the physical that could stabilize the world in a long term strategic way. This thought would most definitely not have occurred unless the person could draw connections between various disciplines. The point is, we get to major breakthroughs and realization when we let go of our ideas and preconceived notions of how to get there and we jump from discipline to discipline. And it is in this process of integrating seemingly unrelated disciplines we got to innovation and creativity.

Think about it this way, if you look at a singular variable; not for long you will see that it is connected to an additional point/variable, then a network, that is part of systems and so it goes. Everything becomes part of a greater picture, and it is through understanding how it fits together, we see opportunities for solutions, alignments and creativity, interaction and cooperation. Life is about making connections. Its about integration.

Context is everything, and you have to understand the context you are in; in order to make connections. So anything that helps you understand the context you are in is relevant and as a multi-disciplinarian you have so much more to draw from in order to deduce that context.

But let me clarify, obviously you can be a multi-disciplinarian even though you specialize, and I would argue that it would in fact help you specialize, by virtue of the contrast it affords your perspective. But I mainly wrote this article because I want this to be considered in terms of early stage development, as education control self-image. And self-image controls everything you do. So if you see yourself as a chemist, truck driver, leader, expert or perhaps just a humble student – you will behave in ways that are commensurate with those self-definitions. And it is here we want to emphasize that you should see yourself as a multi-disciplinarian, for then your self-image may be deep and broad. And as such, so will your actions. At length when we really begin to challenge the current state of education, we will look at how to create effective self-definitions that empowers people, and that are based on facts, not perceptions. But for now this is sufficient to argue the importance for a new more multidisciplinary approach towards ones education.

Below are some of our current public considerations for policy suggestions.

Policy suggestions:

A subject need to be created as a means of support in helping one deal with all other subjects. Let’s call it a toolkit for intellectual self-defense, shall we?

This toolkit should be designed based on factual awareness and understanding of how determining factors of human judgment influence perception when one study things unknown.

In other words, what are de common denominators that make a person a good student no matter in what field the student focus? This is the question that shows that what is required is not specific knowledge, but attributes that help one deal with all kinds of knowledge; attributes such as humbleness, teachability, critical thinking, attention-span, pattern-recognition, judgment, delayed-gratification, patience etcetera. These are the type of qualities that help you excel in all fields of endeavor and it is thus the type of stuff that makes for a framework that inspires a multi-disciplinary mindset and way of life that can support you in all fields and areas of life.

I am talking about a subject that will cover all subjects, to a certain extent. Take cognitive biases for illustrative purposes. There are standard causes for human misjudgment that are unconscious and thus automatic, such as cognitive biases. If you do not understand or even know about these inherent blind spots in psychology, you will naturally be ruled by them.

So what is needed are multi-disciplinary frameworks based on the determining factors for how human beings relate to things. This framework must be able to be applied in relation to everything, not just one field, which is the marvelous thing with psychology. You can’t really avoid it.

It’s time we get to the causes of things and that is impossible without a toolkit to discern the truth. Because as we all deeply know, just because one believe something to be true, doesn’t make it so.

We must think in terms of how to see through the mind, not merely because of it. Education should teach the student to see through her own limitations, perceptions, reactions, thoughts, emotions and feelings. But to get at least some practicality in to this very abstract subject of the multidisciplinary approach, let’s consider what this framework needs in order to help people operate more like multi-disciplinarians in a beneficial way.

Let’s first list all the subjects we need to integrate into this one subject, for the development of a multi-disciplinary approach.

  1. Principles
  2. Laws
  3. Mind-programming
  4. Cognitive Biases
  5. Self-awareness
  6. Intellectual Accountability

What we are talking about is the development of self-awareness based on facts, not perceptions. This article is meant to serve as a hint of what’s to come. We will be more forthright with specific suggestions for how to create this subject and then naturally, we want to test it and thereby discover what is worthy to keep.

democracy01[1]

On Democracy

Introduction

Liberal Democracy as a system is – much like the entire western civilization – torn between two mutually opposing forces, namely between its Liberal and Democratic aspects. The founding principle of Democracy is that the people should be vested with political power over the political, economic and social reality of their communities. The principal self-contradiction, which we here imagine occurring in a vacuum (as often is the case with Liberalism), is that the people should have the power to direct the fate of their community, but not to the extent that they can deprive others of their human rights or make arbitrary decisions which would hurt the very community.

Read more: On Democracy

It is seldom spoken of, since it would reveal uncomfortable truths, but there is a mutual sense of distrust between the part of the people which we can call the “masses” and those which we can call the “elites”. This mistrust is not merely caused by the emergence of social and alternative media platforms, but by incompatible interests caused both by time preferences, class preferences and differing access to information nodes.

Even more seldom spoken of, but widely understood within elite circles, is that the populace at large is not and will never be ready to shoulder more power than being able to cast their vote twice a decade – a vote which will only decide who will represent them. Those representatives will also overwhelmingly be people filtered by parties, bureaucracies or lobbyists, often with an elite background themselves. Thus, the masses are expected to be represented by individuals who share the background and therefore the sentiments of the elites.

Moreover, the recruitment field of the elite in most western countries is wedged towards those segments which are predisposed towards the outlook of the corporate and financial sectors of society. If our political elites for example where composed of technical engineers, ecologists or programmers, the preferences – for better and worse – would be different.

The fractures between the elites and the masses of the West caused by the emphasis on political globalism is widening, largely because the masses are not willing to pay the short-term prices of the long-term dividends which the elites can see would benefit everyone with economic growth which will raise every boat. While the elites generally choose to scoff at the ignorance of the protectionism and nationalism espoused within the masses, the very same elites tend to believe in endless exponential growth on a finite world – which in itself is an example of wishful thinking.

One of the most democratic countries on Earth, Switzerland, where there are binding referendums on the local, regional and country-wide levels, is also characterised by a conservative cautiousness on the part of the voters. First at the end of the 1970’s the female citizens were given the right to vote for example, and most referendums end with a negative result, reflecting that most Swiss voters evidently are quite pleased with the status quo – which hardly is surprising in one of the arguably most affluent societies on our planet.

This does present a challenge for adherents of globalism worldwide, which can be seen in the resistance and distrust the public shows against Free Trade treaties and supranational institutions like the European Union. In many ways, this resistance, though often founded on a defence of the status quo, could be helpful in terms of slowing down or outright stopping policies which would hasten the progress of the Sixth Mass Extinction.

However, the resistance against unpopular liberalizations are not fundamentally directed by concerns for the civilization’s over-usage of the planetary carrying capacity, but rather driven by fears of having to adjust one’s own lifestyle, especially in Western countries where an entrenched middle class is struggling to not have to struggle and to be able to indefinitely continue live in the temporal Schlaraffenland we have created.

The stark truth is that the Transition – if we would introduce it to a regular Western citizen and they would be made to understand what it entails – would recoil in horror over the profound, deep and radical alterations of their lifestyle which the introduction of this process would bring over their heads. Air travel with passenger planes, to take an obvious example, is a highly popular pastime and has opened the world for most people.

This is not because they are inherently egotistical, but because the foundations which hundreds of millions of middle class people throughout the world have built their lives, hopes and dreams on are constructed on a fundament of unsustainability and therefore they will experience hardships during the Transition, with the fleeting promise of a better future on the other side of the Transition.

Here, we as a movement are facing a dilemma.

The EOS are ardent believers in social sustainability, and a part of social sustainability is based upon the right of authentic self-responsibility of the individual, and of the sovereignty of the community – where Democracy must be an integral, fundamental and consistent cornerstone in the application of power.

On the other hand, we can see that voters in first world countries in general prefer status quo before changes, by looking at the results in most European referendums and at the reactions against governments – whether left or right of centre – which try to initiate widespread reforms which affect large chunks of the population in a negative manner without directly benefitting other parts of the population.

Democracy is one essential aspect not only for channelling the will of the people, but also for building the legitimacy of policies. This means that reform programmes should be open for cancellation based on the desires of the people. Human beings are however not evolved to deal with a Sixth Mass Extinction event, but – like every other animal – subject to concerns about the local and the short-term benefits. It is possible that the hardships of the approaching Extinction Event would make the peoples of the developed countries on Earth more amendable to the Transition even if they may need to carry a heavy burden. But at that point, it may be too late.

It remains our belief that this conflict between the ideals and realities that we face regarding Democracy can only be solved not by elitism and epistocratic or technocratic forms of governance, but through measures which facilitate both the external and internal community-based power of Humanity as a whole, and filters that power through a networked holonic system of governance.

Though we are not a political party, we are undoubtedly a political movement – in the most essential aspect of them all, and that is to stimulate the masses to organise themselves to educate themselves and initiate the Transition towards a sustainable future.

That is what this article is about.

TL;DR Summary

  • Democracy should primarily be viewed not as instrumental or fundamental, but as an aspect of popular sovereignty.
  • There is an inherent contradiction between majority power and individual autonomy, Democracy must straddle this contradiction.
  • A second contradiction is to be found between the local and the central level, between autonomy and efficiency. To not speak of the fact that Democracy tend to be national, whereas the world is global.
  • Yet another, third, contradiction could be found between the need for complex knowledge to make decisions, and the will of the people.
  • Globalization has brought all these conflicts to the forefront of the stage of human history.
  • It will be a mere breeze in comparison to the tempest of the Transition.
  • Popular Sovereignty is an integral part of social sustainability, and Democracy is an inherent aspect of Sovereignty.
  • Representative Democracy is ultimately a flawed system which was formed due to technological inadequacy and the vested interests of oligarchic vestiges within the modern industrial nation-state.
  • It is technologically feasible to establish Direct Democracy in developed countries now, and within a few decades it will be possible to establish a Global Direct Democracy through technological means.
  • It is questionable whether it is desirable to install a Global Direct Democracy. Democracy is not only a matter of quality but of quantity, and there is a point where your vote turns meaningless, when it’s a mere fraction of a great trickle.
  • Meaningful Sovereignty must complete Popular Sovereignty, otherwise Popular Sovereignty will self-destruct.
  • Three principles of democratic governance for the Third Millennium – Enlightened Electorates, Localised Power and Direct Democracy.
  • The EOS could help pave the road to a better Democracy with less traits of Oligarchy by Social Activism.

Popular Sovereignty and Democracy

Usually, when most people think of Democracy, they think of institutional procedures which allows for representative government through the process of voting. The question, fundamentally, is about power. A human society characterised by specialisation will have control nodes, which would usually not be distributed equally. In a hypothetical society with such characteristics – equal distribution of control nodes – there would be less need for democracy, for in the absence of real or artificial scarcity of resources and access to information, there wouldn’t be much need for government at all, and thence power. When we have specialisation, scarcity and control nodes, for example irrigation systems, military forces, power stations, wells, and food silos, the need for legislation and therefore government arises.

These nodes of control can be utilised for the good of the community, but often they can also be abused to ensure the control of parasitic and kleptocratic elites, which utilise their power over nodes of control to exert dominance over the means of production or over the armed segment of the population in order to perpetuate their own supremacy. In fact, having no laws, regulation or popular control over these nodes – or “keys” if you want to use these words – would virtually guarantee the emergence of some kind of feudal system, at least under conditions where society has grown beyond the size suitable for clannish structures.

Because complex societies rely on specialisation, it has hitherto been impossible to avoid the risk of authoritarianism by eliminating the need of a government, for the simple reason that governance would always emerge within the context of informal balances. Even in a Libertarian or Anarchist society, competition will spawn conflicts, which will birth political factions. The competition might be peaceful, semi-violent or outright violent, but it will eventually lead to the creation of a de-facto government (or several regional governments, if the country in question is breaking apart).

The Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle correctly identified three types of government, Despotic, Oligarchic and Democratic/Popular. Or shortly, should a country be governed by one clan, by an alliance of several dominant clans, or by the whole population, either through a clan system or through an informed citizenry.

Aristotle was also keen enough to differentiate between what he called “virtuous” forms of the abovementioned systems of governance, and “bad” forms. What he termed as “virtuous” was a mixture between altruistic leadership and institutions which supported such forms of leadership and limited the execution of political power in a society.

Armed with this information, we are ready to delineate what we mean by popular sovereignty, namely a state of governance where the control over the vital nodes of a community rest in the hands of the people, namely that the management of security, food, water and energy lies under the direct or indirect control of the human beings residing in the area, and that they are adequately organised in a self-aware citizenry capable of understanding their interests and expressing their own sovereignty.

The problem, already noted by thinkers like Plato and aforementioned Aristotle, of course is that a Democracy unconstrained by any legal and institutional limits can degenerate into anarchy or tyranny. That is a very genuine risk, especially in situations where poverty and social stratification are high, and education is low. In countries where such situations prevail, the elites can point towards the poverty and ignorance of the general population and use it as an argument for the status quo, whether the status quo is a military dictatorship, an oligarchical arrangement between land-owners or an electorally democratic republic where the people may choose between two parties representing the interests of the landed gentry.

The framers of the US Constitution, notably a cluster dominated by wealthy slave-owners, desired the institution of a Republic with limited representative democracy, sub-divided between a legislative, executive and judiciary branch. This construction was meant both as a protection against would-be despots from above, as from populist uprisings from below.

One could imagine another extreme form of democracy, one where “the majority decides everything”, without any respect for traditions, property, privacy or established laws. Such a society, unrestrained by culture, customs, laws or common decency, would quickly deteriorate into something terrifying, and soon move towards authoritarianism or totalitarianism.

Popular sovereignty, in the context of this article, delineates a state or other form of arrangement regarding the use of utilities and resources which everyone within a given geographic area are dependent on. Democracy should – in relation to popular sovereignty – be understood as a contextual toolbox for the expression of Popular sovereignty.

There can arise situations, however, under which a Liberal Democracy institutionally speaking may deliver an acceptable modicum of stability, predictability, legal justice and civil rights, and yet be completely and utterly unable to deliver on Popular sovereignty.

Democracy and globalism

Our planetary human meta-civilization has by historical circumstances come to be organised into territorial states, namely that every country is establishing its own state, with its own civil service (or excuse for it). Every country has its own government, which in the case of democratic countries is supposed to be answerable before an elected legislature which represents the people.

Meanwhile, technology and organisation has since long surpassed the limits of the “nation-state” within which democracies have been developed, and as a result an increasingly globalised economy has emerged from the 1970’s and onward, surpassing and eclipsing the “window of national economic planning” which emerged and dominated following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

Globalization has brought what may be considered many benefits, one of which has been increased economic growth – which is perceived to be the most effective way of allowing populations to move themselves up from poverty. And it is true that poverty overall – despite continued population growth – has been reduced since the 1980’s. This development has been especially clear in China, India and South East Asia, which still taken together contain a majority of the planetary population.

You readers are well aware of the troublesome ecological factors for the global footprint to build human prosperity on a system dependent on exponential growth and on consumerism. That is not the focus of this article, but rather on discussing the implications of policies intended to maximise growth, policies which may be imposed by a purportedly democratic mandate, but which serve to reduce Popular sovereignty.

The needs of globalization and the pressing imperative of squeezing out a few fractions of percentage points of economic growth more has driven country after country to reduce the window where they are capable of exerting economic policies.

The three areas where governance has the power to be utilised for good – or bad – are security, civil rights and resource management. When governments, through the establishment of independent or supranational central banks and through international treaties regulating and constricting the economic policies they may implement, are abdicating the power to exert popular will or interests of the public.

A democratic government which abdicates the control of monetary policy to the banks, and reduces the potential tools it can impose through financial policies will, in regards to economic policies, eventually no longer represent the interests of the people in relation to multinational corporations, but rather the multinational corporations in relation to the people, at least in regard of economic policy. While much of the content in the Bible is up for debate, I think that most readers – religious or secular – would agree that a government cannot serve two masters at once.

Given that, the duck at the heart of the swan pudding is not whether or not these policies in the short or medium term will improve or worsen the situation for the people. Certainly in many countries, especially more impoverished ones, investments have certainly improved the lot of most people. In other countries, the imposition of Neoliberal policies have had disastrous effects on regions and entire social classes. The same can however be said of more etatist regimes. Two of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent time, Zimbabwe and Venezuela, have been caused by the respectively malevolent and incompetent policies of authoritarian governments with centralised state power over the economy. Rather, the issue is whether the control of national economies should be managed from a base of popular sovereignty, or from one which primarily is adjusted to the appeasement of international investors, cosmopolitan financial institutes or multinational corporations.

To illustrate our point, we can put the focus on some concrete examples of policies.

  • The establishment of independent central banks which are tasked with primarily managing inflation and keeping it at a level where private investors are not threatened.
  • The establishment of supranational central banks which impose interest rates that render national governments ineffective in terms of conducting their mandate.
  • International trade treaties which limit the ability of national governments to introduce new legislation (ISDS mechanisms, where corporations are given the right of suing states if state legislation is threatening profitability).
  • International treaties which introduce binding legislative amendments in regards to intellectual copyright claims.
  • When states are compelled to privatise natural resources and utilities like fresh water and either willingly or unwillingly abdicate the control of said resources to multi-national corporations.
  • When states, in order to attract investments to their countries, institute lopsided deals which heavily benefits investors, at the expense of the well-being of the labour force, safety and the environment. One example could be ridiculously low mining taxes, on a fraction of a fraction of one percent annually.
  • This can be an inopportune thing to write, but the drive by certain factions to have a freer flow of migration waves could have more to do with depreciating the wage market and creating a reserve pool of unemployed which would put stressors on organised labour.
  • In general terms: policies which are intended to streamline economic and social policies in a manner which would benefit economic growth, damn all other concerns.

Our point is that these policies have two effects. The first effect is that they veer Democracy away from popular sovereignty and strive to limit the ability of the state to manage and regulate the economy, instead opting to put power over the economy and the infrastructure in the hands of organs or treaties which would manage these policy areas in a manner which produces market predictability and supports economic growth.

The second effect is that they produce winners and losers, and most Western countries have seen class differences increase since these forms of policies became implemented, first by governments and then by supranational trade organisations or bilateral treaties. While these policies were pursued by elected governments, they were a matter of debate, but when they are turned haram by not being a part of the democratic sphere anymore, it produces a situation where losers are increasingly unable to address their grievances through democratic means.

This has been written before, but we can see a relationship between de-industrialisation (in the forms of off-shoring, automatisation and rust belts), and the increase in support of tribalist parties (also known as “right-wing populist parties”).

Globalism has thereby suffered as a project by reducing the economic sovereignty and sense of autonomy and control over their communities, and removing the tools to exert economic control, thence removing from the population the means with which to affect their lot in life. Hardly surprising, such policies would inevitably foster tribalist politics.

Democracy and population quantity

Of course, there are several factors where Democracy as a concept can be duly criticised. One of the most overlooked is the factor of the size of the electorate, and its relation to the voice of the ordinary elector – i.e the voter. Proportionally speaking, a town hall participant in a hall with seventy persons is more influential in their ability to project political power, than a voter in an electorate of 7 million voters. Yet again, this voter would – everything else equal – be far more influential in their vote than a voter in an electorate of 70 million. And, to paraphrase Zizek, “and so on and so on”.

Often, the size of an electorate is also having a relationship to the territory which is governed, meaning that a larger population often coincides with a larger territory with more distances to be covered. Usually, the elites of a country would find themselves concentrated in one to three cities, while the population tend to be more dispersed. Notwithstanding Democracy, states and markets tend to work to extract resources from the countryside and reinvest them in infrastructure largely focusing on capital cities.

Even if democratic states often are better at representing smaller constituencies than dictatorships would, we should not forget that when political representatives are sent to parliament often they come to identify themselves more with their fellow parliamentarians than with the constituents originally empowering them with a mandate.

Even with a democracy of immaculate quality, zero corruption and few if any class differences, the size of the electorate will serve to disempower citizens and communities, especially when the interests or prejudices of a majority conflicts with a minority. It is self-evident that the larger the population of a country, the more insignificant smaller groups would be, and the more distant from far-off capitals.

The human mind itself seems to favour smallness, as the most organic and natural of groupings – hunter-gatherer bands – often consist of less than a hundred individuals. From an emotional point of view, Democracy could be seen as an attempt to bridge the gap between meaningful participation and the alienation born out of us forming larger communities than our brains are wired for.

Of course, these problems are well-known and is one of the primary reasons why federalism has arisen as a solution. Nevertheless, even within the framework of federalism – as exemplified by the historical experiences of federations, prior and modern – the centre tend to either collapse or to gradually subvert and overtake the authorities vested into the local and regional entities, always it should be added for perfectly logical and understandable reasons.

Quantifiable factors increase complexity, all other things equal, and thus makes it more difficult for communities to express their sovereignty in the context of larger entities. This would spell badly for the idea of a global federation. One of the risks with such an undertaking is that every single voice will be drowned out completely by the chorus, and that the federation will curb-stomp every single community on the planet.

This discussion is not anymore theoretical, because we would need a global government to weather out the current crisis. And, as you well know, the global population would hardly be ready for such an endeavour, for more reasons than its gargantuan size…

Qualitative indicators

The biggest institutional hurdle which prevents us from moving towards a deeper and more authentic democracy is not the vested interests naturally arising in a representative democratic state, and that is the ability of the electorate itself to meaningfully partake in the process.

There are many institutional ways to improve the autonomy of communities, a few which are widely used, others which are more seldom used. Federalisation, confederalisation, the ability to initiate re-calls of officials, binding referenda, direct democracy, liquid democracy, but these measures arguably would not solve the fundamental challenges without an enlightened electorate.

Of course, there is no switch between black and white – no magic border where we could say that an electorate is fully enlightened, and one where it isn’t. What there is, is a gradual spectrum.

It can be argued that living in a state of existence where there is no common identity for a geographic area, but there are several competing communities based on tribal, ethnic, sectarian, cultural or ideological grounds, would put Democracy in peril as a system. It is questionable whether it would be a good idea to try introducing democratic voting procedures in every place, and I do not write that lightly. South Sudan, the newest member country of the UN, was designed as a democratic republic, yet immediately dissolved into warlordism and ethnic cleansing upon its independence.

For a democratic conduct to be possible, even in the most formulaic sense, it seems that two preconditions have to be fulfilled:

  • That each individual citizen is respected by society as being in possession of innate rights as a citizen and a human being, and included in a greater whole, to an extent which makes it psychologically very difficult for the idea of exclusion of different groups to be excluded or targeted for elimination on the merits of their differing background or ideology.
  • That there, to a minimum extent, exists a common identity within the citizenry which makes a civilised discourse possible within the country, and therefore makes democratic politics possible.

Democracy cannot work under a situation where polarisation has hit such levels that supporters of different parties will not even speak to one another, and are seeing the other party as enemies of the people. Neither can Democracy function under a situation where a large segment of the populace is questioning the human rights of elements of the population. For a Democracy to properly work as a system of governance, there must be a basic respect of human rights, and enough inclusion that one can be able to reach compromises. Without that, such a Democracy would quickly deteriorate into Anarchy or Totalitarianism.

Those are well-known facts.

It is also well-known that one of the processes we today witness occurring in the wider Western world is a slow dissolution of the common space, or rather the public understanding of common space. This, coupled with the rise of new and more complex ecological challenges, threatens to create a situation where people are not capable of wielding the democratic tools constitutionally endowed to them.

In a world seemingly descending into the Twilight Zone, where not only alternative facts but alternative cosmologies are on the rise, where the ascent of Nibiru and the Rapture are increasingly seen as explanations equally valid to increasing CO2 emissions, and where a video like There are no trees on Flat Earth can garner a quarter of a million views, it comes into question whether there could be room for democratic discourse.

One of the key assumptions of Western Democracy, which is based on Liberalism (which is highly related to Economics) is that the electorate is composed of rational individuals able to identify and vote in accordance with their interests. This presupposes not only that individuals do not primarily identify as agents of tribal constellations, but also more fundamentally that they are interpreting society in accordance with reality.

Of course, the challenges which the electorates of the world are tasked with responding to are far more daunting than a mere fifty or hundred years ago. Whether an old lady believes the Earth is a disc resting on the back of an elephant doesn’t have bearing on her opinions about the retirement system, as it would her thoughts on global warming or soil depletion. Today, when the population of the Earth must increasingly be engaged in the greatest transition in its entire history, issues about the cosmology of the Universe becomes increasingly important.

If the population finds itself splintered in the face of amounting environmental challenges, the ability to respond adequately to said challenges falters, risking that future generations should suffer because of our inadequacy in terms of information management.

How not to solve a conundrum

The frustration with the rise of alternative cosmologies is understandable, and so is – from the point of view of those managing the affairs of the human civilization – the rise of the populist or far right. The most far reaching proposal to amend the current state of matter has been proposed by the Georgetown academic Jason Brennan, who suggests awarding a greater deal of political power in terms of electoral votes to those who can pass tests showing they possess adequate political knowledge. This proposal is called Epistocracy, and even its creator have with emphasis stated he doesn’t believe current governments have the capability to introduce such a test which would be unbiased and not prone to discrimination. Moreover, Epistocracy would favour voters with university education and therefore higher income percentiles of the population. Certainly, said citizens are more knowledgeable, but the question is whether they could be trusted to vote in the best interests of their less educated counterparts. Arguably, a lot of the development of the last three decades has stimulated the growth of populism not because the ignorance of the uneducated voters, but because globalisation has benefitted white collar labour to a certain extent, while disadvantaging traditional blue collar – at least in the context of the Western World.

Removing the voting rights from these people would remove the last area where they legally can affect their standard of living, and also send the message that their lot in life and the hardships they endure can be cooked down to them having different priorities (one facet of Neoliberal culture is that not being competitive, assertive, or being focused on rearing children and building a family instead of fighting for internships at companies which largely are facilitating the ravaging of the planet is somehow a sign of deficiency of character).

While Epistocracy currently and thankfully is out of the picture as anything else than a theoretical construct, other policies are currently being overtly and covertly instituted to curtail the worst excesses of the current fake news media landscape. When printing presses became widespread during the Late Renaissance, so became widespread censorship and government control over the dissemination of information.

Today, we are seeing attempts by governments and think tanks in the West to make social media regulate their content, targeting especially the manufacturers of conspiracy-related content. This is hardly surprising, given that what ten years ago merely was an irritant and mostly manifesting itself within fringe circles in 2016 dramatically threatened to break itself into the mainstream. Infowars is but the latest media empire to have been clipped from its platforms on Youtube and Facebook.

This process of de-platforming is understandable, but will at the same time lend credence to the claims that the actors targeted for manufacturing fake news and moral panics politically repressed dissidents. Also, it is genuinely dangerous when institutions collude to suppress the free flow of information on the Internet, just like when institutions collude to restrict the freedom of speech in public spaces. Laws instituted to protect the democratic society against the rise of Totalitarians or Far Right Tribalists have proven to not be able on their own to prevent the rise of Totalitarian or Far Right Tribalist regimes. Such laws have actually often ended up the tools of factions they originally were intended to suppress.

Granted, social media actors such as Andrew Anglin and Alex Jones have adamantly attempted to disqualify themselves from being a part of civilised society, especially in terms of bullying, pointing out and attacking private individuals whose privacy have been compromised by their irresponsible activities. Ultimately, these actors may have been so destructively disruptive for society that the cost of clipping them was outweighed by the positive effects of constraining their platforms.

Men like Andrew and Alex are not the problem, and censorship or de-platforming is ultimately a blunt tool, a superficial solution to more deep-seated problems, namely that large segments of the population in today’s abundance of information have managed to make themselves so ignorant that they can be turned into cannon-fodder for opportunistic demagogues and victims of the purveyors of snake oil.

We need to search for deeper, more radical solutions to create a better Global Democracy of tomorrow.

Reforming education

Education as it fundamentally has been designed in the Western World, was originally focused on teaching obedience. The primary purpose of the public school system was to condition the working classes to the thought pattern that 1) there are authorities to which they 2) owe half their waking hours. Of course, there were also progressive thoughts ingrained into this structure, to eliminate illiteracy and give everyone access to reading the classics and comprehending maths. In these regards, schooling has been a success.

Despite the numerous changes in knowledge and content which the Western educational systems have gone through since the 1800’s, the fundamental structure of a classroom, a teacher and subjects is still in play, and has also spread to Television through the format in which documentaries are put forth.

The classroom is not and may not in its fundamental manner of teaching be anything else than a place for reception and for the appeal to authority. The students, who often are not cognitively mature or experienced enough to be able to understand the scientific method, are being taught the subjects by a teacher, who tells the students how to measure 6×6, what a preposition is and during what century Gustavus Adolphus ruled Sweden. This type of teaching ingrains – and inadvertently must ingrain – into the minds of students to take as face value what the teacher is disseminating. The reason for this constitution of learning is that students must memorise the words stated by their teacher and course books because these words in themselves are the keys to successfully manage the regular course tests! The important matter is not whether the words are true or gibberish, or whether they are understood at a rational or even intuitive level, but that they are memorised for purging the day the test’s over.

For those with enough luck or fortitude to continue studying at the University, an arduous journey begins – to unlearn the information management methods conditioned to them by Primary School. Instead of reflectionless passive information storage, students painstakingly have to learn and master the Scientific Method, and not all of them will succeed to ever be able to shake of the authoritarian forced memorisation habits of Primary School.

The question is whether these memorisation habits which are forced upon every student of every generation in every Primary School would have detrimental effects in relation to the individual student’s ability to question, to reason, to think and to read. When the brain is forced to learn to store huge amounts of information while taking that information at face value, one can think of how political propaganda and marketing could find that conditioning useful for partisan and commercial purposes.

Now I am not arguing that people who have not undergone Public School in some ways are better equipped to withstand propaganda. Experience shows that conspiracy theories, rumours and mob violence flourishes where the light of education haven’t reached, in even higher regard. What I am questioning is whether the system of education consisting of conditioning for tests is really the optimal way of teaching students to become source critical citizens who apply scientific and rational reasoning.

Granted, large segments of the population in the United States are today believers in various conspiracy theories, while the federal country still has a system of universal education. The same for most Western countries, where conspiracy-based thinking is spreading, mostly with the rise of social media.

No matter if the current education system has a positive or detrimental effect in terms of developing the critical thinking skills of the citizenry, the need to adapt it to the realities of this century becomes ever more stark. During the 19th century, owning books was a novelty for wealthy urbanites, and museums were built to bring high culture to the uncouth masses.

Today, the problem is largely the opposite, at least in developed countries. What once was an information bottleneck today is an information overload. The ascent of the Internet and especially platforms like Youtube has allowed anyone with a modest budget, know-how and time at their disposal to reach out towards the wider marketplace of ideas and spread their information. This development should actually be applauded, since it has democratised the spreading of knowledge and helped making the spread of information less dependent on government-approval or commercial funding. On the other hand, it has also – as this article previously has covered – led to an information landscape where people choose their sources of information to suit the identity they want to explore, and often after what that titillate their interests, tastes and more than anything fears.

This information is often presented in the style which viewers have gotten used to from newscasts or documentaries, thus confusing the viewers regarding the veracity of the information which they often take at face value.

Regarding how the education system could be improved to match the challenges of our bloated information jungle, these changes would probably need to be installed together with other wide-ranging transformational reforms of the wider way students would be trained to better adapt to the conditions of the future.

  • Understanding the Scientific Method(ologies): Empiricism, rationalism, falsification and Occam’s Razor are tools which not only make scientific research possible, but which would help the individual categorise information and help to identify unsupported claims and wild assertions.
  • Understanding causality and the structure of arguments: If the understanding of causality was more widespread within society it would serve to improve political discourse (although probably making it more boring). If the average person was able to identify examples of equivocation, false causalities, ad hominem, strawmen and appeals to authority, not only would the debate be more constrained and thus better for Democracy, but time would be saved.
  • Understanding biases and one’s own interests and emotions: If each individual was given the cognitive tools to understand the role of their own interests and emotions in relation to their political choices, and to identify where their preferences are based on sentimental or fear-based grounds rather than rational measurements, many of the fundaments for people choosing toxic or non-constructive political alternatives will vanish.

I could list more adjustments, but all other adjustments to the way information is disseminated are hinging on these three, which in our opinion are desperately needed to improve the current situation. With a more dispassionate electorate, equipped with the tools to properly understand the thermodynamic, ecological and economic ramifications not only of their own interests, but the historical context in which our entire civilization has arisen, would be not only necessary to establish a better Democracy, but also to begin the Transition towards a sustainable future.

Building a more perfect Democracy

Some see Democracy as an ends to itself, while others see it as an aspect of the realisation of Liberalism (understood in its 19th century format), namely that Democracy is a pillar of the trinity which also consists of an independent judiciary and the protection of civil liberties (especially amongst them individual property rights). Just as the Ideology of the Third Millennium differs from Liberalism’s, so does our perspectives on Democracy.

We see, like Liberals, Democracy as a means to an end. This goal is dictated by our ideology, which as you well known is defined by Life in itself as the highest value. Life may not have a meaning, but Life creates the opportunities for meaningfulness to emerge. Our goal is for Civilization to be so constituted that each human being can be able to define herself in accordance with her will to live, within the constraints of not harming other human beings or the biosphere which makes Life possible. The human being is a fractal of consciousness anchored in a biological body with the need of nutrition, sleep and meaningful social participation in a context of self-realisation.

This does also tie in with our understanding of Rights as a relational construct which appears whenever human beings or human institutions are interacting with one another or with other organisms. For us, rights are derived from the freedom to pursue Life, rather than property rights (which today equally can be wielded by persons by flesh as by legal persons, i.e corporations).

For these reasons, Rights cannot merely exist as concepts on paper for them to be valid – their long-term sustainability must be upheld by distributed power. This means that meaningful, authentic Rights must be understood as horizontal relationships between the local and the federal levels.

  • A principle of subsidiarity must underpin power, namely that decisions must be so close to those affected by them as efficiently possible.
  • The local community should have the sovereign power over local resources, such as mines and other natural resource deposits. This power can be distributed to other actors through contract, but sovereignty should always belong to those primarily affected by the usage of said resources.
  • Defence should ideally mostly consist of local militias, tied to and administered by local communities (for this to work there must exist a common over-arching identity).
  • Local communities should not be able to prevent people from moving away from them.
  • Countries should strive for smallness and de-centralisation to empower the population and prevent the concentration of power into capitols.
  • During the 21st century, the question is whether we even need the concept of sub-national entities.
  • Binding referenda is – even when producing results which may not be optimal – a positive feature of popular sovereignty.

In terms of global governance, we seemingly face a dilemma. During this century, humanity would need to unite in order to face the Mass Ecological Collapse Event we’ve created during the previous century. This calls for political and infrastructural globalization and eventually the formation of a world confederation. Such a structure poses huge political risks for humanity. Yet, constructed right, such a confederation could not only help achieving the objectives of creating a sustainable future, but also stabilise the underlying structure.

  • The foundation for the Global Confederation would be a Constitution, centred around establishing a system of norms and ethics possibly derived from the Three Criteria and from Human Rights, and mostly focusing on limiting the very powers of the confederation.
  • The Confederation would be focused on coordinating legal aspects of those parts of the Transition which are global in scope, such as for example climate and oceanic issues.
  • The Technate would, under the model proposed by the EOS, manage the execution of these factors on the ground.
  • The Global Confederation would have the power to exclude confederated subjects which violate the Constitution.
  • In case of necessity, such as an asteroid impact or a super-volcano eruption, the Confederation must have the power to remove the authority from confederated subject entities, for a limited duration of time until the emergency is over.

In terms of the structure of government, single term officials which are indirectly elected may avoid the trappings of ambitious individuals and the gridlock and corruption which is marked by Presidentialism. Experience shows that parliamentarian systems are slightly more democratically robust than presidential ones.

This future of governance can probably not be realised during this century in the form vaguely outlined in this article, but we can like everything else try to approximate a system which approaches the concept of popular sovereignty.

Our Ideology calls for a system which is more authentically democratic than most societies approach today, while reality calls for policies which would demand humanity to make stark choices in the face of an impending ecological collapse. The loss of Democracy would spell a risk for humans to exert sovereignty over their own lives, while the diminishment of our biosphere would endanger the lives of billions of people and probably spell the end of most freedoms enjoyed by at least a substantial part of the planet’s population today.

Ultimately, what we can see is that we need to increase our strategy to connect communities and to educate the public about the realities of our current situation. Abolishing Democracy or constricting it by for example appointing a “climate dictator” would be an absolutely last resort-measure, and would have a huge risk at failure as policies not understood, appreciated or made by the masses leap the risk of fomenting a violent reaction.

We need a Transition, but this Transition must be legitimate. It is not a matter of the Earth vs Humanity, it is a matter of making Humanity realise and understand how basic thermodynamic relationships interconnect us with our home planet and our Sun, and how important this is for our survival.

glob[1]

Growth, Globalization and the Future

Introduction

The discourse surrounding globalization has often been shrill, repetitive and emotional – on all sides of the aisle. The proponents point out how trade and growth have increased GDP and living standards, while the critics point out that inequality has grown and the poignant fact that the global biosphere has seen better days, upon which the proponents may claim that the detractors want to deny the developing world the opportunity for raised living standards. There might be acknowledgements that there have been bad effects, but the foundation for the current development is seldom questioned.

Both sides definitely have points, but where our focus must be centered is on the fact that our current way is inherently unsustainable, and grows more unsustainable with every passing year due to our glaring inability to come to terms with quantitative environmental problems. While many of those in power are worrying for ageing, unemployment, integration or lagging growth numbers within the next two years, the reality we are facing on a global scale is that of an approaching Sixth Mass Extinction Event. In comparison, all other problems appear as minor nuisances.

This article is intended to discuss globalization in terms of different aspects, which can be termed the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – but also try to explore the issue connected to the wider issue of global resource flows. Ultimately, what we all need to do is to let go of our presupposed positions, untangle the web of preferences, aesthetics and politics and look at our world – the only one we have – from a physical perspective. Then, the ways where we can go will reveal themselves.

In short, we need to acquire ourselves a sober, technocratic view on the subject. What we also need is to iterate our line as an organisation on globalisation from our perspective and from the point of view of our ideology and our knowledge about the reality we all are inhabiting.

TL;DR

  • Globalization is not a new concept, but is a process which has begun from the moment civilization emerged.
  • The current phase of globalization began during the 1970’s with the ascent of new information technologies.
  • Like the industrial revolution of the 19th century, it has vastly improved the lives of billions of people.
  • Like the industrial revolution of the 19th century, it has also led to increased inequalities across the spectrum within countries – but a convergence between the first world and the developing world.
  • Another aspect of globalization is the establishment of multinational corporations with political clout sometimes exceeding that of states.
  • Is it likely that this process can continue for the remainder of the 21st century?
Image courtesy by Audiotech

Globalization – one process, many aspects

One could say that globalization, roughly speaking, has several aspects. For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on three of its aspects – the technological, economic and political. All of these different developments in their turn have sub-aspects which can affect the world in conserving or disruptive ways. It is also paramount that we understand that globalization is a partially intentional and partially emergent process, much alike most policies enacted by human polities – but on a much grander scale. Therefore, for the sake of clarity, I am going to investigate the three aspects on their own.

The technological aspect

The technologies which are cultivating globalization are generally emerging as innovations within the fields of communication and transport. The first major disruptive technologies within this area were engineered during the early part of the 19th century, with the appearance of the telegraph and railways. These technologies allow the faster transmission of information, people and resources, and are hugely disruptive as they often overhaul local economies and allow for rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. Secluded local economies are connected to the outside world, fostering a process of creative destruction. Meanwhile, it fosters innovation and an opportunity for trading, thus fostering innovation and increased prosperity and opportunities for a larger share of the population, providing – for the first time – choice to people previously relegated to being farmers to build their own lives and change their paths.

Today, the major disruptive technologies are within the sphere of Information and Robotics technologies, which on one hand is de-centralising information spreading and turning every content consumer into a potential content creator (imagine for example the impossibility of such a phenomenon as “Ugandan Knuckles” arising during the 1960’s, when content could only get through more centralised hands).

It must be stated that the technological development of the last two centuries have had many undoubtedly positive effects for human well-being, for health, longevity, child survival rates, maternal care, nourishment, education and living standards, at least for a significant part of the planetary population. That is a proven fact, and our organisation – which strives that human beings should have dignified lives – is viewing the benefits of industrialisation, technological progress and growth in largely positive terms.

Courtesy to Nexvu capital

The economic aspect

It can be argued that prosperity is a combination of technology, in terms of our ability to harness external energy sources (whether renewable or non-renewable) and the dynamics of an economy. To a large extent, it cannot be denied than the access to cheap credit made possible by the fractional reserve banking system has been a determining factor in creating an environment where investments into innovation have been feasible. This, coupled with public policies of investments into infrastructure, education and healthcare, has during the last 200 years led to an unprecedented increase in the world’s gross product per capita, despite the population growing more than seven-fold since the beginning of the 19th century, and with the exception of a few Sub-Saharan African countries nearly every country on Earth is wealthier today than it was in the year 1818.

This is of course, to a large degree, one of the main reasons why all the health indicators in generally are higher today than in the early 19th century, though it should be stated that even in medium-income countries like Russia, Mexico and Turkey, the average worker today is living a life with better health indicators than most aristocrats did as late as the 18th century, due to better medical technology. That is undeniable.

What, sadly however, also is undeniable, is that economic growth nearly always is following the Pareto principle – that 80% of the new growth is generally tilted towards the one fifth of the population which already is the most economically privileged. This rule is not only prevalent in countries with significant problems of corruption, but in nearly all countries, including most of the large, developed countries. There might be multiple reasons for this, but in general people who have more capital will be more well-connected and have greater options to invest and greater time to judge their options. Wealthier people also in general suffer less stressors which might decrease their performance rate in the economy.

Usually, the political conflict which has dominated the discourse in most democratic states for the last century, has been one between market-oriented liberals and conservatives, who want to grow the economy by free trade and low taxes, and socialists and social liberals on the other side, who want to redistribute wealth from the economically more privileged to the low-income segments of society.

However, the main problem with our current situation from our perspective is more focusing on some key ecological ramifications, which mostly are attributable to how 4100% in global economic growth during only the last century has affected some key ecological ramifications. We will however revisit that.

Lastly, it should be mentioned that according to economic orthodoxy, human needs are perceived as seen through consumption power, which is dependent on a person’s income and savings. All needs are also seen as subjective – so from a purely orthodox viewpoint a Malian woman needing water and rice to survive a month and the “need” of a European male to own a farting clock or a mechanic fish that sings are seen as equal.

The political aspect

Politically, there has since the 1980’s largely been a consensus centred around the market liberal position, that states should ensure that countries open their borders as much as possible for trade, that tariffs must be scrapped and that public companies are inherently less profitable and efficient than private companies exposed to fierce competition. Underlying this has been the presupposition that states must attract and compete for investments, and thus should make their markets as attractive as possible for investors, either through good infrastructure, a well-educated work force or laxer regulations than other countries. The goal is to maximise growth and prevent stagnation, which is a necessity when the monetary systems are built on fiat, and thus are debt based.

The basis for these policies were laid already during the 19th century, with the discovery of Ricardian comparative advantages, and proponents often state that these policies will serve to maximise economic growth and also create a convergence in prosperity between countries.

A lot of the contemporary free trades treaties are doing more than removing trade barriers and deregulating. To a large degree, they are actually restricting the national sovereignty of states by introducing new regulations which often are intended to benefit multinational corporations, with for example increased severity on real and perceived copyright infringements, the so-called ISDS mechanisms (recently declared violating the foundations for European law by the European Court), which means that companies could sue governments for legislation which can harm the profitability of said companies, as well as supranational arbitration courts often very heavily biased towards multinational companies.

Often, this free trade regime incentivises environmental destruction at local and regional levels, and human rights abuses such as sweatshops, child labour, debt slavery amongst rural workers and that natural resources – even vital ones such as fresh water – are owned by foreign companies.

On the other hand, countries like China, India and Brazil have become economic powerhouses thanks to increased investments and mobilization of their resources thanks to foreign capital and the utilisation of their comparative advantages.

While Shanghai, Mumbai and Lagos have benefitted from increased trade, traditional industrial centres in the western world, such as Ruhr, the Rust Belt, Detroit and Liverpool have declined. These free trade policies have accentuated the effects of creative destruction, which have led to increasing inequality within every country involved, giving rise to reactions in the form of left- and right-wing populism. The awareness of this political challenge has prompted the World Economic Forum to recently focus more on social issues, but that focus should be seen as an icing on a cake, or more appropriately said a balm to protect the status quo.

Normatively, these policies are founded both on ideology and on necessity. The necessity is of course the fact that debt is growing faster than the global economy and that the structural imbalances revealed by the 2007-2009 economic crisis still are existing in the economy – coupled with the deeper, inherent self-contradictions of a fiat-based system.

The inherent problem with growth, investments and debt

Most western economies have on general seen their growth rates decrease when the gross domestic product per capita increases. Some countries, such as Japan, seem to already have plateaued, while others are still growing at a modest rate, especially countries with strong markets in real estate and finance. This is not the entire image however, for while a country like Germany may experience a year with 0,5% growth and a country like Ethiopia might experience 5% growth, the 0,5% growth represents – in absolute numbers – far more new economic activity on the side of the developed country. Yet, investments in high-risk high-growth markets yield a higher return for investors, which – together with the comparative benefits of a higher labour pool and often, sadly, less environmental and social regulations, a market attractive for investments.

The reason why larger, developed economies have a lower growth is because investments represent a much smaller share of the entire pie, and also because people stop increasing their consumption exponentially when they reach a certain level of per capita income (which may differ between countries due to differences in cultural preferences).

While the growth in the developed world remains at a modest rate and is slowing down in developing countries such as China, the amount of debt have grown far more during the 2010’s than during the preceding decade. This also accentuates the need for continued growth, because the economies have a desperate need to generate the wealth to pay the interest rates – the inherent problem of a fiat-based global economy (also increasingly challenged by crypto-currencies, though that is a different subject).

In short, even if there were no ecological limitations on our usage of the planet which could impede growth in the future, it is unlikely that growth could go on indefinitely on an infinite planet, except for driven by population growth (which will plateau as well when a country reaches a certain level of development). As infinite planets do not exist (at least not in our Universe) that is just a thought game to entertain.

The Sixth Mass Extinction Event

It is impossible to deny that species are disappearing at an alarming rate, that increased urbanisation is a driver for industrial monocultures which today cover more than a third of the Earth’s land surface, that trawling is devastating to oceanic eco-systems, that the climate is affected by our continued reliance on fossil fuels and fossil-based fertilisers, that insect populations are collapsing and that the amount of forests on the planet are shrinking.

A lot of environmental problems are based on the reliance of certain chemicals and substances which can relatively easily be banned. For example the addition of hormones from medicines and contraceptives into water, the utilisation of neonicotinids (if they are proven without a doubt to be dangerous) and dangerous mine sludge poisoning water reserves can be seen as qualitative problems which can be attributed to practices which can (and often have) been changed by simple political interventions through specific regulations which can be implemented without rocking the foundations of the current system.

You can however not regulate everything and expect to keep the current pro-growth consensus within international bodies. A study by the United Nations show that if we introduced fully compensatory regulations globally, the hundred most profitable industries of today would go bankrupt, and this would run counter to all the ideological values and political judgements by the entire establishment.

The EOS is arguing that the need to transform vibrant ecosystems into high-yield linear mono-cultural production systems is driven by the economic orthodoxy in general and by the foundation of fractional reserve banking in particular, which is based on credit, debt and interest and expects new value to be created. It is also largely a myth that information technology and miniaturization has decreased our resource usage, rather it is still increasing (albeit at a slower rate, but that can equally well be attributable to the fact that growth tends to plateau). Our usage of the world’s surface and resources have also in general increased with growth.

The EOS is also arguing that the destruction of the world’s forests, oceanic habitats, food soils and freshwater reservoirs is increasingly putting humanity before a “global Easter Island scenario”, one where the biosphere is increasingly devastated, creating a convergence of crises and a domino effect where vulnerable regions are turned into collapsed states, and neighbouring countries are increasingly destabilised until billions of human beings are affected. This could, if not amended by Transitionary policies, lead to a new dark age for humanity, with an uncontrolled reduction of living standards, health, democracy and all the values we have learnt to cherish.

According to studies by renowned ecological institutes and universities, we are currently using far more resources than the Earth can renew every year, creating an overshoot and an ecological deficit. Orthodox economists of the neoliberal and libertarian varieties tend to appreciate the ideas of financial budget ceilings. Maybe a global ecological budget ceiling wouldn’t be a bad idea at this point?

The mainstream debate

Though the debate has generally improved and somewhat sobered up following the increasing awareness of how serious our current situation is, the issue of exponential growth and the global biosphere of Earth are still largely treated as mutually independent factors in discourse – politicians can still learn that if we don’t change our relationship with the planet and try to become more sustainable, we will create a collapse, and yet the same evening learn that if we deregulate and globalise further everyone and their mother will be a millionaire by the 2050’s.

These two worldviews are – from any reality-based perspective – incompatible. You have to believe either that growth is decoupled from conversion of environmental areas into linear production areas, that our usage rate of the planet’s surface and of its soil and water has no adverse effects, or that a global environmental collapse would have little impact on our standards of living.

Another popular argument championed by the proponents of the status quo is usually – as my predecessor used to say – “the technology fairy”. The idea in its most inane form is that new technologies will emerge which will solve all the problems, usually by utilising energy more effectively. Jevons’ Paradox, discovered already during the 19th century, shows that the introduction of more energy effective practices often rather can exacerbate resource usage by making it more effective and thus make new and vaster areas accessible for exploitation and assimilation (just look at fracking for example).

Another appeal, in its most crude form is that critics “hate the poor” and do not wish to see increased living standards in the developing world. In its more eloquent, refined form, this critique states that countries need to reach a certain level before the population can start to care about the environment by developing a satisfied and content middle class which cares about conservation. This argument also claims that by focusing on growth, we will have a cheaper and less intrusive transition twenty or thirty years ahead, when new technologies which can clean the air and provide us with virtually free fusion energy can transform the Earth into a green paradise.

Thing is, these claims were made already twenty to thirty years ago, often by the very same proponents of the status quo.

The main problem with that argument is however that the environment is not some kind of staple in a computer game which you can increase and decrease at whim, as if the biosphere was an aspect of human society. It is not just a policy area, such as healthcare, education and infrastructure, where you can cram it into our economy. Rather, our economy is embedded into a roughly speaking 65 million year old natural ecological economy, and is both dependent on it and destroying it.

You cannot near-completely ravage complex, million-year old systems, and then expect to restore everything when you feel sufficiently wealthy to do so. Not unless you live in a world where all environmental systems are just dependent on chemicals, hormones, gasses and pollution – which in reality are not the main problem (excluding our addition of fossil-based carbon).

The socialist alternative

The Alt-globalization movement of the 1990’s had a higher degree of awareness of many of these environmental problems, often coupled with critique regarding the injustices inherent in rising inequality, unemployment and sweatshops. It gathered broad and diverse elements from the entire world who felt threatened by the disruptive effects on both the environment and on the social safety nets.

This movement has lost a lot of its cohesion and steam for the last decades, partially due to what can be labelled “glaring self-contradictions” and the lack of a coherent vision.

  • The interests of first world labour laid off from various rust belts are generally not compatible with third world labour which wants to either migrate to the first world to compete for work or export their goods and services to the more capital-rich first world. The Alt-globalization movement tried to unite these disparate interests, but eventually large segments of the unemployed first world proletariat instead moved to the nationalist camp because these were perceived as more exclusively beneficial to their interests.
  • While aware of the ecological implications, the Alt-globalization movement selectively chose to ignore these facts when it came to envisioning policies. For example the statement “the current food production of the world can feed x times more billion people than are living on the world today, yet one billion is starving” may be true, but ignores the fact that a significant amount of our current food production is unsustainable.
  • Equally, when it came to industry, the Alt-globalization movement simultaneously protested the closure of old factories in the western countries, while condemning pollution caused by factories. They condemned consumerism while vocally defending the right of labour to have professions which were dependent on consumerism for their sustenance.

These self-contradictions were based upon two facts, namely that 1) this “movement” was really an umbrella structure of numerous movements and groups which different and sometimes even conflicting group-egoistical competing interests and 2) that many within the “intelligentsia” of said movement tried to use every conceivable argument they could in the service of ideological (and sometimes emotional) anti-capitalism, ignoring whether the arguments taken together were compatible or even sensible, and maximising the support both amongst workers and environmentalists. This (largely failed) populist strategy could mobilise hundreds of thousands of protesters, but was unable to formulate a coherent alternative.

Courtesy, Pinterest

The EOS critique on globalization

We should, as a movement always strive for the truth.

And the truth is, globalization has brought benefits to billions of human beings worldwide, creating innovation, increasing income, making available the resources for education, healthcare, infrastructure and safety. Neither is globalization a new concept, it began even before the industrial revolution, arguably already during the Ancient era with the establishment of the Silk Road.

As a movement, our Ideology is based on helping Life thrive – and human life and dignity is the central aspect of that. We want every human being to be able to reach their highest potential on a sustainable Earth. We desire for every person on this planet to live their lives knowing they will not become homeless, that they should always be able to go to bed without an empty belly, that their health should be cared for, that they should live without the fear of being oppressed, beaten or exploited and that they should have access to the knowledge and tools they need to realise themselves.

In this regard, we are opposed to inequality when inequality is so stark that it creates a sub-class of excluded or exploited people whose conditions are so damnable that they are threatening to their physical and mental health. In this regard, we should be opposed to all conditions where human beings are deprived of access to what they need to sustain their very lives. Sweatshops and child labour, as well as situations where workers are exposed to dangerous substances, should not exist in the future.

The truth, in today’s world, however, is that the choice for a Chinese factory worker is not between a 12 hour day’s work at Gloxconn and an eight-hour with double the wage and full health benefits, but between Gloxconn and starving unemployment and foreclosure on the countryside.

Before industrialisation, poverty was near universal. And despite the fact that roughly speaking 80% of the growth has gone to the 20% who already have the most decent lives, one cannot deny that life in the beginning of the 19th century was brutish and short, and ridden with toothlessness and early aging for most human beings. That most were illiterate and oppressed farmers who were taught that their only solace lied in death – if they obeyed the spiritual and feudal powers of the elites.

However, the fact that industrialization and globalization clearly have had positive effects, do not mean that we are morally obliged to continue these policies, or that these policies can continue uninterruptedly in the same pace as for the last two centuries.

In fact, our organisation argues that:

  • We are transforming the surface of the Earth so much that we are threatening to cause a Sixth Mass Extinction and living beyond our means.
  • The reason for that is because we have a fiat-based economic system dependent on debt-on-credit, which forces us to try to increase exponential growth at no matter what cost.
  • That exponential growth will always lead to an increase in areas converted into monocultures and linear systems for primarily human usage.
  • That the SXE will lead to a global loss of complexity for human societies, driving us down into a new dark age, a Pandora’s box of unforeseeable consequences.

We argue that this is a reality-based assessment of our current situation, and is the single most important issue Humanity has ever faced. The greatest political challenge is to try to establish a balance between our species and the rest of the biosphere it must be a part of if it wants to inhabit this Earth and have a socially, economically and ecologically sound future.

We argue that this can only be accomplished through three criteria.

  • A global ecological budget ceiling.
  • A global circular blue economy.
  • A global covenant of Humanity, that each human being has a right to life and to access for the necessities of life – freedom, housing, food, water, education and healthcare.

In short, the EOS argues that the only way to preserve and create a sustainable basis for our long-term prosperity and happiness as human beings is to make these three criteria the basis of our future civilization.

In my opinion, what logically follows from this outlook is the following positions regarding the three aspects of globalization we talked about in this article.

  • Technological progress – we are definitely sympathetic towards technological progress.
  • Economic growth – we are not against economic growth, we are against the continued conversion of the Earth’s surface into areas intended to support linear production flows.
  • Political globalization – this aspect is problematic, because policies intended to maximise growth and investments are bringing us further away from a genuine Transition. In order to have a necessary Transition, we need a different set of policies with other aims. Our primarily goal should be that the cost of all products should be determined according to their environmental footprint. Policies to increase economic growth in western countries today make little sense, as the populations are stagnating (meaning in the long run that costs on infrastructure maintenance will diminish) and increased incomes have little effect on a population’s happiness when prosperity is growing beyond a certain income level – especially as further increases most likely will mean a heavier weight on the planet and therefore a steeper and much more radical Transition in the long run. There is one aspect of political globalization we should embrace, and that is when we strive towards deeper political integration of regions, and theoretically we should be willing to support the political unification of the entire Northern Hemisphere within maybe a generation.

In short, we are sympathetic to the emergent and organic aspects of globalization, we are critical to our overshoot above the planetary carrying capacity and therefore policies which will increase that impact, albeit unintended. Instead we need a conscious Transition shaped around the fulfilment of the Three Criteria.

Having written that, we should avoid the sloppy broadside critique represented by for example elements of the old Alt-Globalization movement, where globalization is defined wholly by its most repugnant characteristics, the criticism is both progressive and conservative simultaneously and thus irreconcilable with itself and the main ethos seems to be anti-capitalism beyond everything.

Our movement should be defined by love for Life and Humanity, expressed by the aforementioned Three Criteria. As long as we are sustainably capable of reaching the Three Criteria, the exact forms of governance should be determined by their ability to reach the goals, rather than any emotional or aesthetic-optical considerations.

For Life, Love and Light!