2021 starts with a bomb. A Watergate style watershed with no cover-up. Donald Trump wishes to go down in history as the President that incited a second US Civil War. His impeachment and prosecution could be pivotal in the direction we take world affairs, should we grasp the opportunity before us.
He has been labelled a fascist, since some of his words could be interpreted as inciting supporters to storm Congress. This exposes him not as a crafty diplomat, but a chancer that will stop at nothing if he can get away with it. But he is only getting in line with a lot of despotic leaders, he possibly envies, from the start of this century. 2020 saw many parallels and analogies drawn – aside from the Corona virus pandemic – with political and economic moves leading to and emerging from the Second World War. A rise in right-wing movements and policies within so called democratic countries; countless uprisings, public outrage and conflicts in the majority of countries in the world; callous protectionist power and money grabbing by the wealthy; partisan politicians systematically dismantling public services and social cohesion – local retail, food production, power, travel, property, land, health services, allied and national borders and people against people – all for privatised multi-billion dollar contracts with multinationals father afield, that we suddenly want to draw closer to in the name of independence. All of this increased dependency upon mercantilism boosting the carbon footprint, whilst claiming ecological advancement; continuing to subsidise oil and petrochemical industries even as oil prices became negative and blaming export partners for their pollution of air, sea and land.
If we ever get to reflect back on this century, we may well put it down to the panicked scrabbling of a clueless squandering post-WWII generation, with its immovable glorified colonialist / imperialist mentality and bigoted hypocritical offspring invoking the memory of their glorious patrons and trying to emulate them to make Britain or the US ‘great again.’ Unable to generate a single independent original thought, they clone political ideologies to match shifting trends. Is this the legacy of hopelessness that will be left to younger generations? We should surely be wiser than this by now, but history is never learned from, it is selected for proven outcomes. Our younger generation will need to use every educational advantage open to them to combat this, should we still have an ecosystem that is redeemable.
This flies in the face of the historic achievements of that same post-war generation that established the welfare state; free health treatment for all; inclusion of multi-ethnicity; human rights; working rights; international laws and treaties; international commerce and global partnerships in trade, science, education, media, communications and multiculturalism. The things that made Britain and the USA great in an inspirational sense, once we can outlaw the processes that supported the inequalities those movements exploited, along with its remaining prejudices. And it has to be said, the global economy is no mean feat; some of the global giants making this accessible to all. It is as futile and ignorant to deny the beneficial aspects of globalisation, as it is to simply call all Trump supporters fascists. It’s downright lazy denial to adopt a side and slug it out.
But Covid-19 persists, setting in stark contrast the damaging way we have constructed our daily lives by leaving everything to those who have the stomach and expense to form the mechanisms of our economy and those who care for it’s fallout. We reduced our choices and now are forced to face them. Against all available evidence, to survive we must believe rapid change could still work, but with no confidence that realistic agents of change exist. Of course, they do. This is why our collective Covid threat provides a unique opportunity, from necessity and greater education and experience, to turn things around instead of excusing the infringements and worsening abuses upon our lives that are commercially exploited during panic periods. Similar to how prostitution and rape become synonymous with war, where power imbalance and scarcity are the determining factors.
While the pandemic and economic crises loom over us like dark obelisks, money somehow trickles around them like a stream altering course. Money gets away with everything unchallenged, as if it is not a culprit, as if there could be nothing wrong with it as it still sustains lives. What else can? This is the core question not being asked, almost as if to do so you must be insane, despite the insanity caused by money. Imagine the emancipation if there was something else. But aren’t people the problem causers, not money? This is the thinking that perpetuates the abuse of our world and holds everyone hostage. Even the necessary agents of change shackled to this mentality. This is why the Green New Deal and Blue Economy are doomed, inhibited by monetary dependency and commercial / political will.
You only have to think of any exchange where money is involved to know how it alters behaviours, perceptions and relationships; how and whom it rewards. Money is more than a currency; its greatest issue is how it motivates. And again people will say ‘well it’s worked for centuries.’ Yes and how has it worked? Has there been nothing wrong with that? Of course we know what’s wrong with it, but no-one has presented a realistic alternative. Actually they have, right under our noses, and it has worked successfully within monetary economies since money was invented and throughout history. 20th Century technical development of monetary exchange enables us to monitor and value an even more reliable and insuppressible alternative to monetary currency. Its only current drawback is that it is publicly disregarded as valueless, expendable and invisible for accounting purposes. Yet canny capitalists everywhere exploit it.
Clean sweep, new broom
Trump’s impeachment and criminal prosecution is recognition that we have been too tolerant. It is a line in the sand that could set a precedent. It says that someone regarded by some as the most powerful individual in the world can be held culpable. In this most damaging age we need to reassess and expand what the parameters for that culpability are and form a global accord for it, since the action of one affects the actions of all.
There is far more to this ‘new reality’ that we can appeal to in positive ways, things that have connected us. We need to do this in a concrete legal process, making it criminal to undermine any person’s right to survival. Rather than empty hypocritical green wash from Cop 26, this international accord should address the subjugation of human and species survival in favour of damaging commercial strategies and practices. It is clearer than ever, money is not dictating our survival but the destruction of our biosphere. Until this becomes truly illegal, including corporate and multi-national economic strategies, we face a bitter resistance to change.
So what can facilitate this sea change in how we interact? What is about to be described is not a dream-world born of elevated principle. No social conscience required for this transformation. No ideology. They are things everyone everywhere accept are realities now. They are doable with the right backing and crucially, the majority of humankind desperately want them. What we need is a global cooperative war-like effort to combat our own extinction, dropping protectionist national policies and those who are fixated with them. They can offer nothing better than further obstacles and decelerated demise, if that. Despite all the amazing practical work of the United Nations; you only have to sit in on a UN ECOSOC or DESA video-conference to witness the deft display of diplomatic backsliding back-slapping, from expert representatives and member state leaders lying through their self-congratulating teeth. But do not dismiss the options for real change as fairy-tale, without first examining the specialists and experienced individuals that could make this possible in a very short time and have already shown practical success. It is only the scale of operation and its rapid expansion that needs to be accommodated practically, whilst allowing for the broadest flexibility. The motivation is there and UN contributors may have genuine concern, but it is money that blockades their actions.
How do we put the past three decades right? 2021 gives us an opportunity for a clean-sweep with a completely new broom. Not a resurgent socialism. Not a re-establishment of left-wing ideology, or moderate right wing posing as centre-left, always in an internal and external tug of war whilst making compromises with the right. It needs to be a new impartial, inclusive, non-prejudicial opportunity for ALL, to solidify the efforts Covid-19 has enforced upon everyone indiscriminately. To reassess the bigotries and corruptions that led us to this point, to say “no more insanity, enough is enough” and invest in all the existing advancements and proposals that can alter our entire global system for beneficial mutual outcomes. To dissolve the factors that separate people via race, colour, creed, or standing and expose such for the facile prejudices that we all know they are. But rhetoric isn’t sufficient. It needs to be practical experience. Will money achieve this, balking the trend of rewarding opposite strategies?
Addressing the inequality of money
It’s time to admit, the only way it can be done is by circumnavigating the prejudicial monetary system for a freely accessible economy that empowers every person indiscriminately. One that is paid for by the labour expended, to earn it. The non-monetary economy eliminates any need to address monetary disparity, because it means every individual doing various daily tasks immediately earns as a self-rewarding automatic process. It is not money.
It’s natural to be curious what form this currency will take. That will be determined by society, but it is best if it works the way most commerce already works, so it is not too much of a stretch of the imagination; using existing agencies, processes and technology. As a self-generating, perpetual process of computerised numerical accountancy, that empowers individuals of any circumstance with economic security from the second it is implemented, when unused it can simply be an adjusting numerical accruing balance. When spent it can take on tradable value for transaction purposes, assessed and agreed by society with NO exchangeable monetary value. It will require no material form of ‘currency.’ This is nothing new, except the concept of it not having value.
Having zero value enables it to avoid all the peripheral influences that affect monetary markets, allowing society to flexibly determine its parameters; what it is able to do and what rates can be earned for different levels of labour, if it decides upon a tiered or nuanced system relating to labour time or energy. This way it can offer grater incentives for more essential work. It needs no international exchange value and encompasses all forms of labour, including care and self-care as an automatic self-contained human right set in law. Making it non-exchangeable with money with no material currency and no centralised supervision makes it invulnerable to embezzlement and theft. If it helps, think of it like a numerical password to gain access to something, or a combination for a particular case, padlock or safe. The numerals need no value, but act as a facilitator for transaction.
It can be truly independent as it requires no ‘hand-out’ from any agency, crucially bypassing the current financial oppression of the elite; yet it can exchange for goods with anyone who has a parallel non-monetary account, including them. It holds even more trading value for formal businesses as they can earn a premium for employing the system and reduces their operating costs to zero. It needn’t require experts or mathematical gurus to construct this economy for us, but it can employ developed technologies; biometrics, GPS, magnetic coding, blockchain technology, contactless payment and statistics. It merely needs collective adoption at scale to form an immediate global economic force that makes the monetary economy look miniscule, so it then dictates to corporations the whole global commercial set-up and motivations. It will actively involve every individual, giving us a stake in our own future.
If current governments and corporations wish to tag along, they have the most to gain by officially adopting it. Especially where it equips people to become a majority-represented civic state, dictating its actions. It can resolve the financial difficulties imposed by the Covid-19 restrictions to the economy straight away, because it does not deduct from the monetary economy or from any other individual’s account. It also releases the burden on taxation.
It can facilitate an immediate truly global cooperative war-effort on Covid-19 that doesn’t advantage one status of people, or nationality above another. A colossal expansion of vaccine production and research, alongside needed health requirements, expertise, support, training and more rapid immunisation of all people under a temporary but global lockdown, providing non-working people with a universal basic income costing nothing, until it can be confirmed the virus has no more hosts. This is far more desirable and leaves no footprint that would result from running increased fiscal deficits, or ‘printing’ Fiat money. It comes from the same place – nowhere – but without the negative consequences.
It is a lie that multi-million/billion dollar industries need public engagement to maintain profitability for a year or two and that they are necessary to sustain national economies. Financialization will keep them rich even if most people die. That is a working example of a self-perpetuating non-monetary process, in the sense that the money doesn’t exist to cover those figures, whether in the red or black. It doesn’t need money or even exchange to carry on functioning, yet it is used as a form of power exchange and influence. Nobody is ever likely to call in those colossal debts, while they profit from them.
Addressing political injustice and appropriation
Political justice can start with the impeachment and successful prosecution of Donald J Trump and resulting custodial sentence and seizing of his assets; as a message to the democratic world, that other despots abusing democratic systems, at any level, are culpable and will answer for their crimes. Especially for any selfish manipulation of the Covid pandemic response for personal political or commercial gain that causes avoidable deaths. Or unjustified war-mongering; something that is already an illegal use of tax in the UK. It is unacceptable that people in power have to be indulged in the cavalier use of that power whilst endangering people through incompetency or worse, premeditated political gamesmanship.
This needs to become ratified in international law, to make criminal any national pursuit that harms the global environment, or threatens a community’s right to survival. National sovereignty is a mirage except where it becomes despotic. Rulers like Assad in Syria have defied logic and the wellbeing of their own people, employing genocide and civil destruction for personal gain and becoming pawns in a wider resurgent Cold War, sustained by western democracies. Only the global economy, seeking allies for fossil-fuel sharing and financialization make this possible. The argument over whether to have a sovereign state or a republic is a puerile one, designed to generate conflict where no conflict needs exist. Both are subject to the same economic factors and co-exist peacefully in some parts of the world. Some sovereign roles have had to adapt to public perceptions and shifting trends. As a matter of historic fact, they are small enterprises that can be overthrown in a moment should the public will or desperation exist. Whether we retain sovereignty or not, without taking any action the parallel non-monetary economy acts to equalise out the level of economic disparity and individual accessibility to personal needs and aspirations, without conflict or insistence on some Utopian ‘equality.’ It affords equality of individual potential and hope.
International ecological law must make all national individual leaders culpable and answerable to the global community. Since the global economy is what currently threatens our existence, disregarding all boundaries, then international laws regarding our biosphere must also disregard national boundaries and sovereignty, where necessary enforcing compliance with green objectives. Independent national political will is inadequate to the task of addressing global issues. Again, the parallel non-monetary economy provides more profitable commercial strategies, for despots or progressive monarchies alike, that do not negatively impact upon the general pubic. This is a negative narrative about this aspect of survival, when really it may turn out to be a more positive dialogue, where those ruining the ecosystem more may actually have motivation to turn it around and have a greater influence on its recovery. Money and what it rewards prevents them. The insanity for them is that they are currently sacrificing broader profits for money.
The implementation of this parallel economy should include a disbanding of non-representative minority party-politics and peer privilege. Peers could retain their ‘royal club membership’ (honours) and be influential in the political process, but with the same rights and power as everyone else. It will reward all voters for engagement, not simply as an incentive to contribute but as an intrinsic part of the political process of dissemination of information and decision-making, through local and regional public assemblies, whether present or remotely contributing. The whole nation, with education uncoloured by political allegiances and agendas, can make better-informed collective choices and reverse previous government decisions that turned out harmful to public interests. Because it isn’t money, the parallel economy can accommodate reimbursement for any government waste or misuse of taxes, or damage to livelihoods due to political strategy, without deducting from the public purse.
It will include not just free but rewarded education at any level. It can make standard, education of the hypocrisies of war, nationalism, patriotism, sexism and racism with positive contributions, and expose the glorification and honouring of conflict as the selfish fallacious indulgence it is. This does not mean disrespecting the sacrifice of service-personnel, but the greater honouring of what individuals gave their lives for and their bereaved – both combatants and the millions of innocent bystanders that had no power and no choice – no longer just hypocritical ritualistic lip service supporting continued exterminations of elderly people, women and children.
Infrastructure regeneration can occur, no longer inhibited by the monetary economy. Rapid expansion and deployment of services; supported local and high street retail, even if it is initially supplied via international trade deals and mercantilism until all the constraints surrounding mercantilism are dissolved and industry flourishes locally again.
Rapid repatriation and dilution of conflicts and harmful oppression will reward all; enabling people to combat that power, not through arms deals but better achievable incentives for prosperity than war offers, for people both sides of the divide. This will include true international cooperation for peace-making and economic incentives. And expanded services not in evasion or deflection but in community authorisation, autonomous political representation and all the supported systems and rights mentioned above, legalised for every individual.
This development has to happen utilising rapid-growth green industries, devaluing all fossil resource based industries, giving greater profitable incentives for eco-friendly farming, alternative power and food production advancements, requiring a fraction of the land mass levelled for mass production now. It will incentivise the Blue-economy, not by subsidising it, but by making it more profitable than money could ever make it, simply by collective choice.
We will then see what multi-nationalism is really all about and the validity of people from every walk of life and experience, to promote all the things this century has highlighted we commonly need and open up truly what we can collectively achieve.
Why can this happen now?
There is far more that we could address on top of these basics. But these can happen because the desperate need and the practical processes to address them already exist. Neoliberalism, global monopolising and political protectionism are what have suppressed all these options and are set to carelessly destroy them. The 21st Century will be seen as being the start of the end and loss of everything, only if we allow money to continue to dictate. It is up to us to take what is at our disposal now to counter the trends of division in a practical, non-prejudicial, non-ideological way.
Covid-19 epidemic has illustrated to us that the parallel non-monetary economy already practically exists. Behind the scenes, everyday people have been working at these solutions and they are astonishing. It is the only immediate option to form an immensely profitable economy, that initially bypasses all the destructive economic influences and influencers, but re-incentivises their commercial opportunities. Because the parallel non-monetary economy offers vast profits alongside boosted monetary profits, whilst re-evaluating money in any full or partial transactions the PNME is implemented in, it relaxes the grip and the tensions sustaining the global protectionist strangle-hold over scarce resources. More importantly, it facilitates all the advancements and remedies every person is now dependent upon for survival, not only of Covid-19 but the unimpeded development of conservation in every field known to humankind. A Fifth [Eco] Industrial Revolution, if you will. It is easy for us to see it, because it is well within grasping distance.
So what is our choice for 2021 – Catalyst or catastrophe? Some argue that this abuse of power has been the status quo through the shifting sands of time, but it is beneath our dignity; it is beneath our intelligence and imagination; it is beneath our achievable prospects and advancement. It serves only a tiny minority of human beings, threatening even their survival and what’s more, it is totally avoidable. We can nod our heads, singing “yeah, yeah” to Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Excuse Me Please’ then sit back and wait for someone else to provide something… or we can come together and get on with it.
[For detailed practical processes and information on all the above proposals and movements, please consult – ‘A Chance For Everyone: The Parallel Non-Monetary Economy’ – Kendal Eaton (Sounding Off Publications 2020).
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