· If we sit down and think about the state of the world and our place within it, I think we would all agree that the planet, and most of us within it, is under considerable stress.
· In personal terms, there are financial stresses and uncertainty, marital and family pressures and uncertainty about employment or business stability.
· In planetary terms there are all kinds of indicators that earth is struggling – diminished resources, forests that are disappearing at an alarming rate, animal and plant species that are becoming extinct, food production shortages, and extreme weather events.
· Climate change is responsible for a number of these issues, but there is another reason why this is all happening…a cornerstone of capitalism! One of the major imperatives of a capitalistic society is the demand for growth. And herein lies the problem – the world can no longer sustain growth because the planet’s inhabitants have an ecological footprint two and a half times the size of the planet! Growth as a concept is not in itself in question – only that growth that applies to the world’s economy and population. These obviously cannot continue. It is time for a change in our economic and lifestyle patterns. The only way in which we can go forward together is to live sustainably – and therefore that should mean no growth in our approach to the world’s economy and population.
· Focusing on the world’s economy for a moment it is easy to see that it is in crisis and lives on a knife edge. Half of Europe has been on the brink of defaulting on their loans, any of which could tip the whole world into a global depression far deeper than the depression of the thirties. If a small economy like Cypress can sends shudders down the corridors of the European Union, what would happen if China’s booming economy went into recession? Well there are some economic forecasters that are saying that China is already having their own problems.
· When you examine the major banks in the world they all have very little actual cash or tangible assets, certainly not sufficient to cover their liabilities. The stock market globally is living in a bubble of paper dreams, none of which have any real value … and they are all so interdependent! Daily, we look with trepidation at global events, any of which could send stock markets crashing and the world tumbling into potential economic oblivion. A number of economists believe it is not a matter of IF the crash will come, but WHEN!
· As the next depression hits it will not be like the one of the thirties for many reasons. Global geography has changed radically. Trade is now based on globalization and less on local community activity, meaning we are less able now to survive on our own. Also the world’s population has grown considerably since the last depression, and this is stretching our ability to put food on the table more than ever before .The tipping[point for Peak Oil globally, in the terms of some experts, has already been reached, and that will mean the supply of energy for transport will progressively slow down, severely hampering global trade. If one contemplates the myriad of complexities that could play out in this future event it is not a pretty picture to behold.
· So if one believes that this scenario is imminent, as I do, then what can we do to protect our future and those of our children? How can we provide a platform into the future that will offer our children and theirs beyond a lifestyle that is abundant, secure and offers an equal opportunity for all?
· We need to prepare now..before any crash happens
· …and this is the essence of the measures that I believe can make the difference.
· I am looking to create a business that will support individuals and communities through any future economic collapse before it happens, so that we are prepared when it does!
· I would like to build an economic model for the future, not necessarily using money as the main commodity of exchange.
· What this model will look like I do not yet know because there needs to be extensive research on
· • Patterns of economic failure throughout history. What lessons can we learn from them?
· • Full understanding of current market forces and trends
· • The drivers behind international trade
· • The likely threats to change of the current systems
· Part of the answer to the question is to understand, in considerable detail, all of the likely scenarios of an economic collapse and have a series of methods of responding to each crisis as they unfold.
· The second part of the business is to create a model community based on the new economic system, to take us into the future, so that we can all live sustainably and in harmony with the planet and our fellow humans. Once the community is in operation it would be intended that it be expanded as widely as possible, so that everyone would have equal access to a fulfilling an enjoyable lifestyle, free of stress, and independent of race, colour or belief system.
· The business model would be radically different than any other because it will not predicated on growth.
· So how does it become wealthy?
· Well that depends very much on your definition of wealth. In the current global economy it is directly related to how much cash and tangible assets you are able to accumulate. This is no longer a reasonable definition because growth is not sustainable and the distribution of wealth is not even. So the new wealth is based upon other values such as security, compassion for others, personal safety and wellbeing, freedom of expression, education and fair exchange. Money will not have to drive our lives as it does today!
· As people become aware of any new paradigm resistance to change will strengthen - that’s human nature! Even though our resources are dwindling rapidly, efforts to maintain current value systems will prevail in order to meet the ever increasing resource needs of our massive world population. The challenge will be to demonstrate that sharing of time, tools and equipment, skill sets and knowledge will be more important and more rewarding than the pursuit of extracting every last resource on the planet. A thriving model community that could be developed would be critical in showcasing and alternative way.
· Whilst it is easy to have such radical ideas for a future lifestyle the implementation is almost impossible to imagine. Resistance will come from everywhere. There will be extreme resistance from individuals and corporations to protect the elaborate lifestyles and profits that they now enjoy. The momentum of the current system will be extremely difficult to change too. Some of the resistance will disappear because there will be a huge number of companies that will not survive the depression, but generally, people will aspire to returning to the old value systems as they have known no other.
· This means that the new business will have to include very astute and visionary people who can connect with a different concept for the future. Initially a new financial model will have to be invented that takes into account the current mechanisms of capitalism and finds a way to develop change within it.
· Some early thoughts as to how this new direction might develop will appear in the next offering.
In the meantime, if this resonates with anyone I would like to receive your feedback, and if there is connectedness, just maybe, it might take seed…….
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