Money, The Taboo Topic
Money, The Taboo Topic
By Shaun Baker / zeitgeistaustralia.org

There are over 7 billion people on this planet; (1,2)

* 3 billion are living below the poverty line (less than $2US a day)

* 1 billion are starving

* 1% of the population own 40% of global assets

* The richest 10% of individuals account for 85% of the world’s total assets

* An estimated 30,000 children die each day due to poverty. That’s one child every 3 seconds.

* 885 million people do not have access to clean water.

* The three richest people possess more financial assets than the poorest 10%

* The world has already lost 80% of its original forests.

* At the world's current rates, 5-10% of tropical forest species will become extinct every decade

* 75% of all the fish stocks in the world are already either: exploited, over-exploited or recovering

* Half of the world hospitals beds, at any point, are occupied by people who are suffering from      water-related diseases

 

?You don’t need a University degree to see that our current distribution system of life supporting resources has seriously failed the human. The surreal thing is when raise the above topics in conversation you are met with awkwardness, hostility, resentment or disinterest. Although a lot of people already know the reality of our economic system and the extreme inequalities that it creates around the world, they would rather try and forget about the suffering of their fellow human than to try and find a solution.  It seems as though we have a mental illness, are we all becoming psychopaths? (4)Psychopaths have a personality disorder that is characterized by shallow emotions, lacking empathy, cold-heartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficiality, manipulativeness and irresponsibility.  Maybe it’s just me but that seems like a pretty spot on description of the attitude of the human race toward the suffering of billions of innocent people on this planet, simply because these people have no money to pay for, or no access to, food, clean water and medical care.  Has the economic system and its cut throat agenda of ‘to gain wealth, forget all but self,’ slowly but surely turning everyone into psychopaths?  Most people are trying their hardest to hold onto an abusive operating system which has indoctrinated them to the point that even though they are aware of how destructive our economic culture is they continue allowing it to redefine their human nature.

?Gilbert Wrenn stated in 'The Nature of Caring', (5) Essential to my truly caring for another is self-respect.  You are a person unique in all the world. Most of us are more aware of our liabilities than of our assets because our particular home and school cultures have stressed more what was wrong about us than what was right. Our weaknesses and errors were underlined, and our assets and successes were taken for granted. Do we, regrettably, pass this heritage along to our clients, our family, and our friends? Caring for self means that you respect the various elements of yourself, not downgrading some to the benefit of others.  Take head and heart, do you consider one more important than the other?  If I care for myself in the sense of self-respect and humility, then I am free to enjoy others—not everyone to be sure, but enjoyment would be the rule, not the exception. Respect for self means that you do not let human interactions impose on you, if need be you are concerned for troubled people but they cannot abuse your time or self-respect. People may be hostile toward you, but you may see this as an expression of their need rather than an exploitation of you.

Has the economic system helped us to lose our self-respect?  Are we constantly consuming material goods in order to fill a gaping hole in our lives, a hole in which no matter how much shit we buy we can’t quite seem to fill?  Are we losing our sense of being at ‘one with the universe', remembering we are all part of something bigger than this economic prison we have created for each other?   Are we neglecting our friends, family and spirituality by working more and more hours to strive for that bonus, promotion or pay rise and if so, will it ever be enough?  Are we putting more than our physical reality in debt when we lock ourselves into massive loans which take a life time to pay off because of the make-believe concept of interest?

"The wealthy make all the money, do very little of the work, and pay no taxes. The middle class does all the work, pays all the taxes and gets very little of the money. The poor are there to scare the shit out of the middle class so they will go to work every day".  George Carlin

?Some would say the love child of the economic system is Capitalism. I think it’s a fair to say that Capitalism is inherently an unstable system. With two global crises in living history and possibly another on its way it seems only a matter of time before it is impossible to bail out another bank, corporation or country.  Like every management system man has created, Capitalism has a life span; when the system destroys enough lives through inequality the public will rise up and demand change.   How long are we going to try and sustain this unsustainable system?   (6) In early 2009, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called for a new economic approach that he termed "social capitalism", which includes, "a system of open markets, unambiguously regulated by an activist state, and one in which the state intervenes to reduce the greater inequalities that competitive markets will inevitably generate."  Coincidently Kevin Rudd was challenged for the leadership after around a year of trying to implement his policies; the Australian public was told he was voted out by the caucus because of a proposed resource tax and the rejection by the senate of the Pollution Reduction Scheme.  This particular scenario raises a query; if an elected leader tries to lobby for equality in our monetary system will he or she have a limited life-span in politics?  The economic system has developed man’s psychology of bribery, corruption, classism and disrespect of nature. Is there even a slight chance that humans can change their perception of money so it can be used for the benefit of the environment, animals and humans in as harmonious fashion as possible? 

When we consider the possibility of using the concept of money for the benefit of all human beings we must trace links back human quality’s such as care and trust, the more people care about and trust their fellow citizens, the greater concern they have for their health and welfare and the more social services they tend to provide.  (7)The more trust people have in one another, the easier and cheaper it is to do business: if you can do a deal with a handshake, you need fewer lawyers and can offer help faster; if you can trust that people won't steal, you need fewer guards and police.  If you can trust others, you are also likely to be healthier, the more connected people are and the safer they feel, the more creative they can be and the less stressful their lives are.  Less stress means lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes.  This means, that to recover, the world economy needs more trust and caring, we need to be more empathetic towards fellow citizens and provide a better safety net for those who are hurting. Or, we can continue to "maximize shareholder value" for the elite and watch countries spiral downwards as we trust each other less, spend more time policing ourselves and remain too terrified and afraid of change.  Is it possible for us to imagine a world that is not reliant on the creation of jobs to sustain economic growth?

How do we change the human races detrimental belief system of the only way society can survive is through man’s motivation of gaining money?  We must realise money is either a good or bad influence, according to the character of the person who possesses it.  Moneys actions only reflect the desires of its owner and from what we see in the world today, in our pursuit of profit, we have developed psychopathic tendencies towards the environment and our fellow human.   It’s time for the human race to wake up and deal with the reality of our economic system because if we don’t radically alter the fundamentals of how we distribute life supporting resources throughout the world we must prepare to hold ourselves accountable for the consequential  psychological, environmental and spiritual damage we are pushing upon generations to come.      

References –

  1. globalissues.com, Poverty Stats and Facts
  2. World Centric, Environmental Destruction
  3. Drop in the Bucket, Water Facts
  4. Wikipedia, Psychopath
  5.  Gilbert Wrenn, The Nature of Caring
  6. Wikipedia, Social capitalism
  7. Born for Love, Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Money, The Taboo Topic