The Full-Grown Sphinx
In the rich first world countries, the optimism of bygone years has faded badly, depending on where you are in the game, of course. It’s looking more like progress to a harder, nastier world, as the effects of the massive polarisation of wealth that have been created become felt bitterly. Many fewer people now believe that their children will have a better life than they did. The 2013 report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission now says this, as reported in The Telegraph.
Perhaps higher education will become largely the preserve of the rich again, with all the socially stratifying effects of that. Then again, it’s quietly become a world which has six million students enrolled on MOOCs, which are Massive Open Online Courses. These courses are free, taught by top academics and are awarded college accreditations. Six million.
In a world of plenty, life is a real struggle for so many people now everywhere. And millions of people in the lucky countries, who were brought up with certain perspectives, ideals, even if they were plainly not quite ideal, and definitely with expectations, are now confronted with the dismantling of all they’d assumed. It even feels the descendants of those who’d never had it so good now have a very uncertain future, perhaps a much more subservient one, subservient to an unseen and abstract power.
The human spirit is crushed by drudgery. The true creative and economic potential of people is strangled in the battle for survival, to pay tribute to the emperors of the world. And as the world gets increasingly owned, it becomes a world where people are born as trespassers. Born into debt, from which, denied economic justice, there is no forgiveness.
The Third World doesn’t need economic aid, equivalent to some measly fraction of their debt, and frequently tied to some trade deal for Western business; what the people of the Third World need are their full economic rights, and truly free global trade, and their energy and skill will do the rest. Their debts must be written off, as bad debts just have to be sometimes. These debts are more odious than odious debts have ever been.
As Henry George said:
Charity is false, futile, and poisonous when offered as a substitute for justice.
The world is all wrong, and it is obviously wrong. It’s not obvious to people what is right, but everyone knows that this is wrong somewhere, fundamentally wrong.
And this whole shameful structure of folly that is the power in the world, served by realpolitik, has been raised in the name of democracy and freedom, of human advancement and betterment, and been rubberstamped by academia. A world where the highest excellence of UK manufacturing industry is two or three companies who sell superlative high-tech weaponry to client despots, in exchange for oil, the black blood of our system.
It’s the Sphinx that a stunned and sickened Henry George met on the streets of New York City, but now it’s a full-grown Sphinx, and its enormous tentacles are spread right around the world and it’s squeezing it for every pip. Blindly, it will squeeze blood out of a stone if it can, it’s its reflex, its reason to be. The planet itself, for us all, our everything, is not an immediate consideration, so it’s not a consideration, even though it’s surely everyone’s consideration. The monster can only see things that are immediately before it. Who knows where this journey of human history is going to take us now.
So, having been immersed in banking history, it’s clear that there are two great scams in the world. They’re very closely related and both are about the monopoly ownership of that which are unownable: the appropriation of the bounty of nature; and the appropriation of the right to create money. Clearly, the issue of currency is a natural monopoly, and this demands that it is executed by a body working in the interests of everyone and answerable to everyone.
Already it is clear, it has all been described, Mr. George’s remedy is where we need to be, and nothing less will ever actually work naturally: The community takes what wealth rightly created by the community, and has not the right to take from what people do themselves – all individuals are due full economic rights, everybody has a stake; Money should be debt/interest-free and regulated transparently and accountably, in accordance with the needs of the community.
And then the world would be right, all other things would follow in an enormous end of war bonus – for this would truly be an end to a war, an unseen war that the world has been fighting for millennia. This would then expose the roots of all the other problems of the world and heal them. Everything would suddenly be so simple and obvious. Truly, the world would blossom.
How do we get from here to there? It’s not easy to answer that. We’ve got to look for the answer to that, though, because this, and nothing less, is what is just and what we need to fulfil the beautiful promise of this world.