(Permalink) The main purpose of this chapter is the study of True Economy: the real solutions to economy. But to do this in a scientific way, we must start with rejecting all preconceptions and existing conventions.
Such solutions of course are well beyond capitalism and money. But, in this chapter written in 2015, I could not ignore the today financial crisis, that I address in a special section VII. And this section had to be updated in 2020, to account with ongoing changes.
(Permalink) I consider as known, indisputable and accepted by everybody that:
A) The fundamental purpose of economy is our happiness. This flows directly from the first Foundation of scientific ethics (chapter VI-2), and economy enjoys no special metaphysical statute which would exempt it from the laws of morals. Humanly, it would be masochistic to dispute this. Scientifically, the absence of «divine message» or purpose of life which would be visible in nature (chapter V-5) leaves no other choice for economy than to serve our consciousness. Socially or politically, any other purpose would be an intellectual imposture, diametrically opposed to the evolution of our societies: the return to forms of oligarchy, see of plutocracy.
B1) Economy has a duty of meeting the needs of all, equally. This is the direct application of the second basis of scientific ethics, the equality of all, well known since thousands of years: no one can claim to have superior rights to any other, and our complex modern social mechanisms have no other purpose than to apply the third foundation of ethics:
B2) Maintaining equality between people of different abilities, as tribal societies do for hundreds of thousands of years. This is explained in chapter VI-3 on natural dependencies and natural differences.
Equality is one of the foundations of democratic societies and the motto of many countries. However this equality exists in reality only if people have equal enough economic means. Otherwise these egalitarian speeches are only a huge electoral Tartuffe promise.
C) Economy is just an additional cycle in the ecological cycles. Indeed, everyone knows very well that our economic activities can only take materials in the ecology of our planet (chapter VI-7), and that all of our waste or scrap necessarily get back there. There is nothing which «disappears» or is «diluted», nothing which would be «created» or which would be «always available», not even water or sunlight. To believe this is magical and irrational thinking, equivalent to believing that Earth is flat and infinite. This has two mandatory consequences, that it would be crazy or suicidal to disregard:
-Our resources are limited to what ecology can provide, that is, ecologically sustainable and renewable resources. Which implies limitations of both our consumption and our population.
-Our waste must be recycled, either by our economy, or by ecology. For this, our production must be recyclable from the very start, or otherwise of small enough ecological footprint to be accepted by the ecosystems.
This is studied more in detail in section V of this chapter, on the ecological integration of the economy.
Given the importance of economy, and seeing the countless studies and struggles about it, I consider these three point as obvious, and the indisputable basis of a rational economy, that everyone knows, accepts and loves, without any need for discussion and justification. If there were some who would not, they would have lousy scores in the elections, they would not be allowed as business leaders or in financial, we would even not speak of them, right?
Well, as usual, I unfortunately note that an important part of the activity of the media, trade unions and politicians is to pedal backward of the bicycle, taking profit of the neuroses of submissive people, or using the multiple mind control tricks that we shall see in chapter VI-11. This state of things is even more groooootesque that shameful, and should even not be discussed when we define a rational economy. We still need however to dispel the many beliefs and dangerous ideologies which parasite this field of study.
Please note that I did even not add the company managers in the list of the previous paragraph: excluding the ideologues, normal managers are even more than the employees caught between the contradictory demands of the system.
The first publication of these ideas was done in 1999, under the title «TRUE ECONOMY© Version 1.2». This version is still available on this site. I claim paternity of these ideas for this date.
(Permalink) Theoreticians and partisans of capitalism say that it is the best system, on the argument that it allowed a huge increase of economic wealth and a much better life for everybody.
However the huge economic expansion of modern society happened in the same time that:
1) The industrial revolution, allowing the same number of persons to produce much more wealth
2) The rise of democracy and human rights, which created much more freedom and equality
3) The elimination of a lot of obstacles to economy: Middle-Age corporations locking knowledge, heavy taxes on transport and boundary crossing, political antagonisms between countries (Only this point 3 can be said to be a direct consequence of capitalist conceptions, and still not all of them, only one, the liberalism, as opposed to corporatism or protectionism)
4) The abolition of slavery and the institution of social solidarity and social minima, which allowed everybody to take part into the economy.
As all these things appeared in a more or less simultaneous way, then we cannot scientifically state which one is the cause of the other. Especially, 2) and 4) appeared as direct consequences of social and political progress, while 1) appeared as a direct consequence of science. The only thing we can objectively say is that the free market system allowed for more variety and freedom than, say, corporatism, communist planning or autarchy. Also, capitalists were smart enough to adapt to the new situations, instead of opposing them. And today, precisely, when the new financial nobility tries stupidly to oppose 4) with the austerity policies, it very predictably creates a recession (see the last folding seat section VII of this chapter). These people even not remember Henri Ford, one of the founders of modern capitalism, who understood that we must favor the flow of money, instead of restricting it.
At last, if capitalism would be as superior as its supporter claim, the today expansion of economy would have occurred 2500 years ago, in the time of Pericles Greece and the Etruscan, the first capitalist merchant realms, or even sooner in the China seas. And the claimed consequences 1) to 4) would have happened in this time. But they did not, and even not in the time of the Renaissance. So that the today modern world clearly has its own causes, and capitalism is just a situation where these causes operated.
The «left» or Marxist criticism of capitalism is well known. However in a scientific analysis, we must not base on any such dogma, so that there is no need to discuss them.
The main inconveniences of capitalism are however easily observable:
-The competition system automatically creates a very unequal repartition of the wealth (see why in the sub-chapter «do we need money?»). In countries without social minimums, this inevitably leads a large part of the population to misery, slavery, or even to starvation.
-This unequal repartition gives a lot of power to the more rich, who can control the public opinion by owning the media: just as in the USSR, only the opinions of the power are visible to the general public, and the majority of neurotic people accept them as the truth (see chapter V-12, especially the part on submission). This is how the new financial nobility directly controls the democratic votes (more some mind control techniques studied in chapter VI-12), and thus governments which favor their own restricted view of life.
-Since the capitalists are themselves neurotic, just like most people, they tend to favor what they think is their interests, and ignore realities such as the environment, climate change, social rights, poetry of nature, spiritual evolution of society, etc. This is well visible from their sadomasochist clothing style, and their general denigration of beauty, vibrations, spirituality, etc. Worse, they developed a network of bogus «media», «communication agencies», «information experts» and «think tanks», in order to control the public opinion, exact counterpart of the Communist Party in the USSR (or of the religion in former times, this is why I call these people the new clergy, serving the new financial nobility). This was exposed to the general public by huge scandals like the denigration of climate change or the denigration of Moon flights, but it is well documented since at least the 19th Century.
These criticism are well know, and already serious enough to make many people consider that capitalism is immoral or asocial. But there is a more subtle criticism: in facts, capitalism is a burden to the economy. While it claims to be its engine. How is this possible? For a series of reasons.
The most well known is that the competition leads people to retain information, and even wealth, to avoid helping their competitors. But above all, the erratic neurotic commands of the capitalists create irrational economic networks, which cost work, resources, happiness and life expectancy, instead of contributing to the common happiness. Let us develop this in the next sub-chapter:
(Permalink) The true moralistic idea as what there should not be parasites or lazy people, led to the idea as what everybody must contribute to the common wealth. In the money system, this was put in practice in a brutal way: people can earn resources only if they work.
But, just as many others, this «morals» was perverted: we must «create jobs», even if these jobs are in facts destructive of economy and of happiness. This is well visible in several examples:
-Creating the desire for useless and dangerous productions like tobacco, which cost a lot of resources, work, happiness and life time. Still worse of course with the apalling «left» projects to legalize other drugs.
-Weapon industry, when weapons manufacturers foster antagonism between states, by funding or creating hateful political parties and media. This is well documented since they entirely created the 1914-18 war, to the point that it served in the plot of the Tintin album «The Broken Ear», closely inspirited by real facts and a real character. Are things really better today? Or just less visible...
But the most sophisticated example of parasitic economy circuit which costs much more than it produces, is meat. As everybody knows today, meat is not useful, and we live much happier and healthier with vegan food (chapter VI-7). However when industrial mills introduced white flour, the real purpose was to keep the proteins and vitamins to feed animals, and thus to produce meat. Today it is most of the the production of fields (soy) which goes directly to feed them. The problem is that this is a fantastic waste, since the conversion from vegetable proteins to meat proteins has a 30% to only 10% efficiency, compared to the direct consumption of the fields products, like wholegrain bread and vegetable proteins. In more, the production of meat requires a lot of energy, resources, work, and it creates a lot of animal suffering, diseases, pollution, loss of lifetime, and other nuisances. In truth, studies showed that we could feed right away 10 billions people with the food which is actually harvested today. But from the huge waste of meat production, we still have a billion hungry people instead. This is clearly a gross failure of the world economy, and the inability of any rich country's government to only grasp at it is clearly an abysmal lack of rationality. They feed the ideologies, instead of feeding people!
The neurotic pretext why they do this is however well known: meat «creates jobs». Useless, costly and ugly jobs, a huge waste of lifetime wading into excrement, blood and screams, but jobs. That unemployed workers are forced to accept. Even the trade unions enter these shameful schemes, by defending awful activities like meat, weapons or nuclear plants, in order to «create jobs». For the same reason, a lot of backward physicians and social workers still think that we «need meat», even against all the science studies. In France, even organic food shops have turned from strictly vegan to rare vegan food!
There are many other examples of artificially created false needs, like sport clothing (ugly and strictly useless to the sport itself). Even things like individual cars are enforced by the dreadful separation between work and housing, of the removal of train tracks.
One of the way that politicians use to enforce everybody in the unemployment system, is to force long working time per week. To have resources, a person must work this long a time. This makes far too much workforce available, so that business owners can select who they hire, or force workers into useless productions. Thus, enforcing high working time, late retirement age, etc. allows to keep a determined percentage of unemployment, so that people are forced to accept jobs as they are, instead of choosing the really useful ones.
40-44 hours per week of working time (up to 48 in some countries) makes the today capitalist society the one where we work the most, compared to more ancient societies. This cancels any other advantage of the capitalist society: why so much efforts, if we no longer have the time to enjoy their results (most of our free time being in facts used to rest, or for house chores, etc. so that very few really free time remains)
So that the actual production of our society is not the sum of all the workers minus the unemployed, we must also remove the weapon industry, the drugs industry, half of the farm work to produce food wasted in meat, more all the awful slaughterer jobs, more all the work to repair the pollution and medical work to cure the artificially created diseases. If in more we remove all the financial and paper work, the percentage of people doing a really useful work in our developed societies is probably not much better than the percentage of sincere workers in the USSR. This is consistent with other estimates, dating from the 1970 years, where some calculated that as low as «two hours a day» is enough, on the simple basis of discounting useless work like papers, financial, weapons, or scams like programmed obsolescence. A more recent (2015) and more conservative estimate, like the one of the NEF, give 21 hours a week, just the double of the previous.
So clearly, without changing anything else, a rational economy can produce much more, or we would work much less. Or in between, which would allow mankind to develop large projects like a more beautiful world (chapitre VI-9), psychoeducation (chapter V-12) or space colonisation (chapter VIII-10).
In the fifth part on consciousness, we found nowhere that being employed is a philosophical or metaphysical need of consciousness. Work is just a contingent necessity for existing in this world. And since it is not the purposeful part, we can legitimately act to make it as low as possible (See the foundations of scientific ethics, chapter VI-2). This leaves a lot of time for activities which directly interest our consciousnesses, be them just for pleasure, or for meaningful projects.
To be noted that, in this way of seeing things, and against these Petain's idea of full employment, science and industrial progress, robots, computers and the Internet appear as positive things, because they can reduce the meaningless work and increase the output of meaningful activities.
added In February 2017: The European Parliament, and several candidates in the French elections, seriously considered introducing a tax on robots. Which dose of petainism or wickedness is it needed to try to curb the inevitable displacement of human labour towards machines, and the accession to a society without work? In the short term, these idiocies will further retard democratic but economically irrational countries, compared to non-democratic but economically smarter countries. It is advisable to start learning Chinese.
(Permalink) After all this, the last argument of the proponents of capitalism is that it would be impossible to do without money (and the related methods: contracts, statutes, jobs, etc.). This very money that many consider as the very root of the evil. Hence the question, why do we need money, and can we avoid it?
First thing to understand is that money is not something which would exist and behave by itself.
Money is a convention, which exists only in the head of people who accept it, and it does only what these people make it do. Just like a cartoon character. And thinking that money is «real» or that it «does» things, is the domain of psychiatry, not economy.
In a scientific analysis of economy, we cannot take a convention as a «fact», and especially take a convention as something we must keep at all cost, or that it would be heretic to abandon. Furthermore, that money is a convention makes us free to keep it, modify it, and even discard it if it shows more harm than benefit. Same goes of course with all the other artificial incentives used in today economy: contracts, structures, etc.
But the more in depth analysis is: if we need a pure invention to make us behave in a way, it is that we renounced to decide by ourselves. Or that we are unable to decide by ourselves at all! We live in a totally imaginary world, in an hallucination!
This happens because most of us are neurotic (chapter V-12), and if there was not a system to control us, then people would behave in an haphazardous way, and most probably do nothing at all. Worse, many feel «enforced» by money to do evil things... enforced by a dream, this more resembles the bad defense of some drunken delinquent than any rational justification of money.
In reality, psychoeducated people, acting from Non-Action, do not need incentives like salaries to do what the situation needs to be done. This opens the real and immediate possibility of an economy without money, the True Economy, that I introduce in the next sections, where any incoming problem can be solved from compassion (food, health, housing...), or curiosity (travels, art, science, exploration...). These motivations arise spontaneously and effortlessly in a non-neurotic mind, since they are the basic motivations of consciousness, as seen in chapter V-5. They ensure that all economic problems are taken care of, including the necessary looping of economy: if people working on something are in need of food, tools, etc. other ensure that they have them, still from Non-Action. And all this without any kind of conditioned «exchange», even not barter: every producer of whatever freely offers his production to whoever needs it. They work from Non-Action, just because a need has to be fulfilled.
Today most of us choose to stay in a neurotic state, lazy or egocentric. In order to create the motivation of working at something useful for others, we need something else in exchange, like money. This excites our egocentric greed, or it is stronger than our laziness. This money can come from salaries (employees) or from sales (companies). The necessary looping of economy is ensured by the overall market: if a need arises somewhere, a company or seller will start to work on it, because it is an opportunity to earn money. This is how today society works. On three legs.
So this the definitive reply to the question: do we need money? The reply is clearly: no. No for psychoeducated people. But neurotic people need a control system, and in this case money appears as the least bad system (compared to things like slavery, feudalism, dictatorship, etc.)
And of course accounting with only one of the two kinds of people necessarily brings problems. The communists failed from assuming that everybody needed a control, the hippies from assuming that nobody needed it. Both failed.
The ideologists of capitalism pretend that this market system brings a self-regulation, ensuring an harmonious repartition of wealth. This is one of the greatest intellectual swindles of all times, and a lie obvious as the sun in our eye: this system creates from scrap and maintains huge social inequalities. The reason is the competition between egocentric people: once somebody has a little more money than the others, this competition becomes biased in his favour: this person can invest more, while his basic needs (food) become smaller in proportion. If he invests more, he earns more, so that he can invest still more: this process reinforces itself, making the rich become richer. The poor, on the other hand, has all his income going to food, so that he cannot invest into anything, and he is forever bound to poverty. This makes that the repartition of wealth quickly diverges in an exponential way, toward an extremely unequal repartition: few rich, a small middle class, and a large majority of poor. And this in total independence of any merit or skill: only a random drawing of the first opportunities drives the selection, which reinforces itself and locks itself afterwards. This repartition is well known from the specialists as the Pareto law: it is the mathematically mandatory result of the capitalist competition. This is also the reason why so many brandish this competition like a religious dogma: they just hope to be in the winners! Only strict regulations are able to maintain a minimum living standard for the poorest, in countries strong enough to maintain and enforce such regulations. If these regulations are absent, then the poorest become slaves, or they die with hunger. A quite easy to check result...
This is why all spiritual people consider the money/competition system as intrinsically pervert. On a spiritual point of view, it offers the ego the childish temptation to dominate others, or to destroy the environment without bearing the consequences. But at an economic and social level, this also arises issues: the market system can be regulated only at the price of a constant struggle by human-friendly politicians and social activists, who create laws and institutions enforcing social minimums and solidarity (retirements, social security, etc.). And only in countries where these are implemented, people have a minimum living standard, and they don't die of hunger or lack of health care.
Considering this, many proposed alternatives to money: return to barter, communism, hippies, distributive economy, etc. Such alternatives were supposed to be more fair, but they cannot work, because of the basic flaw: the underlying egocentricity of people (including the workers and the poor as well as the large corporates) will always counteract the legal, social and political efforts to bring an equitable sharing of wealth, work and resources. But more subtly, there cannot be technical solutions or automatic solutions to what is basically an human and spiritual problem: that everybody behaves in an honest and responsible way. This can only happen when everybody reaches enough psychoeducation for the correct motivations to emerge above the neurotic vagaries. Any other solution is akin to waiting that angels or extraterrestrials come to liberate the Earth.
So that the basic choice here is ONLY between:
1) We have a spiritual practice allowing to become psychoeducated
2) If we don't, there is no use at criticizing the system. We shut it up and we find an useful job.
For the ones with a brain, vote for politicians who also have one (chapter VI-11). For the others, just don't vote for the names that the TV repeats all the time. I warrant you that even such a simple guideline has the power to alleviate half of the world problems.
As to people pretending that a fair economy without money is «utopian», «impossible» «unrealistic», or «against human nature», they are crooks or sociopaths who deliberately oppose the idea of psychoeducation. The reason is that, with the egocentric system and a submissive majority, they hope to get more than their fair share of wealth (or less than their fair share of work, for workers or trade unionists). It is as simple as that. From here also comes their constant fostering of materialism and atheism, and their denigration of positive social movements: if people develop spiritual means to actually live their ideal, then they no longer need money and controls, and the power of the great corporate and world financial will dissipate effortlessly, like the night which disappears when the sun rises.
(Permalink) A common analysis of the problems created by capitalism is that money is the culprit, not the persons. Indeed, money arises huge temptations, since it gives a lot of power. Hence the idea of refusing it, and return to more primitive forms of exchange, like barter.
However we just saw in the previous sub-paragraph that money is not something which exists and behaves by itself. So how something which does not exist could create a desire? The reality is that the greed for money is not caused by money itself, but that it arises in the mind of neurotic people. Just as rape is not caused by women, but that the desire arises into the mind of abusive people. And we punish the rapist, not the woman, right?
Partisans of the return to barter often impose their view in front of partisans of the free gift. I saw it several times. The reason is that the ego system could accommodate with a return to barter, while free gift would kill it. Anyway countries which ignored money (such as Bhutan until about 1968) still imposed taxes, but in work or in production instead of money.
More in depth analysis show that barter still implies, as much as money, notions such as merit (a working person merits to eat, not an artist or isolated parent), accountancy of this merit, and conditioned exchange. So that in depth, barter does not alleviate a single of the problems created by money. We shall see in section II about the non exchange why these notions of merit and accountancy of merit are so noxious (and actually they are major brakes to the world economy)
(Permalink) A common prejudice equates this approach to only the Hippies communities. However such attempts were made as soon as the 19th century, and in France the May 1968 communities were more a far left movement (as I could see myself while visiting these places). Religious communities of this kind were also attempted since immemorial times, often with much more success.
One of the most frequent tenets of such communities is autarchy: since exchanges are thought to be the problem, they are reduced to the minimum: the group grows its own food, build its own houses, makes its own clothes, etc. In modern times, this implies, to be sustainable, a drastic reduction of the technology level, since high tech cannot be supported by small groups.
Another important tenet is the idea of «human scale»: to avoid problems imputed to large structures, the group is kept small enough so that everybody knows everybody. This is supposed to avoid problems and bring friendly and rational relationship. There is still some real ground to the idea of small group, though: it is the natural tribe system, in which human beings are genetically prepared to live. This indeed makes of it the easiest scale to manage. Although exchanges of persons or skills were also common in tribal societies. And it is not a panacea either: in History, the tribe system often led to tribal chauvinism and inter-tribes wars, which may also plague a modern tribe-based society. And actually I saw that May 1968 communities in France were often hating each other.
This is for the theory. In practice, the success of such groups is closely related to the level of spiritual work they accept, in order to clean up their neurosis. On one extreme, the «totally free» hippie communities were very innovative and interesting, but unable to stay together more than some months, breaking apart from trite disputes or from the effects of drugs. 19th century social communities were able to stay for years, before slowly breaking in more traditional families. On the other extreme, some communities with very strict religious rules, like the Amish, are stable, happy and thriving, but totally unable to include recent developments in spirituality, economy or culture, living in an idealized 19th Century world.
My analysis here is that, between unchecked freedom and rigid discipline, few tried the middle-way of non-Action. Should they, they would still have to sustain a constant fight against all the individual egos attempting to control the whole group. This makes a spiritual work mandatory, with psychoeducated persons in the position of power. A good example is the Community of the Arch in France, which was often quoted as an example of successful community (or even the only successful one). In theory it was an ashram, directed by Lanza del Vasto, in a direct transmission from Gandhi. In an ashram, a strong amount of spiritual work is mandatory, to keep the egos and neurosis at bay, while the spiritual master has final say on disputes and effective means to eject troublemakers. However when Lanza died, he had no successor, and the organisation had to sustain attempts of power taking and infiltration by extreme left or anarchists. Only the most spiritually strong Arch communities survived.
But the most subtle flaw however in this autarkic «human scale» group approach, is that it eludes the problems rather than solving them. Especially, avoiding the large scale relationship forbids a lot of interesting things to happen: Internet, travels, exchanges, humanitarian help... Worse, the human warmth of a loving community, or the common attachment to an ideology, often hides the necessity to solve the ego problems and develop unconditional compassion and Non-Action, even toward complete strangers. Clearly we need all the scales, not only the easiest. We need something which can work in any condition, in every context, and at any scale. If meeting strangers or pulling an electric wire threatens a community, then it is that this community relies on something false, fragile, artificial.
(Permalink) A common mind control method is to say «If you are against capitalism, it is that you are communist» (implication: heretic, great satan). Marxism actually played an important role in the evolution of the economic theories, but yet I do not refer to it. On the contrary I made the effort of carefully demarxising this chapter of any of the influences I could receive in the past. There are many other economic systems which have been proposed, and to focus the debate on a Marxism-capitalism opposition is only a way to elude the real discussion. I am even not afraid of capitalism, and we shall see what I do with it while discussing the transition (section III). Now, to the fact.
The 19th Century saw a very strong «socialist» movement, although this word had in this time a very different meaning than today, not a political clan, but a free and varied reflection on what should be fair human relationships and economy. Most influential models were the French Revolution, and Rousseau's ideas as what removing the artificial social structures would produce intrinsically good persons.
However Karl Marx locked this reflection since about a century, by making of it a dogmatic ideological system (chapter I-9): Marxism. Since then, not only Marxism produced most of the worse dictatorship, but in more it perverted nearby all emancipation attempts, from communist revolutions and decolonization, to the most recent anti-globalisation movements (still strongly anti-American) or environment movements (still «left» and anti-spiritual). We find Marxism even in our beds: the sexual liberation and gender equality were disguised in a class struggle of the homosexual women against heterosexual men. Only today (2015) social and political reflection starts emerging from this intellectual hostage taking, and reconnect to nature, beauty and spirituality. Only religious or spiritual movement escaped this huge intellectual reduction, but at the cost of abandoning the ground of social life and economy, to avoid a clash with these direct opponents to spirituality. Today we still recognize infected persons when they «avoid religion», or allergic persons when they «avoid politic». If you want to take part into activities or in activism, start with checking that they accept spirituality (and science too).
Marxism pretends to be a scientific theory on the evolution of mankind. However its basic dogma, like the social classes or class struggle, are not constant facts (they were both absent of tribal societies). But in the name of this dogma, wherever they went Marxists always fueled existing antagonism between people, and even created some where there were not. More viciously, the reasoning of Marxism contain various errors, especially dualism and error of type of logic (chapter I-7), making of it an ideology (chapter I-9), far away from any pertinent science theory or useful though system. And as of all the ideologies, it misleads people, creates disputes and misunderstandings. Today, in a country like France plagued with several generations of Marxist intellectuals, we still have serious problems, like autistic children hijacked from their parents, just as soviet children were.
One of the reasons why Communism raised so much enthusiasm and caused so many revolutions, attempts and guerilla, is that it seemed to remove the main problem of economy: the ego. This terrible ego which creates a new class of rich even before we realize what happens. For this, Communists never hesitated to kill by millions, or to suffer themselves the worse tortures and massacres, since it was «for the happiness of future mankind».
Alas all these blood sheds, suffering and sacrifices were in vain, for Marxism has a showstopper flaw: the dogma as what people are determined by society. After this dogma, it was enough to create a communist society, communist laws and collective economy structures, to bypass the long psychoeducation process, and for everybody to magically become motivated workers and fair leaders! The disillusion was as deep as the expectation, since only about 20% of people really worked sincerely for this communist society. We must admit, though, that, contrarily to common anti-communist prejudices, the idea of a collective economy had a huge value, to allow a country like Russia, barely emerging from Middle Age, with only 20% of people sincerely working on it, to catch up over the great capitalist countries, win an excruciatingly expensive war over the nazis, and become one of the two largest superpowers and space exploration leaders.
But the most obvious showstopper flaws of Marxism is materialism, the refusal of spirituality. In an early 20th century Europe dominated by religious bigotry, this looked like a «liberation». However in reality the refusal of spirituality made that the communists rejected the very spiritual tools which would allow them to really change their behaviors and overcome their egos. The worse case was in Tibet: several lamas, seeing communism as an opportunity to at last build a non-ego society, offered their spiritual collaboration to the Maoist invaders. But they were accused of being «reactionary» and thrown in jail, so that they quickly abandoned this proposal. Since then, all the Chinese work in the fear of their government, and the system totally failed to produce any ego-free society, turning instead into a state-led capitalist dictatorship where people cannot escape their assigned role. In Russia and Eastern Europe, the fall of communism brought back the religions, but not necessarily the best of them. In western Europe and the USA, there never was a communist government. However the Marxist influence is more deeply rooted than in former communist countries: the ideas of freedom and social progress are now associated with materialism and rejection of spirituality.
(Permalink) Traditional anarchism starts from the Rousseau ideas, as what people undisturbed by artificial society structures and laws would become automatically gentle and good willed enough to behave in an ideal social and economy way. Anarchists raised this at the level of a dogma and political line, rejecting all states, laws and structures. And also, just as the Marxists, they rejected religion and spirituality, thinking that violence would do the job faster. Which totally failed, since people cannot be forced to train to control their egos or neurosis. Nitroglycerin cannot destroy the ego (although it is efficient on sexual impotence, ha ha ha). But the most definitive fail of anarchism is that, precisely, a feudal/cimpanzee power structure always resurface automatically in anarchist communities without rules and without spiritual work. We also see this in fascist city gangs.
Libertarianism is a much more recent current, which also wants to limit the power of the governments. However they do not foster a free economy, but a free capitalism, that no state would hamper or regulate. They don't fight the religions, but spirituality is just foreign to them. So the result would be very different of what Anarchists expect: a return to feudalism. This is why powerful financial people are called barons, or the new nobility.
(Permalink) Distributive Economy relies on radically different tenets: money is still used as a mean to regulate the behaviours of people. However, to avoid any speculation leading to inequalities, the distributive money is created according to the effective production, and shared in an equitable way between everybody, even ensuring a minimum income. Then, this money is not passed between people, but destroyed when the corresponding production is consumed. This is just a very short summary of a complex system first designed by Jacques Duboin in 1930, and expanded since with many studies. As far as I know, it was never put in practice. It must not be confused with several other movements with similar names but very different tenets.
In the late 1970, the ecological movement was still a place of free reflection, and distributive economy was studied and debated. I myself tried to do manual simulations of economy with it, to demonstrate that it converges toward fair results. However what I found was very different of expected: I had to assume that the people were willing to behave after the theory, for it to work (what it did fantastically well at this point). But if they were not willing to do so, the economy just stalled. So that, here also, the flaw is that nothing forces people to behave after the idea. They certainly are well guided toward an ideal behaviour, but if they have the slightest egocentric motive, they can cheat, and they will certainly find ways to do so, jeopardising all the efforts for creating this ideal system. Especially lazy or egocentric people don't have the incentive of salaries, so that we fall back on the same problem that in the Soviet Union: only a minority of honest people really works.
This led me as soon as 1978-1980 to realise the inherent flaw of all the possible economy systems: no technique, no method, no law or system can automatically regulate the egocentricity of people (which can manifest in many ways: laziness, greed, search of power, discriminations, etc.) It is an human problem, which can be addressed only by human action, by a constant, purposeful and well oriented human intervention. This is true for capitalism of course, but it is also true for any alternative.
But this also implies another curious conclusion: for people having mastered their ego, any system can work, even if they don't need one. This will be used in the transitional True Economy.
(Permalink) So that, ultimately, only people with a correct motivation can understand True Economy. This way of thinking, we call it «the vision» of «True economy», see section II. But this is still just an opinion: in order to be effective, people need to be able to control their ego and neurosis, so that in any situation they actually feel a spontaneous desire to behave appropriately, without effort. Let us call this the Ability to True Economy. And to develop this ability, they need appropriate psychoeducation methods, ego-resizing spiritual tools, and neurosis-cleansing brooms. But once they have enough Ability, nothing can stop them from creating an efficient society without ego, without laws, money or inequalities.
However, to people with the good motivations but with insufficient ability, we can propose a variety of structures and protections, more or less inspirited from the previous systems (communities, cooperatives, alternative money...) that we can gather under the name of «transitional True Economy», see section III under.
At last, to people with no True Economy motivations at all, we can propose them a «mixed society», see section IV under. Here, at least, their greedy motivations can still lead them into activities useful for the society, while removing most of the dangers of uncontrolled capitalism.
In this way, True Economy can really address the spiritual aspect of economy, including when it is absent, instead of stupidly refusing to see this aspect of things, and waste generations into unrealistic systems.
(Permalink) This section addresses an ideal economy, which is accessible only to people with enough psychoeducation to quench their egocentricity and neurosis, and involve in economy in a non-action way. However it is fundamental that everybody understands this section, in order to correctly implement the next sections which address the case of non-psychoeducated people.
Before starting any scientific study on «how the economy should be» we must discard any preconception or magical thinking on this domain, such as flat Earth or the markets which regulate themselves. Just as in metaphysics, we must not start from «already known» facts or «generally recognized» facts: things like the market are just conventions, with no more metaphysical statute than Tintin and Snowy. They are not things which exist and behave by themselves and which we would be forced to do with. This makes that we are totally free to keep them, modify them, or even discard them. The point is that it is «we» who may accept them, and not «them» who force us. Understood?
So on what to base our study on a scientific economy?
First, we must get rid of any neurosis, dogmas, beliefs or ideologies. Since there are a lot in this domain, and the very basis of today economy are obviously massively kinky, we must start from zero. We still can re-introduce useful items later, but if we do this, then it will be a free choice, or a real need, but not a dogma.
Second, we defined the basis of scientific ethic in chapter VI-2. Of course ethics does apply everywhere, including in economy, otherwise it is high hogwash. Applied to economy, the basis of scientific ethics translate in the following way:
(This is summarized from the linked chapter):
1) True economy has for first purpose the happiness of people.
It also fosters science, education, freedom, social life, corporeal beauty, positive social and spiritual movements. For this reason, fundamental imperatives are the satisfaction of all the economic needs allowing consciousness to exist and to express itself.
2) the rights, protections, duties and means are the same for all the human beings.
The True Economy must be designed in a way to ensure equality of economic wealth and economic power, and not to allow for personal power to create privileges.
3) the first two foundations apply to beings who have different capabilities and different aspirations. If these differences bring a contradiction between the first two foundations, then modulating rights, resources, protections, duties and means must always go in the direction of restoring an equal access for all, to the first foundation of ethics.
This is what is done with institutions like Social Security, retirements, family allowances, unemployment allowances, minimum incomes. However True Economy uses radically different methods. To start with, these methods are built-in the system, not things that people have to ask for.
4) The three previous foundations are the expression of Transcendence.
Any kind of discipline of the human mind, be it psychological, religious or spiritual, obviously has to be put in practice in all the occasions of the daily life, including into work, production and distribution. Saying that economy has to be uncoupled from the human mind is the most gross mind control trick ever done, which obvious purpose is to escape moral and citizen duties, and pave the way for egocentric schemes harming everybody. If anybody thinks I am wrong, please bring me a disclaimer signed by God. If you cannot, then stop saying what He must not do.
Especially, this fourth foundation means that putting ethics in economy (what True Economy does) is the will of the Transcendence (chapter V-6), or the correct way to honour the Transcendence, whatever we understand by this Transcendence: God, Allah, Dharma, Tao, Nature, Force, or whatever legit spiritual stream or religion. Even ideals like socialism or humanism, which claim not to be religious, still have to deal with their minds and master their neurosis in order to achieve their purposes. Political parties who do not do that are just misleading everybody and themselves first.
Since spirituality cannot be imposed, this fourth foundation cannot be translated into laws or rules. However our spiritual realizations will certainly be an important part of the True Economy Confidence that people will grant to us (See the sub-chapter on this, at the end of this section).
(Permalink) Money, tickets, barter, distribution, all have something in common: they are conditioned exchanges. This meaning that something moves in one way only if a counterpart goes in the other way. It is an exchange, not a gift. And this exchange takes place only if the two parties agrees to it, if both get some advantage of it. If a party has no advantage to the exchange, then it does not take place. Even if one of the parties is forced into the exchange (like slaves), it still takes place against some advantage (like food).
To well understand what «conditioned exchange» means, we need to consider that even allocations such as family allowances, unemployment allowances, retirement allowances, minimum income, come after complicated calculation of the merit of the person who receives them. For instance retirements are calculated after a paranoid check of the whole life of the person, deciding when he was «working», «unemployed» or «idle». Even for mandatory allowances, the persons have to give in exchange some ideological compliance into the system, like in the case of persons using compost toilets having their family allowances removed, or people offering benevolent work having their unemployment allowance removed, and losing on retirement. Or nomads, who have no rights, even not a bank account, called in pejorative ways and confused with tramps or delinquents. Or at last people living from social aid are considered unable or asocial, hosted in ugly places, forced into «psychological aid», and other humiliations.
This arises a serious problem: everybody has the same need to eat, sleep, meet others, be respected, and undertake useful or pleasant activities. And has the same merit to do so! So that, basically, there is no point at accounting any merit, and this concept disappears, just like the notions of virginity or nobility disappeared.
From here comes the deepest tenet of the Vision of True Economy: unconditioned gift. This is a case of Non-Action: doing just what the situations needs, here giving to the ones who need, without any interferences of our neurosis or ego. We can also call this non-exchange, to keep in line with other vocabulary such as non-violence, non-action, non-self, which are the same thing applied to different domains. Although this «non-...» is misleading when we hear it for the first time. Indeed it is not a simple negation, but a non-duality (chapter I-3)
That the Non-Exchange is unaccounted means only one thing: we give without counting our time, and people who work for us do not check if we worked too. Since everybody is in Non-Action anyway, there will always be somebody to fulfil any need which appears. Non-Action also forbids laziness: it is not doing nothing! So that anyway everybody contributes, in his own way, without any centralized command. For social science or robotic science, this works like an ant nest: there is no centralized command, and each individual copes only with the problem at hand. However this system is often more efficient than a centralized control.
A common custom is to think that we are still redeemable from something we receive: even if there is not specified date, we shall anyway have to repay some day what we received, to the precise person. Non-exchange is beyond even that: there is no formal obligation to repay one day, not even some kind of subtle or implied moral debt, inferiority or obligation.
The only real commitment in Non-Action, is to remain in Non-Action, so that the others are sure that, if some day Non-Action places us in our turn in the position of giving, then we shall do something. This is certainly a non-Aristotelian informal obligation, with no predefined ways to be fulfilled, but it is a spiritual commitment, so that it is in facts stronger than the today laws.
Let us still be clear too, for the people who still «do not understand» what Non-Action is: it excludes laziness as well as greed. For instance, in the time of hippie or may 68 communities, we saw many people keen for non-Action when receiving, but fleeing when time was for giving. Such people are not in True Economy at all, and they can be expelled, toward more classical structures where their laziness or egocentricity will find more appropriate enticements (in their case, bum-kicking. I volunteer in non-action for this production, because they still owe me some implied debt).
In a world where egocentricity is considered as a quality, this will certainly be a problem for early attempts, which will have to slowly build he True Economy Confidence that the whole system can work, at least among peers, at need into groups with some form of spiritual training, more or less resembling ashrams. But if we want to be integrated in True Economy, the way to prove that we deserve this confidence is simple: behave in Non-Action. After this, the True Economy network will trust us.
Of course comes the reply «but if they work for building houses, they need food in exchange». This is a confusion, which happens only because we are so deeply conditioned to link/confuse two totally different things: 1) the need for food, and 2) conditioning this food to the building work. In reality, that people build houses, or accordions, or anything, or even nothing, they need food anyway. This makes that there is no point at deciding who needs food. That they are workers, artists, parents, old, sick, conditioning their food to any criteria just makes thing more difficult, without bringing any advantage. Not only accounting who deserves food is a total waste of time (because we all need equally), but it is also accepting that people can be left without food at all. And this is not a metaphor, we know too well that millions are still assassinated every year by hunger or lack of care.
The reply of the True Economy is that in cases like this, the need of workers for food is also fulfilled through non-action: people who cultivate food do it for everybody, and whatever their occupations, simply because it is necessary. So that people produce in a non-exchange way, choosing what to do after examining the actual needs. This ensures the necessary looping of economy: everybody has what he needs, even if he is busy full time at building houses or anything. And this happens without the «market». Or non-exchange does naturally what the market is supposed to do in the naive idyllic visions on capitalism. And in a much more efficient way.
A more serious objection is that if people do not have incentives, they will not work. This is, as we saw, what brought all the other systems to failure (including capitalism, which is a failure by itself). But precisely, this is not true for everybody: only for people who are not psychoeducated. Since psychoeaducated people can easily develop the necessary non-action motivation, they can implement True Economy right away, and we are starting to see examples (see further). And still we saw in the example of the Soviet Union that something like 20% of non-psychoeducated people can still give their time, and even their life, to a cause, so that True Economy can still work for them.
On the other hand, if people are not yet enough psychoeducated, we cannot force them into Full True Economy, because whatever method we use, their ego or neurosis will thwart it. We address this with specific Transitional True Economy methods, see next section III. As to the mixed society described in section IV, even sociopaths can work with it.
To conclude this sub-chapter: as we saw in chapter V-10, in a consciousness free of any ego or neurosis, the desire of doing useful or meaningful things arises spontaneously, so that people can engage from themselves into useful or meaningful activities with pleasure, without effort or enticement. For this reason, people will feel much more free and happy than under the whip of the slavers, or even than with the pay of the companies. This is the very base of True Economy, and why it is more efficient to bring wealth, and much more efficient to bring a real and lasting happiness. This also is the very relevance and utmost efficiency of basing economy on spirituality, instead of treating them as «separate domains» where spirituality and ethics «must not» interfere.
(Permalink) In True Economy, people gather in a single type of structure: the Activity Circle, which takes the place of the companies.
However there is something fundamental which distinguishes Activity Circles of companies, and even of any known alternatives (cooperatives, self-management, kolkhozes, buying groups...): instead of an ego starting an activity with the intent of taking profit of other people needing something, it is all the persons in need, who gather to solve this need. This includes the users or consumers as well, and often it is users who will gather and start to work on the problem. The very basis of the Activity Circle is that it is not producers who come along to sell something, but users who gather to identify and fulfil their own needs.
We could summarize this by saying that an Activity Circle is the Non-action and Non-ego translation of the capitalist company. It is much more this than any previously proposed basic economy structure like cooperatives, kolkhozes, kibbutz, autarkic communities, etc. In practice, what creates this difference is that the power of decisions belongs to the users, who will decide the production objectives and the means to fulfil them. People who actually do the work have some input too, since these production objectives must be achievable within the available means and time, with correct technical methods, and in an humanly sustainable way.
Correct technical methods means that the methods and quality requirement are exactly the same as within the today capitalist companies. I specify this here, because I nearby always saw people in «alternative» building who were doing bad work, just to «question capitalism». This is ludicrous and it leads nowhere. Actually these builds were looking like tramp dumps, the exact opposite of a world of beauty (chapter VI-9)
It should be noted that, after these very definitions, to pass from the capitalist company to the Activity Circle is a process of spiritual evolution, and not a violent revolution or antagonism bringing the destruction of existing structures. This is also very important, and shows the fundamentally non-violent process, adaptive and open to all, of the True Economy Transition, in contrast with authoritarian or marginal revolution («marginal» was a french word for the 1970 years communities, considering that society is fundamentally evil and unrecoverable, and seeking to recreate another one elsewhere). These two approaches, authoritarian revolution and marginalism, are basically doomed to failure, because the uncontrolled egos and neuroses instantly regain the power in the new context. Even if we went on Mars, all the social inequalities would reappear as soon as we open our suitcases. However the process of psychoeducation is possible everywhere and for everybody, in any system, context or culture. This is why there is no need to destroy or oppose anything.
So that starting an Activity Circle happens when people, thinking that they all need something, gather to find solutions to fulfil this need. In the continuation, main management decisions are taken by all these persons together. Only work decisions may be taken by the persons who actually perform the work, and still under the supervision of the whole group, if work decisions impact the general purpose of the Activity Circle.
An important point here is that not everybody will actually work, because some cannot (old, disabled, children...), and the large majority are already occupied full time in other Circles, working for other needs, according to the non-exchange principle above, which replace the capitalist market. So that we shall most of the time find the same proportion of workers and beneficiaries, as there are employees and customers in the capitalist companies. Which is normal, since this proportion is determined only by the yield of the work itself, not by the social organization.
After, Activity Circles will have many variants on the proportion of workers over consumers, the precise domain or need they address, the local or global character, etc. But the above rules apply in all the cases, making the Activity Circle something totally different from any classical structure, be it single-ego led (corporate), or multiple-egos led (cooperatives, self-management).
Being a member of an Activity Circle thus implies in the strict minimum to take part into meetings, where are decided such things as production plans and work assignments. These meetings are free of the sadomasochist etiquette often associated with business (grey suits, cut hairs, etc.). In local circles like farming, this can be an occasion of some festivity, common meal, celebration of nature, etc. Larger circles can use the Internet or virtual worlds to communicate.
Also an Activity Circle is not intrinsically a living place or a community. Although these things will gain a lot at being managed as Activity Circles.
Today there are few pure Activity Circles, so that what follows is more, in fact, Transition True Economy. But there are several things which started to go in this way, so that we are... one century in advance on Fourier's Phallanxes.
The Linux system, and other free software organizations like the Apache foundation (running this server and the text processor used for this text) are the best example today of (in theory) users gathering to propose a solution to a need. In practice, though, both structures are foundations, because they are not connected to other structures for food productions, so that workers need to be paid. Linux especially is hampered by not heeding the requests of the users for a more user friendly system. This makes that it did not reached the expected goal of replacing Windows.
Humanitarian action also often complies with the definition of a passing cost Activity Circle. An Activity Circle is not intrinsically for defending some cause or fostering some social style. But they can be used for these purposes, so that humanitarian action can be considered Activity Circle.
Charities often target persons not involved in the group itself, but this can still be considered a passing cost Activity Circle, applying the third foundation of ethics (chapter VI-2), commanding to compensate for inequalities.
Neighbour help groups are often Activity Circles. Without they results from any economic analysis, social intent or political intent.
(Permalink) An heavy confusion would be between an Activity Circle and an autarkic community, producing everything it needs, such as Fourier's Phalanxes, Kibbutz or Hippie communities were. Right on the contrary an Activity Circle is an open economy structure, where wealth and work flow through, and collaborating with other Circles in a cooperative and complementary way. And actually, we could take the capitalist market, with all its cycles and network of companies, add simple psychoeducation and Non-ego, and each of these companies and its customers would become an Activity Circle. Nothing else would need to change in this organisation. This structure is precisely what allows the capitalist market to fulfil a huge variety of needs, while keeping the freedom of individuals to choose their products and having their way of life. True Economy structure will work exactly in the same way, producing the same powerful results. The only difference is the suppression of the egos, which will further eliminate obstacles such as the need for individual profit for the system to work. This would lead to an even more powerful system (this is easy to check with mathematical simulations of economy, if agents have an altruistic behavior instead of egocentric. But today, simulations consider only «perfectly egocentric» agents...).
So, if egocentricity is the basis of capitalism, it actually more hampers its efficiency than serving it. This was studied in the first section of this chapter, in «The sophistry of needing employment».
So that many collaborations will happen between Circles. A simple example is a mechanics circle. Since people performing this activity are relatively rare, they need to work full time on it. If they had to also grow food, build houses, sew clothes, etc., they would be inefficient as mechanics. But they can be a member of many other Circles providing them with all these things. Here also, we are not far from the classical capitalist organization, where each person able to work performs an activity in full time, while buying from many companies. Well, in practice, people are happier if they can share between 2-3 activities, or change with time, so that the equivalent of employment is much more supple and non-Aristotelian in True Economy. Especially intellectuals will enjoy some work in the fields, while farmers may too like some artistic activity too. This is how the sharing of work is organized in True Economy, between Circles.
Also, that Activity Circles work together implies that they need to provide a part of their production to other circles, or receive supplies from other circles. These productions are managed just the same way as giving to or receiving from individuals: as a Non-exchange between circles.
Another common claim of alternative movements is the notion of human scale, which would allow for small structures, and forbid large ones. This idea is often supported by claims as what big corporations and governments would be intrinsically evil.
However, for a psychoeducated person, having large responsibilities does not create any specific problem: it is enough to consider this activity as Non-Action, as a service to the community, just like shovelling gravel on a road or sweeping a room.
But True Economy has a specific reply to the problem of large structures: it is enough to remark than, the larger a structure is, the more specialized it is. For instance we have small but numerous farming groups, larger building groups but still local, larger transportation groups, siderurgy groups, and at least very specialized Integrated Circuit groups with only some persons. Add to this that at each scale we have several, or even many groups doing complementary activities.
This makes that every group remains more of less at the human scale.
The only thing which does not make sense would be a global farming company owing large surfaces of land and feeding billions. This cannot happen in True Economy, and it is anyway a terrible temptation of power.
I claim that this structure is fractal.
Interestingly enough, I found this fractal structure and self-similarity property in 1974 or 1975, while the concept of fractal started to appear in science reviews only years later. However I cannot claim I had found the fractals, since I did not generalized the idea, nor I found their mathematical definition.
What makes the fractal structure precious to economy, is a common property of fractals: self-similarity (in the instance quasi self-similarity), where each scale reproduces the structures of the other scales. This leads to an important property of the True Economy fractal structure: all the scales are the human scale. Provided, though, that their increase in geographic scope is compensated by a corresponding decrease in their technical or social scope. This is easy to implement.
Well, this demonstration may look abstract to non-mathematicians. So I give another: at each scale of economy, the persons undertaking an activity have to closely interact with about the same number of persons, for about the same volume of work and requests. And, since larger and larger scale groups are more and more specialized, the power they give on others does not increase: the decisions affect more people, but in a narrower field. A solution which would be really problematic would be something as a farming company owning the land of a whole country. The administration burden would be out of proportion of the result, and anyway a too large temptation for ego power on others. Good plan for a cult, but nothing like this in True Economy. It is precisely to avoid the appearance of such situations that we studied in chapter VI-3 how to avoid dependencies. To avoid dependencies and concentrations of power are the root of True Economy.
Normalization committees of electronic formats and Internet languages are a growing example of Activity Circles involving only a small group of workers, but which benefit freely reaches billions of users. Just pity that the needs of these users are often ignored, resulting in complicated norms which are not easily appropriable by everybody (example: the nightmare of the CSS formats for Internet pages).
It is to be noted that such normalization committees will be of utmost importance for the management of the global True Economy society. The reason is that some activities, like building airliners, spacecrafts, large bridges, medicine research, etc. are so complex that they cannot be undertaken by a single group and structure. Even the today capitalists don't do so, relying instead on complex networks of subcontractors and control/certification organisms. In True Economy, the same needs arise, and similarly the response will not be large Activity Circles with a lot of power. Instead, True Economy seeks to interface all the small groups working for a large project. This interface can only take the form of norms, methodologies, and quality assessment/control. So that when performing the final assembly of for instance an airliner, all the parts joint properly together, and all have the required level of quality. If the capitalists can do this, we can also do it, I think. Such requirements are less stringent in local activities such as house building, but we still need some here, or the houses will collapse on the heads of their inhabitants.
Having worked in high tech domains like aviation or space, I found interesting to design things in this tightly normalized environment. No place for blur or approximation! By contrast, I found ridiculous to see «environmentalist» militants unable to pitch a tent properly, unable to mix concrete, confusing aluminium with iron, or «New Age» people denouncing a «new catechism» when I started to speak of organizing our work. Poor dudes, even a teepee needs to be done after the rules, or when comes the time of rain you will have to go back to the unemployment agency.
(Permalink) There is a fashion in popular social movements to act in a more local way, prefer local farm products, etc. On the other hand, corporate and governments think that world-wide global organizations are better for their purposes.
Both the two views have pros and cons.
Local is good for what affects directly our life support, culture, or people we know: farming, building, community help, etc. But local cannot grasp at high tech, transportation, Internet, science, space exploration, etc. So that local ties us to low tech level, and even to isolationism. Although in a world where Internet communication and virtual worlds will more and more replace actual travels, virtual worlds and augmented reality will allow for a very appropriable communication, with a relatively low volume of very high tech stuff per person.
Global has the opposite advantages and inconveniences: much better into managing high tech, science, space exploration, etc. However, in the money system, global creates a huge power, and many people suspect that the new financial nobility, and their media clergy, fosters global with the purpose of creating a totalitarian world power bypassing all the democratic governments (see section VII). And we should not let us hide the truth by all the boosting misinformation of conspiracy theories: this possibility is very real.
The fractal structure of True Economy does not bind us to any of the two. This makes that we can take the advantages of both, without getting any of the adverse effects.
For example a person can live in some kind of farm, share some physical work here, look at the children, while being also present in a virtual world, managing some high tech project, or designing space components. I must confess that this would be some ideal happiness for me. For many too, I guess.
As says the early environmentalist adage: act locally, think globally. What in the 1970 years was just a spiritual guideline can become an actual way of managing local life or global projects as well, thanks to the Internet and other communication methods, thanks also to the fractal structure of True Economy. «physical work locally, intellectual work globally». Good motto for a True Economy society.
(Permalink) Contracts are legal or formal commitments enforcing several parties into a given behaviour, under penalty of retortion or punishment. Since absolute True Economy is based on Non-Action, there is no need of these, and any person taking an informal commitment into doing something, will do it, unless adverse circumstances. If the person becomes unable to keep his commitment, then this is a matter to be discussed in the group, to find a replacement.
Said otherwise, the only «hard» commitment is to keep in non-ego and Non-Action. This is still informal, but persons not wanting to do so may face at the very least expulsion of the group, see of the whole True Economy.
(Permalink) We studied in chapter VI-3 how to deal with dependencies, either dependency on other persons, or dependency on land, house and production means, see the dependency of the young, disabled, sick or old. Since not everybody is able to work, all Activity Circles will include disabled, children, old, etc. as full right beneficiaries of their production. These people will be treated like the others, without making them feel that they owe something to the group, that they would be inferior, or that they should repay in a way or another. The only legit way they can repay this support, is to be nice and pleasant members, behaving in Non-Action and Non-Exchange.
Either relative or absolute True Economy totally refuse any dependency or categories of persons which would be created artificially, either from bogus criteria (ideology, clan, nobility, «honour») or real criteria (country, race, living place, clothing, hair colour...).
Absolute True Economy does not recognize formal property of land or production means. Even formal intellectual property is limited to recognition of authorship and protection against deformations. Instead, Absolute True Economy recognize the situations of dependency resulting from the need for a land, production means, housing and objects, concepts and information. As explained in chapter VI-3, after the foundations of ethics, these situations are resolved by granting to the dependent persons the control of the resources they need. If this is not enough, third parties may help with abnegation and neutrality, like parent toward children, or nurses toward disabled.
Again, Non-Action leads the course of... action: dependencies are just situations which happen, and that we need to find solutions to. The mere idea of taking profit of dependent people is just an excrement of the ego, to be flushed out of our minds in any case. After the foundations of ethics (chapter VI-2), the solution is help and compensation toward the disabled, young, etc. and control of the resources by whose who need them.
(Permalink) These important definitions are spread a bit everywhere in this chapter. But given their importance, I gather them here:
The True economy capacity is our individual capacity to behave in True Economy, as a fair member of it. It is not a title or endowment, but an actual intellectual and psychological capacity:
-Understanding the Vision or Absolute True Economy
-Upholding it above any ego economy system
-The sincere intent to apply this vision, either in absolute or in transition,
-The psychological capacity, which results from psychoeducation (chapter V-12) to master our neurosis and ego tendencies (what lacked to the hippie communities to succeed).
This is a capacity to do things, just like being disabled is a lack of capacity to do things.
It is not a privilege, but a duty. Possible recognition systems must not create arbitrary privileges, and especially no false recognition.
Actually there is no perfect recognition method, but the best known is a psychological evaluation. Most practical one is the test of time.
The True Economy confidence (in the system) is the knowledge and feeling that True Economy can work, as soon as the appropriate conditions are gathered, and people do it sincerely. Attachment from social conformism does not count.
The True economy confidence (in people) Is the fact of being confident with, or granting confidence to other people:
-when integrating a group (Activity Circle)
-when a group (Activity Circle) accepts a member.
We usually need a greater confidence when we go toward Absolute True Economy, since there are less or no warranties, and the harm can be much worse if a person misbehaves.
In practice, both kinds of confidence will grow progressively, while discovering and knowing people, and their behavior history.
However this does not happen by the mere adhesion to opinions. Not only this is not enough, but in more it is dangerous.
The capacity to True Economy is a mandatory condition, which can be defined as the psychological or spiritual capacity to naturally behave in the Non-Action and non-ego way, without effort and without feeling frustrated of our egoistic desires. We can do so when we to eradicate (or control) our neurosis and egocentricity, so that we no longer feel the desire to behave in the ancient egocentric ways (or at least this desire is controllable).
And this happens only with some amount of psychological or spiritual work, called psychoeducation (chapter V-12). For Relative True Economy, some basic training and learning the principles is enough. Some years of meditation and positive visualisation are needed for the Absolute True Economy. It should be noted that everybody normal can do it. It is more difficult than erasing a neurosis of racism, but much less difficult than becoming a saint or smiling while immolating oneself in fire.
So that engaging into True Economy is a choice, which becomes effective when we successfully perform the necessary amount of cleansing of neurosis or controlling of ego. People are free not to do this choice (not to perform and complete the required spiritual work). However when they use this freedom, they lose the freedom of coming along to sow havoc into True Economy groups and places. This is how a choice works: we go in a direction and not in the other.
When speaking about True Economy, we must realize that the worse enemies are not the capitalists. They are some New Age or personal development theories, claiming that we must be totally free to do whatever we desire. This approach is so tempting, but a sheer dangerous illusion, when we do not control our neurosis: what we think is «our will» our «our desire» are then only random neural electric impulses, resulting from the mere material working of our neurones (see part 5 on consciousness, and in chapter VI-5 how arise the sexual fantasies), happening in total disregard of the happy or painful results. Honouring this stuff is the best way to do totally absurd and harmful actions, of which we often are the first victims (drugs, laziness...). A one way ticket to hell, without passing through death. (I often saw myself, when this kind of people arrive somewhere, they start by posing their sex on the common table, grab the food, give commands to everybody, put «good» and «bad» labels everywhere, and become very angry when we ask them to care for something. And of course they confuse Non-Action with literally doing nothing!) Political «left» are also considerable opponents, due to their intellectual reductions and active hostility to the spiritual methods for building the True Economy Ability.
For this reason, I shall consider only attempts involving a form of spirituality, which has to be non-ego, ecumenical, open and non-sectarian. Others are free, but under their own responsibility. Wear a life jacket, dudes. Oh well, don't wear any, if you think it lessen your «freedom».
(Permalink) One of the most basic meditation in all spiritual work is to awake and maintain the right motivation for the spiritual practice, and further in our whole life (since a spirituality unconnected to our actual life and behavior would be just a dream, or a material life unconnected to spirituality would be just slavery).
Basically, these meditations are visualizations of the consequences of our actions, good or evil. Of course these visualizations must be realistic enough, and include the related emotions, of us and of the beneficiary/victims of our actions. This is enough for compassion to arise spontaneously in our minds (since compassion is an intrinsic property of consciousness, see chapter VI-5).
In the field of economy, work and consumption, compassion translates into a desire to help. This desire leads us to effortlessly and pleasantly engage into some useful activity, what we call here the Motivation of True Economy. Collateral effects are a motivation to build a more beautiful world, respecting ecology, fostering peace, etc.
This works very well into changing our personality and bringing new trends in it (in clear: making of us a better person).
But it also works very well in a hour timescale: meditating before engaging in a work is a very efficient boost in our spirit, or for overcoming boredom and laziness. Collective celebrations and feasts also are powerful helps, to build a group spirit and better know people. This is why they are so common throughout the world and in all epochs, save in our masochistic western societies (Being drunk or hearing noisy music does not count as a celebration).
A common problem which happens in meditation is that at a moment the meditation becomes a chore, and it becomes very hard to keep on it. Tibetans call this «having the loung», and it is the same thing as feeling «burned out» for people with an heavy load of work and responsibility. This happens because our mind (probably our brain) loathes doing always the same thing, and we need more variety, and some time of rest or «useless» activities. Once this done, the focus on our main activity arises again spontaneously.
At last, an important part of our motivation results from our social recognition by others, and the energy we receive from it (chapter V-17). This is in the end why True Economy is inseparable from an happy and better society, as we see in chapter VI-14. We clearly need a society where people actively welcome and encourage us, be it a spouse, neighbors, co workers, local people, administrations and the government.
(Permalink) Many will say that the ideas presented in the previous section are «impossible» to put in practice, or that they are too far fetched, or that they can happen only in millennia, with a better mankind. I consider this as a lie, since it is enough to practice some basic psychoeducation training to be able to do so in some years.
However, due to the dominant materialist ideologies today, lack of psychoeducation training is a real problem, affecting most persons and making them unable to really engage in the pure True Economy. So that we need to address this, and to propose some practical means for neurotic people to yet be able to engage into useful and efficient practices. This is the purpose of the many Transition methods proposed by True Economy.
(Permalink) The principle of Transitional True Economy is to behave as in Absolute True Economy, while using more classical incentives and warranties to compensate for the lack of True Economy Motivation or True Economy ability. In more familiar language, if people want to do things like Activity Circles, but are not motivated enough to work for free, or not confident enough to offer their production, then classical incentives have to be used, like salaries, and classical warranties have to be offered, like ownership, money, etc. in such a way that their behavior mimics the Absolute True Economy behavior.
Several false views can arise here.
First, to claim to be Transitional True Economy, while having no intent to move toward the Absolute True Economy. For this reason, people must start with agreeing with the full and exact Absolute Vision. (instead of considering it «impossible» «utopian» or «for the future» and other lousy excuses). Then, only once people sincerely want the Absolute Vision, but they think that they do not have enough True Economy Confidence or True Economy ability, they agree together which warranties they need, and in which amount: conditioned exchange (salaries or sales), ownership, contracts, structures, that they deem they need to engage in a given activity, in a way to still behave as close as possible of the Vision of Absolute True Economy. This is the only honest way to call oneself Transitional.
A transition is toward something, right? If we claim to be a transition from capitalism toward True Economy, but there is only disguised capitalism, then it is not a transition at all.
A more subtle false view would be to say that using such warranties is still Absolute True Economy. This is like saying that being in a wheelchair is like freely wandering in a forest. At a pinch, from justifications to compromises, the most pervert corporate practices would be called True Economy! Just as it happened with green washing, where even the direct destroyers of Environment claim to be green.
Still more warped, some will say that they agree with the Absolute Vision, but will not make any actual psychoeducation effort to become able of embodying it, just taking profit of the Transition to get free stuff. As Tartuffe said...
I say this because I know that many will put the Absolute Vision on an altar, honor it and surround it with gold, but they will never touch it (never do any psychoeducation training). This would clearly not be Transition, just a new kind of bigotry. (Actually this is how religious bigotry started: holding a vision high, while finding excuses not to put it in practice. We clearly don't need any more of this)
Only something which significantly helps people to improve their actual behavior toward Absolute True Economy can claim to be Transitional True Economy.
This process of adding warranties may succeed or fail to maintain the Vision (independently of its economical success). However, if too much warranties are added, or if people fail to behave according to the Vision, there is a moment where they have to honestly renounce their «True Economy» label.
This happened with the organic food buying groups in the 1970 in France, which could be considered as passing cost Activity Circles (Actually I got a lot of inspiration and practical experience from them, to find True Economy). However many lasted only some years, while the surviving teams founded cooperatives, which are today supermarkets of organic food. In the process, they were faithful to their positive ecological purpose, and they were economically successful, but they clearly lost their True Economy statute. Having witnessed how it happened, I can give some useful advice:
-Have actual psychoeducation training (can be of any form, roleplay, psychological, religious, spiritual...)
-Have some spiritual direction to maintain an involved and supporting group for years
-That the vision holders have enough social leadership, to remove any power to negative individuals (Drama queens, opinionated people, sociopaths and extremists scare normal people away, and nearby all failures happened because of the disputes and problems they created. So removing them is a contingent yet stringent requirement). Control must not go as far as negating the diversity of people, though.
This explains why it is mostly religions and spirituality which are taking the lead of social innovation in this 21th spiritual century (2015), while the infiltration attempts by the extreme left and anarchists in the 1980 years left the domain of social/economical alternatives ravaged and toxic like a former WWI battlefield.
We can propose many Transitional True Economy structures, which will concretely demonstrate the value of the idea. The True Economy Motivation may arise from this situation.
(Permalink) Before starting, we saw in the first section that non-ego people don't need any system, but also that they can accommodate with any. Understand, True Economy can still work in any existing system of laws, money, contracts, structures, state role, etc. while not needing them. This has an important practical consequence: we do not need to make a revolution, or in any way to force people to change the way they behave or the structures they live in. This makes that we can focus on the essential: the building of the True Economy Motivation and the True Economy Ability. When people have enough of these, they will spontaneously abandon the useless structures.
There are various warranties which can be added. Most are none other than the warranties used since immemorial times by the capitalist society, although used for a totally different purpose: to protect the collective endeavour rather than to serve some egos. Let us see some.
Accounting Activity Circles consider the merit of people, to avoid abuses like some taking too much or not giving enough. The methods can be barter, tickets, planning, etc. The obvious inconvenience is that the notion of merit can be used for discrimination, or for reintroducing ego purposes.
Passing cost Activity Circles buy something in a grouped way, and resells it to its individual members. In the simplest form, it is just group buying (like the organic food buying I saw in the 1970). In a more sophisticated form, there can be transformation, which implies some work, and production tools too. However this differentiates of cooperatives as the work is still free (no salaries). At the extreme limit, there can be some key jobs to be paid at normal rates, like accountancy, but this opens the possibility of one person making more benefits than the normal retribution of his work, or retaining critical information.
User-managed cooperatives with paid workers.
Structures like cooperatives, kolkhozes and self-management, are not by themselves True Economy, even Transitional. The reason is that people still seek to get a profit of their work, by selling it, just as a company does. However they still are an interesting appropriation of economy by the basic people, instead of its confiscation by financials. To be noted that, despite the fall of the USSR, most kolkhozes are still running, under other names, proof of the popularity, usefulness and sustainability of the concept. And that a non-ego society still has some efficiency into educating people, an observation which validates the idea of Transitional True Economy.
Kibbutzim integrate economic production and a living community in a single unit. As explained in the Vision, this is not a requirement of True Economy, although it is a strong cultural/social/ecological requirement to have living places and work places close together, often in a single unit. The statute of Kibbutzim is fuzzy, since they both work in a non-ego way for their own needs, while also selling outside.
Ashrams, monasteries and other religious communities often support themselves by some amount of free work, given for the success of the collective purpose. In more, they offer a spiritual work allowing the members to create the True Economy Motivation and Capacity. The leadership by a spiritual master also warrants against social disorders, disputes etc. However there has been numerous instances of cults pretending to be ashrams, so that a simple declaration is clearly not enough.
Subscription Activity Circle is a group of users which gather the funds needed to start an activity, or achieve an objective. This of course includes raw materials, tools, and salaries if people ask for this warranty. When enough money is gathered, the work is started. When it is completed, the finished production is distributed to its intended users. It may be in proportion of the subscription, or otherwise, depending on the preliminary agreement. It can also be for charity, science exploration, etc. so that the resulting wealth goes to other persons than the subscribers, or even is freely offered to everybody.
This structure is one of the most interesting, which requires few True Economy Ability, and it can work right away in the today system,as soon as enough people gather to do it.
Of course, when I first described this idea in my book (1999), it was deemed «utopian». But now this idea is emerging fast in mainstream society (Since about 2010), under the various forms of crowdfunding and alternative finance. However estimating if it is Transitional True Economy or not, strongly depends of the methods used, and especially on its purpose: serving people, or earning a benefit.
One of the best known example is the recent Mars One project (2014) of gathering enough funds to send settlers on Mars. Unfortunately this example rather illustrates the bad use of the method: gathering money (and wasting it in studies, fundraising, etc.) for a project which has very little chances to ever come to any end.
You may have noted that I do not provide an accurate limit or criteria between Transitional True Economy and classical economy. The main reason is that this limit is fuzzy, in the meaning of fuzzy logic (chapter I-3). And anyway people will find a huge variety of methods to gently approach the Vision. And actually, now that things are starting to move (2015) we see a lot of novelties, some that I even not predicted at all.
One of the most accurate criteria is still the intent to make a profit, or not. But at a pinch we may have classical company managers who pursue some non-ego purpose with the classical capitalist means.
The best criteria would be to totally adhere to the Vision of True Economy. People who pretend to be Transitional, while saying that True Economy is utopian, unrealistic, people «will not» do it, or «it is against human nature», etc. are not True Economy at all, because they in fact oppose the Vision.
In any case, monopolies, money games, speculation, dishonest schemes, porn or procreation fiddling, slavery, can never pretend to be any kind of True Economy.
(Permalink) True Economy, either absolute or relative, is the future, what will happen anyway some day. It is anyway a much better service to society that keeping the obsolete forms of childish search for individual profit. For this reason, laws cannot forbid or suppress it. On the contrary, law has to protect it (against crooks or troublemakers pretending to be it) and facilitate it (by providing appropriate structures).
Today (2015) things are roughly going in this way. The reason is that law makers are more concerned by suppressing things like con schemes, tax evasion, money laundering, terrorism funding, etc. a concern that every serious actor of alternative economy shares with them. There are some hiccups though, such as the recent (2015) undiscriminating taxation of all virtual worlds money as income.
The worse serious problem would happen if Absolute True Economy work was taxed as paid work. Well, in a way it is unavoidable that True Economy also contributes to the common funding of the classical collectivities, unless its starts to organize its own social security, road networks, etc. So taxes will happen. However it cannot be taxed in money. So that public interest work or production would do the job... if we remember well History: this is under this pretext that the member of the Brazilian Cecilia community were put in forced labour, and finally drafted by force in the army for the war. So that the correct way to do things can only happen in a mixed society (next section IV) where True Economy is accepted as a full rights parts of society, and encouraged instead of bashed as of today.
Another point where the law is seriously dragging behind, is that benevolent work is not counted in retirement calculations, social security, etc. (I am personally a victim of these discrimination: 5 years without social security, and now a low retirement). Ok, you need legal work and papers to do this, but please fix this soon, because us in the real world, it is food that we need.
(Permalink) Added on December 28, 2016, after recent news on negotiation of transatlantic treaties by the European Union
Free trade is about allowing free commercial exchange between countries, without barriers or taxes. It has many advantages, compared to protectionism, where heavy taxes are imposed on imported products, limiting international trade. For this reasons there are many free trade agreements today in the world, and more are coming.
However free trade also has inconveniences of its own: harmful to local businesses, questionable ecology or social effects. Ill effects which can take catastrophic dimensions when the connected countries have unequal change rates or unequal working rates. Seeing only the advantages and not accounting with inconveniences makes of free trade an ideology, much as for marxism. In some cases, free trade agreements are deliberately evil, like the European Union, more and more turning into mere shackles for administering sadomasochist austerity spankings to the peoples of Europe, or the recent transatlantic treaties which infuriated the general public with insane stories of secret inquisitorial courts against ecology or social rights. (We must also consider here the privatisation of businesses. Even if it is not the same thing than free trade, in short both involve the same problems and responses, allowing to speak of both together.)
The idea of this sub-chapter is to establish a basic template for local or global free trade agreements, into the frame of an ego-driven non-psychoeducated economy (capitalism), but using the methods of this section IV on Transition True Economy and mixed society.
To start with, we need to be aware of the limitations of free trade:
-Things which resort from basic human rights, like health
-Things like the problem of the non-profitable train line: a private business will close it... and ruin a whole region. Or the savings for the state to close a small post office, which create more expenses for the local people. This kind of issues can be a legit motive for state to intervene: nationalising, tax exemptions, or subsidizing the companies for keeping these services alive.
-Practices which on the contrary are profitable for companies, but which bring heavy losses to the whole society, like carbon energy or nuclear energy.
These limitations are reasonable, as they bring exceptions to the free trade principles, based on the general interest, to the contrary of an ideological application of these free trades principles against the common good, that is even against the advantages of free trade itself.
Thus we can establish a list of clear limitations to free trade. This does not mean that everything must be nationalized in these domains, there is still room for private business. But in these domains, states must be warrants that these activities will really reach their objectives, and will not fail.
-Basic Human rights must be free in all cases: health (social security, disabled allowances), education (schools, family allowance, psychoeducation), survival (retirement wages, minimum income, humanitarian help), justice (courts, police, workers rights)
-Basic services, like transportation, communication and energy, must be guaranteed by the state, even when they are ensured by private businesses.
-Ecology protection, where ecology-friendly methods can be subsidized, and polluting processes taxed. In most cases, subsidies will go to research and transitional processes (like insulating houses). But state can also help at converting bad businesses (like oil industry), or pass orders to virtuous businesses (like solar plants). These concepts and juridical tools can be used for other transitions, like organic farming or meat suppression.
-Employment. In ego-driven economy, people need a salary in order to be active. But today there is less need for work (and with robots this will continue). Then the loss of salaries lead to misery, even if the needs are fulfilled: people cannot buy the available production. This can be a good motive for some specific actions, like favouring local businesses, recycling lost jobs into other activities, reducing the working time, lowering retirement age, raising minimum income, etc.
Moving people for employment is possible too, but often people are angry with this. For this reason, it may be better to rely on the natural migrations of people, themselves driven by better life conditions. Better life conditions move people, not the contrary.
-Local cultures and cultural exceptions. Often regions or peculiar milieus have developed specific ways of life, or rely on specific ecology, economy or productions. We can consider these as reservations where exceptions to the general laws can apply. The reservation can be a place (as in Indian reservations, or wildlife reserves), but it can also be a domain, like arts.
-Appellations of origin can apply the same idea, not to places or communities, but to specific products, on the basis of production method, production place, cultural significance, etc. This method, together with the previous, can provide juridical tools to address virtually any conceivable exception to the free trade system or privatisations.
-Solidarity economy (Humanitarian help, non-ego interactions, True Economy) must not be hampered by the limitations of free trade and capitalism.
-Clear texts, readable to all. This sub-chapter can provide a simple and clear basis for free trade agreements. But such agreements can contain a lot of details. Thus they need to be arranged in a logical and hierarchical way, with a search index and in a language understandable by common people. There must be hypertext links, leading to related concepts, or to a glossary. What we must not see again, is for instance a generous ecology declaration, annihilated by many exceptions hidden in unexpected places or in juridical details.
-No exceptional jurisdiction. Disputes must be treated in a public way with standard legal methods and common courts, accounting with the general interest (social, ecology). National courts must rule when there is no extraterritoriality (Since there is not yet clear laws in this case, it is better to avoid extraterritoriality)
-To remain fair and profitable for all, free trade must be accompanied with measures to stabilise and equalise the change rates, remunerations and social protections. (Such measures were the cause of the success of the European Union, before sabotaging by the austerity policies)
This short analysis can lead to a basic template which can be agreed upon and used everywhere, while soundly addressing all the possible detail exceptions with simple and common juridical tools.
Clear proof of the usefulness of this sub-chapter, while I was writing it was put on line the Déclaration de Namur, an initiative of Paul Magnette, president of region in Belgium. Of course the two texts are different, and the Déclaration de Namur is more technical (especially on the treatment of disputes). However we can consider that the two texts stem from the same state of mind. I added here the point on jurisdiction, from Magnette's work.
(Permalink) Added on June 22, 2016:
Some may think that a specific legislation may be needed about Transitional True Economy. This can be tricky, and in the end more hamper it than helping it. Let us say: these laws are pertinent and useful only if they recognize the Vision of non-ego (non-profit) and related motives (social equality, mutual help, etc.) Any law contradicting these motives, or attempting to bring back classical motivations such as profit, would be in fact repressive laws. Let us see on some examples, the complexity of the matter and the multiple possible slips:
In the Early 2016 year, France was rocked by a social conflict of the taxi drivers against the UberPop company, a service allowing non-professional drivers to meet customers and perform a remunerated taxi-like driving activity. Some media presented UberPop as an «alternative economy». This, after our description of Transitional True Economy, would make UberPop escape profit taxes and work regulations. I clearly reply that it was not an «alternative economy», because the driving was remunerated (to the difference of carpooling, which is free, and thus is an acceptable Transition method). Indeed it is not True Economy which caused turmoil, but what the professional cab drivers considered as an unfair competition. As an evidence, they never bothered carpooling.
Another example was a genuine Transitional True Economy activity, a group buying of organic food. This group was closed after the denunciation of a merchand of organic food (yes!), angry of what he called an unfair competition. But the administrations could not forbid the group on this motive, since it was a non-profit group. But they forbade it on the ground of «hygiena»: the food was stored and distributed in a place which was not meeting the hygiena criteria for a shop.
On these two example, we can draw several practical conclusions:
-Law must protect Transitional True Economy against abusive use of this label.
-Law may offer appropriate structures and methods for True Economy, based on its vision: non-profit, social purpose or general interest purpose.
-Taxes must favour True Economy, just as they already favour non-profit activities, humanitarian or general interest foundations, etc.
-True Economy has to meet the legal requirements on safety, hygiene, working conditions, etc. (several cults could be indicted because of working conditions, often the only way to counteract them legally).
-The most dangerous attempts to block True Economy may not come from the classical commercial activities, but of manipulative «thinkers».
-Law and regulations can be perverted in many ways, in order to forbid or take over True Economy. This process can include mind control methods, such as saying that the natural purpose of any economy activity or structures is profit.
-Law cannot grasp at what is basically a spiritual matter. But it can still use visible criteria, such as the absence of profit, speculation, exploitation, etc.
(Permalink) Recent ideas appeared, claiming to be alternative economies. One of the best examples is the bitcoin «virtual» money, which purpose is to have money transactions without the control of the governments. In more its variable change rate makes of it a speculation money, which is precisely at the opposite of True Economy.
Worse, libertarianism wants to remove powers to the governments, in order to foster a wild capitalism free of any regulation. We however saw in the previous section I in the subchapter «Alternatives to capitalism: distributive economy.» that precisely it is impossible that an ego economy regulates itself. Today democratic states are our only defense against a return to feudalism and serfdom. Useless to weaken this defense... True Economy goes in the diametrically opposed direction, so that today it needs the democracy and state of law.
I on the contrary say that we must not fear the democratic governments (at least we should not, but some are doing serious blunders). Let us remember that governments (and the taxes supporting them) are what protect our freedom, safety and prosperity (or at least they are expected to do so). Without the state of law, we would quickly return to feudalism, or even much worse, as demonstrated by many attempts of «free» life rejecting the state of law: Hippie communities, and today Internet forums and virtual worlds, hampered by all sorts of trolls and troublemakers.
So, maybe the grey umbrella of the state of law is not the highest vibe, but at least it protects us from much worse.
When we shall no longer need the governments, then we can suppress them. At this time this will be done without difficulties or bad consequences.
(Permalink) Basically, the True Economy ability, and even simply goodwill and honesty, are spiritual things, so that we cannot force people into them. In more, some will acquire them, some will not, some will even oppose them.
Therefore, the principle of the mixed society is to make with the various people as they are, and offer them a variety of structures and transition levels, where everyone can find a place and feel well and motivated to take an useful part in the collectivity.
This peaceful approach is the one with the best chance to finally bring a motivation for everybody to move to the True Economy.
(Permalink) Of course, for this to work, each transition level needs proper warranties and incentives. In a general way, in the higher levels people will have somewhat less incentives, in order to select the most idealistic people here. Not too much less, since they still need some correct living standard and possibilities in their personal life.
In the lower levels, egocentric people have to find a job. If they do, they get more money than the higher levels. It is what they want, and they pay the cost for this. If they start a company, they may even earn even much more. However this capitalism is regulated, to avoid excesses and unbalances.
In Transition levels, people will earn less money, but they may benefit from the free production of their Activity Circles. They even can alternate classical paid work and free True Economy work.
In Absolute True Economy, people earn no money at all. Therefore they live from the free gifts of the other True Economy people. For this they need to earn their recognition as fair members, able to work in non-Action and non-Ego.
So that, ultimately, people will join one or another level, from their own will, and from their own Capacity of True Economy.
A pitfall here is that, today, if people do not have a paid working contract, they will not benefit from Social Security or retirement. Today they are even called «marginal», ostracized or considered as tramps. Also, people trying to live without a paid working contract often declare themselves as job seeker, or even as mentally disabled, in order to still have the social security. These are pitiful expedients to cope with a heavily discriminating system. These situations make that the least thing is that society clearly needs a system to establish normal rights for everybody, regardless of the economy style or position. Even for real tramps! I anyway suspect that the paperwork to calculate unequal rights costs more money than giving the same rights to everybody.
Of course people in the highest level of True Economy will have less money incentives. This is part of the deal, and it puts their motivation at test. However this test must not go as far as restricting their rights, putting their health at risk or jeopardising their education or old age.
(Permalink) This makes that, in transition, True Economy may live together with capitalism. However if they work for the same production, problems will happen. A possible solution would be that the levels of True Economy may not be the same in the different sectors of economy. Some sectors needing more idealism or motivation may be entrusted to the highest levels, while people with more egocentric motives will get better results in other sectors. Capitalism may even be forbidden in some sectors, or in some places.
The point is that these attributions, instead of being an obstacle or a problem, make True Economy and ego economy can work in synergy. This is certainly smarter than fighting the True Economy as today.
Just keep in mind that this is for a Transition. A Transition is necessarily a trade-off. But a temporary trade-off. The purpose still remains to advance toward True Economy in all the domains. Where it will be efficient at 200%.
(Permalink) A society where not everybody lives in the same way is exposed to this serious pitfall: elitism, social classes, clans, castes, nomenklatura, etc. People living in Absolute True Economy would be considered as super citizens with superior abilities (or the contrary, as today). On the other hand, ego people would be considered inferior, with inferior capacity, or even evil people. Of course in Transitional True Economy, everybody must have the same rights (second foundation of ethics, chapter VI-2), and the only difference is the lesser True Economy ability of some. Lesser ability which, after the third foundation of ethics, must be compensated, in a way to equalize the possibilities that people have. Doing so in forcing ego people to enter a non-ego economy would not work, so that they need the traditional methods of ego economy, like a salary. I do not see any better way, and certainly not sending them in some New Age Gulag.
In doing so, we also avoid the pitfall which plagued the USSR: assuming that everybody has the same motivation, and entrusting people into responsibilities they do not want. This happened in the whole society, from farms to the highest space program, where the major failures resulted from personal disputes between strong egos, a thing which after Marxism could not happen.
Especially, people join such or such level from their own will, from the result of their own work. So that forced clans and social classes cannot happen. Belonging to True Economy is not an objective criteria like the race or gender.
Well, let us be clear, if some day a True Economy attempts turns to social classes and discrimination, then it is that the True Economy Vision will be gone for long, and the whole thing turned to a pitiful farce. At this point, the only thing to do is to pull the flush handle.
(Permalink) Most of this section is discussed with more details in chapter VI-7 on ecology, so that it is very short. It is however the most important in this chapter, since not respecting ecology just kills.
We can only discuss here in more details the rule C) of the beginning of this chapter:
C) Economy is only a supplementary cycle in the ecology cycles.
Which has important consequences:
-The population in a given location is limited to what the earth can feed. And even less, because the occupation of the ground cannot be complete: there must be places of nature between the human living places. So that we cannot use all the available agricultural land.
-Production must be mainly local and ecological. For this reason, we prefer local and natural materials (wood, brick, clay...) and we use high-tech materials in small quantities, and only if they bring a real advantage: piping, waterproofing, electricity, Internet... Example: most of the buildings (homes, public places, workshops...) do not require high performance. Therefore, there is no sense at using concrete and iron manufactured at hundreds of kilometres. But there is sense at using rare materials for a computer, especially since this object can be easily reprocessed to retrieve and reuse these materials without losing them.
-Production must be renewable, which means it uses only energy or materials available locally, and systematically retrieve all high tech materials (metals, certain chemical compounds) and even low-technology (bricks and tiles can be re-used, demolition timber can be used for fire...).
-Our waste must be recycled, either by our economy, or by ecology. This means that they must be recyclable from the very start: modular, recoverable, materials easy to recycle or to destroy. Especially there must not be «final waste»: everything must be either recycled, or laid in nature without harm.
-Put an end to scams such as planned obsolescence.
-A method which would be very useful in the capitalist world would be to pay the price for everything which cannot defend itself. Work is paid, instead of using slaves, because the workers defended themselves. Similarly we can establish taxes on the destruction of nature, waste or non-renewable resources, which cannot defend themselves. Things are already going in this direction, with taxes for recycling, carbon tax, etc. But this is clearly not enough. For example, we note that the motorways systematically pass in wilderness areas, that they depoetize with their noise. The «reason» is that these areas are less expensive to expropriate. While they are the most valuable! There is definitively a huge incoherence here. Similarly we could put taxes on certain resources. For example very limited resources such as cerium and lanthanum are stupidly dispersed with such unnecessary stuff as... flints! Thus each fag destroys future technologies! We could tax these resources: the product would be expensive to buy, but the user would recover the difference if he can bring back the waste.
But above all, beyond those already known methods, True Economy is inseparable from a mindset of love and respect of nature, without which it would simply be pointless.
Not forgetting that not respecting ecology is necessarily mad or suicidal, in one way or in another.
(Permalink) Any theory must be tested before being recognized. Therefore I logically had to search for any attempt in this direction. Unfortunately, when I was writing the first book on True Economy, in 1997, there were few, and I could only hint at «some religious communities» in general terms, by lack of concrete information.
But in 1997, it was difficult to know what was happening in the world, and to find actual examples of attempts of True Economy. The only sources were militant magazines, or religious circles, both having a tendency to be «too optimistic». Almost twenty years later, the Internet allows to better see our world. I however did not expected what it was to reveal: lots of attempts of True Economy have emerged, which did not existed at all in 1997. Well, it is still early Transition, and often by people who became aware only of a small part of the Vision. But eventually things went much faster that I expected, and right in the good direction. This a posteriori validates the ideas that I published on the Internet since 1999.
It is however highly unlikely that all these people had read my book. This convergence then clearly shows that True Economy is necessary, and that any person who thinks rationally and humanly arrives at the same conclusions.
(Permalink) But first, it was interesting to scientifically test this hypothesis: altruistic actors arrive automatically to an egalitarian society. I did so in 2004 in a small scientific study (published in peer referee in Physica A) based on a simulation (visible here). The simulation uses the same method as the ones of economists, and therefore it is not less valid than theirs. In the instance, «agents» randomly perform economic transactions with other agents (an «investment» with some probability of being profitable). Economists always give a «perfectly egocentric» behavior to their agents, which always gives the unequal Pareto distribution. Therefore, these economists claim to «demonstrate» that this distribution would be «unavoidable»! However, my simulation can bring different percentages of altruism. You can follow the link above and see by yourself with the simulation, that with adding altruism, the Pareto distribution disappears, for a much more fair and more natural bell curve. The program is also visible in the source code of the page. That this works is already going against all the dogmas and prejudices. But it is even surprising that, finally, a relatively modest percentage of altruism is enough to eliminate the shameful Pareto distribution! In numbers, it is enough that people consecrate 15% of their resources into purely altruistic spending. Which, from an human point of view, is not a huge effort. Much less than a war, in any cases, where we are ordered to sacrifice 100% of our resources, and even our lives, with no kind of benefit in return. We can therefore scientifically state that a relatively modest level of psychoeducation, in any cases accessible to all, allows to master True Economy and eliminate capitalism and all its disadvantages. We even are close enough from the tipping point, as we shall see some lines further.
To be precise, the above simulation allows to simulate three forms of altruism, separately or combined:
- A percentage of individuals are always totally altruistic. If this method is used alone, it is the less efficient, since they are easily abused even by a small minority of egocentric.
- A minimum percentage of altruism for all individuals
- The 5% largest fortunes contribute to support the poorest 20%. This criterion can cover voluntary charitable action, but also a tax, which intensity can simulate a variety of systems, from liberalism to Bolshevism.
In fact, the best result is obtained with a combination of the three. Therefore, such a combination is what will require the lesser psychoeducation effort for the common people. This is an interesting finding, that I had not noticed at the time of the scientific publication: social solidarity taxes (social security, retirement, disabled allowance, minimum income allowance) significantly lower the level of individual altruism that people must manifest (the phychoeducation level they need). This is a very good point for modern democratic societies with state of law and a strong social action.
Similar studies were made by others, which confirm these results. For instance M. Rodrıguez-Achach, R. Huerta-Quintanilla, The distribution of wealth in the presence of altruism in simple economic models,in Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 361 (1) (2006) 309–318. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2005.07.001 get the same numbers: 50% of people with 30% of altruism (that is 15% in average) are enough to create a more fair distribution. However they conclude (in the abstract) that «It is found that altruistic behavior does lead to a more equitable wealth distribution, but only for unreasonable high values of altruism that are difficult to expect in a real economic system» But precisely, we are to see that we are actually not far from the indicated values, with the existing taxes and the increase of gifts.
Well, taxing the rich to help the poor will make some scream. But let us not be hypocritical: being rich and paying 50% of our income in taxes is still a much better deal than being poor and not paying taxes at all. It is perfectly ridiculous for a jet set people to be jealous of the slums dwellers! Personally, if I was rich, I would be glad to help. At a time I had a good pay, so I gave to several groups of varied orientations, and paid for the whole scholarship of a political refugee child. Modest contribution certainly, but I have no regrets.
Just that, it is better if we can choose where exactly our money is going. Well, it is precisely to encourage this that we have tax exemption if we give to charities or non-profit activities.
As to the sadomasochistic austerity policies, they are going directly against True Economy. I therefore take them as a deliberate attack, in addition of seriously harming our societies.
(Permalink) About the recent developments, we have entirely new behaviors (fair trade, complementary currencies, Exchange or mutual assistance groups, responsible investment, alternative banks, crowd funding systems) or long-standing but rapidly growing organizations (mutual insurance, buying groups, charity). In fact, it is a whole economic sector which emerged, the social and solidarity economy, which can be seen as the start of a Transition to True Economy, in a mixed society (section IV).
A recent novelty is the appearance of concepts and vocabulary to name all these things. And also new legislative tools in creation, to give them a framework.
There are even new theorists, such as the New Economics Foundation, Global citizens movement, Tellus Institute, New Economy Coalition, and many others that we can find by following the «see also» links in wikipedia. I did not tested these links in details, and thus I cannot guarantee their honesty: check before trusting. But the interesting fact is that they are many.
The feeling when looking at these sites is that we imagine them all in suit and tie, but at least free of the May 68 folklore and of Marxism (well, we still have some late Marxists attempting to infiltrate and defuse the movement, but I did not put them in the list). In any case the main concerns of these groups can be summarized in: Ecology, equality, happiness. As they do not seek to abandon money nor capitalism, some will scream at the taking over. This is certainly a risk, but we can also see this as an approach to the first levels of the Transition to True Economy, where non-egocentric motivations begin to infuse into companies and administrations. Then it is the very flesh of capitalism which is changing!
This can be, for many, an easier approach than radical attempts to create from scratch a better society (which all failed until now, from lack of psychoeducation). In any case, after preferring for long the radical approach, I now consider them both as complementary... as long as they are working in harmony.
This... expansion of the solidarity economy unfortunately arises idiotic oppositions, such as for example these «liberals» who want to bring back mutual assistance activities to their «natural purpose»: profit. Clearly, to deny our humanity and impose us their own egocentricity. Or they want to tax solidarity activities as if they were activities of profit, or force them to adopt totally unsuitable legal statutes of companies. Always wear pillows to protect your bums, guys.
In fact, both the volume of this sector, and its rapid growth, show that we are not so far from the tipping point, where people will see by themselves that the True Economy is finally much more advantageous than capitalism. And, with the return of spirituality, they will have the necessary tools to appropriate this new organization.
(Permalink) In mathematics, an attractor is a place where the values of a series tend to converge, even against other causes. Similarly, to say that money and capitalism are attractors means that the evolution of economy and of societies tends to converge toward them. Or we say quite simply that they are attractive, even against theoretically better systems. That societies converge toward capitalism and money is clearly visible in both ancient and recent History.
The reason why money is such an attractor is that its decentralized and free nature makes of it the easiest system to manage: direct and immediate action between two persons. We sign a cheque and we have a car, a house, etc. without any other justification, delay or bureaucratic examination of our merit or needs.
Another more subtle but important reason is that, in the quadripolar diagram (chapter I-3) capitalism is the half height level: the compromise, where we also find democracy and the state of law.
These elements explain very well why all the societies in the world today are converging toward money, democracy and state of law. Even dictatorship do, and in my life I saw more dictatorship dying than in any other period of the History of the World. The attractor irresistibly aspires everybody upwards, crushing the dictators and leveling the democracies in a single system.
However there is a serious drawback to this situation. As of today, democracy, state of law and a more free economy helped to push the society upward out of feudalism or dictatorship (which are at the bottom of the diagram, the level of opposition). However, in this 21st Century, we are reaching the point where the evolution of society made it pass ABOVE the attractor. And thus, the attractor is now pulling DOWNWARD. This is a very dangerous situation, which manifests itself as the denigration of advanced social, spiritual or ecological movements, and is the root cause of the economical and political forces now opposing these movements.
This radical inversion of paradigm also makes that forces which were progressive some tens of years ago are now reactionary. A blatant example is the sexual liberation (chapter VI-5), positive when it happened in the 1960 years, which is now becoming a trap enslaving people into more and more desires and kinks. Many other things, such as Marxism, secularity or drugs, once thought to be progressive forces, had become active reactionary forces in the new paradigm. If we let these new forces to organize, then democracy itself will in turn oppose the truth, and become a downward attractor, just as feudalism was. It may be difficult to understand how it happens, but it is already quite visible in all the media and elections manipulation, and the reason why I consecrate a full chapter VI-11 on why democracy does not work as expected.
Happily, nothing can stop the evolution of mankind. While a majority are still wading in the domination/submission roleplay, or surrendering their mind to the television, there is a growing minority of people who passed beyond the level of compromise, and are moving toward the superior level of non-duality, the most powerful attractor. Best evidence, spirituality is becoming the leader again, against the old exhausted materialistic ideologies, for instance when the Pope François or the Dalai Lama are calling to our spiritual responsibility in environment.
As of today, it seems that very few yet are holding the whole truth and wisdom; most are just holding one element of it, diluted in their random beliefs (ecologists are only ecologists, spiritual people are only spiritual, social people are only social, etc.). However a coherent image of a better society is starting to emerge. This is new, and was not yet happening when I wrote the first version of this book in 2000. And the tipping point will be reached soon, when the powerful upper attractor of non-duality will overcome the attractor of the compromise.
(Permalink) I added this folding seat section and pushed this chapter in priority (2015, finished in February 2016), because we all witnessed the ordeal of the Greek people forced to submit to terrible vexations, much worse than the sadomasochist «austerity policies» I am myself a victim in France. These things cannot be tolerated, and they pose serious threats on the European Union, engaging in authoritarianism and ethnic discriminatory policies, while scuttling itself into poverty and unemployment, from this absurd financial management.
To explain what is really going on needs to remind some basic facts about financials. Unraveling this tangle of purposely incomplete speeches will make the consequences obvious.
Acknowledgement before starting: We can legitimately consider the basic evidences seen in the beginning of this chapter, as still valid in the money system.
(Permalink) (reorganized in October 2020) Important: when I wrote the following section in 2015, I heavily put the blame on the central banks for the «debt scam». However, another interpretation appeared since: the real culprits would in fact be the successive governments, and their carelessness: they would rather borrow, than to levy taxes from their rich buddies. This resulted in this disproportionate debt, and their sadomasochist austerity policies to make us bear the blame.
However, instead of rewriting this whole VII section, or repeating most in a new 2020 version, I reorganized things that way:
-The sub-sections after the 2015 interpretation have this date in their title (more a warning)
-The sub-sections after the 2020 interpretation have this date in their title
-The unchanged sub-sections have no date in their title.
So the new 2020 subchapters show only the changes between the two versions, all the technical background remaining the same.
This will also help historians to get how fast some things evolved in our era, from the writing of this chapter in 2015 to these additions in 2020.
You will wonder, then, what is my position between the 2015 version and the 2020 version? In a situation where a lot of information is uncertain, we cannot realistically take such a position. Yet I have an extremely useful conclusion, that I explain in another new 2020 sub-section «Spiritual aspects«.
(Permalink) In ancient times, money itself was a wealth (precious metal) which had to be obtained. Peoples having silver or gold mines were rich, peoples without mines were poor (even if they had a lot of other resources). But with the advent of fiducial money (money as a convention, without intrinsic value), money can be created as needed, with just a printer, or with writing an arbitrary number in a computer memory.
Yes, but how much?
The reply to such a question should be a simple and easily accessible figure. But in facts, it is curiously blurred: there would be more «loan» and even «virtual money» than the total of all bank accounts and paper money. And there is no publication on what these expressions mean, or which criteria are used to establish these figures. To understand, let us see how many money we really need.
In a very simplified economy system, there are, say, families of workers. These workers are employed in companies, which produce what these families need to live. At the beginning of each month, the families need enough money for their expanses of the whole month: food and other implements. At the end of the month, all this money is gone to the companies, which then have enough for paying all the salaries for the next month. This clearly makes a cycle of money, and a relatively accurate figure of the total of money which needs to be created in the beginning: the base salary multiplied by the number of workers.
A complication here is that there is no absolute scale for the value of money (and how could there be any, since money is a convention). The trick then is that the salaries must be able to buy exactly the actual production. They do, in the simplified model above, where the only cost to be paid by companies is the salaries. So that, basically, the salary of each worker must be the price of all the production, divided by the number of workers. At first, these prices are arbitrary. But once set, all the remainder can be calculated with accuracy. So that we know exactly how much money needs to be created, be it in banknotes or in computer bank accounts.
And if several moneys are used, or the value of money changes with time, we can still convert all the numbers into a familiar figure in the currency we are using here and today.
To avoid such issues, some communist countries tried to index the money on a real necessity like bread or rice. But this is not either a stable or objective prototype, since the actual work for producing it varies with technical progress, place, meteorology, and other circumstances. Money being something leaping out of our mere imagination, there cannot be any objective or material measure of it.
Of course, a real society is more complicated, since there are many economy cycles of different duration (monthly salaries, yearly taxes and schools, multi-years equipment like cars, houses, road, bridges, etc.). But the reasoning made with the above base model remain valid, and we still find an usable reply to the question: how much money must be created in the beginning.
And if the total production increases, from increasing population or from increasing productivity as well, then we know accurately how much new money needs to be created every year.
However two pitfalls happen when we create money: inflation and recession.
(Permalink) Inflation occurs when there is too much money created: since this money cannot buy actual goods, then its value collapses (the prices raise), until the total value matches the goods actually available. Inflation is not a problem in theory, since there is no absolute definition of the value of money. So that, if a relative definition shifts over time, it does not bring more inconvenience than changing the price tags. However in practice inflation is dangerous in most cases:
- The cost of food and necessities shifts more than salaries, bringing poverty
- Especially social minima and help often «forget» to follow
- The shift differs between countries, bringing poverty in some, and ultimately poverty in all.
- Rich people are not confident in money, and they prefer unproductive investments (precious metal, «art» speculation, etc.) instead of supporting useful production. Lack of trust in money was the root cause of several large financial crisis, during the French revolution or the great depression in the USA in the 1930. This reminds us quite well that money is just a convention. This may look abstract, but if people stop supporting a convention, while still relying on it in practice, they necessarily fall on the ground and hurt themselves a lot.
For these reasons, care is taken by the central «banks» to avoid creating too much money. Until now, nothing to say.
Another common inflation process is when people raise the prices, from selfish interest. We think at merchants, but also trade unions are often guilty of enforcing salary raises which are not covered by actual production raises. And, since economy is a looped system, raising the prices in any place forces the other partners to also raise their own prices. This also results in a pervert inflation spiral, which this one is boundless, making it even more dangerous.
Recession occurs when there is not enough money to buy the whole production, for whatever reason. It is easy to understand that a family with not enough money cannot buy what they need to companies. These companies, in turn, will not sell what they produce, and as a consequence they will be unable to pay the workers. This will result in more unemployment, and then still less salaries for the families, in a dangerous recession spiral, all the more pervert that it happens in an healthy and productive economy.
Unemployment also results in a lesser actual production, so that the poverty it creates is real, not just a lack of money. Taking measures to increase unemployment as today is totally irresponsible.
(Permalink) Since a money system is a looped system, the effect of any monetary policy does not depend of the place where it is applied.
We may have for instance «left» policies: raising salaries, taxing the «evil» companies, etc. But these companies will then have to raise their prices, thus cancelling the increase of salaries and state subsidies. The net result of such policies is inflation, without increase of the living standard. Indeed, the production is not increased, it just costs more money to buy. And if somewhere somebody had not his pay or allowances raised by the «left» policy, he will become poor. This is how the Trade Unions and «left» governments act for maintaining poverty in Africa.
We may too have «right» policies: castigating workers with lower salaries, lowering social minimums, increasing working time and retirement age for creating unemployment, etc. Then, families having more expanses and less money (and a really lesser living standard in this case), they will buy less to the companies. So that any benefit of the companies will be cancelled, they will offer less jobs, etc. The net result of such policies is recession for everybody, families and companies as well. This recession is in money, but also in actual production, since unemployed people do not contribute to any useful production. Many right wing governments were able to maintain an illusion of wealth and full employment, with pharaonic projects or with war industry, but these tricks do not create useful wealth, so that they just result in an harder fall later.
Therefore, the very looped structure of money economy brings an utmost important conclusion: any action in a given point has results on all the others. And any discriminatory policy, either against workers or against companies, brings equally bad results: inflation and recession. And in both cases, severe injustices.
Personally, I have been «left» for about 10 years in my life. This inner knowledge told be that on this side of politics people are not better than the others. I could see that left politicians, including trade unionists, can be exactly as much selfish, cheater, pig headed, materialistic, prosaic and anti-spirit than any banker or company manager can be. For instance I remember when I was working in the premises of the Airbus factory, being asked to appear in front of a trade unionist leader, to be asked to work 2-3 times more slowly, as apparently everybody was doing in this office. Dudes, you have some cheek, to accuse the companies to be cheaters, after that.
Anyway taxing employees or taxing companies brings exactly the same accountancy: in both cases taxes are the difference between what the companies pay and what the employees receive. Calling this difference employee taxes or company taxes is just a change of denomination, for election propaganda, which brings no discernible difference in practice. As to reducing the taxes themselves, we know too well that this results into reducing subsidies, education, public infrastructures, security and social helps.
Added in October 2020: there however is a very important practical difference between giving subsidies to the corporate/banks, and giving social minima to the poorest. Indeed, banks will use them to increase their power, while the corporate will use them to impose their products. Both will impose their social norms (for instance the all in black sadomasochist style requested for bank employees). On the contrary, the poorest are forced to spend their money at once, to cover their essential needs. So this money will enter in the useful production-salaries-consommation cycle, instead of becoming speculation funds. Well, today it is most often panem et circese, TV and soccer, than spiritual and ecological. But in any case, it is more useful than the ITER, supersonic submarines, silver plated yachts, square arches, and other toys for rich blokes. Even with these limitations, this buying power will better push companies toward health, education, housing, farming, art, that is toward real needs.
(Permalink) So how these difficulties are managed today, when the central «banks» must create money?
The need for some regulation led, as soon as the end of World War II, to the creation of several national or international agencies, in charge of creating money into appropriate quantities, fitting the general increase of production and population (called expansion of economy). Since the same system exists everywhere in the world, it is quite obvious that it was concerted between all the countries, including a pseudo-communist country like China. However it is worth noting that these decision processes never appeared into any democratic debate: everything was decided by closed committees, and the results implemented, and we were never officially informed. Today, without the Internet we may still ignore most of this stuff, and wonder where the «problems» are coming from.
An important confusion here is that despite these agencies are called central «banks», they are not banks at all. Banks are companies (usually private, but state-owned is also possible), which purpose is to make profit. They receive money from account holders, savers or investors. With this money, and this money only, they can do loans, usually to companies (to increase their production means) or to families (to buy goods). The only way for a bank to make a profit is from the interests of these loans, and they must share this profit with their investor customers.
And especially, creating money is a fantastic privilege, when everybody has to earn this money, from work or from sales. Even governments have to «earn» taxes (to make people accept them). And money counterfeiter are severely punished.
In more, a thing such as creating money is obviously a major lever for orienting and enhancing the economy, a political mean which belongs to everybody, as important as education or security.
So we should vote, in order to decide in which sector the new money goes. To give an idea, new money may for instance go to education, for increasing the knowledge and talents of people. Or it may go to security, to address new dangers.
Well, save for the above confusion, the today money-creating agencies are a method among others, as long as they are controlled by the democratically elected governments (or federations or the UN), and they serve the society by creating the right amount of money to avoid both inflation and recession.
Quite obviously, the way this new money is introduced in the economy cycle must be decided democratically: education, health, poverty, Third World development, solidarity, security, great problems, great projects, etc.
But this is precisely where things are getting wrong, very wrong:
(Permalink) (This paragraph added in 2020:) this 2015 sub-section still contains a lot of useful background information. But it now needs to be placed in perspective with the 2020 interpretation presented further.
(The problems I describe here are not solved today February 2016. But in this sub-chapter, I put my descriptions in the past tense, to give the politicians a chance) (and well, to the electors too...)
What follows here is not some conspiracy theory stuff: it is an unmodified quote of what we could read on the Internet site of the European Central Bank:
https://www.ecb.europa.eu/explainers/tell-me/html/what-is-a-central-bank.en.html as visible in July 10, 2015.
«A central bank is a public institution that manages the currency of a country or group of countries and controls the money supply – literally, the amount of money in circulation. The main objective of many central banks is price stability. In some countries, central banks are also required by law to act in support of full employment.
«One of the main tools of any central bank is setting interest rates – the “cost of money” – as part of its monetary policy. A central bank is not a commercial bank. An individual cannot open an account at a central bank or ask it for a loan and, as a public body, it is not motivated by profit.
«It does act as a bank for the commercial banks and this is how it influences the flow of money and credit in the economy to achieve stable prices. Commercial banks can turn to a central bank to borrow money, usually to cover very short-term needs. To borrow from the central bank they have to give collateral – an asset like a government bond or a corporate bond that has a value and acts as a guarantee that they will repay the money...
«Because commercial banks might lend short-term against long-term assets, they can face “liquidity” problems – a situation where they have the money to repay a debt but not the ability to turn it into cash quickly. This is where a central bank can step in as a “lender of last resort.” This helps keep the financial system stable. Central banks can have a wide range of tasks besides monetary policy. They usually issue banknotes and coins, often ensure the smooth functioning of payment systems for banks and traded financial instruments, manage foreign reserves, and play a role in informing the public about the economy. Many central banks also contribute to the stability of the financial system by supervising the commercial banks to make sure the lenders are not taking too many risks.»
All this looks like the usual well meaning techno babble, with the usual soporific effects on any criticism. Nothing to say, correct reply to all the arguments, not a single fold to their black suits, the tie perfectly placed, the smile just imperceptibly condescending. They were sure to know, they were sure to be right. They created money in order to damp the variations of the market (caused by their buddies the speculators, but shhht). How sweet. How «serious» and «responsible»! But did you noticed that all the created money went to the private banks, without any control on WHAT these banks will use it for, especially no government or democratic control! Nowhere it was said that they addressed important economical, social or ecological issues like inequalities, poverty or pollution. Nowhere it was said that the elected governments are the ones who decide where the newly created money must go. The money they created went to their buddies, and to their buddies only. They managed the world themselves and set their privileges with an astounding front. Wikipedia even hit the nail further: «Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally designed to be independent from political interference» (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_bank, November 2015). Understand well: we had zero democratic control on what these people were doing. They had strictly zero obligation whatsoever to serve the society. And our elected governments (us!) had to beg taxes to just run the basic services, with no more control on the general orientations and purposes of economy!!
I warned you, it stinks like the Styx.
Clearly this made for the financial people, private banks and speculators a set of astounding privileges, just like the ones of the former Nobility:
- The privilege of getting money at will, and use it for what they want.
- The privilege of owning most of the production means, like the ancient Nobility owned most of the land
- The privilege of not being submitted to any state/democratic control, just as the ancient Nobility escaped the common law.
This is why I call the financial people the New Nobility. And many people call them barons.
And these privileges, they used them without measure, for their own poo-pooish ego purposes:
-Displaying an arrogant rich way of life, large inhuman buildings, jet travels, luxury villas and resorts, expensive leisure, etc. when we have to live in collective housing and justify our food, health care, disabled allowance or retirement.
-Imposing everywhere their sadomasochist way of life, black suits, ties to slow down the blood flow in the brain and avoid superior emotions, master/submissive relationship, hate of spirituality (some are religious, but it is just dogmatism)
-Buying and owning the new Clergy the medias and the politicians, in order to control the opinion of the majority and the governments (the Third Estate is still us, thanks)
-When took place the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007-2008, it is several hundred billions dollars which apparently were created and offered to the crook banks. When us, if we had only some hundred bucks missing in the bank, we would be suspended, and thus become homeless and without resources. This huge scandal started the Occupy movement, one of the largest popular protest ever seen. It was totally ignored by the financial power, and in some instances submitted to gratuitous police brutality.
-Two billions dollars offered to Facebook for controlling the Internet and show their simplistic way of life. We can also guess that other large «social networks» or search engines got their insolent financial power from hidden funding, possibly massive extra-billing of advertising. Internet had to be submitted like the others!
-huge money invested into rotten press for denigrating the idea of climate change, but not a single cent for developing aerothermal plants (as powerful as a nuclear plant) or thermochemical plants (which produce gasoline from sun). The people who are doing this had to rely on scarce institutional funding or nearby absent private funding. Because, not only this financial nobility was shamelessly egocentric, but in more they were totally irresponsible.
(Added June 2017) This month saw an interesting confirmation of this subchapter: The american bank JPMorgan Chase withdrew its advertisements from the CBS media, as they were preparing to publish an interview of a particularly dangerous conspiracy sicko (Nothing less than the denial of the Sandy School massacre, with death threats to the relatives of the victims).
We remember the role of the bank JPMorgan Chase in different scandals, mainly the mortgage crisis. According to the vague informations published by wikipedia, this crisis would have been resolved by a money creation of 700 billion dollars in the US, and 1700 billion in Europe, graciously offered to the banks.
Two interesting conclusions can be drawn from the two preceding paragraphs:
1) A confirmation of the functioning of the «system»: the monetary creation really goes to the banks, which really use it to artificially maintain the manipulative media, via «advertisements» (probably overbilled).
2) The same bank, however, seems to make an interesting civic awareness taking, about conspiracy theories in the context of the Trump presidency scandal, which highlighted the danger of these theories. Continue like that, guys, and render all this sub-chapter obsolete, I will be delighted!
(Permalink) (This paragraph added in 2020:) this 2015 sub-section still contains a lot of useful background information. But it now needs to be placed in perspective with the 2020 interpretation presented further.
(The problems I describe here are not solved today February 2016. But in this sub-chapter, I put my descriptions in the past tense, to give the politicians a chance) (and well, to the electors too...)
To help understand how a debt slavery scheme works, we can consider that, often in third world countries, some unscrupulous employers offer attractive salaries, assorted with high interests loans for consumption. Inexperienced workers, happy with their new wealth, take loans, not realizing that they will need to repay much more than they got, with the fast accumulation of interests. And indeed, if they take too many loans, or if they miss one or two monthly payment, they quickly reach the point where interests accumulate faster than they can refund. The net result is that the rogue employers no more need to pay for a salary, just for basic food. In this way, millions in the world find themselves literally in slavery, forced to work into extreme misery and dangerous conditions, just to repay a debt they are forever unable to end. In rich countries, some unscrupulous supermarkets use the same method. They know they will never get all the money they pretend to own, but their victims are forced to pay every month, much more than without a loan.
The revert fraud is to grant loans to buddies, while perfectly knowing that they will never be able to refund, and the debts will have to be «abandoned due to unpredictable circunstances». This makes of these loans the equivalent of extra-billing, or hidden funding. This is probably how are funded these miraculously growing Internet companies which spy on us with their software. A very visible scandal of this kind was in France in August-September 2015, when the producers of animal suffering did annoying demonstrations throughout the country, to finally obtain a funding of 500 millions by the European Union, despite knowing very well that their activity is on the decline (people eating less meat) and they will no more pay back this loan than any previous they were offered. But the torture of animals must not stop.
As directly appearing from the previous quotes from the Central European «Bank», they also performed this scheme: the created money was not given, it was loaned.
So that we even not owned the money we had in our pockets!
Of course it is very hard to guess all the tangle of who really controled these loans, and to whom went the interests (the interest rate that the central «banks» cashed in, what they called the «cost of money», the «Fed funds rate» in the USA, that medias were bashing on us without explaining)
The net result of all this stuff was this situation where all the countries had these impossibly huge debts the news were always speaking about, without telling how it happened and to whom we owed this money. From here also came these astronomical figures, which were spits in the face of each of the seven billions of us, who had to work 8 hours a day just to be able to eat and have a roof. Them, they could create money as much as they wanted, and use it to display their arrogance - or rather hide in their luxury villas under video surveillance, because they were unable to slow down the spiritual evolution of mankind since the time of Versailles, and they now feel fear in front of the public.
Well, that two third of the money are «virtual» would not be much an annoyance, as long as if it does not affect the price of the bread.
But this made the world entirely mortgaged!
And, under the pretext that certain debtors would be reliable and others «not reliable» these people started to arbitrarily ask the ones they didn't like for repaying this imaginary debt.
This is what happened to the Greek people, forced into severe sadomasochist humiliation and serfdom, while stampeding on their democratic will. This was not an accident or misunderstanding, but really an intent: if the Greeks are really too poor to repay the previous help they received, then they deserved solidarity, not punishment. We must examine things objectively: Greece is a dry country, with few resources and many natural obstacles (islands, mountains). In more it is a young democracy just emerging from the colonels dictatorship. Their recent growth was based on tourism, not on the real building of an autonomous production network. All these adverse conditions makes that, even with the best will, they are very far from being able to perform like France or Germany. But, just as for the inexperienced workers above, the Greek state was a perfect target for the debt scheme described above...
Also, did you noticed that the European people who were asked to pay their debt are the tan skinned ones: Greece, Portugal... No comments.
Remember the properties of hydrogen sulfide: when we stop smelling its foul odor, it is that we are already intoxicated. We lose awareness of danger, and thus we let pass the last occasion of escaping alive.
Other proof, after wikipedia Japan has as much debt than Greece, but the Japanese government was on the buddy list, so that we do not saw our politicians humiliating the Japanese people or putting anti-democratic controls on their country.
Even rich states like France had to submit to the diktats of the financial Nobility. The manipulation was simple: let us lower the taxes which pay, for instance, the Social Security, the unemployment, the retirements, etc. Lowering taxes always please the business people and their buddies the trade unions. But after a moment, the Social Security was at debt (how could they accumulate billions of debt, if I had only 200 euros I would be severely castigated and condemned to be a tramp). Then the media started to speak of «the problems of the Social Security», or the retirement being endangered, etc. without of course a single word of how it happened. Then politicians looking like sadomasochist masters rose to propose the «courageous» «solution»: to castigate the sick people, the retired, etc. what is generally called the «austerity policies» by these sinister arrogant politicians. This is how the new financial Nobility was enacting its contempt of the Third Estate, and especially its hate of compassion and solidarity.
In a general way, this debt scheme, and especially the selective exigence for repayment, was leading again to an increase of poverty and inequalities in the rich countries, a new colonial dependency of the third world, and a new power of a few, counterbalancing the general progress of democracy and society since the 19th Century. If this continues, it may bring back the world in poverty, feudalism and serfdom.
Much worse, this mortgaging of the entire society was also giving the new Nobility a huge political power to impose their libertarian anti-democratic views, their Petain's ideas on work, their hate of ecology and life. This also gave them powerful means to quickly crush any government which would try to escape their debt shackles. With their surveillance of the Internet through «social networks», they were also building a capacity to target us individually.
This was the first instance of a world wide dictatorship. And a well Orwellian one.
As expectable, the diffuse perception of a rising world wide financial dictatorship led to numerous conspiracy theories. In a science book, we cannot accept them literally, but we can consider these ones as a clear sign of a growing lack of confidence, because the peoples were less and less understanding what their governments and the international financial agencies were doing. To be noted that convening in secret to subvert the established governments (the democracy) is the exact definition of a conspiracy. But how to denounce a real conspiracy when everybody was denouncing the conspiracy theories? Oh well, it was THEIR media who in the same time advertised these conspiracy theories and denounced them... do you understand now?
(Permalink) (The problems I describe here are not solved today February 2016. But in this sub-chapter, I put my descriptions in the past tense, to give the politicians a chance) (and well, to the electors too...)
«Austerity» was another intellectual swindle: presenting the social minimums or solidarity as «too costly», and even as «unfair». Of course not a single comparison, curve or figure was provided, only some simplistic ideological viruses (chapter V-12), as what there would be «more old persons», that sick people «abuse», that «people who want to work must be able to work more time», or that unemployed just have to «search more» for miraculously finding jobs which do not exist.
As the economists warn unanimously, the net result of austerity is the exact inverse of claimed. Since people work more hours a day and in older ages, they are less productive. It also increases unemployment in the exact proportion of the increase of working hours and retirement age (as if it was the intended result). And since people are more miserable (unemployed, lesser social help, lesser health), they buy less to the companies. In turn, the companies make less sales, and can employ less people... which further more increases unemployment and misery, thus looping a vicious circle of weakening the whole economy and society, called recession, as we explained in the beginning of this section. Austerity is just like putting a tourniquet on a person with anaemia, under the pretext of «saving blood»: if will only aggravate the problem, and never cure it.
Great Britain was the first to try the sadomasochist austerity roleplay, with a famous Dominatrix, and it at once made it lose its economic leadership in the world. Since, many other governments are fascinated by the British kink, and as an immediate consequence more and more former rich countries are now «imerging countries» (sinking countries, a play of words on «emerging countries»).
Added October 2020: the ultimate cause of this calamitous brexit can be traced to the humiliation of the sadomasochist austerity policies, that the populist manipulators associated with the European Union. And how the later could defend itself, if it actively fostered the said policies?
In truth, the cost of social minimum and solidarity is exactly zero, since it is just a different repartition of the whole money that the employers already pay for the salaries and taxes on work. And the advantages are enormous, in a society where everybody is happy and can share the wealth.
Austerity policies also were the pretext for sadistic plays and bullying instruments, like «more stringent controls» for unemployed people, or for countries which «do not obey» the diktats of the financial. Or the private «Credit rating agencies» «agences de notation», game leaders who designated the next victim to be bullied and pushed in the financial crisis. We were even given a cynical «choice» between two humiliations: having our retirement later, or having less retirement, just as in a BDSM scene. Without safeword...
Incredible? Sorry but I was forced to believe, from personal experience. Actually I remained unemployed in Rodez, France, with a small allowance as only resource (since this is how are treated people who work for a better world). Every 2-3 months I received a «yearly control» to send back, under written threat of losing all my income and become homeless. EACH TIME for several years, this paper was «lost» and I had to beg for getting my allowance back. Several times too I noticed the employees looking very astonished at my file on their screen. So clearly there was an adept of BDSM in the Pole-Emploi of Rodez, having fun at scaring people, perhaps writing barmy things in the files. And not to me only: a neighbor also had problems with the same agency. Doing a specific demand, she was asked three times, by common mail, to add a different paper. Until of course it was too late for her demand. In an epoch when it is good fashion to criticize the petty harassment of people into former communist countries, will History make a difference?
And when I say it is a hateful policy, it is easy to demonstrate: in a society where everybody works and is in good health, the rich would have more wealth to play with (basic liberal capitalism, well known since Henri Ford). In a world where people are miserable and unhappy, the new Nobility lost wealth. But they earned the feeling of being superior...
The Versailles complex.
Secondary motives of such idiot policies, condemned by all the economists, may have been the following:
- to counteract altruism and positive social movements which threaten the privileges of the new financial nobility.
- to counteract the power of democracy and re-create an oligarchy.
- religious dogmaticism, since some theologians are interpreted as cautions for liberalism, interest loan, austerity, inequalities, etc. Especially a terrible tenet such as the Calvinist predetermination can be interpreted as irreversibly fixing people's social class and income. Of course, today the concerned politicians are all atheists, or much worse. But dogma often survive the inversions of paradigm...
(Permalink) Beyond all the blather, the two main causes of unemployment are well known and very visible:
1) The monetary inequalities in the world. The today irrational financial system is muddling people a lot, especially the change rates hide the real values of the different currencies. So let us reason here after converting all the sums in a single money, whichever it is. In a country like China, what a worker earns allows him to buy locally about the same thing as a worker in Europe or in the USA. However, on the international market, a Chinese can buy half of what an European or an American can buy, or he needs to work twice for buying the same thing. This kink produces two huge injustices: first, the Chinese remain poor, compared to other countries. Their lesser pay also makes that many companies move to China, for exploiting this cheap workmanship, and also bring here all the pollution. These «relocations» are the main cause of unemployment in rich countries. They also noticeably contributes to climate change, with useless transportation.
2) The Pétainist conceptions of work. The Pétain regime, known for its collaboration with the nazis, implemented other harmful policies, like corporatism and the deification of work, considered as a masochist sacrifice. As a corollary, the unemployed were seen as guilty of not performing this sacrifice. These barmy ideas never were expurgated from politics since, and they continue to infect the economy policies of most countries in the world. The obvious solution to unemployment, to massively reduce working time, would save a lot to companies (not having to pay taxes for the unemployed), but this was never done, because of the Pétainist ideology as what work is a sacrifice that we must perform until exhaustion. Even the corporatist trade unions actively oppose the idea. And today (2016), catching up with 70 years of social stagnation would entail massive reductions of the monthly salaries, so that there is no easily sustainable solution in the very short term.
And of course the snake oil remedies:
- Making the unemployed feel guilty, with «more stringent controls», because they «cheat».
- Humiliate them with «psychological guidance»
- Forcing them to live in districts where delinquency is left uncontrolled
- And after that, publish statistics as what unemployed people are delinquents
- Making the unemployed «search more» to magically find jobs which do not exist
- Proposing more «training», even if trained people also are unemployed. But people in training are not counted as unemployed.
- Proposing half contracts or cheap «apprenticeship» to lower the count of unemployed without increasing the available work.
- Under the pretext of fighting unemployment, taking measures which increase it: increasing the hours per week, make cheaper salaries, weaker working contracts and easier dismissal.
(Permalink) The above 2015 interpretation of the financial crisis, debt and sadomasochist austerity policies, put the main blame on the central banks. But since it appeared another interpretation, putting the blame on the governments instead.
Indeed, I wondered what was the rationale for lending the money creation, instead of giving it.
A bit of History will help understand here:
In ancient times, money creation depended on the availability of precious metal, so that countries were rich if they owned mines, like the antic Athens. Otherwise they remained poor. But in both cases, the normal way for governments to function was to levy taxes, to pay common institutions like school, security, etc. But in this way, citizen could revolt if there were too much taxes, or unfair ones. This was bringing a kind of control.
But when paper money appeared, in the 19th century, it became possible to create money ex-nihilo, by mere printing of banknotes. But in such conditions, it was just too easy for governments to pay reckless expenses with printing banknotes, without citizen control and without care of the consequences. And indeed, it quickly appeared that printing too much banknotes creates a large inflation. Developed and democratic countries fell to this temptation all along the 19th until WWII, and the problem is still common in undeveloped or tyrannical countries.
The solution, developed during WWII with the Bretton Woods agreements, was central banks, which are not banks, but money creation agencies. They create enough for the economy to run without choking, but not too much in order to avoid inflation, as explained above in »The problem of inflation«. And to do so, they had to escape the control by the governments. A lack of control that I criticized in 2015, but which perfectly makes sense in this 2020 view.
But confidence in the governments seemed weak, so that another caution was added: the newly created money is not given, but loaned, in order to avoid the governments to abuse of it (for instance with false reports on economy indicators).
Of course there still is a lot of hypothesizing here, so much we lack consistent information, and probably some crucial points are not told. But this 2020 version does not consume more hypothesis than the previous. Or even less: it removes the hypothesis as what the central banks are evil.
So, this is why things were organized that way: money creation is not given, but lent, and in more with interests, to avoid governments to ask too much and abuse the money creation system.
But how things could still go wrong with these two safeties?
First, irresponsible government discharged they rich buddies from their tax duties, and reported taxes on the poorest people.
Exempting their rich class buddies is the purposes of the suppression of taxes on high income, taxes on successions, etc. while the TVA and gasoline taxes are hidden gabelles that even the poorest people are forced to pay.
And the control by the rich class is possible with the considerable mean they have to make puppet governments elected. Mostly, they pay the media to shape the opinion years in advance. This is the purpose of advertising-supported media and advertising-supported internet sites. This is how the views of the rich class are not only in electoral propaganda, but also in cars, in food, in culture, in social networks, in youth's fashion, in rock music, in movies, in sport, in tooth paste, etc. Making their action nice looking and attractive, but in fact this overall and pervasive control is perfectly totalitarian.
For instance a cooking recipes site looks totally unrelated to politics. It can advertise wine, or gluten-free diet, and so on. But if it starts to speak of vegan diet, it will be labelled extremist, will lose its «sponsors», and it stops existing. This is how the myriad of seemingly innocent blather sites all are integral parts of the control system. This also is how in France we got three sadomasochist presidents in a row, all obsessed with humiliating the people and destroying our social fabric: Social Security, courts, retirements, working contracts, science research, etc.
Second, with not enough money from the taxes, how to ensure the normal expenses of the state, like education, safety, research, health? With money creation!!! But since Bretton Woods, money creation costs a lot… to the future taxpayers. Just as climate change was disregarded as «in the future», those crook governments ignored this cost, discharging it on future tax payers. But their future is now our present…
This is how a rich and powerful country like France is now stuck with half of its income to repay the vanity expenses and buddy tax exemptions of its past governments. Indeed, since Giscard, nearby all abused the system in this way.
Probably governments like Greece abused much more. Perhaps they are still bearing the burden of the colonels dictatorship.
The Bretton Woods agreements had another side: all the currencies were pegged to one, the dollar. This brings two comments:
☻This was a step in the direction of a single world currency, that they called Bankor.
This is the same method and objective that I propose further in «Some basic points...» for the $ol (Sol). So that my proposal finds some support… 71 years earlier! Although the name «Sol» gives it an universal significance, while the name «bankor» restricted it to the power of a rich class. Currencies pegged together was used again to create the Euro, with success this time.
☻This placed the USA in a position of world controller.
Placing one single country in a position of controlling all the others was heavily criticized. But Nixon «corrected» that, by breaking the Bretton Woods system in 1971, bringing back the chaos of floating currencies.
Was it the end of the domination of a single country over the world? No. We saw in «The true causes of unemployment» how China was advantaged by the kinky currency exchange system. China also places clever people in the commands of its economy, instead of buddies. In more, they play Go, instead of Chess. So that their methods and strategies were largely misunderstood and unaccounted with, and they still are. This now places them in a position to dictate policies to more and more countries. They even are starting to open colonial counters as we did in India and Africa centuries ago, before we military invaded these countries.
(In China, Go was a strategy training, just as Chess were in the West. But there are important differences between Chess and Go. In Chess, a chessman must be actually suppressed and replaced, as in a military war or a colonization. In Go, a group of stones does not need to be actually taken, it is considered «dead» when further play can no longer provide any useful gain. This is the position of a country where a key sector of economy is owned by a foreign power: this country is then no longer able to apply its own decisions, and it is forced to work for that foreign power. Knowledge of the Go also helped Mao to win his war, over opponents who ignored it.)
(Permalink) 20 years into this 21th spiritual century, nobody can any longer pretend to ignore that economy is played by conscious minds. Until recently, this was not a serious mistake, since only the egos (chapter V-10) took the decisions.
But since 2015 I first wrote this chapter, a new deal is appearing.
It started with climate change, which became such an issue that many investor funds are withdrawing their support to the oil industry. Even some of the banks that I called «crooks» in the 2015 version are now part of the change. And it is indeed very interesting that civic financial decisions are made, which are not motivated by egoistic financial interest, but by the collective interest. And in more by people who used to ignore this collective interest (and are not democratically elected anyway). In the instance they even showed smarter than many elected governments.
We may think, this consciousness taking arises from the situation of dire danger and extreme emergency we are in. Things like that already happened in the past. For instance with abolition of slavery.
However this is coincidental with several other important civic movements, like ecology, vegetarianism, the fight against racial and sexual discriminations, and a spectacular rise in spirituality.
An interesting example of this process is in the news while I am writing this (September 2020): Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques, and two senior executives, Chris Salisbury and Simone Nieven, were fired by their share holders, for destroying 46000 years old aboriginal sites. That this is unrelated to climate change hints at a much general transformations in progress. In 2015 this was unthinkable.
We also see today much less protests targetting the global economy (or they are veering to conspiracy mongering or far right), while protests against the sadomasochist government policies are still well alive. So it seems that the switch from the 2015 view (central banks are evil) to the 2020 view (governments are stupid) is also happening in real facts in the world, not only in my own understanding.
From a logical point of view, there are too much uncertainties (and possibly hidden facts) to take a position between the 2015 and the 2020 interpretation. So that we need to account with both. A good analogy is with a «quantum mixing» of the two, where reality will finally reificate in one of the two ways, hopefully the second.
From a spiritual point of view, this situation is typically a case where «two realities» coexist (chapter V-7). So, whatever the uncertainties and possible lies or setbacks (like here), this situation requires a strict spiritual discipline: to visualise that the 2020 version is the truth, and to behave accordingly. The more people will do so, the more the actual factual truth will unambiguously switch to the 2020 version. And the more the faulty individuals will be out of phase.
(This even not is a parapsychological phenomenon: the simple set of social interactions, in a world connected as ever before, can produce this result)
This switch may already be a consequence of the rise in spirituality, especially (but not limited to) large collective meditations for the evolution of Mankind. If so, imputing evil motives to the World Bank and the FMI is going against this work. I should then totally withdraw my 2015 version, but I keep it online, so that people can appreciate the changes which occurred in so short a time. Hoping it is a rising tide, not an isolated wave.
This spiritual attitude also has an important practical consequence, in order to be of real use: to stop voting for idiots.
This rules out many traditional politicians. But it also put the pressure on new parties like the Greens, who are logically winning more and more elections. But in order to keep their advantage, they now need to present a complete political program, including financial, tax system, scientific research, education, justice, police, army, international treaties and military assistance, etc. And they do so while weeding out materialism, drugs legalization or gluten phobia. Failing to do so will lead to a new large political fiasco, as for Marxism.
And if any central bank wants to solve the today debts of any given state, they have solutions. Which are acceptable to any honest government. But it would be counter-productive to disclose them, so that they have to ask me, or to find these solutions themselves. (Solution is in the PHP code of this page)
(Permalink) Of course «optimal» here is a trade-off between the need to have a free economy, and the need of controls to damp the effects of the egocentricity of people. Today this optimal point is still toward heavy yet fair regulation, but it is starting to shift toward more freedom, and toward True Economy, as people develop psychoeducation and Non-ego, until the point where financial will become unnecessary, as explained on the previous sections of this chapter.
From the above, and from the basic principles of economy seen in the beginning of this chapter, we can infer the following measures applicable right now to the today economy:
A sane monetary policy is:
-Persons who supported swindles like austerity, fake debt or state subsidizing of nuclear/fossil energy must be ineligible and «beruf verboten»
-State agencies or international organizations which ran the debt swindle must be corrected or closed.
-All the existing fake debts must be canceled, and the «virtual money» must be converted into real money (that is, money which belongs to the person who has it in his/her account).
-Hedge funds and others, which sole purpose is to speculate on our money system, must be stopped (at need without re-funding, in the name of the dirty hands principle)
-When countries face terrible situations, real debts must be canceled too (Greece, Third World...).
-New money must be emitted in a way to cover the actual production, country per country.
In practice it is more complicated than explained in Section I, since there are several very different timescales for the various economy cycles. To put it simply, at the first January of each year each family must have on its bank account what to pay for its share for the month, while a government or a school must have enough to pay its share for the year. So that a family uses 12 times the same money per year, versus only one for a government. This makes 12 times more money needed for the governments. Worse, some productions have long term or irregular timescales: houses, cars, factory buildings and machines, etc. So that we need some averaging over a large number of them: the current expenditures under way.
-The newly created money must be given, not lent. However in some cases a government which receives it may play as a bank or as an investor, and lend money to private companies.
-The newly created money must be injected in the system where there are imbalances or problems. Today, it must be 1) a massive investment in solar factories 2) repairing the social losses of the sadomasochist austerity 3) providing the Third World countries with what they need to build a normal economy.
-Only democratically elected governments can create money (or international agencies controlled by several such governments), and especially decide who receives it. The reason is that it is a huge privilege, which can be used only for the benefit of the whole collectivity.
(democratic elections are the less bad system known to work today, see chapter VI-11. If anybody proposes something better, I am a taker)
On the social aspect:
-Indirect taxes increase social inequalities, as they impact the poor as much as the rich (that is, much more in proportion). For this reason, they must be reserved to special cases, where there is a need to compensate for some issue (Second basement of ethics): carbon taxes, taxes on alcohol and meat, etc.
-For a company the hourly cost of hiring people (salaries more taxes) must not depend of the working time per week (save if we reach overtime, where work must of course become more costly). This makes possible for the law, or for people, to easily adjust the working time per week.
-A maximum working time helps sharing the work in a fair way. Law may lower the maximum working time, so that the companies have to hire more people, thus easily eliminating unemployment. In a first time, part time jobs will allow for everybody to have a job, and in the longer run the working time will be averaged. This average working time can be adjusted after society needs, while individuals become really able to choose between more income or more free time.
-We estimated in section I «The sophistry of full employment» that as two to four hours a day may be really essential. If this is achieved, people can volunteer for more work for culture of great projects (like space exploration). And instead of doing this for free on their rest time, they will be able to be paid.
-There is no actual difference between taxing employees or taxing companies. Just that the total must be known by both. People in communist countries accepted well high levels of taxes and community work, because they enjoyed the direct and visible results of them: free school, health care, retirement, transportation, and other services available to all the basic citizens.
-There must be enough social minimums for allowing the poorest people to live in a decent way: free health care, free education, paid holidays, minimum income, significant retirement wages, isolated parent wages, disabled wages, etc.
On the financial aspect:
-A bank is a profit organism (usually private, but which may be more or less owned by a government) which gathers savings or accounts of people, and invest these sums into business or consumption loans. A bank which lends money which is not in its inventory is not «creating money», it is running a pyramidal scheme, or counterfeiting money. If I did this myself, I would go to jail.
-The stock exchange rates and money exchange rates do not «vary»: they are changed by somebody (who change the labels, as in a grocery). In former times, these changes were asserted by hand. Today they are automatically done by computers, but these computers still have owners and designers, who set criteria and objectives to the algorithms. So these people must explain why they change the prices, and publish their criteria and algorithms, in a way clearly understandable for everybody.
-The purpose of the stock exchange and shares system is not speculation. It is for people with money to fund companies. They are remunerated for this service, through the dividends.
If the price of shares changes, then investors can also earn money in this way. But in this case the least that we can do is more rational control on the algorithms which calculate the stock exchange rates: earnings from changing shares price must still come from the benefits of companies, not from pumping their assets. Also all the little games of stock exchange attacks and tactics to harm competitors must become illegal or pointless.
-Only physical persons must be able to exchange currencies or shares, in a bank bureau (companies can be represented by employees). It is totally obscene and nonsensical to have robots speculating all over the world, or owning a company during ten milliseconds.
-There must be a plan on 30 years to progressively stabilize the currency exchange rates, and stop any speculation on such a precious common patrimony as money. For this the algorithms which calculate the exchange rates must have variations progressively damped, until any variation becomes impossible. This is a much softer method than the «monetary snake» which was used to stabilize the European moneys before introducing the Euro. To be noted that the Yuan and the Dollar appear clearly synchronized since many years already, so that this requirement is probably already in force in some places.
-The real benefit of the previous operation would be that the cost of life becomes roughly the same between all the countries, measured in any given money. This may need a progressive pushing of the exchange rates in order to compensate for discrepancies, within the same 30 years plan. The reason is that, for instance an USA worker and a Chinese worker can buy about the same amount of the local production from their work. However the Chinese worker can pay only half of the international production, compared to the American. Such an unfair situation creates many seeds of disorder and injustices.
-(Added October 2020) This would allow, as with the Euro, for an unique currency, putting an end to the anarchy and disorders of multiple currencires. I propose the name «Sol», because it would be valid «everywhere in the Solar System». (Alternative spelling $ol or S¤l) Precedence and © claimed October 2020, use allowed for the intended purpose, forbidden otherwise.
«Virtual» currencies must not be taxed as a whole like «income». Laws and tax must instead distinguish between their real source: gift, benefit, speculation, money games, etc. just as with «real» money.
-«Virtual» currencies must not be taxed as a whole like «income». Laws and tax must instead distinguish between their real source: gift, benefit, speculation, money games, etc. just as with «real» money.
Actually There are three kinds of money:
1) currencies with a legal tender.
We do not discuss here the laws and taxes governing them, but use these as a reference for the other cases.
2) currencies without a legal tender, which fall in three sub-categories:
2-a) is in a virtual world where the currency can be exchanged with legal money 1, or against goods. So that, despite their «virtual» use, we need to consider these as real money, that is with a real value. Since the laws protecting 1 do not apply in the case 2, the company operating the virtual world should keep a backup in legal money 1 as a warrant against bankruptcy.
Virtual worlds are often international, or non-local. So, by lack of enough international laws, it is difficult to tax money inside them. In more, this may open dangerous breaches into the freedom of virtual life, for instance to have anonymous characters. So the recent tendency is to overall tax the virtual sums as incomes, at the moment where they are translated into legal money 1. However it is not fair to apply globally taxes to any 2-a cash, since they can be non-taxable gifts (some non-charity organizations earn sizable sums like this). Taxes must instead distinguish sums after their source: gift, artist tips, business sales, money games, etc. Serious virtual worlds offer records of payments allowing to distinguish in which category they fall.
2-b) are alternative social moneys, tickets, etc. operated by local communities, social groups, spiritual groups, etc. fostering a more fair economy. There is a large variety of cases, but most often their purpose is repartition and solidarity, although some also propose alternative business models for development. Taxes must be applied depending on the case: mutual help or humanitarian action, or business. Although these businesses may also have some social utility which may owe tax exemptions.
2-c) are speculation currencies. In their forms and «justifications», they are hard to distinguish from 2-b, save for one very pertinent criteria: their exchange rate is variable after a «market», and calculated by algorithms for speculation purposes. On a spiritual/social point of view, they claim to be «alternative moneys» 2-b, but in facts they go in the opposite direction of 2-b: reinforcing egocentricity. Politically they are libertarianist attempts to escape the control of states, and for this reason they use secret encryption and anonymity to keep existing. The whole thing rather resembles a scheme to evade taxes while feeling to be «politically right». Of course such earnings 2-c must be taxed according to their nature, speculation in the instance.
A common mind control trick is to call 2-c currencies «virtual money», which brings confusion with the case 2-a), in the general frame of denigrating virtual worlds, or spreading the false idea that all virtual worlds are immoral places.
However we can profitably check what is really going on in virtual worlds using 2-c currencies: they may be disguised casinos, money laundering dens, or even worse. No Elven beauty here anyway!
3) Roleplay currencies, which are used only within a roleplay, and cannot be used to buy any good or service out of this roleplay. They fall in two sub-categories:
3-a) is when the in-game currency cannot be exchanged against any kind of good, benefit or money of the 1) or 2) types, because this spoils the game, brings undue advantages to some players, or fosters game addiction. Roleplay moneys 3-a are not eligible to any taxation, since they never become real incomes. They do not need to be backed by any legal money 1.
3-b) is when the roleplay currency can be exchanged with money of the 1 or 2 categories. In this case they obey the same laws as casinos or money games (ideally forbidden), and must be taxed accordingly.
It is highly advisable that honest virtual worlds keep a clear distance with 2-c and 3-b. At least this would improve the reputation of the virtual life.
Ideally there should be classical banks offering virtual money accounts 2-a and 2-b. Such banks can provide the governments efficient means to track tax evasion or other illegal activities, while keeping the required level of privacy and anonymity for the virtual worlds users. Such virtual accounts would also be of a great utility to virtual life itself: protection against closure of worlds, money interchange between worlds, unified counter for each user, federated identities, vault for virtual goods, etc. At a pinch, we could even entrust them into 3-a) roleplay money.
For more on the requirements of virtual life, see my site kailye.net.
On escaping the shackles:
I know perfectly well what will happen when the concerned persons will read this sub-chapter: they will say that I am not serious, since I don't wear a black suit and a tie. So that it is totally useless to wait for any reply, and even any debate. So I give some advice for the governments who will try to escape their debt shackles. The experience of Greece told some pitfalls:
-Build a team of educated people able to master their psychology, instead of relying on a single charismatic leader.
-Never say you are left or right (chapter VI-11), and do not make alliances with anybody involved in the left-right scheme, especially «liberals», libertarians or Marxists (and all the less the extremes).
-Conversely, strictly refuse any association with nationalists, retrogrades, violent, conspiracy theories, religious/atheist extremism, anti-science, anti-spirituality, astrology, etc.
-In negotiations, stop any discussion at 18h, and never accept any alcohol. Later is for BDSM clubs, not for democratic debates.
-Be in the 21th century: use virtual worlds for meetings, not a hundred of jetliners.
-One of the interesting Greek proposals was an alternative money, the «You» («I owe you» in Greek) which would be a real money that we own, escaping the debt scheme. Of course Greece could not do this alone. But in some years several countries may be able to unite in such a project.
-GIVE the newly created money where it is the most needed: solar factories, the poorest, businesses in difficulty, etc. You are sure that these people will spend it at once, making of it the fastest way to make this money enter in the money cycle, in places where it will be useful for everybody. By contrast, in the debt scheme newly created money mostly goes to speculation or to arrogant display of power.
-Do not throw the false debt money. It will be useful to... pay the debt. This way the black suited people have nothing to say.
-And above all, do not «come back» to «ancient» money and systems, protectionism and isolationism, but instead move forward toward free exchange, friendship and unions between countries, unique world money and non-duality between global and local (see the section II on Absolute True Economy, and my idea of a serious european constitution). We are in a course of spiritual progress of Mankind, and trying to move in any other direction is like trying to stop a train with our finger.
To cope with the purposeful rarefaction of money, more and more local entities (towns and surroundings) emitted local currencies. Best known example is the Bristol Pound.
Most existing local currencies can be explained with a story well known of the economists: in a small town ridden with economy problems, a rich American lady stays here for the night. She spends a $100 banknote in the hotel, a fortune for the locals. The innkeeper uses this banknote for buying some hardware he needed. The hardware shop tenant then uses it for paying a mason for a repair. The mason uses it for paying a debt, and so on until the banknote goes back to the American lady because she sold something. So, by its mere circular trip, the banknote did not brought any wealth by itself, but it solved a lot of economical problems. This story is often used by the ideologists of money, because in their eyes it «demonstrates the usefulness of money». Of course in the real world it demonstrates nothing, as we saw in the section I on the existing systems: since things like debt and merit are conventions, mere beliefs, people having mastered their neurosis can work in Non-action, so that they do not need the banknote at all to do all the indicated things. But in the world of money, this idea of the American lady's banknote is behind a local currency like the Bristol Pound: it does not actually create money, since it is backed by deposited legal pounds (and is technically vouchers). But it makes this money circulate faster into the local economy, and thus is an efficient palliative to the rarefaction of money and the sadomasochist austerity policies which strangulate the economy.
The idea of complementary money is to increase the amount of money made rare by the sadomasochist austerity policies and debt scam. This is by no way True Economy as described in section II, but at least it would allow the classical economy to run efficiently, and solve many artificially created problems.
However there is little chance that the sadomasochist masters of economy will do anything to help complementary money. So that at a moment we may need to pass the step of building a complementary money (or vouchers, tickets, barter, etc.) NOT backed by any legal currency. This should be considered carefully, though, since such a system can collapse if people withdraw their confidence (since money is a convention, it disappears if people abandon it). So that the separation from the sadomasochist money must be progressive.
A warranty of success for a complementary money would be to target the poorest (or even the Third World, for a world money). There is of course an ethical motive to do so: they need it the most. But there is another technical reason, still more stringent: the poorest will be forced to use it (spend it), and they cannot use it for speculation purposes. So that there cannot be crisis resulting of lack of confidence or speculation. In more, the poorest are still a large economy mass, which would quickly make the new system overtake the old one.
The success of an alternative money like the bitcoin may encourage people. However one must be aware that variable rate moneys like the bitcoin are intrinsically speculation moneys, used mostly for this purpose, and only marginally for commercial exchanges. So that the bitcoin in facts goes against the purposes of economy. In more we saw examples of people using their insider knowledge of the system to game it. So that the bitcoin is NOT an example to follow. Complementary money must have a STABLE EXCHANGE RATE (at least stable enough to discourage speculation).
A complementary money has been proposed in Greece to escape the sadomasochist commands of the European Union: the «You». Unfortunately the «change in policy» of Mr Tsipras delayed the You to the... Greek calendes.
Africa and South America:
The debt scam recreates the conditions of colonization in third world countries (if ever colonization had really ended). Not a military occupation of the land, but an economical slavery, where poor countries are «generously» given loans, and them sadistically slowly strangulated under the pretext of repaying these loans, as we saw above on the debt scam of workers. How did you imagined a second that they would really let the Blacks to be free.
So these areas have a high interest into creating their own money, based on the real production as explained above. A thing they can do right now, since they are still holding the laws in their countries (I say «still», because some international «trade agreements» are said to remove this freedom to countries). In doing so, a region like Africa may not only escape poverty and neocolonialism, but also become economical leaders and even spiritual leaders of the world.
Africans should also closely review what caused the huge inflation in Zimbabwe. Too many money emitted, as explained in the beginning of this section, authoritarian/incompetent/corrupt politics, and the ruthless expulsion of competent White farmers. All these must be carefully considered and avoided in any African politics.
-Don't give up your traditions. Especially keep vegan, since meat needs three to six times more resources. Or are you ready to divide your population by three, like in Europe and the USA?
-Don't give up your traditions. Why to clothe like a puritan New York banker, when you have such rich cultures?
-Chinese: raise your pays to the Europe-USA level. You will lose this market, but you no more need it now, since you caught up their technology level.
Mixed society and the reunification of Korea.
I affirm that the mixed society described in section IV is the only solution for the reunification of Korea. Indeed:
-The reunification of Germany has been relatively easy, as the two parts were separated for a relatively short time, and their economic levels remained comparable, making the cost of upgrading acceptable. On the other hand, the two Koreas remained separated much longer, and they diverged radically, both in economic level and in economic organization.
-North Korea suffers from a considerable lateness in food, industry, Internet, human rights, spirituality.
-A war for the elimination of the northern regime would have catastrophic consequences for the Koreans, and could lead the whole world into chaos. For this reason, we cannot wish this solution. Only a negotiated solution can be envisaged. This is what will inevitably happen.
-In these conditions, if the North accepts reunification, it is very probable that they will put as a condition to keep their collectivist economy organization.
-Similarly, the South will probably put as a condition to retain its capitalist economic organization.
-Neither the North nor the South will be able to cope with a mass migration of people fleeing famine. Thus, each Korean must be offered solutions on his living place.
Under these conditions, the two economic systems must cohabit, each with its own set of laws, conventions and taxes. In order to respect each Korean's freedom of choice, this cohabitation should be possible in any place. Each Korean will then be able to choose one or the other system, according to his preference, or according to his respective advantages or disadvantages.
In any case, reunification will require massive assistance for the North to catch up. A mixed society can provide this support without having to force a change in the economic system.
Ideas, texts, drawings and realization: Richard Trigaux.
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