Below are some things that I believe, some that I don’t believe and some that I know. Do you believe similar things? If so, stay in touch. Alternatives are being built – change is coming. Nothing stays the same forever.
I believe that ecology is being damaged, and that wealth is being concentrated, which destroys democracy. I believe that these are the two greatest challenges facing humankind, in terms of our future evolution, stagnation or extinction.
I believe that to address these challenges, lifestyle change is essential, but not sufficient within the current economy. We need a new economic system because we can’t stop this one damaging ecology or concentrating wealth; we can only slow it down – which isn’t enough.
I don’t believe that the current economy can accurately be labelled ‘capitalism’, because capitalism is based on a free market, and we absolutely don’t have a free market. Virtual monopolies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon and Über are allowed (encouraged and assisted, in fact), and states intervene in the market to the advantage of giant corporations in ways that disadvantage small businesses. I believe that this is a big mistake – the opposite of what we should be doing, in fact.
I believe that decentralisation of the economy would be a very good idea. Small businesses form the backbone of communities, whereas large corporations suck wealth out of them. Humans need healthy communities for our well-being.
I know that there are many, talented people who are building a decentralised economy that favours small businesses and communities over giant corporations.
I know that there are also many people who spend an inordinate amount of time talking and thinking about politicians, political parties and elections. Those people, whatever their political leanings, can also support the decentralised economy that’s being built.
I believe that if we can decentralise the economy, power and wealth can become more distributed; communities more interesting; jobs more fulfilling; life more fun; and we can live with shorter supply chains that damage ecology less.
I believe that population is an issue. This is controversial in green circles, but whatever economic system we have, we’d damage ecology less if there were 1 billion of us rather than 10 billion of us. Japan and New Zealand are island countries on the edge of the Pacific, not too dissimilar in size. Japan has 125 million people, New Zealand 5 million. I don’t believe that this makes Japan a better country or a better place to live. Yes, people in Europe and North America consume more than people in Africa, Asia or Latin America – but people in those places are intent on consuming much more.
However, I know that the global population is set to stabilise towards the end of this century or the beginning of the next, and then start to fall. It’s difficult to know what else we can do about population apart from wait for it to stop growing and start falling – which it will. But the economy is not about to stop growing. Every government in the world is committed to making sure that it doesn’t. And it’s not about to stop concentrating wealth, as the large monopolies (and notably Amazon) capture an ever-increasing market share. So it’s the economy that’s the real engine behind the damage to ecology and democracy, assisted by all the major political parties of the G20 countries.
I believe that most importantly, if we want a new, decentralised economy, we have to give each other credit, rather than beg banks for it. Banks are not interested in lending to small businesses anyway, and are themselves giant corporations that suck wealth away from communities in the form of interest.
I know that the way that we can provide credit to each other is via a ‘family’ of ideas, the collective name for which is mutual credit. There’s a national mutual credit network being built for Wales, and the first concrete example of a scheme in England will be up and running later this year or early next (in Devon). There’s already a large and growing mutual credit network in Africa, and there are budding networks elsewhere.
I know that these schemes can be networked together via an initiative called the Credit Commons Protocol – a common language that will allow all existing schemes to trade with each other. This global network can form the core of a decentralised economy, from which the exchange medium can’t be extracted and stashed in tax havens.
I believe that around 5% of the population can be motivated to help build a new economy. The other 95% we won’t be able to persuade, but if we can build things that give them immediate benefit, they’ll be on board.
I believe that the growth of the new economy will be incremental – that we’ll eventually transcend the current economy, rather than overthrow it or vote it away.
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
16degrees August 22nd, 2021
Beautiful article. Very well done. Perfectly encapsulates many sides of the problem.
“I believe that ecology is being damaged, and that wealth is being concentrated, which destroys democracy. I believe that these are the two greatest challenges facing humankind, in terms of our future evolution, stagnation or extinction.” Absolutely. As well as transhumanist technologies this is a major threat.
“lifestyle change is essential, but not sufficient within the current economy.” For us to get out of this lifestyle change MUST lead to system change and system change MUST lead to lifestyle change.
“I don’t believe that the state provides a counterbalance to corporate power.” Dave do you believe that the state could provide a balance?
Transcendence is key.
2Dave Darby August 22nd, 2021
‘Dave do you believe that the state could provide a balance?’
Not in this system, no. If we could even elect a government that wanted to try, they wouldn’t last long. See https://www.lowimpact.org/our-response-to-why-dont-you-start-a-political-party/
3Jo McDonnell August 22nd, 2021
Dave D. Well you are living in the right times for depopulation which you feel we need.
The Covid scam and Experimental vax /digital passports are all part of the great reset and genocide programme .
Over 1500 deaths and over 1 MILLION adverse reactions in the U.K. to date ( please go onto the government’s Yellow Card reporting system . Adverse reactions include blood clots, strokes, seizures, blindness , miscarriages …. from people who have had the vax. )
And no , before anyone starts howling me down as an ‘anti vaxxer’ ( I am just pro-choice when it comes to what I allow into my body) or ‘conspiracy theorist’ – please, please all do your own research on this planned agenda eg listen to experts such as Dr Mike Yeadon, Prof. D. Cannon, Dr Sherri Tenpenny, the inventor of the MRNA vaccines, Dr Robert Malone .
Listen to the horrendous Klaus Schwab , Head of the WEF talking about the ongoing world agenda a NWO, depopulation , reset and AI- quite terrifying. Read Operation Lockstep . All proof of the Plan for us all ‘hidden in plain sight’.
If we all don’t wake up very soon then we are truly on the road to hell..
4spacemao August 23rd, 2021
The idea of population growth being problematic is so flawed that it needs to be wholesale rejected. Not just for the way in which all possible routes out of the ‘problem’ proposed by proponents of this theory are basically fascist, but that it is entirely nonscientific. Initially, the idea was based on the magical thinking of Malthus, who claimed that in 1900, London would reach a population of 1m and collapse into barbarism and violence. Clearly this didnt happen, and as you correctly pointed out, there is no scientific basis for human population continuing to grow at the rate it did in the post war era, and in fact, this is slowing down.
Birth rates are slowing both in the imperialist core (where living standards mean that people do not need to produce children to ensure their survival when unable to work) and in the front lines of global capital where better infant mortality rates combined with contraception are having transformative results. The higher you raise the living standards, the fewer babies people have, so it turns out that even if ‘population overload’ were a thing (which is is not) the way to stop it is simply to introduce social services, decent infrastructure and investment into countries which we in the west currently work to underdevelop and keep in relative poverty.
How can I say population over-load is not a thing despite popularised, oft-shown footage of densely packed communities, from the barios and slums in south ameria to overwhelmed traffic in asian and east-asian cities? These are problems because the infrastructure in these places has never been developed at all, and if it has, then was built during the post war socialist period to match the needs of a popuation *then*, and since, our societal technology has been left to rot. So our infrastructure and services being ill-matched to the numbers of people today is not caused by the number of people but by a capitalist economy in which proper services and infrastructural investment are seen as unprofitable and in many cases an overreach by the state (why on earth should Elon Musk spend some of the money he exploits from children in his mines to guarantee the existence of frivolous things like roads of standardised insurance and emergency services which his cars drive on? Why would he do that, when he can spend the money on drugs and prostitutes or profitable activities speculation on the stock market?).
As a result of an economy being driven by the profit motive, the very technology that supports human society has not been invested in for decades, even in the imperialist core, countries like the US and UK, infrastructure is crumbling and woefully inadequate. Take London for example; the M25 for was supposed to be one of four orbital ring roads, this was planned in the 1960s, never completed, and since then (despite London’s population doubling) the local authority has deprived of funding and governmental support to improve things beyond a tiny, inconsequential scale. So we need to stop thinking about there being ‘too many people’ and instead thinking about there being too little infrastructure, too little investment, and too little central democratic planning and common organisation.
Food production is a perfect example of why over-population is not a problem (and if you refuse to accept this – not *the problem* with our society). As I’m sure you and your readers are well aware, we produce 150% of the food we eat, a full 50% goes to waste. Given the damning fact that nearly a full third of our human family is undernourished, we can say that if food was distrubuted properly, all could escape the chronic agony of hunger and actually live. And that’s just distribution, when we consider that food the organisation of food production is basically medievil, and that private competition between food producers is wasteful and produces dire health consequences, and the available land which is currently not utilysed or under utilysed, they goal of feeding everyone is wide open. So don’t adhere and propagate ideas of over-population, which are the normative domain of the fascist and rascist, instead point to the actual problems in society that dominate all our lives. Waiting in traffic or in the hospital is not becuase there are ‘too many people’ but because capitalist class interest dominates the way we plan and even think about the living systems around us and there has been no serious investment for decades.
5Dave Darby August 24th, 2021
Spacemao – yes, for me that’s all completely uncontroversial and I agree. My critique is the same as yours – it’s only our proposed solutions that are different. As I said, the only reasonable approach seems to be to educate women, and wait it out, until some time next century, the population starts to fall naturally. But don’t you think that we’d have more breathing space to get into some sort of balance with the rest of nature (rather than anything about crowding in cities / lack of infrastructure for size of population etc) if there were ultimately fewer of us? After all, whatever one’s political viewpoint, and whatever system we have in place, the world can only provide a finite amount of resources and deal with a finite amount of waste. Or (I can’t remember this) – do you not think that climate change / biodiversity loss are real, and that we’re headed for an ecological catastrophe of some sort? And a genuine question: why are ten billion humans better than two billion humans? Or to put it another way (picking out two overconsuming countries living mostly on the backs of exploited labour in much poorer countries), is Japan a better place than New Zealand, because it has 24 times as many people (whatever systems are in place in those countries)?
[By the way, another thing that I believe, as you know, is that centralised planning will never, under any system, be democratic. Centralised power always has been, and always will be, bought or seized and held by force. Common(s?) organisation – that’s more like it, but not centralised. And anyway, centralised to what point – globally? You’re joking, surely?]