We’ve been betrayed. We’ve been sold an idea that is utterly without merit, yet we’re so steeped in the idea, we’ve lost the ability to see beyond it.
Our politics, our economics, our social structures and our religions are not fit for purpose: they do NOT deliver what is written on the tin.
Consider: the richest sixty-two people in the world own as much wealth as the poorest fifty percent. Just stop and think what that means for a moment. You could get the same wealth possession onto one medium-sized bus, as 3.7 billion of the rest of us. Isn’t that obscene?
So why do we accept this ludicrous imbalance? It seems we believe that “the system” is fair and offers equal opportunity for prosperity for all. We think that free market economics is somehow “right”. We’re convinced that any intervention is destructive and means less wealth for all. Yet a cursory analysis will tell you that every stratum in society has a thousand times less places than the one below it. Millions are dying of starvation, lack of clean water and preventable diseases. Millions live in fear, without shelter, without access to education or representation. To believe that “the system” is either “working” or “for the greater good” is just plain DUMB.
The world has been in this mess for too long. Generally speaking, the situation is getting worse, not better. Change is long overdue.
Of course, even with the best of intentions, we immediately hit a huge snag. Those who wield power and wealth have no interest in changing anything that might usurp their positions. Indeed, there is little they will not do to maintain the status quo, including, but not limited to, war, assassination, blockade, propaganda, and spurious legal action.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the forces, railed against anyone seeking to rock the boat, would be overwhelming. History supports that view. Anyone suggesting foment of positive change is easy, is a fool. But it is also true to say that those who rule, do so by the consent of the rest of us. Even the most despicable despot is only one man. He must create a societal structure, with enough vested interest to persuade others to maintain him in position. So remember: we ALWAYS have a huge numerical advantage.
There’s a shop, less than a mile from my home, where I can buy a banana for a few pence. All well and good, you might think. But dig a little deeper. We don’t grow bananas here in Lincolnshire. That banana has travelled thousands of miles to my local shop. Does the few pence I can buy it for, represent its true cost? What is the cost of replacing the fuels burnt to transport it to me, or the cost of removing the CO2 produced from the atmosphere? Is the person who grew and picked it earning the same wage as I am? Does he/she live in safety, properly educated, fed, watered and sheltered? I think not.
Can I live without bananas? Of course I can. I like a banana as much as the next man, but bananas are not high on my agenda. Could I cope with locally grown fruit instead? Yes, I could.
I hear that the steelworks in Port Talbot will have to close, because we can buy our steel cheaper from China. Transpose the arguments above, about bananas, to steel, and then add the logic of paying a skilled Welsh steelworker to sit on his hands. What is “cheaper” supposed to mean? I suspect in means “lining the pockets of the sixty-two people on the bus”.
Well, it’s easy to criticise. Any fool can pick holes in the system. What would you do instead, I hear you say. We need to systematically dismantle globalisation. We need self-sufficiency of ownership and production at local, regional and national levels. The things you need will be made or grown by local people. You may own the means of production, but only if you live in the vicinity. You may not own a power plant, butcher’s shop, farm, house, factory, brewery or bakery in more than one city.
This is utter madness: chaos will ensue, folk will starve, Britain will be reduced to some weird parallel of the Wild West. Correct: if you try to accomplish self-sufficiency overnight, all these will happen. So we need a well-organised, phased introduction.
Create a tax calculated on the capital owner’s distance from the site of production. Slowly ramp up the rate (whilst correspondingly ramping down other taxes) until distant and/or multi-site ownership becomes uneconomic. Current owners will sell their shares to local people: no-one else will be interested in owning them. Overwhelmingly, businesses will be owned by their own work-forces and stake-holders.
Create a further tax calculated on the distance any goods have travelled to point of use. You want to buy Chinese steel: you are free to do so, but it won’t be cheap. Probably best to eat apples instead of bananas too. Anything we really can’t make or grow locally will be expensive but there will be an economic incentive to keep these to a minimum and do it as close to home as possible.
It won’t be perfect. It will cause much upheaval and disruption. There will be casualties. There will be a huge migration of labour from transport into primary production, for instance. But we will have a cleaner planet, a fairer distribution of wealth, less exploitation, and fewer reasons to go to war.
I’ve been called a traitor. I have yet to understand who I am supposed to have betrayed. I like to ask: who owns British Steel, Rover, GEC, CEGB, Jaguar, Royal Mail, Cadbury’s, Ruston’s, Rolls Royce, BP, BT, NCB, Norton, &c? Who’s the traitor?
And whilst we’re on the subject of treachery, who sends British sons and daughters to kill and be killed in the Middle East and elsewhere? Protecting “British Interests” we’re told. Is that another euphemism for the bus load of fat cats, I wonder?
My dream is that successful self-sufficiency in the U.K. will spread around the globe; the world will have lost the reason to fight and a major incentive to greed. A new world order is achievable and desirable.