PPI-025-Thoughts about a better world


Richard Moore


                   Thoughts about a better world

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Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Sender: jacob <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: PPI-017-rkm essay> Destroy & Rebuild -- The story of the
global economy

  > The world economy has been razed so that it can be turned into a
  > shopping mall for the capitalist elite, where they can conveniently go
  > shopping for bargains among the world's various `markets', each of whom
  > is expected to `compete' on the basis of its seductiveness to capital.

interesting and sound analysis. I believe, though, that there's something
more to it: an acute need to formulate an economic system and an ideology
that can cope with the fact that the activity of only a small percentage of
the world work power and production means is enough to provide all humans
with their basic needs; that most of this work power and production means
are today engaged in providing superfluous products and services to the
developed world while living the others in misery; that most of those
products have built-in early obsolescence planned in them;  that the world
ethnic and local cultures have been subdued by the advertising culture whose
sole purpose is to create artificial demand for those superfluous products;
that this superfluous evergrowing productivity doesn't feed hungry mouths
but depletes human and natural resources to the point of extinction; that
rewarding people according to what the advertising culture regards as their
contribution to this productivity only fuels this destructive process.
Envisaging an ideology and an economic system that takes all this into
acount is an intellectual challenge the magnitude of which was not encountered
by human race at least in the last 2000 years. who's going to measure up to

Dear Jacob,

I believe you seriously overestimate the difficulty of coming up with
better economic systems and ideologies.

It is really only in the past two hundred years that a capitalist system
has grown up and become dominant, and still there are parts of the world
that haven't yet totally succumbed.  And many parts of the Third-World
would immediately revert to more sensible economies and just societies if
the US-supported military dictatorships were simply removed.

It takes energy and constant enforcement to keep the current regime in
power, it is not the result of any natural law, and it isn't based on
deeply held social values.  The regime is sold constantly by
corporate-media propaganda and all serious discussion of alternatives is
kept out.  Millions of dollars are spent to keep control over the political
system and to lobby and otherwise corrupt our democratic institutions.

You can see with the FDR-era in the US and the postwar pre-Thatcher era in
Britain how rapidly our systems can be changed when the political will
exists to do so, not that those particular changes did anything to disturb
fundamental elite-corporate hegemony.

But the most clear example of how a system can be rapidly converted to one
that "takes all this into account" is Cuba.  It was not the case that the
people of Cuba needed to become "enlightened", nor was it necessary for
earth-shaking ideological breakthroughs to occur, it was simply necessary
to set up a democratic regime, a regime which was set up structurally so
that the will and needs of the people could inform and guide the apparatus
of government.

The problem is a political one, and the failures of our economic system
simply reflect the values of those in power.  The solution is also a
political one, and when democratic regimes are established, values that
make sense to people will have no difficulty expressing themselves in

By serendipity, the following piece by Bill Ellis, which at some poetic
level is a response to your request for "envisaging an ideology", came into
my mailbox adjacent to your posting.  Check it out.



                            GAIAN VALUES
                  ALL THAT IS -- IS A WEBS OF BEING

                  Bill Ellis  <•••@••.•••>
             TRANET - http://www.nonviolence.org/tranet/
                PO BOX 137, Rangeley ME 04970-0137 USA

                               - - -

           We belong to the Webs-of-being  - - to the  Cosmos -
                        - to Earth  - to Gaia.

        Belonging is the protovalue from which all other values derive.
       We belong to the physiophere, to the biosphere, to the ideosphere.
                        We belong to Gaia.

        As the aborigines said it "we are the ownees of the land,
                      not the owners of the land."

          As Chief Seattle said it, "We can not own the land,
                      we are part of the land."

         We belong to and are inseparable from our culture--
                   from one another-- from Gaia.

                We are interdependent with all that is.

              Belonging is scientific fact; and, belonging is
                       more than scientific fact.

         Belonging is not merely "being a member of", but it is being
                  subject to- being in partnership with -
                       - being responsible for.

        We belong to -- are responsible for  ---  the webs -of-being --
                     the universe --   theEarth -- Gaia.

        Belonging  to-Gaia means recognizing that we are enmeshed in the
        webs-of-being and that our well-being is dependent on
                           the well-being of Gaia.

                  If we destroy  Gaia, we destroy ourselves.

        Belonging implies "cooperation" -- working with what is ---
                     with Gaia --  the webs of being.

        Belonging implies "community."  In our face-to-face relationships
                     with people we form community --
                          we belong to community.

        Belonging implies "responsibility."  We are responsible for Gaia.
                        We are responsible for one another.

        Belonging implies "Love."  We can not separate love (agape) from
        the fact that we belong to Gaia.  We love because we must love to
                   preserve Gaia --  to preserve ourselves  --
                        to preserve the webs-of-being

            Cultures built on values other than belonging are
                          doomed to self-destruct.

        A culture built on "domination of the earth, and all the animals
                        therein" is doomed to disappear.

         A culture based on "self-interest" is doomed to disintegrate.

        A Culture based on "survival-of-the-fittest" will not survive.

             A culture based on competition  will destroy  itself.

      To be stable and sustainable a culture must be based on cooperation,
      community, responsibility, love, honesty, caregiving, and the other
       values which are implied by and intertwined with one another and
                                with belonging.

         We can no more separate ourselves from belonging -- from Gaia-- and
       remain a viable culture; than an oxygen atom can separate itself from
                 hydrogen atoms and retain the qualities of water.


                  "Seeking an Effective Democratic
                      Response to Globalization
                        and Corporate Power"
           an international workshop for activist leaders
        June 25 <incl> July 2 - 1998 - Nova Scotia - Canada
                  Restore democratic sovereignty
                  Create a sane and livable world
             Bring corporate globalization under control.
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