Unless we face up to some simple truths, we are unlikely to experience peace in our world. Given our current political and economic systems, it is hardly surprising we are in deep trouble. The world today is in the grip of several massive deceptions. One concerns money and another concerns what we call ‘democracy’.
First, the way money is created gives rich people more money and makes poor people poorer. Money is created not as pure property, but as debt. If you borrow money from a bank or a government, you are NOT borrowing money deposited earlier by someone else (as we are told at school); you are getting newly created money. It is easy for rich people to borrow huge amounts of money and to make huge amounts more. Poor people, on the other hand, borrow to stay alive – and their debts increase. As more and more of the world’s money is owned by billionaires, it becomes harder and harder for poor people to pay off their debts.
This way of creating money has been used for centuries on-and-off and It has always resulted in huge and ever-increasing inequality. Over the last century, both capitalism and communism have adopted it as a method of concentrating power in the hands of the powerful. In the past, remedies were used to reduce inequality, but today inequality is carefully managed and maintained as a power-source for the ruthless and greedy. The system creates oligarchies throughout the world.
Second, what we think of as democracy is NOT democracy. In our voting systems, we choose between parties that already have lots of power. People greedy for money and power are the worst people to have in charge. Their appetites are insatiable; they aim not at healthy societies, but at getting more and more money and power. They are the worst people to have in charge. This is a truth long known; Plato, for instance, said it clearly over two thousand years ago.
Power today lies not with ‘the people’ but with professional politicians and the very rich. ‘Democracy’ is a deceitful name for the system. This deceit used to be well-known, but this knowledge is kept from voters. By repeating the myth that electing political parties is democracy, people have come to believe it.
What can be done to change things?
First, democracy. True democracy exists when citizens convene in order to decide on things: when votes are taken on proposals after debates in public assemblies. Today, in our digital age, such a system would be easy to set up and maintain. Rather like ‘national service’, all citizens would devote a certain amount of time to reading about politics and to ruling the country they live in.
Secondly, money. Every day, governments spend money. They also authorize what is money. Money should be pure property, not debt created by governments and banks. When too much money is circulating, some can be removed by taxation and destroyed. Governments should regulate how much is in circulation. They should also organize regular debt forgivenesses (jubilees).
A third creation which affects our behaviour profoundly is the corporation, which is legally obliged to increase in power and size. Corporations reduce the incomes of workers to subsistence level and enable predators to appropriate the rest. They de-activate the role of human conscience and replace it with greed and ambition.
By ignoring these simple truths, we have created a world where the worst in human nature is encouraged, and the best discouraged. Reform is vitally needed.
I am stunned that the author heaps praise on “true democracy” without even a passing nod to the dangers of such a system, which is aptly called “mob rule” by those who have studied it.
In an actual prosperous and free society, people are not obsessed with “national service”. Rather, they focus on their own lives and the lives of their friends and family. In such a society, the government consists mainly of a few figureheads with little power.
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