The real source of the rise of repressive authoritarianism, nativism, and xenophobia in the United States as well as Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Bulgaria, Greece, France, and Britain is a pervasive sense that elites are rigging the world economy for themselves. And, guess what? They are.
In his Map #40: Corrupted Currencies and the Path to Collapse futurist Chris Kutarna says:
A big, looming question right now—as a new year gets going, as the US and the UK struggle to get going, as markets and climate fluctuate—is: are we on a path to renewal or collapse?
Chris goes on to provide some very interesting insights using the term currencies:
By “currencies” we mean not just monetary currencies, like dollars and euros, but all the things that parties to a bargain widely decide have value. Such things are more commonly called “virtues” or “norms”, but it can be helpful to think of these things as currencies instead, because—like money currencies—they only have value when we buy into them.
What have we bought into?
I am deeply mystified at how people like Donald Trump can be President of anything let alone the United States of America. My friend and colleague Colin James suggests Trump is the poster child for solipsism (the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist; the quality of being self-centred or selfish).
Colin is onto something I reckon.
1) We have bought into self-interest
There's displays of self-interest everywhere: selfies, likes, consumerism just to name three obvious examples.
We have made the choice to allow self-interest to rule.
2) We have bought into political systems
The Electoral College in America
Unlike in other U.S. elections, the president and vice president are not elected directly by the people. Instead, they’re chosen by “electors” through a process called the Electoral College.
The idea of using electors comes from the Constitution. The nation’s founders saw it as a compromise between electing the president by a popular vote among citizens and electing the president in Congress. https://www.usa.gov/election#item-36072
I personally fail to see how the above is good democracy.
The Westminster Political System e.g. Australia, United Kingdom
We don't get to elect our Prime Minister either. That privilege is left for party members, which here in Australia means Labor or Liberal. The winner of elections here never get a majority vote on their own, rather they rely on preferences where there are all sorts of dodgy deals deal done.
I personally fail to see how the above is good democracy either.
Other political systems
I tried researching how the Chinese people elect their politicians and admit absolute confusion. I couldn't find any evidence that the people have any say in who is their President. The only thing I got clear about is that bribery and corruption are rife.
I'm not aware of any political system where the people have a direct say in who will lead their country.
Leads me to ask Why are politicians our leaders?
Something is wrong worldwide with politics and politicians.
Reflecting on Robert Reich's comments above could it be that the elites are rigging everything for their own gain?
3) We have bought into the economy being the be all and end all
In my life time (65 years) we have stopped being a society and instead have become an economy where the people who create the various formulas don't know what they're creating will lead to.
And we still use GDP, the total of what we spend as a measure of well-being. Laughable.
Summary and possible solutions
Self-interest, our political systems, and modern economics are all pathways that are leading to the destruction of our planet (our home). And unless we do something very soon they will bring about our own demise.
1) Refuse to buy-into self-interest rather live a life of enlightened self-interest.
2) Peacefully push for third alternatives in politics e.g. elect Independents for local governments and eventually eliminate party politics.
3) Move to the people not parties or electoral colleges electing Presidents or Prime Ministers and asking them to govern with fellow Independents.
4) Be part of a movement that reinstates peaceful and productive society as our purpose and redesign economics to support this purpose.
5) Put a panel of judges* in charge of national and international decisions to do with climate change, health care, privacy, education and military matters, and whatever else we the people deem as our priorities.
6) Ensure 50% of these judges are women.
7) Make it illegal for any decisions made by the above to be discriminatory in any way.
*an alternative to a panel of judges could be a council of elders with no political or ideological attachment. Age of the council members would be irrelevant. The main criteria for election would be track record in doing the right thing by people and planet.
Who will you become?
What will you do next?
What are your solutions?