We need to change – to reconnect with reality rather than false economics
Economic theory and practice have become so complex that we have lost site of the basic principle: there is only so much of anything, and it is all built on the amount of food our farmers produce. If the world’s farmers do not produce enough food to feed the world’s people, then some of us will starve. Provided they produce enough for themselves and the rest of us, then the rest of us are freed from the need to create our own food, and we can indulge in other things.
No amount of quantitive easing and juggling taxes and buying debt bonds will ever change this fundamental fact. Any village that can feed its own people will have the spare capacity to make and do other things. Any village that cannot do this is dependent upon the excess and largess of villages that can. This principle applies from villages through towns and countries to entire continents. And if there is not enough food, not enough spare capacity to share around, people will starve.
We cannot change it. Any attempt to do so will change the appearance of the problem, but never solve it. We need to start again, to build our economies from the ground up – quite literally. We need to abandon competitive consumerism, which just leads to I want more and more and more, regardless of how much there really is, and who has to go without so that I can have more. First we need food. Then we need clothing and shelter. It’s a long and false trail that ultimately ends with needing a faster car and bigger television than our neighbour. People, somewhere, are going without so that we can have more. And if those people have to go without food, then we are killing them.
We can, and must, change. We won’t do it quickly. But we can start by working with our planet and not against it; with our neighbours and not in competition with them. From the ground up.