The Coastal Post - August 2000

Boom And Doom

By Frank Scott

We live in an era in which the financial market and the earth itself are both over-heated at the same time. Corporate capital's science tells us that there is no connection between these two facts. They are supposed to be understandable acts of nature. Especially our economics, which are the outcome of divine planning. You know, "the invisible hand" and the triumph of capitalism.

If we accept this divine science, we must also accept that our divinity seems to operate on a cycle of economic boom that depends on ecological doom. The reports of poisoned air and water, toxic pollution, acid rain , holes in the ozone and especially climate warming have lead many to the belief that we are condemned to death as a race. Of course, corporate capital says it will all be good for some, even if others lose. Warmer weather in one part of the globe will lower heating bills, say, while increasing sales of summer clothing. Not to worry, just sell utilities and buy lightweight fabrics.

But seemingly more reliable science, not yet pimping for corporate funds, calls for an alert on the part of humanity. The danger is real, serious and demanding of our attention. Unfortunately, many still attribute it to individual evil, personal greed, private psychosis, or group performance under the control of one of those things.

The workings of political economic systems are usually beyond the concerns of everyday life, and kept that way by our mind managers. That is why people can allow their government to tear up its credit card and cut public debt, while they get more credit cards and sink into the deepest debt any public has ever carried, privately. That is why the top one percent of wealthy Americans have as many after-tax dollars to spend as the bottom 100 million, and there is relative silence from a people manipulated by TV brain candy, like the multi-million dollar Gush-Bore "survival" show.

We move through life burdened by personal cares, governed by consciousness controllers and often oblivious to nature , a force over which we have little personal power. We are almost equally oblivious to social organization , a force over which we should have complete control , in an allegedly democratic society. That is hardly the case.

Our society's organization has been labeled industrial, then technological, and presently we are supposed to be in a phase called globalization. But the controlling structure of everyday reality is not one dependent on machines, tools or finance; it is based on the political economic system of capitalism, and its general acceptance as a fact of life, very much like a religious dogma.

People may believe metaphysical legends explaining why we act the way we do , but the system under which we perform is governed by physical rules of profit accumulation. This is accomplished through private control of nature, whether that nature is human, animal or seemingly inanimate resources .

We are told that this privately oriented economic-religious system is the highest form of human development, partly because it has created a wonderful material standard of living for some people, and a state in which we pride ourselves on having free elections with representative governments. This , though hundreds of millions live in desperate poverty, and most people do not vote, with few really believing the founding myths of democracy except as immaterial faith, having seen little proof of their material truth.

For most citizens, supposed democracy operates exactly as nature ; mostly beyond our control. We live the contradiction of a bad system under the control of good people, or at least innocent people, who rarely understand that system. And that is because we are educated not to understand, but to accept.

Most of what we learn, read, see, hear and ultimately think, is a program produced by the private owners of nature, in order to get their subject's agreement to what is done with that nature. In short, what they do to and with us , and our environment.

Growing numbers of global citizens are criticizing this system, and not merely one aspect of its performance, or one villain. We still seem to need individual actors to love and hate, like Clinton, Bush , Gates, Mother Theresa, and other demons and saints. But we are beginning to understand that these actors perform under the direction of something other than mysterious forces, like god or nature.

Once we realize that democracy means people must collectively run their society and not depend or rely on invisible authorities beyond their control, we may be on the way to bringing about a better world for just about everyone. The one we have now bestows immense wealth on some, a fairly decent life on others, and poverty, debt, depression, misery and suffering on most. That enormous gap cannot be excused simply by blaming it on personal greed or an angry god.

The cycle of boom and doom is the cycle of humans under the command of capital. The doom can only be avoided by a democratic movement to control the cycles for the good of all, not just a few. Such a democratic system would mean the end of exclusive private control of political economics, the capitalism which is creating disaster as we allow it to maintain its domination over humanity and the earth.

That disaster will become more deadly the longer it continues. The way to spread economic boom to greater numbers, and avert ecological doom , is to understand that real democracy means the end of the political economics of capitalism. Anything less will continue the present accumulation of happiness and short term riches for some, but sadness and long term deprivation for all .

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