Many readers will find what I suggest here blindingly obvious, and many others will find it difficult to accept. I hope to stimulate critical examination of a system most accept as ‘normal’ and therefore unquestioningly embrace. I’ve no wish to offend, scare or cause anxiety. A few moments of neutral consideration may, perhaps, make it easier to at least consider. The reality is that our financial system is broken and no longer fit for purpose, yet there are people in a position of power who could do something to make it better but don’t. The question is, why?
Modern capitalism is an UNFETTERED system of monetary control that:
- Encourages greed
- Increases wealth inequality
- Inspires envy
- Causes crime
- Feeds addiction to money
- Promotes over-consumption
- Creates waste
- Sponsors unsustainable growth
- Damages the environment
- Profits the unworthy
- Increases gambling
- Dupes the gullible
- Treats poverty as self-inflicted
- Creates elitism
- Encourages false competition
- Produces selfish ambition
- Enables tribalism, leading to racism
- Discourages cooperation
- Precipitates war
- Regularly causes its own collapse
Money evolved as a tool to aid cooperation and replace a crude barter system with something more suited to international exchanges of goods and services. But it’s become our overlord. We’ve created a system under which most are captive and only very few have any control.
For some, money has gained the status of a god. For others it’s become the ‘fix’ for an addiction more powerful than any drug, legal or otherwise. But for most of us it’s become a necessary burden of existence; something we can no longer manage without, even though we recognise it’s lost its original benign purpose and has instead become our prime concern.
At a time when the very world in which we live, the air we breathe, the water we drink, are all polluted to a degree that many living beings, including ourselves, are under serious threat of extinction, we need to examine our relationship with money, and institute a fiscal system that works for all. And we have very little time in which to make this essential change. Without such a redesigned structure, those factors that contribute to our climate emergency – excess, over-consumption, and population growth – will continue, and attempts to stop them will be meaningless.
I don’t pretend to have the answers, which is why I put forward this post. We need to stimulate debate, sponsor ideas for change, encourage creative solutions. There’s much more I could say here, but the priority is to challenge long-held beliefs in a system that fails most of humanity in a spectacular fashion, and to generate discussion leading to positive solutions, before it’s too late.
I’m by no means a lone voice on this issue, by the way. Attitudes to this unjust system have slowly been changing across the world. If you haven’t come across it, and have 20 minutes to spare, this video from a billionaire may prompt you to consider my remarks. And here’s an article that looks at wealth inequality.