Archive for October, 2011

Occupy Wall Street – or what can possibly be behind it all

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Autumn leaves
Yellow buttons

“It is a comprehensive civil rights act”.

An undefined protest is going on – the demands are not specific, there are no big leaders to focus on, but a general sentiment is being put forward – there is unease about how we run our societies.

To speculate and try to sort out the elements –  here goes.

There is a lot of attention given to OWS, and it is growing in numbers of participants. Established politicians are obviously unsure what to do, their voters are expressing undefined discontent.

One element seems to a strong dislike of the democratic processes, as well as critique of the financial domination taking place by a select group of financiers, investors. The world economy is shaking, it is clearly unstable, it all hangs together, there is unrest. We can not have a situation like this.

In many countries there is a divide between the electorate and  the elected politicians as they are professionals acting in complete independence of the people electing them. The concentration of economic power via the interconnectedness of businesses combined with the unrestricted international flow of capital into large scale production units make local economies all over the world shake and shiver. The regulations are not there and they can do whatever they like. The financiers/investors support politicians they like and so make them do or die.

The global financial system is completely open and makes it possible – for the toughest – to wield global power – to outcompete and crush everybody else all over the world. Combined with huge efficiencies – of a kind – the number of jobs will be dramatically reduced as this goes on.

All is done for business reasons, for profit. Society is all about buying and selling, monetizing and profit as the only motive, we put a price on everything. The jobs are increasingly simple and require no skills, and we must have them to survive.

Our culture is one of senseless competition so you must become big and make others submit, even knock them out. Values of sharing, voluntary work, community are out – how come we behave like this? The moral sentiments are not of a high standard.

This process is clearly unsustainable and we will see more problems – joblessness, economic instability, power politics, resource shortages, conflicts, poverty, exclusion, lack of democratic process. What is this? How has it come about?

The clearly visible global economic concentration can lead to power misuse, to forces being unleashed to protect profit. The owners of this capital will be able to resist all changes, as it may lead to less profit. And what a shame that would be.

The next step could be a global economic power, submitting us all to the final countdown of total economic control. Then freedom will go, and who knows what will happen.

The question of a willed process behind all this comes up – is there an agenda of people seeking world power? With present developments there is a real possibility of this happening.

We should clearly start thinking about a change, and the solution is not global control – it is clearly local control – let people control their own destinies, share, have community.

All we see now are possibilities and speculation, but the unrest is warranted – there are many things that should be put right.

At present no one knows what will happen. Let us make sure the future is increasingly about equality, having a say among equals, about sharing, about sustainability.

“It is pure democracy – it is magic”.

What is banking for?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The banking systems of the world need reform. They are so busy trying to make money they forget what they are there for: serving businesses and persons. They keep going bust because they are too greedy, and businesses suffer.

So we say, and sadly there is more than a little grain of truth in it.

The purpose of banks, financiers has become that of making a profit, no longer a helper of trade and business. The business of finance should be to make society work well by making businesses work well.

The American system, the European system and the Chinese system – all very different but displaying some kind of troublesome behavior all of them, again and again. Some banks are even going bust.

Americans have made bad investments, especially in housing and also created products where risks seemed to disappear. The Federal Reserve system is extraordinary as it is doubtful who really controls it. So reform must come.

European banks are now becoming scared and are stopping credit to weak nations – having wrongly assessed risks in many areas.

Chinese banks are controlled by the state and are building their own economy by exporting, leaving the exchange rate low, holding back welfare, building reserves, hurting businesses elsewhere.

In the process of all this banks have failed to make it easy for society to run their daily lives and their little businesses. They have also been very intent on making transaction or agent profit, moving money all over in search of profits. They did not do it for us.

The value creation in society should be the main consideration of banks, not banking or financial profit.

So our financial systems must be rebuilt with a new purpose that is social foremost, fully transparent, having to go broke when need be, small enough to fail, adaptable to the situation, with much less interconnectivity than now.

A bright future is coming up – with changed banks.

The drugstore in your own body

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

On the sea

What can and must we do to heal this patient is the basic question of health care. Scientific medicine or school medicine is what we do here in the West: We take tests, we give drugs, we operate, we change the lifestyle – there are many things that we can do.

But our own body is a fine piece of intelligent machinery – it is constantly healing itself. Our immune system protects against disease by finding and removing pathogens and tumor cells. When we are healthy this system works fine, when get sick some action is taking place that the immune system can not handle or need time to fix. Some people have weak immune systems, others have strong systems. We know that the immune system can be strengthened by positive action like good  and right food, exercise, rest, reducing stress in our lives, etc.

The body produces substances and run processes of many kinds: antimicrobial peptides or defensins, or processes like phagocytosis etc. This is going on all the time with varying intensity.

So the question arises if we can stimulate the immune system methodically and use the body’s own forces to heal people?

We then run into the domain of alternative medicine with healing, homeopathy, even placebo effects.

The Chinese and their TCM use these effects to the full and get results. But in the West these methods are largely ridiculed.

But recent research at SINTEF/NTNU, Norway show for a fact that the mind can stimulate what goes on in your body. We dispense from the outside manmade drugs that are the same as the substances already produced and found in our body to combat sickness, thinking that they will do the trick, which they often do.

But what about changing the approach and try to stimulate the body by mental techniques so that it produces enough of the stuff required?

This is probably mindboggling, and not good for the drug industry, but it has been found to work in many cases. The Chinese say it works very often.

So where do we go from here? Free research of course – we need more of that for a good future. The drugstore of your own body can probably fix a lot of things.

We know that pills seldom work fully as intended – some pills work only 20% of what they are supposed to, some even kill people.

More insight in this area please, and no ridicule when we try to find the right path. Medicine is clearly still very young.

Maybe there is more to be found: What if the body can produce what it needs regardless of what we do, eat – it simply balances out the needs it finds? So that vitamins, healthy foods, exercise and all are not really needed as the body makes up for deficiencies, also so that unhealthy living does not matter that much? (All within reason of course)

Pure speculation, you say? Well then prove me wrong.

Political process – and the voice of the common man

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The governing of societies is increasingly centralized, power is concentrated, there is little room for diversity of solutions, small communities no longer count, there is heavy lobbying of many kinds, there is even talk of a global government.

There is an enormous politicizing of all activity in society. The forces of power that are built are strong, and they act against the individual who will have less and less – soon nothing – to say if developments continue.

Democracy is in danger of collapsing – or has it already collapsed – and we are ruled by the professionals, the investors, the unions, the lobbyists – all the entrenched forces.

So if you have dreams of a society that is tolerant, hassle-free, moves with the times, genuinely participatory …. . Are there people you can talk to about this, is there anybody who cares what you think, what you would like to see happen? Do you feel you have a say?

The state is big and getting bigger, the companies are big and getting bigger, all activity is for profit only, the ruling vision of our society in one called tunnel vision where all you can see is business and profit. This activity is now proceeding largely unchecked. This is not beneficial to humankind, me, you, our small communities, our daily life – outside forces rule us to an alarming extent.

But symbolic participation in the system, acceptance of ever increasing rules, laws, enforcements is becoming obligatory. You start in obligatory kindergarten when you are one year old, through education, work, pension until you die. There are obligations all the way and you must do what society wants you to do. The central element is paying taxes, and when taxes are high – say over 50 % you effectively work for the state – they employ you. The big company you work for is your other employer making a profit from what you do. The lock-in is complete.

To change this into a functioning democracy we must allow all voices to be heard, and the powers that be must be dispersed. We must start to talk about system changes, to adress collective issues, to rebuild our individual independence and participation, to have our community have a say, to make your country truly independent.

The basic technique is to engage in debate, to have forums where it is possible to talk freely, to see to it that ideas are shared, that action taken benefits all. There are many ways to do this – engage adversaries, stakeholders, groups of many kinds, citizens.

We elect politicians, we build elephantine bureaucracies, lobbyists of all kind are allowed to roam, we build a web of laws and rules and regulations and the rest of us are effectively silenced.

What is the true voice of the people – can we find it again? The talking – freely – must start again.

The big problem of economic inequality

Monday, October 17th, 2011

There are increasing signs of an economic divide in the world, especially among individuals, there is a huge top and bottom problem, and the long term effects of this gross inequality is becoming clear: poverty, social disruption and breakdown, distortions of many kinds.

The economic concentrations of companies/investors and states are huge and as much as 99% of us will soon see that 1% of all people of the world will control  practically everything. They have all the property, all the resources, all the money.

This also means that a proper democracy is no longer functioning, the processes of society are definitely no longer democratic. We are ruled by other the few people of higher powers than us, they are the owners of the capital, the companies, the states requiring our money, the closed political parties. The controlled media are part of the system.

It is obvious that this system can not last, the negative factors are too obvious. We are heading for change, maybe breakdown of our economic system.

The economic system we practice has no name and it has no morals, it is unchecked in every way, it lets greed have a free rein. It is truly amazing that we have ended up like this.

The continuation of this economic system will lead to ever greater profits, increasing pressure on resources including fights and even wars, higher prices for everyone in human terms. Nations are preparing for this by building a military presence in all resource rich areas. Increasing efficiency will give fewer and fewer jobs, leading to social catastrophe.

So we must clearly say that we have gone astray – we are off course in a the development of a truly sustainable good world. The good world we want has at its roots decent individual free life  where people can live fairly, where ethical standards are such that we deeply consider the wellbeing of others.

The right way from here has to do with human ethics and strong checks on the economic activity of individuals and the companies they form. The role of an overstrong state should also be checked as there must be limits to what individuals can be told to do.

The global world of investors roaming for financial prey and profit should be stopped forthwith. Economic firewalls should be put up around each country.

The poverty of individuals should be eradicated by making a basic income for all, a society wage drawn from all sources available, and based on considerations of fair sharing in every society. The way to do this has already been drawn up.

New principles of politics must be drawn up, based on wide counselling, wide participation by independent individuals.

Production should be local and small, based on local need, local ownership, local resources.

Individuals should be taught how to live harmoniously, to consider their relation to others, how to be part of a sustainable world.

You say this is naive and will not happen. Wrong again. Thinking along these lines or similar are developing, a growing number of people see what happens, and changes are seen. An economic foundation of harmonious individuals, sharing, consideration of others, the reduction or elimination of ego, a permanent and sustainable way, respect for and adaptation to the great cosmos is surely coming.

The way there is full of trouble and hard work so let us start the work right away. The forces against such a change are powerful.

“Societies of equals” is a tall order of both understanding and practice, but that is what we must have.

The weapons and war idiocy

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

The engineers and designers of the world are working hard in their weapons companies to make equipment to sell to governments so that the investors can have a nice return on their investment, a profit, communities can have jobs, and we can have economic growth.

The governments use the weapons for wars: destruction of property, killing people. To keep this system going we need to make conflicts – even to the extent of dreaming up conflicts from barely nothing.

The taxpayers are paying for these wars as they are deemed necessary by our politicians, we are defending societies, freeing societies, upholding values, even protecting our lifestyle or improving democracy.

The money could clearly be spent better – e.g. schools, health, infrastructure.

Now a new development is becoming substantial, and adding to the planes, rockets, warships we already have. The era of automated remotely controlled weapons are here – remotely controlled planes and flying “things” are used with increasing success.

They come in all sizes from big planes carrying heavy loads of bombs to tiny hightech marvels that can do smart or mostly horrible things with sensors, cameras, sprays, measuring instruments, electromagnetic pulses, laser beams etc.

The US is the driving force in this development, heartily supported by the rest of NATO. The US budget is now a tragic list of numbers that are far too big for comfort, creating doubt about the future of their society in its present form. Military expenditure is about half of taxpayers money, indicating a nation gone wonky.

We surely can develop new weaponry, use our intellect to the full and kill people efficiently and in masses. But what about using this huge intellect for some new thinking making these developments unneeded? We can choose to do that? We are not zombies, are we? What about thinking and spending the money for the good of people, ending wars, use engineers and designers to improve lives, solving conflicts by intelligent negotiation?

You have heard it all before, and it can not be done?

Wrong. Forces against this madness is building, it is just plain stupid to go on like this, it causes all sorts of suffering.

Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is a scary practice that should end now. Let also all future weapons designs rest in peace – the financing has been withdrawn and we do not need them. We can not go on killing because it makes jobs.

Let us first withdraw from all war areas, let us empty the skies, let us fill our heads with new thinking. We must start to find the answer to the great question of why there are wars so the killing can stop. Endless human and material resources are wasted, the suffering is enormous – let us change this.

A living future for all is what we can have.

A good whole life

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Many people feel that their lives should be changed – they want it different. The space for personal initiative is too small, habits and routines are heavy, making enough money is a heavy load, you are tied up in things you must do, there is little real action, no excitement, even too little money, insecure job. Life could be better.

So you must change, and trying to think about the good life, here are some considerations:

  • First you must have money, and paid activity is usually necessary. But it must not be your end all, your everything, as there are many worthwhile things to consider. And too much money is not really required. In work follow what you would love to do, they say. That gives you passion, interest, energy and moves you forward. And avoid big companies as they tend to tie you down, to involve you in bureaucracy, jobs are standardised.
  • You must eat so you must consider growing some food, get some food from close sources, or even take part in procuring food. Most people do not go near growing food themselves, but interest is growing in urban agriculture, small-scale projects, aquaponics in your home, even permaculture in your garden or backyard. This could be both healthy, wise and economical, even challenging and fine as a part of a diversified life.
  • You want to be a creative person, use you creative abilities, see that you can use your abilities, hands, feelings, make things grow from your hands, and using your creative side of the brain. So you must find activity that suits you, that you like to do, that is enjoyable or challenging. The possibilities are endless – it is all your choice. Goldsmithing, making dolls, calligraphy?
  • You must contribute to a better society by looking around, offering your services to needy people, personally or through an organisation, voluntary is good. Near you there will always be people, groups, institutions that need help, so go find out.
  • You must have free time to reflect, and you must educate yourself all the time  so you know what is good, what we know now and what would be good to know. The world is progressing, and there is always new knowledge to be had. See to it that you are active in this area – life will be fun, interesting and rewarding. Writing a blog or a book can also be rewarding in several ways.
  • Fitness is a good thing – and a daily routine is good, variation is good, and need not be heavy or a strain.
  • You must travel to see what others do, tell them what you do, tell them new things, what about travelling at least one month a year – the world is big and very interesting. You can see things, learn things new, even participate in local projects with local people, learn their language perhaps.

If you can manage to be active on all these fronts, life will be fine.

Time spent is another matter: you sleep about 8 hours a day, so you have 16 hours a day to do your living, or  you have about 3 or 4 hours a day for each of these things. That would be a great combination. It is rather radical to say that work for money need not be more than 4 hours a day?

In addition to 3-4 hours of paid work you could do:

  • permaculture or finding out about the new sustainable frontier of agriculture
  • play the flute, do photography or……
  • craftmanship of your choice
  • social work that is useful, an activity that you love to do.
  • free time, what you fancy, socialise, play, think, exercise or whatever – you have 3-4 hours on average every day for that
  • be a local politician in a transparent, sharing and loving society

These activities could also maybe add to your income?

Remember there is no time on or off, everything you do is part of living your life.  You have integrated what you do into a whole, a seamless life that is good. And a good life is superior to any career.

Well,  you should really think about doing it.