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Social Pathology – Z-Day, New York City – April 12, 2010

I have entitled this Social Pathology. I decided to use the metaphor of disease to describe the current state of social affairs and the trends that if foreshadows and perpetuates. I was first introduced to this idea of relating a social state to a cellular state by a man named John McMurtrie who wrote a book called “The Cancer Stage of Capitalism”. The rational is pretty simple, just as human beings have to deal wit pathogens, invading and harmony their life systems, so too does the social system we all share. Of course these societal diseases are not generated by ways of physical germs or the like, rather they come in the form of presupposed principles of preference. These are cultural memes that transfer from one to another based on values, and hence belief systems. These memes, or patterns of perspective and behaviour, are what eventually result from or comprise the cultural manifestations around us, such as the ideas of democracy, republicans, democrats, the American dream etc.

In Chapter 1 we will examine the symptoms, and hence examine the current stage of disease we are in. The in Chapter 2 we will establish a prognosis, meaning – what can we expect from the future if the current pathogenic patterns continue. Then finally in Chapter 3 we will discuss treatment of our current state of sickness, and this is where the concept of a Resource Based Economy all be initially examined. However as an introduction to this, I am first going to describe what I call the invisible prison. This is the closed intellectual feedback system (if you will) that consistently slows, or even stops new socially altering concepts from coming into fruition. It stops Progress.
Let me explain. The social order as we know it is created out of ideas, either directly or as a systemic consequence. In other words , somebody somewhere did something which generated a group interest, which then led to the implementation of a specific social component, either in a physical form, philosophical form, or both. Once a given set of ideas are entrusted by a large enough group of people, it becomes an institution, and once that institution is made dominant in some way, while existing for some time, that institution can then be considered an establishment. Institutional establishments are simply social traditions given the illusion of permanence. In turn, the more established they become, the more cultural influence thy tend to have on us, including our values and hence our identity and perspective. It is not an exaggeration to say that the established institution governing a persons environment is no less than a conditioning platform to program (if you will) that person with a specific set of values required to maintain the establishment. Hence we are going to call these “established value programs”.

I have found the analogy of computer programming to be a great way to frame this point. While there is always a debate about genetics, and environmental influence, (which will be addressed here later on in the program) it is very easy to understand in the context of values, meaning what you think as important or not important, that information influences or conditioning, is coming from the world around you. Make no mistake, every intellectual concept that each one of us finds merit with, is the result of a cultural information influence one way or another. The environment is a self perpetuating programming process, and just like designing a software program for your computer, each human being is advertently and inadvertently programmed int other world view. To continue the analogy, the human brain is a piece of hardware, and the environment around you constitutes the programming team which creates the values and perspective.

Every word you know has been taught to you one way or another and thus every concept and belief you have is the result of the same influence. Jacque Frescoe once asked me “How much of you is you?”. The answer of course is a kind of paradox, for either nothing is me or everything is me where it comes to the information that I understand and act upon. Information is a serial process, meaning that the only way a human being can come up with any idea is through taking in dependant information that allows that idea to be realised. We appear to be culturally programmed from the moment that we come into this world to the moment that we die. (I am not going to drill it in much more than that) However consequently, the cultural attributes we maintain as important values, are most often the ones that are reinforced by the external culture.

The most dominant cultural attributes maintained are the ones that are reinforced by your environment. If you are born into a society that rewards competition over collaboration, then you will most likely adopt those values in order to survive. The point is, that we are essentially bio chemical machines. While he integrity of our machine processing power and emory is contingent in part on genetics, the source of our actions come fundamentally from the ideas and experiences installed o our mental hardware by the world around us. However our biological computer, the human mind, has an evolutionary installed operating system (if you will) with some seemingly difficult tendencies built in, which tends to limit our objectivity, and hence our rational thought process. This comes in the form of emotional inclinations.

I am sure people here have heard the phrase “be objective”. No human being can be fully objective. That is one of the most important things I had learned from Mr. Fresco. Therefore there is a very common propensity for us humans to find something that works for our needs, given the social structure, and then hold on to if for dear life, regardless of new conflicting information which might rationally expect a logical change to occur. Change tends to be feared, for it upsets our associations. By the way, when it comes to maintaining income in a monitory system, you see this propensity in full force, which I will talk a lot more about later.

Therefore, anytime someone tries to present an idea outside or contrary to the establishment programming, the reaction is often a condemning of the idea as blasphemy, undermining, conspiracy, or simply erroneous. For example, in the academic world investigation often becomes confined to self-referring circles of discourse, closed feedback loops, which assume that the foundational basis of their schools of thought are imperial, and only these experts as defined by their established credentials are considered viable authorities, therein often dominating influence over the public opinion.

there is a doctor named Dr Ignaz Semmelweis was physician in the mid 1800s who performed child birth. Through a series of events he realised a pattern, that there was a relationship between the transfer of disease and the fact that the doctors of he day never washed their hands after performing autopsies. The doctors of the day would handle dead bodies in the lower elements of the hospital and they would go up and they would perform child births without washing their hands. So this doctor realising this pattern he started to tell his colleagues about this and suggested they wash their hands before performing any sort of surgery before child birth, especially after handling a dead body. He was laughed at and ignored. He published papers, which were dismissed and ridiculed, and after many years of trying this issue, he was finally committed to a mental institution, where he died. It was many years after his death when Louis Pastor developed the germ theory of disease, that his observations were finally understood, and people realised what a horrible mistake has been made.

in the words of John McMurtrie, professor of philosophy in Canada “in the last dark age, one can research the inquiries of this era’s preserve thinkers, from Augustine to Occam, they fail to discover a single page of criticism of the established framework, however irrationally insupportable, feudal bondage, absolute paternalism, divine right of kings, and the rest may be.” In the current final order, is it so different? Can we see in any media or even university press, a paragraph of clear unmasking of the global regime that condemns a third of all children to malnutrition with more than enough food available? In such an order, thought becomes indistinguishable from propaganda. Only one doctrine is speakable, and a priest asked of its experts, “prescribe the necessities and obligations to all”. Social consciousness is incarcerated within the role of a kind of ceremonial logic operating entirely within the received framework of an exhaustively
prescribed regulatory apparatus protecting the privileges of the privileged. Methodical censorship triumphs in the guise of scholarly rigour, and the only room left for searching thought becomes the game of competing rationalisations.

People tend not to criticise the social order because they are bound within it. We are running a thought program which has been installed on our mental which inherently controls our frame of reference. To use a different analogy, its like they are in a game and the idea of questioning the integrity of the game itself rarely occurs. In fact members of society often become so indoctrinated by there socially acceptable norms, that each persons very meaning is framed by the dominant value systems and the interpretation of new information, is computation of new information, is consciously, or even sub-consciously pre-filtered to be consistent with their prior biases. Now, this basic idea understood, lets hone on a focus, and briefly consider this mind lock phenomenon (if you can call it) in the context of economics, specifically Market economics. Actually a more accurate term at this stage would be economic theology, for, as this presentation will explore, the majority of people not this planet not only have no idea how they are being affected negatively by the market economy at large, they actually on average hold a steadfast commitment to its principals based on nothing more than the traditional indoctrination.

I got an email one that said “If you are against the free market, you are against freedom”. Naturally I stuttered at the state of mind control, that the dominant established orthodoxy has successful imposed. Of course, this is how power is maintained, and has been maintained by the dominant established orthodoxys’ since the beginning of time. And thee trick again is to condition people so thoroughly into the established value systems, that any thought of an alternative is inherently ruled out without critical examination. And to show how deeply pervasive this phenomenon is, you will notice that all the activist organisations in the environmental, social, and political movements of the day always exclude the market itself as a determent of harmful effects. It does not even occur to them. Instead they focus on individuals, certain groups, or corrupt corporations. While it is needed in a per case basis to target problematic areas, it avoids the mechanism which is essentially creating the problem. This is the fatal flaw that is appending in the (so called) activist community today. And, as will be firmly and clearly established over the course of this presentation: The greatest destroyer of ecology, the greatest source of waste and pollution, the great is purveyor of violence, war, crime in humanity, poverty, social distortion, the greatest generator of social and personal neurosis, mental disorders, anxiety, and the greatest source of social paralysis stoping us from moving into new methodologies for global sustainability and hence progress on this planet, is not some government, some legislation, its not some rogue corporation, monopoly, or cartel, its not some flaw of human nature, it is in fact the economic system itself at its very foundation.

The market system, monitory system, free market capitalist structure, whatever you want to call it, is not only the source of some of the greatest social problems we face today, it is also setting us up for what could be termed as the terminal stage of this disease. This is where the pathogenic social value cancer has mutated and multiplied to a point that we are now faced with nothing less than the death or collapse of modern civilisation as we know it.

You ned to understand that I am not a dooms-day theorist, I am not here looking for general knee jerk emotional reactions to say that it is the end of the world. It does not take a genius to see where the trends are going. The trends that the media won’t talk about, and given the pattern of political and economic and environmental negligence and abuse, we are on a collision course, as I ail explain as we continue. Are there any solutions to these problems? Yes there are, but they are so far outside of the status quo
and a threat to those in power both politically and economically, that are just outright dismissed as irrational and absurd, the self-appointed preservers of the status quo won’t even hear it because it is far outside of their frame of reference.

Here is a few examples of some of the things that are currently happening right now, and there are many more, these just popped up in the main stream media. This is where the Zeitgeist movement comes in, and I am sorry to say that we can no longer rely on government institutions to steer us in the right directions. Every government on the planet is locked into an economically orientated social program which is self serving, unsustainable, and destructive in one degree or another. The possibility of a smooth transition into a new enlightened social design which does not have a negative by product, which I am going to talk about, is extremely limited, given the options made available in the current order meaning the legal system. the political system, etc. Likewise we can no longer endure the profit driven ethos of the corporate and financial powers which control all our precious resources on this finite planet. Resources we all need for surveil. Society today is sick and illness permeates all life systems within it, and I see the Zeitgeist Movement as the immune system of the social world.

Part 1 – Diagnosis

Before i begin this analysis of the social condition, we need to first consider the problem of value and culture relativism. People today tend to think that their ideas are equal to others ideas, regardless of supported information. This obsession with opinion has created a frame of reference for so many people today which has no physical reference, where evidence becomes inconvenient, and ultimately people think that everything is equal. You get this argument a lot, I am sure that you have all experienced this. It is a very specific point. Everyone is not equal in their opinion. Its impossible. As quaint and convenient as such a concept might seem.

The ultimate question becomes: what actually deserves belief? What is important to everyone on this planet. How do we maintain our well-being both personally and socially in a sustainable way. What is the indisputable common ground which can all be agreed on in a world of christian, muslim, capitalists, socialists, atheists, anarchists, scientologists, republicans, what can we all agree on? Well, here is one thing that is universal. Being healthy versus being sick. Being healthy is a preferred value preference, you could say. Normal versus pathological states, hence healthy versus diseased states, provide an incontrovertible value basis for all individuals and societies. Virtually all people in al societies, prefer to be alive and healthy. At least last I checked. There is n cultural relativism about wether having good food to eat, staying away from cancer, or having unpolluted ager to drink, is a good value to have.
Therefore, our analysis of society is not going to be based on GDP, consumer price index, the state of the stock market, economic growth, unemployment levels or employment levels, free trade agreements or any other commonly referenced economic attribute used to claim that society is improving or growing. Instead we will look at things that actually matter, such as rates of disease, poverty, social capital, trust, conflicts, corruption, planetary depletion, pollution, murder rates, life expectancy, educational performance, inprisonment rates, drug and alcohol use, mental illness, etc. These are things that actually matter.

So lets begin. Contrary to popular belief evidence now shows that our early human ancestors, which predates the neolithic revolution, really didn’t live in a state of perpetual conflict and extreme scarcity, as many anthropologists had assumed. In fact hunter gatherer societies were in a very unique arrangement amerced in both the restrictive yet self-regulating environmental paradigm. Before the advent of agriculture there was very little control over what was available. You didn’t have agriculture and you could not control the environment. So what happened was that a natural balance was in order, and the societies themselves seemed to reflect this balance by having non-hierarchical, non-competitive, leaderless social structures. In fact it has been found that their value systems were essentially based on equality, altruism and sharing. And they literally forbad up-start-ism, dominance, aggression, and egoism.

We know this today because anthropological research done on remaining hunter gathering societies around the world such as the Pirahã (pronounced pee-da-ha) from Brazil. Amazingly it appears that well over, and it should be noticed that, for anyone who says that the current system is natural, for well over 90% of the existence of the human species, on this planet as we know it we were within social organisations that did not use money, did not use hierarchy, and they even had counter dominance strategies, where the majority would work together to shut down any individual that was trying to gain power or control. This is the reversal of what we have today.

The neolithic revolution changed all of that. It provided human beings with an ability to control their environment more intently. The sustenance of life could be cultivated essentially at will. Now while this advent would appear as a profound benefit to all, it also introduced some pesky social problems as a result of conditioning attributes which we still deal with today. In the view of anthropologist, and professor of neurology at Stanford University, Dr Robert Sapolski, hunter gatherers had thousands of wild sources of food to subsist on. Agriculture changed all of that, generating an overall reliance on a few dozen food sources. Agriculture allowed for the stock piling of surplus resources and thus inevitably, the unequal stockpiling of them, stratification of society and the invention of classes. Thus it has allowed for the invention of poverty. Since this dramatic change in the structure of human society, the creation of imbalances has continued, and social stratification and income inequality are staples of the modern world as we all know. In fact many who are unfamiliar with human history would probably consider these attributes again to be a part of some natural order as it is so pervasive today.

We have gone from food cultivation to commodity bartering, to gold exchange, to metal backed certificate exchange, to fiat currency. We went from a system with values reflective of true natural processes, to a system of values based upon certificates of ownership traded for income on their own, completely decoupled from physical resources. And we have come from a world based on necessity, social drive for preservation and sustainability, to a world based on strategic manipulation, pointless martialism, and an obsess with property and ownership.

In the words of historian philosopher David Hume:
“The first man who, after enclosing a piece of ground, took it into his head to say, this is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. How many crimes, how many wars, how many murderers, how many misfortunes and horrors would that man saved the human species, who pulling up stakes or filling up the ditches should have cried to his fellows: beware of listening to this impostor: you are lost, if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth to nobody.”

Moreover scarcity is now a driving force for commerce. In our system scarcity equals profit. The less there is of something, the the more it can be valued in terms of money. In other words, abundance is a negative thing in a profit system.

In the words of Anthropologist Marshall Sahlins:
“The Market Industrial system institutes scarcity in a manner completely unparalleled and to a degree no where else approximated, where production and distribution are arranged to the behaviour of prices, and all livelihoods depend on getting and spending. Insufficiency of material means becomes the explicit calculable starting point of all economic activity”.

Likewise I would like to point out (as an aside) that the money supply in America at all times has less in value than the outstanding transactions required. In other words there isn’t and never will be in the American money supply (or any other money supplies on the planet) enough money in existence at any one time to cover the outstanding transactions within the economy. Money is created out of debt through loans, and interest is charged for those loans, wether it is government bonds, or a personal home equity loan. If every single debt was called in right now in our economy, there would be an enormous amount of money that it would be literally impossible to pay back in domestic currency This is a central reason why stratification and inequality is literally built into our system.

The inherent scarcity of the money supply itself, imagine that, in this system bankruptcy itself isn’t some regular byproduct that negligent people just happen to stumble into, it is an inevitable built-in attribute. It is a game of musical chairs. I hope that is clear.

In the words of economist Bernard Lietaer:
“Greed and Competition are not the result of immutable human temperament…greed and fear of scarcity are in fact being continuously created and amplified as a direct result of the kind of money we are using…We can produce more than enough food to feed everybody…but there is clearly not enough money to pay for it all. The scarcity is in our national currencies. In fact, the job of the central banks is to create and maintain that currency scarcity. The direct consequence is that we have to fight with each other in order to survive.”

The last sentence really defines so much. The direct consequence is that we have to fight with each other in order to survive. The consequence of these mechanisms is extreme social imbalance, and hence social stratification. With this understood, lets now consider the state of income inequality that is in the world. In 2005 the Jolly quotes of the City Group, and put out a memo to its wealthiest clients in regard to the state of what they called, the plutonomy.

In the opening summery;

The world is dividing into two blocs – the Plutonomy, and the rest.
The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies powered by the wealthy. Plutonomy is defined as a society where the majority of the wealth is controlled of course by an ever shrinking minority, and as such the economic growth of that society becomes dependant not eh fortunes of the wealthy minority and not the rest of the people.

They then go on to ask the question:
What are the drivers of the economy?
They say:
Destructive technology, driven productivity gains, creative financial innovation, capitalist friendly cooperative governments, an international dimension of immigrants and overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation, (slave labour), the rule of law, and patenting of inventions. Often these wealth waves involve great complexity, exploited best by the rich and educated of the time.
The basic point of this document is the understanding that the average consumer is essentially meaningless in the equity markets. The super wealthy trading amongst themselves account for the state of the economy overall. They state, in a plutonomy there is no such animal as the U.S. consumer, or the U.K. consumer, or indeed the Russian consumer. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption that they take. There are the rest, the non-rich, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.

They Continue:
This is why we worry less about the impact of high oil prices on aggregate consumption. Clearly high oil prices are a burden for most parts of our communities, however, without making any moral judgement, income inequality being what it is just makes this group less relevant to the aggregate data. The conclusion, we should worry less about the average consumer, say the 50 percentile, what they are doing, when that consume is, we think, less relevant to the aggregate data, than how the wealthy feel and what they are doing. This is simply a case of mathematics not morality.

(You’ve got to hand it to them for being honest)

Before I go any further, let me clarify a bit. Plutonomy as the City Group documents describe (and these are very long winded documents) is the state of extreme imbalance, so extreme uncertain countries that the investment community has little regard for the average persons consumption habit. I other words a preference mutation has occurred as a result of the financial incentive system where the consumption patterns of the general population become nearly obsolete in the interests of the wealthy, when they the wealthy elite plutonomy can now just trade amongst themselves and forget about the lower classes. In other words, so much money is being moved around between the rich, that the public consumption patterns are nearly irrelevant. This of course makes sense when you think about the methods used to gage health of the economy, which are supposed to be relating to everyone. GDP is basically calculated by how much money people spend, or make on a given good or service. So using the example of net worth, if you have the top 1% controlling 35% of the financial wealth in America, with the next 19% controlling 50%, leaving the bottom 80% with 15%, you have 20% of the American population controlling 85% of the money. That is what City Group had figured out. This very small section of the population is what actually powers everything. What that means is that the financial system has little incentive inherently to care about the actions or wellbeing essentially of 80% of the public. And since we all know that the financial system is the most powerful influence on most governments in the world especially, the U.S.Government, you begin to see that the only concern the ruling class has with regard to the majority of the population, is merely to keep us complacent enough so a backlash does not occur.

I am not projecting this, City Group makes us very aware of this explicitly when thy state: We see the biggest threat to plutonomy as coming from a rise in political demands to reduce income inequality, spread the wealth more evenly and challenge forces such as globalisation, which had benefited profit and wealth growth. (But don’t worry, they are not too concerned) Our conclusion: The three levers, Governments and societies could pull on to end plutonomy are benign. Property rights are generally in tact, taxation policies neutral to favourable, and globalisation is keeping the supply of labour in surplus, acting as break on wage inflation.

They summarise:
The heart of our plutonomy thesis that the rich are the dominant source of income wealth and demand in plutonomy countries, such as the US, UK, Canada and Australia, countries that have an economically liberal approach to wealth creation, we believe the actions of the rich and the proportion of rich people in an economy helps explain many of the nasty conundrums and fears that have vexed our equity clients recently. Such as global imbalance or why high oil prices haven’t destroyed demand. Plutonomy, we think, explains these problems away, and tells us not to worry about them. Secondly, we believe the rich are going to keep getting richer in coming years as capitalists (the rich) get an even bigger share of GDP as a result principally of globalisation. We expect the global pool of labour in developing economies to keep wage inflate in check and profit margins rising, good for the wealth of capitalists and relatively bad for developed market unskilled, out-sourceable labour. This bodes well for companies selling to or servicing the rich.

I hope this settles in what people at the top are really thinking about, behind the financial system. And they are likely right, the rich are going to get richer. The current economic decline that we are in now really doesn’t mean anything to the top 20%. It is the 80% that continue to suffer. But who cares, evidently the top 20% power the economy anyway, and I a not going to go into what this means in terms of the naive assumptions of democracy in the modern world. In fact, in the words of Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis: “We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both”

Now I bring all this up as an introduction of what we are going to talk about in regards to Social Health. Coupled with this, however, I think a few statistics should be digested. In 2007 Chief Executives of the largest U.S. companies received well over 500 times the pay of the average employee. In many of these top companies the chief executive is paid more in one day than the average worker makes in one year. The Walmart family which, is about 6 people, the Waltons, have it is estimated a combined fortune of about 90 billion dollars in 2009 According to the latest edition of the Forbes 400. The combined wealth of the lower 40% of the U.S. population is only 95 billion. Also, the highest paid jobs on the planet are in the fields of trading and investment, occupations which have no meaning what-so-ever. They create nothing. They are pointless to the state of society and the natural world. In 2005, the average annual take home pay for managers in the top 26 hedge funds (aka gambling casinos) was 365 million dollars each. Compare that to the average medical doctor, which makes about $150.000 a year, and the biological research scientist, which are looking for cures and treatments for diseases, which makes only $68,000. You get the point. Income inequality is here, it is growing, and it appears unstoppable she you look at the mechanisms of the financial markets and the culturally accepted reality of tremendous wage differentials among different fields.

So now, we present the question, What does this mean to our health, to our welfare?

Groundbreaking research by Richard Wilkinson, and Kate Picket of the U.K. in the area of social inequalities in health and the social detriments of health, has given us some profound realisations about what it means to have a society based, and driven by, equality. To summarise this ground breaking research, the common view that social problems are caused directly by singular material conditions such as bad housing, poor diets, or lack of educational opportunities and so on, is being overturned. The idea that more wealthy societies do better than poorer societies in regard to health in general, is not the case. The social problems abundant in rich, highly stratified countries are largely caused by the scale of material difference between people in society itself. The problem is not absolute income, but rather the problem of relative income.

If you compare groups of people with the same income in different countries, you find that those in more unequal countries do much worse than those in more equal countries with the same income. It appears to be a psycho-social phenomenon. Inequality seems to make countries socially dysfunctional. And as based on measures of societal health, crime rates and wellbeing, it is safe to say, you will see me point out, that really our current structure is nothing more than a social failure.

Life Expectancy:

On this chart, we see a specific set of wealthy countries, the y-axis is life expectancy, and the x-axes is income inequality going from left to right, low to high. Life expectance, bottom to top low to high. As you can see in this, Japan, has the lowest amount of income inequality, and with staggeringly high life expectancy. While Singapore, trumping the U.S., in this particular set of countries analysed, (which is mostly wealthy countries) ha stye greatest income inequality, and the regression line in the middle shows clearly how the patterns moving from lower inequality to greater inequality reduces the life expectancy of all of tees countries.

Drug use:

We see the U.S. as having the highest level of inequality based on the sample set, while also being within the top four of countries with the most illegal drug use. U.S., N..Z. Australia, and the U.K. While in the lower echelon you have Japan, Sweden and Finland, Greece, which have the least inequality, and the least drug use It is the trends that are important here. You can see the clear regression line.

I want to expand on this particular one, the reasoning for this, there was a study done, in 2002 with makaken monkeys. In this study 20 monkeys were observed and analysed in regard to social hierarchy that developed i different circumstances. Noting which animals were dominant and which were subordinate. The result was that the monkeys that had become dominant had more dopamine activity in their brain, than the had exhibited before they became dominant. While the monkeys that became subordinate showed very little changes in their brain chemistry. In turn, after teaching the monkeys haw to administer cocane to themselves through levers, it was found that the subordinate monkeys took i much more cocane than the dominant monkeys. In other words, it is a srt of self-medication.

Mental illness.

Mental illness is much more common in more unequal countries. Once again we have U.S. at the peak of mental illness, and we have Japan at the lowest echelon. As you can see from tho chart, mental illness and inequality are very much correlated. A quick glance at SSRI anti-depressant drugs visits to doctors offices. Among adults 18 years and older in the U.S. from 1995 to 2002, show a clear trend of growing dependencies on anti-depressants. The most common types of disorders are anxiety and depression. A psychologist by the name of Gene Twinge, did an interesting study which proved that Americans are much more anxious than they used to be. A survey of college students fro 1052 to 1992 across 52 thousand students found that students today were more anxious than 85% of the population at the beginning of the study (1952). By the late 1080’s the average American child was more anxious than the child psychiatric patients of the 1950’s. As far as depression, a study called “time trends in adolescent mental health” found that in Britton, depression among people in their mid 20’s was found to be twice as common in a study of 10,000 or so people in 1970, than it was in 1958. It was also found that in general, psycho-social disorders affecting young people have risen substantially over the past 50 years. In Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain, one in ten are deemed mentally ill in a year. In the U.K. it is one in five, and in the U.S. it is one in four. Across entire populations, rates of a mental illness are five times greater in the most unequal countries compared to the least unequal countries.

Now you may say “what about genetics?” Richard Wilkinson sums it up very well.
“Although mental illness can be affected by changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, nobody has shown that these are the causes of depression, rather than changes caused by depression. Although some genetic venerability may underlie some mental illness, this cannot by itself explain the huge rise in illness in recent decades, our genes cannot change that fast.”

Now lets move on to the idea of trust. This is social capital.

Social capital is defined as an attitude, spirit, or willingness of people to engage in collective civic activities. Hence there is a strong trust relationship. As you can see in the chart, those that feel that they can trust one another are much more common, naturally, in societies that have less inequality. This is of course beyond obvious, as I am sure many would agree. Naturally with greater inequality, people are less caring of one another. In fact mistrust and inequality, I think, reinforce each other. Now, this point is probably for a one hour lecture in itself. What is a society if people cannot trust each other. It is important to realise that the idea of friendship and the notions that couple with friendship, which is a quality of trust, is a characteristic completely opposed to the competition mentality, and the economic theories of self interest that we set today. Empathy, reciprocation, and cooperation equates to good health. While suspicion fights competition always equates the high levels of stress and hence destruction. As we will talk about in a send, stress is one of the deadliest that we know of. It is a secret killer. And living in a society where you have to look over your shoulder, and when you have to fight for everything that you have, or you have to question every transaction given the initial assumption that the person might be trying to pull one over on you, for your own betterment. The fact of the matter is that we thrive socially on trust in cooperation provably by health standards. And social structures that create relationships based upon inequality, inferiority, and social exclusion are inflicted with the greatest deal of social psin and neurosis.

Educational scores:

This one is very interesting. Not only do unequal countries have worse education attainment, but kids are more likely to drop out of school as well. Interestingly class distinctions and their affect have become very obvious in this regard. For example a study was done in 2004 where they took 321 high cast Indian boys, and put them with 321 and put them with 321 low cast Indian boys, and they were given a task to solve a certain problem. The first time they did this the cast relationship for social status was not announced to these children. They had no idea who as around them. You can see that, unannounced, the low cast actually beat the high cast. The second time they did it, the results were dramatically skewed, as the lower cast did much worse than before, while the higher cast did better . This is psychological. It is a psycho-social inferiority-superiority relationship that has been repeated in many times and many cases, and through other studies with exactly the same consequences. People are greatly effected by their perceived status in society. When we expect to be viewed as inferior, very often e perform as such.

Homicide rates:

As you can see, the U.S. blows everything out of the water she it comes to homicide rates. And obviously if you look at the regression trend, homicide rates are naturally more common in unequal societies. In fact violence itself, is probably the most established attribute of social inequality over any of the things that we are talking about in these examples. James Gilligan, who has been a prison psychologist for 25 years, and he is currently director for the centre for study for violence at Harvard University, has this to say about his experience dealing with violent criminals to the extent and length that he has.

“The prison inmates that I work with have told me repeatedly when i ask them why they have assaulted someone, that it was because he disrespected them. Disrespect is central to the vocabulary moral value system and psycho-dynamics of these chronically violent men. I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed and humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed, and diid not represent an attempt to prevent or undo this loss of face, no matter how severe the punishment. For we misunderstand these men at our peril if we do not realise that they mean it literally when they say they would rather kill or mutilate other people, or be killed, than live wilt out pride, dignity and self-respect. They literally prefer death to dishonour.”

It is really easy to see how class relationships and income inequality can translate into feelings of humiliation, loss of control, disrespect and ridicule. When someone looses their job, it is often demoralising (they say my husband is unemployed – and its is demoralising to be unemployed). After all, the very nature of class is hierarchical. In other words the upper class really looks down on the lower class historically speaking, and to be looked down upon is essentially inevitable. Therefore it should it should be no surprise why the U.S. should have the largest number of homicides in the world, given its extreme income inequality.

This leads us to rates of emprisonment:

The trend is very acute as well. Obviously as we can see in emprisonment rates are much higher in unequal countries, the more the unequal the country the more people in prison. However what is interesting about the reality is that it doesn’t just relate to rates of crime which of course is more prevalent in unequal societies, but it also has to do with the punitive attitude toward the (so called) criminal elements of society. In other words, the more unequal the society, the harsher the punishments are for a give offence. And hence more people are put into prison for longed periods of time, than they are in more equal countries. Since 1984 the state of California has built one new school and 20 new prisons. As an aside, for those out there who think the prise system might serve some therapeutic rehabilitation role in he modification of human behaviour, I would like to refer back to our prison psychiatrist, James Gilligan for his perspective. He states:

“The most effective way to turn a non-violent person into a violent one is to send hi to prison. The criminal justice, and penal systems have been operating under a huge mistake, namely the belief that punishment will deter, prevent, or inhibit violence when in fact it is the most powerful stimulant of violence we have yet discovered.”

Now, here is a very interesting one, Social Mobility:

Social mobility has to do with the class relationship that you have upon your birth and how easy it is for you to move up out of a lower than that class during your life. in other words, if you are born into poverty, how mclauch of a possibility do you have to become wealthy. Well, as you can see by this chart, the U.S., home of the American dream, has the lowest mobility rate of all the countries in the sample set. There are very high odds that if you were boor into poverty, you will stay in poverty. Likewise if you are born into great wealth, you will stay wealthy for the rest of your life. If you think about it, it is really a form of class segregation. The reality can be blamed in part on the very mechanism of our financial system, which keeps the lower classes poor and the upper classes rich deliberately. As a quick example of this, as I have stated before but I think it is a good example, if you have one million dollars and you put it into a CV at 5% interest you are going to generate $50,000 a year simply of that deposit. You are making money off of money itself, paper made on paper, nothing more, no invention, no contribution to society, nothing. That being denoted if you are a lower to middle class person, who is limited in funds, who must get an interest based loan like most people to buy their home, or use credit cards, then you are paying interest to the bank, which the bank is then using (in theory) to pay the person’s 5% CV.

Not only this equation offensive due to the use of interest to steal from the poor and give to the rich, it also perpetuates class stratification by tis very design, keeping the lower classes poor under the constant bounden of debt while keeping the upper classes rich with the means to turn excess money magically into more money with zero labour or resources contribution. This is only one mechanism, by the way, which is used to make sure that these class attribites or class segregation is maintained.

Infant Immortality:
More high in unequal countries than less equal countries.
Naturally, higher in more unequal countries.
Birth Rates:
Higher in more unequal countries.
this one is a slap in the fact of all those party line totting market enthusiasts who sen to think that a competitive based incentive system of seeking profit translates into new innovations for the common good. Sorry to say, that isn’t the case what-so-ever. Using a method of patents per million, Finland, Sweden, and Ireland trump the U.S. when it comes to inventions.

Finally, lets take a look at an aggregate summation that was compiled of the main points we have just examined. This charr shows life expectancy, math literacy, infant mortality, homicide, imprisonment, teenage births, trust, obesity, mental illness, drugs, alcohol use and social mobility. As we can see, in the U.S., the highest level of stratification, we ae the absolute worst. And just to make sue you understand this analysis clearly, here is a chart showing absolute income of the same thing that you just saw. As you can tell, there is no pattern. There is no trend regression line. Here they are side by side, you can see how viable this information really is. The trend is very clear about the ramification of inequality in a given country.

As a final point on this topic of inequality and its consequences, I want to bring up a study called the Whitehall study, which was in two rounds, one and two, with a stretch of about seventy years. Professor Michael Longhunt, of the department of epidemiology and public health at the University college of public Health of London, was the director of these studies. He used the British civil service system as the subject group, and they found that there is a gradient of health quality industrialised societies which is not simply a matter of poor health for the disadvantaged, and good health for everybody else. Something sals was happening. Remember the is the U.K. which has socialised health care. So every one essentially has equal access to the same amount of health care.They found, regardless of this, there was a social distribution of disease as you went from the top of the socio economic ladder to the bottom. And the types of the diseases that people would get would change on average. For example, the lowest rungs of hierarchy, of the hierarchy, had a fourfold increase of heart disease based mortality, compared to the highest rungs.

And this pattern was to a certain degree again irrespective of access to health care. his is just one example, by the way. There is a gradient of health problems that emerge that cannot be explained by absolute income. In fact it goes back tho the stress response. Even in a country with universal health care, the worse a persons financial status and position in the hierarchy, the worse their health is going to be on average. In other words, people in higher socio economic positions, those higher on the pyramid live longer have better health and suffer less from disability. While those of lower socio-economic status die younger and suffer the greater burden of disability and disease. It comes in the form again as a gradient, meaning that in the upper higher class strait down to the lower class and bottom class, each successive step down, or up the socio-economic ladder constitutes a respected quality change in the person’s health. The bottom line is that the is a great deal of statical data that screams that living in a more equal society is more healthy and productive for about 99.9% of the population. It is only those at the very tip of the pyramid that could be considered unaffected by the disease know as social inequality. Equality benefits everyone in other words.

Give this reality it begs the question, what is the actual psycho-social cause of these issues. What are the most dominant social mechanisms in place that continually support class division and the neurosis and sickness it generates. One does not to look very far for a viable possibility. The cultural programming wing of the market system is the advertising industry, which serves to perpetuate the consumption values that you see around you. However it goes much deeper than that. It goes much deeper than just getting people to buy things for a specific company’s profit. The fact is, that the values, materialism and consumption, are of dire importance to the operation of the world economy.

Without those values, the system would falter, let me explain why: At the core of the economy as we know it lyes the unalterable requirement for constant, perpetual cyclical consumption. in other words the entire basis of what we describe as economic growth, which in turn is translated into things such as gross domestic product, which are supposed to be measures of social progress, and the like, is nothing more than human beings constantly and perpetually buying an selling over and over and over again. If human beings do not buy things, companies or stores cannot afford to pay their employees. If an employee cannot be paid, then that employee which is also the consumer cannot go out and spend the money that they receive from employment back into the system to perpetuate the cycle. If people do not constantly spend their money the entire economic structure, including the entire labour system, would completely collapse. Given this reality, the highest priority of any corporation, or in fact, any government, that cares about its economy, is to make sure the public has an immediate interest to constantly consume.

It is interesting to point out that America was originally founded on a certain degree of a protestant work ethic, a protestant world view, where thrift and savings were actually dominant values back then. Since that time an advertising agency had to switch their arguments from utility orientated angles to those engaged in promotional appeal and status enhancement. Americans now consume twice as much as they did at the end of world war two. As an historical note, when the leading figures in this American values hijack (as I would call it) is a man known as Edward Bernays, who is most famous for his book “Propaganda”, (which was bought by many people, including Joseph Gurbles), he was hired by all the major corporations, many many decades ago, to help influence the public into buying things that they simply dod not need. A new world of neurotic associations, such as materialism and conspicuous consumption (to quote Thorstein Veblen ) was unleashed. During this time it has grown and mutated dramatically.

Today, human needs have become utterly perverted by the imposed suggested want generated by the consumption provoking mechanism of marketing and advertising. The more dissatisfied and unhappy a population is, the better it is for advertising agencies and corporations. Consumerism feeds on a form of inferiority and self-consciousness. That translates very literally into identity and social status. Amazingly the indoctrinate is so powerful that consumerism is regarded by society as reflecting some kind of basic human interest, as though it is a reflection of human nature. This of course is baseless. In fact our neurotic need to shop and consume, is actually a reflection of how deeply social we are, and how influenced we are by the social programming and status orientation of possessions, appearances, and everything else that has been pushed upon us.

On this note I am now going to begin a transition into the next section of the presentation, and to bridge that I want to make a point that not only does the status generated consumption patterns of most of the public, especially in America, cause a great deal of stress, leading in part to many of the problems that we have just analysed, the propensity for constant cyclical consumption, which again is required for the entire world economy to function, is also outlying trends which show a clear path to severe environmental problems and the continual breakdown of civilisation as we know it, as we destroy all of our natural resources through this idiotic act of conspicuous consumption to fuel GDP.

Part Two – Prognosis

The prior points made about the wellbeing and quality of life issues associated with social imbalance is a big issue. However to be fair, just because there is a propensity for an overweight, violent, diseased, mentally disturbed, selfish, untrusting, literate population, does not necessarily translate into the consequence of social collapse, as we are beginning to see. So we are going to move on, putting the basic wellbeing of humanity aside for a moment, and focus on the mechanisms of the social system itself and the larger order problems that are being generated.

One of the most critical things to understand, this without a shadow of doubt proves the unattainable nature of our current social system, and how it is on a collision course with nature, is this: Due to the way money and the market system functions, we are locked into an incompatible paradigm, where two mutually exclusive operating principles, 1. the need for constant consumption, or infinite growth, collides with an unyielding finite planet, and hence the physical laws of nature. You simply cannot have an infinite growth of commerce, and hence consumption in a closed system such as the planet earth. While all those who do not fully understand this, let me explain more.

The planet earth is basically a closed system when it comes to its resources. All the minerals and energy deposits that we currently use have rates of cultivation that dramatically exceed the life span of the average human being. For example oil and fossil fuels in general took over 100 million years easy fro them to come about. The same goes for mineral resources, the 400,400 mineral species out there today took outrageous amounts of time to be created. The diamonds that we find today took over 3 billion years to be created. Now, given this environmental reality, it would seem painfully obvious, that the most important aspect of any earthly society would be the preservation of the earth’s resources, right?

It would seem the fact that the entire basis of any economic structure would have as the number one priority, he preservation of the resources of the planet. Why? Because once it is gone, it is gone. For example even at this stage of scientific inquiry, we can not take a tyre, which probably contains 6 or 7 gallons of oil, and convert i back into combustible fuel. So instead of having a logical system of resource management, where we actually monitor the earths resources, and try as the human species to strategically orient our use of these precious fine elements, we came up with something much more interesting. And it sis called the infinite growth paradigm. In our current system, we grab as many resources as we can, we throw them into anything that we think someone will buy, and we try to manipulate each other, into buying these things to make a profit. In fact the very basis of the free market ideology is using and exchanging as many resources as possible as fast as possible, to generate as much money as possible, which in turn is used to exploit more resources over and over again.

We have created a money and profit driven structure which consists of a circular exchange protocol (if you will) where money must move from the consumer, to the employer, to the employee, which is the consumer again, and the only way (again) to sustain this pattern to keep people employed, the only way to keep people eating, the only way to keep GDP up, the only way to keep the stock market up, is through the mandate that goods and services, comprised (again) of our finite resources and energy are constantly and perpetually used and sold at infinitum irregardless of purpose, utility, or respect for what we actually have. I could not come up with a more destructive manner for organising society. And the sad thing is, that people don’t see this whatsoever. They have been conditioned into ideologies. Capitalism, communism, socialism, well, guess what, any social ideology, specifically economic, which does not directly relate to the resources of the planet in its doctrine explicitly, meaning the attributes that would actually sustain our lives, is an inapplicable and thus irrelevant social ideology.

Case in point: Oil and Fossil Fuels

We live in a hydro-carbon economy. Our entire economic structure, meaning production, distribution, food cultivation, transportation, etc. is entirely based on energy from fossil fuels. There are 10 calories of hydro-carbon energy in every one calorie of food currently consumed in the industrialised world. This is N. King Hubberd, a geologist and technocrat. N. King Hubberd predicted in the late 1940’s that the U.S. would peak in it’s oil production in 1970. Of course he was ridiculed, laughed at, and scorned by the scientific establishment, and unfortunately he was right. The U.S. did peak in the 1970’s. In fact some studies now show that global oil discoveries had likely peaked around the same time. The exact date is debatable, but it doesn’t change anything. Now before I go any further I know that some of you out there are saying “how do we know that these statistics are accurate?” How do we know that a the research institutions are unaware of existing oil supplies that go undiscovered. And how do we know of the oil cooperations themselves, which contain the data are not lying to simply boost their profits. Well these are good questions, but there is no question about the decline in the U.S. we do import over 70% of our oil now, and as far as the global peak, all you have to do is look at the drilling patterns of the major corporations to see that almost every major oil company is desperate to find new oil reserves and they have gone almost everywhere legally possible to do so. The oil on this planet, which took 100 million years to generate, regardless what you believe about depletion rates, is going to run out one way or another. It is an unsustainable practice, and that is without even going into all the dangers associated with burning fossil fuels in regards to its environmental effects, whoch we are all hearing about today.

As an aside, it is not at all irrational, or hasty, to consider that the peak oil issue just might have something with the fact that the U.S. which consumes 25% of the worlds energy while only having 25% of the population has the largest military bases in history situated in the Middle East with no evidence whosoever of leaving this region. Obama has already stated that he is going to leave 50,000 groups in the Middle East indefinitely. This is the guy that got a Nobel Peace Prize. As we continue in the Middle East to probe and agitate countries which contain (guess what) the majority of the remaining recoverable oil on this planet, such as Iran. Give it some thought. And if you take for a moment to consider that peak oil and its relationship with the economic system in geopolitics might be relevant to U.S. involvement in the Middle East, you tend to find that the world starts to make a lot more sense.

In the words of N. Kink Hubberd,
“we are in a crisis of human society, its unique to both human and geological history, it has never happened before and it and it can’t possibly happen again. You can only use oil once. Soon all the oil is going to be burned, all the metals mined and scattered. This is obviously a scenario of catastrophe, but we have the technology. All we have to do is completely overhaul our culture, and find an alternative to money. We are not starting from zero. We have an enormous amount of existing technical knowledge, it is just a matter of putting it all together. A non-catastrophic solute is impossible unless the society is made stable. This means abandoning two axioms of our culture: the current work ethic and the idea that growth is a normal state of life.”

He continues in a paper he wrote in 1981 called two intellectual systems, matter, energy and the monitory culture. Hubberd writes:
“The worlds present industrial is handicapped by the coexistence of two universal overlapping and incompatible intellectual systems. The accumulated knowledge of the last four centuries of the properties and interrelationship with matter and energy, and the associated monitory culture which has evolved from folkways of prehistoric origin. You simply cannot have a society operate based on this necessity for constant growth to maintain harmonic stability. We have at our disposal a tremendous number of alternate energies. An infrastructure possibilities and sophisticated manners of implementation which would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels dramatically, paving the way to road to have zero reliance on hydro-carbons at all. Unfortunately you are not going too see this anytime soon, for the economic paradigm we live in sets another serious problem that we need too address, and I simply call this – establishment paralysis.”

Given our tremendous reliance on hydro-carbons energy at this stage of human evolution, people when hearing about the obvious problem of depletion naively brush it off under the assumption that the establishment is actually preparing for a transition out of our dependancy on hydro-carbon. Or better yet, that the establishment can actually afford to create a transition. In order to understand the difficulty of moving out of our current established energy paradigm, we must first realise that from a financial standpoint there is very little motivation to move into a new system. This is the very nature of an established institution in the monitory system. The fact of the matter is, an exorbitant amount of money (I know this will sound strange to many of you) an exorbitant amount of money is going to be made on the scarcity of energy, and in fact on the collapse of society itself Our economic system is predicated upon making money on the way up and making money on the way down. Those in power referencing back to that city group document (I talked about) have a propensity to care more about the short term, short sighted, financial benefits of running out of energy, than they care about the pivotal life supporting attributes that it provides.

If you look back at history,you see that the concern over depleting fossil fuels has been talked about for a long time, and many scientists int he 60s and 70s felt that by the year 2000, we would have a entirely energy infrastructure. Why didn’t that happen? Why is it that the Regan administration ripped off the solar panels from the White House that Jimmy Carter had installed? Why is it that the U.S. government sided with big oil so that the electric car would be squashed in the U.S.? The answer, of course, is that our profit based system sets up a natural defensive propensity to stop anything if those changes find the prior establishment to be obsolete.

This is likely the most caustic attribute of our current situation. The knee-jerk propensity to stop productive change for the sake of preserving market share and profit for select groups. Think about it. If you start a company, you hire employees, you generate income. What have you done, you have created an institution, which yourself and your coworkers rely on for their income and hence their survival. Therefore, you will do what you need to protect yourself in any life sustaining company. It is providing for your standard of living. In other words, there is a built in short sightedness. And this survival element, which is only operational in our own profit orientated system is what is stopping needed change from coming to pass. I could ramble off many examples of new advents that have been pushed to the side because they are either too efficient or too sustainable for the market system to absorb, or simply money can’t be made continually off them, you can’t perpetuate the system, or it puts an industry out of work. It puts people out of work. There is a human element to this, so there is a natural attribute, where people say “well this is better for society, but i need to make money now, I can’t think about the transition, so lets just push this aside for now.” That is what is happening over and over and over and over again. It is not that they are bad people, or anything like that. This is what this system has created simultaneously.

Lets remember the market system requires constant problems. In order for the public interest in consumption to be maintained, problems, and cultural influence is required. The more problems there are the better the economy generally speaking. In tis system it is good for cars to break down, it is good for people to get cancer, it is good for computers to become quickly obsolete. Why? More money. To put it into a sentence, change, abundance, sustainability and efficiency are the enemies of the profit structure. Progressive advancements in science and technology which can resolve problems of inefficiency once for all are in effect, making the prior establishment servicing of those problems obsolete. Therefore in a monitory system corporations are not just in competition with other corporations they are actually in competition with progress itself. This is why it is so difficult to have any form of change in a monitory system. You simply cannot have a social convention where money is made of of inefficiency, scarcity and misery and expect a quick incorporation of new advents that can relieve these problems.

With that understood lets get back to the energy problem. The final issue I would like to point out is: apart from the fact that there is a lot of money to be made by the select few as the majority suffers; apart from the fact that energy institutions have little motivation to forge their profitability to alter societies energy mediums is the very harsh reality that due to the outstanding debts globally right now; I think as we all know, the earth is essentially bankrupt, as hilarious as that is, there is not likely to be enough money to change anything. I want everyone to think about this very carefully. As exciting as the potentials are for renewable energy, the field of solar, geothermal, tidal wave and the like, potentials that have documented thoroughly that will far exceed the global energy consumption by thousands of percent, we still have the serious problem in our current structure of financing the infrastructure to make this transition. How do we transition into a new infrastructure, when every single government on this planet, every country owes money to someone else. Where there is seen a systemic breakdown of bankruptcy starting in Europe, where in the U.S. it is just a matter of time. Given the current state of affairs and the urgency of renovations especially of peak oil, how can we possibly afford to make a transition to these renewable energies, before the scarcity of oil begins to shut down due to excessive soil prices because of supply and demand.

One stud by a leading expert in Sweden predicts by 2030 the world will be using 10 barrels of oil for every new barrel discovered or extracted. that is not rely that far away. So how can we expect the U.S. with over 12 trillion dollars worth of debt, barely able to cover its interest payments to other governments. With state bankruptcies occurring, near depression levels of unemployment, cutting social programs, we are already selling off infrastructure to foreign countries. How can we expect to afford to move into an new infrastructure? I am using energy as a singular example, there is many examples of problems that we have to deal with. In 2008, the executive director of the inter national energy agency stated that it would take $22 trillion in investment to update the global supply infrastructure by 2030. $22 trillion!! Where is that money going to come from. Do you think we are just going to get away with randomly printing more and more money in the central banks and expect no inflationary repercussions or debt collapse repercussions. Remember, all money comes int existence from loans. There has to be an initiator. Every single dollar in your wallets is owed to someone by somebody. And this again, leads us into the heart of the disease. The economic monitory base system, or the Game (as I like to call it) – because that is all it is, that is all it ever was – and we can change the game anytime we want – we just need to convince those who are winning the game to put down their pieces for a moment, and ask themselves if the game they are playing is really going to reward them in the long run.

In a report coming out of the AFP, there is growing evidence that the current rate of our resource exploitation indeed has a time frame. The report states, as it is humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one and a half earths to meet its needs, said the global footprint network and international thinktank, we are demanding nature’s services using resources and creating CO2 emissions at a rate 44% faster than nature can regenerate and reabsorb. This means that it take the earth just under18 moths to produce the ecological services of mans needs in one year. Humankind continues to use natural resources and produce waste at its current rates we will require the resources of two planets to meet our needs by the early 2030s. A glutenous level of ecological spending, in their terminology, that may cause major ecosystem collapse the report said.
I want to point out that people hear that and they have a Malthusian notion. They think that our consumption patterns are somehow inherent, and they are to going to change. I read a statistic lately and for my new film I am going to do a huge section on waste attributes of certain industries, and what I have come to find is that of all the production that is done on average 75% is waste. Of all the materials that are created and put into circulation and taken out, 90% of those end up in landfills, I believe within 6 months. This isn’t about some natural human thing that we are doing, this is about the social systems obsession with constantly consuming for the sake of economic growth.

In an analysis done by the I.R.R.C., by 2025 it is predicted that 2/3 of the world will experience water scarcity. Many seemingly wealthy countries are already turning to desalinisation processes. In turn, over one billion people are starving on this planet. Do you, with everything that we have discussed, think that any of these things are going to get better, given our current financial crisis. And again in case you haven’t figured it out, the problems of water scarcity, and food scarcity are indeed 100% economic. There are many types of desalination processes which can take salt water, and convert it into clean water in all of these poor countries, but guess what, no one has any money to implement any of these types of solutions in poor countries. The same goes for food. We have arrived at a point where scientific invention that we don’t even need arable land any more. (which, by the way, is eroding at a rate of about one inch a year – due to the abuse of agricultural methods that are being utilised) Please note it takes about 500 years for fresh top soil to emerge.

Hydroponics and Aeroponics alone if applied correctly could provide for all the worlds people without the wasted water resources in part, and the excessive need for nitrogen based fertilisers. In fact, you could build these facilities on the land that is depleted in stories. You could have skyscrapers (if you will) of organic food production on an industrial level. But once again, who has the money to do that? I am extremely enraged and on a sad note, the more we experience the social breakdown, the more human exploitation, crime and abuse will occur. While here in America we think slavery was abolished many decades ago, the fact is, there are now more slaves in the world than i any time in human history, given the definition of slavery. However this time it does not come in the form of owning people, it is simply the globalisation attribute of exploitation for cheap labour.

I am going to stop here, as far as talking about the negative attributes inherent in our system, along with the ongoing social collapse, which by the way, I personally can’t sees an end to for a very long time, if at all frankly. until we move into something more sustainable. The personal and private debts, for example, are so high right now, that it is going to take a number of bubbles to burst before any type of stability is going to occur. Before I go on the the final section of this talk, which is essentially an introduction to the Venus Project and the Resource Based Economy, let me summarise by saying that the monitory paradigm economic structure as we know it is (again) the basic systemic source of the majority of the worlds problems we have around us. In this system, if this cancer is allowed to grow unabated spreading its malignant propensities across the globe, utterly decoupling from the natural word and the carrying capacity of the earth, destroying the finite resources we all share, we are on pace with nothing less than something than no-one can even consider of a collapse. I am not taking of waking up one day and there is nothing anywhere. It is not like that. It is slowly it erodes to a point where the values and the culture and the awareness becomes so distraught and so confused that the levels of qualities of life become justified, where you start to accept less and less, and it is going to slow everything down to a crawl. Invariably there will be some dramatic accents (if you will) of severe problems, especially when it comes to the energy crisis that is looming. Something radical has to be done, we are approaching a terminal stage.

Part Three – Treatment

There are two angles to consider when it attempting to resolve these problems. The first is the mentality of the culture , as we have discussed before, the cultural programs, and the second is the actual structure of social operations. As noted earlier in the discussion, these two attributes are deeply interlinked. However, regarding the first issue of cultural conditioning we need to (as a movement) employ what I call Social Therapy.

Social Therapy refers to adjusting societies values, changing the value programs. We mud have sustainable values in order to have sustainable practices. I would suggest that the first program that needs to be uninstalled from our mental hardware, is the social distortion that generates conspicuous consumption pushed forward by the corporately aligned advertising agencies. The value orientation of having more and more stuff, regardless of its utility or function is an unsustainable ideology, inherently, on a finite planet. Consumerism and materialism (again) are sicknesses culturally created to perpetuate the cyclical consumption needed to fuel the market and labour system. This is precisely what the Zeitgeist Movement is trying to do. We can’t do anything until people understand the need for this direction which is why we are here. This is why the is being webcast, this is why those int he movement are diligently working, not to create infrastructure yet, but to try to get these values out there. Beyond that, as far as the actual structure of society, I a afraid we need nothing less then a complete and total revision.

This is where the Venus Project comes in. I am going to run through 5 of the central attributes required to move into Resourced Based Economy.

1. We must move from a growth economy, to a steady state economy. The cancerous consequences of the infinite growth paradigm must be stopped before it is too late. In the final analysis, given our technological ingenuity at this stage, we propose the absolute elimination of the monitory system itself. There is no reform possible to stop what the system is doing. The scarcity and waste we see wrong us is created by us, not some intrinsic process of nature, or some malthusian inherent tendency. The need of money is no longer relevant, and is extremely detrimental in fact.

2. We must move fro a primitive competitive invention orientation work system to a collaborative system. Not only are all goods produced in our current society inherently inferior (by the way) due to the need to maintain a competitive cost basis in the market place, but the competitive system also generates massive amounts of corruption. Yes, I agree, the incentive to compete does produce some improved goods and services to a certain degree, but that positive is utterly overshadowed by the inherent planed obsolescence, and the general environmental indifference generated by the necessity to stay ahead of someone else. As an aside, imagine for a moment that the top engineers of the major car companies, rather than competing, got together and decided to collaborate by making the best car possible at a given point in time. Imagine if we established an incentive system that pulls people together to create the best rather than compete and produce inherent inferiority. Think about that, an open source world where all lines come together to and produce goods so everyone can benefit. Think about that, the progress would be unbelievable. Not to mention it would save tremendous amounts of resources. There would be no linger the need to duplicate perpetually. You don’t have two companies making the same thing anymore, it is a form of preservation if they work together.

3. We have from our peace-meal dispersed industrial methods, to a central planned system of streamlined functionality. Is it me or is it absolutely insane, that we import strawberries from Brazil, or bananas from Ecuador, or water from Fuji, when all of these things can be produced locally. As Jacque Frescoe will describe in regard to his city systems everything is as self-contained as possible. As another example, consider the general rout of production. Fro mining the materials, to creating the preliminary components, to assembling the components, to distribution. And there is a constant move of transportation to go from one place to another, wasting tremendous amounts of energy. Give that some thought for a moment to think that if you streamline all of the actions of society, think of how fluid things could be, and what that actually means.

Now to extend this point, and a talk I did called “Where are we Going”, I describe a ground up global approach to a network organisation, which is intact a Resourced Based Economy, and I describe why the perimeters are what they are. I don’t have time to go through all of it, but let me do a quick run down of the reasoning for those who have never even considered any other social system outside of what we know today. Very simply the earth is a system and must be treated as such. There are resources all over the earth, and there for we must have a system that can monitor these global resources within a global technological infrastructure. Therefore we have to have a feedback system, which has to be global in nature, coming from the carrying capacity of the earth, which is the starting point of all industrial decisions. The first step in this, we do a full survey of the earths resources. We can’t make intelligent decisions if you don’t know what comprises the attributes of those decisions. We must first understand the full range and capacity of the earthly components in order to derive inferences as to our capabilities.

There are many natural resources to consider on the planet, but for now I want to focus on energy again, since energy is essentially the fuel of society, this is a good focal point. We scan the entire planet holistically listing all relevant energy locations and potentials. The potentials of course, to clarify, are based in part not eh state of technology, I don’t want to go into all the technical attributes of harnessing the things like that. For example solar has dramatic potential at this stage due to e advent of nano technology. We are seeing a possible exponential increase in this potential where really small solar panels can have a 97-98% efficiency in the radiation that they pull in. Moving on, so we have this raw data so what do we do? We rate each resource based on its renewability, pollution, and all the factors that have to do with the act of extraction and everything that goes along with it. It becomes self defining, based explicitly on the goal of sustainability and maximum efficiency. Those resources that have the most negative retroaction are given the least priority in utilisation. For example fossil fuels are no longer needed, they ar not renewable, they pollute the environment, given the tremendous power of geothermal, wind, wave, and solar combined, again, there is no reason to burn fossil fuels at all.

Once we realise tis we move to a our third point, distribution and monitoring. Energy distribution and infrastructure projects would logically be formulated based on technological possibility and, naturally, proximity to sources. In other words, if you had wind energy being utilised in Asia, it is not likely to be delivered to Latin America. So distribution planners will be self evident based upon the technology, and proximity practicality. Likewise (again) local resource monitoring done through earth sensors would allow a constant awareness of our rates of use, the rates of depletion, the rates of renewal or any other perimeter relevant to know. This is pivotal for us to maintain what we consider a balanced load economy. if the scarcity of any resource is going to occur we will see it far in advance, we can forecast it, and we can make proper action to make adjust accordingly before it becomes a very large problem. This idea, of course, is nothing new, you see this in your inkjet printer. The printer has an ink level to tell yo what you have, and just to show that this isn’t some bizarre idea that is impossible, Huelett Packard recently came out with what amazingly they called a central nervous system for earth. The first time I heard that sentence was actually out of the mouth of Jacque Frescoe. And that is what they are attempting to do in a limited sense. They are trying to develop a wireless sensoring system to acquire an extremely high resolution seismic data on land, and this is exactly the direction. It is funny with these things that are being talked about for along time, and people say “that can need happen”, and then we see it begin to happen in small pockets. All we have to do is scale this out and expand it for the needs that we require. So we have the locations of our energy resources, we have our outputs, potentials, and distribution qualifiers based on strategic usage, you would survey the public to se what they wanted, just as someone goes to a store, they say what they want, they get what they need, and it becomes a statical point, therefore it is a dynamic monitoring of the consumption rates. And finally we have a system of active resource monitoring that reports the stages of energy supply, rates of usage and other relevant trends. For an expanded version of this watch the lecture Where are we Going”.

So with this entire concept we have created a system, a systems approach to energy management on the planet. The system is comprised of real time data and statistics, the process of unfolding is based not on a person or group’s opinion, not on the whims of a corporation or government, but on aural law, and reasoning. In other words, once we establish the interest, that survival and hence sustainability, is our goal for our species, which I hope everyone here shares, each perimeter to consider in regard to resource management becomes completely self evident. from the ground up. It is called arriving at decisions, as opposed to making them which is a subjective act based on incomplete information, and very often cultural or personal biases. Using this energy model as a procedural example, we would compile this information into a computer data base management program. And this will be a logical means to monitor and have automation systems to correct elements that are problematic. We want to eliminate the subjectivity currently dominant in our society. This is like a nervous system. There is no reason to vote on anything, there is no reason to debate anything in congress.

4. For the sake of humanity and efficiency, we need to stop wasting time on labour processes that are generated by the mark system to maintain employment. We need move into deliberate automation of everything that we can. Given the current state of technology today there is absolutely reason for a water to exist in any restaurant. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to work at the Post Office. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be in any factory whatsoever. I have been working on some statical data set for project that I am doing in regard to employment in America, considering what percentage of the current workforce could be automated at this stage of technological knowhow. Coupled with eliminating occupations that have no social return, such as Wall St., including al jobs that have to do with money. As Jacque will describe, our system has no money, there is no banks, there is no cashiers. I have recently come to the generalised conclusion (which I am continually working on), I believe that 65% of t he American jobs could be eliminated tomorrow with the knowledge we have now. Not trend projections which make things cataclysmic, but the knowledge we have now. This is to just a fanciful notion of “”oh, we can have more free time”, there is also a social imperative here, it is a very critical thing to point out that historically speaking, the more we have moved to automation, or what is called mechanisation in any industry, the greater the productivity. In fact productivity is now inverse to employment in many sectors studied.

This means that it is socially irresponsible not to automate as much as possible, for it allows for greater abundance and efficiency. Here is a chart for the G7 advanced industrialised countries showing how employment and manufacturing has been dropping, while manufacturing output has risen substantially. And this particular trend is happening across the board. Why wouldn’t it? These machines don’t needy take lunch breaks, they don’t need vacations, they don’t need insurance. It makes perfect sense. And as a very quick point, what you are going to find is the in expense of machines. Machines are becoming so inexpensive now. Technology is growing exponentially at such a rate. In your cell phone you have a little microchip that is more powerful than the greatest super computer that existed 50 years ago. And it is really cheap now, the first supercomputer cost many millions of dollars. People are not going to be affordable any more top most corporations. They are going to automate because they can’t figure out a way to reconcile keeping human labour any more, except for ideological things, of course.

5. We have to move from a system of materialism and property to a system of universal access. Now before this pint is dismissed as communist propaganda, lets consider the train of thought. In a Resourced Based Economy where production is streamlined to maximise quality and minimise waste and duplication, the idea of property becomes obsolete and in fact detrimental. People do not need to hoard and protect anything, they simply need access to what they need at the time they need it. The best example is the automobile. In science now there have been tests done of cars that can drive themselves. Satellite driven automobiles that can navigate very well, and Jacque alkyd about this years ago as well using dollar radio so cars simply can not hit another car. these things are coming into fruition so in the future if you need to go somewhere, you call up the car that you need, it comes to you utilise it, and then when you are at your location, it goes back and helps somebody else. As opposed to sitting in some parking lot, wasting time and space, for likely 80% of the automobile’s life. This is what we do, we waste so much space and resources with this primitive concept of personal ownership. It is environmentally detrimental, and socially inefficient. And by the way property isn’t an American or capitalist idea, it is really a primitive mental perspective generated from generations of scarcity. People claimed legal ownership because it was simply a form of protection. It is also controlled restriction, in fact. No long would people need to live in one place. One could travel the world constantly getting what they need as they move along. Anything needed is obtained without restriction There is no reason to even steal something. (this is an extremely important point) How can you steal something that no-one one owns? You certainly couldn’t resell it because there is no money. Right there you have 95% of all crime gone.

In conclusion, as paradoxical as it may seem, the more efficient and conservative we become, the more streamlined e become, the higher the level of abundance we can generate for all of us. Today, around the world many people often say, “I wish we could live like Americans”, I know you have heard this before, well – No. The contrived ostentatious orientation, and conspicuous consumption patterns of the American culture should be despised by all other countries on this planet. We have 5% of the population and we consume 30% of the worlds resources, it is insane. In a Resourced Based Economy where we base our production and distribution on physical referents, starting with the carrying capacity of the earth where we streamline our labour expression toward things, that have a long term social return. Were we get rid of the cancer known as the financial system, and start to share our resources ion a diligent way. Working together, avoiding the false values of materialism and consumption pushed upon our culture, we find that we can provide a high quality of life for every one on this planet while eliminating all of the central reasons for war, poverty, destitution, violence, criminal behaviour, neurosis. It would be the dawn of a world that we could actually label a civilisation and if that isn’t a goal worth working towards, I don’t know what is.

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