The earth is now in the era of full-blown runaway climate change. Extreme weather events like in Bihar are affecting 10 million people in one shot in several regions of the world simultaneously. Land use change caused by capitalist farming practices and natural resource exploitation combined with feedbacks from the climate system are speeding up the process exponentially and making the impacts worse every year.
Neither corporations nor banks that lend and borrow for profit are the right source of money for saving humans who are starving to death and drowning and burning up in rising temperatures in the age of runaway climate change and global war let alone the malnutrition and austerity inflicted from the capitalist system so far.
Recently three Canadians launched a new bank with a “crypto currency with a social purpose”. The marketing video says it is for “people, planet and profit”. In paragraph 2.4.3 their whitepaper claims cryptocurrencies have “decentralized collaborative power. They “are entries in a database that no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions.”
Presently the bank is wholly controlled by the three founders but they expect that the “arrangement will gradually be replaced ..to ensure.. the protection of the mission and of the vision.., which might include the use of a non-for-profit foundation.” They predict trillions in turnover and whatever level of profits for investors they consider “ethical”.
As capitalism fails, having destroyed earth, there is an entire industry of so-called ethical bankers coming out of the wood work. In Switzerland, rules for so-called fin-tech companies have been liberalised. Anyone with 10 million Franks can set up a bank and bankers are permitted to lend their money and their new digital currencies across the whole world for profit. In the UK you need just a million pounds to set up an international bank whether “social”, “ethical”, “environmental” or anything else. One in eight jobs in the UK is dependent on the finance industry. In America one in 10 jobs depends on the profit oriented military-industrial complex. In America and Germany and many other industrialised countries, one in ten jobs depends on the automobile industry. Now they claim they are all going to switch to electric cars and public transport. But they are blind and dumb about the real issue: whether electric or fossil fuel driven, industrial products and the obsession with return on investments are both singly and in combination not suitable for a human lifestyle that must ensure that reproductive and care work inside the home is rewarded and all work outside the home sequesters and does not emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases or damages ecology in any way.
Citizens in rich democratic modern capitalist nation states have no interest in supporting humanity. Impact lending is nothing but repackaged greed. 90% of money in all nations is created by private banks and private citizens who own those banks as well as corporations for profit. The British International Development Secretary Priti Patel sent 2 pounds each for 1.5 million people in Ethiopia where 10 million people are starving from droughts and flash floods. On the basis of this measly payment she claimed Britain is leading the way in humanitarianism.
This kind of politics is simply too insulting to bear. So-called “social and ecological banks” are interested only in reinventing capitalism to line the pockets of the rich in the last few years remaining for humanity on earth whilst the governments of industrialised countries look on passively, considering such banking a contribution to “sustainable economic growth”. It is not sustainable because it is not sustaining anybody except the investors, whilst workers and the earth must slog to pay them to live off our labour and our generative capacity. This exploitation of living things for profit is what has ruined the earth.
This upside-down world where profits and returns on investment are made out to be the precondition for caring must be outlawed now. Nations are not supposed to be the servants of industry let alone banks. They are supposed to be promoting fraternity, liberty and equality. Economic growth is another word for capitalism and does none of this. Governments are also supposed to honour the commitment they made when they signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to prevent anthropogenic interference in the climate system and change the system as necessary if it is not working to this end. But not a single industrialised country has lived up to its commitment under the UNFCCC to take a leadership role on this matter.
Now there is simply no time anymore for workers to support rentiers who live off investments. It is not a matter of ethics let alone databases and accounting. It is a matter of material reality. Earth and humans must be supported by governments to help us recreate stable systems by keeping all ecological surpluses for ourselves. All nations must reorient their priorities by abolishing war and banking, and instead create debt free money for social welfare, health, disaster management, and for planting and tending living plants and trees such that the surplus goes back into the soil and the communities of living things including the people who are doing the care work.
In the era of runaway climate change nation states and economics need to be redefined or abolished. The human population has increased three times since 1945. Today not everyone in the world is born in a nation or a state or region that can support human life. The people from Ethiopia need to migrate urgently. Russia, Australia and Canada should urgently abolish their borders and let in anyone who wants to go there. All the countries of the world should abolish banking. They should reassign all workers to agriculture and forestry, and they should accept people up to an agreed number such that each person has 0.2 hectares of productive agricultural land and also some forest. We should not define where a human being is allowed to live on the basis of where they were born, but on the basis of where there is an opportunity for the person to contribute to the social and ecological survival of humanity and ecology. Sovereign debt-free money can be the means to save human lives provided the government and capitalist obsession with controlling people is given up. Humans by definition are humanitarian. It is legal and economic thinking that has destroyed the earth.
Let us hope all Governments see sense on this issue. Let us hope the Government of India also sees sense. In its many reviews and reports on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2003 the Government acknowledged that it is wrong to limit government spending if there is a national or natural calamity. Well. We are now in the era of full-blown runaway climate change. 10 million people in Bihar and equal numbers in other states have had their possessions and crops washed away. Hundreds have died. The time is now for abolishing the FRBMA2003 in India and for all governments in all nations to issue sovereign debt-free currency to help workers help ourselves without any capitalist racketeers as intermediaries. Accounting is much less important than spending. We need to get on with creating real money for real work and outlawing capitalism and profits because tomorrow it will be too late for those who are dying today. Many unnecessary deaths can be prevented and many lives can be made better by doing the right thing. It is incomprehensible why business as usual is allowed to continue.
Anandi Sharan was born in Switzerland, lives in Bangalore, and worked in Araria District in 2016. She mainly writes about India and how we need a better money policy to help agricultural labourers and women especially to adapt to man-made climate change.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS