Need to Insulate Ourselves from the Collapse Caused by Rich

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Every day there are new financial products marketed by capitalists who are determined to get a risk-free future for private capital even as they drive up earth’s temperatures to beyond what humans can endure.

A recent study showed that there is only a 5% chance that earth can avoid two degrees Celsius of warming, and a 1% chance of remaining below 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature rise. The Paris Agreement and the Climate Bond certification process that make out otherwise are the road of genocide. The race is on to insulate ourselves against the effects of the collapse caused by the rich. It is still a moot point which Governments if any will be with the people on this life or death question. Pretending for a moment that the Government of India is on our side, we could insulate households, agriculture, forestry and labour from the capitalists by dumping the international economy and focusing on local money and labour to restore ecosystems.

Engineers argue that a human body with a capacity of only 121 Watt is hopelessly unable to provide for itself, and that society needs commercial energy to improve the productivity of labour, and bankers argue that to facilitate such efficiency gain the capitalists should continue to borrow money for machines to hire labour and make it more productive and give them a profit in the process, thus driving progress with economic growth. But the truth is that humans need none of this.

Humans are, of course, exactly as nature intended. 2-3 kilograms of fruit, grains, varied vegetables and meat, give us 2500 kilocalories a day. No-till agriculture with a practice of integrating cover crops and cultivating diverse perennial and some seasonal crops to protect against weed and pest infestation, allow us to grow what we need with plenty of leisure time to spare. It is not commercial energy and smart phones that assures leisure but the knowledgeable interaction of the human body with the energy contained in sunshine, soils, plants and animals. Avoiding machines ensures that those plants and animals that are outside our immediate field of personal physical action are left to thrive in the sunshine and the rain. Agriculture is not one amongst many sectors of the international economy but along with forestry it is the one and only valuable knowledge base that allows mankind to use our bodies to live and love.

India is in the unique position of having more than half of the people dependent on agriculture. We have an infinite and assured supply of sunshine and rain. It is highly likely that monsoons whilst becoming more erratic with global temperature rise will not stop but will give on giving water in plenty.

We also have a system of paying agricultural labourers to work on our own or our neighbours’ land, or on common or local government land, through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. It is today a matter of life and death that we should strengthen this Act by extending it to cities and paying high powered reserve money directly from new local branches of the Reserve Bank of India to local depositors for our own work on our own fields, soils and forests.

The public funds in the myriad of Central and State and Gram Panchayat Government schemes in the various of urban and rural development and welfare ministries add up to a mere pittance. The schemes should be abolished and replaced with money we pay ourselves through our own Reserve Bank of India branches. A new Reserve Bank of India Act should abolish private banks and create a new Board for monitoring Rupee issuance at the village and town ward level. Inflation should be controlled by the same branches by taxing excess issuance out of circulation.

We need the Government of India on our side on this urgent issue. The time has come for a global debt Jubilee. Not only for capitalists, as Government of India is doing for the various commercial banks holding non-performing assets, but for all citizens. India must abolish debt. Let us give all humans a chance to reintegrate ourselves into society and do community work for the good of people and planet. Let all debts of rich and poor alike be cancelled, let the idea of a legal person be outlawed, and let a new Rupee be issued by and for the people through our local government bodies in order to pay ourselves to do manual labour to restore atmospheric stability and the future of humans on earth.

Hundreds of economists are out there who can advise Government at Central State and Gram Panchayat level how this can be done. Why could the Union government not for once ask the capitalists to stop talking, and give people and planet our voice?

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. 


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