Stephen L. Doll 1992 Published in: The Northwest Technocrat, 2nd quarter 1992, No. 327
“Peace at any price” has long been the cry of desperate people, willing to strike any bargain to establish harmony. The irony of this statement is that the concept of peace is not related to price; but the mechanism by which we may establish peace — that is, the equitable distribution of resources within a geographical area — is blocked by the very nature of the Price System.
Many well-intentioned and dedicated groups of individuals have been formed to address the admirable goal of establishing peace between peoples and nations. Much media attention is given to the gatherings of the representatives of various nations who meet trying to resolve differences. Courses in peaceful conflict resolution are being introduced into school curricula.
All such approaches seek political compromise and concession on the part of the participants in order to introduce conditions conducive to social harmony. What these well-meaning individuals fail to realize is that peace, whether it be between groups or nations of people, is not attainable within the framework of a Price System. A Price System is defined as any social system that employs a negotiable medium of exchange, or debt, to effect the distribution of goods and services. It is the very mechanics of such a system that makes the establishment of peace impossible when Price System demands for profit are the primary consideration in human relationships. There are a number of reasons for this.
For peace to exist in any societal structure, first and foremost the physical needs of the total population must be satisfied. No amount of diplomacy or compromise between interests will override this basic fact. If this condition is not met, there will be conflict between the members of that society; and if one nation is allowed to withhold resources from another for the purpose of enhancing trade values, there will be conflict between nations.
The Price System is incapable of providing for all on an equal basis, because the Price System works only under conditions of scarcity; goods and services must be withheld from a certain portion of the population in order that the value of commodities may be maintained.
There is profit in conflict. An index of the welfare of a nation, the Gross National Product, is defined as the total monetary value of goods and services produced. It is in the interest of the users of such a measuring tool to show a plus on the balance sheet. When the production of weapons, and the worldwide distribution of them, can enhance the GNP and provide jobs and income for many, it is not likely that such enterprise will be abandoned. The same may be said for any number of anti-social activities that are engaged in to generate the cash flow that is the lifeblood of the Price System.
The heedless methods of Price System operation promote resource depletion. It makes no difference whether the fate of the resources of a nation are in the control of government or of private individuals. If the resources can generate a profit, they will be diverted from the use of the people. The funds may be returned to a government bureaucracy or to privately owned corporations, but the resources are nonetheless gone. And when resource shortages occur, prices go up, thus denying access to resources to an increasing number of people.
A good example of this may be seen in the plight of the farmers in Southeast Asia. Rats are devouring their crops faster than they can harvest them, because local entrepreneurs have found a market for the skins of the snakes that eat the rats. This results in monetary wealth for those selling the skins, but a curtailment in the quantities of real food available to the people.
The Price System is by nature contentious. The game of financial exchange is a game of domination. Each party “cuts deals” to his advantage. When money represents the power to purchase necessary goods and services, control of money represents power over the lives of people. The world of finance operates on the premise of competition for resource, which is in itself conflictive in nature. In a competitive society, a scarcity of goods is maintained to encourage competitiveness. The adversarial nature and disharmony in such activity is obvious.
There will never be peace as long as an individual, or group of individuals, is allowed to withhold resources in order to maintain profit margins. How can a nation that purports to strive for world peace destroy millions of tons of food in the interest of protecting profit margins? Yet this goes on all over the world. Recent examples may be seen in the destroying of thousands of pounds of beef in Europe and the slaughtering of millions of sheep in New Zealand. In the United States, government mandates call for the destruction of millions of tons of food annually, along with government incentives not to grow crops.
The Price System demands population growth. By a steady increase in the number of customers the Price System goal of endless financial expansion can be better maintained. Of course, customers must be wage earners, and here we reach a conundrum — technology replaces human labor and thus purchasing power. The employment of machines is one method by which business preserves its profits. Another is the exploitation of cheap foreign labor. Both practices generate animosity and hostility, both toward management and toward different cultures.
The glorification of warfare and strife is good business. It sells and makes good press. The recent commercialization of the conflict in the Persian Gulf, replete with all the regalia of a sporting event — the tee-shirts, the jingoistic displays, the bumper stickers — indicate the mindset of the general public and the tremendous manipulative power of the media. War is glorified and glamorized. The age-old concept of revering the protectors of territorial rights has been magnified into a justification for whatever military exercise a nation deems proper to further its mercantile interests. Points of conflict have become national shrines, partly out of morbid curiosity, and partly due to misconceptions of the nobility of armed conflict.
It may be concluded that the current market system of distribution is no miracle cure for the distribution ills that generate social unrest. Nor was it designed as a beneficent deliverer of goods and services. It was designed, instead, to return a profit to the holder of the goods in whatever manner necessary to achieve that end. The most effective means of achieving that end is to limit supply to increase commodity value.
In order to establish conditions conducive to peace within and without political boundaries, the following steps must be taken: The current market, or Price System, with all its interference factors that subvert the distribution of plenty, must be abandoned in favor of an objective, scientifically designed system of production and distribution, based on energy values. The contiguous land masses of the world must balance their populations with their resources. An energy audit must be taken of each of these areas to determine the carrying capacity of the land. Population levels must be maintained within the tolerances of the resources. In spite of the protestations of those who favor market systems of distribution, the ratio of resources to population is a very real factor. Technological advances have created a false perception that our inventiveness will allow us to thwart natural laws. Unlike the erratic and flexible financial laws that dictate our actions, however, those laws are fixed and immutable, and every technological development not made in accordance with those laws shows up to our detriment sooner or later.
A technological management of the physical means of production must be installed. This includes all natural resources and the machinery for developing those resources into forms suitable for human consumption.
Renewable energy sources must replace the use of non-renewable sources as the prime method of power generation. One of the chief causes for world strife is the dependence of one area of the world upon the energy resources of another. This allows one nation a point of leverage over the well-being of another, which lends itself to unharmonious relationships. Here again, Price System methods must be abandoned, as such methods demand consumption of non-renewable resources to assure a constant monetary turnover. Once equipment is installed, solar rays, wind power and other alternate energy sources can do much to make any area energy- independent.
Every North American citizen who is concerned about peace is encouraged to investigate Technocracy’s program. The following is a statement of Technocracy’s position on war:
Only with a strong and viable domestic economy can the people of the North American Continent have a secure defense policy.
Technocracy is against participating in any war or foreign entanglement but upholds the defense and the security of North America.
Technocracy is unequivocally for taking all profits out of war; and that the youth of this Continent should never be sacrificed to protect financial and business interests.
In time of war or peace Technocracy has proposed and will continue to propose and advocate the mobilization of all of this Continent’s resources to meet its domestic and internal responsibilities in which defense becomes a part of and not the dominant factor.
Technocracy proposes and supports the total mobilization of all resources — men and women, machines, materiel and money with services from all and profits to none — as the foremost transitional mechanism in time of war or peace.
Technocracy takes the position that if North America cannot put its own house in order, it cannot solve the problems of other nations of the world.
More than ever, North America needs a transformation to where it can apply its research and development, its science and technology, and its know-how and expertise, to mobilize its resources for meaningful and constructive pursuits. Putting North America’s house in order is our most important priority, not that of pursuing or perpetuating a policy based upon mass destruction and the ravenous depletion of the nation’s and the world’s remaining resources, a policy that sows the seeds for the demise of civilization.
There is no form of Price System, whether it is communism, socialism, capitalism, fascism, or any other ideology which affects distribution through commodity valuation, that can create the conditions necessary for peace. The nations of North America serve no constructive purpose toward the establishment of world peace by exporting their own inefficient and inequitable distribution technique that is only able to distribute goods and services on a limited basis by the creation of more debt. Nor will they serve the cause of peace by stationing their military personnel around the world in order to protect business interests.
The greatest contribution the North American Continent can make to the cause of world peace is to establish peace within its own environs through the scientific management of its resources, and through the distribution of the production of the Continent to all citizens as a right of citizenship. By doing so, North America can set an example for the rest of the world.
World peace, or peace within given geographical areas, can only result from a carefully engineered design for meeting the physical needs of people on an equitable basis. This requires the objective and impartial application of science and technology devoid of political, financial or ecclesiastical interference.
A comprehensive design for the North American Continent that meets the above criteria may be found in the handbook Technocracy, Technological Social Design. This design addresses every facet of the physical operation of a modern, high-energy civilization, for, as mentioned above, it is the physical we must first address if we desire to establish those conditions conducive to world peace. Time and time again, science and technology has been the prime mover in the elevation of the human condition, and there is no reason to believe that this will not continue, if science and technology are managed correctly.
Society stands at a crossroads. We can either cling to the outmoded pursuits of the Price System — while witnessing dwindling resources and conflict between people and nations; or we can manage our resources on an objective basis, devoid of concepts of who deserves what — and provide a secure future for all.