Information Brief Number 79 1995
At this time in our history, the human species is finding it ever more difficult to maintain some degree of synchronization between the two worlds in which we try to live — the world of physical reality and the world of economic rationalization. On the one hand, humankind
lives in, and is dependent on, life support systems in their real physical world, while, on the
other hand, insisting on controlling a lifestyle and physical operations within the limitations and restrictions of a man-made world of economic superstition.
In that real world of matter and energy, a world which is governed by natural law, people have lived for millions of years. They have discovered methods to grow their food more efficiently and to produce the products they need, first by hand, then, far more efficiently with technology. This is a dependable world in which the sun rises each morning and the earth makes one trip around the sun each year. It’s a world in which technology is designed to operate in accordance with natural law, and be operated according to its design. This method worked so well that, by the year 1920, the United States had the ability to produce enough to supply every North American citizen with everything they needed.
Since 1920, the U.S. population has increased from 106 million to 263 million, or by 2.5 times. At the same time, the energy to power the technology has increased from 453 million horsepower to 34 billion, an increase of 74.8 times. If there is any excuse for 38 million Americans, including one-fifth of all children, to be living in poverty today it can only be the result of human stupidity. It certainly is not the fault of our technology or the real world in which we live.
THEN WHERE IS THE FAULT?
Where could it be except in this mythical economic world that people have inflicted upon themselves? This economic world was started by humans themselves when they devised the “Barter System” several thousands of years ago. Since then, this Barter System has “grown” haphazardly into the present highly complex, unwieldy, economic dictatorship. It is a system of trade, or commerce, based on commodity values which are determined by their relative scarcity and desirability. And to expedite the trade, debt tokens, or money, have been devised. It’s an economic system “designed” in the distant past which rewards the greedy and is instrumental in the destruction of the physical environment. It’s an economic system based on beliefs, opinions and superstitions that cannot, by any possible combination of its parts, be made efficient enough to match the ability of the technological mechanism to produce. It’s an economic system that cannot supply North Americans with enough to keep millions of them out of poverty, and certainly cannot afford to clean up the environmental mess it has made.
We citizens of North America do not distribute goods and services according to our technological ability to produce. Instead, distribution is determined by the ability to supply wages as a reward for human labor. This method has become so inefficient that wages must be supplemented by unemployment insurance, welfare payments, subsidies to farmers and small business, and even to college students. Here is the reason we are so deep in debt — with increasing deficits that if slowed much will result in an economic depression. Our only choice is to increase the debt at an ever-faster pace as technology becomes more efficient, and then go bankrupt when we can no longer pay the interest on the debt; or — reduce the deficits and suffer a depression some 30 percent worse than that of the 1930s.
The only reasonable choice is the installation of an entirely new economic system, designed for this modern world of technology with its declining need for human labor. Many attempts to provide solutions may be expected, and no doubt they will range from the ridiculous, to the fantastic, to the almost-reasonable. Attempts will be made to “rearrange” this Price System in an effort to change as little as possible, and to allow the top dogs to remain on top. Which means that: time and effort will be wasted in such futile attempts — time that we can ill afford to lose when even a few hours may be critical.
All the problems now existing — underemployment, crime, politics, poverty, debt, bankruptcies, environmental degradation, etcetera, etcetera, — are all financial problems, and all together add up to such a large overall problem that the changes required for a solution will result in the greatest social change in human history. And this change must be made in the shortest length of time of any major change in the past. Any attempt to solve such a major problem a little at a time, and in small pieces, or without allowing major changes, will be an exercise in futility, and a dangerous waste of time.
Unfortunately, politicians are powerless to do anything of importance for the country without enough pressure from the public to overcome the influence of the lobbyists and their corporate backers who pay the expenses of political campaigns. As a result, politicians are in no position to lead the country; they can only react to the pressures presented by the most effective force.
And, also, unfortunately, public apathy is such that people have allowed themselves to be cheated out of the plenty their technology has been able to provide for the past 60 years. Therefore, nothing short of a financial debacle — that compares with the depression of the 1930s — is likely to force public interest, or financial interest, into making the changes required.
Already, the present economic instability is creating more interest in Technocracy. More articles are in the press, and more discussions in schools are in progress. We can only try to create enough interest, soon enough, to avoid a completely chaotic state to occur, so that civilization can be continued.