Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Financial Revolution

Pull with every ounce and fiber --total war-- if monkey wrenches or bazookas worked, we'd have them...the criterion for our Revolution is Sustainability. All extractive industries, premised as they are on destruction, are dead ends. Limitless growth within limited resources is illogical and unsustainable.

“Two paths lie before us. One leads to death, the other to life. If we choose the first path… we in effect become allies of death, and in everything we do our attachment to life will weaken; our vision, blinded to the abyss that has opened at our feet, will dim and grow confused; our will discouraged by the thought of trying to build on such a precarious foundation anything that is meant to last, will slacken; and we will sink into stupefication, as though we were gradually weaning ourselves from life in preparation for the end.

"On the other hand, if we reject our doom, and bend our efforts toward survival...then the anesthetic fog will lift;our vision, no longer straining not to see the obvious, will sharpen; our will, finding secure ground to build on,will be restored; and we will take full and clear possession of life again. One day- and it is hard to believe that it will not be soon- we will make our choice.”
Jonathan Schell - The Fate of the Earth

Their economic arguments are no longer valid. "Those who make it an us-against-them problem insure that it is an insolvable problem." But, since they are invested in self-perpetuating self-interest, they will fight against us, the people. So we will fight back. But ours is NOT a negative vision: we are working toward a post-industrial world where sustainable industries can grow to replace the pirate corporations.

Citizens have a responsibility to steer capital to create wealth sustainably. Part of this is understanding the nature of wealth; wealth differently defined from the outdated GDP measures of the economists. It is not money. It is not more asthma, cancer, and high blood pressure. It is understanding; understanding that wilderness has more value than consumption, that local organic food is net-cheaper than processed...We are motivated by this vision that is more than logic. It is passion that keeps us awake at night.

Investing in mutual funds and stocks of large corporations is not Honorable or Responsible. Handing over your accumulated money, which is time and power, to the corporations so that they can spend it for you -- doesn't it smack of feudalism?? Venture capital is usually OK, because it is usually administered personally. Also, VC investment returns are based on actual dividends (i.e. profits) as opposed to stocks, which are only really a glorified casino whose expected payouts are a shell game of speculation not directly tied to any real dividend. Real Estate is also a good investment, for the same reasons of promoting, rather than abnegating, personal responsibility.

I'm not arguing for a return to the gold standard, or trying to repeal the law of comparative advantage, but do understand what is real and what isn't. Hold onto tangibles, especially property...or better yet, don't make any money to begin with. "All money, in whatever form, should be put into land conservation." To really invest in the future, invest in preservation of our vital natural heritage that provides the fresh air we breath and the clean water we drink. The ultimate revolution is understanding what is important.

We Are What We Eat

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