Enhancing, Provocative, and Future Tense
Are your prospects likely to improve in the next decade?
How can the state create more jobs?
Is our embrace of democracy realistic?
Does the survival of our race on this planet worry you?
Is capitalism really the best way?
How might the introduction of internet education affect you?
In an age where the surfeit of information is beginning to clog our brains, this blog will focus on what is not being offered or suggested elsewhere. It will examine what is taboo and where denial prevails. Hopefully it will also be engaging.
We live in a world where capitalism is accepted by most advanced societies and its inhabitants are offered no alternative possibilities; a planet in which no serious politician opposes growth; a time in which the unfettered advance of electronic communication is regarded as sacrosanct; where profits and efficiency prevail over jobs and employment. Ultimately the course being followed is one which daily diminishes the chances of human survival on this environmentally threatened planet. All too many people refuse to accept this final evaluation to humanity’s ultimate peril.
It is with this perspective in mind that I am launching yet another blog to the already 80 million blogs around the world!
This hopefully “Enhancing, Provocative and Future Tense“ effort will look with a different slant at areas which the media may have tackled. And I am not going to pretend that a perfectible electronic future is in store for us.
CHANGE, with all its uncertainties, seems threatening to the well being of most of us. Yet change is inevitable although its speed is not. We cannot stand still on this rapidly spinning planet. In this unusual era of rapid change we must accept that the new also can be for the better. It has been in this spirit that I edited a series called Prospects for Tomorrow, and have written such books as Towards the Millennium: Optimistic Visions for Change (1996) and Dollars or Democracy (2004)
Global economics have particularly shifted in direction in this new century. Economics seem to “have gone off the rails!” The inability to deal with the facts of economic life was largely confirmed at the meeting this January in Davos of the more than 2,500 leading figures in global economics. These leaders refused to confront that the internet and computers are fundamentally transforming our economic lives with unknown consequences.
In the 19th Century corporate capitalism delivered new jobs, new opportunities, new resources, and put an end to the bases of the feudalistic structure.
In the 20th Century despite two world wars and a massive global depression, the standard of living for several billions improved substantially.
In the 21st Century we are now faced with a widespread recession and an end to the economic promises that corporate capitalism once offered. Tax avoidance/evasion on a global scale is making the funding of social welfare programs unsustainable. Companies like HSBC, SONY, GE, and Shell have become such giants that for fear of the consequences governments cannot allow these corporations to fail. The desire for ever greater profits through the advance of technology has forced the development of mobiles, social networks and communication without any consideration for the possible effects on the younger generation nor for the well-being of society itself.
The vast gap growing between the hyper-rich and the rest of humanity threatens to de-stabilize the semblance of economic equilibrium of the past two centuries.
The ever growing demands, as well as the expectations of seven+ billion people on this planet, are now threatening the prospect of survival of future generations. Our economic perspective itself has become overwhelmed by its short-termism. Most corporations think in three year terms, politicians in four or five year terms, and few economists dare to look ahead beyond that. The only plausible conclusion is that the time has come to examine positive and imaginative changes to the darkening prospects currently on offer.
(For a summary of my book on economics, Dollars or Democracy, see the excellent summary which has just been produced by Randy Hayes at Foundation Earth: