Newsletter Week 36

 
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Plukrijp.be vzw – Upside-down the good newsletter
 

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Upside-down, The Good Newsletter 2020 – Week 36

The weekly interactive newsletter sent out by Plukrijp to its members

For people living NOW the school of life

For YOU to send all your good news to

upside down = instead of announcing what we plan to do
(& most often find out we do not need to do), we relate what we really did

Building communities of trust is fundamental to healing our collective wound. At Plukrijp, we offer spaces of transparency and solidarity. The
community allows people to encounter each other in truth and so develop trust.
We do the garden for YOU
Plukrijp functions on your frequent visits & harvests. Take along for friends & neighbours, this way we recreate real networks between us all, breaking down the illusory restrictions that now still separate many of us from our fellow
man = UBUNTU.

What you can harvest now:
 

From now on you can find
all the current and upcoming crops with photo, location and name by clicking on the Current Harvest button in the menu on our website.

https://plukrijp.be/en/op-dit-moment-te-oogsten

This week @ Plukrijp
We did:

It was a “compost” week, with excellent weather (rain at night, sunny in the daytime)

 

Leon filled in our new straw-bale compost box with the now 2-year old mix of chicken compost + horse manure + leaves from people’s forests
+ soil to cover it.
It “grew” to double the height we were expecting (2.5m high!x25x10m) & it did not get enough water to feed the composting process, but the smell was perfectly like forest soil. By mixing & aerating it, a new composting cycle started,
bringing the probable ph level closer to 6.5-7ph, the perfect alkalinity to grow vegetables on. The many small pieces of wood & twigs ensure that fertility will continue to be made by the innumerable small soil critters, in

combination with the compost worms (eisenia fetida) present in the horse manure. The enormous amount of organic material will soak up (hopefully) the rain water we
expect this autumn/winter.

 

We filled all the plastic boxes we had with compost, ready to distribute it the moment we have free land.

 

We added a good 20 cm
compost on the low beds at Hei that were suffering from the drought so much this year.

 

Potted the salads we seeded a few weeks before & placed them in the roads of the closed tunnel no 1, adding young self-seeded rucola.
These will be our last real planting for 2020.

 

Planted the cauliflower plants we had potted on the central bed of open tunnel 5. Salad plants were added on a seeded green cover
of chervil.

 

The broad-seeded beds in closed tunnels 1-2-3 have sprouted & promise bountiful fresh greens for autumn/winter.

 

Harvest the hazelnuts
growing around the small lake & dried them for use in our daily muesli.

 

Planted kale on the low beds at Hei after cleaning up the seed-salads & the sweet corn plants.

 

Move 16 straw bales
to the top of the closed tunnels, a reserve to fill in the ditches this winter.

We shared:

The
Knack
and How to Get It
by
Richard
Lester,
Morgan
by
Karl
Riesz,
La
Femme
de l’
Aviateur
&
Rayon
Vert,
2 movies by
Eric
Rohmer
and Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni.

 

We
helped Valentin with his design for 6 caravan-future perma-place in
Gembloux

 

Imagined
together a future design for the post corona bankrupt economy in the Cévennes , for our friend Hugo. Economic history upside down.

Interesting Movies & Documentaries

Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q5CfAHb9VM

The Knack …and How to Get It is a 1965 British comedy film directed by Richard Lester and based on the play by Ann Jellicoe. It won the Palme d’Or at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival and the Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association.

Colin (Michael Crawford) is a nervous schoolteacher working in London, observing rather than participating in the sexual revolution of the 1960s. He has little personal sexual experience and wishes to gain “the knack”: in this case meaning a way to seduce women.
He turns to a friend, a confident, womanizing drummer known only by his surname, Tolen. Tolen gives him unhelpful advice to consume more protein and use intuition, acknowledging intuition is not something that can be completely learned, and advocates the importance
of domination of women. He then suggests that Colin should move into his home, where he and another friend “share” women. 

Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyuHkMweWO4


Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatmentis is a bizarre little film and one which ticks a lot of the boxes required to qualify it as a cult classic. It was directed
by Karel Reisz from a screenplay by David Mercer based on his 1962 television play for BBC TV. The eponymous hero is working-class artist Morgan Delt (David Warner), obsessed with Karl Marx and gorillas who tries to stop his ex-wife (Vanessa Redgrave) from
remarrying.

 

This is an unpredictable film and that’s why it’s worth watching. There’s footage of gorillas, giraffes and other wildlife intercut with live action, there’s a scene
set at the grave of Karl Marx, there’s a chase scene involving a monkey suit and a motorbike.

 

The story is trying to say something about how society treats people who don’t conform with the way the majority think and about the law of the jungle. The last part
of the film livens up a lot and redeems the rest.

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mZCpo3Mxh0


Francoise (Philippe Marlaud), a 20-year-old student who works nights as a postman, is in love with 25-year-old Anne (Marie Rivière). Early one morning he arrives at
her door, only to see another man leaving her apartment. When Francois confronts her, she gets angry, refuses to tell him who it was, and makes it clear she’s not interested in him anymore. In fact, the man was Anne’s former lover Christian (Mathieu Carrière),
an airline pilot, who came to see her to tell her their affair was over. Francois later spots Christian walking with another woman, and decides to follow them. His pursuit leads to the park where he meets a vivacious 15-year-old schoolgirl, Lucie (Anne-Laure
Meury), with whom he strikes up an immediate friendship. She is intrigued by his motives and agrees to help him to find out who the mystery couple are.

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7mPj2AkFfI


Le Rayon vert
is a French film directed by Éric Rohmer, released in 1986. Fifth in the Comédies et Proverbes cycle, it illustrates the verses taken from Arthur Rimbaud’s poem Song of the highest tower: “Ah! let the time come / Where hearts fall in love ”.

 

This film, shot in 16 mm and crowned with the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, takes up, in a lighter tone and in a more modest environment, the theme of My
night at Maud’s. It is one of the only films in which Rohmer uses music that is not integrated into the script. His screenplay was not written, Rohmer asking the actors to improvise on a loose canvas, and thus letting the film build itself little by little2.
This is why the actress Marie Rivière is also credited as a screenwriter.

 

The title is an allusion to an optical and atmospheric phenomenon: the very last ray of the sun, which takes on the appearance of a green lightning, on a clear day
by the ocean. For the observer of the phenomenon, as well as a group of people who discuss it in an educational scene of the film, it would thus be possible to “read in his own feelings, and in the feelings of the others”.

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrJ9U75OZOw


Blow up is a 1966 mystery thriller film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and produced by Carlo Ponti. It was Antonioni’s first entirely English-language film, and
stars David Hemmings as a London fashion photographer who believes he has unwittingly captured a murder on film. The film also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle, Jane Birkin, Tsai Chin, Peter Bowles, and Gillian Hills, as well as 1960s model
Veruschka.

 

The film’s plot was inspired by Julio Cortázar’s short story “Las babas del diablo” (1959). The screenplay was by Antonioni and Tonino Guerra, with English dialogue
by British playwright Edward Bond. The cinematographer was Carlo di Palma. The film’s non-diegetic music was scored by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, while rock group the Yardbirds also feature. The film is set within the mod subculture of 1960s Swinging London.

Is Reality Real? The Simulation Argument

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlTKTTt47WE

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing. Episode 1,2 & 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FsUHuVQ7Mw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEss33zM0Ec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbg-KZhpgek

Interesting Links

Doctors’ strikes and mortality: A review

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953608005066?via%3Dihub

 

Abstract

A paradoxical pattern has been suggested in the literature on doctors’ strikes: when health workers go on strike, mortality stays level or decreases. We performed a
review of the literature during the past forty years to assess this paradox. We used PubMed, EconLit and Jstor to locate all peer-reviewed English-language articles presenting data analysis on mortality associated with doctors’ strikes. We identified 156 articles,
seven of which met our search criteria. The articles analyzed five strikes around the world, all between 1976 and 2003. The strikes lasted between nine days and seventeen weeks. All reported that mortality either stayed the same or decreased during, and in
some cases, after the strike. None found that mortality increased during the weeks of the strikes compared to other time periods. The paradoxical finding that physician strikes are associated with reduced mortality may be explained by several factors. Most
importantly, elective surgeries are curtailed during strikes. Further, hospitals often re-assign scarce staff and emergency care was available during all of the strikes. Finally, none of the strikes may have lasted long enough to assess the effects of long-term
reduced access to a physician. Nonetheless, the literature suggests that reductions in mortality may result from these strikes.

Embodying the Warrior Archetype in Service of the Divine

https://veilofreality.com/2020/04/29/embodying-the-warrior-archetype-in-service-of-the-divine/

Inspiring Book

From a spiritual master unlike any, a spiritual masterpiece like no other.

AUTHOR, TEACHER AND SPIRITUAL MASTER Jed McKenna tells it like it’s never been told before. A true American original, Jed succeeds where countless others have failed
by reducing this highest of attainments — Spiritual Enlightenment — to the simplest of terms.

Effectively demystifying the mystical, Jed astonishes the reader not by adding to the world’s collected spiritual wisdom, but by taking the spirituality out of spiritual
enlightenment. Never before has this elusive topic been treated in so engaging and accessible a manner.

A masterpiece of illuminative writing, Spiritual Enlightenment is mandatory reading for anyone following a spiritual path. Part exposé and part how-to manual, this
is the first book to explain why failure seems to be the rule in the search for enlightenment — and how the rule can be broken.

Wisdom

Your present karmas can be negated at any moment,

but only if the force of your present intention

is equal to the force you used to create it.

The key to creating and solidifying new samskarmas

that will negate the old ones

is to repeat your new actions so often and so intently

that nothing can stand in their way.

– Robert Svoboda

 
Music

Bob Dylan 1966 – Just Like a Woman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HSZCI_pZec

Humor (?)

Frank Zappa knew it 45 years ago!

“None of us have the promise of tomorrow, God forbid this is my last day on this beautiful earth, it won’t be spent listening to some news person telling me how rotten
we are, how rotten life is, heck no, I’m going out and seeing how beautiful life is. As humans, our time on this planet is very limited…

 


“Turn off,
tune out
and turn on your life.
Peace”

– Frank Zappa

Christopher Wallis: A letter from Jed McKenna

A brief letter from famous/anonymous enlightened guy Jed McKenna, author of Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing. This, in some ways, is what I wish I had had
the courage to say in the last several months, or tried to say but less bluntly. Anyway here’s Jed:

“A recent email from one of my human-interface facilitators ended on this note: “P.S. You’re getting a lot of questions about current events.”

 

To which I now reply that current events are, in the context of awakening in or from the dreamstate, completely irrelevant, and the most important thing you can do
is not get caught up in them. Waking up is all about focus. If you start descending into petty drama – and all drama is petty – then you will lose coherence and your journey will stall.

 

Maintaining a steady mind through pleasure and pain,

gain and loss, victory and defeat, engage in this battle,

indifferent to the outcome. Thus you will incur no sin.

Bhagavad Gita, 2:38

 

The only sin is ignorance and the only absolution is clear-seeing. . . . We might think that extinction-level events – pandemics, riots, nukes, asteroids, zombies,
twerking – are more than mere drama, but they never are because the world is never more than mere theater and we are never more than mere characters; it’s only your emotional infusion that brings it to life.

 

Willfully unsuspend your disbelief, bring your critical-reasoning faculties back online, and you’ll view even the most dire world events like you now view an episode
of SquareBob SpongePants. This is not a matter of concept or theory or belief, but of clear-seeing from an elevated vantage.
The only thing you can change is your perspective, and it starts with opening your eyes.

 

This might be a good time to
unsubscribe from sunshine spirituality. If you take refuge in the notion of a higher-self and spiritual evolution, then you might believe you’re living in crazy times because you chose it at the soul level; that there are lessons for you to
learn or opportunities for spiritual growth or karmic ribbons to be burned.
Such beliefs might help you get through the night, but not to wake up.

 

Truth isn’t only true when it fits our narrative, it’s true in foxhole and burn ward, at deathbed and graveside. . . . Providence may have spared you
from the darkside of this amusement park, but as history and headlines show, it only takes a second to switch from It’s a Wonderful Life to Apocalypse Now.
Every day is anything-can-happen day. Like it or not, them’s the rules.

 

Countless billions of seekers – more sincere, courageous and intelligent than myself – have failed to become finders, not because truth is so well hidden but because
they were looking in the wrong place. That which you seek is not spiritual, it’s developmental, and it’s not found through growth but transition.

 

To quote myself:

The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable.

It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath.

If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never be lost,

we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin

he dropped in the dark because “the light is better over here.”

 

In truth, you are a point of infinite, featureless awareness which, through the magic of emotional alchemy, has become attached to the world of appearance, but despite
what they promise in the spiritual marketplace, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can never be awake while your eyes are still closed.
You can never become an adult while remaining fear-based, half-born and herdbound. You are either asleep or awake in the dreamstate, you can’t be both.

 

If you have a conceptual grasp of nonduality, then you have the power to disprove apparent reality for yourself, but you have not fully processed this nuclear insight
and examined its aftermath. Not-two is the thought that destroys the universe, so if you still find yourself living in a soap opera bubble, it means you have yet to unleash the full potential of this weapon.

 

My universal advice under any circumstances is to get real, snap out of it, wake up. Open your eyes and see who and what and where you really are.
That’s what I think everyone really wants – to complete their development and discover their potential – and here you are reading this, which suggests that’s what you want. Maybe this is your chance to make something happen. Maybe alarming events can
trigger awakening in the same way a blinking light can trigger lucidity in our nighttime dreams. Maybe the wackier the world gets, the easier it will be to detach from it. Maybe the more nightmarish it becomes, the stronger the urge to escape will become.

 

We’re obviously in a wonky period now and it might be awhile before things stabilize again. Whether or not you and I live to see equilibrium restored is, like everything
in the dreamstate, immaterial. And seriously, who goes to a movie to watch happy people anyway? Who goes to an amusement park to sit on a bench? You pay your nickel and ride the ride, but whatever ups-and-downs and thrills-and-chills occur along the way, you
get off right where you got on. Anyone who believes that Armageddon is more meaningful than the popping of a zit has yet to carve *memento mori* on their heart: Remember your death.

 

Or, on the flipside:
Remember that every day is the best day. Enjoy it while it lasts.

 

Yours, &c.”

[Jed McKenna]

A Few Questions to Ask Yourself in These Battle Between Darkness And Light

written by Bernhard Gunther

Dear ,

I hope you do know that we live in historical times. I don’t think most people are aware of the impact of these times we’re in right now.

Every single decision you make matters more than you “think” it does. It ripples through the universe and has consequences on multi-dimensional levels for your “personal” evolution with karmic consequences,
your life and the collective for all is ONE.

Especially now, during these quantum-level accelerated times.

So, this IS the time to ask yourself,

are you making decisions

and living your life

based on truth, love, conscience, integrity,

being sincere with yourself

where BEING and DOING align,

meaning, there is no division between who you are,

what feel, speak, think and do

as an individualized vessel for the Divine force

OR do you succumb to fear, the mob and group pressure, going along with whatever “they” tell you to do and believe?

Taking it a step further;

is your conscience intact

to stop giving a single fuck

what other people think of you

or see you as but instead speak up and out for the sake of others and the world, to help make this world a better place in alignment with Divine Will?

What are your real values?

Are you in integrity?

What would you do today

if you knew you’d die tomorrow?

Would you really care about others’ opinions about you?

Only if you have made peace with death will you able to truly live.

And the last question for self-reflection,

what would you tell your grandchildren

or anyone in 20, 30, 40 years from now

when they ask you what did YOU do in 2020

when the world got shut down

and the people were giving away their freedom out of fear?

Did you just comply and stay silent or did you rise up in your god-given power and resisted the anti-divine forces and helped humanity get on the right track of history?

Let God, Love, Truth, and your Conscience be your guide. Nothing and no one else.

This is not a test.
This is your wake-up call.

The Poverty Trap

 

Here’s a tiny question. What do you think the world’s average income is?

 

You might imagine the following, having heard the Western myth of progress over and over again. Once upon a time, there was a world of poor and starving people. Then
came the industrial revolution. Bang! Suddenly, unstoppably — something very much like a miracle — the world began to get rich, exponentially. There was a magical hockey stick of “growth,” and billions were “lifted out of poverty.”

 

Here’s a tiny reality check. The world’s average income is…about $10,000. Startled? Did you think, perhaps, that the average would be something like $100,000? Not even
close.

 

Surprised? What does that figure say, mean, represent? What is the story it tells? I think the story it tells is about this: why everything seems to be imploding into
a fireball of stagnation, climate change, inequality, and extremism. It explains why we at each others’ throats, even now. It says: we are still a poor world.

 

And now we are in a classic poverty trap: we are fighting over what little spoils there are, more viciously each day, whether in trade wars like Trump’s or Brexit,
or through fascisms big and small…instead of cooperating wisely, investing carefully, planting the seeds of our harvest in tomorrow, so there is greater abundance for us yet. But I’ll come to all that.

 

Let me begin with the first problem that story tells: depletion, exhaustion, climate change, mass extinction. Let’s translate that figure. We’ve spent centuries ravaging
the planet. We’ve strip mined its minerals, drained its fossil fuels, polluted its oceans. We are currently killing off the only life we know of anywhere in the universe. All to…earn just $10,000 per person for the globe.

 

Startled? But do you see the problem? The planet doesn’t have much more left to give us. We are — right now, this decade — on the cusp of catastrophic and severe and
irreversible climate change. Our cities will drown. Mass migrations will ensue. Resource wars will erupt. The planet is out of things to give us — and yet we are still a poor world. So how are we going to grow richer? Are we?

 

We’re still a poor world. But our model of getting rich — global capitalism — has run out of juice. It’s costs are becoming more destructive and rampant and ruinous
by the day. Bang! It feels like a new dark age falling. We have, in other words, hit the limits of a certain paradigm, way of “growth,” but more crucially, way of thinking, seeing, behaving. It’s time for us to dispel the myth that destroying our home made
us — at least some of us — rich. Even pushing the planet to the brink of ruin wasn’t enough to lift the world beyond an average of $10,000 in income.

 

What is $10,000, anyways? That brings me to my second problem: inequality. $10,000 isn’t a middle class income — not in rich countries, or in poor ones. It’s a pittance,
really, in global terms.

 

Think about it this way. The world, if its income was distributed perfectly fairly, wouldn’t be rich. It wouldn’t even be middle class. It would essentially be poor.
(Now, if you want to nitpick, you can say that prices would fall in rich countries if everyone made less. Sure they would. But not enough to keep them “rich.” Just look at a country like China, where the average income is actually around $10,000 — that’s the
standard of living the world can achieve for everyone at the moment. Or maybe Pakistan — at $5000, if we deduct the costs of climate change from those industrial economics to begin with. Not exactly the stuff of dreams.) So what the figure of $10,000 — which
is overstated anyways — per person says is something so profound that we haven’t really understood it at all as a world yet. We are still a poor world.

 

So how do we become a richer one? Can we? Or is the future just a grim Malthusian contest to eliminate the weak?

 

You might object. There’s a rich world, and there’s a poor one, you might say. That’s true, in a way. The rich world today is the 10% of the globe that enslaved and
colonized the other 90% — which is still poor. How to make sense of this contradiction — a poor world, that’s made of a rich 10%, and a poor 90%? The way to think about it is simple. The “rich” 10% of the world has effectively monopolized what little gains
there have been in a world that is still poor. The world is poor regardless — it’s just that the rich have taken most of what little there is to go around. And
monopolizing those gains is what is keeping the world poor, too, because, as we’ll discuss, hoarding resources, instead of investing them, creates poverty traps…and we’re in one right now, only as a world.

 

Let’s put that a little more sharply. The rich 10% of the world grew to consume the lion’s share of the globe’s income through violence. So now there are tremendous
disparities in global income: Americans earn five times the global average, while Asia earns around the global average, while Africa earns a tenth of the global average. It’s not a coincidence that one of those groups — the British and the Americans, i.e.
the Anglos — has spent centuries doing unthinkable violence to the other two, Africans and Asians.

 

But where has all that — those centuries of violence — gotten us as a world? You see, American economics ignores those centuries of slavery entirely. That hockey stick
of industrial revolution style growth it proudly displays… ignores slavery and colonization entirely. Hence, today, economists still say: we give you technology and “innovation” that improves your lives! But if that’s really true — then why is not just, for
example, that Africans make a tenth of the global average… but, more troublingly for American economics…the world only reached the level of $10,000 in income per person?

 

I’d put all that even more simply. The net effect of centuries of violence wasn’t riches for all…it was an average income of just $10,000 for the world. What does that
mean? That violence was a wonderful way for rich countries to get rich. But it was a terrible way for a world to, and so the world is still poor. What else did you expect exploitation and savagery to do? Make everyone rich? Of course not. Violence as a way
of “growth” — even as a necessary virtue — was a fatal mistake that we must all today recognize and face up to — so we stop making it. It was plain folly to imagine that slavery and colonization would make the world richer.

 

Today’s inequality, in other words, is a result of centuries of a badly mistaken economic paradigm — we used to call it colonialism, now we call it capitalism, but
not much has changed, the central idea is still to pay poor countries a pittance for their natural resources and labour.
American style capitalism hasn’t done much to ease the world’s gaping inequalities. How could it? It’s the source of them. Today, what Americans did to poor countries, they’re doing to themselves. They can’t help it: their systems need people to exploit.
But what happens when the people you’re exploiting are your own? Bang! Collapse does.

 

That brings me to another problem — stagnation. We vastly overestimate the power of our current global system as a model with which to run the world. I can hardly blame
us, because we’re bombarded by propaganda for it, masquerading as NYT columns and CNN nightly news. The world got rich! Everything’s always getting better! But the fact is this. A century of American hegemony has only raised the world’s income to $10,000 per
person — poverty levels — and even that’s only been achieved at the ruinous and very real costs (or externalities, as economist say) of climate change, a lack of human rights, endless war, denying country after country democracy, mass extinction, and so on.

 

Capitalism as a model of global economics failed in exactly the one place its proponents said it would succeed: it didn’t create enough wealth fast enough for the world
to become rich. Not even middle class. $10,000 is barely enough to live a poor life, let alone a lower middle class one. Let me put that another way. What has the result of global American style capitalism been? Well, in country after country, the rich have
grown mega rich, then super rich, then ultra rich. Meanwhile, while there are some success stories, labour’s share of income has stayed relatively flat. Translation: the world is still poor, and for most of the world, even if they now have bigger TVs and iPhones…daily
subsistence is still an endless struggle. $10,000 per person just doesn’t go far enough. After centuries of this…the result is still that the world isn’t rich enough for everyone to live a middle class life.

 

When will it be?

 

Even if we redistributed the world’s income perfectly fairly — giving everyone their $10,000 slice — all we’d achieve is making everyone poor. Now we can see the problems
of inequality and stagnation much more clearly. It’s true that the world needs a radically fairer distribution of income. But it’s also true that at this very moment, there’s not enough to go around for everyone to live even a middle class life. We don’t have
enough, as a world, to redistribute — yet. What does that imply? When will everyone be able to live a middle class life?

 

Well, the answer is: never, if we keep following these rules, this paradigm, the ideas and principles of the economy as we know it. That brings me to the next problem:
destabilization. What happens to poor countries, which struggle to develop middle classes? Well, they struggle to become democracies. They seem to be caught, perpetually, in the chaos of authoritarianism, fascism, and so forth. You see the fascist tides ripping
through the world — even the rich world? What’s driving them is poverty, too. People even in rich countries aren’t seeing their incomes grow — while the mega rich are becoming the ultra rich. The result is waves of authoritarianism, as people seek strongmen
to provide them stable lives and a sense of optimism again — and, more darkly, to exclude the subhumans and the impure from the social surplus (like Trump making military babies born of foreign soil no longer citizens).

 

This implodes into fascism because it leaves middle classes struggling, stuck, collapsing. We can see that happening all over the world — China, India, America, Britain.
But fascism then leads to self-destruction: it doesn’t make societies richer. Societies, instead of investing in, say, hospitals, schools, or retirement, begin malinvesting in camps, Gestapos, secret trials, armies, bombs, missiles, kleptocracy, cronyism —
just like America. When capitalism becomes fascism, countries grow poorer, not richer, and America is the prime example. But that also means that we have probably hit the limit now of how rich capitalism is ever going to make the world.

 

The story that the figure of $10,000 per person — in a world wracked by climate change, extremism, stagnation, and inequality — tells me is this: none of that is a
coincidence. The system we have now could get us to this level — about $10K per person — that much is true. But only by sparking climate catastrophe, fascism, authoritarianism, eventual war, the fracture of societies, and the descent into a new dark age along
the way. Sure, it’s possible we can keep “growing” economies according to our current, deeply flawed rules. All those problems will keep “growing” — faster than our economies — right along with them. Only a fool would believe that’s growth like a tree reaching
for the sky, not the growth of a poisoned forest.

 

What we need to cross this barrier — and become a genuinely rich world — is simple. We need the one thing our current system won’t let us have. Investment.
The real thing. In us, our planet, our kids, our futures, our well-being.

We need to do things like the following. Make sure that every child on planet earth has an education, healthcare, an income, food, shelter…before there are any of the following things: billionaires, more weapons, nations, citizens, armies, corporations. The
onus of that falls on rich countries, it’s true. Will they be wise enough to do it? Or will they go on pretending that a world stuck at just $10,000 per person — while already the costs of just that growth, like climate change and fascism, are biting — won’t
descend into more chaos and catastrophe?

 

We need, in other, to build a global social democracy, and advance to the next stage of social development beyond what we have now. That is the future that
humanity’s leaders must shape. Are we up to the task?
I don’t know. Maybe you will tell me.

 

The alternative is this. Global growth is going largely to the top 1% of the already rich 10% of the world. Middle classes are stuck and struggling everywhere. That
is because little is being reinvested globally in things like healthcare, education, retirement, and so on — capitalism doesn’t care about any of those things. But the result is that $10,000 per person isn’t enough for everyone to live even a lower middle
class life — just a poor one.

 

We are in what is called a poverty trap right now, my friends. We need to invest our way out. The truth is that we are not a rich world. We are still a poor world.
And we are a poor world despite having eaten our way through our planet’s oceans, rivers, reefs, and forests, having chewed up our democracies, having labored to the bone for centuries.

 

Poor worlds tend to implode — like poor neighborhoods, or countries, or societies — into rage, hate, violence, despair, self-destruction, and ruin.

 

That is the path we are on now. Are we wise enough to change it?

 

Umair

August 2020

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