Some further thoughts from the peanut gallery
"When we stare into the abyss of massive change and climate disaster today, it is apparent that the civilizational project has been an abject failure, with its imperialism, dominator paradigm, toxic technologies, and economic hegemony based on an illusion of endless growth. At this time in history, looking to humanity’s living past for holistic solutions and social-spiritual transformation would seem to be apropos."
As I mentioned earlier, I am in firm agreement that the dominant capitalist paradigm presupposes a delusion, of endless economic growth, since capitalism - at least in its present form - requires the ever-increasing use of finite resources.
A simple arithmetic statement to make my point. Economists typically feel that 'growth' of around 3 percent is generally healthy. Let's say that in 1900 to 1901, that involved a transition from 100 units of finite resources being consumed, to 103 units. Next, let's isolate two factors, the consumption of trees, since such growth enables more people to afford houses. And let's say that the same growth rate applies to oil which, along with its obvious benefits, results in a 3 percent growth of 'negative externalities' as in pollution.
When one compounds this healthy rate of grow to the present, we are looking at 'healthy' 3 percent compounding from 1900 to 2019, a 119-year time span. By this point, with all things being equal, the amount of tree consumption and pollution has risen to 3435 units of tree consumption and pollution PER YEAR.
It goes without saying that these things are never discussed by the media, because the media is part of the industrial complex itself. Middle class consumers, in turn, have always been willing to turn a blind eye to these details, as we hear every election cycle during recessions where the only thing that matters are more economic growth. So, why I am optimistic?
One thing that your commentary does not mention - a very big thing - is the myriad benefits that free market economics have provided, so in the end we have a mixed bag of good and bad.
My optimism is based on the following. We are now starting to see mission creep, as capitalism in its present form reaches it's upper limits. People will be increasingly LESS able to ignore the less desirable effects of the dominant paradigm, and that situation will call for radical measures.
In the United States students, who are expected to fuel the older generations, are saddled with debt approaching 50 to 100k by the time they are in their mid-20s. Here in Vancouver, we are informed that a household requires a MINIMUM 100k yearly income just to be able to by a house, about a quarter of which are owned by wealthy speculators who leave them unoccupied, in order to flip them down the road for further gains.
About a year ago Vancouver instituted a new tax, which eliminates the anticipated gains regarding such speculation, and since then sales have dropped off significantly - here in one of the world's most livable cities. This is one of several remedies that I see coming. Desperate times call for radical solutions.
I expect more of the same, including the eventual exoneration of all student debt, as one sees in Germany, if I am correct. How might that be financed? Perhaps by making the 5% who own 80 percent of all wealth (or some such thing) pay for it? Think they will simply move to another country, and take their wealth there? That might not be so easy, if those in control of the democratic reigns decide to freeze their assets.
Likewise, 'Trickle down' economic 'theory' has resulted in the displacement of thousands of people in many of the Western World's larger cities. Meanwhile, however, we have developed the ability to make homes in 24-hours, with concrete, thanks to 3-D printers.
In general, as I said, I see a lot of smart people out there, and thanks to the free market, whose compounding technological advancements have brought us to this point where this is is possible. And so I am optimistic that we can transition, once we get real.
And we will. But given our penchant for denial, and evasion, the SHIT has to hit the fan first.
Hopefully this occurs incrementally, relatively speaking. PB