By Johan Galtung
Thinking aloud: we need all good ideas to combat our double economic crisis: the increasing misery crisis at the bottom, now also in rich countries in the West, and the increasing system crisis, also striking those countries; but both are all over.
So the following are notes for an epilogue to a forthcoming book, Peace Economics, about how to overcome the flagrant structural violence in the misery crisis, and the threat of direct violence, not only terrorism and state terrorism, but a major world war to get the West out of the system – like the Second World War lifted them out of the Great Depression.
At the root is inequality and an inequality discourse with such ideas as floor and ceiling for less economic inequality, lifting the bottom up using communities as units, putting limits to material wealth, and forcing the earnings ratios between CEOs and employees down below 10 (it is now in the hundreds). And of course the Millennium Development Goals, fine, but unattainable within the current system.
This presupposes less military inequality through more conflict solution orientation and more nonviolence, negative and positive; less cultural inequality through more dialogue and mutual learning; less political inequality through more democracy – also locally and globally.
Even small moves in the right direction could make huge differences.
But this only as background for an economic crisis discourse, opening for less monetization, barter (like meat-oil-health cycles), and laborism, exchanging services on a one hour for one hour basis. More fair globalization together with more localization, more public and public-private cooperatives, less stock-holder power, more joint capital-CEO-management-worker-supplier-customer-community-nature decision-making, less labor productivity, civilizing economists into generalists also with human-social skills; and less military intervention to protect unsustainable economies.
Then there is an axiom discourse, changing the present economism from a killing- to a future living-economy, by postulates like these:
• Nature-Human-Social-World-Time-Culture-Market are indivisible
• Basic needs for all implies lower limits to the economy
• More transaction equity for less inequality
• Nature-Human-Social-World-Time-Culture-Market synergy
• A limited world implies upper limits to economic growth
• Creative transcendence serves conflict resolution
• Another and better world with human dignity is possible
And that translates into an economic cycle nature-production-Consumption discourse:
– Conditio sine qua non, reproduction of Nature
– Raison d’être, meeting the necessities of human life
– Cycles should be expanded, globalized, to bridge fault-lines, but only if the terms of trade are equitable
– Cycles should be contracted, localized, for comprehension and control, sustenance and equity. Human scale.
– Cycles should be quicker, speed up to provide products for sustenance of the nodes. Money should not sleep.
– Cycles should be slower, slow down for comprehension, control.
– Cycles should be inclusive and equitable, across fault-lines.
To be equitable nature should be helped and not only not harmed.
Consumers should pay for products so that producers and consumers can enjoy the same livelihood.
In general cycle links should be as direct as possible:
* Direct nature-production by moving the production to nature;
* Direct production-consumption fair trade, cooperative sales points.
* Direct nature-consumption
**in private space using gardens more for agriculture, planting cereals, vegetables, fruits from trees and bushes;
**in public space, planting edibles in forests and commons; in parks and streets for aesthetics and nutrition available to all.
And into a real economy-finance economy discourse:
Translate early warning indicators dF/dR into early action:
Slow down the finance economy, Speed up the real economy.
* to slow down the finance economy: do not “bail out” those who have extended credit more than X times their capital or those who have contracted debts more than Y times their repayment capacity.
* to speed up the real economy: make “stimulus” for affordable necessities for people’s sake and to bring them into the economy, and for normalities to make the real economy grow from bottom up.
Defensive measures when early warning is not followed by action:
* Store necessities, produce food, store financial objects safely.
Boycott the worst finance economy institutions, promote local savings banks for deposits and local credit; tax transborder transactions; establish a mixed world currency or backed by a real world treasury.
Offensive measures to delegitimize speculation, by
* publishing the names of buyers and sellers of derivatives,
* outlaw betting with other peoples’ money without consent,
* if speculation goes wrong, encourage suicide like Monte Carlo
And a nature-labor-capital-technology-management discourse
away from the dictatorship of capital to a balanced factor profile:
Naturism: to enhance nature for more eco-stability
Laborism: to enhance humans for more dignity
Capitalism: to enhance capital, for profit-growth and credit
Technologism: to enhance technology to induce more equity Managementism: to enhance management for more democracy
Changing to cycle decision-making: The cycle, not companies in one or between two nodes, is the forum for decision-making, given the constraints of the absolutes to sustain Nature and Humans.
Changing mode of production by changing means of production. If we want another mode, then change the means, the factors. The horizontal office landscape is already a technology facilitating transparency and equality; so is dialogue as opposed to debate. Most important is to equalize the challenges and opportunities along the economic cycle
The basic needs Survival-Wellness-Freedom-Identity discourse:
> Basic needs awareness. Humans have human rights that reflect freedom and identity needs better than the needs for survival and wellness and spiritual more than somatic needs; meet all needs.
> Build survival-wellness-identity into modern/postmodern economies building a living, not a killing economy, changing the axioms.
> Build freedom into traditional economies. Horizontal, small units, but not necessarily local, also national-regional-global; use Internet.
The Economic Schools Blue-Red-Pink-Green-Yellow discourse:
The Eclectic School: Green local economies for necessities, Pink national economies for normalities and Yellow global for the special.
The spaces Nature-Human-Society-World-Time-Culture discourse
Nature: Eco-balance, by making nature gain from each human deal,
Humans: Basic Needs, by honoring one hour = one hour, regardless of the work done because one human life = one human life, for dignity and equality. The value of a product is the human labor invested–basic to all counter-trend economics–hence human-hour as unit, also for the theory and practice of equal exchange.
Society: Development, by producing necessities and normalities, also for non-monetary returns like product satisfaction, self-realization, social togetherness, not only for monetary returns for jobs.
World: Peace through trade for mutual and equal benefit, improving production factors, self-reliance, equal benefit by internalizing externalities like challenge and eco-stability; no Ricardo.
Time: Sustainability, by enhancing homo faber-ludens-sapiens, playing up to all aspects of human beings, body, mind and spirit.
Culture: Adequacy, through trade as cultural dialogue, drawing on the richness of western-islamic-buddhist-japanese-chinese models.
There are two absolutes:
– Priority to the necessities for Nature and Human reproduction.
– For the rest, select boldly, eclect boldly.