When considering such questions as what to do now one must decide whether this is to be ‘blue sky’ thinking unfettered by cynicism or prejudiced by what one think might happen or to be realistic and try to fashion ideas based around current thinking.  As I have myself criticised the current thinking and those who continue to limit themselves by trying to come up with solutions from inside a very small box I have to try at least to look at the former strategy.

Climate change is something that must be looked at.  One could sit and argue as to how much of the statistics are true, whether or not we have already passed the tipping point, when exactly fossil fuels will run out but this totally misses the point.  Such arguments are only really pertinent when one is considering simple short-term economics, there is every reason to look to change the nature of our oil-based high carbon economy because in the long run sustainability and renewable energy makes better sense than not.  It is also an excellent time to use the great many unemployed, there are consturction workers currently being paid by the state not to work when at the same time there are a great many who do not have a home, this would appear to be a marriage made in heaven, it would enable the state to stop paying to house people in shelters and B+Bs and temporary accommodation whilst using the skills and the labour of people it would be having to pay for anyway.  Add to this the re-enfranchisement of the builders themselves.  This type of example works in a number of cases, during a recession, especially in this country with the almost extinct manufacturing industry there are a large number of disused factories, these can be used for things that would otherwise be waiting around for the premises in which to build them.  A policy of using these factories to subsidise renewable energy and build wind turbines, solar panels, Hydro Electric Power components and tidal equipment would be an excellent use of the land and the facilities and mean that production could start sooner rather than later.  There are the mechanisms to do all this, it is the will that is lacking.

In essence the financial crisis could have proven to be the best thing that happened to the world, especially to the United States, it would be all too easy for the American electorate to feel that the job is now done, the Bush administration is now gone and a new dawn is heralded with a “Yes, we can” mentality.  However this is only the start, the USA must seek to rebuild international relations on trust not bullying and military might, it must seek to adjudicate struggles on judicial and humanitarian grounds and to do so it must first sign up for the same responsibilities that it expects other nations to do namely the international criminal court.  It must put the issues of Cuba, Venezuela and Palestine behind it and acknowledge that the policies of America first do not only harm other nations but they will come back to bite America itself in the arse.

Likewise for other nations the economic meltdown should be the proof, if any further were needed, that the current system of free market within large conglomerate fortresses and the mortgaging of multiple generations futures to business is to go into the future utterly blinkered and disregards the lessons of history as well as ignores the present.  When Groucho Marx went to his broker in 1928 and said he did not understand how the share prices continued to rise he was given the answer that it was now a global economy and therefore things were different to how they had been before.  In October 1929 when Wall St crashed people said then that this couldn’t be happening, people’s previous access to easy credit dried up and brokers called in the loans and threatened to sell all stocks if they weren’t repaid, which most couldn’t be and this fuelled the crash.

It appears though that the politicians are no more inclined to learn these lessons than the bankers are, content to expect that things will come good in the end.  What they fail to look at is the lives of those too irreparably damaged by the downturn to be able to benefit from any upturn.  These people are the great economic collateral damage of capitalism, and since armies show no mercy in that regard so one should not expect any from the armies of bankers and politicians on the take who sit around tables like First World War generals charting the positions of where people will be wiped out.

Is another world possible – well it must be, after all one existed before capitalism so there is nothing to suggest one cannot exist after it, and a great many would say the sooner we go down that road and seek it the better.  I cannot think of a better way to finish than with another Einstein quote:

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.

Song Of The Day ~ Kings Of Leon – Genius