Neoliberalism has failed and the order of the post-world war 2 era is now falling apart in its entirety; a new era has begun and we are able to shape it. (In order to understand the title and philosophy behind it, it is helpful to read the article I wrote about the political struggle)
As 2020 nears its end, we look back at 40 years of neoclassical aka neoliberal economic policies which led to more income and wealth inequality, environmental pollution, erosion of western democracies through lobbyism, and continuous exploitation of third world countries.
„Since 1980, the World Inequality Report data has shown that the share of national income going to the richest 1 percent has increased rapidly in North America (defined here as the United States and Canada), China, India, and Russia and more moderately in Europe. World Inequality Lab researchers note that this period coincides with the rollback in these countries and regions of various post-World War II policies aimed at narrowing economic divides. By contrast, they point out, countries and regions that did not experience a post-war egalitarian regime, such as the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Brazil, have had relatively stable, but extremely high levels of inequality.“
From the LiveScience article:
„Air pollution kills more than 2 million (2,000,000) people each year, according to a study published in the journal of Environmental Research Letters.“
The ongoing change of the climate is also the result of the government interfering less and less by reducing regulations or prevent regulations from passing (prime example: the USA).
Lobbyism plays a big role as well, since those with greater wealth (the top 1% and multinational companies) are able to get more lobbyists. In return for their expertise they demand that any laws affecting them are biased towards them, naturally it destroys the core principle of democracy: representatives are elected to implement policies that the people want.
International trade agreements like TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement), TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) were made by and are for the large corporations. Despite the importance and impact it will have on the people, they rarely or get no say at all in the matter. Due to the onesidedness there’s little consideration for the working class in a country, or the existing regulations and legal framework (e.g. arbitral courts). However, some countries don’t even have a choice (like in Africa) and economic powerhouses like the USA, the EU and China are exploiting the weakness (-> resource exploitation and little gain for the African nation).
The current economic and health crisis, which was caused by SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19), is also evidence for the fragile system we are living in. Businesses had to close and the smaller and middle-sized fear to this day for their existence, many people lose their jobs (although there’s a difference depending on the country; the working people in the US, for instance, only received one stimulus check and are not protected by a strong social security net like in Europe) and the wealth of the middle and lower classes decreases. Meanwhile, the billionaires increased their wealth (In the US by $637,000,000,000 (billion)). This is not the first time either that the very wealthy gained while the vast majority made losses and/or suffered otherwise, as the Business Insider article points out that I linked above.
Climate change, if not combatted, will also hurt the poor the most:
„Heart and lung disease, heat stroke and bacterial infections are just a few of the health consequences associated with climate change. Low-income populations “typically have less access to information, resources, institutions, and other factors to prepare for and avoid the health risks of climate change,” the report says, leaving them especially vulnerable. Lack of health insurance among the poor will also intensify the risks of illnesses caused by climate change.“
While the article focuses on the poor in the US, the findings apply to people living in poverty worldwide. In general, they have less resources (especially money) and knowledge. Only by lifting them from poverty and ensuring that they have the same access to quality education, good infrastructure and healthcare, technology, etc. the global community will be able to fight against the man-made environmental changes.
The economic system, as it exists now, is incapable of solving the problems it has caused. It’s the same with the „trickle-down economics“ which, as we have seen at the beginning, didn’t work at all and instead trickled the wealth from the bottom to the top.
It is long overdue for an alternative system, and that’s what holistic-futurism is about.
Not just in an economic sense is it different from the current system, but also in a political sense (e.g. throughout democratization and technocracy).
A New Economy
Holistic-Futurism does not orientate itself on a strict economic system (i.e. capitalism or socialism), instead it assesses the situation by analyzing the problems. This can be done through regular exchange with the people and the communities living within a region/country, as well as experts on the subject (i.e. a stronger connection to the scientific community). Moreover, it is time that the economy adapts to the culture of the people – we do not need the destructive spiral of profit maximization, lower and lower prices, and higher performance of the workers (while their wages stay stagnant or barely increase).
As explained above, the focus on economic growth incentivized by the neoliberal system led to the problems we see today. And, before anyone asks, it doesn’t mean that economic growth is going to be ignored entirely. Merely the main focus shifts to the well-being of the people and the environment. Our world was perfectly capable of thriving before the 1980s, this time we have the chance to improve the living conditions of all people across the globe. It may take a while, but it is worth it.
If neither capitalism nor socialism is endorsed, how exactly are the policies being shaped?
As mentioned earlier, there needs to be more exchange with the people and experts to tackle various problems. Closer cooperation between the economic players, the working class and the government is also required. Some policies have shown that they already work very well (e.g. universal healthcare, universal education, a solid and well-funded infrastructure, economic freedoms to found a business), others have yet to be tried (e.g. universal basic income, 4-Day working week). In a way, the scientific method could be used to find out what works and what doesn’t work.
Psychologists, for example, can also make their voice be heard through a science council and point out what must be fixed to increase the mental well-being of the people (see also my article: Council of the People’s Deputies). In short: there needs to be more exchange between the scientific community, the various religious and ethnic communities that make up the people of a nation, the industry (+ the working class) and politicians.
By not focusing on a specific system, it is also possible to think more unorthodox while trying to find solutions. Sometimes, the government has to interfere more and other times the private sector needs more freedoms. Pragmatism is key.
Mass consumption is a major issue in western societies, what happens to that?
For one, we need to raise environmental and social awareness to let the people know how their consumption impacts nature (e.g. plastic pollution of the oceans), people in other countries (e.g. child labour) and the mental damage it causes us (e.g. no satisfaction and the need to constantly consume; as well as the plastic pollution that returns on the plate by eating fish and other marine life that accidentally ate microplastics). That way, the people realize that something must be done – it is going to improve their quality of life too, after all.
Secondly, politics mustn’t focus on economic growth anymore, and private companies shouldn’t just focus on profit maximization. Instead, the government and political parties must create incentives to live environmentally friendly (e.g. building cycleways to increase the use of bicycles inside cities). Companies, on the other hand, must take human rights and the environment into consideration before making a decision. The price of the goods is going to increase, but so is the quality and the wages overall. One must keep in mind, while reading this, that I do not seek to change to just change one part of the system, but replace the system entirely. Anyway, more transparency in politics and democratization of the working place in the private sector ensure that both are hold accountable by the people. If the government and private companies work together to create a new and environmentally friendly way of transport (or else), smaller businesses should also be able to gain from it (ultimately, they paid partially for it through taxes). Increasing the strength of worker unions is also part of the democratization and transparency process.
Thirdly, the „throw-away-society“ must transfrom into a „repair-and-keep-society“. I mentioned in the second point, but here I’m going to elaborate on it.
As you may know, our modern societies suffer from the cheap and short-lasting goods which cause a lot of trash – as well as the overuse of plastic. Both for the environment and humanity, the impacts are disastrous: wildlife accidentally eats microplastics or absorbs it by drinking, and then it is returned to us when we eat fish or other animals. Electronic devices don’t last that much longer as well, or some of us tend to buy something new instead of repairing it (either due to unwillingness or too high costs). There’s no question about it that it has to change, and here all actors come into play:
The government needs to regulate where it is necessary to ensure that electronic devices are not build short-lived, and in third world countries there must be investments made into garbage disposal infrastructure and recycling in general.
Companies, on the other hand, need to make their devices easily repairable and reduce the cost of repairing it (e.g. no unnecessary tiny screws which need to be opened with a special tool).
We, the people, also need to change our mentality. Whenever possible, we have to think about a way to fix it rather than throw it away and use something different. At the moment, it is limited depending on the goods we use (I, for one, use a Fairphone 3 and thus have it easier to repair; but using older mobil phones is also an excellent way of reducing waste, and in some countries there’s even a service where you can send your old mobile phone to which is then recycles, and the money is used for a good cause).
Our food consumption also needs to change, and some of you may already have made a change. This issue is also a complex one, because poorer families and individuals don’t have as much time and money as those living in a wealthier middle class, for example.
Any program and/or policy must therefore also help the poor and ensure that everyone is given the same access to high quality food and guidance to a balanced diet.
Due to the complexity of the issue, I cannot say that much about it, but I hope that my answer makes sense to you given the circumstances.
What are the core values of Holistic-Futurism?
Other values are:
– Pragmatism: dealing with a problem in a sensible way that suits the conditions that really exist, rather than following fixed theories, ideas or rules (Cambridge Dictionary)
– Technocracy: importance of scientific and technical knowledge in governing positions (i.e. especially in ministries)
The Battle Flag
The battle flag represents with the white colour the mercilessness of the winter which we also let the anti-democratic forces experience on a political level (e.g. neo-Nazis), religious level (i.e. religious fundamentalists) and economic level (e.g. lobbyists trying to undermine the people’s vote by pushing for their views); the red colour symbolizes the blood that was spilled for our democracies to form and the ongoing battle in other countries and places (e.g. HongKong, Thailand, Belarus) for democratic values; the black colour signals the seriousness and determination of the cause; finally, the simplified version of the holistic-futuristic logo represents the ideology that is being fought for.
While we won’t need to go on a real battlefield to fight for these ideas, at least in the western democracies, there’s still the political struggle consisting of making one visible through speeches, events, articles, and else. First and foremost, we need to make ourselves present in the real world and not just the internet (preferably not on Anti-Corona protests, which are in itself filled with anti-science attitudes (-> not wearing masks and no social distancing) and where political enemies (such as fascists) also participate in).
If you want to, then you can also add the flag of your country in the battle flag to signal that you are fighting for your nation:
If you’ve got any questions, then you can visit my Twitter (@EviOmega), comment on this article below, or ask me questions per E-Mail adress (firstname.lastname@example.org).