perjantai 16. syyskuuta 2016

What comes after the European Union?

No Euro Forum 16.-18.9.2016, Chianciano Terme, Italy

A nonviolent counterrevolution is currently under way. It is still largely confined to the minds of people, and can be seen as disappointment with the current rulers and a rejection of the old structures and political parties.

The reason for this counterrevolution is the former revolution which targeted prosperity, justice and the rule of the majority. The European Union has been a major part of this revolution, which has redistributed wealth and power from the many to the few. EU is a tool of the oligarchy. The goal has been to secure the free flow of capital and keep it outside of effective taxation.

The central thesis of the EU is the so-called thesis of 4 freedoms: of people, of products, of services, and of capital. It is no coincidence, that this thesis was formulated in the ERT-group in the 1980's. ERT (European round table of industrialists) is a powerful lobby group composed of the heads of the largest European corporations. The main "freedom" of the oligarchy, the freedom to move capital without restrictions, is due to the ERT.

The euro currency is a political project. It is a part of the foundation for an EU-state. The forces behind the creation of the euro wanted to reduce the public sector and privatize state property. In this the euro has succeeded. For the majority of the citizenry the euro has been a catastrophe.

It is necessary to acknowledge where we are and where we are headed. If we want a society where a high standard of living touches everyone, we must change the current policies. Nothing new needs to be invented - at least not much. Practically all that is necessary for a sustainable economy and society has already been in use.

A market economy can only work when regulated. It is this regulated market economy which we now need. We need balance between people - that is, more justice. We need balance between the economy and humans - that is, an economy that works toward the sustenance of everyone. We also need a balance between the needs of humans and the limits of nature - that is, giving up on the necessity of economic growth and a rebalancing of material consumption with the natural resources.

We must not become hostages to previous concepts. The necessary new direction includes components of both socialism and capitalism.

Thus we need a new goal, a path toward it, and the first steps. Regarding the development of society and democracy, the main thing is the direction, because perfection is not achievable.

When we decide to take a new direction, the first steps are important. Currently the first steps are the reinstatement of national currencies and national sovereignty as the basis for well-being and democracy - which means an exit from the euro and the EU.

After this, there are many options. It is necessary to acknowledge that independence and a sovereign currency provide the possibility for new sustainable policies, but do not guarantee anything more. This is why we are living in a time of great shifts. The EU has broken its promises. The doors to many different paths are now open. Some of them may be even worse than the EU.

What kind of counterrevolution is needed?

An alternative for the current oligarchy - including the EU - is needed, one that is concrete, understandable, and constructive. I want to stress that this means a change in the foundations of the economy and societal development.

The EU is not a project of peace, but a powder keg. The cause of peace can be furthered with international cooperation, for example by creating initiatives for disarmament within UN. We can jointly propose that nations redirect 10% of their defense budget toward eradicating extreme poverty and toward the solution of conflicts.

The crises in the middle East and central Asia, as well as immigration, are largely the results of the West's military interventions and outright toppling of governments in the region. The obligation to solve the problems is first and foremost at the feet of those, whose caused the problems in the first place. Armed solutions can only be temporary.

If the people are allowed to decide their own political and national associations, many current states will break up. Steps to prepare for this should be taken by the UN and others in order to minimize violence and wars of secession.

The need for the EU has been justified on the basis of international cooperation. However, within the EU the relationship is one of subjugation rather than cooperation. The policies of the EU are dictated by the large member nations and international corporations, rich investors and major banks.

More international cooperation is needed. Real cooperation can only be achieved by those, who can decide their own actions. All oligarchies have attempted to justify themselves as maintainers of peace and well-being. If by well-being we mean narrower income gaps and the possibility of a dignified life for everyone, the EU is the problem, not the solution.

Well-being for everyone requires a sense of common responsibility. The different cultures and histories of different nations greatly affect the types of economic and societal decisions that can be made. One model does not fit all.

The best prospects for building a sustainable standard of living are in those places, where people can participate and where the decisions are made close to those affected by them.

It has been said that the EU is a counterbalance to the economic might of the US and China. The Europeans have been recruited to fight an economic war against other powers. The real enemy, however, is amongst us. As citizens and activists we must unite with the people all over the world to fight against the economic and political oligarchy which oppresses people the world over.

Globalisation is a new form of colonialism, where the oppressors are not other nation states, but international corporations, investors and banks.

In place of this neoliberal globalisation we need localisation. This must mean real democracy, a greater emphasis on local affairs, and a balance between man and nature. This is the counterrevolution that is needed. It is paradoxical that even from the point of view of the current ruling elite, this change of direction is the best option in the long run. Ultimately it is to everyone's benefit to avoid the metamorphosis of the current economic violence into open violence.

The first steps in a new direction

- A sovereign currency, central bank and legal system are needed for each nation state. An exit from the euro and EU.

- The control of the currency has to be given to the state. The state creates the currency through its central bank. Other banks are prohibited from creating currency and are restored to their original duties.

- The state-controlled currency can be used to pay for citizens to work in selected fields. These include healthcare, education, the police, the army, fire departments, postal services, railroads and other transportation infrastructure.

- Using the previously described actions we can free ourselves from the necessity of economic growth, which is dictated by the current monetary system. The need to curtail economic growth will be necessary in any case, since consumption already surpasses the renewal rate of natural resources.

- The production of energy has to be changed to use renewable sources.

- Instead of increasing consumption, we must focus on fulfilling the basic needs of everyone and the quality of life. This balance requires that the economy and markets work to the benefit of humans. The total production, GDP, is not a measure of well-being. To measure the quality of life we must take into account the distribution of income, the state of nature and whether the basic needs of everyone are met. A central goal is to adopt a true measure of progress, such as the GPI, as a tool for making decisions.

What can we do to increase cooperation?

- Formulate the central principles and practical first steps needed for a new economic system.

- Gather a worldwide network of cooperation.

- Organize a yearly conference for organizations and parties interested in cooperation.

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