- en cours de l'amélioration perpétuelle de l'imparfait -
Le sens de l'absurde
La Cour Le Mur des Droits de l'Homme de l'Europe à Strassbourg
Prisonnier de sa propre marketing comme nous tous?
J'ai reçu hier un lettre de la Cour Européenne des droits de l'homme concernant la requête 17971/11 et ici un parti d'une deuxième lettre enoyé mars 2012. Début avril cette année j'ai envoyée une troissième lettre et apparemment celle là a aidé la cour de m'envoyer sa premier réponse dans deux ans. Pour me dire que la requête n'était pas conforme les articles 34 et 35 du convention. Pas d'autres explications et une porte qui jamais était ouvert se ferme. Mais j'ai eu la possibilité de mettre en bout de papier dans ce mur de lamentation européenne à Strasbourg. ;-)
Je ne suis pas le premier à qui ça s'arrive......
Mais plus important, comment retrouver une cohésion et réciprocité partagé par chaque individu dans notre société? Une mission impossible par la concurrence mutuelle!
Mais qui va le dire à François Hollande, M. Rutte, M. van Rompuy, M. Barosso, . M Bayrou, M. Fillon, M. Gallois, la presse, les économistes, les entrepreneurs, les employées, les Syndicats, les parents, étudiants, enfants et à nous même?
Le mieux est d'essayer de comprendre. Personnellement je ne crois pas au renversement du système. Je vis dans un pays dans laquelle la révolution était plutôt catastrophique. Dans laquelle les institutions ont prit la rôle du Roi, intouchables dans une façon « plus moderne ». Mais je ne suis pas contre les institutions Française, ni celle de Pays-Bas ou d'Europe!!!* Si nous ne voulons croire ou pas ces institutions sont aussi responsable d'un certain stabilité que je suis heureux de percevoir. Et sa mérite cent pour-cent d'être reconnue!!! De ce point de vue je suis conservatrice.
Mais pas une conservatisme enfermé en lui même.
Sans une dose sain d'anarchie (l'indignation contre l'abus de pouvoir) et la solidarité et liberté l'esprit conservatrice est mort.
La changement profonde de la société est que possible qu'on accepte que nous ne sommes pas parfait et que nous avons peut être peur de changer nos habitudes. C'est important que nous acceptons que nous sommes ici et maintenant avec tout nos défauts et tout est là. Nous n'avons pas besoins plus ou moins, juste la volonté de voir que l'humanité est sur la même bateau (la terre) et que tout est là. Si on voit que nous pouvons co-opérer et partager, nous gagnerons la dignité d'être humain parmi d'autres, c'est la plus grand récompense que je pouvais imaginer.
* Oui il y a un côté de syndromisation de stockholm, je dois faire attention!!!! ;-) :P
« Compléments d’informations »
Requête no. 17971/11 Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme 17 mars 2012
Hoopman (ii) pour les Pays-Bas
L’intégration constitue l’un des thèmes sociaux les plus épineux. Elle est exploitée dans la stratégie politique et dans les médias en vue de pousser les personnes les unes contre les autres ou de les utiliser les unes contre les autres. Les « immigrés » doivent s’adapter, par exemple. Le soussigné ne peut que constater que l’intégration est dans ce cas réduite à une simple question de pouvoir : qui détermine que « l’autre » doit s’adapter ? J’espère que vous sentez vous-aussi que dans ce cadre, l’intention même d’intégration est étouffée dans l’œuf. La concurrence réciproque ne pourra jamais conduire à l’intégration, mais tout au plus au chantage !
L’intégration est la rencontre, par exemple, de deux personnes aux antécédents différents et la curiosité d’apprendre à mieux connaître « l’autre ». En apprenant à observer l’autre, nous apprenons également à mieux nous connaître nous-mêmes, car nous apprenons à observer les différences. Rencontrer les autres peut renforcer notre identité intérieure, non pas en l’imposant aux autres, mais en apprenant à reconnaître et à accepter le fait d’ « être différent ». Lorsqu’un autre veut vous imposer ses propres valeurs, cela signifie que cet autre nie tout simplement l’essence de votre existence. Psychologiquement, cela signifie qu’il ignore sa propre existence et qu’il a besoin de dominer l’autre pour se tailler sur mesure une identité extérieure à titre de compensation.
Encourager et récompenser ce genre de comportement est sans doute la dernière chose que nous devrions faire, en tant qu’État de droit. Et c’est pourtant bien ce que nous avons adopté inconsciemment comme priorité principale au sein de notre système politico-économique. Ceci rend l’intégration sociale et de droit constitutionnel quasiment impossible, comme on peut le remarquer aujourd’hui dans notre société, avec pour principal symptôme l’effritement de la crédibilité des pouvoirs publics auprès des citoyens. C’est logique, car la politique a laissé réduire son rôle à celui de gardien et de défenseur d’une machine bureaucratisante, en favorisant grossièrement ou en diminuant la quantité de l’argent. Les pouvoirs publics ne font plus partie directement et intégralement de la société. Jamais encore il n’y a eu autant d’argent qu’aujourd’hui en circulation dans le monde, alors que simultanément, nous allons d’une crise à l’autre. La politique trouverait-elle un intérêt inconscient à cette multitude de crises et cela signifierait-il alors que nous nous sommes nous aussi inconsciemment trouvés à leur origine ? La crise favorise la pénurie, par exemple en termes de justice et de sécurité, et générera un accroissement de la demande parmi la population. Nous avons ainsi créé de manière inconsciente un cercle vicieux d’impuissance sociale, politique et juridique.
ps Quand vous avez lu l'article entier, peut être vous comprenez l'illusion du débat sur la compétivité.
image copié du site: http://www.retail-intelligence.fr/2011/11/lanalyse-cle-de...
« Tu m’as encore mis dans de beaux draps. »
II. EXPOSÉ DES FAITS
STATEMENT OF THE FACTS
WEERGAVE VAN DE FEITEN
Le soussigné a tenté de dénoncer juridiquement la différence de pouvoir entre l’univers financier et le reste de la société. Cette différence de pouvoir se manifeste sous la forme d’intérêts qui sont réclamés sur l’argent prêté, en plus du remboursement. Ceci rend impossible tout échange économique équilibré entre les parties et diffuse un signal hiérarchique selon lequel on doit gagner plus que la contribution que l’on a apportée. En cas d’application de manière chronique, ceci conduit à des concentrations de pouvoir verticales, au lieu de communications économiques horizontales fondées sur l’ « égalité » entre les personnes selon le droit constitutionnel. La hiérarchie sociale, qu’elle soit publique ou privée, se formera et se stabilisera verticalement à partir de ces différences de pouvoir. En Inde, on appelle ceci le système de castes, en Afrique du Sud l’apartheid, aux États-Unis la ségrégation, en Allemagne le fascisme, au sein de la religion ceci s’appelle la foi et au sein de l’économie nous nommons cela la science.
Le soussigné a tenté d’aborder cette question de manière informelle, dans une tentative de dialogue avec les pouvoirs publics néerlandais en 2006. Cette correspondance n’ayant abouti à rien, le soussigné a présenté une réclamation contre un avis d'imposition provisoire relatif à l’impôt sur les sociétés.
L’observation la plus intéressante de toute la procédure a été formulée par l’inspecteur du service des contributions, le 26 mars 2007 :
Le problème que vous abordez dépasse le cadre de cette réclamation.
Ceci a continué de planer au-dessus de toute la procédure et aucune des instances juridiques néerlandaises n’a eu le courage d’aborder le contenu de la problématique soulevée, éludant la question de manière juridico-technique afin de ne pas être contraintes de l’aborder sur son contenu.
On vie aujourd'hui dans une société qui ce désintègre, nous avons besoin une intégration (synthèse) des grand penseurs comme Adam Smith, Karl Marx et Montesquieu.
Pour lire le document tout entier;
- Pas de nouveau billet avant le 15 mars -
Un petit livre à n'est pas rater pour comprendre le sujèt: L'esprit et la pensée de Krishnamurti, pour nous les soi-disant intelectuelles!!!! ;-)
Enclosure II with the appeal of De Hutte Holding BV versus the Tax and Customs Administration, case number 07 / 2920 VPB 77 21 december 2008
What’s the alternative course?
Integral (integrated) economy
Today, we are experiencing several crises at the same time, all of which are interrelated below the surface and all of which come down to one and the same synthesising question: How can we co-exist? While the theoretical answer to this question is fairly simple, it is much harder to put it into practice – it takes two to tango. ;-)
A. The foundations of society
A healthy and living foundation for society requires certain conditions that promote life and survival. The simpler these preconditions are, the clearer and thus more effective they will be. What needs do we all share? The need for drinking water, food, clothing, shelter, education and health care. The constitutional state is responsible for these conditions and maintaining the foundation of society while we, the people, are responsible for the practical concretisation of this foundation by working together. In political terms this means solidarity and the ability to share what we have and what we need.
B. The absolute necessity of integrated individualisation
Without integrated individualisation, the foundation of society is doomed. If you understand this interaction, you have the seeds of the pragmatic concretisation of a fairer society within your grasp. No political, social or commercial (market) party (whether majority or minority) can claim the exclusiveness of the foundation of society. That foundation is humanity as a whole and disallows any exclusivity on the part of any single individual. Once the preconditions for the foundation of society have been met, this will automatically create a breeding ground for integrated individualism, which is nothing other than the complete freedom to develop as an individual. This self-development should not, of course, be at the expense of the foundation of society. In political terms, this can be called integrated individualism, integrated liberalism. We can then put the synthesis of the foundation of society and integrated individualism into practice and call it integral economy.
This can be summarised as follows: everyone is an entrepreneur who, through co‑ordination, communication, practical actions and feedback, gradually improves the living conditions of the individual and the collective.
Tax and Customs Administration
PO Box 9100
7100 HA WINTERSWIJK
6 November 2006
Copy to : Prime Minister J.P. Balkenende and the Supreme Court
- Under fearful believers -
Reference: 64.57.502.V.XXXXXXXRe: Writ of Execution
Are we but insignificant cogs in a big machine? A machine whose most important objective is to produce money, to grow and to make profit? Can we use this money to resolve social problems both at a national and an international level? Or has money actually become a key part of the problem? For instance, can famine, disease, education and environmental challenges be fixed with money? Nowadays, money has become a goal in itself, resulting in it leading a life of its own. In the Middle Ages, God was the answer to ‘all evils’, but that also meant that society was imprisoned by a religious elite who’d confiscated the exclusive rights to God. There’s nothing essentially wrong with God or money, but when they appropriate the most important role for themselves, this creates a certain type of world and we are made subordinate to the laws we dreamt up ourselves, whether they represent God, money or something else.
Just suppose I’m going to fool you that the moon possesses special powers and that every time you look at the moon you have to pay me 20 cents. Or you take out a subscription and pay ten euros a year allowing you to look at the moon as often as you like. This may be a ridiculous example which you’d never fall for, but with God and money we have succeeded in fooling ourselves and others into this. So why wouldn’t this work with the moon or the sun, especially when I have an army and a judiciary on my side, completely independent of course (but still completely dependent on the system, faith or science).
Is money in itself worth money?
If this were actually the case, then nobody would have to work anymore, which just wouldn’t work. Therefore, it’s vital that there are enough people, and governments of course, who believe that money in itself is worth money.
Is looking at the moon worth money?
In the end, it’s a question of what we want to believe, how convincingly it will be presented and what sanctions there may be for the unbelievers. Power and fear can imprison a society for centuries, even if nobody actually wants that. I don’t blame the Tax and Customs Administration for doing what it does; after all, that’s what it was appointed to do and even that was logical initially. Nonetheless, I think it’s important that we understand that we’re all in the same boat, and as long as we keep seeing each other as competitors and/or accomplices to defend our own interests, breaking through to a more sustainable and just world will continue to be impossible. A government which subordinates itself to a system that makes the rich richer and makes society increasingly dependent loses its credibility and breeds chaos and human impotence to change things for the better. This latter point is impossible because we have to remain subservient to the law that money in itself is worth money. Other priorities are eclipsed by this and will remain as such because making money is the most important ‘economic’ priority. As a result, we’ve created a Catch 22 situation: first make money, and then we can use that money to fix the problems. I don’t know how much longer we can continue to fool ourselves and each other with this little fairytale, but it just doesn’t work in practice.
Ministry of General Affairs
Prime Minister J.P. Balkenende
PO Box 20001
2500 EA THE HAGUE
9 June 2006
Copy: to the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, the Tax and Customs Administration in Winterswijk and the European Court
Re: Refusal to collaborate further on the fundamental injustice within the (current) Dutch and European constitutional state, the chronic bureaucratic corruption.
- under believers -
Dear Mr Balkenende,
Thank you for your response in your letter of 22 May, which I greatly appreciate. It would seem that my letter was not very clear, which is perhaps somewhat logical. In my letter of 2 May, I question something that we have considered logical, just and scientific for 5,000 years. Something that has conditioned and pre-programmed individuals and our society as a whole for over 5,000 years will probably not be immediately clear. Although I am no lawyer, I did try to indicate in my letter that the current politico-economic system is unjust and contrary to the democratisation of society. The inseparable politico-economic ingredients competition, profit and interest have created a government that holds society and itself captive between debt and reward. This keeps society (including the government) small, dependent and adrift. It has resulted in us living in two economic worlds, one with an actual exchange of goods and services and the other a bureaucratic reflection of the goods and services traffic. This second stream is in fact the accounting side of the economy. In a healthy and open society, these two streams (economies) run completely synchronously, forming the perfect reflection of each other. This is not the case in the current politico-economic system, in which they are two separate politico-economic streams. Of course, there is a partial overlap (2%) between the goods and services economy on the one hand and the accounting ‘economy’ on the other, but over the course of time this has got completely out of hand, meaning that we’re living in a global financial casino where the largest part of accounting economy activities no longer have any roots in society, except in the belief that money in itself is worth money. Or in other words, accounting has acquired value in itself and today represents the most important‘politico-economic’ power in itself, at the expense of…….! The 5,000-year-old source that resulted in accounting acquiring value in itself and it also becoming a politico-economic power factor was uncovered by historians in Mesopotamia, the current Iraq. Today, we know it as a ceaseless number of derivatives, which are variations on that same accounting theme: interest on money.
In this letter, I will try to use a more legal approach to explain why I no longer charge (de Hutte Holding BV) and pay (EURL Petit Château Roquetaillade – Aveyron) any interest and, therefore, no longer wish to pay any more taxes on the income deriving from interest of de Hutte Holding BV. In short, this means that I refuse to support a system/structure that more or less completely undermines democratisation and justice within our society. In pure monetary terms, this undermining of the constitutional state, democracy and straightforward economic communication represents 98% of the whole. In plain language, this undermining means: a totally out of control bureaucratic fantasy at the expense of society.
From this point of view, the current politico-economic way of thinking/doing business more or less completely undermines article one of the constitution.
All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted.
If ‘mutual competition’ really is so good for society, then I think it would be better to immediately scrap article one from our constitution. Encouraging and promoting mutual competition is nothing more than the final institutionalisation of the ‘law of the jungle’, which has automatically led to economic discrimination. For our democracy, this means that ‘winners’ have more rights than ‘losers’. Is that what we understand by democracy? In that case, there’s nothing that we need to change today, seeing as ‘this will sort itself out’ and a winner will always emerge. The government runs a relatively small risk in such a situation, as there is always a winner who then hands over a part of the profit, with which the losers can be partially compensated. Naturally, there can’t be any full compensation because then the profit stream would dry up all too quickly. Politically, legally and practically speaking, the government has manoeuvred itself into an impossible position. Whether it is willing to recognise it or not, the government is a stakeholder in this situation, because it is dependent on the financial ‘winners’. By opting for mutual competition in society, the government has pushed aside its indispensable impartiality, thereby in fact losing all moral ground for faithfully and justly steering society.
Supreme Court of the Netherlands
PO Box 20303
2500 EH The Hague
13 September 2006
Copy to: Prime Minister Balkenende, Winterswijk Tax and Customs Administration and www.solution-simple.com
Re:The difference between legal system and constitutional state, and a concrete question to you
Dear Ms XXXXX,
Thank you for your explanation in your letter of 17 August 2006, in which you clarify that our legal system has to abide by the rules set down in the law. This seems very logical and right to me. You also state that an investigation is possible, provided that this is brought before the Supreme Court in the manner stipulated by law. This also seems logical in order to give the legal system a framework in which justice can be administered carefully and fairly. Nonetheless, I want to make a comment here. Your observation is entirely true if the legal system is in line with the way the constitutional state operates; that is, the legal system (theoretically speaking) operates completely synchronously with the constitutional state itself. That this is not the case today, either practically or theoretically speaking, is clearly evident from our politico-economic system in which the economic right of the strongest is institutionalised/protected, and which, therefore, disregards the most fundamental democratic principles which should be the basis of a well-functioning legal system.
But how can a constitutional state serve (the general mutually binding interests), if mutual competition is a key ‘common’ principle? The institutionalised representatives of the constitutional state, i.e. the judiciary, government and parliament, guarantee their own indispensability by creating conditions whereby society only becomes more dependent on these institutions.
The very nature of competition constantly requires the administration of justice, an arbitrator who intervenes and administers justice. From a marketing perspective, this is a winning recipe; having people compete because they will continuously have to knock on the door of those various bodies seeking justice, or sooner or later, they will hang their head in despair at this constant and chronic recurring injustice.
A case of the goose that lays the golden eggs for the people working within this system. But what happens to the people who find themselves outside the system? Competition forces us to protect ourselves properly, which takes up a lot of our time and energy. There’s nothing really wrong with that, but shouldn’t the constitutional state (the government, the house of representatives, the judiciary, the business community and citizens) at least take a look at whether this is efficient and in the interests of an open society, one that is as free as possible? And the most important question in all of this is whether it’s fair on all those participating in society. Sooner or later, we have to ask ourselves if honest competition is actually at all possible. How and where do you set believable limits on what is possible, permitted and still just? A society where competition is a key principle logically creates the right of the strongest. Those who ‘earn’ the most can recruit the best staff, pay the best lawyers, etc., but does it actually create people who take their own responsibility within and for society as a whole? Fortunately, there are of course plenty of people like this, but unfortunately, they are more the exception than the rule within a competitive society. With competition, the first priority is having your own affairs in order. The consequences for society as a whole in the short and long run are secondary and, in day-to-day practice, they are often a loss-making priority. This brings me to the important conclusion that competition creates dependence instead of healthy independence and fair play in society as a whole: the constitutional state. By taking competition as a starting point, the legal system has created (unintentionally, I assume) an indisputably huge market share,on which practically all of society has become dependent. When viewed from the perspective of psychological laws that create mutual competition, this is completely understandable. But is this just and efficient from an economic point of view? Does this create the right principles for a free and open society and for individuals who stand on their own two feet?
Collaboration, on the other hand, places the responsibility on society, on the independently operating individual. Institutions intervene when the conditions for collaboration are undermined by the individual or groups of participants. This requires an entirely different attitude from parents, government, parliament and the judiciary. Democracy will then come to rest where it naturally belongs: in society itself, with the individual, instead of with the institutions that unconsciously try to protect their own market at the expense of democracy and the constitutional state. Because in a competitive society we can only protect our own achievements against our competitive fellow man. Over the years, this has resulted in institutions, governments, business and individuals only safeguarding their own system, achievements and mechanism, which, of course, has happened at the expense of the general interest: the constitutional state. In a competitive society, people always point the finger at others; nobody is responsible anymore for individual actions or joint ones. For instance, in your first letter of 12 July 2006 you suggest that I should vent my opinions in the political arena; a political world that is internally divided right down to its core and, because of its individual political fight for survival, has long since lost sight of social interests. This is all logical when you consider mutual competition, but it’s disastrous for the constitutional state striving for unity.
On the one hand, with hundreds of laws, legal proceedings and rules, politicians try to keep a grip on everything, while on the other hand, the financial economy is without structure. The undersigned once attempted to clarify this in a pamphlet, the politico-economic illusion:
It shows how 'paperprofit' by businesses leads to the production of more new 'laws and rules' by the government. But in fact we play hide-and-seek behind these paper 'truths', without taking responsibility.
That we cannot take responsibility is somehow logical because what is this all about? About apples or about bureaucratising added value? Moreover, taking responsibility is not interesting economically speaking, because, as a rule, it involves an increase in costs. If possible, you try to pass on the costs to an abstract whole, which has a favourable effect on your profit margin. Obviously, the authorities will eventually find out that something is wrong, so they will devise a new law or rule. Thus, the game of cat and mouse goes on.
The apple should just become an apple again and a euro a euro. But as T.S. Eliot said:Humankind cannot bear much reality.
To be perfectly clear, nobody finds it easy to get their head around this:
We, the government, businesses and the financial world, have created a mechanism based on a trick of creative accounting. Our current political and economic system is in reality one huge accounting scandal. We cling like religious fundamentalists to eternal book (paper) profit, thereby losing sight of daily reality and our responsibilities. From a political perspective, this is a social/liberal delusion, in which the socialists want to use this paper profit for the benefit of society, and the liberals to reward individual initiative. Surprisingly, both suffer from the same malady, that is, their faith in this non-existent paper profit.
Source: The political-economic Decoy, 2004
Nowadays, we all depend on bureaucratic reward. In 2009, Jacques Attali described a G20 meeting in London as: a meeting of alcoholics in a bar. Let me be clear, we are all addicted to our dose of bureaucratic reward, our purchasing power, bringing in more than we actually contribute. Is it possible to return the economic system to some form of natural balance? Without actually questioning the economic dogmas of growth and profit, this seems impossible to me. But what is the real problem in these proceedings?
What has gone wrong, theoretically and hence practically speaking, in the course of time?
Great thinkers all recognised the dangers of concentrating power in a relatively small group of people. From different angles and in different contexts, the “big three” have all given their vision of this: Montesquieu (1689 – 1755,) Adam Smith (1723 –1790) and Karl Marx (1818 – 1883.)
Montesquieu could perhaps be considered the founder of the political separation of powers. Adam Smith knew that an economy profits from individual initiative and maximum participation, with the result that economic communication remains in balance because of mutual competition. Adam Smith can, in a sense, be seen as wanting to keep the economic concentration of power under control by means of a kind of “economic separation of powers”. Mergers and the endless buying up of companies is at odds with this. How can you sum up Karl Marx’s ideas? Maybe he can be regarded as the scientific founder of “social equality”. The isolated role of money in society has alienated man from this social equality so that he lives in a kind of permanent and anxious isolated exile.
For me, these basic precepts do not contradict each other. Rather, they are complementary and integral. It would seem as if we have taken the separation of powers too literally. In the sense of: we are responsible for this and now you are trying to cast doubt on our independent way of working. I don’t interfere in your business either, do I? What I am trying to say is that the separation of powers has taken on dogmatic/technocratic features, and, as a result, the comparative outsider no longer has access to the place that theoretically regards each human being as equal. It makes little difference whether this concerns politics, the economy or the judiciary. By delegating this, specialists/winners keep you at arm’s length because you are, basically, a danger to the “establishment”. Money reinforces the separation of powers, because if you have money today, you let that money communicate for you and you yourself remain inviolable. At the same time, money has reduced the dependence of others, which, in many cases, is extremely positive. The real political and economical trick is to strike a dynamic balance between these. If the market of politics, the law and economics are a meeting of equals with different responsibilities, then we must leave our ivory towers (the technocratic separation of powers) to safeguard what unites us, and we should all, on the basis of our own responsibilities, watch over and strengthen this meeting of “equals”. This can only come from the inside, awareness is not something that you can impose on others.
In my first letter to Prime Minister Balkenende (2 May 2006), I wrote the following in the appendix:
The economy is nothing other than a form of social communication and, therefore, the most important building block of democracy. A lasting reform will only be possible when we show the courage and the will to democratise the economy.
IV. EXPOSÉ RELATIF AUX PRESCRIPTIONS DE L’ARTICLE 35 § 1 DE LA CONVENTION
STATEMENTCONCERNING ARTICLE 35 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
VERKLARING BETREFFENDE ARTIKEL 35 § 1 VAN HET VERDRAG
The dogmatism behind the assumption that money is in itself worth money in the form of interest and its conditioning of people, politics, economy and the judiciary contravenes the following articles: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14 and 17 as can be read in the appeal of 4 July 2007:
In this petition, I will limit myself to article 6 (right to a fair trial):
The search for balance is the essence of the legal system and a fair trial. How will the balance of power evolve in society if the basic message is to bring in more than you contribute, make a profit?
Money rules the world. But the power of money remains largely invisible. Few realise that we are living in a global casino in which almost 2 trillion dollars changes hands every day. No less than 98% of this is speculations, i.e. money not used to pay for goods or services. The negative consequences of this are all too familiar: poverty, environmental pollution and chronic lack of time.
From the back cover of The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer, published in the Netherlands by De Boekerij BV Amsterdam.
What objective hold do politics, the legal system, economic science, and normal people have if growth and profit are the economic objectives? Is five per cent good or maybe twenty? It’s intangible. If the virtual part of the economy is in difficulty, we pump billions into the system to save it, at the expense of the whole. What we achieve by doing that is to save the belief in the system, whilst the rest remains as it was. The existing balance of power is stabilised. Stability is a matter of life and death for all societies but as a constitutional state, we are also obliged to look at the mutual hierarchy of power to see if people are essentially still “equal”. This is only possible if there is a common basis in which people are “equal” and onto which they can always fall back. Legally speaking, this is the constitution and human rights. Politically speaking, this is a bit more vague: winning elections, the general good? It should be the latter, but what constitutes the general good: economic growth and profit?
We have not made it easy for ourselves, but at the same time that’s the success of the system. Thanks to an arithmetic lever, we have managed to turn an apple into an apple plus X per cent. This X per cent is our reward for the effort we have put in. No one has ever been able to explain to me where exactly the added value of the X per cent is, except in the apple itself. The undersigned calls this our bureaucratic faith. This is hardly surprising as this belief works as a lever, a profit catalyst. First there was a plain or very special apple and if you sold it and your costs were lower than your income you had a profit…. on paper. Because in reality, all there was was the apple and whether this makes you a “profit” or a “loss” does nothing to change that. The result was a lot of hocus-pocus about that apple, and what good this has done us, you may well ask. The origin of this bureaucratic technique is found in the financial world, where money in itself is worth money in the form of interest. In actual fact, it’s something we believe or think is true. If we borrow money we have to pay it back and pay interest, which is why we had to come up with something that makes an apple not just simply an apple but an apple plus X per cent.
Fortunately, this can be done in a supply and demand market, where growth and profit are the motors of the economy. Profit is in fact nothing other than the difference in power between the supplier and the demander. A big difference in power gives you extra purchasing power. The West has far more purchasing power than African countries, for example. It doesn’t really make much difference if you have lots of debts, the point is to grow and win, because by doing so your purchasing power increases. Actually, this is an indicator of market dominance, although to uphold the faith, economists and political commentators will use other, more pleasant sounding words to describe it. This is not so much reproach as logic and, in certain respects, of all time.
If we look at the global consumption pyramid, we see that twenty per cent of the richest account for eighty-six per cent of total global consumption – you, and the undersigned, included (Source: UN population fund). The trend in the difference in purchasing power clearly emerges in calculations made by the footprint organisation, i.e. that if every citizen of the world were to have the same average consumption requirements as the Dutch have, we would need five extra worlds. We live beyond our means and that has to be paid for somehow. Evidently, today’s political and economic system has nothing built into it to maintain the balance, such as by using the earth’s own natural renewable production capacity.