“The government failed us.
The market failed us.
Harvard, Yale, and the
University of Chicago
doesn’t belong to us.
they forgot us.
We need to solve
The end of dream
Who that lived during that day on November 9, 1989, and the following days could forget the exhilaration of seeing that symbol of hate, separation, cold war, and suffering, a wall fall, signaling the death of an era, and the beginning of hope in a new future.
But actually things have not turned as rosy as people hoped to be, Lane Wallace from the Atlantic tell us:
“The dream in its ideal form didn’t last long, of course. The revolution was wrought by factions, burdened by bureaucracy and characterized more by brutality than any cooperative utopia from almost its first bloody days. But when I left Vienna, I discovered that the taxi driver taking me to the airport was a recent émigré from Berlin. East Berlin. I asked him about how reunification was going, and he told me about some of the same problems I’d heard before: East Germans being second-class citizens, economic resentment on the part of the West Germans who had to pay to upgrade East Germany, and the like. But then, he said:
“You know, everyone sees it as the West helping the East. But it could have been done better. We could have helped them, too. But nobody wanted what we had to offer.”
Intrigued, I asked him to explain. There was a long pause. Then he answered:
“For all the problems of the system, in East Germany, it wasn’t all about consumerism. It wasn’t how much you could buy, how much ahead of your neighbor you could get. We really did have more of a sense of helping each other out. Community really mattered more to us than things.”
Who better to see the difference than those people behind the iron curtain, who now face consumerism, naked capitalism, and the rat race to survive in a world were you are on your own, and get nothing but stabs on the back by the people who suppose to uphold our Government, and our private institutions like our banks who gambled and lost with our money?
Who, or what will bridge this gap in our political, and economical system, now wide open?
Richard Heinberg, director of the Post Carbon Institute, begins his book, The End of Growth, as follows: “The central assertion of this book is both simple and startling: Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.” He then presents over 300 pages of various kinds of supportive evidence backing up this conclusion. The book was published in 2011, the evidence in support of this conclusion seems stronger than ever.
The reason are complex, and many, but simply put unlimited growth, and unlimited consuming, in a finite, and ecological frail world, this cannot be sustained. In the past we liked to tell ourselves that continual progress in science and technology will keep paying off by creating the new energy sources and the improved technology that we need to maintain ourselves and solve our problems, especially when we take care to grow in a smart way with sensible restraints. It is obvious this is not possible, the Achilles heel of expanding economies is the necessity for them to grow producing goods, and consumerism, this has brought an ecological nightmare at our doors, that we can no longer ignore, but our governments married to capital, refuse to yield to reality, the fact is we do not trust our government any more, and even less when there is not a system in place to make sure people in power behave ethically, and think first on the well being of others, rather than the benefit for their pockets, and bottom lines, that by the way they seem to be insatiable.
Few economists in the day of Adam Smith or Marx, with the notable exception of Malthus, could foresee a day that there would be any important limits to economic expansion that could not be overcome by human ingenuity and continually improving technology. If there were such limits, it was presumed that these were local limits that could be dealt with rather easily. If natural resources such as metal mines were exhausted in one area, one could always move to a fresh area, and use the advantages of continually improving technology to keep production expanding, ad infinitum.