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World Overpopulation and The Capitalist Crisis

 

 

A Sensible Way Forward

The purpose of this site is to suggest to the reader that existing UK political parties (as in every other country to my knowledge) in persuit of power are not either truly democratic or good for our country.

When I started writing this site I believed that a left of centre Eco-Socialist party was the possible way forward. As my thoughts have hopefully evolved I now believe that a political ideology based on partisan politics is certainly not the optimal solution in terms of sense and sustainability and therefore can not be advocated as the way forwardto any long term solution. In fact I would advocate that any use of terms such as 'left' or 'right' with regard to political thinking is so muddled to almost be almost worthless. Our current political system mean that people vote according to their social identities, partisan loyalties and not to an honest examination of facts or reality. Partisan politicians propogate short term, self centred policies it follows there are negative consequences. These include the deterioration of our wellbeing and our planets habitats and all ecosystems therein. This at a time technology / robotics threatens jobs en mass. While the politicians through their failure to stand up to many arkward issues allow their pursuit of power to determine our quality of life you will see no improvement in your wellbeing, that is to say not unless you are rich, thick skinned and live in a gated community. Nobody likes bad news and career politicians are not going to invite the controversy that will beset those with the moral fortitude to tackle the real issues we face. Their party's survival comes an obvious first before the best interests of those they pretend to serve or the legitamcy of their arguments.

Human history has passed through several different political-economic systems as our productive capability (technology) changes. The system of capitalism is one such historical occurrence now struggling to justify itself and compromised by both socialism and corporatism. Capitalism like all previous systems has one class expropriating the work and wealth produced by the majority. This clearly can be seen in the slave system then followed by the feudal system. For a time the conflicting systems of feudal and capitalist production existed side by side but as the capitalist mode of production requires the freedom of capital. The feudal system with its ties to the land was doomed.


Capitalism in simple terms is where the means of production are privately owned for the purposes of profit. Free market unregulated capitalism is neither particularly fair nor efficient. Capitalism historically was about mainly manufacturing goods and trading them both for internal and export markets. Many capitalists face constant competition from their rivals and are constantly looking for ways to maximise profit.  This comes by way of cheapening their products, upgrading of machinery and in the transactions with the consumer wholesale deceit. For the individual worker this means he has decreased even more in market value.


Western economies have historically made stuff and most of it with indigenous workers paid a living and fair wage. Shifting manufacturing to low cost centres became a common trend. Cars and clothing amongst a host of products once made in the west is now largely much all made in China and India now. Companies saw a much bigger profit margin in these lower global labour costs. In practice it is chasing poverty around the globe as well as creating short term unstable poorly paid labour markets abroad displacing domestic workers.  This has become the defining trend of capitalism as the free market pushing prices up and wages and costs down. The domestic void in economic wealth by the workers had been filled with credit.

As finance capital (which is capitalist) has become globalised the state which is the only possible mechanism that people can to a limited degree intervene on their own behalf remains a nation-state. Thus the state accedes to the demands of finance capital so that no matter whom the people elect the same policies remain in place as long as the country remains within the influence of globalised finance. Greece is only the latest example to underscore this point.


Capitalism is demonstrably better than feudalism at lifting many out of poverty. History has also shown capitalism superior to an authoritarian none democratic socialist state planned economy. However capitalism requires cheap labour and improved technology to survive and these very things at a certain level within an economy will be working against its very survival. Factor in the population and climate issues we simply have to change.
The obvious choice is a peaceful transition into a democratic, equitable, sustainable economy created and run by the people. For the first time in our history technology has given us the opportunity to take control of our lives.

Any economic / political ideology that strives to be altruistic (as all have) whether capitalist or socialist can and catastrophically has become perverted in the hands of the unscrupulous and power orientated opporrtunist. Political parties can be lobbied (which in reality equates to being bought or forced by number) which effectively means the rich and powerful deciding policy. Radical partisan parties that seek power are prone to people of violence. People can easily be manipulated by appealing to our base instincts in times of crisis. We need to remove such people from holding powerand ensure a system is so constructed to ensure such outcome. This can only be acheived by having a chamber of nominated but unelected legislative / policy making members, people of high principle and little public profile.

Still thus far we have muddled through and as a whole we are economically better off than our grandparents (not necessarily our parents) in absolute terms but poorer in relative terms as economic distribution is as bad if not worse than ever. The report, by the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), shows that currently a total of 14 million people in the UK currently live in poverty – more than one in five of the population. Trickle down economics have proven to fail as did excessive union power in the 1970's (despite raising wages they crippled the country). 

With the demise of a general accepted morality that previously came from religious ethos combined with the fact that political parties do not now see it as their duty to moralise has come inevitable social decline. Greed for money and material goods is the general yardstick of success. Compounding the lack of social wellbeing is the urbanisation of our country as the population has grown without the necessary parallel social cohesion.

Most of us now lead almost meaningless lives devoid of a feeling of hope or wellbeing with little sense of community (this is underlined by a study Commissioned by blu eCigs published in 2015 revealing that just three in 10 people feel happy with their lives and underlined by the fact that 1 in 4 of us each year will have a mental health issue). However as a country we are wealthy beyond imagination in comparison to much of the world's population but we still have near-epidemic rates of anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental illnesses. Our freedom to use modern technology that is very largely manipulated from a commercial basis comes at a price. We are invited into self destruction via the materialistic / competitive values derived from our mobile phones / computers that control increasing amounts of our time. The poison of freely available pornography pollutes more wholesome values of love and respect as it tempts us into perversion. In short pornography is a neglected pandemic.

Returning to the economy it relies upon massive debt, mass migration, arms manufacture and a passive tolerance of many dubious businesses / individuals too financially important or prudent to tackle. Infact London is one of the most corrupt places in the world as far as money laundering goes.

The current Conservative government apologises for the problems in the NHS. The problems are easily solved more funding by way of progressive tax. Our governments fail to deal also with the monopoly of the pharmaceutical giants that charge high / exorbitant prices from the NHS for the drugs we need whilst neglecting research for the poorer countries. The British Medical Association passed a motion claiming ministers are using plans ostensibly as a means to reform over-spending facilities, as a front for selling off the health service. Does it care that our state pension is the lowest in the developed world? If it does then how can it justify £50 Billion given in pension tax relief to our highest earners. As a country we are largely dictated to by the establishment meaning those few powerful people and companies with disproportional influence and an unrepresentative first past the post electoral system.

So What's Wrong?

Ask yourself this simple questions:

'On a finite planet we can keep growing physically forever?’

No I would expect you to say; so why then is our economy and society based on what many individually know is impossible? Objectively this is insanity! However the reason that we do this is as hinted at earlier in that people have a way of burying their head in the sand when the gravitas of the situation dictates and to a greater extent if the issues lie outside their future life. Politicians tend to avoid issues that are controversial. Each day our problems which largely we could sort are compounded by short term fudge and fiddles. This site is arguing the case for an ideology that strives for an optimal life that each nation can sustain. For the development ultimately of a one world government that regulates quality of life for all with minimum coercion and maximum well being. There should in my opinion be a total rethink of old 'left' / 'right' politics to achieve a more sustainable harmonious world.

The use of a global labour market has weakened unions throughout the developed world. The political left being dragged rightward since the free-market crusade of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The 'Left' has not devised a credible alternative course. Also it is the case that virtually all progressive or leftist parties contributed at some point to the rise and reach of financial markets and rolling back of welfare systems in order to prove they were capable of reform and attract the electorate.

We may well concede, if we ignore counter arguments that the Consevatives in past times were better at creating conditions for capitalist wealth creators. We may also concede Labour again ignoring counter arguments historically has created a good national health service and much improved income via strong trade unions along with decent welfare safety net provisions.

If we were to apply scrutiny to Labour's record it would have to be over the scale of industrial action which would not of happened if workers were given a democratic stake in the companies they worked for. Likewise if on the other hand we apply scrutiny to the Neo Liberal (Capitalist) economy advocated by the Conservatives we find wealth was created which disproportionately went to a small percentage of those mostly already wealthy.

In the words of Noam Chomsky: “neoliberal-style programs began to take shape in the 1970s” and since then real wages “for the majority have largely stagnated or declined . . . the relatively weak benefits system has declines as well. Incomes are maintained only be extending working hours well beyond those in similar societies, while inequality has soared” (as has personal debt). Moreover, “this is a vast change from the preceding quarter century, when economic growth was the highest on record for a protracted period and also egalitarian. Social indicators, which closely tracked economic growth until the mid-1970s, then diverged, declining to the level of 1960 by the year 200O.” [Failed States, p. 211] End

The rich-poor divide is perhaps most volatile in China. Resentment is reaching a boiling point in China’s factory based towns. Workers face long hours, rising costs, indifferent managers and often late pay and no longer have a job for life as in their former regime. Unless the government takes action to improve their welfare workers will become more and more inclined to take action themselves.

The Green Party have rightly put environmental issues on the political agenda but are too conservative, too cautious and lack credibility over too many of their policies. Whilst we welcome the middle class and student patronidge of left wing causes it would appear the Green's perspective comes from a particular demographic where engagement in social issues is purely or mainly theoretical. None of the existing UK parties have a credible, sustainable blue print for the future. It is with deep regret this must apply both to contemporary Labour and the Green Party. Despite the wonderful kindred intent of Jeremy Corbyn et al., should he gain power he will inevitably leave too many capitalist interests in place to come back when the economy falters to suffocate the flowers of his fledgling socialist agenda. Thus combined with inadequate environmental policy Labour offers a short term improvement only. It is with regret that many who read this site will justify taking no action in order to carry on their lifestyle as is. This being the case and in the absence of a new radicle movement as herein suggested we had better hope I am wrong and Corbyn triumphs changing society for the better. To be sure Corbyn decidedly is the best default position for years just not exactly what we need!

If Theresa May is to be believed looking at her economic speeches she too wants to change them nature of British capitalism. Like Corbyn and McDonnell she admits that our economy isn’t working for everyone and believes it needs serious reform. The promotion of a much more interventionist industrial strategy is intended to be her inclination. Will partisan politics allow this change, very unlikely from the Conservatives and even if they did it would be but crumbs to the peasants to stave off revolt.

Political re-assessment should universally apply to all peoples and not target predominately the poor as the objective must be for a better quality of life but within a sustainable system. In the quest for such change there will always be objectors we should welcome peaceful dialogue but have matters decided democratically.

In a nutshell the problem we will face will be of epic proportions and it is growing exponentially each day. It is the combination of poor economic / social systems which includes significantly poor farming practices (soil erosion and the mal use of pesticides) combined with a rapidly growing world population. The largest single threat to the ecology and biodiversity of the planet is global climate disruption emanating from the build up of human generated greenhouse gases into the atmosphere along with the destruction of the eco systems needed for good farming yields. Combine this with the forcasted very large growth in world population we will have all the ingredients for an epic catastrophe. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, at current rates of soil loss, driven largely by poor farming practice, we have just 60 years of harvests left. Most models indicate we’re on course for a temperature by the year 2100. An extreme scenario of 5°, 6°, or 7°C could lead to large parts of the world becoming uninhabitable; causing the forced migration of in the worst case billions of people. While that’s not the probable outcome, the likelihood that things will get out of control is unacceptably high.

One of the most serious impacts of climate change is how it will affect water resources around the world. Water is intimately tied to other resource and social issues such as food supply, health, industry, transportation and ecosystem integrity. Counties around the world are beginning to address the problem by reducing their carbon footprint with the use better technology and reduced consumption.. But human population growth can overwhelm those efforts. Per-capita greenhouse gas emissions may drop, but the population bulge will continue to contribute to a dangerous increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

We are this World's Worst Disease

Humans are the number 1 cause of loss of life to biodiversity and humans are also the leading cause of pollution. We can't as yet seem to put an end to the sickness that would mean our own extinction and no one wants that, but we have to control it to a point where we can all continue with our lives without killing our host. Just in case any of you think its all the fault of the poorer counties according to Oxfam 'the richest 10% of people produce half of Earth’s climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10%'. Thus it is obviously not true population growth in itself is the sole cause of our environmental problems. Likewise it is not true that those primarily responsible are the people in the world who have the most children. However it is true that as countries develop then their carbon footprint per person increases. The developed world (which is historically responsible for the majority of pollution to date) should reduce its dependency on excessive consumerism and each country should align our population to a more sensible, sustainable level allowing a better quality of life for all.

One solution to housing, jobs, pollution, energy, immigration, global conflict is population control. We need to focus on improving our technology and research, education, getting in a world government so all the countries are ran equally, reducing our population, putting more wild space between ecologically friendly homes. The world cannot support 7 billion people with anything near affluent lifestyles let alone 10 billion in 2050. You would need to have supportive rights to food, employment, water, justice and fair wages. If you have read the latest articles on human population, the insect population is declining because the population is soaring. Animals are going endangered because of human growth. The more people the more resources and space. Even if technology and climate change could support 10 billion would it be a good idea? Would the world offer a better quality of life for those 10 billion, the common sense answer must be no. We need the forests and natural habitats of the world. Human growth is also affecting humans too. All parents want their children to have a bright and natural future not surviving in a concrete matrix. Imagine what a better life there could be with more environmentally friendly technology, nature and less people. There is no longer any use for high populations as we move into a post industrial society. It's childish to presume that all people are born with the right to reproduce. These are ideas from a more primitive, selfish society of greed and assumed self importance; it's time for people to grow up. Having a child affects not only the child, its parents, its community, its country and ultimately the world.

The biggest challenge we face is the governments. Many countries are absolutely obsessed with economic growth and GDP and they won't stop at anything to halt it. Governments and large corporations like high population growth as it ensures increasing GPD and ever increasing demand for their goods and services. For any capitalist state to work it needs a bare minimum 3.1 % increase in GDP. If you have falling birth rates then you cannot achieve this so ultimately capitalist ideology must be at least more heavily regulated and or a replacement ideology found. The late US president Robert Kennedy agreed. On the campaign trail in 1968 he famously said GDP measured everything except that which made life worthwhile. “It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armoured cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.” End

We should strive to move from a meritocrocy where your values comes from the service you provide to the value of life itself. We should value landscapes, care, education, mental wellbeing and quality of life issues as vital parts of how well our system is doing.

The population explosion that we have experienced since the industrial revolution is unsustainable. It will lead to inevitable famine, war, disease. I think scientists should be commissioned to determine the optimum population for each countries ecosystem whereby humanity lives in harmony with each country’s ecological circumstances. Then, with that target population, each country can gradually wind back their population over time until they reach that optimum number. Trade sanctions should be applied to countries that fail to meet their population targets. With the natural world dying, this population growth has gotten out of hand. It's easy for us, the ones with the computers and easy internet access. But, there are people all over the world struggling simply to stay alive. This terrible situation would only increase with a higher population. In a matter of a few generations it might be you living on the street.

We need to educate the world population. It is a proven fact that educated nations have a higher standard of economic development and a higher standard of living. This creates lower child mortality and a need for parents to provide for their children. All educated developed first world countries have a reducing population. The fact is that a major reason why the world is overpopulated is that too many people do not realize the effects too many people have on the planet. If people, especially women, were better educated, then they could understand why a large population is bad in the long term. With better education, women also would have more opportunities to learn and have jobs, which could lead to them not having as many children.

To be overpopulated is to be selfish. Everyone should be educated / encouraged to limit the number of children for the betterment of the world. Some may argue that change is not occurring but those people are foolish. Change is occurring more rapidly and exponentially than ever, it is just not tangible for many, it is gradual. We are in the worst extinction crisis of our time, with scientists considering this to be the worst mass extinction of species since the dinosaurs millions of years ago. There is no solution to this problem save limiting the population. Simple human existence causes all the problems.

At this time it is hard persuading those on the left and right to promote population control for the risk of being seen as threatening human rights, freedom and economic ideology. They are wrong being captives of the context of morality they have grown accustomed to in their lifetimes. Social values change quickly and now more than ever we need leadership to allow that change. The value / importance (and therefore quality of life) of an individual to society must as a general rule deteriorate as populations grow beyond an optimal level that both the individual and society benefit. If we do not limit our population now you can be sure we will do so in the future only by then all quality of life on earth would have been destroyed.

 

A Solution

First let me define what is meant by sustainable: 'A dynamic equilibrium in the processes of interaction between a population and the carrying capacity of an environment such that the population develops to express its full potential without producing irreversible adverse effects on the carrying capacity of the environment upon which it depends.'

Sustainable development at first glance is a new form of utopianism. I would argue however it is a pragmatic, systematic and above all necessary solution incorporating all that modern society knows about how to preserve life on the planet.

The world now faces an overpopulation crisis that is only set to become more severe. The UN has predicted the global population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. In recent years there have been a number of apocalyptic predictions made by high profile members of the scientific community . David Attenborough (Patron of the Charitable Trust 'Population Matters') issued a warning in a 2013 stating that “either we limit our population growth, or the natural world will do it for us.”

Sir Jonathon Porritt resigned from the Green party over their reluctance to tackle this issue. He states that in the 1970's population and its environmental effects were a big issue which the Greens vigorously debated. He believes it is an environmentalists duty to tackle population control and recognises the obvious that with population control come immigration control and of course economic adjustment.

On a personal level I think the human race owes a duty, a responsibility not only to our future generations but to the future generations of all species. Did you know meat and dairy production is responsible for around a 7th of all of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, and that proportion is set to grow remorselessly. In the effort to avoid dangerous warming, the world is beginning to eliminate the worst sources of emissions, like coal power stations. But, with meat consumption set to double by 2050, just the emissions from raising animals for food may be enough to tip global warming beyond safe limits—even if everything else was cleaned up. Human beings if led by the good can do wonderful things, we must divorce ourselves from political ideology that seeks excessive material comfort for our short term pleasure to embrace a lifestyle that is harmonious and sustainable for the planet.

The objective to gradually reduce our population introduces the obvious question of keeping society functioning with enough labour. Having a more voluntary / flexible retirement scheme may be appropriate. Also an essential part of the solution is recognising that for monetary and non monetary reasons, work is a pivotal element of one’s well-being. Paid work contributes to material well-being but also to psychological wellbeing through social interaction. Unpaid work, like volunteering, care work, and artistic work, can provide these same psychological benefits. Given these positive effects, encouraging and rewarding paid and unpaid work among the elderly could be a pivotal part of the solution to the aging related fiscal and social challenges.

We need to abolish all political parties as they are by their very nature devisive and certainly not in the wide sense democratic. However a strategy to acheive this is needed. I would advocate an independent (and none partisan) party set up with the agenda to effect constitutional change to rid ourselves of our existing political entrapment. Such a party set up to appeal across the current political devides to all right minded people. As the party would not be seeking power for itself but power but to relinquish power to a new chamber that it will subordinate to candidates will only be accepted if of principled belief and character. The existing power seekers dictate your choices for their ends. We need in the upper chamber non partisan principled representatives selected for their wisdom and bound by constitution to serve the interests of all the inhabitants of this country and planet and not just for the short term political interest of a party. Such representatives could work alongside a democraticly elected second chamber of none partisan local representatives that raises issues for the upper houses policy implementation. Such representatives can fashion a better mix of capitalist / socialist / corporatist mix to acheive for all and not just the few by adjusting the dialectic of individual endeavour within the collective bonds of culture.

At first thoughts you may be concerned with the dangers of none-partisan politics so here's a quote from George Washington:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” End

Such a radicle political / economic change would have to be introduced first democraticaly and in stages as adjustments are made towards a sustainable society where policy is set for the collective good. Taxes for the higher earners could be raised first to safeguard the NHS. Evidence abounds that raising of such tax on higher earners is not detrimental to the economy.

People patronising such a none partisan solution whether coming from the 'left' or 'right' are welcome in the recognition that change is needed. Both old political UK ideologies have failed to give the necessary leadership and this even extends to the Green Party. Fear of getting your hands dirty and always trying to appear nice leaves a real credibility gap. A lack of economic credibility invites a real demographic deficit in Green membership and as the Green party rightly is democratic this problem reinforces itself. To take control of industry and the population we simply cannot be in the EU. Both Labour and the Green party are totally muddled on this point though Jeremy Corbyn must know the EU does not allow nationalised industry so one may speculate he hopes for Brexit but postures an onbalance remainer. Globalisation in itself could be wonderful but capitalism needs ardent regulation which at the end of the day is then not capitalism but 'new capititalism' that works on a more principled basis. Thus whilst the Greens have achieved a lot they have done so from a cosy and almost detached perspective probably reflecting their membership demographic. To be a political party founded on environmental issues with a socialist agenda is wonderful. But the party lacks any commitment, any firm position (other than the Greens should have a debate, which let's be honest they should have done years ago) to the second biggest variable which is population growth. There can only be one reason for this: lack of moral fortitude to face the inevitable backlash.The truth is obvious: population control implies immigration control but immigration control should not negate allowing the miniscule numbers that should be accomodated from genuine refugees and asylum seekers. Population and pollution control imply either control or direction on specific freedoms and excessive consumption. Obvious options are voluntary, family planning the term that seems to provoke some taken as a euphemism for totalitarian population control, or somewhere in the middle via financial inducement. There is also the fact that in the undeveloped word people have larger families from fear of losing some of their children from the higher child mortality rates. Thus improving child mortality would actually reduce the incentive for larger families. In this debate one must weigh up the rights of the unborn against the rights of the living. Control on excessive consumption implies a more egalitarian system of distribution. We must provide for the essential needs of the people but not to the detriment of the planet. These are the real and difficult issues needed to be addressed but avoided by our present leaders. Once policy is democratically established presentation will be all, frighten too many of the electorate they won't elect you, but if you don't tackle the issues you have no credibility!

Responsibility for the collective good must prevail. This collective good has to embrace the Earth and all of its habitats and inhabitants. Nature dictates a responsible relationship and there are optimal levels for this. We may fight for freedom and rights but there will only be one winner. Other policies must be formed democratically but within a rigid political constitution that protects this new ideology.

There will be many that read this site that will broadly agree but have some points of conjecture / concern. Some will be tempted to walk away on fear of political / economic transition and unknown consequences. Others deride the whole concept as utopian but remember utopian is the persuit of the impossible, surely to minimise exploitation and live within our resources is achievable. Further we all owe it to our children and grandchildren to do something, the sooner we do the easier the task. Together as people acting democratically in all our peoples interest we can make a difference and create a peaceful orderly transition. I say your welcome, come in and debate and help form this new party. This is a democratic movement for radicle change everyone has the same right and weight of opinion / voting power. There will be no leaders just elected spokespeople. If young or old, rich or poor, educated or otherwise your help is needed whether active or passive. For all those kindred souls already within groups of little chance of major achievement, come unite as together we are stronger.

The only existing general term that comes with membership is that all members members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will not bring the cause of Eco-Socialism into disrepute. This shall include debate with other members and political opponents which should be conducted in a polite, dignified none violent manner in keeping with a democratic movement.

Kindest Regards

Christopher (An Opinion)

Cambridge.

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