dinsdag 14 april 2015

The Great Social Lie that binds and destroys us at work.

The deeper pain of the soul in business and how that will disrupt society in the near future.

In our modern world we cannot claim any more that one aspect will define all others. This column just reveals two deep aspects that are part of our modern chaos and are part of a huge growing problem that will influence untold many lives in our society. Ownership and huge losses of jobs ask for new approaches to life, work and society.

What are you really fan of in sports?

Who are you shouting for, when you support a professional sports team? The players are mercenaries from all over the world. The board are well paid managers and mercenaries too, with perhaps one former local player, as a true local hero. The owner may be a Chinese or Russian billionaire. You don't shout for your favourites colours. You shout for the story that these are your people. How much the faces change, you shout for the story that this is still your team. Once, several generations ago, these teams were really your village or town's team. Now they have become professional stories, that are well marketed to keep up the believe. It's a good story you may say. It makes millions happy.

Companies are only accepting you as community member as long as you can work.

The same story creation is at work in work. Companies are villages of only healthy people. Companies may be called companies, yet we act inside as if we are part of a village. It is how are social genes react to any group we identify with. 'Our company (read village) must grow.' 'Our village must survive tests of time.' 'Our village has a dream.' 'We are a great company with a rich tradition.' Managers mostly talk within the logic of the village frame.
But it is no real village, for a real village would care for it's sick and old. A real village includes everyone. Companies do it differently. Whenever someone is too weak, sick or old, he needs to leave the village. If you live in a country with social laws, companies may give you some money along. In some other countries some owners actually care. But in almost all cases the one who leaves has become a burden and discovers the village is no village, but a company that only appreciates healthy people. 'We have to be all strong and all support the mission. You can't do that any more Bob, so we have to let you go.' You're fired. Socially executed. Banned. The rest moves on. 'We're a team. We have a job to do.'

Life is but a stage and we're all players.” Shakespeare.

Why and when the story is broken.

Then, through global changes, the profits may go down, or a lot of work is strategically outsourced to another country. Suddenly the village is no team anymore, but a place with owners who decide who gets fired. And again when the fired people are gone, we go back to playing a team on a mission, a village with a vision. Still many people feel hurt within. Their genes told them they were connected, yet now they know anyone can be thrown out. Others, act like opportunistic loners, move on to richer places to keep up the act.
Companies are therefore places owned by people, who want us to play village and team as long as the story benefits them. They break the story, when it doesn't suit their interests. Each time they break the story, commitment and motivation go down. Now we consciously play along pretending we believe the story, yet we know it's a lie. The more enthusiastically you play along1 the more change you may stay when there is a choice who to fire. Still, this acting hurts the soul.

Most companies and managers have no clue what to do when the story is broken. Such workplaces feel unsafe. Anybody may be laid off. Suddenly targets and results count and you are not a person, but a machine expected to stick to the protocols written to get desired outcomes. The lower your position in a company, the worse it gets. There won't be any try for even a story, just nasty pressure. Read "Beyond inequality" to find out more how bad this is getting.
Managers work hard to help people get motivated again, or pressure for more results. They play the social village fairy tale or they play hard ball. 'Get real, we're not a family.' The nasty push hurst as much as the lie.
We're basically social beings. One third of our brain seems to focus on social relationship building. So whatever they do, still it doesn't really heal the wound. We mostly make do, because this is a very deep structural system problem. This wound cannot be healed within the system, unless the owners truly care or really change the rules.
Many business owner will now say, 'I don't care, I am a business. My people know this.' Yet when motivation drops, or their own soul hurts, or the whole company is in crisis, what do they turn to? Indeed a story that promises to get results. Hence huge profits for consultants with good stories.
So how can we change the rules and who is truly willing?

The fairytale of the company as a community is unsustainable, as is the hard business contract.
Mostly owners and thus management expect people to play along. Being professional means willing to act the story. Anyone who seeks a job and is heard saying 'I just fulfill my contract and do my job.' yet doesn't express enthusiastic commitment to his new village will not be hired. If people act over enthusiastic to get in, and we don't believe them we don't hire them either. The best actors are comfortable with their new role.

Companies thus hire people based on the quality of lying to themselves. And they are owned by people with the quality of storytelling (read lying) to others.

And who tells the truth? The outcasts, the artists, the anthropologists and employees making fun to deal with the pain. All over internet you can find stories like these wrapped in quotes that herald aliveness and soul, cartoons of work slaves, office humour, thinkers and observers wondering why we think this is the only model. Is the commercially owned company the only and best solution?
It was in the 20th century. But the struggle to keep on believing in this solution gets harder and harder. When clearly there are so many alternatives already active around us. But we're not willing to listen, because we either own a village or we think this is the place that sustains our lives. What to do about the millions who are in pain for lack of real community, who feel pressured to play along with a false one to cater for their own real family?
The question now gets even bigger.

Are people out of work free or are they ballast?
When we look from a spy satellite to earth it is but a small place. We can see millions of people running around like ants to keep several nests happy. The nest of the workplace and its shareholder queens. The nest of the own family. And their own community which they love to see happy, healthy and safe. The owned company once was a great solution for growing diversification of work and qualities needed to sustain society with a growing number of needs. A number that grew even more, when marketers discovered the invention of creating new needs. This diversification created clusters of people focussed on one aspect of what needed to be done for the whole of society, from making chairs to running hospitals. In return the company tried to reap benefits, by asking payment.
Soon however, less and less people need to work. Robots, smarter computers, new area's to outsource to will do more and more for us. Many (like anything that can be done online) will be competed out of work, by people from across the world who'll do the same work for half the price or less. What will de surplus people do? This is a huge question. Are they ballast? Or have they been liberated from work? The answer to that question is yet to be decided by the owners. They, and thus our politicians most probably will choose ballast. Not out of greed, but this is, how for them the system works. You keep on hearing politicians say it 'If we all compete, it will turn out fine.'
The truth is, it doesn't.
We all worked, several generations long, to make this happen en all contributed to create a society with less and less work. How come only a few may get paid for that community effort, because they happen to own the robot or software? And how come the rest must struggle rather than enjoy the benefits? What was economy supposed to do? Perhaps we should start question any business or work contract. Perhaps we need to rewrite the social contract.

Robots can replace more and more workers.

When the amount of people, without a job and with too low salaries to make do, grows enormously how will we move on? We have to move on together. Whether we believe this or not, in the end one village is real. The community we live in. We are all our society together. The lie of the village at work, has to become a reality if we want to fix our souls and our world. The company must learn to see itself more and more as part of the world, in stead of an attribute providing something, yet apart from the world. Here local cooperatives seem to be a engaging and involved answer. New kinds of currencies that break the hold of ownership and move towards other principles are being experimented with in many places. (with no hugely viral solution yet I admit, basic income for everyone might be a great break through though.) Our governments should stop harassing people who can't work, for any reason, as a ballast that has to become a earning taxpayer again. They have to discover how we can turn, all those liberated from work into souls that can celebrate live, play with possibilities and add in different ways. People without work will have to find different ways to give meaning to their lives than a job title. Volunteer. Go party. Start being creative. Be an artist. Use your freedom to play your new contribution into reality. Go instead of selling silly gadgets or more plastic do something truly meaningful. Indeed if all work was organized around meaning instead of profit it could both survive basic income politics, attract really motivated people and stay deeper connected to society, which in turn would have a bigger incentive to keep the company going. This is a huge work that lies ahead of us in this century. If we don't address it, poverty, war, revolutions and huge depressions on both personal and society level may happen.

Here's but one of the many visionaries who think on the huge scale of change needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9yGP_I9pOM

1 This mostly goes for businesses. In places where almost no one gets fired, like American schools, people may get bitter en resentful and hurt the children they should help grow, when they feel forced to play along.

dinsdag 16 december 2014

Modern Economy 1.01 What makes a healthy Business?

Be healthy for your community.

When CEO's get richer while many, many get poorer, we know there's a problem. The problem is simple. These men (mostly men) have not understood what business is for.
They may think they know, but they do not. They think it's to make their shareholders happy, they tell everyone is how business works and will lead to new work for many. Is it true, yes and no.   The huge American companies that raised profits by offshoring work to China, provided work for thousands overseas, yet deprived their fellow countrymen of their jobs. Profits and stocks up, local economy down.

A local business works for the community as much as it works for itself. Local business owners are aware they provide livelihoods for themselves and others. If the gap between them and the rest of the village gets to big, they damage their market, relationships and future in their own community. They will, because of their disconnectedness to the community that does the work. They live among the elite community and all workers are playing pieces on a huge money chess board. In their logic and frame they make all kinds of choices that affect many lives. Their choices may lower wages, introduce more pollution, diminish working conditions, etc purely out of strategical choices that make sense on the money scale and sadly too few others.
This is how it should be! A healthy business should work for a healthy community, for this is in the long term interest of all, including the business. Read that again for that should be the essence of future economics: a healthy business works for a healthy community (including the environment), for this is in the long term interest of all.

The current leaders are the real danger.

The fact that the superrich can afford to disconnect from their markets, their workers, their local community and even the health of the planet makes them dangerous madmen. Yes, you read that right, more and more studies show being too rich disconnects and makes amoral. We need to take the consequences of these insights fast. For their logic is pulling us into wars, poverty, a damaged planet and a damaging economy for all, but the CEO's and the big shareholders. And it is this elite of super rich that can stay away from all personal experiences of those bad consequences. In fact CEO's that have never been close (other than reading reports) to what war, sweat shops, poverty does to people, are as blind men leading the seeing. And those that counter that many of them are big in welfare should read this post by Charles Eisenstein: http://charleseisenstein.net/a-neat-inversion/


A healthy business should work for the community, for healthy workers and a healthy planet. If it does not, the business is not healthy. It's that simple. How to make it so?
People at the top should not be able to decide their own income and bonuses. That should be decided by the lowest workers, and even the communities where they operate. Why, than fair and healthy conditions become most important. Then the people you work for must have your best interest at heart. Then their power hungry , work obsessed, greedy nature will incite them to get results where they matter for all of us. Than our society, nature, our planet may have a chance for a future.

Support local businesses, local produce, local cooperatives. Buy as little as possible from businesses that have shareholders. Buy as much as possible from people you know and believe in. Make life personal again. It may take longer, you may be able to buy less, but boy, you'll be part of society again. 

Apply no longer for jobs in big business, don't sell your great idea out to them. Seek to establish cooperatives, shared ownerships, work for people you know, like and trust. 

And if you work in shareholder owned constructs, ignite conversations that matter. Be less afraid of your job. Many around you have the same worries about our planet, their contribution and position. Try to open the conversation. You may even post anonymous posters with questions that should be asked. Seek out information outside that supports your opinions inside and will help support transformation of the corporate culture. Have and develop a life outside work.

And for God's sake stop reading Fortune 500, like being a thief of us all is something to strive for. Why do we value business leaders that know how to earn millions and hide bonuses on the Cayman Islands, and avoid paying taxes that would have benefitted the whole of society more than their cleaners who work as many hours, doing a dirty job often without social security? 
When you see the palaces of the super rich, consider them specialized detentions centers for predatory minds, plastic bubbles of distorted reality, the homes of the machines that keep the Matrix running. Stop believing smart greenwashing by stupid intelligent marketing spin doctors. Real Green improves nature, not damage it slightly less. Start making money by inventing the Natural 500, the Future Thought Leaders list (put Charles Eisenstein on it) the most Health Communities List, best places to live list, flourishing planet creator list, etc. In short seek and support the what together with heroes that have us all in mind.

zondag 14 december 2014

Modern Economy 1.01 The Economic System Failure of Cheap Products!

The downward spiral of cheap products

Cutting costs costs! You want to buy stuff. You want it cheap. So companies, have to produce cheaper. That puts pressure somewhere along the line. Management decides where. Well, it won't be with them, so it has to come from the work and resources. For once efficiency and productivity can't be raised only bad options are left. Then with each price reduction things get worse for workers:
  • from lay offs due to automatization to off shoring to robotics.
  • from lower quality food to food that's no longer food, let alone healthy.
  • from less good social conditions to the point of (almost) slavery.
  • From working in accordance with, to working at the cost of (nature, customers, relationships, communities, society, etc).
At the same time, the people at the top, both shareholders and CEO's, decide where profits go. Well, they go to fewer and fewer people. 

Right from the start of the Industrial revolution, we saw industrialists seek to squeeze profits out of everyone. Child labour, dangerous work conditions for very poor pay was normal at the end of the 19th century. Then unions and communism were a valid answer in stopping them. Now the corporations have been learning new tricks: send the work to countries that (seem to) validate unfair squeezing of workers, make consumers demand lower prices for plastic that after a very short life cycle is thrown away so they keep on buying new stuff. And then there is tax evasion, lobby pressure on governments and unfair trade agreements like the TTIP that mostly benefit the big corporations. And now platforms like Uber that offer cheap rides. The small staff of Uber can have thousands of drivers work for under minimum wages, while they themselves make millions. 

So the real result of our consumer society, and our own buying patterns, is that we, more and more, can't trust our food, need to work harder and harder for less quality of life, food and environment. And what do we (the poorer people) do with our lower incomes? We pressure for even lower prices, amongst the last few competitors. Yet, for example, each time we use Uber, Airnb we make life for all of us cheaper and help lower wages, while the big profits only serve those who run the platforms.

The disconnectedness of multinationals

We have to deal with a big system failure. The system of shareholders makes companies work for results that benefit mostly the shareholders. The assumption that to do so, you'll have to make better and better products for happier and happier consumers is not true. In fact the long term result of pure profit driven business is forests gone, communities poor, millions of new homeless people (hardly shown on TV) even in the USA, the great home of the big corporations. We need to see and act on the insight work and production isn't there for the owners. That is the big mistake. 
A healthy society works for its own sustenance as a whole. Factories that were once build to provide towns with work, should stay there, although they might alter character, way of working and products. The current fact that a few people in offices far from a town, can render this town, or even a region, unemployed at a heart beat by outsourcing work to another country, is insane.

Any government allowing these practices does not have the interest of its people at heart. Any people voting for governments that talk growth and profit over healthy cycles of sustenance in their own community are as insane as those governments. Because of this downward spiral, we see all across the globe tensions rise. Mostly because we are led to believe in scarcity, while currently there is food, water, enough for everyone. Since the believe is that if we compete the shit out of each other, everyone will have a better life we sustain shortages for untold millions. If we would show compassion, apply inclusiveness and seek to grow the whole of society around us then things would be very different. For now the real abundance won't be for long any more, because the businesses profit from scarcity and the law of diminishing returns, like keeping on hacking away forests with very little replanting. This means that rather than work for the health of us all, they deplete natural resources without caring for the long term of us all, because profits now, give us cheaper products and them bigger bonuses.
We feel convictions that block access to the abundance that is there and that do not respect and protect their long term existence, and are not healthy for us all and are blocking the way ahead. In the end "Earth is a spaceship and we are all crew." That our captains are heading for the rocks, and we let them, is the biggest worry of our times. 


During the Second World War the effect of an essential difference at work here could be observed sharply. The Nazis fought for Hitler and his ideas. The Allies fought for liberation of his reign. The difference is we should never work for a who (not even the likes of people as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Bill Gates, in short CEO's, owners or shareholders of businesses), always for a what. We should work for a healthy society on all levels, from working conditions, fair value exchange, to nature.

How to break the cycle? Easy: buy local. Buy from local producers, preferably not owned by shareholders elsewhere. Buy less, but better. Makes you feel poorer, maybe you need to wait half a year, or longer, to buy a new closet, or more than two for a new car. Hell, that used to be the daily reality of millions in the seventies. Makes you care more for what you do buy.

Shift from consumer stuff attitude to an experience driven lifestyle. Many people are shifting their focus to having experiences like festivals, personal workshops, dancing, yoga and meditation and it benefits them well. It also makes them more in touch with their bodies and intuition. Intuitive awakened people are harder to trick into lies, distortions and doing what's bad for us all. So wake up, by being become experience orientated.

And for governments: tax multinationals as much as locals. Yes, when they run away you fear loss of jobs. No, in fact that will create more business that do pay tax in your country and more local jobs that stay. For many people have to, and will do so, step into the gap. Everything will be a bit more expensive, but much more healthy, and with a local outlook and more local production, these businesses are here to stay, as part of their community. This is the best way to insure they'll also work for fair conditions.

And for workers inside big corporations and military in the field, don't just follow orders, ask about the bigger context in which things take place. Let it be known that you have morals, that the state of the planet worries you. Incite dialogue with everyone, because many share your worries, about the planet, the future of their children and the future of their society.

And the War against Terrorism you might ask? Much of the anger and violence in the world is not seeded in religion but in the trauma's of earlier wars and lack of future perspective (compare IS to gang life in Mexico and the mess in the Heart of Africa). Rather than fight people, seek to enrich them. It worked for the Marshall plan after WWII, it should work for all of us. And if we do this, based on fair work, green (cradle to cradle) principles we may, by turning our whole economy around, have a new Global Economic and Green Renaissance in our hands. For the rising middle classes of China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Africa may seem good for business, but they can only have what we had, if it's cleaner, healthier for our planet than the stuff we use. That is, if we want to benefit from their rise, and not speed up Global Warming with every % of profit we make on their growth. Hence all companies need a huge transformation. That work is the profit of the future. If we don't do it, it will be our demise, with the guys in their palaces watching from afar, until it comes over the fence or their grand children drown in boiling seas with no fish at all. The choice may not feel that distinct or pressing, but, speaking as an unwilling prophet, I think it is.

zaterdag 8 november 2014

The Start Up Trap

How the Start Ups are making the Rich richer and the Poor poorer, and how this affects the world we live in.

I thought I was a social activist. I thought I might be making a difference. I thought, quite probably, very wrong. Suddenly, looking at all my, and my friends activities, I got worried.
When you are either a Start Up, Small Creative Enterprise, Freelancer or an Independent Professional, you may have a the same problem. You/we are very probably helping inequality in the world to rise. Yes, rise! Here is how they/we° do it, and what is the consequence of it. I'll explain how the actions of all these small enterprises together enhance the problem and cover up consequences. And I'll show what needs to be done about it. For if we don't change our behavior, we will stay part of the problem. What problem? Right.

The Widening Gap (the playing field)

The West is in decline, but that decline doesn't seem to count for us all. The Rich, especially in the West, are currently getting richer in an explosive way. 85 individuals now own as much money as the whole bottom half of the global population. 85 persons. Bill Gates daily gets more rich than he has given away in ten years.

Also in the West is the number of poor rising and a lot of poverty, still hidden, is slowly getting out in the open. Governments are getting worried about the number of people in debt, below the poverty line and even hungry. Yet, big multinationals seem to avoid more and more regulation and somehow end up owning more and more. Governments seem to have less and less money to spend on social change, and differences among ethnic and cultural groups are on the rise. Lobbyists own more and more politicians, for buying a few officials is totally worth the millions it costs as compared to the billions it helps to make.

And near the bottom of the money pyramid we find many enterprising, positive and constructive passionate, individuals trying to make a change. And the worrying things is, I fear with less nuance than I hoped for, that they are very much a collaborative party for the rich and industries at the top.
They make the rich richer and don't bring the change about they claim or hope to bring. And here's why:

How the Start Ups enrich the Rich:

1. Start Ups are the new self organizing poor.

Among many Start Ups there's a great culture of Open Source, mutual help, of getting smarter at things doing cheaper or easier, especially when there's little money around. This sounds and feel innovative, which it is, and it gives a great sense of meaning. At the same time this all comes down to one thing: together we are getting smarter at being poor.  A quite valid attitude, but not what you once aspired to.
Exchanges among starters are often full of mutual help. I love that. I do it too. But, and this is the crux, this mutual niceness has a dark consequence.

2. Our Money goes mostly only upwards

In the Start Up circles a lot of time is spend, to help each other out. Little or no money is being exchanged. We share services. Although this is, often necessary, to be able to train, build websites, travel, exchange knowledge, help each other out with diversity of qualities, it means that all the money, you do spend, goes to the rich. Yes, most of the money that you do spend is all going up in the money pyramid towards the haves. You pay for your house, your car, your shopping, all expenses that in the end mostly benefit the owners of big companies, except perhaps what you buy very local and or green. And even then, the big boys in green, are, when it comes down to it, very often the same companies, only with a different product line, or the same money paradigm with a different flavour towards the environment.

3. Start Ups let themselves be enthusiastically misused by big business.

Rarely Start Ups strike it very rich. Mostly big businesses buy up the most successful Start Ups, or their ideas. Many Start Ups just hope for this chance of cashing in on their ideas, read, hope to sell out to makes millions; millions that make the rich billions.
But money can also be used to prevent Start Ups it ever getting made. In the Game Industry there are quite a few stories of consciously side tracking possible competitors, like through buy up and then fire everyone a little later.

Also big businesses 'lovingly' hand out free gadgets to popular trend setters, so they'll make new products popular. In short in exchange for a free gadget, you'll do the work of a professional marketeer for free. This trick is used from the introduction of the iPad to now placing chips in the body. The latter one being the dark dream of totalitarian governments in science fiction stories, is now enthusiastically experimented by hip techies. The same techies who play around with drones, that are then used to improve the killer drones, sold by the arms industry to be used by some governments and perhaps soon by gangs.

So basically the inventors at the bottom have stopped working for big contracts, work without hardly any research money. They outsmarted themselves by self organizing so much that big business only has the cost of buying up the most successful discoveries and innovations and let the rest muddle along. Thrilled by their own inventiveness and blind for consequences, many Start Ups thus enrich no other than the Rich.

4. How Businesses, Governments and Banks rob you daily.

Big Business first off shored all (our) work to China. This let to a huge loss of jobs here, while profits for them soared. While the business got the profits, the majority of the money stayed in China to cover all the costs (way more than the profits) Now the Chinese use their income to buy up many natural resources and often don't need us any more. No wonder the European multinationals apply for all these big European funds to stay in business. In short once again we pay for their existence.
The Banks in the mean time also steal from us, daily. You not only pay too much interest on mortgages and loans (if you get any); they also invent money with guesses about what you, or our economy, might earn in the future. In short without asking you, they turn their estimation of your future profits, into investment money and when they screw up, yes, then we all pay for their gamble, based on our collective income. Yes, you pay to keep banks floating who invented money that wasn't there at all, without your consent. Governments knowingly support this theft. And we, we are silent, for we don't care about the slow bureaucrats, we are people of action and we are making a difference for individuals, while our rights, liberties and money is being squandered by banks, governments and the big businesses eager to buy your best ideas.
And now with the secret TTIP or TTP agreement, where huge companies can sue countries for damaging their profits, even when harmful products are forbidden or restricted, we have become part of an economy that really might need a new revolutionary or protest generation.

5. Start Ups are positive and collaborative.

This seems a very beautiful and it is too. Basically Start Ups seem the hope of the future. They indeed help resilience to grow, and sustainability to become smarter. Except since they don't, yet, bring much big shifts happening, they are basically a problem (work for poor pay) that doesn't want to be seen as a problem. For governments this positivity means that these poor, don't complain, self sustain and basically stay of the radar until they hit rock bottom. Hell, most governments don't even want to invest in them. Because unlike the big companies they lack strong pressure groups, read lobbyists, that protect their interests. Thus they make some big issues invisible and only the already powerful organizations with lobbyists get big support.

What to do about it?

Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, wondered why the poor didn't eat cake, when they didn't have bread. The same idiocy is the opinion that when people are poor, they must be stupid or didn't work hard enough. The fact that near Madrid there's a slum rising with many academic trained people in it, counters this idea. No individual can be blamed for poverty that hits a whole society. Anyone may have options, and the options of the young entrepreneurs seem a bit better, but on the whole, they must seek to maximize their impact.

Thus the Starters and Young Entrepreneurs seem to have little choice. To survive they need to keep self organizing smarter and to have an income they need to sell out. And in their enthusiasm they are misused by smart big organizations that know how to play this group.
Think about this: The game rules of society created by the Rich, favor the Rich. Why anyone could cut down age old trees for a few dimes, own genetic codes of seeds, monopolize important medications, harm nature without punishment is beyond me. It just doesn't make sense. We are the world together. We act if ownership is right, when it comes to our most important assets. Soon we may have war about waters, food, oil, while we could use all that money that the Rich are hoarding to solve all these problems way more peaceful.
So, what can the Starting Entrepreneurs do about it?

A: Support local businesses, strengthen resilience and self support.

Try to let as little money go upward as possible. Start producing, join the makers revolution, this being the 3d printer technology that might make many industries obsolete. All the tech to generate your own clean energy, produce much more food yourself, recycle smarter is there. Use it. Share it. Become a contributing member of your community. Keep on becoming smarter poor, for Europe will probably be declining for quite a few years to come. And if you are already green and local, make it more fun, attractive to join your party. For aliveness is what so many in normal work as missing and longing for.

B: Be way more Disruptive towards the Rich.

B.1 Self organize the new economy from the bottom. Upset their economy with new business models and new economic models. Bitcoin is just the start, but can be done so much better. And why aren't there yet any big games that try out totally different economic models? So many science fiction games and not one innovative economy among it!! Strange, or is it because it's big business making those games? Why aren't you experimenting more with new games, new rules, that target to change the game in favor of the current poor?

B.2 Think holistic. How is my work benefitting whom? What could bad people do with my innovations? The CIA and NSA are all the time thinking in scenarios what terrorists might do, with new technology. Why aren't we thinking enough what they (both terrorists and those agencies) might do with it? Invent from the onset out stuff that is for everyone. Some open source projects like the new Tesla, make such moves and I think it's brilliant. In the end, we are society together. We own our land together. We should all co-own our future and make it impossible for a happy few to own anything that belongs, or should belong to us all*.

B.3 Push to make money trickle down. There's enough evidence showing that a healthy trickling down of money keeps societies stable. The current increasing pressure between religions, immigrants, fear of terrorism, sadly takes away the deeper issue of our increasing poverty and the daily pressure this gives to many families. Thus we need to invoke more trickling down. The point being an big healthy middle class keeps the peace. They must be invited to hand over money they owe us. Basic income for everyone and government funding for Start Ups could help a lot. In the end, it will be much safer for the Rich too. Because when they start hiding in gated communities, violence is only one street away: first for everyone else, and then towards them. So start to get heard, for some good shouting now, can prevent worse shouting later.

B.4 Make the points noticed. Make sure the governments start to know the good they get from the self sustaining positive people. Make them pay for it. Make them protect and support them, so that it becomes attractive to join the new entrepreneurs. Demand your government to be supportive and inclusive to everyone. I once read a letterª that asked all this money invented by the banks, over our backs, to be payed back. It should have renewed attention.

B.5 Organize. While most entrepreneurs I know don't like to be part of organizations, especially when it just costs time and money for the organization. And because often the people running it are mostly the kind of bosses, that made Starters go independent, we tend to avoid these organizations. But loose networks can become strong too. New approaches such as collective intelligence, swarm leadership and new network tools can help to make organizing cool and effective. Learning how to make it work, might just be the innovation democracy and society needs to start working again. Use this challenge to invent just that.

B.6 Educate. Educate anyone you can to learn think critically. Teach every child that cares for nature, for the world, for justice, that it should not be giving in to the cynicism of the adults. How? By being the example. By trying with heart and soul to make a real difference. Support them where you can and, even better, let their sharp sense of justice, fairness, caring be your guiding flame.

C: Play a different game.

The rich get richer because they play a certain game very very well. Don't use their techniques and don't admire their successes. They, most likely, play very disconnected from the world. Profits are more important than thousands of poor workers with no fair wages and little to none options out. Wars are incited, murders committed along the line, wittingly or unwittingly to the Richest, just to protect their interests. The thing is we are destroying our natural resources, ecological habitat out of disconnectedness, because we think great strategies are better than peace of mind. Because we think being successful, being a hero and awesome is what we should strive for. No, we should strive to be connected to our planet, to our inner peace and wisdom. Or free after Einstein: “No problem can be solved with the same consciousness as that created it.” Even when this means we should not see them as the enemy. They aren't. They are most likely lost souls, caught up in a theatre without an exit. Help them to find it. And foremost find that exit for yourself.

Be the Change

Does this make sense? Perhaps. I hope so and I fear so. Will it be easy? No. Will this be challenged? Yes. Probably foremost by Starters that act like Ostriches, or feeling that their cool and independent image should not be questioned. And especially sustainable Start Ups may feel offended that their good intentions are attacked. My point is, when it does, look real for once. For creating a safe corner for yourself and your loved ones is not enough anymore. We live in a world where nature soon will have regional system collapses, through a economic system, that since the fall of communism thinks itself the answer to everything. Real change is now more needed than ever.

In the end it's like Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. That may be corny, but he, initially on his own, kicked the British out of India. Thus we might see our own odds, against the 85 Richest individuals who own as much as the bottom half of the whole global population, a little bit less impossible. Only one of us has to find the key that will change the game totally, when we are prepared to follow it, when it's there. Just try to be the one. I hope I at the least showed a bit of the key hole and some of the land behind it.


° ) The word 'our' here reads for all Start Ups, young entrepreneurs or perhaps any independent professional. And yes, I am part of the problem too. When I did see it this way, I didn't like that sight at all. But I fear it's more true and important to share, than my discomfort. So here's the arrow to my own contribution as Entrepreneur in the hope we'll be able to find a way out of it.
*) No, I am not a communist. I like having some stuff to come home to. But anyone with more than 10 million seems to lose all moral sense and easily think themselves above the law. So I would make that as an upper private possession. Heck, I could probably live very rich from even 2 million (one for a house, the rest for everything else in relative luxury). On the other hand, why guys at the top can decide their own bonus, or raise, has always eluded me. Wouldn't it be better it the bottom half decided about bonuses. That might bring a very different incentive.
ª) The letter can be found on this page. It is in Dutch and called “Brief aan mijn Bankdirecteur”


Bruce Sterling explains how Start Ups make the Rich Richer. Watch from minute 7:00 Same idea, different reasoning and different ideas for next steps.
Ana Jain shows what soon will be the new 'normal' and some innovative jumps that might end up very scary. At the least she created for me a link why these guys and their drone play, might unwillingly be working for free for the weapons industry.
Facts on the unequal money division. According to Oxfam 85! individuals own as much money as the bottom half of the Global population. That is insane, and we all know it.

More how banks create money. Funny, not.

woensdag 27 maart 2013

The Secret Inflation

There's a hidden inflation going on, that will keep on damaging, and even has the danger to totally destroy, our economies. Either we stop that game or all get into debts beyond believe. At the same time, the rationality and interests behind the system, will hinder all attempts at change, while being blind to the actual damage they are creating.

How You Pay for Invented Money
At the top of the economy a dark game is going on. In this game, money is being created by banks, governments and some very rich influencers; money which has no basis whatsoever in any actual counter goods or services. For governments this money is needed to pay off debts. For banks this money is needed to make more money. To play this game the last decades even the pretense that your banknotes represent some gold in the bank is left behind.

Economic Vampirism
Our economy currently totally rests upon the level of trust, or if need be force, we all together put in the exchange between goods and money. During the start of the crisis we all discovered mortgages, insurance's and other paper products had been sold on to other parties and even these transactions had been turned into products and trader games. These games were more and more based on thin air. When the bubble burst, the whole economy suffered for it. These games may seem to have been exposed, albeit the worst excesses may have been stopped, the rationale behind is is still very present. And these games are sucking on our economies like Vampires, whether by greedy designs or just stupid culture.

We pay for the damage of others
How does the Vampirism work? All the money created by banks, government and other influential players becomes real when inserted in the economy. All the transactions that lead to loss, interest and debts need to be paid for by real money, read real work, time, effort, goods. Like we all are still paying for the losses our economies suffered when the bubble burst in 2008.
Yes, we all pay for the damage all the profitable lending out of invented money does. And we need pay to back for that invented money with real effort. And each time such a scheme works, the banks feel they can create more new money to be turned into more profit into a further future. But even all our combined efforts to pay back these loans, let alone the interests, can never ever keep up with the speed of imaginative money creation by the bankers. At the same time we need to pay more and more taxes to pay for government debts created by these same games.
Huge streams of capital needed to fill gaps created by these games, lay a very heavy weight on all the individuals in the countries and cultures caught in the crisis. Because the power to invent money stops when the inventors themselves get scared and lose trust. That is the point they stop the invention of new money and have us start to pay up or enforce huge government cuts.

Theft by 'economic reason'
Now the story turns darker. The inventors of this money think that for their 'responsible' actions and the future of their organisations profits must go up and debts be paid. They think they are the core of the economy. They aren't. They even demand decadent big salaries for all their irresponsible games. A special group of these people are the super rich, who have become a problem by themselves. Just to understand the behaviour of these money 'leaders' recent studies in social science claim most of these people are psychopaths. Since, to most people, these men seem the pinnacle of success, recently even a book was written how to become more psychopathic yourself, this means more trouble. Owning heaps of money doesn't mean you are right, logical or even a good guy doing his best for everyone's welfare.

Essential work should be rewarded
The core is, and always will be, the people at the bottom; the farmers who grow our food, the miners digging up our metals, the workers manufacturing our goods. The very very sick thing is, that their work is valued less and less. Up to the point that many farmers have trouble doing the one thing that we all need: growing real food. Many simple workers need up to three jobs, just to sustain their families. And these people know that beyond, the breaking of the trust, lies the force to pressure the money out of their pockets if they stop paying back. Real efforts they need to perform to keep the empty game of money invention going. But all our work won't be able to compete with the debts and interests we need to pay for invented money, or even the salaries for the people doing this. In the US the logic has led to huge amounts of homeless people, including whole families and at the same time masses of empty houses are rotting away, since the logic of debt and ownership holds sway over decency, society and people.
This growing mass of poor, not being able to pay up, and growing amount of decaying houses and infrastructure are actually making the mess bigger. The costs to provide the most urgent human needs are once again happily invented by banks, over which we all together have to pay new and more interests. The loss is once again for all of us. The growing suffering to pay for gaps created by the invention of huge amounts of money is the real big crisis of our century. It is the source of a hidden inflation or better a growing leak in the bottom of our society. What can we do?

How can people be economic 'dead weight'?
In ancient China, the primary task of governments was that in times of need, people for sure would have to eat. With these in mind they build storehouses for times of need. We have not provided for times of need, we have build on top of imaginary future prognosis. Thus we have entered an age where the poor, the ones that pay their entry money to be participant in the big empty game are seen as trouble and dead weight. A good government would be most interested how to keep them out of poverty and help them to be positive participants. We also should stop thinking that those who are poor are to blame themselves. The system sucks, so the system is at the least responsible too for anyone working crazy overtimes can provide for their family or any pensioner who saw his pension go up in smoke through bad investments.
We must start to reward all real effort with real returns, food, housing, education, etc. We must stop the heaping up of money by the rich against scandalous interests. We must stop believing that invented money should have power over real people. What would happen if we would strike away all debts and all assets? What would happen if we only rewarded people for real time and effort and not for status, suggested importance? What if nobody could invent money? What if we stopped with interest? Even the Bible warns against interest. Lately a growing number of people revisited the logic behind this rule and started to see good reasoning behind it.

Change the Game
We should change the game. In the end the force used to punish real people in the real world for other peoples fantasies in an imaginary money game might must be turned around. For when the story they tell is not believed any more or has become too damaging, the tables may be turned and the use of force may point at the game creators.
In the French revolution the populace struggled with mass poverty, while the ruling class played shiny games over their backs. A scientist calculated how big the gap between poor an rich maximal can be, before strife begins. In the US the government originally declared that max wealth difference as a kind of golden rule. It was the American president Reagan that left that golden rule. Since than we live in borrowed time, before the money crisis turns into real world violence, because the gaps have become impossible to bridge in any other way.

There is enough
There is enough to do to make a difference. There is enough that can be done to improve our society. There is enough to eat. There are enough goods for everyone. There is enough housing or enough people and materials to make it so. These facts should be the bottom line; not debts established through failed games with invented money. Money rules should not be allowed to stop the transference of goods to places where they are really needed. It's not about the money. It should be and has always been about real wealth. Wealth being the means to provide whenever needs arise and feeling safe within that situation. We, the general public, may not be able to create such complex money games, but by God, we provide the real world efforts that bind our society together. And I wonder what the interest the banks own us for playing along and keeping their world together?

Why scientists are often confused themselves.

Yes, there are many great scientists doing beautiful stuff, but their world has been corrupted by many wrongs. So they, understandably, want to protect their field, but in doing so get their logics confused. 

Many scientists claim what is not factual or proven is not there. Thus reality is mostly matter, except stuff they can point at such as radio waves, atoms and peoples opinions. In reality this means, what is not proven as fact is not real. But many things may be real, but not are yet seen (by scientists) or let alone proven (by scientists). So the observations of many people are discounted because they are not proven, which is very different from these people being wrong. And, as history learns us, scientists may also be wrong. Or the growing piles of researches that have opposite outcomes. We see this in the diet industry, eat less fat, eat the right fat avoid the wrong and now the new is eat a lot of the right fat diet. Each month a new 'scientific' discovery leads to a new diet. Any scientist shouting that these scientists are not real because they are bought by large corporations, should know that almost all scientists are either bought by corporations, by their university and its status and or are pressured by their government to think less and write more and more papers just to prove they are making a difference. We should trust scientists less as saints and see them more as ourselves: just a bunch of people working on a small part of the whole and hoping to improve it a bit. Except the corporate ones, willingly doing unethical stuff. Those are evil.

dinsdag 10 juli 2012

The real start of the Crisis. and solutions..

Here is the shortest version of the road to the Crisis. One you won't see in the papers. Yet.

The blame on the crisis is not only with the bankers. It all started with greed. There are many beginnings with that factor, this is one of the major ones.

In the 80's shareholdership started to put profit over community. Offshoring began. Profits increased while jobs were lost. The governments supported this sale out. To compete the big corporation said they needed cheaper labour, and no Unions. That last bit they didn't say aloud of course.

The Chinese and Indians now started to produce most consumer goods. Although their people work(ed) for indecent little in the sweatshops, still people, materials, land, production and transport in these countries had to be paid for. These dealings may have made the outsourcing companies a profit, but it made the West as a whole a big loss. The West now needed to import more than it exported and slowly dived into debt. A few years ago, the USA exported for 50 billion each year to China and imported for over 250 billion a year. So the only ones getting richer were the CEO and shareholders of the big companies. Everyone else lost.
The rising countries, like China, even were so nice to support the growing debts of the USA for a while. But since they USA became ever poorer and their consumer market couldn't keep on paying for all the goods, the USA began to overdo on the whole Buy on Credit thing. While the USA went ever deeper into debt, China started to look for people who could actually really afford their goods: their own people. Both India and China may have well the biggest rise in middle class in the world. Huge growth markets indeed. Thus the Chinese and Indians have started to focus on their own interests. With their wealth they then started to also buy up all resources in the developing countries, especially Africa. And with so much money tied to China, the West can't offer real competition. And by the way, weren't we also just robbing those resources most of the time, by bribing local lords and presidents and forgetting about the population? So, no need to cry there.
Now the USA and Europe have no (real big) production, no resources (outside its own borders) and are not longer of interest for the new Kings of the planet. We do have lots of people without jobs, huge debts, corrupted regimes that keep playing democracy and very greedy managers at the top of almost every company or civil service. The big companies that became very very rich with exporting our work, now have their overpaid CEO's complain they need help to compete with the Chinese and Indian economy. They want support to keep on building unsustainable cars that have been outdated by decades. They want support to build TV's that burn energy like it comes as cheap as unemployment. They want government support from politicians that have started to invent money to pay for everything. Hahaha.

Was it all them, the greedy shareholders? No, we participated, or at the least didn't protest the work it gave those that helped them. And loads and loads of managers, leaders helped with this process. They outsourced, fired people and changed the books to need. The bankers were just the ones to give us the final blow. They were exposed because the foundation for stabile growth in our society had evaporated, and just as us, they didn't want to see. We hadn't learned ourselves to think ahead or beyond their personal task horizon.
You cannot learn ethics from talking nice about being good, because you don't know where you stand until someone puts a gun, black money or a monstrous target in your hands and talks nice about it. In business often you won't even recognize the gun, until there's a body and smoke. And then with modern banking, you don't even get to see the countless bodies and the smoke. You didn't even know it was a gun, because you never questioned the context or learned to be really curious about what system you contribute to. You can claim you did your best for a good boss, who paid a decent bonus and made the targets. wow. That's second world war German Wehrmacht officers speaking: "Wir haben er nicht gewusst." (We didn't know we were murdering all those Jews, etc.) Any management education that doesn't counter that kind of talk in advance is but a blind follower training.

So our business culture is rotten, our governments incompetent by lack of treasure and spirit and our vision and laws outdated. What to do?

The cure is also not in the papers (because this will undermine the same powers that sold your job to foreign powers and used this money to buy all the media, just so they could even make money on telling us that it was not them, but just a few greedy rogue bankers who got us in trouble)

A: Forego on all debts. It's totally outrageous to consider that there is enough work, that there are enough empty buildings to give everyone a roof over their heads and is enough food to feed everyone. There is also enough to do, but because it's not owned by the right people, we have millions of poor without work, home and or enough food. The law and the government should serve the whole and not a happy few. At the least when people or countries are in trouble because of debt, lower the rent, instead of increasing it. Give them space, instead of stress.

B: Demand and perform with integrity and awareness of bigger patterns. Ethics, or values are not only there to save us from crime. They are there, to create trust and faith in our shared purpose and beliefs. They are there to act within self accepted frames that give hope to people, protect nature and support the progress of individuals, groups, countries and our whole civilisation. All high ranking people must not only take care, they must be examples. Why is it that we all know Nelson Mandela was such a man and so few modern industrilists and politicians give us that same feeling?

C: Totally transform to green and sustainable. A huge overhaul will mean huge amounts of work for everyone. Just like the years right after WWII, it's getting everyone to participate in the (re)building of our society. Protecting the interests of those who'd pressure everyone to protect their interests, would be the most stupid thing to do. The will use pressure and lies to stop any such move. tss, they also can play along and help us all cleaning up the planet, rebuilding society and creating value for everyone.

D: Switch to micro economy. Take the power from the big corporations into your own hands. We have the knowledge and techniques to make every house and city self supporting in energy, materials and food. Transition towns are a great example of this. Small crafts people can start anywhere with little means. Through exchange of means, stuff, info and help we may become less dependent on money and those who have the biggest bundles of it. Check out,as a participants in that change revolution with millions of players around the globe, not because they are THE answer: Better,Transition Town movement or  P2P foundation.

E: Switch to an Experience Culture. What gives you most pleasure? Being with friends and family or a night before the TV? The having loads of goods, or having friends and sharing with them? Really consider what makes you truly happy and you'll see a culture needs way less to flourish. The best Example is Costa Rica, A very small ecological footprint and as happy as most Americans.

Good luck taking your dreams in your own hands.