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Why alternatives? Because the modern world system in which we have been living for the past half a millennium or so is visibly collapsing. We believe the system (in its totality), has now entered its final chaotic phase. The main pillar that has been supporting it, namely, the global economic regime along with its various superstructures, is palpably crumbling. Moreover, the natural environment, which allowed this man-made system to flourish, is also showing clear signs of degeneration. Nonetheless, entrenched interests, those who have been immensely benefiting from the whole unsustainable arrangement are trying hard to save the collapsing system by manipulating critical facts/truth (about its inherent un-sustainability) and preaching TINA (there is no alternative)!
The global economy, which is the main anchor of the global system, is in tatters. Here we are not talking about the system’s usual cyclical difficulties (business/economic cycles, etc.) The formidable and probably insurmountable challenges are; secular trends that are forcefully emerging and exasperating built-in imbalances. Dominant interests are trying to play down the structural crisis as just another of those passing phenomenon that can be rectified by tinkering around the edges, given time. We beg to differ! The situation we find ourselves in, is not the usual garden variety, here are the reasons. For a start, the system’s ascendance was essentially leveraged on the availability of cheap concentrated energy. Fossil fuel with all its associated environmental problems, is depleting faster than we can say fracking. The remaining fossil fuel deposits are hard to exploit, hence might not help the existing global economy to expand even further, since it will not be cheap any longer. The current low price is essentially due to the system’s financialization of all and sundry.
Rigging the real global economy via finance is another symptom of the system’s decay. The financialized and globalized economy, which continues to polarize populations/countries, has become detached from realities on the ground. Real price discovery based on real supply and demand hardly exists today. In this man-made world system, everything seems to be temporal and as it stands, it is crony capitalism that is at full play! In addition, the system’s dependence on continuous economic growth is astoundingly absurd and daftly irrational, hence absolutely untenable. Imagine the world economy growing at 4% per annum. At this rate, the global economy will double in less than two decades, which also means all inputs needed to crank up this supposed growth must also increase! The last time we checked, Mother earth is not procreating, hence the universal supply side is limited, i.e., finite, irrespective of our wish for maniacal growth, overconsumption. We can only exploit the remaining resources until the whole thing blows up badly! See Hossein-Zadeh’s article next column.
The bosses of the system don’t really care what happens (to the world at large) after they bit the dust. Therefore, it is up to those genuinely concerned about the propagation of life, (not only that of humans) to take up the challenge of planetary survival. The above are the main reasons why we desperately need alternatives to the current untenable scheme or paradigm. The alternatives, by their very definition, must be sustainable and resilient, in as much as possible. Secondly, they have to foster a more democratic and egalitarian dispensation to avoid the continuous destruction, which the prevailing lopsided system perpetuates. To those who still think the world system can go on from strength to strength, we can only say look at what is happening in the core countries of the system. See the articles on page 23, 36 & 46.
Democratic deficiency is another of the system’s obvious failure. Last week a poll in Germany revealed that 62% of the population doesn’t think there is democracy in the country. The sentiment was; it is always economic expediency that dictates governance rather than the will of the people. 20% of the polled Germans think the only way to get rid of the screwed built-in imbalances is to have a revolution! No wonder, in the core countries of the world system, it is now plutocracy rather than democracy that obtains. The totalitarian nature of the system that has been in place longer than we think (long before Snowdianism), can only lead to more confrontations, despite what the entrenched elites pontificate. See Lendman’s article and more on page 46. Unless the beast/sheeple take a strong stand against the .01% that run the global show, humanity’s future will not be assured. These psychos and their wacko ideologies/policies must be put in their appropriate and deserving place–the lunatic asylum!  As the French writer said: “Many are destined to reason wrongly; others not to reason at all, and others to persecute those who reason.” Voltaire. Good Day!