2: Editorial: Following the Green Economics Day in Reading on 22nd November, the Editorial copied below (slightly cut) seems particularly apposite:
If it had been the purpose of human activity on earth to bring the planet to the edge of ruin, no more efficient mechanism could have been invented than the market economy, observed Jeremy Seabrook recently. The idea that the economy-as-we-know-it did not evolve in order to provide us with the necessities of life is a very difficult concept to grasp. Nevertheless, it is historically evident that the money economy is founded upon denial of access to the wherewithall for self provisioning. As Derrick Jensen documents, people become dependent upon a money income when they have lost their rights of access to the means of production.
Ultimately, the means of production, all the resources of society, its land, machinery, knowledge and ability to labour, have been handed down from generation to generation, and remain the property of society as a whole. Today, however, what is produced with those resources, and how the product is distributed, is determined by the money system. We are all economic agents in that system. Yet we rest content in our ignorance of how the system works, as if it were none of our responsibility. It is far easier to live within the 'culture of make-believe', allowing Mother Market to supply all our needs, no matter what the damage to the ecosystem, or the devastating impact upon the lives of the untold numbers of the dispossessed, whose land and labour is taken to feed our consumer society. The breakdown of global capitalism, as predicted in Asses in Clover, is the logical outcome of our continued failure to think and act responsibly.
Global corporate culture, 'the culture of make believe' is destroying the world. It is destroying the oceans, the forests, the wetlands, the rivers, other species, indigenous people and all who seek justice from the current order. It silences and destroys all who wish to change the current social order, the anti-globalisation, anti-WTO and anti-war protestors, those who seek justice, peace and an end to mass poverty. Moreover, it ensures that people collude in their own oppression and that of others, by doing what is expected of them in their paid jobs without asking fundamental questions. It allows people to latch onto labels such as 'trouble-maker' or 'crank' with decided relief, if what was being said seemed, at first glance, to make sense. For decent, law-abiding citizens going about their rightful business, such people can be safely ignored, thank goodness. Labeling can also be used to set one group of would-be rebels against another, with the resultant confusion leaving orthodoxy (seemingly) on the high moral ground.
Where they are taught at all in educational establishments, alternative socio-political ideas are presented as historical or sociological curiosities, making it difficult for alternatives to be given serious consideration. From the outset, when Douglas embarked on setting out alternatives to mainstream economics, he and his followers have been labeled every name under the sun, including 'socialist', 'Marxist', 'fascist', 'anti-Semitic', 'right-wing', 'left-wing', 'crank', 'heretical', 'heterodox', 'sociological' and even 'spiritual'. Intended to discredit, such labeling has been powerfully effective.
Worth a look on the Web, though mainly intended for US/Canada, is: http://www.thematrix.com/