George Soros says the financial system has already disintegrated, and Paul Volcker agrees with him. It has already collapsed, in some ways more comprehensively (and certainly more globally) than in 1929. It’s just running on fumes– or maybe we’re like the cartoon character who ran off a cliff but is just starting to look down and doesn’t yet realize he’s supposed to fall.
Seriously, and don’t dismiss this out of hand: I think it’d be more effective if these bailouts are presented as not just a serious set of economic loans/grants and restructuring, but ALSO a religous ‘jubilee’.
Jubilee– the original concept– asks that we ‘reboot’ the system every 50 years, and forgive all debts and free all ‘slaves’. It posits that all people should be returned to their lands and ‘inheritances’, to the unconstrained opportunity for self-sufficiency: liberty and justice for all. And it’s holistic: one lets plants grow and the ecology restore itself. This encompasses many of the ideals the stimulus bills only dream about; and it’s a more comprehensive moral solution to the human condition than any of the half-baked reforms being proposed and discussed by our leaders.
We might as well get all the religious folk involved, get a lot of the nutcases to help society instead of planning for apocalypse. And invest it with real spiritual meaning. The bottom line is, as long as you’re going to blow several TRILLION dollars and mortgage the planetary future, you might as well pull out all the stops!
People talk about end times, ‘2012’. Yes, the world as we know it is ending. But that’s not such a big deal–that’s happened a couple of times already this century! WWI for Europe, WWII for everyone, 1990 again for the soviet bloc. Moving on from such seminal moments takes real courage.
So, there needs to be a real blueprint for the world to come. Something that’s Bretton Woods, the founding of the UN, and the peace of Westphalia (which ended and transcended religious war) all rolled into one, with radical environmental and political reform built in. A set of ideas whose time hasn’t quite come yet– but just might come quite soon. We live in a world where hundreds of millions of migrants are far from home, in debt or in effect indentured servitude to escape hardship; where national boundaries don’t reflect ethnic realities; and where the allegedly respectable and civilized western countries and societies are the deepest in the hole, the most wildly out of whack with the basic math of money and sustainability. Jubilee would inspire not just the policy wonks but the whole world.
But it’s crazy, you say! What if you’re wrong?
Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
…[the Mayor considers the implications of helping the Ghostbusters stop the Apocalyspe… and asks what if they’re wrong?]