My extensive traveling through Europe and the western portion of the U.S. has got me to thinking about how we can transition from our current socio-political and economic situation — like it or not — most people think that there is too much income inequality and the standard of living for the average person may be declining all over our world. The U.S. has become an oligarchy with large corporations and fabulously wealthy individuals wielding undue influence on the rank and file public. Of course, this income inequality has existed for literally thousands of years between the haves and the have nots
I was listening to NPR a few days ago when Lawrence Kudlow, the head economic advisor to the current U.S. administration gave his supply side view of the economy. When pressed that wage growth was barely keeping pace with inflation, he discounted that fact and said the investment in the capital goods sector would help boost wages. This “trickle down” effect (so popular with conservative economists) has never really benefited the general public. The supply side view (that is by controlling the money supply, you can effectively control the entire economy) originally espoused by Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago helped fuel Reaganomics and still permeates conservative thinking.
Getting back to all my traveling, I saw in Scandinavia great societies that are primarily monarchies with administrations running them. There is something tantalizing about monarchies — the old benevolent despot concept we all learned in grade school. Even more than just a benevolent despot what about a benevolent female despot to transition from the alpha male hegemony that has been running our world for many epochs? In the six days I spend in Prague, I saw many local people who I would term “Type B” personalities; content with their beautiful architecture, great cheap beer and lovely members of the female sex. I could be wrong but most people there were more concerned with raising their children than the acquisition of goods and services.
This thinking led me to get a book out of the library called Democracy in America written in 1859 by a french aristocrat by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville who was studying the prison system in America; that book concluded that America was truly a democracy run by the people and not like the monarchies of the old world. Given the extraordinary circumstances facing our species, I have decided to begin a treatise I call “Reverse de Tocqueville,” which will examine America in light of the European experience and hopefully shed some light on a potential direction for our collective future.
I have always argued that money is merely a medium of exchange and we have commoditized money since the creation of the Federal Reserve System and the Tax Code in the U.S. back in 1913; we have effectively created what I term finance capitalism that bases everything on short term quarterly earnings in particular and profits in general. It was the term “profits” that stands out as possibly the “root of all evil” and not money itself because remember — money is just a medium of exchange and necessary for the transacting of purchasing and selling goods and services. Here, Marx had already figured out that profit was the real culprit and that profit takes the means of production out of the hands of the laborer and places it squarely in the hands of the capitalists.
Profit contributes to things like compulsive gambling, drug addiction, corporate misappropriations and other pernicious vagaries of our current society. Many young people are now finding that experiences like travel and acts of service are relatively more important and rewarding than the acquisition of things. Hence, many young people are eschewing the purchasing of cars and even home ownership.
Where does a matriarchal society fit into this scenario? See this article from 2015 that lays out some of the differences between patriarchal and matriarchal societies. https://aplus.com/a/matriarchal-societies-different-mainstream?no_monetization=true
Once and for all, the solution of many of our current social problems lies in shifting the focus away from competition, greed, avarice and towards nurturing, creating, minimizing conflict and stopping crime and the fear of sexual and/or physical abuse, especially against the female sex. My hypothesis is that for societies to really embrace change it may be profitable (pun intended) for communities to embrace co-operative rather than competitive strategies to manage our natural assets (food, water, energy, air, fauna and flora, etc.) on a more nurturing and motherly fashion rather than the slapdash approach we have adopted during our most recent few hundred years of existence. History has pointed out that societies that plunder their natural resources, tend to disappear after a certain period of time.
I leave you with this final thought — if profit was removed from the equation of transacting business and dealing with people in general would our world be a better or worse place? If we started to really think about what it might take to eradicate poverty from all 7 billion plus people on the Earth it comes down to providing them all with clean water, clean air, healthy food, adequate energy to heat and cool homes, allow access to the internet and power all the various appliances/lighting systems; provide universal health care for all, education that works and shelter and clothing that are consistent with the real cost of living and not dependent on some supply sided notion some economist had in some proverbial ivory tower. David Ricardo’s theory of rents permeates current real estate valuations and may be one of the largest dislocations in the affordability issue for people to live comfortably. As I have said before, there will be plenty of jobs in this transition to a triple bottom line economy; an economy that accounts for social and environmental costs as well as financial costs. And, if we take profit out of the equation I can assure you that people will be nicer towards one another, especially if the leaders of a community are female rather than male.
The Me Too Movement is a step in the right direction towards become more matriarchal in our essential way of looking at our world; we need to cooperate rather than fight Mother Nature to survive. To battle Nature is a losing cause and only weakens our ability to survive on Earth.
One man’s opinion…