The rich are killing the world

Climate is changing incredibly fast. Arctic methane will bring famines and the collapse of civilization, but even that won’t stop the feedback loops. The temperature will keep rising, bringing ecosystem collapse and global extinction. To avert those, we need big changes fast.

The Arctic began melting a few years ago. That should have been a wake-up call to ban oil. But instead our insane rulers, concerned only with short-term profits, rushed to grab Arctic oil.

Power – from money, elections, any source – corrupts: Authoritarians beat their families, bosses bully workers, guards torture prisoners, and police shoot the poor. Our rulers start wars for profit; they murder millions for oil, water, and other resources. We need to replace hierarchy with horizontalism.

Democracy is a sham. Gilens and Page’s 2014 statistics proved the rich get the public policies they want and the rest of us don’t. Money is influence, so the only way to end rule by the wealthy class is to not have a wealthy class. That requires a wholly different economic system, which in turn requires widespread understanding. (So I hand out leaflets.)

How is property at fault? Well, as we don’t share, we must trade — for money, labor, food, rent, everything. Trade favors the trader in the stronger bargaining position, making him stronger still. Inequality grows huge.

Buyer and seller negotiate, but other parties bear “externalities,” unmeasured side effects. Those include war, poverty, and ecocide. Thus the “efficiency of the market” is a lie. And privately owned workplaces are dictatorships (which is why we hate Mondays).

But the sickness is in all of us, in our culture. The market makes us commodities to be exploited or discarded. Competition separates us, killing empathy. Insecurity engenders racism, sexism, austerity, imperialism, and other kinds of bullying. “Getting ahead” is an incentive for all evils. Homeless beggars on street corners remind us that society doesn’t care. Every week some lonely man shoots up a school. But we don’t shoot our friends. (Can’t we all be friends?)

We’ve fought over hierarchy and property for 10,000 years. But for 300,000 years before that we lived as equals and shared everything of importance. That’s still our true nature; we can return to it. The first step is to get more people thinking about it.


2019 April 19, version 4.23. The leaflet fits on two sides of 1/2 page. The original version was created for the September 2018 climate march.