The Doughnut Without Collapse is a Pipe Dream

Please don’t waste time lobbying governments, or corporations to think about doughnut economics, or a steady-state economy. If you do, you ask them to destroy themselves. It’s futile.
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Instead withdraw consent to their ideology. Withdraw spending from Tesco, Amazon and BP and re-spend people and their skills into existence. Governments live by tweaking a corporate/consumer alliance. To be sure, tax-generated revenue may provide some social infrastructures, but those infrastructures are all oiled to smooth the machinery of corporate and consumer transactions – electronic money, retail parks on the ring road…
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A steady-state, or doughnut economy will not have monetary capacity for rent. Money flow must not exceed energy flow – that is, the energy of what people can do without fossil fuels. So, by our doughnut, the enclosures must implode – leaving the open common. All property (enclosure) demands rent – land rent, money interest, intellectual property rent and – the elephant in the room – status enclosure – the massive rents demanded by architects, dentists, lawyers, consultants, GPs, corporate “economists” and so on. In short, the doughnut demands the collapse of the middle class. Many who lobby the powers about the doughnut, belong to that class. To have credence to the powers, they must carry enclosed certification – the professorship, the doctorate. Do they know what they do? I think it likely that they can’t see the common for the fantasy of their enclosed status.
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Anyway, it is plain that to live within the doughnut, will cause the collapse of the casino of rents (including usury), stocks bonds, shares, currencies… In turn, the falling casino will precipitate a cascade of collapsing businesses, causing mass unemployment, collapsing tax revenues and so also of tax-generated “goods” of social care, electricity grids and hard infrastructures. The casino will collapse the economy.
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All this will happen anyway. Money markets and debt-created growth, bear no relationship to the real world of soil, people and their skills. The casino is not real. It exists by the faith of punters and by rents pillaged from real economic activity. The pillaged economy has nothing left to give and faith (as witnessed in the terror of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders) is shaky.
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It is urgent that we evacuate – that we build durable economic relationships that may emerge more or less intact from beneath the rubble of collapse. It is an epic task. Please engage in it and don’t waste energy talking to deaf ears. As you know, extinction of our species and of many more besides, is not far off. Success is the slimmest of slim chances, but all other roads are blocked. Time does not wait.
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We can embrace the tragedy of collapse as an essential rite of passage for humanity’s coming of age. We’ll find a community of species, which have evolved together into the almost infinite complexity of our terrain. That is holy, holy holy! That is interesting. Economies are what people do. Everything we do has a moral, because all actions have consequence. Money is a useful tool, but is a small part of the moral whole. Now, we need, not professors of doughnut economics, telling us what they’d impose. We need a moral awakening, which teaches right and wrong actions. Moral truth is very simple. We came to this mess, because money was enclosed as amoral and usually, immoral property. Money as personal property is always anti-social. We don’t need it. We have each other – leaning to each other’s skills – swaying to the music of living time.
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Moral truth is very simple. Is there any other kind? Well yes, sensual evidence confronts us all the time if we are intelligent to it. Pretty soon, as it enters memory, it gets moralised! That is the purpose of scientific scepticism – to keep ethics at bay, so that sensual evidence (data) may reveal new understanding. The scientist will cultivate a scepticism during her day job, but at leisure she’ll re-find her moral self, because everything she does has consequence.
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It follows that science has no practical use. It lives in an ivory tower. It should remain there unsullied by the goings on of human manipulation and commerce. I value it highly.
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Data gathered on CO.2 accumulation, sea level, temperature and so on, leads to new understanding of connections, causes, effects and cycles. The sensual truth of that has been enabled by the sceptical mind. Now, if we enter that understanding into the moral mind of the “scientist”, who had previously seen it through her sceptical frame, then her moral outrage must rise and she must surely shake us all severely by the lapels.
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There is no conflict between her ivory tower and her moral life. They cohabit side by side. To be effective, the ivory tower must remain unsullied and amoral. To be effective the scientist, as citizen must express her moral outrage. That is not a conflict. It is a kind of binary effectiveness.
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Sadly, human ambitions (necessities?) of career and wage have come to mean that “science” is usually far from sceptical and that moral outrage is often in support of entrenched positions – theses, schools of thought, the likelihood of peer/career reviews. So called, sceptical science is riddled with commercial, political, and factional polemicists. “Climate” science is at least as corrupted as any other. We can find peer-reviewed papers to support almost anything we think to be to our social, or monetary advantage – GM crops, pesticides, biofuels, coal with CCS, or to the contrary – organic methods, permacultures, earthly limits…
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In short, science is riddled with outside influence. We ordinary moral citizens must adopt an automatic scepticism whenever a new “scientific revelation is announced.
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We can learn to sieve out those scientists, we can, or can’t trust. For myself, there are many “even on my side of arguments” whom I can’t trust an inch. There are others, who are rocks.
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There is the added complication that many who call themselves scientists, are not – they are technologists – designers of tools. They use the shield of amoral science to justify immoral action. I include medicine, engineering, economics, architecture and so on. All tools have consequence and so should come with moral justification attached.
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What on Earth can we do? It’s not difficult. Where a tool touches its materials comes a spark of truth. Follow the spark. Learn your trade. With usura hath no man a house of good stone – each block cut smooth and well fitting. But also, congregate in church, temple mosque, pub, library café. Join the pub chorus round the old Joanna, or raise the lovely vaulted roof with your polyphonic part of Bach, or Palestrina. If you like, you can sing the blues. Rock and roll is also good…
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Let’s make society.
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