The Joke

It is a great joke, that the deepest commons have been passed on in daylight, unnoticed by thought police, secret police and dragoons.

No disguise, samizdat, remembered whisperings; no underground… These commons are bequeathed in a code that anyone can read – elegance of architectural design, fine lines of a boat, laughter and tears extracted by good verse and prose…

Ancestors speak and are heard, in spite of ephemeral yet despotic newspeak of a particular time. The soul of culture – liquid notes of blackbird, the blue bell wood in sight and scent, stitchwort and campion guide a lane to unspoken tenderness of generations, settled in one ecological space… – generational echoes – once heard, become rites of passage to adulthood and personal mortality. Become the echo, and we may claim a birth right – to be human, despite the coercion of power. A spade, chisel, needle, shuttle… well-sent, are enough.

Subjects of tyranny have called to the echo; to natal soil; to the vivacity of it; unseen by defilers and so undefiled. Yet it is not esoteric – the code is egalitarian – and simple – a pub chorus – hop gardens and barley fields apparent in a pint glass – touched shoulders imply Mesolithic ancestors brushed past too – a nod and a wink from Orwell’s Moon Over Water, or Falstaff, babbling of green fields, or from the curled sliver of oak from the careful and quieter stroke of the plane… expressed in the wood. And as Orwell also noted – subjugate a people and you must first remove their history. (That was the cue for Mr Rupert Murdoch and his tamed politicians)

All this is ordinary – the mysteries of nature are perennial to all times and so the mystery is an ordinary mystery. The mystery of skill is ordinary and perennial too. What is marvellous is ordinary.

Belonging – longing – of course we are dispossessed, commons are enclosed, means to livelihood removed; that stroke of the plane denied; responsible contributions denied…. Nevertheless, inherited human senses remain. The social impulse remains. Our companion – the mouse in the prison cell, is beauty – a shaft of moonlight through the bars. I don’t much like that last, but let it stay for an ancestor, while detention centres close steel doors and torture my ridiculous and fallible imagination for a while…

Everyone is sometimes the butt of the joke.

And the deepest part of every established religion is also inherited – it is where ancestral voices – the holy blissful matyr for to seeke – that had them holpen when they were weake – evoke the common. Older shrines and springs gain Christian names and chapels are built where people would have gathered, in any case.

If we reverently list the names – Dowland, Monteverdi, Bach, Haydon, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert… or similarly of painters, poets, or philosophers, then we should understand the impulses that built those earlier passage tombs, where ancestral bones were displayed. Ancestral commons over-rule the temporal imposition of personally-convenient rule. Will any music exceed the extra-ordinary expression of both beauty and truth in Monteverdi madrigals, or those late, Beethoven quartets? Of course, not. Some music may match them and join the chamber tomb of ancestral pleasures. Why should tombs be solemn memorials, and not archives of pleasure? Chamber tomb music – submerge to emerge to what’s perennial, resilient, common, sad, funny and deep.

And devotion to – and gratitude for – place and for an ancestral cultivation of it – a fitting and elegant arrangement of fields or houses, is not nationalism. If we think of commons, then nationalism evaporates. Nation states have come with violence of enclosure. Such violence is always ephemeral, insensitive and – stupid. Property and borders are ephemeral and stupid.

These times house an epic drama. Ancestral commons are ineffective in today’s political conversation, though they remain effective to guide our own good behaviour. We’ll not bring good sense to Theresa May by performance of Beethoven’s op. 135. Even the old balance of church and state was long ago sacked at the Reformation. Theresa’s high heels; Boris Johnson’s tossed locks fit neither a chamber tomb, or church. They click and strut polished corridors of tax-haven UK towards… – a balance of political influences – who is in? Who’s out? How will Mr Rupert Murdoch respond?

Earth’s atmosphere is unbalancing, natural resources vanish, a casino of usury and rent expands at precisely the rate that real economic assets are stripped and real people suffer – but that is only partially at the hands of administrative and corporate power.

Those things are by what we ordinary people do, one by one. We commute from an impossible suburbia, in an impossible family car, for a wage to pay rent, or mortgage in a property casino, which so exhausts our self-respect that we must holiday by impossibly profligate jet aeroplane (using idly-accumulated property value)– all – and it is in plain view – to remove a civilised future from our children. That is what we do.

We consume too much for the future to withstand. We know we do it. We say that we are coerced to do it and are trapped. So, we lobby the coercers, we donate a subscription to Friends of The Earth, or Greenpeace and sign petitions to governments and corporations. Yet, we exist. We cause climate change, while governments and corporations do not – they are abstractions. They have not the physics to cause climate change. They are voices in our heads, coercing us to behave badly.

For most of human culturing, people have behaved more or less properly by the guidance of ancestors – by proper use of the gift of inheritance. I propose that until about 1500BC (late Bronze Age), ancestors would have a larger influence than kings. Since then, and until the Reformation, they’ve probably had an equal voice. Today, where influence rides, they are unheard. It is time that we listened again. It is probable that the first impulse towards property enclosure was to silence ancestral voices – that is, the power of social commons.

As I began, the joke is that the voices remain in past trials and errors that produced the near perfect shape of a tool; the lovely balanced arch of a simple river bridge and there, in a shock of surprise, we may come upon evidence of a living ancestral representative in skilfully-pruned rows of orchard trees.

There’s currently a publishing production-line of affected footpaths into dialects of nature. They win literary prizes. Happen, there’s now’t awry fossicking in the liminal – but people drop such code words, twitch an eyebrow, pause, as if to say – I have the code, though I’ve not the tweed, or stout brogues. I’ve mooched in the Edge Lands – the good lands before climate change. Enough! Culture is what we do. That is the joke. Those books scoot the surface meniscus among other enclosures and prizes. There is no eclectic society of the commons. Ordinary is best – it is also, the deepest.

Of course, when we square up to our tormentors it can only be on the shallowest ground. The words, or bombs which pass, though often devastating, do not have meaning, because the powers live in an ephemeral world of personal advancement, where points scored, points lost, bombs restrained, or bombs dropped have become the meaning. Actually, only powerful ancestral commons can properly restrain a tormentor. Violence to answer violence has been temporarily effective, but is always improper – and is generally followed by further violence.

The tormentors are the voices in our heads. If we listen, then we’ve ourselves to blame. The ancestors endure – they are in our souls – the voice of our hearts. Even so, the tormentors of these islands have also endured – Bronze Age Brutus (of legend), Iron Age Caesar, early medieval William, reformation Henry VIII… then, Tony Blair, Theresa May… Here’s the thing, ancestry apparent in a terraced hillside, or a folk melody, lie in too deep a strata to encounter those on the surface. Of course, Teresa could sink though the accumulated layers of herself to find that common humanity. It is probable that she does – outside politics, but unlikely within.

Without, or forgetting those deeper strata, we are incomplete – and so liberated to misbehave. We can consume without guilt, while suggesting that a cast vote in the ballot is a good enough substitute for personally-proper behaviour.

That deeper moral is neither masculine nor feminine, yet it can be fierce. If we attend to it, we attend to our pre-enclosure inheritance – the inheritance to act – to shoulder, in our passage of time the duty to maintain the good life. We have what we need – that is ourselves. It is very ordinary – we need experience and judgement. No-one else can supply those things – not the latest research paper – nor dignified press releases by authorities in their fields… With regards to crashing casinos and climate change we know what we have to do without advice – we must live within our ecological means. Only I can know precisely how I live.

The continuation of culture is expressed in us as we come to adulthood. First – Is how I live replicable in the lives of my children? Second – Is how I live, similarly possible for my neighbours?

The first considers how an economy settles its ecology. The second, social justice. The difficulty is that as soon as we consider those very simple questions – the answers to which are no and almost certainly no – we enter the complexity of our life lived with others. At the depth of our being, we become less an individual of the species and more the species itself.

Some decisions are easy – Should I cancel the holiday flight? – Yes.

Should I stop shopping in super markets and instead, look for proper shops and trades’ people? -Yes.

Should I farm/garden organically? – Yes.

Should I buy electricity generated by wind, hydro and solar power? -Yes.

There are no (or very few) obstacles to deciding yes in those four cases. Remember, that failure to various degrees is pre-written in all adventures. All those yeses also lead to happiness.

If we have surplus money, then happy decisions should become easy – shares in, or donations to an energy scheme, sail-trade venture, land for allotments, or corner shop, pub, library, post office…

Should I instead, hoard my wealth in the rising value of property and rent? – No. That decision is easy.

Should I buy organically-grown food? – Yes, but I may find none nearby and my current wage may be insufficient.

Should I ditch the family car? Yes. But I may have no public transport to my distant work-place and can find no work nearer to home.

Should I cancel my business flight? – Yes, but that means, I may be sacked.

Such yeses remain true. They are also imperative. We should choose to be sacked. We’ve not the resources to power suburbia, the family car, aviation, profligate agriculture and so on. Those things not only contribute to climate change, they will also lead the current monetary casino to an impossible fantasy land and so collapse and with that collapse – economic and social collapse. We could argue that hastening collapse will reduce its eventual magnitude, but I think we should be urgently building a community network which is disconnected from that casino – one formed enough (by our contribution) to emerge alive from beneath the rubble. Collapse will come. We must also divest our lives from the causes of climate change.

Much can only be achieved in cooperation with others and so personally simple decisions mingle with the highly complex. But social systems are always complex, and so in finding complexity, we are at the entrance to a road to finding our way.

The ancestral joke is that we have inherited an understanding of right and wrong. That is intrinsic. By that inheritance, we form social systems. It is the bond.

How do we form a whole social system – its economy settling nicely inside its ecology? We don’t. Everyone does. Where economy meets ecology, is precisely where a tool meets its materials – that is by the fingertips and grasp of one pair of hands – that is – one’s own intelligent hands. My work is the most critical work, because it is mine. Everyone else must think the same. I listen, learn from others and so on, but the application is mine. All the other goings on of culture are in trust – about which we can put in a pennyworth – in gossip, admiration, even disapproval. But the complexity is beyond us – or should be, if we trust. The trust is inherited, accepted and then, in turn, bequeathed. Culture flows through the metabolic and nervous systems of ourselves. There is no one else. At adulthood, we take the trust. Our species has evolved, less by advantageous individuals, and more by advantageous groups. We are hard-wired to altruism.

Flocks packs and herds have leaders and so we’d be foolish to think that we can avoid human leaders. The thing about human leaders is that they are not supposed to hold tools, or to undermine the success of those who do. It is a perversity of our time that they do hold tools and undermine the success of tools. (oil monopoly, land monopoly, information monopoly) They are supposed to oversee the order of a social system, in which all the rest maintain the culture.

I caught a small voice through a chink in time.

Take back your tools – as quietly as is possible, remove them from the incompetence of parliaments and boardrooms. You are adult. If you live well enough to claim it, then the rows of skulls in my chamber tomb have space for your own. But it is your children, faced with a future that you have made, who may, or may not, place you there.

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Postscript

When we call our current anti-capitalist casino of neoliberalism capitalist, we evoke a train of thought, which seeks remedies for the wrong sickness. Capitalism was dreamed by Adam Smith as a counter-measure to the emerging illnesses of rentier profiteering, currency manipulation, usury and the use of bonds and shares – not as a means to finance and so capitalise a venture, but as chips in a trading casino, which is careless of that venture and of the complex mutuality of social systems.

Today, the effects of rent, usury and stock and share casinos have laid waste essential commons of soil, biomass, biodiversity and water and have even upset the balance of Earth’s atmosphere. Properly-applied capitalism would have remedied those ills.

Capitalism will not function without inherited and bequeathed commons. Actually, capitalism is confined to the pages of a few evidently-forgotten, or at any rate, misapplied books. The probity of the skilled was essential to Adam Smith’s thoughts on both the exchange and maintenance of capital. Probity lives on the common and is passed from ancestors to descendants by codes of apprenticeship and of the goings on of life – gossip, storytelling – by what binds a culture.

Capitalism and monopoly are fundamentally opposed.

Capital and common are fundamentally conjoined.

That is why we cannot rail at the ills of capitalism, because it has never existed. It remains ethereal – a lost idea seeking the physics of application.

We can however, rail at what Adam Smith identified as ills. These things are parasitic to the wealth of nations – the casino of bonds and shares; of usury; of rent; of currency manipulation. Adam wrote for the readers of his time and in some respects, is time-bound. Deeper truths are universal, but shallower fashions have greater physical effects. That’s a difficulty – we wring our hands to address ephemeral, yet physically-powerful fashions, which are deaf to deeper reason. We speak to contemporary perversities, which often lead us perversely off-course. Deep truth is timeless, but unheard – unwanted in the politics of power.

As the casino expands, capital assets are stripped. Nevertheless, as spending slows, like a bloke on a bike, the casino meanders. When growth in spending stops, the bloke falls off. (Image from David Fleming) Because collapsing casinos cause economic chaos, governing officials seize on the virtue of increased casino-flow. When casinos fall, businesses collapse, unemployment soars and tax revenues wither. Societies find insufficient revenue for unemployment relief, healthcare and maintenance of essential infrastructures. Who, in authority wants such a legacy as her memorial? Such doubt is regularly defeated by an adopted religious (actually cult) fervour.

Meanwhile, the cult (the applied minds of governments and corporate employees) continues to strip casino restraints and so also to strip real capital and common assets. Some, fear being the one who says, enough and so must deal with the real economic consequences, while others are happy believers, because rentier effects and careless trade in currency, bonds and shares have made them personally very rich.

Growth in spending (GDP) is not a measure of increased assets, or of economic growth. In many respects, it measures shrunken assets. Everywhere, in developed economies, capital is shrinking as both natural commons (biodiversity, biomass…) and institutional commons (healthcare, roads, harbours, bridges…) also shrink. Casinos expand. (land rent, intellectual property rent, rent for status, money rent) Wages shrink as rents increase. The rich become richer and the poor, poorer. Such decadence would crumble any civilisation, but the new ingredient of fossil fuel has extended ours far beyond its proper span.

All this is so simple, that once upon a time, a little child would have noticed that the casino had no clothes. It is certain that many little children, have many times, done so, but simple truth is not for political discourse.

My green friends continue to blame a non-existent capitalism for environmental degradation and climate change. We temper non-existent capitalism with carbon trading schemes, which are immediately and gleefully snapped up as gamblers’ chips in the casino. We introduce eco-system services and true-cost accounting – which are swallowed as value-added commodity. To value an eco-system service, we first enclose it. We enclose what capitalism would have left untouched on the common – because the purpose of a common is to maintain a source of capital through generations.

All capital has limits. It has particular shape, size, mass, scent, sound, energy… so it has specific form – a form we can love, share, study, nurture, preserve, bequeath – about which we can sing. Cultural assets ripple through the delights and worries of gossip, good housekeeping and storytelling. Remove any one of those activities, or sensitivities and the economy will weaken. Yes. Music, elegance of architectural design, the re-telling of stories, a hand shake, a good joke, erotic intimacies, a walk to the hilltop… are things for which we pay no money and yet by which economies are cemented.

Instead of promoting true cost accounting of eco-system services, why not promote capitalism?

It is where shape, size, mass and so, on exist and are accounted. They can be accounted by weight and measure, but they can be accounted spiritually. And that is the ground where the convivial and lean economies coexist together with the winding caravans of transition town, permaculture, agroecology/organic, new economics, alternative currency, renewable energy, conservation… movements.

Capital is an enclosed common. But the act of enclosure must be by common rules of behaviour. The behaviour carries reciprocal obligation to maintain the source of that capital – that is natural commons of good air, good water, good soil, vivacious biomass and thriving biodiversity.

Capital and common are one binary system – each exists, because of the other.

However, perhaps we should separate natural commons from social commons. Humans are one species, utterly dependent on the vivacity of the rest – many of which, though ultimately connected, will evolve and interact beyond the ripples of human contact. What’s more, natural commons can and should, in some respects, escape definition of commons, because they have no connection with capital and thus no need for a binary common. The common is that place inside an economy (human house-keeping), which restricts economic behaviour to that which is sustainable. So, we could define much of a natural system as beyond commons – beyond the justified hand of human activity.

Anyway, natural commons, such as soil and water, which appear as capital inside an economy in the form of cabbages and tomatoes, remain very different from the tax, or tithe-derived commons of roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, market halls, harbours, churches, cathedrals, standing armies, nuclear submarines and parliament buildings.

Perhaps we do need new terms to separate the two.

However, in all cases, those commons regulate temporal behaviour, so that descendants receive the same quantity and quality of a common economic resource. Such an understanding of commons is also a capitalist understanding of the maintenance of capital.

Of course, much of the capital held by an oil-powered economy is tied to oil. As oil departs, that capital must depart. Internal combustion and jet engines are sources of major parts of our ways of life. They will vanish and with them – air travel, the family car, suburbia… That very much shrunken economy is one where people can more easily find each other’s qualities and also more easily find a cultural symbiosis with the living Earth.

Beyond climatic suicide, the vast energy resources needed to power current ways of living do not exist. It’s a good start, to look about, to value what capital we can have. If we – and we’ve evolved to do so – care for our children, then we must make sure that the means to such capital are replenished. Every ounce of capital is attached to ancestral directives to maintain the common ounce which supplied it.

The common requires human energy and human ingenuity to engage with it. That engagement provokes much more than this simple sum – common wealth minus enclosed capital equals zero. It provokes ingenuity, dexterity, curiosity, delight, fulfilment, humility and a need for each other. That is, it provokes a more fulsome, diverse and so resilient culture.

One day, quite soon, the dams of the casino will collapse, releasing torrents of tumbling economic assets and swirling human emotions. If we are previously engaged in large enough numbers with casino-divested ways of life, then with a lot of luck we can look, one to the other, to turn the wheels of a lean and convivial economy as islands in the flood. As we’ve just explored, much of the capital in that economy is human capital for which we pay no rent.

We’ve no choice but to begin as soon as we can to devise the liberty to behave well . We are restrained by wage, mortgage and so on? Yes. It will take some devising. Statistical analysis suggests that it would be more honest to live with despair? With regards to both climate change and cascading casinos – Yes. Often, we will. Nevertheless, a self, or anthropological analysis suggests a greater truth in hope – it is an inherited imperative. Doing the right thing makes happiness. Should we choose the displeasure of doing wrong to confirm an addition of statistical likelihood? Failure? It is perennial to everyone, and to all history. It is unproductive (and this fool thinks foolish) not to hope that we can stand on solid enough ground after the Fall – to emerge with some capital – both weighed and measured and immeasurable – that is spiritual.

Think of this – the sanctity of the bedtime story – How would you begin? Where’s the greatest good? Perhaps here, we can unearth the deeper integrity. You are the adult. What do you tell the child? – Once upon a time…

Once upon a time, a child of consumerism grew up, and looking down, saw the faces of her children looking up, to her and to her alone…

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Foreword to the new Book (possibly)

These essays, with one exception, have been written over the last six months as small havens against the turbulence of the times. Storms are yet to come in Europe (they’ve arrived with a tragic vengeance elsewhere), but a shaky political stage has been set in that short period. Of course, the causes are older, but the fruiting bodies of a political anti-mycelia, have emerged. I’m keeping hope at anchor – just offshore to the personality cults and staged, counter-realities to what could be a green and pleasant land. My weather eye notes atmospheric insecurity. It also notes 1930 parallels. History will have acquired unexpected causes, and so we can hope for diverging cycles to the following – Industrial monopolies were expanding in 1930, weirdly hand in hand with a contradictory fascism. Today, neoliberalism and a contradictory nationalism are promoted, hand in hand at the hustings. Scape-goat-ism is common to both times. Scape-goats are undefined, shadowy figures – props for political theatre. Meanwhile, and on the contrary, clearly-identified dangers can invoke solidarity, companionship, empathy and a protective arm for the common good of a loved and diverse culture.

The disregard of climate change, even among green thinkers is surely a perversity unique to our times. My green friends will still jet to holiday destinations (and climate conferences). Yet, their behaviour is a clearly identified danger. Those same friends recoil at the climate change denial of the shadowy ill-defined Trump.

We acknowledge the clownish narcissism of today’s right wing politicians, but the trajectory of New Labour and American Democratic policies, has been similarly ridiculous. It heads to impossible economic growth, rising wealth gaps and catastrophic climate change. Neoliberalism (anti-capitalism) is promoted alongside a balance of legislation for human rights – gender rights, environmental protections and so on. The illusionist makes everything just as nice as the fantasy of an oil-powered, monopoly-supplied, yet liberal-spirited Acacia Avenue.

My friends’ consensus is that the once-working-class have fallen off the rails for ISIS, Farage, Trump, Brexit and so on. But there remains no dignity in tracks to where trades have vanished, wages have shrunk, rents have risen, skills have been spurned and a community of pub, corner shop, library, church, chapel, or mosque has evaporated into the baseless fabric of another’s (middle class) vision. Of course, the young man, who joined ISIS, may have had those things (and his loved ones) bombed to extinction.

Meanwhile, some newspapers are produced for the once-working class on an imagined Desolation Row and others for those who think themselves classless at leafy Acacia Avenue. Make no mistake, delusively-reasonable, Guardian, Times and BBC Radio Four, spread as much post-truth as do the Daily Mail and Sun (despite the bile). Class? Yes, it remains.

I wonder, if considering the suppressed, but still living understanding of class, we might find a convivial route to a classless, or rather, re-classed humanity? Certainly, only a cultural renaissance can transform our black economic/ecologic predicament. At any rate, that is my pursuit – the pursuit of the convivial economy.

The following pages don’t refer to class, but on the one hand, to those who hold tools and so make the culture, and on the other, to those who administer it. That the former is the nobler, may lead us to re-write history. What’s more, the binding theme of this book, is that cultures are composed people, doing things – one by one – not by the left/right leanings of politicians. Are we sure that left/right has retained its meaning? Commons against enclosures may be more appropriate. At any rate, we’ve inherited a common need to support one another. A deep lacework of mycelial benignity passes between generations. Anti-mycelia, whose fruiting bodies emerge in times of stress are ephemeral. The Trump and the Farage have emerged from a social wound. They are perverse, but exist for a reason. The reason is the wound. It may be more productive – less to fight the Farage and more to heal the wound.

Monopoly supply (enclosure) has taken tools from the hands and the self-respect of the skilled, in return for a delusive consumer-right. If there is a battle, I reckon it is this – for people, one, by one, to adopt responsibility for a particular corner of a common culture. One by one is no small thing, if we consider that one, by one makes everyone. It is more powerful, because it is the ordinary course of history – baker, farmer, joiner, weaver, sailor… As the casino collapses we must make sure that we stand one by one, leaning together, on economic ground. The casino is promoted by every major political party and also by what used to be called, captains of industry. The captains have emerged again – another 1930 parallel. This time, they navigate cargoes, less of manufacturing, and more of usury, gambling chips and rent-  of both intellectual and land property. Politicians and captains dance their charisma on front pages – but it is the captains, exotic by fabulous wealth, around whom the politicians dance – sharing the light.

How on Earth do we build and maintain a whole culture one by one? I suppose we’ll discover that by our mistakes. Don’t forget, that every experience, which has entered common culture, has first passed through the receptive senses of an individual. My pursuit is made easier by a recently published map – a dictionary of lean (and highly convivial) economics. I advise readers to dip into to it now and again as a compass during our passage to a more green and open-hearted land. It is called Lean Economics – A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive it, by the great David Fleming, to whom I dedicate these pages.

(23rd December 2016)

 

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The Moon Behind the Casino

The travelling moon casts tree shadows across my field in time and space – time crossing space. Time passes. Space mutates. Though my hand moves space, time is unresponsive. Often, there is insufficient time for my hand to mould sufficient space. Considering time/space, the night takes my energy and its morphological contribution. Hearts beat towards atrophy despite sea anchors of space – property, status, well-framed sentences… Climate change accelerates, resources shrink – whatever I’ve done remains in either matter, or energy, but still, I think of inexorable time and malleable space.

You never enjoy the world aright, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars… and perceive yourself to be sole heir of all the universe – and more so, because all others are sole heirs also… wrote Thomas Traherne

Consequence steps at a rigid pace. What’s done is done. I’m sole heir to what I’ve done – and all others are sole heirs also. That’s where the passage of commons melds mutable culture to immutable passages of time. Property freezes time into brittle and defensive stasis, in which consequence and moral understanding are excluded. Property will decay despite its patrolled borders and still, ancient commons will pass between generations. The vitality of present commons unfurl cotyledons for generations. That is, if enclosures have chinks in them – like chinks in denial for the acceptance of time.

Meanwhile, existence, life as we live it, advances as time advances, conjoined to all the sensations of space…

Here’s something – The study of economics (house-keeping) is an exercise in moral philosophy. It asks, what is social happiness? And then, in what ways can we achieve it? Yet they adopt the identity of economist, who study or manipulate the odds of house values, share values, interest rates, status, currency exchange and rent – the very things that Adam Smith (the moral philosopher) proposed to regulate and tax, so that the true moral commons of economies could find true capital values – in valued labour and resource. Modern “economists” live in the very same casino that Adam Smith would have banished to more easily liberate the wealth of nations. Of course, they are imposters.

Here’s another thing: the deeper we go, the more we become the same. Individualism – the search for self-expression can find only the trivial, because it is only in triviality that we are different – sex, wealth, status, race, nation-hood, skin colour, job description… Self-expressive art is always trite. Enduring artistry searches for and then attempts to express what is common to all.

Property, the most trivial of attributes, has had a power to change modern societies, which is in tragically inverse proportion to its triviality. All enclosures are the same – land, ideas, seeds, status… – they halt the flow of time inside a brittle enclosure, where there is no social judgement, or physical consequence. Cultures are not states to be protected. They are what we do. Enclosure is the right to deny that truth. Enclosures also drain the flow of time (and so mutable space) in what we do, by charging rent. That rent is gathered from the productive movement of time and sequestered in the stillness of space. All, whose wages are above the ordinary, bleed the flow of culture – landlord, lawyer, banker, medical practitioner – all charge rent for a variety of enclosures: land, status, signorage…

The consequence of that lack of consequence is evident in climate change. Responsibility notes it, but the propertied need not. Thames water will lap at the feet of Big Ben and at the seat of a parliament, which cements the power of property and denies the powers of good work. It cements the state of frozen time and is blind to methane rising from the tundra and ice sheets melting into the heat-absorbant sea. Property is outside time and cannot note the rising water. After all, the chancellor of the exchequer will present his economic well-being figures to parliament – not as a presentation of assets, but as a simple addition of spending.

Step back into time and we step outside our properties and into flesh and blood and rhythmically time-bound hearts – our common humanity – and ultimately our common biomass with all the species of Earth. Our heartbeats embody both time and space. If we engage in time and with space, then we must shrug off the sequestered spaces of enclosure. We’ll not spend the common. Yet we can live it.

Anti-capitalists rail at the wrong target, because capitalism has never been applied. Find me a corporate energy, ag commodity, or chemical company, which values capital… They should rail at the casino of bonds and shares; at the currency manipulators; at the idle rent gatherers.

True cost accounting & ecosystem services both strive to place capital in the casino. But the casino has no means to register capital. Worse – the illusion of capital falsely endorses the casino. Capital exists in labour, energy, soil, water and so on. All that exists has effects and so every engagement with capital has moral consequence. Morality lives on the common. Here, on Earth, as the moon swings tree shadows across “my” grassland, Thomas Traherne reminds me that I am sole heir to all the universe – and more so because all others are sole heirs also. The produce of the field is mine and I exchange it for money – but that exchange is impossible without trust. Trust lives on the common. I enclose the common inheritance of soil in its produce, but have moral responsibility to maintain and pass on that common. So, I grow capital and maintain a common, which can grow generations of capital. It follows that without a moral common, capitalism collapses. What’s more, without trust, every premise of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations will also collapse.

Capital and commons are conjoined. Commons are the means to maintain the just flow of capital. Outside moral philosophy, capitalism can have no meaning.

The capital we hold issues from and returns in tribute to the common. The exchange of enclosed capital for money is also interwoven with the common of trust. You see, solid capital becomes a liquid flow from and to the common.

Moral regulation, or restraints to the casino fail, because the casino is designed for amorality – It has not the means to note the regulation. The morality implicit in organic, recycled, fair-traded (& so on) products in a super market gives false moral credence to an amoral market. True cost accounting and ecosystem services do the same. Similarly, the social justice sought in social mobility, must accept and engage with the unequal hierarchy through which it would rise.

The casino, or rather the governments, corporations and citizens, which live by it, have not the means to note climate change, resource depletion and rising social inequality – that is they are unaware of the sack of the commons – and also of possible roads to the future wealth of nations.

David Fleming’s lean economy sits quietly on that common, valuing its capital. The wild gambler’s dream – of increasing the spending of diminishing resources – is bound to collapse. It responds to neither capital, nor the common – ancestors, or descendants. It will collapse when punters grow unsure of their punts and of each other. The trouble is that cascading casinos collapse communities of people – wages and tax revenues evaporate, leaving insufficient for social security relief. Infrastructures crumble.

If David had his way, we’d have rationed energy – we’d have thought of finite, palpable capital and how to restrict and fairly distribute it. We’d have remained on the moral common. Food rationing was very effective in the 1940s and 50s and it was fair. He did not have his way – applied energy restraints have used the mechanisms of the casino and have utterly failed. They’ve been used as gambling chips by traders.

The sooner the casino collapses, the smaller will be the cliff edge over which it falls.

The later the casino collapses, so the more time may be had to gather in the convivial market square of the lean economy. We’ve become culturally disconnected by the overwhelming provisions of the casino. If we can re-connect sufficiently, then together we’ll stand on culturally-prepared ground as the confused prodigals of the collapsed casino blunder destructively into forgotten laws of physics and of nature. After all, the casino is an abstraction. Corporations are abstractions – and governments also. People exist. Soil exists – and water, sunlight, biodiversity, biomass… Prodigals may howl at the moon, until they come to love the silver light. The common releases delicious, delightful, useful capital in exchange for efficient return of wastes. Biomass to human-mass to biomass again. That’s where ingenuity must live – not in the provision of driverless cars, agricultural robotics…  Of course the casino is precariously held  up, far beyond its natural span, by the simple, but perverse energy of oil.

Sooner or later? – we can only watch and wait. The casino will blow like wild weather. Meanwhile, we may as well gain some pleasure watching the moon, while keeping a weather eye on the displeasure of Trump, Farage and Theresa May. Their trite ambitions are perennial to human nature and to history. Think of this – they serve the casino and the casino is doomed.

The doomed casino may drag what we’ve worked to maintain into its own chaos – real economics, organic economics, convivial economics, lean economics, romantic economics… At any rate, crashed casinos don’t consume much energy. They’ll end like thin smoke without flame from the heaps of couch grass – and if we can arrive somehow, still culturally joined, we can aim to go onward the same, though dynasties pass.

At any rate, happiness is, and always was, wanting what we have, not having what we want. This particular tree shadow across those particular blades of grass, points to the passage of a uniquely-timed moon. It is a good particularity to want, since my retina has it imprinted- that’s for a start. All others can have something similar – but shining to their particularity – as Thomas Traherne says.

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Beauty is Truth and Truth Beauty

It’s hard to avoid engagement with the rights and wrongs, wisdom, or foolishness of those who live inside the wild consensus to cause mass extinctions and climate change. Otherwise, we remain silent whenever we meet a friend, colleague, or neighbour, since they’ll all start with the assumptions of that consensus. The assumption will be that super markets, family cars, the internet, suburbia and holiday flights are ordinary ways of life. Conversation must start there and then consider the green energies, which an enlightened and ingenious humanity will devise to replace oil, coal and gas. Listen to Radio Four, read the Independent, or Guardian newspapers and you’ll encounter the same consensus. Yet in even conversing inside that view, we at least partially endorse it. It is a deep sorrow. Easy gossip, commonly-accepted humours and also unspoken moral connection are essential to happiness. When I wake, I know that I’ll find only sorrow. I’ll have no conversation – even within my closest family. The only engagement with others can be as clown.

Yet, the notion that human ingenuity has created our way of life is deeply comic. The pomposity of the thought is outrageous. Our way of life has been simply and foolishly, created by excessively burning coal, oil, and gas. Now, the pomposity turns from burning fossil mass to burning what remains of the living mass. So, it gets worse. Of course, comedies and tragedies share the same plots – bloke walks along singing a list of human achievements as he heads for a high-powered job interview. He fails to note the deep puddle ahead and muddies his brand-new suit. He has not time to both change and still make the appointment. That is poignant – funny and sad together. It could be simply funny, or otherwise, simply sad. It could be funny to us and sad to the bloke, or on the other hand, a little bit sad to us and funny to the more well-adjusted, self-critical bloke. Here’s a world-weary, but probably accurate thought – “Important bloke falls in a hole” is the archetypal tragic plot, while “ordinary bloke falls in a hole” is the archetypal comic plot.

I feel my inability to communicate with friends and family as a deep sorrow, but of course, they see it as mildly comic. I cannot be serious to consider a life without family cars, air travel, high-speed rail, internet shopping, super markets and leafy suburbs. Yet those things are causing a change in Earth’s climate, which will eventually destroy the lot – another archetypal plot. The futility of powering that life with renewable energy is another bloke falls in a hole plot. Take way the coal, oil and gas and we create a hole in the ground – we take away the path the bloke is taking. The paths that remain will be much more gently held up by laws of physics and nature and will be much like the paths that ordinary humanity has taken for thousands of years.

We’ll have man-power, sail-power, horse and ox-power – and we’ll have just as much electricity as can be generated by wind, water (gravity), sunlight and tides. After domestic “essentials”, since we must stop burning biomass, we’ll have little surplus for the electric car. However, we’ll have the same acreage for crop production and if we are wise, an increase in its fertility. Organic techniques far out-yield what we presently call conventional agriculture, whose vast inputs are never subtracted from published yield figures. Henceforth input will be subtracted from output. The at least ten-fold and in arable regions fifty to a hundred-fold increase in agricultural labour will assist in the employment of dispossessed labour and in the re-centring of suburbia. Similarly, manufacturing and new infrastructure projects – house-building, turbine races, mill races for direct traction and so on will also demand a dramatic fifty-fold increase in labour. With the vast increase in labour comes an extraordinary increase in happiness, which will effervesce from a new curiosity, ingenuity and dexterity. We’ll need the skills of shipwrights and sail-traders. We’ll need foresters to grow the right timber. In short, we’ll need a community. If the community succeeds, we’ll have a renaissance. You’ll note that my figures are fancy of my imagination. You should also note that we have no better figures.

Meanwhile, all those things – organic techniques, renewable energy, revived street markets… create the illusion that we are on a path without a hole in it.

Beauty is truth and truth beauty, that is all you know on Earth and all you need to know. Many literary critics have misunderstood John Keats’s truth, because they seek aesthetics, rather than the moral guide to artistry which Keats proposes.

He says this – that which is beautiful, but not true is idle fancy (our critic would agree).

But he also says – that which seems true, but is not beautiful is a blindness of imagination (our critic would disagree, because she’d point out that there can be ugly truth)

Keats’s statement is moral admonition. Everything can be morally understood. If it is fully understood it can become beautiful. Our critic has not understood the meaning of tragedy. Keats does not say that every ugly truth (the holocaust) can be immediately understood as beautiful. He would say that the holocaust remained outside moral comprehension and that the fanatical heartlessness that lead to it was beyond artistic rendering. Because all proper works of art are both beautiful and true, he would say – I cannot compose a verse on the holocaust. His statement is perfect – probably infallible. That which is true, but ugly may or may not be beyond the human capacity for an artistry, which removes the mask of that ugliness to discover its beauty. Human fallibility is intrinsic – Keats applies the test to himself – Is what I have composed both beautiful and true? Sometimes it will be the one and sometimes the other. Occasionally I can marry the two – usually not. After all, it is a rare thing for anyone to marry beauty with truth.

I cannot marry the current consensus for self-destruction to a beautiful depiction of the gift of humanity. I cannot marry a young couple and their loved new child to their choice of a holiday flight to destruction – a nativity scene, in which the carless innocence of youth decides, on a balance of current pleasures, to remove the future happiness of their own child.

There is something else to explore – the nature of comedy and tragedy and where each is appropriate. Of course, a whole moral perception can fulfil both – cry with the heart and laugh with the head, because tragedy is a mishap noted with the heart, while comedy is the same mishap noted with the head. Both tragedy and comedy can bind a social group – the one with a binding empathy for pain and the other with a common view of the ridiculous.

To friends, my tragic vision of their consumerist trajectory is ridiculous. To say it is ridiculous, forgives me as a bloke and for them, allows me to remain a friend. It ruffles my foolish hair with an inclusive hand. My attempted verbal contribution is levelled and remembered as a forgiven pomposity tumbling in a linguistic hole.

So once a consensus is established and regularly agreed in gossip, newspapers, radio and television, it is very hard to break. Seriousness, (as we’ve explored in other articles) is a state in which we remove both thought and feeling, so that we can assert a superior view – looking down from an established plinth in the market square, or perhaps wishing to establish a new plinth and topple the old. Unfortunately, seriousness is not a vehicle to convey the complexity of truth. It uses simple polemic techniques which are confined to linguistic slogans and defensive ridicule in irony and sarcasm. People fear and respect both irony and sarcasm, much as we prudently both fear and respect violence.

Jeremy Corbyn has been insufficiently serious for Labour Party political opportunists. He has attempted some complexities, which cannot endure on a marble plinth. Yet he is extremely popular as a person amongst a large part of the electorate.

So, in speaking of species loss, impoverished ecologies, climate change, resource depletion and their economic implications, we cannot be serious ourselves – or we could not express it. Yet we cannot be taken seriously by others, because we are not serious. However, we may, like Jeremy Corbyn, find souls in common.

So, the climate change movement, and movements for social justice and so on, are coalitions of lost souls. In the past, priest, prophet and shaman could take the powers to task. They could reassert the beauty and truth of complexity. Complex thought and language was ritualised in festival and song and kings and chieftains were their subjects.

G K Chesterton reminded me of this from the Catechisms – There are but two sins – of presumption and of despair.

That more succinctly expresses what John Keats sang. Despair is truth without beauty, while presumption is beauty without truth. If we let John Keats and the Catechisms guide us, at least we may find tragic and comic fulfilment and then if we are lucky in our eloquence – finally speak some truth to power.

What’s else to do? Work well. Devise well. Look out for one another.

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The End of Theism and Atheism – The Return of the Ancestors

Once upon a time, and everywhere, ancestral voices guided proper behaviour. Despotism was dwarfed by power of the dead. Commons preserved those older voices in gifts of good soil; good water; good place – received as legacy of past behaviour and bequeathed as a legacy of our own. Bad behaviour spoils ancestral gifts. It is an outrage. Future tales will tell, write, sing of the bad ancestor – the dark archetype in the battle of right and wrong.

The act of enclosure is a nihilistic act – a denial of inherited culture and the assertion of personal right to amorality. No ancestor, priest, politician; no village tittle tattle – nor wagging finger of cultural tradition can instruct what I do in my own property.

Considering our predicament of extreme resource depletion, cascading loss of species, wildly impoverished soils and crazily-man-made climate change – are they not predicaments of enclosure? We look around from our properties; our homes as castles and ask who is responsible? But no one claims responsibility. All, sit behind enclosures – oil monopoly, land monopoly, intellectual property, democratically-elected monopoly…

Enclosing commons, we silence the voices of both ancestors and descendants. And we silence the truth of natural physics – even though to listen would be to our selfish advantage. Flood and storm will ignore what is private to our property. A kind of narcissistic transcendence of laws of physics, is sought in the privacy mirror – a decadent meditation, which is actually a form of nihilism. Without fossil fuels, collapse would follow such decadence and out of that collapse a new romantic beginning… But we have transcended a once universal law by the power of coal and oil, because we have mined it from outside our particular time and space. That has led to a discounting of our own time and space. Instead of romantic renaissance, we have climate change. A single species cannot change the living climate of the Earth? Perhaps not – even by a plague. It has been done by liberating the flames of very many millions of Summers of fossilised photosynthesis.

The tragedy of the enclosures removes this profundity – both the physical earth – the intelligence of our senses – and the transcendental earth – the ancestral gift of personal morality – are not to be transcended, but lived and lived properly – the one physically and the other spiritually. Receiving and passing on of commons is a sacramental cup which feeds both personal and social happiness. It is the primal tool for the spirit of the good life. It is the primal spur to the physics of the good economy.

We can see that the tragedy of the enclosures is a desolate, self-destructive and lonely business.

Considering the great modern religions – Judaism, Islam, Protestantism, Humanism and so on – Has their adoption been a prop to the property holder, sustaining the idea of unaccountable privacy, which is at the heart of the pillage of nature and of climate change? My actions are confided between myself and my god/conscience.

Protestantism of the reformation was exactly that. It liberated the depravity of the most brutal period of English history. Church and monastery had adopted and maintained most aspects of older religions in local gods of place (in shrines of saints) and in adapted, ancient seasonal festivals and holidays. Time and place kept their ancient sanctities. People were both located and synchronised in landscape and economy. Ancestral voices spoke in the evidence of strip fields; in the trade guilds; the (albeit shaky) subjection of state to church… Of course, Hinduism and Buddhism retain similar elements today. This writer finds no significant difference between theism and atheism. In shedding ancestral instruction, Protestantism mutated seamlessly into Humanism, while atheistic Buddhism remains highly religious – rooted to ancestral shrines and devotions…

Anyway, religions which suggest transcendence of commons are but a blink of the eye of human storytelling. The modern religions which have found human behaviour replicated in the movement of the spheres, with the transcendental power of the human intellect, or with a single creator of everything – have come, either with concepts of fields and property, or as a repost to fields and property by monotheistic nomadic cultures. I speculate that ancestral voices evident in the passage of commons have ruled for most of Homo sapiens span. Heaven may only be five thousand years old. Perhaps. without property, or without imagined borders to nomadic cultures no one would have dreamed of heaven.

Maybe it’s time for a return – for an excavation of the neglected strata of the psyche – for a return to properly-evolved, ordinary human behaviour. Surely, ordinary inherited moral behaviour should prove an effortless relief? For a brief perversity of a few hundred years we have defied inherited wisdom – firstly by land enclosure, whose justification spawned cultural enclosure – and secondly by the magnificence of the flames of fossilised life and the super-humanity, extra-humanity it has lent to our finger tips.

In shame, it is time to face both ancestors and descendants. Ancestors gave us the Earth. Will descendants inherit it? Or shall we sit before the mirror of property, hugging proprietor’s rights – the privacy of conscience? The enclosures radiate in two dimensional circles, rectangles and hierarchical triangles – all of them under an Earth-transcendent heaven of some kind – atheistic, or theistic, but also judicial. They replace common responsibility with private right. They replace complex moral consequence with simple, amoral stillness. Inter-connected; multi-connected, both deep and shallow complexity is ended in law by a simple fence line.

Meanwhile, common resources shrink, species cascade, atmospheric carbon dioxide swells… We could easily step down from the transcendent rights machine and occupy the vacant roles bequeathed by ancestral effects – the culturing – the receiving, fermenting, maintaining and, in turn, bequeathing what we discover – the means to the good life. Footsteps leave impressions – some, as they should be, others not. It’s a curious, surprising, engaging, comic, tragic, both in and out of step passage to the sorrow and happiness of shrugging off the rights machinery and adopting responsibility for commons of soil, sea, water, air, biomass, biodiversity, which we’ve received for both better and worse from the hands of ancestors.

It was a dark and stormy night. We told the tale-teller, tell us a tale. It was a dark and stormy night…

The great religions have maintained older sanctities of place and time and they remain fixed in our moral understanding. Today, we interpret those things in commons, shrines, festivals, venerated masterpieces of music, literature, architecture – things done by this or that ancestor. We are anchored to their humanity. We read them and sing them again. We repoint the stone. No god in heaven; no reading of the revolving stars can help us face the catastrophe of climate change. Culture survives by what we do one by one, not by grand coercive power, or by the ornaments of property, but by stumbling, as best we can, across that sacred ancestral ground.

What is this writer puffing on? Betrayal, shame and an attempt at reparation. Is the above any use? It is a comfort. It carves my role.

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The Marriage of Basic Income and Land Value Tax

Get real, say basic income evangelists from symposiums and podiums with robotic futures on prophetic tongues. Automation and increased leisure need a reciprocal and productive arrangement between producer and consumer.

Yet, their culture of driverless cars and robotic manufacturing is only decades old and will soon lose the sources of energy which power it. Such thinking is street – consumerist – of hip products in on-line, high and democracy street.

The story on Consumer Street says that by paying for the product we create the need for it and so have right to a participant’s share of the profits. The robots make profits, but need no wages, beyond cost of materials and the protective intellectual property right claimed in design. Anyway, social security relief payments are more costly to administer than a simple basic income for all. Moreover, a consumer of robots, who is equipped with a basic income, may find monetary liberty to use that understanding to design better robots herself.

Well, it’s true that automation is the natural progression of the oil age.

However, it is not the natural progression of the digital age.

Fossil fuel has created the digital revolution. It is surplus energy – not human ingenuity, which truly powers robotics.

If settled cultures are to survive we have to face this truth – we have no surplus energy – we have an extreme deficit.

Renewable energy cannot power fossil-fuelled ways of life. We only know that it can power a well-organised pre-fossil fuelled way of life.

Fossil fuels had made manual labour largely redundant. We employed fossil fuels and sacked people. Now we must employ people and sack fossil fuels.

Our primal renewable energy will be man-power. Other sources are bound to absolute physical limits. Those limits make these things redundant – suburbia, the family car, air traffic, industrial agriculture, super markets and internet shopping. Those things have been powered by millions of years of fossilised photosynthesis – from outside our time and space. All happy futures will be bound to the limits of each, particular and singular season as it passes – and bound to particular places – soils; resources…  We must change our ways of living to sit happily in time and space.  Only then can we look about for available energy supplies.  We put the cart before the horse, if we think firstly of green energy and afterwards of how to use it.

Places are mutable by personal behaviour and by the unpredictable passing of time and seasons. As Ivan Illich says, soils are enriched, or diminished by our traces…

Basic income will be productive in quite another way – As Tom Paine proposed – in restorative justice. Depraved yeoman farmers and aristocrats, enclosed ancient commons, forcing settled, convivial self-sustaining communities into wage dependency, city slums and further rent extraction by city landlords. Every proprietor owes the community a ground rent for the land which he holds. Basic income is that ground rent.

The pillage of the Reformation had also imposed a state doctrine. Protestantism replaced shrines, festivals, gossip and holidays with a totalitarian new-speak. Complex, evolved cultures were displaced by brutalist, unremembering austerity. That imposition has survived through every turn of post-reformation history and remains as our cultural narrative today.

Literature and music easily recall that lost pre-reformation complexity – Falstaff babbling of green fields – Farwell, rewards and fairies of which the moping owl doth to the moon complain…

The cultures we’ll need to survive without oil, sit within just the means a landscape supplies – alongside trades of scarcity and surplus with similar neighbours. We’ll not build such a culture without shrines, festivals and holidays, which were the punctuating memorial repositories of pre-enclosure times. We need complexity. But there’s no recipe. David Fleming reminded us that large scale tasks need small scale systems, working within that large system. Today, we have large scale tasks employing large scale solutions, which compound the magnitude of the task. I met a fool in the forest. The beauty of the only sort of society that can survive and mitigate resource depletion and climate change is that it is small scale and includes every one of us. If we can respond instantly, intelligently and ingeniously to our personal mistakes, then those mistakes remain just as small as we are. But our solutions is connected to the larger community. For I am come with broom before – to sweep the dust behind the door…

We’ll be bound to place – to responsibility for it – for the passing on of soil, water, biomass, songs, morals, ancestral adventures… Basic income is reparation for enclosure of those commons – for replacing ingenious culture with idle sheep and then the stupefaction of the factory gate. Little people can reverse big history of oil and land monopoly with personally-identified intelligence, ingenuity and dexterity. Basic income can have a part in re-centring suburbia and repopulating fields.

That is – a massive migration of people – an epic change of culture – and an unprecedented wave of irresistibly contagious happiness can only be made possible by all of us – one at a time.  Only small, locally intelligent systems, which communicate together, can create a properly-responsive, large-scale change.

That will never happen? – That’s probably true. But if it is true, then young women today would be wiser not to bear children.

Meanwhile, an intellectual property rent, reimbursed as a productive cycle through the pockets of hipster robot masters is not the basic income I’d choose.

Since the Reformation, rent has bled production dry. Through passages of empire, advantageous trading and industrialisation, wealth has been sucked from the acts of economies into acts of enclosure. Cultures are what people do, and yet wealth has been extracted from the value added by good work to be sequestered in the pockets of idle monopoly – principally land monopoly. Others are status (lawyer, medical practitioner, politician, banker and so on), resources such as coal, oil and intellectual property in seeds, medicines, chemicals, machinery… The better people work, the more the values of those properties are enhanced and the higher the land rent extracted. Rent extracted by doctor, lawyer & etc. also increases, while doctor and lawyer gain surplus wealth for the purchase of further land property. Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates and men decay.

Even now, the rich grow richer by sitting idly in their properties, while the poor grow poorer in waiting on them – laying drains, building roads, growing food… Nearly five hundred years is a long time to hold down a festering injustice. I think we may have seen the pot boiling over in the Trump/Farage phenomena – the unpleasant side of reaction.

A better side may be celebrated in a Spring festival with a fiddler, a song and a marriage ceremony – for the marriage of Land Value Tax and Basic Income. When that Summer with his sunne softe – has the Wintre wedres over shake…

Donald Trump is Lord of Misrule for a day, but tomorrow…

Even black-hatted John Milton sang –

Rough satyrs danced and fauns with cloven heel, from the glad sound would not be absent long, And old Damaetas loved to hear our song.

Of course, those who hold monopolies never have, and never will agree to be taxed, although many have proposed it. Most certainly, it will prove the same today. But this decade is probably the most epic of all human times. It is likely that human cultures will not change and instead, step blindly forward into the havoc of climate change.

Grasping at straws is the best, most realistic, most convivial and most hopeful thing to do.

Take a straw.

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