By Ed O’Rourke
|Psychological studies show that materialism is toxic to happiness, that more income and more possessions don’t lead to lasting gains in our sense of well-being or satisfaction with our lives. What does make us happy are warm personal relationships, and giving rather than getting.
James Gustave Speth
Sustaining people, communities, and nature must henceforth be seen as the core goals of economic activity and not hoped for byproducts based on market success, growth for its own sake, and modest regulation.
James Gustave Speth
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
During The Second World War, Polish lawyer Raphael Lempkin coined the word genocide to describe what the Nazis were doing in Europe. On December 9, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
On May 23, 2013, Tom Englehart announced the term “terracide” to describe what the big energy companies and Wall Street are doing to destroy the Earth and all life forms. The current day killers do not run gas chambers but extinguish the earth’s ability to sustain life from corporate board rooms. Their actions are killing more people than officially designated terrorists ever could.
See the announcement here:
The US economy reached a point in the 1920s where the manufacturing, construction and financial sectors could have endeavored to generate goods and services that would give every American a substantial standard of living. From there, they could figure how to do the same thing to the rest of the world. Socialists had some ideas along those lines.
American capitalists chose to generate goods and services for the rich and middle classes. Advertizing as we know it today started in the 1920s with Edward Barnays inducing people to acquire goods that they do not need and could easily do without. For example, we now have bottled water that costs 1,400 times what you get from your kitchen tap. According to British economist Tim Jackson, advertisers, marketers and investors to this day persuade us “to spend money we don’t have on things we do not need to create impressions that will not last on people we do not care about.” He paints capitalism as a faulty system, as a gluttony machine that constantly needs new supplies of people prepared to resolutely continue consuming goods and services.
The US has a welfare state, not for the poor, but for energy companies and the rich. The US has the lowest tax rates since Harry Truman was president and tax havens. Corporations deal in price transfer to misrepresent earnings in the US. This means buying a bucket of paint from a foreign-based subsidiary for $978.53. The US has no nation-state enemies but it needs 700 plus military bases overseas to fight no one in particular. Who has 25% of the world’s prisoners? We do. About 40% are in jail for consuming illegal drugs. Who has the most expensive and most inefficient health care system in the world? We do.
The American business community talks about innovation until the cows come home. They live in a fact-free morals-free universe where tobacco, asbestos, nuclear power, atom bombs and climate change are nothing to be concerned with. In 1965, they fought the legislation that became the Automobile Safety Act saying it would bankrupt the industry. Today they see an ice-free Arctic Ocean as a navigational and drilling opportunity.
The business community habitually seeks short-term gains over the public good. When the war broke out for the US in December 1941, German submarines had a field day on the Gulf and East coasts. The US Navy was inept at organizing convoys. Movie theaters, bars and restaurants refuse the Navy’s requests to turn off the lights. After all, this was “bad for business.”
Here are theoretical excuses for the 1941-1942 business community set in climate change denial statements.
● Ships get sunk during the day, too.
● You cannot prove that light from my restaurant last night was seen by the submarine captain.
● My movie theater will have to close its doors if we obey US Navy requests.
Every year weather data shows that the world’s average temperature is the same or hotter than the last. My prediction is that by 2030 the One Percent will be moving to northern Russia, northern Canada, Switzerland, Argentina and Chile to get away from heat waves that will become the new normal.
I have the idea that a statements from Pope Francis that terracide is a sin and the United Nations General Assembly, Al Gore, Warren Buffett and the environmental groups that it is a crime will get attention and that nearly everyone else (except for Tea Party members) would agree within a few years.
Around 2030, an international tribunal will start hearings to consider punishment for the worse offenders. Like the Nazis in Nuremberg, the defendants will wonder why they are in court since they were only doing their job.