Imagining the Change

Global Alternative seeks to determine if it is possible to change the present ‘rules of the game’ and create conditions that are better suited to our needs, whilst preserving the natural foundations for our benefit.

The game is dependent on the level of interest and commitment of players and participants. The people who engage in the game, that will meet one another, make plans, develop projects, organize community life, make decisions and discuss and solve problems, are of course people of the present. Therefore in addition to their good intentions, reason and logic, they will bring their judgments, interpretations and the strategies they employ now in their everyday lives to get by in the current, complicated world.

But in the game, everything is different.

The change is all-encompassing and demands a rethink of everything we know.

Here are some strands of thought, which are worth following.

In comparison to today’s society, where people need to consider institutions and other people as conditions for their own progress, participants will enter a society where conditions such as earning money and competition no longer exist. The priority lies in ensuring that community progress is possible, instead of progress for the individual. This should result in a good life for everyone: security, self-determination, freedom of design and last but not least, time. Indeed, in this new society, people will have a lot of time for themselves and for those who are important to them. They will have time for creativity, nature, their own and community projects, research, sport and whatever else pleases them.

But, where should all this free time come from?

First, the assumption results from a calculation. Those involved in the first rule of the game from the outset that compare it with current conditions, will be rewarded with astonishing insights. What we are barely aware of any more is openly revealed: the self-evident manner with which money directs society and infiltrates all our thoughts and actions, even in the most private of realms.

If for example one were to think about the amount of work spent solely on maintenance of the monetary system – management, utilization, administration and regulation to name a few categories – the first thing that comes to mind is those employed in the sector. From bankers, insurers, finance officials, tax consultants, accountants, financial managers, sellers, brokers, consultants, security services, all the way to cashiers in the supermarket.

When thinking about these activities, one starts to consider all that is required for them to operate, take building the checkout area in a shop for example. This requires cash registers, computers, the conveyor belt, the barriers and the build of the surrounding area, but it also requires corporate resources to manage the build. In this context, one could go even a step further and consider what is required to manufacture and maintain the cash registers. And on it goes – the door and gate to the researching imagination are now open.

If one’s view is broadened in this way, it will also become clear that enormous amounts of corporate work and resources are spent on the above-mentioned tasks and in equipping the sector with furniture and technology. Not to mention the mobility needed to maintain the sector. It is immense.

How much labour, power and resources, not only material, but also intelligence and health, are used on these activities alone? These resources are expended on a system which according to economic myths, is irreplaceable as it must exist in order to satisfy people’s needs for material goods

Calculations on current data show that at least 63 percent of the corporate workforce is allocated to the processing, maintenance and use of the monetary system described above. However, the actual production of goods, including the associated corporate resources, only accounts for 21 percent of the workforce and an even smaller proportion of the workforce, 16 percent, delivers pure services (i.e. services that do not involve money).

In this context, the mode of production in the free market economy as promoted by money is also noted. It leads to bizarre outputs of its own (refer in the menu to article ‘Capitalism’) as the products are produced exclusively for sale, but their utility value is secondary and only plays a role to the extent that it meets the interest of the buyer or is able to generate such interest.

The producers have to assert themselves in competition, which drives a chain of strategies designed to reduce the production price of goods. This means a reduction in labour costs, a reduction in the cost of raw materials (which forces their further development) and energy, an immense transport system and last but not least, the use of human labour in low-wage countries and in the unskilled labour markets of industrialised countries. 

In Global Alternative the production of useful goods, information, knowledge and services are put in their rightful place. They exist to meet the satisfaction of concrete needs and only for that reason. With this shift, there is no longer any interest in the production of items just for the purpose of making money, therefore the interest in functionality, longevity, sustainability, effectiveness and the conservation of resources increases.

It is possible that among many other debugging effects, the following will emerge:

  • Production becomes more sustainable because the longevity of the products and low resource consumption for their manufacturing become an immanent advantage
  • Production does not occur in abundance
  • Agriculture and fishing are organised in accordance with ecological criteria; mass livestock farming as a product of market-oriented profit maximisation no longer exists
  • The production of packaging material and disposable articles is drastically reduced (a further relief of the environment).
  • Activities harmful to health become superfluous or, where absolutely necessary, automated to the greatest extent possible.
  • Energy supply can be organised in a decentralised and regenerative way
  • Stress-related illnesses or those caused by activities harmful to health are no longer present
  • Medicine focuses on prevention and recovery. Drug production is limited to the most important active ingredients and their optimal use

Many effects are foreseeable, but only the considerations, decisions and actions of the participants can make clear which concrete changes can be achieved.

The ‘new world’ is in progress, and that is precisely where the opportunity lies. And its appeal.