Wednesday, January 23, 2008

If not capitalism - then what?

The last blog post here - Capitalism RIP - suggests that the route to the eradication of capitalism requires a new economic system.

So that:

• people, together, are in control of their lives,

• where all work for the long-lived benefit of all: caring for the long-lived benefit of the whole global ecology, and all its inhabitants.

To find the way forward, we need to have strategies for the three core features of present-day economics:

• ownership of workplaces and knowledge used for profit,

• ownership of land and natural resources, and their use for profit, and

• the practices of money-lending and credit-creation for profit.

To deal with these three, core aspects, we must, first, return money to its proper use - as a lubricant of human activity, created by, and flowing through, nationally-owned, democratic, public service banking and financial systems.

With them in place, we can, then convert workplaces into appropriate
co-operative enterprises, such that each has respectful stewardship of land and knowledge resources:

• ensuring that everyone receives a fair, guaranteed income,

• ensuring that proper stewardship of the planet is our central task,

In other words:

In practical terms, this thinking is evolving into The Fair World Action Plan:

*** To Create A Fair, Safe and Peaceful World ***

a) conversion of 'workplaces' into appropriate co-operatives, each having time-limited stewardship (rather than ownership) from the commonweal of land and knowledge resources,

b) financing of those co-operatives by community banking systems which, also, recoup annual 'co-operative surpluses' (profits): for distribution back to the communities (and the wider world) and to cover the working costs of these not-for-profit community banking systems (this will enable the abolition of private money-landing and credit-creation for profit),

c) the guarantee of guaranteed, fair incomes for all, within a band (a narrow band) between a minimum guaranteed income and a maximum guaranteed income. This will enable the increasing funding of public services on a 'free at the point of use' basis and render redundant the whole structure of personal taxation (income tax, sales tax etc ),

d) the conversion, therefore, of an 'economic' system based on 'ownership' and 'use for profit' ('capitalism') into one based on responsible stewardship of the commonweal (local and global 'co-operative socialism’ as one possible name?) and of use, only, for that end.

This suggests the following specific ‘Seven Point Action Plan’:

The Co-operative Way - A Seven Point Action Plan

For equality and ecology, peace, justice and co-operation

1) ‘Co-operation, not Coercion’

Convert competitive, market-based businesses into workplace co-operatives and reorganise monopoly activities as stakeholder community co-operatives: each co-op having respectful stewardship of necessary land and knowledge resources: all held of the commonweal, and with each co-operative demonstrably working to the seven International Co-operative Principles

(see points two and five for the funding mechanism to achieve this);

2) ‘Predistribution, not Redistribution’

Distribute the created wealth through nationally collected, co-operatives’ taxation, distributed into local, democratically controlled, Community Banks, so, that money and credit are available for responsible wealth creation, environmental care and community development.

(and the conversions referred to above!);

3) ‘Global stewardship for needs, not private resources for profits’

Provide for more human needs (health, education, libraries, telecommunications, transport and so on) on a free-at-the-point-of-use basis.

4) ‘Fair, guaranteed incomes for all’

Introduce guaranteed fair income for all, within upper and lower brackets and, so, do away with personal taxation (income tax, VAT etc), perhaps incorporating elements of ‘as-of-right’ Citizen’s Income.

5) ‘Banking as public service - not as global warfare’

Abolish money lending and credit-creation for profit.

6) ‘End global exploitation through financial speculation’

Reintroduce international exchange controls as necessary.

7) ‘All our sisters are our brothers, and all our brothers are our sisters’

Make capital grants (not loans) to developing countries.

We hope this action plan gives us all a good basis for a practical, moral, sustainable and co-operative economics!


Your Friends in peace, co-operation and equality:

John Courtneidge for The Fair World Project

Apt 903, 65 Halsey Ave, Toronto, M4B 1A7 john -at-


Please print and share this material with those not yet e-connected (The Fair World Project, once implemented, will ensure that they can be!)


Thus, I hope that individuals and groups will reflect upon this analysis, find ones that are better and, then, use this (evolving?) approach to deal with:

- the essence and details of capitalism,

- to address all ecological concerns,

- to eliminate the exploitation of 'the one by the other',

And, so, help create:

A Fair, Safe and Peaceful World:

- a world based upon peace, equality, co-operation and practical, respectful, local, stewardship of the planet.


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