Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Fiction

This is a piece of fiction.

It is a popular delusion that wealthy and powerful people feel the need to be members of clubs or secret societies and that they spend their time conspiring to manage the 'World order' to suit their best interests.

There are clubs and societies. Some of them are very exclusive. In some of these clubs, some of the members will sometimes talk about politics, capital, and so forth, quite possible over a bottle of old rare port. But this is no more than ordinary social behaviour. There are no grand conspiracies.

The main reason that this is so is that there is no need for such conspiracies. By and large, the more powerful or wealthy a person is, the more likely he or she is to have a certain set of values, expectations and prejudices, just like everyone else. The shared values and desires of a group of people are sufficient to generate understandings and agreements which do not require contracts, promises or secret meetings. Most of these are clever, or at least cunning people. They have experience, habit, often history, as well as a broad understanding of how the world really works.

So, when I say that in the early twenty-first century there was an agreement, I don't mean to say that anything was made explicit or written down or even directly discussed. Call it instead a feeling, a mutual understanding, a general sense that certain problems implied certain solutions.

Nor need all of these people shared an agenda, world-view or ideology. They did share a knowledge of power and its applications.

The agreement related to Climate Change, or what some people call Global Warming.

There was no serious doubt in these people's minds that this was a real phenomenon, with real risks and a real possibility of a number of social and financial crises attached to it. These people were smart enough to understand that the projections of tens of thousands of scientists was not random and needed to be addressed.

The direst warnings were of social, political, environmental and financial collapses which would cause millions, perhaps billions of premature deaths, large scale extinctions, anarchy, famine, extremism, brutality, the end of the rule of law (in some places).

But there were certain items at risk which could not be let go. Perhaps surprisingly, it was understood that the environment, nature, ecosystems, had to be protected in the long term. Nothing would survive if this was destroyed, so  radial measures to protect the environment from the worst ravages of exploitation were considered justifiable.

Given the nature of the wealth and its sources, the other item at issue was the survival of Markets and Capital, trade and business. Without these, there was no basis on which to generate, protect or justify wealth.

And the agreement was this: let it run its course. Any rational analysis came to the same conclusion; that there were too many people on earth for the planet to sustain, and that the imbalance of resource demand over supply would worsen if population increased as projected. So the solution was reasonably simple: without having to make hard decisions, or get involved in ethical finery, a simple strategy of inertia (no need to rush to change anything) would produce the desired result -  a reduction of the world's population, a reduction on the unsustainable demand on resources, a reduction of poverty by eradicating the poor, rather than the cause of poverty, inequity.

And so, not consciously, nor conspiratorially, the program was set. The usual balance of fine words and half-hearted gestures, of grand plans and good intentions, mixed with the absence of real action or the necessary hard decisions. This was the simple, elegant solution; let what will be come to pass.

And that is how we get to where we are today... the dawn of the Passive Holocaust.