Thursday, 31 January 2013

Day 183: The Myth of No Alternative and Equal Money Capitalism

“In Slovo's spirit, to provoke debate and give us something to sharpen our ideas against, I suggest that equality of opportunity under neoliberal capitalism is a myth. But it is a powerful myth, a false promise – one of the two ideas that are propagated by the powerful and the privileged that help to maintain the present model of development. The other is the myth that no alternative to neoliberal capitalism is possible.`”

To read the whole article (which is quite interesting) and further context:

Democracy: The problem with the power of one

The Problem

We are currently living in a world with an economic system which is not effective. It is not effective because it does not provide for everyone – while it should be able to. We have an economic system of extremes, a polarized economy, where a few have a lot and where a lot have little. Yet, when you get taught about economics, our current economic system is seen as the only ‘viable’ one, and reference is made to everything in the past that has failed.

It’s admitted that it’s not perfect, “but hey, what else are we going to do?”

This is however not a valid argument. Just because everything else has failed and what we have now is still failing but providing a good life for some, does not make it the best and only option.  As the author of the article mentioned above said: “The other is the myth that no alternative to neoliberal capitalism is possible.`” The only reason why one would hold on to such a myth and promote it, is because one is protecting the system within only taking into consideration one’s individual (lucky) position. Wanting to hold on to our current dysfunctional economic system is only a statement of limitation, where those who want the system/world to change believe they can’t and where those who know it can be changed don’t want to. It’s the perfect trap.

The Solution

The solution is to actually practically walk the process of establishing a better economic system for all. It does not suffice to say ‘well what else are we going to do’ and ‘this is the best we’ve got’ while being unwilling to consider and investigate alternatives.  At the same time we require to re-align our human values so that the values which are currently holding us back such as selfishness and greed are out of the way, and so that we can align our values to a new system which takes into consideration the whole within the principle of Equality.

As long as we hold on to greed and selfishness, neoliberal capitalism will always be seen as ‘our only option’, simply because we disregard anything else by implication of our value system. If we change our value system, new doors, new paths open up.

Because sure, in terms of being self-interested and greedy – neoliberal capitalism can’t do much better. In terms of equality, dignity and caring about what’s Best for All – we have a lot of moving forward to do.

Equal Money Capitalism is the embodiment of such principles. We shift our focus from producing goods in the name of profit to placing our attention to what is here as Life and requires Life support – and accordingly resources are distributed. We’ve objectified our economic system, caring only about things such as goods and money – while losing all touch with what really matters, as being Here, being Alive and Living on this Earth in a way that is enjoyable for all Now and in the Future.

The Reward

The reward of shifting our values and within doing so re-shaping the design and nature of our economic system is that we will have a future and that our children will have a future. Our current economic system is not one that is sustainable, and if we continue at the current speed of resource exploitation – the planet will burn out soon.  So it’s not just a matter of ‘yes/no – I do / do not want to change our current economic system’ – we’re talking here about the future of our planet, the future of Life.  What’s the use of being rich while others are poor and while the planet you live on is in peril?

So not only will we have a Future, but we will have a Future that supports Life and where we can release the burden of doomsday scenarios and having global warming peeking over our shoulder and catastrophic events happening all over the place (like living in a world of inequality isn’t already bad enough).

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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Day 182: Will we be Feeding the Fat Cats in Equal Money Capitalism?

Eskom, the South African electricity provider, has been saddling its customers with massive price increases and more to come:

"One of the reasons Eskom is applying for an electricity hike is because the average annual salary of one of its employees is expected to be R820,000 in 2017 and 2018, according to a report on Saturday.

Beeld newspaper reported that Eskom’s total salaries for about 45,600 employees at that time would be about R37 billion.

These figures are one of the reasons Eskom gave to the National Energy Regulatory of SA (Nersa) as part of its request to increase electricity tariffs from April 1, with 16% for the next five years.

Beeld reported that the information was part of Eskom’s submissions handed in to Nersa.

In the documents Eskom claimed that in the current book year, the average salary per worker is R633,000 annually.

According to the documents, the reason for the high salaries was because new power stations needed more employees, and there was need to get more skilled workers and to keep them.

However, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s Karl Cloete told Beeld that their members at Eskom do not get salaries like that.

“We want to see who gets paid so much that the average is so high.

“We do know that Eskom’s top-managers have been getting big bonuses and increases in the past decade,” Cloete said.

Investment Solutions economist Chris Hart told the newspaper that no company in the private sector could afford to pay salaries like that.

Eskom’s spokeswoman Hillary Joffe did not deny the proposed salary increase. 

Nersa is expected to announce Eskom’s tariff increase on February 28


The Problem

Obviously, here we have a classic case of Greed Capitalism, where the greed of a minority is being paid for by the majority. Electricity is something everyone needs and most will pay for it even if the price is insanely high - if people can't pay for it, they'll steal it - which is very common in South Africa. Obviously, most workers at Eskom don't earn over half a million Rand in a year - but some earn much more than that. These high salaries have to be paid for by the consumers.

And this situation is played by the book of Capitalism - you're allowed to make a profit and you're supposed to make as high a profit as you can. If your demand is high at really high prices, then - by all means - make your prices high - even if you can't always meet the demand in terms of supply.

With commodities like Electricity, which has become a basic necessity in our society, the demand will not change much in relation to price changes - and therefore, this point is easily taken advantage of.

The Solution

Each one who contributes to the provision of a particular good or a particular service in a company should receive an equal wage - because each one is a necessary participant within the process. It's not because one is doing physical labor while another is handling management that the one should earn more or less than the other. If you don't have people doing the physical labor, you can't provide the good/service - and, in the same way, if you don't have people managing all the operations, the provision of goods and services will be impossible, or at least highly inefficient.

When each one receives an equal income - prices can be calculated in such a way that each participant/each worker in the company receives an equal share of the profit and that, with this income, each one is able to live a successful and fulfilling life.

The Reward

In correcting this one point of how prices are determined in Equal Money Capitalism, you'll find that no matter what good or service, you'll never be able to take advantage of the fact that a good or service is in high demand by charging ridiculous prices. Isn't the whole point of companies and businesses to make life easier and to manage resources in an effective way? This correction/solution will make sure that this is what businesses and companies are really about.

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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Day 181: Applied Equality in Equal Money Capitalism

Within the current socio-economic system and liberal ideology – human beings are held as being of ‘equal value’. This equality is only held as a form of ‘abstract equality’ where in thought one can think of others as having ‘equal value’, but where in word and deed, this equality is not expressed.

People are thus not equally valued on the premise of Life, but are valued in so far that they have particular talents and skill sets. Since not everyone is born with the same skill sets: not everyone is valued equally, which is exactly how things operate currently, where different people have different values – whether you look at a CEO of a company or the janitor, or even at wages cross-borders, where say an Indian’s life-value is less than that of an American.

Valuing and giving people Life support according to one’s position and skills in this world, is thus not an effective way of practically applying the principle that ‘everyone is of equal value’.

The solution would thus be to go back to the initial point of equality, as you are here, you are Life – I am here, I am Life – thus common sensically, we require to be supported equally.

Within Equal Money Capitalism, access to resources is still granted through employment, and thus employment becomes a guarantee. Within this, each one will receive an equal income which in fact reflects the liberal principle of holding each one as being of equal value.

This will transform the concept of Equality to an actual principle of Integrity rather than the feel-good word with empty promises that it has become today. Living actual equality will reduce stress and depression immensely as one is not constantly put in a position where one is under-valued – each one’s value is recognised equally. This will also bring into effect the aim of individualism as outlined within liberalism, whereby we have constructed a society wherein individuals can flourish and develop and become the best possible version of themselves.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Day 180: The Word 'Capitalism' in 'Equal Money Capitalism'

The Problem

If we want to correct the current capitalistic system, we have to correct the very starting point as what drives capitalism at the moment. And to do this, we look at the meaning of the word 'Capitalism' and what the origin is of the word in terms of how it is currently defined - as this will reveal the essence of the problem from which all the inadequate consequences of the current economic system as 'capitalism' flow. Once we see the origin of the word and how, from this origin, the entirety of the capitalistic system was created, we are able to REDEFINE the word 'Capitalism' in a way that it represents an economic system that produces the best results for everyone. So, understand that the word 'Capitalism' in itself is not the problem - it's just a word - a string of letters placed together to form a sound. The problem is the meaning we have given to the word and how we currently live out this word in our every day lives, without even being aware of it.

So - let's shed some light on the origin of the word 'Capitalism':

"The lexical roots of the word capital reveal roots in the trade and ownership of animals. The Latin root of the word capital is 'capitalis', from the proto-Indo-European 'kaput', which means "head", this being how wealth was measured. The more heads of cattle, the better."


From this etymological explanation of the word, it is clear that the more 'heads' of cattle you owned, the more value you had. And, if we have a look at capitalism today: it still works according to the same principle: the more you own, the more you are, the more value you have, the more influence you have, the better a life you live.

What does this reveal about the word 'Capitalism' as how it is currently lived?

It shows how we have misplaced our sense of self-value through defining how valuable we are in something 'outside' of ourselves, more specifically: in the ownership of resources - where resources can mean animals, laborers, equipment, land, and 'stuff' in general. We've come to believe that our value is dependent on how much we have - because that is how 'the world', or rather, the economic system, has treated us: if you don't have anything, then you're not considered, you're not a part of the economy, you're not supported. And, obviously, if you're not considered, included or supported, it means you're not valued. If everyone were valued by the current economic system, then the system would consider, support and include everyone - but this is not the case.

The Solution

The solution to the problem can be found within the very same origin of the word 'Capitalism' - specifically, within the root of the word referring to a 'head'. Though, instead of looking at how many heads someone owns 'outside' of themselves, as in how many heads of cattle, for instance - let's look at how many heads a person really truly owns - and the only head a person every truly owns is one's own head. It makes no sense to claim that one can 'own' a part of nature or the Earth - as physical resources - outside of oneself. Why? Because the Earth and nature were here long before us and they will remain here after we are gone - so how can we say that any of it is 'ours' - it's not ours.

Each one owns one head and one head is all we require - and with each one owning one head, each one has equal value. A person's value should not be defined by anything outside of the person. The fact that a person comes into being, that a baby is born - should be enough to recognize that this person, this being, has value - simply because it is a part of Life.

Therefore, Capitalism can be defined as:

An economic system that recognizes each one's inherent self-value as being a part of Life, that recognizes this value of each being to be equal - and that strives to consider and support each one's value, because in supporting each one's value as a part of Life, we support Life as a whole - this including humans, animals, and nature.

The Rewards

Redefining the word 'Capitalism' in this way will not only have rewards on an economic level, because we are in fact re-aligning our entire value-system from ownership to Life. What rewards will this bring about?

We will no longer twist and shape ourselves in an attempt to try and get recognition and validation from others, because we will simply recognize and validate ourselves as Life. This means we will save ourselves so much worrying and sorrow over what other people think about us and instead, we'll have the space, energy and confidence to really express ourselves in terms of our particular capital.

Each one has equal value, but that does not mean that each one has the same capital. Capital is that which is particular to your expression and capabilities with which you are able to contribute to Life - in terms of making Life richer and better for everyone. We know each one's capital is not the same - some are more artistic, while others have a passion for engineering. This doesn't mean that an artist is worth less or more than an engineer - it simply means that those beings have a different type of capital - but both artists and engineers contribute to making Life on Earth richer and better.

So, Equal Money Capitalism will be an economic system that capitalizes on each one's particular capital - using the 1 + 1 + 1 equation to make Life on Earth the best it can be. This means that no-one's capital will be wasted, downplayed or ignored. Everyone will be able to engage and be a part of making this world a world of value. It means that one can be proud of oneself and proud of one's job - because your job becomes an expression of who you are - and not just a means to survive.

Within Equal Money Capitalism, each one will be valued and thus, supported, which means no more worrying about your quality of Life or the need to survive, because this will be guaranteed. It means no more worrying about your children's life and their future - because this will be guaranteed. It means there will be no more slaves doing another's hard or dirty jobs, because each one will value themselves and no-one will be willing to subject themselves to the will of another in order to get by.

And so, as you can see - redefining the word Capitalism will make it possible to create a Capitalistic system that will in fact change the face of the Earth and will change Life on Earth in about every way. The rewards will be all that you had always wanted, but were never able to achieve in the current economic system.
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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Day 179: Resource-ism, not racism, lies behind SA's race talk

For more context please read:

Resource-ism, not racism, lies behind SA's race talk

The Problem:

“The issue is not about racism anymore, but that's how it comes across because resources are still divided along racial lines in South Africa. It is about resource-ism. Who has the easiest access to resources, who has the greatest means and who benefits the most from them? This is what is causing the greatest unease in South Africa. We talk about the past because the past has a direct correlation to resource-ism and access to those resources.

What we need to do as a country is embark on a very deliberate effort to ensure that we combat resource-ism. We can do that by ensuring that more people have opportunity and access.”  

Currently in South Africa, massive inequality it still a huge problem. Whenever the issue of inequality is addressed on say the news or the radio – it always comes down to racism, about “black versus white”. What is often not mentioned is that inequality in South Africa, and all over the world for that matter – goes beyond race and is essentially a money issue: a resource access issue.

In the case of South Africa, the unequal distribution of resources as a result of racism in the past, is still today causing much conflict and disharmony.

The Solution:

It’s time to stop thinking in terms of race, colour or ethnicity -- but to think of people in terms of human beings. Whether you are black, white, coloured, Asian, Indian, etc. – it does not matter. In terms of our Life on Earth, we all have the same requirements and share the same basic needs that required to be met to live a fulfilled Life. Equal Money Capitalism goes beyond race and goes straight to the core as valuing each person Equally on the premise of Life. In the economic realm, this gets translated into guaranteed employment which in turn guarantees access to resources.

The Reward:

Treating everyone from a starting point of Equality and allowing this Equality to manifest in physical reality by embedding it into the fabric of the economic system will decrease crime immensely. Crimes in relation to survival will be non-existent as everyone’s basic needs will be taken care of through both employment and government service. Treating and valuing everyone equally will release us from crimes of hate and discrimination – where we no longer have to fear our neighbours simply because they have a different skin colour and due to past inequalities in relation to race are still in a disadvantages situation, and may possible want to reverse this disadvantage through ‘revenge’. Especially in terms of South Africa, fences will disappear around houses making people feel less jailed and kids will be able to play outside without the kids and the parents having to be worried about tension caused by inequality.  We will have transcended inequality which is a gift in itself to ourselves as humanity.

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Day 178: Zuma says to benefactors: "Everything you touch will multiply" - EMC will End Corruption

For more context, please read Jo'burg's R1bn 'present' to Zuma benefactor.

The Problem

At the ANC anniversary gala dinner, President Zuma of South Africa made the statement that "wise" businessmen who support the ANC could expect that everything they touch would multiply. In the Mail & Guardian, this has been called a 'controversial remark' - but is it really controversial if everyone is doing it?

Whoever supports Zuma will receive support in return - this is how political parties buy their power in a country. An example was in the newspapers just a few days ago - where Reddy Vivian's company was awarded a R1.25 billion contract to supply 'smart' electricity meters to the city of Johannesburg. The way in which the tender was awarded is full of irregularities.

  • "Detailed allegations that an initial technical evaluation score-sheet was amended to improve the result for Reddy's company, Edison Power;
  • The revised scoring pushed another bidder, Hefcom, below the cut-off 70% technical score. When price was factored in, Hefcom – whose bid was half the cost of Edison's – would have scored better than Edison;
  • A letter informing Edison it had won the bid is dated before City Power supply chain management even received the bid recommendation or the chair of the adjudication committee had signed off on the decision;
  • Edison's share of the contract was pushed up from an initial recommendation of a R600-million share of an R800-million contract to an exclusive contract for R1.25-billion; and
  • A man central to the award, City Power chief executive Sicelo Xulu, is alleged to be "friends with Zuma" though he denies this."

If it hadn't been for friends-politics, and if tenders were awarded purely on quality, Hefcom would have probably been awarded the tender, which would have halved the cost for supplying the electricity meters. The South African public is being conned continuously as no decision is made in the best interest of the whole, but only in the interest of those in power - both the politicians and the companies. This type of neocolonialism is a big problem as it perpetuates inequality and brings about results that are completely inefficient, imposing unnecessary costs to those with less. And, where decisions are not made to support life but to support greed, the environment incurs higher costs as well - because the environment which gives life is simply not considered.

The Solution

Firstly, each one will earn an equal income within EMC. One of the problems we're facing today, which prevents people from working together to find solutions for common problems, is the fact that the value of a person is not recognised as being equal. And each one's value IS equal - Because we are all here and we are all Life - it doesn't matter in which form - without Life, you wouldn't be breathing right now. Yet, the current capitalistic system gives value through money in an unequal way - creating the perception and idea that people are not Equal. Understand - equal does not mean the same - we are not all the same. Some run faster than others, some understand math better, for others math is like an alien monster. We are not equal in capacities and skills in that we are not all the same - but we all are equal in value - there is no one more important then another, there is no one that deserves better opportunities than another.

Every time each one receives an equal income, each one's value is being recognised as being equal to that of another. When value is not equally recognised, it creates the perception that there is a lack of value to go around and that each one must compete to receive value. With everyone receiving equal income, such competition for value will for a large part disappear - because there is no fear of ending up without value and without recognition. Things like power-hunger will for a large part disappear due to this simple correction, as being in a position of power is merely one of the ways individuals attempt to find value and recognition through competition. With each one being out for themselves, the larger picture is forgotten, and one's responsibilities towards one's fellow human beings are forgotten. Once everyone is recognised as equal, working together as a group becomes possible, because things like jealousy, competition and sabotage no longer stand in the way.

Of course, in EMC - Politics will be different from what it is today - one will not give up their voice to a representative and then hope that this representative indeed acts in your interest. Instead - each one will be part of the decision making. We go back to the origin of democracy, which was direct democracy. Ones territories started becoming too big for people to gather and do the decision-making, a system of representation was introduced. And for a moment, this was the best option available. But with today's technology, we are able to implement true democracy once again - because we don't require to physically come together to discuss and vote on things. We discuss and vote on things with people far away all the time on the internet; on forums, on twitter, on facebook. So - to organise our political system in a way that everyone has a direct say is today possible and very do-able.

Those in political positions will merely be managers, but they will not be decision-makers - and therefore, will not have the ability to influence, for instance, who is awarded the tender for supplying electric metres.


EMC will put an end to Corruption - making sure that the funds that are pooled together through tax is no longer wasted on the exuberant lifestyle of those in power. Tax money will be used to provide each one with their Basic Living Rights. You'll be able to follow these things online, monitoring the entire process of why a certain solution was selected and you'll be able to say whether you agree with the decision.

Obviously, less money and resources will be spent on investigating corruption, cycling cases through the justice system. With such distractions out of the way, we'll be able to truly focus on how we can enhance life - for humans, animals and plants - this will create a different world for everyone, the world we were told we lived in as children, but soon realised was a lie.
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