Deconstructing Democracy Co-Creating Eco-Governance
Part 2 - Health: The Primary Casualty
The Growth Economy: An Economy of Disease
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." Edward Abbey
A growth economy that idealizes growth at the expense of health is destined to be an economy of disease. The growth economy is indeed like a growing cancer. Any living system has a natural limit of growth within which it can achieve maximum health. No human being would want to grow beyond his or her own healthy limits.
Like a parasitic disease, the growth economy leeches off and depletes the living systems on which it depends. The economy becomes ‘bloated’ while feeding on fabricated money rather than real value. Industries that fuel the growth economy are industries that profit off disease and devastation.
For years most democratic governments have sold us the benefits of the “growth economy” using a marketing strategy that has duped most of us into believing in its crucial value while digging our collective grave. In most cases democracy has become synonymous with free market capitalism that is organized around exploitation of people, animals and the environment for the benefit of a few.
Under the guise of growth, and progress, we are sold lies and devastation. Citizens are subject to endless laws, policies and mind-manipulations that enslave them to the mindset of addictive consumerism, dependence, competition and conflict. Every aspect of a citizen’s life including health, food, security, environment, media, technology and education is determined by hidden financial interests that have little or nothing to do with the well-being of citizens. Multi-national corporations steer global law and politics and are destroying the environment, causing the depletion of many species.
Professions that are hurting the planet are often the highest paid while those that offer real value are among the lowest paid. The wealthiest are often owners or shareholders of industries responsible for a cycle of creating and fixing global crises in spirals of addiction, trauma and dependence. Service based professions such as farming, education, social work, nursing and artisans are low on the income scale. While the elite class skims resources, governments are calling for increased austerity measures for the middle and working class.
Companies focused on profit at the expense of people and planet actively invest in cultivating narcissistic, self-indulgent people with little interest in social and environmental issues. The self-obsessed, competitive mindset creates unhealthy social dynamics that spawn alienation and social violence and in turn serves the frenetic consumer “selfie", "pokemon" culture.
Money is fabricated by the financial system based on intricate mathematical formulas manipulated by those who lead these institutions. The financial system is based on corporate privilege, speculation, loans, interest and debt. It is a ruthless system designed to benefit those in the know and enforce economic slavery of the masses. The system creates an addictive gambling culture that manipulates the true values of currencies. The system justifies and legalizes boundless salaries and wealth of those at the helms while keeping the minimum wage at poverty level. It means that a small group of people are hoarding trillions of dollars gained while creating poverty, enormous suffering and devastation.
The practice of hoarding of money can be seen as blocking the healthy flow of energy resources to where it is most needed. In any living system blocked energy is a symptom of disease.
The growth economy portrays the elite as the job creators and encourages the belief that citizens are dependent on big monopolies for jobs. This hides the fact that monopolies are actually deeply destructive and deplete local economies and the environment. Mining and fossil fuel industries are known to plunder resources while leaving a wake of destruction in the local communities. Monopoly based systems deny people the right to make an honest healthy living in vital community based economies. People are not given the choice or information as to healthy existing alternatives. They are denied investment and rights to develop their own agriculture and local green industries that would make them less dependent on the government, financial institutions and foreign corporations.
“Anyone who's ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalist's course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it. In this sense, calling ourselves job creators isn't just inaccurate, it's disingenuous. That's why our current policies are so upside down. When you have a tax system in which most of the exemptions and the lowest rates benefit the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.” (Nick Hanauer, a billionaire advocating rethinking the system,TED talk.)
The growth economy has developed sophisticated methods of siphoning taxpayer money into the pockets of the rich. Ultimately it is the taxpayer that must carry the increasing tax burden on welfare, health, and defence generated by the very corporations who specialize in creating their own tax cuts and havens.
Most big industries feed each other. The processed food, chemical, military, security, pharmaceutical and media companies are often linked to each other or owned by the same groups of people. Even so called “humanitarian aid” generated by the wars that feed the military industries is given in the form of plastic water bottles and GMO grain that in turn fills the pockets of the food conglomerates.
‘The United States is now an “oligarchy” in which unlimited political bribery has created a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.’
- Former president Jimmy Carter
The following table from the Center for Responsive Politics provides information about the amount of money from different sectors that goes into ‘lobbying’ politicians on an annual basis. It provides insight into the money behind every government policy. The table shows the exorbitant numbers that have gone into influencing the American government for the last twenty years. It gives a glimpse into the hidden interests that determine not only which wars we wage, what resources we destroy, but also what is in our food and medicine and what guides the ideas we are sold about the world we live in through education and media.
The Center for Responsive Politics: Amount spent on lobbying by sector between 1998 and 2014 in the US.
Among those whose impact is most destructive to people and environment, are the ones that spend the most on lobbying governments. This means that democratic governments are voting to a large extent according to the interests of dangerous industries and our vote is giving these industries the power to decide the fate of our individual and collective health. The industries are influential in determining the course of world events and driving climate change, war and human and environmental disease.
“ The truth requires that we call the corrosion of money in politics what it is – it is a form of corruption and it muzzles more Americans than it empowers, and it is an imbalance that the world has taught us can only sow the seeds of unrest.” (Secretary of State John Kerry, in 2013 farewell speech to the Senate.)
Media is an essential tool for the wealthy to promote their agendas. Mainstream media is to a large extent owned by the same small groups of people who are linked to, or dominate the financial system. Given that mainstream media is profit driven, it is clear that those who want to have power over peoples’ minds invest in owning media outlets. Power and profit are the primary forces shaping our belief systems and culture. The art of covert advertising and mind manipulation has been refined to function on the most subliminal levels. This makes citizens entirely vulnerable to profit driven agendas.
Advertising can be likened to prostitution of the soul. It’s all a matter of price and involves the willingness to be involved in selling an idea or product, directly or indirectly, no matter how damaging the consequences may be. The enormous power of advertising means that the minds of citizens are regarded as valuable property available for sale to the highest bidders. We have been seduced by media to lust for more, to believe that the path of competition is the only legitimate way - that this is human nature - that those in power are doing what they can to create a better world, and that with a bit of extra work, we too can move up the social ladder and eventually join the coveted elite status.
Vast amounts of money are spent to colonize consciousness and determine how we think and behave. The sophistication of the system lies in convincing us that we are choosing these thoughts ourselves.
The growth economy relies on creating problems from the personal to the global: from preoccupation with body image and unhealthy food, to large scale wars and dependence on fossil fuels. It fabricates artificial needs and desires designed to alienate people from nature and from their deepest wisdom. Consumerism cultivates the idea that people need stuff that is usually unnecessary and unhealthy as well as being produced at the expense of people, other species and planet itself.
With the spread of social media and independent journalism, there are cracks in the media system. Yet, even “free” social media has a price. Social media itself entails exposure to endless floods of carefully crafted overt and subliminal messaging. Social media is one of the most powerful and profitable businesses and has been severely corrupted by advertising and corporate interests. Once again privilege is inbuilt in the system by empowering those who can afford to advertise their agendas and manipulate human consciousness.
The military industrial complex
The power of the military industrial complex is vast and shrouded in mystery. Under the guise of defence, the industry instigates conflict, glorifies war, ferments fear and hatred and sells suffering and destruction. To a large extent it sets the political agenda across the globe.
Exorbitant amounts of money are funnelled into secretive security budgets used with no accountability towards government or taxpayers. As journalists follow the money, and whistle-blowers leak information to the public, more and more stories of the corrupt and ruthless selling of terrorism and war for profit abound. The stakes just get higher as the weapons become increasingly dangerous.
Beyond the wars themselves the entire military training industry uses billions of tax payer dollars while contributing to the ongoing destruction of the environment - all in the name of “security”. The US navy for instance is killing thousands of whales and dolphins with sonar and weapons testing. Aside from the vast amounts of tax payer money being wasted, the industry contaminates and destroys entire eco-systems with noise, fire and chemicals.
Gun violence in the US is another frightening symptom of the powerful arms industry and its lobbying influence. Gun violence results in thousands of deaths and injuries annually with an alarming rate of mass public shootings on the rise. It is clear that the only beneficiaries of the military industry are those that sell the weapons and the by-products of war. The burden is on the taxpayer who pays for the often artificially manufactured security risks as well as the traumatic consequences on the soldiers, civilians and the environment.
The industry cannot make money off peace. It thrives on conflict and violence. Clearly investing vast sums of money in creative peace-building efforts would be a far healthier option, but this is not the preferred strategy of governments towing the line of the profit-driven “defence and security” industries.
“It is ironic that the U.S. would begin a devastating war, allegedly in search of weapons of mass destruction when the most worrisome developments in this field are occurring in your own backyard. It is ironic that the U.S. should be fighting monstrously expensive wars allegedly to bring democracy to those countries, when it itself can no longer claim to be called a democracy when trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief know nothing about.” Canada’s former Minister of National Defence,
- Paul Hellyer in 2008
The Fossil Fuel Industry
The profit driven fossil fuel industry dominates our mainstream energy narrative. It presents the use of fossil fuels as the primary if not only viable source of energy and often paints itself as working in environmentally careful ways. While the devastating impact of fossil fuels on the climate has been known for years, and knowledge about alternative energy technologies have been available since the time of the inventor Nicolas Tesla, this information has been carefully guarded and hidden from the public.
Over the last years we have witnessed tragic oil spills in the oceans and rivers and the poisoning of the underground waters. Forest are laid to waste to make way for drilling and species are becoming extinct. For decades the world has been held hostage to the large coal and oil companies who have used their power to gain power and control economies across the world. Fracking for natural gas has now become the norm and has brought with it a host of new threats to human and environmental health.
The notion that planetary resources can be owned, mined or depleted without damaging the entire eco-system is one of the most dangerous concepts derived from the worldview of separateness and domination.
It goes against the fundamental principles of life to consider that local resources can belong to a particular country or corporation and not to the entire interconnected planetary eco-system. This ideas is as absurd as believing a specific organ in the human body serves only its particular region, and can be used independently of its living context. In abusing forests, waters, fuels, gases, metals and minerals we have upset the intricate web of life in ways we are only beginning to discover. Fossil fuels is a primary cause of global warming is the most tangible and dangerous symptom of our tampering with the intricate planetary eco-system.
While the pharmaceutical industry supposedly exists for the benefit of human health and often has breakthroughs that serve humanity, the industry has become fundamentally corrupted by the profit motive. In many cases it is complicit in peddling in false science, addiction and disease. Across the world, the pharmaceutical industry has strong ties with governments which means that health policies and subsidized medicines are often severely swayed by interest groups.
Increasing scrutiny is revealing a host of scandals that include sponsored and falsified research, addictive medications, concealing natural cures, testing products on people without their consent, barbaric testing on animals and hiding the side effects of drugs. Waterways and soil are shown to have traces of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals and are thus contaminating humans and other species in ways that we know very little about.
The pharmaceutical industry targets symptoms rather than the roots of medical problems and some medications often generate side effects that in turn require further medication in a spiral of addiction and dependence.
“Side effects of those very same prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. That’s right! Prescription drugs kill more people than traffic accidents.
Dr. Barbara Starfield, the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2000
“Adverse effects of medications” (from drugs that were correctly prescribed and taken) kill 106,000 people per year. And that doesn’t include accidental overdoses.” T. Colin Campbell, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
There is increasing evidence that much of what is now called the “cancer industry” is one of the largest and most profitable hoaxes. It has invested fortunes in research and development while hiding information about natural cures.
“We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of research is to see whether two doses of this poison, is better than three doses of that poison.” – Glen Warner, M.D. oncologist
While many well-intentioned doctors work according to what they are taught, other doctors have knowingly abused their clients with misdiagnoses, unnecessary medications and other interventions in order to benefit financially.
Vaccines are among the most controversial health interventions as they are often imposed as mandatory with minimal transparency as to the research and risks involved. There is widespread concern that some vaccines are tested in underdeveloped countries under the guise of humanitarian aid. There is also increasing data as to possible side effects including a range of serious health conditions. While some vaccines may serve important functions there are also investigations into ways they may be contributing to chronic diseases across the globe.
Society has been conditioned to believe in scientific proof as the ultimate stamp of validity. While science has brought knowledge to the world of medicine it has also been severely abused within the medical establishment itself. The scientific aura gives enormous power to those with money to buy rigged studies, and to prove and print whatever will sell.
In the same way that the military industry profits from war, the pharmaceutical industry profits from disease. This means it has no incentive to proactively cultivate health, and in some cases it is known to suppress information regarding the importance of healthy plant-based nutrition and the use of known plants as preventative medicine and cures.