united for freedom 

Protect The Planet
May 2015

The world teaches us we are animals. Some say this is an insult to animals. But whatever you choose to believe you have a choice as to what you will believe and this choice will impact the economy and how you react to everything else. Animals are confined to what they are as a species and though there are a lot of individual variation there is little they can do to counter the influence of their genetic inheritance.

It is not just genetics that limit animal behaviour. Animals are structurally limited. Their physical adaption's are also physical limitations. They do not have the means of manipulating their environment humans have. They can live right by living as the must but they cannot life wrong in the sense of following a path that violates their nature.

Animals store up food and guard their territory to ensure the source of their food supply is not over stressed. But they do not have the ability to systematically destroy their enviroment for personal gain.

In human organizations the buck is said to stop with the person in charge, on this planet so far as ecological damage is concerned, this is us. We cannot blame animals for global warming or a lack of jobs. It is not the fault of other species if humans starve. If the world is not as it should be it is humans that bear the responsibility. It is us who exercise government. It is us who have the power and the choice to change things.

There is considerable evidence for what happens when unfettered competition is the modus operandi. Competition produces one winner and a lot of losers. Sometimes events do not give us an alternative and we have to fight and compete ruthlessly. But that ought to prove the point that competition is the path of last resort, to be used when every other effort has been tried and failed.

Easter Island is an isolated South Pacific outpost. It is home to an astonishing series of giant heads staring out to sea. It is surmised that a culture based on trade fell apart when trade could no longer be sustained by the distant trading partners. Without the means to evacuate the island the natives could only compete for the means to sustain life and do this to the death. Competition is easy to initiate but difficult to end.

Competition wastes resources. The effort is directed towards keeping costs down not in reducing use to rational levels. If a resource can be reaped without cost it is exploited fully and the savings passed on to the consumer. He or she may think they are saving money because the product has become cheaper but they do not understand the cost still exist and will come through the back door some time in the future.

The cod fisheries is a case in point. At one time it was difficult to get a ship through the shoals of cod now the fisheries are in a state of collapse and may never recover. We are still paying for the bounty that was exploited.

The environmental movement has failed to truly address the issue of environmental destruction because to a large extent it has adopted the tactics that created the pollution and waste. The price of protecting the planet is seen as a premium few wish to pay. The Third World argues it is not fair they ought to be concerned about environmental clean up when they struggle to feed and house their populations. Until we learn to create prosperity in a deflating economy environmentalism will remain a luxury item few will pay for.

To combat inflation or rising costs requires a different way of thinking.

If a gas company will lose business by bringing in policies that protect the environment and impose the true costs of gas onto the consumer it will not do so if it did consumers would go with a cheaper supplier.

The same situation exists when a local furniture manufacturer tries to compete with cheaper versions from overseas. If he includes all the costs of the business in the price of the final product he will lose business, so he cuts corners and discontinues a lot of improvements and maintenance. At some point the infrastructure breaks down to the point where repairs need to be made or the plant shut down, since the business is only making money by neglecting upgrades the cost of bringing the plant up to modern standards has become prohibitive and so the business shuts down and the employees lose their livelihood.

The business did not see it in their best interest to pass the true cost of manufacture onto the consumer and the consumer did not think to continue to support a better quality but more expensive product to keep their neighbours working so eventually the neighbour loses their job and the community deteriorates. The closure passes costs along to the consumer and tax payer and employee that they did not wish to pay before but now these costs are no longer avoidable. So the question remains how do we reduce costs and save the planet willingly?

The answer is a better (more scientific and moral) way of thinking.

Businesses rationalize the externalization of costs by classifying certain costs as illigetimate or unfair. If one business is subject to costs another business does not have to pay then the first business will see these extraordinary costs as costs that ought not to have been levied. Businesses do not approve of most government interference because it seems to them that governments only increase costs for business and this make it more difficult for businesses to compete and make sales.

What this means from an environmentalists standpoint is that those businesses that would raise prices to reflect the damage done the environment by the process of manufacture are put at a disadvantage. Higher prices for their products make it harder to stay in business. Businesses become less competitive as they become more sensitive to the impact their business has on the environment.

Other businesses argue that these environmental costs are social costs are not true business costs because they are not integral to the product and ought to be paid for by government or some other agency. In short according to some business thinkers any cost that a business can avoid is not a true cost of doing business.

The inescapable fact is that costs created are costs that must be paid and at minimum the generation making them ought to be the generation paying them. Surely we agree no costs ought to be passed onto the unborn simply because they are not able to register their displeasure come election time.

When a business starts up the risk is borne by the business owners. When it fails the cost is often passed onto the community. But because it is the owners that carry the risk up until it goes bankrupt it is the business owners who make the choice to keep the company going or declare bankruptcy.

The consumer does not share either the risk or the benefits of the company and so are engaged in the companies future only to the degree they have a need for the companies products. Yet, the interests and risks of all stakeholders, whether these be the owners, the community, the employees or the consumer are all intertwined. In a competitive free market the consumer is taught that his or her best interests is reflected in getting the lowest price possible. An employee thinks it is in her or his best interest to get as much out of the company as they are able. The local council tries to get as much taxes from the company as it justified by the property tax and other revenue generating legislation. And of course the owners see every charge made against the company as a threat to the companies continued existence.

No one is trying to destroy the environment but no one wants to foot the bill to save it - the preference seems to be to identify areas that need improvement and shift the cost onto someone else. Exchanges bring all stakeholders to the table and makes all costs visible. A dollar entitles the holder to a dollars worth of assets. A dollar is able to purchase a dollars worth of diesel or a dollars worth of heroin or anythign else for sale.

Capital is assets minus liabilities. Normally it is assumed that a business will have assets and liabilities and once the liabilities are paid for the remainder is owners equity or Capital. A company that is liquidated in order to access the capital it represents may in fact represent far more liabilities than assets. If the soil the company was built on has been polluted or a class action suit brought against it no one will want to own the business.

Money represents the only true asset and property represents some degree of a liability in this system of things. To put money into fixed capital is to acquire liabilities. There are always risks associated with owning property in this system. Exchanges turn liabilities into equity and this eliminates risk. Because risk is non-existent in an Exchange there is no benefit to downloading costs onto the environment and future generations. Thus Exchanges are the only rational way to ensure the environment is protected.

To learn more about the way Exchanges finance Anarchist programs.

For a more developed discussion on this topic read Human Rights - Legal Rights: The Anarchist Reformation a discussion on how to eliminate competition and debt and other social costs while increasing liberty for all persons. Download from Amazon.com in a Kindle edition.





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