Recently, Jacquie brought my attention to this article which is about how Robert David Steel, a former CIA spy agent, left the intelligence agency to speak up about the need to reinvent intelligence in the 21st century, that is, to make information completely open source so that the world’s resources may be more evenly distributed and better managed. Steele, who now heads Open Source Solutions Inc. and Public Intelligence blog, suggests that the world is on a brink of a massive shift in power, because the predatory and destructive form of capitalism in the current form is no longer sustainable. I began to cringe as soon as the article turned towards a discussion on the 1% (and my knee-jerk reaction is well aligned with the reasons why the movement has thus far proved ineffective). But as I read further Steele presented a legitimate argument for why we should pay more attention and act on the fact that we can quite possibly stop the impending doom that humanity (that’s right, just humanity – mother nature will go on and heal itself like it always has, with or without us) is facing at current modus operandi:
Believe it or not, 95% of what we need for ethical evidence-based decision support cannot be obtained through the secret methods of standard intelligence practices. But it can be obtained quite openly and cheaply from academics, civil society, commerce, governments, law enforcement organisations, the media, all militaries, and non-governmental organisations.
Yay! So we are not facing the end of humanity as we know it, but just the 1% who control businesses, politics, media, and to a large extent what we clothes we put on in the morning and what we’ll eat for breakfast. He further adds:
What revolution means in practical terms is that balance has been lost and the status quo ante is unsustainable. There are two ‘stops’ on greed to the nth degree: the first is the carrying capacity of Earth, and the second is human sensibility. We are now at a point where both stops are activating… (Yet) the public will endure great repression, especially when most media outlets and schools are actively aiding the repressive meme of ‘you are helpless, this is the order of things.’ When we have a scandal so powerful that it cannot be ignored by the average Briton or American, we will have a revolution that overturns the corrupt political systems in both countries, and perhaps puts many banks out of business. Vaclav Havel calls this ‘The Power of the Powerless.’ One spark, one massive fire.
Now, I have to stop here. Steele is going back to the argument that the so-called the end of predatory capitalism (which is all about privatization of wealth and externalization of costs), boils down to the fact that while most of us have an extremely high tolerance for terrible things in life, we won’t go on taking those beatings forever and sooner rather than later we will galvanize and stand up for ourselves. Another argument I would add to this is the fact that despite how much people argue that capitalism as a system is corrupt but way too complex for us to do anything about it is fed by the same kind of mindset that makes us tolerate repression. Of course the current form of end-state-capitalism is not conducive to social equity by any means, it is also a system that can’t go on forever. Even by the basic Newtonian law of the conservation of energy you can’t continue taking from capitalistic system and not give anything back. Wherever you shine a bright light you also cast an equal amount of shadow right behind it. So to some extent you create poverty simultaneously as you create wealth. Capitalism isn’t complex – it is rather tame (more so than it is wicked), linear (in how it is structured), and predictable (within its own boom & bust cycle).
Is massive change inevitable?