No shelter left but your self

in mindfullife •  14 days ago  (edited)

Hey there guys I was doing some research today and came across some interesting info about the scam of the century known as capitalist economic policy. For example in 1976 Milton Freidman who was born this week (31 July – d2006) in 1912 in NY, won the Nobel Prize for economics, with the philosophy that:

The only responsibility of business is to maximize profits, regardless of the social and environmental costs.

He was the personal adviser of Reagan and Thatcher. His legacy finds us in this boom and bust Keynesian speculative cycle that is unraveling at the moment.
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It has led to a concept called “predatory capitalism”, based on consuming the resources in an ever expanding way, and that includes the growth of ever-expanding debt. The economic system seems to be based on debt. This consumerist policy founded on debt, is a form of enslavement of a society or culture. There is less respect paid to the sanctity of life and more to the profit margin. Everything is consumed in its wake. Vast swathes of forest, entire lakes of water (a diminishing resource), ultimately entire countries are being scooped up and "commoditized" without much thought considered toward the citizens of the countries or the human resources involved.

Third world countries are taking most strain but even in Flint, Michigan USA, the corporations were allowed to endanger the lives of the people living there, in their own countries by polluting the drinking water coming out of the taps thanks to fracking. What to speak of the deforestation of other nations for profit. Earth’s natural resources have a couple of decades left at this rate. There are suggestions of a depleting of the forest and fresh water. One country at a time is being hit by the "commoditization" of vast lakes of water. My home town of Cape Town was one of the fist cities hit by such an extreme case where 4 million people in the entire city fell under water restriction emergency, but now it is happening in India too, the most populous country on earth. In my region of south Africa trucks have to drive around the suburbs delivering water during summer in the south.

Europe is burning up this summer as I write this, something unseen on record. Last month was the hottest July on record, on the planet. If you can believe the MSM. While simultaneously Siberian forests burn for miles. Those pictures are not fake. Here comes a flood for UK on the other side of the globe. All in all, it’s a sign of global instability on more levels than one. I feel we should all brace ourselves for potential impact and then a degree of "downscaling".

And that will be the secret to survival with this shift. If we can adapt and cultivate the skill of minimalism in a potential global recession. If the climate adds another stress factor, like in drought or flood, then even more resilience will be required. “Minimilism” is the new means of self-efficiency, prepping, homesteading or investing, when handling these shifts.

For example I have some friends who have had to move more than once in the past three months and each time they lighten the load to facilitate the move. Detachment is to be cultivated by the wise traveler on the journey of life. I personally had my rented home cottage along with all its contents burned to the ground in the biggest forest fire in 150 years on this South African coastline at the Cape two years ago. It has added to my capacity to be detached and travel lightly both in luggage and in mind.

Ten years as a monk, voluntarily undergoing training in renunciation, detachment and abstinence during my twenties, has allowed me to cultivate a self-sufficient and minimalist personality where now I live on $10 -$15 a day and have done so all my life, for over 50 years. The first time I started earning money or having a bank account was at the age of thirty, when I left the monastery as a penniless man, new to the world of career and economics. Before that everything was done as a service for the monastery itself. And before that I was at school as a child. Even when I became the head of the monastery and trained new students, managing the place like a business of 25 members, three cars, a huge building with all the bills, I owned none of it and received no salary. So I speak from experience.

Climate related disasters and the economic pressure we are feeling on the planet right now in our respective countries is an indication that we need to look at our lives philosophically and see that the system has been misappropriated by the blind leading the blind, down the halls of economic policy. We have been able to create mighty levers of power as democratic nation sovereign states, but those levers of power have been usurped by men and women who have been unable to end disease, suffering, or even preserve what they were given to begin with.

In fact they have used those levers to inflict suffering via economic policy that has led to poverty and climate disaster. Particularly on the weaker and less wealthy nations around the world. Colonialism and the invasion of the empire has been going on by whomever is the dominant culture of the day over the millennia. Now its the turn of America, before it was Europe, and tomorrow it may be China. Whoever it is, they all play the game to win it all for themselves, and they will engage in inhumane behaviour to get it. And their levers of power are not just military but also financial.

"Banks are far more dangerous than standing Armies." Thomas Jefferson.

Politically, it seems that society should not expect a solution to their problems to come from a government or humanitarian agency of some sort. Nor should they expect it from capitalism or karma yoga, working hard to make profit. Capitalism may be about to stagnate as economies slow down. One will have to learn how to find shelter from within. In other words, at the end of the day, it is not upon outer material facilities that we should depend, but more on our own capacity to sustain ourselves. Even on the journey toward enlightenment sometimes we take shelter of a certain perspective of reality, but it too can transform into being a mirage or lead to disappointment. All we have is ourselves. All other shelter will come and go.

Your government are corrupted or tyrannical, the economy is run by swindlers and money lenders, the humanitarian agencies like Nobel are giving economics prizes to villains like Friedman and peace prizes to war criminals like Obama. Even our spiritual guidance from religion has been hijacked whether western or eastern. The original doctrines are twisted and reinterpreted, texts changed so that we have no idea what the real message is or what the original guides were advising. Priests are corrupted, doctors are drug dealers of poisonous big Pharma, like the Sackler family, government and banking is obviously a lost cause. Trust no one. Keep your own private keys. You only have yourself. Look within. The truth lies within the heart of all human beings. Look to your self.

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Another well written article covering a very important topic of our own survival!
I take the same view point as you and have taken steps towards a more minimalist way of living knowing that it is better to prepare when it is good times so you are ready for the bad times!
It really has been a bit of an eye opener for me when I first started watching my spending habits and having all my adult life had a garden of some sort (plus living in the forest in a logging area) have been more attuned to nature and aware of the extreme weather conditions preparing to be able to maintain ourselves in our harsh climate (which I suspect will get even harsher.)
I've seen first hand the devastation of our forests for profit and it grieves my heart so!
Being more senior in years (my husband is a senior citizen and I'm right on the edge of what is considered a senior citizen), the turning inward and seeing our life purpose more as striving for Nibbanic peace has allowed us to let go of things more easily, knowing that we have to let go of it all at some point and personally, we are closer to that end point than the beginning point. We take refuse in the Dhamma teaching and meditation techniques given to us but we are not blind to the going on of the world and how it will affect every section of society for we are householders and live the householders life.
Those 10 years of your life as a monk has really served you well and will continue to serve you well in the coming hard times! I was sorry to hear you lost your house and all your belongings but am happy to see you saw it as a lesson in letting go!
Thanks for sharing your insights!

Thanks for your positive feedback @porters, as we age and see the bigger picture of life on earth via the perspective of time, it does look concerning. Fortunately the teachings of the Buddha and Krishna are still available in print and online, so that we can get some insight and wisdom. We need it now as we see the deterioration of the planet and the consciousness of society as a whole. It may be a different world that we reincarnate into next time, if obliged to. Let's avoid coming back or at least absorb as much wisdom as we can now so that we are steeped in it even unconsciously for the journey onward.

My feeling exactly - absorb as much wisdom as we can and incorporate it into our lives!

But won't it eat itself until there is nothing left?

Yes like the Ouroboros serpent eating its own tail.

The political (and corporate and actual meteorological) climate here in the USA right now just makes me sick to my stomach. As much as I would love to have hope that we can eventually come to our senses and elect some decent human beings to be put into office to help make positive changes, I now have the tendency to believe that you are 100 percent dead on in that we have to make our own changes as individuals. Little by little I keep trying to change my habits and even more so my mindset to at least do my tiny part to turn the tide.

Well done for that, we need to be the change we want to see, as Gandhi said. We can set the example, think globally and act locally.

We ourselves are responsible for the government being instated, be objective and don’t instate morons, but unfortunately we do ..... and sometimes it’s a lost cause

It could be that the electoral system has been hijacked and something else is going on behind the scenes to put such unsatisfactory decision makers in power.


sending love Julian, glad to know a bit more about the kind of human being you are.

You are very kind Jose, many thanks.

To be fair, Friedman's statement about profit was meant to apply to companies trying to maximize long-term profit. He specifically cautions against an emphasis on short-term profit. He also said that all businesses say they want a free market, when they really want a monopoly. Of course, the only way to prevent predatory capitalism is by legislation, but Friedman helped dismantle a lot of that and businesses and the wealthy have continued to dismantle it even more since his death. It is worth listening to his discussions with Russ Roberts on the Econ Talk podcasts. He was one of the first guests on the series.

The Flint Michigan water crisis was/is due to the city and state government, not businesses. THe city wanted to build a new water pipe from Lake Huron, but to do so they switched the water for flint to the Flint River. However, the city didn't treat the water (against federal law) to prevent the lead pipes from corroding. What followed was a huge cover up and game of pointing fingers. However, in the end this too probably has a lot to do with predatory capitalism, because states and cities now have little money due to all the big tax cuts to big business. Where I live, in Houston Tx, the city and schools are in bad financial shape, even though Houston is one of the largest cities in the country with a booming economy.

Thanks for the follow up with much appreciated details. I may have a tendency to generalize based on limited data in my usual dramatized rhetorical fashion, so your objective insight helps.

Within us lies the greatest power ever imaginable. Thank you and have a great day!

Very insightful, much appreciated. Keep weaving the spells.

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