On Alternet this morning there is an excerpt from the book The Economics of Revolution by David Degraw. This is part 3 of the book. Links to Part 1 and 2 can be found there. This will be my bed time reading this evening. There are plenty of disturbing stats in the excerpt to highlight the fact that the growth economy is not working for most of us, such as:
Degraw claims the current economy only works for 30% of the population, which should be evident to anyone not hiding under an Xbox. I took a quick scan of part 1 of the book and found plenty of other statistics that make me want to run for my torch and pitchfork. For example, Degraw cites that 33,389,063 children in the US live in households without basic necessities and that it takes only 0.3% of the 1 percent’s wealth to lift those children out of poverty. It seems like we should be getting to a point at which everyone is not-going-to-f’ing-take-it-anymore pissed.
But last week, Alex Smith, on his weekly program Radio Ecoshock interviewed author Frank Rotering. Rotering does not see a bottom-up revolution in the US happening anytime soon and has another proposal for inciting economic collapse. Check it out here.
As I learned from a previous Radio Ecoshock program, there is a lot of evidence to indicate that we will not be able to keep the global temperate from exceeding 2 degrees C without a complete global economic collapse.
Hence, there are problems with claiming that we can pull people out of poverty if we only redistribute the wealth: That wealth is generated from an economic system that must collapse in order to avoid global ecological catastrophe. It is likely that the deterioration of the biosphere will inevitably cause the collapse of the global economy anyway. Economic collapse may also be a necessary part of any revolution. Regardless of how or why the industrial economy collapses, and it must one way or another, once it does, there won’t be much wealth to lift anyone out of poverty.
I’ll have to read The Economics of Revolution to see what DeGraw thinks about that.