Climate Change, Pollution, Racism and an Economic System Built on Debt: Millennials Must Fix My Generation’s Mess – Jim Duffy


Protesters demand urgent action on climate change, one of the many pressing issues facing the world, at a rally ahead of the start of the coronavirus outbreak (Photo: Chris Etchells)

Paul Weller and the Jam performed a song called Life from a Window. Not a bad little air. It’s one of those songs about slowing down and looking at things. Take the time to consider our own lives, those of our families, what is happening in the world and where we are located. I found myself having a week of “thinking”.

I started flipping through a whole bunch of stuff and the philosophers popped up. You know the ones I mean, Plato, Descartes, Foucault and Aristotle but also George Orwell, who wrote some very interesting stuff. So after taking a look at what they all had to say, I thought I was going to give it a try. After all, in today’s world we are told we can be whatever we want, right? So here’s my life from a window.

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Looking at fiat economies – and by that I mean countries that operate and operate with their own currencies – I see a hopeless case of blind faith. When I was young I remember the manager of the local bank in Kilbirnie where I grew up. Mr. Latter was a gem. How do I know this? Well my old man wasn’t the best at handling money in his business and Mr. Latter, I heard him, guided and led him a few times. But, in the 1970s, the banks were local and were really starting to recover after two great wars. Alas and sadly, the Mr. Latters of their time are gone. And we should all be worried.

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The local versus the global in finance actually kills the banking sector. And it’s an industry. Gold is no longer the asset used by banks to trade. No, it’s the debt. Mr. Latter has been replaced, first by call centers and very soon by artificial intelligence robots that cost nothing. Soon banks will be very robotic in the way they interact with us and the fiat currencies they trade worthless. Now, because I say he doesn’t really have real gravity. But if Plato had said so, we would all be listening to this sage. And this is the problem, there is too much white noise and opinion these days. And white noise blurs our thinking and perspective.

Believe me when I say the whole financial system is pegged to the US dollar. And right now the dollars are printed as if there is no tomorrow. Let me prove it to you. In 1970, the US national debt was $ 343 billion. Today it stands at $ 26.1 trillion. Unemployment in the United States is rising faster than ever in history and the big banks are downsizing around the world as they struggle to earn decent profits.

I’m not John Maynard Keynes or Max Weber, but the view from that window looks very disconcerting.

Next to my window is the human condition. Specifically, how we have unlearned how to listen. And there, I plead guilty. Social media, mass communications, big tech, and powerful individuals (beware, I’ve read articles on Trotsky and Cabet) can shape our opinions and outlook on life. I often hear people say “oh, she’s a Guardian reader” or “he has news from the Daily Mail”. I watch celebrities and famous people express themselves on social media, but I don’t explain any powerful arguments. It is really worrying. And it happens every day.

Who can “scream” the loudest, all the while throwing wild arguments without merit or substance, then launch an army of Facebook and Twitter warriors, who now thrive on discontent and vitriol.

And every week, every month and every year becomes more and more colorful and dishonest. This is where I think we could do better if we listened more carefully and more widely to a larger church of media. It’s as fast as we can react, type and get a response or see there. And the worst part is that friends, family and coworkers can see it all. And that pushes them to take sides.

You can see there is a lot going on in front of my window. But, I close my ears to white noise and stay focused.

So where does the hope come from? Where is the light to shine in my window and help me make sense of what could be? The good news is that there is light and as always it is called … youth. They are called millennials, generations Y and Z. But these young people have the energy and the wisdom to change the world into a better version of the one we created, authorized and authorized.

Oh yes, it’s already a lot brighter. They will not stand the global pollution of the seas by microplastics. They won’t let airlines pollute the skies with soot from thousands of jet engines every day. They will not allow billionaires to erect statues because they have given money to governments or universities. They will not discriminate against or classify a person because of the name they bear. They will not allow the big oil companies to pump the world dry so that American or Russian companies can produce oligarchs. No, they will look at the world from their own windows and see a very different perspective.

And now I feel a little better after going through my philosophy week. From Bloody Sunday Investigations to Grenfell Investigations to Black Lives Matter Investigations, this generation hasn’t learned enough or taken the time to think about what’s right. Unfortunately, it’s still hindsight. But, the next batch has the chance to do a better job.

By the way, in the hour it took me to write this article, America’s national debt jumped by $ 300 million. They must act quickly …

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