Climate Change, Pollution, Racism, and the Debt-Based Economic System: Millennials Need to Fix My Generation’s Mess – Jim Duffy


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

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

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’d give it a try. After all, in today’s world, we’re told we can be anything 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 function and operate with their own currency – 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 can I know? Well, my old man wasn’t the best at handling money in his business and Mr. Latter, I heard, guided and directed him a few times. But, in the 1970s, the banks were local and really coming together after two great wars. Alas and unfortunately, the Mr Latters of their time are gone. And we should all be worried.

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

Trust me when I say that the entire financial system is pegged to the US dollar. And right now, dollars are being printed like there’s no tomorrow. Let me show you the proof. 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 at any time in history and major banks are downsizing globally as they struggle to make a decent profit.

I’m no John Maynard Keynes or Max Weber, but the view from this window looks very unnerving.

Then, from my window, it’s the human condition. Specifically, how we have unlearned to listen. And here I plead guilty. Social media, mass communications, big tech, and powerful individuals (watch out, I’ve read about Trotsky and Cabet) can shape our opinions and outlook on life. I often hear people say ‘oh he’s a Guardian reader’ or ‘he gets his news from the Daily Mail’. I watch celebrities and famous people romp on social media, but I can’t come up with a strong argument. It’s really worrying. And it happens every day.

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

And each week, each month and each year becomes even more colorful and dishonest. This is where I think we could do better if we listened more carefully and more widely to a wider media church. It’s as fast as we can react, type and get a response or a view there. And the worst part is that friends, family and colleagues can see everything. And that leads them to take sides.

You can see a lot going on outside my window. But, I close my ears to white noise and stay focused.

So where does 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’s called… youth. They’re called millennials, Generations Y and Z. But these young people have the energy and wisdom to change the world into a better version of the one we created, empowered, and empowered.

Oh yes, it already feels much brighter. They will not tolerate the global pollution of the seas by micro-plastics. They won’t let the airlines pollute the skies with the soot of 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 or classify a person because of the name they have. They will not allow oil to pump the world dry so that American or Russian corporations can produce oligarchs. No, they will look at the world from their own windows and see a very different view.

And now I feel a little better after going through my philosophy week. From the Bloody Sunday inquiries to the Grenfell inquiries to the Black Lives Matter inquiries, this generation has not learned enough or taken the time to reflect on what is right. Unfortunately, it’s always backwards. But, the next batch has the chance to do a better job.

Incidentally, in the hour it took me to write this article, the US national debt jumped by $300 million. They need to act fast…

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