Guest Post - Julian Rose
The great rush to find a safe haven financial investment has led many supposedly savvy citizens to put their money into gold. This has caused the value of the precious metal to soar, reaching over $1,800 per ounce, giving investors a sense of security that their money is safe and likely to hold its value.
However, in a world undergoing seismic social, economic, and environmental convulsions that are growing by the day, gold may not prove to be the solution to our future security that many are hoping for.
If one stands back from the spinning vortex of speculative financial roulette that preoccupies the world's media and many of her better-off citizens, one will observe that unfortunately gold is inedible (some will say 'fortunately') and is less easy to turn into plough shears than other base metals. A fact that has not gone unnoticed by globally oriented financial investors. These speculators have recently started pouring money into agricultural land holdings as a hedge against higher food prices, set against a guaranteed demand for world staples like wheat, rice, maize and sorghum. Unfortunately the objective of such investment policies are not benign, but rather are symptomatic of the same convulsive profit driven motives that have catalysed the wild economic swings of the past decade.
So, where to turn when turmoil is encompassed by inflated egos, unashamed greed and rabid exploitation?
The answer to this starts by firstly recommending careful consideration of the circumstances that have brought us to this point. Then, a plan of action which offers a longer term commitment to a saner and perhaps 'simpler' model of everyday living – one which shifts decisively away from the present day crony capitalist and consumerist ethos that has brought our planet to the brink of asset stripped ecocide and unchecked human inequality.
In seeking to raise our awareness of the background to this unprecedented upheaval, it soon becomes apparent that there is some other force operating behind the front line villains picked out as being responsible for the rising and falling fortunes of the global economy. Those 'in the news' are often simply puppets of this unseen regime which appears to be intent upon a far-reaching domination of global events for its own ends. The regime appears to be composed of a rather small group of very wealthy individuals and corporations that have established a controlling influence over both national governments and the international financial institutions that form the lynch pin of the global economy. It is a mostly shadowy cartel whose field of influence includes such institutions as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation. Its leaders are also strategically placed to control events within the European Union, the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) and the Pacific Rim economic zone.
Banking empires, weapons cartels, pharmaceutical giants, oil magnates and food and seed monopolies are well represented within this club, which exercises decisive control over all our lives without us ever really noticing it. At their behest, moral codes and human values are flaunted and dispensed with with reckless abandon, and brutal wars are started in foreign countries with almost complete impunity.
One soon becomes aware that the fascist regime of the last Great War did not end with the Nuremburg trials, but re-established a formidable foothold within Western and North American society – performing this stealthy manoeuvre right under our half-closed sleep-filled eyes.
The fact that this state of play is successfully disguised as 'democracy', is proof of their cleverness and our stupidity.
Recognising this state of affairs for the first time can be a shock, especially if one has pinned their faith in the status quo to see us through these “troubled times”. However, reality it is, and once we have absorbed the truth there can be no turning back. Which brings us once again to the question: Where does one turn when all around is turmoil?
The answer is – firstly we have to turn to ourselves; to recognise that we are complicit in allowing such a dark agenda to have become adopted right in our midst. After all, we live in what citizens of Europe and North America like to refer to as a “modern democracy”. Yet it is we, ourselves, who have repeatedly put our faith in autocratic charlatans who freely exercise the levers of despotic power. It is we who have handed responsibility to run our affairs to those who are masters of spin, deception and propaganda. It is we who have filled the role that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain filled on the cusp of World War II when he held up a scrap of paper and declared it to contain Hitler's promise that Nazi Germany would never invade the United Kingdom. We too, like Chamberlain, have appeased ourselves in submitting our destinies to the diktats of the corporate vandals and the smiling politicians in their pay.
We have freely allowed ourselves to be duped into a state of virtual paralysis by a corporate-backed media whose agenda has nothing to do with “raising awareness” but a great deal to do with keeping us busy with the trappings of superficial consumerism and mindless entertainment. The vast propaganda machine that pumps out the relentless message that we should strive ceaselessly to acquire the means to purchase our pleasures from the glittering shelves of the global market place.
However, these shelves are now beginning to lose their luster, and we are beginning to lose the scales from our eyes. We can begin to see that we confused this 'virtual reality' with actual reality. The world turns out not to be a hypermarket after all, but a sentient being in an advanced stage of severe fever; poisoned, polluted and exploited almost beyond recognition - by us – the trolley pushing, brand seeking puppets of the global corporate elite. That small cartel marching on its robotic way to the grand take over of every last bankable asset on planet earth, as well as all those who, consciously or unconsciously, submit to becoming pawns in its sinister master plan.
But now its time to take back our power and to take firm control of our destinies. We can still make this choice – its not too late. Nobody with the means of survival needs to be a slave – and nobody with some land needs to go without food. We are fast becoming aware that 'money in the bank' is no guarantee of our future security. As dying state and private financial institutions increasingly empower themselves to reach ever deeper into our pockets, we struggle to grasp the fact that much of what they steal goes straight into the pay cheque of the brightest scavengers and the bonuses of already bloated bosses. We barely seem to notice when our revenue payments are utilised to further crank up the deadly imperialist war machine so it can bludgeon its way through yet more oil and mineral rich countries in order to fulfill insatiable material addictions and barely disguised neo-colonial ambitions.
However, behind all events is a law of karma which states “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” And just as the despotic forces of imperialism appear to be wresting decisive control over mankind, strong voices of reason and truth are rising to challenge its dominion. Among the genocidal acts of nefarious despots, we are witnessing the dawning of fresh visions of another way mankind can look after itself and this sentient planet upon which we all reside.
In fact we have arrived at something of a watershed; one where it will no longer be possible to sit on the fence and not commit to a resolution of this age old conflict, one way or another.
Thus, those now fretting about how and where to securely invest their financial savings, just might find that cosmic Lila has brought them to an auspicious karmic fork in the road of life. Pointing to the left – a signpost saying “Financial Security” and to the right a sign saying “Voluntary Simplicity.”
Those whose priority is to preserve their wealth will take the left fork and they will put their money into gold. Those who seek to deepen their awareness and move beyond material dependency will choose the right fork. Those who turn left may find themselves still in familiar territory with no lack of advisers on how to put up barriers against uncertainty and change. However this will merely ensure an extended contract with the dark ways of the old regime. For those who turn right will be a challenge of a very different nature: how to shift away from old material dependencies and towards a simpler and more harmonious relationship with the non material values of existence; the universal energies that are held back by materialistic indulgence. Those who take this path may wish to consider investing whatever funds they possess (individually or collectively) in some fertile land capable of producing good quality, ecological food, fuel and fibre for their daily needs. Thus taking control of their destinies and ultimately achieving independence from the clawing centralised control system which feeds upon the compliant serfdom of its participants.
The more we can free ourselves from this unholy contract, the less power it will have over us and our World, and the more realised we will become in the fulfilment of our deeper needs and creative aspirations. Once the collapsing institutions of the status quo have dragged all that has value into the cauldron of its hastening demise – where we find our next meal, how we generate our energy and where we acquire pure water – will become of paramount importance. The skills of the land will be at a premium, whereas the skills of money making will become a useless impediment.
We can start right now. We can take our money out of the mainstream banks which fund the oppressive institutions of this planet, and put it instead into ethical investment institutions, local ecological food and farming ventures, local human scale renewable energy initiatives and/or the thousands of localised land-based and artisan ventures now springing up all over the planet. We can, right now, begin to end years of energy sapping compromise and finally put our money where our hearts are. Because when the corporate gods are toppled and the lights go out, we will need to be prepared.
This preparation process can catalyse a new and positive interaction at the community level. One where we start purchasing the basic necessities of life from those who are already operating humane, responsible and environmentally benign enterprises; and not those who are exploiting the last seams of planetary wealth for their personal profit and power.
So to those who think they will find their salvation in precious metals, I would countenance them to think again. One cannot eat gold.
Julian is a British pioneer organic farmer, writer and activist. He is currently President of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside which is leading the fight against GMO in Poland. He is author of “Changing Course for Life – Local Solutions to Global Problems”