“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” Jeremiah 17:3
There are many on the left who would deny that such a thing as ethics exists and that we need concern ourselves with noting else but the struggle for who controls surplus value that is created by the producers of the world in a strict materialist sense alone. They relegate the struggle between good and evil to the realm of myth, superstition and lies. To a great extent, we can understand what has caused this response because of the corruption found in all religion that oppresses with myth, lies, superstition and torture. Even Marx commented that religion is used as the opiate of the masses to keep them docile under the exploiting whip. But evil, defined as harm to another exists, as good where we share the world. Who would have ever thought that evil could be quantified, but there is a way to take a measure of society, its violence, lies and corruption. It can be done from the stats that are provided by the very society in question. Let's look at a few facts to get us started.
$680 billion has been spent so far in Iraq (to the fall of 2009).
$3 Billion was raised to feed hungry children in the domestic sphere (to the fall of 2009).
The $680 billion was taken from tax revenues.
The $3 billion was raised from free will donations.
Law provides that the fundraisers need only provide 10 percent of the donations to the cause; holding back 90 percent for administrative costs and advertising.
Consider that as of fall 2009, $700 billion was given out to bail out banks, insurers and big business. Even in a economic collapse, many profited hugely.
Unemployed people got about a year of benefits, some of which are now running out and there is no more support from “end welfare as we know it”.
Food bank use and food stamps applications have increased by about 27 to 38 percent over the same time of 2008 depending on the region surveyed.
If we take the figures for the Iraq war that has killed some 1.5 million innocent women and children and compare it with the program for feeding hungry children in school at home, we get an astonishing 99.6 percent to .4 percent differential for harm versus help. If we factor in the 90 percent that the charities are allowed to keep, we get a differential of 99.96 percent to a mere .04 percent harm versus help difference. This one fact is shameful in the extreme in the indictment of capitalism's crime against humanity; but it does not end there. Indeed, there is a lot more since there is also incalculable harm to the environment that is an innocent victim of human activity.
War is hard on the environment. Not only is the extraction of resources as cheaply as possible harmful, but the effects of war technology is also harmful. Whether we look at chemicals like agent orange or spent uranium in doped bombs or shaped uranium charges, we see extreme long lasting harm done in places like Vietnam and Iraq. This is just to the environment and does not even consider the harm done to the survivors on both sides of the battle. Uranium comes in the form of an element and isotopes. The stable Uranium atom is generally written as U-235, and its principle unstable isotope is U-238. It is the stable form, U-235 that is the bulk of material left over from processing large quantities of raw ore to get the bomb grade U-238. U-235 has little practical use in nuclear technology, but is highly toxic and can be provoked to explode in a non-nuclear manner by firing and impacting it on a target like a tank. The resulting micro spheres are then dissipated into the atmosphere and wafted away with the wind to contaminate the ground or to be breathed by combatants and non-combatants alike. U-235 poisoning is responsible for Iraq Veterans disease originating in operation Desert Storm for American and Iraqi combatants, monstrous birth defects and high incidence of childhood cancer in Iraq thereafter. It is hard to draw up figures for the harm done here as more victims constantly emerge after lacing most of the Iraqi desert with “spent uranium” doped bombs. The contamination will remain in place, to be blown about by wind until the Earth itself reaches the end of its days billions of years hence.
Bank, insurance broker, stock market and big business bailouts total over $700 billion to date and promise to reach $11 trillion in the next decade by some estimates. At the same time, layoffs and firings reached to about 16 million in the US by the end of the third quarter. Not all of these job losses effect single people that reflect a minority. In fact, based on an average family size of four members where there is one bread winner, this effects an estimated 64 million people. Many who started to lose jobs in Oct 2008 are now reaching the end of benefits by Oct. 2009 and are finding their way to homelessness at the same time the bailed out companies are reaping profits; in some cases, new records. In the era of “end welfare as we know it” post Clinton America, there promises to be incalculable suffering by the fall of 2010. Where are the bailouts for the terminated workers who in many cases lost pensions and severance packages due to the bankruptcy of man companies that were later bailed out. There was no bail out for former employees. Now they face a tougher job market that is still shrinking a year after the Wall St. Collapse. If we take a figure of $10,000 base figure of employee income and multiply it by the number of unemployed, we get a figure of $16 trillion in lost income and this amount is thus removed from the economy triggering even more bankruptcy and firings. Many of the fired workers made more than that, so the real figure of losses to the economy is likely much higher. For a bailout amounting to $700 billion by Sept. 2009, a base loss or employee economic power of $16 trillion was lost by the same time. The difference here in loss to workers is some 22.9 times the amount big business gained. Though this figure is lower in difference than the war and feeding hungry children figure, it is still noteworthy in quantifying evil as a handful of people profit hugely while huge numbers including children suffer complete want. It does not end here. Where does the money come from in order to bail out in the trillions of dollars?
Since the early 1980's Reagan days of deregulation of the economy and the reduction of taxes from the wealthy for “smaller government” the emergence of deficit spending turned a leading creditor nation to a leading debtor nation almost overnight. In order to make up the shortfall, the government relied on the Federal Reserve, a private mega-bank to bankroll then by printing up more bills on demand; creating more money not based on real value, but out of thin air, a.k.a. fictitious value. This translates into a reduction of value in each and every bill and inflation directed to the people who;s money is now worth a lot less. It is estimated that the massive bailouts will result in inflation of 200 to 300 percent in the short term and a threat of hyper inflation or stagflation in the long tern, resulting in mass starvation across the whole of the de-industrialized world. Enter the post sub-prime world of Barrack Obama and we see this same scenario being ramped up. By locking at gold prices, we can get a fix on the rate of real inflation. Gold was selling in the $400's per ounce in Oct. 2008 and in Oct. 2009, had gone over $1,100 per ounce US; almost a 300 percent increase. Gold once backed the US currency at a standard $35 an ounce in 1971 until deregulated by Nixon in 1971. Between 1971 and 2009, the value of gold increased by 31.4 times. That means that the current dollar as measured by gold is worth a little more than 3.5 cents of the 1971 dollar. This is a lot of devaluation over a single generation. This represents a furtive mass theft over the entire period of deregulation and has created suffering over the entire period. This furtive mass theft was actually blamed on the workers' increase of wages in a bid to keep up to state and bank manipulation of the economy. Most people believed the lie and continue to support lying politicians.
Jobs were not actually lost, nor was real wealth. Jobs were transferred en-masse to China and India where wages are much lower and there are no safety, health or environmental standards to consider. Wealth was transferred from the people to a handful of wealthy “world citizens”. As the American and European economies shrink, China and India's are mushrooming at double digit rates. The current depression is highly localized in the post industrialized world of the Americas and Europe. In India and China there is a boom and profits are soaring. This is in the context of a world at war, typically a time of huge profit making.
The loss of environmental controls meant that China became one of the top two polluters in the world virtually overnight. A new phenomena emerged in an economy powered primarily by coal; i.e., brown clouds and global dimming. Planet wide, global dimming is set between 2 to 4 percent. Locally in China and India, dimming is set as high as 24 percent. Global dimming has three consequences. It masks the true extent of global warming. It cripples agricultural production. Dust, soot and nitrous oxide embedded in glaciers and polar ice caps accelerates meltdown. Global warming is estimated at about 2 degrees Celsius from greenhouse gas input, which causes massive shifting of climate zones. Global dimming has caused a drop in world wide agricultural production by 40 percent from 2007 to 2008. There has been further fall off from 2008 t0 2009 but no hard figures are available. But the fall off of 2008-2009 was matched by job losses and the “loss of a market” for food resulting in a “crisis of overproduction” dropping prices and resulting in the destruction of actual food supplies resulting in more starvation than what would normally occur in a strong market. In Belgium, the fall off in milk prices caused farmers to dump several million gallons of milk that could have fed several million children. Spain had a bumper crop of olives that were by and large left to rot on the vine for the same reasons. These figures must be factored into the overall reduction of crops due to climatological disasters such as dimming, premature freezing, drought and flood.
We who are aware of the need for a planned economy and economic democracy are also aware for the need of a spiritual approach as opposed to a merely materialist only centred view. Unfortunately vulgar materialism, whether capitalist derived or Marxist conceived all too often leads to greed and an abandonment of need. Without acknowledging our equal right to the necessities of life and the concept of the abolition of private property such as an individual's claim to the means of production, or to land, or to what others produce by the force and threat of violence, we are nothing more than ignoramuses parading as high civilization. A fully shared and planned economy that practices full economic democracy is by essence a spiritual practice and does in action that many spout only as platitudes under the auspices of capitalist methods. Leftists who think that they can force people into a different mode without considering the spiritual side of the question, fall into a trap that ends in harmful consequences. That trap is vulgar materialism without regard to questions such as love, free expression, delving into the deep questions of life and seeking answers to the end of humanities other miseries. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”.
Now some will argue vehemently to the point of murder that God is irrelevant or does not exist. But when we look at “God” as nature, we must respect the will of nature in the end, because that is the foundation of our material existence. If we destroy nature, we destroy our material existence. Research into “God: reveals that God is nature based on the great forces of nature like the seasons, tides, storms and so on. Being more than vulgar materialists seeking absolute gain at the expense of everything else is mandatory for survival in the long term. Being a vulgar materialist is not the way of spiritual communism. To achieve spiritual communism is not by coercion, but of willingness of all to work together to achieve it among all creatures in nature. Materialism alone to the negation of all else is the same trap that the capitalists are now engaged in that leads us all to a common destruction under the influence of a desperately wicked economy that profits by war, slavery, disease, paranoia and misery. We have to be greater and better than this! We must avoid the path that leads to misery and evil. The spiritual person is one who can stop preventable suffering. They can intervene even in the situations of unpreventable misery such as a natural disaster like an earthquake, hurricane or flood. It will take the collective action of humanity to achieve this, but we all need to be a better kind of human being avoiding lies, greed, corruption and violence.