I'm watching a fascinating DVD called Surving Progress. Some points covered...
# The Egyptians and other kings would normally cancel debts. This stopped the culture and economy from stagnating. The Romans were the first not to. So wealth continued to accumulate in a a wealthy elite who as individuals were more greedy than a more pragmatic state or king would. This weakened the empire by going to war to reclaim debt from conquered people because in the process the war destroyed the conquered's infrastructure and access to their own resources. So this oligarchy ended up killing the golden goose.
Excuse the generalisations of time frames here but they seem too similar. : 500 yrs of Roman Empire. 500yrs of dark ages 500yrs of civilization once more. But there is still none of the old tradition as the ancient kings to periodically cancel debt. 500yrs later we are once more in the positions of the Romans and in grip of a tight fisted oligarchy screwing up economy. Also resources as climate change demands cancelling of debt in terms of just letting go of their stock in to-be-used fossil fuels in the ground etc... It seems to imply another dark age. Personally I think it will be the devestation caused by flooding and drought and hurracains from irreversible global warming 50yrs or less from now. It will be our dark age. This oligarchy who as individuals are not regulated by the state or the king have not seriously begun to avoid cooking their own goose.
# This film posits our brains are still hard-wired to the 50 000 years spent as hunter gatherers. Of that only 5 000 years in a civilised state. Which makes the last 200 yrs of industrial and technological innovation look like sheer overdrive if our brains are incapable of becoming as modern to keep up.
Look at primitive war mongering in the world or our primitive superstious religious minds. Just these two examples seem to be beyond our modern day rationality or capability hard-wired as homo-sapiens are to a brain still stuck in its 50 000 year conditioning. Oh and they thought nature would always provide too
There is too much other information in this DVD to lay out here so check it out. Its also on netflix.
I think we also have to teach people to stop living above their means. Canceling debt won't help unless people learn to stop needing debt to live.
Like energy consumption its not the lay person who causes the problem but the huge scale that corporations work upon plus their negative effect on foreign governments. They have the larger footprint.
Isn't it the interest on debt that we have a problem with than our original overspending? Its the case with 3rd world counties' loans from the world bank and the poor people never even heard of no loan! !
Getting back to our 50 000 years of hard-wiring wondering if it shouldn't become a scientific fact that 10% of humans are genetically hard-wired to seize and greed everyone else's assets and cause a lot of misery and caos. Just as science has found and diagnosed other mental states like sociopathy and psychotic schizophrenia bi-ploar etc other genetic complications of homosapiens.
Interesting concept, "progress trap". Growth economy sounds like a fit, as does "Drill, Baby, Drill!
... past civilizations were destroyed by "progress traps"—alluring technologies and belief systems that serve immediate needs, but ransom the future. As pressure on the world's resources accelerates and financial elites bankrupt nations, can our globally-entwined civilization escape a final, catastrophic progress trap?
I located an online source Surviving Progress
Incidentally I saw a very well made Colombian movie based on true events and a few people in the director's family that every 3 hrs someone id kidnapped and 1 out of 10 returned alive. The rebels are picking off oligarchy/ their rich one by one to try to crack the bottleneck on the wealth in the country.Communism is the extreme antidote to entrenched wealth of " the 10%" .I think its more manageable fallout is socialism.
Quite apart from its theme Towards Darkness ( 2007) is the most well made film I have seen in years. Its reviews are glowing also.