So much of our effort has gone into humanizing the economy while maintaining its momentum and structure. It is beginning (many are already there) to be clear that the fundamental structures have to change, but we do not yet know how deep that has to go.
In the economy things are arranged such that some part of every transaction goes to those who already have capital. Since every transaction involves some built place, a store, an office, a home, and part of what is paid goes to the owner who has borrowed from a bank in order to have that place, and part of the transaction goes to paying the interest on that loan. Apartments, offices and factories often use a large part of the paid rent to pay the interest on a loan which might have been 90% of the cost.
Our transactions are based on extraction of wealth at below par, extracting from earth – minerals, lumber, food – and from people by paying for their talent skill and muscle in a transaction that is used up by the worker in survival (through buying goods that accrue a profit to the seller) while maintaining a residual for the one with the capital to pay for the transaction. Else, so goes the logic, they wouldn’t provide the capital.
But at a deeper level, it may be our philosophy – humans are superior , especially us, – and our focus on the material and not on the human, the emotional, the loving, the feeling. Our ignorance about what is happening to people in the global south is appalling. How much change will we need to stop the cutting of lumber in New Guinea? To cut green house effects to below 2 degrees? To make living conditions supportive of families, especially children and parents? How do we return to an economy -estate management – that actually take the well being of all as the task?