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Debt - The Root of Suffering

And a form of self inflicted harm

It seems that the in today's known world, every country and most individuals are in debt. This debt is the root cause of human suffering because the debtor is always obliged to serve the needs and wants of the creditor which equates as slavery.

It is thought that money evolved over the past 10,000 years and according to historian Paul Johnson, the lending of "food or seed money" was commonplace in Middle Eastern civilizations as early as 5000 BC leading to the idea of debt. For instance, when one community (group A) or even a family suffers a drought and neighbours (group B) step in providing them with the means of survival out of human kindness and generosity. Then sometime later the situation is reversed where group A is affluent and group B is in need, but this time group B is offended by group A's lack of assistance.

The solution is that next time group A is suffering, group B demands contract to prevent being offended by group A's stinginess thereby creating a debt of a similar value (a debt in kind). As money came into common use and values were put on services and commodities, debts and kind became monetary debts or debts that could be absolved using money.

The application of interest on debts has been attributed to the Jews but this may not be strictly true, but during the development of the modern world they were the first international bankers and moneylenders which bought them into all repute. The application of interest on lending today helps the bankers to grow fat but the system is way out of control especially as money itself is a commodity that like anything else can be bought and sold.

In 2017 it has become very clear that few countries can ever repay their debts and many cannot even keep up with the interest payments. It's fair to say that the world's financial system along with the direction of civilisation itself is broken completely beyond repair and a major change is needed.

The only real solution to solving the debt crisis which would also solve many of the world's problems would be to simply cancel all debt because it is simply an idea without substance that is destroying us. Just think of the possibilities of living in a debt free world and replacing greed with human kindness and generosity.

Without debt:

  • In cancelling debt, the status quo of the world would remain simply as it is. The thing is that every individual and every nation possessed at the time of debt cancellation would be theirs to enjoy as they please.
    In other words, if you have $200,000 mortgage on your home, you would suddenly be debt free and all the money in the world that is marked as debt would cease to exist. But whatever money that you have in the bank or your wallet would still be yours.
  • This course of action would undoubtedly put a lot of bankers and probably many other people out of work. They would have to find themselves a more honest living because after all, lending money as a form of usery and people are not commodities.
    As long as people keep exploiting each other there will never be peace in the world and yet everyone wants a peaceful life. Therefore cancelling debts is a first step in turning civilisation towards a long-term future.

Cancelling debt would give everyone a fresh start but because our behaviour is compulsive and has been built up over a great many generations, left unchecked the world will simply descend back into the same chaos within a few years. It's a bit like giving your body a detox and doing something right for a short time then reverting to all the bad habits that made you ill in the first place.

Therefore to consolidate on debt cancellation and prevent further degeneration of the economic and social systems that we have in place, we also need to abolish interest on lending so that we return to a form of debt in kind that is better expressed as generosity.

Without interest money must also cease to be a commodity so we take a step back to a simpler lifestyle. There will be major social changes and the main traders like the other bankers will have to make a more honest living, in other words they may have two plants and gardens and grow their own food like most citizens of the world.

But if we want to transform ourselves for our long-term survival as a species, we need to go even further. Not only do we need to cancel debt, abolish interest and stop using money as commodity, we also need to reduce the rights of the corporations and become more communal in our approach to industry and trade.

In many countries corporations like Coca-Cola and Syngenta not only manufacture and sell products that are clearly harmful to human health, they are depleting resources at an alarming rate and making our environment too toxic to support life. Some of these corporations need to be scrapped and the management sent to live in the toxic wastelands they have created. It's not that I wish these people any harm because they after all living the lies they have chosen to believe.

We will still need all the factories producing all the stuff to sustain our lives, the exception is that the workers will be co-owners of those factories and industries and the products that make will be made to endure. We would have to move away from oil based plastics and products that cannot be repaired for generations or recycled. Another words industry itself must become sustainable because a current rate of consumption, we need the resources of another planet just to get through the next 20 years.

Until we cancel debt there is no way we can alleviate the current level of human suffering where a third of the worlds population doesn't get enough to eat. The cancellation of debt will create greater social equity but those executives will still be able to use their ill gotten gains to retain their social position and employ workers on their vast estates but I would hope that their fellow countrymen saw fit to make those properties common land.

Were this outline to be followed successfully without erupting into conflict and war, we could replant our forests, reduce our meat consumption, clear the ocean and waterways of pollution and breathe clean air.

As in the post-World War II era, we would have to think and act differently and many of the things that we take for granted today may become more scarce but the idea of governments for the people and by the people that actually serve the people's real needs and preserve human rights and values may actually come to pass.

The Buddha famously said that suffering arises from ignorance and yet despite all are modern technology and communication, despite the fact that history is being revealed as corrupt, the masses choose to ignore this and they choose to remain in ignorance. If you are still reading, you clearly want to be happy. Unfortunately today there are no caves left to hide in, they are all owned by someone who objects to free thought and free expression. If you are free of your financial debts, you still have your karmic debts but that's another story.

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