Economy Ellen Brown Original

Ellen Brown: Achieving Self-Funding Local Sovereignty as Global Food Systems Collapse

The solution to the current food crisis is small and local, including growing food locally. But how to fund local food co-ops without pricey loans from big banks?
[Samantha Forsberg / CC BY 2.0]

By Ellen Brown / Original to ScheerPost

 “Deglobalizing” and “dedollarizing” have been much in the news. Reducing dependence on the global supply chain and the U.S. dollar are trends that are happening not just internationally but locally. In the United States, we have seen movements both for local food independence and to divest from Wall Street banks. The burgeoning cryptocurrency movement is another push to “dedollarize” and escape the international bankers’ control grid. 

This article is a sequel to one discussing home gardens and community food co-ops as local counter-measures to an impending food crisis. The question to be addressed here is how to fund them. What sort of local currency could fund food co-ops independently of the credit dollars we get from banks?

But first, some framing of the problem. It’s not just about temporary food shortages. It’s about sovereignty from the sort of global control foreshadowed in Henry Kissinger’s notorious statement, “Control food and you control the people.” 

The War on Food

Alarmed commentators are observing that our food systems seem to be under attack. In a June 14 article, ZeroHedge republished a list of 99 accidental fires hampering America’s food supply chain since January 2021. Meanwhile, many farmers are unable to get the supplies they need to produce food, from fertilizers to herbicides to tractor parts; and small trucking companies that deliver food to grocery stores are being driven into insolvency by unprecedented diesel gas prices. There has also been a surge of cyberattacks on agricultural companies during critical planting and harvest seasons. And an estimated 10,000 head of cattle died mysteriously in Kansas feedlots. The deaths were officially attributed to a heat wave but that explanation is disputed by farmers.  

In July 2020, the Rockefeller Foundation published a prescient white paper called “Reset the Table: Meeting the Moment to Transform the U.S. Food System.” It summarized discussions of over 100 leaders and experts brought together to design a “reset” of the food system. A skeptical Irish blogger notes:

The first question anybody should be asking is “How would the Rockefeller Foundation know about upcoming food shortages” in 2020. Naturally it was just a calculated guess on their part. Isn’t it also interesting that the title was “Reset the Table.”

Surely just another coincidence considering “The Great Reset” was announced on 3rd June 2020. Amazing how they can get all their ducks in a row lined up so quickly considering Covid had only officially been on the block for a few months.

The hunger problem in July 2020 stemmed from unemployment and Covid-19 lockdowns, which had just begun nationally at the end of March. A January 2022 meta-analysis from Johns Hopkins University concluded, “lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, [but] they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

To the Rockefeller Foundation, however, the Covid crisis and policy response were an “opportunity” to make transformative changes in our food system, including “modernizing data and technology platforms.” The July 2020 white paper proclaimed:  

Food is medicine … One of Covid-19’s legacies should be that it was the moment Americans realized the need to treat nutritious food as a part of health care …. By integrating healthy food into the health care system, doctors could prescribe produce as easily as pharmaceuticals and reduce utilization of expensive health services that are often required because of nutrition insecurity. 

“Doctors could prescribe produce as easily as pharmaceuticals ….” Food can be prescribed, controlled and rationed. The Irish blogger wrote, “The plan is to centralize and control the food supply into one body, one single executive office.” In a May 2022 podcast, Christian Westbrook, the “Ice Age Farmer,” mused:

Where vaccine passports failed, food passports will now be eagerly accepted by hungry people who can’t afford rapidly inflating food prices. This is the realization of a longstanding agenda by the Rockefeller/UN/WEF crowd to, as Kissinger put it, “control food, and control people.”  

Read also: Ellen Brown: The Food Shortage Solution in Your Own Backyard

That sort of control grid is what concerns preppers” and “survivalists” – people preparing for large-scale societal collapse. But we don’t need to go down that controversial rabbit hole for confirmation that a major food crisis is on the horizon. President Biden has said as much, and the head of the UN World Food Program has warned that we are heading into the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. 

The crisis is systemic, predating Covid. As Australian author Dr. Liz Elliott colorfully illustrates the problem in an as-yet-unpublished preface to her book “A New Way Now: Solutions to Financial and Climate Collapse”:

Corporations have become bigger than ancient countries, steamrolling over Life like invading armies.… Long supply chains are making food, machines and energy insecure. So much transport, needing so much oil, just to bring carrots and soap from cheap labour places. Third World people are realizing the money driven system is the extension of Colonialism; exploitation of their work and land by those who control money and weapons.…

These few then drive public policy towards more centralization, more scientific determinism, more technocratic “solutions,” more standardization, more war, more ideology.…

If large corporations and banks are the problem, then the solution is small and local.… The path to decentralization is already being forged in a million initiatives everywhere.

The solution is small and local, including growing food locally. But how to fund local food co-ops without pricey loans from big banks? 

Food-backed Local Credit as Money

In a 2014 article titled “The Truth Is Out: Money Is Just an IOU, and the Banks Are Rolling in It,” the late David Graeber underscored the fact that money is basically just credit. What triggered his article was the Bank of England’s acknowledgment in its first  quarterly report that year that virtually all of the money we use in trade is simply created on the books of banks when they make loans. It is credit advanced by the bank against the borrower’s promise to repay it, preferably backed by some form of collateral. Local currencies and cryptocurrencies can work in the same way.

To be useful today as “money,” a currency is said to need these four main attributes. It should serve as:

  • A medium of exchange
  • A standard of deferred payment
  • A store of wealth
  • A measure of value or unit of account

A medium of exchange is something that people actually use and will accept in trade. Today, that would largely rule out both gold and blockchain cryptocurrencies on the model of Bitcoin (BTC). You can’t buy groceries with gold (the grocer wouldn’t know how to make change), and Bitcoin is little used in trade. It is too volatile to be a reliable measure of value and is held chiefly as a speculative asset. As one commentator puts it, “Can you imagine owning a small business and having to pay your employees’ salaries denominated in Bitcoin. The actual value paid could vary by 50% or more from paycheck to paycheck. No company would commit to this as the risk would be way too high.” 

To retain its value, a currency should ideally be backed by some asset that has a stable value itself. Gold and silver have been used historically, but the gold-backed money system failed because the banks did not have enough of that precious metal to satisfy the liquidity needs of the economy. The result was periodic bank runs and banking crises. 

What sort of asset would hold its value and be widely available as collateral in a local community trading system today?  With the threat of impending food shortages, food could satisfy that requirement. Garden co-ops can issue their own cryptocurrencies or community currencies, backed by the food they will produce. Sellers are often reluctant to accept unbacked community currencies in payment, because other sellers may not accept them in trade; but food-backed currencies hold their value. They are promises to pay in food, or advances against future productivity. They are paper or digital stores of food that can be reclaimed in the future, cashed in for fresh produce long after storage food in the refrigerator would have gone bad.

Grain-Backed Crypto Tokens

Grain-backed cryptocurrencies are already happening at the corporate level. In March 2022, banking giant Santander signed an agreement with an Argentinian company named Agrotoken, which has created a cryptocurrency to tokenize grain. Santander agreed to accept Agrotoken’s soy-, corn-and wheat-backed coins as loan collateral. Each token is backed by one ton of grain held in a storage facility. Farmers generate tokens by selling their crops to participating grain elevators, which validate the existence of the commodity. The loans will be made on a blockchain, with the tokens locked into smart contracts. Agrotokens were listed on an Argentinian commodities derivatives exchange, a key to getting the lending project started.

Santander called the project the first to use cryptocurrency tokens backed by agricultural commodities as lending collateral. It said in a blog post that the project uses an innovative digital solution that “will allow farmers and the agro ecosystem to have easy and fluid access to a new financing system, expanding credit capacity by using tokenized grains.”

Agrotoken was recently the subject of a case study by Accenture, which said it was bringing “new financial options to the multi-trillion-dollar agribusiness sector by letting farmers convert tons of soybean crops into a commodity-backed stablecoin that could be spent with merchants and investors.” Longer term, the company plans to move beyond grains into other agricultural commodities, offering Tokenization-as-a-Service (TaaS). The goal, Accenture said, is to develop “a token-collateralized loan system that would allow farmers easy, fluid access to a new system of credit at competitive rates.”

Holochain

Agrotokens are issued on a blockchain, the sort of distributed ledger technology involved in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Hashgraph. But an agricultural supply chain startup called Producers Token has rejected that technology in favor of a more localized peer-to-peer technology called Holochain. Holochain developer Arthur Brock says it is rooted in biomimicry (“how nature functions and scales”). Users are not buying coins created by wealthy “miners” in China but are creating their own money, simply by extending credit to other users. 

According to Colin Stewart, Director of Agricultural Technology for Producers Token: 

[Holochain’s] method of cryptographic accounting allows for the creation of asset-backed cryptocurrencies, and this is really interesting because what we’re designing and implementing in our platform is a method for agricultural producers to mint their own cryptocurrencies that are actually backed by their goods. So you can think of the cryptocurrency as a forward contract.

A typical “forward contract” might be an agreement between a wheat farmer and a grain processor for the sale of the farmer’s crop at a certain price on a certain date. The currency issued by the farmer would act as a receipt for future delivery of the wheat. A food-backed cryptocurrency tied to an asset with real value is considered to be more stable than blockchain-based tokens, which again are notoriously volatile. 

For Stewart, another problem with blockchain technology involves its “consensus” feature. Most versions require the entire network to agree about the order of events. But Stewart asked, “If I’m an apple grower in Washington State… why should I have to know that the avocado grower in Michoacán sold his avocados?” He explained that Holochain, like blockchain, provides for transparency, accountability, and immutability, but without the inefficiencies of using one monolithic ledger that contains the history of all transactions in the network. Instead, Holochain is “agent-centric,” with users having their own individual hash-chains of data. For more on Holochain, see here

Homegrown Food-backed Currencies

If all that sounds too high-tech for your friendly neighborhood food co-op, there are more modest local alternatives. Community currency expert Thomas Greco, author ofThe End of Money,” maintains that a produce-backed currency could be issued without even creating a cryptocurrency. A group of local farmers could be organized to jointly issue farm currency as a paper or digital community currency, which could be spent into circulation to buy what the farmers needed to produce their crops. The currency would circulate in the local community and would be accepted back by the farmers in payment for the products they sell. 

“So the currency has a beginning and an end, it’s created and it’s extinguished,” says Greco. “It’s created by the act of spending and it’s extinguished in the act of redemption, not in some other currency, but in goods and services that have been promised.” 

Community currencies operate on the same sort of credit clearing system that banks use to create the “bank money” composing the majority of our money supply today, but they do it without manipulation by profiteering middlemen. Money is created as a debit in an account and is extinguished when the debt is repaid. No interest is charged, so there is no built-in imperative for growth. Community currencies also allow communities to make decisions about where capital should flow rather than giving decision-making power solely to banks, and they foster human relationships, building community and encouraging people to interact with one another.

Spreading Financial Sovereignty: From Communities to Cities to Countries

Local currencies don’t need to be printed on paper or issued as cryptocurrencies. “Mutual credit clearing systems” can keep track of credits and debits on a simple ledger. Participants of mutual credit clearing systems around the world can trade with each other, and this is already being done.

Cities and towns can also issue their own community currencies; and many have, particularly in times of depression. A major hurdle is getting sellers to accept the local currency, but this could be fixed by backing it with some public service. Tom Greco suggests “Solar Dollars” – credit instruments of a local utility company, spent into circulation by the company as credit against future electricity services. Other services the city could provide include fiber-optic broadband, circumventing the perceived hazards of 5G; and ethanol fuel generated by a community-owned still, processing not corn and other foodstuffs but weeds and other organic waste. The currency could be issued by the city through a publicly-owned bank. 

Combining these possibilities, a global monetary system might be devised that is independent of the control grid manipulated by international financial megaliths. But that is a big subject, which will have to be addressed in another article. 

Ellen Brown
Ellen Brown

Ellen Brown is a regular contributor to ScheerPost. She is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of thirteen books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book is Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age and her 400+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.

90 comments

  1. Anyone who can grow their own food is well-advised to do so: in addition to the lower cost, these foods are free of the the poisons commercial agriculture put in and on its products — and their nutritional value will be superior to the attenuated stuff grown on artificially fertilized soil.

    However — let’s be realistic.

    No one can actually compete on the scale necessary to get the bulk of the population off the stuff posing as fruits and vegetables in supermarkets, not to mention the processed junk food widely available and convenient: their advertising budgets and control of Congress are absolute.

    The ideas presented here and in the previous article amount to a kind of updated hippie commune strategy — let’s go off the grid cand create our own encapsulated society.

    Not going to happen on any meaningful scale.

    The only real solution — and this applies to all of our social and political problems — is the overthrow of the capitalist system, replacing it with socialist governance untethered to the capitalist need for profit and relentless, environmental destruction.

    Reorganization and re-invention of large-scale farming will be part of that, as well as encouragement of local and individual gardening/farming.

    1. “Replacing it with socialist governance” … the concern is that we will get a China-style social credit system. Socialist doesn’t mean it won’t be top-down authoritarian control. Any system is going to need leaders; how do we get leaders not bent on controlling the opposition by devious means? Ideally, the system would be self-governing. That was the original idea of Bitcoin — a digital money system without political leaders/middlemen/controllers. But it got diverted into a speculative money-making venture. Agreed, the idea that we could create an entire independent system that functioned without glitches and get it implemented is a stretch, but there are people working on it who think it can be done. I personally don’t think the US dollar is collapsing any time soon, but the system could be improved …

      1. China controls the bank’s. In the west, the banks control the government. China has brought hundreds of millions out of poverty, has higher home ownership than the USA and things are getting better. Not bad for a couple of generations. China produces real wealth, the west extracts wealth, a rentier extractive oligarchy society. Even Russia has brought ten’s of millions out of extractive capitalist poverty, not bad for one generation under Putin. Gee, I wonder why he’s popular. The Russian central banker has proven herself better than anything in the west. Change is coming to the world after 400 years of Western colonialism and neo colonialism under the banksters. Hopefully the west doesn’t choose to blow up the world to stop it.

      2. Bob, you are speaking my language. On my Third Paradigm Substack, my recent episode is Russia: a Wrench in the Reset Gears? There’s a very astute viewer named Jack Sirius who’s reading Glazyev’s book from 23 yrs ago and says it seems like it was written yesterday. It seems like a conversation you could add much to. I don’t know whether scheerpost allows links but you can find it.

      3. American socialism wouldn’t have to be Marxist dictator of the proletariat authoritarianism. It could be governance for the good of society rather than private profit which leads to expansionism and the suffering of the game’s losers.

      4. “Any system going to need leaders …. ”

        In the short and medium terms, it’s very likely for the political model but the pursuit of freedoms for the people and for consumers doesn’t germinate in the political model
        If you look for grass roots power within the political model, you’re going to chase windmills. Don’t even try.

        Go with strength. Find grass roots power where grass roots power is permitted which is in the monetary model. It’s based on the personal empowerment of the consumer that the economy will thrive, debt levels can safely fall and the standard of living can rise.

        It’s the shift in the monetary model that leads to the shift in the political model and it will be by choice, not force. The political class will want to protect all the added revenue flowing into the government’s purse.

        Trying to change the political model for the sake of arriving at a monetary change is a non-starter.
        Change the monetary model by adding to the market driven completion process and the political model will happily fall right into line

        A growth in REAL economic wealth is a win-win for all but it can now only take place with the adoption of consumer driven debt-free transactions being mixed into people’s consumption habits.

      5. Funny man, funny man. Don’t even try! Oh, schucks. What wisdom in the sound bite/byte.

        Michael G, or Kenny G. Money money money.

        And I thought honey grew on trees.

        Genuine Progress Index, and, well, money money is at the Money Man’s Center of His Universe.

        Land is land for living and food and ecosystems. Land for sale is, well, that money thing that needs to be wiped from the face of the earth.

        You know that. You are just playing with us with now a YouTube Freak Show.

        Who owns the world? Darn, those money managers, Vanguard and BlackRock and, well, money is the evil that is the cancer of the world.

        Food, family, water, shelter, arts, life, simple things, man. You know that is the key. Not making money on every pain, blink, defecation, snore, urination, sleeping, dying, birthing, schooling, eating, recreating, confiding moment of a human’s life.

        May money go the way of the Dodo with the money managers, the sychophants of the 3,000 billionaires in the world, and the 38,000,000 millionaires and their progeny.

        Turn them into Tesla space objects.

        Yeah, social impact investing. Money for data. You know, money for the things that do not grow on trees.

        That honey? Damn, check for honey bees and other pollinators in your backyard. Look hard. Gone gone gone. Follow that money!

      6. China’s government is a smooth-functioning success, the word “authoritarian” is a meaningless doodle — applied to countries as dissimilar as China and Myanmar. State Department nonsense. OK when the US wants to collaborate with latin American and other kleptocratic dictators. (See: Jean Kirkpatrick).

        The Chinese social credit system is a humane and rational alternative to car-chasing American cops and other unnecessary interventions. Jaywalk or speed , and you might have your Internet access hobbled.

        Smart.

        Chinese agriculture is a global success: here, from the UN . . .

        China has succeeded in producing one fourth of world’s grain and feeding one fifth of world’s population with less than 10 percent of world arable land, which is great achievement in pursuit of food and nutrition security not only in China but also in the world. Currently, China ranks first in the world in terms of the production of cereals, cotton, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs and fishery products.

        https://www.fao.org/china/fao-in-china/china-at-a-glance/en/

        How does China manage agriculture?

        Its answer is technology.

        China’s agriculture industry, from the tiny rice plots tended by 70-year-old grandfathers to the giant companies that are beginning to challenge global players like Nestle SA and Danone SA, is undergoing a revolution that may be every bit as influential as the industrial transformation that rewrote global trade.

        The change started four decades ago when the country began to recast its systems of production and private enterprise. Those reforms precipitated an economic boom, driven by factories, investment and exports, but the changes down on the farm were just as dramatic.

        Land reforms lifted production of grains like rice and wheat, and millions joined a newly wealthy middle class that ate more vegetables and pork and wanted rare luxuries like beef and milk.

        When Du Chunmei was a little girl, pork was a precious gift only for the elders of her village in Sichuan during the Lunar New Year holiday. The family pig would be slaughtered, and relatives and neighbors would pack their house for a feast.

        “Meat used to be such a rarity,” said Du, now 47 and an employee of state oil company PetroChina Co. whose family celebrated the holiday this year at a restaurant. “Now it’s so common we try to cut back to stay healthy.”

        But the breakneck pace of the country’s development brought some nasty side effects. Tracts of prime land were swallowed by factories. Fields were polluted by waste, or by farmers soaking the soil in chemicals. The country became a byword for tainted food, from mercury-laced rice to melamine-infused milk powder.

        So how can China produce enough safe food for its growing population if they all start eating like Americans?

        The simple answer is it can’t.

        It takes about 1 acre (half a hectare) to feed the average U.S. consumer. China only has about 0.2 acres of arable land per citizen, including fields degraded by pollution.

        So China’s Communist government has increasingly shifted its focus to reforming agriculture, and its approach divides into four parts: market controls; improving farm efficiency; curbing land loss; and imports.

        In each case, technology is the key to balancing the food equation. The nation is spending billions on water systems, seeds, robots and data science to roll back some of the ravages of industry and develop sustainable, high-yield farms.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-feeding-china/?sref=h1RMl7RR

        This is a genuine socialist country in action, rational and able to cope with its problems.

        “Our” country, in contrast, is owned and operated by corporate oligarchies interested only in profit.

        There are still huge numbers of small-plot farms in China, and the government is looking at ways to consolidate many of them to create efficiencies. Ultimately, this the the way forward when we’re looking at the food situation globally.

      7. —->>>> “Replacing it with socialist governance” … the concern is that we will get a China-style social credit system.

        No need ! Americans are free to trade with the use of their own sovereign gold and silver. Why rely on someone else’s IOU (legal tender) now that you don’t have to.

        There’s a strange irony in getting people to cooperate on debt-free transactions. The challenge is within the marketplace.

    2. ‘The only real solution — . . . . — is the overthrow of the capitalist system, replacing it with socialist governance untethered to the capitalist need for profit and relentless, environmental destruction.’
      Couldn’t agree more! How are We going to achieve that, and when? Organise some form of revolution perhaps? Ellen seems to say that re-capture of the production and sale of food into local resources of people and places might be a start . . . Maybe we should just elect her President, remarkable woman that she is, with a lot more sense than the present incumbent – J

    3. Symbiosis is far superior to polarity, especially when we now have the tools to create a very powerful symbiotic relationship that creates more real wealth and does so with greater efficiency and less reliance debt.

      Free market capitalism isn’t flawed, my friend. It’s incomplete much like a bicycle designed for two wheels that only has a single wheel assembled onto the frame.

      What wound you expect ? What to do ?

    4. You need to think locally – forget scale which requires an over-reaching centralised control grid which we have today – regardless of socialist or capitalist. The USSR proved the failure of one and our current failure is proving the other.

      For 200 years or more we have been growing through the use of the easily obtained hydrocarbons – this has now come to an end since 2000 – no growth. We have now moved to negative growth. Read Tim Morgan or Gail Tverberg they know what’s happening.
      https://ourfiniteworld.com/2022/07/05/why-raising-interest-rates-to-reduce-inflation-may-work-out-very-badly/

    5. Not so. Small farm agriculture is actually much more productive than corporate agriculture or collectivist. To really small farms feed the world we need to stop taxing labor and productive capital and tax only land rent. This promotes land reform. How else to deal with the fact that so few own and control most of the land?

      1. land rent -or LVT, land value tax is a Georgist idea is not just for ag

        regarding productivity- data please, in context

      2. Tax on labor will only be reduced and removed on the back of real economic growth where the growth is predicated on a market based morphing toward the use of market based debt-free medium.

    6. Talk about unrealistic, ‘the overthrow of the capitalist system’.
      We need to use Capitalism to transition from Capitalism as classical economists Adam Smith, Karl Marx & others discussed.
      Public Banking is one step. Eliminating compound interest is another.
      But I agree long-term unless we reclaim ownership of our natural resources & ALL commodities, Goods & Services…. we’re screwed!

      1. Be your own bank. Own some of your own money. Debt, regardless of who creates it, does not have to be the only means of exchange.

  2. Ellen …. how do you structurally get more local than people using their own debt-free sovereign money ?
    Now that the individual can monetize his/her own sovereign gold & silver into debt-free market based medium , how does it get more decentralized than that ?

    1. Another important question is how to make land affordable so that more people can have access to land. Some of us work for tax shift – remove taxes on buildings, labor and production and shift to the socially created land rent, thus removing land and all other gifts of nature from commodification, stopping land speculation and land hoarding. The land / tax and public banking solutions and movements supporting them need to work together.

      1. Debt-free medium supports real economic growth and the safe and sane purging of inflationary debt.

        The destruction of debt based fiat as a result of a developing hybrid allows for proper price discovery.
        There’s a great deal of debt that has leveraged land values. That’s your answer , which also applies to many markets that have been overleveraged.

  3. There is a leap between theory and practice. Greco’s ideas are one example, in principle. Few of these have a long half-life. Where food is the backing, there needs to be a strong level of trust- crops fail and volume is an issue. Farmers have done this with warehouse receipts for grain as done with metals, such as gold and still fraud exists. Again, size is an issue. Some perishables work as with CSA’s but, as implied, the functional area is small.

    The minute that companies such as Accenture become involved, we are talking scale and that then suggests that we will see other vehicles for securitization and we are back to the world of rentiers or financialization. As you note about “money”:

    A medium of exchange
    A standard of deferred payment
    A store of wealth
    A measure of value or unit of account

    This requires “trust” that what is provided holds. And that is what the banking system provides and the advantage of the double entry booking system as long as there is “trust”

  4. The utopian part of me likes this but BabaYaga is absolutely right, the only realistic solution, for practically everything. is the downfall of the capitalist system and the power elite that control it. Nothing less will make any meaningful difference.

    Then it has to be replaced with something better. To say I’m not optimistic would be a historic understatement.

    We stand on a brinks of social, political, military, financial and environmental collapse. I don’t know how the dominoes will fall, but fall they will, sure as the sun comes up in the morning. The center simply cannot hold.

    1. Indeed Mav. And serendipitous, I just re-read (and truly absorbed for the first time) 2nd Coming this week. Blended with some Langston Hughes, it produced a striking mashup in my brain: “What rough beast slouches toward it’s gangster death.” Since we are on prophetic poets, like Yeat’s masterpiece, Blake’s “America: A Prophecy” may well be the foretelling of the cyclical fall of empire rather than a once-time apocalyptic event. Of course, this might just be the one that hearalds ‘the great whimper’.

    2. The ‘entire’ capitalist system may not need to fall but parts of it need to go away.. One i would love to see gone is interest on loans and the constant need for growth that entails. It’s responsible for the fanatic need to extract as much resources from the earth as quickly as possible to keep the system liquid. More immigrants so we can increase the always needing to increase GDP. Somethings gotta give. And it does seem to be.

      1. Hi, Tom. The question is ‘to whom is the interest owed?’ Right now it’s to the extractive bankers but if the interest went back to the community in the form of public banks, it could give a return of 7-8% interest (as Ellen has confirmed) to Social Security, keeping it solvent forever. It could also allow us to stop gambling with our own retirement savings and put them into a fund with, say, 4% interest. And all of that money would stay and recirculate in the community, who could issue the credit as subsidies as I outline above, to regenerate local food, goods and services. They can issue both the principle and interest amounts so that there doesn’t need to be inflation. In fact, the mortgage rate could start at 3% but go up by .1% a quarter until it reaches 5%. That would bring the price of housing down and drive speculators out of the market. Debt-based money isn’t bad, it’s just serving extractive monopolies rather than community regeneration.

    3. An insightful follow-up to Ellen Brown’s last article on the subject on the global food crisis. Also, Ellen listed some very good and informative links for additional information as well in ways to restructure our food and money supply at the local level, for starters.

      Baba Yaga and JustAMaverick and Jim Griffiths: The capitalist system for more wealth and more power is insatiable, with the mega-rich competing with each other on who can accumulate more, irrespective of the harm to the environment or the economic imbalance which is prevalent today. The so-called “middle-class” is shrinking and inflation is at a 40 year high. You all know that. But what to do, after the “overthrow of the capitalist system?” Socialism, as Ellen mentioned, could wind up with a top-down authoritarian control of the “system” which, if the wrong people are in control or office, would be detrimental to the public, depending on their policies.

      I strongly believe in employee-owned enterprises and farms and family-owned enterprises and farms, and in the pure anarchist philosophy of no “bosses” or “CEO’s” or “rulers”, but by consensus, which is not always easily achieved in initiating a plan for action, as there will be disagreements at times, so in order to implement the plan or action, then a vote is used and “50 + 1 is the majority” and the others have to accept it or nothing gets accomplished and the concept of community-based governance collapses. I believe that to be the most democratic form of government.

      On cryptocurrency, bitcoins and similar type currencies, I’m wary of them, preferring the kind of local currencies used in the state of Florida during the Great Depression with Ellen’s link “in times of depression.”

      On a deeper level, the academic and spiritual (religious?) education we should be teaching our young ones is the message of cooperation and not confrontation and the differences between an egalitarian society ( one for all, all for one) and a society ruled by an oligarchy of very few but powerful people whose greed has no limits. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and restructuring society for the common good of “We the People” won’t be easy, but it not impossible and will take a lot of energy and time and spreading the news to our fellow citizens, who perpetually keep the same groups in power, election cycle after election cycle and wonder why things are getting worse for the overwhelming majority.

      The Moondragon companies in Spain and South America are still in business and have their act together as are other cooperatives here and abroad.

      1. Hi, Frank. They’re called Mondragon but I like your Moondragon MUCH better and I think we should adopt that for our version 😉

        The questions that you’re asking are really good ones–how do you replace a capitalist oligarchical system with worker-owned anarchy, and actually get things done? On my Third Paradigm Substack, I have some episodes that lay the groundwork like Build a New Model and Socio-Spirituality & Small Scale Sovereignty.

        There’s no way to replace the system with a soundbite but you seemed to be asking the same questions that we are, and open to a systematic approach of defining goals and setting the parameters for how a local credit system should operate. I agree with you on cryptos, no point in replacing one anonymous system of hoarding with another.

  5. https://web.archive.org/web/20220705153241/https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/benefits-world-hunger

    The Benefits of World Hunger

    We sometimes talk about hunger in the world as if it were a scourge that all of us want to see abolished, viewing it as comparable with the plague or aids. But that naïve view prevents us from coming to grips with what causes and sustains hunger. Hunger has great positive value to many people. Indeed, it is fundamental to the working of the world’s economy. Hungry people are the most productive people, especially where there is a need for manual labour.

    We in developed countries sometimes see poor people by the roadside holding up signs saying “Will Work for Food”. Actually, most people work for food. It is mainly because people need food to survive that they work so hard either in producing food for themselves in subsistence-level production, or by selling their services to others in exchange for money. How many of us would sell our services if it were not for the threat of hunger?

    More importantly, how many of us would sell our services so cheaply if it were not for the threat of hunger? When we sell our services cheaply, we enrich others, those who own the factories, the machines and the lands, and ultimately own the people who work for them. For those who depend on the availability of cheap labour, hunger is the foundation of their wealth.

    The conventional thinking is that hunger is caused by low-paying jobs. For example, an article reports on “Brazil’s ethanol slaves: 200,000 migrant sugar cutters who prop up renewable energy boom”.1 While it is true that hunger is caused by low-paying jobs, we need to understand that hunger at the same time causes low-paying jobs to be created. Who would have established massive biofuel production operations in Brazil if they did not know there were thousands of hungry people desperate enough to take the awful jobs they would offer? Who would build any sort of factory if they did not know that many people would be available to take the jobs at low-pay rates?

    1. When at Walmart or Target,numerous fat and obese people are noticeable. Maybe high grocery prices could be good to reduce their weight.
      And don’t lecture me on poor people who gain weight due to only be able to afford starchy food, I grew up poor just like the rest of the kids in schools. No kids were fat back in those days long ago— the one and only chubby kid back then would be average size these days.

      1. You are a bag of rocks. Zero concept of what capitalism has done to food, shots, soil, synergistic effects of sugar fat salt HFCS. Just plain rocks for brains. A million studies on what’s happened to FETUS and CHILDREN in this criminal toxic capitalism. Forget informing you about PFAS and endocrine disruptors the criminal capitalists have unleashed. Oh well, rocks deserve a place at Sheared Off Post. Enjoy your basalt brains.

      2. The same might be said about you since you’re attributing these food problems to capitalism.
        Free market capitalism doesn’t have a debt based monetary system to support all market based trades.
        Debt , on its own, has no way of sustaining real economic growth on an open ended basis. It’s impossible.

        What you pointed a finger at is debt based capitalism, an incomplete development. It’s dysfunctional. You can think of it like a bicycle designed to operate with two wheels where only one of the two wheels has been assembled onto the frame. I’ll wager you’re going to crash …. lol

  6. Thank you for the details on the war on food, I was reading in CHD about Dutch and NZ dairy farmers needing to reduce their stock by 95% and pig, sheep & chicken by 85%. Clearly, local economies are needed.
    Under my system, the commonwealth (200,000 people) would issue all mortgages from public banks and would also issue targeted credits to all residents equal to the collective monthly debt. One of these would be for locally produced food.
    So if that targeted subsidy was ^100 a month, equal to $100, it would create ^20M in new food production every month. If you made it free of all taxes except Soc Sec @ 15%, if spent on local goods and services, ^18M would recirculate + ^20M = ^38M in production the second month. And so on.
    For those of us in CA, where in LA “67% of all rental units and 74% of buildable vacant lots are owned by investment vehicles, not by human landlords,” we also have to protect land and property. We could do that by making all mortgages and rent payable ONLY in carets (local credit) and set a 2:1 exchange rate for dollars, so it would cost those outside the economy twice as much.
    We can also protect money from migrating out by taxing carets by 50% when they’re transferred out as dollars. So rents and outside corporations would extract half before they left, driving out foreign investors. Those are the plans I outline in my book, How to Dismantle an Empire.

    1. Hi Tereza, Thanks for your reply! I agree with you on Ms Brown’s article on the “war on food” and also I’m glad you mentioned ownership of rental units and vacant lots by investment vehicles (corporations) and not by “human landlords.” It’s not only in LA but in other parts of California (my state) and other states as well, and it amounts to capitalist corporate rental monopolies, who have driven apartment and brick and mortar commercial rentals through the roof.

      How many profitable small businesses have you seen shut down over the years because the landlord or controlling interest of the property raised the rent at such a usurious rate, upon renewing the lease, making it unprofitable for the business person to pay such an exorbitant fee. I’ve seen many close down for this reason.

      Ah, where the government comes in. While vacationing in Europe many years ago, and Paris, in particular, I marveled at all the small “mom and pop” shops rather than the big box chains and really loved the city. Anyway, I was told that the law says that the landlord can only raise the rents on these stores by a certain percent in order to protect the entrepreneur.

      And you know how the commercial property owners fight against rent control.
      Where can I buy your book? It sounds interesting, Tereza.

      1. Thank you for the interest, Frank! Yes, hedge funds are slurping up real estate like a whale guzzles plankton. As the petrodollar crashes, as predicted by Ellen, Michael Hudson, and my chapter on The Petropocalypse, these vast bloated ‘petrodactyls’ (as I term them 😉 are swooping down on anything with a drop of real blood in it. Where I live in Santa Cruz, cash offers are being made an average of 19% over asking price. And it’s mostly mid-market homes, not high end. No real person can compete.

        I’m in Appalachia at the moment, where I’ve renovated my childhood home. In editorials here and in Santa Cruz, I’ve looked at the difference in how reclaiming the mortgages would work in an economy that moves too slow and one that moves too fast. I have some Third Paradigm viewers applying the principles to Australia, NZ, Scotland, Maine, AZ, Utah. And my book, How to Dismantle an Empire, is on Amazon–thanks for asking!

        As I say in my recent editorial, “The time to act isn’t now. But it’s a good time for pragmatic dreaming.” When the existing system crashes, I think we need to be ready with a plan for what we want and the more specific to our own community, the better.

      2. —->>> As the petrodollar crashes, as predicted by Ellen,

        You should ask Ellen how measuring the trade value of flowing gold is massively advantageous to the measuring of value of flowing oil. Oil goes up in smoke. It’s valuable but it’s not money. The USD is the global price tool for both. When the answer comes clear, you can rejoice in the idea of “bye-bye petrodollar….. hello 21st century fishes and loaves.

      3. Dumb it down. You’re defining an inflation problem and simply applying it to housing. Call it what it is. It’s a condition and it can be cured.

  7. ” ….many farmers are unable to get the supplies they need to produce food, from fertilizers to herbicides to tractor parts; and small trucking companies that deliver food to grocery stores are being driven into insolvency by unprecedented diesel gas prices. ”

    Hmmm, what does Mother Nature need to produce food – food was, and can be, produced without fertilizers or herbicides or tractor parts – it’s called permaculture, regenerative agriculture, no till farming, etc – As a matter of fact it is the “fertilizers” and “herbicides” that have screwed up our food, and water supplies – maybe the first thing we need to do is drive a stake in industrial agriculture ….

    1. I agree with you, SH. I think the fertilizer crisis, etc, will drive us to permaculture and regenerative ag. But only if we take back ownership of the land and our labor.

  8. Big is the Problem , Need to go back to Fundamentals on Everything. Kis = Formula ( Keep it Simple )

    Outside Major Cities Willing Partners must get Together and Start small Co – ops for Fruit , Vegetables

    & Use Trade or Dollar or What ever one has that another will take ; Socialism / Communism = Go s’ Opposite

    Top Down _________Co – ops Bottom up by Free Social Inter – Action like Old America s’ small farming or

    Small , anything before ” Free Trade laws were Outlawed or Monopolize

    We need to ” BURST __________ ” All ” ____ Monopolies Up & Re : Start_____Small S & L s

    __Small Grocers _______Small MOM & POP s’ = In Everything Slowly but Surely

    Now this takes Work and Plans & Question is = Are there enough Real People wanting Real Work &

    Solutions Vs = Handouts = The World Planners are Hoping with Drugs and Mass Hypnotize

    the Population will give – up Liberty ECT ECT for Hand – outs that will become LESS & LESS = Crumbs

    While the New World Aristocrats = & Their Slave Bullies live = What they think is GOOD ( But No one ___Will REALLY be Happy ! & A penny for YOUR thoughts ? Jon , Or send to Ellen to Post

  9. Oh , Buy or Borrow ” It s’ a Wonderful Life and ) Sorry to tell Jimmy Stewart but the Bakers took 50 to 80

    Now the the Wonderful Life has been Overthrown

    Please , ask someone this was a Movie every Generation used to Watch till Media was Monopolized

    Now , = You only get Hoods or ? Shooting , Doping or Sexualizing’s everything with No Limits or Standards

    Read Thomas Jefferson thru Inflation & Deflation Bank s’ will o One Day Own the Land & ECT ECT =Your

    Forefathers Created America for Everyone ” Read Constitution ” & ” Bill of Rights ” = Only done &

    Executed here in USA / America & Most do not even know What they are

    ” Yet Uneducated Immigrants’ KNEW – > Question Do YOU ? If , Buy them / Copy on Amazon & Read

    them / Buy the Wonderful Life __YOUR FREE = For Now = Start a ” READING MOVEMENT = Turn – Off TV

    , Cable = Know what the IMMIGRANTS KNEW = Take Your Self – Handcuffs Off Read about 1776 &

    About the Real Leaders of Real Change for BETTER for Average Person =

    What the NEW WORLD ORDER WANTS CRUSHED & SHUT _ UP

    1. If you want to accelerate that success, take the sovereign spirit of personal food growing and apply it also to your own sovereign money. Trading debt-free with the current use of real-time prices (because we can) will be the greatest leap to real economic growth , possibly ever.

      I can proudly say I own some of my own sovereign money. Others can follow that same path.

  10. My front yard is a vegetable garden, my roof covered with solar panels, my car is all electric, lawn mower battery powered, HAVC all electric heat pump, Bountiful City coal fired power LLC is ripping off my solar power! I need my own battery storage but it’s too expensive right now.
    “Solar beats everything hands down, including natural gas.” — Elon Musk

  11. structural problems require structural solutions not bandaids—in Puritan america these proposals are not applicable
    “busy busy numb–amerikans cannot feel themselves alive unless they feel themselves busy. amerika is a vast goo of meaningless stimulation”. Thomas de
    Zengodita
    There are good reasons why most agricultural labor in USA is not amerikan—it is mainly central amerikans. whether anti-capitalist or otherwise, the peculiar amerikan “anti-authoritarianism” observed by many americanists is at best childish…what is required is the authority of competence. also, it is romanticism or decadent pastoralism to believe that in urban USA where few have any time, resources or inclination to participate in agriculture that such an approach is feasible.
    demographers/geographers that study food insecurity do not perceive that there is a dearth of production, rather distribution is the problem. much of agricultural production in USA is destroyed by producers when it cannot be sold—the dairy industry is the most famous example; rather than provide excess to the poor at discounted prices hundreds of thousands of liters of milk are discarded. the same is true of perishable fruits vegetables.

  12. Bob, Very good post. I agree with your statements about China and Russia, which is why the Western colonialist/imperialists smear those two nations, and especially Putin, who, contrary to the MSM puppet presstitutes, is not the new Adolph Hitler, nor was Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez or so many other leaders of small nations trying to do the best job for their people.

    As Bob Dylan, said: “The times, they are a changin'” The West is deteriorating and the East (including the most eastern European nation – the Russian Federation) is making the ascent for a more egalitarian society, as they observe the West’s decline.

    1. Extreme high success brings about envy, hate, resentment and then backlash….. Such as what’s happening to China right now.
      If China was still a poor hopeless mess like in 1970s, we would have a Christian love and aid for them but China has unforgiving exceeded us.

  13. I’m not sure if it’s still doable in this era but perhaps we can at least reference the Farmer John model.

    There’s a full documentary on him.

    Each year farmer John would collect money from the whole community ahead of the growing season.

    That supplied him with enough cash to seed, grow and harvest. The return for the whole community providing the up front cash is… wait for it, Food!

    No government, bank or corporation need be involved.

    1. Agreed but if they only money being used is debt (legal tender), there is still an overhanging debt problem on a systemic level.

      Improving the efficiency of the economy without addressing the inefficiency in the model for overall liquidity will still lead to enforcing a rising debt-to-GDP ratio. It’s now unavoidable

      Strike the root. Address the monetary issue.

    2. Excellent example, Brian! That’s the general idea. Some say you have to “save” before you can “spend.” But our money system is a credit system. Small businesses need to borrow against future productivity to get the resources to produce. Today we borrow from private banks, but we could be borrowing from the community, with future returns to the community, no leakage of profits and control to Wall Street.

      1. —>>> But our money system is a credit system.

        It’s been the forerunner for the development of fully free floating prices and was necessary for the sake of being able to sever the fixed price peg that existed between gold and the USD. Market law dictates that all prices must be freely floating to be able to conduct debt-free transactions that are based on real-time price comparisons. Said in a simpler way, a debt-free widget priced at $5.00 USD can trade fairly on the basis of price agreement with ANY OTHER debt-free widget, also priced at $5.00 USD. Call it “balances barter” if you like because of the use of prices for the sake of liquidity and economic balancing.

        Gold and silver are debt-free widgets too. Maybe we need to revisit how we use them now that we can trade them with the use of real-time market prices.

  14. I wonder why so called leftist progressives even pseudo socialists are so in love with capitalism that they are trying desperately to save it with some torturous concoctions like de-banking, or local crypto currencies backed by local commodities as it would make no difference in short and long run.

    It would not as long as capitalism is left intact meaning rule of capital and commodity exchange markets, legality of exploitation, alienation of labor, legality of production and accumulation of surplus value, centralization of capital , legality of profit and usury of speculative financial (crypto or not) capital formed from socially destructive arbitrary individual or narrow production decisions, etc.,

    Such capitalism whitewashing positions represent perverted marriage of leftists and libertarians.

    Moreover, imposition of artificial individualism of economic decisions that are inherently collective based on community consensus, legalization of always destructive socioeconomic competition or allowing individual failures of human endeavor which are always damaging to society at large and most of all legality of property and individual ownership of means of production and many other features of capitalism precludes any socioeconomically stable society regardless of role of money which always was used as most effective tool of looting, parasitic appropriation of forcefully alienated labor but not required in capitalism.

    Capitalist socioeconomic system is not aimed at producing goods to satisfy human needs but via private or state capital accumulation to economically and hence politically control population by groups of elitists, like energy elitists or food elitists, media elitists and political elitists etc.,local or global.

    Also the system effectively produces social outcomes of small or large scale inequality, inequity and elitarianism that is the core of people’s social misery, suffering which is the real product of capitalism as a social system where social relations and human bonds are negotiated by power, dominance and/or money .

    Not many know in the west that their perceived wrongly past prosperity considered a “proof” of viability of capitalism like in US or Scandinavia 1950s-70s was paid by blood sweat and tears of countless of millions of enslaved somewhere else out of sight and mind of millions of mindless western ignorants who thanked non existent human face of capitalism for it.

    Not a cent of profits were ever shared by capitalists even in days of so called western prosperity, none. What western societies. were allowed to consume in those “good days” was blood, sweat and tears from Soylent Green of humanity at large.

    What we need is socioeconomically and environmentally is self sustainable, democratically self-governed by consensus equal, equitable and egalitarian society of caring and sharing aimed at one thing alone to satisfy basic human needs of healthy food, safe shelter, companionship and opportunity to create what people need after as,ing them first.

    1. I’m sure that post makes sense to you but not to me at all. A commodity backed currency can be legally created by the free market. No legal tender status is required if the circulating medium is a proxy for the debt-free asset that underlies the currency.

      The commodity doesn’t need to be local either and would be better if it wasn’t. A globally recognized monetary metal would be ideal where the individual can monetize his/her own sovereign money and use it in debt-free trades.

      Empowering the consumer empowers the whole economy from the bottom-up. It also creates less reliance on debt….. progressively !

    2. Dreams, fantasy, and high expectations of humans who are easily swayed, corrupted or compromised.
      Don’t put too much faith and hope in your dreams.
      Bless you anyways.

      1. What you exhibit is propaganda attitude of enslaved mind who denies that society is man made and can be remade in every which way possible and that includes self governed equal, equitable, egalitarian societies which are best for everyone except for would be elites aimed at usurping people’s sovereign, unalienable, non transferable power over their own lives.

        “Dream on about your freedom, it will never happen because of.. you.”

        Exactly what slave masters want us to think.

    3. So how’s that going? Good ideas but we’re so far away and any improvement would be an… improvement.. and the break down of capitalism would not necessarily bring about utopia. It is all hard fought and requires a wisdom that comes with maturity. I think that’s what we’re working on now.

      1. Agreed …. the maturity embraces cooperative debt-free market based transactions.
        It’s a backbone to last peace and prosperity.

    4. Thank you, Kalen. I find Ellen Brown’s solutions to be tortured in the extreme, also.

      How do we fund the Earth to grow carrots? I just walk outside and put some seeds in the ground, and the danged things do it on their own! They grow when I sleep, when I’m not at home, all the time when I’m not even looking. It’s the most amazing thing. The potatoes do it, too! So does the parsley! Go freakin’ figure!

      And you know what? Humans and our closest cousins have noticed this phenomenon for well over 500,000 years. It happens even when we don’t put the seeds in the ground. The Earth does this completely without humans, and all biological life survives only because plants grow on their own!

      You know what isn’t sustainable? Trading being able to walk outside and put a seed in the ground that grows all on its own for – everyone getting together and writing charters and getting funding, and creating jobs, and networking and selling and making up currencies that we have to have meetings about because everyone has to agree on it, and systems to adjudicate it, and the packaging and travel and so on and so forth . . .

      Ellen Brown lives in an alternate reality that is not that different from the eternal growth paradigm that is our existential doom right now. The Earth can’t take how we want to live on it. The Earth doesn’t provide on a “profit” basis for any species alive. It can’t take our commerce at all. It can’t take our neediness, our selfishness, our paper, our plastic, our agriculture, our transportation, our greed, our construction, our money, our procreating, our addictions, ad infinitum. It really cannot take our self-worship of our own creativity, our desires to turn all we see into something else, just because we have the energy to do so and it’s personally fulfilling.

      You are absolutely correct. All we have to do is be sustainable. That’s it. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be nonviolent, although life would be better if we were. We don’t have to “evolve” or have anything we do not already have. We don’t need anything new.

      We only had to be sustainable, and we weren’t. We are in collapse now and nothing is going to stop the collapse of most biological life on this planet. Humans will go sooner rather than later.

      1. You’re right!! We’re only sustainable as you put it at a much lower population level… Keeping up mega cities requires an amazing system that is vulnerable in all kinds of ways. And something is giving.

      2. Sustainability is found with the use of debt-free transactions for making trades. We already know how to produce and consume, God knows. The missing link to sustainability is how we grease the wheels in making trades

  15. Another tangent, read her work, 12-part series, here:
    https://dissidentvoice.org/2022/07/booming-economy-leaves-millions-behind-part-eleven/

    U.S. Conditions

    “Biden drops to just 32 percent approval in new Civiqs Poll.”

    “Inflation and the Fed plan to cut wages: A depression Is coming.”

    “83% of Americans cut back on spending as economy careens towards crisis, poll finds.”

    “Americans tap pandemic savings to cope with inflation.”

    “U.S. labor market starts to cool as weekly jobless claims rise, layoffs surge. Announced job cuts jump 57% to 32,517 in June [2022].”

    “Stocks slide to close worst first half in 52 years.”

    “Investments in U.S. tech start-ups plunged 23 percent over the last three months, to $62.3 billion, the steepest fall since 2019, according to figures released on Thursday by PitchBook, which tracks young companies.”

    “U.S. power companies face supply-chain crisis this summer.”

    “New vehicle sales in June 2022 plunged 25% from June 2019, back to 1970s levels, on inventory shortages.”

    “Average car payments now above $700/month, highest price tag on record.”

    “Housing bubble getting ready to pop: pending sales plunge in June [2022], inventory jumps, price reductions spike amid holy-moly mortgage rates.”

    “‘Peak inflation is not here yet’: Rents continue to rise, putting pressure on would-be homebuyers.”

    “Manhattan apartment sales fall 30% in June [2022], but prices remain high.”

    “WA [State of Washington] gasoline sales drop, lifestyles change amid soaring prices.”

    “Report: WV [West Virginia] had highest food insecurity in nation through first half of June [2022].”

    “Texans face skyrocketing home energy bills as the state exports more natural gas than ever.”

    “Inflation is making homelessness worse. Rising prices and soaring rents are taking their toll across the country.”

    “Sacramento State [California] researchers document startling jump in homelessness in county.”

    “Red flag: Consumers are using Buy Now, Pay Later to cover everyday expenses.”

    “State cuts continue to unravel basic support for unemployed workers.”

    “Confidence in U.S. institutions Down; average at new low.”

    “Highland Park Fourth of July [2022] parade shooting was nation’s 309th this year.”

    “Panic at July Fourth [2022] celebrations as crowds mistake fireworks for gunfire.”

    “Just 7% of U.S. adults have good cardiometabolic health.”

    International Conditions

    “One child pushed into severe malnutrition every minute: Unicef.”

    “Oxfam condemns G7 for ‘leaving millions to starve’.”

    “Global hunger figures rose to as many as 828M in 2021: UN.”

    “Historic cascade of defaults is coming for emerging markets.”

    “Charting the global economy: Factories slow down from US to Asia.”

    “Euro slides to 20-year low against the dollar as recession fears build.”

    “Inflation in Eurozone hits record 8.6% as Ukraine war continues.”

    “Sri Lanka energy minister warns petrol stocks about to run dry.”

    “Sri Lankans turn to bicycles as economic crisis worsens.”

    “The world’s third-largest economy [Japan] is facing a looming energy crisis.”

    “Indonesia’s annual inflation rate quickened to 4.35% in June 2022 from 3.55% in May, above market consensus of 4.17% and breaching the central bank’s target range of 2 to 4%.”

    “Millions of Yemenis to go hungry as UN forced to slash food aid.”

    “Egypt’s external debt increased by 8.5 percent in three months.”

    “Over 33,000 British Columbia [Canada] government workers vote for strike action, as contracts for 400,000 public sector workers expire.”

    “Australia risks recession and housing downturn after third rate hike.”

    “UK: Supermarkets put security tags on cheese blocks as stores tackle shoplifting amid soaring food costs.”

    “UK: Debt held by over-55s up 40% in five years.”

    “British Airways to cancel 10,300 more flights.”

    “Norway strikes threaten to cut off gas supplies to UK within days.”

    “The consumer confidence index in Denmark fell to a new record low of -24.8 in June 2022 from -22.4 in the previous month, with four out of the five indicators declining.”

    “Germany posts first monthly trade deficit in 30 years.”

    “France records highest inflation rate for decades.”

    “Dutch farmers block entrances to supermarket warehouses.”

    “State of emergency declared In Italy’s drought-stricken North.”

    “Italy’s liabilities towards other euro zone central banks jumped to a new record high in June [2022], central bank data showed on Thursday.”

    “Core inflation rate in Spain, which excludes volatile items such as unprocessed food and energy products, rose to 4.9 percent in May of 2022, the highest since October of 1995, from 4.4 percent in April.”

    1. P&H

      What you describe is just a sliver of systemic failure as over a decade ago capitalism reached the limits of expansion of post industrial model. Globalization was complete.

      Since then global oligarchs’ cooperation turned into fierce competition encroaching on each other’s global market near monopolistic control as last resort of desperate lust for increase rate of return on capital that despite extreme financialization and centralization via further monopolization and global M&A is continuously collapsing in last decade. We have witnessed cascading, repeating collapse of financial system specifically debt market and money/Repo/FX market, 2007-9 (US)2012 (EU) 2015 (EM,China), 2017 (EM,US, Canada), 2019 (US) 2020 (US, EU, EM), 2022 (EU, US,China and EM) only to be cover up and delayed by massive coordinated global central banks intervention since 2007 to turn stock market shares into interest bearing assets via high, higher than FED interest rates, dividends with growth guaranteed by unprecedented share buybacks paid with more rate suppressed corporate debt.

      As professor Weber from UCLA taught in 1980s Roman Empire died of self inflicted systemic wound just before AD200. It took 276 years to bury the empire because brainwashed by its grandeur Roman elites tried to resurrect that rotten corpse of ancient capitalism as they could not fathom or imagine anything more splendid.

      They were mentally enslaved by imperial system of Roman wilderness and pain where even children have gone insane.

      Today millions in their torpor and desperation including lapsed leftists, turned minions of empire, want to fix, resurrect dead corpse of modern capitalism to its splendid glory that never was.

      Why? because they know nothing else.

    2. Consumers are free to trade debt-free and thus , they have a safe and sane way of entering debt-free market based currency into circulation. That’s been an open door since Executive Order 11825, going back to Dec 31, 1974. Americans simply fell asleep !

      https://www.usgoldbureau.com/gold-confiscation

  16. For Kalen and Tupe:

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reading Ellen Browns articles, mostly on economics, for about 13 or 14 years, and in my opinion, you misunderstand what she’s been saying for that long. And I’m not always in agreement with Ms Brown’s position on certain things either, but I believe you both miss the point of this article as a follow-up to her previous one which for me and many others is a gem of an article. If you haven’t already, clink on some of the links Ellen has added for additional information.

    On the crypto currency and bit coin part, I stated my concern about that type of legal tender in my first post on this article.

    Kalen, I agree with you in the last paragraph in your comment wholeheartedly as it sums up what I said in my first comment.

    1. Frank, first, I want to thank you for your courtesy in disagreement.

      One was on powering our vehicles with ethanol. That is not remotely realistic. It’s anti-science. We can’t have cars that run on anything. The mining and infrastructure, synthetics, chemicals, and resources used in manufacturing, distribution and marketing are unsustainable, and they have been since the first car was bolted together.

      The middle of the 20th century was unsustainable, and already beyond the limit of what the Earth could take, with only 160 million Americans in the low-tech, no plastic world we lived in then, the center of the “developed” world. There were only 25 million cars in the US in 1950 – the car capitol of the world, and we were already at the point of no return on the CO2; it needed to stop then.

      The Earth is so complex and was always so fragile, that humans simply could never go much beyond the hunter-gatherer, minimal agriculture that most indigenous people around the world practiced. That was it. You can tell by how fast the whole place started unraveling by the middle of the 20th century if you don’t care to read the science on CO2 and conservation biology.

      Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring in 1962 because we were close to sending all the raptors to extinction even then. Entire rivers and lakes were so toxic that people were told not to step foot in them, they were devoid of fish, some were on fire. Now we try to ship as much of our waste to other countries, like China.

      Her other links are about money in many forms, creative ways to try to do the same thing we’ve been doing for centuries, but this time with the plan that we’ll control it and make it fair.

      That’s what we do over and over with all our creativity and exploitation. We try to regulate them to make them fair. We always fail spectacularly. Everyone in the world hasn’t failed to be fair, but we have for many centuries.

      Ellen’s response to Baba Yaga’s comment is one that makes me want to cry. She writes in part,

      “. . . how do we get leaders not bent on controlling the opposition by devious means? Ideally, the system would be self-governing. That was the original idea of Bitcoin — a digital money system without political leaders/middlemen/controllers.”

      First of all, there is no human- made system that is self-governing, and I don’t know why such concepts are even suggested as desirable. Our Frankenstein ideology of god-like aspirations is our problem, it isn’t our answer. It’s hubris.

      Second of all, if you want decent leaders you must get rid of the profit motive. However, even doing that, sociopaths are manipulative and devious for fun just because they are. We are human animals and that includes having psychopaths/sociopaths born and/or made regularly within the species, and they are smart and bad and they lie. There is no system we can build that they cannot take over. Lots of people before us understood that, but not us.

      You better not build any system that depends on psychopaths not taking it over, because you will fail.

      She continues . . “But it got diverted into a speculative money-making venture.” Saying that in our exploitative culture is like saying that water is wet. Of course, it got diverted. What doesn’t get diverted? Nothing. The whole planet is in existential crisis because we have diverted the entire Earth into a speculative money-making venture, and we killed and still kill anyone who tries to stop us.

      She adds, “Agreed, the idea that we could create an entire independent system that functioned without glitches and get it implemented is a stretch, but there are people working on it who think it can be done.”

      That’s nonsense. Nothing we make will be independent. That’s the core of most of our failures, that we think we can mess with any part of this planet and it will be independent of the rest of reality. It’s a failure of our mechanistic worldview.

      Nothing we ever create is without glitches, either. Again, why is that even a goal? That’s salesmanship, not reality. It’s what Ward Churchill called the “ideology of the ideal,” and it’s a perennial bestseller in western civ. .

      And, of course, there are people who think it can be done. There are people who think we can build space colonies, who think we are going to survive what is coming and start over with fewer humans starting with the rich in their underground “luxury” survival bunkers, people who think that western civilization is “advanced,” and who think we will devise technology that will save us.

      They are all wrong.

      I already know I have to stop reading Ellen Brown completely, because I can tell that she is trying. But Ellen’s ideas don’t hold up to scrutiny when they are put in the context of environmental science. Sometimes they just don’t hold up, period.

    2. Oops. Something went very wrong in my editing.

      I wrote, I did what you asked and I clicked on several links. That was supposed to precede my comment about ethanol.

      Sorry about that.

      1. Tupe: I understand what you’re saying, at least I think I do, but rather than criticize Ellen, why not offer workable solutions which are realistic and can be implemented in a reasonable amount of time once agreed upon.

        For sure, the political system has to change first, which isn’t easy as they’re are many factions arguing or debating with each other on what system is better than others.

        On your first paragraph above on powering our vehicles, how about David Blume’s method. Check out “Alcohol Can Be A Gas” and see what you think.

        To each their own, but for what it’s worth, I hope you do continue reading Ellen Brown’s articles because you may eventually find something she writes about useful and something you like and believe could be achieved for the betterment of society. I’m sure she works hard doing the research before she writes, like so many other intelligent writer do, so at least give her the credit she deserves. Hey Tupe, I’m just “Joe Nobody” and it’s only my opinion. Thanks for replying!

      2. You don’t change the political model without power and the power that is attainable for the grass roots is found in the monetary model now the people can legally monetize their own sovereign market gold and silver with market efficiency and real-time price measurements.

        Exerting buying power that creates real growth and pads the wallets of the various governments who get a piece of the economic growth will have the political class sit up and take notice.

        Go with strength. People have far more power in economics than they do in politics. In economics , your vote always counts …. especially when you use your own sovereign ballot !

        It’s the consumer who now has the open door to the monetary stage.

    3. Frank, I’m glad to see Ellen has some people reading who understand her work. With the whole internet to choose from, I’m not sure why people comment just to criticize. Find the people who make sense to you, who give you hope and strength, and don’t waste your time belittling those you don’t agree with.

      I’ve been reading Ellen since I heard her speak at a conference on 911 and The Deep State, and it changed the course of my life. I found what she said about banks creating the money so shocking that I couldn’t believe everyone didn’t know about it. Once you get, at a deep level, that by creating the money they own all of labor, all of the assets, you know everything else is window dressing.

      I never thought that economics would become my next two decades of research and the topic of my book, mostly built on David Graeber and Ellen’s work to apply her principles to a decentralized model that adds a local credit system backed by mortgages, which is taxed and controlled exclusively by the commonwealth.

      And since you mentioned Russia, I forget if I told you about my last Third Paradigm episode on Russia: a Wrench in the Reset Gears? It looks in detail at Putin’s domestic economic policies, which I think are from Glazyev. They’re the exact opposite of the Reset agenda, and support families and communities in a way that’s going to change the world, I think.

      1. Tereza, Yes, yes, yes, and yes on your four paragraphs .

        I also attended the conference on 9/11 and Deep State where Ellen spoke. In fact she was sitting next to Michael Parenti, a long time hero of mine. Both days had knowledgeable speakers on the panel of the subject matter and much more. I told my wife, “That redhead sitting next to Parenti is sharp as a tack. I’ve been reading her articles for several years.”

        And I think you’re correct about Glazyev’s influence on Putin, whose policies are the opposite of the Reset. I’m also a fan of David Graeber.

        And I agree with you about criticizing the writer, especially one who tries their best in informing the public, but you’ll find contrarians on every website or in every audience ready to “sharpshoot” the instructor or guest speaker, which is an army term used to show you know more than the teacher/lecturer or in Ellen’s case, the writer, to impress others.

      2. So Frank, does that mean you’re in the Bay Area or even in Santa Cruz? That was a really pivotal conference. I met David Ray Griffith there–on another thread, we’ve been talking about how disappointing Amy Goodman’s ‘debate’ was between him and Chip Berlet, who used rhetorical tricks to discredit him. I remember wanting to make a point about the opposite of conspiracy theories being a Forrest Gump theory, that nice guys strike it rich because they have a good idea and get lucky–and then Parenti made my point. I like his thinking a lot.

        Have you noticed the ratio of men to women on this thread? Julie Ashton makes a succinct, on-point remark above and that’s it. Ellen is the foremost thinker in the US on public banking, and banker control of money is the foremost problem. Yet the insults and snobbery and relentless promotion on this site are by men who have no comprehension of the history, analysis and solutions that Ellen presents.

        I taught a community class on Web of Debt and Wizards of Money (a radio show by a woman who went by Smithy). The questions and assignments are at my website univercity.us, and it was considered an advanced level class because of the depth of material Ellen brings. It’s crazy to me that we’re not making progress here applying and refining Ellen’s ideas for our own communities. Instead, men are berating her for not taking on their agendas, which can be found elsewhere.

        My suggestion for Ellen is that she publish her whole articles on Substack, rather than a paragraph and a ‘read more’. Scheerpost’s comment format is clunky, in any case, and sends all comments or none, and doesn’t keep threads together. Substack encourages deep and constructive conversations, and doesn’t seem to attract the “sharpshooters,” as you aptly call them. Maybe there the question of “how do we self-fund local food?” would have been more than a jumping off point.

  17. Wow, Ellen. Tons of comments.

    Farmlandgrab, a site cataloging how felons like Gates and others are ripping farmland from local communities.

    And, you know about the fourth industrial revolution, so Alison McDowell is obsessed with researching all the players in that soon to come to your state and nation dystopia.

    Here, her latest over at wrenchinthegears…

    Displaced people aren’t to be blamed; no one wants to be forced out of their home and culture. The average length of stay in a UNHCR camp is currently five years under terrible conditions with very limited rights and economic opportunities. Yet issues of asylum tend to center the challenges of meeting the needs of individuals and families balanced against economic and social impacts on host communities, who are often suffering under conditions of austerity themselves, rather than interrogating the systems that led to mass displacement in the first place.

    I believe millions of people are being pressured to be on the move, because it serves the interests of power to normalize biometrically-managed social instability as the disruptive potential of Web 3.0 materializes. Last year the Charter Cities Institute prepared a white paper proposing their solution as an improvement over the current horror of refugee camps where families may languish for years. In the introduction, the author Sarah Doyel states that data from the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees indicates the number of displaced people has almost doubled over the past decade from 43 million to 80 million. Each of those people is a potential impact opportunity for global investment portfolios.

  18. This is a great idea for city folk.

    May 22, 2022 Vertical farms: A new form of agriculture

    In downtown Jackson, Wyoming, a small plot of land, 30 by 150 feet, produces 100,000 pounds of produce a year, thanks to a farm that soars in the air. Correspondent Martha Teichner looks at the growing industry of locally-sourced vertical farms for urban communities.

    https://youtu.be/JixDaIoJrAI

  19. Jackson was originally populated by Native American tribes including the Shoshoni, Crow, Blackfeet, Bannock, and Gros Ventre. In the early 1800s, the locality became a prime area for trappers and mountain men to travel through.

    Sure, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the fires and thr droughts will get you. And, who has those 2-4-2 homes (second, third homes) in Jackson Hole? Two for 2 people, four for 4,000 sq feet and two for 2 months occupied out of the year? Oh, yeah, the One Percent and their Eichmann’s in the 10 Percenter club.

    Bio regional planning. Watershed planning. State to state planning. This capitalism for me, myself and I has to end.

    In Teton County, home to the famed Jackson Hole ski resort in Wyoming, the average income of a member of the top 1% tops $28 million. The average annual income of the wealthiest one percent of the residents of Teton County, Wyoming — a group that includes Dick Cheney and Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton — is more than $28 million.

  20. Frank Lambert,

    Thank you for your response. But, I have a better idea. Why don’t you read some IPCC report summaries and other environmental information, and then we can talk. Your discourse parameters are too narrow.

    It’s not just that automobiles burn CO2. That is not our only problem, although it IS our most pressing problem and will kill everything on the planet faster than our deforestation and toxic pollution and agriculture failure will. Abrupt heating of another 300 ppm CO2 equivalent will see massive die-offs of most life on Earth, including humans. That’s a real possibility at some point due to methane, particularly in Africa and on the Siberian shelf/Alaska.

    If you would would read a good summary of the IPCC reports, you would know that we can’t have any of this stuff that we do, the trade, the commerce, the use of “resources.” Let me say it again, and this isn’t me, it is the science – humanity could never do much more damage to Earth than hunter-gatherer, low-agriculture indigenous people around the world did and still have a future. We can’t change how much the planet can give, that is beyond us.

    We haven’t been sustainable for centuries living the way Europeans have lived. Our waters were pretty much undrinkable by the middle ages, which is why everyone had to drink alcohol all the time, which led to the social problems associated with that addiction, but they had no choice. The waters were full of human and animal waste. We never had enough resources on our own to support our rich people, so we were always brutalizing the weak in our societies, especially women.

    It’s not just that cars make CO2, again. The science is in, and the planet cannot take the roads we put on it to be able to drive our cars. The pavement is toxic, too. It can’t take the parking lots we need for all our cars, no matter what they run on. It can’t take replacing them repeatedly, because they are not self-sustaining, self-repairing, and we don’t make any resources ourselves, we just take from the planet.

    The Earth can’t take our toxins. Humans now put 400 million tons of toxic waste into the environment annually. It doesn’t matter how we fuel that waste creation, the Earth can’t take the waste.

    I could go on, and on, and on, but you would need to read 12 years of environmental science as I have on a daily basis, lots of science, lots of news, during which time I wasn’t reading Ellen Brown.

    Her writing is silly but dangerously grandiose with its self-governing bitcoins and ethanol.

    And I will say this. Right here in my home state there are thousands and thousands of rural Native Americans who, until the salmon runs and marine mammal populations started crashing in the last few years, lived a primarily subsistence life, even feeding entire teams of dogs salmon they caught and dried every year. They gather berries and greens that they preserve, and their annual incomes are about $2K-3K per year, all or part of which will always be the Permanent Fund Dividend they receive from the State of Alaska.

    They have a true gift economy, just like they’ve had for about 12,000 years in this country, without currency of any kind, the manufacture and regulating of which is not only absolutely ridiculous in real local, independent, subsistence communities, it is a cost to the environment that is unnecessary.

    Our problem is we think we’re happier than people used to be, and we could not be more wrong. Almost everyone in tribal societies was happier than we have ever been since we’ve been civilized. Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1750:

    “Happiness is more generally and equally diffus’d among Savages than in civilized societies. No European who has tasted savage life can afterwards bear to live in our societies.”

    I recommend that in addition to reading some good summaries of the IPCC reports that you at least read David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth,” the article in the Intelligencer, not the book, although naturally the book is much better. The article is a little dated, from 2017, I think, but it’s an excellent summary with the right ideas.

    There are no solutions for what we have done. There is no solution for shooting yourself in the head and inflicting a fatal blow to your own life, which is what we’ve done to the planet. We’re Wile Coyote and we’re already off the cliff, waiting to hit bottom, which is coming.

    We’re also at a serious tipping point with the drought in the Southwest. You know what’s going to happen when the agriculture goes? People are going to start walking out and planting seeds with militancy, just like they did with their nationwide run on toilet paper during covid, and they aren’t going to wait to be funded or organized by community. They will figure it out, like they did for 300,000 years before we came along and made it all “better,” as we like to think.

    Thanks,
    T

    1. p.s., Frank, but if you want to live as though there is a small possibility that the Earth and biological life could survive us, this is what you would have to do.

      Exactly as Baba Yaga says, we would have to devote our finite resources to meeting humanity’s real but basic needs for food, shelter, water, medicine, and clothes. We would need to shut the whole thing down and focus only on *essential* activities for humanity, like during covid, as long as necessary to allow the Earth to recover. Very few human activities are *essential*.

      While we did that, we would need to immediately devise technology to take CO2 and CH4 out of the atmosphere and worse, the oceans. Because things like the Amazon rainforest are now CO2 emitters, not CO2 sinks, methane is hemorrhaging into the atmosphere, and even if we did quit screwing up the air the planet would continue to heat to extinction levels for decades to come. We would have to clean up all our plastic and toxins and superfund sites around the world. We would have to clean up all the nuclear waste that exists, and shut down all the nuclear power plants there are, more than 450 of them globally, and clean them up, also. We would need to fix Fukushima, instead of continually dumping its radioactive water into the Pacific ocean.

      We do not have the ability to do any of the above, not the knowledge, not the technology anywhere near scale. The technology we need is a remote fantasy at this time. We have unleashed forces we cannot and never will be able to control. Humans can do that. They can break things they can’t fix, kill things they can’t resurrect, and destroy things they can’t recreate.

      Probably we could live something close to the low-tech life the Amish have, even a little more technology, if there were far fewer people in the world and the world was healthy. The time to do that was decades, if not a couple of centuries ago, before the environment started collapsing and long before the extreme weather events began a decade ago.

      But . . . if you thought you could possibly save the world, you would need to take the steps I list. That is the only solution I know of.

      1. Thank you for taking the time to write all that, Tupe. I’ve spent hundreds of hours learning about the climate and environmental situation over the last two years and everything you said was spot on. Ellen is trying to save modern civilization, not the planet. One cannot do both.

        I have been replacing my front lawn with food and flowers because I see what lies ahead very soon.

  21. Tereza, this will be my last post on this article and I won’t be answering replies from others as i was the penultimate debater in school and tired of matching wits with others while the nation implodes.

    But to answer your question, I live in Monterey County,

    One more thing. The oligarchs and the ruling-class and their subservient political “representatives” (an oxymoron) love the digital age is it keeps people informed but void and next to their electronic devices rather than in the streets., in massive numbers with an intent to take action. I’m not talking about protest marches or standing with protest signs giving the thumbs up when passing motorists honk their horns in agreement. I’ve done all three things and changed nothing.

    I wish you the very best, and thanks for all that you have done and still do, and have good health and much happiness because it’s getting worse. The writing’s on the wall for those who care to read it.

  22. @Julie Ashton, thank you. You are correct. Ellen is perpetuating civilization. She wants to save the problem but make it finally work. Like they all do.

  23. I want to clarify my comments regarding the subsistence Native people I spoke of. They are not wholly subsistence, and many do receive food stamps. But, they literally often have to travel up to 50 miles ore more by airplane or by boat or snowmobile to find a grocery store. It will be the only store for at least another 300 miles.

    They have electricity and computers in their most remote villages, and some have plumbing, but not all. Even so, nearly all of their food is subsistence based. When I worked with them only a few years ago, I was told that I needed to bring my own food when I traveled to their villages, because I would not be able nor want to eat any of their foods, like walrus and seal, and they did not have food for me.

    They share all their food with their whole village without regulations or currency, and they do it every year all the time and they do it fairly, because there is no system that will do that for us. We can’t make a magic system that will make us share fairly because we can’t make ourselves share fairly.

  24. Thanks for the conversation and stimulus, Ellen. The links between growing food and eating food can be made by a medium of exchange without having so many middle [men] skimming all the cream, or protein or sugar etc. An agreed upon currency between these players is a good start.
    Beetcoin.org from Slow money is also an interesting bridge to something new.
    Woody Tasch’s piece “A Call to Farms” on the Beetcoin.org site is a very good read and very timely. Something any community can initiate to fund local food system parts. Still in draft stage. I will send the current draft.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: