It is ironic that the ancient Greek word “oikonomia”, which literally translates into “the laws of the house”, has a double meaning in modern Greek. Along with “economy”, it also means “conservation” if used in a different sentence structure.
The massive irony of this of course is that, modern human economies are as far removed from the concept of conservation as they could possibly be. If anything, the key mantra of any economy created by humans is, and will always be, “Grow or Die”. But never “Conserve”, never “stay the same”.
There is however one economy in the world which neither grows or dies, and actually stays the same, or at least it did, until recently. It is the most ancient economy that has ever existed, and which has been around for billions of years before humans even arrived: the economy of Earth.
The real economy of this planet is its forests and oceans. Its currency is water, food, oxygen, sunlight. Its stock market is the ecosystems and climate systems that balance the value and allocation of these resources, and its stakeholders are the 8 million species that live here and contribute to this economy, each of them in their own way.
Humans are under the impression that they “invented” the concept of economy, but they didn’t. They invented economies that parasitize the Earth’s economy. Human economies are blood suckers that die once they have killed their host. They are completely dependent on outside nutrients from Nature. They depend on Nature’s rains and rivers to water their crops and produce potable water and energy. They depend on Nature’s energy, stored as fats, carbohydrates and protein, to survive. Even oil is chemical energy that was carefully captured by billions of plants through photosynthesis and stored in the ground.
Human “economies” have always, ever since their inception, and without any exception, operated on a negative balance: their debt towards nature exceeds their GDP by several thousand multiples and keeps growing. And since greed is the driving force behind all human economies, all these economies are unhealthy, just like a gluttonous diabetic: they easily faulter, succumbing to inflation, deflation, and all sorts of malaises that are very rare in the natural economy.
Of course they always run back to the CBE (Central Bank of Earth) for a bailout: a new rainforest to destroy, a new river to reroute for human consumption, and so on. They always run to the only ONE healthy economy of the planet. Because unlike the dysfunctional human economy, in the real economy of this planet until very recently there was no price inflation, no economic boom and bust cycles. With the exception of rare extinction events, the CBE had a solid, steady performance. The value of the trees, the food, the oxygen stayed pretty much the same for millions of years: priceless, yet renewable. It was an immortal economy, build to last until the end of time. It was an economy founded on the concept of sharing and recycling, as opposed to greed and destruction.
But then humans arrived. As I mentioned, the human “economy” is an economy that can only survive as a parasite on the real economy of the planet. It has no sound business principles, driven exclusively by borrowing and exploitation that leads to permanent depletion.
The Central Bank of Earth is the sole big lender that props up this bogus human economy, but it has already declared bankruptcy hundreds of years ago. Despite this, the CBN will be run down to the ground, down to the bricks and mortars of its foundation until there is nothing left. It will be depleted, as long as the human economy continues to follow the main principles of capitalism: Exploit. Destroy. Leverage. Accelerate. Monetize. Grow. Inflate.
The human economy is a Ponzi scheme, holding the entirety of Earth’s economy hostage. It is a hungry tape worm, eating the planet from the inside.
(from the upcoming “Little Book of Doom”)
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books