Today is the day when UK votes to leave or stay the European Union.
Referendum Day. Many of us agree it has shown the most appalling campaigns on both sides, mis-information and posturing, and the utterly sad unspeakable murder last week of Jo Cox, who was doing the job for which she was elected as best she could.
I am back in UK, but I forgot the day of the vote when I planned a visit to my sisters, forgot I would need to arrange a postal vote, so I am not voting and feel guilty. But, not so much guilty for not voting, though there is that, but guilty because I keep intending to write about issues that I really think do matter, while this EU vote is a distraction, and I have been finding it hard to write, so avoiding it. You know the feeling.
I think one serious issue, worldwide, is that we need a monetary reform, a change in the system of “money” on which economic theory is based. Worrying about all sorts of issues, climate, environment, inequality, war, refugees, … and the me-me-me concerns too, own family troubles, illnesses, work, no work, … whatever… a few years ago I found – by accident – a perspective that enabled some thought about all of these things to come together, even though they are so different.
The world functions on a monetary system, that grew since the industrial revolution, almost by accident. [First chapter of a great book here.] Money, the enabling idea that furthers all our needs and exchange of resources, is mostly created as DEBT, and as well as having to be repaid, more debt has to be created to pay interest repayments, and like fish do not see they swim in water, it is hard to get a sight of the system we are in, we just see bits and pieces of the consequences. The absolute need for monetary reform is neither left not right nor conservative nor progressive nor any more complex understanding of the political spectrum. The current wrongness of a monetary system based on debt plays out as failure, just a different sort of failure, from every perspective. Links at the end of this post, to some of the ways of seeing, and alternatives that ARE QUITE REALISTIC. We need first to see that the current monetary system is a failure, and tell all our representatives to pay attention to this, not to the nonsense that is currently being peddled.
If we had an alternative economic system, we are not off the hook, but at least we could start to discuss the various directions that might be taken. The many quite different sets of perspectives, from ethics, empathy, self-interest, self/other, care or lack of care for planet etc etc etc. would be operating in a less distorted field from which to begin thinking about ‘economics’, resources and production.
Psychology, sociology, psychoanalysis, neuroscience, anthropology, more have reached one common understanding about “thinking”. Thought is always subjective in part. Ditch the enlightenment fallacy that pure reason can be achieved [therefore also ditch the basis of much economic theory] but don’t throw out the good parts. To enable thinking that recognizes the quality of both emotion and reason – the way forward is to look under the surface of what is said, not to judge, but to add that aspect consciously to the information one has.
Back to thoughts about this UK referendum.
Looked at this reflexive way round, from under the surface, the two planks of BREXIT/LEAVE EU argument are:
- basic fear re survival – working people (in or out of work) are in various ways despairing … too much downsizing of quality of life, quality of work (target tick box NHS and education etc) in poverty or fear of it, work is too long too hard or just not available … people get on with living anyway … BUT, when asked, can go for Autonomy, control, manage our own affairs…all the way to the yuk end of the spectrum, the keep ‘them’ out view.
- helplessness – the world is not surviving, let alone Europe or Britain or Lands End or John o’Groats – to be progressive, to have a chance to act, need out from under this bad bureaucracy un-elected authority whether it is EU corporatism or USA TIPP or any of the others … want to be heard, want voice, personal authority, be the change we want to be, has to start here, … Hence autonomy, control, manage our own affairs … [the rebellious child and the authoritarian parent that anyone can and does have in emotional terms both belong here, we can even be both at once especially when there is an apparently hopeless helpless issue in front of us – create a disturbance and something will shake up]
At the ACTION END of thinking, both can appeal, the latter especially to many of us. From the “use both emotion and reason” way to address problems, thought is more of an ecological system, seeing the emotion helps clarify both the direction and the consequences of the action – remembering that the future can’t be certain and is not open to reason. Two questions help thought: Are you facing or avoiding the underlying emotion? and What kind of feeling direction will your action bring? [competition, just you and yours, myself, my tribe, or collaboration, self and others each enabled, neither disabled, etc.].
BREXIT fails both these criteria, especially the latter. It appeals to un-examined emotional responses, it avoids the consequences. I say DO NOT VOTE LEAVE. There are various reasoned articles proposing “leave”, apparently ‘good’ from an economics reform perpective, e.g. from Professor Richard Werner. But looking at this article in particular from the emotion AND reason perspective, it stops being a ‘good’ article, it is full of avoidance, it has left out a pretty important element that everyone has already noticed is present, the perspective, political identity, of the next likely people in charge, whether Farage, Gove, Boris and company, or more of Cameron, Osbourne and company. [ditto establishment politics in other countries]
Remain/Stay is the least worst option. But not a great one. There are far more important issues in front of us, in UK and as people in one interconnected world. So I do not feel too bad about not voting. Like everyone else, I will see what happens tomorrow.
I wish I had written earlier, but this sort of thought is a continual struggle, it does not just arrive in ones mind to be put down. On the page it looks critical of others, for example the process of having read over a hundred network posts on Positive Money is absent. It ignores the feelings of despair and distress when Jo Cox was killed, hearing of her way of working, hearing her husband and colleagues speak about her vision.
Appreciating the ongoing thought of others is not easily visible in a blog post. Whatever happens today, how many of us can continue to put forward reflective and mindful thought process? Many thoughts hold both emotion and reason well, but not always with conscious awareness. Can holding awareness be used in the future?
NB, being mindful, using both emotion and reason in awareness, is free of monetary cost, freeware, not copyrighted or patented.
PM ideas matter, monetary reform matters, because it would have effect on real need. The arguments for and against EU do not matter in anything like the same way as they avoid these needs.
I hope we get back to them after today.(quite afraid of being considered a complete idiot, but so what, few of you really know me)
Links about economic and monetary reform, and possible alternatives:
Many you-tube videos, documentaries.