Shapps and the great social land giveaway.

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Sat Aug 27 12:26:21 BST 2011

On Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:01:01 am you wrote:
> To defeat power one requires greater power.

To quote Martin Luther King, "the ends are pre-existent in the means".

E.g. the Green Party, whilst in its dim distant past was anti-growth, will not 
publicly talk about that as aleading part of its programme today. Even 
seemingly bland outposts of new ideas, like the Centre for Alternative 
Technology, are now dependent upon direct corporate sponsorship, or indirect 
funding through training people to serve that corporate agenda, from some of 
the biggest waste and fossil energy companies to fund their everyday work.

Every ecological process works to optimise the conditions for its perpetuation 
-- the modern political-economic process is no different!

Every mainstream group must shackle their limbs and gag their mouth the moment 
that they "engage" with the political process because that's the precondition 
of participation. That being the case, no process/solution they can advance 
will solve our present predicament within the time available. We need to look 
at more direct options -- and by direct I don't mean against the state, I mean 
our own organisation to create alternative support mechanisms; cutting out the 
"middle man" of representative politics and creating your own process with 
those around you.

> The control of money is the key to the power of Capitalism.

What is power? What is capitalism? for that matter, what the hell is money?

Are you fighting real things or a consensual delusion? -- it's important to 
know before you start. E.g., if money is a representative token of resources 
like food or metal, then it's not money we need to worry about but the 
supplyof those resources. The representative role of money makes it very easy 
to misunderstand the physical relationships involved.

E.g. which bits do we go for first? Quantitative easing, fiscal stimulus? All 
those thing are constructs/simulacra -- they're meaningless. You can't 
"control" that which does not physically exist. Trying to control 
money/capitalism is like trying to control insecurity, fear or self-loathing; 
you can't seize or destroy that which has no physical form! You just have to 
convince those involved that it doesn't exist either -- allowing them to move 
on to "something different".

There is no such thing as money, it's an abstract concept. What exists are 
those things that are essential to our biological design -- food, warmth, 
shelter and human company. At present those things are (sometimes, it has to 
be sadly observed, willingly/with complicity) ransomed from us by people who 
have used their history power to control the supply of resources. Now that 
those resources are beginning to enter the serious depletion phase they can no 
longer maintain that bargain, and so that historic deal is going to fall 
apart. That's the opportunity we must play upon to promote an alternative 

What has meaning is our own "time" -- our perception of existence, and the 
physical abilities that are required to support that existence. People need to 
realise that they are capable of being more than a consumer; more than the job 
they do. TV, iPhones and fashion are constructs of the economic order that 
seek to steal our time (as economic labour) and give us more time-consuming 
products in return (as economic leisure). The modern economy doesn't just suck 
the labour from our lives, it also commodifies and extracts the joy from our 

We're biological beings. If we can supply our need for food, shelter, warmth 
and companionship then all else is negotiable. That's going to be the struggle 
over the next few decades, not just because the economic system is knackered, 
but because the supply and price of the resources essential to support the 
industrial food system's operation (e.g. crude oil, phosphate rock and top 
soil) is going to collapse the economic relationships in that process -- and 
with over half the human species now urbanised, and thus dependent upon that 
globalised food system, that's one hell of a shit storm!

That search for an alternative means of everyday survival is going to leave 
people more open to suggestion. We need to prepare for that eventuality; to 
help people manage a broken system, not rail against the system that people 
BELIEVE exists today, but which arguably hasn't existed since the 1970s (it's 
just that no one noticed it was broke because we've been living on 
credit/funny money ever since).

We don't need to "seize" power to bring down the present economic process -- 
it's going to quite happily do that all on its own! All we need is for 15% to 
20% of people to step outside and form their own alternative processes and the 
consensual delusion of the economic consensus will implode as the other 80% 
realise what's going on. That's going to happen whether people like it or not 
because of the economic state Britain's in, and the way that indigenous energy 
resource depletion is going to gut the historic operation of our economy (see ). What we have today an opportunity to 
influence is the outcome of that process -- if we have the sense to realise 
that and create the alternatives ready for when people want them.

Right now social theorists talk of the unreachable "5%" or "10%" -- the people 
on the sink estates that the present economic process can do nothing for. The 
contraction of the global economy as a result of oil and resource depletion is 
going to leave at least 25% to 30% of the populous economically unproductive 
in a couple decades. That's the norm in most "developing" countries around the 
globe; and places like Spain, Greece and Italy, with their endemic high 
unemployment -- especially youth unemployment -- are further down that path 
than in the UK. In that event we'll have to find a new economic model because 
the post-war "welfare" model can't support that many inactive people (well, it 
could, but it would mean redistributing the wealth of the elite which is not 
what the Keynesian/Beveridge welfare model was designed to do -- hence why a 
new model is required).

Unfortunately all the "alternative lifestyle" gigs that are popular at the 
moment are designed around the lifestyle/aspirations of the wealthiest 25%/the 
middle class -- people who are arguably doing pretty well out of things as 
they are. We need to help the poor find a new economic process in order that 
they can escape the grim future that the system has waiting for them..., that's a challenge far bigger than knobbling capitalism!!

Hmmn, perhaps I'll shut up now. Sorry to rant, but I'm in the middle of 
writing something very similar on this point, entitled "The Credability 
Crunch" (I think you get the idea).

Personally, I don't want to seize power. Tried that; didn't like it when I had 
some of it because you're still expected to perform how the system works in 
the past, not change it towards a better future.

These days I much prefer sharing my skills with people who need them. 
Revolutions might be in the mind, but they're made with our hands. If we're 
going to get a significant proportion of people to jump the sinking ship, then 
we need to make sure they have the skills to do that (e.g. see ).

If people have skills, and the confidence to use them, then they're not 
required to adhere to the consensual delusion of capital; they can just "do" 
the alternatives. That was the social condition that existed a few centuries 
ago, before inclosure -- and it's important to note that the inclosure of our 
physical being was the pre-requisite to the inclosure of all other aspects of 
our everyday life. That's why skills, not abstract political theory, is the 
mean by which we'll help people get past our current difficulties and move on to 
"something different".




"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
For details see

Read my 'essay' weblog, "Ecolonomics", at:

Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
email - mobbsey at
website -
public key -

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