Hasta la victoria siempre

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Schita pentru o economie a viitorului

Daca aratam in postarea anterioara ca cercetatorul Ted Trainer a dovedit ca nu exista solutii tehnologice credibile care sa evite epuizarea resurselor energetice mondiale spre care duce consumerismului actual si cel estimat pentru urmatorii ani, azi prezint o schita a unei viitoare, alternative economii bazate pe o respingere colectiva a capitalismului consumerist. Textul ii aprtine tot lui Ted Trainer si se numeste sugestiv „The Simpler Way: An Outline of the Global Situation, the Sustainable Alternative Society, and the Transition To It”.

Pe scurt, situatia se prezinta astfel:
„Our industrial-affluent-consumer society is extremely unjust and ecologically unsustainable. The argument below is that these problems cannot be solved in a society that is driven by obsession with high rates of production and consumption, affluent living standards, market forces, the profit motive and economic growth. Most people do not realise the magnitude of the overshoot, the extent to which this society is unsustainable. Because this is so great there must be vast and radical system changes if the big global problem are to be solved. A sustainable and just world order cannot be achieved until we move to very different lifestyles, values and systems, especially to a new economic system.

The alternative we must work for is The Simpler Way, based on frugal "living standards", co-operation, high levels of local economic self-sufficiency, and zero economic growth. The final section below argues that the top priority for people concerned about the fate of the planet should be starting to build these new lifestyles and systems within existing towns and suburbs.”

Cu ce trebuie sa inlocuim actuala ideologie a „pietei libere”, care a nascut monstruoase nedreptati si inegalitati, si care a carei rapacitate ameninta viitorul omenirii si al Terrei? Cu simplitatea voluntara, cooperare, auto-suficienta economica locala, abandonarea idealului nesustenabil al cresterii economice perpetue.

Directiile pe care se impune sa le urmam sunt cele de mai jos:
„* Material living standards must be much less affluent. In a sustainable society per capita rates of resources use must be a small fraction of those in Australia today.

* There must be mostly small scale highly self-sufficient local economies.

* There must be mostly cooperative and participatory local systems whereby small communities control their own affairs, independent of the international and global economies.

* A very different economic system must be developed, one that is under social control, geared to meeting needs as distinct from maximising profits, not driven by market forces, and without any growth.

* None of this is possible without radical change in values, away from competition, self-interest and greed, and to cooperation, participation, giving and non-material satisfactions.”

Adica scaderea pretentiilor materiale, accent pus pe productie locala si comunitati auto-suficiente, descentralizare, cooperare si democratie directa (autogestiune), productie axata pe satisfacerea nevoilor materiale de baza-nu pe profit, abandonarea eticii capitaliste individualiste.

Sa detaliem, alaturi de Ted Trainer, cateva dintre aceste propuneri.

Satisfacerea nevoilor de baza, suficiente pentru un trai decent
„Living more simply does not mean deprivation or hardship. It means focusing on what is sufficient for comfort, hygiene, efficiency etc. Most of our basic needs can be met by quite simple and resource-cheap devices and ways, compared with those taken for granted and idolised in consumer society.
Living in materially simple ways can cut enormous amounts off the money a person needs to earn. Consider housing. A perfectly adequate, and indeed beautiful house for a small family can be built for around $5000. This indicates how The Simpler Way will liberate people from slavery to consumer-capitalist society, enabling most time to be put into more fulfilling activities than earning money.”

Auto-suficienta locala
„We must develop as much self-sufficiency as we reasonably can at the national level, meaning less trade, at the household level, and especially at the neighbourhood, suburban, town and local regional level. We need to convert our presently barren suburbs into thriving regional economies which produce most of what they need from local resources.
The domestic or household economy already accounts for about half the real national output, but this is ignored by conventional economics which only counts dollar costs. Households can again become significant producers of vegetables, fruit, poultry, preserves, fish, repairs, furniture, entertainment and leisure services, and community support.

Neighbourhoods would contain many small enterprises such as the local bakery. Some of these could be decentralised branches of existing firms, enabling most of us to get to work by bicycle or on foot. Much of our honey, eggs, crockery, vegetables, furniture, fruit, fish and poultry production could come from households and backyard businesses engaged in craft and hobby production. It is much more satisfying to produce most things in craft ways rather than in industrial factories. However it would make sense to retain some larger mass production factories and sources of materials, such as mines and steel works and railways.

Almost all food could come from within a few hundred metres of where we live, most of it from within existing towns and suburbs. The sources would be, a) intensive home gardens, b) community gardens and cooperatives, such as poultry, orchard and fish groups, many small market gardens located within and close to suburbs and towns, d) extensive development of commons, especially for production of fruit, nuts, fish, poultry, animal grazing, herbs, bamboo and timber. (...)”.

Un avantaj esential al viziunii propuse de Trainer este o independenta crescuta fata de sectorul financiar. In cuvintele sale,

„One of the most important ways in which we would be highly self-sufficient would be in finance. Firstly The Simpler Way requires little capital. Most enterprises are very small, and it will not be an expanding economy. Virtually all neighbourhoods have all the capital they need to develop those things that would meet their basic needs, yet this does not happen when our savings are put into conventional banks. Our capital is borrowed by distant corporations, often to do undesirable things, and not to improve our neighbourhood.
We would form many small town banks from which our savings would only be lent to firms and projects that would improve our town. These banks could charge low or negative interest, or make grants.
We will couple the banks with Business Incubators which provide assistance to little firms, such as access to accountants, computers and advice from panels of the town’s most experienced business people. These two institutions will give us the power to establish in our town the enterprises and industries it needs, as distinct from being at the whim of corporations and foreign investors who will only set up in our town if that will maximize their global profits, and in any case will not set up firms to produce what we need.
We can therefore take control of our own development and make sure that it is determined by what will benefit the town, cut its imports, minimize ecological impacts, eliminate waste and provide livelihoods.”

Pe scurt, importanta auto-suficientei economice locale, va insemna ca:
„The alternative neighbourhood would be full of familiar people, small businesses, industries, farms, lakes, common projects, animals, gardens, forests, windmills, waterwheels, and familiar people and therefore full of interesting things to do or observe. Consequently people would be less inclined to travel on weekends and holidays, which would greatly reduce national energy consumption.

This shows how the solution to many problems will mostly involve carrots rather than sticks. We will reduce travel not by penalties but by eliminating the need for most of it, by ensuring that work and leisure sites are close to where we live.
To repeat, a high level of domestic and local economic self-sufficiency is crucial if we are to dramatically reduce overall resource use. It will cut travel, transport and packaging costs, and the need to build freeways, ships and airports etc. It will also enable our communities to become secure from devastation by distant economic events, such as depressions, devaluations, interest rate rises, trade wars, capital flight, and exchange rate changes.”

Autorul dezvolta aceasta idee, prezentand inclusiv detalii tehnice despre cum va functiona o astfel de localitate in sectiunea „Land Areas and Footprint”.

Cooperare si participare comunala
„The third essential characteristic of the alternative way is that it must be very communal, participatory and cooperative. Firstly, we must share many things. We could have a few stepladders, electric drills, etc., in the neighbourhood workshop, as distinct from one in every house.
We would be on various voluntary rosters, committees and working bees to carry out most of the windmill maintenance, construction of public works, child minding, nursing, basic educating and care of aged and disadvantaged people in our area, as well as to perform most of the functions councils now carry out for us, such as maintaining our own parks and streets. In addition working bees and committees would maintain the many commons. We would therefore need far fewer bureaucrats and professionals, reducing the amount of income we would have to earn to pay taxes. (When we contribute to working bees we are paying some of our tax.)
Especially important would be the regular voluntary community working bees. Just imaging how rich your neighbourhood would now be if every Saturday afternoon for the past five years there had been a voluntary working bee doing something that would make it a more pleasant place for all to live.
There would be far more community than there is now. People would know each other and be interacting on communal projects. Because all would realise that their welfare depended heavily on how well we looked after each other and our ecosystems, there would be powerful incentives for mutual concern, facilitating the public good, and making sure others were content. The situation would be quite different to consumer-capitalist society where there is little incentive on individuals to care for others or their community.”

Viata publica a unei comunitati evident mai mici in comparatie chiar cu municipiile actuale va fi una impregnata de spirit civic, luarea in comun a deciziilor, cooperare si intr-ajutorare, punerea in comun a ustensilelor necesare muncii.

Trebuie subliniat insa ca un astfel de stil de viata nu este opus tehnologiei moderne, care va continua sa isi gaseasca locul in viata sociala, chiar daca numai acolo unde este cu adevarat necesar, in cercetarea medicala sau sprorirea productiei agricole. Totodata, chiar daca se va reduce consumul de energie electrica, aparate electrice si electronice utileprecum PC-ul sau TV-ul vor continua sa existe: „Based on records from my homestead, a family of three could meet its electricity needs on about .6kWh/day. (Lights, computer, small black and white TV, duct fans, some machinery, but no air-conditioning, electric stove, fridge or washing machine.) This is about 1/50 the typical Sydney household use. The town would therefore need 200kWh/d for domestic needs. The half of this that does not have to be stored might come from a combination of solar PV, solar thermal and wind.”

Merita subliniat ca Trainer nu vorbeste de o abolire a industriei, ci doar de o reducere a sa, inconformitate cu resursele naturale pe care le avem la dispozitie. La fel, nu este vorba de o abolire a statului si a companiilor de stat:

„Only a little heavy industry will be needed, e.g. basic steel, railways, buses, and thus mining and timber industries will be small. There will be little need for shipping or air transport. Most cooking would be by good or gas produced from biomass. (...) it would make sense to retain some larger mass production factories and sources of materials, such as mines and steel works and railways.”

Avantajele adoptarii „Caii simple”
„The Simpler Way will deliver many deeply rewarding experiences and conditions such as a much more relaxed pace, having to spend relatively little time working for money, having varied, enjoyable and worthwhile work to do, experiencing a supportive community, giving and receiving, growing some of one’s own food, keeping old clothes and devices in use, running a resource-cheap and efficient household, living in a supportive and caring community, practising arts and crafts, participating in community activities, having a rich cultural experience involving local festivals, performances, arts and celebrations, being involved in governing one’s own community, living in a nice environment, and especially knowing that you are not contributing to global problems through over-consumption.
Only if these alternative values and satisfactions, which contradict those of consumer society, become the main factors motivating people can The Simpler Way be achieved. Our main task is to help people to see how important these benefits and satisfactions are, and therefore to grasp that moving to The Simpler Way will greatly improve their quality of life. This understanding will be the most powerful force we can develop for bringing about the transition.”

Cu alte cuvinte, valori tipice ale stilului de viata downshifting: timp liber, renuntarea la materialism si consumerism, viata sociala si culturala, grija fata de mediu.


nichifor said...

Ar fi bine sa traduci articolul in romana...

downshifting_romania said...

Nu-l traduc din doua motive: faptul ca e in engleza inseamna ca e accesibil unui public mai larg (multi care stiu romana vorbesc si engleza dar multi care stiu engleza nu stiu si romana) si, in plus, nu am timpul necesar. In rest, mersi pt. comentariu si pt. faptul ca imi citesti blogul. Numai bine!

Jethro said...

Am adaugat un banner cu blogul http://downshiftingromania.blogspot.com/ pe blogul RedPeliKan. Sper sa va placa. Daca aveti un banner deja pregatit va rog sa mi-l trimiteti pe mail. Multumesc!

downshifting_romania said...

Prezenta pe Red Pelikan a linkului spre blogul „Fericire fara bani” ma onoreaza. Va multumesc!

Jak said...

Eu nu stiu engleza si as vrea sa citesc ce scrie... Nu-i mai bine sa pui textul tradus? Pt noi romanii, iar pt cei ce nu inteleg romana, se descurca accesand linkurile cu pricina. Multumesc