This paper is neither about charity and welfare
works nor about introducing more humanistic details or features
to the existing economy. It's about the economy of the future if
it materialises - since the existing modes of economy and civilization
are incompatible not only with sustainability but also with the
survival of civilization itself! Of course the current economy of
parasitism and exploitation theoretically may have some chance to
survive somehow if it is able to reduce harmful environmental impacts
and to smooth over other conflicts and contradictions but it means
only that although parasitism on the Nature/Environment may be decreased
significantly the exploitation of people will continue and may become
Many of the ideas and concepts stated below may
sound revolutionary but please don't consider them as my appeal
for immediate socio - economic revolution. If I appeal to anybody
for anything it is for a mind revolution which in turn will be followed
by changes in "real life": economy, politics etc.
I "invented" the term "Humanistic
economy" independently (when I was invited by Dr. Michael Ellis
to contribute to this Journal ) but after browsing in the English
and Russian Internet I've found that of course I am not the first
who has started to apply this term. However, despite unavoidable
resemblance to other ideas and views there is no one fixed or commonly
accepted concept of Humanistic economy since of course it's a rather
new concept which is being developed by just a few (economists.
What I have read about "humanistic economy" is mostly
a fragmentary recommendation to correct certain economic problems.
I think it's important to create the holistic
image or model of the future Humanistic economy, which would be
desirable for over 95 % of the planet population. We will otherwise
miss the core issues. I hope that my own view presented in this
brief thesis is comprehensive and adequate.
Is the modern type of the economy the best and
only possible economy? I think the majority of people and many economists
would say: "no, of course the existing economy is not perfect
and may be even far from perfection". Some economists would
emphasize that the major problem is that the economy generates external
effects, and that it doesn't properly take into consideration the
interests of our future generations.
Ecological economists who are in all probability the most progressive
thinkers among the economists, would mention undervaluation of Nature,
ecosystems etc. Some economists will mention the far from optimal
taxation systems which tax, i.e. de-stimulate some positive factors
and create obstacles and disincentives for production while some
negative factors are not taxed and thus are stimulated.
Liberal and neoliberal economists rebel against
any subsidies and governmental involvement in and influence on the
economy. Many people would mention financial and economical crises.
Socialists, communists and some other outstanding thinkers such
as E. Fromm, would say about tremendous disparities, about private
appropriation of land and rental income as well as exploitation
and about the incompatibility of the modern western style economy
with the positive evolution of humankind and the maintenance of
a sustainable civilization and Global existence .
My opinion is that the existing economy is getting antiquated in
its cornerstone concepts and in the near future will not be able
to maintain a sustainable civilization.
Of course an economic model depends on the state
of people's minds, people's consciousness, and Humankind's collective
karma. One can say that people's imperfections predetermine the
economy's defects. Someone may conclude that consumer's preferences
including their vices cause economic deficiencies and distortions
and that if people were righteous the existing mode of economy would
be in this case quite adequate. The Modern economy is not just a
consequence, a simple result of people's consciousness, preferences,
values, needs, and demands - it is now also able itself to actively
and intentionally form demand, needs, values, state of mind and
I am going to describe a very different mode of economy which is
not derived from the existing economic type by means of certain
I would like to draw a framework of a constructive
(not purely ideal) economy in principle free of the vices of the
current economy which like tiny cracks in a stone monolith will
sooner or later destroy it. Humanistic economy is the economy without
the cracks of false distribution and redistribution, parasitism
and exploitation potentials. I believe that educated people will
support and vote for a new economic model.
An Ideal economy of course may exist in an ideal society of ideal
people. Shall we wait until the society has become ideal? I think
it's neither necessary nor possible: as the existing destructive
economy is leading to spiritual, cultural, moral, environmental
and other degradation while the new constructive (and not necessarily
ideal) economy may serve to create positive development and evolution
So, what I want to do here is not to describe
the ideal economy but just to portray major principles of the positive,
constructive economy which is able to people's lives and improve
societies. For the beginning we need only to follow the principle
of human rights and democratic procedures while the majority of
people vote for transition to the new type of economy. Of course,
all important components of this new economy should be comprehensively
explained to the people, including providing comparison with the
Such a new Economy serves
for the good of the whole society and each person's inner well being.
It means that:
(1) The beneficiaries
are all people - not the extreme
minority as is now.Economy serves humans - The people do not serve
the economy but improve and modify it to make it more and more in
harmony in which there is direct dependence between income and public
benefit in order to, meet both long-term interests of the society
and short and long term interests of individuals, These interests
should be well balanced between mind, body, social and environmental
ones.In this situation economy is the consequence of motivation
to work. People should serve each other and society both through
the economy and also without any mediation of the economy. Economy
is designed to improve people's lives and their personal grade of
development including spiritual, mental, and soul.
1. Today people are enslaved by the economy and
by a Global technocratic civilization. It is usually the higher
social ranks that impose slavery on many other people.At the same
time they have themselves to follow the rules which they impose
on those around them and are thus limited in the creation of human
values The existing form of economy promotes economic growth, technical
growth and development creating technical perfection and efficiency.
This is at the expense of an approaching global catastrophe based
on a spiritual and global health crisis which in turn is creating
global environmental or military, genetic
or microbiological, or humanitarian disaster.
In the current economic view, need creates demand.
The problem is not that needs create demand. The real problem is
that needs are not value driven but economy driven.
This means that values do not play a part in the
so called science of economics. Where there is a demand there is
supply and perverse desires and voyeuristic needs are therefore
easily satisfied in an economic market. This so called vicious "economy"
is a symptom of how the ego has broken free from control of the
basic principals relating to the common ground of consciousness,
spirituality and universal intelligence as the fundamental basis
of personality. Because of the supremacy of the ego we have a fragmented
accessory and auxiliary world where the natural growth of the natural
market (liberal economy) is interperlated with vicious market niches
with an accelerated development of the "vicious economy".
This is because of two factors.
Firstly the degradation of the personality and
the enhancement of the ego is much more easily obtainable and seemingly
enjoyable than the full development of the true self or true personality
which above all requires spirituality, tenacity of purpose, strong
will, inner strength, dedication, continuous effort and self improvement.
Secondly the development of egoistic drives for
satisfaction and aggrandisement is vast in comparison to the narrow
sector of balanced development and harmony within the self and with
the environment. An analogy is it is rare to hear a virtuoso performance
of Mozart compared with the many poor or bad performances.
This means that the more we satisfy basic human
needs and drives the greater is the role whereby artificial and
unnatural needs of humans are stimulated. These artificial or unnatural
needs which are stimulated are not limited to drugs and alcohol
and pornography, but also include an industry of racial discrimination,
sexploitation, seamy-side movies, as well as such seemingly harmless
market economic segments of the market pertaining to the sports
industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the legal market, the medical
system and the casino or stock markets.
In fact, the accelerated growth of this form of
vicious economy is intrinsically tied to the development of a technocratic,
materialistic civilization which seeks for the achievement of the
highest possible level of the satisfaction needs of the majority.
Economy is meant to be subordinate to the people
and properly governed to secure its subordinate role as service
to the people. Nowadays public governance is neglected in favor
of so called market self-regulation.
What this means is that the economy is share-held
by transnational corporations, a number of the worlds largest banks
and especially the Federal Reserve System of the USA.
This is neither federal nor reserve and owns almost
all the US assets. The US Federal Government annually pays to the
financial authorities over 400 billion USD as percentages for debts
and only 2% of US citizens are 100% owners of their dwellings and
One can assume that private owners of the US Federal
Reserve are hundreds to thousands times richer than ordinary inhabitants
of the Forbes pages which rank the richest people in the world.
In fact it is a reasonable hypothesis that this Forbes list was
designed to hide those individuals who are in fact the richest ones,
even though showcased billionaires are abnormally rich.
The basic function of economy should be to better
serve to the good of the whole society on the one hand, and to produce
necessary conditions for discovery and development of people's talents,
creative abilities, spiritual and psychic potencies, in order to
broaden people' consciousness. It is clear existing economic signs
leaves all these tasks and issues outside the actual economy.
Economy structures should be modified and designed
to meet the needs of people in society. It is the government that
should be responsible for this structural policy implementation
which needs to be designed and substantiated by new research institutions.
The current economy is deteriorating generally as shown by a possible
global recession, global food shortages and peak oil in which there
is an increasing sector to the global economic market of destructive
and criminal tendencies.
It is essential that there be governance and regulation
of the economy related to genuine public needs with the development
of beneficial aspects and the abolition of harmful sections.
For example, long term strategies should be put
in place relating to national and regional requirements aimed at
enhancing the satisfaction of people's genuine needs and creating
beneficial economic structures. Strategic planning should among
other issues be aimed at increasing of economy sustainability, environmental
safety, transition to the use of renewable natural resources instead
of non-renewable, reduction and finally elimination of non-renewable
resources use, improvement of geographical distribution of the economy.
There also needs to be a new science of economy devoted to the understanding
of population distribution, conversion of large urban conglomerations
into more decentralized eco-settlements and substitution of exploitative
industries into more eco and human friendly production and services.
Specific sectoral policies
Promotion of the useful/positive economy sectors
and sound consumption:
clean energy, ecologically sound agriculture and food production,
environmentally sound town-planning and harmonic architecture, ecologically
clean construction and building material production; advanced public
and environmentally sound personal transport, qualitative water
supply; science, education especially based on new intellectual
paradigm, including education aimed on preventative health, self
care, ecological education and spiritual development, positive arts,
medicine placing emphasis on organic foods, sustainable agricultural
practices and cellular and herbal medicines; tourism, especially
environmental, scientific and educational tourism; small business
in all above and other positive sectors.
Limitation of negative aspects of economy
This includes military industry, cigarette and
alcohol production. If these sectors are in private ownership it
is impossible to limit the production of hazardous goods compared
with the ownership being the hands of the state.
Criminal or vicious sectors
The criminal or vicious sectors such as narcotics/drugs,
slave-trading, internal organs trade, pornography production, prostitution
of course can not be in the state property. Possible remedies are
Education based on the new paradigm, raising spirituality;
Creation (via direct founding and through different
types of incentives) of attractive jobs, businesses, fields of activities
in all regions;
Criminal prosecution for those who was not affected
by the above measures; however convicted people and prisoners should
be re-educated again based on the new paradigm and humanistic concepts
in terms of changing consciousness and trained from the professional
point of view to be able to work in new sectors of the economy.
Geographical and Ecological Economy
This requires the optimization and improvement
of the geographical and spatial distribution of people, settlements
and means of production: primary and secondary industries, energy/power
generation and transmission, agriculture, transport, communication;
services, science, education entities. Optimization involves taking
into consideration such criteria as climate, transportation efficiency,
availability of and distances to raw materials sources and suppliers,
access to goods consumers and the carrying and assimilative capacity
of the environment. There needs to take place the development of
new regions and places for the conversion of large urban dwellings
into more decentralized eco-settlements. The development of eco-settlements
should be directly financed from the states or federal, regional
and local budgets or stimulated by 0 % loans, subsidies etc. Overcrowded
cities create toxic conditions of environment, psychological climate,
extreme deficiency of personal space, polluted energy from electromagnetic
fields and pollutants in the atmosphere. They negate the possibility
of enabling an individual to have solitude and the opportunity to
be in contact with the pure energies of Nature.
Any country has the right to create economic conditions
based on their local requirements rather than be subject to economic
efficiency criteria created by world and international markets.
People have the right to live. To secure this right people should
be given a possibility to work and get salary at a level exceeding
the respective costs of living. Doles, in fact, should be a rare
commodity even if there are sufficient reserves. This is because
it is not sufficient to give a dole allowance to people purely to
maintain their survival. Instead money should be available to give
people possibilities for their personal growth and development through
interesting work, study, trainings etc. This opportunity is the
basis for true human rights which is more significant than the need
to balance a country's economy.
Household economy should be valued as equal in
labour and usefulness to society as the dominating/money economy.
"The ability of people to create political will to enable their
governments to act against globalised economic pressure is found
in them being able to create greater self reliance and a sustainable
lively hood in their local communities". (Hilkka Pietila, M.
Sc, Basic elements of human Economy)
It is more appropriate to consider household economy
in a broader context of "domesticized" life style when
people will be able to work for the "external" monetary
economy much shorter than now: 6 hours a day, then 5, finally 4.
If people's office work is home based due to advanced
communication technology then they will be able to spend less time
at their offices and have more time for other activities including
interests, continual education, enhancing the household economy
as well as cooking and also would include garden cultivation, growing
vegetables and fruits, landscape works and repairs. Thus the simple
domestic activities would be enhanced to the sustainability of the
community in an eco sustainable and social way.
In the scenario of a humanistic economy, will
gradually force out personal cars which now are a celebration egoism,
inefficiency and environmental unfriendliness. Personal transport
within eco-settlements boundaries will be fuel free and enabled
by the use of bicycles and similar kinds of transport. In these
situations, people will be able to walk and exercise more for the
benefit of their health. Public transport will also be available.
(2) humanistic economy
In a humanistic economy there is direct dependence and connection
between personal income and the public benefit in the sense that
the personal economy is related to the overall good of society.
No possibilities for inverse negative relationship between individual
benefit and good for the society exist. Initially this principle
can be introduced and secured by legislation. Later it will become
a cultural norm that each person will be able to self monitor themselves
that they do not have earnings that exceed the benefits for society.
There are many types of parasitism, exploitation and unequal wealth
distribution and re-distribution associated mostly with the interest
rate based banking system, private appropriation of natural resources,
rentals and the monopolies created by transnational corporations.
While in some situations there is a direct correlation
between personal income and products and in a lot of situations
there are severe failures where profits are made a the expense of
harm to people in terms of poverty and illness. The overwhelming
majority of people get far less than their contribution to the GDP.
One of the world leading experts Dr. Margrit Kennedy
explains in clear detail about the parasitism and exploitation caused
by "interest money". She emphasize that we pay interest
money only when we borrow money (though overwhelming majority of
people in USA and other western countries used to borrow money to
buy dwelling and cars). I placed below a couple of quotations from
her work "Why Do We Need Monetary Innovation?":
every price we pay includes a certain
amount of interest. The exact proportion varies according to the
labor versus the capital costs of the goods and services we buy.
This ranges from a 12 % interest component for garbage collection,
(because here the share of capital costs is relatively low and the
share of physical labor is particularly high) to 38% for drinking
water and up to 77% in the rent for public housing (over 100 years,
which is the time houses in Germany mostly last). On the average
we pay about 40% interest in all the prices of our goods and services.
In medieval times people paid 'the tenth' of their income or produce
to the feudal landlord. In this respect they were better off than
we are nowadays, where almost one half of each dollar goes to the
people who own capital
there are indeed huge differences
as to who profits and who pays in this system. Comparing the interest
payments and income from interest in ten equal parts of 2.5 million
households in Germany, this figure shows that 80% of the population
pay almost twice as much as they receive, 10% receive slightly more
than they pay, and the remaining 10% receive more than twice as
much interest as they pay, that is the share the first 80% lose.
This illustrates one of the least understood reasons why the rich
get richer and the poor get poorer. In Germany, in the year 2004,
this amounted to a transfer of about 1 billion € every day
from those who work for their money to those can make their 'money
work for them'. But have you ever seen money work? In other words,
in our monetary system we allow the operation of a hidden redistribution
mechanism which continually transfers money from the large majority
to a small minority, creating a social polarization which no democracy
a. The financial system should serve the wellbeing
Interest money should be substituted by interest-free money. Interest
rate credits should be liquidated, and since private banks would
hardly agree to issue interest free loans it likely that traditional
private banks will be replaced by the state or co-operative or private
interest-free banks. National currency should not be issued by private
financial entities. Minimal participation of private interests in
central banks issuing money should excluded. Credits should become
instruments of public governance applied for structural purposes,
geographical distribution, development of priority economic directions.
Insurance companies should be recreated so that they have no purpose
in profit maximization.
b. Rental income from natural resource exploitation
should not be appropriated by private businesses. There should be
public ownership for subsurface resources and land (except for land
which sustains residential houses and small business) and water
(except for isolated water bodies attached to the land plots). There
should be withdrawal of rental incomes by state, federal, regional
and local public authorities. Instead this money should go towards
enhancing wellbeing of the common good.
c. Transparency of corporate and personal incomes
It is important that we have openness as regards to corporate and
incomes so that the public is not deceived as with respect to improper
sequestration of funds and income.
(3) Motivation to work
The true motivation for work:
- · to produce
something of value for the society;
- to improve one's environment, society and
make people happier;
- to manifest, to apply one's creativity, ability
and skills, to reach perfection in one's skills and arts;
- to earn as much as
the equivalent of person's work goods (services) costs (salary
share in the total cost/price of a product/service).
Of course, even now there are people that fully
or partially follow the above principles. The overwhelming majority
of people, at least in the developed countries, think about gaining
as much money as possible irrespective of any other aspects/considerations.
There are many people in society who through their activities selfishly
acquire enormous amounts of money for themselves at the expense
of harm to the society, economy, people and environment. It is important
to compare consequences of a materialistic, consumer oriented society
to a more spiritual, humanistic economy which is a humanistic economy.
The picture of the humanistic economy I have drawn
up in many respects looks utopian. However, my task is to describe
the economy which meets principles of a humanistic and fair economy.
Any compromise or deviation would be unfair. Of course, I do not
appeal to the violent transition to the humanistic economy but I
appeal to our ability to look at a hopeless future created by the
current economic reality. The simple factor is that transition to
a better economic mode and humanistic economy exists and depends
on our own will and understanding of knowledge about the real situation
we face with its extreme distortion and disharmony.
The above principles also include the best of
communist and socialist principles. However, there were a number
of reasons why communism was introduced into Russia. The problems
of USSR were not associated with planning or absence of competition,
with wage-levelling or economic inefficiency.
Following their Russian October revolution in
the inauguration of the USSR leader Vladimr Lenin, the leadership
understood that their attempts out of transition to a Russian society
of justice may not be successful but they knew very well the nature
of the parasitic, exploitative, predatory nature of western society.
The problems of USSR were not associated with planning or absence
of competition, with wage-levelling or economic inefficiency They
did not wish to emulate a vulgar materialism
and intention to make people happy by all means.
The major points are that
- USSR failed because there was not enough sound
conceptual basis (within Newton - Cartesian Paradigm) and hence
- internal imperfections and distortions occurred provoked by
the Western enemies surrounding Russia.
- It was partially successful attempt of actions
against global parasitism and exploitation, The actions were in
the right directions in many respects but also immature and indeed
and Mahatmas knew this.
Since then due to
scientific and philosophical maturity we, the Earth people, have
a new scientific and intellectual paradigm
and it is of paramount importance that this form of education and
information should be promulgated.
Particularly the Russian leadership at that time
(a) that there had to
be a science of happiness that went beyond fulfillment of all desires
and materialism and consumerism.
(b) that the USSR at the
time was surrounded by economically, politically and military strong
enemies (for instance, there is a reliable information that the
USA planned to drop on USSR 300 atomic and thousands of conventional
bombs in the 1950's). As a consequence the USSR had to spend an
enormous amount of resources building up its military capability.
(c) That The Russian economy
due to severe climate, low population density and long distances
of costly overland transport was not competitive with the western
economies even without the arms race; thus it was determined that
the Russian economy would be able to grow and progress without full
openness to the world markets.
I'd like to complete by
quotation from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "None are more hopelessly
enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." To
become free we need first realize how enslaved we are, why and what
we can do to slip the collar. I am sure that total and even fragmentary
slavery is incompatible with Humanistic economy.