Our fragmented society is built up in chains of economic relationships that compete with each other. To hold up those chains we need to grow to sustain our perceived welfare but in the process we take away all value out of our surroundings. Let us show this with some examples.
Fragmented focus on efficiency: Productivity tends to focus on just one product and concentrate on mass production through efficiencies. This produces a strong global centralization and standardization of product creation and assembly processes. Since the consumer’s end user price is under pressure due to open competition every shackle in the chain, from resource to production, assembly and distribution, is being squeezed, reducing value in chain. The resources are chosen to be the cheapest, the product is made as small as possible, the components are mass produced and shipped across the world for assembly in a mechanical plant preferably in low wage countries and then shipped across the world for distribution through retail or directly to the end user. The larger the volume (growth) the more efficiency one can build in the process by eliminating local content, human labor, etc. The products become cheaper, up to the point of throw away consumables but with a destruction of resources along the way and without precedence. The cheapest labor is even replaced by automation and distribution done in massive loads.
If you look at any consumable that you deal with in your daily life you will find that the local content (read labor, creative contribution, values) is reduced to an absolute minimum. The only labor may be the logistics and retail effort which can be done with people with the lowest skills, reducing cost price to a minimum and employing the lowest bidder on the verge of illegality.
So every product we buy is a debt to our own community since the local values have been eliminated. Where does our money come from to even have access to consumables if we hardly produce value locally? Debt.
Consequence driven: Our local community is consequence driven. What does that mean? If means that we organize ourselves in reaction to our lifestyle. Our roads need to be broadened to cope with logistics and massive civil movements of people trying to find labor elsewhere. Our health care needs to be organized to help us cope with consumer diseases. Our taxes regulations need to be sharpened to try to cope with all pollution and local criminality.
The costs of the consequences are covered by taxes on the consumer economy, hence the chain that has no local content needs to grow to cover the consequences. The debt increases to our local community that gets sicker and sicker by need of economic growth push. Consume as much as you can to finance the effects of overconsumption.
Government is responsible: The common public perception is that government takes care of everything. Indeed the complexity is seemingly so big that individual awareness that the public opinion finds it easiest to rely on formal structures than consider one’s own responsibility. The luxury of a world full of consumables is of course perceived as the greatest achievement of humankind and very difficult to relinquish. Why less if we are used and stimulated for more and more?
The consequences are related to the government who has absolute no authority or means to do something about it. That is why it reacts with bureaucracy and massive investments in consultants, simply because civil servants have no clue and do not wish to be confronted with a responsibility that they cannot carry. Decisions are made in decades where crises occur in matter of days. The only solution they can think of is to invest more in regulation, layers of bureaucracy, research documents and debt increases. It is easy to plan a bigger or new road. It is impossible to create a clean environment. The latter cannot be contracted as it requires the responsibility of society as a whole.
Solution: These chains hence are killing us and driving economies of growth into larger weakness of the same economies up to the point of instability and crisis after crisis. The solution lies in creating again local for local content transforming society in self sufficient communities cutting the ties with the chains. To do that people have to take responsibility and relinquish dependencies by creating their own securities and wellness. This is easier said the done yet we have no choice. Those communities that take the lead in such development face all kinds of problems that even require to restructure their legal systems, governance, etc. But it is worth it for the sake of peace and sustainable progress. Otherwise the chains of dependency will literally kill us as food, water, resources and even financials cannot be organized to sustain the living standards of the past. Now we have a choice, soon we have none.