[A-List] Stock Markets Will Lead to the Extinction of Humans
shimogamo at ashisuto.co.jp
Mon Jun 28 18:03:53 MDT 2010
by Devinder Sharma
Ground Reality (June 22 2010)
An Australian scientist who helped in eradicating smallpox has sounded a
death warning. Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the
Australian National University, has claimed that human race will be unable
to survive population explosion and unbridled consumption. "Humans will
become extinct, perhaps within 100 years, Fenner is quoted as saying. "A
lot of other animals will, too."
Fenner's chilling prediction should not be taken as yet another
sensational news. I think any sensible leader, and I am not talking of
only political leadership, should be able to get the message straight and
loud. If you remember, Mahatma Gandhi had said that the Earth has enough
for man's need, but not greed. Prince Charles had more recently warned of
'monumental problems' if the world's population continues to rise at such
a rapid pace. Probably what the Prince did not mention was the greed of
the growing population through increased consumption will create the grave
Unbridled consumption is the foundations for the 'growth economics' that
has become the Bible of the modern neoliberal economics. In reality,
growth economics is nothing but violent economics. It unleashes violence
against natural resources, against the climate, against the nature, and
also against fellow human beings. It shifts natural, physical as well as
financial resources from the hands of the poor into the pockets of the
rich and elite. We have been often told that twenty per cent of the
world's population of haves controls and uses the resources of the eighty
per cent of the have not. Globalisation further strengthens that monopoly
In fact, globalisation has simply brought together all the haves from each
country. In simple terms, each country has a North and a South, the North
depicting the percentage of the bold and beautiful population.
Globalisation has brought the North together. They have joined hands to
usurp the world's resources, to snatch whatever lies in the hands of the
South. Globalisation has actually brought the rich and the crooked
Blame it on the burgeoning population, but it is the twenty per cent elite
that is destroying the world's resources. In the quest for more wealth
they have succeeded in very cleverly changing the rules of the game. They
began by first co-opting the economists, and then spread their wings to
include the media. The economists laid out the ground rules. They began by
designing GDP as an indicator of growth. They crafted it so deftly that we
accepted an indicator of personal wealth to be a pointer to national
development. They made everything, including global climate, look like a
commodity to be sold and exploited.
I am reminded of what the milkman of India, Dr Verghese Kurian, had once
said. One species that should disappear from the face of the Earth, and
the Earth will be a wonderful place to live in, are the economists.
I am in complete agreement.
After the world became convinced about the virtues of GDP, the mainline
economists and the consultancy firms worked out the stock market. I think
there is no other innovation (if you don't like to use the word invention)
in recent times that has not only influenced but hastened the process of
unbridled consumption than the emergence of the Wall Street. In fact, the
consultancy firms may refuse to accept it now, and for obvious reasons,
but Stock Market will lead the world towards the extinction of human race
that Fenner has warned us.
I am amazed at the way the Stock Markets work. These markets have
commodified everything. Much of the world's environmental ills are a
direct fallout of the Stock Market. Stock Markets will squeeze every drop
of water (or other natural resources) out of the planet. There is a price
for everything, including the air you breathe. In the days to come you
will see Wall Street beginning to trade in synthetic life. Craig Ventor is
already pitching for it. I will not be surprised if the human genes too
are traded sooner than I expect.
Stock market is certainly not sustainable. The economic meltdown
(economists refused to call it economic collapse) that the world witnessed
in 2008 and 2009 was the outcome of a systemic failure in the Stock
Markets. But the lure of money was so strong, that even the mightiest of
the governments refused to let the faulty system go. In a globalised
world, the economic bailout package became a necessary evil. As someone
said, it amounted to privatising the profits, and socialising the costs.
Everyone willingly participated. With the media being a beneficiary of
this corrupt system, no dissenting voice could be heard.
If the tax-payers had refused to bailout the collapse of the markets, the
world would have taken the first step towards making a correction for the
better of the humanity. It didn't happen.
Such an unbridled consumption will be the beginning of the end of the
world. In fact, the process is already on. Only the economists refuse to
see it, and since the economists have been paid to be quiet, the media too
refuses to spot the evil. Stock Markets have already caught the fancy of
the media, and they are projecting it as an indicator of economic growth.
And as I said earlier, growth economics is nothing but violent economics.
While the economic benefits would be reaped by the rich and the crooked,
you and me will have to live with the violence it unleashes. I am not sure
how many of us will survive this violence.
Fenner is therefore right when he says that humans will probably become
extinct within 100 years. Humans will certainly disappear from the face of
the Earth, I don't doubt it. But by the time the Stock Markets succeed in
plundering the Earth's resources making it absolutely inhospitable for the
man to survive, the rich and the elite would have escaped to the moon.
Technological developments will by then make it possible for the humans to
survive on the moon.
Devinder Sharma is an Indian journalist, writer, thinker. He is well-known
and respected for his views on food and trade policy. Trained as an
agricultural scientist, Sharma has been the Development Editor of the
Indian Express, the largest selling English language daily in India at
that time. He quit active journalism to research on policy issues
concerning sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and intellectual property
rights, environment and development, food security and poverty,
biotechnology and hunger, and the implications of the free trade paradigm
for developing countries. For more, see
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