Agenda 21 and the New World Economy [W/VIDEOS]
“If we understand the nodes that control opinions, we can interpret the data, then intervene ….Why would you want to have a network and not control it? …. Whether it is the Internet, a power grid, or an organization with a CEO at the helm, someone has control.” (Barabasi, speaking at Davos)
Do you ever wonder what the world will look like after the collapse? Would the financiers even let this happen? All the talk of gold, silver, and survival tactics, gives the impression that we’ll just be left to make our own merry way after the crash, but it’s unlikely the elites would let all their power slip away so easily.
The world is shape-shifting; we are transitioning to a new global paradigm whereby the world economy is one of several ‘global systems’, which can be mapped and modelled by ‘network scientists’, who are learning how to control these systems based on mathematically computed predictions, together with trust/risk ratings for each ‘agent’ (or ‘node’) in the economy, garnered from various identity metrics. Ultimately, with the increased sophistication of cognitive computing, the system could be controlled by Big Brother’s Big Brain.
In years soon to come, if you want to freely surf the net, you’ll need to log in to your Identity Provider first. To gain access to buildings, buy tickets, make an appointment, anything really, you’ll have to prove who you are, and that you can be trusted, using your biometrics (stored on a smart card or phone) as proof. This will be important in all transactions, because almost every single thing you do will have an impact on the network, and must therefore be accounted for.
In fact, our physical, mental, and virtual selves will be our ‘assets’, and will be part of the global accounting process, along with the virtual record of all our ‘liabilities’, or negative impact on the earth. This process will produce our new economy; a manifestation of the final synthesis of the ‘Hegelian dialectic’: the communitarian ethos of Agenda 21 places people and nature in perpetual conflict, the spark of which creates the economy. Think of it as a system of social credits, carbon debits, or:
The world is full of sensors, feeding data to the matrix in real-time, creating a virtual mirror of the real world. All data has value, and these values form an intricately linked network, or ecosystem. In recent years, instead of this being merely perceived value, measurements of natural and social capital, have been introduced to give an equivalent value, i.e. a price. This process is accelerated by the communitarian ethos spreading globally; that we all have rights and responsibilities, in particular to serve our ‘community’ and reduce our carbon footprint. These principles are also to be found enshrined in many digital currencies, which are growing quickly around the world.
Thus, as our current system collapses, new currencies are being formed, based on the value of nature, people, data and services. Key figures in finance are pushing this process forward; the New Economists have managed to sway the Occupy movement with their insistence that ‘happiness matters’, and promises of complete reform. As the P2P (peer-to-peer/collaborative) economy blooms, and digital community currencies gain traction, banks (and telcos) may come to play a new role; as mediators of trust.
The New Economics
Consider the current financial system so doomed it’s already dead and decaying – the daily news stream keeps us busy picking over the bones of the old economy. We know full well the fiat system is corrupt; even the mainstream media has been reeling out stories for years, tutting and sighing over yet more greedy bankers and financial glitches. The overall message: this is the end of the road for fiat money, and even capitalism, and something must be done.
At the same time, other narratives are being formed, giving rise to new memes and expectations – armed with the rhetoric of Agenda 21, the elites have been preparing us for the ‘Great Transition’, or transformation, and are quietly shaping an alternative to the present economical financial system. The central tenets of mainstream economics have been upturned by the New Economics, and key financiers are in agreement on three main points:
1) There is a need to ‘value’ natural assets, as per Agenda 21 and the push for sustainability and social equity; metrics have been devised to measure, then price, nature. This process is also in full swing when it comes to ‘valuing’ human, and social, capital. Human capital is how much an individual is worth to, say, UK plc; and social capital refers to the financial returns to be gained from the cumulative value of people’s interactions, or what they produce as a group. The New Economists maintain these measures should provide an alternative to GDP.
2) Community currencies should be promoted, financed, and nurtured, as a means to foster innovation for commerce, and increase resilience and social capital in local networks. Once they reach critical mass, they can be standardized to create a digitized global common tender, such as the Eternal Coin, a concept being investigated by the Long Finance Group.
3) The economy is subject to reflexivity – this is a concept promoted by George Soros who for many years has argued that we are not rational agents, as per the current model, and that people react to others, and to events, when making financial decisions, which in turn affects other people’s decisions, and so on. In more recent years, a huge scientific undertaking has been underway to study this idea, since big data has enabled computer simulations of these complex adaptive systems. It is a multi-disciplinary area, known mainly as the study of complexity, using social agent simulations, etc., and is being used to rationalise extensive surveillance (the data can be used to inform public policy), and to make predictions about people.
The rhetoric of the New Economics has attracted a great many idealists, due mainly to the fluffy-bunny loveliness of what it promises: world-wide harmony, happiness, and sustainability. But when you realise how many global elites are advocating this system, you start wondering just what’s in it for them.
It’s important, then, to look to the consequences of such a system – how it would be in the long run. This is about creating markets for the ‘new capitalists’, and consolidating power over natural and human assets. It is the only way to fully operationalise Agenda 21, and balance the ‘three Es’. All of the world, and all of her people, are to be quantified, commodified, and traded. It is a tool of global control, and the ‘values’ it espouses morph horribly into cold hard equations: a price for everything.
The economic system is undergoing a controlled demolition; as part of this, there have been lambs led to the slaughter, to serve as icons of the collapse, and to justify the new economic system. Many popular movements are converging on precisely this issue, and the meme of revolution is everywhere.
However, it is vital to understand that key global players are funding and promoting the New Economics, and that the concepts it espouses have been widely popularised and entrenched, especially by George Soros through speeches he has given for years on reflexivity, and in recent years, through his Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), which is now teamed up with the Oxford Martin College in the UK. INET presented their concepts to the World Economic Forum, at Davos.
John Fullerton is Founder and President of the Capital Institute, and the principal of an investment firm dealing in high impact sustainable private investments. He worked for JP Morgan for 18 years, managing capital markets and derivatives businesses around the world, and is also executive director of Soros’ INET.
Rob Johnson also worked for JP Morgan, and is an executive director of INET. Both Fullerton and Johnson sit on the Council of Advisors for a think-tank called ‘Redefine’, which advises governments on key policy issues.
There are numerous other organisations expounding the new economics, convinced it’s the answer to all our woes; in the UK, the nef (new economics foundation) has been active for years, and has been working in partnership with the European Union. A key figure of the nef, Hazel Henderson, is a member of the Club of Rome, which has also played an active part in promoting the new economics.
Andrew Haldane, from the Bank of England, spoke at Soros’ New Bretton Woods conference (‘Paradigm Lost’), and has given a number of speeches in support of the new economics.
Joseph Stiglitz is an INET Advisory Board member, and proponent of new metrics for the green economy. Stiglitz and others in the new economics movement have been actively involving Occupy.
The New Economy Working Group is another organisation with the same highly moralistic agenda:
…. we envision a healthy planetary system of cooperative, equitable, locally rooted, rule-based market economies that:
- Provide everyone the opportunity for a healthy, dignified and fulfilling life
- Restore and maintain the vitality of Earth’s natural systems
- Grow the relationships of strong caring communities
- Encourage economic cooperation framed by rules for enterprises and the market that reflect the public interest and democratically determined priorities
- Allocate resources equitably to socially and environmentally beneficial uses, and
- Support the democratic ideal of one-person, one-vote citizen sovereignty.
This is the hallmark of the new economics – its values are sound, but ridiculously idealistic. However, there is scant discussion of the administrative system it entails (such as intense surveillance), nor any of the long-term consequences (which this article will explore).
NEWGroup functions as an informal alliance of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) as an initial policy think tank partner, YES! magazine as an initial media partner, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) as an initial business network partner, and the Living Economies Forum as an initial system design partner.”
Going ‘beyond GDP’
GDP (‘gross domestic product’) is the measure used globally to assess the economic performance of each country. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, 170 nations signed up to Agenda 21, which included Article 40, meaning they ”…pledged to overhaul GDP to reflect infrastructure, social capital, unpaid work, and environmental assets”.
‘Going beyond GDP’ is now quite the fashion, one that extends across the board from the Agenda 21 army, to the globalist financiers, and even the Occupy movement. This new way of thinking is the signature of the ‘new economists’, and stresses the need to account for externalities, i.e. to measure, and put a price on, aspects of nature and people, and the data and services they provide. This process uncovers ‘hidden assets’, such as the value of voluntary work, and benefits brought by nature, such as tourism. This is said to give a better picture of the overall progress a country is making; and there are already many measuring systems (metrics) being used to facilitate the pricing of aspects of both the green economy, and the social economy.
The movement has gathered pace significantly over the last few years, especially since the ‘Beyond GDP’ conference in 2007, hosted by the European Commission, European Parliament, Club of Rome, OECD and WWF. Speakers included:
- Hans-Gert Pöttering (President of the European Parliament)
- José Manuel Barroso (President of the European Commission)
- Kristalina Georgieva (Director, World Bank)
- Enrico Giovannini (Chief Statistician, OECD)
- Hazel Henderson (Club of Rome)
- Lothar Meinzer (Director, BASF)
The United Nations is playing a leading role in implementing this system; earlier this year, for instance, a high level meeting on Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining A New Economic Paradigm was convened by the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigmi Y Thinley, following the 2011 UN General Assembly motion which called on governments to promote sustainability, happiness and wellbeing policies, rather than focus merely on GDP. Key attendees included Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, former Australian deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, HRH Prince Charles, OECD chief statistician Martine Durand, and Indian ecological activist Vandana Shiva. At the conference, Hunter Lovins, founder of Natural Capitalism, proclaimed,
We must move rapidly from words to action if the 99% are to find a path to a future that is both just and sustainable. One important step will be to convene an international forum capable of forging agreement on the key principles and institutions for a new, sustainable economic paradigm – a Bretton Woods agreement for the 21st century.
Also in attendance were more than “600 delegates, including heads of state, Nobel laureates, spiritual, business and community leaders.”
Then, at the UN Rio+20 summit in June, the Corporate Eco Forum and the Nature Conservancy called for natural capital to be incorporated into accounting systems; the initiative was backed by huge corporations, including Lockheed-Martin, Nike, Unilever, the Coca-Cola Company, Dow Chemical and Disney, with the release of a new report, the New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital. The report complements all the other initiatives which promote ‘going beyond GDP’, such as the UN’s Natural Capital Declaration, which “… calls for financial institutions to incorporate natural capital considerations into the risk assessment procedures they undergo before making a loan, equity, bond or insurance products-related decision”, and the “leaders of 37 banks, investment funds and insurance companies” agreed to work towards this end.
Bhutan is the testing ground for this new accounting system, and has begun to translate the values of the ‘hidden economy’, and incorporate them into their National System of Accounts. This involves assigning monetary figures to nature, and the well-being of its people, as well as the services they perform, such as caring for a sick relative. Assigning monetary values to such natural ‘assets’ moves them closer to becoming commodified, as has happened with carbon.
‘Sustainability’ comes to signify the endlessly self-perpetuating stock of natural assets: people and nature endlessly reproduce as a self-replenishing stock of capital. Systems within systems, which can be quantified, simulated, and manipulated.
Ben Bernanke recently voiced agreement with measures that go beyond GDP, asserting that the “ultimate purpose of economics… (is) …to understand and promote the enhancement of well-being.”
The appeal of the new economics lies in its apparent concern for the earth, the health of her people, and holistic thinking, but nobody’s thinking about the damage to our health caused by surveillance and rationing. Agenda 21ism is leading to a system of imposed individual allowances, and monitoring of populations to assess well-being. This will rely on citizen surveys, self-reporting, and bodily sensors. Are we all to be subject to regular mobile phone surveys to assess our physical, mental and financial health?
The United Nations Global Pulse initiative aims to harness data from sensors and phones and perform real-time analytics on the data to help map and understand “trends in well-being over time”; partnering with Global Pulse is a company called Jana, which has delivered mobile phone SMS surveys to millions of people in the developing world, combining the survey data with “ information about economic status, gender, age, literacy, etc.”) to assess well-being, and help governments plan their public policies.
Collecting data on citizens’ well-being is a huge invasion of privacy, and assigning monetary values to intangible aspects such as emotions is a big step towards the commodification of the self, where what you are is what you’re worth.
As P2P payment systems grow, and people want to transact remotely, the need to measure trust becomes a fundamental requirement. Intermediaries are required to facilitate this trust between peers and businesses, opening up huge possibilities for data overlords. And of course, there are others who can benefit from this information – perfect fodder for the policeman’s criminal prediction machine, to name but one.
What’s more, measuring trust facilitates global social control – network science has revealed that all physical networks operate according to universal laws, though social networks have the problem of mind (humans are irrational creatures) and so are less predictable. Trust metrics and game theory help the system control relationships between nodes, by increasing the predictive potential.
The New Economics represents the New Morality; social justice and ecological accounting are considered as human rights, and a global responsibility – it can also be used to justify population control. After all, if it’s been measured, it’s scientific and evidence-based, and therefore rational, right?
P2P not P2B? Exploiting the Network
Like Occupy, and peer-to-peer, or P2P, networks, community currencies currently signify ‘power to the people’ and grassroots change that challenges the status quo. However, it is relatively easy for such power to be subverted by the elites, and used to their own globalist advantage. Network science has revealed that people form complex adaptive systems, and are naturally self-organising. Strong relationships developed at the local level lead to greater resilience, innovation, creativity and, perhaps most importantly, the building of ‘social capital’. Businesses are already profiting from this ‘localised’ behaviour – investors are turning to microfinance and crowdfunding, as well as using the power of P2P networks to source the right individual for the job (i.e. ‘microtasking’, for instance, Microsoft’s Mechanical Turk).
Businesses have also been perfecting their own network resilience, with the same networking model, only it’s B2B (business to business). To satisfy the demands of Agenda 21, businesses have had to enact corporate social responsibility initiatives, and to prove how well they are doing, new ‘indicators’ have been developed, which can be used to translate ecological and social good into dollars and cents, pounds and pence. (source, PDF)
And large multi-nationals are beginning to consolidate networks locally, in a way which allows them to gain tighter control over the various links in the supply chain. This is known as ‘creating shared value’ and is said to be so comprehensive across society that CSR programs will no longer be necessary. Nestlé has already made the process successful:
At Nespresso, Nestlé also worked to build clusters, which made its new procurement practices far more effective. It set out to build agricultural, technical, financial, and logistical firms and capabilities in each coffee region, to further support efficiency and high-quality local production. Nestlé led efforts to increase access to essential agricultural inputs such as plant stock, fertilizers, and irrigation equipment; strengthen regional farmer co-ops by helping them finance shared wet-milling facilities for producing higher-quality beans; and support an extension program to advise all farmers on growing techniques. It also worked in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance , a leading international NGO, to teach farmers more-sustainable practices that make production volumes more reliable. In the process, Nestlé’s productivity improved.
Companies are being exhorted to partner and team up, to collaborate together to achieve the same ends. This will take the shape of ‘geographical clusters’, where each sphere of production is tied to specific areas, known as ‘glocalism’, or thinking globally but acting locally. This ‘integrative thinking’ creates ‘communities of interest’ – shared value and common goals – at the local level, creating more resilient networks for international operations.
In ‘Viral By Design: Teams in the Networked World’ (Harvard Business Review blog; April 2, 2012), Zachary Tumin and William Bratton discussed “collaboration in the digital age”, focusing on the successes of Kony 2012 as well as “the OMGPOP team’s March 2012 breakout of Draw Something, a Pictionary-like game”, which are used as evidence of the power of viral marketing. They argue,
“From Nikes to K-12 curricula, drone strikes to personalized medicines, teams can mass produce unique solutions for anyone”.
Now Google has launched ‘Solve for X’, which crowdsources innovation to solve “global problems”. Even the police can benefit from crowdsourcing of reports on ‘suspicious’ behaviour, with initiatives like ‘see something, text something’.
One of the main benefits of crowdsourcing for corporations is that it capitalises on ‘hidden assets’, such as un-utilized skills and knowledge. This network exploitation is now being extended to digitised community currencies.