What is The Free World Charter?03/11/2011 14:47
The Free World Charter is a statement of principles that has the potential to optimise life on Earth for all species, eradicate poverty and greed, and advance progress.
Neither political nor religious, these ten short principles could form the foundation of a new, advanced society that uses no money, is free, fair and sustainable. They are based solely on Nature, common sense and survival.
The Free World Charter is now widely considered a logical progression out of the failing mechanisms of today's society, and a natural step in our evolution.[ Stats ]
Why we need it
In case you haven't noticed, the world has become a very hostile place. Basic living has become really difficult for many of us, and is quite literally impossible for millions of people every year.
It does not have to be this way.
As the predominant species, we humans have failed to acknowledge the great responsibility that comes with our great knowledge and power. Money has seriously distorted our world view, and distracted us from what is genuinely important.
Everything we need for survival: water, food, air, energy, biodiversity, compassion, have become jeopardized through our prioritisation of profit over Nature. Nature does not yield or negotiate. If we continually fight against it, Nature will win. In other words, humanity - and countless other innocent species - could face extinction.
The time has come to make some fundamental changes to our way of life, which has become both unsustainable and unjust. Adopting the principles of The Free World Charter is, we believe, the first crucial step mankind must now take in order to protect and preserve both ourselves and our planet.
What is wrong with the world?
In a word: money. Our own monetary system of exchange now effectively prioritises financial stability and growth over survival and progress. While once a useful tool in earlier times, money has now become incompatible with life itself and creates far more problems than it solves. We can put these problems into four main categories:
1. Inequality and Injustice
In today's world, a handful of people have enormous wealth, influence and freedom, while the vast majority are burdened with debt, labour and poverty; with little or no say in world affairs. This imbalance is clearly unfair and can no longer just be accepted as normal.
Millions of people every year are born into a life of poverty and starvation, even though we have the resources and technology to feed and shelter everybody if we want to.
Wasteful manufacturing drives an insatiable appetite for limited natural resources like oil, copper, gold etc. Since these scarce resources are only found in certain countries, exploitation or cross-border conflicts inevitably result.
Some areas of the world suffer extreme weather conditions and a lack of arable soil or drinkable water, yet are largely forgotten by richer nations as they have nothing of value to contribute to the world economy.
Money, by definition, creates inequality and injustice.
2. Waste and Pollution
Manufacturing companies need a constant turnover of products in order to be profitable. It doesn't make financial sense to make products that truly last. It is better for cash-flow to keep producing disposable goods that ultimately need replacing - despite the waste of natural resources and pollution that this causes.
Many companies spend millions every year creating a market for unnecessary and wasteful products through clever advertising. This creates a culture of consumerism and an illusion of 'limitless' growth which is unrealistic, unsustainable and simply must end some day.
We know that oil is a toxic pollutant that produces carbon-dioxide, yet we still use it because it is cheap; despite having abundant, clean renewable energy all around us.
Oxygen-producing trees are plundered irresponsibly for their wood, while aeroplanes pump millions of tons of poisonous gases into our air every year.
Our disregard for Nature is slowly poisoning and choking us.
3. Debt and Unemployment
Today, almost every country in the world has such huge debts that governments are now forced to either borrow more, spend less, or print more to meet their budgets. Realistically, none of these options are sustainable.
Printing money devalues the currency, meaning you can buy less with it. Also, since it enters the economy as a debt, it is subject to interest. Since the money to pay this interest doesn't even exist, it ultimately requires another debt - and more interest!
Public spending cuts ultimately means job cuts, creating further unemployment. Private companies continually replace staff with machines that can work faster and cheaper, to increase their productivity and profits.
Paid employment is the oxygen of the monetary system. Without it, all you get is more debt. This unemployment and debt cycle will ultimately bring about a global monetary collapse.
4. Obstructed Progress
Human progress is stifled by cost. Pure research or bold scientific endeavour are either under-funded or overlooked unless they are profitable.
Highly skilled or talented professionals are attracted by generous salaries to develop profitable but wasteful consumer products. Conversely, many talented people are held back in life through lack of access to proper education or funding for their work.
New inventions get mired in patent laws that hinder further development or improvement by other innovators, and sometimes take years to reach the public. Many useful patents lie dormant either through lack of funding or deliberate marketing strategy.
Companies try to protect their own brands and future profits by intentionally designing products that are incompatible with other brands or technologies. This creates an unnecessary duplicity of products and frustrates the end user.
Money is no obstacle to progress in a money-free world.
These are just some of the reasons why money - that we created - has now become a major obstacle to our own survival and progress. If you look at our society and modern culture from a viewpoint of Nature, you will quickly begin to see just how detached and disconnected we have become from the very stuff that sustains us.
We cannot ignore our own nature and biology.
Whose fault is it?
It's important to recognise that no-one is actually to blame for any of these problems. The system we use to run our society has just grown that way over time. Attributing blame, even where seemingly justified, has no useful purpose and just creates adversity.
Many blame banks, corporations, governments, or the people who work in them, but these are not bad or greedy people. They are just ordinary people reacting to an environment of scarcity - the scarcity of money, that is.
Greed is a basic human response to scarcity. If there is a limited supply of something that you need to live, you instinctively want as much as possible of it, because it's good for survival. If we can eliminate scarcity, we can eliminate greed.
We have come to mistrust our own natural behaviour due to the conflicting standards and pressures that we subject ourselves to.
Modern media promote unattainable and hedonistic lifestyles, while religions teach moderation and chastity. Corporations spends millions glamourising sugary and fatty foods, while medical officers warn of obesity. Governments announce public spending cuts, while they bail out big businesses. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with advertising to buy products that we can't afford. Society, as a whole, is pretty confusing and contradictory.
Crime rates are on the increase - but not because more people are bad - because people's circumstances are getting worse, employment opportunities are dwindling and everyone has to compete to survive.
Remember, a human being is still an animal - albeit a highly advanced one - and just like any other animal may strike out when maltreated, cornered or confused.
We don't need to do this to ourselves any more.
It is time for us to disentangle the human being from his web of outdated methods and ideologies, and focus on our common purpose of survival, progress and freedom.
We need to free ourselves from our imaginary limits.
What the Charter does
The Free World Charter sets out ten very basic assertions that are resonant with Nature, general common sense, fairness and sustainability. In essence, these ten guiding principles are our minimum requirements for survival and progress.
Our current systems of monetary, social, ideological and border divisions are imaginary, and clearly not working for us or our planet. The principles of the Charter, that are grounded in Nature, would dissolve these imaginary barriers with just a few basic observations of mutual respect for each other and our planetary home.
Once we can get past our outdated methods of decision-making through speculation and diktat, and remove our imaginary barriers, we will find our only problems are technical ones. ie. How do we provide for everyone and use our planet in the optimum way? Only when we are free of our conflicting ideologies and methods, can we truly solve this problem.
Our technology is now at a level where we can comfortably provide for everyone without the need for hard labour. What we can automate, we will automate. We don't need money to build machines, we can just build them. Tasks that can't be automated can be rotated among a populace who would be more than happy to dedicate a small portion of their time to a community that sustains them.
Everything will be declared free to use, but within an understanding of natural and technical limits, and respect for the combined common good. These understandings are achieved initially through education, and ultimately through consensus.
Once people realise that a money-free society works, we will naturally become more positive in our actions, more cooperative, compassionate and productive.
Implementing the Charter
The first step in implementing the Charter is promotion and awareness.
These principles can only be adopted when they are seen, understood and supported by a sufficient number of people. When enough people see the Charter and accept it as the next logical step in human evolution, change will come about automatically. Politicians and people of influence will have no choice but to accede to the will of the people.
Once this happens, education of the principles, Nature and communities will need to be rolled out to give everyone a true understanding of ourselves, our community and our environment.
Education will play a key role in the establishment of the new money-free society.
It won't take long until people begin to realise that their neighbour is no longer their competitor; that everything they own and use has an environmental cost; that acting together as a community - and not only for oneself - is infinitely more productive and rewarding.
It may happen that the Charter will be first adopted in a single country or bloc of countries that is naturally resource-rich and self sufficient. (Australia and the South Seas would be a good example) Once other countries see it working, they would be quick to follow.
Perhaps in the interim, a special provision for 'money-free' status in pioneering countries could be applied through a body like the UN, to maintain and protect the borders of such 'free zones' until no longer necessary.
This is just one example of how the Charter could be implemented. It could happen in any number of different ways of course, but the important thing is that once enough people want it, it will happen.
Who wrote the Charter?
To attribute this document to any single person or group would be inaccurate and highly unfair to many people. As with any important philosophical or policy document, the contributors are innumerable as any one person's ideas are modifed and improved on over time.
The actual words of the Charter were written by Colin Turner, a songwriter and music producer from Dublin, Ireland, but many of the underlying concepts were originally inspired by Jacque Fresco's 'Venus Project' and Peter Joseph's 'Zeitgeist' film series - visionaries who, no doubt, would also attribute their inspiration to many other historical influences too.
What's important is that, logically, this is the next step in the progress of humanity, and one that best ensures our survival and that of our planetary companions. With that in mind, the Charter is, to all intents and purposes, a self-writing document.
The near future
We are at a most interesting point in our history. A great era of change is almost upon us, but things may get worse before they get better as many struggle to maintain the old system. Signing and supporting The Free World Charter can help bring about these changes much sooner, more peacefully and without needless suffering.
The idea of the Charter is a simple one. It is our current system that is complicated, and the unravelling of that may take some time, but this is a patient initiative, designed to progress slowly and surely in one direction only - towards true freedom, abundance and sustainability.
Please give this initiative your utmost consideration. Thank you.