Self Expression

Life Isn’t Supposed to be this Hard

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By Cerise Poolman

Labor force South Africa Living Income Minimum WageI have had many conversations with people, mostly people who are in low-paying jobs without much prospects for advancement, conversations about life. The thing that everyone agrees on is that life shouldn’t be this hard. Sometimes someone might say something like “I don’t know what we can do, maybe just pray harder.” To this I will respond with something like I think that what will be more effective than prayer to make a difference is action. If we all take action together, united in the goal of making life better, then we will see great changes – and everyone agrees to this logic. I have not met one person who says “NO, action won’t change anything!” The worst thing within all of this is that this life is difficult because we make it so. The worst part is that we could change the world if we took action, but we don’t.

One of the most popular excuses I hear is that it’s “other peoples’ faults”. The world is horrible and I have a crap life because of all the a-holes in the world. There are too many people who won’t change. The world will never change when there are so many bad people. This excuse is used to justify our own inaction – because apparently any effort we make would have no results and so it’s not even worth the effort. It’s as if we’re waiting for guaranteed paths of action, unwilling to move until we are absolutely sure that what we do will actually work. In a way this is the easy way out, because standing for change means going out into the unknown, no certainty as to what lies ahead.

Here in South Africa a very large part of the workforce survives on minimum wage, well below the poverty line. A large number of people live in illegal or government housing (which doesn’t appear to be very different when you put the two next to each other). These are the people who are hurt the most by this world, who are the most vulnerable. At this stage the only ways that they can try to bring about change is through protests, sometimes violent and sometimes not. At this stage there is a diminished level of understanding as to how change can be brought about – not only by impoverished people, but by most people.

There is a serious hole in the understanding of the average citizen Joe of how the system works, and more importantly, the power that each person has. Back to South Africa, what can the impoverished and vulnerable do to change their lives? They have minimal support from public (government) and community structures – dealing with the government is like pulling teeth, but pulling the wrong one each time. These people do not know how to ask the right questions, most of the time they do not even know what their rights are and what support structures are available to them. What then can they do? They often have only limited skills in reading and writing and, if any, very limited access to public sources of knowledge such as the internet. To add to this, the leaders they are most likely to choose are the ones who stir passion in their hearts, whether the message they are giving makes sense or not. Then there is the question of those who are more privileged – how far does their responsibility extend to the underprivileged?

I would say that where one has the ability and understanding to support another then they also have the responsibility to do so. What defines ‘ability’? Resources, skills, knowledge – but to what degree? Well, let me put it this way: If you know that you can help, then it becomes your responsibility to do so. Waiting for someone else to come along and help so that you don’t have to is an abdication of your responsibility to your community – and I don’t mean ‘community’ in the smallest sense of the word, I mean it in the largest sense, the global sense.

Life isn’t supposed to be this hard. We can change it. We can help each other. We can give opportunities to each other. We can support each other to be the best we can be. It’s doesn’t start with some other guys over there – it starts with YOU and ME. WE are the change, TOGETHER we are better, stronger. We have the responsibility to support solutions that will bring heaven to Earth. We may not see the full fruits of our labours in our lifetime, but maybe our children will.

 

Promotion of and Education on a Living Income Guaranteed for South Africa.

 

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal

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The Future of Education and the School of Life

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by Anna Brix Thomsen

School of Life LIG ELFIn the previous post we did a thought experiment where we placed ourselves in the shoes of a child in today’s Western school system. I am sure many can relate to the experiences described and agree that the current school system is not optimal.

In this post we are therefore going to do a different thought experiment. We are going to imagine what it would be like to go to school in a potential future education system, an education system that honors and prioritizes the life and well being of our children, an educational system that doesn’t aim solely at producing future consumers to keep the wheels of corporate capitalism spinning, but on nurturing compassionate and independent individuals to live and become their full potential and become responsible members of society as a whole.

When politicians and scholars discuss educational reforms, the bottom line comes down how much money is allocated in the local and national budgets to optimize the education system. And as other parts of the economy are prioritized, the education system is often left with severe cutbacks, low wages for teachers and poor physical conditions.

However – in this thought experiment we’re going to take this point out of the equation. We’re doing this for the following reasons:

First of all, studies have shown that long term investments in quality education is far more profitable in the long-run than short-term cutbacks often resulting in increasing drop-out rates and educational inequality. Therefore, it is not valid to discuss budgets that are in no way acceptable when it comes to establishing an optimized education system as though it is a given condition when looking at educational reforms.

Secondly, within the proposal of a Living Income Guaranteed system we are proposing a fundamental restructuring of our economic systems, where supporting that which is best for ALL citizens is a primary principle and aim. What this means is that if we can all agree that education is so important that budgets shouldn’t determine how good our schools are, then budgets isn’t the first point that should be discussed when it comes to education, but in fact the last. The last meaning, we look at what would be optimal when it comes to creating an education system that is best for all and THEN we look at what is possible in terms of allocating resources; not the other way around. An example of how this makes it possible to finance an education system that in the short-term might be more ‘expensive’ than the one we have today (yet more profitable in the long run), could for example be through we as citizens deciding that an ample budget for our education systems is more important than an astronomical budget used to arm military forces. This is however not the only way that a Living Income Guaranteed system will make it possible to restructure a country’s economy, as several proposals have been made to for example nationalize resources and increase value added tax, so if this is something you are interested, you can read more about the proposals for financing a Living Income Guaranteed System.

Furthermore, one of the fundamental pillars of the proposal of a Living Income Guaranteed System especially in relation to a restructuring of our education systems, has to do with the fact that everyone who doesn’t work will be able to receive a Living Income, a ‘citizen’s wage’ if you will,  and where those who do work will earn at least double what a living income provides, through placing the minimum wage at the double of the living income.

So to sum up the fundamental change of our education systems that a Living Income System provides in relation to education is that:

  • In a Living Income system, parents will have the opportunity to spend more time with, and even be the primary educators of their children. They will in other words have more responsibility when it comes to the education of their children, but will also be better equipped at providing the best possible education for their children
  • The people who do decide to become teachers and instructors will be those who are passionate about teaching as teaching will not simply be an easy access to a stable salary. This is an important point, because we have all experienced how demotivating it is to be taught by someone who’s not only unskilled at teaching but who also is highly ineffective at it and few of us have experienced the stark difference it is to be taught by someone who’s not only qualified but also passionate about teaching.
  • The budget for education is determined only by how far we are willing to go to provide the best possible education for our children. What we are talking about here is not necessarily fancy school structures and infinite budgets for schools to take their students on fieldtrips. It is also not astronomical teachers salaries, but instead simply to – through resetting the idea that school budgets must be kept as low as possible – give ourselves the space and time to rethink what education can and should be. A specific example of this has to do with class sizes, which I covered in a recent blog that you can read here.

 

Instead of doing a thought experiment where we imagine a ‘Day in the Life’ of a child or parent in a Living Income system, I’d like to ask you to simply imagine for yourself how it would be like for you as a parent to raise your child in a world where struggling to survive is no longer the first priority because this point will be taken care of by the Living Income System. How will it be like to wake up in the morning? To get everyone dressed, fed and ready for the day? How will it be like to have the ‘luxury’ of the right to decide between parenting as a ‘life-path’, a career or even both, in a way that supports everyone involved?

How many mothers and fathers do not go to work every day feeling guilty, stressed and apathetic, knowing that they’re leaving their child in the hands of strangers? How many parents can honestly say that they have full trust in the daycare and education-system to do what is best for their children? And if they have the trust, how many will admit that it is a trust build on hope because anything else would be too unbearable to consider?

I’m sure many parents have considered homeschooling their children for this exact reason, but realistically speaking, how many are in a financial position where they are able to do so? And how many parents have had any form of training in terms of communicating with and effectively educating a child?

Imagine if all parents would receive proper training, similar to that of kindergarten- and elementary school teachers, but even more streamlined and supportive. How would your communication with your child change?

Obviously not all parents will want to be homeschoolers and therefore teachers will play an important role in a Living Income system. What I would like you to consider here is that schools and the education system in general does not have to be the way that it is currently. The current school-model is primarily based on an industrial perspective on education, where as many people are to be educated, as cheaply as possible, with the result that the current school system is actually not an optimal learning environment. It is therefore important that we dare to step out of the idea of schools only being one thing, one model and dare to imagine that it could be completely different. An example of this could be a much more streamlined and flexible transition between home-life and school-life, where a community of parents join together to create ‘mini-schools’. If families living together in the same apartment building for example come together in a joint effort to take care of and educate their children, it would mean that some parents could work, whereas others could stay in the community and care for the children. Maybe the parents could even hire a teacher if they prefer to do so; with the teacher being an individual whose passion it is to be a teacher.

Teaching ought to be a ‘calling’ that people decides to do because they’re passionate about teaching. Imagine if all teachers were people who truly enjoy and are exceptionally skilled at teaching, imagine a small group of students all working together and at the same time with individualized curricular aligned to their individual needs. The importance of passionate teachers is not to be underestimated and studies have even shown much difference a teacher makes when it is someone who truly enjoys what they are doing.

Many of the most skilled and qualified teachers today quit their jobs because the working conditions are unacceptable. To retain their integrity and respect for the teaching-profession they actually have to quit their jobs because they see that the current system in no way will allow them to teach in the way they see will truly benefit the children. With 35 children in a classroom having to be taught according to a standardized curriculum and given an exuberant amount of tests, it is no wonder that these compassionate and creative teachers decide to quit their jobs. Instead teaching becomes something you do if you don’t know what else to do or because you see it as an easy access to a stable income. That is certainly not how it should be. However – what we’re suggesting with the Living Income proposal is not that the solution then is to merely give teachers higher salaries. Instead we suggest that teachers are giving a Living Income due to the fact that their performing a public service and it is detrimental for the teaching-profession if becoming a teacher is something one does for the money.

What we are proposing instead is to provide teachers, and so students with optimized learning environments and conditions; small student groups, time to prepare and do research, resources and equipment available that need all the teachers needs.

Imagine what it would be like in such a school environment where the highest priority is on the joy of learning, not as a platitude we tell our students, but as a real statement of intent that translates into practical reality as learning environments optimized to fit all students needs: spaces for reading and introspection, labs equipped with everything needed to effectively teach biology and physics, music studios, painting studios, language labs, excursions to local work-places, guest lecturers, internships for older students – basically a strong coherence between school-life and the rest of society where school isn’t merely a simulation or containment facility but where it actually becomes an integral part of society, given equal importance and priority.

Imagine if all students were taught in exactly the way that fits their individual needs, imagine if all students were treated with great care and consideration when it comes to nurture and support them to reach their true potential. Wouldn’t the world look very different? Wouldn’t we as people be more fulfilled on an individual level and better equipped at stepping into society as highly contributory citizens?

Imagine an education system that truly honors its students, that show them the greatest respect in teaching them to honor life. Imagine an education system where compassion and equality are not simply slogans we throw around to make our excuse for an education system look better, but an integral part of a child’s daily life.

As you can see, the sky is really the limit when it comes to imagining an education system that is optimized and aligned to each student’s individual need. There are so many possibilities available once we step out of the limits of the current education system where schools are pressed to the max to keep budgets down and deliver a fully standardized education.

As a teacher, I stand 100 % behind the proposal for a Living Income system because I would for one like to see and experience an education system that truly honors the human potential, that does not compromise and that has as its chief aim to ensure that all children are educated in the best way possible to harness their unique potential in this world. I would like to see the adults that walk out of such an education system and I have no doubt that the world will be forever changed because of it. This can truly be an exciting time to be alive – if only we dare to step out of our comfort zones and realize that we are capable of so much more, if only we start honoring and celebrating life – and what better place to start doing that than through the potential of our children?

If you are ready to get involved in a political and economic change of paradigms and thereby also a change of our education systems, I invite you to investigate the Equal Life Foundation’s proposal of a Guaranteed Living Income System. This proposal suggests a groundbreaking change in political paradigms that doesn’t ‘take sides’ but instead presents a completely new approach to solving the problems we are currently facing in this world.

 

Re-Educate yourself here:

A couple of weeks ago I was part of the panel on a Live Google Hangout about the Common Core standards initiative. I definitely recommend watching it.

The Ultimate History Lesson with John Taylor Gatto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQiW_l848t8

PROPAGANDA | FULL ENGLISH VERSION (2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NMr2VrhmFI

The Century of the Self
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7EwXmxpExw

Psywar
http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

The Trap
http://archive.org/details/AdamCurtis_TheTrap

The Power Principle
http://metanoia-films.org/the-power-principle/

Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century
http://metanoia-films.org/human-resources/

The Story of Your Enslavement
http://youtu.be/Xbp6umQT58A

Blind Spot
https://vimeo.com/30559203

Inequality for all documentary:
http://www.putlocker.to/watch-inequality-for-all-online-free-putlocker.html

The Four Horsemen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU

On Advertisement and the end of the world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8gM0Q58iP0

Third World America – Chris Hedges
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drZE65_134g

More articles about parenting and education in a Guaranteed Living Income System:

http://livingincomeforall.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/parents-need-a-living-income-now/

https://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/category/parenting/

http://economistjourneytolife.blogspot.com/2014/01/day-259-living-income-guaranteed-and.html

https://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/the-self-perpetuating-cycle-of-homelessness-and-living-income-guaranteed/

Watch the hangout about Education for a New World in Order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlj5wGCRnSU

 

For Further Information, Follow these Links:

The Demon in Democracy

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By Barbara Stängl

Democracy

I’m having a look at Democracy here and how we are living this idea of ‘ruling a people’ according to the meaning of the word, where humanity needs a system platform from which it is possible to find and give direction to the basic decisions that have to be made to organize the essentials of this world, the food, resources for heating, shelter, water, territory, health and education.

 

Democracy

Basic decisions require principles which provide directives and criteria, so that a decision makes sense. The platform of Democracy functions on the basis of the principle of capitalism, free market forces and freedom of speech. It is a system that requires money to be able to take part in it, but it does not automatically grant this money to everyone unconditionally. You somehow have to be part of the ruling people, as someone having money, to be able to be heard, have a voice. Having walked the education and career system makes one eligible to be part of the system, as long as you remain competent and competitive. For this, however, you will have needed a ‘good start’ such as wealthy, well-to-do parents and the motivation or at least endurance to take the necessary exams to pass the set standards to survive within this system. Thus the statement can be made that within Democracy one is able to participate when one has education and money, or money as a stand-alone. These principles determine that most are struggling or are excluded from the get-go.

 

hands

 

The consequences of history have influenced the way democracy is legally set up and laid down for many countries. The Federal Republic of Germany, for example, strangely has no actual constitution, only a Basic Law that has been decided on, without the vote of the people, which brings forth the question of who / which people is ruling, when it’s supposed to be a democracy? In this case a number of 7 minister presidents have decided on the Basic Laws, which in its fundamentals has been suggested by the allied forces’ war governors that had the sovereignty over what was left of the Weimar Republic after the war. So a democracy and the principles by which it functions aren’t necessarily decided on by the people that are subject to this form of government.

 

Dictatorial DemocracyA constitution was to be enacted when the country reunified, a matter laid down under Art. 146 of the Basic Law. This was never followed up on. The Basic Law in Germany acts as a constitution and has entrenched the principles of democracy, republicanism, social responsibility and federalism, which cannot be removed or repealed by the normal amendment process. So it has come to be that the people of Germany has not given its vote in a free, independent, secret election, it hasn’t even been asked. This overshadows the execution of a true democracy from the very beginning when the process of establishing a fundamental framework for a people, which was to be of democratic nature in that it requires their majority vote, has been circumvented. It can be surmised that the minister presidents held the people to be too biased toward a non-acceptance of the Basic Laws and a constitution that would for the time being exclude a major part of the Germany left over from WWII, the whole 4th sector, the GDR – it being under communist rule – a state of affairs that constituted the dividing of Germany into East and West. The suspected bias was understandable as a written document would be based on the acceptance of the forced separation of families, friends and partners on the basis of ideologies inflicted on each side at the liberty of more or less self-proclaimed leaders in a very undemocratic manner. Is democracy in fact a dictatorship?

 

The Grundgesetz, Basic Law, holds the statute of Democracy as the form of government for the German people, with a majority vote allowing for the formation of a consensus to set the direction of politics in the country supporting the idea one is able to participate in the forming of decisions that influence one’s own life. Reality proves to be different. The German Federal State is constituted of 16 member countries, most of which have their own constitution which upholds the Basic Laws and some kind of allegiance or subjection to the Federal Republic. Thus the representation of a citizen in a country goes along the administrative pathways of the country and the federal state and then through the overhead structure of the European Union for political decisions on that level.

rettungsschirm

 

In comparison to a liquid democracy where the individuals’ voices can be heard in a poll, the system of a democracy of a majority ruling with indirect representation waters down the voting power of a citizen and thus no new solutions and perspectives get to the responsible organs of the government. There is also the law of Federal Law breaks State Laws and Union Law breaks Federal Law, where the Union is able to overrule anything.

World politics is about money and who controls money, because those who are in control of money are also in control of everything else. This lies in the hands of very few who through their standing within these vast amounts direct nations on the level of the unions, the United Nations and the European Union, where regional, country and national representatives of the peoples are simply overridden by creating events that seemingly justify measures that lie outside of even the European constitution, let alone that of countries and states. Such events and justifications constitute the designation of an enemy or an imminent danger as for example communism after the second world war through the placing into the public awareness through media the polarity of democracy and communism, the former being the state of freedom, the latter one of totalitarianism; or after the reunification of Germany and the breaking down of the communist block, there were oil and financial crises, the 911 tragedy allowing terrorists to be generated as a general threat, also the Moslem Brotherhood threat – all in turn allowing for vast constitutional breaches and thus Orwellian privacy transgressions and enslavement on all levels.

 

orwellian_governmentThis goes to show that the true meaning of democracy – of the people ruling – is quite in reverse as everything else in the world. People one doesn’t know and hasn’t voted for determine the policy of the country, the elite, those with the vast money have the power. They make decisions that aren’t based on the principle of best for all people and manufacture a mock choice that is presented in form of two bureaucrats like Schröder and Merkel or Bush and Carey who represent the same ideas, so it is actually not relevant who one votes for, because they actually represent the guys pulling the threads, the Bilderbergs, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations.

Democracy is just a label for one pole of the polarity that is upheld in order to maintain conflicts in this world and has been laid down in the Truman doctrine after WWII where the US makes it constitutional for herself to protect the Democracy as the liberty of a people and wherever a threat to this is manufactured, a conflict/war zone can be created and resources and people exploited and more power usurped.

 

Solutions

The Solution to this is definitely to get the media out of the hands of those controlling it by supporting free journalists and investigators, sites that are able to see and present the full picture and solutions to this demise, individual presentations of what we are allowing and accepting here. Equally it is to see that there are two fronts to work on – oneself within/as the allowance and acceptances within the polarities that are reflected on the outside in the world events and creations and walking towards establishing a platform for true equality starting with equal opportunity to receive money, food, housing and clean water for everyone and actual education, where this must be completely revised and restructured. This will require bringing awareness of the situation to the people and what can be done by each individual to make it count on a grand scale.

 

Education Kindergarten KidsWith respect to Human Rights and the right to Life, the establishment of ‘ LIG’, a Living Income Guaranteed, is principal. Considering the implementation of nationalization, the redirection of military budgets and changes toward indirect taxation as a solution to be able to use the profit and savings for the common good, such as providing for one’s direct and basic needs as having dignified housing, clean water, food, health services and education, by way of a provision of an actual ‘living income’ for each eligible citizen as a reasonably sized financial security on an as-needed basis.

As an incentive for those who are able to, guaranteed minimum wages are being suggested of double the living income for people who actually work, produce and create added-value. Doing research on this to see what works and what doesn’t from history, why or why not, to remedy what crystallizes from this and implement what is supportive are essential steps toward a change that serves the principle of best for all equally for a democracy where people/living beings – vs. corporate entities – are at the heart of the system, where their interest and well-being are at the center of focus. A means toward this aim can be a party that promotes the conceptual basis for open source democracy/ liquid democracy and the support of transparency in public affairs.

 

The benefits are obvious: The allowed separation from one’s own self-responsibility with respect to government and self-government will gradually be worked out and walked within/as self-authority by implementing a method /a system, where one can be heard, because money is not the pre-requisite, as it’s provided unconditionally from the start.

iraqi-kids-by-adamhenning-via-flickr

 

One will be able to have better relationships due to competition not being at the heart of the system as necessary part of survival, where one can stop analyzing what the other has that I haven’t and focus on simply enjoying the presence of the other and be with them and allow creativity to flow into the time and space of togetherness. Thus, peace, freedom and trust is given true potential with this external structure and one will also have more time for the development of self-honesty within self-investigation to undo one’s separation on a more individual level.

The benefits also include actual self-expression or a process thereof, without the fear of disadvantages. Herewith a movement from survival to Life can be initiated. We are able to bring Heaven to Earth, with clean water, luscious and abundant nature, resources for all with a system that represents who we are as self-empowerment and self-responsibility, a Democracy that is based on the living principle of what is best for all equally.

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal and Join us for discussion.

 

Photo Credits

‘Power to the People’
‘Hands’
‘Dictatorial Democracy’
‘War is Peace…”
‘Iraqi kids…”

Living Income and the Music Industry

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The music industry is one of the industries that has suffered the most under the current format of consumerism and capitalism. We have a peculiar scenario that developed where more than 90% of popular music became popular with some underlying sexual innuendo within the context of the music.

It’s as if music became a form of pornography, and because pornography has become something that up to now has been apparently something protected by free speech, we also created this in our music. Within this we are destroying true creativity within our musical arts, where we end up only with popularized music that is deliberately promoted within the vile of consumerism: where there is nothing that drives it but profit, and obviously entertaining the consumer to remain in a positive mindset of hope looking for the fulfillment of pleasure. This certainly is not music.

We expect that within the Living Income Guaranteed, the musician will have sufficient income on a Living Income Guaranteed to be able to truly develop their music and to explore building an audience that appreciates the music they create. The same will happen with the other arts in terms of painting, films, theater, literature, etc. If one no longer needs to make the music simply for the purposes of survival and you have sufficient support to truly explore your skills, the appreciation of the listener of the music enthusiast will grow substantially and we will develop a culture within our higher appreciations that will bring us a whole new era in music. All of this is facilitated through a simple principle: once each one is taken care of in their basic needs to live a life of decency, their ability is set free to find a higher form of expression. This higher form of expression is truly what everyone claims ‘they’ve been looking for’ but never considered that one requires a Practical Economic Model to set free the creative human potential. It will take time, but inevitably we foresee that we will become much more appreciative of arts and music and much more critical of content, expecting a higher value from our fellow human as we no longer are biased through our need to ‘feel hope for the future’ through some form of positive innuendo that is underlying abuse through our sexual expressions that has come through our generations.

In a society where you have felt like you were not supported in any way and you really have nothing to lose because you’ve already lost everything = the choice to be irresponsible was accentuated. In a more balanced society, one where everyone is taken care of within a Living Income Guaranteed structure will develop self-responsibility and self-respect, because Living Income Guaranteed in itself would be a statement by every human towards their fellow human “I respect you as life” and that statement, that certainty that one is protected and supported: will start changing human nature. 

Equal Life Foundation Research

Basic Income Guaranteed and Music Industry

Related Post: Day 235: Living Income and Effective Markets