Broadcast 10/30/2014 at 02:30:09 (34 Listens, 41 Downloads, 2280 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast
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Helena Norberg Hodge
author Ancient Futures.
Organizer-- the Local Futures (formerly ISEC), The International Alliance for Localization (IAL)
Producer/co-director of the documentary economics of happiness.
Conference November 8, in NYC at Cooper Union, localfutures.org m (I'm attending) Registration is only $15.
Rough Interview Notes-- Mostly my questions-- aimed to get you to listen
Rob: I got to know your work through your movie. What's the short version of the movie Economics of Happiness?
We've allowed an escalation in corporate and banking power to create a technoeconomic system that just isn't serving us.
all of these crises have a root cause in this system.
Rob; How long ago is it that you put out the movie?
2011. It's a very good tool for raising awareness and getting people into localization.
Rob: Yes I used it that way.
Rob: What's happened since then. I'm setting you up for the conference you have coming up.
November 8th at Cooper Union in NYC, one day Economics of Happiness Event-- calling it voices of Hope in a Time of Crisis. Chris Hedges will be speaking, Michael Schuman, Judy Wicks,
We are finding that a more global view is essential for change so we are bringing voices from South America, Africa, India..
It is in every country's and every person's interest to make sure that farmers are growing food for their own people first. Globalization" has turned things upside down-- subsidizing global trade and most countries are exporting and importing products.
Rob: We're subsidizing global trade? How are we doing that?
Our tax monies are used to advertise products overseas. it's much more endemic than that. The global infrastructure builds up and neglects local infrastructure.
If people sat down tomorrow and ate food from their region, no multinational would make money but local people would. it is trade addiction-- where govts below that "free trade" through trade treaties are the way to grow the economy. They are not only subsidizing them but also regulating in a way that favors them. That means the giants are freed up to move in and out of every region and country.
This is the main reason why we are losing democracy.
Rob: What is the main reason?
Trade treaties-- the more recent ones pushed by Obama TPP and Atlantic-- corporations will be able to sue governments if they in any way inhibit their profits. So, a nuclear power company can sue a country that bans nuclear power.
These treaties lead to a situation where corporate power becomes law.
All of this is linked to deregulation of banking as well.
The thing that we have not been paying attention to is deregulation through globalization.
Public Citizen is a very good org to and iatt.org Institute for Agriculture and Trade POlicy to keep up with the trade agreement.
Rob-- your conference is $15 to attend. That's unbelievable.
And we'll be launching an international localization organization.
Up until just a short time ago, in the scale of humanity's history, the most basic thing we did was food production.
NOw we have the message that we need large farms and large supermarkets. And this is a lie.
We need to ship from a global to a local food system. It's the only way that we can feed the world with food diversity.
Rob: Just to be clear are you talking about pre-farming and civilization or what?
The industrial area, from the beginning, was led by large business, interested in extracting wealth from others. Industrial agriculture is a major problem. Working locally, we could dramaticallyy reduce the ecological footprint. We need a balance between city and country.
Rob: at the Techno-Utopianism conference you said, that previously cultures shaped the economies. In the modern era the economies shape the culture-- top down.
Book and film I made Ancient Futures, were translated into 50 languages-- literally every child from Mongolia to Peru is being influenced by the same standerdized corporate images of what it is to be human, how to look," It's a disaster. It's creating in the children the belief is that if they want respect they have to have that iPhone, that iPad, "
Truly universal human need to be loved to be part of a community-- is being perverted-- to consume-- in non-western cultures we see young kids wanting to buy blue contact lenses, darker kids buying chemicals to bleach their skin to try to look whiter..
if you look in the epidemic in the US and most industrialized countries of depression, addiction, desire for plastic surgery- it goes back to the breakdown of community and unrealistic expectations.
Now, with Facebook.. our young people are now internalizing and promoting these images themselves. they get off face books, and they are depressed that their friends are having more fun.
The solution is not so difficult as it sounds. The key is to start turning to and talking with each other-- human, direct relationships.
Cultures shape the economy-- life is diversity-- the diversity of cultures is a response to biological diversity. The dominant corporate system is pushing mono-culture which is really anti-life.. Having a culture, a society being top dog, not a commercial system, is essential.
the problem is when people try to get elected, they talk to the 99%-- the voters, but when they get elected, they take care of the corporate.
Rob: You've said "We need a global movement to deal with a global problem, which is the global economy. " That's part of what your conference is about.
it's about h ow we can start re-shaping the economy
We need a global effort so our voices can sing to the same hymn sheet.
Rob: What would that look like?
Europe, compared to the US is slightly moving in the direction I'm talking about.
But even in Europe and my native country Sweden, after the second world war, trade treaties set up things differently-- set up GATT, WB-- and that is the treaty process that we have not been paying attention to until recently-- that was an attempt to pull everything under a global umbrella-- it turned out to be corporate controlled by the IMF.
Beppe Grillo-- comedian in Italy-- said we need a people's movement-- by using the internet and encouraging people to meet up locally-- who set up local groups who set up local politicians. Within six years they grew big enough to go into the national elections and take 30% of the vote.
We need to talk to one another. We need to build up a people's movement.
So number one on the platform is this corporate freedom to move around pick the cheapest labor and resources-- including the banks. The first thing we do once we build up a big enough people's movement is to reverse the trade treaties-- regulating the corporations while de-regulation the local
Rob. I want to emphasize this-- GLobal de-regulation has been accompanied by local regulations that make it harder for local small businesses--
a farmer with ten chickens has the same expenses (meeting regulations) as a big chicken processing corporation-- it's expenses that destroy the small players. Years ago we found out that big hotel chains were lobbying to bring in big regulations for bed and breakfasts-.
The over-regulation of small business has also led to a tea-party mentality with people furious with government, so they want government rolled back across the board. They don't realize that the real problem is corporation"
NGOs are getting poorer and poorer, Government is getting poorer and poorer, going to begging bowls asking to please do private public partnering.
Rob: you said, "We are talking about the 99% waking up to the immense suffering that is being inflicted upon them by a technoeconomic system. "
Rob: privatization is getting more and more-- so perhaps part of the problem is
Co-ops have ended up having to compete with these giants. SO the key that is absolutely essential in understanding scale.
Rob: We need to create a science of keeping businesses small. That goes along with my debillionairization mission.
You need to deal with the system that creates billionaires-- globalization.
Tobin tax on globalization
We don't need to have a top-heavy centralized state running the economy. We can't decentralize political without decentralizing economically.
Rob: Public banking is a way to decentralize
absolutely!! We can't even have
Ellen Brown Michel Chossudovsky in canada
Bank of International Settlements is one of the most powerful banks in the world..
Big picture activism-- comes out of seeing these connections-- so that we can really encourage people who focus just on banking global warming, unemployment, poverty, whales and Dolphins, the Amazon-- there are millions if not millions if not billions engaged in protecting some thing-- even those wealthy people who fund efforts to make the world a better place-- we believe that with a big picture analysis, they would be willing to link hands, because its in the interest of all of us to do that.
I find that too many people who get into the banks get into conspiracy theories-- that it's the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds, but it's a lot bigger.
The wake-up that can come from a big picture campaign-- can really help people to become more focused.
Rob: bottom up values are important--
We will need certain top-down global collaboration to protect the environment and human rights. The left sometimes thinks it's a retreat into"
We need to distinguish between collaboration to protect mother earth and collaboration to increase the scale of economic activity.
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