World Spirit Forum ‘Open your heart – United Responsibility’ 16 -19th January 2005, Arosa, Switzerland.
Speech by Franz Josef Rademacher: ‘Global Marshall Plan’
Human kind started with only a few thousand humanoids in the African Savannah and by 8000BC we made it to up to 20 million humans. It took 4 million years. To make it to 200 million humans it needed another 8000 years – that was around the birth of Christ. To increase it by times 5 to 1 billion needed 1865 more years – this was 1865. To make 1 billion 3 billion only needed one hundred years – that was 1965. To make 3 billion 6 billion only needed 35 years – that was the year 2000. So what one sees is an incredible speed in increasing number and we know today that by the year 2050 will maybe 10 billion people.
But even faster than the gross of people is the gross in the natural resources we use and in the pollution we create – so human kind has an incredible metabolism, drawing resources in and putting pollution out. Our additional problem is the speed. The speed is so high that it is almost impossible even for the best of science we have to understand the process. The process is so fast that whenever we think about doing something – before we implement it is already completely different from the situation we expected. So fast that in a sense it is overtaking us – always more people with always higher expectations connected via global communications. Around the globe we will see 10 billion people that want the lifestyle enjoyed today maybe 1.2 billion people. We come into a situation where we probably need 10 earths and not 1. Now people always think that technology solves the problem. However, with technology the problem is that it solves the problem by always creating even bigger new problems. This is called the Rebound Effect.
Now if you have this point of view, the question is whether we have a chance at all to get this exploding process under control – a process so fast that we don’t understand it and even if we understand it we wouldn’t know what to do. Is there any chance to get this process under control? And to get it under control means we have to limit somehow resource use and pollution to limits that the planet can sustain. We have to think about limiting global human activity, the activity of human kind. We have to think about how to limit activities of 6 billion and soon 10 billion people in a way that sustains the biotope because if we cannot sustain the biotope and have a collapse of that – we come into a situation where hundreds of millions of people will die and this would bring terror, war and all the most ugly things we can imagine. So the big challenge that human kind has at the moment is how to limit global human activity. There are essentially two ways you can do it.
All the people that come from a spiritual dimension – be it the Earth Charter people, be it the Global Ethics people, the Parliament of Culture, the Parliament of Religion. Wherever these people come from because of being spiritual they all have a clear understanding that we need a balance in our relationship with nature. This is never an issue. But those people usually also feel a second need – namely the need to take every other human as an entity of dignity – as a source of spiritually as a source of creativity as a world of it’s own in all its dignity. So what that means is if from a spiritual point of view – which means also from a global ethical point of view – if you want to deal with the limitations on the environmental side – you have to do this in a way that corresponds to the dignity the social cultural personal dignity of every human. Which is 6 billion and soon 10 billion. This is very difficult because you have to create consensus.
There is a completely different approach – which is a power structure approach by which you say human kind is organised by a kind of top of the pyramid – where there is an elite of special quality and then there is this billions of other people who in a certain sense are relatively stupid and powerless – its more like ants and not like humans. And if you have that point of view then you would use power and force to impose limitations on people in a way that allows you to go on as you always do and pretend your working ethically by creating the balance with nature – however, in a way that the poor stay poor and the richer get richer.
Now in the centre of my analysis is that at the top of the power structure we have quite a lot of people who want things exactly as they are. However, they would never say that – they would always say they want what all these nice people want – and they would use their power to implement constraints to the global economic systems. As a result comes out what they want but would never say that they want – which is exactly what all the others don’t want. So it is a question of the institutional global economic design by which you enforce results that almost nobody wants – and if you control the media then you are able to create images which enforce the wrong systemic design – in the end driving people exactly to doing what leads to the contrary of what they want to achieve.
It’s also very important to understand that all the spiritual people and all the good hearted people and all the liberals are organised in a way that they always prove each other wrong – and that the one knows a little bit better than the other. So that the main intellectual debate is always about showing somebody that he is wrong – and this item he forgot – and this has to be added – and this is missing. By creating conditions under which we behave like that the other side needs not to argue against us because we always argue against us.
Now understanding all this, what does the Global Marshall Initiative try to do. We say if we want to have a chance at all we need a very abstract design. It must be so abstract that all these good hearted people can agree on most abstract constructs used. This is one element of the approach – I come to a second immediately. What we argue for is the Eco Social market model. It is the European Asian model in strict contrast to the neo liberal market fundamental model. The Eco Social model says that markets are OK- to value and maximise value creation. However, only after all important ecological, social, cultural, spiritual etc. aspects are taken care of in the frameworks of the market. Where the frameworks are – the issues that things are allowed or forbidden – there are incentives or disincentives or there is prizes that tell the truth.
But the essential point is that all the difference that good hearted people may have concerning the environment, the social, the cultural, the spiritual or whatsoever is a topic of determining reasonable frameworks. This is a political majority of fairness topic – it’s a topic of details on which one can disagree. But where one should not disagree is that frameworks are needed that limit environmental pollution, that balance social justice comparatively, provide for a kind of interchange of cultures – address spiritual dimensions of people and so on and so on. So by abstracting we want to avoid all those fights by which we in a sense eliminate each other instead of becoming a positive force.
The second point is we think that the other side is so good and so strong – and I give this other side a two sword chance of success – which means we may go to the wall. It’s not over yet but I give the other side two swords. They have the power they have the money – they are really good. Maybe the Eco Social side has one sword – but because the other side is so good if you want to have a chance you have to make use of the other side – its like jujitsu – you have to take their force too, activate it against them. Their tactic is they always pretend they want the good thing – so our tactic is we pretend we believe. It’s a very strong power to pretend to believe the powers – that they mean what they say.
So the Global Marshall Plan Initiative takes the Millennium Goals of the United Nations as a starting point. This Millennium Goals was signed in the year 2000 by 186 heads of state and this year is an important year because there is the first evaluation of the implementation of the Millennium Goals – which should be implemented by the year 2015. Now these Millennium Goals are wonderful – for instance among them is the aim that by the year 2015 five hundred million people – that today have no access to clear clean water – should have access to clean water. Which is a big issue, particularly for women that have to spend two hours a day for lets say one 10 litres of water which is just ridiculous. But there is also the aim that child mortality in the poor half of human kind should be reduced to one third. This is highly correlated to implementing a kind of family right to the poorer half of human kind – that is, the right to determine the size of their family.
The maybe most important part of the Millennium declaration is set by 2015 every child boy or girl should have a full education, and educating people is the most important instrument to make the poorer part able to defend itself against the interest of the smart rich part. So concerning balance, concerning dignity, concerning spirituality, a basic education is an absolute must, and it’s wonderful that its part of the Millennium declaration. So the Global Marshall Plan says – ‘do the Millennium declaration’ you said it – we believe you – do it.
Now the second part is that doing needs an institutional design as we know from the extension processes of the European Union. So we have developed a quite reasonable scheme by which the global economic regime which is the WTO the World Trade Organisation should be interlinked with the ELO which is the global social regime the international labour organisation with UNEP, United Nations Environmental Programme which is the global environment regime and with World Bank and International Monetary four which is the financial regime. So we want a coherent global regime by which under WTO law it’s no longer allowed to trade products produced by child labour and corrupting the environment.
This institutional design needs the approval of the poor countries. The poor countries don’t like the standards because they are so poor they have to have their children make what we buy. Under the Global Marshall Plan we would co-finance enough money that the children can go to school so that they can agree that trading of products using child labour is no longer allowed. It’s the same logic that we have in the European Union and by the way it’s the same logic that every reasonable country uses in its own borders. Our position is: what works in countries that work, should be done on the globe. What never worked in any country cannot be a solution for the globe.
So we want this institutional design and of course the key is the co-financing – the rich countries do the co-financing. We would need one hundred billion dollars extra a year. This is one and a half times the overseas aid we have today. With this we would approach point 7 which all the rich countries promise in thirty years. The amount then would be the interest that the poor countries pay the rich countries anyhow so the situation is ridiculous as it is. With this proposal I think we have a reasonable chance.
However, we realise there is no chance to get that money from national budgets because globalisation as it is at the moment drains the national budgets. It’s what the market fundamentalist like. They don’t want to see money in public budgets – because this is a way where the poor can defend against the rich. No they want all money with the rich so they may do a little charity. The point is that the solution must be a kind of global taxation taxing in particular the global elements of value creation – because now the global part of the economy always pays less taxes – meaning that the local part of economy has to pay more taxes. It is also the global part of the economy which pollutes tax free – you can see this with gasoline tax and there is no tax on kerosene.
So what we want is to make global pollution expensive – to tax world financial transactions – to generate the money by which to fund the Global Marshall Plan. To create a global economic miracle which makes the globe much richer, the rich richer but the poorer much faster richer than the rich get richer so we get a balanced global solution
This global solution is not only about material values. The global solution is a solution under strict protection of the environment which means human kind gets in balance with the biotope and by being more socially balanced gets into peace with itself. It means it gets a body which is much more spiritually tuned than we have it today with the stress on human kind. Maybe the nicest side effect would be that human kind would start to shrink from 10 billion down maybe down to 3, 2 billion over the next 250 years and because of being rich and balanced we would get quite rigid organisational structures which would calm this unsustainable innovation speed we have at the moment. So it would be a re-invention of slowness and I think human kind needs nothing more than re-invention of slowness to get ourselves back in balance.
To register your support for the GM Plan visit www.globalmarshallplan.org