Thoughts on “Systemsturz – der Sieg der Natur über den Kapitalismus”

Dear Kohei Saito,

I read your book with great enthusiasm. The completely new perspective on Marxism is very enlightening and exciting for me.

I can completely identify with your description of the danger of climate change because I have been part of the climate movement since 2019 and am currently active in Extinction Rebellion Berlin. I completely agree with everything I read in your book. I am also very concerned about the view that fixing climate damage also increases GDP.

However, I find it very unfortunate that Z-Generation activists are not interested in the social and economic fundamentals. I have been trying to explain these connections to them for a long time, but they are firmly convinced that protests are enough to change the world. But what should the government do? The only known alternative is socialism and that is out of the question.

You, dear Kohei Saito, say yourself that there is a third alternative. It is not clear from your book, but could this alternative not lead to this question that must be asked of all people in the world: “Would you be willing to work voluntarily if you were given everything you need for a contented and happy life for free?”

When we talk about commons, we often think of land or software. We need to extend this term to include all the raw materials and energy sources that we are given by the earth. However, it would still not be a closed cycle if we did not include people and their labour.

If people give their labour voluntarily, just as the pasture gives the grass, then they are also part of the commons. Only then is the cycle closed and the following happens: The current owners of the land on which the resources are extracted would voluntarily give up their property because they no longer need it. Today, they mainly use their property to make a profit. To put it in simple terms, they use it to make a living.

Around 40 per cent of all work worldwide is voluntary. Imagine if we could motivate the rest, i.e. all people in the world, to work voluntarily from a certain date onwards. Then all the goods that people need could be given away free of charge from this cut-off date.

This would be possible because the owners of the land and production facilities would receive everything they bought from their profit before the cut-off date for free and would therefore no longer need profit. They could therefore make all resources available as commons from this cut-off date onwards. This would complete the circle and make the resource-based economy a reality.

The fact that all products are then freely available is also the prerequisite for ensuring that there is no scarcity. The feeling of actually being able to take as much as you want (which of course people in this future society will not do) is a feeling of boundless abundance.

And then something very special happens. Because entrepreneurs can no longer make a profit, they gradually lose interest in their property, because they are still responsible for it. When their interest is completely extinguished, everything becomes common property again.

The ingenious thing about these considerations is that the transition can take place at any time, as soon as everyone is willing to work voluntarily. That could happen this year. Above all, there is no need to intervene in the capitalist system; it happens from the outside, so to speak.

Further background information can be found here.

Best regards

Eberhard Licht

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