This title is the friendly version of the slogan by presidential candidate Bill Clinton during his election campaign against George H.W. Bush (1992) ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’ The quote has become more and more commonly used, as, since then, the economy has only become more and more important as well. To be honest, everything has been made subservient to it.
Let us take a step back to consider what the economy actually is. And what are financial markets? Economy is literally the management of an estate or household: the production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services. Or: how people with scarce means act so as to satisfy their needs. So economy is merely an instrument. A means to achieve something else. How we wish to do so, is up to us, but what than are these needs? Are they permanent, or do we have to discuss that as well?
Within the economy there is, for instance, a financial market. A mechanism that allows people to trade in financial securities, resources, and other exchangeable goods that are considered to be of value. Nothing more, and nothing less. It is up to us to give it its specific form, as it is but an instrument, like a knife, or a screwdriver: you can use it to create beauty, or great harm, and you can change it if the need arises. The knife itself is neutral, it is people who endow it with meaning and colour. Meanwhile we all know that the financial markets have become a seven-headed monster, that has grown much larger than the entire global economy. Though it originally was but a mechanism to allow for mutual trade, the means has become the end; very likely the new conductor of the world, beyond and above any actual economy. You can read it till your eyes bleed … ‘and how will the financial markets react to this?’
This unbridled growth of the financial markets and the economy has presently set the scales as following: 10% of the world population own approximately 84% of all wealth, while the poorest half of the world owns less than 1 %. Through tax havens over 20.000 billion (!) euro in taxes is being evaded. Meanwhile a billion people have no access to clean drinking water, and 100.000 people die of poverty and hunger every day. And so forth. Is this the world we want to live in? I don’t think so. Yet we have created it ourselves. Simply put: it just ran out of control. Not that there was a master plan behind it. The Industrial Revolution wasn’t made up at the drawing board either. One thing leads to another. Humanity was mostly driven by its (lower) emotions to satisfy its needs and be done with it, and this is where it brought us. On the brink of our own destruction.
This is why we have a deep spiritual and existential crisis: we don’t know who we are, where we came from, or where we are heading. We don’t know what the meaning of life is. Questions that can never be solved by (outdated) thought, and the present view on things. Reason can not lead us there. You can only reason your way towards it once you know the answer. From below to the top will not work, from the top to the bottom will.
It’s the consciousness, silly! `That sentence is all the answer you need. In the discovery of the soul, the consciousness, and, for instance, the workings of our intuition. Society is reaching out for it, but can not get a grip yet. We are ready for it, but we do need help. When you broaden your view, the answer awaits: We are one cosmic family. We are one of many manifestations of consciousness. We are all one, undergoing the same spiritual evolution. Life is eternal, we have already lived thousands of lives. We have been everything before: man, woman, murderer, victim, of any colour, practising ever different religions, and so forth. Many civilizations have come and gone, hundreds of thousands of years before the time in which we live. Cosmic laws, such as the law of Reincarnation and the law of Cause and Effect, do exist. We are responsible for everything we do. How we think has an influence on our lives, even on the climate. The goal of life is to transform ignorance into insight. It’s all about becoming aware.
Are we aware how our present society came about? Do we understand how the economy dictates us, and how it has pushed us to the brink? ‘It is definitely NOT the economy, stupid!’ It has to do with consciousness and becoming aware. In what kind of society would we want to live? Are we finally aware that we stand in front of an incredibly important point in the history of mankind? ‘We are the people we are waiting for’. We have to radically change the way we think and broaden our minds. Nobody wants to change when they can not see any reason why. That goes just as much for the society as a whole. Take care of a broader insight and we will be there. The economy is important, but as one of the domains within society that should be subservient to the whole.