Written when the last financial crisis took place.

Everyone is asking how the world has come to the present financial crisis.

The logic is simple.

a) In hunter-gatherer populations there was a direct physical relationship between effort and reward.

b) Once systems of exchange evolved we were on the slippery slope, because we ourselves, and not our relationship with the physical environment, determined the value of exchanged objects. 

c) When the magical pieces of paper and metal discs were introduced physical effort and reward completely parted company and the majority of the world's population and biosphere fell pray to the parasitic money jugglers.

d) The situation now exists whereby someone with one finger on a keyboard can buy a piece of land by sending symbols through cyberspace, and without a single thing physically changing, after the passage of a few years, perhaps double the money he paid for it. What does that profit represent in terms of physical effort and change?

Everything has become so symbolic and abstract that there is no longer a direct and balanced physical relationship between effort and reward - between the number of abstract units (money) and the physical reality they are purported to represent. The modern economic system is like a religion which depends as much on faith as it does on reality.

I have pointed out, in the past, that our economic system is like a massive pyramid scheme in which a few individuals at the top become rich on the backs of those at the bottom - the whole thing driven by the amazingly stupid assumption that it can function to infinity.

We cannot continue to borrow and steal from the future as the natural economy of a finite earth and its biosphere will ultimately determine if mankind has a future. If we carry on along the same path, I cannot see anything other than a final catastrophic collapse and a bloody return to subsistence farming.

It has to be admitted that the prosperity of the first world has been brought about by the financial dealings of those who have been parasitic on the mass of humanity and the biosphere, but sadly these individuals are also the reason why we will lose all that we have gained. If humanity is to exist in relative comfort for a long time into the future, the only answer is to index money more closely to the realities of the physical world in some form of steady state economy.