Saving Humanity Will Be Bad For The Economy

Victoria Strake
5 min readOct 30, 2020

To keep living we’ll need to change this thing we’ve been taught to serve called ‘the economy’.

Image: Public Domain

The economy is destroying the planet and threatening all of humanity. That is a matter of fact. The ecological and human disasters of the economy are too many to list in full but among them are lost of topsoil, climate change, and ocean acidification. Not to mention the human cost of a system that creates such gross dependency that nearly everyone is threatened with homelessness and starvation if they refuse to obey the economy — the stress and misery of that alone would be enough to hold the it in contempt.

This grand apparatus we call ‘the economy’ is a monster which is destroying human kind at the individual and global scale. We have to end this monster for our own sakes. To save human kind not just from extinction but from suffering and economic bondage will be bad for this economy — but good for the next one, and good for us.

There are many ways to organize a better economy that doesn’t destroy us, but for now we have to accept how drastic the necessary changes are going to be. One necessary change is to put life — both survival and happiness — before anything else. That is a simple enough change in values, but to honour those values means radically changing the economy.

To this end we should avoid what I like to call economic aesthetics, which is any sort of sentimentality over a system or institution for its own sake. There is nothing inherently valuable about markets or property laws or corporations or any other apparatus of power and material the sum total of which we tend to call ‘the economy’. It was all built by humans and we are free to do it any other way we please, even to the point of tossing out everything that came before in order to do it right in the future. It is foolish to get sentimental about any institution in the economy.

In avoiding that trap it helps to realize what we actually need to live and focus on that. No one needs money or a job to live. We need air, water, food, shelter, and community. Those are real things that actually sustain human life and happiness. Stuff like money, debt, and the law itself aren’t necessary for life, they are merely invented things that are part of man-made systems of power. They can be changed…

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Victoria Strake

Essayist, former scientist, trans woman. Striving for actionable methods of peaceful revolution — relationships, community, mutual aid, subsistence, science.