I heard a lot of stories in my life. Quite often, I was lied to. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally. Among the people who lied to me were my teachers and my parents. They all believed themselves in the possession of the truth and felt they absolutely had to make me aware of it, as well. Regardless, I started doubting those “truths“ quite early in life.
Today, I kow that there is no such thing as “the truth“. All you can claim to have is “certainty“. And that, too, is also always just imagined.
But when I was younger, I was trustful. I also believed things that were stupid. Here is a rather harmless example for what I believed and what I now think was wrong.
At the economically-oriented Jakob Fugger Grammar School in Augsburg, I learned that free economy and huge economical areas without borders are beneficial for all parties concerned. According to what I was taught, this concept would cause a specialization in value contributions. Only a free trade zone as big as possible without customs and other borders could make a world-wide flourishing business life possible. It would bring prosperity to the entire world.
Today, we are a lot nearer to this state of affairs. But what good did it do to the world?
Almost one billion people starve. The world is devided into rich and poor as almost unparalleled in history.
The rich drown in luxury. Many people living in the rich countries grow more and more obese. They try to drown the boredom of their lives in consumption habits. The flats get larger and larger. The wardrobe is overflowing with suits and dresses that can never be worn. It is too boring to drive one car, so you drive two. Rich nations wage war against each other, often far from their own borders, just in order to promote their prosperity. People in this part of the world mostly think about preserving their prosperity and security..
The poor live on extremely limited space. For them, it means happiness if they have enough for a good meal at regular intervals. They consider themselves lucky if they have halfway enough to live decently. More often than not, they loose everything they have to natural catastrophes or wars. The few t-shirts they own are cherished and the pride of the entire family. The same is true for the family bike. Because if they can afford that, they belong to the prosperous.
The exploitation of the planet earth has now reached boundless proportions. Banks and concerns occupy the central positions of power and control consumption, just in order to get maximum turnover and profit. The states either look on helplessly or else cooperate.
Now it seems that hard times are up for both the poor and the rich. The rich because they exploited just a little too much. And, on top of that, have spent borrowed money. The poor because their living space has in some cases been destroyed irreparably.
To me, this looks like the consequence of “real market economy in practice, based mostly on uncontrolled markets“. I learned it all quite well. And I believed it at the time.
(Translated by EG)
I know quite a few more lies of the same kind…