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A selection of quotes from Colin R. Turner

Peace can only come through understanding and a relevant education system.

You can’t create peace, but you can reduce the reasons for war.

Not sure which is scarier; that people find it acceptable that our market system allows others to die, or are naïve enough to believe that everyone can make it under that system.

I am starting to come to the opinion that the ongoing destruction of our planet and social systems by the markets may in fact be a less urgent problem than our continued distortion of truth and perception.

When you start to see capitalism – not as the fiendish handiwork of a sociopathic few – but as the tapestry of billions of trades between ordinary people, then you will see, as I have, that the only way to undo capitalism is to unpick that tapestry, stitch by stitch, with something that isn’t trade yet facilitates people equally. That something is sharing.

The fundamental basis of any society is its economy. Every city, community and tribe was originally founded on access to resources and the ability to get things done. So, in order to change the values of any given society, you need to change its means of economy.

Almost every problem in society today can be traced back to our failure to organise ourselves according to our shared reality.

Debt is a precise measure of the inefficiency of capitalism. If a market exchange system actually worked, no-one would owe anything. Debt is an error – and we’ve got trillions of it!

Empathy is the bridge between explanation and experience.

The eternal dichotomy of loving/hating a politician is precisely what gives traditional party politics impetus. It doesn’t matter what you think about them. It only matters that you do think about them. The real enemy of party politics is apathy.

We’ve been sold the illusion that happiness is minimal effort and maximum garbage, when actually it’s the exact opposite.

Against the deafening noise of modern society, it’s easy to see how mentally detached we have become from nature. Just one small problem: we are still physically attached to it. Nature equals life; ergo, detachment from it equals death.

We have constrained ourselves by an arithmetic value system that only exists in our minds. These mathematical constraints do not equate to real world constraints.

When a cult gets big, we call it a religion. When a gang gets big, we call it government. When a scam gets big, we call it an economy.

Money today is a crude way of organising people and resources that prevents the vast majority from reaching their full potential.

There’s only one thing that stands between us and the end of capitalism: Our participation in it.

When competition and the daily struggle become unnecessary, people’s behaviour automatically improves, allowing traits like compassion and cooperation to come naturally to the fore.

How much of our time and effort is spent on ensuring trust between people? Banks, security, lawyers, auditors, inspectors, cryptography, blockchain, etc. Imagine if we used all that effort instead in building a world where there was nothing to steal and trust was the default standard?

Law is the blunt instrument we use to hide our failure to create a properly educated, nurturing society. Give people what they want and they won’t need to steal from you. Reinforce peoples’ natural empathy and they will understand why not to hurt you. That won’t stop every crime of course – but it should stamp out around 99% of it.

People think that mortgages meet the cost of buying a house, but I think the reverse is true: houses prices rise to meet borrowing capacity.

If intelligence offers us nothing more than the imagination to invent beliefs to bash each other with, then it is a handicap.

Money is the great abstractor. It seeks to map our moral value system to a zero sum, arithmetic value system and separates us from the consequences of our actions. In essence, it greatly simplifies that which should never be simplified because lives depend on it.

The debt crisis – how much more suffering must humanity endure until we realise we are only at war with numbers?

Consumer culture has led us to believe that to solve something, something else must be added, with little-to-no incentive to prove that the problem may be better solved by taking something away.

What I like about crypto-currency is that it will inevitably highlight the futility of numbers as a means of economy. When we use normal money, we still perceive it as ‘hard’ cash – a physical token. I think the intangible nature of cryptos will eventually bring it home to people that basing society around the movement of valueless digits is actually kind of ridiculous.

Technologically, we have already won the battle for survival. We just need to organise ourselves so all can share in that bounty.

We only interact with the world based on what we know. Change what we know and we can change the world.

The capitalist framework requires that any solutions are win-win or else they don’t happen. Solving big environmental or social issues requires a lose-win approach, which is so counter culture to be unconscionable – even to the best and brightest.

Just as we were deceived that the intricate patterns of nature were the work of God and not the result of a long, slow process, so too are the artifices of capitalism not the work of some evil designers, but rather the result of millennia of small win/lose exchanges.

The vast majority of us depend entirely on an external system — even though that system has proven itself time after time to be vulnerable and corruptible with its recessions, depressions, wars, bailouts, ineffective politics, etc.

Yet even despite this, time after time we follow the same intuitive response of vilifying those who ‘break the contract’ and bay for their blood without scarcely giving a thought to how to personally insure that such things never happen to us again.

Consumerism and convenience culture has created this dangerous dependency crisis which is only going to bite us again and again until we start thinking and acting in self- and community-responsibility.

For every lunatic who takes up a gun and starts shooting people, there are billions of other people who don’t, but we never hear about them. The reality is, our human experience, from a statistical point of view, is almost entirely peaceful.

Technology may have freed us from hard labour, but it has not freed us from the market. In fact, technology has amplified the market. Escaping the market is purely a mental and moral journey we must all eventually make that has nothing to do with technology.

Sometimes I think that school classrooms should be reversed. Put the adults in the chairs and get the kids to teach them empathy and sharing again.

Isn’t it time we all stopped being prisoners inside imaginary lines drawn by dead people?

We don’t need to destroy the system. We just need to virulently infect it with better ideas.

Don’t ignore all the good samaratins by spending your time looking for Jesus.

Everyone is brainwashed. No exceptions. Forget about crazy cults. We are all totally influenced by our culture and experience to accept what we call ‘right’ and ‘normal’. Let’s start by accepting this reality, then work on changing the doctrine to one that supports all life on this planet.

I have a theory, and that theory is that the people who will change the world are not the activists, the rich, the politicians or the poor. The people who will bring change are what I call the ‘hard-pressed middle-class’.

These people are the engine of the capitalist machine – endlessly chasing a dream, over-consuming, trying to keep up with their neighbours, struggling with college and health costs, fighting for a TV on Black Friday, trying to stay looking young, etc.

Once these people start asking new questions and questioning their own behaviour, then the house of cards will start to crumble – because the machine’s very existence depends on their continued feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.

There is no longer any logical, scientific reason not to give people free access to the things they need to live. In fact, continuing not to do so in such an enlightened age is tantamount to barbarism.

Never forget that all energy is free.

The interplay of environment and behaviour is a recursive feedback loop. One doesn’t dictate the other exclusively. However, we only control one.

Capitalism is only complex because it enshrines self-interest at the expense of others, while simultaneously pretending it doesn’t.

I’ve always found it amazing how we make broad assumptions on the fallibility of human benevolence from within a society that systematically discourages it. It’s actually a testament to the resilience of our philanthropic spirit that it manages to exist at all.

The most common mistake of sceptics of an open access economy is they try to mind-map it onto today’s system, but they don’t map. Open access is not just a new economic system, it’s a new way of thinking that’s more compatible with physical reality.

There is no alterable ‘system’. The system we experience is merely the observable effect of our collective actions. To change the system, we have to alter the way we act. It is our habits and expectations of life that drive the destructive system.