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|The Externalization of the Hierarchy - Section II - The General World Picture|
|The Economic Problem
This problem is basically far less difficult of solution. Sound common sense can solve it. There are adequate resources for the sustenance of human life, and these science can increase and develop. The mineral wealth of the world, the oil, the produce of the fields, the contribution of the animal kingdom, the riches of the sea, and the fruits and the flowers are all offering themselves to humanity. Man is the controller of it all, and they belong to everyone and are the property of no one group, nation or race. It is solely due to man's selfishness that (in these days of rapid transportation) thousands are starving whilst food is rotting or destroyed; it is solely due to the grasping schemes and the financial injustices of man's making that the resources of the planet are not universally available under some wise system of distribution. There is no justifiable excuse for the lack of the essentials of life in any part of the world. Such a state of lack argues short-sighted policy and the blocking of the free circulation of necessities for some reason or other. All these deplorable conditions are based on some national or group selfishness and on the failure to work out some wise impartial scheme for the supplying of human need throughout the world.
What then must be done, apart from the education of the coming generations in the need for sharing, for a free circulation of all the essential commodities? The cause of this evil way of living is very simple. It is a product of past wrong educational methods, of competition and the facility with which the helpless and weak can be exploited.  No one group is responsible as certain fanatical ideologists might lead the ignorant to suppose. Our period is simply one in which human selfishness has come to its climax and must either destroy humanity or be brought intelligently to an end.
Three things will end this condition of great luxury and extreme poverty, of gross over-feeding of the few and the starvation of the many, plus the centralization of the world's produce under the control of a handful of people in each country. These are: first, the recognition that there is enough food, fuel, oil and minerals in the world to meet the need of the entire population. The problem, therefore, is basically one of distribution. Secondly, this premise of adequate supply handled through right distribution must be accepted, and the supplies which are essential to the health, security and happiness of mankind must be made available. Third, that the entire economic problem and the institution of the needed rules and distributing agencies should be handled by an economic league of nations. In this league, all the nations will have their place; they will know their national requirements (based on population and internal resources, etc.) and will know also what they can contribute to the family of nations; all will be animated by the will to the general good - a will-to-good that will probably at first be based on expediency and national need but which will be constructive in its working out.
Certain facts are obvious. The old order has failed. The resources of the world have fallen into the hands of the selfish, and there has been no just distribution. Some nations have had too much, and have exploited their surplus; other nations have had too little, and their national life and their financial situation have been crippled thereby. At the close of this war all the nations will be in financial difficulties. All nations will require rebuilding; all will have to attend actively to the settlement of the future economic life of the planet and its adjustment upon sounder lines.
This period of adjustment offers the opportunity to effect drastic and deeply needed changes and the establishing  of a new economic order, based on the contribution of each nation to the whole, the sharing of the fundamental necessities of life and the wise pooling of all resources for the benefit of everybody, plus a wise system of distribution. Such a plan is feasible.
The solution here offered is so simple that, for that very reason, it may fail to make an appeal. The quality required by those engineering this change of economic focus is so simple also - the will-to-good - that again it may be overlooked, but without simplicity and goodwill little can be effected after the world war. The great need will be for men of vision, of wide sympathy, technical knowledge and cosmopolitan interest. They must possess also the confidence of the people. They must meet together and lay down the rules whereby the world can be adequately fed; they must determine the nature and extent of the contribution which any one nation must make; they must settle the nature and extent of the supplies which should be given to any nation, and so bring about those conditions which will keep the resources of the world circulating justly and engineer those preventive measures which will offset human selfishness and greed.
Can such a group of men be found? I believe it can. Everywhere there are deep students of human nature, scientific investigators with wide human sympathies, and conscientious men and women who have for long - under the old and cruel system - wrestled with the problem of human pain and need.
The new era of simplicity must come in. The new world order will inaugurate this simpler life based on adequate food, right thought, creative activity and happiness. These essentials are only possible under a right economic rule. This simplification and this wise distribution of the world's resources must embrace the high and the low, the rich and the poor, thus serving all men alike.
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