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If the old -fuel based- energy system fails and we haven't pushed it gradually aside by the new fuel-less energy system, the economies of our nations will slow down continuous. This will deliver intensive economic (and by this: social) unrest. If the middle class will be wiped out, they will tear the stones out of the street and don't spare the window glass in any governmental building. Democracy is the fruit of growing economic rest. Growing economic unrest delivers in most cases autocracy. In growing economic unrest democracy is not very safe, nor glooming, but just almost unprotected. Democracy and turbulence have proven not very much compatible, in the '10ties, '20ties and '30ties it went wrong, only in the '60ties it was strong enough (but the '60ties had turbulence due to economic growth, not due to economic decline). Turbulence due to decline brings democracy in to the danger zone. The chances of the rise of a dictatorial type of governance rises with each level that social/economic unrest increase. Democracy has no build-in auto-defence system for economic decline. The impact of economic decline is after WW II totally forgotten in the western world. Democracy is made by the mix of population and by circumstances. Democracy glooms most in the phase between unrest and rest (in both the upside and downside move). In economic unrest there's autocracy, in economic rest politicians get their own agenda more and more (as in: serve themselves more than the people who vote for them). People are the force behind democratic growth, other powers are the force behind democratic decline. Politician don't make democracy: the practice it as a choosing type of short time elite. It's safe to say that power needs contra forces to stay integer, this applies to all types of power. Power without contra power derails very easy. This is not a political statement. Just a law of nature (action > reaction). We need good government, the 21st century will be a bumpy ride. The choice between pro-democratic or pro-autocratic is a political one and will be made by each nation on it's own. There's another (unknown, but even important) choice/contradiction in the field of governance: the geographical distance between people and government. There's short distance representation versus long distance representation. The shorter the distance between people and the highest governmental layer, the more integer the government is. This is not a political statement: it's just a matter of control/audit. Control/audit delivers quality, everywhere, also in government. If we like the fruits of stable government, and we like democracy, we should take care of our energy model. As the old -fuel based- model with its steady increasing fuel prices will 'eat' every economic efficiency improvement, our economies will go into irreversible decline. The same force (energy) that let us grow, than will take us down. Therefore must phase out our old energy system. Not only for maintaining prosperity, or facilitating growth, but also for preventing governmental collapse. As stated before: economic decline has some severe nasty effects: governmental spending up, governmental income down, systemic bank failures with ditto bail-outs, huge pension fund collapses with ditto bail-outs and by all this watering the currency values down (less foreign purchase power) or even currency collapse. This all heavy turbulence and will put some severe pressure on governments, pressure they only can resist by good honest leadership of by repressive force (and it will probably need both of these). The West felt superior due the collapse of the USSR, but the West forgot to see (and treat) it's own possible weak points. Any system needs self-critic, self-cleaning. As we have a financial system that by design defaults when growth disappears, and we want to prove the world our system was the right one, we postponed any severe cyclical decline by delivering year after year more cheap credit to the market. This californification (every day sun and never winter) of economic policy don't removed the rot in the system, but let grow further, on credit of course. Our hedonism wreaked our production (production = earned wealth, services = wealth on credit) and our financial system. Add to it the coming energy price rise and you've got the perfect storm that can wipe out the financial sector, brake the back of governments and make total irrelevant the value of former strong currencies. The price of Reagantis is huge. Reaganitis was just a combination of hedonism and energy/credit stupidity: everybody full partying: the bill of the caterer is for later. Not fun at all. The be more concrete: do we start today with implementation of the new fuel-free energy system or do we want to create a situation where a 21st century Stalin that just declared whole regions with no sheep-like population dead by just switching of the power? We don't understand the impact of central facilities/utilities like power, clean water, waste water, natural gas on our lives, nor the connection between these and the governmental facilities transport, law and order. Power down is the end of the story for a city, a region, a nation. Cities with power down become just a bunch of buildings with the law of the jungle and a life expectation of less than a week. Anybody who likes fair and open societies: you better change your energy system starting not tomorrow, but today. The Energy Finance model of Planck Foundation delivers the finance tools for it. Plus it repairs the financial status of the financials in no longer economic growing nations, buying them time to contract to the economic declining realities of the 21st century for the West. Energy prices and democratic structures are connected but contrary developments. Energy is Democracy is a very valid statement.

Author: Gijs Graafland

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