Dear Politicians: the ‘normal’ of today cant be the ‘normal’ of tomorrow.

Open letter to politicians – Its election time in The Netherlands.

Dear politicians,

Debates concentrate on doing “ normal” In the light of behavior in society, with foreigners, populism, fear, hate tweets and so on) . As well as on privatization of elderly care, on threats by Trump and Putin, immigration , European unity, the Euro etc. In many comments summarized as the elections of ”protection”.


But I don’t want to hear about how to protect what we have , how to maintain all we have achieved. These debates are about incidents, reactive, about side effects, and minor issues of larger trends. But time has passed to debate about these details. It wont work, the stress factors have gone too high up. It has to address the question of how in the long run a society can be structured that can last for ages. Which level of welfare comes witch that? Without harming others interests. Avoiding stress, avoiding debts of all kinds, avoiding fights over anything. How to organize our society for that? I here will summarize the questions I have, for politicians, the leaders of our country ( and other countries):


– growth in a limited system is impossible, its a pyramid game in which the lower level ends up stripped naked. As David Attenborough (from the documentary Life on earth) puts it: ” Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a madman or an economist..” How to reach a steady state situation, and which level of welfare is affordable and maintainable?


– And about the economists: Its already clear that our financial economical system is rotten, capital moves to the happy few, with now 1 % owing as much as the other 99% ( Oxfam) How are we going to redefine the system, how to earn a living, how to swap goods? Which unit comes with that and how do we divide earnings?


– If there are any: climate change does not wait. It requires fast an drastic measures. The Netherlands , as it consumes now, will be out of its fair share CO2 budget by 2027 to stay below the 2 degrees scenario. ( see the countdown at the guardian website ) Its not about another windturbine park, its about a complete turn over of the way we live and consume, about a bio-based society, with renewable energy, renewable resources, and vegetarian food, ( Together I call it ‘vegetarian living’). How are we going to organize that, how much CO2 budget does every inhabitant get?


– Too many vulnerable older people lack the care they need. Which is promised to be addressed after elections. But thats only the beginning: Cancer, Alzheimer, ‘aging’, are all facing medical breakthroughs . How are we going to manage a society in which people will become 120 years of age, and maybe more by the end of the century?


– We are increasingly forced to deal with ourselves. In the Netherlands. Not because of nationalistic feelings, but forced by the world around us that grows in population as well as in welfare, and therefor claims a larger share of (their own) resources. Mirrors and beads wont work anymore. So how to deal with less, if we have to share everything with 10 billion people in stead of 7? in fair way?


Fighting to consolidate what we have , if based on a system of which we know its outdated, is to deliberately uphold development. The normal of today can no longer be the normal of tomorrow. We have to find out what can be maintainable in the long run, what level, and how we are going to organize that. Thats what I want to know from politicians, the leaders of our country, the guardians of our collective interest.


Ronald Rovers, February 2017

Author: ronald rovers