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(Eco-Resilience Ontario; fair use, educational)
We read of Daniel Craig and others criticising inheritance.
They will not pass on (all of) their possessions to their children.
They will mostly spend it.
Or they will mostly give it to charity.
It is likely they believe they are being wise and compassionate.
But is it enough?
I suggest that it is not personal inheritance that is distasteful, but rather our systemic legacy that is pukeworthy.
The real story is what system do you want future humans to inherit?
For me, we are witnessing a huge oversight or cacophonous dissonance here.
We don't talk about deeply changing the nature-destroying, exploitative, patriarchal, extremely unequal system that our descendants will inherit.
This is the real story of inheritance, the fact that this dystopian system is inherited by our descendants.
Instead we might 'discipline' our kids with a reduced or no inheritance. But:
"This isn’t the generation of extremely entitled pampered kids. It never was. Maybe for the 1%." (Jen M, writer, posted 20 August 2021, accessed 21 August 2021)
And why is Daniel Craig allowed to earn millions for a short job, whilst others that perform truly essential jobs (e.g. carers) get paid a pittance? Why is this allowed? Where is the maximum earnings cap? Where are the very high taxes for the mega-corporations and high earners? Surely, extreme wealth should not exist?
When these people that have accumulated an inheritance say they will instead spend it, are they not perpetuating the destructive cult of consumerism and capitalism? Surely, in doing so, their actual inheritance to their descendants is a destroyed Earth? How fucked up is that?
If these people of extreme wealth think it is unethical to pass on their wealth to their children, surely they also need to think that it is immoral to be superrich right now. Some of them do somewhat get it and ask to be heavily taxed.
In any event, those that have managed to make and retain hoards of money are willing or unwilling soldiers for the systemic army that is destroying Mother Earth. Capitalism and consumerism are deeply associated with the existential Climate and Ecological Emergency.
Although passing your inheritance onto charities is so much better than spending it on a high-consumption lifestyle, even charities are immersed in and constrained by the dystopian system that we are passing on to our descendants.
And did you consider that the charity you choose may be out-of-touch with the needs of the people?
So some argue that there should be a high inheritance and high income tax for fat cats so that the State - not charities - more intelligently redistributes accumulated wealth. However, the State has been captured by the greedy interests of the fossil fuels companies and the superrich. So the State also cannot be trusted to redistribute the money equitably and wisely.
So it is looking bleak.
Meanwhile, for those that argue that there should be a strong work ethic - and thus inheritance is bad - the truth is that the current system is heavily skewed. For example, even if Daniel Craig's children do not get his undeserved and extreme wealth, they still inherit so many systemic privileges, like whiteness, like a Rich World citizenship with its inherent benefits. 'Meritocracy' is an illusion.
We need a cooperative - not a competitive - world. We need to care for each other. We are all equal in the presence of human rights, in the company of Nature, before God. So instead of stressing work in a vicious world, what about creating a fair world?
Meanwhile, even the privileged can struggle in the dystopian swamp:
"When I see, for example, that you’re making millions by laundering drug-cartel money (HSBC), or pushing bad paper on mutual fund managers (AIG, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Citibank), or preying on low-income borrowers (Bank of America), or buying votes in Congress (all of the above) – just business as usual on Wall Street – while I’m barely making ends meet from the earnings of my full-time job, I realise that my participation in the labour market is irrational. I know that building my character through work is stupid because crime pays. I might as well become a gangster like you."
(James Livingston, professor of history at Rutgers University, posted 25 November 2016, accessed 21 August 2021)
Inheritance of wealth is based on an individualised, competitive vision of the world.
I believe we need a cooperative, group vision of the world.
It is how tribal societies thrived and survived for far, far longer than the 'civilised' world that is currently busy rushing us off a cliff to our extinction.
We need a new money system. One where there is a Universal Basic Income and Universal Basic Services for all.
Surely, this is the inheritance that we must pass on?
We also need to manifest our divine inheritance: a Solar Culture, a Culture of Love.
"For true reality exists not on the physical plane but in the divine world. That you are heirs to heaven and earth is the true reality. Because you are still too young and inexperienced, you cannot yet take possession of your inheritance, but it is there waiting for you." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
Until we have sorted out these far more important types of inheritance - systemic and divine - personal inheritance is of dubious relevance. All humans surely need to know that their descendants will inherit enough so that they can survive and thrive?
So, I ask again, what system do you want future humans to inherit?
Once you have decided, work towards it?...
Ancestors & Descendants