What does industrialisation look like when everyone is fed?
Excellent insight of yours here; "That means that we're going to have to prioritise how we use our minerals, our materials, and our energy". Deciding priorities combined within the context of equitably addressing precarity shows the greatest area for persistent planetary improvement.
"the fact they exist to maximise profit"
Would we ever be willing to pause for a moment, and sit for a time in quiet conversation, to parse this statement?
I can see how this could be a catalytic question for mobilizing a new 21st Century Global Citizenship in a new 21st Century Global Commons through individual contribution to local community engagement in globally curated conversations about where the money comes from, and where it can, should and will be made to go to shape our present and our future.
In such conversations, I would direct attention towards the word "maximize" and lead an investigation into the social origins of that word. Such an investigation would take us into discussion of The Growth Imperative of the prevailing popular social contract of Neoliberalism, with its promise that if we all maximize growth, everything will be better for all.
How is that promise working out?
A mixed bag, at best. Some good things. Even more not so good things.
Can we do better?
That would lead to an inquiry into the origins of this Growth Imperative, and the larger social contract of Neoliberalism that is a decidedly post-War "American Century" social construct, with intellectual roots in the Manifesto of The Mt Pelerin Society published on April 9, 1947 in Mt Pelerin, Switzerland (the European roots of American "exceptionalism" is a curious thing, I think).
Then, we would fast forward 25 years, to 1972, and the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act in the US that restated the laws of fiduciary duty for endowments that became also a restatement of the law for pensions as well, in practice, but not actually in the law.
Then, we might delve into a deconstruction of this difficult, legalistic word "fiduciary" to see how and why it has become THE defining social construct in society today. Because Neoliberalism is selling us the false proposition that pensions and endowments have a fiduciary duty to deploy the fiduciary money society entrusts to their plenary powers of discretionary authority exclusively to finance gamblers gambling in the casinos of share price trading exclusively for the purpose of driving the maximization of Growth, in share price, and in simple numerical counts of transaction volumes completed for prices paid in money everywhere in the economy from which share prices are derived (and without any reckoning for the consequences of those increases on the quality of life in society more generally).
Here we find the social origin of the social precept of "maximizing profit". It really means maximizing growth in share prices in the share price trading markets.
Why is it important to maximize growth in the share price trading markets? Because growth in share prices is what delivers liquidity for share price trading, and liquidity is what the share price trading markets exist to deliver: no growth, no liquidity; no liquidity, no market participants; no market participants, no markets; no markets, no opportunity for market makers to make money making markets.
So now we see that Neoliberalism wants the law of fiduciary duty to require Pensions & Endowments to finance, exclusively, market makers making money making markets.
And through this financialization of fiduciary money, Neoliberalism wants the whole global economy to work in the service of - in servitude to - market makers making money making markets in the share price trading markets.
How fiduciary is this rule, actually?
Would we ever consider convening conversations with people who self-select from the general population of everyday people living our everyday lives as caring enough to participate, to talk about this?