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While President of the United States of America, George W. Bush described his constituency, in public, as "the haves and the have mores". That way of thinking, that constiuency and that P.O.T.U.S. would form an important part of what we must leave behind us in order to create a world that supports us all.
The American Dream - for much of the world "The American Nightmare"". . . . . few things are so destructive as a dream or entracement that has lost the integrity of its meaning and entered an exaggerated and destructive manifestation. This has happened often enough with political ideologies and religious visionaries. Yet there is no dream or entracement in the history of the Earth that has wrought the destruction that is taking place in the entrancement with industrial civilization. Such entracement must be considered as a profound cultural disorientation. It can be dealt with only by a corresponding deep cultural therapy." — Thomas Berry, The Great Work - 1999
Is there any place we can go where we will be safe?
All of the major crises humanity is facing are global in nature and will affect every corner of the world. Because of the globalization of trade and finance, national governments, even if they were to acknowledge the problems and try to enact positive measures would have little effect without full and worldwide co-operation. Geographic and demographic conditions may have given some places a headstart in the transition process but, while this may have some advantage for those who live there, we cannot run and hide and hope that the technological genius of humanity will save us; that is precisely what has brought Earth to the brink.
Can the world actually exist without money? For all of us as individuals the answer is "Yes, of course it can" . . . and you can take that to the bank . . . or not. Living in a local area group of villages, we could initiate our own local currency to manage the finances of the area, or we might even be able to simply use the barter and IOU notes which would have to be used for trade with those outside our local area. Either way, the best part is that it would all be based on trust. If we don't have trust between each other, we will not be cluttering up the planet for many more generations in any case (and you CAN take that to the bank, for sure).
Here's a small article from the home of Permaculture, Australia about this very subject. There are more and more people all over Earth beginning to notice how all these world-changing ideas could be made to fit together to create a civilization that would work for everyone.
An interesting word - civilization. It's been around for a long time and we still haven't been able to make it "civil".
While Capitalism may look like a good system in theory, in practice it has been more than a dismal failure, it has caused unspeakable suffering and death around the world. Early in the 21st century, it is estimated that inequality of wealth distribution causes around 30,000 children a day to die from the effects of poverty.
We need to recognize the difference between financial wealth and real wealth and stop destroying the reality in order to chase the fantasy.
"Over half of the world’s population subsists on less than $2 a day, while the 200 richest individuals own more wealth than 41 percent of the world’s population, or in other words, more than 2.6 billion people. Such an extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of the few cannot be construed as a failure of global capitalism. Indeed, it is a mark of its success, for this is what the system is designed to do."— Gregory Elich - "Strange Liberators" —
UPDATE - It has been reported that a point will be reached during 2015 when 50% of the world's wealth will be controlled or "owned" by the wealthiest 1% of humanity.
It is hard for me to believe there is anyone who cannot understand that continuous growth on a finite planet is impossible. Since my mother was born, world population has increased almost 5 times from 1.47 billion (1897) to over 7 billion (2012). Non-renewable energy resources are being extracted and used at breathtaking rates and, being non-renewable, they are mostly gone forever (in a few cases, products can be partially recycled back to their original components).
In the case of fossil fuels, their continued use at existing rates will almost certainly render Earth unsuitable for human habitation before they are completely exhausted — we are committing species suicide! . . . and we are doing it to satisfy the greed of the super-rich industrialists and their investors. This is no different from ancient religious human sacrifice to appease the gods — "If I sacrifice my firstborn child, will you allow some rain to fall on my crops?" has become "If I sacrifice future generations of my species, will you allow some wealth to trickle down on me ?"
Influence Peddling (aka Political Lobbying)
This practice, which has become commonplace and 'acceptable' in western democracies is as wrong as any other type of corruption, and corruption is exactly what it is. Whether the payoff goes directly to the elected member of government, or as an identifiable benefit to her/his constituency is immaterial, either the private money goes into the members pocket or the chance of extention of the member's tenure and salary is greatly enhanced.
Not only should influence peddling be illegal, but anyone found trying to trade benefit for influence should be sentenced to jail time, likewise for any elected official who accepts such benefit. This is already a serious moral and ethical issue and a major part of the breakdown of our vaunted democracies; it is well past time that the perpetrators pay the price.
|"At every hand, ordinary people find their choices controlled by the institutional hierarchies of big business, big government, big education, big unions, big media, and big religion and limited to those that favor the interests of some faction of the ruling class."|
— David C. Korten - "The Great Turning".
Centralized government does not respond to local needs or to the wide-spred electorate. Instead, it becomes increasingly remote and open to corruption. Because of the efforts required by candidates to get themselves elected, vast amounts of money are required and that money comes from those most likely to profit after the election of those they support.Even after governments are formed and operational, lobbyists both legal and illegal vie for access to elected officials to influence them on behalf of their employers. This corrupts the entire system except, perhaps for those who do not have enough power within the government to attract any of this corrupting activity.
Geographical areas of governance should be laid out by watershed and all the important decisions made at a local level, by local people who have been elected by the local community or group of communities to represent them. Larger geographical areas (still by major watershed if possible) should be administered by appointed boards made up of those chosen by the local governments and representing them all equally. if discrete nation-states continue to exist, border commissions, again made up of appointees should suffice. In cases where there is the possibility of contension around border issues, all efforts should be made at the outset to head these off. An example might be where a river crosses existing national borders. If at all possible, land inside various affected watersheds should be traded to keep them intact within one jurisdition.It should be noted here that, if the Imperial style, nation-state centred relationships continue, there is no hope at all of creating A New Humanity and all efforts to make a better world and continue the human experiment will be doomed to failure. There will be no point in pursuing half-way measures or attempting to 'fix' the existing structure and those who are so-inclined should band together into co-operative groups and manage as best they can under the spectre of Empire.
Big BusinessCorporations are in business for one reason and one reason only — to make money for their shareholders. In order to fulfill this obligation, the one and only priority of a corporation is to maximize profit. This is done by reducing costs to the lowest possible level and selling product for the highest price the market will bear.
Since the market controls the price that can be charged for the corporation's product, all profit increasing effort goes into limiting costs. If the corporation is working in a primary resource industry, as little effort as possible is put into managing the resource as this requires spending money — a direct cost. As a result, there is no incentive for the corporation to manage the resource other than punitive action by government regulators and large corporations spend large amounts of money to subvert all conservation and resource management efforts.
If the corporation is not working in a primary resource extraction industry, the material resources required to produce product are being supplied by other corporations who have already maximized their own profits and are selling at the highest price they can, so there is no room for cutting cost there. This leaves reducing the cost of labour as the most likely way for almost all corporations to turn more money over to investors — their only reason for existing. Minimizing wages and benefits to workers along with the cutting of safety measures and anything else in the operation that costs money was the reason Labour Unions first came into being. Collusion between corporations and right-wing governments has tipped the balance of employer and employee in favour of the corporation which has resulted in people in the industrialized world now having to work longer hours for less reimbursment than was necessary in recent memory.
Although corporations are obviously not natural "persons", the industrial world generally accords them "rights" as if they were and, in America, they are even regarded as such in law. It has been said that, if corporations actually were "persons", they would be easily stand out as Psychopaths.
Big EverythingAny organizational structure that carries the risk of concentrating power, wealth or influence in the hands of the few must be abolished. At the present time, virtually every organization we have; government, business, school systems, medical care, news media, unions, and religious organizations do just that. To allow this inequity and claim to be a democratic society is BULLSHIT!!! Strong language to be sure, but it must be. The human lust for power and wealth has brought Earrrth's[sic] biosphere to the brink of destruction and, if allowed to continue, will push it over the edge.
During the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the fall of 2011, the news media could not understand what it was. To them, it seemed disorganized, leaderless and without a clear issue — which, of course it was. What organization was required was worked out in ragtag groups at the various encampments and then shared with others over social media services on the Internet. If enough people at any location thought any idea a good one, a general poistive feeling ensued and an indivdual or small group took on the task of getting whatever was necessary, done — Ahah, Leadership!
The issue was perfectly clear to anyone involved in the movement or who understood the state of the human condition — the need for a completely new way of structuring societies, A New Humanity. For those who had lived their entire lives reporting about Empire and the infrequent and ineffective attempts at making change from the inside, this was impossible to understand. They were staring real democracy in the face and could not recognize it.
Watching this movement unfold and then being trampled by the forces of Empire, simultaneously seeing the predicted financial chaos leading up to the end of economic growth and the proofs of anthropomorphic climate change, the picture of the tragic failure of the human experiment was emerging in stark clarity. A concise rallying cry occured to me: "HEY HEY, HO HO, THE STATUS QUO HAS GOTTA GO". Is that too hard to understand?
|It's quite a simple theory and one that any beer drinker understands - the glass starts full and ends empty and the faster you drink it the quicker it's gone . . . . . Petrogeologist Colin J. Campbell on the future of oil production (2007)|
Infernal CombustionA prominent physicist who set out to prove global warming did not exist has actually done the opposite. For the past two years, climate change skeptic Richard Muller, who is a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley and a faculty senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, has chaired the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project (BEST).
To highlight their findings, BEST researchers put all the data into one alarming video of a warming world visualizing surface temperature records.
|Read more here|
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