Friday, November 5, 2010

Collapsing...and What to Do About It

What's become clear after the recent election is that asking politicians to solve the current mess we're in is like asking a dog to attack the master that feeds it. The corporate money that flowed into campaigns to beat the Democrats (courtesy of the recent Supreme Court decision) because the Democrats' anti-corporate policies were upending the financial profitability of the economic system for the benefit of living people made this mid-term election the most expensive national campaign in modern history. More money was spent to ensure congressional gridlock than ever before. We must therefore ask ourselves, who does a gridlocked congress benefit, and why would they invest so much to ensure our congress was neutered?

The answer is NOT the American people, though some were deluded into believing that by supporting the corporate agenda their personal life situation would improve. While that may be true in the short run, the collapse of the larger civilization in the longer run will destroy any short-term advantage they might gain. The real answer is the global corporatist structure, the mega-corporations that no longer have any serious national loyalties and whose primary concern is making more and more money by consuming more and more global resources and exploiting more and more human workers - forevermore.

Global corporate managers don't have to live in the towns where they're closing down factories, causing pollution, destroying delicate ecosystems, pillaging limited resources, triggering competition for wages that reduces the local standard of living, eliminating human benefits, etc. They're part of a rarefied community known as the "uber-wealthy." Membership in that elite community buys them the freedom to isolate themselves from the public and ignore the massive amount of human misery they're creating in the name of corporate profits.

Unfortunately President Obama, in the wake of the recent Democratic drubbing, has NOT turned his aim toward this true cause of human suffering - the anti-life policies of our mega corporations - but has instead stated he needs to be more clear about his support for business and its cancerous global agenda. After tentatively biting the hand that feeds him, Obama's experienced the angry lashing that inevitably comes and now feels chastened enough to slink back into an uneasy truce with his master. His problem was that not enough pack members stood by him and rebelled with enough force to do more than irritate the master, while the more loyal dogs - eagerly anticipating their sweet rewards - surrounded the master and successfully defended him against further attack.

Still, what gives me hope is the realization that such a system cannot survive much longer, especially now that the only power group with the ability to take a principled stand against its oppression and destructiveness has been neutered. As global corporatism's anti-life policies expand unchecked it MUST collapse, because any organic system where the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts (which empowers it to contribute something valuable to EACH of its cooperative parts) cannot survive. Eventually enough parts will refuse to cooperate with a system that does not serve them but only abuses them. Disintegration thus becomes the logical outcome of excessive tyranny. Nature, it seems, has wisely built resistance to the tyranny of concentrated power into the very fabric of life to ensure life is not oppressed too long by those with delusions of grandiosity. Some however, doggedly ignore this truth at their own peril. History is replete with lessons about unchecked tyranny, and the unhappy results for those who would lord it over others with an iron fist.

In this case the tyrant that dominates modern society is not a petty political dictator; it's a belief system infused into a nonliving enterprise. While that may make it difficult to kill global corporatism, it certainly makes it easier to overthrow. All we need do is change our collective beliefs about the wisdom of valuing monetary profits over honoring and nurturing life itself, and we render the present for-profit system irrelevant. What makes shifting our belief system easier is the growing realization - one person at a time - that the for-profit paradigm is NOT making life better for us or for our loved ones, but is in fact making the entire world poorer, more fearful, less beautiful and far less regenerative than ever. At some point enough of us will have had enough and will let go of our beliefs to embrace the truth: we cannot survive by destroying our only host planet, or by crippling the creative capacity of most of our fellow humans so a few can live large.

What modern global corporatism seems to have lost touch with is the organic nature of humanity. It's reduced reality to a conceptual theory: If you can pay for it, you can have it - no matter how outrageous, wasteful, immoral or destructive "it" may be. If you can't pay for it, you must suffer or die - no matter how unfair or heinous that may be. By starving and enslaving the bulk of the human social body and degrading our shared planetary environment in order to reap more financial benefits for themselves, the corporate plutocracy is systematically destroying the very social fabric that supports and sustains it.

This ego-based approach won't survive because it violates the deep inter-connectivity and feedback loop of nature. In nature, all unique life forms are gifted the freedom to attain maturity as best as they are able, given the basic resources in their locale. They're then invited to gift the fruits of their adult abundance freely into the larger ecosystem. In turn, they draw from the ecosystem whatever they may need to survive and thrive - but only that; no more. We humans though, in the name of capitalism, are denying far too many of our young people the ability to discover and blossom into their full creative capacities. We next cripple them with social debts before they've begun to produce. We then force them into mechanized production slots that don't tap their highest and greatest talents and creative abilities, but provide us with what we "believe" we need instead. And we wonder why we're experiencing scarcity!

Many of us also take much more from the planetary ecosystem than we truly need to thrive. We hoard the excess for future generations - namely our immediate blood relatives - at the expense of too many others. Our fears for the survival of our own families has caused us to lose sight of our innately tribal nature, as well as the fact that our personal blood lines cannot survive unless other blood lines also manage to thrive. (Incest, as the blue bloods of medieval Europe belatedly discovered, does not make for a hearty human species.)

The recent Fed action (announced yesterday) to infuse nearly a trillion dollars of new debt into the American economic system is likely to crash the dollar globally, and since the dollar is already worthless (which is publicly unacknowledged but privately understood by the global financial community) all those who BELIEVE they've accumulated great financial wealth will suffer much more than those who have already given up their lust for money and instead learned to recognize and appreciate genuine assets. Genuine assets include food and the ability to grow it; clean water; personal skills, talents and creative abilities; companionship; love; trust; shelter; passion and wisdom - to name but a few. Money, we must come to realize, is only a "greater fool" game. The fact is, it's only as valuable as our capacity to convince someone else (the greater fool) to accept it in exchange for something we can actually use. Cut out the middleman that is money - which is hindering our freedom to exchange our gifts and talents - and we level the playing field immediately.

If collapse is indeed imminent, how are we navigate what seems to be a very chaotic time in human history? For starters, I recommend everyone get intimate with their genuine internal and external resources. Reconnect with nature and how it functions in your area. Figure out how to care for yourself and your family without the need for money to acquire necessities. Discover your personal skills and passions, and develop them. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals and reconnect with people on your local community level. Get strong within your spirit and know that all is collapsing because the old must always disintegrate to make way for what is evolving. Nature is a relentless recycler, and she needs the ashes of the old to give birth to the rising phoenix. Above all, revel in the mystery and wonder of every day. Teach yourself to prize LIFE, to embrace her natural rhythms, to cherish what really matters.

And don't forget to be grateful. To live in "interesting" times means it's on us to shift our reality to a new way of being in relationship to each other and our planet. That you're here now means you're part of the larger plan. Do your part as best you can, and life will take care of itself. You can trust in that.