“Only on the brink of disaster do people find the will to change.” “Our sun was dying, we had to evolve.” “Nothing ever truly dies. Everything simply transforms.”
(I found these quotes in my diary. I think they are from The Day the Earth Stood Still.)
What will it take for us to change? Our future comes at a price – to human lifestyles and choices.
There are few planets hospitable to life. We are ridiculously lucky to be here. AND to be self-aware is a miracle to say the least. Are we going to throw all this away just so we can drive our cars, fly our planes, motor our boats and eat our copious amounts of food???
I’m not sure exactly what any solutions are. But they do start with us…
Last night at midnight I handed in the most difficult essay I’ve every written (thank god for email and midnight deadlines!) It is for a subject called Politics of World Economy, and I titled the essay “Addressing a Structural Violence in the International Political Economy”. I better wait till its marked till i post it, so today instead I decided to just post the reflections that follow on from it which, of course, I had to start from the biggest picture possible…
A macro perspective of our place in space and time reveals three things:
1. An awe of existence;
2. An awe of our place in the evolving creation of an increasingly complex universe;
3. An awe that humans are actually aware of #1&2.
A similar perspective draws one’s attention to the potential calamities resulting from:
4. Over-population, vast inequalities, abusive power structures, over-consumption, and habitat-destruction – effectively placing humanity on a path heading toward extinction;
5. Conflicts rising from with identity, religious, cultural and ideological battles that largely result from #4;
6. A lack of the macro perspective of #1-5, which may lead to an even earlier extinction than forcasted.
Analysis of the international political economy shows that:
7. Global capitalism places with power not in the hands of governments, but in the hands of those with capital; while those in debt (through mortgages, credit cards, or even paying rent on your apartment/house) are in effect their slaves;
8. Capitalism is based on market expansion ie increasing consumption – one thing our planet can no longer handle. Stop consuming = system failure.
9. Social and environmental responsibility is diffused throughout the system so that no individuals feel responsible for anything outside of economic profits and losses.
So who is going to make a change?
10. Governments are representatives of the people’s priorities- the stability of our bank accounts and property markets. Governments are often too short-sighted (and focused on the next election) to work toward any real long-term solutions.
11. A change of economic structure to one that does not prioritise capital accumulation regardless of the social and environmental destructive consequences – requires a change in values – the values of the people at the top, and the people on the ground.
12. Appealing to “enlightened self-interest” – with a widespread realisation that continuing on our current trajectory will, without a doubt, end with devastating calamity – seems to be the only way a change is possible.
“At the precipice we change”… well guess what ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at the precipice… so we better frickin change!!! Two hundred years ago the world population was 900 million, now it is what like 6 billion!!! Capitalism and industrialisation has caused the humanity to increase by 600%. Insane! What are we? Some kind of virus rampantly spreading across earth’s surface, killing off everything in our path and murdering our host in the process? And kids are still popping out of mother’s bellies at continuing exponential proportions. If this is not the precipice I don’t know what is.
An opportunity stands before us, an opportunity to TRANSFORM. An opportunity to take our old ways of thinking and acting, and create new ones. To take a humanity trapped in a culture-ideology of consumerism ridden with identity battles over religion and politics, and to transform it into one that allows us to realise our intrinsic connection to all life and our planet, and allows us to pursue our individual and collective life purposes in the evolving creation of our increasingly complex universe.
Just like this little lady beetle we have arrived at the precipice and we have a choice: learn to fly, or die!!!