Have we reached a point in the processes of industrialisation, globalisation, and corporatisation in which we have lost control over our culture, our lives and our shared future?
Looking at my life, the lives of those around me, the media and global politics and economics, I think we have.
It seems to me that technology controls us, rather than us controlling it. Corporations control us, rather than us controlling it. Laws control us, rather than us controlling them.
We have become slaves to the gods of profit and economic growth, and we have allowed laws to dissipate responsibility for its consequences.
For example, we have put in place laws that give corporations the rights of persons without the responsibilities. We allow them to f**k up our Earth and its creatures—to extract its resources, to turn fertile land into mono-cropped desert, pollute our air, to cause species to go extinct and work people to their graves—with “limited liability” for its owners and decision-makers.
We have turned ourselves into cogs in a gigantic network of customs and laws that allow corporations and governments to devour lands and people, and our individual actions (purchases, investments, tweets, votes) are the fuel to its fire.
I think we can turn this around. Humans created technology, corporations and laws, and humans can master them if we want.
We don’t have to be slaves to our jobs, to our phones, to our email, to our society. We are free-thinking beings, who can educate our selves and each other to care about the planet and about the lives of those we share it with. We can solve the problems at the heart of the violence, we can change the rules of this game.
We need to step back, take a look at our creation. Rather than being the consequence of it, rather than letting it (technology, marketing, society) determine our desires, we need to cultivate the skills and practices to reclaim control over our future.
Technology is a blessing and a curse.
Globalisation is a blessing and a curse.
Corporations can be blessings or a curse.
Law can be a blessing or a curse.
We need to look at the ways that technology, globalisation, corporations and laws can work for us rather than against us. We need to cultivate its blessings and discipline its curses.
We need to examine the complex of technology, corporations, governments, and laws, in connection with our decisions and actions, and their consequences both in daily life and in the long term—for ourselves, our species and the Earth community—and evolve them to be more satisfying, sustainable and just.
It’s time to take the reins and tame that beast!