Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Train thoughts

I’ve been busy so here’s something I wrote on the train a while back.

One of the oddest things about this society is what we have spent all the planets resources on, I guess its not that weird for some egotistical apes but still... We have strip mined the globe, dredged the oceans, burnt up millions of years worth of oil and chopped down the worlds forests and what do we have to show for it? Cars, malls and cheap food and a hell of a lot of miserable people. I must not be the only one that gets angry when I think of the average lifestyle of a westerner and how little they have to show for it.. What will future generations think about us when they come to realize we used up all of the planets available resources to build roads and created a vast information sharing network and all we use if for is porn and second hand goods?

If ads were anything to go by then a free for all culture soaked in material possessions would be full of happy if somewhat adults running round like three year olds let loose in a candy store and if that 70s show is anything to go by this may have happened to a few kids for a few years. However once the drugs wear off the reality is that the average person in this society is selling there life to a job they hate, with an average of two real friends or confidents (down from 3 a few years back) and trapped in a 50 year mortgage. We have a global population of drug dependenat, unfifilled consumers, living in sterile boxes spending their days in boxes before going home to stare at their own box. Addicted to the notion of possessions and raised in a system with hierarchy omnipresent we either have remarkable shallow imaginations or are remarkably well trained. Not even the most rebellious revolutionary will suggest giving up our industrialized culture even as it systematically moves across the planet destroying one forest, village and person after another.

How shallow must our imaginations be that 90% of those opposed to the current system go no further than suggesting a change in the mechanisms of government or a change of rulers. And 99% appear unable to suggest a different way of life to the industrialized fossil fuel dependant way of life which has ruled our planet for at the most two hundred years. The most likely response to the overwhelming destruction which faces us is to slow the destruction crippling the planets homeostatic feedback mechanisms as if melting the ice caps over another 50 years rather than 30 years made any difference. A way of life in which we are not constantly ruled and in which we do not rely on technofixes such as biofuels ot energy intensive solar panels does not exist in the dreams of the shadows of people that walk this planet.

Rather than mobilizing the poor to take the means of production off the rich we need to free everyone from this system. The middle manager killing themselves through work is just as miserable as the suburbanite and the suburbanite and the factory worker have a lot more in common than many seem to believe. We need to create a new vision of change, shaking off both the vision of a factory workers revolt or a primitivist setting off into the bush and instead presenting a picture of how people can live free from human dominion. There is a growing body of people for whome consumption rings hollow and who see through the tinkering sold by greenpeace and the greens. We need a vision of an earth based culture living simply but in a way that meets human needs for love community and a sense of space. We need to inspire people to fight for the land they live on and present answers which go beyond replacing plastic bags with cloth ones.

1 comment:

mike.forbes said...

Interesting post!