Our world is mostly amazing. Life is mostly wonderful. And people are mostly good. But the minority who are not so good seek to create strife, division and class struggle as a means of maintaining their fortunate position at the top of the pyramid, which they attained not by merit or innovation, but by inherited, dynastic family fortune. We are encouraged, as the objects of their game, to sidestep and ignore the elephant in the living room in order to glorify the sun shining in the window, and then tout our optimism. But regardless of our true level of optimism, if we so much as glance over at the elephant, then we are dubbed “pessimists”. How can meaningful change come about under such circumstances?
In this blog, we have a gander at the elephant. We consider the status quo, and how it might stand in our way. We look at the reasons most people never get to pursue their real dreams, and the reasons so many people spend so much time doing something that is really of little interest to them. That any of such basic choices are dictated to us is no small detail, but a flagrant internal contradiction. Not only are we unable to make many of these choices ourselves, but we often do not even think about them.
I don’t labor under the delusion that we should confront the status quo head-on, or that we can change it anytime soon. I don’t believe we should seek public forums, draw attention to ourselves, or proceed in any kind of aggressive manner. What I do envision is adapting to the status quo in ways which make us more independent and less beholden to the existing structures of power. Clearly the details of this adaptation are to be worked out at the individual level. Everyone has a niche. In finding our niche, we might not change the status quo very much today, but we can affect the shadow it casts by changing the light. How might we be that light? Therein lies our niche.
Much has been written about self-sustinence, community and local economy. These are the directions in which we need to move, regardless of how we feel about globalism and how we define progress. It’s not that globalism is inherently bad. But those currently pushing globalism are advocating a very specific type of globalism, one which benefits a few alot more than most. Those who embrace this model will find their individual freedom disappearing as corporations, ever increasing in size, take more control over the world’s basic resources, from food and water to employment opportunities.
There are many benefits of being interconnected globally, but there are even more benefits to being well connected locally in our own communities. We should all understand where our food and everything we buy is coming from and why it matters. There is no reason we should lose our independence and our identity in the process of enjoying the benefits of the global economy. We have much, much more control at the local level. We’ll be well served to embrace this control, regardless.
Chestnut Tree Cafe – “for madmen only”
Protest music, anyone? Rex 84