As I find myself getting drawn into the old territory of my highly radicalized youth with this pathetic farce of an election creeping up, I also find myself thinking in strongly critical terms of endlessly repeating patterns. Patterns of thought and civilization. Rote behavior that follows old familiar roads that lead ultimately to nothing more than the same old power dynamic no matter WHAT clown gets to sit in the Big Man's Chair.
We are at a critical juncture...a juncture that will either lead to a rebirth into an entirely new way of interacting with each other, the planet, and all the other species we share with it...or down the road to both our own extinction and that of a substantial number of species that had the unlucky fate to be around while we were dedicating ourselves to finding increasingly complex ways of killing each other en masse.
The old way of looking at the world is to see each other as separate and discreet forms that can, by logical extention, easily be rationalized into fodder for the aforementioned exploitation. This HAS to change for us to survive. We have created an incredibly interdependent world...a web of interrelationships so staggering in its complexity that it is beyond description...yet we retain this notion that we are all autonomous individuals, free to carry on living our lives as we see fit, smearing our toxins everywhere, unthinking of the ramifications of our individual or collective thoughts or actions.
Does this make ANY sense whatsoever? Am I the ONLY one who sees an inherent contradiction in this arraignment? Hello? Testing! Is this thing on?
How does a species intelligent enough to be capable of conjuring up particle physics (or even teaspoons and toilet paper) take this contradiction and sweep it under the rug and create an ENTIRE GLOBAL CIVILIZATION based upon such a blatant paradox?
When I was in my mid-teens, I was constantly bitching about the rise of multi-national conglomerates. It was a huge issue for me as I saw the logical conclusion of that rise being a race to the bottom economically. If countries were going to continue to behave as separate entities with their own currencies and national boundaries but corporations were allowed to come and go as they please, the outcome would be the hideous levels of unemployment and poverty and wealth stratification we are seeing in so many countries NOW. It didn't take a genius to figure this all out.
I figured it out, myself...but it took me many years before I was able to dig even deeper and look at the foundational flaws underlying our very global system itself. They are psychological and philosophical issues...and no amount of fiddling around the edges will fix them. It's the whole root canal/upper colonic, I'm afraid.
There are many reasons why our world is collapsing all around us: resource depletion, climate chaos, the death of fiat currencies...add your favorite here...but the one that has reared its head and spat in MY face over the years is the fact that we have based OUR ENTIRE WORLD upon a notion that interdependence and independence are somehow natural allies that can play nice together without eventually throttling each other into submission...or rather, bloodthirsty global anarchy. IT CAN'T HAPPEN! Ask Kierkegaard...he was ALL OVER shit like this. The basic response to an inherent contradiction...an unresolvable contradiction...is anxiety. The end result of anxiety in any system (if you get too much of it) is a breakdown. Collapse. Boom.
So what do we see happening now...hmmm? Does it look like a healthy system developing new healthy interconnections? It's NOT just about running out of oil folks, though that is important...it is about our entire way of envisioning how we are to BE with each other.
We need to evolve...fast. The next great leap forward in human evolution HAS to be the development of our individual abilities to see self as other and other as self...period! Without such a radical change in our understanding, we will continue making the same mistakes over and over until we all perish. Until we feel the pain we cause to others as pain we cause to ourselves, the old ways will continue. We need Global Empathy. Yes...it sounds profoundly unrealistic...I know...but we need it anyway.
With that radical change HAS to come an equally radical change in the way we envision such key elements of our world as wealth (both material and non-material), the notion of ownership, personal and public responsibility, community...and pretty much everything else, now that I think about it.
I often point out to my friends that the idea of the ECONOMIC system collapsing is baked into the cake...and it is...but the thing that I generally do NOT get into all that often in mixed company is the vast dynamic contradiction that our globe has "evolved" into...the underlying paradox that dooms the WHOLE thing entirely. And as developing nations embrace the puerile fantasy of "Rugged Individualism", this meme continues to eat into the global mind like a worldwide case of syphilis eating every last shred of indigenous sanity in it's path.
I hope and pray we can embrace such an extreme change in our dynamics. Sooner or later our hand will be forced by circumstance and we will HAVE to learn new ways of dealing with each other and the planet...
or it will deal with us...permanently.