Can you imagine it? I struggle to see how we are doing or allowing corporations to pull the world from beneath our feet and plunge into the hell of non-existence. My first impulse is to push away the blame. I am weak, helpless, lack money and therefore power. What can I do about it?
Bernie Sanders has a lot to say about whether we have power. Power has to do with what you do not feel. The number of his followers, many of them young and full of hope, is growing. Many older people so fearful that the Trump will win over Bernie and destroy the little we still have vote for the lesser of the evils.
Where do you stand on voting for the lesser of two or many evils? Following this approach seems to be a choice of between allowing destruction slow or fast. It is our attitude of inevitable defeat which causes us to make this choice. Iceland by the way, recently fired its bankers and all the banker’s confreres who had bankrupted the nation and installed a group of earth-oriented females who now run the place. I heard that the prison in Reykjavic has been transformed into a hotel. In closing the prison, there is Icelandic recognition that people become lawless when they have no other way to survive and are devoid of self-respect.
The United States has the largest number of arrested people in the world as a percentage of their population. Inevitable jailing of the poor and jobless imposes a sense of hopelessness. Instead of looking at the underlying causes, the government becomes “tough on crime.” This means that for most states, once out of jail again you can’t vote, can’t live in public housing including with your relatives lest they be turned out as well, that you are rejected due to your prison record which appears on your application for a job so that you can’t get it. Returning to crime is the only thing you can do to survive.
Our lesser of the evils is destroying the world in which we all live. How can anyone think of doing it? The wealthy have a narrow focus on immediate gain and comfort: their house(s), plane, servants, pre-paid medical care, the best food…. Their children are raised to think the same. If you part of the great majority and especially economically at the bottom: close to starvation, life on the street, untreated illness, you have to take what is nearest, forget the consequences to keep the body going.
Must we say a stricken farewell to Mother Earth? Mother Earth says we must not give up. Everything is lost. What then should we do? Should we start small? Yes. Or large? Yes. Small has to do with not being in a starved condition in which we have to rob Mother Earth to survive. The radio program “Economic Update” on WBAI in NYC with Dr. Richard Wolffe, professor of economics at the New School University, speaks of owner-operated cooperatives. The money earned is equally shared by all workers. It is then spent locally which keeps the cycle of production and purchasing going. No poverty.
Another growing approach to people lacking money but having various skills is joining a time/share coop in which only hours of work count. You put your name and skills on a list available to all members. Then you and they can take from the entire list as needed. It needn’t be a direct trade although it can be. Regardless of training, only hours count. It is still your life. Say I offer hours of psychotherapy which someone takes three while I take 2 hours of computer repair from someone else. I have an hour to go. We all are happier after doing it and are building a community which some day, if the group is small enough, will offer each other help without keeping track of hours. But if it is large a city, county, state group, we keep exchanging hours. The only problem is having someone keep track of the hours. It is already happening and it works!
The Cooperative can be Mother Earth oriented and cause no damage. Think of solar power and windmills and composting organic farms and ….The education system needs to be returned to or brought to community control so that student can learn their cultural history and are taught to be proud of it; also to be involved in helping their community from the first grade on.
The big stuff has to do with returning to federally funded elections no corporate money given to politicians who then vote to support the donor’s business. Big stuff means overturning the Supreme Court decision to let corporations act as people with a right to spend what they will on elections. Then local people can run for local elections with local county funding. People then can run for higher office, their campaign financed only by federal funding. the campaign period is short.
It is very terrible let alone dangerous to give up hope that we can make an earth-sensitive change. I remember years ago I met Pete Seeger standing on a New York City street corner, banjo slung over his shoulder, waiting for the light to fro from red to green. I said, “Pete, how can you keep going with all the damage already done and lacking so much power.” He answered with a great Pete smile, “no time for that.”
Thank you Pete, for creating the Clear Water boat and movement which cleaned the Hudson River. Thanks for bringing me back to courage over the survival of all living things. Like Pete, do what is right for the “all” and feel good about it.