SHARING or EXTINCTION (leaflet)
We’re facing many threats, but ecosystem collapse is the one that’s certain if we don’t change our ways. We’re already in runaway warming, with floods, droughts, and super-storms. Watch for famines, plagues, and more refugees. Exxon and Koch spread disinformation, and people don’t understand feedback loops and exponential growth — I’ve written more about those elsewhere. Continuing this path will make us Road Warrior within one decade, and extinct altogether in two.
The good news is, we may still have a chance, if we quickly make drastic changes. Phase out fossil fuels, plastics, over-fishing – and beef, a big source of methane. We need more trees, biochar, solar, wind, recyclables, and biodegradables. Invest heavily in sustainability research. It’s worth a try.
The bad news is, plutocrats are blocking those changes, to protect their investments. The 2014 research of Gilens and Page showed our democracy is a sham – really it’s plutocracy, rule by the rich.
Plutocrats do whatever makes them richer; they see ecocidal side effects as someone else’s problem. They even lie to start wars for profit. That’s because power corrupts, as the Stanford Prison Experiment proved. Power comes from both property and hierarchy, which are not really separate: Big business and hierarchical government merge, rather than keeping a check on each other as claimed.
After 10,000 years of property, we hardly notice its drawbacks. For instance, it necessitates trade. That looks harmless, and helps both traders. But it’s more helpful to the trader in the stronger bargaining position, thus making him stronger still, increasing inequality, ultimately creating poverty and plutocracy.
Moreover, property separates us, making us defensive selfish bullies, competing, not caring. Privately owned workplaces are little tyrannies, so we all hate Mondays. And technology keeps improving; soon every madman will have his own germ warfare lab.
But – good news, finally – we CAN end plutocracy. Some people claim that we can’t, that humans are basically greedy and authoritarian, but that’s just our current culture. You can see our true nature in any kindergarten: children learning “share and don’t hit.” For adults that requires an enormous awakening, but perhaps one will be triggered by the threat of extinction.
We need a culture of caring, sharing, and non-hierarchical networking that leaves no one behind, so that no one wants to hurt others. Such a culture is like peace: It can’t be imposed by force. It can only be adopted voluntarily, through inspiration, education, and building friendship and trust. The first step is to get more people talking about it.
2017-01-01, version 3.14. Underlined blue phrases are links to related materials