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THE UPSIDE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN

Across the globe, chaos is unfolding at unprecedented levels.  Every day, a new country goes down, a new scandal unfolds, and yesterdays’ are forgotten.  It’s so hard to keep up! I am aware that people are suffering, and things are bad and getting worse in a lot of places on this planet, so please don’t jump to your pitchforks and torches when I, quite sheepishly, say…

Maybe this is a good thing?

Yep, sorry to say folks, but this level of absolute, complete and total breakdown is our only chance at this point… the faster and more wide-spread the better.  We’ve proven, as a species, that we’re not going to respond to minor, isolated incidents and uprisings (You know – little things like destroying entire oceans, mass global revolts and revolutions, epic natural disasters, nuclear meltdowns and the like).  We’ll continue, apparently, to pretend nothing major needs to change.  Just print some more money, bail out some banks and all will be well in the world.

We’re conditioned now to pick up a paper and go ‘hmmm, look at that, Spain collapsed today, that sucks for them,’  as if this is an acceptable and reasonable scenario.  And while the perpetrators fix the very rates that ensure their wealth, while stuffing trillions into offshore accounts, I say… fine.  Let them. Speed it up.  Bring on more.  The bigger, and more flagrantly damaging to us all, the better.

Because the only remedy for what ails this species is a complete discarding of currency and economics as it currently ‘operates.’ Personally, I always embrace the theory that you can’t have a renaissance without the dark ages. Which brings up one more consistent, routine human behavior that should be momentarily illuminated.

What is the one time that human beings set aside currency and economics and do the right thing?  What makes them behave morally and decently, en mass? What is the one, single thing that has proven will make humans stop the childish, selfish behavior this monetary paradigm demands and promotes?

Disaster.

In the wake of disaster, for a brief period of time, people do the right thing.  They stop for a minute and forget about costs, budgets, stocks, rates and profits.  They pause, for just a second, and ignore bail-outs, bankers, politicians and that guy in the office next to you with the annoying tie that totally doesn’t match his socks.  For just a small period of time, they get together and do good things… because they’re good things to do.  All the bullshit melts away, and it’s clear as can be that none of that other nonsense matters, what matters is helping out people in need.  What matters is behaving morally and decently.

Forget about the cost, just get these people food, medicine, shelter and re-unite them with family and friends.  Re-build. Share. Care.  Basic stuff.  Volunteers clamber to help.  Cheque books open, wallets pour out, millionaires work for free to help out some people who just need some help.
Well guess what.  We all need some help.  Food, medicine, shelter.  Billions of people need some basic things.  Economically, globally, it’s a disaster, and getting worse.  On a massive scale, we need to behave like we always do during a disaster.  Time to put aside all of that meaningless crap that we have given value to that has none and listen to that engrained decency buried in all of us.  That real, genuine part of you that knows unequivocally what is needed.  You know what’s wrong.  You know what’s good and what’s just plain shitty about this world.  We all do.

And it won’t happen because of a rallying cry, it will happen because it’s a disaster, and we’ve got no other choice.  We’re still trying to dice things up into hundreds of individual disasters, but the reality many are realizing is that this is one, big, all-encompassing, human disaster.  In the wake of this realization, we will have to get rid of the corrupt banks, the ruthless corporate greed, the smarmy, rhetoric spouting politicians.

Not even violently.  We’ll just ignore them.  Just phase them out.  In the momentary clarity of disaster we’ll stop pretending any of this makes any sense.  We’ll start to talk to each other, find out we all feel basically the same way.  We all knew it was false and immoral and wrong all along.  We’ll stop fighting with our co-workers and friends and family because we’ll know what we’re really angry about.  Deep down.

Once this disaster hits full force, things are going to start disappearing.  And it’s a good thing.  There’s a lot of stupid, primitive crap we still give fake, assigned value to that has none.

  • The Fashion Industry
  • Jewelry
  • The Stock Market
  • Gossip Columnists
  • Political Punditry
  • Night Clubs

But it’s okay!  These things need to die off.  This is a good thing! These things need to be phased out.  And they need to be replaced.

“Well that’s all fine and good Mr. Writer Man but what will we care about instead!?”

And here’s where I think I’ve got a decent thought… SCIENCE!  Holy crap, if you want to find a little ray of sunshine in these crazy times, have you seen what science has been up to lately?  With barely any support at all, science is landing rovers on Mars, creating synthetic molecules and uncovering gigantic mysteries of our past.  They’re working on eradicating diseases, they’re out selflessly trying to warn us about upcoming problems and find viable solutions to them, studying ecosystems, gathering data, publishing findings.  Well shit, it’s almost as if those crazy people are doing it just for the fun of it!  It’s almost as if just the sheer advancement of human knowledge and understanding is motivation enough for them.  Surely they aren’t in it for the money and the fame.  Your nearest gated community is much more likely chock full of CEO’s, investment bankers, traders and real estate moguls than it is scientists.

What if those minds were applied sociologically?  What if we freed them from the shackles of currency and allowed their own existing systems of logic, examination and co-operation to take over?  What if the currency of the future was information and advancement of our systems of life?  What if the richest man in the world was the guy who solved the biggest problems and improved society?  Imagine that!  Holy shit folks, we live in what could so easily be the greatest time to be alive on this planet.  Why does it have to be so doom and gloom?  Why is collapse and war and poverty the only outcome?  Am I seriously the only one who takes a look at science and sees what truly matters?  Isn’t that the answer?

It’s an economic disaster, worldwide, no doubt about it.  Can’t we all get together and put aside the stuff that doesn’t matter and focus on what does?  The advancement of human knowledge and understanding… isn’t that motivation enough?  It could be.  It’s enough for me.  I’d happily shed my allegiances to country, to salary to social status if I could get up in the morning and know I was actually working towards the future!  Working towards a sustainable, socio-economic model guided by scientific principles, tangible results instead of greed and oppression for the social advancement of a few gambling addicts.

Wouldn’t you?  Wouldn’t all of us really?

Isn’t that what’s eating away at all of us in the end?

The knowledge that we could be doing so much more, so much better, and yet we’re still playing this same old game with the same old rules we know for a fact don’t apply to us anymore.  The knowledge that the majority of the things we do for money have no real, tangible benefits and completely fail to accomplish something meaningful.  That our ‘leaders’ do not remotely speak the same language as us nor share our goals or desires.

Do you want to go to war with China or go to the moons of Jupiter?

Is there a single human being who answered war?

Let’s be honest… right now, it’s looking bad, terrible even.  Hopeless.  Inevitable.

But it’s also the one chance we have to cut the bullshit and do the right thing.

The question is… Will we?

The answer is…  Likely not.

But we could

And that will be the defining decision of this era in humanity.  Will we?  Or won’t we?

September 3, 2012 Posted by | General Society Ramblings, Humans, Solutions!, The Great Collapse | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Could we just not do that this time around?

Hello humans, it’s me again.  I know we don’t always see eye to eye on a lot of things.  Okay, most things.  But this time I think I’ve got a pretty decent idea, point, argument, thing… so if you could just hear me out this once, I think we’ll all be better off in the long run.  Granted, you’ll probably go and ignore the fuck out of me, but I figure it’s best to just give it a shot just in case.

Here’s the thing.  I’m not a historian.  I’ve never attained a degree in the study of history.  But I know a little bit about things that have happened before now.  I’ve also heard this phrase thrown around by a lot of folks, many believing it to be incredibly profound wisdom:

“Those who don’t pay attention to history the first time around are doomed to repeat it.”

Or something like that.  Anyways, here’s what’s troubling me of late.  You see, when you take a gander at the ol’ history of humans, there’s this thing they (you, we) do every few years. It’s just this little, tiny, silly little thing where we MURDER, SLAUGHTER, KILL, RAPE, BOMB, SHOOT, STAB, BURN, INCINERATE, ANNIHILATE AND DESTROY EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE ON THE FUCKING PLANET!!!!

Then we go ‘Alright! That’s enough!’  And we draw up some treaties and we say ‘Okay, that was a bit silly, let’s not do that again for a while.’  And we carry on with our usual nonsense, which is fairly ridiculous in its own way, but not quite as bad as the whole massive massacring, in my not so popular opinion.

Now, here’s my crazy little set of observations, coupled with a teency, weency suggestion.

OBSERVATION THE FIRST!  It has been a little while since the last time we all got together and decided we ought to murder everyone on a nice global scale.  This appears to have gotten people a little ruffled up wondering ‘hmmm, we haven’t done that in awhile… maybe we should give it another shot?’

OBSERVATION THE SECOND! I’ve heard it suggested several times, by influential and intelligent folks, that we have just gone through the “2nd great depression”  and that the only way to get out of a depression is to go and have one of these big ol’ rounds of fisticuffs, because then once we’re all working on killing each other, our money problems are miraculously solved.  Just look at dubya, dubya two!

OBSERVATION THE THIRD!  I’ve seen a very disturbing trend in recent months to casually suggest that we are inevitably heading very quickly to just this scenario.  Either we are going to bomb Iran, or they will bomb Israel, or something will happen in Korea, and then the Russians and Chinese will join forces and the US and Europe will join forces and we’ll have ourselves a nice big ol’ global dust up and that’s just the way it has to be because that’s just the way things are and well shucks that’s just the way it’s gonna be.

SUGGESTION!!!!!!!

Don’t.

Do.

It.

People.

Humans!

All of you! (Us even!)  Let’s try something crazy!  Let’s just take a minute here and think about maybe giving another idea a shot.  Let’s take a different path this time.  You know, the path that doesn’t involve nuclear weaponry.  The one that doesn’t lead to a country with 2 billion people in it mobilizing the largest standing army in the history of the planet and facing off with the country with the largest arsenal of nuclear and biological weapons ever stockpiled.

Instead!  Let’s do anything else!  Everything.  Oh my, would you look at the possibilities outside of getting all dressed up in uniforms and slaughtering each other for a decade.  Why there’s just so many things we could do!  Endless really.

You see I’m a big believer in objective truth.  That is, I don’t believe anything is true unless it can be proven true when cross-examined objectively, without bias or pre-conceived notions.  One of my favorite litmus tests involves imagining you are an alien spacecraft hovering above the planet and taking a good solid look at what’s going on.  Under this scenario, I find it very hard to believe that countries exist, anywhere but in our mind.  We made them up!  We killed each other a long time ago and then we decided on some borders and said ‘If you’re born here you’re different than if you’re born there” and other equally ridiculous assertions.  Some of the more popular ones include:

  • If you were born here you are superior on all counts to anyone who was born there
  • Some things happened there a long time ago so now we hate anyone born there
  • If anyone born there ever does ____ we have to kill everyone born there and I’m sure everyone born here can agree

etc.  etc.

But the reality is this.  If you floated down on your alien craft and took a look at the 49th parallel in North America.  You would see a curious, inexplicable sight.  You would see structures, fences, towers.  You would see guns, patrols, checkpoints.  If you looked closer you would see documents, paperwork, anal probes.  In the halls of power you would see debates over what to do about this line you could not see.  This line you could not measure.  This line you wouldn’t know was ever there, unless the humans told you it was there.  And no matter how many times they told you, or how passionately they argued that the line was there, that the border existed, that it was a very real and important thing.  No matter how stupid they thought you were for not understanding it, you would be right.  And they would be wrong.

There is no line.

There never was.  There never will be.

There is no here, and there is no there

There is no us and there is no them

So there’s no reason to kill each other by the millions.  There’s no reason to think it has to be.  There’s no reason to believe it is inevitable.

Not in the real world.  Not in the realm of truth.

But humans, truth is not your strong point.  I’m not saying it ever was or it ever will be.  I’m just hoping… that you’re better than I think you are.

December 24, 2011 Posted by | Earth, General Society Ramblings, Humans, Solutions!, The Great Collapse, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solutions!

The general climate of thought online, and in society right now, appears to have shifted from one of denial that anything is wrong, to a general acceptance that almost everything is wrong, endless squabbling over what exactly is wrong… coupled with a helplessness and void of ideas as to what should be done about it.  I call it The Michael Moore Syndrome.

I love watching Michael Moore’s films, they are often very good at showing things that are wrong.  My trouble always comes with the solution portion of the message he delivers in both film and print.  It is invariably some sort of ‘Well if we’d all just vote Democrat then everything would be okay.’

No… no it won’t.  No… no it isn’t.

A comment I get a lot of the time on my writing is “Well, fine!  So what?!  What do you propose we DO about it?”

And I agree, I often suffer from Michael Moore Syndrome, and spend too much time complaining about what shouldn’t be done, and not enough time focusing on what should.

So that’s what I’d like to do today.  I’d like you to join in the discussion in the comments section.  I’d like us to put aside our endless squabbling about the way things shouldn’t be, and toss around some positive, possible, actual… solutions.

Idealistic?  Absolutely.  What exactly is wrong with ideals and the pursuit of them?  That, should be our constant and only goal as a society.  Finding and identifying problems, and then working to solve them.  It’s this ‘well that’s the way things are’ attitude that is cancerous.  We spend so much time bickering over the classification and identification of details of the problem, and so little time solving anything as they all get much much worse.

SOLUTION THE FIRST: We need a new, modern, political ideology.  Right now, members on all sides of the ‘spectrum’ are screaming and pointing fingers at the other side, but the reality is, they are all wrong and their outdated philosophies are crumbling.

Does Communism work!?  No. It’s too oppressive, gives too much power to the state, and strips the individual of vital freedoms.  Just ask China, North Korea and the former U.S.S.R.  It doesn’t work.

Does Capitalism work!?  No. It puts the pursuit of personal wealth above anything and anyone else.  It allows corporations and wealthy interests to control and dictate as they please, with disastrous results.  Humanity, morality, civility, are all cast aside under the pretense of ‘well, we’re just making money.’  Just making money… isn’t a good enough excuse for pure, unadulterated evil.  Just ask our friends, the good ol’ US of A. It doesn’t work.

Does Socialism work!? No.  It tries to mash the two extremes together and you end up with citizens overly taxed, corruption, waste and an unsustainable economic model.  Just ask Greece, the UK and the EU. It doesn’t work.

All of these criticisms are valid.

So… do we keep sliding around on the same spectrum hoping for different results or do we realize that there are limitless possibilities outside of the spectrum!  How about that?  Forget left, forget right, forget the middle.  Let’s put an entire generation to work, inventing a new spectrum.  This can only be accomplished with an acknowledgement that the existing one is broken, which at this rate, seems to be an unavoidable certainty.

My first solution is broad, but highly necessary.  We need to get talking about fresh, innovative, models of governance and living.  Maybe these talks could occur on the subway and bus instead of staring at the floor and pretending to read the same advertisements over and over again.  Maybe they could happen in schools, actually engaging students in real problem solving. In the lunchrooms where you work.  At all?

SOLUTION THE SECOND: The role of the politician, the lawmaker, the ruling class, has to change.  Democratic elections are only democratic when the choices on the ballot represent the best interests of the people.  Let’s not kid ourselves, that time is long gone, if it was ever there to begin with.  The modern politician is a pacifist, a distractor, a performer, not a leader.  Democrat or Republican.  Conservative or Liberal.  Labour or Tory.  (See Solution The First).  We don’t need our leaders running in a non stop popularity contest. This isn’t a beauty pageant. We also don’t need the other end of the spectrum, a dictatorial iron fist of fascism that doesn’t care what the people think and does as it pleases.

We need a group of the most intelligent, qualified individuals assessing our issues, and proposing and implementing intelligent solutions.  We need to apply scientific principles to our governance.  We need scientific leaders.  They might be awkward.  They might be silly looking.  They might not have such nice smiles and well delivered zingers.  They might also actually dedicate themselves to the constant improvement of society, instead of ‘building an image’.  A staggering majority of the worlds’ most intelligent human beings are currently using their knowledge and understanding working on designing ways of making money.  Solving problems for the marketplace.

Unleash these minds on tackling poverty, oppression, homelessness, ending wars, raising standards of living.  Rather than developing algorithms for squeezing currency out of people, how about they follow their natural, intuitive, scientific inclinations… identifying problems, and solving them.  Ask anyone working in science what they could accomplish if not held back by the constraints of currency and politics.  Then watch their eyes light up.

Look at what just one of these minds can envision and design – Imagine all of them, working together, with all of us, supporting them, benefitting from the non-stop progress.  We wouldn’t have time to bicker about race, religion, or American Idol.  There’d be too many positive things to accomplish.

SOLUTION THE THIRD: The individual must refuse to participate in the oppression and systematic destruction of their fellow man.  “I’m just doing my job” isn’t a valid excuse any more than “I’m just making money” is.  It’s a weak, cop-out, and a refusal to think for yourself, burying your morals and conscience.  You cease to be a human the second you knowingly and willingly partake in this kind of behavior.

Comedian Patrice O’Neal expresses this brilliantly in his recent guest spot on Infowars.com.  Rather than preach the same boring, tired, conspiracy theories we’ve all heard a million times, Patrice instead tackles an issue we can all do something about, every day… no small powerful group of people has any power, without the average person willing to blindly carry out their orders.

“If we go down, we did it, not them… Because of so many nobodies, willing to destroy another man.”

We can’t continue to tolerate indifferent and callous behavior.  In my short lifetime I have seen such a drastic shift in the amount of nonsense people will not only put up with, but engage in.  There’s a very good reason that zombie movies are so popular right now.  The conditioning has reached such a point, that the initial response to telling someone that you have been wronged, is for them to not only disbelieve you, and downplay your grief, but to suggest that it is your fault and you brought it on yourself.

The individual has the ability to make choices.  To assess and examine individual circumstances.  The individual ceases to be an individual, the second they suppress or deny that ability.

(I could probably keep this going forever, but it’s just a blog, so I’m going to cut it short and allow you to weigh in with your own solutions in the comments.  Let’s get innovative and try to come up with some new and unique ideas!)

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Solutions! | 12 Comments