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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?

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

Things I am Not… and Neither are You

I am not a consumer

I am not a client

I am not a vote

I am not a liberal

I am not a democrat

I am not a republican

I am not a libertarian

I am not a conservative

I am not a socialist

I am not a communist

I am not a marxist

I am not right wing

I am not left wing

I am not a student

I am not an employee

I am not an employer

I am not a loan recipient

I am not a credit card holder

I am not a stockholder

I am not a potential buyer

I am not a home-owner

I am not a taxpayer

I am not a resident

I am not an advocate

I am not a member of this community

I am not defined by the places the past few generations of my family were born on this planet

I am not a pawn or a key word to drop in your speech.  I am not a useless, soulless number whose only purpose of existing is to have currency extracted.  I have more to offer this world then you and your narrow definitions could ever realize.  Imagine if you spent only a fraction of the money you do on advertising and branding, trying so hard to convince me you see me as more than a number… imagine if you spent that working on getting your people to treat me like a human being. Imagine if they didn’t need training, and they could figure that out on their own.  That’s all we can do is imagine it, because it will never happen.

What right, exactly, do your robot minions have to call me and harass me and talk down to me and tell me I am worthless?  Ask me why I don’t make more money, why I can’t make my interest payment?  Demand I set up appointments and meetings  during the middle of the day on the work week, the only time you are open.  Well, you know what, I’m kind of busy working.  Working very hard, every day, and it’s still not enough for you people.  There is no difference between this life I lead and slavery.  What freedom do I really have?  I am forced to work a job I hate, made to feel inadequate and useless there, just a bag of flesh on the end of a shovel.  I come home caked in mud from head to toe.   In exchange, every two weeks I get a pay cheque.  Not only do I not get to keep a dime of it, I actually don’t even make enough to just exist.

After rent, loan payment, food (real food, not restaurants) and maybe enough for public transit to and from work every day (often not even enough for that) that is the extent of my income.  But wait, there’s still bills to pay!  Things that were once luxuries are now necessities.  I have to have a cell phone for work, I have to have internet access to submit my pay sheet and the latest software for the occasional contract writing or editing gig I might be able to get. You know, what I actually went to school for.  A laundry card that gobbles up $20 bills like the cookie monster. Hydro, heat, phone, you can’t exist without these things and the price on all of them keeps going up and up and up.

But there is no understanding, or compassion, or humanity on the end of that phone.  I’m a deadbeat right?  Get a better job, you tell me. I sure do love getting career advice and condescending life lessons from someone whose job consists of phoning people and following a step by step sheet telling them what to say.  I also love that the people responsible for ruining the economy and there being no good jobs left… are the ones telling me I’m the problem.

Don’t worry, you’ll soon be replaced by an automated voice system, then you can be on the wrong end of the phone call. Or, more than likely, you already are.  I can’t imagine you’re getting paid all that well to sit at that desk and make those calls.  I don’t think that was your dream in life, or what you are truly capable of.  You do it for the same reason I do… to exist.

You probably hang up the phone and receive a call from the person two cubicles down, telling you to get a better job and make more money so you can pay your bills.  Then you make that same call to client #14832.

But hey, I deserve it.  It’s my fault that you put through a $10 service charge one day before the payment went through, when I had exactly the amount of money for the payment in the account.  I couldn’t afford it, had to borrow it, and you know I have trouble making the payments every month.  You don’t care though.

I mean who the fuck do I think I am?  Going to school?!  Trying to actually do what I love!??!? Trying to pursue something meaningful and fulfilling with my life.  What an asshole I am!  My parents aren’t wealthy, so I shouldn’t have borrowed the money.  I shouldn’t have tried to make something of myself.  I should have accepted that I am lower class and stayed in my fucking place.  Don’t worry, I hear you readers.  I know what that voice in your head is telling you, what you’re on your way to post in the comment section. You’re absolutely 100% right!  I deserve this life I lead.  I am a worthless, non-contributing piece of garbage.  I should feel this way, every day.

“Get off your ass and get a better job you fucking loser!”

Go ahead and say it, I know that’s what you’re thinking.  Trust me, I think it every day.  And believe it or not, I try and change it every day too.

So does my girlfriend.  So do all of our friends.  So do our parents and their friends.  As we all become more and more marginalized.  As scores of highly intelligent, useful individuals with life experience, qualifications, degrees, careers and mortgages fill the ranks at Wal Mart, Starbucks, Home Depot and McDonalds.  As we scrabble and claw and beg and plead for even the sniff of a chance to get a part-time position at minimum wage.  As the mills close, the unions die, the pay-cheques shrink, the industries crumble, the tuition increases, the degrees and diplomas become obsolete.  It’s all we’re good for right?  It’s all that’s available, so it must mean that we’re all just that useless.  We deserve to feel this way, and to live this way.

And when we’re accepted for this lofty position, they hand us our schedule and their offer for what our life is worth:

Five days a week.  20 hours a week.  Minimum Wage.  Take it or leave it.  You’ll get a ten cent raise in two years!

That’s enough to survive on, right?  Sure it is!  Don’t you dare get another job either, we have to be your number one priority.  After all, we’ve given you a job.  In this economy, that’s better than most people can hope for.  Be happy you have one.  Sure it’s not even remotely enough to feed yourself, or god forbid if you have children or a sick and injured family member to take care of. Good luck with that!

But that’s okay, I heard on the news that consumer confidence is on the rebound!

Did you hear that taxpayers?  The stock market is starting to stabilize!  Woo hoo!  Thank god almighty, I thought the CEO was going to have to sell his second Jumbo Jet.  Oh how amazing, what terrific news.  I can do my part to keep that stock price stable.   I can look at that consumer confidence index with pride, knowing I did my part.  What a glorious contribution.  What a life to lead.

After all, I have no hopes and dreams and aspirations.  I have no desire or decent qualities.  I have no ideas, no intellect, nothing to offer this world.

I’m just a liberal, socialist, democrat, marxist, republican, conservative, libertarian voter!  Who should I vote for, please tell me!?  The guy who wants to go to war, or the guy who wants to go to war?  I’ll vote for that guy, thanks for the choice! Oh boy, what freedom!  I totally see why we want other countries to live like this.  Bombs away, let’s bring freedom and democracy to those poor fools!

Sure, I’m just a student, consumer, client, loan recipient, credit card holder, employee right now, but maybe one day I can climb the ladder and into management!  I can be an employer!  Heck, that’s far better than anything I would have done with my life.  Thank you!  Thank you so much!  I’ll shut up now and get back to work.  I see the wisdom now.  I see how wrong I’ve been.  I see how fantastic this all is.  I see why people so violently defend this beautiful, perfect system we have going here.

I’m gonna work hard so those taxpaying, stockholders can one day go from potential buyers into homeowners!

I am a resident of this community, and an advocate for this way of life!

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

December 24, 2009 Posted by | General Society Ramblings | , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments