Thursday, July 14, 2005

What we can do...

It is easy to just complain. Without making suggestions and proposing new (and old) ideas one could simply be called a cry baby. So the purpose of today’s blog is to make some observations and offer a few practical ideas.

When does 367 = 3 billion? When the total resource of property and money (what we generally call wealth) of 367 persons (men and mostly white) is equal to the total wealth of 3 billion persons. See it visually: On one side of the scale are 367 men: on the other side are 3 billion persons (half of the earth’s population).



Or if you want to talk about a pyramidal structure of society, Bill Gates and his posse at the top, and at the base, those 3 billion.

I have no problem with rich people. They can live as they like. But in a world of dire poverty (every three seconds death by hunger), wars without end, destruction of the environment, the enslavement of billions of people to hated work, death by disease, torture as an institution practised by over 60 countries (also Uncle Sam) -the list of injustices could continue- it seems that the way in which we live is abhorrently wrong, if not categorically EVIL.
One of the few things I liked about the first Matrix film (forget about the sequels) was the metaphor of our being programmed by machines, and how a few of us have escaped, and how it is possible that we all can escape. So the question is: how, and by what, are we programmed?

So here are some positive actions and fields of engagement:

Turn off the TV! Those 367 men want us to watch, to buy, to think, to worry and consider, to be a passive sponge, to accept an ideology that supports their position. They determine the terms of engagement of our minds. Try NOT watching for a week and see if you start to think about OTHER things!

Minimise car use: the automobile is probably the most influential aspect of modern life effecting every part of economy, lifestyle and death-style. Everyday in the USA there 123 deaths. 1,123,375 in 25 years! (How many more have been paralysed, finished in comas or disfigured!) Every hour, 5 deaths! One death very 12 minutes! Think of that when you get behind the wheel! They give you a license to drive but they should at the same time have us fill out our last will and testaments. Solutions: work where you live; agitate against the automobile; take mass transit. Get a bicycle!


Become a vegetarian. We do not have to eat the flesh of animals to survive. You want to end world hunger? "If everyone adopted a vegetarian diet and no food were wasted, current food production would theoretically feed 10 billion people, more than the projected population for the year 2050." Morally, ethically and for the benefits of a healthy body, the vegetarian diet is a must for the future of human-kind.

Go to:

http://www.vivavegie.org/ for a 101 reasons to dig the vegetable!

Be poor! Choose volunteer poverty as an ethical lifestyle. Fans of the “Rich and Famous”; of the Hollywood star system; buyers of Mercedes, Rolexes, million dollar homes, islands, yachts- beware! Not to brag but if more people lived like me and my friends the world economy would come to a grinding halt! I have not paid taxes in 20 years! I have no car, house or property.

This is more than a political question: it is a spiritual issue about what it means to be content, satisfied and to live according to ethical principles. On this note…..


Practice a discipline of body/mind work: Not happy, frustrated, overweight, nervous, neurotic, angry? The only person responsible for my misery, or my serenity, is myself. Tai Chi, meditation, yoga, Chi Kung, martial arts: there are hundreds of practical exercises and techniques where we can become masters of our own destinies, find new energy, make new friends. The emptiness of the human soul is waiting to be filled: not by the consumer society but by a return to sure and tested (ancient) systems of practical mind/body philosophy.


Get a spiritual program. Atheist? Doesn’t matter: call it an ethical program. Know yourself. Find techniques of developing a positive critique of ourselves. Read the words of the Dali Lama for example. Focus on alleviating the suffering of others and our own sense of purpose will be realised, and our own suffering will diminish.



Get involved in 3rd sector work (not in the market economy or government): community organisations, volunteer associations, art, cultural and activist groups.

Instil in your children a simple idea: no more soldiers! Without soldiers (and a tax base) there would be no wars. If brothers did not learn that fighting is acceptable behaviour then there would be no violence.

Be a responsible consumer: buy organic and natural. (Careful: “natural” is now a marketing technique of Madison Ave.) Have you seen the chemicals in your soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions? Try this: look at the labels and Google those chemicals. It’s frightening!
Go for “Zero garbage”. Worried about the oil crisis: how do you think all that plastic we buy and throw away is made? Check out your garbage: eliminate it! Let’s organise mass consumer boycotts. When we, the people, weld our mighty dollar’s power by not spending…changes will occur.



Eliminate the government! Big idea: don’t vote, don’t pay taxes. Inform yourself on what government really is: a system to protect the property of those 367 men!
1 billon dollars EVERDAY goes directly into the pockets of mostly rich, white and corporate farmers paid by tax payers to governments. "Can we take a piece of this billion dollars a day and put it to work on ending hunger and poverty in the developing world?"
Want to see where MOST of our tax dollars go: check out this counter on global military spending: http://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/


Create a community and break the economic back of the nuclear family: find some friends, find a common goal- in the city or country. Pool resources: create a tribe! Why must we confront Mammon all alone. Decide: Every man for himself! Or, All for one and one for all!



Start a free school. Let’s empty the public schools: we decide on how our children should learn. Have a talent or skill: offer free classes.


OK. It seems to me the basic question is how we move ourselves into the future. Is Capitalism the only way? Can it solve the crisis we are facing? Is not Capitalism an irrational system, without scruples, based only on the need for profits, and not on human needs? What to do? I believe the human imagination is a capable of resolving all of our human and Earth needs. How to release its great power? We are TOO rich! We have never had more wealth, ideas, fabulous technologies and THINGS than at any other time in history…but also, never more hunger, destruction and Evil!



In the meantime, as we confront this necessity of how to implement a new vision, there are some basic human rights that must still be won by a mass political movement: housing; the end of poverty (not JUST extreme poverty) and hunger; guaranteed minimum income; the end of wars; the protection of all plant and animal species and the Earth itself; and freedom from all violence and slavery, be it from governments or individuals. Let’s do it!

Please see: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, By Hakim Bey;

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, by Thom Hartmann;

The End of Work, by Jeremey Rifkin

Post-Scarcity Anarchism, by Murray Bookchin


2 Comments:

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous tiziano said...

hi gary!!!

questo tuo blog è molto interessante, ma cavolo per capirlo tutto io che non parlo bene l inglese... una faticaccia!!!

questo articolo sullo stile di vite è fantastico, anche per me che conoscevo gia un po le tue idee.
sono d accordissimo: dobbiamo diventare tutti un po piu poveri e fare così in modo che il progresso veda incontro all uomo, e non il contrario!

l unica cosa che non credo riusciro a fare è diventre vegetariano... seguo l istinto della natura che mi ha fatto onnivoro.

inoltre ti scrivo per dirti che ho messo il tuo link nel mio blog ( http://ilcaos.splinder.com )

è un blog di arte e di contro informazione, e vorrei scrivere presto un post sul living theatre. vienimi a trovare, così potrai commentare quello che ne verrà fuori.

a presto

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger corrado said...

Bella Gary!!!!

Hai programmi per bologna in luglio?
Fammi sapere

Corrado

P.S. Ti sono poi arrivate le foto?

 

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