I am a retired math, science, and history teacher living in Springfield, Vermont. When I was teaching, I felt I was being useful. Now that I am freer than I’m used to being, I want to find ways to help steer my civilization away from the edge of the abyss it is flirting with. I am thoroughly amazed to see how many are sound asleep while the general hoodwinking and theft is brought to its conclusion. Yet I am delighted to see how fast people are waking up, whether ‘in time’ or not. I am grateful for being alive in these times, but also slightly overwhelmed by the enormous changes before us. We are playing out many simultaneous and unsustainable situations that seem about ready to ripen and crash, with completely unknowable results. The following is intended simply as a description of what’s on my mind these days. I have a separate page (views-towards-sanity) where I will accumulate creative ways people are finding around our corrupt government and capitalist exploitation.
A large part of the United States government is lost in greed and corruption with a desperate fantasy of colonizing the rest of the world for profit, traveling under the code word “American Exceptionalism.” Aside from obvious moral issues and an inability to see why our behavior makes others hate us, we are in over our heads in many different shapes of unsustainability. It is critical that we learn to think globally and cooperatively in a number of ways as quickly as possible.
We have a government that is truly a machine, the financial military industrial complex, driven by people who imagine the national destiny is to colonize the planet, requiring an ever increasing spiral of income disparity, fear, and systematic injustice, which drives everyone crazy. People do not want to be colonized. I need to list a few of our most disturbing interlocking behaviors, which I struggle to see as opportunity rather than a program for the end of the world.
The following ten points are just a few of the puzzles that drive me and make me long to communicate with others in the fond hope we might be able to work out patterns of behavior to remedy our problems together.
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(1) Our planet is fouled by our discarding huge amounts of material into our atmosphere, our oceans, and the surface of our earth, to the extent that we are well along in a mass-extinction event, shown by comparison with previous such events. Since we are driven primarily by greed, profit, and power, we have arranged not to notice that suicide lies not far away in that path. In addition to jeopardizing ourselves and all we have created, we jeopardize the continued existence of thousands of species with whom we have not consulted. Modifying plants and animals genetically is the height of immorality and an awful disturbance to ecological balance.
(2) We live in a culture of lying, with a an utterly vacuous and irresponsible press. Alert citizens have noticed that lying has become ever more acceptable, so when politicians spread a self-serving lie, they have some confidence that people will sleep through it, and the press, controlled by the same people, won’t complain. The network of lies is by now pervasive and many of the lies are enormous, like what happened at the World Trade Center and what lay behind the murder of the Kennedy brothers. Most of our government now is secret, and a secret is ultimately a lie. Some of our federal agencies can legally keep their budgets secret, so wars can be created and consummated with no more information available than is made public about extraterrestrials. Much of the machine likely doesn’t know which of its dogma are lies and which not. Our government is mired in oceans of secrets, which are really lies that can serve no one positively.
(3) The dollar, by which neocons/neolibs hope to rule the earth, is propped up by a culture of blind optimism in which our level of indebtedness very much exceeds our income, and seems poised to drop us into a depression beyond our imagination, whenever some magnate pushes the panic button. For many related reasons we must discard capitalism and produce local goods and services by worker owned and directed cooperative interprises.
(4) We keep trying to use warfare to promote economic advantage when our technology also shows us we can no longer afford to indulge in war. Warfare seems to have moved from a position of last resort in our diplomatic efforts to a position of first resort. When our leaders casually toss around words about the use of nuclear weapons, we know that time is up for war in general. When we can and do kill hundreds or thousands with remotely controlled drones, we are perpetrating and flaunting an enormous injustice and creating a most subtle level of terrorism. Yet we know that all war is blowback.
(5) At a time when we need the best leadership we can get, the lockhold of our wealthy handlers on the two major parties has supplied us with a non-choice between two highly inadequate presidential candidates, both of whom show not only a complete carelessness about the people, but even signs of mental instability. The last shreds of representative government are gathered up in the hands of the Oxfam sixty-two, so well referenced by Bernie Sanders.
(6) We court unnecessary disaster with our nuclear waste and continually upgraded nuclear armaments. We have available now nuclear power reactors that can use so-called “nuclear waste” as a fuel, because the original use of that fuel was and is extremely inefficient. Some of the billions we spend on defense (euphemism for armaments) could be used to create cheap energy while reducing our dangerous stockpiles of “waste”. We can lead the way in nuclear disarmament instead of patronizingly insisting on being the last.
(7) We live with dangerously provocative and totally unnecessary levels of injustice and income disparity, with natural increases in fear and hatred. The billions required for rebuilding infrastructure and creating jobs is being squandered in outlandish weapons, made because we could, not becaue we needed to. With a modest budget for a Department of Peace and fair taxation, we can easily lift the lower two-thirds of the country back into a sense of hope and dignity. The current levels of income disparity have been pushed to outer limits, and when millions feel they have nothing to live for, we have an explosion waiting to happen.
(8) We have an unsustainably expensive and inadequate healthcare system, apparently blind to the evolution of fatal diseases happening now faster than we can develop antidotes. Our life expectancy is dropping, infant mortality is vastly higher than necessary, and people are going without treatments they can’t afford when the nation should be paying those bills as investment in our future. Instead, our young people shoot each other, commit suicide. or develop psychiatric diagnoses.
(9) We approach a crisis in the ability to produce food, much aggravated by inappropriate use of chemicals and disregard for the influence of natural climate changes. The diversion of corn (good food) into ethanol (poor fuel) continues for profit; profitable genetic modification, being forced upon us, is making natural food crops unsustainable; and we have driven the seas to virtual extinction, virtually ending our access to fish. Most of our agricultural land is owned by corporations rather than people. so as it becomes a commodity it is no longer treated with love.
(10) We seem quite impervious to understanding that our power and communications grids are quite without defenses in a time of decreasing magnetic field and the onset of a grand solar minimum. Our magnetic field is decreasing rapidly as the magnetic poles shift around wildly. That magnetic field is our natural defense against streams of plasma and eledromagnetic disturbances from the sun. The next serious solar storm with a hugely diminished magnetic shield could quickly eliminate most of the world’s electric grid, leaving us with perhaps years without electricity or reliable communications.
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I know that millions of us are awake or awakening to imminent catastrophes, but since all affairs are global these days, it feels very urgent to me to that we become hundreds of millions of awakening people. I do believe that we create our own worlds by the thoughts we choose to think, and are thus extremely vulnerable to the propaganda we and others manufacture. We must resist all of that or live in the slavery of increasing poverty and manipulation.
If we wait for crises around which to resist, the militarized police will be called upon for “control”, which wll invite a slaughter. If we create initiatives around what we want to see happen, instead of what we fear will happen, we will even be able to carry with us some of the people who have been sucked into the mill that oppresses us. Politicians don’t like the phrase class warfare because that is exactly what we have happening. The way to discard capitalism, as Anonymous observes in one of their recent messages, is to create alternatives which we naturally prefer to use, letting capitalism fall away from disuse.
Karl Marx and Paolo Freire, in enormously different contexts, have suggested that liberation of the oppressed can be done only from the bottom up, with people seeking freedom, creating enlightenment, and elevating the oppressors in the process.
That is a small synopsis of who I am. I have other interests, but this one is not an option. I know of a few creative revolutionary initiatives already underway, and we must find ways to encourage them, to help them network, and to keep the big picture in everyone’s view. I will appreciate help in discovering more such initiatives.