It has been just over a year since I began to actively revolt against the rich. So much has happened in my personal life and to our global economy as a whole. We are in an amazing time of transition and the world still seems wide open to some amazing new possibilities. But the question still remains: Will the people find solutions that don’t include an all out resource war and further repression by the authoritarians?
As a reminder for you readers that haven’t been following my writing for very long – here are my core values on which I base all my thinking: Freedom. Equality. Compassion. Sustainability. Transparency.
I settled on these values because I believe that they resonate the most with the morals that I was taught in my childhood, and they are also the values which are consistently being tossed around in different circles of political discourse.
For the past year, I’ve tried to define exactly what these values mean to me, and have also sought to challenge many people’s preconceived (unquestioned) assumptions about our system of capitalism and its value to the majority of people on the planet.
Using my values, I’ve settled on an analysis of our system (our interconnected web of human interactions also known as our global economy). This analysis is fervently anti-capitalist. It seems obvious to me (and countless other occupiers) that capitalism as we know it is unsustainable which means if we continue with the status quo for very much longer then our system will crash under its own weight. Capitalism is predicated under the idea of “infinite growth” which means that to continue the system we always need population to grow in order to provide for more economic activity. And yet we live on a planet with finite resources. With 7 billion people now on the planet, I think we are (or have passed) the point at which earth can sustain us. And even if we have not hit that point yet – if we continue our culture’s current trends the point will be reached sooner than later. Something has to give…soon.
With a year of active revolt behind me I’m wondering what it is that I’ve really learned. I know that far too many people are still comfortable with the status quo. I know that capitalism still provides people with a false sense of security. I know that forests continue to be clear cut, mountain tops continue to be removed, pesticides and herbicides continue to poison our topsoil. Millions of tons of CO2 continues to be released into the atmosphere.
But I have also learned great truths that provide me with hope. I’ve learned that I am not alone in this struggle to reign in capitalism. Millions of occupiers around the world see the need to act swiftly to transition humanity to a sustainable civilization. Then there are others who see the need to dismantle civilization as we know it. There is really no way to know who is right until we know precisely what our resource situation is in order to determine fair means of distribution and for that to happen we need 100% transparency from our governments and corporations.
Speaking of governments and corporations: It has been said over and over that fascism is the marriage of a corporation and state. Because of unrelenting abuses of special interest lobbying in Washington DC we are finding ourselves as an essentially fascist country. The very of idea of democracy has been co-opted by those who control the lion’s share of the wealth. The occupy Wall Street movement has outed these few wealthy individuals as “The 1%.”
The 99% rhetoric is helpful in that it gets some legitimate conversation going. But it is still divisive rhetoric and I maintain that sustainability should be grounded on a social system that prefers unity to divisive bickering.
We are in an election year and there are sure to be some exciting events that unfold this year. I’ll keep documenting and speaking my own truth.