There is a saying that keeps coming to my mind while trying to write something meaningful around current events in our world - 'not with a ten foot pole'. Even while I am aware of the desperate importance to have open dialogue, I am conscious of cancellations, close-mindedness and cautious of cankerous interactions online.
We must talk to each other, if we want to be neighbors. And if we don't want to be neighbors anymore, well then bring on 1 million villages. But what we cannot let happen, in the name of justice no less, is to impose on ourselves draconian despotism outside of our soverign control.
I sense real emotion in the air. The cycles have aligned for a change - A much needed change! - but are we, the people, positioned to change it for the better? Or are we inviting 'change-agents' to have their way with us because the past and the present have been so unbearable?
One irony that is clear in much of the rest of the world, is that this is not about actual conditions, but relative conditions.
If humans revolted whenever they were treated poorly, or as poorly as people in the United States can possibly have it, then there would be a lot more revolts a lot more frequently. When conditions get really bad in the US, it is now popular to say 'its like a third-world country'. As someone who lives in a third world country, let me just come right out and say it:
'Welcome, welcome brothers!'
The United States is beginning its decent to a so-called 'second world' country, not third, although the proper political terms have been changed before it seems that anyone had a chance to learn what these mean.
- First World: Bright shiny infrastructure
- Second World: Collapsed or abandoned infrastructure
- Third World: Would love some infrastructure
The 'fist world' referred to the west, led by the US, the 'second world' made reference to the collapsed command economies of the Soviet Bloc, and third world was a jingoistic sweep of Latin America, Africa and most of Asia ('the rest').
If you wanted to start a business in the first world, you leased a shiny office. In the second world, you found some abandoned ruins that would get you half way there, in the third world, you applied for a job (or a loan) with the foreigners.
These terms spoke some truth about the world, and were roughly equivalent to the 'Core and Periphery' eschema presented by Wallerstein in his "World Systems Theory".
Where does that leave us today?
Today, within our beloved '3rd world countries', most are coming to recognize the necessity of endogenous development (from within). Years and years of exogenous development (from without, or 'Foreign Direct Investment') have fragilized these globalized economies, hollowed out and homogenized their cultural traditions and left them more, not less, dependent on the elite countries for the political survival of their regimes and the quality of life of their citizens.
And the US and its elite citizens have reaped the benefits for over 70 years!
It is not a coincidence that the surge in services coincides with the rise of a global elite hungry to be served, fat on peripheral resources. And serve we did.
If the Federal Reserve or Goldman Sachs were on fire, we would all probably think "Yup, its about time they get theirs".
But that doesn't seem to be what we are seeing.
I would really like that to be the case! Burn the power structures! Plant gardens (there is still time in lower latitudes!)! Found new, organic local societies!
Even if I squint and turn away, I still cannot convince myself that is what is happening.
Instead I see anger and ignorance inviting vice, and behind vice, comes abandon. Wake up! The Police are the local option! They live in your communities - Behind them come government brown shirts! Or UN white-helmets! Or, as countless other cultures across time called them 'foreign mercenaries'.
Fix your police. Fix your power structures.
LOOK AT THE LOCAL POLITICIANS YOU HAVE ELECTED!!!! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???
Bread and Circus is continuing. The Gladiators are burning the Home Depot and protesting against cheap consumer electronics by applying the five finger discount. As a front-line troop, you may see some victories, but who is the strategist that likes where this leads?
Where are the leaders that propose a Community Development plan?
I suspect they are out there, and I am praying for them and want to motivate them. Speak smart, step up, and lead toward your desired outcome. If collapse is your goal, and you have nothing to replace it with, go home. People around the world have it much worse.
There are things worse than death.
I loved what Mike Rowe said, speaking of the corona virus (my paraphrase) - 'in the end, life is about something more than just staying alive, at least for most people'.
What is life about to you?
To me it is about 'adding value'. On a biological level, life is about 'delaying entropy', and life bends and twists energy into its loops instead of letting it slip away. As a human steward, our lives should protect and add value to that system, the life system. We must study it and its philosophy, we must observe the wondrous natural ecosystems, and seek to implement better designs for better life.
Life is about positive development.
Now we all know you must break a few eggs to make an omelete. But if you start breaking eggs today, you will still be breaking eggs in 2022 unless you realize:
Making omelettes has more steps!
When looters roam from community to community, looking for soft targets, are we meant to believe that these are the ones fighting for justice? Perhaps these are the modern practitioners of the fallacious 'Broken Window Theory'?
Which communities can be held up as examples of good progress? Surely there must be some, now that we are all familiar with the worst areas around the US - which are the best?
Here's an Idea - Let's all apply for Permaculture Diploma Program in Community Development monitored by the Permaculture Institute North Amercia. I am available as a mentor for any person or group interested in taking this guided path to making their communities a better place. I have been working on and applying this methodology for the past 7 years in our small community in Colombia, South America.
Let's fix our broken communities, together.
We have the tools, and the technology! Let's work together to build the future that works for all of us.