The wonderful part of being an Aussie is we do have a ‘downunder’ view of the world. We watch, from afar, the world go mad. That is not to say we ourselves are not also caught in the mad contagion. After all we have a Prime Minister who is quite a climate science denialist, (and a Roman Catholic, so we are all waiting to hear how he responds, if he ever does, to the Pope’s encyclical), and like most leaders of the “Advanced” world, is convinced that the future lies with more of the same old model…endless growth, endless exploitation of our natural resources, endless support of the large corporates.
We watch as the United States spends about $500 Billion annually on defense, protecting its borders from the bad guys. And yet cannot see that bad guys with US citizenship are killing more people at home than the ‘terrorists’ are killing abroad. This article by Tom Engelhardt goes into the statistics.
We watch as someone of a different skin colour or religious affiliation gets labeled a terrorist, yet a white guy is simply a nutter in need of help.
We watch as the USA arms itself to the teeth and continues to persist in the illusion that guns will solve the problem, sad but never surprised when we hear about the next mass shooting.
We watch as a cast of idiots put their hand up to lead the country as the next President. Seriously?
And all around the world we find it perfectly acceptable for people and corporations to make their money by exploitation of the many (that would include you and me) through simple little things like credit card charges and fee’s. Ok…when we have record low interest rates it is perfectly fine to charge someone 17% on a credit card? Even more, it is perfectly fine to exploit the people who can least afford it to get a credit card and then keep them forever in credit card debt. Good business we call it.
And it is also acceptable to be the great white knight of saving the world, handing out microloans to those who have no access to money, and charge them 40% interest or more…getting them completely into the cycle of forever debt…for this we can and do award Nobel prizes.
I was attempting to explain to someone the other day just how trapped we are in the illusion. I have learned the hard way that people cannot be until they are. Or…
People cannot see until they shift their perspective. (Or their perspective is shifted for them, which is more likely the way it works.) NO amount of explaining will break the illusion. The illusion can only be broken by seeing it…and to see it you need to stand back and ask a completely different set of questions. This takes enormous courage and the willingness to have your whole world view be shattered. Most people don’t go there until they are forced by circumstances.
As someone once caught in the trap of credit card (consumer) debt, I feel zero guilt about negotiating my way out of this by paying a fraction of the debt I had. Because even then, the beast we have created, this giant beast of interest and profit on the backs of the downtrodden, isolated and those purposefully held in ignorance, was well fed on my labour. Too well fed.
So I watch Greece, Spain and most of South America and Africa working to negotiate their way out of debt and crippling interest charges…and I watch the lunacy of spending on defense in the USA while people in the homeland kill each other every day in increasing numbers, and I watch as the police around the world are trained in riot breaking tactics in preparation for people on the streets protesting…and I watch us continue to see only more of the same…politics owned by the few, the world a play thing for man to hold dominion over…and I know that there is a wisdom beyond any wisdom of any human.
And that despite ourselves, Earth will do just fine, in the end. Despite ourselves, the system we have built will break. There is no re-arranging the deck chairs on the ship. There is only the building of a new ship. It is to this I am my friends around the world are invested.
The good news…those few of us building the new ship are growing in number…please join us.