Sunday, February 8, 2009

insurmountable opportunities

I want to talk about the apparent crumbling of capitalism as we know it, and the opportunities it brings. It is likely that people will be hungry and cold as the world around us crumbles, and no doubt there will not be much sympathy or help if we continue to run on this idea (our operating system) that if you work hard, you get rewarded with a lot of money, and it makes your life easier. Fact is, a lot of people work hard and don't get squat. I've read that 3/4 of the world does not even participate in the money economy, but in the informal economy (which might be a bit more real even). It's not hard for me to get over the idea that capitalism is bogus, having been blessedly (ha) born a white American, but firmly at the bottom of the heap.

So all right, we who blog, who discuss ideas on these screens, dreams in hand, visions in mind, what are we going to do with this opportunity? It's not often that capitalism appears be having the big one, in the words of Fred Sanford. Not having to spend time impeding and overcoming the overwhelming tide of money and power can be a blessing. And on to being beyond the buzzwords of proactive and sustainable (maybe when there's no money to be made, they'll stop the greenwashing). Can we provide the things that cease to appear when money dissolves itself and jobs disappear? Can we share knowledge, skills, and resources to provide for ourselves and each other our shelter, food, water, and clothing? Can we step up to guide ourselves, make our own decisions for what's best for our communities and our children, take care of ourselves in times of crisis? Can we entertain ourselves, and begin to feel human once again?

We'll have time on our side--lots of it, many of us with "nothing" to do. We'll have time to think about things, talk about things, and work on projects together, and learn from resulting feedback. We'll have time to get back in touch with natural cycles of celestial and earth, feeling all of the growth of living things around us (much better than the deadening feeling of pavement). We can hold babies, play with kids and do fun things like build rocket stoves with them, convive with each other, listen to our elders. If community is there to fill the void of capitalism, it will. I can't imagine any greater resource we have than each other and the earth beneath our feet.


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