We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I am posting this to illustrate how difficult it is for people who have been subjected to growing up in the US to conceive of any other economic/social system than capitalism. The author of this article can only imagine how the system can be modified to encourage sustainable practices. Maybe when "hell freezes over", or more likely, when the Earth boils over will people in the US be able to conceive of a sustainable system.
Another good example is an article I posted yesterday by another US environmental activist who attended the recently concluded climate change conference in Bolivia. He saw the conference as being "light on specifics for saving Mother Earth". He pooh-poohs the claim made by many in developing countries that the capitalist system is the problem. Apparently for him this claim is also "light", for he immediately dismisses it as something we can't wait for, in other words, a dispensable notion. He disapproves of developing counties that want to develop their energy resources for their benefit. Instead he sees the solution as everyone in the world planting trees and riding bicycles.
Clearly such people are unable to understand that the recent wars and subversive foreign policies pursued by US administrations are a last grab for the world's remaining resources. To understand this would be to arouse an awareness of the necessity to change a system that drives such policies. Apparently, enjoying the comforts supplied to US citizens from imperial spoils does have a dampening effect on their imagination and understanding.
This is probably a too cynical conclusion to reach. It is rarely understood by people, myself included, that the indoctrination in the informal theology of capitalism starts from the cradle and lasts to the grave of every American. It is everywhere in their lives. The belief system, while few people are aware of it, is more powerful in their lives than any formal religion.
Hence the task of everyone, most especially those in the US, is to counter this ubiquitous brainwashing with sources of real information. This blog attempts to do that, but success can more effectively be achieved if citizens take control of the media.