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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The lost civilization: Finding a reality-based frame of reference in the age of delusion

by Dan Allen from Energy Bulletin. 

The strength of the article lies in his observations about the essential nature of human beings and how this is incompatible with current social organization. He produces some real gems in the section, "What are we?". For example:
...tight community organization is an evolutionarily-engrained social construct of our species. And I think it is important to note here that this evolutionarily-mandated proclivity towards tight communities is the antithesis of the atomizing industrial social organizations increasingly being thrust upon us.
But, once again like so many other observers of contemporary matters, he is unable to name the system which has prevented humans from realizing their potential--capitalism. He keeps using terms like "industrial", as if the mechanization of production powered by fossil fuels was the same as social organization. Is he merely playing it safe in a capitalist society that punishes critics of its system, or has he been brainwashed? In any case, until we identify the core problem, we will never find a solution.