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

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Titanic Code

Click here to access article by Dave Gardner from Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. 

The author uses the very apt metaphors of the Titanic and a computer operating system to clarify the dangerous state that humanity is currently in.
Our culture is not interested in a course correction because we’re distracted. We don’t see the iceberg ahead because we’re fixated on a cultural story that defines progress as growth, and growth as progress. This worldview has led us to develop a system that depends on everlasting growth.
I don't think that "we" as ordinary working people ever designed this system. It was created by and for a class of people who declared ownership rights over all significant elements of the economy which has entitled them to secure the wealth produced by workers. This process in turn has evolved over time into massive concentrations of wealth and power. We now have a small class of people who hold so much power over our lives and is now threatening the planet with their destructive activities.

Of course, when the author refers to the "operating system" and the "old system", he is writing about the system of capitalism--but he can't identify it as such! In our present Orwellian society, the authorities apparently have removed this word from our lexicon, thinking that if we couldn't name the system, we couldn't change it.