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
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Living Life Out of Balance
Our personal lives and that of the human race is, indeed, out of balance. This is the thesis the author constructs with a mind-blowing view of human "life out of balance". He does this by examining the effects of new technology on our lives. But, is technology to blame?
Of course not! It is the capitalist system which is designed to use advancements in technology not to serve social needs, but to serve the addictions of a tiny segment to more wealth and power. I think that Mickey Z. understands this, but the majority of social critics do not. The latter have a naive and limited view of technology that separates technology from the society in which it has developed. This view is popular among capitalist economists who are trained not to look at social systems; therefore they must come up with some explanation to account for the developing dysfunctional role that technology and/or the economic system is having on society.
Notice that Dean Baker, a noted liberal economist, debunks this popular view by substituting another cause for the dysfunction which is just as ridiculous: public policy! Since when did the public have a choice about economic systems or public policies? For many of them, not for 10,000 years or more. "Public policy" since then has always been the prerogative of tiny ruling classes based ultimately on their control of the means of violence to dominate all other members of society.