|Posted by Lorraine Luntsford on July 1, 2012 at 9:30 PM|
“All the world’s a stage” – William Shakespeare
The alarm has been going off for a while now, but nobody seems to be paying attention. The world is in chaos and it is a chaos largely of our own making.. directly or indirectly.
We’ve got financial systems threatening to collapse in the U.S and all over Europe, political protests against oppressive governments in the Middle East, protests against the 1% who have all the financial power and influence over much of the world, not to mention threats of terrorism on a global scale, the increasing # of natural disasters putting more stress on already stressed-out economies, the threat of nuclear warfare by Iran against the U.S and Israel, erratic and more intense weather patterns, the increased rate of melting ice caps (whether you believe in global warming or not, there’s no denying we are in the midst of a climate change and need to address it), mass unemployment, peoples homes being foreclosed on, etc, etc…
We need to put a stop to this insanity, and the best way to start is by realizing this whole “reality” is an illusion, and not the only reality possible. All the world is a stage, and we the actors in a completely improvised play.. and we can change the set and props to to suit our needs in this play and we have done so many many times over the ages. But we've never changed the play! We're still putting on the same program.. the same story, and it's high time for a new one. And finally.. for the first time in the history of mankind as we know it, we CAN change the play.. with better props, better choreography and actors with greater freedom of expression thus expanding their creativity.
The fact is, the system most successfully used by mankind and allowed us to survive and even thrive for hundreds of thousands of years is Tribalism. And those tribal cultures that still exist untouched.. left alone by us are still thriving. Theirs is a different vision.. a different play. It wasn’t until about 10,000 years ago or so that some culture started to settle in one place and create ‘civilization’ by exploiting the land and people within.
This system… this machine that we try to live in so persistently is NOT ordained by God or nature, yet it is defended and upheld as vehemently as if this were exactly so. It was the invention of some cultures in the distant past for the purpose of convenience in a world full of scarcity. Actually, there have been several tries at civilization that eventually failed – we can still see their ruins today. Ours is the only one, for whatever reason, that continued on, that expanded, until we have the world we live in today, but our civilization (which at this point is pretty much global) is not immune. It too, can crumble and at the rate we're going, it's just a matter of when.
Most people think of tribal people as ‘poor’. But this in fact is not true. They are just not technologically advanced. There is a difference. They may be primitive, but not ‘poor’. The concepts of rich and poor belong to civilization and do not exist in tribalism. That’s because tribal cultures are not hierarchical. They may have a leader, a warrior class and a medicine or holy man, and these people may be granted a certain status within the tribe, but no one is considered more or less important than anyone else. Food and resources are all shared equally, and in general they don’t take more than they need, both from each other or from their environment. What makes this possible is that their idea of success is not dependent upon monetary gain or profit, so there is no incentive for exploitation.
In civilization however, the only way to designate status and personal importance is according to who has the most money. Not only that, but the only way to obtain the things we want and need is by having the money to buy them. In civilization, money is power. It gives people individual purchasing power and can give a person, or group of people, power over those with less. It is because of this system that we have rich vs poor, extravagance vs destitution, and even the vast majority of our crime. Almost all crimes are committed either for greed, jealousy, or the need for money for basic resources.
But we cannot just go back to tribalism. Our civilization is too large. At least, not tribalism as it has been. What if we could come up with a hybrid? A technologically advanced society that doesn’t use currency, doesn’t have hierarchies, where everyone contributes in some way, and everything is freely available to all. Sounds like Utopia, but really it wouldn’t be. Total perfection is impossible and not the goal. The goal is simply a much better, more meaningful and fulfilling life in just about every way. And such a system has in fact, been thought of.. the Resource-Based Economy idea.
It is our deep need for money that causes us to think in self-serving ways, feeds our greed, and increases our capacity for hypocrisy and deceit. Money-systems are designed so that people must put themselves first, fostering selfish attitudes, and holding us back from doing things we know to be right and good. And because money can be turned into anything (such is its power), some people would be willing to do anything to obtain it (kill, lie, cheat, steal, use people, even happily enslaving ourselves to our employers, etc, etc). Money has become a resource in and of itself, and at this point in time, it is the only resource left that is truly scarce to all..from individuals to entire nations... but a very very few.
Ironically, this system is the reason civilization was able to advance as fast as it did, especially after the Industrial Revolution. But the reason for the need and use for money (scarcity and lack of transportation) no longer applies. The world we have made is in fact FULL of abundance. And we’ve solved the problem of transportation through technology, which could be vastly improved upon if only there wasn’t the hindrance of cost. So many advancements in so many areas are delayed or dropped altogether because of expense or unprofitability. If a corporation cannot put a patent on it, it's not going to happen.
Given these facts, it’s easy to see that the very system that propelled us forward, is now holding us back. It is obsolete. We have the power, the technology, and the ingenuity to create a better system and thus a better world. All we need now is for everyone to wake up, and believe it is possible. And that’s the hardest part.