Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash
Humans, as a species, have historically behaved rather badly, with a small group of people brutally dominating and abusing the vast majority. Part of this was a response to the issue of limited available resources. We needed some sort of organized way to produce and distribute what’s needed to survive. Sadly, under every system, the people on top of the hierarchy typically took advantage of their positions, exploiting others.
This is still true today, nearly everywhere. Whatever historical forces led to this situation, we must bring it to an end. Exploitation is unnecessary and wrong.
The Human Condition
Some people believe they are special, that they are above other humans, superior by nature. They are, of course, wrong. They are worse than wrong — they are perpetuating an absurdly cruel situation, continuing the abuse of billions by a foolish few.
At the basic level, we all share exactly the same condition. We are born into a world with no clear instruction book, live a short time, and then disappear forever. During that short stretch of life, we have the capacity to enjoy and share the joy of existence and the pleasure of each other’s company.
To compete with, brutalize and exploit each other — or be exploited — is not only cruel. It’s really, really stupid.
Why? Because cooperation and love and camaraderie is a thousand times more pleasant than exploitation and abuse. The former is like savoring a fine wine. The latter is like guzzling cheap booze for a quick intense buzz. Let’s end societal alcoholism…and exploitation.
Systems of Exploitation Are Established and Maintained By Lies
These cruel systems, whether outright dictatorship or plutocracy (pretending to be “freedom”) or whatever, are built on (and sustained by) lies. Every system is supported by communications that say the system is right, is moral, is good, is necessary. Not only is every system portrayed as the best possible, but dismantling the system is said to be a disaster. We are told that, fortunately, the system is solidly in place and resistance is futile.
Such is the mythology attached to monarchs, dictators, and plutocrats. The mythology is false, so lies have to be constructed to “prove” that the leaders of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and such countries as Egypt, Tunisia and Sri Lanka weren’t removed by ordinary people who stood up and said “no.” Instead, dark powerful forces of other “important” people forced out those thugs.
That’s a lie. In fact, any leader or system anywhere can be overthrown by the people. That’s because every one of those systems are completely dependent on the cooperation of those very people. Pharaohs, presidents, plutocrats and generalissimos don’t produce anything. And, without loyal armed supporters, they have zero power. They are in power because others believe their lies, and cooperate with them and actively support them. When enough people say “no” the remaining supporters are powerless to stop the collapse of the allegedly all-powerful leader.
And, the all powerful leader gets on a plane to flee for his life.
This happens again and again and always needs to be explained away. Because nothing is more powerful than ordinary people made aware of their exploitation and their ability to end that exploitation.
Once that power is recognized, it’s astoundingly quick to remove thugs. The sad part is that often (but not always) a new thug replaces the old one. Ordinary people must think ahead to prevent that kind of outcome. This is doable. You want a Havel or a Walesa. Not al-Sisi.
We Are Better Than This
The most pernicious lie is that greed is the core of human nature. It is not. It is an unfortunate part of human nature that is promoted and lionized by plutocrats and so-called “capitalism.” This falsehood about human nature is sustained by the political and economic systems that require excuses for greed, and is promoted through their media and institutions.
People are taught (falsely) that they are, at the core, unalterably greedy. This lie is ultimately unsustainable. As exploitative systems endure, they become more outrageous, more cocky, and more confident. That’s when they overreach, awaken the exploited, and the whole ugly system collapses. The darkest hour is right before the dawn.
That dark hour is right now.
Of course, everywhere parents love their children and are motivated by that love. They don’t work out of greed, but because they need money to care for those they love. For most people, even under this ugly system, people are motivated by the better angels of their nature.
I don’t want to wait for the overreach to explode. I want people to recognize that love is their nature and that they have the power to end the exploitation. I also want them to carefully reject new bosses that replicate the cruelty of the bosses they defeat. I am not alone in this. Many, many people have the same objective. We want people to live life fully, cooperatively, lovingly. We know this is possible and will not rest until this becomes the human condition worldwide.
Noncooperation and Sharing Our Earth
Even the ruling exploitive class are really just cogs. They were born into this world, and are fulfilling their roles as they see them. It’s tempting but silly to vilify them. They are just like us. What we need to do is to STOP THEM and remove them from any positions of power, influence or authority.
They are dangerous to us, they are dangerous to their children and they are dangerous to themselves. They are more like criminally insane people than comic book villains. We need to prevent them from doing harm. And then care for them and their children and the planet and everyone else.
Anger won’t end evil acts or overthrow evil systems. Love and noncooperation with evil behavior will do it. That is our path forward.
“Success” of the exploitive class is their own defeat. When they “win,” they destroy the habitability of the Earth with fossil fuels and greed. When they “win,” they destroy the lives of their own children and grandchildren and their offspring will (understandably) revile them for it. When they “win,” our species and others suffer and billions die. Perhaps our species will go extinct.
But that only happens if WE fail to act. That only happens if we sit back and simply let the destruction continue. Or if we wait for the system to fix itself. Instead, we must consciously act. We must be stubborn and vocal and unstoppable. We must work together, all of us like-minded people who love life, who love our children, and who love our planet.
There are many ways to force this change. I favor every effort, from The Sunrise Movement, to Just Stop Oil, to Fridays for Future and every other effort. We must try everything we can think of because time is short and we don’t know which effort will work quickest.
Climate scientists tell us the Earth is at code red and our abuse of the planet continues unabated as our “leaders” continue to operate foolishly with their insane greed.
I have published a document called “A Climate Declaration” to clarify and promote the core ideas described here. Our leaders (and systems) are dooming us; these leaders and systems can and must be removed and then replaced by systems powered by love and cooperation; and ordinary people have the power to do exactly that.
In January, I will begin holding Virtual Climate Parties. These will be live video chats with ordinary people sharing ideas and strategies while having a shared good time. These parties will be aimed at changing the culture, creating a camaraderie, and replicating themselves. We can have a decentralized, uncontrollable movement of love and non-cooperation with exploitation.
We can and must change the world. Each of us in our own way. Choose a path and pitch in — with any existing effort or by joining one of the upcoming Virtual Climate Parties. The details of the first VCPs will be announced here on Medium and on the website for A Climate Declaration.