Photo by 愚木混株 cdd20 on Unsplash
There is a reality that continues to exist independent of the beliefs and passions of human beings.
When you lie or “spin the truth” (which is a friendly phrase meaning “lie”) about COVID or climate destruction, you don’t change the reality. Biology and physics and chemistry continue to operate as before. People get sick and die from the virus, sea levels keep rising and extreme weather events become more common…and more extreme.
Superficially, the liars appear to have “won.” But what does it mean to “win” a disease-ridden Earth? A planet hostile to human life that — because of the behavior promoted by your lies — will cause terrible and unnecessary suffering for your children and grandchildren?
You may be able to escape accountability, but the responsibility for your lies and your behavior is YOURS. Your offspring will see that and loathe you to their last breath for your clueless cruelty.
By “you” I mean the wealthy plutocrats and their paid pals — petro-financed politicians. These people can suffer no loss greater than what they view as victory.
Those of us who are not wealthy death-fuel profiteers or their paid servants are simply along for the ride. This is a joyride by drunk drivers excitedly guzzling premium drinks and who are about to wrap the car around a telephone poll.
Yeah, we are in the back seat — but maybe we should speak up. Maybe we need to do more than that.
Maybe we should grab the wheel and take control before we all die.
We need to examine the rules. Not take them for granted. Rules need conscious evaluation. In fact, we should decide WHY we have rules and build a new, better set of rules from scratch. Because what we have now is not working.
Any rules and traditions and norms that accelerate climate collapse are bad rules. They are unsustainable. They work against us. Fundamentally, they don’t work at all. These rules were put into place by those who accepted and chose to promote a stupid selfish culture. Absolute fools.
This is true not only of petro-plutocracy. This is true of the systems and norms nearly everywhere on Earth. With decades of advanced warning from scientists, nearly every country on Earth under every system and with every leader has failed catastrophically to reduce C02 emissions. Hierarchical systems with leaders who follow the path of unenlightened self-interest seems to be the deadly norm everywhere.
When we ditch our failed leaders (as we must), it’s essential that we also end their dangerous systems as well. It doesn’t much matter if we have elections or not if, in either case, we continue to destroy the habitability of the planet. Does a majority have a right to kill the Earth? Does anyone?
I would suggest the answer is no.
Rebuild Community and Ethics
The most important thing is our own inner landscapes. How do we feel about each other? How do we treat each other and why do we treat each other the way we do?
Right now, our behavior and the rationalizations for our behavior are largely shaped by our cultural norms which were built up over time to support and protect the rules of our societies. Those rules are — well — sick.
We cannot continue to exist if conflict and competition is the basis for everything. We cannot be cruel to each other and dismiss it as “just business” or “just politics.” That is sick and deadly. We see the results.
There is nothing fundamental about hierarchy, about the few dominating and brutalizing the many, about endless competition — which manifests itself as cruelty and swindling and self-aggrandizement. This was a choice and one we must now reject. We have become so used to this mindset that we consider abandoning it impossible.
But that’s false. We can already see we have a different side to our nature as human beings. We can see that love and cooperation and empathy are a powerful force within us. We know this in part because the rules of society are designed to try to suppress our finer feelings. Greed is justified. The system claims to channel our course selfish nature to positive effect. This is what we are told. Kindness makes us weak, vulnerable and worst of all, unproductive.
Those values are false values. Those imperatives are not actually imperatives. They were a choice…a bad choice. We must reject the bad choice and now make the good one.
End Obedience to Evil and Follow Your Heart
We share the same basic human condition. We have much more in common than what divides us. In fact, our enmity is fed and in many cases constructed by people and institutions that benefit from our division. We should stop being fools. We should reject their manipulation and lies.
We should recognize our common interests and our similarities. We share the exciting, frightening and mysterious experience of life. We can go through this experience together however we choose: as bitter hard-nosed opponents, or as fellow co-explorers and friends. I’d choose the latter.
What if others don’t do the same? Don’t worry about others. Some people will ALWAYS be fools. Those numbers will decline when people see the example you set; an example of a better life. A life characterized by love and cooperation and creativity, not by hatred and bigotry and the empty dopamine rush of cruelty and “victory” against the “other.”
We are the reality-based community. We are the saners. We may be invisible now. We may seem to be powerless. But we have some secrets: we have huge numbers. How many people are powered by love for their children and their planet? Billions.
Also, we have reality on our side. Greed and hatred are a denial of reality and they are a way that doesn’t work, isn’t sustainable. Love and caring and cooperation and empathy is the way — the only way.