It seems futile to continue to read and share articles about how awful conditions are and how things must change immediately. Similar warnings have been made for decades now, and yet we seem like insects trapped in a spider web we can’t escape.
We’ve all been hearing this for so long, and have witnessed no real change. Most of humanity feels this futility and shares a global hopelessness and despair.
Where I do find hope is in the stories from spiritual leaders, like Arkan Lushwala: It is not what can I do? But how can I be? Be in a state of being. Too often we are in the what. That keeps us from getting to the state of being. Stop asking and just be.
From the article below by Ben Ehrenreich: There are infinite other ways to organize a society, and the fact that we are not widely and urgently discussing them is at this point nothing short of criminal. There are voluminous literatures on degrowth, on circular economies, on mutual aid, and, yes, on socialism, too. There is the living experience of every indigenous community in the United States, and of others around the globe that have been forced to invent ways to resist and survive a system determined to erase them.
I’ve been blessed to have many native friends. And it is a powerful confluence when these friends and others have come together for Mutual Aid work here. This is what I have been experiencing and writing about for the past year:
“mutual aid” | Search Results | Quakers, social justice and revolution (jeffkisling.com)
And my faith community of Quakers continues to seek ways forward as guided by the Spirit.
I agree with umair haque (see below). What I think is badly, badly wrong in our civilisation is the way that we conceptualise and think about the world. One thing I do when I’m having trouble understanding something, learning about something new, is to create diagrams, such as the following. The red line is supposed to represent the change from the way we conceptualize the world, to one possible new way, Mutual Aid.
It should be plain to see to anyone remotely sane or thoughtful that our civilisation has reached a crisis point. We face a solid three to four decades of escalating catastrophe now. The 2030s, when climate change becomes severe, tearing apart economic and geoplanetary stability, megafires and megafloods and mega hurricanes and drought and famine and shortage become grim daily realities. The 2040s, when mass extinction rips apart the basic systems of our civilisation, from food to water to air to medicine. And the 2050s, the decade of the Long Goodbye, when the final collapse of ecologies leaves a dead planet in its wake, soil turned to dust, oceans to acid, harvests fallow, rivers run dry.
What I think is badly, badly wrong in our civilisation is the way that we conceptualise and think about the world. We do it in an economistic way — we look at “costs” and “benefits.” But costs and benefits were a calculus created for the industrial revolution — not the world of today, of climate change, mass extinction, ecological collapse. Using an obsolete paradigm doesn’t seem to be getting us very far.This is How Our Civilization is Self-Destructing. The Real Economics of Our Civilization Say It’s Going to Implode by umair haque, Eudaimonia, Mar 7, 2021
As innocuous as it may sound, “growth” should be understood to describe the frenzied ruination of nearly every ecosystem on the planet so that its richest human inhabitants can hold on to their privileges for another generation or two. Rejecting the idolatry of growth means tilting the organization of our societies toward other social goods—health, for instance, and the freedom to exist on a planet that is not on fire. This should not be unimaginable. There are infinite other ways to organize a society, and the fact that we are not widely and urgently discussing them is at this point nothing short of criminal. There are voluminous literatures on degrowth, on circular economies, on mutual aid, and, yes, on socialism, too. There is the 99.999 percent of human history during which we managed to not significantly alter the atmosphere or wipe out such an enormous portion of the species with whom we share the planet. There is the living experience of every indigenous community in the United States, and of others around the globe that have been forced to invent ways to resist and survive a system determined to erase them.
Transportation, health care, housing, education, everything that the Covid-19 outbreak has revealed to be so murderously broken, every aspect of our lives currently controlled by shareholder profits—does that even leave anything out?—must be rethought and rebuilt in the context of terrestrial survival. The white supremacy that threatens to tear the country down while strangling the rest of the globe has proved inseparable from an ecocidal urge to dominate all forms of planetary life. (W.E.B. Du Bois saw it clearly 100 years ago: “whiteness is the ownership of the earth forever and ever.”) It must be confronted head on. A foreign policy constructed to at all costs preserve a hegemony that for most of the last century has hinged on control of the planet’s oil reserves must be radically reconfigured.
If we do actually listen to the science, then we understand what ghastly futures await us and we know how bold we must be to avoid them. Any politics that presumes to be anything other than suicidal must take that knowledge as its starting point.We’re Hurtling Toward Global Suicide. Why we must do everything differently to ensure the planet’s survival by Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, March 18, 2021