Multisystem Failure

By far the largest system failing is our environment. The Biden administration announced the goal of greenhouse gas reduction of 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. It is an outrage that legislative proposals consistently fail to even begin to address the reality of the problems we face today. It was this climate announcement that led me to write about multiple systems failing.

Not only is the climate plan short on details, a reduction of 50% is not nearly enough. And the consequences of rapidly evolving environmental chaos will increasingly lead to all kinds of systems to fail. Infrastructure in general will be damaged and destroyed. Power and communication systems will collapse. Transportation systems will be impacted.

It has been excruciatingly painful to see so much police violence. Finally, many white people (I’m “white”) see and hear the stories of what life is like for people of color. What black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) live with every minute of every day. Police violence that kills men, women and children, or locks them up for years.

This is just one example of the racism that permeates every system in this country. This language demonstrates racism and white privilege. I say locks “them” up because police abuse and violence is not much of a problem for white people.

At least until we white people begin to show some public support. Then we lose our privilege and become “them” too. There is the onslaught of legislation to subvert civil liberties. Legislation to punish anyone who dares to protest. Legislation to protect police abuse. To protect anyone driving into a crowd of protesters. How insane are these policies?

There are increasing calls for police reform. Even further, for the abolition of police and prisons. I’ve been involved with the Quaker Abolition Network. And last night attend my first meeting with Democratic Socialists of American. Abolition is one of the main things they are working on. abolition | Search Results | Quakers, social justice and revolution (

The political system is broken. Representatives don’t even try to pretend they represent their constituents any longer. Decline to support legislation that is overwhelmingly supported by the public. And pass legislation their constituents oppose. Corporate money, gerrymandering and all kinds of voter disenfranchisement subvert the democratic process and ways to change the system.

What is portrayed as truth has also been subverted. The last administration lied repeatedly to manipulate their supporters. Deliberate misinformation has become the norm for many political groups.

Endless wars in so many countries to protect resources like oil kill combatants on all sides. Kill civilians and destroy their infrastructure. This is morally reprehensible. While politicians resist the small funds for the public good, they continue to budget vast sums for the military. This administration is no exception.

The COVID pandemic has nearly destroyed our medical systems and our economy. Have strained education systems.

As more and more people are forced to recognize these multisystem failures, they wonder what to do.

It is clear to many of us that you cannot use a system that causes these problems to fix them. It is so frustrating to me to see all the work of well intentioned people wasted on trying to make incremental changes within these systems when the systems need to be replaced instead.

For example, the economic system of capitalism has been severely damaged by the COVID pandemic. But capitalism is based on extraction of resources, mainly fossil fuels, and continuous growth. Capitalism is designed to create the vast imbalance of wealth that we have. And capitalism is used to keep so many worried about surviving, so they won’t have the energy to agitate for change.

What is the answer? I believe we have to create communities that reflect our values. This is why I’ve been so invested in learning about, participating in Mutual Aid. For me, Mutual Aid shows how to build such communities, beloved communities.

You can click on the full screen symbol to more easily read this flip book.

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