When I talk about the system I believe we must abandon in order to build something else, I’m perhaps not very specific in what I mean. When I refer the current system, I am referring to the collection of laws, politics, infrastructures and ideologies that make up the current state of civilization. It includes all politics, all religion, all unsustainable technologies, the current legal system, the education system, the economic system, the whole shebang. Basically, everything that is divisive, greedy, corrupt, ineffectual, wasteful and unsustainable. That’s a vast majority of what we have and what we do.
I don’t believe it will work to try to make new laws, ban things, or try to convince politicians to do anything. They have their own interests and they don’t really care about us or nature. We and it are viewed as resources to be squandered, used up, and thrown away. Trying to fix things within this system will never bring about the changes we need. It is flawed by design. It is constructed for the well-being of money, not humanity or life in general. So, we must do something else.
I believe there are some things we can borrow from the current system, like the scientific method, sustainable technologies and other things, however, the way in which we implement them must adhere to sustainable practices. So, I’m not saying we should shun technology for its own sake by any means.
So far, the only system I’ve seen that has ever been indefinitely sustainable has been tribalism. Perhaps we can invent something else, if people don’t like that idea. I’m open to those ideas. I’m open to any ideas that promote cooperation, reciprocity, symbiotism, and sustainability.
However, when I say “tribalism” I don’t necessarily mean primitive. We simply need a structure that ensures that everyone has a place and no one goes without the basics of quality food, water, shelter, medicine and community. We will likely have to build this over time, as it’s not realistic to immediately and totally extricate ourselves from the current system. After all, it permeates everything and requires a permit of some kind to do anything.
I’m a big proponent of “ask for forgiveness, not permission”. I think we need to implement alternatives as quickly as we can simply because being dependent on a broken system is a bad idea for basic survivability. If it does collapse somehow, we need to be able to take care of ourselves. No one really know what that might look like, but having something else in place seems like a smart idea.
If the current system doesn’t collapse and instead starts focusing on sustainability instead of pure profit, then perhaps a sort of hybrid can come about. However, it should be a cautious one. We need to be wary of becoming dependent on it again. Our resourcefulness, flexibility and adaptability is what will keep us going.
I often envision many smaller groups spread out which each govern themselves independently and only make decisions that affect their particular community, yet they are networked with many other small groups who do the same. These groups can trade with each other, but there is no overall, all-encompassing political system.
Each group needs to be able to sustain itself with the basic necessities and it is completely responsible for how it manages itself.
Plus, individuals can serve as free agents, who are not necessarily beholden to any particular area. For instance, if someone is a really good doctor, they can roam from place to place, providing their services and receiving necessities and trade in return. If someone makes especially delicious pies, others can make it worth their while to make some for them.
There can still be a kind of hybrid economy based on value and worth that is decided between the individuals who are dealing with each other.
There are many different ways things can turn out. The important thing is that everyone benefits, no one goes without, and we seek to do the least amount of harm possible.
© 2015 William Suphan
- Welcome to the Machine
- A Common Morality