Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Changing the world

It sometimes seems to me as though the apocalypse is coming, in one form or another, and perhaps it is best not to know how it will occur—earthquake, tsunami, meteor hitting the earth, droughts, fires, floods—there could be many different scenarios. It didn’t help to hear today that the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Japan has been upgraded to Chernobyl status. I wonder how much more Japan can take. How much is too much before a country collapses? I look at what we are doing to our planet in addition to the natural disasters that occur, courtesy of Mother Nature, and we don’t need to add our man-made disasters to the natural ones. I need only think of the chlorine poisoning of the Akerselva River to remind me that carelessness abounds and that many disasters are man-made, and that animal life suffers at our hands. The world has witnessed recent oil spills and the tragic loss of animal and fish life. We really need to start re-thinking our priorities. I think there is so much that is topsy-turvy in the world, average ordinary people know it, and they know or sense that some monumental change is coming, because this unlimited greed and consumption and utter indifference to anything other than a huge paycheck cannot continue. God knows what that will be--perhaps a huge worldwide revolution against greed and inhumanity and lack of concern for the planet, or a return to a simpler way of life, more agrarian, less industrialized, less money-oriented, and less competitive. I’d be all for it.

It’s hard not to feel drained by the way we are living our lives now, and very tiring to hear that nothing can change because this is ‘just the way the world is’—full of greed, competition, unscrupulousness, lack of empathy (for people and for animals), carelessness, indifference, and hatred. I know there are good average ordinary people in the world, because I know a lot of them and I am one myself. But the people in power are the ones who worry me. The Wall Street moguls are the ones who worry me. And why I ask do we need Wall Street? Really, why do we? Why can’t we start by dismantling Wall Street? I applaud Michael Moore in his recent film Capitalism: A Love Story, for trying to make a citizen’s arrest of Wall Street denizens at the end of the film. Of course you laugh or smile when you see him do that, but you know too that he is serious, even though he is making a point. There is no real work done on Wall Street from the standpoint of actually producing viable products. And when did it become cool to buy warrants and derivatives in the hope that a company will do poorly so that you can earn money on the possibility of its failure? I just don’t get the world these days. Literally everything has to do with money, all business and political decisions seem to be guided solely by the prospect of making money. It’s boring. It’s become a non-creative world that is slowly sinking into a quagmire. And perhaps the best thing is to let it sink so that it can be replaced by a better world—one in which people in power care about the planet and the lands they live in, one in which money isn’t the be-all and the end-all of everything .

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