Two paths forward: Division, war and misery or Cooperation with one another and harmony with Mother Earth
Times such as these sorely try women’s and men’s souls: Chaos, division, hate, police killings, looming mass evictions, abortion bans, the threat of war, the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan, mass deportations on the southern US border and forced migrations worldwide, all are occurring amid a seemingly never-ending pandemic. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, massive wildfires, global warming – once in a hundred-year occurrences – are reported almost daily in the news.
How do we make sense of all this? It almost seems as though the world we once thought we knew is coming to an end. And to a certain extent, it is.
As the old saying goes: the people without a vision perish. Many we know are on hair-trigger edge, ready to snap. For example, friends and family often “unfriend” each other over mask and vaccination mandates. Conflicting messages come from Southern governors against mandates and these clash with President Biden’s and CDC policies. Meanwhile, hospitals are bursting at the seams, with some in Idaho making heartbreaking decisions to ration life-saving treatment. Youth suicide is on the rise. Right-wing militias prepare for Armageddon. Desperate parents leave their infants on the banks of the Rio Grande in the faint hope that they will receive asylum in the United States. Voting rights are under attack in many states. Anti-government sentiment is on the rise.
The vision of a world of plenty that our forefathers could only dream about is now realizable if we truly open our eyes and act before it is too late. We are confronted with two paths forward. One leads to a dismal future of fascism, division, war and the continued destruction of the environment – not a viable future to leave for future generations.
The other path leads to a world of cooperation, where every life is valued, where private property patent rights are not a barrier for vaccinating the world’s population, where no one goes without food, shelter, education or culture. However, it requires us to come to terms with our environment, our role in it, and how society is organized.
We can make a new world, to paraphrase the great American revolutionary Thomas Paine. Back then, what had to change was blindly accepting the divine right of kings. Grasping this falsehood led to American independence. Today, it is the idea of private property that holds us back – the idea that corporations and their lobbyists in Congress can determine the fate of common everyday people who have lost their job, home or even the environment so that they can make their profits.
The festering sore that poisoned the American dream since our country’s independence was inequality rooted in slavery and continuing to this day in the subservience of women, immigrants and others in American society.
In a technologically developed society that can replace human labor, there is no room for slave labor. The abundance possible redefines what it means to be human and to no longer have to live by the sweat of your labor. Renewable technology such as wind and solar can and should slow down the pace of global climate change. In a globally connected world, we can live in harmony with all the Earth’s other creatures, while we monitor and prevent future pandemics.
The possibilities are limitless, the time to act is short. We must do the right thing.
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