Thursday, 21 August 2014

It is Time For a New Way of Thinking

by Challenged Species:

The problem we are faced with is traditional thinking, the mind set that the way forward is growth and jobs.

I can understand it, we have been raised in this social environment all our lives, of course, however there are many signs of failure and they are all pointing at the same cause. 
We have massive unemployment to be sure, yet we also have a less discussed issue of under-employment. We have climate change marching ever closer, the continual loss of global biodiversity and the impending depletion of our all important oil reserves. It is all intertwined.

Our technological advancements are replacing jobs, spending is down resulting in reduced employment hours, which feeds back to reduced spending. All the while productivity is actually increasing
We want growth in the jobs market, get the people back to work and increase spending. Unfortunately this has a negative impact on our environment as we produce and throw away increasing amounts of junk we really never needed.

What we need in society is less, not more, and that less needs to be done much more efficiently. 
Our economy needs to be, well, economic. We don’t need a new I-phone every year or so, we need a phone that is built to last, that is easy to upgrade. We don’t need thirty different types of hammer or T.V. or whatever, we need to focus on building the best we can produce. In short we need global collaboration not competition.

We are currently going through the labour pains of social change, our hand is being forced as we come to understand that our social model is simply not sustainable. That change could actually happen very quickly, but we are all being held back by the antiquated thinking of our politicians whom have only one solution, more toxic growth.

Growth for the sake of growth on a planet of finite resources is a recipe for disaster, the only thing on our planet that continually grows is cancer and we all know how that ends. As Einstein said so many years ago, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
It is time for a new way of thinking
We need to start thinking more about each other, what it is we can do to help each other, not how we can get ahead of or be better off than each other. We need a society that is focused on cooperation and making the best most efficient use of our limited resources, so that we may sustain a high standard of living for everyone. 
We have all the tools we need in order to start making this a reality. This very tool we are using right now, the internet, allows us to communicate over vast distances instantaneously. It can carry carry data from anywhere in the world and make it available for everyone to see, total transparency and information for all.
Engineers from all over the world could be collaborating right now on how to construct the most efficient form of transportation. 
We could have vertical automated farms in every city, use 3D printing to produce houses, transform our energy production from resource intensive power plants to renewable sources, and monitor the level of planetary resources, as examples, thanks to our ability to communicate collect and store information on a global scale.
The ability to change is at our fingertips, it is so tantalisingly close, if only we could change our attitudes toward each other. 
You see this is the crux of the problem, the dilemma, while we have the technical ability to change we are yet to develop the desire. 
Social conditioning has made it very difficult to consider that we could actually be better of if we drastically altered our form of economics. How could we be better off when we have all this great stuff?

We still think so inwardly, sure the plight of the three billion poverty stricken on our planet is a very serious issue and we all want that to change, but I also want my plastic whatcha ma call it with the three month guarantee and free subscription to 
We are afraid, we have worked so damn hard to get to where we are and we are not about to let go without a fight.

It is fear that keeps this system going, our fear of failure, that if we try something new things might get really bad for us. Here is the kicker, things are really bad. All we need to do is spend some time looking around and recognising how things have been continually degrading all our lives. 
Sure we have lots of neat toys, but what has the cost been, socially and environmentally? Besides if we looked after each other and our planet the things we would have less of might be the things we are happy to do without. 
War, famine, ill health, work, less of these may be desirable, and while we may have less brands of toys is it possible that we would have better performing toys? Do we really think we could not do better than this?

If we look at the path we are on objectively we can see where it is leading, we are not stupid, a future with less animal life, less environmental stability, less opportunity. 
To continue down this corporate controlled consumer path, remaining blissfully ignorant of the reality we are faced with, stealing from the future to appease our false wants, will only lead us to a slow grinding self destruction.
We are human beings, full of potential, we can do anything we put our minds to. We can have a new social contract, a new economy, a resource based economy. It all starts with us changing the way we think about each other and the world we live on together.

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