The World Just Got a Little Worse—Again
But let there be hope!
Pollution, pandemic, and Putin. That's the new triumvirate of pestilence in the world. Pollution causes climate change, the pandemic is COVID, and Putin causes Ukraine. It is easy to get depressed. It is easy to become despondent. And so for a while, at least, I choose to stand in that. To face the gravity of what is happening. I refuse to deny it, to pretend it isn’t there. Sorry, I cannot fully embrace the “gospel of abundance” because it is not happening for so many people. Ukrainians fleeing, island nations going underwater, freak storms and fires raging at the wrong time of the year, and almost one million Americans are dead from COVID. Yeah… some abundance.
And yet, despondence is our enemy. While FDR could implore the nation by saying “All we have to fear is fear itself," and thereby galvanize people into economic activity, what would that mean today? These problems are not personally actionable.
The temptation, of course, is to go inward. Resist the urge to act—do nothing. Reflect. Try to find inner joy. FDR's rallying cry might change to “Don’t just do something, stand there!” Take it in, consider it, find your peace.
I find the dissonance in this approach difficult. Find my peace while the world is falling apart? Isn’t this as much a denial as climate deniers and anti-mask activists? They are the kings of “do nothing,” aren’t they?
I read a story about a Ukrainian woman and her music troupe that was fearlessly going to the shelters to help soothe people and bring some joy to the people. All war zones seem to give rise to this. I remember a theater company persevering in Herzegovina. I remember an artist refusing to put down his paintbrush in Baghdad. What is it about war and the tragedy of human life on Earth that brings out art… that brings out beauty? Maybe this is the only thing we can do to counter this terrible world. Create beauty.
The thing about beauty is that it resists the fight. All the issues have opponents and advocates, and either side adds to the fight. Creating beauty only creates beauty. It may last and it may not. But it is an act that somehow counters ugliness. The creation is an artistic practice; it is something we do. The presentation is an artistic show; something we give. Neither may last, and both may be eternal. The entire process is generative of a new world.
So whether your art is writing or gardening, painting or athletics, music or theater… know that its practice is important. Indeed, it is the only thing you can do that won’t feed the monster of conflict and the worsening of the world.
On the other hand…
Here are some articles showing the ongoing development of a new postcapitalist world. My Medium.com publication, The Postcapitalist, is just getting started. But we have an excellent article from Stuart Ferguson illustrating the organic, self-organizing principles of a postcapitalist world. Note that all the people in the story volunteer, and that is precisely what we would expect with a basic income in place as well.
Regs approved… watch out for your driving job!
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Ideas, insights, and imagination to help you live better in a worsening world. Topics include Men, #MeToo, and Masculinity; Postcapitalism; Climate Change; Digitalization and Cryptocurrency; Green Energy; Retirement and financial planning… basically everything that addresses making life better in this challenging time of history.
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