The Question...ID: 481
posted: 13 Aug 2000
updated: 01 Apr 2002
I hope to make the issues of your work apparent to others but admit to a sense of hopelessness in this task. The rich, because they gain from the System, and the poor, because they feel trapped by it, will block any attempt at change. We know that the current trend can only end in social collapse. Ideally, we would prevent the collapse, but I don't see how. Do you? We have the beginning and the end of a story: The problems our society has now, and some outline of what we would like to see. What is missing is the middle chapters: the method of getting the masses, both rich and poor, to break the system they have benefitted from and been trapped by. Because this middle part is missing, I'm beginning to lose faith in a happy ending. I feel as though there is a very simple path, just beyond perception, that is always just a couple of steps away. I can't see it but feel that it is there, and the more I read about where the path leads, the more frustrating it gets that we don't know in which direction to tread.
The notion that rich and poor will join hands to create a new social and economic order for humanity is utopianism at its worst, and waiting for it to happen sheer folly. The question I raise in Beyond Civilization is, at base, why should there be one and only one socio-economic system for the whole of humanity? To suppose that there can only be one such system, to which all must adhere, is rather like supposing that there should be only one ideal game that everyone should play or only one ideal sport in which everyone should engage or one ideal vehicle that everyone should travel in.
You're quite right to be in despair if you expect the whole of the present world order to vanish and be replaced root and branch by a new one. You may as well put your faith in the preposterous idea that humanity is (within the next fifty years!) going to evolve to a higher state of being. If the world is going to change (and we have no guarantee that it IS going to change), we must be content to change it INCREMENTALLY rather than comprehensively.
The present world order was built not by people sitting down and working it out in a great council but by people pursuing their self-interests, their own desire to attain a good a life (incrementally). If the world is going to change, we must (as I've tried to do in my own writing) try to point people in a new direction in which to realize their self-interests (incrementally). This is what the New Tribal Revolution is about: not expecting people to embrace a poor life but showing them another way to attain a good life--a way that worked for humans for millions of years.
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