A Disturbance in The Force
In the first Star Wars, “A New Hope”, Obi Wan Kenobi reacts to the destruction caused by the Imperial Death Star blowing up the planet Alderaan: “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”
Here on Planet Earth something terrible has happened. Here The Empire does not possess Death Stars, but it does possess the same misaligned priorities as any other empire. Simply, to maintain and grow The Empire. And that happens at our expense. It literally happens with our money. It is the opposite of government of, by and for the people.
The Empire on Planet Earth can be expressed as the ‘Corporate Nation-State’, where global corporations operate around and above the laws of any given nation-state, and that only when they’re not writing the laws themselves. They are the proverbial bull in a china shop, powerful, reckless and uncaring, unaware of the deep hurt they cause, as they ‘see’ only profits. Despoiled lands, factory farms, sweat shops, melting icecaps, broken lives - they see these things not-at-all, except as they potentially impinge on profits.
Since World War II, when the U.S. [and U.S. corporations] wrestled the mantle of Empire from the British, the United States Federal Government became the perfect ‘goon squad’ and enabler of corporate power. We get platitudes during election cycles, and we get raped by policies that reduce real wages, ruin our ecosystems and destroy our communities once these folks are in office. After the boondoggle that was healthcare reform, the financial crisis and the Gulf Gusher [and tepid response], not to mention our constant wars, no reasonable person can surmise otherwise.
We need only to hear those who come to the defense of Goldman Sachs against substantive financial reform, those who defend BP’s ‘accident’ as though there was no negligence, or the champions of endless war to appreciate our tenuous position as citizens. Tenuous indeed.
And yet Empire is even more insidious than this. The global weapons trade business is fantastic in more ways than one. At a trillion dollars per year, it’s the biggest single expenditure on the planet. And when we follow the money? We find some few profiting handsomely at our expense. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Government, true to form, continuously finds a bogeyman to justify the abhorrent behavior of violence. First the Russians and Cubans, then Serbs, Venezualans, and now ‘terrorists’, who, if the situation were reversed, we would call ‘freedom fighters’. We even went after the people of Granada when The War Machine needed a diversion from domestic policies during the Reagan presidency.
The U.S. is not only the largest purveyor of weapons, it is the largest buyer of weaponry as well. Therefore the huge corporations [Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Bechtel, Aegis] who profit from the global paradigm of war, have as their prime objective the continued policies of war. Smells like Empire.
And, as Job One of Empire is to maintain control and grow more powerful, our options as a citizenry are decidedly small. Ideally, we vote for representatives who have the integrity to resist and reverse the inclination toward war. There are some few. But with the distracted and propagandized minds of our citizens vs. the money, power and influence of global corporations, our chances for success are not good. Democracy requires an educated citizenry - hardly likely where the corporations control the media.
As attested by Naomi Klein in “Shock Doctrine Economics”, the more recent technique of the ruling elites leverages disasters to “privatize the profits, socialize the losses”, the age old mantra of corporations and elites. There are dozens of examples showing how nation-state citizenry has been exploited in this way. New Orleans after Katrina comes to mind. A recent example was Goldman Sachs’ hiding of Greece’s debt, and then selling ‘shorts’ where they gambled that Greece would default on its debt, a very inside game. Or how they got out of the US housing market after its collapse and got into global food derivatives, causing the 2008 food spike that cause starvation for perhaps 200 million in poor nations. But under the rules of Empire, completely legal.
The financial duress of nearly every nation-state on earth these days is by design. More disasters, more “capitalism”. But it’s not truly capitalism, because the biggest players make and distort the rules. There is no level playing field. Honest competition, like in sports or games, requires clear and just rules. So it’s perfectly consistent that in every major area of commerce, there are but a few corporations in control. The healthcare system, the energy sector, the war machine, food production, the financial sector - all controlled by a handful of corporations. More privatizing profits and socializing costs - the antithesis of a healthy culture.
This, my friends, is what we, the people of Earth, are up against. It’s actually a very old system, reaching back to emperors and dictators and early corporations like the East India Trading Company. Any old excuse will do for war, conquest, resource extraction and human subjugation. Only the scale has changed, as global corporations continue to consolidate power, but it has changed to our detriment.
We cannot defeat this system by fighting it. They have all the money, guns, media and influence. We defeat this system by replacing it, one decision at a time.
But first let’s step back and consider ‘A Disturbance in the Force’ a bit more clearly. From the perspective of Eternal Awareness, there are no disturbances. In God, in This Moment, All is One and the dance and drama that are part and parcel of being Here in no way impinge on the Peace of Stillness inherent in Eternal Awareness.
And yet, as people attempt to live out their lives, and find, for example, that their livelihood and local ecosystem are ruined for years and possibly decades to come, there is clearly a disturbance in The Force. As our individual or collective health fails, or as we fall into financial ruin due to the excesses of the corporate nation-state, there is clearly a disturbance in The Force here on Planet Earth.
While the status of the Gulf Gusher is in question, and even long after, we on Planet Earth suffer from a disturbance in The Force that is fatal to millions of creatures in the area, cataclysmic to local residents, and laden with ecological effects that may take centuries to heal. We clearly need a new system, a new methodology and roadmap for restoring health and balance to our systems of government and commerce. A way to heal the disturbance in The Force.
World 5.0 defines the emerging cultural paradigm, a name for the the new awareness and collaboration emerging spontaneously among many of us for healing ourselves and our Earth. A world view that stands in stark contrast to the old elitist corporate nation-state paradigm. A world view that supports life, health and happiness.
World 5.0 begins Here, with The Three Truths, and ends with us creating Heaven on Earth. Briefly, The Three Truths state that, contrary to what we’ve been taught, we do not live in past, present and future. We live Here. This Moment is the only point in time that exists. It is the singular junction where past becomes future. It is the only moment we experience. If this seems incorrect, try to leave. It’s impossible. Second, as we are all 'stuck' Here, what matters most is our intent, to be afraid or to Love. And third, only Love makes us happy. These truths merits consideration and contemplation.
Heaven on Earth? Such a lofty goal is not only an ideal, it’s a requirement considering our dying planet and the unholy state of our world. Leaving consideration of personal transformation aside, our social transformation occurs as our intent and our decisions align with the World5 worldview.
We start by throwing off the mantle of fear ingrained in the World4 mentality. We are far less susceptible to manipulation when we are unafraid, and learning to let go of fear is the key component of personal transformation. More of us are engaged in this healing activity than at any time in our history.
Outlandish as it seems in these corrosive times, anything is possible in the Eternity of This Moment. The global change we seek may not happen overnight, but it becomes inevitable as more and more of us make more and more conscious decisions that support local communities and distance ourselves from our corporate overlords. [Too strong a term? How else would you categorize BP with their arrogant response to their self-created disaster?]
Every decision to buy organic, locally-produced food undermines Monsanto’s goal of global control of our food production system. Every time we eat at a locally owned restaurant, or shop a locally owned business, we mitigate the effects of factory farming and Walmart’s sweat shops. Every time we choose to insulate our homes, walk or bike instead of drive, or adjust our thermostats for less energy use, we win a small battle against BP and other global energy interests. And every time we start some enterprise with the goal of integrity, balancing profit with community and other stakeholder interests, we are involved in redesigning our culture.
Just as the previous four ages in our civilization have all been driven by technological leaps, World5 is the age driven by the invention and development of The Internet. The remarkable level of communication now possible, along with the repository, research and collaboration it enables, do not just give us a new tool, but a whole array of new tools based on this platform. World 5.0 is the cultural transformation that accompanies the Internet's technical transformation.
The InterWeb expedites the process of learning tremendously. Learning consists of finding facts or collecting raw data, ordering them into patterns to create information, researching the information to create knowledge, and working and playing with that knowledge to create wisdom. This is the methodology for design. This is the process for repairing and restoring. This is the hope for resolving conflict, and for transformation.
The world that brought us financial collapse, a permanent war paradigm and the Gulf Gusher is the threadbare culture of World4, The Industrial Age. While one can argue its benefits, the lust for power was the dominant social interest. In the last century, the biggest single cause of human death was other humans. In World5, our intent is to recognize our reality of being together Here, and moving forward in Love, as Love is a far wiser choice than fear.
A WORLD5 RESPONSE
So what might be the response to the Catastrophe in the Gulf if we lived in a World5 culture? For starters, we would not have allowed drilling regulations to be written by energy corporations. In Europe, no wells are drilled without substantially greater safeguards, including a relief well being drilled in tandem with the main well, just in case there are situations such as those that led to the Gulf Disaster.
But in the case of the Gulf Gusher, such measures are water under the bridge. No matter if the new cap effectively stops the flow, the damage is gigantic, irreversible and will take generations to mitigate. The loss of life, species and diversity will continue for years, and is indeed a great disturbance in The Force.
But back to the remedy. In a World5 culture, as soon as the oil rig exploded there would be an independent, government-supported analysis of the situation, soon followed by a Gulf Coast Reconstruction Authority, with the ability to garner research, apply resources and manage the various operations. Subpoena power would be granted, so that the offending corporations would have to come clean about the actions that led to the gusher, and so that everyone has free access to all information related to the disaster.
Universities and research institutions could bring a plethora of ideas for mitigating the worst effects, as opposed to BP’s intense use of chemical dispersants whose short-comings and toxicity are unknown. Not surprisingly, BP has an ownership stake in the corporation that produces the dispersant Corexit. The stench of Empire.
Microbes, soaps, separators, and whatever else we could come up with would all play their part in a balanced response. Skimmers and other oil removing equipment would be quickly deployed, and deployed with the knowledge of where they will be most effective. Local, state and federal governments would each provide guidance in areas where they are most effective. Small businesses and companies would be employed as fully as possible to mitigate the effects. And most importantly, people would be empowered to help in every way possible, whether directly in oil mitigation, or in support of those efforts through food, transportation, financial help and other services.
Compare and contrast that with BP and our federal government’s response. BP’s goal, sadly, is to reduce their liability and spreading their incurred costs over as long a time as possible. That’s why the dispersants. That’s why the bad information. Again, privatize the profits, socialize the costs. We’re seeing this happen in The Gulf in spades.
It would be nice to say we can still do this. To say a World5 response is still possible. But it is not. As long as BP runs the cleanup, we’re in trouble. As long as our government is more concerned with corporate welfare than citizen welfare, we’re in trouble. As long as information is withheld, as long as BP foot-drags paying the bills, as long as whole species are being decimated and going extinct, we’re in trouble.
We have to get out of trouble. We won’t get out of trouble with bogus efforts and misinformation. We have only one course. We have to recreate our systems and culture to end corporate dominance of our government. There is no other way. And moving beyond the corporate nation-state is core to the design and implementation of World 5.0.
Forty years ago a bunch of us young folks took to the streets to revolt against an unfair war, a lack of equality and systemic corruption. This time let's get it right. Please join us.