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The World Is A Ghetto

The utter failure of our current systems, whether energy and food production, finance, healthcare, or the war machine, creates a stench that permeates our lives in every corner. Our quality of life is threatened at every turn, whether it’s trying to keep oneself employed, keep a home that’s lost substantial value, keep healthcare while being ripped off, or seeing the death, destruction and waste from U.S. incursions in Iraq, Afganistan and wherever else "our leaders" choose to attack.  Our planet is ruled by money, and its concentration among a handful of elites has left the rest of us impoverished.

This is not a new phenomenon. Historically there has always been a large class of paupers. The ‘great experiment’ of the United States did create a middle class, unprecedented in its size and scope from previous cultures. As Howard Zinn described, this middle class became ‘the guards’, protecting the wealthy elites from the rebellions of the impoverished and working poor. What’s changed recently is that this very middle class is now threatened by the rampant greed of the elite class.

The decisions of those with and in power have neglected the communities and environments they exist within for too long. The brutal disregard for the common good is evidenced by just about every global corporation, especially if they’re directly involved with energy, food, money, healthcare, media or war.

The dramatic case-in-point right now is oil gushing out of a 21" hole in the ocean floor 50 miles from New Orleans. The absolute greed of BP was such that it blinded them from using procedures that could have easily prevented this disaster and protected the company’s fortunes, now at risk as their stock value plummets. But the damage is [being] done, and we’ll be dealing with it for a generation, at the least. And our Earth is now the poorer for all the richness of the gulf ecosystem that is lost.

But is this unmitigated disaster unique? Can we look at our world and say, like Kentucky Senatorial Candidate Rand Paul, "accidents happen" as though that’s the end of the story? Pick a problem area – global warming, violence and terrorism, crime, starvation, frankenfoods, community decline, etc. Pick a continent – deforestation, pollution, habitat loss, species extinction, soil depletion, unbridled corporate growth, etc. Pick a people – Asians, Indonisians, Europeans, Africans, Native, African and Euro Americans, etc – we’re all under duress. 

Our world has been dominated by Industrial Capitalism for over two hundred years. As Industrialism has morphed into globalism, it’s flaws and failures have become similarly scaled. Government, the supposed bastion of defense against the worst excesses of corporations, is instead a bribed and willing accomplice to such bloated industry. Do not Haliburton, General Dynamics and the company formerly known as Blackwater whisper policy requests to the U.S. Government? Do they not demand more drones, more guns, more killing to keep themselves in luxury? Is there any other reason we go to war when police action would be far more effective in fighting the current straw man, ‘terrorists’? Blatant greed with utter disregard for citizens and ecologies is their operating system There is no other explanation for the state of our world today.

These are long-standing institutions and their attitudes, policies and behaviors will not be willingly changed. Notwithstanding, the elitists, their culture and their methodology are quickly becoming dinosaurs, not yet aware of the sea change going on in our culture. 

 The Walmarts, the ExxonMobils, the General Electrics, the Haliburtons – they and their ilk must change or die. BP has created the tipping point with the horrific decision-making that led to the gulf gusher, and the equally horrific decisions in responding to this gusher. This situation will not blow over like so many ‘accidents’ in the past. This is too big, too many lives are effected, and the damage to the gulf ecosystem is too enormous. Unless BP does a quick 180degree turn away from their attitude and approach so far, they will bankrupt. 

The good news is we are not helpless. Our purchasing decisions impact the situation. We can boycott BP and other offending corporations. We can support emerging industries like organic foods, green buildings, public transit and renewable energies, aiding the transformation. And most importantly, we can migrate our energies toward local energy and food production. To the extent that we strengthen our local communities and meet our needs on the local level, we undermine the model of corporate greed and control that we’ve been witnessing for the last 30 years.

World 5.0. It’s a new way to talk about our common problems. A new way to think about challenges and how to face them. You can be liberal or conservative and still love integrity. You can be Muslim or Jew and still love justice. You can be businessman or environmentalist and still love balance. You can be anyone and still love Love. We have to find our common ground, our areas of common interest, and remove the corporate and governmental obstacles to pursuing those interests. If not now when, if not us who then?


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