An organic political economic system desperately in need of change from its roots is still being operated as though snipping some damaged petals and watering it with more distilled liquid will make a difference while disregarding the deadly poisoned plot from which it emanates. The growing evidence that producing everything humanity needs for survival and growth purely on the basis of that production creating private profit at a market, which will then, according to the dogma, produce social good, is still operative and bringing humanity closer to a point at which physical salvation could become impossible.
Now operating for several hundred years and most recently dominated by the USA, the global system of capitalism shows more signs of disintegration than even its leading 19th century critic forecast, with political, economic and ecological systems showing signs of breakdown all desperately denied by the minority of humanity which still remains on the profit side of the ledger, though it grows smaller in number every day even as its profits grow greater. Where once there were hundreds of thousands of millionaires now there are thousands of billionaires, holding staggering personal wealth to make feudal lords and pharaohs of the past seem paupers by comparison. And most of this occurs in places almost laughingly if not tragically calling themselves democracies, even with vast numbers of their populations living in poverty and most who are still called a middle class carrying enormous debt in order to survive.
The system was never just, for most humans, and always represented a long-term threat, for all humans, but its social democratic regimes’ ability to spread productive gains over greater populations has long masked its longer range potential for disaster. As that unmistakable pattern becomes clear to all but the willfully blind and profitably ignorant, more people among the majority rally for the radical changes necessary and resistance to that grows among the minority still reaping benefits from the capitalist practices that have brought so much wealth to so many, even while spreading poverty, misery, deprivation and total devastation to greater numbers of people than any historical stumbling and bumbling of humanity’s past.
It took us millennia to move from the seas to the trees to the caves and from nomadic to settled populations in what we eventually called civil societies, as decidedly uncivil as many of them have been and still are. The next move should be towards actual civility among billions of us or it could lead to oblivion for all of us. The ecosystem signs of danger have been obvious to a minority of social critics for almost two hundred years but the evidence has grown so overwhelming that it is now possible for majorities without specialized skills to see, feel and understand the dangers of treating the natural environment as simply another tool to be used as private profit creator in a market environment of humans reduced to consumers of mostly wanton waste.
Whether it is definably material elements like air, land and water, or seemingly less definable immaterial elements like spirit, psyche, and myth, all are under great stress that affects both the definable and still unknown aspects of humanity’s quality and meaning of life. If the food we eat, the air we breathe, the land we till and the societies we build are all simultaneously in danger of contamination, the outcome should be clear and our actions should be equally so in order to save our race and its future. While moves in the direction of the radical change necessary for salvation are encouraging, the power of private capital in control of almost all governments in the world will spell doom if it continues to rule. The growing but still slow move toward real democracy needs to take up far more speed in removing negative minority regimes and replacing them with positive majority forces of democracy which work for the greater good of all and not just the greater profit of a few. Whether what we create is labeled socialism, safe sex, a sharing economy, pattacake, santaland, trani-town or some other meaningless blather such as we’ve become accustomed to in the marketplace, its substance needs to be democratic and its outcome the betterment of all humanity. Labels, as always, matter much less than the content of what they label.