Friday, February 21, 2014
See If This Doesn't Put You in a Mind To Revolt
I watched the documentary Revolution that's now airing on Movie Central (yeah, I know, pay tv - hey, it's the only way I can get HBO). It's not enjoyable to watch, anything but. It is, however, a real wake-up call and a powerful instrument for recalibrating one's moral compass.
One point stood out among all the others - that no civilization can survive if it destroy's nature's life support systems. The point was made, as I have done countless times here, that mankind is destroying and exhausting the very support systems that we depend upon to live. Deforestation, the destruction of our forests. Desertification, the exhaustion of once productive farmland and the transformation of that land into sterile desert. Species depletion and exhaustion, notable in the collapse of global fisheries and the relentless devastation of biodiversity. Resources depletion and exhaustion, particularly our rapid and relentless overconsumption of our freshwater resources and the draining of our fossil aquifers. The contamination of our air, our soil and our water in ways and at rates far beyond the environment's natural ability to cleanse them.
Only a society or a civilization gone mad could embrace, simultaneously, so many self-destructive practices. These things are simply not survivable.
Why is this happening? One clue came from another point in the documentary. Of our world's 100 largest economies, 51 are corporations. Let that rattle around inside your skull for a few minutes. We know that economies influence, even shape, other economies. The Canadian economy, for example, is heavily influenced by the American economy. The Chinese economy influences just about every other national economy and many of the corporate economies in the world. Does anyone believe these enormous corporate economies, that often operate in lockstep, aren't influencing, perhaps even steering the litany of self-destructive behaviours listed in the second paragraph above?
After watching Revolution it was apparent that we're not going to be able to avoid a fight for the survival of future generations. We have to face facts. The corporations and the political apparatus in their service stand against us and will, if we let them, defeat us. They have no intention of stopping those self-destructive behaviours because, at an operating level, they don't share our interest in survival. Whether it's Stephen Harper, Joe Oliver or the Koch brothers (Hermann und Dieter), Enbridge or BP or any of the banks and investment houses that support them, they don't have your back, they're on your back and they're not going to let go until you throw them off.
Harper keeps hammering home the same point - as far as he's concerned it's all about the economy. Any CEO of a major multinational would tell you it's all about his corporation's economy. Is it any wonder we are beset by this powerfully undemocratic merger of political and corporate power?
It's not survivable. As long as these people have the wheel, we're headed full-bore for a Thelma & Louise moment. It's time we got out of the back seat and took over the front seat.