In our Northern American society citizens are vendors, business persons. You have to sell something to make a living. The only product most of us have to market is our time/energy, our labor, which we sell to the highest bidder. Education and skill improve our competitive position as employees. Employers increase profits when they reduce or keep wages low. Most of us drudge away our sales day, at best making the best of it. Failure at or refusal to engage in business has serious consequences – the street being the ultimate enforcer, the bottom line.
So our life-blood is traded for whatever level of food, shelter, education, health care and entertainment, we can attain. But suppose these were givens, the goal in fact of our society as a whole, for all, instead of enrichment of the few, the clever and the ruthless?
Suppose we set out as a nation to solve this riddle: how to create a society whose top priority is the basics (food, shelter, education, health care) for every citizen, at a sustainable level – one which doesn’t despoil the earth, air, soil, water? This as the driving force of our culture, to replace the current one, pursuit of profits, privilege and power.
If this attempt were made anywhere else and showed the least chance of success it would be crushed, as it was in Nicaragua, Chile and other countries, by the United States. This explains U.S. hostility toward Cuba as well. It is Cuba’s anti-capitalism, not its lack of democracy that upsets U.S. rulers. Change has to happen here and before the momentum of patriarchal capitalism finally consolidates its power internationally.
It will happen when we elect state and national governments, and courts, who embrace these values. That can only happen if we-the-people first adopt them, which can only happen through grass roots education, which we best be about. Well, there is another means to this, subject for another post. It is to be found, not exclusively but clearly, in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle.