Socialism is not enough

Pursuing our dream of individual liberties and gratifications is killing us.

Socialism is not enough

With increasing interest in socialism and its anticipated advantages in addressing current global crises, it has been argued that moving the means of production to control by the workers is unlikely to curtail the mass mining, clear-cut forestry, and carbon-fuel industries, for a few examples, that are disrupting this planet’s living systems, with serious threat to the survival of much of current life on Earth.

I suggest that two influences closer than political/economic systems to the root of current crisis-causing mass behaviour, especially in the mainstream culture/society, are as follows:

One, our loss of practical, everyday awareness that humans and nature are not two separate entities, but that, truly, we humans are nothing but aspects of, sub-systems within, and inseparably in interaction with, the whole living system, the biosphere of Earth. Among some indigenous peoples, the names they call themselves have been translated as “The people and the land are one”.

That way of knowing is deeply different from the myth of the individual which is fundamental to mainstream cultures, and which enables the second influence that I suggest as a root to our demise: the common attitude and belief of entitlement — people believing that their rights include certain liberties:

• To have whatever we want, which drives consumerism and an immensity of unnecessary manufacture, resource extraction, pollution, etc., and

• To go wherever and whenever we want, which is at the root of our disastrous all-consuming private automobile culture and our recreational air travel.

By our ideas of separateness and entitlement, we have created a self-destructive economy and society. Pursuing our dream of individual liberties and gratifications is killing us.

John Mowat Steven


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