Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | February 4, 2015

Is That All There Is?

Q: “Is that all there is? ..”

A: “No. There’s more…

There is far more to strive for…

There is more to achieve…

There is more to buy…

There is more to work for…

There is far more in the storeroom. There is more coming in tomorrow. There is more in the offing. There is more in our catalogue. There is more in the back. There is more in the factory. There is more in stock. There is more coming off the assembly line. There is more being manufactured in China as we speak…

There is always more stuff. ”

This is the answer we have been given for everything.

This is the standard answer.

This is the only standardized answer available.

Work hard to be able to afford it, and then we will fill up your life with stuff.

Durable or non durable stuff has caused a glut in our lives same as the plastic island growing in the middle of the Pacific where the  vortex of the oceans collect all of it’s junk.

And we play along. We work more — and we buy more.

We work and we exchange our lives for the new car, the new house, and the new I-phone, so we can keep up with whatever is coming off the assembly lines of China.

Still we have the banker-wankers to please so we must service this debt that makes us eternal slaves to the mighty machine lubricating our live with bondage.

But in this laboratory rat race we fail to remember that we have lost our moorings to our Real Life.

We have lost the attachment to our families and to our communities.

We have lost the sense of closeness to our children, and we have lost faith in our marriages.

We have forsaken our values and forgotten our principles.

But Why have we lost so much?

Because…

All this is coming down the pike simply because we have lost our sense of meaning and purpose.

Because we focused on non durable good and value to pursue. We focused on the fallen idols of wealth and shinny glory, and we work ourselves to death because there will be always more plastic shit and money necessary in order to reach out and buy more of that stuff with which to replace the real values that we’ve lost in our life.

That was the promise…

But now that this promise has evaporated, all around Europe and beyond, the size of this void becomes unbearable.

The realization of the hardships and the benefits of the economic collapse in places like middle America, or middle Europe and especially in those hard hit places like Greece, Spain, and Portugal, has suddenly become deafening and easily intelligible within the hearing range of all of us.

Welcome to our lot.

This is the New World.

It’s not that the old dispensation was necessarily better. Yes it was bad in different ways, but maybe a bit more humane. Hierarchies of class and gender crushed the human spirit as effectively as atomisation. The point is that the void that is filled with the current plastic junk of a throwaway culture — is a void that could have been occupied by a better society, built on mutual support and connectedness, without the stifling stratification of the old order.

Unfortunately the movements that helped to smash the old world and usher in the New World, were misdirected, usurped, and co-opted by the ever growing consumerism.

Individuation, a necessary response to oppressive conformity, is exploitable. New social hierarchies, built around positional goods and conspicuous consumption, took the place of the old. The conflict between individualism and egalitarianism, too readily ignored by those who helped to break the oppressive norms and strictures, does not resolve itself.

So we are lost in the 21st Century, living in a state of social disaggregation that hardly anyone desired, but that is an emergent property of a world reliant on rising consumption to avert economic collapse, saturated with advertising and framed by market fundamentalism. We inhabit a planet our ancestors would have found impossible to imagine: 7 billion people, suffering an epidemic of loneliness. It is a world of our making but not of our choice.

Now it appears that the feast to which we were invited is only for the few. Figures released last week show that wages in the United Kingdom are lower than they were 13 years ago.

A fortnight ago, Oxfam revealed that the top 1% now possesses 48% of the world’s wealth, and by next year it will own as much as everybody else put together.

On the same day, an Austrian company unveiled its design for a new superyacht. It will be built on the hull of an oil tanker, 918 feet long. There will be 11 decks, three helipads, theatres, concert halls and restaurants, electric cars to take the owner and his guests from one end of the ship to the other, and a four-storey ski slope.

In 1949, Aldous Huxley wrote to George Orwell, to argue that his dystopian vision was the more convincing. “The lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. … The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency.”

We see this clearly as the German Efficient power in Europe has enslaved all the various Peoples without the benefit of the SS, the Gestapo, the crazed Adolph, the Auschwitzs and the Birkenaus, and the assorted 25,000 death camps and death factories that the efficient German machine created to kill people. People not at all different than you and me…

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 22.14.38

We’ve seen that and therefore I don’t believe Huxley was wrong.

Today’s ever loving Slavery is managed by the Bankers. The nice German, Swiss, American, British, Belgian, Greek, Spanish, and any other BANKER, is the SS guard of the concentration camp, you live in. The number tattooed in your arm is your tax ID and your credit score. Your pass to work and live is your credit card. And your meal ticket is your obedience to the system…

Think of it…

Your number as a Consumer is up and you are led to the gas chamber of isolation when you stop paying and playing the game.

Stop consuming and you are dead.

Dead and discarded…

Consumerism is at odds with common purpose.

But then there is the other side of the coin too.

The giant corporations and the uber-wealthy and powerful 0.01% who not only don’t pay taxes anywhere, and who don’t bother to support their communities — but who also seek to make you a Slave to their view of the world by “buying” the politicians and pre-selecting or nominating by virtue of their wealth, the ones you can vote for.

Running political campaigns is extremely expensive and the few people who put money in political campaigns in any effective way are the bread and butter of all politicians. So a pre-selection filter is applied in all of our Democracies that privately finance Elections, and the wealthy donor CHOOSE and thus nominate those able to LEAD you.

Simple as that.

Money buys elections and in the great US of A, after the Supreme Court decision to treat corporations as people thereby giving them unlimited power of Election finance as a Right to Free Speech — we are royally and not enjoyably Screwed.

Companies now have unprecedented Money and Power and as machines seeking an ever increasing EFFICIENCY they follow the evil German model of extermination of all those that are different here.

“Arbeit macht frei” (German for “Work Will Set You Free”) is the sign that was placed over the entrances to a great number of Nazi concentration … The slogan can still be seen at several sites, including over the entrance to Auschwitz, Dachau, Orienburg, and many more. 

And it set people and especially Jews FREE alright… In a cloud of puffy white smoke up the chimneys of the crematoriums where they were gassed and burned by the Nazis in the millions.

But going back to the everyday tax scufflaws: You could pay your taxes properly, or you could evade your Social responsibility and instead spend the money on a new car.

This division, stifles human feeling, dulling our concern for other people and for our children as well.

Freedom to spend our hard earned money, displaces other freedoms, as pot smoking allows us to forget our losses. Most forms of peaceful protest are now banned, but no one stops us from devouring the resources upon which future generations will depend. All this helps the global oligarchs to rip holes in the social safety net, find relief from the constraints of both democracy and taxation, and enclose and privatisize our common weal.

Just as human society has been pulled apart by consumerism and materialism, pushing us into an unprecedented Age of Loneliness, so ecosystems have been shattered by the same forces. It is the consumerist mindset, raised to the global scale, that now threatens us with climate breakdown, catalyses a sixth great extinction, imperils global water supplies and strips the soil upon which all human life depends.

But nor do I believe that the acceptance of servitude Huxley envisaged is a permanent state. Wage stagnation, the brutality of the new conditions of employment, the breaking of the link between educational attainment and social advancement, the impossibility, for many young people, of finding good housing, all these confront us with the question that could be deferred only during conditions of rising general prosperity: is this all there is?

In Europe, as the growth of the politics of compassion and the political rise of human centred progressive parties like Syriza and Podemos suggests, in Greece and Spain respectively, with all other countries to follow suit — we are lowly awakening.

We become awake to the reality that we cannot build political movements to challenge these issues unless we also build society. And it is telling that thee parties have been building coalitions of organizers of social change to claim the necessary Authority, Gravitas, and the votes necessary, to carry them into power.

It is a potent lesson to all oligarchies out there and to the people wanting to shake off the yoke of their self chosen SLAVERY.

It is not enough to urge people to change their politics — we must create not only communities of interest but also communities of mutual support, offering the security, survival and respect that the state no longer provides.

Only then we can become powerful enough to take over the state and make it HUMAN all over again as Democracy was meant to be in the first instance.

Demos is after all the crowdsourced assembly of the people.

People — not corporations, nor partie, nor PACs, nor PR machines, nor Yesmen, and Lobbies.

PEOPLE.

Just that.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

And along the precipice of what is going to replace today’s bankrupt political parties and erstwhile Ideologies — here come the faint assemblages of PEOPLE of purpose and mission, who care about the issues and who are seriously doing something about it.

Such a brilliant organization is Friends Of the Earth. Let’s examine them a bit now, because they could become like Syriza of Greece, and Podemos of Spain, for England and the United Kingdom. A veritable Changemaker.

FOE has woken up and in a remarkable series of contemplations, extending beyond its familiar brief, the organization Friends of the Earth under a new leadership has begun to explore how we might reconnect, with each other and with the natural world.

FOE is looking, for example, at new models for urban living, based on sharing rather than competitive consumption: the sharing not just of cars and appliances and tools, but also of money (through credit unions and micro-finance) and power.

This FOE idea means not just the idol of “Sharing Economy” but shared political power by community-led decision-making, over transport, planning and, perhaps, rent levels, minimum and maximum wages, municipal budgets and taxation. Such initiatives are not a substitute for government action – like David Cameron’s wordy yet empty Big Society, that are meaningless without facilitation from the state – but they can bring people together with a sense of shared purpose, ownership and mutual support that centralised decision-making can never provide.

Friends of the Earth [FOE] also supports the empathy revolution championed by the author Roman Krznaric, and lifelong education that might counter the ever narrower schooling now inflicted on our children, whose purpose is to prepare people for jobs they will never have, in the service of an economy ordered for the benefit of others.

In these ideas and movements we find the glimmerings of an answer to the question: no, this is not all there is. There is attachment. Despite the best efforts of those who believe there is no such thing as society, we have not lost our ability to connect.

We are still able and destined to win this Society, because COMMUNITY is ingrained in our DNA and it cradles our shaken beliefs in Humanity.

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