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We Deserve a Future - Jason Louv

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This is an entry in The Future We Deserve - a collaborative book project about the future. See all the entries or talk about this entry.



Overpopulation. Resource scarcity. These are the problems that underly all the wars, plagues, famine and, in many cases, disease. I believe that, ultimately, we will be faced with only two solutions to these problems: to get more resources and places for people to live, or to get less people. Space migration or genocide.

Encouraging the first, and averting the second, will require progress towards a more cohesive, unified world. The only way to function as a space-going race, or to circumvent the persistent "Othering" which allows for the dehumanization that makes genocide possible is, I believe, to function as a World Group. Our current divided system allows wheat to rot in the fields while millions starve. It allows the cosmic destiny of mankind to go untapped while government teams build billion-dollar parts for spacecraft which will never be assembled, simply to justify their funding. We can do better. We need a form of global cohesiveness that will work for individuals, not against them.

We need a One World Community. Not a one world government—which would imply fascist centralization of power—but a collaborative linking of global citizens increasingly able to see the world as a single system and work across the false political, racial and religious boundaries of the last millennium. Who are able to collaborate in maintaining a life-supporting world, in all senses of the word "life," in real time.

Theodore Roszak's Ecopsychology suggests that there can be no true assessment of the symptomology of a patient without seeing the patient as a microcosm, a holographic splinter of the world, and that the true healing of an individual can and must begin with a healing of the world that they live in; their larger, extended self. (From a more limited ideological perspective, we can see echoes of this in the SPK or Socialist Patients' Collective, the West German therapy group that, inspired by the 1968 student revolutions, declared that the REAL underlying psychological issue affecting the supposedly individual pathologies of patients was the inherent contradictions of late capitalism.)

Individuals able to think of the world as a single coherent system, and able to think beyond all false boundaries and dichotomies that, in truth, only exist as modularities within that system, are going to be increasingly needed. We are weighted with the outmoded dreams of dead men and dead systems, walking-corpse institutions and undead, blood-sucking ideologies long past their expiration date which yet haunt the planet, entrapping the joy of the living within the dead ribcage walls of their rotting, false order, and which direly need a stake through the heart simply because they are no longer relevant.

Yet as persistent as they can be, these old models are failing and falling all around us. We are called to create new ones, new models, new approaches to living that can make meaning from the world as it is, not as it was. We need new models for seeing the totality of the world system, for making sense of our growing exposure to information, for the ever-accelerating way in which we witness events happening in the world. We need new ways of assessing and utilizing our resources. We need new ways of co-existing with each other, of building community, of connecting and collaborating.

The alternative is to continue on the path we are already on, to the logical conclusion of globalization as it currently functions.

I have a persistent and troubling image of a potential future for our race that I can't quite seem to shake—as overpopulation increases and the dehumanizing abuses of the globalists continue, I can see a time in which human beings live in conditions not much different from the way we keep feed animals now. Imagine yourself growing up in a ten-by-ten pen, fed on sedatives and antibiotic drips to keep the sores now growing on your body due to close confinement from killing you, or to slow the spread of the pandemics sure to arise from such a situation. It's the condition we see fit to impose upon the mammals just below us on the tree of life and, after all, you are what you eat.

Imagine yourself growing up attached to a computer, farming data for your corporate overlords, lost in the pornographic virtual realities produced to keep you complacent just as prostitutes were kept on the payroll by companies to keep miners, railroad workers and other large-project manual laborers from revolting in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Imagine being born into wide-scale camps little different from the corporate prisons that currently dot the landscape of the United States, but that nobody talks about—hells into which illegal immigrants and drug users are de facto disappeared and converted to slave labor for corporations like Sodexho-Marriott. Just under the surface veneer of America, this is what already lurks: factory farms, corporate prisons, the uncomfortable truth that slavery never ended, it just got sneakier. The uncomfortable truth, especially post-NDAA, that this may be what they have planned for all of us.

Such, I fear, is the dream of the elites: the ability to tag, sedate, transport, and utilize human beings as resources in much the same way that we currently use cattle. Watch how the corporate elite—Monsanto, for instance—treat crops and animals. You think they see human beings as any different? They've already begun to execute plans to cull the herd, to slowly weaken, poison and decimate our ranks with chemical additives and pesticides as surely as the native tribes were wiped away with smallpox blankets. The Codex Alimentarius, there for all to see. Or consider the voluntary surveillance system called Facebook, or the monthly bill you pay for the iPhone that slowly gives you brain cancer while it tracks your every movement. This is what they want: A mechanized planet with no humanity or compassion, only Production. A concentration camp world, slowed down so you don't notice what's happening to you; mashed up with Disneyland so you don't care.

Perhaps (one hopes) this is more of a persistent fear than an impending reality, a "monster under the bed," a shadow mythology which stands as a signpost marked "do not go here." Either way, we would do well to heed the signpost.

Our world is unifying. We have a choice of doing so with brute force, as is currently being done, or doing it with intelligence, wisdom and compassion. To begin to drop the shells we have built around ourselves and reach out to each other, or to further calcify in mutual fear and distrust to the point that our shells become prisons, quite literally. In the face of the Machine, of annihilation, we are tasked with re-centering our world on our humanity, our humane-ity.

We deserve a future. It is so easy to lose hope, to become entrenched in the self-loathing that can infect and corrode so quickly. Yes, we have done terrible things, all still fresh in our memory. Yes, we continue to do terrible things. But it is all too tempting to allow the will-to-annihilation to neutralize us. To, unconsciously or not-so-unconsciously, hold to the belief that, whatever horrors await us in the 21st century, we deserve them. That perhaps we should be wiped out as a species, since we cause nothing but pain to the world that bore and which bears us.

This is one of the greatest traps, the greatest deceptions. For all of our horrors, we are, at the end of it all, The Human Race, the ones who brought you such greatest hits as the Sistine Chapel and a man risking his life to push a homeless girl out of the way of a speeding bus. The moon landing and every sudden and unprompted moment of compassion you have experienced, and shown, in your life. Who brought you weird coffee shop art and freaky dances.

If it can be hard to see, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. That basic goodness.

The stars or the bomb: This is your choice.