Saturday, 16 January 2010

The REVOLUTION begins here - Part 1

I finished my last post saying that having painted such a bleak, but all too realistic, picture of our situation, in my next post I would present some of my ideas on how, once recognised, we might face up to this existential challenge. So here goes:

The REVOLUTION begins (as John Lennon says in his song of that name) in each individual's head (and heart), with recognition (which John, I guess, lacked) of the perverted Darwinian nature of the power structures which underlie the existing socioeconomic order of state and economy, and of our civilisation in general.

Notwithstanding our complete material and (often neglected) also emotional dependency on it, the whole system is fundamentally flawed, having developed over centuries or millennia as a misplaced and perverted expression of our Darwinian nature (tabooed, rationalise and thus unrecognized), to facilitate society's (self)-exploitation as an artificial environment. This is the context in which history and all the social and political sciences need to be studied and understood.

Since we can survive neither with nor without it, we have no other choice, unless we leave a ruthless Mother Nature to take her course, than to create an alternative, based, not as the existing socioeconomic order is, on the blind (subconscious) perversion of our Darwinian nature, but on a conscious, rational and humane understanding of it, and of the situation it has got us into, which we have to get out of if we want our civilisation (and our children with it) to survive and prosper beyond the middle of the current century.

I realise that recognising this is a huge, initially terrifying, step in itself, but it has to be taken before we can proceed.

Then the next step is to recognise that at the moment "we" are just a tiny, relatively powerless, minority who must cultivate hope and patience, rather than succumbing to frustration or resignation. I've put "we" in quotation marks because there will never be agreement on what this alternative should be, and we cannot afford to waste time arguing or fighting over it. We have to get a move on, which means developing a number of different alternatives, in order to accommodate our major differences. We just need some very basic rules of mutual respect, non-violence and democracy to regulate how the different alternatives interact and cooperate, analogous to those which now regulate relations between the states comprising the European Union.

At the moment we are all totally dependent on state and economy, i.e. capital, which organize society for their own (ultimately, perverted Darwinian) purposes. Creating the necessary alternative(s) requires us organizing OURSELVES, peacefully and grassroots-democratically. These alternatives cannot be created in an instant, but will require time (years) to develop. As they do so, we can transfer our dependencies, activities and vested interests to them, gradually, step by step, each of us, when we are ready and at our own pace - notwithstanding the urgency of our cause. At the moment, at least, any coercion could be totally counter productive, because people naturally and understandably, as a matter of principle, react against it. We need ourselves and others to act from conviction and of our/their own free will. This is what will drive our revolution, in contrast to past revolutions, which, no matter how well-intentioned, have always been forced through and imposed, and have thus miserably failed to achieve their goals.

In liberal democracies like Britain, there is nothing to prevent such a grassroots-democratic revolution, provided we proceed peacefully and within the law. Otherwise the state will simply crush us or incorporate us back into itself, which is what happened to all past revolutions or attempts at revolution.

This revolution must have a base so broad that it can not be easily overturned. And its most basic constituent parts (namely, millions of individuals) so robust that even if they are torn apart, they will quickly reconstitute, i.e. reorganize, themselves once favourable circumstances allow. Just as the whole material universe and the life it has given rise to (certainly here on Earth) are rooted in self-organization at the most basic, atomic and molecular, level, so too with society, where the basic units are the individual and his or her tribe.

Just as atoms, given the right conditions, organise themselves into molecules, molecules into more complex structures (e.g. cell organelles) and these into cells, which differentiate and organise themselves into specific tissues and organs, which finally constitute the finished (but evolving) organism, so too, I suggest, by analogy, with society. Only it is not for me, or anyone else, to tell another individual how he or she should feel and be inclined to self-organize, i.e. which alternative(s) to the existing socioeconomic order, they should commit themselves to.

The state, organized religion and capital currently organize society from the top down for their own perverted, subconscious (and thus unrecognized) Darwinian purposes (the pursuit and exercise of power in its multifarious forms). It is for us - those of us who will - to gradually, peacefully and grassroots-democratically turn this situation on its head.

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