As Dave Pollard keeps pointing out, we have now painted ourselves into a corner regarding the way we live. There are simply too many people on the planet to abandon the globalisation model that has allowed this house of cards to come into being for any viable alternative model (whatever that might be). As a result we feel we are trapped in our roles as robot workers for the system.
This life that we do know would be tolerable if it made more sense. But my experience is that most people have a sense of cognitive dissonance about their lives. We intuitively divine that this is not how we were meant to live. So what is missing?
It is a bold person that attempts to live another life. Most of us do not possess the knowledge or the passion to try and live in a commune, or on very little or in a different, simpler, part of the world. So how can we ever experience another life, if only to compare it with the one we have?
Reflecting on this, I realised that we have all, in fact, lived another life and it is from this life that we know we have been short changed by society.
We were once children.
As a child, I grew up on a street that had dozens of other children living on it and we played happily together. We were all poor (I realise now) in comparison with most of the United Kingdom (but rich, I also realise now, as compared with Third world countries). As a child I had no concept of poor. I was a stranger to hunger, I had shelter and education and a community. We lived on the edge of nature; moors, woods, streams, abandoned quarries, which were all explored fully. I didn’t know what prejudice was, I didn’t comprehend status nor privilege but I knew what it meant to belong to a community.
It was only when my knowledge and understanding of the world grew and I became aware of these other concepts that the prescribed poisons were introduced into my education and carefully massaged into my consciousness.
This probably explains the cognitive dissonance; we do remember a happier time, a more rational time. It also explains the appeal of gang culture; at least you belong to something bigger than yourself, somewhere where you are accepted when the rest of society rejects you.
What we need now is a new gang culture – gangs of intellectuals, gangs of artists, gangs of bloggers who roam the landfills of humanity challenging and transforming the bewildered scavengers they find into the noble producers they once were and helping them reclaim the joy they only dimly remember.