I had an argument the other day with a guy about how to bring about real change. He was saying change has to happen outside the system, because otherwise we will just be contributing to and perpetuating the current system. But in order to feel that way, you must see everything in the current system as inherently flawed. Our nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations have quite a bit of redeeming value, and if we dismiss all the change and effort going on within the system, we're losing a lot of power.
We can't all just split off into little intentional communities. There are many misinformed and uneducated people out there who we'd be leaving out. People in ghettos who can't afford to move, and "Poor White Trash" who don't know better than to follow Bush's every word, but are actually good-hearted people, would be left behind in the mess.
One part of the system, capitalism, is inherently flawed, because it is individualistic, and humans are collectivists by nature. For hundreds of thousands of years, we have worked within societies with collectivist states of mind. We are social creatures; taking ourselves out of the collective social structure to rely on individualism (and, therefore, ourselves individually) is unnatural and destructive. It has led us to the "each man for himself" mentality, along with patriarchy, apathy, and dwindeling compassion.
It appalls me and shocks me to see so many people think of individualistic, selfish lifestyles as "normal". "Why would I want to donate that dollar to charity? I'm using it to go out to eat." "Electric-hybrid car? Psshht, I'll take a luxury car instead."
At the same time, we're (or some of us are) struggling back toward that collectivist, help-your-neighbor mentality. Why are hybrid cars in such high demand if they aren't an economic investment, at least not right now? Because, they're ecologically sustainable, and more and more people are beginning to care. People feel bad when they say no to charitable donations.
Have You Seen the Little Piggies?
Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon
What I find the most amazing, yet not surprising, is that at my work, the people who donate the most to "Stars of Hope" (charities that help children with cancer, other debilitating illness, and provide after-school care) are the people in the lower classes. The more obvious it is that someone is rich, the less likely they are to donate. I'd say black people donate the most. Old, rich white people and Asians donate the least. There was one guy who, in response to my asking for a one dollar donation, said, "Am I wearing my wealthy shirt today?" sarcastically. What an idiot! Do you have to be wealthy in order to donate a dollar, especially when you're already spending a ridiculous amount of money to go to the movies? "I'm trying to save up. I don't spend my money on anything." Well then, don't go to the movies! Hello!
I just can't believe all the ungrateful little assholes out there, with their, "Get a job, you lazy bum!" and "The Government's stealing my money for those lazy bastards!" Meanwhile, the Government's stealing our money to make bombs and bombs and...more bombs, and did I mention bombs? And while they spend so much on defense, they don't spend anything on protecting those soldiers, most of whom are lower-class. The only way for them to pay their ways through college is to join the military...if they survive, that is. You wanna know what the lazy poor people are doing for this country? They're doing all the dirty work, going out and risking their lives in the name of "freedom", and many of them soon discover it is really in the name of a couple more years till Peak Oil. How dare we pacifists want them to come home, when they're out there fighting for our oil! Those Republicans really are the ones "supporting" our troops, by keeping them in Iraq! That's what "supporting" means, didn't you know? Supporting is Killing. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Preach on, Bush, preach on!
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking