"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Wednesday 3 October 2007

Beyond Feudal Freedoms

Beyond Feudal Freedoms


The globe of the Earth is the Real Estate. We draw imaginary arcs around its myriad bounties and parcel them up between us. We draw lines and fences, walls and barriers of language, race, religion, custom and patronage and say ‘don’t cross this imaginary line’. We kill or imprison or deport any brave or foolhardy enough to try. We invent notional nations and countries with no more real legitimacy than football teams, based on the past conquests of barbarians and egomaniacs.

Land is the first mother and the planet Earth is the homeland of us all.  Now we live in a global city, a world economy, a shared genepool and common heritage of billions. The price of land rises everywhere in our false economies based on endless growth and the destructive right of economic might. People think they’re becoming wealthier as they price themselves and their children out of a worthwhile existence and they pay for once free and plentiful natural benefits that mindless greed and profligacy has made scarce. Rents and rates and charges rise to the point where life is not living, where people have to struggle to survive, even in the wealthiest countries of the early third millennium. The basic cost of living – land itself – doesn’t just rise in cities; any place with water and forest is beginning to be highly valued, often for all the wrong reasons and in all the wrong, greedy, pig-ignorant ways.

And yet this is a world of intelligence, automation and power, of transport, organisation, social, political, education and communication systems unparalleled in human history. With all the skills at our disposal is a ‘modernised’ version of feudal hierarchies the best we can do? Are the pointless regimentations and archaic self-serving hierarchies good enough to satisfy our evolving sense of justice and fair play any more?

So much of the fossilised organisations of our civilizations are based on imperial, militaristic mind-sets that must be discarded like last millennium’s battle armor. We live in a world where clean and ‘free’ energy is available – not just slightly cheaper energy, but freely flowing when easily built capture and storage structures are in place. Energy is power and power is what it takes to raise ourselves up the evolutionary spiral of real prosperity to a world where everyone has free healthcare, inexpensive, energy efficient and comfortable shelter, cheap, clean mineral-rich food and pure water and where all the old, the young and the and needy are looked after with good social security benefits and everyone is free and empowered enough to live in peace. We can create a world where one of our major dilemmas is to wonder what to do with all our free time. We can do it today if we simply give up the hypnotic thrall of false patriotism and stop making weapons of war. We can divert all that money, time, inventiveness and energy to really interesting and useful ends. Otherwise we’ll have to wait a lot longer than tomorrow.

New generations are rising, blinking in the grandeur of a new dawn where peace is not only possible - but has become the norm for decades around an ever more prosperous globe. A new Renaissance is coming, whatever we do. We can be and create everything we can dream of – if we do it with wisdom and compassion. Billions of people all want the same simple things. We want to be free to be ourselves and share lives free of needless burdens with our loved ones. We want to be happy and be allowed to pursue whatever lifestyle and means of ‘work’ that fulfils us and provides for our needs – whatever time-filling contribution to the prosperity, wisdom and wit of Humanity we feel impelled to engage ourselves in, so long as it harms no-one. We want to love and be loved. We want to regenerate and live in a healthy world where we can breathe the air, drink the water and eat the food without the real fear of shortening our lives with military or industrial grade poisons.

People spend far more of their time working to have shelter, food, water and other essentials (not to mention a whole swathe of superfluous and irresistibly addictive luxuries) that their ‘primitive’ ancestors did in village communities. In these ‘modern times’ workers often spend as much time at work and commuting as feudal serfs did on mid-second millennium farms – and they usually pass on less land to their children. But the changes that have already arrived mean that people are no longer defined by their jobs, which have a tendency to slip out from under them or transform into hitherto unimaginable forms. We can all experience a myriad of experiences and skills in today’s world – if we settle for reduced security and conditions, wages and freedom.

Same old same old in a land where people pay money so they can vote for whom to banish from the island, or the quasi-existence of a universally loved Big Brother. Instead of learning how to accept more people into the circle of our shared horizon – which we’ll all have to do if we go on having more than one baby each – we’re practicing the mindset that leads to death camps and firing squads. It all starts with calls to patriotism and salutations to flying totemic banners and we all know where it ends. It all ends in tears.

So let’s not go down that path. Let’s aim for the stars and we may achieve Mars – and a healthy planet Earth. Let’s dream of a world where we can grow progressively smarter, healthier, more compassionate, with long enough lifespans to learn how to become the kind of humanity we all want to be. Let’s heal the planet and get into each other’s art, food, music and cultures. It’s not as if we have much of a choice in the matter. We’re already becoming a global hegemony of ever more enlightened beings living in an ever-expanding exotic chaotic mix of dreams and values, beliefs and isms, technologies and miracles. We’re going to meld and live and love together or we’re going to be an extinct species of hairless ape.

We have a rare and probably narrow window of opportunity while the world is buoyed on a bubble of prosperity to start a whole new ball game. We can kick out the bums who want to rule us, whether in the name of god, ideology or efficiency. We can all decide for ourselves. As Brian of Nazareth said, ‘We’re all individuals.’ Those of us who want to can even ultimately cross the Great Water and pioneer new spaces and places in the cosmos. We have no idea what we’re capable of doing and becoming if we can drop our falsehoods and fears and get on with having a great time in this, the best of all possible worlds. We can become immortal wise weavers of endless possibility on a verdant green planet, creating, nurturing, building and bringing to flower a really wonderful world and Humanity.

It’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re in an office or school or a gutter or mine or shop or some other dark satanic money-making mill of Mammon. They’re designed to make you forget your real heritage and lose sight of the glorious, fleeting, pulsating here and now - for the tenuous fear-driven promise of tomorrow’s brief moment of rest. It’s easy to forget that you were born free – and that you still are, right now. It’s easy to remember, too. All it takes is to wake up and really take a look at the absurd structures and fossilised patterns all around you, clogging up everyone’s lives with control-freak crap. Then you can keep your eyes on the real prize – the freedom to use time as you will. It’s a freedom that money’s bright promise never really brings, that slips through the fingers of the powerful overlord and time-serving wage slave alike. The tyrannical class, caste and power systems of old can only perpetuate terror and inequality. We’ll do far better in the third millennium. We’ll invent something different for a change. You can bet on it.

It’s never too late to turn on, tune in and opt out. The younger you decide to change the easier it is and the sooner you start the younger you’ll be when you do.

Time appears to flow on…

-         R. Ayana

images - author's collage


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