Of course there is a class war, but it’s my class, the rich class, that is waging the war, and we’re winning.
— Warren Buffet
The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, pull back the curtains, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater. — Frank Zappa
It will never rain more roses. When we want more roses, we must plant more roses. — George Eliot
New Years is a time for reflecting and for reassessing, usually at a personal level. In this year of 2011, it makes sense to begin by reflecting on the larger world, because that is going to be increasingly affecting us where we live.
…These are things that are just over the horizon, already visible from the crows nest. Keep in mind also the Shock Doctrine of Disaster Capitalism, where times of crisis and chaos are seen as opportunities to ‘do the impossible’ re/ social engineering, and I won’t speculate here about what that might bring. The point I’m trying to make is that ‘the world’ is becoming ‘the personal’. Everyone’s way of life is threatened, and this New Years is the time to take it all personally.
Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.
— Pericles (430 BC)
Which brings us to the question of reassessment. The Sufis say that with knowledge comes responsibility. If you know the ship is sinking, you can’t just keep playing shuffleboard or reading your novel. You’ve got to do something to save yourself and your family and alert the other passengers.
Our ship, our society, is sinking. It’s too late to fix it. Our responsibility, as conscious beings, is to get ourselves and those around us onto a lifeboat as quickly as possible. And a lifeboat cannot perform its task if it remains tethered to the mother ship. Unless it wants to get pulled under, it’s got to disconnect and strike out on its own.
Our lifeboats are our communities. As the system crumbles, our familiar lines of supply, systems of transport, and sources of energy, will become increasingly unreliable. The only thing we can count on is what we can manage locally. Our only hope is to organize ourselves in our communities, and work with neighboring communities to achieve regional self-sufficiency.
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
—W. H. Murray
“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
*** Note: The entire commentary can be found at New Years 2011