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Re: [newurbanism-101] A short essay on The future culture of sustainability

From: user 6.
Sent on: Monday, February 9, 2009 1:49 PM
This essay is an Interesting fantasy. However, it seems to ignore the inventions in law and politics since the time of tribal eras. Inventions like private property, administrative law, copyright, right to private contract, commerce, and fractional reserve banking will certianly prevent this optomistic fantasy from becoming a reality. If you want to see your future look at Darfur, Haiti and Palestine. Good luck living in wonderland, because tanks will roll in the streets and you will be herded into a refugee camp for the security of the failed State. But your relocation will be for the "common good", in the name of "change and hope". The inhabitants of the imaginary wonderland with dreams of depaving, djembe rtythms, love dances and organic foods will wonder why it ain't so. The unfortunate reality will be that the citizens have been sold into serfdom by their own government. The owners of the serfs will want to extract their legal debt, just like they have done in Guatemala, Darfur, Argentina, Jamaica, and Detroit. My friends, "depaving" and love dances will have no place in the future culture, it is time to wake up from your dream.

--- On Mon, 2/9/09, Robert <[address removed]> wrote:
From: Robert <[address removed]>
Subject: [newurbanism-101] A short essay on The future culture of sustainability
To: [address removed]
Date: Monday, February 9, 2009, 7:51 AM

Downward Spiral's Silver Lining: End of Lonely Plastic Culture	 	 	 

by Jan Lundberg	   
07 February 2009
Culture Change Letter #234 

 We all see and feel the intensifying depression of the consumer economy, with
incalculable human costs such as hunger, loss of homes, sense of failure, and
fear of the unknown. This column has long warned of collapse of the petroleum
economy and of the ecosystem, and we don't feel good about being right about
bad news. However, we have always maintained there is a better way to live life
than to trash the planet as isolated consumers under the yoke of exploitation.
We've even pointed the way with specifics. Even the worst of the upcoming
"Nature's correction" to our overshoot of ecological carrying
capacity (apart from a nuke scenario) will have to result in the survivors'
automatic extrication from the destructive, heartless system dominating us
Coming from a bad place

People yearn for more feeling and closeness, as evidenced by interest in
romance stories, fierce attachment to pets, and worshiping pretty celebrities.
The mass mania for the Beatles was a wake up call to society that young people
needed something their parents and institutions were incapable of offering. Our
modern society's hold on the masses is such that they are divided down to
the individual level -- so much so that even within the individual the heart and
mind are separated, causing torment, confusion, and damage to Mother Nature.

In addition to being divided, we are extremely busy. Our time in the U.S. is
limited to working, sleeping, and eating -- and not much else. On weekends or
vacations we have to just recover. We forget our youthful dreams and don't
keep up our creative interests or branch out into others such as a musical
instrument. People don't have time for simple pleasures or leisure, or they
grab it on the run. "Quality time" is a recent notion; all time should
be quality time, and we should never be compromising over spending days and
nights with loved ones. Above all, our children need us far more than they need
a teacher employed by the state. No wonder the elders are put out to pasture in
institutions to die alone.

We seek love and excitement through machines for virtual companionship or sex.
For those who scoff at this and pride themselves on having real human
relationships, their marriages are often arrangements for convenient sex and
cohabitation. Not to be cynical about love, which is always with us, we must
realize we've been sold a bill of goods by the ruling class: compete, work
hard, buy things, and maybe then you'll get approval and a lover or spouse.
Property and money are held to be the supreme accomplishment, as confirmed by
divorces occurring as a result of either financial stress or selfish urges.

What's going down today isn't all bad

With time on our hands from unemployment, good deeds can happen as a result of
reaching out to members of the community. Sharing is an important human trait
that has been suppressed by divide-and-conquer domination. The tendency
neighbors have to be useful to one another in order to assure survival is second
to none in our human impulses, for this is our evolution (until very recently).
This can manifest itself by a care-giver providing needed help while the young
or sick or infirm person's family may pursue other activities such as
rigging up a bike cart or foraging for firewood.

The closeness that will increase from such interactions will bind us together
again as bands and then tribes. The nation state was an effort to smash tribes,
in part due to megalomania of the empire builders or the self interest of the
king makers. When the unfolding collapse of the U.S. economy and corporate
globalism is further along, there will be tax rebellions and a redefining of new
societies' priorities. Economies will be local, with distant nations or
tribes linked through sail power -- as practiced for many centuries before the
oil-powered cargo ships that destroy the air and water.

One's personal living environment will be shed of plastic crapola (thank
you James Howard Kunstler) that has crapped out and no longer can be powered. It
is too late for our generation and our civilization to be known other than the
Plastic Culture, based on the non-biodegradability of our petroleum products we
"need." But if there are future generations to study our trash, as
today's archeologists and anthropologists do, they may also note that we
seemed to cease and walk away from our Plastic Culture and its associated ways
-- perhaps about 2009?

Forgotten pleasures return

Although gardening is hard work, it is also healthful and social. Since nature
knows no waste, we will become very efficient and go with the flows to minimize
work and disruption to the land and waters that must be restored to health. So
when food forests start to bear fruit and nuts, as well as coppicing for
firewood and basket materials, for example, we will work less and have time
again for our songs, stories and dances that all our ancestors' cultures
indulged in religiously.

Let's not skip the part about coping with toxic soils, the task of
depaving, and the need to gather and hunt. These activities are unavoidable and
done under duress in our transition. But those participating will be shown
appreciation by those occupied by cooking, sewing, child rearing, making musical
instruments, or acting as counselors or teachers. But keep picturing more time
for these real things, including loving and family cohesion, when we are no
longer working for abstract capitalist entities and doing the debilitating
commutes. Above all, a relationship with nature will keep us together to
overcome adversity.

The future culture of sustainability will be more sane and liberating than
modern living -- for those who survive the collapsing house of toxic cards. The
sooner we get started in dismantling the present failed system, and be our own
leaders, the more of us and our fellow species will survive to continue what
might still be the endless dance of evolution. The answers are here today, but
must be sought out. In time, however, they will become obvious and spread
quickly as people try to adapt to the loss of Big Brother the Boss Man of The
Machine. Good riddance, and hello tomorrow's new age.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but as one of the former Beatles sang, I'm
not the only one. Give peace a chance. It's getting better all the time.

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