Saturday, June 5, 2010

What do we really own?

It has been too long since my last post, and I now have much on my mind. This blog may lose reverence to its initial purpose, being a commentary on the motion picture arts, to expand into a reverence to the greater need of hosting the discussion most important in these dire times.

I say dire, and I mean it. We are royally screwed, and many of the most able of us are sitting on our asses, twiddling our thumbs, and kidding ourselves about the implications of our current circumstances. I personally never wish to sound like a doomsayer, but doom is upon us, coming from many fronts. The economic crisis and unemployment supposedly hovering at 10% (discounting all those jobless not collecting unemployment, and those that are fully capable, yet are under-worked and/or under-paid), the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, the annual pump of CO2 into our atmosphere (and its cumulative effects), the exponential loss of habitat and mass extinction of species, the unaccounted for and unknown number of nuclear weapons internationally, the rape and disenfranchisement of the "Global South," and the constant and unending stupefaction of our citizenry all sum up to a situation that is indeed precarious. And, it is very unclear whether human civilization, indeed all life on this planet will be able to survive the effects.

I write now after a year of near-unemployment, and after many experiences of being exploited myself. So much exploitation that I come to believe now that it, and selfishness in all its forms, is the direct initial cause of nearly all of our problems. Now, this term can be very broadly understood, but to make it simpler I will say that in this writing exploitation is at its core the denial of a person, place or thing its intrinsic value by placing upon it a finite (monetary) value. Intrinsic value has the possibility for infinite meaning for the self, and for the greater community. To understand this idea one has to keep in mind that if you live on Earth you are a PART of Earth, and are therefore connected to it in every way. The Earth will be here after we are gone as individuals, and as a race. So, therefore, we can never own the Earth or anything on it, because to own something you have not only rights to it, but responsibilities to it as well. Things cannot be owned, because they can be easily taken, consensually or not, and places cannot be owned because the place is likely to be there long after we, the "owner" depart it. Owning a person is right out, as that would be denying him or her the idea of their own mind, own soul, which has been proven time and again in the constant struggle of person against person.

So what do we really own? All that we can really own is ourselves and the consequences of our actions. And that means that in owning these consequences we have the moral obligation, the responsibility to mitigate the damage. Fortunately, the means to reverse some of these circumstances is already understood, and proven to be effective. Unfortunately, we are now at a time when the bandwidths and airwaves are cluttered beyond description of mess, and most of the general public are listening only to the nay-sayers, the cynics, and the outright uncaring. The chance for government action has come and gone, but the time for its necessity is drawing nearer, faster than can be truly understood. It is now up to the individual to take the daily steps toward a true and honest reversal of our impact. I have many ideas that might be helpful, and I will share them here and elsewhere. I encourage discussion here and elsewhere as well.