You are in Control
There’s a great article in Time magazine by Amanda Ripley (I wrote a review of her great book, The Unthinkable in the City Journal) on one of the most under covered security lessons of 9/11: that an aware citizenry can defend itself. It ends with this telling para which depicts the government reasserting its authority to prop up its legitimacy:
After the passengers [heroes] of Flight 253 deplaned in Detroit, they were held in the baggage area for more than five hours until FBI agents interviewed them. They were not allowed to call their loved ones. They were given no food. When one of the pilots tried to use the bathroom before a bomb-sniffing dog had finished checking all the carry-on bags, an officer ordered him to sit down, according to passenger Alain Ghonda, who thought it odd. “He was the pilot. If he wanted to do anything, he could’ve crashed the plane.” It was a metaphor for the rest of the country: Thank you for saving the day. Now go sit down.
The same spirit of being in control, regardless of government inaction/incompetence, should be true for other aspects of our lives under a similar assault by a global system run amok.What am I talking about? Our economic and societal future. If it’s not clear to you already after seeing a global economic meltdown caused by the gluttony of financial parasites, it should be. But it’s worse than that. The entire system has failed to produce anything resembling improvement in our lives for years:
- Median male incomes today are the same as they were in 1974 in the US (and likely all over the western world). No progress has been made despite a doubling of productivity and massive top line GDP growth. Worse, given that female incomes aren’t on par with male incomes yet, the typical American family makes much less per hour worked than in 1974.
- All of the requirements for entry into the middle class are now private expenses. From health care to a college education, if you can’t afford the minimum (let alone high quality versions), you aren’t allowed entry. Worse, those expenses are spiraling out of control at rates many times the rate of inflation. Nothing is being done to address this.
- The system is geared to make us fail. Not only has outsourcing/off-shoring just started (everything that can be moved offshore to take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity in wage disparities between western and workers in developing countries will be) we are being laden with un-repayable debt. To wit: there’s been NO job growth in the last decade (despite tens of millions in population growth) and total debt from all sources is still near ALL time historical highs.
To add insult to injury, efforts to correct any of the above through governmental or regulatory reform have failed miserably (the government and both parties have been captured by transnational business interests): from endless bailouts to industries actually writing the legislation that covers them to guarantee rich profit growth while solving nothing meaningful (as we saw with both the recent health care and finance bills). We are at a dead end.So, take control.
NOTE: My solution is to form a tribal layer. Resilient communities that are connected by a network platform (a darknet). A decentralized and democratic system that can provide you a better interface with the dominant global economic system than anything else I can think of. Not only would this tribe protect you from shocks and predation by this impersonal global system, it would provide you with the tools and community support necessary to radically improve how you and your family does across all measures of consequence. Of course, this may not be the right solution for you, but if it is…
NOTE2: Seems like the term darknet is confusing people. Going to need to rethink the branding and terminology.
From Global Guerrillas, January 3, 2010