Reunion with Reality

Reality: we cannot go on living this way. Modern, industrialized civilization is consuming the planet at a pace inconceivable just a few decades ago. The crush of human population and our demands for material goods is ruining our habitat. We don’t have to follow the media to know this. We can sense it all around us in the degradation of the environment.


We have tamed almost all that was wild. We have eaten our way through most of the megafauna on land and in the sea. We have left our trash everywhere, including waste products poisonous and non-biodegradable. We have stripped the earth naked to mine commodities to fuel our lifestyle. We have changed the chemical makeup of the air we breathe so that in places it is hazardous to heath and is almost everywhere damaging our habitat.


Humans evolved as a part of nature, embedded in nature and in-sync with nature. That was once reality.


Humans have also evolved embedded in human community. I don't think it's accurate to idealize prehistoric human societies with a single broad stroke. There was much variety and variance in tribal cultures. In some ways, cultural evolution began to run alongside biological evolution as the dynamic of change.


There was unity within tribes, there was conflict between tribes. People were treated with respect; people were enslaved. The was cooperation and harmony; there was competition, conflict and mayhem.


Political systems evolved from clans to empires, from chiefdoms to democracy. It is good to know where we have been, but now, in the 21st Century, we need to figure out where we are and how we are going to proceed.


The political reality is now that power and wealth has accumulated in the hands of a few, particularly in the United States and we are holding on to our democracy by the tip of its tail. We may soon be hearing its last gasps. One could argue that it is already gone and may not be gotten back, like toothpaste out the tube.


Copyright 2017 James Phoenix

updated 9/24/2017