Listening to some observers of our modern society, we tend to quickly give up and hide away. We’d rather protect ourselves from some truth that are too hard to admit! Some habits, some dogmas deep inside us, sometimes from our early days, are so customary that it seems impossible to live without them.
– « I am what I buy, what I consume » « What’s wrong with you, no tablet yet? » « Outdated, your phone! »
– « Growth is coming back » « The end of unemployment and starvation in the world »
– « Sleep well, folks » « Don’t you worry, it’s all under control »
As many mottos, promises, booby-traps… so naive we are!
Critical analysis of the world we’re surrounded with is somehow fascinating. But scary too. Easy to lose control or get depressed, feeling crunched by a totally inhuman system. Feeling like a scientist disappointed by his last research results. Amazed by the terrible potential of his discovery! Zygmunt Baumann once stated that education is a massive production of disappointed people. And the medias are currently mostly alienated, having lost their original value (to inform, to help understand the world), aren’t worth much more. France’s constitution did plan to protect this area from concentration. Unkept promise: information is an industry as any other, and we all pay the price without even noticing, on a daily basis! True information is hidden. Who ever read Google Search results, beyond the first page? Laziness and time-saving. Call it progress. How many of us dare listen to deep-thinking, long and late programs? Light information, if not disinformation, lead our consciousness. Hard to think different and innovate. It’s so modern and human to prefer watching the big media entertainment and loud buzz, than suffering boring news…
INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS !
Albert Einstein, thinking different, found out that repeating the same (poor) routines over and over again may only drive us nuts or alienated. Expanding inequities, epidemies of obesity, diabetes, cancers and nervous breakdowns are one big emerging world, getting more and more visible. However it’s hard to face. Social, health and environmental wounds or crises build up a great wall. Unavoidable? Some flew to the moon, but will we all climb up the wall or get around? Political revolutions together with technology breakthroughs in the XVIIIth century enabled great progress, both for economies and for societies, turning modern. Since the Cold War, western camp ideology transformed into a winning « one way thought ». While the opposite (eastern/soviet) camp lost influence and vanished out of its own excessiveness. Each and every citizen, as well as governments and whole countries, were kindly forced to follow the motion. In the meantime citizenship and sovereignty at a country level lost its grip, and was transferred to private invisible hands or supra-national levels…at least until Internet broke into and helped us all reinvent democracy and fell some global empathy…
Back on the wall, no way to escape. Like it or hate it, we all remain concerned about the real world, both as consumers and as citizens. Stuck on the (tiny) Earth’s ground we’d rather become solidar. Here’s two options, probably complementary. The first, the most heroic: commitment and « fight » for a common cause. See all recent activists from early 1900’s, modern heros of a lazy and individualist world. All kinds of modern cruzaders, super locals or supranationals, fighting together for a better alternative world. Former dreamers in motion! See the band of « alternative entrepreneurs », responsible businessmen and women. They all claim that profits aren’t a goal, nor their main concern. Just a way among others to spread positive values. See Patagonia’s founder (no golden parachute despite his passion for climbing), Malongo responsible coffee and relocated coffee machines. And so many more, less known but as worthy!!
DO IT YOURSELF
Another option, maybe less noisy: to take part to daily small steps of change. Self-help through everyday life routines. Undertake a series of efforts (change needs them) aiming at measurable and concrete results. Transport habits, food, shopping : all can (or must?) change. And there’s no need to wait again and again for some top-down instructions. Stop treating oneself like a child, pretending to be afraid of change. Too much blabla, assistance, enslavement, conferences, international treaties.
The most romantic among us start dreaming of a new kind of resistance, as Stéphane Hessel did, in a silent or loud mode, violent or non-violent, focussed or diffuse.
Deep inside, No matter what the bottle, provided they have drunk !!
« Héros d’humanité », by Jean-Marie PELT
« Time for outrage, Indignez-vous », by Stéphane HESSEL