Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Elysium Future?

Just like the game Monopoly an unfortunate consequence of the competitive market system we live in today is the inexorable concentration of wealth & power into fewer and fewer hands as enterprises frenetically vie for market share, undercut one another and over time those less able inevitably driven into bankruptcy or gobbled up by their more "successful" counterparts (success being defined in terms of the guiding logic of profit-maximization, cost-efficiency, creation of competitive barriers, branding and the like) until in the end a few of megalithic proportion come to dominate and whose disproportionate power can grow to such heights that they threaten the health & democratic values of society as a whole.

With this process of consolidation now well into its prime and the mechanistic line of reasoning that fuel it still deeply embedded in our individual psyches & social institutions, one can't help but look into the future and wonder where we may likely be heading and the world our children, grand children and generations to come will inherit if we do not change course. Will we find ourselves in the future depicted in the feature film, "Elysium" where a small minority live in utopic abundance far above our heads while the rest of humanity are trapped on an Earth whose environment systems have catastrophically collapsed and whom live in abject misery:

... or can we collectively see the err of proceeding in such a distopian direction, turn the tide and unleash our full creative, technical & moral abilities to bring into being a world that actually supports the wellbeing of all of humanity and which is now well within our collective capacity to build?

Today in the United States and many other places throughout the world, the wealth divide has reached such deeply corrosive extremes:

... that now people at all income levels in society are waking up and beginning to question the rationality of playing the game Monopoly with our lives. This next documentary by Johnson & Johnson heir Jamie Johnson reveals that even some at the very pinnacle of society are coming to the realization that there is something terribly wrong with the way we are operating and the answers to the challenges we now face will not be solved by the kind of thinking that brought us to this point in our collective development.

The One Percent

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