Make no mistake: the solution is complex and must dealt with from a wide range of issues including gun control, mental health, socio-economic and cultural issues, government, movies and video violence, and other contributing factors. There can be no doubt that this is a problem with men.
When a story nears its end it goes through death throes, an exaggerated semblance of life. So today we see domination, conquest, violence, and separation take on absurd extremes that hold a mirror up to what was once hidden and diffuse.
Whether it be the rotting, gray carcasses of bleak, boarded up city blocks of abandoned store fronts; suburban cul de sacs consisting of vacant, foreclosed homes; countless crumbling bridges and pot-hole-pocked roads; tasteless, thoughtlessly-constructed high rises; irredeemably scarred mountaintops; or charred forests ravaged by the worst fire season in recent memory, the landscape of our planet is becoming increasingly dull, drab, and downright dismal.
When you know the truth about our predicament and have no one to talk with about what you know, it can be painful. Sometimes when we are surrounded by people who prefer to remain oblivious, we begin feeling crazy and tend to doubt our own truth. Often, this makes it even more difficult to move ahead and prepare for an uncertain future, doing the things we know we need to do. If this describes your situation, consider life coaching. Ask me about Discount Life Coaching Packages. Email me at: email@example.com
What are the elements of non-attachment that might be applied to coping with the knowledge of the inevitable collapse of organized society amidst the chaos of economic collapse and runaway climate change? What makes sense to gaze at, and what should we, for our own sanity, leave unseen? How can we be, and act, in a fully engaged, joyful, curious, productive, useful-to-others way, without becoming either “detached” (emotionally disconnected or inured) or exhausted?
On some level, it is tempting to say, “goodbye and good riddance” to 2012. For all the positive experiences it may have brought us, those were overshadowed by losses that will live with us for a very long time. But no matter how much we would like to “put them behind us” and declare their end, the truth is that they mark the beginning of a new era of deepening loss and cultural chaos. I assume that the reader understands this, but at the same time, I believe it is crucial to evaluate the lessons which this formidable year offers us.
I understand wanting to promote empowerment, creativity, and hopefulness. I cannot understand promoting these attributes in the absence of — or at the expense of — factual information supported by extensive, rational analyses.
Conflict And Change In The Era Of Economic Decline, Part 2: War And Peace In A Shrinking Economy, By Richard Heinberg
Disaster per se need not lead to violence, as Rebecca Solnit argues in her book A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster. She documents five disasters—the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; earthquakes in San Francisco and Mexico City; a giant ship explosion in Halifax, Canada; and 9/11—and shows that rioting, looting, rape, and murder were not automatic results. Instead, for the most part, people pulled together, shared what resources they had, cared for the victims, and in many instances found new sources of joy in everyday life. However, the kinds of social stresses we are discussing now may differ from the disasters Solnit surveys, in that they comprise a “long emergency,” to borrow James Kunstler’s durable phrase. For every heartwarming anecdote about the convergence of rescuers and caregivers on a disaster site, there is a grim historic tale of resource competition turning normal people into monsters.
So we work to strengthen human and non-human communities and the links between them. And we work to lessen the depredations and save what we can from the insatiable maw of industrial ‘progress.’ And we steel ourselves and our communities for the spastic convulsions of the industrial machine as it disintegrates. And we try to shelve the hopelessness that lingers around the edges of our thoughts. But now and then I think we need to take that hopelessness down from the shelf, put it in front of us, and look at it. And we need to say, “Hmmmm…this COULD actually happen.” And then we need to ask if there’s anything, anything at all, we can do to address it more directly.
In this essay, which will appear in five installments, I hope to explore some of the social implications of simplification and decentralization. Will wars and revolutions break out with ever-greater frequency? Will democracy thrive, or will traumatized masses find themselves at the mercy of tyrants? Will nation states survive, or will they break apart? Will regional warlords rule over impoverished and enslaved survivors? Or will local food networks and Occupy groups positively transform society from the ground up?