“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth”—Pope Francis, Laudato Si
The pope was referring to the physical garbage dump we have made of the planet but he might just as well have been speaking of the dominant Western values which are the motivating factor in the creation of that filth. Our adherence to the market forces of capitalism has meant massive private profit in the creation of that “immense pile” which he criticized even if not using the C-word. And the supposed ethical or moral code that supports the system and enjoys a foundation built in part on diverse religious support is as much at fault as any political economic group which employs the professional government, media and religious workers that make its global reality accepted as the seemingly natural work of a market god.
The minority controlled systems that have dominated the world for centuries always created “immense piles of filth” while also allowing enough of their wealth to trickle down to make a professional servant class comfortable enough to maintain the system and control even larger suffering populations. This was and is done at the worst of times by killing people and at the best by clouding their minds with disinformation, legend and propaganda to make it seem that a better tomorrow was wishfully possible under the market divinity even if it wasn’t materially probable given reasonably enlightened thought.
The environmental destruction alternately blamed on climate change, alternative systems or an evil leader or CEO is the outcome of treating humanity and our earthly home as commodities in a vast marketplace where profit accruing to minorities is, according to religious belief, supposed to lead to a better world for everyone when it trickles down to a majority anxiously waiting, hoping and praying that it will fall on them with the nicest among that group hoping that maybe, someday, a little later on, it will fall on everyone else. A system born in the 19thcentury, at least in its industrial form, which made a rich marketplace of some of the world while reducing most to poverty and degradation only known to its sufferers and tourists who made the wrong turn from their hotels and blundered into the ghetto, has become, at electronic speeds, visible and understandable to more people than ever before.
The mind boggling personal wealth that has grown to the billions of dollars each for a relative handful of people has brought millions below them to a previously unknown comfort level but reduced hundreds of millions more to sinking economic status with poverty and material inequality figures higher than at any time since they began being recorded.
The unbearable stench and deadly quality of the physical and moral filth has become too much for humanity to bear and while not yet reaching the point of direct simultaneous experience, growing numbers of people the world over are rising to say we’ve seen, breathed and felt enough, we fear the future not only for ourselves but later generations and cannot tolerate the status quo any longer. Growing national movements are becoming global and the threat of humanity rising up against minority control in a way far beyond previous revolutionary movements which were limited to nations alone and easier to destroy is causing a reaction from dominators that threatens even more than past destructions to maintain their control.
Nuclear weapons that helped devastate Japan in the Second World War now menace the entire planet, and near madness prevails among hired warriors who actually think of using them and getting away with destroying others while somehow protecting themselves from nuclear retaliation in a world with many powers so armed.
Only democracy can bring the minority owners of the garbage dump filth under control of the majority, but that near fictional experience for most of humanity, always dangled in front of them as a possibility under cosmetic and drug facades that made eating regularly seem a luxury, still only seems possible to a minority. But without increasing debt, what passes for a shrinking middle class would be skipping rent payments and even meals and as the threat grows greater, the need for a movement that demands equality is even more necessary lest the forces of fake news and phony individualism on which private profits before public good rely become dangerously stronger.
Present focus at the fading but still central office of global capital in America is on a president who represents newer dangers but only in style and hardly substance. The distractions that keep people’s minds on him and not the system of capitalism are part of what could bring it to a point at which he means as little as the rest of us facing war with nations or nature that could spell doom for humanity and not simply one or another identity group among our divided race. Those divisions, based on warping minds to not only believe disinformation news but that there is more than one human race, stand between unity that could bring about a better world for all of us, instead of the diminishing returns guaranteed in a market under minority control that will ultimately destroy the same group: all of us.
They may have dominated us into the creation of the pile of physical and moral filth the system has become but we are responsible for creating the democracy necessary to clean it up for ourselves and future generations. No matter how minority owned consciousness control works to make that seem impossible, truly social consciousness can and must prevail to make it not only believable but materially achievable. The old adage to think and act as a planetary member of the human race rather than some isolated individual or small group was never more true, nor materially necessary, nor more possible.