It’s nice in times of bad news to find a bit of optimism. What follows is an interesting take on the news and future by a blogger who finds 12 REASONS TO BE OPTIMISTIC:
“Here are twelve reasons why I remain optimistic in spite of all the bad news and scary stories. I am not in denial about the bad news, nor do I think we shouldn’t note and comment upon the situations coming upon us, but I also think that it’s important to keep such things in perspective.
1. Reality is very complex. . . . and there are limits to what we can know. I don’t understand why the system didn’t collapse 30 years ago. I don’t understand why the US and Russia did not have a massive nuclear war. As much as I want to be a “know-it-all”, my lack of understanding is a commentary on the limitations of my observation and knowledge. We can’t see all the details of our threats and how they interact to create a dysergistic downwards spiral. . . but we also can’t see all the details of the solutions at play, and how they interact to mitigate dysergy/dystopia. Complexity theory is, well, complex, but one thing that is evident is the ability of seemingly small and insignificant actions to have far-reaching effects (cf the “butterfly effect”).
2. The mainstream media report a distorted version of reality from the perspective of the ruling authorities. While there are occasional exceptions to the rule, the mainstream media are as dominated by our ruling authorities as the media of the old Soviet Union. Perhaps the primary difference is that our mainstream media are controlled by various factions of ruling authorities, so what we are getting as “news” is actually arguments among the ruling authorities. Why is this good news? Because we know it is so, and it’s not just “we” as in “those actively concerned about sustainability”. Mainstream news media credibility is low and getting lower all the time.
3. We have a “sidestream” media that tells us the rest of the story. A million flowers of hope are blooming out there, but you will only find them by looking for them in the sidestream media. They won’t be fed to you on the evening national news.
4. The powers that be are not nearly as smart and omnipotent and omniscient as they want everyone to believe they are. Here again, a good example is the old Soviet Union. Their ruling elites had massive state resources at their control. They could literally do anything they wanted with their natural and economic resources. The Soviet Union had a well-established system of terror complete with concentration camps to compel obedience. Yet, the day came when the inherent contradictions of their system overwhelmed them, and they collapsed of their own stupidity, greed and venality. In our present situation, the evidence is abundant that the various factions of our powers that be are as clueless as the Romanoffs in 1917 or the French aristocracy in the late 18th century. We are full-on in the middle of a classical case of imperial over-reach, and as it is said, those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them. Our aristocracies are not learning from the mistakes of history, so they are repeating them, and that means that they are doomed. They have been weighed in the balances and found wanting, their days are numbered, their kingdoms will be divided and given to others.
5. We have a dense and robust civil society system that provides an alternative source of authority and direction as an alternative to the powers that be. While certainly some parts of that civil society are core members of various factions of our ruling authorities, there is a tremendous amount of non-ruling authority organizational activity at play in our system. The historical tragedy of the Soviet collapse is that they had no civil society to step into the breech and point the way to a better future, so they got stuck with a form of gangster capitalism that is slowly evolving back to a Soviet-style political tyranny. In our situation, as the establishment crumbles, alternative structures are being created all around us. We are learning what we need to do right now, before major crisis/collapse comes upon us. That gives us the opportunity to possibly stage a managed recovery, and to mitigate the risk of outright collapse.
6. We have the internet. The internet and its quick and ubiquitous global connections is a structure whose invention is as much a turning point in history as was the creation of the first printing presses, and for many of the same reasons. I am a nobody, a pissant Oklahoma rednecked peasant with an education and an attitude, yet every year, more than a million people from 108 different countries find their way to one or more of my websites and download an average of three pages of information, and this has been going on for years. My printable flyers alone have been downloaded more than 150,000 times. And there must be ten million or more folks just like me, using the internet to organize, agitate, activate, comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Consider the phenomena associated with Wikileaks. One tyrant has already been deposed, and more are reportedly at risk, all because of the bravery of one soldier in the trenches of the Middle East, and the distributed internet structure of the Wikileaks organization. That’s inspiration!
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