Friday, August 6, 2010
Building a 5 Legged Stool
We came back from our trip to Pine Ridge Reservation just in time to participate in a gubernatorial debate. Having not been invited to the debate with all the corporate-funded candidates I had hoped there would be at least one debate with the independent and third party candidates. Tennessee has a tradition of colorful candidates for governor and this debate was between three of them. It was organized by the Basil Marceaux campaign, of Colbert Report fame, and besides yours truly, stage center, there was June Griffin of Daily Show fame ...from Dayton, TN, of monkey trial fame. So there I was, sandwiched between all this fame. Basil was a likable buffoon who paid for the hall and whose antics had drawn the audience there, largely for the entertainment it would provide. June Griffin was an angry, and somewhat scary, fundamentalist. Despite her claim of supporting the Constitution it became clear to me that our Constitution was written to protect us from people with ideas like hers. Pursuit of happiness was not part of her program but Basil was all for it.
It was difficult to get the conversation focused on things that we could do to really help people's lives. They were both big second amendment supporters opposed to regulation. I pointed out that it was the first amendment that was being threatened not the 2nd amendment...that this whole gun flap is to stir the fear and sell more guns all while crime figures have been going down for 30 years. I guess that is why crime reporting is up over 1000%, atrocity sells guns. I asked, why are we so afraid that we feel the need to carry a gun? ...and shouldn't we be addressing that issue? At one point I had to admit to the audience that much of what I was hearing sounded pretty crazy.
It is difficult for a Green to get their ideas out and understood in a society guided by two polarized philosophies; individualism and socialism. Despite their differences, the two dominant philosophies are both human-centric and industrial. Green political thought is based on a philosophy that includes the 30 million other species our existence is interwoven with, and on which we depend for food, water and the other necessities of life. The current economy is parasitic, turning the biomass of other species into more human biomass as industrial activities propel extinctions of others at an accelerating rate. The writing is on the wall, our planet is finite, and while only a minority are seeing it Greens have a plan to repair the damage.
We would begin with redirecting the state's priorities away from service to extractive corporate clients to re-establishing viable, resilient and self reliant, self-governing, sustainable communities, organized by watersheds. We would proliferate facilitated Community Dialogue Projects so people could come together to get to know one another again to research and discuss what was best for their community. Communities would be helped with Community Resource Assessments to determine the talent, ideas and materials available to them for building a resilient local economy. We would pursue equipping communities with community scale technologies for food, fiber, fuel and energy as well as regional manufacturing of essential tools and equipment for them. Our five priorities would be 1. economy 2. ecology 3. health 4. security 5. education. In green philosophy these are all connected and are the primary concern of all living things, all communities. Communities would design their systems so that all nutrient and material loops would be closed, wasting nothing, operating within the limits of their environment and in harmony with it. Solar resources would be utilized to the max, directly or indirectly. Science would be freed from only experts to encourage innovation and invention. We would establish community banks and a state bank as a bulwark against the funny money of Wall Street. Education would be integrated into the fabric of the community teaching real skills as well as critical thinking and problem solving. We would be designing a stable decentralized system, one with plenty of redundancy for security. A centralized system is vulnerable at its center, with no center to attack a decentralized system is much more stable and secure. Its the difference between a one legged stool and a 5 legged stool.