Friday, November 14, 2008

WWOD?

It is such an enormous relief to me that Barack Obama's electors won, and I look forward to Obama's and Biden's forthcoming victory in the Presidential vote and subsequent inauguration. He's a new face for this failing nation, an intelligent, articulate leader who demonstrates actual vision over tired, lazy, anti-intellectual, self-serving dogmatism. When Wednesday morning dawned and support for Obama's electors was confirmed, I felt a weight which has accumulated over the years lift. It was like the first sunny day after weeks of overcast and rain.

Yet, unlike many, I am not ready to celebrate. Our national paradigm must now change, and while Barack has given glimmers of hope that we will now move in the correct direction, the inertia of big money is of unprecedented magnitude in this history of our nation and, I suspect, in the history of the world. For years, the federal government's actions have been virtually indistinguishable from what one would predict based on the assumption its goal is to transfer as much wealth as possible to its big-money donors. Can this possibly change?

Our society is so incredibly warped, an engine designed where citizens are little more than "consumers". Indeed, the term is used so interchangeably, the term "human" can almost be discarded: we are now Homo Emptor. Indeed, it is now axiomatic that our very well being is measured by how much currency changes hands, the liberal flow of currency a surrogate for human freedom.

no big box!Can we rise above this fanatical religion of consumerism and property, whose zealots are far, far more damaging than even the most deranged terrorist? Isn't it incredibly clear that well being is not maximized by how much we buy? That we coexist, indeed are dependent upon, an Earth whose health demands that our "productivity" be recognized for the destruction it really is?

During the election, Obama admitted we would need to learn to "live with less", to "live within our means". Yet he was painfully lacking in specifics. And no sooner did he become the presumptive President than he's calling for more economic stimulus. Economic stimulus is a good thing, surely, but not consumer stimulus, we need stimulus of the economy of well-being, of the economy of society, of the economy of a healthy planet. Consumer stimulation is what has generated so many of our problems. It's time to rise above the religion of big-box profits.

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