Making A Happy World
How to create abundance
The question is not, ‘How will humanity survive?’ The real question is, ‘What kind of life do I want to live now?’
- R. Heru Ayana
“You believe in things you don’t understand…”
- Superstition by Stevie Wonder
It hasn’t. It’s a new and temporary invention that’s impossible to sustain. A ‘family’ that’s comprised of mum, dad and the kid/s is a dangerous illusion, a pernicious superstition that is one of the biggest elephants in our cultural lounge room and the major problem that we need to resolve if we’re to learn to share and preserve the world.
The ongoing isolation that most of us in developed countries are experiencing is the end result of a deliberate policy of divide and conquer carried through to its logical extreme. In ‘wealthier’ countries the nuclear family itself is no longer the norm; many people live almost completely separated from their loved ones and dwell at a tolerable distance from their friends. We screen out the world and live behind walls that separate us from the potential for noble, happy, healthy and integrated lives.
And yet we must learn to share the planet Earth and to actually care about and like our fellow human beings, enjoying their company and striking a much better balance between shared space and our occasional need for privacy. There’s actually far more than enough to sustain us all – we can all live at a high ‘Western’ standard of living without destroying the ecosystem. The concept of Humanity’s huge ecological footprint being too large to sustain is only accurate when the old technological and social fixes aren’t exchanged for new ones that are already waiting in the wings for their overdue cue.
People could continue leading their profligate lives with impunity - if the fuel and power sources were clean and the materials used for all our daily needs weren’t made of toxic chemical time bombs. The alternatives are all ready for us to adopt and use – when we’re allowed to. Or you can take matters into your own hands and bring about radical change in your life – where it matters most. Something far more fundamental than the props and scenery has to change – we have to write new scripts and roles for ourselves or someone else will do it for us.
Humans live most happily in medium-sized groups that mimic the extended family structure of our nomadic ancestors, who generally stuck together in bands numbering between twelve and three dozen. Smaller groups tend to die out and larger ones fission into smaller ones. Extended families work particularly well when you have a lot of empty space to fill; they’re a recipe for species suicide in our new millennium. And yet they remain the time-tested template for a satisfying human life and the substrate of our simian minds and emotions.
The Nation of Two
The essential difference between humans and other primates (and other animals) is that we need to invest so much time and energy into our children, to fit them into our complex temporal-lobe driven societies and make them fit to fill a useful niche in our skill-based survival machine.
Humans bond sexually for a period of time lasting from puberty to menopause. During this time younger men and women in most nomadic human bands separate out from the group for a time – until the female is pregnant and returns to the mothers and the family fold that make pregnancy, childbirth and parenting easy – and tolerable. Human pair bonding makes it possible to grow our great big brains – but it also creates something not present in other primates, when our old tribal structures break down; a nation of two that becomes separated from the rest of the clan in the modern feudal world, left to sink or swim on their own.
Parents are forced to stand alone under the meager prideful possession of a shared roof (that’s purchased at the cost of their freedom and the chance to actually live their lives together) or fracturing under the strain – and they actually pay strangers to watch their children so they can work to afford ‘childcare’.
When couples have children they’re often radically disenfranchised of their childless friends, developing a new circle of acquaintances that exist in similarly isolating circumstances. The utterly altered lifestyle of isolated parents leaves little time or room for anyone but those who are part of a children’s support structure and they end up trapped in the hideous suburban nightmare we’ve foisted on our straining planet.
Wage slaves inhabit rows of near-identical expensive little boxes full of isolated and exhausted people, living next door to people in identical circumstances – prisoners of time and space, with walls between their overstrained ears. They help to build a prison planet in which the inmates actually lock themselves up each night behind barred windows and double-locked doors.
Normal, huh? Something to aspire to? Something to pass on to the kids? And so many mistake hiding in their dens and burrows as ‘getting a life’. It’d be tragic if it was an accident, or something imposed on people by a totalitarian regime - but people choose to do it to themselves and choose to ignore the pointless idiocy of their existence, so life itself is misunderstood to be a meaningless filling in of vacant time, just a joke in poor taste, like the stupid structures and ugly sterile décor people choose to live in.
The imperial hive-like pyramid structure of our militarily-incepted civilizations serve us well - if all we want to do is grab as many of the resources we all need to share as quickly as possible; if all we want to do is expend those resources as quickly as possible amid an illusion of expansion and progress in an artificially created illusory world of ‘us’ and ‘them’.
The structure of our modern - yet still feudal - societies is a structure built for insects trapped in an unchanging hive; its top-down pyramidal power systems are designed to stop change and evolution. All the power flows up to the top from the base, while those at the top get to shit on everyone else; like the primate tree-structure of society that this inhuman hive system’s been so easily grafted onto. We live in a civilization best suited to the needs of an insect colony.
In the eyes of those at the top of the human totem pole, this mass of easily led and controlled Humanity is a hitherto necessary gene pool of skilled (wage) slaves whose time has come and gone; with modern automation, the ultra-wealthy can live lives of emperors and empresses without having to maintaining a horde of underlings at a living standard that makes revolution unnecessary. A few million underlings each will do, to maintain the hierarchy of illusory privilege.
The family structures of your rulers barely resemble the nuclear template they’ve foisted on everyone else, whatever the surface appearance of their interlinked dynasties. Their children are shared in a small pool of families that are linked by ties of blood, often fathered by the related business associates of their apparent parents. With such a structure, loyalty to one’s peers is as automatic as despising the poor. If you think such a system is unlikely or impossible, consider for a moment the nature, habits and history of royalty and you’ll see that their interlinked brood of inbred despots is the template for the modern inbred gerontocracy of ‘businessmen’ and ‘CEOs’ (common enemy overlords) who preside over the patently unfair distribution of our planet’s common wealth.
The rich know that this system can’t be sustained without radical changes and that it’s really a pyramid money scam - the newly comfortable populace will be easily shaken out of the tree’s upper branches when the coming large scale war, environmental collapse and ‘market correction’ blow away everything not securely rooted in actual, tangible resources - real wealth, real capital and real estate – and also secured with guns and hired murderers/soldiers.
It works every time; whatever the ostensible political system that appears to prevail, we still live in a fundamentally feudal epoch - one that we finally have a real chance of transforming into something altogether more fair and just in our own lifetimes. The era of these hierarchical self-serving institutions is drawing to a close. If we’re smart and wise and quick we can claw victory from the jaws of defeat and heal ourselves, each other and the planet – if we knock down the physical and mental fences and walls that we’ve built to protect us from ourselves and to keep our children from their playmates.
You can’t get on easily with everyone and you wouldn’t be able to share your house with many people; it’s a natural matter of chemistry and affinity. But there are people you could live with, share your life with - if you give it a chance. As humans we need to connect with the people that mean something to us - and those that can, if given the chance. Sharing and exploring the world together is a prerequisite for a healthy society of sane, free individuals.
On the day that you die, human connexions are the only meaning you’ll divine from life; possessions and accomplishments will count for nothing. Love is the only thing you can take with you.
Try something new with your eyes wide open (to avoid the obvious and well-mapped pitfalls of human interaction) and be ready to see and experience the unexpectedly wonderful. Let’s give the next generations of humans a better loving cradle full of friendly faces to grow up in, a place where parents and children and elders all feel needed, wanted and secure. All we have to do is open our hearts and our spare spaces and link our fractured lives and disparate, poorly designed structures together into the seamless whole they can so easily become. We only need to join the dots – the puzzle pieces are all there and most of the connexions are obvious, just waiting for us to meld them together.
There are many people fed up to the teeth with the same old crap, in positions of wealth and power and have far more than they need. Many would share it with others who had similar aims and hopes – if only they could learn to trust them. There are many, many isolated people who spend their days wandering through empty, friendless rooms in houses too large for them to maintain or use. If we tear down our fences we can all share the commons again and children can learn to play in tribal groups that don’t have to become violent, disenfranchised gangs of semi-literate bozos.
The standard ‘alternatives’ are commonly plain to see; if you prefer to pace through a boring existence in the same old rat run then just do nothing new and forget all this – you can be one of the self-deceiving unhappy herd, the dreaming gene-pool of potential, brooding without actualisation.
Or you can link up with people you like and try something old and new for a change, experiment with your very lives and creativity in a catalytic spirit of truth, beauty, art and love. We an create the next Enlightenment without the need of a cleansing Black Death if we play with our potential consciously instead of existing as half-living animated corpses.
United we dance, divided we’re dead. Let’s live! Let’s party! Let’s get to know and appreciate each other, our children and grandchildren – and those of others. We have the power to achieve whatever we choose – what’s truly good for us all will come together easily. Let’s build a real civilisation that fits our actual nature. Let’s live on a happy planet!
Images - author's