Two weeks away from the organisation I work for has given me the opportunity for some serious contemplation time. Clearly I’ve always known that their bottom line is to make as much money as possible and provide its shareholders with the highest dividend-related pay-outs in accordance to the current market conditions. As time goes on however, its raison d’etre is becoming a bitter taste in the mouth, cleansed only by a glass of locally produced, sulphate-free natural wine.
Maybe it’s because I am moving quite swiftly towards a new and more ecological path nowadays, that as each day passes, my attachment to the organisation becomes more meaningless, more pointless.
And as each day passes, more and more synchronicities are occurring giving me hints that I need to move on, almost like an esoteric and invisible elbow is nudging me in the ribs and towards the door. An unusual cloud formation, a lyric in a rock song, a conversation with a stranger are all pointing my compass needle away from its current direction.
During the last few months, days and weeks, I have also come to the realisation that democracy is truly dead, globally, not just in the UK. I’m not well-read on the matter, but my current understanding is that the catalyst for our current state is the advent of neo-liberalism, defined by Wiki as the following:
“Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with economic liberalism and free-market capitalism. It is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, austerity and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society”.
Naturally, perhaps, this led me to the door of Noam Chomsky, a name I had heard from in the past but hadn’t really had the opportunity to dive deeper.
From what I have read and watched thus far, the neo-liberalist slippery slope began in the US in the 80’s, which moved society away from democratically elected constructs and nationalised industries and towards unelected big business calling the shots, all of which was introduced by Ronald Regan and Milton Friedman, with Margaret Thatcher (my anathema) as their evil and twisted counterpart on the other side of the pond.
It all starts to make sense to me know. The power that the current elite billionaires yield is so much more than that of governments, and just a quick glance at the pitiful corporation taxes companies like Amazon and Facebook pay globally effectively means it is they that are controlling the system, not elected officials who allegedly represent the greater good of the people.
Then we have the current batch of Tories, who have abused their elected powers for total cronyism, handing out billion pound contracts to their party funders, no doubt increasing their own personal wealth in the process.
So here we have a situation where the world is effectively run by big business, underpinned by corrupt governments, neither of which have the health and wealth of the people at heart, only personal wealth and power over others.
So knowing that no one has our back and there are no real alternatives out there at present, what real choices do we have. It is difficult, but we do have choices, and I have started to make those choices.
Humans only need five basic things to survive, clean air, clean water, food, shelter and sleep. The air where I live is free (at the moment!) and clean, the water I have to pay for (which I can’t really avoid just now) and includes various chemicals all of which I filter out before consumption, most of the food is sourced from local farms, butchers and dairies, my house is well-kept (although I am still mortgaged to big business which I hope to pay off as soon as I can) and I sleep well (all things considered).
Anything beyond the basics falls under comfortable living, but non-essential to sustain life. We have clearly evolved over the last few thousand years to do more than just exist, to have fun and enjoy the time we have here, advancing the species in the process. Sadly, not many of us have enjoyed the last eighteen months for the obvious reason, but for me and some of my new friends, we have come to the realisation that we can make a break for it, and leave the chaotic world behind.
That all starts with a reversion back to tribes. Our new cooperative is starting small, but is already bringing together strangers as friends, all with a common middle digit erected to the UK government and big business. Not only will our collective produce organic food for group consumption, it will act as an experiment to counter neo-liberalism. Clearly our collective aims are the same, but I guess we are all at various stages of enlightenment (socio-economic enlightenment as opposed to spiritual enlightenment), but I think as one “micro-movement”, we can look to the implementation of a different lifestyle, one not beholden to power-wielding constructs.
Naturally, this existential epiphany is leading me to conclude that an exit from my current organisation will happen sooner rather than later, I don’t think I can wait until my retirement in five years, my tenure is really is starting to grate on me too much.
Wish me and the wider cooperative luck…