written by Ani Wheat
December 12th, 2012
Who decided that Main St. was not sacred enough to preserve in its natural form? Looking out the window of my second story apartment, I try to visualize how the landscape has changed, from a prairie or forest into gray concrete slabs and power lines. What animals use to graze here? Did a tribe of Abenaki hunt mammoths where the local gas station now stands?
It is easy to blame civilization for the destruction of our natural world, and admittedly, I have thrown my arms up in the air to curse society, but what good does it do? Accusing the expansion and development of man is similar to pointing a finger at an idea and demanding it change its mind, a pointless and immature endeavor. Evolution and progress does not have a mind of its own; it cannot apologize or amend behaviors made by the uncontrollable villains loitering in our seats of power.
The only thing civilization can do is transform with time, through decisions made by the beings residing within it. We are the consciousness of our shared destiny. Every choice affects another living being and every diversion from the mainstream creates another opportunity.
Must we be victims of the world the dead has built for us? Forever doomed to maintain concrete, blaming society for the destruction of humans, plants, and animals? Has the American culture truly fell into the lull of believing that it is healthier to disconnect from the global community in order to be happy? Is ignorance really bliss? Or is it a saying to ease the ignorant into believing it best to stay dispirited and oblivious? Or is ignorance a tool used to keep the status quo immovable, thusly only profitable to those who reap and rape the sleeping flock?
The Industrial Revolution has caused a major shift in how American society sees and uses the natural world. Industrialization has given man an excuse to separate and disengage from actively involving his daily lives with his landscape. We will never be able to reverse the damage that has been caused, regardless of whether it was mans doing or not. The melting landmass of ice in the Arctic cannot be reclaimed, and perhaps the polar bears will face the same fate as the dodo; however
hope is not lost.
We should not merely accept the cards dealt apathetically. Nor can we throw the cards away. I believe the answer is to take what we were given and change the game entirely. How do we end this game? It starts with understanding all the rules, which also requires the American citizen to stop thinking that ignorance is bliss. Transformation of the Industrial Revolution into a “new era” starts with the mind. The renovation begins with locally strategic organized actions.
The struggle for American equality began as far back as every demographic demanding and gaining the right to vote, and it swelled in the 60’s during the Summer of Love. In my opinion, the revolution never stopped. It has ebbs and flows due to the power struggle within a capitalist society, now known as an oligarchy. Of course the people with the most money would continuously win, which is why we are still stuck in an economy that works for some and not for all.
The advent of the Internet is the most effective and exciting tool this leisurely-revolution could have asked for. Up until the mid-90’ most Americans relied on mainstream media and newspaper sources to obtain global updates, which are controversially not fair or balanced. The world-wide-web has significantly made it easier for people to connect to one another and share live updates of revolutions not being televised.
The potential for grass-roots organizations, protests, and independent news sources can readily have their message heard by more than what was once possible. My prediction is thus, the next leg of our global confluence will begin online. All non-profit organizations must converge, to share in profits, donations, and efforts. By this I mean, the organizations working towards animal rights and welfare need to come together, the ones working on homelessness should merge, all cannabis activists and lawyers must join forces, and so on and on. The comingling of efforts would be far greater than individual organizations battling on the same angles separately, competing for donations, subscribers, volunteers, and members. To compete with corporations we need to create new ones.
The government and legislation relies on corporations in order to keep American society as it functions today. History has proven that battling these conglomerates is almost impossible. By coming together and working within specific niches, we can turn the tables in favor of the citizen and preserve what natural world remains. In my short time here on this planet I have seen what humanity is and is not. I believe that once we can figure out how to keep the environment as pristine as we found it, we will have earned the right to consider ourselves true caretakers for planet Earth.