Sunday, June 14, 2015

"Paradise Now"

You Cultural Veterans out there  will remember "Paradise Now" as the name of a Swell Brave Brilliant Fun Life Changing play by the "Living Theater" back in the Sixties. That plea still echos loudly in our society. The "Occupy Movement" was just the latest, and most desperate expression of that desire.

A world where all is shared kindness, and introspection is a given. In the west at least we've been trying to bring such a world about for some centuries now.

At least since the Peasant Revolts of the middle ages.  

The founding of the United States of America is an inconsistant ongoing try.  The attempted revolutions of the 18th 19th, and 20th centuries...sadly just made things worse.

The 17th century Diggers of Britain. Google them folks. Perhaps the Great Grand Parents of assorted Utopians since...Hippies early Civil, and Sexual Rights movements, and bunches of weird artists, and various sorts of visionaries'n nutters with hearts of gold.

Hakim Bey Allen Ginsberg James Baldwin Walt Whitman, and Harry Hay among many others known, and unknown come to mind.

Them diggers like the recent Beatniks Civil Rights folks Hippies, and Occupiers all wanted the goods produced to be held in common...the land too. Basically all should be happy, and free no one should live in want. The whole messy lot of us should share, and help all around us, and basically have a good time.

The Christians started out this way before they became a religion, and started burning books, and people at the stake.

Pessimists would say that "We can Dream it, but still can't Do it". I think that Paradise is hard. Hard to dream, and Hard to make...not impossible, just Hard.

Making the Atomic bomb was hard too. However with total dedication, and the use of vast resources they made the damned thing...and plenty of them. The maniacs have been refining it ever since.

 Imagine...remember the song?

Imagine if that sort of dedication vast resources, and some Pixie Dust were put towards the "Paradise Project".

Unlike the Manhattan Project nothing would be secret it would all be out in the open for all to see, and if they wanted to help with. 

"Hey what are you folks doing?"

",...building the Golden Age,...I think...wanna help?

That's what we're doing. That's what thoughtful folks have been part of knowing or not all these centuries That's what we have to keep at no matter what.


Stay Tuned.

1 comment:

  1. All my life I've longed for the kind of Golden Age you describe. Hippies were my favorite iteration of the Dream.

    Sometimes I despair when I think of the following. You can make a solid scientific case that humans are basically social primates. We're great apes, and thus reliably behave that way.

    Long ago Jane Goodall did an experiment. She had her people dig a trench and fill it with hundreds of bananas, to see what the chimps they were studying would do. Would they share out the booty, come one come all, and revel in orgiastic delight, making the occasion into a chimp Golden Age?

    Not a bit of it. What happened was that the most dominant members of the group bestrode the ditch and forcibly prevented any rival members from getting access to the hoard. Using violence, they swiftly took control of the resource.

    I think this explains a lot of human behavior. It seems to account for the social and wealth hierarchies observable throughout history, and for the development of empires, which are essentially protracted resource grabs on the grand scale. It also suggests that concentrated stores of wealth are unlikely to produce an equitable society. It's better when the bananas are on the tree and have to be gathered one at a time by those who wish to enjoy them.

    One of the few things that give me any kind of hope for a better society are the ideas of a writer named Charles Eisenstein, who has explored the possibility of a society that is founded on generosity and gifting instead of grabbing and hoarding. But are humans really so constituted as to be able to make that work? I'd like to think so.

    At the moment we're headed into a dark age that is likely to last for some centuries. The only good news is that capitalism is toast, and will be supplanted by some other socioeconomic formation, probably by the end of this century. Historically, the usual replacement social system in this sort of situation would be some form of feudalism; but I'm hoping that at least in some locales they'll come up with something better and more interesting.