It's time for most of us to abandon the dream of retiring comfortably, and to focus instead on leaving a legacy we can be proud of.
As a recent report highlights, our economic system rewards those who speculate, and victimizes those who work. It is also a global Ponzi scheme that threatens not only the economic wellbeing of the majority but availability of physical resources all of us depend on for survival. Essentially, we are participating in a game that cannot, nor should be, won. As I explained in a new meme, that game ─ unrestricted competition ─ can only result in the death of everyone.
I have detailed in multiple blog posts (and the upcoming book, Death Stoppers Anthology) my personal struggle with the inherent conflict between personal and global responsibility that we now face because of our proximity to global ecological limits. I shared it, along with evidence of that conflict, to be part of a conversation about how to create a future that maximizes our ability to survive and thrive as a species, and to be part of a team dedicated to realizing that future regardless of the personal consequences.
The competition that threatens us is not totally unrestricted yet, but the few who have the upper hand in that competition are focused on removing what few restrictions remain. This is especially obvious in the subversion of the U.S. political system, which made major gains in the recent mid-term elections in large part due to the weaponization of money enabled by a Supreme Court that values unrestricted competition. In a critical time when the world must be setting the stage for rapidly reducing carbon emissions (along with other stresses on Earth's life support systems), the social infrastructure dedicated to protecting common resources needed for our survival has become at-best useless, and at-worst is being co-opted to remove existing protections and make the situation much, much worse.
Many of us are held in thrall by the hope that we might still live comfortably following a life of service to the system we've been taught to believe is a legitimate source of value to the world, but in fact is dedicated to sucking us dry, just like the other "resources" that supply our pursuit of happiness as embodied by monetary wealth. For those of us who perceive the threat to our existence and that of future generations, this misperception and the hope it fuels must be replaced with a more accurate and comprehensive vision of real value that our lives can attain: a legacy that is testimony to whatever good remains in us, that is physically embodied by a better chance for the survival of our species. We must also share this vision with as many people as possible, and build up a critical mass of support so we might succeed despite the huge odds aligned against us.