What we'll need to get past 2012
By Kris Magnusson
I read Open Mic from time to time, and I'm impressed with the integrity and candor of its writers and the personal risks they take, and the willingness of the Bohemian to indulge local creativity. I have something to share myself, and rather than keep my thoughts to myself and my immediate family, I need to let other people share in the fire in my belly that keeps me moving forward.
What will happen in 2012 is a subject that evokes both fear and delight in many Americans. I believe that rather than being the end of the world in some sort of global apocalypse, it will be a tipping point where so-called enlightened self-interest and its child, capitalism, will begin to be challenged by a philosophical quantum leap and the beginnings of a velvet revolution that not even Predator drones can stop.
What is the nature of this quantum leap? It is and will be the final correction to both Locke and Smith's irrational philosophies that if man simply looks out for himself and respects the natural rights of others, all is right in the world. The reason rational self-interest is irrational is that it only takes into account human beings.
That means people think it's OK to clear-cut the Amazonian rain forests for meager economic gains. Corporations that only take into account the interests of their stockholders have no institutional obligations to their employees and the environment, ruin the financial lives of those they lay off and freely emit carbon into the atmosphere without concern for the effects on the ecosystem. Investment bankers' core philosophy of personal financial gain has caused the worst recession since the Great Depression, and the government of the people, by the people, for the people has bailed them out of their losses. Our very way of life that rests on the foundation of enlightened self-interest is not only irrational, it is dangerous.
The only solution is an aforementioned velvet revolution that jumps one quantum level to take into account all life forms on Earth with a new philosophy of love and respect for all humanity as well as the ecosystem as an entity in itself.
I think the reason so many are at least uneasy about 2012 is not because it represents the end of time, but rather a judgment day where a growing majority of humans begin to hold our leaders and all culpable fellow Americans accountable for maintaining our capitalist status quo that is causing a mass extinction equivalent to one caused by an asteroid slamming into the oceans.
Is our species mad? Are we really akin to viruses, as Agent Smith believed? Are we really so shortsighted that we cannot see the true doomsday scenario we are creating for ourselves by killing off half the species on Earth? Nuclear combat is clearly no longer the threat to mass extinction it used to be; now it's the effluvia of capitalism. We buy trinkets from Wal-Mart at bargain prices, we save money for our retirements, and we are stupefied by the Cooking Channel, Oprah and our mundane, meaningless lives filled with alcohol, affairs and soccer. It has been said that humans don't take action until the last possible moment. We face that moment now, on the precipice of 2012.
Call the Lightworkers and the Twin Flames kooks if you want, but they are on to something. Love, spirituality and respect for all life forms, which is their core philosophy, is the one that, if it replaces rational self-interest, will transform life on Earth by clearing corrupt power structures, restructuring the way we work to replace it with emotionally and spiritually uplifting activities, and restoring coexistence with and stewardship of the ecosystem.
Brushing away rational self-interest could very well happen in 2012. If enough of us awaken and begin to love one another like brothers and sisters and respect the value of and necessity for a healthy ecosystem, we can perhaps act in time to save the planet—and ourselves.
Kris Magnusson is the co-author of 'Java Enterprise in a Nutshell' and a former tech writer for Adobe and Microsoft who lives in Santa Rosa.
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