The opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do not reflect opinions or positions held by Indivisible Northampton.
By Seth Wilpan
It’s difficult to construct a narrative in which good prevails. It seems to require a long time scale, time enough for things to fall apart and for a new order to arise from the chaos. What if instead, like restoring a home, we could skillfully dismantle the rotted pillars of our civilization and build a new one in place, without the whole thing collapsing?
The Green New Deal is potentially the most powerful vehicle of transformation that we have. It can explode the current monetary system that’s based on dominance and enslavement. The system of money is currently organized in such a way that banks are in control. This system is not the result of any natural law, despite the edifice of words that has been built to convince us of that. Money can be generated and used as a means of facilitating cooperation, sharing and the common good. Trillions of dollars will have to be created to support a Green New Deal, and the banks will fight tooth and nail to insert themselves into that process. They will insist that we have to borrow the money from them and they will point to various laws and institutions that they themselves established to support that claim. We’ll need to supply enough pressure for a new administration and a new Congress to have the courage to ride roughshod over those claims.
Cutting the bankers out of their role in creating money will further weaken the already tottering petro-dollar’s position as the world currency. The GND’s massive investments in infrastructure will weaken the economic leverage of weapons manufacturers. This will expose the role of the military in propping up both the dollar and the weapons industry, making it easier to dispose of both.
We can’t allow the GND to be bent to the purpose of refueling the industrial capitalist state. It must be engaged in establishing a new relationship between humanity and the rest of creation. It must immediately engage in the restoration and rehabilitation of the land and water. Part of that process is the reintegration of people with the natural world, which entails returning land from Big Ag to farmers. It means re-organizing the topology of the built environment to accommodate living more lightly on the land.
These are just a few of the most obvious transformations that can be accomplished under the aegis of a GND. The ripple effects are uncountable, though we can delight in imagining them. We may actually come to live life with less stuff and more art.
What about the 40% of the country who are white supremacists? They have been taught to be that way to serve the purposes of their masters. That learned hatred can quickly be dissolved in the flow of prosperity As Lao Tzu said:
It is better not to make merit a matter of reward
Lest people conspire and contend,
Not to pile up rich belongings
Lest they rob,
Not to excite by display
Lest they covet.
A sound leader’s aim
Is to open people’s hearts,
Fill their stomachs,
Calm their wills,
Brace their bones
And so to clarify their thoughts and cleanse their needs
That no cunning meddler could touch them:
Without being forced, without strain or constraint,
Good government comes of itself.
– Tao Te Ching translated by Witter Bynner
And as Wendell Berry concludes his poem “A Vision”:
The abundance of this place,
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling
light. This is no paradisal dream.
Its hardship is its possibility.