Friday, 4 January 2008

governments just don't get it (part 1)

The tagline (sub-heading) above says "think globally, act locally … ACT GLOBALLY".
In my first post, I limited this theme to my business plan; however, it imbues pretty much every waking moment.
What does it mean?
Well, in a strictly scientific sense, everyone on the planet is connected.
Even if we weren't all distant relatives (which we are), and suspending - for the time being - my personal belief in equal 'rights', we share the same pool of resources!
Some of the air you breathe right now was expelled by someone on another continent at some time and partially or completely reprocessed before it eventually came in your window and you sucked it into your lungs.
Similarly, the food I eat and the liquid I drink contains the waste of someone, alive or dead, ten thousand miles away.
In the future, our waste products will help someone else survive.
Matter and energy are to some extent interchangeable, but the system we live in - our planet, our atmosphere - is pretty much closed.
We can't use up these resources. We can't increase them either. All we can do is convert them. Or leave them alone.

OK, so our pool is limited and we all live in the same closed system.
So what?
Quite simply, a minority of our 'family' is fucking things up for the rest and it's time we stopped them.

All cultures have developed measures to control or limit antisocial behaviour to some extent. I'm not claiming any of these is perfect (or even 'correct') but there's something in human nature that abhors cruelty, unnecessary violence, vandalism, thievery, dishonesty and so forth.
Laws, accountability, enforcement and punishment are tools invented by humans to 'protect the greater good'.

Now, I don't have much time for conspiracy theories, but it seems to me that these well-intended codes of behaviour rarely apply to protect the entire system we all share - only to tiny, disjointed bits of it.
Furthermore, looking at our planet from a distance, metaphorically speaking, there appears to be an inverse relationship between damaging behaviour and accountability.
Some individuals are allowed - even encouraged - to shit in our pool.
Some countries have assumed the right to occupy a disproportionate space in the pool.

I haven't mentioned 'governments' yet, because I wanted to provide some context.
In my experience, governments are comprised of followers - not leaders. (I'm happy to concede the exceptions - there aren't many).
They are good at supervising and controlling their constituents (usually via prohibition), they are exceptionally good at taking money from people and disbursing it (sometimes for the greater good - often not), they are 'adequate' at managing existing structures (as opposed to creating new ones) and they are truly excellent at acting swiftly to increase their own power.
But they're hopeless at innovation!
Any genuinely 'fresh' approach by a government - good or bad - is not driven by politicians but by lobbyists.

This is a good time for me to take a break, for the waters will get very muddy very quickly.
In the meantime, here's a handy hint. Do you suspect a government 'initiative'? Follow the money trail.

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