Friday, April 10, 2020

Wishlist for a New World Order

I have been very anxious these last few weeks, and I don't think I'm usually a particularly anxious kind of person. I haven't left the farm since March 22, my last day going in to the tax office to work. I've still been swamped with work at home, between various contracts, farm planning, CSA marketing, lambing season, and returning to field work. And of course, taking turns with Skyler, caring for Emma. So there hasn't been too much free time yet for introspection, which has probably led to this build up of anxiety.

So this is how I'm going to blow off steam. I'm writing my wishlist for a new world order. Off the top of my head, un-researched, naive, optimistic, cynical, cheesy...just ideas that have been spinning away in my thoughts and dreams for decades. I'm releasing them into the ether, in hopes that after the global pain of this pandemic has passed, something better for humanity will be chosen, not this broken, hungry, despotic, economic system which, even without this pandemic, is already bringing us to the brink of extinction due to climate change.

Universal health care...medical, dental, visual, pharmacological, psychological. If any person needs treatment, they can get it.

Universal housing, clean water, basic income for all.

No more interest. No more debt. No more misers (aka billionaires). Wealth from interest only increases through unlimited growth, which is physically impossible. It is also why the gap between haves and have nots keeps getting wider and wider. Resources should circulate and benefit humanity as a whole, not just the ones at the top...there should be no top. Imagine if every organization had a cap on CEO pay of 7 times their most entry level position? This isn't even new, but an idea that has been around for decades, and is actually practised by some companies which have succeeded for decades too.

Research for the public good, led and funded by public institutions, not by private corporations, so the research is directed by need, not just profit.

Circular manufacturing, where industries which make something, have to take back what they make and re-use/recycle components and be responsible for any resulting disposal. Full life cycle manufacturing.

Fixing things! Patching clothes, soldering electronics, re-upholstering chairs, not everything needs to be replaced with something new. Our economy needs to find a different way to work than by pushing consumerism.

Education for all...not to train an obedient workforce, but to teach empathy, problem solving, reading, writing, arithmetic...the basics to give everyone an equal footing. School shouldn't be for teaching people how to do jobs...employers should be responsible for that...school should teach people how to learn.

Decriminalization of all drugs. The so-called war on drugs has failed. Instead, prisons are full of victims; countries where drugs are produced are full of victims. The money and lives wasted on 'enforcement' could go instead into community initiatives to address the roots of addiction, which are societal failings, not people failings.

Community self-sufficiency...food, housing, water, goods...all produced in local communities for local consumption first. Global trade should be reserved for those items which can only be produced in specific geographic areas, and production of those items should not supercede those communities basic needs. Feed everyone in their own countries first before exporting anything.

Airfares and travel should reflect their full environmental cost. No more cruise ships please. The tourism industry should not destroy the places they service.

No more fossil fuels removed from the ground. A global 'war effort' made to research and develop green renewables (solar, wind, vibration from roads, magic crystals...we don't even know all the possibilities yet!), which also don't exploit and pollute poorer nations.

No rights to corporations...people and the planet always come first.

An end to xenophobia and religious persecution. No nationalism. No racism. Just all citizens of planet Earth.

NO MORE PATRIARCHY. No more women abused, enslaved, kept down, paid less, forced to bear children. A world where gender is meaningless; we're all just persons.

No more 'second class citizens'...indigenous people, people of colour, people with disabilities, peasants, women, the list is just too long.

No more chemical agriculture. No more factory farms. Farming should be a good and healthy occupation, not requiring a full-time off farm job and not indebted to all the input corporations bleeding farmers dry.

A world where at least 50% of people work in food production, whether this be farming, butchering, baking, cooking, serving, transporting food, making cheese, starting seedlings, hunting, making compost, safeguarding water quality...so that our societies can no longer be so separated from where food comes from, how it is made, how it gets to everyone. This shouldn't be a black box, but at the very centre of our understanding as a society...how we are all fed every single day.

On this Good Friday, when those who believe in Jesus Christ mourn His death on the cross, we should mourn all our dead, the old, the sick, the young, the healthy, who are being taken by this coronavirus pandemic, directly or indirectly. And as we hope for redemption, for resurrection, which is the very heart of the Christian faith, which gives us a chance to be right with God, I hope for our redemption from this pandemic, our chance to be right with humanity, with the planet on which we live.

We need to take these lies that we tell ourselves, that our country helps all its citizens equally, and make them true somehow. Hold our leaders to account. Push for change. Don't let them take more power than they need. And when vaccines or cures are found, and our collective efforts to keep down the death toll are no longer necessary, then let this world that we emerge into be a better place for everyone.

And yes, I did watch Pitch Perfect 3 recently with Emma (she likes the singing), so there's the cheese for you ;P Thanks George Michael.

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