The “government shutdown” may have a silver lining for average citizens after all, it could potentially introduce to the minds of many the possibility that governments can shut down and to get people thinking about what to do if or when it happens for real. Even if you don’t believe it can happen, there’s plenty of reasons to expect a worsening financial crisis, environmental chaos due to natural and man-made disasters, energy shortages, etc. In short, now is a good time to start seeking alternatives to the current system, finding ways to live off the grid (or at least be less in the grid), and taking basic steps for preparedness.
As important as it is to be aware of the myriad problems affecting our lives, it’s just as important to seek solutions and inspiration to help each other in personal and collective journeys towards a better path. Two podcasts I’ve heard recently may do just that through interviews with creative and iconoclastic individuals who are well on their way on a better path and are encouraging others to join along.
The first is from Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad Radio program with author/activist Sander Hicks:
You can read about Hicks’ interests and writings here.
The second was on the latest episode of Greg Carlwood’s The Higherside Chats podcast with author Wendy Tremayne, who gave up a high paying position in New York for a more frugal, sustainable and fulfilling existence in New Mexico:
Both shows cover an interesting mix of information and views on politics, spirituality economics and lifestyle.
Even if one is not ready or able to immediately attempt such a leap, don’t assume it’s not possible. It’s difficult by design to survive within much less escape a system so dominated by corporations and power-mad political bureaucracy without some sacrifice or compromise. However, everyone can take big or small actions everyday to offset compromises, contribute towards positive change and improve one’s situation, whether it’s conscious consumer and lifestyle choices, inner work, learning, communicating, supporting, creating, organizing, resisting and whistleblowing as just a few examples. As Gil Scott-Heron said in his song “Work For Peace”, nobody can do everything but everyone can do something. What one does might depend on personality, passion, skills, knowledge, creativity, and life situation. You might not see immediate results but sometimes change can occur through long-term cumulative efforts.
For every concession Obama wins he gives up two things in return. This is all about maneuvering to cut Medicare and Social Security, the bane of the ruling class’s existence. Food stamps and Head Start were just the start. They were just for poor people anyway but touch Medicare and SS and they might just have a fight on their hands finally.
If it was a short term shutdown it would probably help both parties rally their supporters, but the longer it lasts the more likely it will hurt them as more people feel the effects of austerity-like cuts. But as with disasters in the past like Katrina and Sandy, it’s a reminder that they are incompetent when it comes to things we need most from government. Hopefully more people will see the need for a third party at the least if not a new form of government entirely (or perhaps anarchism; with a government such as this why not anarchism?).