The over-riding prerogative in the western world today appears to be tending to the needs of our economy. Everything else is relegated to the role of passive objectivity, resources for the exclusive use of the Economy. If the economy fails, we all fail is the not-so-subtle subtitle carried forward every day by the media, the Government and the corporations. And how do you keep people subservient to the needs of the economy? Drip feed a constant barrage of information all concentrating on the negative aspects of “what if world”.
“What if such and such does so and so to the economy?” “What if profits drop to the unacceptable level of less than multi-billions?” “What if productivity drops to less than 100% per operative?” and yet, to paraphrase the song “There’s always the money for a war, but never enough for the poor”.
One of the first principles most people walking the Druid path discover is the interconnected-ness of the natural world. Nothing is truly independent from it’s environment. Yet the economy is based exclusively on that very premise. It is independent from the passive world because it suits the “main players” to objectivise the natural world from a co-operative of thinking, feeling beings to a resource. Have you noticed that what used to be referred to as the “Personnel depts” of corporations are now referred to as “Human resources”. It’s actually a paradigm shift in emphasis, beings with emotions and rights are reduced to a resource for the economy and as such, can be relegated to the role similar to that of the raw ingredients. And by objectivising them, the behaviours towards them can be “adjusted” within corporate behaviours.
As I get older, even though I can see that I will (hopefully) benefit from the advances of society compared to what some of my ancestors, even just a few generations ago, had to face, I find myself increasingly becoming at odds with the Western economic model. Until a few months ago, I had worked all my life in this economic model. Leaving school on the Friday, I was in work the following Monday as an apprentice. I have worked to support myself and my family. It was “the right thing to do” and it provided “economic independence”. That was what I was told in school, by my peers and by the majority of my family.
I am very happy that my skills sets have helped tens of thousands of people over that time and that they still hold the potential to help some more before my physiology gives way to the inevitable physical demise advancing age places on the body. My role in the economic model has actually demonstrated that it was connections within society that have resulted in economic activity, but the message I see today is one where some theoretical model takes precedence over practical experience. Rigid observance of the theoretical model is what I see the majority of managerial people doing, even when experience and common sense says otherwise.
If you can get the theoretical model to work, the role of the environment can also be “better controlled for the desired outcomes”. I see this with this current UK government. Even in the face of over-whelming scientific evidence, this government, now unshackled from the objections of a coalition partner (even if that partner appears to have done very little, or has very little to show in the public arena) has now set course on relegating that environment to the role of “resource” again.
If your economic activities can be separated from the environment in pursuit of what, now-a-days, is nothing more than a set of numbers on a computer (it used to be physical resources such as gold, but I think numbers on computers have now taken the precedence) then, according to the sub-plot pedalled by the media and corporations, you can experience your own materialistic personal paradise.
And this goal is fueled by the inbuilt acceptance of separation from your environment. Because that’s how the economic model works best. Which is pretty depressing. Fortunately, there are people now beginning to offer different approaches and I am indebted to my friend Brian Taylor who, though somewhat not entirely convinced by some of the language, pointed me in the direction of some different thinking on this very subject. The piece ” Economy as Ecological livelihood” downloadable from the link, points the way, certainly for my Druidic path, to a more, less separated way forward.