If the Flow is Against Logic
or "What Should Be Done Anyway with the Greens?"
I. What is happening?
At the conference in Rio de Janeiro, the opinions of government and public forums on the sacramental question of what is to be done diverged in a most decisive manner.
And because the mass media serve, whether they want to or not, the powers that be, few people know about this divergence. Here, nobody knows.
The position of government delegations can be briefly summarized as follows: "In general and on the whole, the flight is going well, but we need a change in course." Such a change was made in the form of two Conventions - "The Climate Change Convention" and "The Biological Diversity Convention."
The position of public organizations in the same terms sounds quite different: "We're flying in completely the wrong direction, and if we don't turn around, we'll crash into pieces."
The Greens of the Planet Earth, at last, have announced that neither "polluting" factories, nor atomic energy stations, nor nuclear bombs, are by themselves the main reason of the impending catastrophe. Instead, it is the dominating socio-economic mechanism of the twentieth century, the name of which is "consumer society." This is a society where real prosperity is considered only material, where family, health and happiness can be evaluated by money, and accordingly are objects of trade, and not indisputable valuables which are above anything else.
Greens of different countries and peoples, beliefs and religions, consider the self-established global economic and political mechanism destructive for the biosphere of the planet, and amoral. This mechanism is able to ensure the growth of the well-being of a few only at the impoverishment of the majority in exact accordance with the law of preservation of matter and energy. After all, we live in a world with limited resources. And if somewhere, someone becomes significantly richer (in a material, and not a spiritual sense), then someone in relation to this has become poorer!
Precisely this order feeds and clothes those who really control industry and defense, education and entertainment; those who pay, and therefore control, music. It is hard to believe that they can be convinced, and even forced to turn away from all this in historically acceptable periods.
Therefore, an ecological catastrophe is unavoidable. The issue is, will it come to a global death of humankind or to the few survivors becoming wild, or will a greatly reduced humankind emerge from the catastrophe having preserved the achievements of logic and made wise by the catastrophe?
"Developed capitalism" and "developed communism," intended for the satisfaction of growing needs, cannot serve as reference points for an environmentally safe future. To survive on an Earth limited by size and therefore by basic resources, it is necessary to build a "society of humble material needs." This is not a synonym for a "society of the poor," but instead orients one towards the building of a "society of the spiritually rich." Generally speaking, all current living religions consider precisely this kind of life just.
II. What can we hope for?
However, it is accepted everywhere to understand success as something quite different. As a result, those who prefer richness of spirit - i.e. who are the messengers of the future to our own repelling reality - as a rule feel catastrophically defenseless in the world. Not so long ago, there were few of these strange people, and they were not noticeable. Now, judging by the Declaration of the Forum of Nongovernmental Organizations in Rio, they comprise a noticeable part of the population of the planet, around one percent. This is not at all enough to acquire weighty political influence under the existing rules of the game.
But it is enough to begin forming a new, if you please, "noosphere" society in the depths of our present human society. The sprouts of this new society will still need protection, but that, it seems to me, is within our power.
The spiritual unity of such people is beyond doubt. Whoever has been at real nongovernmental environmental conferences, including international ones, will remember their surprising atmosphere of complicity, closeness and friendliness, in which even language differences are not a barrier for mutual understanding.
It is precisely on this seemingly unsteady platform that the Socio-Ecological Union and its great-grandparent - the Movement of Druzhinas for Environmental Protection - exist and develop. Nothing, besides a feeling of fellowship, cements them. But it seems that nothing can cement so sturdily in our unstable society.
It seems to me that today, premises have emerged or are in the process of emerging for creating economic unity, for creating an international self-financing association of people who share the ideology of the Declaration, and whose network covers the entire Earth and penetrates into all its corners.
First Premise: "There are a lot of us." This means that, uniting our resources, we really can support one another. Many of us exist in the structures of the "third sector" and know where and how to find the means accumulated in the two other sectors: government and business. At the same time, probably, like-minded people have appeared among well-off business people, among politicians, therefore implementing the slogan "Nature should have its people everywhere." Many of us are great inventors and artists, peasants and tradespeople, scientists and organizers. We have something to sell the world, so our resources are not small, and with modest needs, they can be more than enough for everyone.
Second Premise: "Private property on land is considered holy on most parts of the Planet." Consumer society has built this trap for itself. Of course, humans do not have the right to be owner of the lives of a myriad of living things which inhabit every plot of land on the surface of the Earth. But if they have given themselves this right, then we should put this situation to good use. It is well-known that for stable existence of the biosphere, 30% of the surface should be exempted from intensive economic use. This means that we need to buy it, or else in some manner acquire it as property or as a life-long inherited ownership by members of the association. For our goals, a common area is important, and therefore we need to begin with the worst, the most inconvenient, and therefore the least expensive parts of land not wanted by anybody. But not only this, of course, if there is an opportunity. "Nature knows best" is one of the fundamental laws of environmentalism. We will give nature the opportunity to rejuvenate itself on our earth, helping it as much as we can.
If one acts consistently and with enthusiasm, then a new country will arise on the planet, a country of greens, defended by the right of ownership. Let this country differ from all others only by more strict laws on environmental protection and human rights. But it will have its own territory and borders, its economy and culture, its order and its customs. Is this too little to ask?
Third Premise: "We can do this." In reality, many people in a number of countries already live such a life, such as the citizens of Aurovil in India and the Findhorn society in Scotland, employees of parks in the governments of the former USSR, aborigines of the Chukotka and Australia, Indians from Canada and the people of Koga in Columbia, and many many more. We simply need to find one another and take each other by the hand.
III. So, what is to be done?
If you like this proposition, then let's build our country. If you want to, we can make it like a family of cranes. The Socio-Ecological Union is an international network of equal public organizations, which gets by without a president, administration or hierarchy, and at the same time, doesn't just live, but expands.
If you want to, we can do it a different way.
I think that we should greet cooperation among everybody, keep open doors for everybody who signs the principles and views of the Declaration of NGOs in Rio: for individuals and societies, public organizations and companies and even governments. Our goal is to survive in an atmosphere which is hostile towards us and towards the biosphere. All means, except violence, are good for us.
Our country can be called "The Land of People." Its Constitution should, I think, begin like this:
"The Land of People is a confederation of lands, the owners of which recognize this Constitution as the highest law of their own activity.
Any person who recognizes this Constitution and who is a legal owner of a piece of the Earth's surface of any size can become a citizen of the Land of People.
Any person who recognizes this Constitution, but who does not own a piece of land, can become a candidate of citizenship of the Land of People.
This declaration of human rights is valid on the territory of the Land of People in its full extent.
On the territory of the Land of People, the equality of rights of all types of living beings to exist in the conditions of natural freedom is recognized."
The Land of People should not have a government and policies, should not have compulsory taxes, and there should be no superiors and subordinants. We, in the Socio-Ecological Union and in the Druzhina Movement, know how to live without them. Everybody will bring that which he or she can do and knows how to do. And everybody will be evaluated here according to his or her human qualities, and not according to the way he or she dresses.
A fairy tale? Maybe! But what is unrealistic here? Let's give it a try!
4. Why should we do this?
If humanity is destined to agonize painfully and come to understand the dire situation quickly, the Land of People will not become Noah's Arch. The nuclear winter will cover all humanity with it's cloak of death. But if the ecological catastrophe takes a longer time to occur, then the Land of People may be able to play a role both as a shelter and a model. One example is the objectively higher ability of its inhabitants to exist in conditions of general deficit; (as a result of a growing effectiveness of consumption of materials and energy and a decreasing need for them. And also due to the unfortuitousness of the theory of survival of the fittest.
In any case, for many of us it is much easier to simply try to live as humans rather than convince our millions of tribemates of the necessity to live as such. And this is not the worse method for fighting with the ecological crisis on the planet Earth at the end of the second millenia after the birth of Christ.
Each person should be able to choose whether to participate in political battles trying to force their government and other powers to save the environment or to dismiss themselves of all battles and try to build harmony in their own home.