It's a point that's been made many, many times before, but it's no less valid: there are many of us. There are very few of "them." The power to transform this world still rests primarily in our hands...
Active warfare is taking place in Yemen and Syria and Iraq. Proxy-funded civil warfare is taking place in Ukraine. The economic warfare of the central banksters and their cronies against the people of the world is only intensifying with the Greek people's heads still on the chopping block for the sins of their mis-leaders and the average working person getting poorer and poorer as the 0.01% get richer and richer. The internet clampdown seems to be getting closer and closer as the technological surveillance state becomes normalized. Heck, it's even getting harder and harder to help feed the homeless without getting fined for your trouble.
As I discussed last week in these pages, there can be no doubt that the world is in a precarious place right now. There can also be no doubt that we need to be aware of these problems in order to confront them squarely and bring about real change.
Having said that, it does us no good to only dwell on the negative aspects of life either. There are many positive developments taking place around us each and every day, and we neglect those examples at our own peril. At best they can give us ideas that we can adopt ourselves in our own attempts to change the world for the better, and at the very least they remind us that we are not alone in this fight.
With that in mind, let's examine the flip side of the coin this week as we look at four signs that the world is not, in fact, ending.
#1: Citizen initiatives can and do make a difference
One of the things I love about the member community at corbettreport.com is its ability to source stories from all around the globe, stories that I couldn't possibly find all on my own. One such story was posted up to the site last week when Corbett Report member "lincolnlea" linked to a YouTube video of a grassroots citizen activist network in Kodiak, Alaska.
The video details how a small band of citizen activists, concerned about the UN-led Agenda 21 exposed by Rosa Koire, founded a grassroots movement to oppose a 320-page Agenda 21-inspired zoning law on the island. The group was persistent, packing hearings and meetings on the proposal with hundreds of concerned citizens. In the end, the group was successful: the law was voted down.
The story is instructive for a number of reasons. For one, it shows us that grassroots movements can organize around issues of shared concern and, just by standing up and saying no, win the battle. Now this isn't a Hollywood happy ending. The war isn't over by any means, and the people of Kodiak would be naive to think that this legislation won't return in some altered form down the road. But this time, the people will be ready; the anti-Agenda 21 group now has a mailing list of 400 out of a total population of 6000.
The story also shows us that the favorite tactic of the oligarchs and their politicians is to back down in the face of direct conflict. Just like when the TSA stepped down from enforcing body scans during Opt Out Day 2010. It doesn't mean the fight is over, but it does mean that the establishment is scared of confrontations with motivated, organized citizen initiatives.
There are many examples of how groups like these are making a difference all around the world. Some have succeeded in getting fluoride removed from the local water supply. Others are overturning the homeless feeding bans that seek to prevent people from taking care of the less fortunate in their own communities. We saw similar popular movements derail large political initiatives like the North American Union-in-waiting SPP or the internet-freedom-destroying ACTA treaty.
All around the world, people are standing up and making a difference.
#2: There are more economic opportunities now than ever before
It may seem strange to people who note the declining labor participation rate in the US or the chronic youth unemployment rates in Europe or the plummeting real wage levels in Japan or similar economic indicators, but the economy is not all doom and gloom. Or, more specifically, the alternative economy is not all doom and gloom.
"What's that?" you say. "The alternative economy?"
The alternative economy. I've explored many aspects of this economy in these pages in the past and through my work at corbettreport.com. These include alternative and complementary currencies like time banking and cryptocurrencies, LETS systems and other forms of mutual credit, cooperative banks including mutual credit, mutual savings and building societies, peer-to-peer businesses, farmer's markets and flea markets, barter communities and sharing communities, grey and black markets, and all the other ways humans can trade without the imposition of a third party entity (like a government or a central bank) in that interaction. Although many of these ideas sound like trivial side-issues to those who have never participated in them, there is a burgeoning economy out there that is finding a way to connect producers with customers in ways both time-honored and cutting edge.
Take the phenomenon of the farmer's market boom. By no means a new or novel idea, farmer's markets have been around for as long as people have grown food. But whereas once they were seen as a quaint vestige of a forgotten past, since the 2008 crisis in the mainstream economic world reminded people of the precarious nature of our finances and our food supply they have experienced a dramatic comeback in country after country around the world, from the US to Australia to the UK and beyond. In fact, such is the resurgent popularity of the idea that there's an entirely new problem for local farmers: a glut in the market leading to falling prices. Indeed, for those who have experienced the farmer's market experience--the discovery of fresh, seasonal, locally-grown produce, the ability to get to know the local farmers and their products, the community experience of shopping in an open-air marketplace--it almost makes you wonder how people ever became convinced that the factory-to-plate industrial farming experience of the modern sanitized supermarket was the only natural way to source their food. And of course the community nature of the farmer's market allows for an exchange that you will never find in your national chain supermarket: alternative local currencies, barter, or mutual credit payments are all possible when you are interacting directly with the person who grew the food that you are buying.
But if you (like me) were born with two black thumbs and don't think you'll make your fortune (or even earn some pocket money) contributing your guerrilla gardened produce to a local market, the possibilities for participation in the alternative economy are only limited by your imagination.
People are supplementing their earnings (or even making their living) putting their services up for bid on any number of task sites that have sprung up in recent years, from bicycle delivery to graphic design to furniture assembly.
People are designing and selling (or giving away if they are so inclined) designs for objects to be downloaded and printed on 3D printers.
People are selling music directly to their fans, no record label needed.
People are funding pet projects through crowdsourcing, from the mundane (documentary films and book projects) to the useful (new technologies and gadgets) to the truly bizarre (world's largest jockstrap, anyone?).
Heck, some people are even making a living podcasting. I know, I know. I can hardly believe it either.
#3: Technology is a double-edged sword (that means one side is good)
The alt media (myself included) often highlight the creepy, dystopian nature of our increasingly technological world, and why not? With 24/7 surveillance and drone armies and brain chips and mind reading technologies to worry about, there's no shortage of reasons we should be treading into the Brave New World of our computer-controlled future extra carefully.
But (and stop me if you've heard this), technology is a double-edged sword. Yes, it can be (and currently is) used for a lot of evil, tyrannical purposes. But it is also the same technology that I can personally guarantee not a single person reading this would forsake altogether. Even the poor of the developed world lead lives of unimaginable luxury compared to the squalor of the peasants (or even the kings and queens) of centuries past.
With a crop of technologies that are coming into view now, humanity is on the cusp of a revolution that will make the Industrial Revolution look like a minor event. The potential for the alleviation of human suffering is likewise staggering.
I've talked before about the 3D printing revolution and its potential ramifications on the wider economy. Although still in its technological infancy, as printers become cheaper, more powerful and more ubiquitous, the idea of mass-produced goods from distant factories being shipped to local shopping malls in the hopes that you might be enticed to pick one out from the bargain bin some day in the future will seem as out of place in the future as lamplighters and knocker-uppers and cobblers are in our own time.
But it's not just that. 3D printing is replacing $42,000 myoelectic hand prosthetics with a homemade $50 equivalent. The result? The $50 replacement works better. 3D printed guns are rendering gun control a technological impossibility. 3D printed houses are replacing aging, squalid Chinese village tenements with clean, modern houses. And if you still think 3D printing is newfangled, cutting-edge technology, wait until you get a load of 4D printing.
Another example culled from the research of the Corbett Report member community (courtesy of user "Trudy-Alan"): the Ecocapsule. Just when you thought bugging out to the woods in the middle of nuclear armageddon and martial law couldn't get more comfortable, along comes this Slovakian architectural design for a self-contained, off-grid, low-energy house. Although they are yet to start shipping completed units, prototypes are up and running and generating their own power with solar cells and wind turbines, and built-in rainwater collection and filters allow for hot showers and flush toilets.
Of course, technology is not just about transforming the lives of the world's richest countries, though. It's about empowering the poorest people in the world, and there are any number of technological innovations coming up that promise to do just that, from low-cost desalination technologies for providing clean drinking water to low-cost, open source shelters to meet immediate housing needs in the wake of emergencies and humanitarian disasters.
No, technology will not be the savior of humanity in the tasks and trials ahead, but it is important to remember it can be wielded for good as well.
#4: We are many, they are few
This may seem like a trivial point, but it is not. It is sometimes easy for those who are submersed in the alt media to lose track of the fact that the world is composed of billions upon billions of people more or less like ourselves and a relative handful of evil, manipulative, psychopathic control-freak globalist schemers. In fact, even the elite supergophers themselves estimate there are only about 6000 of them, serving a class of powers-that-shouldn't-be that would presumably be an order of magnitude smaller.
Yes, there are many, many more people manning positions in this system that, wittingly or unwittingly, aid and abet it. But think about the people in your own life. How many central bankers or corrupt politicians or Machiavellian technocrats do you know and interact with in your day-to-day life? And how many everyday people trying to provide for their families and be left alone do you know? I'm going to take a wild guess that it's nearly 100% of the latter and nearly 0% of the former.
It's a point that's been made many, many times before, but it's no less valid: there are many of us. There are very few of "them." The power to transform this world still rests primarily in our hands, and we are making the decision whether to wield this power each and every day by participating in the hard work of building up these alternative economies and steering these empowering technologies and leading these citizen initiatives or not doing so. And by not doing so, we're still making a choice.
The path from here to the world we want to bring into existence is not an easy one by any means. There are many problems, setbacks and pitfalls strewn along it, and nothing is for certain except this: if we don't start down that path, we'll never get to the other side.