Another world is possible / DREAMS
We asked NI readers for their own visions of a better world, from practical
suggestions to utopian grand schemes. Here are some of the responses...
Second, all the productive resources of the world should become the common heritage of all the people of the world. They must no longer be owned by corporations, rich private individuals or states. There are already treaties saying that Antarctica and the moon cannot be appropriated by individuals or states. The same principle should apply to the whole planet, not just to its natural resources but also to the industrial plants and means of transport and communication that humans have built up by their collective labour over the centuries.
Third, appropriate democratic institutions will need to be set up to control the use of this common heritage – at world, regional and local levels.
Fourth, goods will have to be produced solely and directly to satisfy people’s needs, not as at present to make a profit: the whole market system of buying and selling, and the whole wasteful structure of financial and commercial institutions that arises from it, must go.
Adam Buick Brussels, Belgium
Fear and faith
The real question is not how to change but why we won’t. Fear of our own hunger and sadness, of slavery, of all the injustices we’ve inflicted on others? Fear of ourselves? Faith was supposed to release us from fear of the short term so we could live the way we need to and succeed in the long term. How much faith do you have in our species to survive?
Kelly Watt Brisbane, Australia
The amber beacon
If we continue to pursue our own good in our own way, as we have done for countless centuries, we will not be presented with one utopia: we will have two billion, the preserve of the wealthy, the ignorant, the blindfolded writer, the deaf musician. As for the remaining billions, they will remain the world’s eternal wanderers, searching and losing their way in the mire of contemporary society. Utopia must come from the people, not the person; from the heart, not the head.
Benjamin Brooker Happy Valley, South Australia
Josh Blume Washington DC, US
The way home
Eva Tenner Market Harborough, England
Only one thing works – the inner change for the better in individuals who have had some kind of illumination from a supernatural entity. NI readers won’t like it, but it works. I call the entity God, and I have experienced in myself and seen in many others radical changes towards beneficial behaviour, which have significantly improved the social units in which they occur. If enough people were to have the same experience, the world would be a very much better place than it is.
Stewart Lane Limbe, Malawi
Renting the future
The idea of not owning personal property may seem unthinkable but it would be quite possible to live on a rental basis – a kind of pay-for-use system. As soon as a thing was no longer needed, it would be returned to the community. Normal wear and tear would be included in the rent. This concept operates today for leased apartments, automobiles, computers, furniture and for utilities (telephone, electricity, cable TV).
What I envision is a society where the concept of exchange is non-existent. Everyone would work for the community and everyone would receive the same income from the community, not as a reward for working, but for being a citizen. Income would consist of share units issued on a regular basis. They would be used only for purchase of consumables (such as food) and for rent, but could not be exchanged or even given away.
EP Wilson Gabriola, BC, Canada
After oil, silence
Without oil, the world will be silent once more. Travel will be restricted, and people will quickly learn to live without it. By pooling their skills and knowledge they will build only that which is necessary to maintain healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities. There will be no waste, because everything will be reused. Many people will return to the land, working side by side with nature, in blissful harmony. They will begin to live and work in a way that many on the Earth have already chosen to do.
David Harvey Chippenham, England
The only hope we have
Buy locally and buy certified organic (especially meat). Grow some of your own food (it’s so easy). Provide an example of sustainable principles in your life.
Brett Ryan Queensland, Australia
Sounds like Utopia? I think not. It would only take the awareness of the working class to realize their own potential considering their overwhelming majority. Is it not much more utopian to expect our present system to bring forth such a world considering they’ve had 200 years to do so?
John Ayers Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Forest gardening utopia
Gandhi spoke in terms of widening circles of self-sufficient home craft villages. If we include in this vision the traditional forest gardening that Robert Hart revived then, bearing in mind the broader permaculture scheme of holistic integral living, we add some of the spiritual socialism of Huxley’s Island, we might be getting there. Bill Mollison provides all the practical blueprints for environmental design, including garden cities.
The problem lies in how we are to effect the transition. It needs will and intention that come from the heart and soul to renounce what we have in the West and work together at grassroots level for a simpler, better society. But culture based on cottage industry and gardening has been a satisfactory way of life for many through much of our history. Whether this change comes about through catastrophe, revolution, or more desirably evolution (a global leap of awareness), come about it must if we are to reverse the wrongs of our civilization and survive on this planet.
Carlo Davis Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Liberating the human spirit
I can imagine a global community with no private property beyond immediate possessions, no need for money, no racism or sexism, no enslavement of children, no profit motive to drive the oppression of working people, no battles over personal interpretation of spirituality, and no disrespect for the ‘other’. If I can imagine it, so can you. If we can imagine it, then we can build it. The most spectacular beauty inherent in humanity is our creative process. Let us engage that creativity in liberating the human spirit and treading forward toward justice for all.
Samantha George Smart Minneapolis, US
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