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The Crisis of Our Time

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It's difficult to ascertain a single biggest crisis when our world seems to be such a morass of problems and issues, one worse than the next. The list is long, with ancient miseries and modern conflicts all taking their place.

As citizens of the planet we have to look hard at global warming, the starvation and disease of billions and the decimation of our ecologies. We have so many stressed systems right now we're reshaping our future but with no idea of the effects to come. We have tremendous human suffering because of war and violence, profiteering, and neglect of our selves, our communities and our living Earth.

As Americans we have to look at the war in Iraq , our ludicrous debt, and the growing divide over ideology, race and class. Our communities continue to crumble, and our national economic and physical health is out of control. The continued failure to factor in natural capital in our economics and our abusive tax system are taking us down.

Let us remind ourselves that the war industry is massive and pervasive. Iraq alone could cost a trillion. A trillion. And we may go into Iran? Outside of that conflict, hostilities and the threat of hostilities globally is a cost we, the people of Earth accrue in phenomenal amounts of resources and money.

The Maturing of Government

But here's the key. Governments have grown over the ages to create justice and safety for the people within their domains. Starting as dynasties and growing to empires, finally many matured into democracies and republics.

Now the U.S. government, "leader of the free world" is sadly the greatest purveyor of all the ills suggested above. The neglect of climate change, the refusal to recognize the value of communities, ecologies and natural capital is criminal in itself. The lying, the atrocities of (starting) a war, torture - not pretty my friends.

And we know why our government and so many other governments act they way they do. Money and power. It's simple and it's deadly. Historically, when the situation becomes intolerable, we, the people do something about it. Right now the only question is, "How do we define intolerable?" And the answer is "Our world today."

As long as government is ruled by money, we have no chance. So ending that practice is fundamental. A predicate to that here in the states is to have trustworthy voting, else we can't throw the bums out. And this current administration has already shown few scruples in their efforts to maintain power.

So let's review. We could say the greatest crisis of our time is profiteering, or government failure to regulate profiteering. We could argue which is the greater evil, but that's a less substantial question than asking 'which is more the point of leverage in dealing with the problem of profiteering'. And clearly, with the corporate monoliths in play today, the government's repair must be our primary focus. That's not to forget the power of boycotting and buycotting or the power of stockholders.

A Failure of Integration

But there's a third contender for the greatest crisis of our time. And it is the idea that we aren't putting together the puzzle pieces and seeing things in relationship when that's really all we are. Things in relationship. Our governments and corporations don't recognize that. Indeed, they have a vested interest in keeping such common sense out of our culture. To restate: Our biggest crisis is a failure of integration.

Imagine if our research institutions worked hand in hand with city leaders and communities to come up with solutions to local problems. Imagine governments across the globe fending for human rights and health above all else, and devoting substantial resources to restoring our dear planet instead of to the war machine. Imagine all the people, living lives in peace.

As long as we're in a sort of 'crisis of the week' modality, we are in trouble. We have to focus on the big stuff. Profiteering and fixing our government. Stuff like transparency and accountability, a flat sales tax, universal health care and fair voting should be 'duhs'.

And if we stop supporting news outlets that perpetuate this mess or their advertisers, we could get the plum of real discourse in our media.

A New Operating System

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Jim Prues is the Founder of World 5.0 and President of Panoptic Media. He understands that 'democracy is not a spectator sport.'

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