A society where dreams are broken
Others sit by and have watched the injustices that have occurred in my life. My dreams were shattered - but so what?
The fact is, in this world, dreams are shattered everywhere. Hearts are broken, people spend years in jail or the court system, addicted to drugs. People commit suicide, go off the rails, believe they're worthless, have their lives wrecked.
I turned a blind eye to my own shattered dreams, because I wasn't the worst off.
Trying to live the best I could in a world that didn't care, I thought, "Well, no wonder others don't seem to care. Everyone's dreams are broken."
We accept that we've not done what we dreamed of as children.
We accept that our heart has been broken. We accept that we no longer have family or friends close by. We accept that we don't know the neighbours - and we don't want to know them.
We know we never travelled to China - but neither did anyone else!
Despite the fact that when we were teenagers, we had loads of friends and knew people at the shops - now we 'catch-up' mostly at work or via facebook.
We know that for us, life has gone downhill. We're not as fit as we used to be. We're on more medication. We're in more debt and we have to work longer, and we don't get invited to as many parties. We're all fighting with someone else - or there are those we don't like. We all have our gripes. But we stay optimistic and pleasant, we get to work on time, we take the kids to sports or outings, and we turn a blind eye to our own minor upsets. We turn a blind eye to the upsets of others. We smile to those we kind-of know - but they don't know the full story - no one ever does. And we don't smile at strangers very often. Our market-places are dour, full of beeps and security cameras, where you don't often get a hug, or see any rejoicing. How could there be rejoicing when each checkout in an average big supermarket takes in about $5 - 10,000 an hour, while the employee gets paid $20 an hour (if they're lucky)?
I don't know why the staff of Woollies don't take over the shop. They have over $1 million of stock in the store, and the supermarkets are built like forts. If the supermarket is in one of those huge malls, and the teenagers of the town and the staff decided to take over the entire mall - well, there's so much food and furniture and stuff so that everyone in the whole town could share, eat and have fun for at least a month! But, if a rebellion took over a shopping mall, the army and the police would step in, or they'd get no more deliveries of stuff coming in - the government could cut off the electricity and water.
It's an idea you may dismiss as stupid, but we can and must think about changing the systems because anything is possible. We have been born into the current systems of life and government. We've been taught how shops and money and everything works - but we don't have to follow the systems that old people made up so many years ago when they didn't even have mobile phones or the internet or anything like the life we have.
Think about the possibilities of life being different.
Do you hate banks and bills? Do you dislike the government? Do you dislike your mortgage?
Most people would have to say "Yes" to all of those questions.
So, if most people hate their mortgage - why do we have them? If most people hate banks, why do we pay them? Why do we pay a mortgage?
The answer: Because the banks lend us money when we need cash. We needed the loan to buy the house, we needed the credit card to buy the stuff. We need the job to pay the bills, we need the government for our education system, so the kids can be looked after while we go to work, and we need the government for our healthcare and legal system, and for law and order and protection so no one is scared and no one goes hungry and everyone is looked after and there is justice.
The banks and the government and the big businesses and the services have failed us all. Yet we believe we need them - because we've known no other way. We were born into this system.
As a species, we have thrived in this system and made brilliant discoveries. We have the ability to communicate from one side of the world to the other, at the touch of a button. We've travelled through space. We've made robots and flying vehicles, and we've got synchronised timing devices. Humanity is filled with brilliant, intelligent, wonderful people. But yet, we have poverty and war and unhappiness and depression and broken dreams and mental illness and drugs and awful neighbours. And debt. And a huge security industry, and an overburdened prison system, and a rising rate of suicide, and a shit load of fear. There's a lot of stuff we don't know.
We hardly know where our food comes from - the kids don't know where anything comes from - they do not learn these things in school. You ask a kid what they learned in school, they usually answer, "Nothing. I hate school." Unless they're trying to impress you.
We don't know how much our shops make in an hour. We don't know the few people at the very top of the big businesses we are tied to - we don't know the people who sit on the board of the Commonwealth bank or Woolworths and make something like $1 million a year. What the fuck do they do with that money?
The people who make most of the money from our big shops like Woollies and Coles, and from our banks, do not even live in our state. Our money goes out of the state, and we spend more money on trying to get tourists to bring it back.
Now this may sound silly, but imagine if there were no big banks in Tasmania any more - so there were no mortgages or credit card debt. Rent payments would be reduced. It would lower prices for Tasmanian produce, but then we'd buy local. I think everyone would agree that getting rid of the big banks we think we need would make a lot of people feel a lot better and most likely reduce costs to our ailing health sector, and also our public order and safety sector.
In Tasmania, we are so rich. Our big shops and take-away stores and restaurants throw away quite a lot of food. We are so rich, that we can afford to buy things designed to break - because we can afford to get or make more. We are so rich that we can afford to print tickets and catalogues and reams of paper that is thrown away.
We have enough food. We make so much we send heaps overseas.
Think how many burgers McDonalds throws away an hour. Think how much fruit and vegetables we throw out. Think about how much bread we give away.
We are a rich society. There is no scarcity here. The economy may be in depression, but we have enough.
So, if we have enough, why do people have so many gripes? Are we ungrateful if we complain? We should be happy - but, many of us struggle to pay the bills. We pay bills to companies that make millions and billions of dollars. We pay taxes to governments that provide poor services (that then cost us more money). We see faults everywhere, broken dreams, vandalism, theft, violence, and because it's so complicated, we don't join the dots and see the big problems - and if we do, we don't know how to fix them. And we blame each other, and leave it up to the government to fix it all (and then we can blame them.)
But let's stop blame, and have vision instead. We do have great people in Tasmania, we do have plenty of resources. We do have problems - and we do dream of a better future - but if the 'better future' is that we become more like the rest of the world, that individuals struggle with more debt, that we continue to be 'locked-in' to big business like Woolworths and Coles, if prices continue to rise and the members of our government continue to squabble and disappoint the people, then I don't really want it, and I envisage a better way.
Let's say my vision included all McDonalds restaurants getting rid of all their staff, tearing down the counters, opening the doors, saying to the public, "Here you go, you can now have McDonalds all to yourselves." And then anyone could go into any McDonalds restaurant and make their own Big Mac or whatever meal they wanted for free.
You imagined if this happened, there may be a riot or a party - maybe for days.
People would be in the McDonalds anyway, working out how to make everything they wanted, and they'd make all sorts of creations. But after those people had made their own burgers and fries, they'd let others take over and cook what they wanted. There wouldn't be just one small group of people doing all the cooking and drink-making all of the time. Anyone would walk into the store, and get the drink they wanted. People wouldn't want to sit in McDonalds forever, just because everything there were free.
So, would the stores become crowded?
Maybe. But if you to to a McDonalds restaurant, and it was crowded, would you just push in? Or would you wait?
You know you would wait, because you've been to a busy McDonalds before. If the food were suddenly free and you might have to make it yourself - this wouldn't mean you'd be any more desperate to get in the shop than if you had to pay.
If every McDonalds store went free, wouldn't the food run out?
There are a lot of people who think they would die without McDonalds. There are many people who eat at McDonalds three or four times a week. What would happen to these poor souls if McDonalds had no more staff and ran out of stock with which to make burgers and fries and drinks?
Don't you think that the die-hard McDonalds addicts would work out how to order in more burgers and sauce and whatever else they needed to make the meals they wanted? Just because McDonalds had no more staff, the suppliers would still want to supply the stores with stock. But who'd pay for all the stock then? Would the suppliers just give it away for free? Would the transport guys just drive it to the shop for free?
Someone may drive the truck for free. Actually, someone would probably want to have a turn at driving the truck and wouldn't mind it if they could pick up everything needed to make McDonalds food for everyone.
But what about the suppliers, the beef farmers and the potato farmers and the sauce makers? They wouldn't want to just 'give-away' all their produce for nothing - would they? They most likely wouldn't - but in a world where all the factories and farms were open, don't you think someone would keep beef production going?
The fact is, people actually do like working, and they would work for free in many conditions. If you ran out of what you wanted, you'd go get it - even if meant finding the factory.
But back to McDonalds - do you think the stores would be abandoned after a few weeks anyway, because no one would clean up? Would the kitchens be filled with filth and deemed 'unfit'?
I actually don't think that would happen. People aren't stupid or lazy. If no one were paid to clean up, people would still clean. People often clean their own homes or offices without being paid to do it.
Imagine if people could go whereever they wanted - to the cinema to learn how the movies worked - to the power station to learn how the power is switched on. To the laboratries in government science facilities. To the place where they make phones and batteries and computers. To the dairy to get milk, to drive a huge milk tanker, to working out how milk is distributed - and perhaps how to better certain systems.
Without the systems we currently have, there are thousands of options. People could learn so much more, and contribute in so many better ways. At the moment, all we see is "No." All we see is that every single thing costs money. Every product we own has a value, even every minute in time.
But like time, we have more than enough of everything to go around.
But dreaming of freedom from locks and ownership is somehow beyond those who are scared that if the go-kart racing centers were unlocked, everyone would go beserk on the go-karts.
There are those who are scared that if cigarettes were suddenly free, everyone would smoke them or hide them away, or stay locked in a room, chain-smoking for years.
There are those who think the supermarkets would run out of food in a day if everything were suddenly free, without realizing that emptying a huge supermarket would take everyone in the community weeks and weeks of effort.
We make sure everyone else has enough dollars to pay, and we spend half our lives transferring dollars and paying off interest and handing over our credit card and filling in forms and pressing buttons. We all have our individual store of wealth, our own value, our own bank accounts, our own tax file number, our own hidden records. Our own address, which is head office of our own kingdom that we may share with 1.4 other people. Night after night after night. We'd lead boring lives if it weren't for all the fights.
We don't see that there is enough. There are enough bra's in all the shops so that every woman in the community could be given five bra's each - and there'd still be bra's left over - and it's not difficult to press those buttons at the factory to make more.
It's not even that difficult to make cigarettes. Things like marijuana, tobacco and opium grow on trees. We have machines that make things easily and quickly.
Alcohol is not difficult to produce. Do you think that if the owners of the breweries opened the doors and said, "Everything's free, if you make it yourselves," that people would not make alcohol? Do you think people would not distribute it? Guys would be loading up their vehicles with crates of beverages, but then we probably wouldn't drink alone - like most people do in our current society. Our public drunks are called fools or criminals.
We have the ability to have and get what we need to survive and thrive as humans - yet at the moment, we live in a world of restriction, where people do not get to travel to China, or milk a cow, or grow a pea, work in a brewery, get the chance to study micro-biology, or have many of their dreams fulfilled.
In our society, while we have all we need, we also have shattered lives, bored naughty children, suicidal teenagers, broken marriages, huge mortgages, property settlements, the disabled, the sick, the elderly and lawyers.
We have people with a blind eye. Some of those have their own car, own house, own lovely family, own great job and good credentials and qualifications. Some of those don't see the problems. But we all have different lives, and we all live them the best we can. Sure, things may be grim in some areas, but those with partial blindness often see that everything's getting better, and we should stay optimistic. They think everyone is capable of looking after themselves, our systems aren't perfect but we can't change them in any radical way, because there'd be chaos and anarchy.
You know, there's a little bit of chaos and anarchy now - amongst individuals in our community who are under incredible stresses from sickness and drug addictions and having a criminal record or whatever. We don't have a lot of crime in Tasmania, but we don't have the happiness we used to even ten years ago. Everything is more expensive, people have moved on, it's harder to get into the hospital, and we think about getting a funeral plan.
I noticed that if someone dies, the funeral plan people give the family $15,000 if the person had just the most basic of funeral insurance cover.
$15,000 is half of the average annual wage.
I fail to see how we can tolerate living in a society where it costs half a year of someone's life to bury them.
If I had the facilities of the funeral director (and we live in an era where such facilities exist), I doubt it would take me six months work to bury one person. I'm sure I could build a box in one or two days at the most. I could carve a stone (and have a great time visiting the Stonemason) in another few days. I could dig a hole for the coffin and refill it in a day (assuming I had use of a backhoe). I could prepare a fantastic service and spend time with the family for at least a week. I could even cut the flowers myself. So, even if you did ALL the work yourself, it would only take maybe a couple of weeks to bury a person. Yet our society says it costs $15,000 at a minimum - for the funeral and burial alone - which is the equivalent of someone working for half a year of their life.
Many things - like funeral insurance - do not make sense - and we're made to think we're senile, and someone speaks nicely to us on the phone, and we're treated well if and when something like death were to happen - God forbid (because we don't have many other people in our lives any more.)
But when things like funeral insurance and the justice system and vehicle registration and high prices and the medical system or their phone bill don't make sense, we still can question them.
Some of us see the faults in the systems, and blame greed. Or we blame one another for stealing, and treat each other like thieves. We might tolerate and even thank certain greedy and wasteful resource management systems in our society, because we think we can't live without our systems.
I don't know how I can change anything. Sometimes I look outside at the sun and the birds and the kids and think, "Why would anything ever need to be changed at all?" The world is perfect. We live in an age where information can be given and received at the touch of a button, and when we have more than enough accommodation and food and knowledge and technology to go around.
So why do so many of us say we hate our job? Why do we feel trapped in the same job for years? Why are we worried about job security? Why do mothers have to leave the children with others? Why can't we learn everything? Why can't we experience all that life offers? Why can't we see there's enough to go around? Why can't we move from house to house and place to place, and share? Why can't we have more parties? Why can't we get rid of alarms? Why don't we take the kids and show them the world in person, rather than having them sit alone for hours on the computer, stuck in the same room or school for years on end, with the same basic routines?
Many of us are happy if we get to go on one great holiday a year. Many of us can't afford holidays any more.
There are too many taxes, too many bills. It's too expensive to survive.
Maybe it's because we pay for our 'bludging' thieving neighbours to live. And we think, "Why can't they get a job?" We think if more of us worked, that will solve our problems.
Some people don't get a job because they're sick. Some people are sick of work. Some people don't get a job because they don't have to - they don't need the money. Some people can't get a job. Some people would rather be be criminals.
What ever the reason, it's rather annoying that some people don't have to work to live. Some people win the lotto, or get a huge inheritance, or marry a rich man, or make a series of lucky financial decisions or get the disability pension.
We all know the money system isn't fair, yet we shudder to think of the system changing so that everything was free - because some would get none and others would take more - and nothing would be fair. But our system is grossly unfair now! Our courts don't punish criminals equally - some people get away with crime! Some people lose money unfairly, some people work hard and get little, others work little and get a lot. Many of us are lucky.
But still, we often blame the 'bludgers' that don't 'get a job,' or we blame the government for not providing more jobs. We think if everyone got to put in more, then we'd all have more, and things would be better.
But who are the bludgers and criminals in our society? I found that those are just people of broken dreams and promises. They're people who feel abandoned by society. They're people our system hasn't helped. And many of them are our youth.
Some people just 'go off the rails,' don't they?
I guess the point is that when a society is filled with broken families, police, the unemployed, mortgages, youth that feel they don't have choices, and systems that make no sense alongside a plentiful land with many workers.
I think there's a great darkness over this land. We support evil systems, because we see that no one has the strength to defeat the powerful beasts that have overtaken us, and pull away our money and resources. The beasts I'm talking of include Aurora and Vodafone and the Commonwealth Bank and Woolworths, and the global economy.
Approximately half of all Tasmanian's profess to be of some sort of Christian religion, so I guess quoting the Bible won't offend many. I won't share much, but this sort of instruction is to be found in many ancient texts and writings of many religions. It makes sense, and you can study it for yourself. Deuteronomy chapter 15 from the Old Testament starts with the words: "At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. 4 However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you."
If you don't want to support the banks or the monsters like Aurora or Vodafone or Woolworths, then don't pay them.
Now you see the power they hold over you. You think it's "right" to pay them and support them, because they have to pay wages to their workers and pay taxes to pay the 'bludgers'.
But I'd like to bet that there are plenty of 'bludgers' out there who dream of having a career in telecommunications or electronics, and who would love to work out how the phone systems and the internet systems and the electrical systems work. They'd work in those industries for free if they were able to. But they don't have a choice.
They say you can learn anything or do anything in this world, but that is not true at all. It's a lie we all seem to believe. There are people out there dreaming of careers they can't have. There are people out there who would give anything to work at a certain place or job, but they are restricted.
We restrict each other in our race for cash. We restrict each other by our ownership laws. We say, "You can't have what I have made and earned and provided! You must pay for what I do for you. You can't do what I do."
I think there should and can be much more choice in the way we live.
I think we were born onto a wonderful planet, so let's enjoy it!
I think that the court houses should provide free accommodation at night to the homeless - don't you think a free place to crash, right in the centre of the city would reduce the crime dealt with in the court house during the day?
Doing something radical like taking over the local shopping mall may seem scary - and there's the army. But perhaps the guys in the army want freedom - or the same things you want - also. Systems can change without violence. All it takes to end the tyranny of banks and big business is to stop paying the bills. Let the rich whoever-they-are deal with the bills they created. Let's co-operate and realize that we could all be free. Stop going to work, unless you want to go there. Don't do things that are unnecessary and support the money system. There are people who love money. Let them have it. But the rest of us need a fucking escape! And I suggest that a lot of them work in shopping malls - I hope the beeping hasn't sent them mad and turned them all into robots!
We have everything, so why do we slave instead of having fun?
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