I see a movement happening among our generation.
It’s not based on any sort of innovation or new ideals cooked up in a remote lab. In fact, this movement has been the most consistent, practical and often seen in world history. I see a large amount of my generation begining to grasp the principles of de-centralization.
De-centralization, probably an overly complex term we use, is the same thing as taking power back from those in power. The most conservative version of de-centralization is taking collective responsibility for societal functions. The most radical version is Revolution.
The reason this movement seems to have jumped out to me is that it is not just happening to a specific discipline, profession, or aspect of societal life. The birth of the principle (as all organically grown principles) has started permeating our art culture, business editorials, academic reports, collective demonstrations, and political messages. Whether it’s occupiers on Wall Street, or disillusioned education students blogging about system reform; the movement is cross-disciplinary.
Now, more than ever, I see the same principles at work in our hearts today that were at work in the founding fathers hearts when they created a nation with a largely de-centralized system of Government. When states rights were paramount and the carrying of arms was made a law to protect against centralized and oftentimes unjust power.
For the last 50 years we have bought into the fallacy that specialization and unregulated competition is a holistic benefit for all. As Reagan said:
“We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.”
We have handed necessities, our families, our lands and lives to corporations and governments that we lazily have termed “specialists” and expected that it would all be OK because they in the end will be concerned with our “well-being.” We have believed the lie that outsiders with degrees and certificates are more effective and efficient at solving our problems of need and sufficiency than we are. Therapists solve our family problems better than mothers and fathers; nursing homes take care of our elderly because we have no need for their moral love and wisdom.
I see a generation of young people that want to take the power back for themselves. To take back economic provision and the diverse skills that it grow within our own two hands. To be independent, free spirited and responsible for their own survival. People with real independence and liberty, reliant on no system of created wealth, yet prosperous in every way. We are ready to be neighbors again. We are ready to take responsibility for each other and not be afraid of each other. We are ready for community again. We are ready to hear each other again. We are ready to learn from each other again. We are ready to divorce efficiency of time for the diversity of relationships.
However, having said all that, I believe most of the movement is young and inexperienced (myself included). Not only in the diverse skills needed to be able to create economies and manage community with responsibility, but also the skills that the industrial economy offers us. Those skills are also of worth, business fundamentals and an understanding of the killer instinct are needed to run a successful project. Skills that can make you a winner in the corporate world are not to be ignored or discarded, only implemented within the appropriate context.
I believe the principles of de-centralization are organically growing, but that is only half the battle. No matter how noble or successful a principle is, it’s worthless unless people become experienced and courageous enough to translate those principles to work actions and practice. For that to happen, cross disciplinary leaders need to create opportunities to engage the brilliant (trapped) minds and capabilities that most of us have.
So, as every revolution can verify, nothing happens unless we man up and start building on principle with a fair guess of what we are doing. So, all you “thinkers” and all you “artists,” do something. Educate your community, preach independence. My heart is with you Occupiers; now go learn what a market is and what you need to do to change it in your hometowns. Or come down to Panama, we are trying to figure it out here at Kalu Yala.
By the way, check us out, mini-think tank/young people working from principles and fleshing out application in a developing economy. If you are into any of these, give a second look you can be here in January:
* Community Outreach
* Outdoor Recreation