A Culture of Dependence
by Dave Pollard
Before civilization culture, children were dependent on their parents for a period of about ten years, during which, following the model of most wild creatures, they spent most of their waking lives learning to be independent, through play.
So now let’s look at what happens to us in modern civilization culture:
- We’re dependent on our parents essentially until we get “full-time” work, which on average in North America is now age 23.
- Our education system teaches us nothing that is of any use in living independently. In fact, it “teaches” us that our lot in life is to work hard to get good marks (for which we’re dependent on that education system) so that we will be sufficiently attractive to potential employers that they will “offer” us a job.
- At this point we will become dependent on our employers, and on their business’ success and continuity, until we are wealthy enough to retire or dead, whichever comes first. That means for almost all of us we are dependent on the continued growth of the unsustainable global industrial economy.
- We are perpetually dependent on governments for our education services, our health services, and most transportation and other essential social services. If we are unfortunate enough to live in the US or a third world nation, we are also probably dependent on our employers for our health services.
- Because we are not taught to take responsibility for our own health, most of us are also dependent on doctors and their Big Pharma friends for our continued health and well-being.
- Because we no longer live in communities that are able to look after their own problems, most of us are dependent on centralized police and other security services that have acquired almost unlimited authority over us, for our “safety”.
- Because most of us no longer know how to (or live in areas where we cannot adequately) grow our own food or make or repair our our clothing, personal transportation vehicles, buildings and other essentials, we are dependent on a vast subsidized centralized global agribusiness oligopoly, on cheap materials and labour extorted from struggling nations, and on cheap energy in ever-increasing amounts, for these essentials of life.
- Because we have forgotten how to imagine and how to amuse ourselves, most of us have become dependent on mainstream media organizations, conglomerates that used to provide both information and entertainment, for our musical, audio and visual entertainment. Few seem to have noticed that most of the mainstream media have ceased providing any information at all, and those that still do are seemingly all in financial difficulty.
- Because virtually all of the additional wealth created in the last 40 years has accrued to the wealthiest 1% of the population, the rest of us have become dependent on ever-increasing amounts of indebtedness to be able to buy what we need to live.
- Because we live mostly in shoddy, vulnerable, built-to-fail buildings, and because our economy relies on just-in-time shipment of goods and materials around the globe, and is designed to be efficient, with no built-in redundancy, rather than effective, we are dependent upon a continuation of the cool, peaceful and stable (by historical standards) climate we have enjoyed for the last ten millennia.
- If we are fortunate enough to acquire enough wealth to retire, we are (unless we have a rare and generous defined benefit pension) dependent for the rest of our lives on substantial and consistent annual increases in stock market valuations to fund our retirement. That means we are dependent on the continued growth of the unsustainable global industrial economy, even when we are no longer contributing actively to it.
- For the rest of the article, please visit: http://howtosavetheworld.ca/2010/10/30/a-culture-of-dependence/