What Exists Doesn’t Necessarily Have To | Omid Fouladpouri
When thinking about solutions to global problems, people often conclude too early, understandably considering the mainstream media surrounding it, that either these problems must exist due to the fact that our societal structure that creates these problems must exist, that these problems don’t have a solution, or that these problems can only be solved through small “solutions” that end up not working. Climate change can illustrate this point well. Due to our current societal organization around the basis of profit, companies actively help destroy all life on this planet and continue to maintain no regard for diminishing amounts of species, decreasing acres of forests, and greater pollution in every regard; thus, climate change became an increasingly visible problem and legitimate threat to our society.
What is more interesting is the reactions that the status quo pushes out. On one end of the status quo, there is a tendency to just say no issue exists whatsoever. Most people will find this a silly proposal, especially considering the consensus of scientists that has existed for many years surrounding this problem. Now, on the other end of this spectrum of the status quo, there is a level of nihilism saying we can’t do anything about climate change. This is also a laughable position. What is more worrying are the positions that are in-between those but still are close to either end. An example of this would be a position that humans may influence climate change a bit, but it’s mostly natural and not an issue for us to worry about. This position is also a very dangerous position but is far more accepted.
Another example of a dangerous position that is accepted by the status quo would be that minimal changes to our societal structures can solve these systemic problems. Just by virtue of being a systemic problem, this “solution” is also a joke. An example of a minimal change to our societal structure would be a policy that claims to be able to be solutions to our climate problems. Bills that promote spending on more sustainable energy sources is not a solution, but gives slightly more time for a legitimate solution, the abolition of the profit motive, to manifest. What is purposefully ignored by the status quo, understandably, is that there are other ways to organize our society that doesn’t depend on oil-influenced politicians to give in crumbs for what is an existential threat.
As history demonstrates, societies all around the world historically have tried various different forms of organizations that have worked on varying sizes of population. Even with the development of more technological and organized societies, there have been large scale societies that weren’t slave societies and were far more communal. History proves how we don’t need to be the way we are now. Society is only in this way from a significant influence of the authoritarian Roman societies, but one must not forget the more communal and participatory Greek societies. The way items are produced don’t have to be the way they are produced now. The way we have social relations don’t have to be the way they are now. Up until recently in relation to human history, the profit motive was not even a concept that existed. A facade is built up to continue the status quo, but it must be rejected if one is to continue living any longer then 30 years from now. The predictions on widespread agriculture collapse and climate refugees is dark and depressing, but these emotions should be turned to action. Don’t let the organizations pushing for the status quo guide your action, either. Google Murray Bookchin and never forget: a better world is possible.