Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 1, 2012, 4:57 p.m. EST by Nanook
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
In discussions about how society should go about changing the Constitution, the issue of "how quickly" it should be done always comes up. This appears to be more an ink blot test analysis of the person with the comment than a rational analysis of the actual situation. The problem is, MOST people in our society are in denial about the extent of the crisis we are in. They are driven by the fear of change. And as change overcomes us, like it or not, this fear keeps getting deeper.
While our protests are called "Occupy Wall Street", the problems we face are NOT just in the economy. We have recently entered a totally new era in the development of the human species and our environment. I believe we will NEVER get out of the current recession just "because", in the past, we always have. I believe we will NEVER get out of the current recession in a way that at all resembles how we did it in the past. Why? For TWO huge reasons.
FIRST, the crisis the modern world is facing, since the Constitution was written, is that ALL the fundamentals of society have changed! And, in drastic ways. But people are either in DENIAL about the changes or unable to understand the problems the changes have caused. Here are a few examples.
In 1787 ( U.S. Constitution ), distance communication was done using paper and HORSES. Representatives were therefore needed to discuss issues in a practical time frame. Today, I can do live chats (real time) with colleagues ANYWHERE in the whole world, FREE, using Skype. In 1787, canals and bridges were built using HORSES and human muscle for power ( just like the Romans). Today, one person with a power shovel can move 300,000 pounds of rock in one scoop! In 1787, people thought it was a luxury to travel in coaches at 9 miles per hour pulled by HORSES. VIPs could even go by sailing ship across the ocean in a single month! Today, AVERAGE people can travel at almost the speed of sound to ANY point on the globe. In 1787, bowls, candles, chairs, cloth – everything – was made by hand. Today, automated productions lines can produce almost every commodity humans need. An entire automobile can be built in 16 hours, with a labor need of only 2.7 workers per vehicle per day (Toyota). Food comes to our supermarkets from across the globe; diseases which used to wipe out millions are prevented by vaccination; we live in homes that no longer have dirt floors, fireplace heat, and outdoor plumbing. Kids carry instant wireless communications and entertainment. People in home construction hardly use hammers anymore, which have been replaced by pneumatic nail guns.
I use 1787 of course, because that was the date of the Constitution. The point is, it was the environment of 1787 upon which our organizational foundations were based, and therefore are STILL based. The advances I listed happened over “just” the last 100 years. And “modern” economic, educational, business and government theory is still assuming Adam Smith time scales and 1787 images of human labor for its idealized notion of the “GUIDING HAND” of capitalism.
SECOND, we are facing a crisis because the past had huge RESOURCE advantages that the present no longer has. Specifically:
Human population now exceeds 7B people and is growing faster than it ever has. To put this in perspective, there are MORE people alive on this planet TODAY than all the people who ever lived prior to about 1970! The sustainable carrying capacity of the earth, by the best current estimates, is about 2 to 3 B MAXIMUM, if we do everything right! All of these people need RESOURCES to live.
We have already mined the easy resources and depleted many. This is no longer about projections of shortages a hundred years from now. We have NOW reached the time when the shortages were forecast to start; they are already occurring – drinkable water, aquifers for irrigation, many minerals, wood ( even China is out of wood ), soils are depleted, ocean fish have collapsed by 90%, oil production is falling etc.
We have polluted the earth, oceans and sky. Global warming is moving the weather bands and causing severe draughts. The ice caps are melting. Insect pests are moving into new areas and they are already resistant to every known insecticide. Medical supplies are now exhibiting shortages across the globe and severe plague diseases once thought eradicated are coming back resistant to every known form of antibiotic.
Automation has replaced human labor. Western society is overflowing with STUFF! People have filled their houses and now fill rented storage buildings. Our culture does not know how to employ people. The cry for MORE EDUCATION is dead on arrival. Most occupational sectors can not employ more people, even those with higher education levels, because automation is replacing humans faster than new jobs develop for them. And when they do hire someone because of higher education, they just let someone else with lower education go. Its a losing game.
There is the new pressure of the 3rd world wanting the high standard of living we have in the western world. But because of the western world's aristocratic attitude, the 1% will just continue their attempt to exploit the 3rd world. That will lead to rebellion and increase the demand for weapons. That will just reduce the world's productivity. Why? Weapons explode and destroy infrastructure. That means all the labor and material used to build the weapons and the infrastructure just goes up in smoke when the bombs explode. The world then has to rebuild all the infrastructure just to get back to where we already were - a total loss.
The country is NOT in good shape. Our infrastructure maintenance has been ignored. The U.S. Engineering societies rate it with a C- score at best. It is not going to take just a year or so for any changes we introduce to work. AND, the warning time we were given in the 1970's and 1980's has already run out.
So, please jump in and offer comments about specific situations that the constitution is fouling up because it has missed the impact of change.
(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )