I'm away, but here's a recycled post some of you newcomers to the blog might not have seen and might want to discuss in the comments.
Winston Churchill said that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all thos other forms that have been tried from time to time." The question is, though, whether we still actually have a working democracy here in the United States.
The film Unreasonable Man, about Ralph Nader, which I saw some time ago with my writer friend William Georgiades, discusses how the Democratic party abandoned liberal ideology in the 1970s in order to get a slice of the big business campaign contribution pie that the Republicans already feasted on. The result is that we have two parties, both funded by corporate interests, neither of which will do anything to threaten the size of their war chests (which is why Nader ran for president). Whether you pull the lever for big business party number one or big business party number two, big business still wins.
The conservative Pat Buchanan, in the film, sat there and said--and I was so shocked to hear it coming from his mouth that I wrote it down--that democracy in the United States is a "fraud, it's a consumer fraud." The politician who wins is not the one who is best for the people but the one with the ideology big business is most willing to support.
You start to worry that cleaning up the world will only come when business tells the politicians it's okay, that they've finally figured out a way to rake in money in an environmental way. But I think it will be a long time coming before, for example, business finds a way to profit from reduced resource consumption. And let's face it, one way or another, we're going to have to face up to a reduced consumption scenario. But if big business doesn't embrace it--and why would they?--the political parties won't consider it.
So what options does that leave us schlubs--the voters--with? Take matters into our own hands. Don't wait until the Government tells us to stop driving gas guzzlers. Just stop driving them. Don't wait until the Government says not to use your air conditioner all the time. Just stop using it.
Waiting for the Government to tell us to save the world is just ludicrous. Let's just save it.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.