20.2.14

Gen X the Cross-roads. Gen Y the Fork.

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       Gen X marks for me a crossroads. A calling out within the species which into our bones the message came 'enough.' Mid-life, I am thrilled to see so many ready hands in Gen Y picking up the torch. It's been exhausting frankly: writing to representatives who are so star-struck by post-war policy – indeed made wealthy and comfortable by such policy – that the limits of growth are simply as much of fantasy as is the reality for so many to ever own a house.
     Certainly environmentalists have tread through every generation, yet the dominant economic paradigm of constant-growth has unceasingly ruled the day. But the day for change has arrived, and those younger than myself feel it very dearly: they own it. They own the need for change, whereas my Gen X cohort simply marked it. (I have long seen the 'X' like the marking for a railroad: a big 'Stop!' sign, denoting oncoming danger.) Attracting young people onto the importance of voting can be as much of a struggle as getting them in for work, and both symptoms appear natural to me when I plot through to the available outcomes, each concluding upon the potential of never-ending debt servicing.
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       World currencies used to be tied to gold. Gold gave the currency credit, and if a nation had access to gold, their currency carried with it a trust and confidence. After WWII, all currencies became tied to the USD as a means of nationhood stability. And the USD continued to be tied to gold. 1971 rolls out 'the Nixon Shock,' and the USD was “freed” from gold, confessing insolvency essentially, confessing that the splurge of credit created was too much for the little yellow metal to handle. Flash forward forty years, and this insolvency has become a problem we'd rather continue ignore while the US exports its inflation: witness Argentina, Venezuela... Japan… and witness the price of gold. Greece fights for the drivers seat in a joy-ride traveling at unparalleled speed toward a very real brick wall – an edge. Our web of credit, leveraged evermore to an uncertain future, a culture fuelled more with questions than answers, is truly remarkable. Such monetary policy resembles a big fat spider who got caught in its own web.
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The question arises: why slave for the entirety of one's life to pay out the comforts for others while the natural world languishes? Surely it is not the baby-boom's fault for the presence of this economic paradigm, as they were babies when it was crafted. As this narrative came out of the horrors of WWII, one cannot lay blame for it being followed so thoroughly either. Re-routing all this effort is bound to bring about a vast amounts of bitchy-ness, but these large economic habits have no place left to store themselves, not ecologically, and ever less so in our minds: an increasing few are positioned to take of their advantage. As the Have become more visibly defensive or socially isolated and nervous, the Have-Not don't give a fart: they follow what is renewable out of necessity.
      Tit-for-tat aside, economic de-growth is truly upon us at the marker of ecology alone. The invitation is loudly upon us to redefine the energy sources which fuel our actions, and subsequently, the thinking-energy which pertains to that. Our sense of self is something that is created and reinforced choice by choice by choice; and like anything else we build, the shape of our self is something we can walk away from at any moment, rethink, and reassemble differently later. Currently, our outward activity is greatly incongruent with our inner, and this calls out in a whole host of ways for our steadfast attention.

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