In recent years we have seen how property has become an axiom. It is not perceived as having any purpose at all, it just is, and it can’t be questioned any more. Questioning the foundations of our modern world is what we need to do though, and we need to dig deeper and deeper, unravel threads of untidy thought, lay bare the illusions created to keep us from finding answers, from searching for them even.
For scientifically thinking minds it is easy to see that our current ways don’t solve any problems, to the contrary, they create new ones, and that must necessarily lead to chaos and violence.
What if we don’t do anything? We live in a time when the greek middle-class is on their way into poverty. They can’t heat their houses during winter, they can’t afford to educate their children and they can barely feed them. Spain is on the same route and this is only Europe. Africa has been in that awkward position for nearly all of its history. Can we expect people in Greece, Spain or elsewhere, people who just try to live their lives in dignity, can we expect them to gladly accept their downfall, just because of the unfortunate realities of real estate speculations gone wrong in the USA?
I think we are on the road to universal upheaval, on the road into anarchy, chaos and disorder. We are on our way into some kind of revolution. It won’t happen because people believe in a certain political doctrine, it will happen because people despair. It won’t be a real revolution either, because like in all so-called revolutions only the rulers will change, but not the circumstances of those being ruled over.
I think our job is to find out if this world and its economical/political system of interlocking partial interests can be fixed at all. Maybe we find out that only violence can be the catalyst for necessary change, maybe we find out that according to historic evidence not even violence (or maybe especially not violence) can lead to the desired kind of change. We have been there, no need to repeat it, if we do anything at all, it must be something new, or if it’s something old, it must be done right this time.
My result of choice would be to find out that everything that needs to be done can be done within the political framework that we (still) have. Just keep to the constitutions, fix some laws, prosecute some crimes that normally go unprosecuted, fight corruption and make sure that money can’t buy legislation. I am not convinced though.
On the other hand, even that is not thought far enough. What means “desired change”? What do we desire and why? What means “necessary”? How do we know it?
I think we first need to analyze what we have, in order to find a new system of axioms, a system that is more humane than the one based on the unquestioned right of the proprietor.
Just as an example: From the age of Enlightenment on, the idea of universal human rights has largely determined our western philosophy. Not that politics and private interest have generally followed that lead, but it was still consensus as an ideal. Gross violation of those principles has been attacked on that ground, and dictators like Hitler have fallen.
The role of human rights has changed over the course of the last 30 years though. They are still used as a political weapon, for instance when the US decide to wage war against a country, but in general perception it seems to me that human rights are increasingly seen as something exploited by barbaric hordes out there trying to steal our money. The idea of universal human rights has become weak, because a majority of people does not believe in them or is just not interested.
Human rights could be the axioms of a new economical/political system though, and fortunately this would fit perfectly into our current system, We just would have to be a lot more strict. Basically our current system is already based on human rights, the only problem is, that it is corrupt to the bone. If we can fix that … maybe we can avoid the risk of a revolution.