It was 10 years and about a month ago when I wrote this post that starts with this quote:
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. ... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864.
Ten years ago, I was convinced that the only way to save ourselves and our planetary nest was to begin to create new inventions of social contract that transcend the geographic state. I offered that these new cyberstates or cybercoops would bring human kind to higher levels of cooperation and understanding.
I still am.
Since that time, so much has happened and yet so little has happened.
When I wrote these words a decade ago, there was no Facebook. There were no smart phones, and there was no Uber, and no so called sharing economy, even though I predicted they would come. There were no plug in hybrid vehicles, but we would soon start a successful campaign to create them. There was no Tesla and there were no Nest thermostats.
Most of us still used desk top computers. Wireless was just becoming ubiquitous.
Hardly any one knew who Barack Obama was. But in three years, many of us would be enthralled with a new vision of hope and a "can do" attitude.
Soon after the election, the plutocrats ran to their Supreme Court to get their Citizens United decision which would allow the Corporations to give any amount they chose to the political process because it was "corporate free speech". The internet fund raising techniques developed by the Obama campaign was thus neutralized. And the Corporations kept their hold on government from slipping any further.
Miraculously, the first semi-progressive health care law based on Republican think-tankisms was enacted with democratic majorities in both houses. Even though it still lined the pockets of the 1%, the Affordable Care Act was attacked before the President's signature on the bill was dry. And just this month, like grateful abused partners and children, we all celebrated its survival from the judicial political attack of the power hungry opposition.
In the meantime, Republicans who once supported climate change actions became emboldened as the "thank you for smoking lobby" managed to confuse those who were looking for something they could tell themselves that would make them see themselves as something that wasn't just plain evil. Pope Frances has now pretty much fixed that. Still, humankind lost 10 years of action that may prove to be critical in our combined effort to right the wrong we have brought upon ourselves.
Fortunately, the solutions to climate change have matured. Wind is the most cost effective way to generate electricity. And now, just in the last few years, Solar has become the new wind with pricing that coal, nuclear, and gas plants just cannot compete with. And like the Citizens United solution to people electing their leaders, some plutocrats would take away the tax advantages for renewables that simply level the field with the carbon competition, while leaving the depletion allowance and drilling write offs for oil and gas in tact.
And as I look forward to our third Bush or our second Clinton, without the intoxication of our first non-white President, the vision returns.
We can achieve what we can imagine. And we can do some of that through our geographic state, or through our local community. Most of the good work that I have accomplished in the last 10 years has been local. Within a few years, Austin will be 75% carbon free.
But we can do so much more for ourselves as we begin to understand that soon, very soon, we will be able to help ourselves and one another in new forms of social contract. New forms of internet family will emerge. Your Facebook family will be replaced with a functioning electronic family. New neural networks will grow in the fertile human social soil at exponential rates.
These families will provide housing, food, the energy, mobility, communication, the finances, the entertainment, and security to those who choose to create the solutions to the 1% domination that 99% of us must endure.
And in time, the domination of the today's Corpus of Corporations will give way to a Confederation of Cooperations.
There might even be an Earthfamilyzeta.
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