“There Is No Alternative”?
These days Margaret Thatcher’s infamous acronym, “TINA” seems to be
on all official lips and to be heard echoing down all the mainstream public
airways with hypnotic repetitiveness. TINA. TINA. TINA.
We are being told “There Is No Alternative.” Resistance is futile.
No alternative to globalization. No alternative to the WTO, IMF & World
Bank, to trade and profit trumping environmental protection and human rights,
to the petroleum-plutonium economy.
No alternative to corporate rule, to merged media monopolies, to bought
and rigged elections, to landmines and clusterbombs, to a terroristic war
on terrorism, to an imperial presidency, to suspension of civil liberties,
to racial profiling. No alternative to a zombie patriotism that precludes
all dissent, to violent police attacks on non-violent demonstrators, to
the criminalization of public assembly & protest.
No alternative to wiretapping & e-mail surveillance, to warrentless
search and arrest without probable cause, to secret courts with no due
process, to legalizing the torture of suspects, to authorizing political
assassinations, to giving “no quarter” to surrendering combatants, to causing
millions of refugees to starve. No alternative to “sanctioning” the
deaths of 5000 Iraqi children per month, to violation of international
law, to opposing a World Court while seeking to establish a worldwide police
state. No alternative to the militarization and nuclearization of
space. No alternative to a planetwide Pax Americana.
Without all these things, goes the TINA mantra, the world will descend
even deeper into chaos, poverty, violence and ecological collapse.
No alternative but that America must assume the imperial mantle thrust
upon it by history (or more accurately, by the crimes against humanity
of the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger) and ruthlessly
exercise its power as the first - and very likely the last
- global empire.
The Evolutionary Imperative
In fact all signs point, like a forest in the wind, to the likelihood
that the very opposite is the case; that it is these very measures and
policies and actions and institutions and ideological conceits that are
relentlessly destroying humanity’s options for a peaceful, secure, sustainable
future on a healthy planet.
“Without vision,” goes the Biblical maxim, “the people perish.”
Chronic adrenaline rushes are conducive to neither imaginative vision nor
rational thought. In a climate of constant fear - induced, let us
acknowledge, not only by actual terrorist acts, but also and most persistently
by repeated government warnings of impending, but unspecified threats -
in such a climate both vision and people perish. Its very difficult
to think straight. Difficult to think outside the box provided by
the daily media barrage of what is openly admitted to be propaganda - all
for the sake of “security.”
But this is all Orwellian to the max. Because real security,
common security, or what might be called “homeplanet “ security
- as contrasted with “homeland “ security - most certainly consists in
the reliable absence of fear and violence and in the dependable presence
of uncontaminated food, water and air, of health care, human and
labor rights, gender equality, housing, education, cultural and racial
tolerance and diversity, just laws and informed democratic choice.
That’s why it‘s now more important than ever for those of us who know
better to stand up and say so. Vital for we who hold and nourish the knowledge
and certainty - along with Eduardo Galeano and the organizers of the upcoming
2nd annual World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where over 2000
organizations from 85 countries will meet next February - that “another
world is possible.” Urgent to point to the alternative, humanely
and ecologically sustainable systems, processes and institutions that are
already up and working at every level around the world. And essential
to foster and insist upon their growth in our own households, communities
and in all our spheres of action and influence. Current events must convince
us that another world is not only possible, it’s necessary.
It’s time to assert the freedoms we have left; to exercise our remaining
options. Its time to seize the present and take back the future.
That’s global citizenship. That’s planetary patriotism. That’s
our main avenue to sustainability and survival. Otherwise, where
the health of the planetary biosphere is concerned, it may be a case of
remission impossible. The evolutionary victories represented by the
abolution, suffragette, labor, civil rights, feminist, gay rights, landless
peasant and other grassroots movements around the world show that, as Ruckus
Society Director John Sellers puts it, “resistance is fertile.” If
we’re committed to the fulfillment of our highest evolutionary potential,
when you get right down to it, there is no alternative.
James Heddle is an award-winning documentary film-maker and Co-Director of EON - the Ecological Options Network, an organization dedicated to mapping and reporting on sustainability success stories worldwide. He can be reached at: email@example.com