Divide and conquer, or United we stand

Community has been greatly eroded: human social bonds of solidarity and mutual aid have been severely eroded, the extended family is largely gone in the modern world, and even the nuclear family – the last remnants of a broader social network of people helping people – is crumbling. Alienation is extreme and pervasive. Not only loneliness, but also quiet and unacknowledged despair, a sense of powerlessness, largely due to alienation, grows daily. And in the midst of this pervasive alienation and erosion of community, we face dangers on an unprecidented scale: imperial hubris and new forms of tyranny, profound economic instability, and severe and escalating ecological crisis, to name but three of the greatest of dangers today.

Economic insecurity only exists when everyone retreats into a narrow and self-defeating economic individualism. Ecological problems are only intractible when we refuse to work together for the common good. And the power hungry rule, ultimately, only because we let them. Alone, we have relatively little power. Together, we can move the world.

We must re-connect. Fear, mistrust, mistrust of ourselves, voyeurism and escapism, car culture, tv and other forms of digital addiction, capitalist serfdom and simple fatigue have eroded the bonds that make us strong, and which have allowed us to survive as a species for millennia – even through an ice age, when the human population world-wide was down to as few as 100,000 mates. There is a tremendous power available to us when we work together, united in common cause and for the common good. We must rebuild community now.

Economic individualism also has destroyed the bonds. We are not safe due to money or possessions, but above all, due to bonds of love. Neither money nor possessions will not save our asses now- either individually or collectively. We must return to the basis of love: to human cooperation, solidarity, sharing and community. We must remember our greatest strength: the power of our collective force and mutual aid – the power of love.

Re-connect! It is time to unite. It is time we re-learned the value of community. In this time of great opportunity and great peril, what Benjamin Franklin said over 200 years ago is truer than ever today: `We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately.` Unite!

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