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    This is a very hopeful section of the article: ‘Arguments Against Despair’ by David Edwards (of Media Lens). It proves socialist society is possible (but ignore the new-age rubbish contained in the article):

    ‘The Best People In The World’ – Actual Human Civilisation

    The very idea of technological ‘progress’ implies some kind of ‘Manifest Destiny’. It is our ‘destiny’ – the natural path of any ‘advanced’ civilisation on any planet – to develop ever more powerful technology, that we might one day voyage across the cosmic ocean just as we once voyaged across the water and air of our home planet.

    But this may be wrong. It may be that the right option is to journey inwards in an exploration of being, of consciousness, to an unimagined brave new world of love and bliss.

    Perhaps we don’t hear anything from highly technological ‘civilisations’ out there in the cosmos because the whole effort is a suicidal wrong turn that leads to near-instant decline and extinction. The cosmos may nevertheless be teeming with genuinely civilised beings who have gone in a very different direction.

    After all, even on our planet, there have been examples of authentically civilised humans – people who live in their hearts rather than in their heads, who are free of our obsessive thinking. They appear to have rooted their daily lives in the kind of love and bliss that we in the West can only find in meditation.

    In his book, ‘The Conquest of Paradise’, writer and ecologist Kirkpatrick Sale described the low-tech, Taino society encountered by the Spanish conquistadors in 1492:

    ‘So little a part did violence play in their system that they seem, remarkably, to have been a society without war (at least we know of no war music or signals or artifacts, and no evidence of intertribal combats) and even without overt conflict (Las Casas reports that no Spaniard ever saw two Tainos fighting).’ (Kirkpatrick Sale, ‘The Conquest of Paradise’, Papermac, 1992, p.99)

    But the lack of violence was only one aspect of the Tainos’ towering civilisation:

    ‘And here we come to what was obviously the Tainos’ outstanding cultural achievement, a proficiency in the social arts that led those who first met them to comment unfailingly on their friendliness, their warmth, their openness, and above all – so striking to those of an acquisitive culture – their generosity.’ (p.99)

    Even Admiral Cristobal Colon (‘Christopher Columbus’ in old money), the man who brought death and disaster to the lives of the Taino, recorded in his journal:

    ‘They are the best people in the world and above all the gentlest. They became so much our friends that it was a marvel… They traded and gave everything they had, with good will.’ (pp.99-100)

    He continued:

    ‘I sent the ship’s boat ashore for water, and they very willingly showed my people where the water was, and they themselves carried the full barrels to the boat, and took great delight in pleasing us. They are very gentle and without knowledge of what is evil; nor do they murder or steal.’

    Colon added:

    ‘They love their neighbours as themselves, and they have the sweetest talk in the world, and are gentle and always laughing.’ (p.100)

    Sale wrote poignantly:

    ‘It is to be regretted that the Admiral, unable to see past their nakedness, as it were, knew not the real virtues of the people he confronted. For the Tainos’ lives were in many ways as idyllic as their surroundings, into which they fit with such skill and comfort. They were well fed and well housed, without poverty or serious disease. They enjoyed considerable leisure, given over to dancing, singing, ballgames, and sex, and expressed themselves artistically in basketry, woodworking, pottery, and jewellery. They lived in general harmony and peace, without greed or covetousness or theft.’ (pp.100-101)

    American geographical scholar Carl Sauer concluded:

    ‘…the tropical idyll of the accounts of Columbus… was largely true’. (p.101)

    The Tainos were human beings who lived in their hearts, not in their heads. They had no august universities packed with thinkers, philosophers and other half-crazed intellectuals; no 24/7 outpourings of media pollution – they lived in the bliss of awareness unclouded by obsessive thought.

    As for us! By painful contrast, in his book, ‘Impact of Western Man’, historian William Woodruff commented on the society from which Colon had sailed:

    ‘No civilization prior to the European had occasion to believe in the systematic material progress of the whole human race; no civilization placed such stress upon the quantity rather than the quality of life; no civilization drove itself so relentlessly to an ever-receding goal; no civilization was so passion-charged to replace what is with what could be; no civilization had striven as the West has done to direct the world according to its will; no civilization has known so few moments of peace and tranquillity.’ (Sale, ibid, p.91, my emphasis)

    To live in the head, to sacrifice the moment for the future, to prioritise the ‘serious’, ‘important’ work of the greedy, plotting mind over the bliss of the heart is to build a self-destructive, doomed version of fake ‘civilisation’.

    Or consider the experience of the Mexican anthropologist Miguel Covarrubias on visiting the island of Bali in 1938. Covarrubias wrote:

    ‘No other race gives the impression of living in such close touch with nature, creates such a complete feeling of harmony between the people and the surroundings… The Balinese belong in their environment in the same way that a humming-bird or an orchid belongs in a Central American jungle.’ (Miguel Covarrubias, ‘Island of Bali’, KPI, 1986, p.11)

    Covarrubias added:

    ‘A man is assisted by his neighbours in every task he cannot perform alone; they help him willingly and as a matter of duty, not expecting any reward other than the knowledge that, were they in his case, he would help in the same manner’. (p.14)

    The result, Covarrubias wrote, was a village system which operated as ‘a closely unified organism in which the communal policy is harmony and cooperation – a system that works to everybody’s advantage’. (p.15)

    In the late 1990s, I worked with the Swedish ecologist and activist Helena Norberg-Hodge who lived for many years among the people of Ladakh on the Tibetan plateau of Northern India. In her book ‘Ancient Futures’, Norberg-Hodge wrote of how she was bewildered by the strange fact that the Ladakhis were always smiling:

    ‘At first I couldn’t believe that the Ladakhis could be as happy as they appeared. It took me a long time to accept that the smiles I saw were real. Then, in my second year there, while at a wedding, I sat back and observed the guests enjoying themselves. Suddenly I heard myself saying, “Aha, they really are that happy”. Only then did I recognize that I had been walking around with cultural blinders on, convinced that the Ladakhis could not be as happy as they seemed. Hidden behind the jokes and laughter had to be the same frustration, jealousy, and inadequacy as in my own society. In fact, without knowing it, I had been assuming that there were no significant cultural differences in the human potential for happiness. It was a surprise for me to realize that I had been making such unconscious assumptions, and as a result I think I became more open to experiencing what was really there.’ (Helena Norberg-Hodge, ‘Ancient Futures – Learning From Ladakh,’ Sierra, 1992, p.84)

    As amongst the Tainos, fighting in traditional Ladakhi society was unknown, disputes were settled quickly and peaceably, and when one person had a problem the entire community did its best to help:

    ‘In traditional Ladakh, aggression of any sort is exceptionally rare: rare enough to say that it is virtually non-existent… Even arguments are rare. I have hardly ever seen anything more than mild disagreement in the traditional villages—certainly nothing compared with what you find in the West.’ (p.46)

    Norberg-Hodge concluded:

    ‘I have never met people who seem so healthy emotionally, so secure, as the Ladakhis.’ (p.85)

    [Source: https://www.medialens.org/2023/arguments-against-despair/%5D

    ste finch

    Very interesting
    BTW the link was corrupted – this one should work:

    Arguments Against Despair


    Thanks, Mr. Finch.

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