Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Daiichi nuclear meltdown and the need for deep change

What do you do when the powers-that-be are steering society in the wrong direction? What do you do when the CEO of the company you work for is making horrible stupid decisions that you see will bankrupt the company? What do you do if the leader of your religion are acting contrary to the teachings of your religion? What do you do if you feel your job, career, and lifestyle is incompatible with your vision of the way life should be lived?

Those are the same question, just placed at different levels.

A couple years ago I worked for a large multinational software company on a software product used by millions of software developers around the world. Management began making horrible decisions I thought undermined the software and seemed to doom the company. Indeed that company ended up croaking, and was bought up by another company, who made even worse decisions. I was in a leadership position and had a choice. I could have hunkered down (the recession of 2009 was coming) doing whatever the bosspeople told me to do. Or, I could take a stand for what I believe in. I took that stand, speaking up to my manager (and others) about the wrong decisions. I was eventually assigned to work on the project I thought shouldn't have existed, and had a horrible few months trying to do my job while disagreeing completely with the goal I was forced to work toward. After six months of this pain I was laid off when the company was beginning its death spiral and laying off a boat load of people in a desperation move.

Today we have a confluence of several events going on which look just as wrong to me, and I hope to many other people. These events collectively call us to question what is our response when the leaders are making insane decisions.

What do we the people do?

I suppose the first question is - what's going so wrong? Well, financial meltdown, peak oil, global warming, tea party idiots and theocracy idiots threatening democracy, nuclear meltdown, corporate interests running roughshod over the people, faux media/news outlets used to lie to and manipulate we the people, and more.

Some of those things are relatively minor only in contrast to the others which clearly threaten the survival of humanity.

What do we the people do? What do I do individually?

Do we say the problems are too large? As individuals we can easily say "I'm just ____, who am I to do anything about this"? But if that's what we all do then nobody will stand up. The wave of revolutions sweeping the Middle East right now are due to one fruit seller in rural Tunisia who took a stand. His stand was self-immolation, not exactly the recommended method of getting attention to problems, still it demonstrates the power individuals sometimes have. Perhaps the better example is the peaceful non-violent protests in Egypt and Wisconsin where large numbers of people banded together.

Do we deny the problems? Do we stay numbed out by the latest false celebrity scandal, or the latest sports upset, or the latest twist in hair styles, or the latest new shade of black? Those are some methods used by the powers-that-be to keep we the people from noticing what's really going on, by filling our lives with nonsense fake tea-pot-sized scandals.

What do we do? You, the one who is reading this, what do you do? You, the one who is writing this, what do you do? You, the one who doesn't know this blog post exists, what do you do? You, the one forced to read this by a friend who thought it was funny, what do you do?

Many people think the world is going in a wrong direction. Unfortunately there's a fair bit of disagreement over just what the problems are, what constitutes a wrong direction, and what would be the best direction to take. As the French say, Vive la Differance. Except that the stakes are high and it behooves we the people to make the best decision possible given the deeply fractured splits.

Unfortunately some of those splits were manufactured by corporate interests who now have free(er) reign due to that idiotic Citizens United decision last year.

In any case our world situation calls for action and change. Change we can really believe in and makes a real difference. Change that's wholly unlike the retread appeasements Obama is now giving to the corporate interests after inspiring us with the Audacity of Hope and Change we were supposed to Believe in.

Given the widely split set of ideas out there all I can suggest is to get engaged. To stand for what YOU believe in. To question what the bosspeople tell you, to question what the goal really is, and to question whether you believe in the goal the bosspeople want you to believe in.

See also:

Change starts "here"; Change starts with "you"; Change starts with "me"

Stand up for Real Change

This world doesn't have to become an uninhabitable nuclear radiation poisoned wasteland

Higher Purpose: Japans earthquake and nuclear crisis asks us what we really want