Causes for concern

  • Our industrial growth society is founded on dangerous and short-sighted assumptions and is likely to deplete and pollute the last reserves of life-sustaining resource on the planet; it should be revealed as such (see the GEO4 report, the Millennium Assessment and this from the IUCN)
  • Materialism and our dependence on the debt-driven money economy are causing mental and physical ill health to us as individuals as well as environmental destruction. They are perpetuated by consumerist propaganda that needs to be exposed and countered
  • Our competition-based, work-dominated culture is causing mental and physical ill health to us as individuals as well as environmental destruction. It is perpetuated by Darwinist assumptions about hierarchy and human nature that need to be exposed and countered
  • Warfare and militarism is an avoidable, horrific aspect of our culture that is geared not to improving our security but to perpetuating economic and industrial dominance that benefit those in power: this needs exposing and correcting
  • Our proprietorial attitude to knowledge perpetuates an elitist system of development and discovery, which benefits the privileged at the expense of the poor, stifles free and open scientific research, and often exploits or destroys local, traditional and indigenous knowledge to the extent that its true value is eroded or lost in the name of modernisation and profit
  • Western civilisation perpetuates itself by means of violence and by environmental and social exploitation and if it continues along the same lines it will ultimately collapse (ref Jared DiamondDerrick Jensen and Dmitry Orlov)
  • The truths about our imperial society are revealed at its colonial frontiers, i.e. at the interface with those outside it. How we behave there, especially our push for and definition of ‘development,’ reveals much about the collective attitudes we hold; i.e. the nature of the centre is revealed at its edges (ref Hugh Brody, interview)
  • Rather than tell it as it is, our media serve to perpetuate the above illusions, as they act in the interests of the corporate and political power-brokers. (Ref argument for manufacture of consent: Edward Bernays [and in a revealing 7-minute BBC video here], ChomskyMedia Lens, etc)
  • The mainstream education system inculcates in our children a belief that the Western society’s systems of dominance and control, our culture and our imperial heritage are right, decent, and an inevitable product of ‘progress,’ in a way that discourages children from thinking with freedom and independence and cripples their faith in their intuitive faculties
  • The loss of a spiritual dimension, especially the feminine side of spiritual views and practices, has resulted in or compounded our many addictions to unhealthy pursuits including of material gain, the pursuit of status, and dominating and controlling behaviours.


  1. We’ve agreed on the most important issues for over 20 years now… but I’m not the one you’re trying to reach. Our Western world is like a Logan’s Run of bountiful paradise (without mandatory death at age 30), controlled by forces which are mysterious and seem to arouse little curiosity from those who inhabit the so-called paradise. How can we reach both the forces (money-makers, power-brokers) and the simpletons who consume unthinkingly into oblivion and death?

  2. Thank you, for articulating these important questions. Most days I tend to think that the forces at work – and the money-makers and power-brokers wielding them – are where the impetus would be most effectively directed, on the basis that the rest (simpletons, aware but passive supplicants, self-interested ostriches, and mostly those of us too busy earning a living to do much else) will follow.

    On other days I think everyone should be urged to re-form into self-directed, self-sufficient communities so that the over-arching structures become obsolete. Either way, getting to these groups and convincing them to act is a massive challenge I agree, especially given the Logan’s Run world we inhabit (lovely analogy).

    For some time (years), I succumbed to the conviction that this challenge was insurmountable and did nothing much about it all. Starting VIVID has not cured this fear; there is always the risk that it does nothing but add to the e-chatter among the already aware. But … something feels different.

    For one thing, there is greater awareness than ever that our materialistic, self-indulgent way of life isn’t filling the hole, and more recently that the structures of the industrial, growth-based civilisation on which we depend like suckling infants are crumbling anyway.

    I have a suspicion: that all that is stopping conversations about all this happening freely, anywhere, is the (cultural) permission to conduct them. They are still considered the preserve of the earnest environmentalist, the alternative therapist, the doom-monger, the idealist. Once they become the stuff of the opportunist, the rap-artist, the economist, the comedian; once they become mainstream and infect the thinking of the powerful and the ordinary alike, we have tipping point, and it could all change, quickly. Encouraging such conversations to reach critical mass must be worth a go.

    So: sorry, but you are the one I’m trying to reach! And others like you. What I’m hoping is not simply that you read VIVID, because I know you not only get it already but that you can improve on it, easily. It’s that VIVID becomes one more arrow in the quiver of acknowledgement that is rippling through the world; one more reminder of the reality, to be passed on, forwarded, discussed and critiqued; and perhaps a stepping stone to something else that has not yet been formulated.

    What do you think?

  3. I also started a small blog in my native language also with the idea of ‘changing’ the world (not nearly as grand as yours). And also discovered that what it did do, was provide a safety pressure valve for my own discomfort with civilization and I agree, as more and more people, like us, start airing their views, continuously and irritatingly everywhere, the massed conscience of humanity may be changed in a positive manner. Out there the denial may be very strong and the habits of society deeply ingrained, but I do believe that deep down most people know that we are speaking the truth, and I hope that the environmental things that I do say, do stick somewhere in the back of their minds and fester and grow into some kind of mass awakening to reality.

  4. Hello Frans, and thanks for your comment. It seems we have come to similar conclusions! Interesting and encouraging to learn of yours.

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