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It's Time to Get Serious About Systemic Solutions to Systemic Problems


It's Time to Get Serious About Systemic Solutions to Systemic Problems

Gar Alperovitz, James Gustave Speth

It's getting harder and harder to be an optimist. A deep economic crisis has given way to a profoundly unequal recovery. Climate catastrophe is steadily unfolding across the globe. And the work of building a racially inclusive society appears to be stalled -- indeed, in many areas, to be losing ground. All of this in an age of unprecedented technological progress, which has manifestly failed to keep its promises.


“…things are built to work for the wealthy, for the white” You guys forgot to say for the men. To excuse or not even see the patriarchy that predates the current oppressive economic system seems shortsighted but perhaps it’s a tactic to not alienate those men out there who are willing to point the finger of blame anywhere but there.


This article was written by two “white males,” so it must be fallacious!
That gosh darn patriarchy was extended by Karl Marx and Mao Tse Tung!
They are dead white males. Oh, wait, I am wrong, Mao was not white, I think.

Why does commondreams permit those racist comments condemning entire racial and genderal groups?


What’s really overlooked here is the system that really has society weighed down and handcuffed: religion, or more specifically–religiosity. If thought is so handicapped, world view so hamstrung, and morality so baseless, how can we expect to make progress? So few people are even able to recognize the problems we face, much less have the conviction to admit them to even themselves.

Undoubtedly, circumstances will, sooner rather than later, force people to admit something is fundamentally wrong, as everything starts to come apart. It’s hard to imagine though how societies of people so handicapped, so hamstrung, and so devoid of real morality will be capable of coming to reasonable diagnoses and solutions, like those presented in this article.

So, not only is it “harder and harder to be an optimist,” it is less and less realistic to try and be one.


Wrong. There are not too many people; there are too many meat-eaters.


You deny the reality that the meat industry is trashing the environment? And is behind most health problems? And is cruel to animals? What bizarre reality do you inhabit?


We need to be more careful about how we speak about problems. The reality is most whites and most men are being hurt by our present system, just like most non-whites and most women.

Take the fact that most poor people are white. These poor white people come from populations that have in some cases been poor continuously for centuries. Whiteness, like all racial categories, is a social construct.

As for men, consider who is mostly being put away in this age of mass incarceration. I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t women.

By saying all of this, I don’t mean to imply that life doesn’t really suck for poor minority women, but let’s keep everything in context. Most people are suffering from these problems.


Where is this mythical ‘north’ that white people came from? North of what? Certainly not north as in North America.


Amen to that! Or rather, a woman would have seen and worded this topic much differently. The value assumptions of our current culture reflect the needs and wants of men: domination, autonomy, territory.Who’s leading the compassion movement? Mostly women and Buddhist monks. How would that fit into a transformed culture? Jesus tried it a couple of millennia ago and his whole message was co-opted by a male dominated clergy focused on controlling their subjects (“flock”). Just vote for every woman on the ballot (I know, there are some female crazies, too), and things may change, however slowly.


Rather than eliminate domestic animals for food altogether, we need to reduce the meat industry to a by-product of the dairy industry and poultry to a by-product of eggs. And then start reducing the size of the dairy and egg industries down to about 10% of what they are now. As selfish as humans are, we are more likely to exterminate cattle and chickens than to start treating them decently if we try to give up animal products in our diets altogether.


It is the 0.01% ruling class oppressing the other 99.9% working class. Many of the women in the ruling class are passive receivers of investment income or wives or daughters of ruling class men rather than holding power in their own right. It is necessary to force the ruling class to stop playing monopoly with the real economy. It is likely to take at least 10% of GDP to support the bottom 90% of the socioeconomic heap–as much as possible with jobs, pension off only those too incompetent to do useful work.


As an ideal to aim for the Judea-Christian ethic is not bad–the trouble is how to get those professing such faith to make more of an effort to live up it. Buddhist seem to somehow manage better at practicing something like the Judea-Christian ethic than many Christians do.


There are both too many humans and too many humans eating too much meat. Both need to be controlled to get humanity scaled down to what Earth can support.