A New Consciousness

An idea cannot be named before it has been thought. A social movement cannot be identified until it has started to arise.

There is a new consciousness in the world that as yet has no name. It says we are all in this together. It says that war and sectarian conflicts cannot resolve issues. It says that oppression can be countered with the moral authority of non-violence.

It says that capitalism and free markets are failing to take care of the planet and its people. It says that fairness and caring for each other are how actions must be judged. It says we are all one world.

So how will this come about? Just by waving a magic wand and hoping that the titans of industry repent and retire to the country to raise chickens? No, it will take time and struggle. Previously, voices of dissent were small compared to the message of conformity put out by people in power via radio, TV and the press. Yet the power of these media is diminishing, because the Internet is allowing us to see each other and talk to each other directly as never before.

The consumer society is driven by creating dissatisfaction with last year’s products and promising that this year’s goods will offer emotional fulfillment. There is an arms race between the increasing tools of marketers and the growing awareness and selectivity of consumers. People are moving away from passive consumption to actively choosing how to live, and as education, empathy and economic security spread, the emotional satisfaction from human connections will more and more trump the pleasures of material goods.

Anticipate a period of flux. People do not yield power gracefully. But as this new consciousness takes hold, change will come. It may take a hundred years. But it will happen.

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