I have always leaned toward sustainability in the sense that I don’t believe that less variety is the result of good market competition and that the competition should win at all costs.
On a macro level, sustainability is about systems being able to thrive and live symbiotically. On a micro level its about systems within systems being able to survive and thrive even, so that the bigger system stays alive and well…I think you get where I’m going.
We have finally accepted there are certain non-renewable resources and the scarcity of those resources is increasing. What I’ve been learning, and on some levels sort of knew already, is that corporate greed is at the heart of almost everything that has led us to our unsustainable standard of living. These large companies whose only goal is to make more money, by selling more goods, produced in mass quantities, without care or consideration for how this eternal thirst for gold will affect the rest of the system.
A few weeks ago I watched the Story of Stuff and today The Future of Food. While one was a simple lesson on how broken production —–> market system is and the other is a detailed account of the corporate take-over of agriculture, they both have the same message. The corporatization of production on a mass scale are not beneficial to the system of life. It is not good for the environment, it is not good for living things, it is not good for anyone other than the corporations; and even then, only the few people who own those corporations.
Now I don’t mean corporations in the legal sense. There are many small businesses that are incorporated. What I am talking about is huge companies that come in and take over a market by any means necessary. The goal of these large companies gobble up everything around them, killing off and throwing off balance, natural systems with underhanded means.
In the end, there is less competition, less choice, less quality and people become slaves to corporations for subsistence, working their own land just to pay huge companies with deep connections and deeper pockets. Slaves to consumer goods because we have been socialized to think we need a television, cable, wi-fi (well dammit I need my wi-fi), the latest shoes, the latest video games, the latest whatever to replace something that is perfectly good still.
The lack of choice and the dependence on companies that only care about making money scares the shit out of me. There is no human connection, no consideration for cause and effect when it comes to living things.
This consideration for the system at large is at the heart of the sustainability movement. What tickles me is that it also brings us back to our local neighborhoods, where we live in smaller systems that can practically sustain themselves. While on the one hand I can build relationships and communities in a virtual world, there are benefits beyond mine and the health of my family, of living off of and supporting local systems; the sustaining of life.
So my goal is to start living more sustainably…even in the city. Already, I’m looking for a local farm to buy shares in (pay a weekly fee for locally grown produce). I probably won’t go so far as making my own clothes, but I have been picky over quality, favoring smaller retailers over large ones.
I want to live healthy and largely independent of large corporations for my subsistence. I may have to pay for electricity and wi-fi (I told you its a necessity) but I can get my food locally.