Calling an end to speed

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

ending the race with timeThe globalized speeding up, the quickening, is affecting us all. Responsible for this speeding up of everything is the uncontrolled development of science, technology and economy. We are in the state of permanent time pressure. But all over the world people are rebelling against this and are actively going on strike against against the all encompassing stress, this madness of speed and more and more. An ode to a self-determined life.

Faster, more efficient, more profitable – what have we created out of time? Time seems to be incapable to extricate itself from the common measure of money. We have entered an era of acceleration, into the era where immediateness has become the norm. but at which cost? In the world of finance and that of high-tech industry the ever increasing pressure of time leads to ecological, economical and social catastrophes.

But there is a counter movement: Worldwide men and women have decided on a Planet of limited resources to resist the diktat of urgency. In Europe, Latin-America, the USA and India there are initiatives of individuals and organizations that are looking for ways to find a way back to a proper association with time, one that makes attentiveness, patience and meaningfulness possible (again).

So, who are those new rebels, those (r)evolutionaries, who are exemplifying this through their own lives, to rediscover fruitful relationships with time? The Barefoot College in India, for example, trains thousands of women from rurall areas in the production of solar technology.

Also attempts of de-globalization can be part of the slowing down process: The cities of Romans-sur-Isère and Bristol are introducing a local currency in order to make the daily life somewhat more local again, and under the Transition Town Movement many areas also already have local currencies, such as the Totness Pound, the Brixton Pound, and others. In the American Ithaca agriculture and credit unions have already proven that they can pin down the economy to a local level.

As counter-model to the race with time and profitability those alternatives can be exemplary for the world of tomorrow. Basically they are the practical implementations of the critical analyses of philosophers, sociologists, economic scientists and researchers like Pierre Dardot, Rob Hopkins, Geneviève Azam and Bunker Roy.

Examples of counter-models to current society are beginning to pop up all over the place, as they must, if we are going to change the world to a better and fairer one where both man and Planet are honored and respected.

In some cases those people and projects are referred to as the cultural creatives and they are creating the new models, the counter-models, to the exploitative society into which mankind has allowed itself to be dragged by deranged psychopaths.

Farming with animals also is coming back in vogue, and this for, I hazard to guess, several reasons. One being the fact that fuel to run the big machinery is getting more and more expensive, two that the machines themselves cost a small fortune, often as much as a house, in some places, and three the fact that people really want to slow down, also in farming.

In other aspects we can certainly see this as well, such as that people begin to value again things that last, that are handmade and so on.

Our economy today with its perpetual growth idea and products with built-in obsolescence is just not sustainable and cannot continue. Neither can our permanent race with time and profitability. It is neither good for man not the Planet and must be reversed, not just halted.

There are limits to growth and he have well exceeded those limits by now and we are running fast out of non-renewable resources, and also out of some that are renewables, such as fish in the oceans and rivers and we are losing habitat at a rate of knots.

We must create a new society, a new world, where we live in harmony with each other and the rest of creation and we must create those new models as quickly as possible and get them to work so that they can take over in due course from what is today.

© 2014