Cleaning up our social mess

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This is part two of our series where we take a practical overview of the different types of messes we have collectively created. The intention is touch on the surface of the interconnectedness of the issues we collectively face.

Today we explore the social mess we’ve all created.

Our society is currently at a breaking point. We are conditioned to be lost in material goals, and are far more obsessed with how we look on the surface than being the master of our own internal climate.

The challenge is that when the individual struggles, society struggles too. Although we humans have the potential to thrive as societies, we have collectively lost our way—our current social conditioning puts thin filters of judgment, rules, and morals over the reality of our world. This social layer, comprised of all of these filters, creates a seemingly impenetrable one that is often difficult to identify. We can’t see it, because everyone else around us is seeing through the same eyes. With every rule, with every lie, with every limitation, the wall around our personal world grows thicker.

Instead of participating in a healthy and integrated society where we feel part of a greater whole, we begin to think of ourselves as separate and distinct from the outside world, trapped and cut off from our true existence, thrashing around, angst-ridden, trying to make sense of who we are and figure out the point of all this. And so the wall thickens and we never truly breathe the air or feel the sunlight on our skin.

We experience all kinds of mistruths and protective behaviors. If this system has squashed us down, we don’t want to admit that it is the case. Nobody wants to think that they were duped or lied to their whole life. So we defend whatever we
have, because it’s often easier to hold tight to a lie than to face the truth of what we have been sold.

In The End of Poverty, Jeffrey D. Sachs challenges the derogatory misbelief that others are poor because they are lazy or stupid. “Virtually every society that was once poor has been castigated for being lazy and unworthy until its citizens became rich, at which point, their new wealth was ‘explained’ by their industriousness.” He later goes on to highlight that arguments of this nature hold two main problems. Firstly, that “cultures change with economic times and circumstances,” and secondly, that cultural interpretations are “usually made on the basis of prejudice rather than measurable evidence.” We need to stop pigeonholing those with socio-economic challenges so that we can build a system that is fairer to all.

Particularly in the US, when we start talking about fairer societies, some people immediately respond with the label of socialism.

What we are doing with Artemes, however, is closer to altruistic capitalism.

It’s easy to assume that altruistic capitalism is just benefiting those who have financial challenges, but it’s actually an approach that is essential to our thriving as a whole. Most of us are already aware that the top eight billionaires own more wealth than the bottom three and a half billion combined. However, this winner-takes-all mentality is affecting more of us than we might actually realize.

We have to collectively challenge the paradigm of winners and losers in our society before our world heads towards a version of reality where there are only a few in power.

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