Free Your Thinking: 10 Ways to Improve Society for the Better

Society today is dictated by laws written 80 or 150  years ago by long-dead entitled white men. Who says we have to live by the way of the dead? Especially, when most of their rules created a control system to protect the 1 percent’s wealth hierarchy. Here are 10 innovative ideas to make it easier to improve society for the youth of today.

Removing barriers to change will also allow future generations to more easily live how they see fit. When we are gone, what right do we have to tell future generations how to live? Our generation has let the young people of today down. We give today’s youth endless war, scarcity, hierarchy, destroyed wild landscapes, unstable climate, idiotic egomaniac leaders, on and on.

The top photo depicts our general divide, right and left…conservative and liberal philosophies. We can only imagine what both women are thinking. Which woman is more capable of innovating a more inclusive, equitable and interdependent world that care for all life on Earth?

The one and only period when America was actually great was not when America won a war that we probably partially caused. The Bush family for example financed Nazi Germany. Winning a war through destruction, bloodshed and profiteering is not great; it is horrendous. Yet we still spend almost half of our entire federal budget on the military. Avoiding the war is the answer.

America has been great only three times in her 243 year history:

  • 1963, The Clean Air Act.
  • 1964, Wilderness Act.
  • 1972, The Clean Water Act.
  • Bonus: 1968, creation of Redwood National Park.

1. End Monopoly Government

Wait a minute, I thought competition was good. We can’t have it both ways. Is competition good or is it not good?

If you believe in competition and survival of the fittest, allow citizens to choose between different competing governments where they live. Also, enable people to create new competing governments just as easily as they can create a new business. Allow people to opt in or out as they choose and to send their taxes to which ever local government they wish. There would be no barrier to entry, except maybe a quorum of people. Central registration and control would be eliminated.

Many would believe that the world would go to hell in a hand basket without central government. My quick response is: Earth and humanity did better before government was invented. Almost no one actually needs monopoly government, mega corporations,  the control system and wage-slavery.

What we may need are independent standard setting associations for the internet, roads, commerce, etc. Local independent government systems can follow the standards and work together. I would opt more for public utilities than private corporations. Have competing road, school, power or phone districts much like competing cell phone companies.

Government short course:

  • National governments operate like turf mafia crime families formed by financial interests to maintain control. The American revolution was about moving financial control from Britain to America. George Washington was the wealthiest man in America.
  • Government control systems take away access to land, resources and sustainability education. This also creates insecurity to force wage-slavery and concentrated wealth.
  • When we vote, we give up our sovereignty by giving another person power over us.

2. Allocate Our Own Taxes

Is this a democracy or not? If it is, allow citizens to allocate where their money is spent. Even better, allow people to choose which local competing government gets to spend their money. People should have every right to directly decide how and where their money is spent.

When we pay our taxes, we should be able to allocate it wherever we want. We get to choose whether to spend our money on education or the arts for children, social welfare, the environment, or even the military. In a free-thinking world, we can choose to balance the Department of Defense with the Department of Peace. Today, mostly old white men take almost half of our hard-earned federal taxes for the military.

I believe this is one of the greatest faults of all forms of central government: Taking away our sovereignty by vote and dictating where to spend our money.

3. Corporations Are Not People

Overturning Citizens United would be a huge step towards removing corporate money from politics. In a free-thinking world, we end all corporation campaign contributions and media spending and publicly fund all elections

4. Constitutional Convention Every 10 Years

Put the constitution and laws up for vote every 5 or 10 years. Each new generation should be allowed to start over. Do this on a local, state and national level. Aren’t we tired of living by laws written by long-dead men, yet still enforced today by entitled, privileged white men?

5. End Tyranny of the Majority — Flip Government

There is something about tyranny of the majority that does not make sense. The point of democracy was to replace the will of a monarch with the will of the people. But, why do rural people have to be beholden to urban people to exploit their landscapes and force life-long servitude like Districts in the movie The Hunger Games?

Hierarchy is the problem of all modern governments. The nation imposes its will on the regions and the regions on localities. Hierarchy is an upside down social control. The entire process of social coordination should be turned upside down. Different forms of local government should compete for citizen participation. Competing local governments can then choose which regional association of governments they wish to support and so on.

6. Tribe-Up

Haven’t we had enough of the military industrial complex? What if we tried a societal model that actually works: tribes? Tribal communities are humanity’s evolutionarily proven social organizational system. We would not be here if it were not for tribes. When Columbus was found lost at sea, he landed on two continents inhabited by millions of people living in harmony with nature. There was a fecundity of life, old-growth forests, prairies as tall as a man on a horse, thundering herds from sea to thriving sea. Tribes work.

7. No Private Property

Private property is a social agreement to allow us to do whatever twisted civilized thing we want to a small piece of land, regardless of the need of any other species. Civilized humans have become the greediest and destructive beings on the planet. The last thing a civilized person or corporation should be allowed to do is exploit any landscape for their short-term benefit.

Allow people to move freely between competing social organizations. If someone wants to live where everyone has lots of guns and ammo, they should be able to. If there are folks who would rather live at Burning Man, Beloved or in a permaculture community, they should be free to do so. Re-open the commons for all.

8. Teach Permaculture in Elementary and Middle School

When I teach permaculture to adults, I am always thinking, “We should have all learned this early in school.” The permaculture ethics of: Care for the earth, care for people and share the surplus are givens. Learning how to look at the world with whole-system-eyes is invaluable. Permaculture does impose an intense design on a small piece of private property, but replacing annual tilling with renewing edible perennial landscapes is a huge step in the right direction. Learn more.[1]

9. No Money — Equal for All

Money is the root of all evil. Money commoditizes Nature and our labor. Money allows concentrating wealth in the hands of the greedy 1 percent. Before Columbus, 100 million Indigenous Americans made a living without money. Burning Man’s 80,000 burners also live without it. If you want ice in the desert, you have to trade something of equal value. Money enables unequal transactions with profit.

If the thought of living without money is beyond comprehension, here is the solution: give an equal amount of money to everyone each month. Plus, limit the total wealth a person can have to maybe $1 million or less. Any amount greater than the wealth limit is burned. If the wealth of the top 1 percent was burned overnight, most exploitation of the world would cease.

10. Live Your Truth

Here is the point: Create innovations that enable improving society easier for future generations. Allow young people to create their own society and not be forced to live by long-dead white men’s rules. Our children are inheriting this Earth. Allow them to create a better future their own way.

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[1] Learn more at: The Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and The Permaculture Research Institute.

Chuck Burr is author of Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution.

Editor, Beth Brown.