Mobsters, drug lords, pimps, distillers, tobacco companies, and oil barons have one thing in common: They know that the secret to amassing vast wealth is to pander to people’s addictions.
Addicts will do anything to get money to pay for their habits… be it alcohol or gambling or sex or drugs or cigarettes. If you can pander to those addictions, you can make a LOT of money.
Oil is an addiction of society, which lifts profit and pandering to a new level.
Addiction is any relationship to a substance or an activity that makes life continually worse, yet the addict continues regardless. That precisely defines America’s relationship with oil. We ravage the environment, attack other countries, and deny the damage we cause in our quest or more-more-more oil.
To overcome that addiction, maybe we can learn a few things from the 12-Step program, which has the greatest track record in the world for recovery among addicts and alcoholics. If it works for addicted individuals, maybe it could work for an addicted society.
Let’s borrow of few of the program’s time-proven principles, which have restored sanity and peace to the lives of countless individuals, and adjust them for society.
Admit that, as a nation, we’re powerless over our oil addiction and our politics has become unmanageable.
To overcome America’s addiction to oil, the first step is admitting we’re out of control… obsessed with getting more and more of the dirty, dwindling resource by any destructive, unethical or illegal means…
- from fracking… injecting high-pressure toxins deep underground to fracture the Earth into releasing the last, dwindling, small, trapped pockets of gas and oil here in the States.
- to attacking… bombing Baghdad to launch an unprovoked, 11-year (and counting) Mideast war to confiscate that region’s oil.
- paying “fixers” enormous sums to “do whatever it takes to get us those international oil rights.”
- vehemently denying the sick, severe consequences of our substance abuse, especially global warming and climate change… but also our growing reputation as a world bully and criminal who breaks international laws and defies UN resolutions.
By any reasonable measure, the US today is out of control in its addiction to oil.
Come to believe that a power greater than America can restore us to sanity.
The most natural way for an alcoholic or drug addict to get his problems into perspective is to accept God as a source for a solution. But for the sake of agnostics and atheists, the 12-step program allows the concept of God to be adjusted to “a power greater than oneself”… which could be nature or other people or the recovery group or conscience or group conscience or….
Whatever the case, an acceptance of a power greater than oneself is a big part of overcoming an addiction.
For a nation like America, which is essentially secular or nonspiritual in its politics, that higher power would most naturally be the United Nations. Or it could alternatively be Planet Earth or allies or fellow members of international treaties or….
Make a decision to turn over the country’s political will to that higher power.
Whatever it is, the higher power that could restore America to sanity has to be something greater than America. To turn their will over to that higher power, Americans would have to temper their flag-waving, love-it-or-leave-it attitude, which is a key component of their oil addiction.
The US would have to release the weight of its political will to the higher power, which will include neutralizing any powerful political or economic antagonists in society that fight against overcoming the oil addiction… especially the multibillionaire oil interests who will do whatever it takes to sustain a carbon-based economy. “Neutralizing” those harmful forces would mean adjusting the political environment so that wealthy interests no longer influence political decisions… a huge but necessary change for America.
Government policies would be built around not just what’s best for America, but also what’s best for the international community and the planet. In fact, regional and global interests would take a priority over national interests.
After all, in the nested structure of human life (cells within organs within human individuals within families within communities within nations within the world…), that is the underlying principle of cohesion, stability, and peace at every level: Each unit provides a healthy, reliable link between its inner systems and the systems of which it is part… especially by adopting and integrating the standards and values of the higher-level systems.
- for the sake of peace and integrity in the family, each family member embraces family values;
- for the sake of peace in the community, each family obeys neighborhood covenants and city ordinances;
- for the sake of peace and integrity in a nation, each city and state and province adopts and enforces laws of the nation;
- for the sake of world peace, each nation obeys international treaties and adopts UN resolutions.
That’s a simple key to peace and stability within the nested chain of carnal life.
So, those are the first three steps to overcoming our oil addiction, and certainly the most essential. There are nine additional steps, which I may or may not write about in future articles, as they don’t really help until the first three steps are taken… and it’s unlikely that America will take those first three steps in my lifetime, locked up as it is in conservative, sectarian, egotistical values that mock the idea of world peace and unity.
Other articles in the Fixing America series:
Northern Europe Does it Right
1 The Problems
2 Basic Income, One Solution
3 More Thoughts on Basic Income
4 Wrap-Up on Basic Income and Wealth Tax
5 Basic Income and the Fertility Rate
6 Restoring a Good Reputation
7 Contending with Savage Forces
8 Being a Noble Force
9. A Comprehensive Solution
10. Marching Toward the End Time
11. The Destructive 1 Percent
12. Overcoming America’s Oil Addiction