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The Coming Revolution: Evolutionary Leap or Descent into Chaos and Violence?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page and our Organic Transitions page.

A new paradigm is organically evolving: new economic systems, sustainable communities, solar energy, organic farming, liquid democracy, worker co-ops and new media. For all the problems we are confronted by, there are existing viable solutions. There is much to feel positive about. A decentralized global uprising is undermining systems of centralized and consolidated power. A new world is being born.

However, as exciting as the evolution presently occurring is, after extensive research I am forced to confront the fact that I do not see how emerging solutions will reach a critical mass and create the needed change before the affects of inequality, poverty and the overall deterioration of society will lead to widespread chaos and violence. As much as I wish this wasn't the case, as much as I want to just disengage from the status quo and focus on the implementation of local solutions, we cannot ignore the urgent need for significant systemic change on a mass scale now.

The longer mainstream society stays on the present course, the worse things will get and the harder it will be to overcome the growing crisis. No matter how much we are inclined to ignore it, we will not be able to escape this reality: under present economic and government policy, more and more people will fall deeper into debt and extreme poverty. The present economy only works for 30% of the population, tens of millions of people have been mathematically eliminated.

There are only enough full-time jobs for 50% of the working-age population, and half of the full-time jobs pay under $35k per year. Since 2007, the economy has lost over 14 million full-time jobs while the overall population has grown by 17 million people. In current conditions, it is impossible for 70% of the working-age population to earn enough income to afford basic necessities without taking on ever-increasing levels of debt, which they will never be able to pay back because there are not enough jobs that generate the necessary income to keep up with the cost of living.