When we look closely at the practices in the world that are most harmful to the different levels of the “whole being” (individuals, human societies, our fellow Earthlings and the biosphere), we find that there are a handful of core industries that are responsible for the most severe harm being done:
- The fossil fuels industry
- The animal farming and fishing industries
- The inorganic farming industry
- The pharmaceutical/psychiatric industry
- The military industrial complex
- The corporate finance/banking industry
- Corporate-controlled media
- …and a number of powerful industries within other domains that are highly abusive/exploitative of humans, animals, and the environment (such as those involved in water and prison privatization, human trafficking and worker exploitation and nuclear power).
It’s easy to understand that in order to support holistic well-being, we must each strive to reduce our own harmful behaviors. But how do we stop the harmful behaviors of such powerful organizations and industries?
When we consider that the source of their wealth and power is us, the consumers, (who some refer to as “the 99%”), then we realize that we already have everything that we need to reclaim our power.
Voting with our dollars is one of the most effective ways to take our power back. We can think of every dollar as a vote. Every time I make a purchase, I’m essentially saying, “I vote in favor of this product or service, and I personally support this industry to continue making/doing it.”
So every time we refuse to vote for a product or service with our dollars, we are saying, “I refuse to support what you are doing. I will not empower you to continue on with this harmful practice.” When enough of us refuse to continue sponsoring a particular practice, that practice will simply have to stop.
In a world where harmful industries, organizations and individuals have hijacked many of our political systems, where many of us are losing hope in the prospect of any real change occurring at the ballot box, voting with our dollars is one of the most effective ways that we can reclaim our power.
Educating ourselves (and knowing how to educate ourselves) is key to reclaiming our power. The world’s most powerful industries (as discussed above) have developed a number of major strategies in an attempt to maintain their power and ensure that the status quo is not disrupted.
One of the most insidious of these is that in addition to hijacking our political systems, they have hijacked the primary means of spreading news and other information. This is particularly evident in mainstream corporate media (“MSM” for short), but unfortunately this corruption has even filtered down to some degree into institutions that are traditionally supposed to be more trustworthy, such as academic institutions and journals.
So how do we know what to believe? Due to the extent of this corruption by powerful industries, this is not a simple answer; however, there are definitely some steps we can take to increase the likelihood that the information we gather has validity so that we can make more informed choices and reclaim our power.
Nonviolent civil disobedience is sometimes a necessary way to reclaim our power. Harmful organizations sometimes use their power to attempt to force people to accept or even involuntarily contribute to the organization’s harmful behavior.
So we have a choice–we can allow such organizations to maintain their “power over us” and succumb to helplessness, or we can refuse to participate in harmful behaviours, such as participating in boycotts and refusing to support certain industries with our dollars or our time; or more direct civil disobedience in the more extreme cases where acting in line with our values may involve pushing back against unjust and/or violent laws.