A good friend and political activist wrote on Facebook that if Buckminster Fuller were alive he’d be attending the Paris Climate Conference, and I had to respond that I very much doubted that Bucky would participate in such an event. Certainly, Bucky would have attended had he been invited because it was his policy to show up whenever possible if he was invited. He also looked for every opportunity to share his vision in front of audiences on any level, especially influential people.
Still, had Bucky taken the stage in Paris to address an audience of distinguished politicians and other recognized leaders, he probably would have admonished them as being obsolete and irrelevant. He wouldn’t say that they were obsolete or irrelevant as people, but he point out that in a world where there are enough resources available to support everyone, politics, politicians and representative leadership are obsolete.
He would have gone on for hours telling people how humankind got into this situation before sharing his solution to climate change and all the problems those of us who inhabit the planet he named Spaceship Earth must confront on a daily basis. As he is often quoted,
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
That new model does not include obsolete institutions such as politics, elections, organized religions, large financial institutions and “representative” government among other things.
These institutions and people are in reality still operating from a scarcity belief system that Bucky (and now many other organizations) have proved is obsolete and untenable. There is enough food on our planet right now to feed everyone, yet tens of thousands of people die of starvation every day. It’s not a question of having enough, it’s a matter of distributing our abundance equitably to all sentient beings, and that can’t happen in an environment of war and killing.
Bucky was very clear that the answer to climate change and all global issues was shifting our focus and resources from weaponry to livingry (a word he coined). If and when that happens we will have created an entirely new model of life on Spaceship Earth void of nations states, politics, global leaders “representing” us, war, poverty, many diseases, needless violence and all the issues that our media focuses upon.
And that model will not be created or advocated by the majority of the “leaders” in the news. As Bucky so often reminded his audiences,
“If humanity does not opt for integrity we are completely through. It is absolutely touch and go. Each of us could make the difference.”
This statement was last made by Bucky in 1983, just prior to his death. Today we’re even closer to the brink of human extinction than ever before, but most people still believe that politicians and other “global leaders” can and will create solutions to the major issues that confront our society and species. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We must each ask ourselves the question that Bucky often posed to his audiences (and regularly asked himself),
“If the success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be. What would I do?”