Participatory Economy, Democratic Economy
A recent experience made it crystal clear to me how the history of our economic affairs completely repels some of my human siblings from participating in it:
A few months ago, I drove up from Santa Cruz, up Highway 1, enjoying a sunny coastline. Three young hitchhikers were waiting for a ride, and I pulled over a few hundred feet past them. While they were walking toward me, I made room on my passenger and back seats, stuffing everything in the trunk (not easy, it's a gypsyesk commutomobil). Two young men and one young woman wandered up to me, with tattoos, creative hair, and spiraling expressions in their eyes, and I knew immediately I would be safe taking them. (Just tapping them gently would probably have been enough to knock them over, had the need arisen.)
As they were settling in, the young woman in front, and the two young men in the back, and we were getting to know each other, I found out that they were on a super-heroic trip up North to get five-fingered green leaves for their deprived friends at home. I was announced as the superhero of superheros for helping them on their mission. When I mentioned that I'd been reading 5 people's tea leaves over the weekend, they immediately explained that tea leaf reading was my superhero power, and dragoncat (as in Dragoncat Music) was my superhero name. I thoroughly enjoyed their delightfully sweet and unpretentious company.
And I discovered a new insight hearing their main pastime, which sounded was to get stoned, and, during the occupy movement, to camp out on the streets: These people did this job for me, did this job all of us. These three young people, stoned out of, or rather, into, their minds, were doing the dirty work toward a sane economy and true democracy. They were willing to sit there, camp out for weeks, put up with the all the crap and bullshit, and make a statement, for all of us, a statement for which I am grateful. The statement that is now changing our world.
This also had me realize that our current state of affairs simply isn't palatable to many people. The reason they weren't participating through "work" in our economy is simply because it's not working for them. I can see that their choice is their way of participating, of contributing to the creation of a world economy that works for all.
I have to respect the resolve with which I see these young people live: They simply won't participate in our mainstream economy until they've been able to shape it into a quality of trade and commerce that works for them. Until then, they will do the dirty work for me and all of us, the dirty work of living without money, and sitting on the streets, exampling the things that need changing, integrating, lifting into a functional approach to our economics and our democracy.
"Thank you for doing that. Because I wasn't going to risk my citizenship application, or my physical safety, or my client relations. Yet I want the effect this movement has brought. Thank you for doing this."
In appreciation for the ride, one of them gave me a most beautiful pendant from blue/grey agate, foaming like the sea meeting the coastline, and brass wire lace. He told me he'd been making it while we were driving, and I can only conclude that his lucid drug state allowed him to see straight into me, because the pendant exactly matched my inner landscape.
This experience has expanded my understanding. I now recognize how everyone contributes to the shaping of our economy and democracy. We can't but be part of it, and each of us gets to choose how. I believe ultimately we all want to participate the way that works best for our deep inner truth. This gives me hope, and passion for what is to come, and what we are to become.