Energy flows - more or less. So does water, and they move in similar ways. In contemplating our current state of affairs lately, I think money does too! When they flow freely, all are realizing their full potential; people are supported, society thrives and the earth is nourished in a reciprocal give and take.
When the flow gets hindered or blocked, problems arise. Systems become depleted when resources are not freely circulating. We can see the effects of this in all those areas.
Without enough food, water and energetic nourishment we become physically sick. When rivers are not allowed to meander naturally (and flood on occasion) the land is depleted and barren. When money isn’t freely circulating in a society, it becomes stagnant.
Democracy is a good idea; all for one, and one for all! The same starting line, the same opportunities. America was founded by an elite group of wealthy white men, who had democratic ideals (and so did the soldiers and others who fought for those freedoms). Although the leaders of the Revolution didn’t personally live up to those ideals, they had hopes for a free and egalitarian society which they enshrined in our Constitution.
If you take the democratic ideals out of America, what are you left with? Capitalism.
Societies are dynamic, living things. Out of control capitalism - and the goal of unending growth - is not sustainable or natural. We see that endless quest for more in people, politics, institutions and corporations. As money (capital) is hoarded, it blocks the natural flow. That's why we’re encouraged to buy more to keep the economy afloat! Yet with a wildly unequal distribution of resources, people cannot support the massive imbalance.
So what happens when energy, in the form of money, is concentrated and held? When it no longer flows through a society, supporting humans and the environment?
It’s becoming clear that all three branches of our government can - and have been - corrupted. That’s why there’s no movement in Congress on gun safety. That’s how a President and his family can make billions off his position. That’s why the Supreme Court has a majority (vetted by a group of billionaires at The Federalist Society*) handing down opinions contrary to the will of the people. This toxic blockage stems from an initial Supreme Court court ruling on dark money called Citizens United in 2010. It’s called dark because the wealthiest have become a hidden, shadow government.
We always assumed that those in the highest positions of government would have integrity and strive toward democratic ideals - never fully realized, but always there to measure our progress. When this is not the case, it’s a wake-up call to the dysfunction in our democracy.
Political corruption is the cause and effect of inequity in the public sphere too. Corporations lie while defiling the environment and endangering people’s health. CEO’s are making 400x more than the average worker. A handful of the richest men on the planet are space cowboys, and union busters back on earth. When we venture into the realm of power (amassing energy in the form of money), there is no limit to the ego’s thrust.
Back to the water analogy, and what happens when water flow is blocked, directed, diverted and held. It’s gathered in dams to generate literal power and profits. People downstream can fight for what’s left; regulated water rights to use in homes, agriculture and livestock production. Water and energy - and energy's physical manifestation, money - are literally the life blood of the planet and are meant to move. Stagnant water and energy becomes toxic to the living things that depend on it. Once an organism, an ecosystem, or a society becomes stagnant it is dying.
Democracy at its best is about empathy; we teach our children to share. Indigenous peoples knew how to care for themselves, other creatures and the planet - which ultimately sustained them. Theirs was a real, decentralized flow!
Let us take action, no matter how small, to address and support systemic health in all its positive manifestations. People matter. Politics matter. The world we create - or destroy - matters most of all.
Peace, love and healing!
*Citizens United allowed unrestricted campaign contributions by corporations and was supported by Justices installed by the Federalist Society. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Stevens argued the ruling represented "a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government". In 2019, The Washington Post wrote that the Federalist Society had reached an "unprecedented peak of power and influence."