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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 97)...

    I think there are two issues we should focus on to begin our revolution: consumerism and personal debt. What do you think?

    ...and the response:

    A great many people have written to me to say, "Here are the things we have to focus on." For some it's as obvious as the population explosion. For some it's as vague as teaching respect. For others it is as specific as equal rights for women. For some it's as utopian as ending injustice. You would have us start by focusing on consumerism and personal debt---both important issues to be sure.

    You've seen that no recommendations are made in my books regarding what we should focus on. This is because these books are about VISION--- and vision doesn't focus, it looks everywhere at once. I keep returning to the excellent example of the industrial revolution. At the beginning of this revolution, it might have seemed like perfect sense for someone to say, "We must begin by focusing on energy production," or "We must begin by focusing on standardization issues," or "We must begin by focusing on mass-production techniques"--- but this revolution was driven by vision, so it didn't focus on ANYTHING. The whole thing happened at once on every front. And now once again the whole thing must happen at once on every front--- if we're going to manage to survive here at all. It's wasted effort for us to squabble over what should be done first or what should be focused on to the exclusion of everything else---it must ALL be done. Individually, we must NOT wait for a global consensus about priorities. If we do nothing while waiting for that consensus, then we're doomed. The house is in flames NOW. We can't wait for appropriate equipment to be ordered and delivered. We can't wait for instruction in fire- fighting techniques. We can't wait for leadership. And we certainly can't wait for everyone to agree about where to begin and how to proceed. Grab whatever tools are available to YOU and do what you can.

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