#12 We are All in Thi$ Together as Unwitting Pawns in the Fake Reality of Capitalism's Matrix.

The final component of the Growthton - Grreenville Bridge, the bridge's deck, is where the metaphorical rubber meets the road. On a material bridge the deck forms a seamless connection between two locations, our communications bridge connects two distrustful encampments, two worldviews, both usually fog bound by their entrenched beliefs, neither able to see that we are all in thi$ together.

Like America before and during the Civil War, the Greenville and Gowthton encampments are slightly different aspects of the same overall economic system - The Capitalist Matrix. The mostly middle-class residents of both encampments are equally invested in the matrix in many different ways. They've invested, whether they acknowledge it or not, in savings or checking accounts, mutual funds and pension plans that trade in stocks, shares, bonds, currency speculation, real estate, commodities such as gold, fine art or, most likely, all of them. Retirement plans are usually the largest financial investment, with decreasing amounts of money invested in mutual funds, individual stocks, bonds, cash and life insurance. Of course the upper-classes have a wider range of 'investments', the lower-classes have none at all.

Retirement and all these other types of investments 'grow' in consort with the cancerous endless growth of the capitalist matrix. All of them in one way or another 'grow' in consort with the false profits generated by a capitalist system that externalizes costs in every way possible including downloading them onto future generations in the form of environmental degradation. Every financial Investment, be it by devout Greenville or Growthton believers, comes from the burning of fossil fuels. So, the two encampments are in thi$ together, right up to their wallets. Once again, there is no North or South, just two groups who see their personal interests best served by different strategies.

A leading economist, Dr. Ha-Joon Chang, has likened the world's acceptance of free-market capitalism to that of the brainwashed characters in the film The Matrix, unwitting pawns in a fake reality, an iconoclastic attitude that has won him fans such as Bob Geldof and Noam Chomsky.

We, Chang's brainwashed characters, now have a bridge built on the shaky ground of reality beneath us. Hopefully some from both solitudes will venture out onto the new bridge deck in response to the loud mouthed fool - that'd be me - ranting his truths into the wind. Then, hopefully again, some of them will criticize or agree and shout out their own ideas, suggestions and solutions and thereby begin, through real communication, to realize that we are all unwitting pawns in the fake reality of capitalism's matrix.

Just for the record, mr. mud has zero financial investments or pension plans and lives a low consumption, debt free, hermit's life-style on a small rural property in British Columbia that he owns outright and proudly shares with his best friend Pancho.

mr. mud's lifelong non-investment recommendation list includes: Saving money on future expenses by putting the money into your home through upgrading insulation, more efficient heating systems and passive energy storage building techniques. Next, by putting it into your kid's educations. Then buying the stuff for and building a food garden, a composter and a chicken coop. If that's not possible, invest in local food security, and your own, by joining a local organic farm food buying co-op. Finally, put every other dime of your money into buying land that has good water and air that can grow healthy organic food and building a small home on it that's equipped it with off grid power. There's still lottsa of good land available all over the world, the further you get from a mini-mall the better the prices become.