From a Global Perspective 'We the People' of North American are Almost All 1%-ers

A long time friend and fellow traveler appears as exasperated as i feel most days in a recent email response to The Mud Report about the over-consumption of our culture in these material times:

"What a wonderful life most in North America live, at the top of the food chain, with an endless bounty of food and "goods" at their fingertips. Why would these people ever want to change their ever so comfortable lives? I look around and see contented souls, unaware or uncaring of the damage they do to the planet. After all, most of the destruction is out of sight, hidden externalities. They are told growth is the key, resource extraction provides jobs and money for their social programs, and there is no end to what we can do with our technologies, including save ourselves with the next big breakthrough. Oh what a wonderful life!"

Our culture has allowed us to divide ourselves from our environment and we re-create this imaginary division moment by moment because 'believing is seeing'. In reality, in my reality whenever achievable, we are all - flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries - in this together.

There have been sustainably organized human societies, sometimes surviving in very harsh environments. the San people - the Bushman and the Australian Aboriginal peoples for instance, but not only hunter gatherer societies,  some mixed and sustainable agrarian based subsistence economies in the Amazon delta, in the Asia Pacific - Papua New Guinea, Borneo, and some Island cultures....A damned few of which still survive in the hidden corners of the planet, mostly though they have been wiped out by our consumer culture's wants and capitalism's technologies to deliver it to them.

There are important lessons to be learned from these cultures, it's important to remember that humans are capable of living relatively happily on very little, and in balance with their environment.

One historic example of the North American individuals and cultures our ancestors first met as we 'explored' the continent [then murdered and stole everything from] was Sacajawea. Stolen, held captive, sold, eventually reunited the Shoshone Indians. She was an interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark in 1805-1806 with her husband Toussaint Charbonneau. She navigated carrying her son, Jean Baptiste, on her back. She traveled thousands of miles from the Dakotas the Pacific Ocean . The explorers, said she was cheerful, never complained, and proved to be invaluable. She served as an advisor, caretaker, and is legendary for her perseverance and resourcefulness.

The bells of history were ringing when Sacajawea led Lewis and Clark to the Pacific and the bells of history are ringing again. As Richard Eskow.says, "They can be heard in the stories of the homeless, the innocent ones whose houses have been lost to foreclosure. They can be felt in the trials of the young generation whose hopes for the future are being dimmed by unemployment, in the fears of an older generation who face an uncertain retirement, in the growing numbers of the poor and the dying hopes of the middle class."

We North Americans are the 1% that Occupy castigated from a global perspective. We, most of us anyway, live lives overstuffed in material comfort yet void of the one bit that turns 'them' into 'us'. Sacajawea and her culture had that bit.