Social Dislocation

globalisation_of_addictionPsychologists and sociologists point to a building anxiety in societies where social dislocation occurs and basic structures that once held people in a sense of value and purpose are disappearing.

Bruce K. Alexander, Professor Emeritus, Psychology Department, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, from his book “The Globalization of Addiction” says:

Dislocation is the condition of great number of human beings who have been shorn from their cultures and individual identities by the globalisation of the “free-market society” in which the needs of the people are subordinated to the imperatives of markets and the economy. Dislocation afflicts both people who have been physically displaced, such as economic immigrants and refugees, and people who have remained in place while their cultures disintegrated around them. Dislocation occurs during boom times as well as recessions, among the rich as well as the poor, along capitalists as well as workers. Today, dislocation threatens to become universal, as global free-market society undermines ever more aspects of social and cultural life everywhere.

The destruction of jobs, support networks and shared community values is a significant part of our current globalist policies that contribute greatly to our broken societies.  It’s not that social ills are a hindrance to the prosperity that globalism promises, most social ills are instead actually the direct outcome of globalist thinking and it’s precursor colonialism.

Obviously there is no quick-fix solution but there are a few simple things that we could do within our communities and perhaps at higher levels to address this. We cannot put confidence in the Government to “fix” things.  Certain economic philosophies have created our current problems and Government is way too entrenched in that thinking to change it in a hurry. The nature of our particular wealth/power-driven democracy is that there is a massive damper on change for preserving the status quo – no matter how undesirable that may be.

So many in our society feel isolated, purposeless and hopeless. As a result we turn to pain-killers in the form of various addictive substances and behaviours, in turn spawning violence, abuse, crime and community breakdown. The social and economic cost of the mess gets higher – increasing taxes, the cost of living and our sense of anxiety – spiralling into more addictive and abusive lifestyle. So what can we do to build wellbeing in terms of relational connection, life-purpose and hope in our communities? I see great hope in rebuilding connected, caring communities through re-focussing back on those things that build social capital – away from a purely profit-motivated stance.

There are significant social and corresponding economic benefits of moving more towards a localisation model. In a society where there is better community cohesion, meaningful work for all, richer culture, less transitory lifestyle there is also less crime, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, better educational outcomes and so on. These positive outcomes will of course reduce our crippling social welfare, law and order and health expenditure, and in turn produce a better society for all.

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