The Eleuthera Story:
This takes me to my experience as a Yacht Captain on my last journey to Eleuthera and Harbor Island Marina in the Bahamian chain of islands. Entering and leaving Harbor Island Marina we had to navigate through Devils Backbone a rocky dangerous reef for which we need a pilot. I got the local the pilot ‘Bandit' to navigate us through the reef as usual. Navigating close to the shore in what seemed like an arm’s reach from the land he got us in and out safely.
He was a really interesting guy and an elder on the island. In the few hours we had together we had incredible discussions. One particular conversation was about his relationship to his son. The conversation continued to the concept of land allocation to the people of the Bohemian islands.
The island system is that each local, born and raised on the islands, is allocated an area of land to use. If they use it, it is theirs to use for their lifetime. After which it is allocated to the next generation. This is based on a sustainable tribal system.
Bandit went on to say to me that, as one of the tribal elders, who had to greater monetary wealth and resources than the others in the community, he should be able to buy more land. Because of the money he made piloting privately owned mega yachts and the fishing and diving he did. He said he was going to discuss it with other community elders. His idea being, for him to be able to buy a greater portion of land, so he could grow more food. I immediately said to him that is the biggest mistake you could ever possibly make!
Bandit was shocked as he enquired: What do you mean?
I said: the moment you put a price on the land you have opened the door to others who have much more money than you. You will lose ownership of the land and the right to use it. This will result in your people being driven into towns or cities. Initially the land will be bought up by individuals and eventually be monopolized the corporations. Corporations with mega-hotels and commercial agriculture…You and your people will become dependent worker slaves within the system. You will be prevented from using the privately owned beaches like in Hawaii. Your only way to survive will be to plunder nature more and more. The increased population of tourists will devastate your ecosystems which will eventually collapse.
The population in the towns/cities will increase as jobs decrease; availability of money will decrease as everything on the island is monopolized by the rich few. Your people will begin to come up with creative ways of earning a living. Selling drugs, theft, and then robbery as the situation becomes more and more desperate. The prison population will increase. Your dispossessed people will be homeless unhappy unhealthy desperately trying to survive. Becoming more and more stressed, depressed and suffering from: heart disease, diabetes, cancer…
“Is this the future you want for your children?” I asked.
I got a blank faced shocked looking silence.
As our world is being plundered more and more by the superrich we are being more and more dispossessed and driven harder and faster. Those who have an advantage will not hold onto it for long before it is taken from them. If you think you are safe, it is just a matter of time. This is the design of the monopolistic capitalistic imperialistic system.
The short term benefits for the peasants do not last long. Think about it. Within a few hundred years we have gone from being self-sufficient on the land to living like hornets in a nest. Now I love hornets, for what they do, so don’t get me wrong. It is just an analogy. They live in close confines and go out and kill other insects to feed their young. The difference with humans is we kill and plunder to fill our pocket, and banks with money which has little to no physical energy. As we attempt to create digits on a screen for the illusion of wealth and success. True wealth is in the biodiversity of living systems all around you. True happiness is in your relationships to: the land; the air; the water; the food; nature; other animals; family; community; and natural and universal wisdom.
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