Curing A Sick Society

The cure became visible and powerful in 2022

One only has to look around to realise that we live in a sick society. The majority are so beset with worries and distractions that they don’t notice the tragedy of their condition.

However, there is a fast growing minority that not only recognises the conditions under which we live but are actively engaged in developing cures for the dysfunction in society. The initiatives take many forms and grow in their reach and impact daily.

However, there is an impatience among many involved to “force the pace” risking perhaps the durability of what they’ve nurtured from its tentative beginnings. As these initiatives grow and gain prominence, the challenges increase because, as we know, the psychopathic structure is very good at infiltrating, subverting and sabotaging “freedom” initiatives. It is also very adept at colonising the language and ideas of opposition.

This summer, I got involved with our local PHA (people’s health alliance) hub in North London. It is truly mind-blowing what this organic, self-organising group has achieved in such a short space of time. Led by the dynamic and irrepressible Angela, we are a loving family that is comprised of amazingly talented and selfless men and women. I am often humbled by their warmth and accomplishments. The family grows weekly.

The PHA “core team” has been wrestling with the success of all these localised initiatives and have been discussing how to empower these local groups while maintaining the ethos and principles with which they started out. This has led to confronting some knotty issues, not least related to money. In soliciting donations, PHA has accumulated significant funds that require responsible management. And here’s the rub. The money world runs completely counter to what the PHA is trying to achieve:

For The People, by The People
An organic, people-led, integrated health initiative that aims to educate, support and empower people to take responsibility for their own health.

PHA held a recent open Zoom session to talk about their plans to form a cooperative with membership options for individuals and the localised hubs. There would be paid subscriptions and “shares” in the registered corporation. This idea, while understandable in its ambition, sounded the alarm bells for at least some, if not many. The core team, in making these proposals, were anxious for feedback and I wrote this accordingly: PHA – feedback on co-operative (corporate structure) and paid membership

Yesterday, I had a Zoom session with members of the core team and it was a very productive conversation. It is not for me to anticipate where things go from here but I sensed a strong inclination to return to the fundamental tenets with which they started out. I sensed among some, not least, Katherine McBean, the instigator and driving force behind PHA and PFFA (People’s Food and Farming Alliance), feelings of relief that there may be a better way forward than the cooperative proposal.

Amanda, who initiated the call, referred me to the following initiative that started in Germany and is now gathering momentum internationally.

H.e.l.f.a. engage lovingly for all
H.e.l.f.a. offers minimum standards that help to organize communities so that people, with all their differences, can live, deal and work well together.
This coexistence is described in the following 4 basic rules:
1) Giving – Giving describes our attitude towards how we treat each other. Giving from the heart triggers a deep feeling of joy and happiness that connects us with the other person.
2) Getting to Know Each Other – Getting to know each other serves to bring us all closer so that we trust each other again.
3) Moderators (contact persons) – The moderators are there to be able to keep in touch with each other on a supra-regional or even international level, even though we don’t know each other personally.
4) Own rules of the groups – The own rules should respect and consider group-specific, regional and cultural characteristics. Thus, in addition to the four basic rules given by H.e.l.f.a., all groups can define their own principles for their concerns.

Our research and analysis suggests that “rules” are undesirable but these as principles seem sound. As for PHA, Helpha seeks to overcome the problems of scale which is why we advocate self-organisation as opposed to any form of centralised authority. However, what is very much in Helpha’s favour is the absence of money. As I suggested in my feedback to PHA linked above, Money contaminates everything it touches. Money is the method by which we are controlled.

Finally, those familiar with my work will know of Invisible Universe, a project involving screen printing at the London School of Mosaic (LSoM). The LSoM is funded by grants from the local authority and various other charities and public bodies. Consequently, the school is effectively held hostage to the agendas of those who help to fund it. The school receives some revenue from artists who rent studio space within the school and student fees from those attending the school’s wide range of courses. These people too have limited resources and struggle to survive, let alone thrive and prosper. If the school and those within it are to prosper, we need to think differently.

The feedback to the PHA and the Helpha experience are instructive for all of us including LSoM, its artists and students. Real magic happens at the LSoM and the associated Mother’s Cafe on a daily basis but the value of that magic is only visible to those directly involved. We need to find ways of sharing that value within wider society.

We have to find a different way to organise ourselves, if we are to cure the widespread sickness in society. The key to this change is how we think about value and money because real value has nothing to do with money.