When I was a young Australian infantry soldier I remember sitting on the floor of a Huey chopper facing out the door looking down onto the Daintree River as we flew just above the treetops on an Exercise in tropical Far North Queensland. Flying along, I had the best view of the jungle and the riverbanks, just like a moving National Geographic magazine. Gazing down, I was amazed to see so many large crocodiles leaping into the muddy brown river as we clattered overhead. I’d been on patrols down there on the ground before but we rarely spotted a croc. The noise of our chopper frightened all the crocs hiding along the bank so they were forced to exit their hides and leap into the river. It dawned on me that we must have passed hundreds of them on foot patrol, camouflaged on the jungle riverbank. We never knew how many were actually waiting, watching patiently for a snack to pass by. They rely on camouflage, stealth and cunning to catch their victims.
In Asia the crocodile is the symbol of corruption. Just like in the jungle, the average person can only identify a few of them, where there are thousands of crocs camouflaged as government workers, officials, politicians, police, NGO staff, religious leaders and so on. The crocodile smiles because he wants to appear friendly and harmless, maybe even helpful, to his intended prey.
Have you ever wondered why governments are so inept at coming up with practical solutions to our Earth’s problems? Even simple solutions seem beyond their capacity. If you’ve ever had to deal with people in the various sectors of government to push through a good project you might imagine that they have all undergone frontal lobotomies or are on the same mind numbing drug. In reality there is another more sinister reason.
When applying for a government job, prospective employees are screened and profiled. They want a special type of person. The governments of the world are not looking for creative, effective problem solvers. The governments want people with a robot mentality, people who will do exactly as they are told or follow the rules regardless of the consequences. The preferred government workers in positions of authority have almost zero empathy for their fellow man or the planet but they know how to follow the rules exactly to the letter. This makes it easy for the hidden crocodiles to play their game.
Permaculture has all the tools we need to fix the planet and return it to paradise. Some pretty heavy hitters have attempted to get permaculture into governments, the UN and the corporate sector. So many solutions, so much money, so many good ideas, and so many good people ready to help change our current situation but a crocodile-firewall prevents us from gaining any ground. Crocodiles insure that it’s “business as usual” for brown industry and greedy corporations. Crocs get paid to keep our governments from doing anything truly effective to change the situation with ecological degradation, poverty, the greed based economy, and our human health crisis in our world.
As an example, poverty is a gravy train here in the Philippines for crocodiles posing as government officials at all levels. This country has a great percentage of its people living below the poverty line even though it’s a wealthy country. Each time money is allocated for a project to alleviate poverty; the crocodiles make sure they take their cut as the cash is passed down the food chain to the actual field. At field level the funds are meager and have little on no lasting effect. Of course the project flops. Poverty continues until the next anti-poverty project, which feeds the crocodiles once more. The usual suspects know this game well. Compare the money spent on these types of projects and see if you can find any sustainable results.
Managing the crocodile is a tricky business. A mate of mine from Sri Lanka once told me of a crocodile problem they had in his province back in the 1980’s. Corruption in the local government was so bad that businesses began leaving in droves and the local economy took a dive. At every level of government and business the crocodiles were taking graft and taxing everything, strangling all sectors of society like a giant mafia. A group of concerned citizens had a secret meeting to do something about this problem. They decided on a “limited war”. Once they organized their small army, they kidnapped the most corrupt official and hung him from the city’s main bridge with a sign around his neck saying, “I AM CORRUPT”. The war lasted for months and they killed only 4 corrupt officials. All corruption ceased. Politicians and government officials declared themselves honest and trustworthy on public television. Some had banners made up to declare their decency and saintliness. Nobody ever learned the identity of the small secret band of rebels but their actions turned the drastic situation on its head.
Personally I don’t advocate violence. Im sure a less violent but more creative approach could have been taken. Perhaps the offending officials could have a crocodile tattooed on their forehead and been glued or shackled naked in a public place. Let social media do the rest.
The crocodile mentality seems to be institutionalized nowadays. Food processors think it’s good practice to pollute our food chain with additives, chemicals and substandard ingredients. People are dying from the effects of these additives. Perhaps the pharmaceutical industry and the processed food industries have joined forces to feed the crocodiles.
Drug companies promote drugs with hidden side effects so they can sell the drugs that counter those side effects. Even those drugs have their own side effects. Behind the scenes big-pharma works to ban effective natural remedies and useful herbs and label them as dangerous even though their products kill tens of thousands of people worldwide each year. Crocodiles have a great business model.
Agribusiness conducts unsustainable farming practices ruining our soils, our ecosystems and our health. Do you know what the long term results of unsustainable practices in agriculture are? Deserts. Agri-deserts are common in Australia and Africa. The crocodiles in our agriculture departments and our environmental ministries pretend this type of crocodile agriculture is good for the national interests. It certainly is good for crocodile interests!
Democracy has become a croc-ocracy. When an election is on we are asked which crocodile we want to run the swamp. We have to vote in persons who pretend they are speaking for the people. The political party system is a croc-fest. Who sets the agenda for the party? Who calls the shots? Certainly not the people.
Corporations are crocodile nests. Corporations are non-human entities. They don’t breath air, drink water or eat food. They are not affected by the environmental problems their actions cause. Their creed is greed and they don’t just want a piece of our pie, they want it all. Fancy logos, advertising and propaganda are the crocodile’s smile to the unsuspecting public. How is it that a corporation can amass more money than many countries?
If the aware people of the world want to change the status quo then we must firstly identify the crocodiles then strategize a way to mitigate their influence. We must out-croc the crocodile. It’s the upper echelons of human governance that need purging. We outnumber them many times over but now we must out-maneuver them to survive what they are leading us into.
Crikey! There are a lot of crocs hiding in wait out there. Don’t be naïve and go starry-eyed into creating projects to solve the planets problems without factoring in the ever-present crocodile. They will be waiting for you with their handshakes and smiles. Predict where the crocs are waiting and work out a suitable way to avoid their influence. You may not know who or where they are but they are waiting. I can’t give you the antidote to the crocodile factor in this short article. If I did they would change their tactics. If you don’t believe me and take measures, then you are bound to fail once you hit the croc firewall. I’ve been bitten a few times so I now take them seriously. The definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over again thinking you will get a different result each time. We must play a new game. The old saying I like is “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.