Breaking Up With the Global Industrial Complex Is Hard to Do

But it’s way more elegant than staying with an abusive psychopath who has no interest in our wellbeing

B. Lorraine Smith
5 min readJul 25, 2022


In isolation, it seems the world is falling apart. A wider, dynamic view reveals more possibilities, maybe even elegant ones. Here’s one kind of weird visual rendering (bring your own soundtrack).

We are what we choose

I hear a lot of hand-wringing these days.

“The world is on fire.”

“Big corporates are making things worse.”

“We’re out of time.”

But when ideas — or living examples — of better options are offered, a common response is something like, “It’s all so complicated…” and “people aren’t going to change…” This mindset instructs us to stay in an abusive relationship with the global industrial complex.

And as long as we choose to stay, we perpetuate the abuse. I recommend choosing to get out.

Meet people where we’d rather be

When envisioning change, I am often encouraged to “meet people where they are”. And if people are open, curious, and actively learning, I will oblige because together we can likely get somewhere.

But I prefer to meet people where we’d rather be — i.e. not in an abusive relationship with the global industrial complex.

Example: I had a cup of tea with the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, before he was Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, though he was rumoured to be in that role soon. A personal contact of mine and his, who respects my views, set us up for a conversation. I am about as apolitical as they get, so I was in full curiosity-mode. The Minister was thoughtful, respectful, and kind. But…

He was proud to describe his party’s “win” at implementing a $5k rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle. This was news to me because I have no vehicle and no plans to purchase one, and I spend little time absorbing news. (I’m not saying this is good or bad, it’s just true.) So I asked, “Why give people money to buy a car? Why not give it to those who opt not to buy a car?”

His response: “We have to meet people where they are.”

The thing is, if people are sitting in acres of traffic on toxic, world-heating, life-destroying asphalt, even in brand new…



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B. Lorraine Smith

Recovering ESG "expert"; yarn spinner; distance runner; magical realist. Sensing a path to an economy serving life. also at