Saturday, October 16, 2010

In the Land of the Wilfully Blind

“There is a third possibility … an immediate Second World War-type mobilization to deal with the systemic [ecological] crises.” ~ Stephen Elliott-Buckley

I foresee a war too, but more along the lines of the revolutionary ilk. A quiet revolution is certainly not going to rise up from the dead understanding of our brain-numbed populace. That slow burning pipedream of mine is pretty much extinguished. With the inflationary population boom and our collective wisdom approaching zero, the only war erupting will be after all hell breaks loose. And, I dare say, not a moment sooner.

As products of our environment, namely our arrogant western culture which reaps most of the planetary rewards on the coattails of criminal governance, we have lost our ability to foresee even imminent peril. Without vision, there is no need to act. And that is exactly what we do: nothing. Maybe we never have had such ability. I have hope, but zero faith, we ever will.

My point is a simple one: Our style of governance and institutions of power reward, in the truest sense, the pathological type of person; in accepting this truth, the only way we can bring about the necessary, radical change to stop this pathological madness must be through a radical act. As the late Howard Zinn famously stated, “our problems are not with civil disobedience; our problems are with civil obedience”.

With no disrespect intended to those who have suffered from the senseless 9/11 tragedy, consider how a plane load of innocent folks, all in imminent danger, were brought to their graves. Far outnumbering their captors, they were overpowered by a few religious zealots with box-cutters. The hostages, with heads full of cultural propaganda, were rendered impotent. Right until the horrible end they hoped there would be a way out of their predicament -- even if they did absolutely nothing. The worst could not possibly happen.

We westerners do not have the mental fortitude to rise up against our captors, be they hijackers or our government. We stupefyingly hope we will be offered a way out not matter how dire the situation. We deceive ourselves into thinking the solution lay in government; and if not there, then in our technological prowess. In most any other realm, this is known as wishful thinking. Unfortunately, our Christian theological background has laid a strong foundation for such fantasies.

Long understood, those with enough power always act independently. They don't need to seek consent from others. The Empire does not ask if it can proceed. It doesn't consult the people before murdering millions for corporate gain. Yet simple arithmetic suggests the people have the power, if numbers mean anything at all in a democracy. How is it we have been so well-trained that this reality is impossible for us to see?

As Ayn Rand astutely noted, “the hardest thing to do is to convince people of what is glaringly obvious which they do not want to see”. What is obvious is that we have learned to enjoy being governed by others. There is no other plausible explanation.

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