Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

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switters's picture
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Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

Quote:
"We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a
print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the
intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America,
which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief
system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for
information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture.
It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by
simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into
confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more
than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or
nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into
radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.

In this excellent article, Chris Hedges goes on to say that there are almost 100 million American who can't read at more than a fourth-or-fifth-grade level.  But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into
this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along
with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they
finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last
year did not buy a book. 

Quote:
The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without
the ability to make decisions based on textual information. American
political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting
epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans
and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now
masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience.
They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are
designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment
and collective salvation. Campaigns that succeed are carefully
constructed psychological instruments that manipulate fickle public
moods, emotions and impulses, many of which are subliminal. They create
a public ecstasy that annuls individuality and fosters a state of
mindlessness. They thrust us into an eternal present. They cater to a
nation that now lives in a state of permanent amnesia. It is style and
story, not content or history or reality, which inform our politics and
our lives. We prefer happy illusions. And it works because so much of
the American electorate, including those who should know better,
blindly cast ballots for slogans, smiles, the cheerful family tableaux,
narratives and the perceived sincerity and the attractiveness of
candidates. We confuse how we feel with knowledge.

Keep reading.  It's one of the most insightful and well written pieces I've read in a long time.  

After spending several hours researching various state ballot measures prior to the last election, I found myself wondering how many people actually take the time to do that.  If they don't (which I think it's safe to say the vast majority do not), on what basis are they casting their ballot?  Voting straight down party lines?  Following the suggestion of a friend or parent?  

I did a little bit of calling for Obama.  Not because I think he's going to solve our problems, but because I think McCain would have been far worse.  I was absolutely horrified by some of the conversations I had with people who were still undecided.  Most of them could not articulate even the most basic differences between the candidates.  It was a truly sobering experience.

I've said elsewhere that I believe no true change will happen in this country unless we as American voters demand it.  But with so few people able or willing to read and learn about the challenges we're facing, and even fewer able to critically analyze the superficial and misleading mainstream fluff, how are we going to get to a place where the average person gets even a tiny percentage of what we're talking about here?

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

I agree with the analysis but don't see revolution as the solution. We know what has happened to previous civilisations. The rise of leaders and groups bigger than tribes has always ended with return to tribes (after Daniel Quinn). We can not continue to be in our present numbers, no matter what is voted for. 5 out of every 6 of us must die off soon for our planet to remain habitable to humans.  I am unsure of the mechanism by which this will happen but fear most that it might not.Only if we can constrain our group sizes to human levels is there any prospect of isolated survival. That survival will be with a very small s.

Don

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

[quote]voters demand it.  But with so few people able or willing to read and learn about the challenges we're facing, and even fewer able to critically analyze the superficial and misleading mainstream fluff, how are we going to get to a place where the average person gets even a tiny percentage of what we're talking about here?[/quote]

Fortunately Switters, despite such dismal reviews of human awareness, humans are actually much more educated and aware than any time in the past.  So, given such changes and such accomplishments, which we admire even today, were achieved in those eras, we can say that history is on our side in saying that sooner or later the right thing will be done.

Unfortunately, we are also in an era where the very few can more effectively control the informational input of the very many.  This changes things significantly because individuals who cannot understand most often cling to people they think do understand, at least until the new 'concept' settles in.  After this point new 'sources of information' are sorted into trustworthy and untrustworthy as regards to whether the newly presented information matches or clashes with prior conceptions.   All humans, of course do this, but those who did not understand the source of the conception in the first place take the concept as a matter of faith.   As such not even direct and irrefutable evidence can sway them -- unless that evidence is so forceful as to beat that individual to a bloody pulp.   (Luckly, the universe is often happy to oblige with the beating to a bloody pulp part)

Real change, is therefore, most possible when:

1) Generations die out -- and likewise era ingrained conceptions are reduced in favor of new ingrained conceptions of the younger generations.

2) When major shocks force reconceptualization of the world.  (e.g. a new global depression, irrefutable evidence of global warming, peak oil occurs, etc... )

For better or worse we are experiencing number 2.   Over then next two-to-three decades we'll also see much of the baby boomers die off, which will also cause major shifts.

(As a side, the number of books bought by Americans is becoming increasingly irrelevant statistic.   I myself an avid reader, do virtually all of my reading online these days -- and still read in such a bulk that surmounts the vast majority of humankind.)

--

Steve 

 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=pir8don]

We can not continue to be in our present numbers, no matter what is voted for. 5 out of every 6 of us must die off soon for our planet to remain habitable to humans.  I am unsure of the mechanism by which this will happen but fear most that it might not.

Don

[/quote]

 

Wow, 5 of 6. That's pretty big numbers! Don't worry, were due for another Avian bird flu or similar type virus for some mass fear generation soon, or a reason not to eat cow, or maybe some Chinese made chemical that will slowly kill us off embedded in our food. Still, 5 out of 6 is a pretty large amount of people. Who will be left? The bank exec's and uber rich who can afford the super high priced antidote?

 

 

 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

Central Theme is valid.  Politics and especially political campaigns has turned mainy into a "cult-like" orgy.

 

Instead of Revolution, how about Evolution?  But that can only happen with a system that learns, understands and applies versus to get and stay in power.  Submit government operates in many ways in dark ages.   Run by people who want to be in office...not those who are qualified to be there.

 

Why would Obama be any different?  What concretely has he ever done to show he and the Democratic partly have changed their ways?  Wish him the best but WALK is more important than TALK.  Obama is going to have to make lots of difficult decisions and take on numerous special interests and those in his party...don't see any evidence of this in his past.   For the country we need him to do this...but at this stage in life...actions and history are better teachers of the future with a system as broke as ours.

What do others think the peoples view of things will be if it gets as bad as suggested in two years?  Four Years.   Yep, gonna have change alright...but maybe not the type many folks are thinking.

 

What will the country think of both parties the next 2 to 4 years?  WIll the media  finally pull their heads out and work for the people?   Can only hope (ooops....Sorry Obama).  Tongue out

 

--Nichoman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
I could not agree more. History will always repeat itself because the majority of people just don't study history.
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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

I did a little bit of calling for Obama.  Not because I think he's going to solve our problems, but because I think McCain would have been far worse.  I was absolutely horrified by some of the conversations I had with people who were still undecided.  Most of them could not articulate even the most basic differences between the candidates.  It was a truly sobering experience.

well switters

what is sobering for me is that someone who could post a great article like this would do any calling for obama.

we will not have any change or i should say the possibility of change unless we have three preferably four or five candidates to vote for.

so you keep voting for the lesser of two evils and that is what you get the lesser of two evils.

this is precisely why progressives are the problem. if third parties do not start getting votes there is absolutely no hope of any change outside of a violent revolution.

so my friend i have really enjoyed what you have posted here but i am "horrified" that you would call for the messiah.

next time try voting for something you believe in ..............it's the only chance you will get it

change change change .....................change of fools

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

I do vote my conscience, joebaba, and my conscience in this case told me very clearly that we'd be much worse off with a McCain administration at this time than with Obama.  Voting for Nader/Gonzales, who probably do represent my views more closely, would have done nothing at all.  Absolutely nothing.

I don't have faith that real solutions are going to come from any big government, no matter who is in power.  The same problems would be present with your proposed thrid, fourth or fifth party.  However, I do think Obama has more integrity than McCain and is more capable of leading and inspiring the nation in a time of crisis.  He's an orator, and a powerful one.  When the realities of peak oil, economic instability and climate change become impossible even for the average person and our government to ignore, we're going to need someone in office who is able to lead.  I think Obama is clearly better than McCain in this regard.

As I said before, I have no illusions about Obama.  He's part of the corporate-sponsored government machine and beholden to the same interests that every president before him has been beholden to.  But I think he's a better man than McCain, and that's why I voted for him and called for him.

In the primaries I voted and called for Kucinich, even though I knew he didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting elected.

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
And what would you recomend? Writing in Ron Paul? Many of the other candidates are looney as heck. I am open to suggestions. Please advise.
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Re: Why the revolut on isn't forthcoming

Hi krogoth

5 of 6. Planet pop closing on 7 billion. All sustainable estimates to which I would give credence (the only ones I know of so far) say that 2 is max and 1 more likely. Without carbon extraction of course.

Don

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=switters]

I do vote my conscience, joebaba, and my conscience in this case told me very clearly that we'd be much worse off with a McCain administration at this time than with Obama. Voting for Nader/Gonzales, who probably do represent my views more closely, would have done nothing at all. Absolutely nothing.

[/quote]

What you guys need is our clever Australian voting system, called Preferential Voting.  Works like this:

Say you have 3 candidates (keep it simple)

Nader, McCain, and Obama....  to use names we can all relate to.

If you prefere Nader, but don't want to 'waste' your vote, then you could vote like this:

1 Nader

2 Obama

3 McCain

This is YOUR order of preference. 

When the votes are counted,  you might get something like this:

Nader 10%

Obama 44%

McCain 46%

But if all the people who voted for Nader 'preferenced' Obama (by numbering them 1 - 2 as above), then because Nader's tally didn't have a winning margin, HIS votes are tagged onto Obama's, who now wins with 54% of the vote, even though, in this example, McCain got the most personal votes.....  Now in real life, Nader's preferences might not have ALL gone  to Obama, but say 80% (8 out of 10 did), then the tally would be:

Obama 44 + 8 = 52%

McCain 46 + 2 = 48%

Obama wins, on Nader's PREFERENCES......

Neat hey!  We're clever down under.... 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

[quote]What you guys need is our clever Australian voting system, called Preferential Voting. [/quote]

I've long been in favor of preferential voting.   It'd instantly do wonders in eliminating our two party system, and make more apparent the will of the people.

--

Steve 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=srbarbour]

[quote]What you guys need is our clever Australian voting system, called Preferential Voting. [/quote]

I've long been in favor of preferential voting. It'd instantly do wonders in eliminating our two party system, and make more apparent the will of the people.

--

Steve

[/quote]

There are other advantages apart from the results as well....

Say Obama thought (for argument sake) he couldn't beat McCain without Nader's preferences.  Obama would then have to negotiate with Nader, and Nader might isist, for example, that the only way he would officially preference him is if he promised to introduce a Carbon tax to lower greenhouse emissions.

Now McCain could go  to Nader, and say, look, I have a better plan, I will make it compulsory for all new houses to have 30 solar panels on their roofs before construction can be approved.

He's upped the ante....  what will Obama promise to get the preferences?  This happens, I know, I've stood in several elections for the Green Party here in Australia......

But we are still facing limits to growth, nothing's REALLY changed...! 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

i assume you are asking me what i recommend.

i live in a state that mac won by 14% why in gods name would a progressive vote for obama when that in my opinion is throwing away a vote.

i voted for nader. if ralph had gotten another 15% we might start seeing some debates with other candidates. instead of two corporate candidates dancing and not answering a single question. likewise on the conservative side why not vote for bob barr in caifornia. these candiadates are not all looney as you might imagine. i happen to think that obama is the looniest of them all. national healthcare? yeah  right. we wont have medicare in a few years and he is going to add 47 million more.

we will be in iraq for a long time and we will send more troops to afghanistan. he said whatever he needed to to get elected and he rope a doped the rest of the time. i called this a long time ago when i saw how much positive press he was getting and how much money he was getting from wall street.

we need to start paying attention to the primaries. 

but i realize it is hopeless. instead of throwing the crooks out we gave them an even larger majority

go figure

all elections are emotionally cathartic exercises. the really amazing thing is obama won because he is black that is why progressives are the problem. all i have heard is " what a great thing we have done in america, we have electeda a black man.

well just what is he going to do?  with a majority in both houses he will steer us right ino the iceberg that bush set us on course for. because that is the plan. 

oh yeah ...............change change change ......................change of fools

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

you are an american so i will defend your right to vote for whoever you choose.

i just think you are very confused and voting for someone because he is a great orator and a great leader is ridiculous.

it is what you say and where you  lead. as for integrity  where in any part of the campaign did he show any integrity? he was never forthcoming about anything. and he threw wright under the bus when he became a political liability.

hitler was a great orator and napoleon was a great leader. and i understand the captain of the titianic was the best around.

obama is in the club and i am just sorry more people did not see it.

the only change we will see is things will get infinitely worse. just check out his chief of staff, his short list for treas sec. he will appoint nothing but wall street political hacks. progressives are the problem and you live in progresive heaven. but thank god you didnt vote for him because he was black .............did you? btw there was another choice .............no vote.

other than this lapse i love all your posts .

change change change.......................... change of fools

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=joe2baba]

you are an american so i will defend your right to vote for whoever you choose.

i just think you are very confused and voting for someone because he is a great orator and a great leader is ridiculous.

it is what you say and where you  lead. as for integrity  where in any part of the campaign did he show any integrity? he was never forthcoming about anything. and he threw wright under the bus when he became a political liability.

hitler was a great orator and napoleon was a great leader. and i understand the captain of the titianic was the best around.

obama is in the club and i am just sorry more people did not see it.

the only change we will see is things will get infinitely worse. just check out his chief of staff, his short list for treas sec. he will appoint nothing but wall street political hacks. progressives are the problem and you live in progresive heaven. but thank god you didnt vote for him because he was black .............did you? btw there was another choice .............no vote.

other than this lapse i love all your posts .

change change change.......................... change of fools

[/quote]

you continue to offer no real alternative.  nader didn't have a chance in a million of getting elected.  the choice was very clear: mccain or obama.  i chose obama.  it really is that simple.

that doesn't mean think obama is going to be a good president and steer us out of this mess.  that doesn't mean i think obama understands the depth and scope of the situation we're facing.  that doesn't mean that i think obama isn't part of the same corporate-funded oligarchy that has been ruling our country pretty much since it began.  it just means i thought obama was the better man than mccain.

ghandi and martin luther king were also great orators and leaders.  i'm not suggesting that obama is in the same league as them, but neither should you suggest that he belongs in the company of hitler and napoleon.  that is extremely disingenuous.

just because i voted for obama doesn't mean that i supported him in the primaries, nor does it mean that i do not work for changing our current two-party corporacracy.  in fact i volunteer for organizations that are dedicated to that purpose.  neither the democrats nor the republicans have ever come close to representing my values, and they never will.  but neither will any national politician, including nader, because my views are very different than the vast majority of people who live in this country.

national politics has always been a compromise for me.  i've never one voted for anyone that i really wanted in office.  i've always voted against the person i didn't want in office.  and that's exactly what i did this time and will continue to do until that unilkey day comes where i can actually vote for someone i truly believe in.

this is definitely a case of trying not to allow perfect to be the enemy of good (or even mediocre).  it is simply a matter of choosing between the lesser of evils.

meanwhile, the day after the election i was back to my day-to-day activism, which has nothing to do with national politics and everything to do with change in my community, local area and maybe, my state.

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

Which brings us back to why this thread started.....  if there ever is to be a revolution, WE have to start it, and I have come to the clear conclusion that we must all simply stop servicing our debts.

With the internet, all that needs to happen is that we spread the word about the totally immoral goings on to all and sundry pissed off citizens we know and convince them that on a clear date (Jan 1 next year looks good to me) we ALL stop making payments on all the debts we owe....

Now get to it.

Mike. 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

Thanks for pointing to this article switters. Chris Hedges writes sobering things.

Without an informed and critical citizenry, democracy is just the cloak in which a plutocracy dresses itself. The presidential figure now is mostly ceremonial, a way to to lead peple into thinking that they have a say in the future of their affairs.No president will stand up to the unelected vested interests that really run and own the country. Ron Paul at least mentioned the constitution, and mentions the monetary system as one of the root causes of the disgraceful situation we are in. But he is painted as a fringe figure, precisely because the propaganda machine does not tell people that he has a point. If one doesn't understand the monetary system and its implications regarding the distribution of power, one doesn't have much hope in understanding the nature of the problem.

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

1. I think all voters should have to take an exam to vote.  I realize this is unconstitutional, but I think this should also be changed, i.e., the constitution regarding voting.

2.  Likewise, I think all presidential candidates as well as the vice presidential candidates should have to take an exam and an IQ test (so as to eliminate complete idiots like Sarah Palin).

3.  If someone wants to run a country, then they should be adept at ALL aspects of it, and not only specialized (as we see with John McCain's experience.  Military and foreign policy experience is not enough!  We need someone who can critically analyze information after thoroughly understanding it, like, Ron Paul & Obama).  Obama may not have the experience, but experience does not necessarily mean a person can make intelligent and wise decisions (as we saw with Bush).  Bush has had eight years of experience as president and still cannot articulate his thoughts sufficiently.

4.  Ethics should be taught at every level of education.  I don't advocate indoctrinating young students about morality (such as abortion and religion-- leave these for college).  But we should be educating students about systems (& ethics) and what it means when systems are not followed (e.g. business models & work ethics).

5.  Scrap capitalism-- find a new system.

6.  Frankly, I think all systems are fallible.

7.  I realize this is a contradiction, but I find that everything is or becomes a paradox to everything else.

8.  That's life.

9.  Even if we can't reach utopia, doesn't mean we should stop striving for it-- because I wouldn't want to live in an utopia even if we could get there, but I think we're heading down the wrong end of the spectrum though.

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What foreigners need to do

Do you realize foreigners need to take a test to get American citizenship? This test involves American history, as well as how the government works and many other tricky questions. It was given to a test group of Seniors at a high school in Michigan, and 92% of them failed it. If a foreigner needs to take a test a typical senior can't pass in High School, why should we not test our politicians for intelligence levels?

We get tested all the time for job interviews, credit background checks, security checks, mental checks and criminal checks yet the government really gets tested for nothing at higher levels. I am all for testing on world issues, economics, ecology, energy issues, political issues, general management skills etc. for all levels of government from governors on up. I would laugh my arse off watching the majority of people in power fail these tests and be removed from office.

Congress is generally so dumb on economics it's embarrassing. The few that truly know anything you can count on One hand, and the rest of them just tow the party line based on lobbyists and PAC groups.

 

 

 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

krogoth & caroline,

You both bring up great points.  I actually found myself having thoughts similar to caroline's after I finished calling for Obama.  The ignorance and lack of understanding of the issues was just astounding to me.  I realize that if folks had to take a test to qualify to vote, the turnout would be ridiculously low.  But of what value is a high turnout if a large majority of the voters don't even understand what they are voting for?

krogoth's comment about the test immigrants need to take to obtain foreign citizenship - and how many Americans would fail such a test - is very revealing.  My wife is actually Canadian (permanent US resident right now, and will probably apply for citizenship if we stay here - which is far from certain at present), so we're well aware of this.  The irony is that she is more educated about and active in US politics than the vast majority of American citizens.

The schools fail miserably in their mission to educate and inform.  But it is also a cultural issue, of course.  Americans are too worried about the latest gossip on their favorite celebrities or the score of their favorite team's last game to be conerned with issues as trivial as energy, environment and economy.

 

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

Hi Switters,

I'll post something here that I wrote on a Krogoth thread elsewhere because it pertains to the likelihood of revolution:

To me it's a foregone conclusion that "the people" will never do anything about our problems because most of them are so under-educated and unmotivated that to them nothing is actually "wrong" or in need of an overhaul, let alone a so-called revolution.

Most people have no interest whatsoever in "liberation" or "freedom." They are already squirming in ecstasy at the feet of thier pop culture gods. Most Americans are already leading the most perfect of lives in their own minds.

The only people who want "change" or a "revolution" are the intellectuals, philosophers, and poet-warriors. This fact has always been the bane of the revolutionary. The masses who many believe are so suppressed, oppressed, and mistreated don't want your stinkin' revolution.

Eastern philosophies frequently equate liberation with terror. This is why most people remain in what essentially amounts to an entire life led in a state of denial regarding every topic under the sun.

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Re: What foreigners need to do

[quote]why should we not test our politicians for intelligence levels? [/quote]

Because such tests would likely be poltically motivated, and despicably designed.  I would agree to such an idea, however, if the testing system was rigerous and absolutely transparant.  Better yet, if any citizen could take these whenever it struck them as amusing.  Interestingly, Ancient China had such a system of testing would be political appointees.

 

As a side, there used to be tests required prior to voting.  However, these were deemed unconstutional, as they were almost always designed to prevent certain segments of the population from voting -- e.g. Blacks.   I'm highly reluctant to endorse any such thing.

--

Steve

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Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

mainecooncat,

If you've seen some of my other posts on this subject, you'll know that I basically agree with you.  Most people are stuck in a consumer trance that essentially blocks any meaningful inquiry, dialogue or action in the political realm.  The trance is encouraged by the ruling elite because the ignorance and apathy of the electorate is obviously in their best interest.  

You've raised a very good point about the consequences of liberation.  In fact all religious and spiritual traditions acknowledge the suffering that comes with awakening to the truth.  Jesus's forty days and nights in the desert and Buddha's 6 days and nights under the Bodhi tree are just two examples, but there are many more.

The way this has been discussed here is the Six Stage process of awareness that people tend to pass through once they've learned about peak oil.  The framework was borrowed from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's work with terminally ill people.  She observed five stages that almost all of them had to move through before they could finally accept their diagnosis.

This is directly relevant because our entire civilization is suffering from a terminal illness.  Denial is the predictable response that almost everyone has upon being informed of this diagnosis.  Denial is obviously a protective mechanism against fear and grief.  The majority of people will do just about anything to avoid these emotions, and in fact, one could say that our entire society is structured around avoiding them.  This is where the countless forms of mindless entertainment and distraction come in; the celebrity gossip magazines, the MySpaces and Facebooks, the video games, the digital devices, the TV sitcoms... all designed so that we can move numbly through life without ever facing the demons we so desperately try to avoid.

This is where the Three Es become primarily a psychological and even spiritual issue.  What I mean by this is that in order to fully accept the reality of our current situation and act appropriately, we must develop and cultivate our own internal resources: courage, wisdom, discernment, self-awareness and much more.  Without this foundation there is nothing to keep us from spiraling into delusion and denial.

When I say we need a revolution, I'm actually talking not only about a political revolution but also an individual revolution.  A radical evolution.  We need to wake up as a people and shake off the yoke of complacency and greed, and start exercising our rights and obligations as citizens of a democracy.

I am not optimistic that this will actually happen, mind you.  But I haven't given up hope completely, and I find some encouragement knowing that such a revolution/evolution has occurred in certain groups of people at various times throughout history.  That's what I am working for in my own life and in my community, regardless of whether it happens on a broad scale. 

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 488
Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=switters]

This is where the Three Es become primarily a psychological and even spiritual issue.  What I mean by this is that in order to fully accept the reality of our current situation and act appropriately, we must develop and cultivate our own internal resources: courage, wisdom, discernment, self-awareness and much more.  Without this foundation there is nothing to keep us from spiraling into delusion and denial.

When I say we need a revolution, I'm actually talking not only about a political revolution but also an individual revolution.  A radical evolution.  We need to wake up as a people and shake off the yoke of complacency and greed, and start exercising our rights and obligations as citizens of a democracy.

I am not optimistic that this will actually happen, mind you.  But I haven't given up hope completely, and I find some encouragement knowing that such a revolution/evolution has occurred in certain groups of people at various times throughout history.  That's what I am working for in my own life and in my community, regardless of whether it happens on a broad scale. 

[/quote]

This is critical what you say here, especially regarding the Three Es as psychological and spiritual issues.

I think most free-marketeers under appreciate this particular dimension of things.

I think in general I tend to be cynical about the bigger picture but optimistic regarding my own life and potential. Moreover, the closer the concentric rings of reality are to me the more optimistic I am regarding substantive, meaningful change. So I'm less cynical about my community than I am the greater region in which I live (New England) and, in turn, the country as a whole. And, typically, regardless of how hopeless I often become when I self-overwhelm myself with too much unfavorable data, I instictively feel the need to act in some way. Because of this I've just started a local group that will slowly attempt (who knows how it will go) to introduce many of the themes discussed in these threads, as well as many others.

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=mainecooncat]

I think in general I tend to be cynical about the bigger picture but optimistic regarding my own life and potential. Moreover, the closer the concentric rings of reality are to me the more optimistic I am regarding substantive, meaningful change. So I'm less cynical about my community than I am the greater region in which I live (New England) and, in turn, the country as a whole. And, typically, regardless of how hopeless I often become when I self-overwhelm myself with too much unfavorable data, I instictively feel the need to act in some way. Because of this I've just started a local group that will slowly attempt (who knows how it will go) to introduce many of the themes discussed in these threads, as well as many others.

[/quote]

Yep, I feel exactly the same way as I mentioned at the end of my last post.  I've also recently started a group in my local community to discuss these issues and take action.  We're looking into becoming a Transition Town.  My wife is off on a permaculture training as we speak.  I'm learning to grow and prepare medicinal herbs, and finishing up an acupuncture degree program.  I am also preparing a presentation to give to local organizations on the Three Es.  

I'm fortunate to live in a place (Oakland) that is pretty far ahead of the curve on this stuff, although, to be frank, I have grave misgivings about whether a city of this size (400,000 itself, but 7,000,000 in the greater SF Bay Area) can manage the transition.  Nevertheless, it looks like Oakland may become the first government of any kind in the world to incorporate the Oil Depletion Protocol, and there are several groups (Oil Independent Oakland, Bay Area Relocalize, etc.) that are active in adaptation efforts here.

I think Kunstler is right when he says governance will shift from national to local levels as the consequences of peak oil set in.  In any event, as you said, the "closer the concentric rings of reality" are to me, the greater the potential for true change.  

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

I don't know how old you folks are but us old Vietnam-bait protesters heard "when the revolution comes" so many times it made you sick. There is not going to be a "revolution", violent or otherwise. Central government is very good at eliminating a Jeffersonian re-analysis of the country. My thought and guess is that even quiet attempts at social change that question underlying precepts here will be snuffed out by government intervention somehow if they get too prominent. Plutocracy usually wins and the type of weapons, financial, political, and otherwise that the status quo can bring to bear on citizens (well, we used to be citizens, maybe, now we're consumers and taxpayers) is not to be underestimated. We've even had veterans killing veterans in the Bonus Army days decades ago. Will they corral or kill regular citizens..I guess you can bet your life.

 

Tiny groups of low profile folks may manage to carve out their own lives but I wouldn't bet on a revolution. My money's on the Big Money.

 

SG

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=capesurvivor]

Tiny groups of low profile folks may manage to carve out their own lives but I wouldn't bet on a revolution. My money's on the Big Money.

[/quote]

But even that is a revolution of a sort, compared to what business as usual has been for the chunk of time.  And that's the one I'm fighting for. 

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

GLTA. Go for it!

 

SG

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming

WASHINGTON, November 11 

NGOs from the United States announced
Tuesday plans for a protest march on Saturday when the Group of 20
developed nations meets in Washington to coordinate the US Financial
coup.

A "peoples summit" organized by the Global Justice Action coalition
will take place all weekend long on the streets of the US capital.

The protestors will demand an end to the Federal Reserve and a new
government that "puts people in power", over the "system of wealth and
privilege."

"A universal government that respects and empowers every woman and
man and deals out justice to the industrialists and bankers and
ends the Nazi regime of the politicians and media," said a press
release.

"We now require equal participation of the women and working class,
and the poor and indigenous peoples, at all levels of the government,
intelligence, and financial markets."

Meanwhile, signs of growing unemployment in the US are ever more
visible, a symptom of the worsening financial crisis, reported Prensa
Latina.

And, in Rome, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
said at the Vatican on Tuesday that the Crown monetary fiasco has
already contaminated the global economy and generated real unemployment
everywhere, not just the US and Europe.
John Perna wrote:

End the Federal Reserve Bank! National Rally for Sound Money, November 22nd
http://targetfreedom.typepad.com/targetfreedom/2008/11/end-the-fed.html
http://endthefed.us/


the END of the Evil Rothschild Crown FEDERAL 'reserve'!
http://www.ojaipost.com/2008/11/the_end_of_the_federal_reserve.shtml


22 November 2008 US-Wide Civil Unrest Theatre to End the Fed!

http://www.endthefed.us

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Why the revolution isn't forthcoming
[quote=capesurvivor]

Tiny groups of low profile folks may manage to carve out their own lives but I wouldn't bet on a revolution. My money's on the Big Money.

[/quote]

It never ceases to amaze me how even people who have done the Crash Course 'don't get it'.......  you have done the Course...  right?

Peak Oil of itself will be a revolution.....

Limits to Growth of itself will be a revolution

Big Money is finished methinks.  Without growth, you CANNOT have 'Big Money'.

My money's on relocalisation, and permaculture.....

We are doing exactly the same things as twitters here in Australia, though I feel much luckier than he, we live in a village of ~800 inhabitants.  It's much easier to revolutionise a village! 

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