We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, July 21, 2017

Necessity: The Mother of Invention Or The Mother of Strife? [a "best post"]

Click here to access article by Bernard Marszalek from Ztangi Press. (Amended for clarity at 10:18 AM and at 5:35 PM Seattle time.)

The author takes us on a mind-expanding tour from current research through history and archeology to uncover evidence that humans need security and peace in order to realize our collective powers (as social creatures) of creativity. (Is not "creativity" the ability or power to influence an outcome in a new way?) It is clear that our Western civilization that is anchored on the dynamic engine of capitalism is becoming increasingly dysfunctional regarding these needs. This is the inevitable end result of the overwhelming power of a tiny class of capitalists who are increasingly hoarding not only wealth but power to satisfy their addiction to the latter. The power to create must belong to all the people because it is embedded in their human nature, but for this class it has become an end in itself. Sadly they have brainwashed us into being their willing accomplices or (to stick with the addiction theme) their co-dependents.
Our jobs prevent us from being creators. Or to put this another way, the false scarcity that compels us to obediently perform our daily sacrifices to maintain our miserable survival veils the real, but unacknowledged scarcity of creation. ...our condition of enslavement frustrates our species-work – the creation of culture. It is as if we are the compliant, if not the eager, agents of our own demise as evolutionary beings.

Collective intelligence manifests on a material basis as everything from jewelry to gigantic public works like the reservoirs of the Indus cities.
His tour brings us to this apt conclusion: 
Given the reality of economic trends however, no matter how important it is to retrieve from the bosses every ounce of the value of labor that they are stealing, we need to confront the fact that jobs are not only increasingly precarious and stupid, they are disappearing. No effort to ignore this fact by focusing on immediate demands will make it disappear. There can be no effective political movement that does not meet changing reality with radicalism.
I have difficulty with the last sentence. To me, it should read something like this. "There can be no effective political movement that does not insure security and peace for its inhabitants, and to accomplish this we must radically change the way societies currently function."  

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