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

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Common Sense: What We Choose Now Matters

Click here to access article by Dan Hind from New Left Project. (This is the introduction to his new book entitled, Common Sense: Occupation, Assembly and the Future of Liberty, which unfortunately for me is available only in the Kindle edition.)

I think that this British author really captures the spirit of our times (zeitgeist), probably better than anyone else. I haven't read the book, but this introduction makes a very important statement: there is now occurring a real revolution in the minds of many ordinary people. 

However, there is also much confusion and pain that people are experiencing because of this latest capitalist economic bust, the never-ending wars, the full spectrum surveillance over our communications, and the dissonance between the reality of our experience and the discourse carried over corporate media networks. Our past complacent understanding of reality (weltanschauung) that has been propagated by the media and educational institutions of the One Percent is now being seriously challenged. It is an ideologically challenging time for many people. Some simply give up and go along with their programmed thinking.  Some vacillate, and others, such as those in the Occupy movement, are actively exploring new ideas to gain some measure of control over their sense of confusion.
The pursuit of truth in defiance of widely accepted errors is a kind of self-harm. If those whose opinion must be taken into account say one thing, it is painful for us to believe another. And there is more to it, even than this. We have made ourselves out of claims that are unsafe. To call things by their proper names makes a revolution in us, before it changes anything else. If we are to be free, we must change, and to change is to kill some part of ourselves. It is no wonder that we hesitate.