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, November 11, 2017
Haunted by the Ghosts of War
Curtin reminds all Americans that today is Veteran's Day and the responsibility we all have to end war. However, both he and his featured Canadian aboriginal song-writer, Buffy Sainte-Marie, come up short as to how we can end it: Buffy by suggesting that we can elect better leaders and Curtin comes up short when he repeats the slogan "War is a lie, and only truth will free us." In the next and final sentence he appeals to our individualist ethic derived from capitalist culture by writing "Then we must devote ourselves to ending war. Each of us is responsible." I assume this last message was meant to be profound, but to me it is meaningless.
But what about the other sentence: that "war is a lie, and only truth will free us"? I can relate to that by referencing the lie in the Latin quote at the beginning of his essay: "It is sweet and proper to die for the fatherland." That is the lie that all ruling classes have used throughout the history of civilization to get ordinary people to fight in their wars for their benefit. And the clause "only truth will free us" must contain the truth about the class nature of societies throughout the bloody history of civilization and to learn how we can organize to free us from all ruling classes forever. They will never allow us to vote them out of existence. We must collaborate, if necessary even fight, to learn these truths, otherwise humans can only look forward to extinction either in the short term through nuclear wars or in the long term via climate destabilization.
Right now we are witnessing vigorous attacks on truth because our masters are threatened by the information and views many of us are receiving from digital media instead of from hired talking heads and propaganda specialists in their media corporations. They are now only beginning to implement measures of censorship of this online media. After a few decades this will be considered a new normal by everyone. Then we all will be living in a world portrayed in the 1999 film The Matrix. We won't need blue pills to keep us ignorant and obedient, and red pills won't exist.