As of May, 2003, I have decided to no longer run for this office. I am maintaining the website for several reasons, not the least of which is that the effort expended in developing the ideas was clearly worthy, and the work produced should therefore be preserved. My further reasons for no longer seeking elective office can be found in this essay - Saving America from Ourselves.
from the Presidential Campaign of Joel A. Wendt. This paper was written a couple of years ago, representing my thinking at that time. It is placed here on the Campaign website, but also can be found on Shapes in the Fire.
- a Christmas Gift -
by Joel A. Wendt
A consideration of how the application of a certain degree
of social force, at a very particular place and time,
might well bring about very significant changes.
It will require some thought to appreciate.
Some months ago my son (age 18) wanted to know how to take over the world. So I gave it some thought.
One of the things that I eventually concluded was that while I could not take over the world, we could. Think about it.
Some of those who read this may have had the following experience. We are sitting in the bathtub, with it about half full. We move our torso back and forth a bit, causing the water to move. We find that if we get in sync with the wave travelling through the water, we can get the wave to become bigger and bigger just by adding small amounts of energy just at that moment the wave passes us by. Just a little effort at the right instance can cause a very powerful action.
Is such a situation possible in the realm of politics and social life?
Let us take a look at the current political situation in America (immediately following after the Bush election in the year 2000) to see what that can reveal, as well as an example of something that in various ways can also work in any Nation where there is a certain amount of real freedom of speech and thought. Where such liberties are lacking, the rules change a bit, but there is still the possibility of bringing about transformation once one learns to see the essential dynamics.
In order to appreciate the situation, we have to realize that the social organism has certain aspects of order within it. There are recurring patterns and processes it will do us well to begin to notice. Ordinarily we don't think of social existence as having a living qualtity, but how could it be otherwise given that the social body is a kind of sum of the activities of living beings.
In America, for example, there has been a certain kind of decay at work from the time of the founding of the Nation. With the creation of the U.S. Constitution, something was embodied, but being embodied it also carried with it the possibility of disease, disorder and death. When an Ideal takes on structural form in a document, a certain solidification and rigidification must naturally result. Then, as people strive to live out this Ideal, they bring another natural tendency into play. This is the formation of habit.
What was new and vitally alive, in the beginning, becomes more and more taken for granted. What the father gave his life for, the child assumes as a given right. Over the generations then, the living out of the Ideal becomes just one more habit in life, without much thought given to the underlying realities.
The cumulative effect of this natural and necessary degenerative process became plain for the American people in the recent election battle between Gore and Bush. This decay had, over time, brought it about that there was not any longer a real difference between the principle political powers (the Democrats and the Republicans), with the result that the voters could make no clear distinctions and the election ended in a near tie. The at one time life and death realities of the Founding had been replaced with vague and essentially meaningless "issues", whose power to command the peoples hearts and wills no longer existed. One party's plan for "drugs for the elderly" was hardly distinguishable from the other's.
Not only had the parties little of significance (or difference) to offer, but the so-called free press hardly managed to disagree. The established powers, both political and economic, encouraged the people to essentially sleep, for the current issues of life and death for the rest of the world hardly touched the American. This is a crucial point, and needs elaboration.
America is different from everywhere else. Not better, or more important, just different.
Imagine the whole world. It is a place of differences and distinctions, of variety and dynamic changing conditions. In this complexity, it is natural that there would, in a time of the emergence of a global economy (think of this emergence as a natural and necessary economic phenomena), be a particular place where certain elements of this developing whole world economy would be concentrated. This didn't have to be America, but there had to be a place from where a certain kind of dominance emanated, and America has turned out (in certain respects) to be that place.
America also appears to have much that others want.
Along with all this having, comes certain other characteristics. When you have the kind of material success that America has, one becomes a little less hungry, we could say. The suffering of others is not so intensely felt, and in fact, for the American the problem is not so much getting any more but holding on to what one already has. Standing at the pinnacle of material success is not to stand on solid ground, and people instinctively appreciate this fact. The American does suffer, for all people suffer. But the nature of the suffering of the American tends to exclude that more typical form we recognize as privation from basic material needs. In fact, the American suffers from the opposite, from having too much. One can only eat so many rich meals, buy so many televisions, cds, computers, cars, clothes, and houses.
The American is satiated, and lacking a true hunger, has gone to sleep (taken a social/political nap, so to speak).
Of course this is only partially true. Along with the global economy, we also now live in a global village, in terms of information and knowledge about the rest of the world. Not all Americans sleep this satiated sleep. But if we want a decent general picture of America, we have to appreciate that there is a large group of people with a narrow range of concerns, and not judge them for this. If anything, it is not that they do not care, it is that they don't see how to help. You see, if you look at this group, with its narrow local concerns, you still see caring people. But they have been convinced that they exist in the state of a certain level of powerlessness in the social/political sense. They know how to help their immediate neighbors, care for their young and elderly, pay their debts, work hard and all manner of the most ordinary virtues. But they also have been taught to look to goverment, or the church, for this wider caring, this more global concern, not to themselves. The individual, as a citizen, sees themselves as quite limited in terms of the power to effect wider social matters.
When John Kennedy, when Dr. Martin Luther King, when Robert Kennedy were killed, something else was murdered for many - hope for change. The natural and expectable decay since the Founding includes many such fading and dying elements that once had life in the inner psychic world of the American People.
They didn't just fall asleep out of disinterest or apathy, but in some very true senses they also have been deliberately put to sleep.
Let's look at this whole thing again from an entirely new angle.
The Game of Politics is currently played this way. Certain essentially more and more pointless decisions, from the side of the general populace - the People - are made by voting. Periodically we vote, thinking this is the essential act of participation as a citizen. The two major parties have systems in place by which candidates appear. These systems, in the age of television, require large amounts of money. So if you want the People to vote for you, you have to make an impression on television. In order to get the money the candidates (or incumbents, if already in office) have to beg a lot of people in certain ways, such that the people giving the money will feel that the politician will take care of their particular needs, as against the more general needs of society.
So we could say that the Game of Politics involves selling influence for money, so that votes can be bought by the creation of false and misleading images of what is really happening, and who the candidates really are.
The practical expression of the Ideal of the American form of goverment has degenerated indeed.
I don't think people don't see this. People do see this, but they don't know what to do about it. Even the more radical folks, the civil society folks who gave us the Battle in Seattle (the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization), have very limited views on what can be done. If our thinking stays in certain kinds of boxes, it looks like the established powers have nearly won the day. There is a will to oppose the further dominance of the world by elite commercial organizations, but most ideas about how are very limited, being fixed only upon what has been done in the past.
Let's now go back to processes.
What appears to be the end of something is often the beginning of something else. People who are paying attention in their lives will notice that when a door closes (we lose a job) another door opens (we have an opportunity to take our life in another direction). This means that the current poltical condition in America is not a dying into darkness as it might appear to some, but rather the painful pangs of the potential birth of something new.
If we learn to read events (such as the energy crisis in its various forms, or the bio-engineered food problems in its various forms), it can be seen that much is falling apart. But this falling apart was built into the situation from the beginning. The initial structures were flawed, and now the flaws are producing the anticipated effects. Things don't work very well anymore, and our political leaders, who have become skilled at Playing the Game, don't have a real clue about how to actually solve our social problems.
Skill at getting elected (gaining money, creating a false impression, keeping power) doesn't translate into social understanding.
Playing the Game is also flawed, and the recent Gore-Bush election shows that the habitual political process too is falling apart.
This accelerated process of social/political decay means that goverment is not going to be able to manage any real crisis. This is actually good, for it strips away an illusion that came into being with the initial kinds of degeneration that occured when the U.S. Constitution first embodied the Ideal. Even though many of the founders knew something special was being born, this something was almost immediatly forgotten as older habits of governing held sway, even though the fundamental rules had been changed. We had new rules, but didn't use them. But due to Grace, they still exist, and they are the key to the way through the years of coming crisis.
What was the basis of the new rules?
One way it is stated is that We the People form the goverment. All the institutions get their power from us. It is a grant of power, and being a grant of power it can be rescinded. Our Consent is not permanent, it is entirely temporary. There is something hidden here, however.
We includes I. I form the goverment. I Consent, or not. The power granted to the institutions of goverment comes from my individual primary sovereignty. I can withdraw it. The Constitution is not forever. Remember, if you will, your history. The Bill of Rights were assumed by the founders to be implicit in everything they did, and these Rights were only added (enumerated) because some people still didn't get it.
It isn't the U.S. Constitution that is significant, but rather the living Ideal, then made inititally embodied - that the individual is the true sovereign power, and any institutional power is only a temporary grant from that source.
Because this is true, it isn't necessary to directly reform corporate law, or campaign financing law, or any of the hundreds of so-called issues that seem to be so important in the public debate. There is only one thing that needs to be done and that is to call forth again the Ideal, and to think from this first principle what the necessary implications need to be to go into the future.
To call forth this Ideal again is to let free from human hearts and minds a fundamentally divine force. This force, in its highest manifestations, is also known as love. By renewing the fundamental Ideal that is America, transformation begins at the roots and will flow into every activity in a free way (according only to individual initiative) bringing new life to all aspects of our mutual social existence.
Having said this, I have oversimplified the practicalities. There is something else that goes on here. I also becomes We. While my individuality is the true source of sovereign power, in a society it is the collective cooperative act, the We, that enables that power to be effective. So, to call forth again the Ideal, to renew the root power of government, necessarily requires us to act together in some fashion.
This then leads to the Plan.
We are in a common bathtub, and if we want to be effective, some number of us must act together, in rhythmic movement with the waves of process in the social organism. It only takes a little energy concentrated at a single place to produce a great effect.
Let's look at the whole world again, and try to draw some threads of its dynamic conditions together, so as to see some of the principles of operation, as it were.
History, with a kind of wonderful genius, has arrived at a point where there is a single major world power, America. Things happen in America and from there effect the whole world. Think of America (as an Ideal that is slowly and rhythmically incarnating) as a kind of radiating Sun, pouring out the raw forces of its Nature all over the world.
Many find what comes from America to be terrible. They may dislike the cultural influences (movies, tv, comercialism and its grasping desire for more and more). They may hate the power abuses (interference in the internal matters of other nations in our so-called national interest). They may blame Americans for the unfolding of the power of the multinational corporation. Whatever the apparently observed flaws, these judgments all miss something much more essential.
Nations and Peoples have biographies - they have moments of birth, of growth and maturation, and then of old age and finally death. America is young. Its People are without the deep culture of say the Japanese, or even the English. To think that one knows America during the raw stages of its youth is to form an illusion. To imagine that the dislikes formed about America amount to perceptions of the truth of its Nature is to live in confusion.
All of us can admit to sometimes experiencing the raw power of Nature, in its most devastating forms such as earthquake, volcano, forest fire, pestilence, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, etc., with a kind of awe. These events, so terrible often in the consequences for human life, are yet strangely beautiful. We need to learn to appreciate History in the same way.
Just as there are storms in outer Nature of catastrophic proportions, so there are inner psychic storms in human families, communities, nations, religions and the like. We need to stand in awe of the power and the mystery which is being there unfolded. When we judge these events by the mirror of our own small souls - by whether we like or dislike an event - we place a shadow between our capacity to understand, and the reality that is being experienced. Not until we can set aside our moral and aesthetic tastes, can we begin to see.
I am not, by the way, suggesting we cease being moral or awake to aesthetic sensibilities, but rather that to learn to see the truth in events, we have to learn to not judge them. When we decide to act, when we become a player, then these moral and aesthetic capacitities are the ground from which we move. But if we indulge them during the phase of perception, they obscure rather than illuminate.
So perhaps we can now understand that America is something quite other, in Her Ultimate Destiny, than those raw forces of youth which so many find distasteful.
I have written elsewhere that the being of a Nation, or a People, that is the whole of it, is what it is because of what is rendered it by its individual members. So now, coming back to previous considerations, it can perhaps begin to be seen that if what is being rendered (the nature of the movement in sync with the wave), has certain characteristics, then those characteristics can easily become the true nature of what is being unfolded. America, at this moment of deep political ineffectiveness (chaos) can be powerfully influenced for the future.
In fact, we could say that where previous nations, cultures and peoples, were most strongly influenced in their inner growth and nature out of the unconscious, what America is to become can be quite consciously formed. This is something quite new in History - that what a People become is within their own conscious powers of thought, feeling and will.
Before going further with this thought, let's add something else to the mix.
What is America?
For many the answer is obvious, but most who judge so will have missed the point. Try to form a picture of the stream of History out of which America appears.
Western Civilization reaches a certain level of dominance over the world. With the age of oceanic exploration, these dominating powers began to draw unto themselves great material wealth. Within Western Civilization, there has come to birth a quite new and equally powerful Way of knowing the world - natural science. In the midst of these events, new lands are discovered, and this (apparently) open and empty physical space becomes also an open and empty spiritual/psychological space. The imaginations of many turn to flame with desires not conceivable in the given dynamics of the Old World. Riding these burning dreams thousands upon thousands flee, move, rush, adapt and change as they arive in the New World of seemingly unlimited possibilities.
Against the Old World patterns of dominance, with its aristocratic foundations, the New World of possibilities strains at its long leash. Ultimately (and not so unexpectably), there is a separation. With this separation, the dreamers seek for something better than the Old. From the Ideal they draw forth the incarnation of their dreams in forming a society based upon new principles of law, power, and human understanding. What was scholarly debate in the Old World becomes a truely modern Way of Life in the New.
For many, who view this situation from the present, this set of events rests complete in itself, in a way. America is seen to come into existence, and a People begins to appear that might be called Americans. This presumed view is seen true not just in America, but elsewhere as well. But careful observation will show that many important facts are being ignored, and that such a picture is quite flawed.
America is really a state of mind. This state of mind is not confined to people born in the land spaces now called America (generally the United States of America). The dreaming of human freedom and potential, of overcoming the rigid controls of the past, the desire of the individual to explore all its possiblities - this is not confined to any one nation or people in the sense of historical place or culture. This state of mind is universally human.
If we do not close off our thinking, by confining our picture of the coming into being of America as something that happened in the past, we can begin to see that the true America is still appearing out of the context of the whole Earth. This universally human Ideal lives everywere there are minds and hearts that yearn to be individual. To the extent that individuals cannot transform the place in which they find themselves into this latent Ideal, they then seek to still flee, move, rush, adapt and change. Just as the now emerging global economy is a natural progression of the development of the needs of societies to organize production, distribution and consumption, so America, as an Ideal, slowly comes into whole world-being. First in one place, and then elsewhere. The Ideal will not be confined.
Who can doubt it that saw the pictures from Tianaman Square. Not only was a Statue of Liberty there erected for a time, but just one picture, of all the pictures taken in the last century, shows this dream and its real power. A man, a very ordinary salaried worker, carrying a briefcase, stands in front of a tank and stops it by his sovereign human refusal to Consent.
If we really appreciate the spiritual reality of this Ideal, and its relationship to universal human striving, we can then realize that the true Spiritual America does not just belong to those who think themselves to be Americans by virtue of place of birth. It is no wonder so many, all over the world, instinctively take such an interest in what goes on in the geographic America.
Perhaps it will help to think of it this way. Social life depends, to a great degree, on what we think and how we act. As the spiral of History unfolds, individuals, striving to become, have taken hold of this plasticity of social existence and given form to their dreams and ideals. This manipulation of the substance of the social organism is more successful in some circumstances and less in others. For example, an Ideal can sometimes be erroneously expressed as an Ideology. An Ideal is something living, and an Ideology is already fixed in form and therefore dead. As soon as communism (or socialism) became ideology, its rigidity made its terrible social effects possible, and its eventual demise expectable.
Fortunately, in spite of tendencies within that geographic America, as we usually conceive it, to make of it an ideology, human nature insists to returning again and again to the renewal of the Ideal. As Ideology, the Game of Politics brought America to a kind of near death state in this most recent election. But if we renew it as an Ideal, we draw life again into our social existence in the most profound way. In doing so we must keep in mind that the truth of the Ideal of America is universally human, and not the sole possession of those who are citiizens of the USA. All of us, all humans, can be and are the stewards of the incarnation of this Ideal, in whatever form and in whatever place. The Spiritual America belongs to the World and what goes on, wherever its incarnation is sought, is the concern of all of us, whatever our culture, religion, or place of birth.
Let's come at this again from another perspective.
Most of us know, or have heard of, acupuncture. There are places on the body where various energies flow and intertwine, such that the application a very tiny needle (or a bit of heat) can cause a healing change. Likewise, the social organism has places of special sensitivity - places where the application of the right kind of force can have great effect upon the whole.
I'd like us now to examine one such social focal point, keeping in mind that there are others.
Generally one might think of such places as being obvious, such as New York, or Washington D.C. or Tokyo, or Moscow, or Jerusalem. I would suggest this is an error. Such places are not ones of sensitivity, but rather spheres of eruption. The social processes of highly dynamic places are excessive and out of balance in the extreme. What we are looking for is places more quiescent, and whose connection to the whole is more subtle. Highly dynamic conditions may arise there for a time, but then they fall away again, and a kind of silence ensues.
In America there is a State called New Hampshire. It is sort of in the middle of that region of the country called New England, and is not highly populated, nor does it have any regular and ongoing remarkable characteristics. It does have a couple of oddities, not to be overlooked, however. The State Motto, printed on every car license plate is: "Live free or die", and the State Constitution actually has a clause making revolution legal:
"New Hampshire Constitution, Article 10 [right of revolution]: Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of the government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression , is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. (June 2, 1784)"
This State does have one other interesting distinction, which for our purposes is very important. When those parts of the process by which the US President is selected begin, which are called primary elections, the first one is held in New Hampshire. The result of this is that candidates for President first come to the fore there, and the first winnowing process occurs there. The whole thing has become quite traditional, and many do not like it, for the winners gain great advantage by passing this first hurdle in the race. The people of New Hampshire are very independent (there are, as of this writing, no income taxes or sales taxes in New Hampshire, and this was the last State to make a holiday of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday.)
But every four years, the politics of America come to a kind of rhythmic culmination whose first major event of note is the election results of the primary in New Hampshire. Beginning as much as two years (or more) before the election, candidates start appearing in the State, and as the time draws near the Media begins to pay more and more attention. What New Hampshire is about to speak will capture everyone's attention. In fact, there is always a kind of subtle listening going on, directed at New Hampshire, because of this unique situation.
I'd like now to add one more aspect before trying the render the various themes into a totality.
Because we, as individuals, have different tastes, different likes and dislikes, values and morals, there is a tendency in politics for there to arise kinds of social processes which leads to the creation of a variety of political parties, so as to find a place for each of these differences. In America, there was recently, as an aspect of the Gore-Bush confusion, an attempt to speak for another view, using the so-called Green party and the person of Ralph Nader. All types of arguments have been offered to suggest that this was a good thing. This in spite of plenty of evidence from other Nations, that multiple parties are symptoms of serious social chaos, and a loss of coherent direction (c.f. France, Italy, and Israel).
What is the underlying dynamic?
Or, to put it another way, how do we get from I to We in a healthy way?
Basically it is all a matter of intention. We have to intend to reach for some kind of unity out of our natural diversity. We have to struggle to include rather than to exclude. There is no healthy social We in political parties at all. Nor is a single party a healthy social manifestation (as in, we are all communists). For there to be a true We, we need to accept and understand that which is valid in the view of the other (a form of love, by the way), rather than focus on the differences. We find common ground, not reasons for distinctions. This is, again, a matter of intention (love).
Let me get very concrete.
One of the unhealthy impulses of the left in American politics, aptly demonstrated by the Nader-Green nexus, was the disparagement of the Corporation. The assumption is quite anti-historial and presumes further that not only is a Corporation an unnecessary and useless entity, but that only the basest of motives lives in those who run, manage and work for such organizations. It results from the same human flaw which makes military commanders try to get their troops to think of the enemy as gooks instead of as other human beings. It is looking for a boogy man as the cause of what we don't like in the world, rather than really trying to understand how the world actually works, and what the existence of evil in human civilization truely means.
To approach the social world as if it can be understood by having such categories as if this is universally bad and that is universally good, is to lay a lie upon reality. The living Ideal that is the Spiritual America - the Ideal that moves from the first principle that the individual is sovereign - applies to everyone. If it is true for a homeless, former garbage truck driver in Atlanta, it is true for the CEO of Exxon.
Only an effort at a politics of inclusion can move us from I to We in a socially healthy way.
Okay. Maybe now we can try to make a whole of the various themes so far presented.
The Social Organism of the World is very alive and vital - full of dynamic change, including kinds of death and resurrection. Human History reveals the unfolding of many kinds of processes, some of which, in spite of their drama and destructiveness, have the same awesome beauty as catastrophic Nature events. Within this vast living social/political ecology arose the first attempts at rendering into incarnation the universally human Ideal of the essential sovereignty of the individual - which has the appropriate name, America (this occured, by the way, after a long historical process of preparation - it did not just spring forth from the forehead of Zeus).
The initial livingness of this America is near exhausted, witness recent political events there. But this is not the sign of something coming to an end, but rather the invitation to an even more dynamic and powerful renewal of the same Ideal impulse. Something like this does not just come into existence in the stream of History whole and complete, but rather takes several periods of effort, separated by pauses for rest.
The time is now ripe for a further effort at incarnation, and we are in the position of more maturely grasping the nature of this Ideal and the Social matrix into which we seek to insert it.
We look then for a specific time and place where concentrated action ( Ibecoming We) can achieve the most effect. Rather than direct our efforts at the apparent means used by the dying politics (focusing on single candidates and issues), we try to renew the fundamental understanding living in us all. We don't say - "join my new party, we've got it right". We instead say - "lets together try to understand what it means to be sovereign individuals and to work collectively for the whole".
The government isn't in Washington D.C., and electing people to go there won't solve our problems at the root source. The real goverment is in the People, first as individuals, and then in the struggle to inclusively work together. In a sense, it is not the debates of electorial politics, or the debates of legislative or judicial bodies, but rather the usual and ongoing conversations of us, one to the other, that needs to determine everything else.
If we change the nature of the conversation at the level of ordinary human interaction, we change, in a naturally flowering sequence, the nature of every other following politcal act. Neither the candidates or the establishment press will be able to ignore this change.
And this conversation, that first appears most powerfully in State of New Hampshire, on the continent of North America, will then flow outward into the rest of the world through the historically given Sun-like position of America in the context of the rest of the world. Even so, the nature of this conversation is rightfully the concern of all of humanity. We do not just renew and mature America with such an act, but the whole nature of political discourse everywhere.
What then is the Plan?
Come to New Hampshire and help change the conversation. What could be more gentle in terms of revolution, and more revolutionary in terms of process?
Its just that simple, don't you think?
Oh, and by the way. If you can think of other sensitive points in the world were concentrated cooperative action to change the conversation among ordinary people might be effective, spread the word.
Let's come by this converstation matter one more time, because to some it may not be apparent how this will bring change.
In America, and elsewhere, strong efforts are made from the top down to control the formation of the so-called issues. The Bush-Core confusion, for example, tried, with a great deal of success, to avoid all the more dramatic problems that the Nader-Green nexus struggled to bring into the conversation. Because the Establishment is dependent upon at least the appearance of democratic processes, voting can not be interferred with. It becomes necessary then for the apparently ruling powers to form the debate along certain lines of thought. Huge amounts of money are spent on focus groups, and other advertising schemes, whose intended nature is to determine what uses of images and language can hook the voter's emotions, without bringing awake the critical intellect. There is a war waged just here, in the creation of the content of the poltical debate, upon which the whole legitimacy of the established powers and processes stand. But this is truely a power that belongs to the People.
The formation of the nature of the debate belongs to the sovereignty of the individual, and if this formation is done in a healthy collective way, then the established powers are forced to choose between going along with it, or making their efforts at economic tyranny open and obviously oppressive. I have stated the situation this way, because I want to make it clear that any situation which holds great promise also, necessarily, holds great dangers.
The danger from the side of the People is to pursue a politics of exclusion, one which denegrates other groups. In a sense this becomes an attack upon those groups, and any form of aggression brings in its wake certain consequences. For example, the anti-establishment activities of the '60's and early '70's, in both America and England, lead not to a furtherance of progressive agendas, but rather the entrenchment of conservative powers (the Reagan-Thatcher Axis). The effort to renew the Ideal will be defeated if it is conducted as an act against the past. We must move with the wave in its totality, not oppose it. We cannot oppose the Corporation, but must find a way to evolve it.
I am not, by the way, suggesting that all that political activity of the '60's and '70's was pointless. Just that it did not have the assumed effect, that of changing outer politics. It did serve another purpose, however. For it is out of this context of free critical political and economic thinking, that what is today known as Civil Society was born.
The danger from the side of the establishment is to view this change (in the control - center of gravity - of the nature of the debate) as a threat to existing structures. But this is a sterile view, in that it fails to realize that all these structures, being based on fundamentally flawed ideologies, contain the seeds of their own destruction. The established powers need to realize that only the inclusion of healthy social impulses from the foundational elements of the social organism will enable the totality to ride out the coming collapse of the already failing, ideological rigid, institutions.
We must work together. If we war, then we cannot hold a true center against the natural forces of dissolution that always accompany great changes in human civilization.
People who will not talk to each other, cannot keep a peace.
So we have a choice. Do we have a conversation, or a war (between the rich and the poor, the powerful and powerless, the black and the white, etc.)? You see, the fundamental poltical power, which flows naturally from the first principle (sovereignty of the individual), is the determination of the Ideal content of all political dialogues - usually some form of the question of whether if what is right for one must be right for all, and what the nature of that right must be). In placing a firm hand on the nature of the political conversation, We the People rightfully exercise our inherent individual sovereign power.
written over the Season of Christmas, at the Dawn of a new Millennium, 2001.
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