*Aikido - a Japanese marital art, sometimes called "the Way of unifying (with) life energy", or "the Way of harmonious spirit".
When something is falling down, do you stand in its way and risk it crushing you, or do you move in such a way, through such an art of dance, that you move around and through its fall, taking in fact from the energy of the fall that which enhances your own life energy and harmonious spirit? Right now a lot of Progressive activity involves trying to stand in the way of something quite gargantuan that is falling down right on top of us.
There's a better way.
What I call elsewhere, The Lords of Finance, have tried to run the world for their own selfish benefit for several generations now. As a consequence, instead of being Stewards of the Earth, they raped and pillaged. Not only that, they corrupted governments (the source of most social order) everywhere, so that these governments have lost the ability to be of real service to the people. Between Katrina and the lame responses of the Democrat controlled Congress, we ought to need no more proof that government is actually incapable of doing what we need for it to do.
Yet sadly, we are addicted to the proposition that the big father in Washington (something the Native Americas came to realize to their horror is actually a fake) will solve our problems and take care of us. The truth is that all the promises of politicians are empty rhetoric, and have no real meaning. The worst ones are actually the apparent progressives, such as Bill Clinton was, and Barack Obama now wants to be. They sell hope, believing (apparently) that they can deliver on those promises.
Now this would work if the object of that hope was to be ourselves, and if their leadership was directed at enabling us to begin to carry what government no longer is capable of achieving. Tragically, they want us to still believe in the central government in Washington. There is nothing rational in such a belief, nothing!
In order to move forward, we have to first enter into dialog with each other. Anywhere that can happen, anywhere that people will get together and ask themselves what can they do that is helpful to each other, while civilization is falling down around our ears, something quite precious will be born - a real government of the people, by the people and for the people. Instead of expecting this to come from the top down, from Washington outward into the periphery of the Nation, we give birth to it from the bottom up, out of the social commons, out of that same periphery.
Instead of being powerless supplicants, we take all power to ourselves.
At the same time, we can recognize that we are already doing this! If we look at all kinds of local community activities, this very process of relying on each other instead of on some fantasy father in Washington is unfolding. The processes out of which folk wisdom arises even gave birth to the fundamental principle several years ago: Think Globally, Act Locally.
Here is the link to wikipedia on the origin of the phrase.
Of course, as with all true folk wisdom, it is totally irrelevant who gets credit for it. These kinds of things just appear, sometimes in several places at once (e.g. "what goes around, comes around"). The reason they get repeated is because we find them apt to the situation in which we apply them.
If there is a problem it is that we haven't quite got up to speed on what needs to be done, because so many are still addicted to the fake father in Washington. Progressives who lobby there all need to join a twelve step group. The fact is (and this is a principle of all psychological aikido) that when you oppose something, you actually support not only it, but the process which engendered it. People really just need to leave Washington alone, and let it collapse back into the swamp it once was. There is too much to do locally to still spend time trying to get a bunch of already lost people to do something they should have figured out how to do all on our own.
The very fact of our pushing against them, empowers their resistance. Just think of the school yard. Where do you think the phrase "push comes to shove" comes from? I push you, you shove back. We pressure Congress, they acquire more strength to resist. So instead, we just walk away, and get on with figuring out what to do for and with each other at a local level, where our first initial assumption is that whatever comes down the line, not only is the fake father in Washington not going to help, he is far more likely to come down on us with more force because his corrupt agenda is totally antagonistic to our real needs.
Time to really wake up folks. Go rent and watch the movie the Big Chill. Its a cold and cruel world out there, and the best friends we've got are right in front of us in our families and local communities. Cultivate those relationships, help them grow and get stronger. Think about the big bad that might come, and make plans with others.
There's a lot of yuck going to hit the fan folks. Katrina was just the beginning, and remember Katrina wasn't just nature acting out - it was first and foremost a complete demonstration that government is not our friend anymore, not the federal government, not the state government and not the local government. You think the people hurt by the recent fires in California were helped by government? Didn't happen. People helped each other, and the politicians just went along for the ride and took the credit.
Think Globally. Have a wide and varied view, one that is more synthesis than analysis. Then, on the basis of that understanding - Act Locally. Be hard to find wiser words for our time.