taming the future: part one

There is more going on in the World than a lot of people imagine.  The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street are but the first stirrings of a social volcano that means to be fiery and powerful and historically extensive.  In terms of social change, a social SpringTime is a long time, and there is much yet to be Occupied.  The ordinary people of the world, now interconnected via social media, are testing their capacity to influence ongoing social and political events.

This is kind of like a child learning to walk and talk and think - there are millions of us, millions joined via social media who know things are not right and who believe in our hearts that there has to be something we can do about it.  So we rise up and talk to each other and seek for a way to bring to bear the impact of our united conscience - the moral influence of the free social world.  Via this thinking we are finding thousands of ways.

At the same time there are special points or special places where some concentrated united activity can accomplish more.   A place where we step outside our smaller groups and for a time join something larger.

The present day Presidential Election in America is one such place needing our collective wisdom.  What is involved here is the insertion of a single revolutionary Idea into the social media conversation of millions.  One simple Idea.  That Idea is that everyone in the world has a right to participate in the Presidential Election in America, because everyone in the world is affected by it.

In the early days of America’s Founding was the phrase: No taxation without representation.  The world is at a similar place with regard to the politics in America - it needs to tell Americans that the whole world has a right to participate - the race for the presidency in America is not private to Americans.

At the same time it is possible to fear that since the whole world can’t vote in America, we are all out of luck.  That is not true, because the reality is that it is not the votes that are the most significant, but the conversation.  The vote is the last thing that happens and before that there has to be a conversation, and what is being said here in this video is that everyone in the world has a right to participate in the conversation about who should be elected President in America.  Everyone in the World.

Americans have this funny way of talking about their president, and it is sometimes a way of talking that goes beyond our borders.  We often call the President: The Leader of the Free World.  While that may technically not be true in the sense of who gets to vote or not, in a real social functional way this is effectively true.  America dominates much that goes on, and all manner of conflicts in the world are influenced by various Nation States that want to fight against that American dominance.

Further, many people confuse the work of American Corporations or Military Might with cultural influences.  Yes, multinational corporations, often backed by the American Military-Industrial Complex, do aggressively act in the world and by various means seem to dominate much that happens - the so-called American Empire.  Yet, at the same time American cultural artifacts have a more profound influence than does these lessor powers, as anyone knows who has followed the social influence and history of Rock ‘n Roll.

Because of that influence that erupted upon the world in the ‘50‘s and ‘60‘s the whole world has become involved in a musical conversation.  The same is true with regard to movies and television.   Technical innovation may start in America, but it then spreads out over the whole world, where these tools become then the artistic means by which all cultures, especially via their young, share what they think and how they feel.  As a result we now have YouTube, which is so powerful that political powers in the Islamic world recently used what arises there as an excuse to move forward their ideological agendas.

But YouTube is much more.  Everyone can be an artist on YouTube.   Everyone.  In point of fact, cellphone technology has gotten so sophisticated that with just a phone one can make videos and distribute them via YouTube to the whole world to see on their own phones.  Individuals now are creators and producers and distributors of a newly emerging world-wide culture of free individuals, who not only create, but whose creations are then “voted” upon by how quickly they become seen - such that we have had to invent a whole new concept to point to this: going viral

This cannot be controlled by Nation States, although many try.

In the ‘60‘s, as Americans tried to resist their own government’s descent into the madness of the Vietnam War, protesters often chanted: the whole world is watching.  At that time protest was dependent upon major media in order to be seen.  That is no longer true, and in point of fact a viral video is often picked up by major media and re-shown precisely because the News also has to take account of cultural changes.

What this means is that the whole world not only has a right to influence the election in America of an individual often called the Leader of the Free World, the whole world also has the means to place itself into the middle of the conversation and change that conversation from the vain and ambitious arguments of politicians and corporate liars, to a conversation that is sane, wise and profound, because it will mostly arise out of the conscience of the worlds’ young - those who are in the end going to have to inherit the world now being created.  Let me repeat that ... What this means is that the whole world not only has a right to influence the election in America of an individual often called the Leader of the Free World, the whole world also has the means to place itself into the middle of the conversation and change that conversation from the vain and ambitious arguments of politicians and corporate liars, to a conversation that is sane, wise and profound, because it will mostly arise out of the conscience of the worlds’ young - those who are in the end going to have to inherit the world now being created.

Do not doubt for a minute that although we are just a few weeks from the Election, that the world can touch this election for the Leader of the Free World and not only have a say that is influential, but also one that will make the political and corporate leaders all over the world sit up and take notice.   The world’s social conscience can speak, if it chooses, and that speaking can change the world by just changing the conversation.  This is the place and time to assert that right, just that act will change the world.

Put in your point of view.  Offer it up to YouTube.  Pass those you like on to others, and participate in the first political election-conversation that the whole world claims the right to own.  This power over the political conversation, free of the restrains of Nation States and Corporate Media, does need your attention and participation.  The time is now to seize the day.

taming the future: part two (never recorded)

There’s an idea in psychology called “affect”.  The “affect” is the expression on our faces when we speak, and the question for the science of psychology is whether or not the expression - the “affect” - is consistent with what might be thought of as the normal emotion that goes with what is being talked about.  So a person with a fixed smile on their face, while speaking of something sad, is not expressing on their face what their words would suggest they feel.

A  lot of us acquire over time a mask, as it were.  A kind of situationally necessary fixed-like affect or facial expression, which we hide behind.  Now this isn’t just one expression, but rather a whole collection of facial expressions.  The mask is mobile and varies, although it often is still a mask - something we hide behind.  One of the effects we like that goes with friendship and emotional intimacy is that we can wear a less-masked face, and not only that, but that we can speak our mind.  We seek intimacy because we need and want to be seen for who we are, not who superficial friends might expect us to be.

Now actors become skilled in the use of the facial expressions needed to imitate the feelings they wish to express that goes with the character they are portraying.  Politicians learn some of these skills as well, although they tend to be more like salesmen, because they are trying to sell us something - trying to convince us of something.

Now I’ve spent a lot of time in the field of mental health.  At the same time, I am claiming no expertise ... all I really have is almost 72 years of life, a lot it of spent learning to read the facial expressions and tones of voice of people I have met, both personally and in my work life.  This is my read on the two candidates for President of the United States of America.

I offer it not as determinative, but to encourage others to take a look at these faces and to ignore their words and try to read their character from the facial expressions and tone of voice, keeping in mind that politicians try to acquire similar pretend-skills as do actors.

Its the character we elect, not the words.

Now Obama is mostly angry, and Romney mostly afraid.  When I was first being taught psychology, in a very practical manner in Berkeley California in the early '70's, I was taught that we tend to cover over fear with anger, and cover over anger with fear.  But this was meant with the strong emotions of the moment.  People fear their anger, and often hide it by “acting” afraid, and hide their fear by often “acting” angry.

For example, the drunk deeply into his denial likes to act angry, but in reality he is constantly afraid of being found out and confronted for the basically weak person that he is.  The timid acting person is often full of rage, and would like nothing better than to have an excuse to vent that rage.  It helps those of us who want to understand someone else to imagine ourselves wearing their habitual faces.  We ask ourselves then what we would be feeling wearing that mask.

We are not looking here for knowledge with which to hurt, but rather to deepen our empathy with which to understand. 

When I wear Romney’s face I feel like I am going to burst into tears.  I am trying so hard to get the approval of others - to get their love, and I fear I am going only to get their condemnation.  He reminds me of George W. Bush, who likewise had father issues - the father already being highly successful in business and politics.  How do you, as a son, met that natural expectation?  George W. tried to hid in being a playboy and a drunk and a user of cocaine - a party hardy Boy.   When that didn’t work he was recruited for politics by a dark master of the lie - Karl Rove.  Romney tried to make himself into the ideal Mormon.  I heard someone recently make a good case for the idea that for Romney the emotional driver, or motive, is to be the first Mormon President, just as JFK was the first Irish-Catholic President.

Not a bad ambition, as it were.

Obama’s anger is mostly genuine frustration.  He is fearful of appearing angry for many reasons, not the least of which has to do with trying so hard not to be black.  He wants to succeed at all the goals a smart white man goes for - Harvard, Harvard Law Review, a dip in the shallow end of the pool with the CIA, and then politics.  Wins the big one, with a lot of help for which he owes a lot of other people.  He doesn’t like owing anyone, but is stuck with it.   Lots of folks have their hooks in him, but most especially his wife.  Read the book Iron John by Robert Bly if you want to understand that one.

Obama believe in good ideas.  That’s his religion - that the intellect can find the right thing to do, and then it becomes the most logical thing of all to do that which the intellect has discovered.  When he got to Washington, carrying all those hooks - including owing a lot to Goldman Sacks people, he ran full tilt into the Tea Party, a group of people who have no use for the intellect, and prefer their reactionary ideology to any kind of logical truth.

Try as hard as he could, Obama is frustrated at every turn by a Republican Party that has raised its own hard-right ideology into a brick wall, behind which they hide their own choices to make the success of their Party far more important than doing anything at all for the American People.   They think the People, especially what they call the 47%, can go screw themselves, and we the ideologically lamed rich should get to rule, because getting rich proves we are smarter and wiser than everyone else.

Romney is actually kind of stupid, in a way.  Mormons don’t seem willing to use stimulants, such as caffeine and cigarettes, to crank up the level of their thinking.   Makes them excellent believers in a system of religious ideas which are about as illogical as it is possible to be.  This trained poor Romney to treat political ideas in the same way.  No need for there to be sound fundamental principles and any logical thought concerning how government should work or how we decide to deal with all the troubling social questions of our time.

Its not so much that Romney lies all the time, its that he doesn’t think clearly enough to recognize that there are political statements that can be logical and true.  Politics to him is just as plastic - as in malleable - just as is his religion - you get to make it dance any way you want, as long as that is the convenient need of the moment.  Romney isn’t a flip-flopper, he just doesn’t actually have any political beliefs that mean anything to him at all. 

He, like Obama, is very ambitious.  Nobody runs for President who isn’t ambitious and vain enough to think they can handle the job.  This is one of the flaws of our kind of government - something the Founders tried to avoid when they set up the Electoral College.  Their idea was that the President should be picked by people who knew the individual well enough to judge their character.

Now, that’s up to us.  We have to see through the fancy words and the ads, and look at the faces and listen to the tone of voice - to learn to read character directly.  Then vote or otherwise make a choice about who to support through our seize the day contributions to the conversation.

taming the future: part three   (never recorded)

More on character ...

We can learn a lot about the character of a presidential candidate by looking at their actions.  Its not what they say, as much as what they do.   At the same time we need to keep in mind that speech is a deed, which means that lies or changing your points of view are deeds - the exact content of what is said, or claimed, being far less important in assessing character.

So, for example, it may be a more important aspect of character that a candidate has constantly changed their position on abortion, than exactly what position they have at the moment.  The candidates seem to believe their position on abortion gains them votes, which would motivate them to pick a certain position.  But what motivates them to constantly change that position?

Which reveals their character?  The position, or whether or not they hold it strongly enough so as to hold to it in spite of temptations to change it, according to the audience they seek to court?

Romney doesn’t really make up his mind to believe anything, and spent the primary campaigns courting the extreme right of his party - the Tea Party faction, and as well courting the wealthy, which are an elite faction - what Occupy identified as the 1%.  

Like the Tea Party, Romney does not prize the gifts of the intellect. As a result there is no historical consciousness within the Republican Party, such that the Party ignores their responsibility for supporting the lies of the George W. Bush Administration that took America to war over the faked up intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  This selling of the Iraq war was not just done to the American People, but to the whole world, via the U.N.

The Democrat Party became complicit with these treasons within America, and the related crimes against humanity, by refusing once Obama was in office to investigate these crimes and demand Bush and company face the judgment of the American People, and of the world, for these treacheries.   

What is little noticed by those minds that refuse the gifts of the intellect and then look to the lessons of history, is that America is presently in a pre-fascist condition.  That’s right - a pre-fascist condition.

Fascism arises from an unholy alliance between government and business elites, who believing they have a right to rule, will do whatever it takes to hold power.  Fascism to be born does not require anything more than that which Edmund Burke has pointed out: for good men to do nothing.

Already the American political dramatist, Aaron Sorkin, has pointed out, via his HBO series Newsroom, that the Tea Party is to be corrected called: the American Taliban.  Here is another American social observer, using speculative fiction to point out the impending abyss - from Frank Herbert’s novel Dune: “When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way.  Their movement becomes headlong - faster and faster and faster.  They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until its too late.

Even America’s Supreme Court has succumbed to their egotistical fantasies about Law and History, such that late in the year 2000 the right wing of the Court gave that election to Bush, inventing Law in the process; and recently, while continuing to fictionalize the Law, made it possible for wealthy elites to enter the political fray without any limits to either how much they spent, or any requirements that the resultant unlimited political advertising reveal who paid for it.

The old saying that might makes right, once an apt description of the excesses of the aristocracies of blood, has now been replaced with wealth makes right, an apt description of the excesses of the new aristocracies - the aristocracies of wealth.  The battle against the unjust power of elites over their lives, by the ordinary people of the world, while having taken great steps forward in the American and French Revolutions, is not over.

It is a legitimate question to ask whether or not the flawed present day President in America is to turn out to be the hero the world needs so as to have a true champion to face down the tendencies to fascism now lurking on the historical horizon in America.  Will Obama, for example, reign-in the excesses of America’s internal security apparatus, the very secretive National Security Administration and the openly defiant of America’s true needs: Homeland Security, and its bullies in the TSA?

If the essentially lawless right wing Supreme Court, and the internal security apparatus now emerging, are joined to the ownership belonging to the overreaching of private wealth into the Republican Party, now poised to install in office an ambitious simpleton Mormon named Romney, the whole world will suffer a backwards and regressive historical movement of horrible and terrifying means.  At the hidden center of this spider web of extreme anti-human impulses sits in secret the dangerous master of the lie: Karl Rove.

Now the question might seem to be what is the character of these American proto-fascists, but it is not.   The real question is will the Peoples of the World, especially the young, wake up and assert their just claims to determine who is to rule their lives and the lives of their children.  It is the character of the world’s young that appears to be in question.

Yet, at the time of this writing a young 14 year old girl in Pakistan has revealed that character now living in the World’s youth.  She resists the Taliban there, just as there must be resistance to the Taliban mentality everywhere.  Given the nature of social media and the world-historical crisis pitting wealth and corruptly gained power against everyone’s needs for justice and truth, the young represent formidable cultural forces for change.  They don’t need to wait for Obama to find the fire in his belly, they just show him theirs, and by that shift of attention via a whole sequence of viral earth-wide political videos, unveil where the real power over the future lies.

Those who are to live in that future have every right to determine its nature.  They only thing they have to do is to not be passive.  For good human beings to do nothing, leaves to the criminal and the insane among political and corporate leaders, the field of play.  And, given that the core matter is the Ideas, that ground belonging to the young is theirs to take.  All the same, they must still seize the day.

Make these three videos viral.  Create your own videos with your own Ideas.  Make those viral too. Speak your hearts and minds to the whole world about what you know to be right and sane.  The true Spirit of America belongs not to those who live in the geographic America, but to all those who want to be free.  The conversation preceding the election of the next so-called Leader of the Free World belongs to all of us in the whole World - all the “We the People”!