solidarity with victims
work for their justice
religious and political
choose present perks
to family abuse
no one solution
from the outside
work toward justice
solidarity with victims
A universe centered on agrievement and blame is similar to understanding home as a whirlpool. The strategies include having one basic target that is grabbed onto. Eventually, having to dance with the one that brought you means the blamer and the target of blame go down together.
The best that can be done if you are targeted is to claim your space. You may well go down the drain of history earlier than later, but there will be no mistake about what your intentions are. The distance between yourself and your blamer will come to be seen. What they need to be an integral identity will become differentiated.
A second strategy of blame is to jump from blamee to blamee. For a moment it may seem that one who blames is able to work back up the whirlpool by jumping from one excuse to another. This approach always seems to run into the same difficulty—a mistimed jump or refocusing of blame. It is exceedingly difficult to avoid the “crying wolf” syndrome. Blame fatigue happens. Similarly, a blamer may find the surface of a potential blamee too slippery or well-defended to have the blame stick, and so it is reflected back (I’m rubber, you’re glue; your words bounce off me and stick to you). Boomerang Blame is the worst possible outcome for a blamer.
Those who appreciate growth through difference are less likely to blame first and then a second or seventh time. Those caught in looking for the world to conform to a need to be confirmed in every instance find blame to be a reliable way to skate through life on its surface. It can be anticipated and expected that blame is prepared even before deployed a first time.
The difference between George Washington and Donald Trump is galaxy-wide—that between “I cannot tell a lie” and “I cannot help but lie.”
it is time
to the shelf
for too long
it’s been open
to the entry
we’ve found ways
a card game
gambling life away
when everything’s wild
and Calvin Ball
limits enhance play
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!
After binging mean bullying for its own sake, there is a question of how to stop what has already become expected behavior. In general, it only takes 21 days to institute a new habit. Unfortunately, some habits are never able to be shaken, only moderately controlled. Ending a four-year habit leaves an anxious silence and wondering if too many Pandoran beasties were let out and now need to be cleaned out. No matter what the actual number is, it takes more time away from instituting renewed virtues.
The old Alka-Seltzer® ad that began this jotting is but a temporary fix. Undoubtedly more doses will be needed as a further investigation of the depth of the hole that has been dug reveals how difficult it is to fill it and make it stable enough to be a foundation to what it will be asked to bear.
Those who have used harder drugs along the way may need to factor treatment for that along with strengthening the structures of community. At question is what will hold us together in the presence of residual resistance and lack of agreement on whether internal strength (general welfare) or external strength (common defense) is the priority.
Freedom and independence are over-used code words for authority and military. Yet, they remain powerful. Those for whom they hold a central place can best assist the present moment by helping to find a new Frame for them that will allow more people to have these as personal options as well as lead more resources toward Partnership and Share Dependence.
We have run into the downside of governance by meme. Being sure the engine has enough lubrication is of more importance than the cutest affirmation or cuttingest put-down securely attached to the bumper.
Here’s to dull effectiveness in weaving a new way to approach an old vision of agreed-upon purpose, if not way to move toward it.
A quote from Eugene Debs: “When we are in partnership and have stopped clutching at each other’s throats; when we’ve stopped enslaving each other, we will stand together, hands clasped, and be friends.”
This assessment is taken from the perspective of viewing culture through the lens of an economy, political power, and labor coming out on the short end of those sticks. Two behaviors need to be stopped — throat clutching and enslavement. Both of these are endemic to the processes of an economy and a political process.
The desired outcome is that of friendship, which is not controlled by structures but is simply personal.
Mixing a structural analysis with a personal result poses difficulties. This can be seen as we continue to work our way through an election result that is too narrow. It will keep the feeling of suffocation and loss of control of both parties at a high level. [Is it time for a communal viewing of Mel Book’s movie, High Anxiety?]
We continue to place great emphasis on our happiness being keyed to external forces. As long as such is the case, the biggies of entitlement and desire will run through the limitation of scarcity with resultant attempts to put one’s self in the position of storing up resources and control of others through the twins — economics and politics.
Our usual approach is to ride them until they drop. At which point, we pick up any just slightly cracked eggs, put them in a shiny new basket, and proceed to repeat the dynamic with a different group of people initially on top but gravitating toward the same types of leaders as before.
What seems to be missing is any personal work that needs doing regardless of the stock market or election results. This is not a solution, but provides a source of energy to not only analyze our macro-setting but take revolutionary actions that refocus economics and politics on what has been called our “general welfare”. Just because the details of a common good continue to be hijacked by false securities doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a salutary part to play in cultural structures that can enhance, while not guaranteeing, personal well-being.
So quick to judge
so persistent our prejudice
so slow is mercy
I’ve already made up
my mind and answers
it must cohere
yes I know
you’ve done so
since I’m more open
what can you put up
to show we can talk
I wish that were
it appears we are fated
to have this wedge
maybe my great-grandchildren
will get yours
to see your error
This is written before beginning any contact with election-day reporting. A first acknowledgment is that decisions/actions (conscious or not) are happening as I write that will affect me and all. That is the way time and space work. Light has its waves and particles; I am faced with an expected linear sequence of personal and political situations asking for a next response and unexpected jumps in new opportunities. This pairing of fate and creativity are continually interacting.
Another on-going interaction is between the various systems that are the water in which I swim and myself as a rock eroded/shaped by those systems and as a resistance to the flow (slowing them, displacing their center). Whatever the system or election outcome, I still have myself to deal with.
Will I read too much into the election results? Undoubtedly, that’s what I’ve always done. It has taken me a while to listen to others as well as to try on various opportunities the system and election bring.
Usually, within a month, I can begin to articulate what I see has happened and identify one place I can apply my gifts to enhance or retard the latest shift in direction.
In the midst of rising and fading expectations of how things are matching up with my desires, there is the important question of a vision for some 7 generations down the line (175 years hence).
Considering this current time to be a 7th generation—What was going on in 1845 that is still lingering, hasn’t yet been resolved, broke in to initiate a significant difference between then and now?
- 1845 established the date for yesterday’s election (in 1845 it was a November 4 election).
- Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning met for the first time (new love is still happening).
- Florida and Texas were admitted as states (how did they affect things this time?).
- A fire devastated Pittsburgh (was there looting this time?).
- Scientific American began publication (what is the state of science in the culture today?).
- In Germany, Friedrich Engels published, The Condition of the Working Class in England (and the state of the working class today? are we closer to a revolution?).
- The precursor of the Band-Aid® was patented in France (what everyday aid is born this year?).
- The first Black law firm in the United States was opened (16 years before the Civil War).
- Henry David Thoreau moved to his shack by Walden Pond (what reflection are you doing?).
- Among the many achievements of Michael Faraday, in 1845, he wrote, “I have at last succeeded in illuminating a magnetic curve or line of force and in magnetising a ray of light” (will we continue learning or return to a darker age?).
- A potato blight in Ireland begins the Great Famine and its resulting migration (and today’s refugees?).
- John Franklin’s expedition toward a Northwest Passage disappears (“Great” can only be ahead, and it is risky?).
- The first screw-propelled iron steamship crosses the Atlantic Ocean (did it have redundant backups or crossed-fingers?).
- Johnny Appleseed died (will the frequency of Covid-19 deaths finally be address with more than denial?).
- A fine 1845 Liberty Head large penny is now worth about $30 (what will today’s penny be worth?)
I’m not expecting much to be clarified by the time this is posted. One immediate question I have is how widespread any violence is and how it is dealt with. The rest can be sorted, but deaths and maimings are all too final.
socks and underwear
items most sought
by houseless migrants
homeless in their own
food and soma
keep bodies going
past previous markers
of meaningful activity
education and decision-making
elements of elections
bind us in a sequence
evolving communal health
Democracy is never simply “People (demo-) Power (-cracy)”. The expectation of a consensus among people has never panned out in a Euro-Western context. Caste and Individualism have each played their part in debilitating democracy. Reliance on a simple majority has grown from Enlightenment/Industrial models of one short-cut or another to on-going, considered conversation. People’s desire for Power has subverted every attempt to a People’s Power within a commons. Everyday differences continually foil ideological unity.
Among the short-term attempts to streamline a process that takes time and empathy are—majorities, economics, violence, and charisma.
A concept of a majority standing-for-a-whole delays progress toward a sense of “general welfare”. There comes an automatic reaction by those outvoted—their recourse becomes sabotage and revolution.
Substituting the invisible-hand of a market for a divine right of a kingly group to exploit its poor is, on its face, antithetical to caring-for-all. Those who come to have an economic advantage—resist giving it up. Finally, it will require some form of a potlatch or year-of-jublilee voluntary give-away of privilege to reset relationships that have become unbalanced. Economies don’t see it that way and always claim a priority of what is to be sustained. In the face of inequities an economy will trump the rights of survival and thrival of humans and earth.
Violence is an automatic disqualification for “People Power” as it overwhelms thought and virtue for immediate ascendancy over any perceived to be “not me”. It is particularly grievous when violence is used against poor who are more likely to carry solutions to the endemic problem of inequity that subverts People Power.
As social creatures, we influence one another. Some know how to leverage others against themselves. Charisma can be substituted with advertising, propaganda, memes, and leadership style. The presence of borderline personalities is a continual threat to consensual governance. One person, standing-for-all, is an extreme version of majority rules.
What is missing in all of this is an appreciation of the tools needed to project and judge consequences into the 7th iteration of living with one another under the limitations listed above. We keep thinking in terms of answers—once for all time—rather than enjoying a journey of provisional responses. It may be democracy is a model unfit for human consumption when applied beyond the number of people who can hold a vision together (historically 300 or less).
This is not to say that democracy is inherently useless. Any system from dictator to democracy can do well by its citizens. However, there are many forces arraigned against both that lead them to eventually fail. At question is how the next failure will be dealt with. Are we prepared for further division from one another or engagement with one another?