An open space for global conversation
Election Day is around the corner. How do you feel about your choices?
We can argue, debate and strategize what to do around elections, like the one this Tuesday (...and we do!). Vote red, vote blue, hold your nose and vote damage control, vote green or abstain. We act indignant and outraged as if this election is somehow unique in history for being subject to compromise.
What might we do to feel, and be, more empowered in the electoral/governance process that drives our states and countries?
What other choices in your life do you, or have you, given up on or put in the hands of others? .
Describe a time you took your power of personal choice back.
Mark: I am finished discussing voting with you. What I see and what you see on this subject have been more than amply expressed for my taste, and I now find it truly unpleasant to continue reading your opinion on it. If your goal is to persuade, you are failing and each reply reiterating your criticisms of me and others only makes it worse.
My guess is that I am not alone in these sentiments. If we care about creating hospitable space, we need to actually leave some space for others. I request that you help us to do this, as a valued member of this community.
US voters are so stupid, they vote for which man will have the right to kill them without due process, and call it democracy.
I have to live with people like that, and I'm supposed to treat them with respect.
It isn't easy. Because it isn't just their own civil rights they're voting against, they're also voting against mine.
So while I try to remain patient, sometimes I lapse into anger or sarcasm. I do feel guilty when that happens, because I realize I'm dealing with human beings, even if they happen to be cognitively challenged. I just find it difficult to love people who don't love themselves enough to think that they deserve even the most basic human rights, like the right to a trial by a jury of their peers before they can be thrown into a dungeon, tortured, or killed. And I don't know how to get through to them. There may be some specialized pedagogies that I'll need to study, like various forms of special ed. But most of those are designed for the developmentally disabled, while many voters are otherwise highly intelligent and fully functional.
Or perhaps I've taken upon myself an impossible task. Perhaps I am attempting to avert the well-deserved karma, if that's the correct term, of those who have treated others in ways that they themselves would not wish to be treated. I can only go by what I know, and as Pawel points out, there is much that I do not and cannot know.
Some of the books on my bookshelf, Jerry, are those listed after my essay, "You've Got to Stop Voting."
As for our system not being corrupt and about the Supreme Court, my essay, "The Counterrevolutionary Constitution," speaks to that.
While you may believe that there is nothing corrupt about giving nine unelected people the Divine Right of Kings, and that there was nothing corrupt about their decisions that money is speech and corporations are people, I disagree.
As for documenting and prosecuting government criminals, you obviously don't think that Bush and Cheney were criminals, or else you support the Democratic Party and Obama having taken impeachment and prosecution off the table. Obama personally renounced the Nuremberg Principles by publicly adopting the discredited Eichmann defense, that those who were following orders from their superiors when they committed crimes against humanity, should not be prosecuted.
I do not see those who carried off successful election boycotts in South Africa, Cuba, Haiti, Ireland, and last week in Italy, as quitters. In every case, they accomplished something that voting could not have done.
As for withholding one's talents from an undeserving public, who decides which people are deserving and which are not? Should the US have withheld welfare from Ayn Rand because she was opposed to welfare and was therefore undeserving?
Thank you for this, Jerry.
What can explain the importance being placed now on differences rather than commonalities? Is one more important than the other?
Excellent questions. Also perhaps, how do we discuss our differences in ways that value them and strengthen us as a community? Reminded yet again of the Humanity 4.0 framing: on the one hand, greater diversity of the parts within a living system increases its resilience. And on the other, the more convergent the sense of the whole is, the more resilient the system becomes. Living systems do both these things well.
What you call "the real battle," Jerry, was won by the Democrats in 2000, when they succeeded in getting out the vote so that Al Gore won the popular vote. Of course the Supreme Court stopped the vote count and put Bush in office.
The Democrats won "the real battle" again in 2004, when John Kerry won the popular vote, but of course he conceded before the votes could be counted and Bush served another term.
"The real battle," was won once again in 2008 when the Democrats managed to get out the vote and Barack Obama not only was elected, but Goldman Sachs and the Supreme Court, finding him more obedient than McCain (which was obvious to those of us who'd seen that he'd gotten more big corporate campaign donations than McCain), allowed him to take office. He then repaid his big donors by starting more wars than Bush had, continuing the Bush policy of imprisoning and torturing people known to be innocent of any crime, giving ever bigger bailouts to the banksters with no accountability and no benefits to the taxpayers, and then taking us back 900 years with regard to civil and human rights by nullifying the due process established by the Magna Carta. Obama policies have also continued the global devaluation of the dollar, but of course I agree with you and the Cree that you can't eat money.
"More of the same," does not respond specifically to a single one of my arguments, such as that placing supreme power in an unelected supreme court is antithetical to democracy, that the US Constitution was a counterrevolutionary document that betrayed the founders and the principles of the Declaration of Independence for which they'd shed blood, or that casting votes which Constitutionally do not have to be counted and can be overruled by those in power, is a fool's game.
You may think that you're fighting "the real battle," but have you ever heard of a Pyrrhic victory? No matter who wins this election, Goldman Sachs benefits and the 99%, both within the US and globally, lose.
You may succeed in shooting down a few drones, but there are a lot of them, and they will focus on the few resisters, as the rest can safely be rounded up later.
I not only have a good feeling about eternity, I wish that I hadn't lived long enough to see the US become a fascist country where even so-called progressives vote for wars of aggression based on lies, the same crimes against humanity for which the United States fought Nazi Germany.
James Petras has an excellent article out today on Global Research:
US Elections: From the "Lesser to the Greater Evil," The Demise of Critical Liberalism.
He ends by saying:
Last but not least, the Obama regime has co-opted progressive liberal social critics via backdoor support. In the name of “opposing Romney” the progressive pundits, like Chomsky and Ellsberg, end up in alliance with Wall Street and Silicon Valley billionaires, Pentagon militarists, Homeland Security boosters and Zionist ideologues (Dennis Ross) to elect Obama. Of course, the support of the progressives will be accepted -but hardly acknowledged- but they will have no influence on future Obama policy after the election: they will be discarded like used condoms.
The Future: Post-Election Consequences
With or without the re-election of Obama, his regime and policies have laid the groundwork for an ever more regressive and reactionary social agenda: living standards including health, welfare, social security will be cut drastically. Afro-Americans will remain invisible except to the police and racist judicial system. Immigrants will be hunted down and driven out of homes and jobs: immigrant student dreams will become nightmares of fear and trepidation. Death squads, proxy and drone wars will multiply to prop up a bankrupt US empire. Unaccountable and hypocritical progressives will shift gears and criticize the president they elected; or if it’s Romney they will attack the same vices they overlooked during Obama’s electoral campaign: more cuts in public spending and climate change will result in greater deterioration in everyday life and basic infrastructure; more floods, fires, plagues and blackouts. New Yorkers will learn to detox their toilet water; they might be drinking and bathing in it.
If I recall correctly, Ouspensky asked Gurdjieff that very same question. The response, if my memory serves, was, "Do? Man cannot do."
O also asked what would happen if people woke up and became aware of the consequences of their actions. I think G said something like, "They would go right on bashing each others heads in."
However, as Pawel pointed out, this world is mere illusion, so if you think you are doing something, and that makes you hopeful, joyful, and gives you a feeling of participating in society and relating to others, why not continue to do it?
Obviously you prefer to defend your rights with bullets after you've voted in elections that you know will help empower a government that is taking away your rights. Perhaps the Satanists had a point when they said, "Do what you will be the whole of the law."
You certainly can't undo your vote even if you wanted to, but if you're interested in elections at all, you might want to try to keep track later on to see if you can find out if your vote was actually counted. Millions of votes simply were not counted in the last three Presidential elections, but they might be counted this time, who knows?
Anyway, if your candidates or issues win, what does it matter if millions of votes go uncounted?
Of course if Romney or Obama wins, and they're the only ones with any realistic chance of winning, they won't really care if people managed to elect good local candidates, to get worthwhile state initiatives passed, or if a significant number of people voted for third parties. As long as they retain the right to jail or kill anyone they want without a trial, whatever else people may do is of little importance to them.
Here's another quote from Meg Wheatley's new book, So Far from Home, that seems to speak to this struggle:
I feel strongly that we are misperceiving both our own and
the planet’s capacities. We need to understand how we
got here, otherwise we’ll continue to exhaust ourselves to
the point of collapse. It’s happening all around us—people
getting ill, resigning, withdrawing into cynicism and bitterness.
We have to stop this waste of wonderful humans.
We have to realize that we’re exhausted because we
are struggling to accomplish what can never be accomplished.
And then blaming ourselves and each other for
our failures. (p.25)
The Tuesday Connect2012 call? No, that's still on. Missed you on our call today, Jerry. It would be great to have you with us again tomorrow as we continue to discuss Gifts in the context of this community.
It's 3-5pm CST tomorrow. I suppose it is arbitrary and discriminatory to only give Eastern, Pacific and GMT times. And three times seems like a lot to list, plus why should we stop at four if we expand this? On the other hand, I think the more skilled we can be at navigating time differences in this crazy virtual world, the easier our work will be.
I'm thinking of an innocent person in shackles who was imprisoned without trial and subjected to torture, and how I could explain to them that voting for the person who put them there was done out of love and respect.
Drawing a blank.