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Red Rover, Red Rover…

August 5, 2014

Watching America from the outside, as most of the world does (95% of the world is not American), watching while the American political and economic system eats itself, is baffling, frightening, and anxiety inducing. 

This week – in one recent example of many – far-right wing Republicans defeated a bill put forth by the regular right-wing Republicans for dealing with the immigration problem. The problem is Congress is controlled by Republicans – so when they defeat themselves, everyone loses – for nothing gets done. Congress is shadow-boxing with mirrors.

As the American Empire continues to crumble into the history bin of time (yet holding the largest military weapons cache ever amassed), the rest of us prepare as best we can for the violence and rage that will inevitably follow in its wake. We are not far off the time when Tea Party fanatics start acting like Chechnyan separatists. Would a second civil war be far behind?

There will continue to be a great pressure applied on American leaders to take out their country’s waning frustrations on some other country or region (South Korea – Vietnam – Iraq – Afghanistan – Russia). There are many Americans who would have no qualms in setting the world back at least 200 years as long as America continues to stand atop the rubble heap.

This doubly sucks for those Americans who actually care about the future, and see an alternative to some sort of biblical apocalypse scenario. America still has such enormous potential to be one of the great nations in history. There is great progressive thought, top-notch science, beautiful literature, and innovative green technologies still residing in pockets of America.

Sadly, the larger meta-narrative of our times is in the emergence of political / religious / economic fundamentalism – and the tea baggers who support them.

State and national democratic apparatuses appear to be crumbling everywhere in America. Most Americans don’t vote anymore – and less vote with each election – because everyone knows that there are no real viable national political options, that offer a real democratic vision of where America should be headed.

I have been feasting on Marshall McLuhan this summer and he observed that we are in the beginnings of the end of the centralized state. (Or church. Or company.) Maybe the multinational corporation will step into the power vacuum left by the disintegrating state? When they do, it will be short lived.

An electric universe means that we move inwards, local, but with a global village view of our ourselves, primed by speed-of-light communications. At some point we return to the city-state, tribal identities, verbal cultures. In the old literate culture of print and books, seeing was believing. Now, hearing is believing.

Whatever happens in the future, history tells us the road there will be rocky – change frightens us – makes us hostile – reactionary. Tea Partiers.

We share 98% of our genes with Chimpanzees, who are also competitive, aggressive, and hierarchical; but we also share 98% of our genes with Bonobo monkeys – who are communal, non-aggressive, socially supportive.

History will move with or without you.

What camp do you want to be in?  

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