If my third-grade report card is accurate, I'm below average, needs improvement, and does not apply himself. Demerit for lacking entrepreneurial motivation. Does not follow directions well, and has missing homework.
To this day, I do not want to have more than what others have. I don't want expensive anything because expensive things are valuable because others do not have them. Stuff that is expensive and intrinsically valuable should be shared, not owned. I am opposed to any private property. I visit national parks such as the Grand Canyon and wonder why the boundary isn't expanded to include all of Arizona---yes, the entire state. The entire nation should be one giant national park. It's all worth saving; it's all valuable to everyone; it's all effecting everyone such that all of it should be managed by all. If the word equality means what the dictionary says, private property would not be permitted. It's curious that the cultures of both the native Americans (Indians), and the African-Americans brought here as slaves from west Africa did not know private property. The native Americans were exterminated (genocide) and the Blacks were turned into slaves. That tells us something about the culture with the private property.
I'm not a martyr. I don't want to have more than others, and I don't want others to have more than I have. I am actively working to divest the rich of their investment portfolio. I'm an inverted entrepreneur. I am working to open the banks so the money can be divvied out to all....the line forms to the right.
Something is fundamentally wrong in an economic system that measures my success by how many people are subordinate, how many people I control.
I should take up photography, again. The silent expression appeals to me. The self-contained world beckons again. That said, I crave a squishy mind in a college classroom as much as I need to walk upon granite.
Sometimes, below the radar. Sometimes at the megaphone. (Does a megaphone have a microphone?)
Ahh, you missed my mini-book profile. I cut it down to size because it was too much information. Most of it could be summarized as---we have a long way to go to rid ourselves of the abuses of the patriarchy and the modern corporate state. Life is ninety percent going with the flow, obeying road signs and orders at work, but none of it must be that way. It's that way because a few powerful people are spending vast sums of money to convince us that they're special and we're not, to convince us to focus our attention on the frivolous activities that they push such as sports and shopping. To be alive is to redeem ourselves through the ten percent that belongs to us, and through convincing the next generation to not accept the cultural yokes of wage slavery.
I bathe assiduously, once a month, whether I need it or not.
We shall never cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot
At times I have too much to say, and other times, too little. I prefer a dialogue.
Fear is conquered, not by hiding it, but by revealing it. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, fear is disempowered through revelation, not through suppression. Make manifest what is dangerous when hidden.
When the student is ready, the master will appear.
Taoism appeals to me because it offers rituals that soothe the lower, unconscious portions of my mammalian brain function, without the repulsive, domineering patriarchy of monotheism that is intended to control my higher, conscious brain functions. Reducing the complexity, and mystery, of life to monotheism, offers certainty at the price of deliberate delusion. It's much more interesting to acknowledge the truth of it, that no one has a clue what all this is about. Not knowing, we are poised to experience the real as we are open to possibilities. Moreover, we are free to define and inject, or reject, meaning. What we do is an expression of what is important, and we are free to do this, or to do that. Anxiety is not a necessary concomitant of freedom. Some belief systems incorporate coercive anxiety and shame. Taoism and democracy do not: they are subversive. Freedom is dangerous. As many paths march toward tyranny of the mind, as march toward tyranny of body.
Each one of us is a philosopher, rigorously conscious or subliminally automatic. Each of us is an intellectual, as Gramsci stated, although most of us are privately so.
I want to make the world a better place, as it has been made better by others, and as many others are doing so now. The central problems of justice and human dignity are structural, not cosmetic.
In our culture, economic success is proportional to exploitation. The larger the bank account, the larger the pool of exploited labor. People carry about a set of self-images and have a sense of ethics, thus the necessity for a doctrine (stories we tell ourselves) defending the indefensible exploitation. Every hierarchical power system comes with an instruction manual, indoctrination, elevating the "haves" upon the pedestal of "success" and "superiority" while teaching contempt for the have-nots.
Why does this matter? Because the economic system puts us in a psychological bind. Gaining wealth feels good because it offers a false sense of self-esteem. People who "succeed" are, indeed, performing well on all indicators and measures. One can measure efficiency and productivity. Corporations measure and rank employees just as my third-grade teacher measured and ranked us students.
A problem arises only when reality interferes with the system of rewards and punishments. That reality introduces cognitive dissonance demanding resolution. Some people drink to kill the reality. Others dive into a vast variety of denials and delusions that are provided in the "instruction manual" of exploitation. The primary purpose of public education is to indoctrinate the young into the economic system.
Every so often, the exploited are successful. For them, success is not joining the entrepreneurial club, but rather, success is defined by breaking through the doctrinal system (internally first, then culturally second) to eliminate or at least reduce, the exploitation. Much of human history for the past ten thousand years is characterized by cycles of elite control, suppression, and indoctrination, followed by phases of enlightenment, insight, culminating in rebellion.
Every horrible system of economic exploitation, in the past---US slavery, emperors and empire, monarchy, Stalinism--was justified by complex doctrines, justifying the unjustifiable. We look back in horror.
The most difficult task of the living is to understand and to experience the modern world for what it is---another system of exploitation accompanied by complex doctrine justifying the unjustifiable. The modern corporate-state economic and political system is one more in the continuing series of human social systems founded upon exploitation. Some systems of exploitation are less onerous than others, but we humans have not completed the struggle to achieve justice and equality.
Some turn to alcohol, some turn to religion (and "spirituality" whatever that is), some turn to the instruction manual for the latest justification for why Wall Street bankers have millions while millions of other people have nothing, some turn to art, some turn to drugs, some turn to TV, some turn to sports, some turn to shopping, some turn to sex, some turn to... many paths lead to diversion and denial. The elite support and encourage Yoga, while vilifiying the truth-telliers such as WikiLeaks. Our system is profoundly problematic because it offers massive cash rewards for throwing away one's personal integrity, while requiring massive layers of self-delusion (lies), and violence. Every system of exploitation manifests itself in violence. Mostly directed at others, but sometimes directed at one's self. The conundrum of concentrated power and wealth offers no escape. No Exit.
Concentrated power is perverse. It's a perversion comprised of pride generated from domination and exploitation. It's overtly socially destructive, and self-destructive. Now, it's leading to the destruction of the habitability of the planet and perhaps to destruction, the end, of the species. Coming to terms with the destructive character of corporate capitalism is our current challenge.
To return to the personal, money and power feel good when it's held within a cultural context that offers social capital--social rewards---for "success." Money and power feel bad when it's attained within a cultural context wherein the shared value system disdains exploitation. People act in a manner in accordance with the social value system. Change is forged when economic "success" is recognized for the exploitation that it is, thus becoming morally reprehensible. This brings us back to the critical function of the "instruction manual" and public schools, and the manner in which each individual resolves the internal moral quandary.
To end exploitation is to reject the dominant, and domineering, value system. Slavery was ended though violent rejection of exploitation. Sometimes rejection of exploitation can be achieved nonviolently, as is the ongoing example in Egypt. How and when we, in the US, will publicly resolve the exploitation inherent within our own economic system, founded on corporate-state-capitalism, remains to be seen.
"Resist Much; Obey Little" ~Edward Abbey.
I could be a "CAnadian Dreamer." I'd enjoy it, but I'm not.
I could be a "CAlifornia Dreamer, ala the Momas and the Papas.
All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
On such a winter's day
(and you know the rest)
I could be a "CAD reamer" but I assure you I have not reamed anyone for at least a week now. Promise.
A friend died last January. She was 32. Life is too short to obey all the time. She knew how to wisely weaken the monstrosity with words. If being the CEO of The Gap is your idea of ultimate pleasure and achievement, we're not a match. If you belong to the ACLU, we're on the right track.
I live in California, but I could end up anywhere on the planet. I'm a bit jaded with the dysfunctional socio-political system here. If for no other reason than for a change of pace; being an expat is becoming attractive. Thus if you live in Mali, or Minnesota, or Macau, I could very well drop in for tea.
Landscape is everything. Context is missing in American culture. There is no "there" there, as Alice B. Tokas, said, and had I not made the effort, I would have no "there" inside here. Regrettably, something is missing. The Sixties went looking for it, then lost it as some of us grew up to work on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley.
I vote often, but typically for "none of the above."
We can chat about this.