Remember the Alamo

Thanks for providing more detail in your comment, Mel.  Wethinks we’re using different definitions of the word “political.”  Our fingers were on the wrong keys when we typed that, and it first came out closer to “plotline.”  When someone gets confused, the English say they’ve “lost the plot.”  And reading Joe’s rant, he does sound confused, like someone who’s never learned and accepted the reality that Justice is spelled J-U-S-T-U-S.  On the other hand, we respect your suggestion that it’s US that’s lost the plot, and we’re taking that seriously.  So let us mull this over out loud, if you don’t mind.

First, if Joe Stack becomes the Martyr that finally spurs someone into taking constructive and nonviolent action to take the USofA back from the Greedheads and give it back (? – did they ever have it?) to the people, then we’ll be delighted to fall in line as Monkey #73.  In general we don’t choose to be an earlier Monkey (assuming youall know the story of the Hundred Monkeys), because of the principle of Shamanic Power – we need to save our effort for the moment when it will have greatest influence.  Or because we’re Chicken #3 – why doesn’t matter really.  If we were going to self-immolate, it would have to be over an issue that we really held sacred, and where we believe we might be able to make a difference.

From what we read of American history (we don’t pretend to be “expert” on the subject), there were two lines of thought in framing the Founding Documents – one that would give Power to the People, as they used to say in the 1960s, and one that would prevent “the Masses” from taking real Power away from the Landed Gentry.  The Documents themselves seem to be an ingenious amalgam of doublespeak, so that if you use the Constitution or the Bill of Rights as the basis for your arguments, either side can win handily.  The difference in America post-Ronnie Reagan, is that the Greedheads no longer feel they need to disguise their superiority to “the Masses,” having duped large portions of “the Masses” into believing that they too can aspire to be Greedheads.

One of the most profound lessons we’ve gleened from HIStory, is that after the French Revolution removed the monarchy, the power vacuum was ultimately filled by Napoleon, and it was Napoleon who invented bureaucracy, which has characterized government ever since, and which is now much criticized.  Not to mention Napoleon’s urge to do a Genghis Khan number on the rest of Europe.  Which is to say, it’s often good to consider whether the medicine is worse than the disease.  Lotsa folks find bureaucracy to be far superior to monarchy, but we’re not sure Joe’s level of emotional maturity would have found greater success with the Duke than with the IRS.  The Duke would probably have just flattered Joe’s anger into the infantry.

To us, politics is a version of the word power, and both are all about ego.  If we have confidence that we’re right, and we believe we can win friends and influence people effectively, then politics fits our temperament as a way to assert our power in the World.  A critical element is whether we also grant anyone else’s right to be right when they disagree with us.  Most folks who believe they’re right, and also have room in their Worldview to allow others to believe themselves to be right, just do their work on their own, without needing to go into politics.  There are some great examples in the business world – Zappo, Costco, Unfi, to name a few.  Warren Buffett also comes to mind.

Starting in the 1980s, we discovered that our Senators used their newfound word-processing capabilities to respond to their constituents with pablum.  For instance, after writing to our Senator objecting to Ronnie’s plan to clearcut the US Northwest, we got back a letter with “We are Conservation personified” in paragraph 2, and “Log we must, to create more jobs” in paragraph 3.  It was obvious that the Senator didn’t really care what we thought, he just shuffled his paragraphs depending on how he thought he might best pacify us.  It’s been that way ever since.  One of the most illuminating comments we’ve seen, is that Republicans learned NLP, while Democrats didn’t.

We’re building up to the point that making space for someone else to have different values than our own is the single most glaring lack in Human “nature” today.  Joe Stack doesn’t make a very good role model on that score.  Joe would have been much more effective at political action if he’d first read Barbara Mongomery’s book on Bullying.  There’s a huge difference between a temper tantrum and political action.  Just because some or many people interpret a temper tantrum as political, doesn’t make it more than a tantrum.

If Joe had written about how he hoped to inspire people to claim their power, rather than writing about how he rationalized his rage, and if he’d have chosen civil disobedience rather than murder as his method of acting out, that might have rendered the event more political.  Compare this event to the movie Yes Men, for instance, or The Corporation, or any of Michael Moore’s movies.  Now, if Joe’s act of defiance eventually inspires some form of effective and meaningful process toward changing the way Humans treat one another, then that would qualify in our mind as political action.  If it just inspires more rationalization of rage and murder, then we’d say it’s closer to criminal than political.

Growing up, we believed that everyone had the same needs and wants.  So, in order to have anything scarce for ourself, we would be taking it from someone else.  The old Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom view of the World.  When we discovered astrology, it was liberating.  Everyone was unique!  So everyone had different needs and desires!  Suddenly a marketplace made sense, where one person’s abundance could meet another’s need.  This is an epiphany that the Planet needs.

We’ve always maintained that Bureaucrat and Greedhead are personality types which may not be amenable to rehabilitation.  It won’t do us any good to send them to the guillotine, because we’d just be cutting off our own hand.  We need to make space for them to be useful without producing misery for the rest of us.  If we react so strongly to the external mirrors for Bureaucrat and Greedhead, it’s a huge red flag that we’ve somehow been cut off from our own right to reasonable and healthy amounts of Control and Abundance in our own lives, and we need to find a way to be loving and gentle with that part of ourself.  Yes, effective and constructive political action may be one result of that.  But as one master of political action put it, we need to BE the change we wish to see in the World.

Unfortunately, Violence might also be a personality type which may not be amenable to rehabilitation.  Channeling Violence into wearing a uniform can easily produce oppression.  Sending it overseas no longer works either.  The victims of Colonialism now have a voice, and the mirror is getting closer and closer as Time accelerates.   The PTSD victims from Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have the 40-year lag that Agent Orange gave Vietnam vets.  What does this mirror show us?  Are we to believe Avatar and Star Wars that tell us oppression and resistance and Violence are simply the nature of Reality?  As the Planet approaches carrying capacity, competition for resources could get very fierce.

We could recognize that our egoic identity is merely holographic, settle into our parallel lives, and just realize that the life of any given individual (this is, us) at any given time may not matter that much.  Since few of us have ever gotten off this Planet alive, accepting that Reality as part of our collection of Identities would be a useful process.  But a zillion other Identities inside us scream in protest at the idea of making that our primary Identity.  Those Identities are very willing to be Monkey #73 in the process of bringing Peace to the Planet.  That means finding healthy and constructive ways to release our rage, without murdering people, and without trying to pretend that rage is political.

Which diminishes not at all the urgent need for the US to find a way to take the government out of the pockets of the Greedheads.  But you betcha we don’t need to hand it to the Hotheads instead.

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