Failed Democracies or a Failed Civilization?

[thoughts from    ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara]

The current political conditions planet-wide and spate of political discomforts experienced in the imperial West is making many pundits and ordinary folks question the health and validity of western style democracies.  Most are of the opinion that our democracies need some serious fixing.  I disagree.  Not on the fact that they need fixing.  I disagree in that I know they cannot be fixed.  There are things that cannot be fixed you know.  Happens all the time.  Failed inventions.  We don’t like to talk about them, admitted failures are terribly boring to study,  but they litter the historical landscape of man’s religious, political, financial, industrial and technological ages.

One of the most glaring of failed political inventions is  Western style democracies.  I think it’s time we grew up, woke up, smelled the coffee and realized that the “national” political games we in the “West” began to play some 200 years ago are outdated, even childish in today’s global reality.  Democracy, admittedly from historical perspective, was nothing but a new board game thrown on a nation’s or empire’s political table.  “Let’s see if this approach can work with the way we want to mold civilization” said some elitist lawyerly academical moneyed individuals.  So they put away their swords, shook hands, dictated some rules and a Christmasey list of great wishes to a couple of them acting as secretaries, labelled it a constitution and called that which it would control a  “democracy.” Why a democracy?  Well because they had some education and some of them had read the classics and knew that a smaller, more exclusive version of the game had been tried out by Greek elites in ancient history and and those Greek elites had called it democracy.

That’s pretty much all there was to it.  The new approach boldly claimed that everybody could sit around the table and play, but that was a lie big enough to choke a whole herd of elephants, wasn’t it?  Slaves?  Of course not.  Women?  Are you kidding me, we don’t even know yet if women have souls (remember that discussion was still going on at the turn of the 20th century so you bet it played a powerful role then) and women belong to the men, why should they need, or want, to have a say in anything political or financial?  That was the auspicious beginning of the great idea of universal suffrage.

Do you see any contradiction here?  Of course not.  No more so than that the same democracy today can only be led by someone who is a billionaire.  It’s a democracy and everybody has the same rights as everybody else, and if you don’t believe that you are unpatriotic, perhaps even a terrorist because you are obviously a reader of “fake news” on the Internet.  You believe what you’re told, not your senses, that’s what freedom is all about.

Be that as it may, we are now well aware (or should be well aware) the game always belonged to the male elites.  Votes were a sop to the masses, a scam.  If you had a family name and money or had a reputation as a powerful military commander, you could buy enough votes to be “elected” and continue to make the rules under the authority of the richest “entrepreneurs” and “banks” who controlled to money, i.e., the real power.

If man were an evolving species it should be evolving mentally, not just technologically.  Technocracy is a ruling system for a machine world, not a human world.  Only mindless people can find their fulfillment and satisfaction in a machine world.  If we are evolving mind beings it behooves us to look at our civilization in toto, not just at its shaky parts.  Democracy as a demonstrably weak and pathetic system of government, so easily controlled by sociopathic plutocrats, is but a small part of the whole aspect of civilization.  If we “fix” all that is wrong with democracy (not that anyone could, democracy is not a working concept for Earthians who have yet to learn the necessity of taking responsibility for all aspects of their personal lives) we will not fix the major problem faced by man: the current state of global civilization.

Civilization:  this singular monster, so completely out of control, so taken for granted by all, is the root cause of the planet’s imminent collapse.  We can’t fix the weak, worn-out, out-dated, unbalanced parts hoping that will fix the whole thing.  Western-type “democracies” have definitely shown their feet of clay.  They temporarily plugged a hole in civilization created by the deposing and dis-empowering of autocratic aristocracies ruled by emperors, kings, queens, military generals, priests or popular heroes and unpopular tyrants.  Like democracies today these tyrants had exceeded their grasp and were toppled by popular revolutions.  Democracies today are being deposed, at least in the minds of the “voters,” because they no longer even make a pretense of serving the common good.  They, in fact, have become the very tyrants they once replaced.

This was inevitable.  The conundrum for man now is that nothing has been “thought up” to replace or supplant these failed and dying democracies, so people are seriously contemplating the idea of returning to the national or imperial “strong man” or “strong men” to lead them.  Foolish and utterly self-defeating it certainly is, but until something revolutionary new is invented or created, we are in for a long, long period of societal collapse as “the strong men” fight wars, committing atrocities and genocides as they jockey for positions of power.  This isn’t prophetic: it’s happened throughout the 20th century and only intensified in this one, beginning with the second Iraq “war.”

If the plan was to avoid a major societal AND environmental collapse, there is but one thing that can accomplish that, and it won’t come cheap: man must totally destroy and eradicate all vestiges of western type civilization, including the technology that upholds it.

The only thing now left for man to save the species and its world is to start from scratch.

It isn’t totalitarianism, capitalism, militarism, terrorism, banksterism, drugs, overpopulation, famine, disease or climate change that is destroying the world, it’s civilization.  Civilization is what makes possible the above evils, no mistake.  Since these evils have subjugated everything else to themselves, and since they get their power from civilization, nothing short of an end of civilization can dis-empower them. Think of it as draining the swamp, only the world is the swamp, not just nests of corrupt politicians, boards of directors and military HQ’s.

The great collapse is no longer an “if”- it’s going to happen.  Alea Iacta Est: the die is cast. The great wheel is turning at this moment.  We can demonstrate advanced wisdom and true human courage by guiding and controlling the fall, softening as much of the blow as our current state of understanding allows, or we can continue tinkering with the creaky, smoky, grinding parts pretending that we are fixing the whole until it falls on us “like a shit from heaven” as we say in the vernacular.  Or we can even outdo our natural stupidity by pushing even more esoteric computerized technology into the gaping hole and pay main stream media to extol our smarts.

Speaking of democracies, here’s an appropriate quote:  “As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” – H. L. Mencken

It has been said many times, in many ways, that the people always get the leaders they deserve.  A failed democracy, the United States of America, has recently emblazoned that truth on a marquee for the entire world to marvel at.



23 thoughts on “Failed Democracies or a Failed Civilization?

  1. Darryl Walker Jr

    Great piece! The only questions I would pose to you are the same you posed to me on my piece: how do we deconstruct civilization and begin anew? What will replace it, who, etc?

    I agree that the problems are not reducible to capitalism. I think this is an ontological problem …this is a problem of how we answer Heidegger’s question: what does it mean to BE? The West has a fractured ontology whereby the only way we can assert ourselves as existentially present is by robbing someone else of their humanity. Women, people of color, etc cannot be recognized AS humans because white men need to define themselves by difference. Civilization is prefaced upon this, in my opinion. We need to develop a way of being-in-the-world that allows everyone to exist simultaneously … so that we can truly be beings-for-others and not beings-for-the captor (if that makes sense, using the register of Sartre/Heidegger). I also imagine we are discussing the exact same problem with slightly different language, so it is not my goal to become too bogged down in the terms of discussion, as we have an overall agreement that the West needs to be toppled. =D

    Good work!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for your erudite reply here, Darryl, and I have a few minutes, maybe to touch on your questions/challenges. I think the West’s ontology (nature of being) is defined more by possessions and possessing. Ownership… of everything, including God. “My God!” is such a common expression in Western Christianity. Capitalistic greed. To be rich, one must not only own, but have more than others and if you can’t go up any longer you must push others down to maintain your superior position on the totem pole. In predatory capitalism extreme competition including violence is understood as being a necessity, often even quite beneficial and enjoyable. Much of Western entertainment is based on extreme, even violent, competition.

      To the main question. Civilization as we know it is going to go down, with or without our help because it is based on unsustainable expectations: exponential growth in an environment that has become painfully finite! In order to “discuss” what replaces this dying, entropic monstrosity called civilization we need to make some assumptions. One, the population of the planet at the very bottom of the collapse will be (probable guess) somewhere between 1 to 1.5 billions. This remnant will have a totally different mindset than today’s expectant and entitled and basically useless generation(s) of polluting consumers. They will be survivors of horrors we can’t even imagine. Such people, if they manage to re-create a civilization will have a different attitude to their world. Their collapse will have destroyed much of their knowledge of how it was and they will fear any return to what destroyed them. What I focus on (and we’re talking of a time somewhere 5 to 8 hundred years from now in my cosmology) is what will they be thinking; what will they want to build, and how? Much of their ways will of necessity be linked to natural cycles. They will be “uncivilized” in that they will be adapted to living with the earth, not against it, and in cooperation with each other, not in competition which they will “know” was the very evil that destroyed their own version of “Atlantis” – our current times of glorious technological achievements lived under the darkening shadow of nuclear Armageddon!

      “If” things develop as “I” have envisioned, these people will be self empowered and humble in heart. Humility and total compassion will be practiced and taught to children as of first importance. But they will also remember that they are humans, not animals; that they are called to more than just subsisting on one planet. They will have learned the art of dreaming and creating visions that they will share and work with. Thus they will inevitably create a new human civilization but it will have very little in common with the one destroying the planet today. Life will be understood and respected “in all things” animate or inanimate. Empathy will rule and with compassion the whole of society will be aware of all of itself. Needs will be met, nurturing will be the normal way of men, women and children. No one will ever go without. There will be no private property, no hoarding… etc. Because of atavism there will be crimes that society will have to deal with, and they will be dealt with what you might call extreme prejudice, most crimes punishable by death. That seems contradictory but it isn’t. Evolution comes into it, and “life” is much more than our current civilization allows for. In their time death is only a temporary physical discomfort. The “dead” remain to interact with those who have bodies… but now I’ve moved closer to a thousand years of evolution and greater awareness brought in by “avatars” from other worlds. Gets involved. Let’s stay with the collapse and the re-awakening. I think I “kinda-sorta” answered your questions here and in my other reply to you on your blog. Self empowerment, detachment, compassion, empathy, commitment and purpose. The new society will be composed, not of collectives, but of individuals interacting through empathy. No more governments, banks, bosses, militaries, as these would all be redundant and persona non grata. There will be full cooperation but on a strictly individual and voluntary basis, never through collectivism. The real new world.

      1. Darryl Walker Jr

        Wow. Beautiful statement! Consider turning this around into a longer post for your blog!

        Excellent points, very interesting is your idea about “full cooperation but on a strictly individual and voluntary basis, never through collectivism”. That is a concept I will need to meditate on! One of the best comments I’ve read on WP!

  2. franklparker

    I agree with Darryl. You are really onto something here. I suspect the timescale you envisage is longer than we have. And, being the incurable optimist that I am, I still believe it is possible to get there without ‘armagedon’. I just started reading Howard Jacobson’s ‘J’. It is set in a world some decades after “What happened, if it happened, happened” that nobody speaks of except in those terms. I’m only about 3 chapters in but it is very good. I think you would like it, if you have the time to read literary – or any – fiction.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Looks intriguing, that book. Have to look that up. If it’s old enough it may be available at the local “Bookman” store, or ideally, in e-format, my first choice. My favourite readings these days is “hard” science fiction. Or good suspense drama… and oh, please no fantasy, those endless soap operas for the thoroughly unimaginative. “Gork knew the evil wizard was aware of his presence. He climbed the hill nevertheless, clinging to his magic sword, hiding under his magic cloak. The evil wizard Raknawar who was freezing all of the land within his sight had to be destroyed. That is why Fionna, Gork’s fairy godmother had given him his magic gifts: to kill the wizard before the earth was completely frozen and all men turned into ghouls… Blaaaargggghhhh…
      Yes, we need an entirely new civilization, even in fiction… 🙂 I’ll continue to work on the “details” of how the change can be accomplished. The “Teachers” never said there was no option than Armageddon, quite the contrary: they said the future is an endless array of paths anyone can choose from. I chose the ones I see by using common sense projection. It’s not what I desire. What I would like to see is all people suddenly become aware of the potential power in applied compassion. It’s the one thing, the one “solution” we have literally at our fingertips to end our destructive ways and openly “love” one-another. Speaking of “magic gifts” that is our one all-powerful magic gift, if we just dare use it. It has one significant drawback as it concerns Earthians: it only works individual by individual. It will never work through (from) a collective approach. That’s why it has never worked here: the man species is a gregarious species and instantly collects into groups wherever it happens to be. Rare are those who remain non-attached individuals. Most Earthians simply believe they cannot survive as individuals, not understanding the concept. It’s like meat eaters encountering people like myself. How can you live without meat or fish or derivatives? Yet for the most part we are healthier than meat eaters. Detached, non-groupies have more meaningful relationships with others because none of those relationships are exclusive: we are empathetically inclusive in our relationships, including (for those who need them) sexual relationships. Polyamory would be the natural way with compassionate people because we reject control over another, or others. We do not “demand” loyalty or trust or faithfulness – these things are redundant to us. Put us “here” and we are here. Mankind has to discover this all-encompassing freedom. No control, no ownership, no private property, just normal, accepting interaction. Always in a state of “giving” and never in one of “taking” differentiates the compassionate from the survivor mentality.

  3. Phil Huston

    I see the whole “my empathy and enlightenment is better than your empathy and enlightenment” starting all over because when “someone” is allowed to judge over another we’re right back to “Soylent Green” or “Logan’s Run.” Who decides what is tolerable? Some third party Deity? The person flipping the enlightenment switch? It’s not just the Wild West, people. Anarchy, patriarchy, capitalism, nepotism, monarchy, feudalism my god, your god are global issues. Capitalism isn’t the root of all evil, Finding a way to screw over the person next to is. Whether it’s the oppression of women, or the poor, or the disenfranchised or just a bunch of people who disagree that need to be killed or turned into refugees because, oops, they were the wrong kind of empathetic.
    Yes, civilization will collapse under its own weight. From archeological findings it has happened before and will happen again. The sun will burn out and we’ll be ice crystals, or it will explode and bits of it will come through the thatched roofs of whoever is here in a billion years. But right now, right here, is a gift, no matter how messed up the ruling class anywhere on the planet is. I’m not going to go buy a gun to stop a mythical insurrection, or buy sunglasses and sit under my kitchen table waiting for the sun to come through the roof or sit through another two seconds of speculating talking heads on CNN or the internet. I’m going to go breathe the polluted air, scratch a dog’s ears, listen to the miracle of birds I don’t like and not blow off another photo worthy Texas sunset because, well, damn, a bunch of junk I have no control over is taking up so much of my time that I missed it.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Great rant Phil, not sure I follow to the end, but what the hell, we’re having ourselves a discussion here on how “we” can make ourselves and our world a better place to live in; how we can also (as you say) enjoy what we have at the moment. Live/love in two worlds, on two planes simultaneously. I’m a controversial person, always have been. I look for things that work and I instantly denigrate the things that do not. I don’t mind anyone else having a different outlook, in fact that’s what healthy discussion is all about and until we decide to say, act together to actually do something, agreement is quite unnecessary, in fact it is not wanted. If we all agreed, we’d be garden statues to be shat on by birds. I automatically disagree with everything, it’s the safest place to start a discussion, allowing everybody else to also disagree. Then we defend our disagreements and when we lose the argument then it’s time to say, damned who’d a thunked it? And accept. Then we have something. Do you want to talk about compassion?

      1. Phil Huston

        No, I want to stop talking about how fucked up everything is and all of the peripheral new agey hypothetical masturbatory bullshit that encompasses and go out and enjoy life in all of its fucked uppedness. I get it, I understand it, there is a huge market for new world order speculation and fiction. I just have a low wanker threshold. Like debating if em7-9 is really gmaj7 with a 6th in the bass. It doesn’t matter, regardless of how it’s voiced. My point is the planet as a whole is a cluster f. Duh. Don’t oranges taste wonderful?

  4. Sha'Tara Post author

    I was going to add, Phil, that sometimes you may have to avoid stepping into the discussions/conversations, stand back, let it flow by. I like tough talk; I like controversy; I like telling it the way I see it. What I can’t stand is people who have things to say afraid of coming out; afraid of saying what’s really on their minds, hiding behind political correctness or afraid that their version of the truth is not quite the truth or worse, BEING DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK. I have had that done to me in political meetings when my ideas did not fit the program or pre-ordained agenda. I’ve been at meetings where the controllers had the gall, the nerve, to hand out pre-written and only allowable questions and been “tsk, tsk’d” or loudly booed when standing up and asking the non-allowed questions. Sounds familiar, anyone? My turn: fuck that. There is no such thing as “the truth.” Self empowerment means exactly what it implies, the power to express one’s truth – it is a human right. I know that some heated discussions can turn to mud slinging, I’ve seen it on other blogs, but it would be “monitored” here without, hopefully, anyone being banned. Banning isn’t the way to go. Some people feel cornered when they are “losing” an argument. They were never taught how to debate, how to express logical reasoning. As an “inventor” of the American constitution is supposed to have said, “I may completely disagree with what you believe sir, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” I try to look at motives behind the words. I know that my motives for commenting on blogs concerned about issues is to share my desire to fix this world, to educate myself, then others, to expose evil and replace it with something good and that for me means “plugging” the concept of compassionate living in as inclusive a way as I know how, explaining how such a way can change us, then save us from those who destroy and kill for their profit and amusement. Nobody might get it, a couple of people might get it, but it got out there, it was looked at, it was discussed; a tiny bit of it was exposed to thought, if for a moment. You can’t put a price in terms of time or energy and degree of uncomfortableness it may cause on that. I’m a fighter. I think I’m a descendant of Don Quixote. “Give me liberty or give me death!”

  5. Phil Huston

    Compassionate, and empathetic living is the concept of note. Selling it is a noble effort. At the expense of the “all” and “everyone” involved argument where deconstruction and reformulation is the only answer is elitist in the extreme. I disagree, burn it down, start over, it’s all lies? Please. It’s not a comfort zone issue, it’s an anger issue. Compassion and anarchy don’t belong on the same page. Question everything, believe nothing, reinvent the wheel if you want. Know this. Systems are not inherently evil. Conceptually flawed? A circular debate. The people running them? Change minds and hearts, the big things will fix themselves.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      This may not come across as very well connected to your comment, Phil, but here goes: Systems are machines, yes but when “evil” minds run those machines, a bulldozer crushes a young woman to death because she stands in the way of conquest by terror. There are stages to change, and the change agent can only set the first stage by lighting the fire. Then it must be allowed to run its course. Inevitably, as Gandhi learned, anarchy and bloody violence do meet on the same page as compassion – there must be a transfer of power and with compassion one tries to make it go in the proper direction: from pointless violence to eventual life-affirming cooperation.

      Like Jesus before him, Gandhi failed. Both of them “kept” parts of the old system when putting themselves as front men, as leaders, and in the case of Jesus, even worse, as a saviour. That is how you open the floodgates to false teachers, Christs and leaders. The people continue to look up rather than in.

      Quote: Change minds and hearts, the big things will fix themselves.
      If I may make a serious correction: they will not fix themselves, they will be replaced by non-systems; by self empowered individual minds without leaders. That is why compassion can only work with self empowerment and detachment. The always missed key concept here is detachment.

      Let all the old ways die, as they must, even the most sacred traditions, like marriage, the nuclear family, children. These are of necessity possessions. We cannot own. We cannot control. We cannot hope. We cannot trust. We cannot love. We cannot know. These are simple facts. Destroy in your mind the codependency concepts of faith, hope and love. Accept the resultant emptiness and everything collapses because the entire System, or series of inter-connected systems, is based on possessive, codependent relationships which are based on age-old chimeras.

      Those of us who spent much time studying the “terrible” teachings of the Christian synoptic gospels came out of that either changed forever or hardened beyond any hope of change. Literal or figurative? Or some of both, and how to choose? I think the intent was to make people realize how all of their old ways of reasoning and interaction had to “die” and a whole new way of relating to one-another invented. Nothing could be “fixed” or “re-invented” or kept. Implied in the many images of fire, and burning. Cleanse it with fire and what’s left is what has value. If an unquenchable fire of justice and true morality was set at the base of man’s greatest idol called civilization, how much of it would survive the burning?

      There is no point fixing anything, or hoping that somehow we could cheat and tweak parts of the existing Matrix controlling apparatus into giving us a beautiful planet filled with kind people. We don’t control the Matrix, it controls us, unless we reject it; de-program ourselves and live in detachment and self empowerment… by compassion, the three-legged stool of the future species of humankind, as opposed to his current three-legged Matrix controlled trinity of Religion, Politics and Money.

      1. Phil Huston

        The unfortunate truth is that we are connected to each other and the planet and what we can know of the cosmic debris field as humans, not blobs of senseless (read that as without tactile senses) ectoplasm floating around the universe, or even other dimensions, cognizant of all without positive or negative, future or past, perfect in being no more or less than sentient, compassionate static electricity. In that concept then we should make the most of what we have at our disposal in this limited time exposure we have to the beauty that is the planet and all of us, in all of our differences and similarities. If we were meant to be feelingless ectoplasm by the great is or by selfish personal design, we would be. We could go on for hours about reality by consent. But here we are. Hearts beat, dreams are dreamed, belief systems hold some people in place and entitle others to misbehave. That’s the game. So we make the best of it with what we have at hand. There are types of music some people don’t like, art they don’t understand and gods of all kinds they kill for. Me? I’ll watch the sun rise and set, “hope” there’s a better way and a pot of enlightenment gold at the end of the rainbow. Cause the all knowing ectoplasm nothingness sounds like a serious bummer until it’s time and full meaning has come to pass. It sounds like a pretty judgemental bit of nothingness to me. Just sayin’.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        We’ve got a few scenes missing from the middle of this movie I think. I’d be the very last person to endorse life as quasi-sentient ectoplasm. I think that fits more with the lotus people in their eternal nowness thinking of nothing, knowing nothing. Screw that.
        The way I see it, life is infinite. It is the past and the future. It is made up of individuals, it’s how it expresses itself in infinite variety. Death, as we were brainwashed to believe, does not exist. A body dies, but we are mind beings – not ectoplasm – but thinking beings. Our bodies are sense organs and not much more. When we need one, we get one but we have to then accept the consequences of being in a very constraining and difficult reality. That is earth, an unevolved melting pot of embodied entities from all over hell’s half acre yet to realize they are here on a temp basis to learn to get along as physical beings and not slaughter each other. It’s screwed up, OK? The whole playground is controlled and monitored by crazies in higher realms we’ve forgotten exist and we go on as if they didn’t matter. Just because the playground monitor is out of sight doesn’t mean she isn’t aware of what goes on. She’s got a monitor, she’s watching. Here’s the good and bad news: as below, so above. Earth isn’t special, it’s part of a bigger place called the universe, and what goes on here goes on everywhere else in greater of lesser intensities. There’s better and there’s worse, and we’ve seen a lot of it already, but we are programmed (soul implant) not to remember and given enough shit to handle that we don’t have time, or want, to remember.
        In short, we are eternal, infinite mind beings who are “here” to learn stuff and do stuff, or get stuffed: our choice. That’s what I know. Past lives, future lives, yes, binder dundat. You want proof? said the Teachers, then let us show you where you’ve been, and where you may be going if you keep to this path. By definition, life is freedom and it allows all expressions from its individuated parts, wherever they happen to be on the evolutionary levels. All is permissible but not all is advantageous. We need to choose our path through our thought patterns. We are what we think because how we think is how we act and that is who we are “here” in our sensual organs called bodies. Once we engage the greater flow, this can get quite exciting. Death, not an end but a door to another dimension, another set of unexpected experiences. Can’t wait to meet him. Are we talking at cross purposes here? Sometimes my “ESL” skills put me at a disadvantage trying to understand what someone is really saying.

  6. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Hi Sha’ Tara.
    Powerfully put.
    My own view from a socialist perspective(there’s that political divide again) and from my reading of history I prefer a slow release of social tensions, as all the other alternatives seem to lead to massive loss of life (and I am done with accepting the tears of a child as a regrettable but necessary cost).
    I would like to think if we directed out energies into space exploration and colonisation there would be a lot more room to expand and experiment. Having said that I guess there is the risk of aberrations and horrid versions of society out there. However our principal danger here is that we are running out of physical room to make more errors.
    There again we may be coming to the end of our time and our chances…

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Certainly a “slow release” would be ideal. It’s like those drip bags used around trees now that trickle feed water and liquid fertilizer to the plants, feeding, preventing dehydration and drowning. Unfortunately I have been made painfully aware that we are not a free species but controlled at very high levels which the vast majority is completely unaware of. Some religions have made a stab at it but since they’re “in” the thing itself, they can’t know, or tell, the truth of the matter without destroying themselves. All of man’s collectives, bar none, are controlled by essentially unseen forces so no positive change can ever come from those sources.

      That leaves individuals as the only “power” that can force change upon this world. That’s an onerous choice, fraught with many personal dangers. The self-empowered, detached and compassionate individual becomes the most dangerous enemy of the Matrix, the Status Quo, the System, and to those visible forces that manage it: the elitist Establishment. Until today, most of those change agents have entered our history as martyrs. Not one ever held power within any institution, or if they did, not for long, and they were deposed and martyred.

      Now there is a new incentive for wo/mankind to look at self empowerment in a personal way. There is the obvious, exponentially growing planetary troubles, and as you touch upon, the possibility (however still remote) of expansion into space. As an avid reader of modern “hard” sci-fi I don’t like the idea that Earthians, such as they are, unchanged in modus operandi, should manage the capability to establish viable colonies on other planets in this system, never mind farther out. They will only be taking their moral bankruptcy with them. What happened in the American West, the conquest that slaughtered millions of legitimate inhabitants to allow a race of nature-rapers and gangsters to take over, would happen in space: that’s a foregone conclusion, unless somewhere out there, there are other races who are well aware of man’s untrustworthy nature and prepared to systematically wipe out any Earthian vessel coming their way. {They are well aware, and are so prepared to act, but that’s another story.}

      Now starting the skipping record so the needle plays the same groove over and over: [skip]…we can save ourselves. We have the means within each and everyone of us, the three gifts given to all ISSA’s we have never used properly: self empowerment, detachment and compassion…[skip] …we can save ourselves. We have the means within each and everyone of…

      1. Woebegone but Hopeful

        We might differ on the details but I think we’ll probably meet around the back of the Universe having travelled a few billions light years in opposite directions towards the same target.
        Watcha reckon?

  7. polymath0

    I know this is only a surface-thought to your deeper conclusion, but I think that our extreme comfort disables us. Talking from a purely American perspective, I believe we are so comfortable that it pains us to think about things that make us less comfortable. How many times have I heard people say, “Oh, I don’t talk politics.”? Another thing that I’ve noticed is that I’ve had several people say, “Facebook isn’t the place to discuss…politics/religion/anything that requires thought and possible disagreement.” Recently, I’ve replied by asking where that place is. It isn’t at work or on dates or at family functions, apparently. This avoidance of real issues solidifies our robot personalities to which we’ve been raised. Perhaps a real democracy could work if we weren’t programmed to be mindless nitwits.

    On the other hand, I don’t wish to be some of the non-western civilizations that have equal, if not worse, problems. The Strong Man, the Big Man, jockeying for the power hold. I’m currently reading, “Black Flags: The Rise of Isis,” and I’m always amazed at this grab people have for power and the dumb followers looking for honor.

    No, I think there are some civilizations that have it figured out better. Perhaps the San people of Namibia, though their way of living is becoming extinct. As hunter-gatherers, their entire way of life depends on sharing, and their lives aren’t so bad. People think that hunter-gatherers are slaves to their surroundings, but the San work about a 34 hour work week, if you count all the hunting and gathering they do. Anyway, I digress. Interesting thoughts.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      If you want a rib-tickling look at what you are talking about, watch the old movie, “The Gods must be Crazy” – it you haven’t seen it, or even if you have.

      1. polymath0

        You know, I thought I had seen it, but when I just checked out the trailer I realized I hadn’t. It looks fantastic.

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