Like the Lionman,
Alone in his cavern,
Just you to make him feel whole.
The freedom of our kiss,
The end of unfulfilled desire,
The end of loneliness,
The achievement of the whole,
The freedom of being
Technology changes the world. Increased productivity from new technology increases profits. Old world political economies distribute profits upward, leading to greater economic inequality and polarized politics. The working classes feel left behind, as society becomes 2 tiers instead of 3 tiers, eliminating the middle class. This causes a political reaction that is predictable. Those who long for the old world – the 50s as an example – reject science because it hasn’t benefitted them. Their wages are stagnant while greater wealth has accumulated in fewer hands, All technological progress has meant for them is greater disenfranchisement. Old world values including religion and politics – and isolationism and fear- have free rein. Technology benefits consumers but without concomitant distribution of wealth through wages for workers. A smaller cadre of engineers and scientists, and their banker and lawyer partners, make decisions that benefit them as corporate leaders, siloed by fiduciary responsibility into self and corporate benefit at the cost of society as a whole.
The future of this is more technology, greater economic and hence political inequality as the wealthy buy the political process, and ultimately two polar opposite outcomes become possible: 1- Vast quantities of unemployed and alienated poor on the dole, paid for by upper class charity; or 2 – an entirely different system of economic gain and financial distribution. In the first case, such a towering edifice of inequality cannot stand forever. The result would be revolution in some form or another. In the second case, a new form of wealth distribution would emerge based on the increased productivity and minimum wages for workers such that the lower class becomes more uniform and homogenously financially secure. The latter case could happen without a revolution if the upper class and the intellectuals communicated these ideas. This does not require violence to repair, but rather an enlightened leadership class that has both a global view and moral integrity.
We see the contemporary effects of this in the Sanders and Trump campaigns. Sanders represents a vision of a more fair and equitable distribution of wealth and legal/political system. Trump represents the alternative – retrogressing violence of a fascist reaction based on fear and hatred. Both contain the seeds of change within the context of society as a whole. Both are indicators that the result of the disenfranchisement of the working classes through the financial control of the media and government by the wealthy have reached a breaking point. Both Sanders and Trump are leaders of movements that have been created by the history of technological progress in America, and that has spread to the entire world. We see the same economic inequality in Europe, China, Africa, in essence everywhere.
The “establishment” media and political parties first erroneously predicted the failure of these movements, proving that their understanding of these changes is limited at best. The Republicans may lose control over their own party, as a fissure opens in their ranks. The Democrats, just as divided though not so violently, again show the polarity between the Clinton establishment party regulars, and Sanders who does not represent “business as usual”.
This campaign season is showing the manifestation of these movements as the Tea Party has reached the power to take control through candidate Trump; and the democrats show the latent reach toward Socialism through Sanders, reversing a century old trend toward Socialism’s complete suppression and denial in America. The political landscape is evolving, regardless of the outcome.
The Misinterpretation of the Meaning of the Text
The Misinterpretation of the meaning of the text,
Jihadists wearing suicide belts or bombs strapped to their vests,
The word Islam means peace in Arabic. I wonder what comes next?
Christian Fundamentalists trying to micromanage sex,
Ultra-Orthodox rabbis kneeling, bobbing necks
While Israeli tanks kill the leaders of Palestinian protests.
Has religion just become a tool for political contests?
How does the search for deeper meaning lead to military conquests?
Do God and Jesus, Moses, and Mohammed require such duress
In an endless retaliatory match, putting survival to the test?
The original purpose of religion was to reach a higher state
Of Consciousness, of morality where soul and genius mate.
The endless creation of systems of rules by priests with balding pates
Has no relation to religion, but more with a zealous State –
A political imposition of laws, a prison made of hate,
An inferior mentality, a small mind, not a great.
The original lives of the prophets was a model to imitate,
To follow their path as they followed God, a better world to create.
The text was meant to guide the way, to help initiate
The elevation of the soul to reach the higher state.
Beware the self-appointed leader whose ambition is to emulate
Those with political power, the leaders of the empire state.
When holy texts are twisted into a rule-making template
And movements are spawned to achieve goals that are manifestly reprobate,
Then false belief and cynicism have come to rule the date.
We must turn back this craven crowd before it is too late.
I just finished watching Ken Burns The Civil War on PBS.org. My Chinese wife commented on the Civil War as a revolution. I told her that I didn’t think so.
The Chinese symbol for Revolution, from the ancient I Ching or Book of Changes, is of a fire in a lake. Fire and Lake are two sisters who cannot live together. The middle sister, fire, rises up through the lake, as fire burns up and water flows down, the symbol of an uprising. The two make war with each other.
This image is symbolic of a class struggle wherein the lower classes burn their way up through the upper class, displacing it. This depiction of revolution can be seen as the classic Marxist revolutions of China and Russia. It can also be seen in the French Revolution because the monarchy, the upper class, was disposed of and a republic put in its place. The same happened in the American colonies, “To hell with kings”, we said.
The flow of English history starting from the Magna Carta established the limited powers of the King. The American Revolution dispensed with royalty altogether. It is said that George Washington was offered by some to be the first King of America, but as a good free-mason, Washington declined. The free-masons had eschewed dictatorial power for centuries. Washington voluntarily retired from the Presidency, setting an example of a two-term President that lasted until 1940 when, in the midst of WW2, Roosevelt served a third term.
But from the beginning of the American Revolution, slavery was in its midst. The southern states refused to give up slavery at the revolution and a compromise had to be struck so that the southern states would join the Revolution, or else it would fail. It is of note that Washington and Jefferson freed their slaves upon their death. Benjamin Franklin wrote that slavery was one of the greatest evils ever invented by a human mind. But the southern states insisted and so slavery was included in the US Constitution.
Slavery is contrary to the idea of revolution because it implies a structured inferior class. Thus it may be said that while the Northern states and some in the southern states embraced the ideals of the revolution, others in the south merely saw the opportunity of independence from Britain that did not include the idea of a class uprising. As a result, prior to the Civil War the southern aristocracy became one of the wealthiest groups on earth .
Looked at in this light, the Civil War seems to have been inevitable. Its seeds were in the Revolution itself, like a disease that must be cured or the patient dies. By the time of the Civil War, Britain and many countries had already made slavery illegal. But the wealth in the cotton growing south had exceeded all expectations. It must be said that such enormous wealth produced moral myopia, like a Faustian bargain, all the gold in the world in exchange for one’s soul.
All attempts on Lincoln’s part to stave off secession and war failed. He finally concluded that violence was the only cure for slavery. In the aftermath of the war, violence continued in the Jim Crow laws of the South. Racism seemed initially just a rationalization of slavery in order to try to justify the huge wealth it created, and the greed it fed. The violence let upon the south, Sherman’s march through Georgia and South Carolina, would not be forgotten. The KKK formed and became too violent even for the Southern general who founded it. It seemed that the south had said to the north, “Whatever you want, we will deprive you of that. You want freedom for the slaves? We will terrorize them, and turn our hatred that we feel for you toward them.”
This stream of anti-northern hatred and irrational bigotry continues to this day is some places. Instead of the freed slaves given the opportunity to rise up with education and opportunity, they were oppressed with systematic segregation and unequal opportunity. The results of this atrocious sociology continue with multi-generational poverty, failed schools, high rates of drug use and incarceration.
No, the Civil War was not Revolution, not number 49 in the I Ching, not class struggle. It was 23, Splitting Apart, a time of collapse of the government and evil influence. In Splitting Apart, the Mountain is on the Earth. Erosion processes cause the mountain to split apart, as mountains do. Thus the nation split apart, and this drove Lincoln to war, as he said many times. While slavery was the underlying cause of the Civil War, the reason used by Lincoln was secession, the splitting apart of the country.
Splitting Apart, 23, was followed by number 7, the Army, and finally number 8, Union. Each stage of the war, and of all history for that matter, could be pulled out of the I Ching in its 64-fold cycle, but that is beyond the scope of this short essay. Suffice it to say that the causes of the Civil War were with us from before the Revolution, and its effects are still with us today. Looked at in this light, the Civil War was but a watershed event in a long battle to change the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans to one that truly does enshrine the words of the Declaration of Independence that “All men (and women) are created equal.”