Bottom-Up Politics in World Crises – Establishment Elites Are no Longer in Control

Bottom-Up Politics in World Crises – Establishment Elites Are no Longer in Control.

By Immanuel Wallerstein

May 22 2014 “ICH” – “Toward Freedom ” – The list of countries with enduring and worsening civil strife is growing. A short while ago, the world media were highlighting Syria. Now they are highlighting Ukraine. Will it be Thailand tomorrow? Who knows? The variety of explanations of the strife and the passion with which they are promoted is very striking.

Our modern world-system is supposed to permit the Establishment elites who hold the reins of power to debate with each other and then come to a “compromise” that they can guarantee. Normally these elites situate themselves in two basic camps – center/right and center/left. There are indeed differences between them, but the result of the “compromises” has been that the amount of change over time is minimal.

This has operated as a top-down political structure, within each country and geopolitically between countries. The outcome has been an equilibrium slowly moving upward. Most analysts of the current strife tend to assume that the strings are still being pulled by Establishment elites. Each side asserts that the low-level actors of the other side are being manipulated by high-level elites. Everyone seems to assume that, if their side puts enough pressure on the elites of the other side, these other elites will agree to a “compromise” closer to what their side wants.

This seems to me a fantastic misreading of the realities of our current situation, which is one of extended chaos as a result of the structural crisis of our modern world-system. I do not think that the elites are any longer succeeding in manipulating their low-level followers. I think the low-level followers are defying the elites, doing their own thing, and trying to manipulate the elites. This is indeed something new. It is a bottom-up rather than a top-down politics.

Bottom-up politics is sometimes alluded to when the media speak of “extremists” becoming important actors, but the locution “extremists” misses the point too. When we are amidst bottom-up politics, there are versions of every complexion – from the far right to the far left, but including ones in the center. One can bemoan this, as did Yeats in one of his oft-quoted lines from The Second Coming:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

But note that Yeats is attributing the category of “best” to the old elites. Are they really the best? What is indeed true, to cite one of Yeats’s less quoted lines, is that “the falcon cannot hear the falconer.”

How then can we navigate politically in such an environment? It is very confusing analytically. I think however that step one is to cease attributing what is happening to the evil machinations of some Establishment elites. They are no longer in control. They can of course still do great physical harm by imprudent actions. They are by no means paragons of virtue. But those of us who wish to seek a better world to emerge from this chaotic situation have to depend on ourselves, on our own multiple ways of organizing the struggle. We need, in short, less denunciation and more constructive local action.

The wisest lines of Yeats are the last two in the poem:

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

As our existing historical system is in the process of dying, there is a fierce struggle over what kind of new historical system will succeed it. Soon, we may indeed no longer live in a capitalist system, but we could come to live in an even worse system – a “rough beast” seeking to be born? To be sure, this is only one possible collective choice. The alternative choice is a relatively democratic, relatively egalitarian system, also seeking to be born. Which one we shall see at the end of the struggle is up to us, bottom-up.

please link to ICH  for comments on their Blog.

I welcome comments on this Blog too!

 

John Perkins – The Consciousness Revolution

John Perkins – The Consciousness Revolution.

May 22 2014 “ICH” – Participating in the consciousness revolution can no longer be ignored as simply a nice, feel-good choice for those who might care enough or find it convenient. It is now imperative for all of us who share this tiny, fragile space station as our only home. Our present and our children’s futures depend on our ability to change the dream of our society. All of us will be impacted catastrophically if we continue in the current reality. But if we listen to the ancient prophesies of indigenous cultures all over the world and join together in the revolution, we can change that reality for the better.

Now we must pay attention to the clarion call that grows louder each day and is voiced by people all over the world: work together for peace and justice. We must transform the current “Death Economy” that is based on militarization and depleting the earth’s resources into a “Life Economy” based on alleviating hunger, reducing pollution, and developing new forms of energy, transportation, and responsible businesses.

We live in the most revolutionary time in human history. It is bigger than the Agricultural Revolution or the Industrial Revolution, the American Revolution or any other revolution. This is a revolution in consciousness, a time for us to wake up to our true potential as human beings. It’s a revolution that will free us from our unconscious stories of lack and limitation and release us from the false values, hopes and expectations that have kept us stuck in dysfunctional patterns – both as individuals and as global societies.

I’m happy to say that this uprising of passionate and committed people is a cross-cultural awakening that will impact all species. In the past year I’ve traveled to Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and around the United States. Everywhere I’ve felt the power of this historical global awakening. People are becoming conscious of the fact that the old traditions and the status quo of the corporatocracy are no longer serving their – our – interests or those of life upon our planet.

We the People are coming radically alive, and we are recognizing that the current world economy has failed terribly. The geopolitical structure created by big governments that are under the control of even bigger businesses has turned what seemed like a dream into a nightmare. Though for a time it appeared that this system was accelerating our civilized development, it has now become obvious that despite the amazing advancements in communications, medicine, the arts, and so many other areas, there is also an ominous dark side to the kind of progress we have been pursuing. The world is plagued by threats to peace and human survival; these stem to a large degree from the abuses of corporate monopolies. Not only have the monopolies destroyed huge swathes of the earth and polluted its air and water, they have also fostered the growth of devastatingly poor and starving communities.

This dark side has reached a critical mass. The implications for the future of our species ought to unite us across racial, cultural, social, and religious lines – all the ways in which we divide ourselves from others who, we have been told, are different from us. Unless we come together to challenge the very people who abuse their power and promote destructive systems, there will be no sustainable future for any of us. It is time for the less than 1%, the big businesses and the governments they control, to stop serving themselves and start serving the more than 99%.

Indigenous shamans from cultures around the world offer us a blue print for moving forward. They’ve seen this coming for millennia. Each culture has a storied history of prophecies of the death of one age and the birth of another.

Since 1968 I’ve lived, studied and worked with indigenous cultures on every continent (except Antarctica where there aren’t any.) All of them have a prophecy which says that we’ve entered a time with the potential for major transformation.

The Maya of Central America, Quechua of the Andes, Buddhists of the Himalayas, Bedouins of the deserts, and many others foretell a shifting of our world and our reality into a sustainable, just, spiritually fulfilling, and thriving future. These prophecies tell us that we’re moving out of the period of deprivation, of lack and limitation and dysfunctional patterns, into a time for understanding that there’s great abundance in the world if we will only pursue it together.

For example, we know that oil and fossil fuels are very limited and that burning these fuels is destroying the atmosphere. On the side of abundance, though, we’ve got plenty of sunshine and wind and other forms of pure, natural energy that we’re learning to use. These prophecies tell us that we can find more and more ways to tap into the abundance that is right in front of us instead of perpetuating the cycle of destruction. Modern science is catching up with this message.

In 1990, when I first started writing books and teaching workshops on shamanism, my work received attention from a very limited category of people. For lack of a better term, they were mostly what we might call former hippies and New Agers; there were few businessmen, doctors or lawyers interested in this message. But now that has changed. I meet people from all walks of life, all socio-economic groups, and all kinds of backgrounds who embrace these ideas and are passionate about changing their world.

Indigenous people from many cultures tell us that “the world is as we dream it” and that the dream is realized by the actions we take. The dream of our parents and those before them – along with the decisions they and we have made – has now brought us to the brink of self-destruction. However, across the planet we are shaking ourselves awake; now it is time to dream a new dream. And to act and change accordingly. The revolution is underway.

Let’s all join it.

Link above to go to article and comments

Ladies, You’re Not Fat or Ugly: One Mom’s Mission to Counteract Body Shaming | TakePart

Ladies, You’re Not Fat or Ugly: One Mom’s Mission to Counteract Body Shaming | TakePart.

“…If you could describe your body in one word, what would it be? Thanks to fat shaming and unrealistic media messages, if you’re a woman, the descriptor you’re likely to choose isn’t a positive one.”

….and Gentlemen as well…Madison Avenue has no bounds in perverting  our beauty. jdadam

Link above to the article to read more….

ALEC Policies Threaten Intended Goals of Brown v Board of Education » Resist the Privatization of America

ALEC Policies Threaten Intended Goals of Brown v Board of Education » Resist the Privatization of America.

Bruce Smith first began speaking out against inequity when he attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 and, since then, he hasn’t stopped.

With a 50-year record of advocating for civil rights, it’s no surprise that Smith found himself at a rally this week marking the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, which led to the desegregation of the nation’s public schools.

The retired educator, who spent years working as a reading specialist for middle and high school students in Virginia, joined other teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty, parents, and community leaders Tuesday in front of the high court.

“I hope it [the rally] will draw some attention to the unfinished agenda of Brown v. Board,” said Smith. “We need to open people up to the fact that there is more work to do to provide quality public schools for all kids in America.”

The rally was sponsored, in part, by the National Education Association (NEA), which represents more than 3 million educators nationwide.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, an Arizona math teacher, believes the future of public education stands at a critical juncture–one similar to the pre-Brown days. Nearly half of the nation’s students are low income; forty-four percent are either Black or Hispanic and both populations are concentrated in segregated schools.

Link to article to read more!