In a pivotal scene from the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, style powerhouse Miranda dresses Andy down for not caring that the fashion carefree blue sweater she wears is ultimately the result of decisions made by people in that room. Point taken, Andy changes both her perception of fashion and her behavior. The story then moves on in an entirely different direction.In the same manner, many of your immediate life/work choices are determined by decisions made in rooms mostly invisible to you. Decisions being made at higher levels of local and non-local government.
In the US we are seeing unbelievably huge problems in our cities, St Louis’ racial unrest, Detroit’s water wars, to name two. Cities, by their very nature, reap the concentrated effects of politics, economics, and social order from larger groups. Although felt only at immediate human levels by the people who live there, some of these problems are so big that the world is paying attention. The UN is denouncing Detroit’s social policies and Amnesty International is speaking out about policing in Ferguson.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the enormous scope of these events, yet it becomes easier to find solutions if you have a handle on their causes. Blogs, tweets, and social media sites are ways people are beginning to see connections between what goes on at the top and how that shakes out at the bottom. They have allowed us to see into the decision-making “rooms” of the powerful.
Instead of unfortunate apparel, the decisions made in these rooms design life and death experiences for the rest of us. Solutions can be swift though, once we perceive what is responsible for the problems. These perceptions can move us in entirely new directions as well, as we change things up for a much, much, better looking future.
People ask me why I think the hype around ebola is manipulative. “By who?” “For what?”
My answer is in this quote from Walter Russel:
“The world divided unto itself–half master–half slave–cannot stand. There has never been any other kind of world. Call it lord and serf–conqueror and conquered-rich and poor–exploiter and exploited–privileged and underprivileged–or employer and employee–it makes no difference. All are master and slave when the interchange between the two is unbalanced.” “…people are watching for the approach of an enemy from outside our borders. The enemy may not come that way, nor may he need come with guns. The enemy is already here–in every country of the free world–and his stronger than guns armament is fanatical hate–deep hatred in the heart of the slave who has arisen to slay his master.” Walter Russell
The economic masters of the modern world are afraid. Afraid of the slaves. That means you and me because the answer to oppression is always liberation from oppression. That see-saw dynamic is played out everywhere, from Ferguson to Syria, Wall Street to Walmart. It may take centuries, it may take days but history proves this is true, over and over and over.
Seen through this clear perspective, one looks out on governments desperate to spy on and then control their own populations and sees one reason only, to maintain the status-quo. Have you ever stopped to think who really benefits from the way things are right now?
Call it the fatherland, the motherland, the homeland, doesn’t matter-all names for the same thing. We got it. We want to keep it. From Them. The war on terror will never end as long as those who “have” are terrified of those they took it away from.
Look behind the ebola propaganda and scare tactics and you will see continual and speedy attempts at building more infrastructures of power and control. Ask yourself again, who will really benefit from all that centralized power?
Hard questions. Hard answers. The truth will set you free, but first it may make you mad as hell.
“We love America and we love each other,” Carol Bundy said. “Together, we’re standing up. This is not about cows; it’s about our federal government. They have unlimited power right now, and we’re tired of it.”
The current situation at the Bundy ranch is something that all Americans should pay close attention to. It is not just a story about whether the Bundy’s have dotted all their grazing right “i”s or crossed all their taxable “t”s. The event unfolding in Nevada is about how we, as the people of this country, desire our government to behave. Local, state, federal. All of it.
The Bundy ranch dispute will go down in history as an answer to that question, just as other decisional flashpoints have. The difference that I see between this and previous points is that more people are paying attention to the causal factors of this dispute.
We, the people of this country, are no longer being lulled back to indifference by a 20 second soundbite from national news outlets that seek to frame our vision. We are thinking. We are observing. We are awakening to the realization that things have gone on behind our collective awareness that, just maybe, we don’t agree with. And we may decide that these things should change.
What? When? Where? “We” will let you know.