“Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.” ~Chris Hedges
“The words consent of the governed have become an empty phrase. Our textbooks on political science and economics are obsolete. Our nation has been hijacked by oligarchs, corporations, and a narrow, selfish, political, and economic elite, a small and privileged group that governs, and often steals, on behalf of moneyed interests.
This elite, in the name of patriotism and democracy, in the name of all the values that were once part of the American system and defined the Protestant work ethic, has systematically destroyed our manufacturing sector, looted the treasury, corrupted our democracy, and trashed the financial system.
During this plundering we remained passive, mesmerized by the enticing shadows on the wall, assured our tickets to success, prosperity, and happiness were waiting around the corner.
Sadism dominates the culture. It runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, is at the core of pornography, and fuels the compliant, corporate collective. Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice and diminishing the individual to force him or her into an ostensibly harmonious collective.
This hypermasculinity has its logical fruition in Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our lack of compassion for our homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and the sick… We accept the system handed to us and seek to find a comfortable place within it. We retreat into the narrow, confined ghettos created for us and shut our eyes..
Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers.
We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.
Fear stops us from objecting to government spending on a bloated military. The corporations that profit from permanent war need us to be afraid. Fear means we will not ask unpleasant questions of those in power. Fear permits the government to operate in secret.
Fear means we are willing to give up our rights and liberties for promises of security. The imposition of fear ensures that the corporations that wrecked the country cannot be challenged. Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.
Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the Corporate State. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, and the Constitution while manipulating internal levers.
A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.
We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money.
They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.”
~by Chris Hedges~
“Unfettered, or unregulated capitalism, is about societies that cannibalize themselves. When capitalism is the dominant ideology… it turns everything into a commodity, including human beings…” ~Chris Hedges
“As a species, we are on the cusp of an evolutionary choice. Standing at the dawn of this perfect storm, we find ourselves at the beginning of a process of civilizational transition. As the old paradigm dies, a new paradigm is born. And many people around the world are already making the evolutionary choice to step away from the old, and embrace the new.” ~Nafeez Ahmed
We’ve built walls of separation in our hearts and minds, a sense of sin and abandonment, believing that our entire species was “thrown out of Eden” by a sky God that lives far far away.
“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.” ~Eckhart Tolle
We are a natural part of the creation, we were put here on the sacred mother Earth to serve a purpose. And somewhere in the history of people we’re forgetting what the purpose is. The purpose is to honor the earth, to protect the earth, to live in balance with the Earth. And we will never free ourselves until we address the issue of how we live in balance with the Earth. Because I don’t care who it is, any child who turns on their mother is living in a terrible, terrible confusion. The Earth is our mother, we must take care of the Earth.“ ~John Trudell, 1980
They enjoy experimenting with new things and investigating whatever interests them. They learn languages and gain new skills easily, as long as they are respected, assisted (when needed) and encouraged to enjoy the learning process.
Maria Montessori understood this, and taught that the role of educators is to organize learning environments so that they facilitate self-discovery, creativity, concentration and collaborative exploration.
Put another way, children learn best when learning is playful, social, interesting and self-directed. There is no need for constant control, monitoring, external rewards and punishments. In fact, such authoritarian efforts tend to deter children’s learning, deaden their natural motivation and curiosity.
Young people enjoy learning when it is meaningful and collaborative. They will put time and effort into mastering skills and helping one another. They have a natural desire to communicate, to be creative, competent, sociable and successful.
Adults have an important role to play with this, but attempts to over-control the natural learning process will immediately begin to snuff it out. Rigid expectations, testing and comparisons are also harmful, as no two children will learn in the exact same way or at the same rate.
Adults need to be good role models and provide extra help for those who are struggling, but this should be done with love, respect and good intentions. Bottom line, children lose interest when adults are too rigid, demanding and controlling. Such learning experiences become miseducative, as John Dewey put it.
The bottom line, children need to be free to learn.
* How Wisdom Grows – Educating Hearts & Minds * Understanding How Our Brains Learn * Toward a More Creative & Holistic Model of Education * Video on Montessori Schools * Every Child is an Artist by Nature * Flow- the Psychology of Optimal Experience * The Mastery Process: How Our Skills Grow * Self-direction is the Key to Mastery * Invest in Children, Not Testing. It’s That Simple. * Symphonic Intelligence: The Next Revolution in Learning? * How We Participate in the Creative Life of the Universe * Real Learning is a Creative Process * Educational Malpractice – The Child Manufacturing Process *
“Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers… We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.” ~Chris Hedges, Manufacturing the Illusion of Democracy
Is Feudalism (marketing itself as Democracy) the underlying operating system (OS) for modern civilization’s social, economic and political systems? This is the hypothesis of those who describe current systems of governance, militarism and global economics as a mutated form of neo-feudalism.
The guiding “parameters” (social systems and cultural programing) of modern civilizations appear to be rooted in feudalism- focused on the centralized concentration of power and wealth- and have not changed significantly, over time.
In school, most of us learned that feudalism was abandoned long ago, that our world is now more democratically organized. While that is true (to some extent), those who study neo-feudalism suggest that instead of being discarded, the centralized power dynamics and social patterns of early empires are still very much with us.
These systems have been continuously repackaged and “updated” over time (like new versions of Windows software) morphing into imperialism, colonialism, industrialism and (most recently) corporate capitalism and globalization. (See: Mutation of Medieval Feudalism Into Modern Corporate Capitalism)
This would explain the “disconnect” many of us feel between the ideals of democracy (that we had been taught in school) and the reality of the world we see and experience all around us. And also the attraction millions of people feel to the ideas of politicians like Bernie Sanders in the United States, who has highlighted these problems, demanding radical, evolutionary and compassionate change.
Crime, war, racism, slavery, addiction, human trafficking, environmental destruction and extreme poverty are all symptoms of an underlying systemic imbalance, of a world where predatory and selfish feudalistic thinking (and systems of social organization) still dominate our lives.
As we moved into the modern industrial age large peaceful social movements have risen up to “challenge the system” – from the abolitionists and women suffragettes to the civil rights movement, anti-war protests, ecology movement and Occupy Wall Street.
Recently, Bernie Sanders has been speaking out, asking millions to join him. It’s way past time to shift paradigms, to evolve and update civilization’s materialistic values, antiquated systems and predatory methods.
The old feudal ways of doing things has created endless misery, destroying Nature’s fragile ecoystems and leading the human race to ruin. The time has come for our species to grow wiser, evolve our thinking and change the way we live upon this planet.
Creative Systems Thinking
“Those who study the nature of colonial rule offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized… It is an old, old game.” ~Chris Hedges, Colonized by Corporations
* Mutation of Medieval Feudalism Into Modern Corporate Capitalism * Paradigms are Made for Shifting * The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up * How Einstein Saw the World * Love vs. Power: A Tale of Two Mindsets * Toward a More Creative & Holistic Model of Education * Perpetual Curse of the Warrior Mindset * Life in the Age of Shifting Paradigms * Zen & the Art of Living Deeply * The Universe is One Harmonious Whole * It’s a Pink Floyd World *
“With traditional arts in Asia much emphasis is put on long-term practice and effort, so as to reach continuously higher levels of skill development. There is a deeper character training happening as well, to reduce the ego’s voice, let go of fears, cultivate mindfulness, increase gratitude and live more fully in the present moment.” ~Christopher Chase
Cultivating a Beginner’s Mind
When we learn and grow in this way, over time we may discover what Japanese call ikegai (生き甲斐), a deeper sense of purpose and direction to our lives. Ikegai is about developing your many unique gifts so that you can share these with the world. Finding our life’s purpose brings joy to us and benefit to others.
The same stream of life that runs
through my veins night and day
runs through the world and
dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy
through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves
of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked
in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious
by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages
dancing in my blood this moment.
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~
* Moving in Synch with the Universe * Being a Buddha: Transcending the Idea of Self/Other * The Universe is One Harmonious Whole * Connecting & Letting Go * The Way of Zen * The Taoist View of the Universe – Alan Watts * Children of the Cosmic Dance * How We Participate in the Creative Life of the Universe * The Four Qualities of Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh * The Creative Matrix * Yūgen (幽玄) – Deep Awareness of the Universe *