"How many times must a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see."
-Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind"
Protests are occurring from Wall Street to Bangladesh. Are these protests the beginning of real change? Or, will they result in more of the same? Our task may ultimately be more than protesting while writing about and debating change. We must also ask ourselves ... "will we fall back into a sedentary lifestyle at the breast of corporations, banks, and government?" Indeed, I would take this further. If we became the bankers, corporations and governments, would we act any differently? My worry is "no," for to me, there is a threat of a "meet the new boss same as the old boss" scenario.
Our values, desires and conditioning are several thousand years old. Hence they are strong. It's hard enough to break a habit such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, or the development of an exercise program. In comparison, this task of reconditioning human culture is unspeakably huge and morphs our petty day-to-day addictions. For change to occur, we each need to question, debate and change our concepts of reality.
In our questioning we are doing nothing less than letting go of a belief system that has been in our psyche for thousands of years and replacing it with another, hopefully healthier conception. Think on the enormity of this. How we perceive and conceive the world needs to change. Only then will we change our behavior. If we don't make these fundamental changes, we may wind up staying stuck in political, social and spiritual patterns that are at least 6,000 years old. It's hard enough to change engrained habits such as diets, which are more immediate in understanding the patterns behind them, but to change a mindset in which our very sense of reality is challenged is going to be extremely difficult.
Yet, change we must...from the inside out and not the outside in. In other words, change starts with us as individuals. Hopefully, when we begin to change, others will change along with us.
Many of us who are old enough can remember protests during the Vietnam era. Vietnam was a war that sat on the edges of a long history of world conquest and domination by primarily European civilizations that began well before the Greco-Roman civilizations. Those who engaged in the Vietnam protests were labeled hippies. And, because of those hippies, there appeared to be a new dawn sparkling in the eyes of humanity. Everything was questioned in those old hippy days...everything from the old puritan attitudes towards sexuality to the equal rights of women, blacks and other so called minorities.
Everything appeared to settle down after the Vietnam War as the conditioning from our pre-Roman days remained inherent in our psyches. In our comfort of no more military draft alongside decent wages and benefits fought for by unions, we ultimately voted in the likes of Ronald Reagan, the two Bushes, and perhaps the best Republicans under the banner of Democrats going, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In the meantime, the Right-Wing Evangelical Christians took hold of those who yearned for the good old days -- the days of a fabled life where blacks, women, and foreigners were held in check and the love-stricken hippies wanting equal rights, the opportunity to smoke pot and the acceptance of our sexual nature would have been shot for being anti-American. So, under the protective arms and finances of large corporations and banks, the values of the Right Wing were fostered into the development of the likes of the Tea Party. To those with open eyes, these movements appeared to be more like the beginnings of Nazism than a group of disenfranchised people complaining about what they saw as fringe populations gaining the Constitutional rights originally set up for white men.
In the meantime, we had wars and rumors of wars throughout the 80's and 90's. Then, in the wee days of the new millennium, we were met with full-blown warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan waged under the umbrella of retaliation for the murderous destruction of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City in 2001. Thus, 9/11 became our war cry as a mnemonic linking America's infamous emergency number to the date of the bombing.
As a result, the United States and its allies were united in a common cause -- the destruction of terrorism. And how were we to fight terrorism? Our fight was to entail such tactics as the "shock and awe" campaign, which was nothing less than the terrorizing of a population into submission through the use of bombs and armed troops.
As it turns out, this destruction of the World Trade Center may have been a much more powerful metaphor than the taking down of any sacred religious or political site. After all, the World Trade Center was the capitalistic center for the takeover of the world by bankers and megalithic corporations. It was an attack on consumerism at best and corporate world domination at worse -- both central to the American mystique masquerading behind Wall Street domination of the world.
Indeed, America, consumerism and unlimited economic growth, coupled with resource depletion, became the norm for the world to follow. "Ain't that America, we're something to see," John Cougar sang in the 80's.
Behind the fabricated lie of political domination desired by Muslim terrorists and communists, world domination was secretly won by a single power operating as husband and wife -- Bankers with their seminal capitalistic ventures and Corporations tending directly to the labor classes producing the goods of the world. Hence, the World Trade Center falling was symbolically the destruction of a way of life that embraced blind consumerism, endless profits of an illusionary monetary system of "ons and offs" inherent in the electronic wiring of computer chips, and the dummying down of the world's population through the old Roman techniques of violence and sexual entertainment.