"It's not about liberal or conservative. It's about progressive, or regressive and corrupt." - World 5.0 Transmission 1.
We've been witnessing the transformation of our democracy into a plutocracy for the past twenty-five or thirty years after witnessing the social transformation that occurred in the sixties and seventies (Voting Rights Act, EPA, Roe v. Wade, etc.).
Many of us are intent and hopeful that a transformation of our democracy will begin next Tuesday. In spite of the leanings and failures of mainstream corporate media, it's clear this is a watershed year where the 'conservative movement' is threatened. Just how threatened, whether a bump in the road for the Neocon agenda or its demise, we don't yet know. But I suspect the days when elitists can seriously consider the dynamics and methods for absolute control of the citizenry are over.
In the larger landscape of our lives and times, transformation can overtake anything. We lose our job, we're transformed if not positively. More to the point, we make a million little decisions daily, any of which can be transformative. Walk or ride. Buy or don't buy. Smile or frown. Transformative decisions indeed.
As enough mini-transformative decisions are made, we transform. It may be akin to my situation, where I noticed the process, the little decisions, but it took some time to learn that I don't see the world the way I used to. Or it may be like my son, who just recently turned on a dime from rejecting a child in an unwanted pregnancy to embracing this nearly born child and her mother, his former girlfriend.
Regardless of the means or speed of change, we all have within ourselves this capacity to transform, this ability to make different decisions from those we made previously. This ability to react differently to circumstance than we used to. This ability to feel differently. A most marvelous human function.
These times force transformation as well. A few hundred years ago, you would grow up with fair confidence that your lifestyle would reflect your family's of the past several generations. Farmers, merchants, serfs or nobility, your life was somewhat pre-ordained.
Now such a mentality, at least in most cultures, would be highly naïve. The exponential curve of change in these times is like nothing humans have experienced before. Long-term impact of cell phones? The Internet? No way of knowing. And there will be new technologies, today unrecognized, dominating our attention well before we have these long-term impact studies. The times are essentially transformative.
We're seeing it manifest in this political season, where people are clearly reacting differently to the Neocon messaging during this election cycle. Enough of us have been transformed watching our 'representatives' over the last six years that the shock and awe, swift-boating attack methodology is less successful than before.
We're seeing it in the southern hemisphere, where U.S. doctrine has failed to upset the populist revolution of Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. The heavy-handed dominance of U.S. foreign policy in the South is failing, much to the chagrin of this administration. And yet those populist movements provide a beacon for billions of our brethren who suffer each day of their lives in poverty and under totalitarianism.
We're seeing it in climate change, where our quality of life is very much threatened by our industrial model of fossil fuel consumption. Something will give, the question is only how much pain or elegance will prevail in the transformation.
Yes, transformation is the word of our times. And for next week: we all know how crucial the election is next Tuesday. But let's also recognize that transformation is a process a rather constant one at that. And that regardless of the outcome of next Tuesday's election, we have some long way to go before we can call ourselves a healthy culture. Ah yes, but where's that study on the long-term effects of a healthy culture?