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For those of us who have been longsuffering in the contest for sustainability and healthy culture, it's finally palpable. We lift our nose, and smell it on the wind. We listen, and hear its murmur. We look, and we see. It's far from the field of victory, but change is in the air.

Many of us were somehow stirred in the 60s, when the state of our democracy was being trampled by corporate interests and the war in Vietnam. Many have just awakened recently to the horrific tactics and goals of our supposed leaders. Many of us wait still to be stirred.

But now we're going somewhere. Somewhere fast. Funny about that. If we consider the slow evolution of our ancestors, and the daily lives of average people throughout human history, what is taking place today is breathtaking. (So we better breathe.)

Which direction we are going, as a culture and civil society, is a great question for our times. Will we continue on the current path of corporatism, war and human rights abuses that have marked the last century? Or will we repair and restore our governments and institutions.

In every sphere of our lives, we see this contest play out. Who wants a new Wal-Mart in their neighborhood? Oh, but wait. Now they have organic products. The economy is supposed to healthy, but jobs, healthcare and retirement issues stare at millions of us. We see the success of hybrids, but American auto makers still refuse to offer electric vehicles.

Cracks In The Old World

What we're seeing is a sharp conflict between the old industrial model and the emerging new world order. (Not the New World Order of Empire, but a new synthesis of ideas and actions based on ecology instead of economics.) The attempts at continued domination are clearly still being conducted by governments and elitists, as they have been for hundreds of years. But the cracks are apparent.

One huge crack is the pathetic state of our congress, and no less than the president of these United States. The leaders of the last 50 years have pursued the agenda of corporate domination, and our capitol seethes with the corruption.

Another is the violence endemic to so many parts of the world. We have longstanding conflicts like the Palistinian Isreali crisis, and more recent debacles like Iraq and Darfur. Let's not forget that Empire has a vested interest in keeping turmoil and violence as part of our daily lives - terrified people don't worry about democracy, they worry about staying alive. There's some substantial money in arms as well.

A third is global warming. This is a crack the size of the Grand Canyon. It's no longer a threat, it's a devastating reality, likely to get far worse. The only ones who deny it are being paid, or are particularly inclined to believe bullshit. Big cracks. Big repairs needed. Must have new context.

Integrity - The New Cultural Glue

A new context would start with integrity, since without integrity nothing can be trusted. Integrity means honesty and transparency, not the "you shouldn't worry" kind of crap we got from General Michael Hayden in defending wiretapping and data mining earlier this year. Personal and structural integrity create the foundation for a healthy society.

The new paradigm will also include information and integration, two processes which, in spite of intense efforts to limit them both, are exploding due to the Internet and citizen activism.

Unfortunately a just, balanced, community-oriented paradigm is not inevitable. The power-mongers and elitists have controlled the playing field for the last two millennium, ever since we migrated from a farmer-based culture. From Alexander "The Great" to our current administration, it's been a consistent (and hugely successful) effort to "keep a brother down."

This current crop of crooks has no interest in benevolence. What we see in the U.S. and around the world is the continued abasement of human needs and rights for corporate profits and political control. It bears remembering that these folks will only relinquish control kicking and screaming.

Blows Against The Empire

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Jim Prues is the Founder of World 5.0 and President of Panoptic Media. He understands that 'democracy is not a spectator sport.'

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