I’ve Had It Up To (Even Higher) Here

Ok, here it is. I have claimed before to have given you both barrels. But this comes from an even deeper place inside me. This is the gatling gun of my consciousness. I may not be able to say much for awhile, after these words. I may need to process things for a time.

As I most often do I have allowed recent events to simmer in my heart and mind before responding to them. They have commingled there with many events from over many years, yielding a stinging stew, too salty with tears, and too bitter with anger. I have reached that place where I must say exactly what is in my heart and mind. In America we are allowed the freedom to speak. What follows is my truth. I won’t allow my fear to let it embarrass me any more.

About recent terror, domestic and international, and the accompanying ignorant responses of all kinds. This is not meant as revealing the specifics of defeating al-Dawla, or racism in America, or transgender revulsion or any individual issue of justice. Those are conversations that must be held. But this is about the essential battle of our time, the battle that encompasses these things.

It is no longer enough to tweet that the friends and families of victims are in our prayers. It is no longer enough to put a translucent french flag over our Facebook profile pics. Or rainbow flag. Or post clever and inspirational quotes over idyllic scenes of beauty. Or admonish each other to think positive thoughts. It is no longer good enough to say that islamophobia and all other xenophobia is wrong. It is unacceptable to analyze, criticize, and then sign off, unaccompanied by any alternative.

However good those things may be, and most are good and worthwhile things, they are not enough. They let us off the hook by allowing us to feel good about ourselves. We talk a good game but those flimsy actions let us avoid the real work of destroying violence as the preferred way of resolving conflict between humans, and between groups of humans. That’s hard work. Sorry to offend but it’s much harder than posting a tweet. As good as many of those previous things are we need to stand, like at Tiannanmen Square, in front of the tank, instead of in the relative safety of the crowd.

We need to act. All the isms must die. All the boundaries between us must fall. If we must fight this war, this war against the ills fostered through ignorance, of all kinds, in all places, we must fight with the weapons of truth, knowledge, power, and love. Truth is knowledge, knowledge is light, light is power, power is existence, existence is life, life is love, love is wo/man, the mental being. Our culture of violence has a genetic component which makes its cycle of brutality powerful. It can only be fought by extra emotional and extra physical means, in other words, by us, with mental weapons of love. A weapon is simply a tool with a particular destructive purpose. But it remains a tool.

The tools of love work through our minds and bodies, operating together as coordinated by the heart. The battle plan begins mentally, in the mind, worked into a tool, truth into knowledge. It is transformed into a weapon and repurposed, in the heart, through power, as a weapon of creative destruction. The weapon answers only to love, destroying ignorance, creating a vacuum into which the collective body of wo/man can manifest an evolved world, where we can live in accord of thought, word, and deed.

To be honest, wishing for world peace is futile. Universal peace is unattainable, at least since Adam and Eve were banned from the garden. But with inner accord we can act truthfully and reach not a compromise, but a synthesis of action that satisfies everyone, if only to the degree that it is acceptable, without residue of rancor.

I’m tired of holding back on explaining this stuff. I have been ashamed of who I am for years. I have been afraid of who I was as well. I have recoiled from my ego’s dominance over me. But the time needs what I can give, so I surrender to the will of the time and speak, openly, and reveal myself. WAKE UP. I repeat, WAKE UP. Wake up and accelerate your evolution by opening your mind to the winds of truth, which fan the flames of love in our hearts.  Which flames rise to burn away the veil that distorts our sight, and which opens the real world to our eyes, which can then see clearly.

Do not run from what you see. You will recognize those others who see with you. Come together and act, by love, with them, throwing away attachment to ego, throwing away false divisions, throwing away the petty desires of self. If you have eyes to see and ears to hear you will heed this message. There are only two directions, forward though evolution and backward by de-evolution. The way past the wall of ignorance is not though violent revolution but through loving re-evolution. We, the evolving, are remembering who we really are and recognizing who our friends and loved ones are as well.

This is “a” way, not “the” way, but a way thats points us to real change. Not bumper sticker change, not one step forward two steps back change. And not the false feeling of change we get from being funneled into an untenable corner, by the apparent power of the moneyed and greedy, who reign over we, the apparently defeated.

Now I must heed my own words, and act. Act to discover my own ugly weakness and transform it into love and self respect. Act to not only hear, but understand the voices of the oppressed, to hear them speaking the word. And the word was with God and the word was God. And following God, a God of all people, we will destroy ignorance wherever it peeks up from behind the facade. We will create a place for the truth of the downtrodden to blossom, revealing to us what we have known heretofore only in dreams.

This new world is not only possible, it has happened before. We are caught in the process of remembering it and awakening to it. It is easy for us to become impatient. But this new, cleaner world’s fruit will ripen. And its fruit’s taste is sweet.

My need to walk my own talk, or more rightly the fear of it, has undoubtedly been what has kept me from talking about this for so long. And held me from walking in enlightened shoes. Many have said God speaks to them. God has never spoken to me. I have simply heard what God has said to the universe. I can’t listen anymore without doing. Forgive me my faults. Brand me if you will a heretic.

But humor me and listen.

I swear there is value in it.

Socialism and the art of creating bad things.

Over time, the term Socialism has become what certain cognitive linguists call a contested concept. This means that hearing the word conjures several conflicting meanings, to the degree that one can no longer mention the word and elicit a universal understanding. Since perceptions can be changed through repetition, political ideologues work hard to change the meanings of the power words of the their rivals, by repeating their own version, over and over, in as many venues as they can.

An excellent example of this has been the change, through time, of the meaning of the word, taxes. Taxes were once a highly irritating but necessary surrender of our personal resources which we reluctantly paid in order to reap benefits provided by government. Anti tax activists, through massive repetition, changed that meaning to be an evil construct of greedy government amounting to nothing less than stealing what is rightfully ours. This change in meaning, and most importantly, the public’s acceptance of it, has changed the dynamic of government dramatically.

Recently I have grown at first weary, and lately angry, over the intentional manipulation of the term, Socialism, and its associated concept. It is clear that this change in Socialism’s meaning, and the public’s acceptance of it, has muddied the waters of political understanding into an opaque confusion. The people have been effectively sold the lie that socialism is a political system, and a horrible one to boot. In today’s world, when people talk about Socialism as a concept, many of them reveal a lack of knowledge about the original meaning of the term. From context it seems likely that their understanding of the word has been wholly informed by ideological subterfuge.

Governments are primarily distinguished by three elements: how government is selected, how governing is done, and which economic system supports the government, and thus the nation. For example the USA is a Democratic Republic with a primarily capitalist economy. Although many do not know it our economy has numerous socialist elements, but remains capitalist. Socialism is an economic system and not, as we are falsely told, a system of government. (Repeat that statement several times). Socialism is related to several disparate types of governance, because it certainly is a part of how government operates. But all economic systems are closely tied to their governmental systems. Socialism is not in and of itself a form of government.

Efforts, and successful they are, to portray Socialism as a type of government come mostly from capitalist interests, who wish to maintain their control of the economy while giving the illusion that capitalism is somehow the true American form of government, which it is not. Capitalism is also just an economic system. Not all capitalist economies are democracies. China has a non soviet style Communist government, but has a capitalist economy.

The truth about America’s government is we are a Democratic Republic. In other words we are a Republic, or representative government, and our Republic is a Democracy, whose representatives are selected through democratic elections. We select, by constitutionally guaranteed vote, people who represent us in a Congress. The constitution says nothing at all about what type of economy we should have. In fact certain founding fathers warned us to be wary of corporations. We could, easily as not, have a socialist economy, without sacrificing either the Democracy or the Republic.

A word about Constitutions here. A Constitution is a document that limits government. It is not in an of itself a government but it is very important to nations that have one, because it clearly delineates what a government can and can’t do. Constitutions are normally created in Democratically elected governments, where the representatives prepare, then the people authorize their Constitution. They do this in order to assure the people who gave them their power that they won’t steal that power by changing the rules.

Lest I violate Godwin’s law I will refrain from mentioning a certain name, but lately I hear the National Socialists of World War II Germany, the reviled Nazis, mentioned in the same breath, and as the same thing, as the Democratic Socialism of a politician such as Bernie Sanders. I also hear people being called Communists and Fascists in the same sentence. It is these types of widely and wildly promoted falsehoods that make my blood boil. The National Socialist party came to power through Democratic elections, fair enough. And they used this technicality to claim their legitimacy. But once they attained power they became an entirely different animal, on the complete opposite side of the zoo from the Democratic Socialists.

You’ve heard of strong mayor, weak council government, and weak mayor, strong council government? This concept relates to the nature of the relationship between the lawmaking and administrative branches of government. The difference between the two is in final decision making power. In strong mayor, weak council the mayor has the final word, and for the weak mayor, strong council the opposite is true. The national socialists, as I said, came into power democratically but soon became a one party totalitarian system where the government was selected by the party, whose leader was essentially a dictator, the ultimate “decider”. The dictator allowed for the election of a governing body, made up entirely of his own party, a sham, the purest example of strong mayor, weak council I can think of.

The only thing socialist about the national socialists was their economy. Socialism, by definition, is an economy run by the government. It is this and nothing more. People like to call the Nazis fascists but strictly speaking they weren’t pure fascists. Fascism is a type of socialism where the economy, dominated by corporations, pretty much controls the government, essentially an oligarchy. German socialism had the strong support of the corporate sector, as well as the Catholic Church. But control of the economy was by the party and the party alone.

Certain people conflate Communism, and Fascism, and National Socialism into one big melting pot of bad, based on their shared “Socialism”. Yes, Communism is a form of Socialism, but one paired with a dramatically different type of government than the Nazis or Fascists. Russian Communism’s government form was the Soviet Socialist Republic. Also a one party totalitarian system, government was controlled by the economy, but a radically different economy and with different means of selecting government. Another reason National Socialism and Communism are falsely put in the same sentence is their shared factors: one party totalitarian government, wholly merged with socialist style economies. It is once again the capitalists who constantly point out this fact, implying socialism can only be associated with these allegedly bad governments and never with ours.

Russian Communism’s government was formed from the back to the front, as it were. The economy’s basic unit is the commune, thus the term communism. Communes were smallish units of merged government and economy, collectively owned and operated by the workers. These communes were governed by party officials, in a council or soviet, elected by the commune’s party members. From those soviets, members were selected for a hierarchy of councils representing ever larger political units, ending in the Supreme Soviet, the ultimate national governing body, whose chairman was the head of state. The supreme Soviet then passed edicts back down the pipeline to the lower soviets, dictating how government was to be be done.

The party, through the supreme chairman, also selected a parliament, whose president was mostly a figurehead. In theory the parliament could overturn orders of the supreme council but since the parliament was appointed by the chairman that didn’t happen very often. Because there was only one party, made up of workers who theoretically ran both the economy and the government, Communism, Russian style, was also a one party totalitarian socialist system. However, since the commune’s soviet councils were elected, and those elected officials indirectly selected a parliament, they were technically able to call themselves republics. Thus the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

So as you can see, there are many different ways socialism can be used to economically support a government. It is really the capitalists who try to sell socialism as a one trick pony governmental system, instead of the flexible economic system it is. Socialism is quite capable of working in conjunction with many totally different styles of governments, from one party dictatorships, to Parliamentary Monarchies and even Democratic Republics. Therefore many nations are known by their economic and selective structures without a specific government style in the name.

These systems are quite varied and display a myriad of structural combinations. For example many European Democratic Socialist nations, often called social democracies, are parliamentary monarchies, with a weak monarch strong parliament system of governance. In the social democracies the parliament not only makes laws but has nearly complete regulatory power over corporations. There is a modest element of capitalism in these nations, similar but opposite to American capitalism. The Parliamentary Monarchy system goes back to the Magna Carta, where the monarchy of England began to give the people certain concessions of self rule. Eventually this foot in the door for the people led to the weak monarch system, where the real power rests in the prime minister of parliament and not in the king or prince or duke etc.

The main difference between a parliament and a legislative body is with a legislative body the executive branch is separate and the executive leader is separately elected by the entire nation’s electorate. In a parliament the executive is the leader of the majority party as elected by the body. Many European systems are also multi party systems where elected parliaments without any one majority party must form coalitions in order to claim a majority and be able to select a Prime Minister. Parliamentary monarchies need not be social democracies. The UK’s system is a government by strong parliament with a weak but strongly revered monarchy. But it’s economy is more capitalist than the Scandinavian Social Democracies. To make a very, very long story short, Democratic Socialism is a democratically elected government that has great control of the economy, whereas National Socialism and Communism are one party dictatorships that control their economies, albeit in dramatically different ways. All have Socialist economies but with major differences in governmental systems.

I have to admit that those who have desired to corrupt the term Socialism, and thus it’s concept, have done a damn fine job. So much so that it may be impossible to ever return it’s meaning to an expression of the original concept. With the rise of Cognitive Science in the late 20th century came the discovery that everything we are and do originates in the brain, is embodied, and can be physically influenced by non physical means. And now political ideologues and ad agencies and others with agendas are using their understanding of how the brain can be programmed, not through torture but through clever use of language.

I find it concurrently amusing and frightening that political progressives are commonly accused of trying to change definitions, such as the definition of marriage. Progressives have a real aversion to the practice of changing the meanings of words, in any way. They feel that to change the meaning of a word to gain political advantage is cheating, because rationally, words are supposed to mean the same thing for everybody. To them, trying to change the meaning of a word is like trying to change the truth, which they find repugnant.

So it is conservatives who have made hay by successfully reframing power words. They have been able to either confuse people about the nature of concepts or get them to associate whole new concepts with specific key words. They have been particularly good at co-opting essential progressive power words such as equality, and empathy, and responsibility. They have raised doubts about what these concepts truly represent by selling them as contested in the minds of Americans.

Such is the level of sophistication of the psychological warfare and propaganda methods used in modern America. Were he alive today, Joseph Goebbels might not even be able to get an interview with a major ad agency, or political think tank. People are unwilling to admit that they are constantly being manipulated by science. They consider it a good thing to be told how to think. It saves them time and energy. Orwell’s contradictory use of language, which others have called doublespeak, is alive and well, coming into your living room and onto your car radio. War has become peace. Compassion has become weakness and ignorance has become wisdom. People are becoming so inured to deception that dog whistles and code words no longer need be so high pitched and secretive. We are being led around by the proverbial short ones.

Big Brother is here and he’s in drive time.