Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Are The Floodgates Finally Giving Way?

There is a sense that we are on the verge of something big. It might be the tension of the upcoming mid-term elections where a shift in power could easily result in articles of impeachment and real investigations into pre-war intelligence, the Republicans’ “pay to play” style of governing, electronic voting machines and the NSA secret domestic spying program. It also might be a pre-emptive strike on Iran using nuclear warheads or an economic catastrophe caused by the opening of an Iranian Oil Bourse. It could be the CIA leak investigation coming to a head with startling revelations that we haven’t dare to even hope for or credible evidence of vote fraud as Diebold’s records are sifted through by prosecutors and SEC investigators looking into allegations of securities fraud. And of course it could be the realization by the sleepwalking masses that Peak Oil is a reality that must be dealt with and that will likely bring personal pain to individuals because of our lack of national action in preparing for the inevitable. Or the biggest fear of all, an acknowledgement by our government that we have been a fascist country for a long time, we just weren’t let in on the secret.

Whatever the cause of our collective anxiety, dread and confusion the fact is, it’s permeating our culture and we are all at different levels of understanding, preparedness and acceptance of the facts we have absorbed.

Puma, over at Past Is Prologue, posted her feelings about the mysterious “it” and when I read it, I was moved because I too had been attempting to put these feelings into words. Living under the rule of such a secretive government, it’s hard not to feel uneasy as they refuse to confirm or deny what we hear and read from foreign news sources. Whatever is coming will surely be a shock to most Americans because so few of us make the effort to learn what our government is doing let alone explore the realities of the rest of the world. The world is so clearly dividing up into two camps and most of us don’t even know it’s happening, or that we are increasingly alone in our pursuits.

Max Wyvern over at My Left Wing also wrote a nice piece about coming to terms with Peak Oil in which he describes his own personal journey of accepting the reality and how he integrated the information into his life. It is a challenge that we face, not becoming paralyzed by fear of the unknown or feeling impotent to affect any change. We are still here, still living and breathing and whether we like it or not, we must be ready and willing to deal with whatever comes our way. Being aware that we are in a precarious position doesn’t mean we have to be physically prepared for any eventuality, but it does mean that we must be psychologically prepared for our view of the world to be shattered. Doing so will make us better prepared to deal with any chaos looming on the horizon.

I try to believe that a radical shift in the way America views itself and how Americans have grown accustomed to living, might not be a bad thing. We have become so divided and so isolated from one another that anything that brings back concern for and reliance upon community can only make us better. As a society, we have forgotten that everything on this planet is interconnected. What we do affects everything else around us and we have been bad global citizens for a very long time. If we are forced to acknowledge our responsibilities to our neighbors, our towns, our cities, it won’t be long before we are able to realize we have ties as well to people around the globe that we will never even meet. Our consumption may come at a small price to us, but that is only because someone else has been paying the balance, and the bill we have run up will have to be paid. Sure, there will be some pain involved in giving back, but a radical shift in our philosophy as a country could be the end result. That certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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