All the Fits That’s News To Print

In Aggression, Completion, Firmness, Northwest, Tree Fruit on April 27, 2011 at 12:31 am

A lesson that was first impressed on me in college, was how history, above all, is an interpretation.   Thus, the Great Men & Dates understanding of history is actually a very limiting interpretation of  many events in the world, and diminishes the experiences of the far more common “commoners” who have lived through all the ages.

The commoners did not have access to literacy and scribes to write their official history, but many commoners still found ways to get their stories told, through oral traditions, or diaries, as they could.  These marginalized or partially “lost”/left out narratives are as vital a part of our history as the Famous Founding Fathers.  Understanding the Native American traditions, recovering them from history, means they are no longer “lost,” even if they have to be painstakingly regenerated by tracking down elders and finding oral histories.

Because in  no small measure, ever was it so that paid speech is Speech, and all the other speech is just “chatter, ” from the hieroglyphs, to illuminated manuscripts, to the corporations’ freedom of speech today.  Much of what we study are the neuroses of men who are anointed leaders by our collective acceptance of them, whether as a “democratically-elected” leader,  or as a tyrant who came to power by force.  In both cases,  the power of the position is largely reinforced by the people, whether through acceptance or revolt.  Revolt, too, establishes that such leader has enough power to revolt against.  No one needs to revolt against powerless people.

This concept is what leapt out at me when seeing the article, “From a Qaddafi Daughter, a Glimpse Inside the Bunker” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/world/africa/27aisha.html?hp).   Wow.  Now that’s a “marginalized” voice,  through perception, if not reality.   And hearing from her sharply pronounced how deranged the world attention on Gaddaffy is.   He is loving the power we are all giving him by attempting to revolt against him and then reporting about it. And here his daughter, a relative commoner to him, comes up with her story that us commoners should theoretically want to identify with more than with her dad’s…..

In her interview, she is not even suggesting SHE would make a great candidate if her dad was ousted.   And she reveals the utterly tenuous, faith-based endeavor that any and all leadership is:  ‘When pressed repeatedly on how her family could stay in power, she said more than once, “We have a great hope in God.” ‘

So it all really does boil down to a collective willingness to accept or reject any leadership….because she senses the loss of that collective spirit, she sees a God that is divisible, or separate from the spirit of men that will somehow, magically, intervene on behalf of her wishful thinking.  One of the most common traps of all of all religions.

She does not flip the logic to see that God could “intervene” were she to take full ownership of her actions and subsequent destiny…making God flesh in herself through full acceptance of  and responsibility for all the actions she and her family takes.   This would make any and all possibilities possible.

She could revolt against her father, and declare herself one of a field of candidates to be elected democratically.  She could walk in her father’s mold, and make a violent coup against her father, but declare herself the new, undemocratically elected leader.   A woman tyrant that might be tyrannical in a feminine way that her father was not.

Here’s a paragraph I love from the article:

” At the same time, she also derided, and possibly misunderstood, the basic ideas of checks and balances and public accountability in an electoral democracy. “Let me say something about the Western elections that they say are a democratic system of ruling,” she volunteered, referring to handwritten notes she had prepared for the interview. In an election where one candidate won with 50 percent of the vote and another lost with 48 percent, she asked, “Do you call this democracy? Just this one vote? What happened to the 48 percent who said ‘no’?”

Gaddaffy’s daughter is more in tune with us than Mr. Brooks is!  Yes, she is RIGHT,  she sees the LACK of  “checks and balances” in a system that leaves at least half of us feeling divided and disenfranchised.

The 48% she refers to is steaming mad.  They think that because President Obama won, socialism is taking over and everyone is just lounging in the hammock of the welfare state.   No logic can sway them, and they are going to come out in droves in the next election to prove just how mad as heck they are.

The 50% of us who elected President Obama are now divided ourselves in how to deal with a president who has failed every hoped for dream of reforms.  What is the best direction next?

Since that 50% is undecided, the only clear division is between the 48% and 50%, who at times get so angry, agree that about all they can agree on is succession really might not be such a bad idea after all.

Both of these sides might agree it would be perfectly delightful to have one half of the country with unions, manufacturing, organic farms, full public transportation, government-funded NPR, government-funded contraception and abortion, egalitarian pay circles, not structures, wind and solar power, with buildings so insulated they need no external energy source, loose family definitions or even tribes, holistic medicine, government funded community health clinics that would be warm and cozy, not sterile, with a full single payer system for all, and a recovery of lost living oral tradition of ancient wisdom and ancient, sustainable ways of living.

The other half of the country would have NONE of the above listed, with, instead:  nuclear power, Walmart with wages adjusted to be equivalent to workers in China,  child labor, no education public or private, dominant man-subservient woman-only families with 30 children, gated communities for their bosses who lived in opulent luxury,  and the people who voted again and again for these bosses who were part political, part boss, because they are darn proud of being self-sufficient and not depending on no socialist welfare state, and most especially because, you never know, they might be rich one day too, and how would they feel if they had people hankering after their hard-earned wealth?  Never mind that those guys in the gated community never once shoveled a ton of coal, picked a bale of cotton, or broke a sweat.   If we want to  magically believe their billions are somehow “hard-earned,” while our own work is worth only pennies, then let us, by jingo!  That’s our story and we’re stickin’ to it.

These are the two sides that are threatening to re-ignite the not-so-civil war in this country.  What would Gaddaffy’s daughter say?

I would say we stop looking to elected leaders and look to each other.  We have all the imagination and innovation we need amongst ourselves, the  uncommon commoners, to effect any and all change we want.   At the very least, we will leave a narrative to contradict the dominant narrative of the day, if anyone in future times wants to see what the non-leaders were thinking, and wants to write a People’s History.   These are the fits that are news to print.

  1. Yes, keep writing down history from the people’s view and keep fighting for justice with whatever skills you possess, even as the so-called realists break away and begin to collaborate, shaking their heads over your idealism and pronouncing the efforts of purists misguided and futile.

    Wait for the “Spark” (see Ralph Nader’s recent essay on the unpredictable sparks that set off big change). Persist with your report, your history, and wait. Do not do business with liers, nor even the lesser of two liers. Otherwise, you will slip into collaboration, supporting schemers in high office indefinitely or in uninterrupted succession, without consequences for their sorry history.

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