A little context to begin
My friends and fellow tribe members tell me that I’m usually about 5 years ahead of the rest of the world. Well, during this holiday I’ve had time to reflect a bit and disengage from the insane tweet storm and bloviating pundits which seem to define our reality. The timing is somewhat uncanny. Back in 2015 I wrote:
“The futurist part of me says that 2015-16 is a critical juncture for this planet. Myself, along with others, are of the belief that humanity has reached an inflection point. It can make some conscious choices to further our evolution or fall backwards in terms of quality of life, planet health and spiritual development….
Yes, we have moved right up to the edge of that chasm and I suspect this coming year we will 1) be pushed over the edge by as yet unseen forces, or 2) slip and fall because our attention is focused on the wrong thing or 3) choose to consciously leap into the unknown having faith we will emerge much wiser and stronger. To me it looks like this.
My bet is Option 2. To be brief, the uncertainty of ‘unseen forces’ is pretty high and I have not sensed any significant movement in the rise of a collective consciousness in the past few years. In fact, the dominant mode appears to be denial, despair, dread and despair. Which is in keeping with the social psychological dynamic I am about to postulate.
Looking For Love in All The Wrong Places (hat tip to Johnny Lee)
In my oh so humble opinion we are focused on ‘power’ issues when the real dynamic being played out is about ‘status. Let me be clear on the difference:
- POWER is about control of resources, their distribution and control of people’s behavior. I can either make you do things or keep you for doing things.
- STATUS is about a person’s perceived worth within a social group. It is conferred by others and commonly accepted by persons within the group.
When POWER is concentrated, STATUS differentials are diminished. And so, WTF is going on right now (and has been since about 1980)? Mark Summer writing on Daily Kos opines:
“Capitalism, as it exists in the United States and most of the world today, is an engine which has been exquisitely refined for the purpose of gathering wealth and concentrating it in fewer hands. Then it takes the wealth from those, and concentrates it into fewer still. Repeat until 600 billionaires have everything. Then keep repeating.” Mark Sumner Let’s see, rising social inequality: the BLM movement: #METOO and oh yes, remember the Occupy kerfuffle, I think it becomes quite clear when you look at the social psychological impacts of POWER and STATUS differentials what we are experiencing is a con-commitment of one group (those in power) acting out from a felt excess of power brought about by themselves. “We have more power than we really deserve and damn it we are going to keep it. Major guilt reaction.
And at the same time, the other group is acting out of a felt deficit of STATUS at the hands of others. Outward directed hostility and major diffuse anxiety. Interestingly if this felt deficit is seen as coming from yourself you act out with despair and depression. Could this be at the root of all the self-destructive behavior we see such as opioid addiction and increases in suicide rates? Something worthy of a deeper look, but beyond the scope of this little blog post. The Table below sums it all up.
Enough Already, So What?
Option #2. We’re all consumed by the wonton exercise of POWER which is violating a whole set of past cultural norms where the very rationale for the existence of major social institutions is called into question. Never mind the man behind the curtain. Nothing to see here, move along. Then “Ka-Pow!” we’ve been looking at the wrong issue and have fallen into the chasm of chaos.
It’s about social class inequality, period. Full stop. We’ve gone from uncomfortable awareness to conflict between marginal groups. The question now remains will we move into class warfare? I am not optimistic about the outcome in the near term.
Taxing all the billionaires, outlawing private money in political campaigns and even providing a guaranteed personal income, while well intentioned, are not enough to prevent a descent into chaos. We need community level design and control of educational and developmental systems. We need a direct democracy with ombudsman – not career POWER motivated politicians
What is missing is a realization of what it takes for everyone to reach full potential, then removing the barriers to that. It begins with an authentic process of self-realization and in my vocabulary an awakening to wholeness. Each one of us is but a small part of a larger whole. We are all impermanent. We are all made up of the same ‘soul stuff’ and have a sacred obligation to leave this world a better place than we found it. If you are interested in just how to do that, I’d be happy to have a serious conversation. You know where to find me.
But in the meantime, watch out for the “Ka-Pow!” It’s going to be one bigly, cosmic karma kick in the butt. Let’s take it out with a little Norwegian Bluegrass – can’t get more planetary than this.