The Awakening
Around the world during the eight catastrophic years of Bush league government in the United States, then even within the United States following the election of Barack Obama, there has been a swelling murmur of disbelief, dissent and determination. There is a ferment loose in the world.

It's not just about politics, and it's not just in America. People all over the world are waking up and wondering WTF has been going on while they've been dutifully dreaming their consumerist dreams. People are wondering what happened to the environment, to the economy, to social justice, to their freedoms, to their very souls.

This same awakening tried to happen forty years ago in the late 1960s, but the movement never took root for a combination of reasons: the sense of malaise that triggered it was too abstract, the participants were generally too young, the internet hadn't been invented yet and the societies in which it arose were too rich to sustain the anomie that has become our current "Blessed Unrest". Now, as our physical, social and economic situation begins to visibly unravel, the conditions are right for the mass awakening we're seeing.

Whoever controls your perception of reality controls you.

This understanding is at the core of our civilization's guardian institutions. These guardian institutions are the corporate, economic, political, legal, religious, educational and media interests that create, disseminate and enforce our culture's core worldview of hierarchy, coercion and growth. They have been able to make virtually everyone on the face of the planet buy into a life-destroying paradigm of perpetual material growth – the ideology of the cancer cell. Their influence is so pervasive and the messaging so seamless that the majority of us have, until now, accepted this state of affairs as being beyond question. It has seemed obvious that this was the only possible way human beings could live.

Fortunately, as a result of the physical, social and economic deterioration that is underway around the world, and abetted by the grass-roots sharing enabled by the internet, the guardian institutions have begun to lose their grip. This is now allowing other stories to be told.  Narratives of truth are springing up from the grass roots, and finding the occasional patch of open blue sky overhead as opposed to endless concrete, manipulation and lies. Now the cracks and seams are starting to appear in an enterprise that formerly seemed monolithic and seamless. It's up to those who are awakening to force them wider – to let the sunshine in.

Where will it all end? Who knows, but it sure is a fine time to be alive.

PS: Here is one specific heretical thought. Universal compulsory schooling and trade unions both came of age in the mid 1800's as a result of the factory owners' need for a docile workforce that would accept regimentation and discipline without complaint. Free schooling in most of the West stops with high school because by then its real job is done – the kids are conditioned to sitting indoors in straight lines without talking while concentrating on things they don't care about for the duration of a work day. For more background, I highly recommend John Zerzan's book, "Elements of Refusal".

Have a revolutionary day,

May 9, 2009

Photograph of J. Seward Johnson, Jr.'s "The Awakening" located Hains Point, Washington D.C. Photographer: Ryan Sandridge

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