Porter – A Do-over

We live in interesting times, and I’m glad about that. The past year reminds me of 1968, when George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, ran for President against Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. Now there’s been a fascist coup, wrapped in the flag that Sinclair Lewis predicted. And the revolution is being televised after all, and tweeted.

For me, the question now is how far ought people to go to get what we want? Resistance alone won’t cut it, short of a national strike. The federal government is capable of anything, from entrapment and terrorism to infecting us with syphilis and assassination. We know that, and I’m not counting on their good intentions. The FBI, CIA, and NSA seem to be the most corrupt businesses the feds run, maybe next to the military.

So I think violence from the feds on down is bound to
happen. Ask a Native American. We might not have to die for change, but we must be willing to die because governments at all levels are willing for us to do so.

The power elite are greedy and ruthless and rich. Research at the Berkeley Social Interactions Lab suggests that rich people have less empathy than poor people, so we’ve got a lot to look forward to from the new cabinet.

One area that we could give some attention to is our sources of information. I can’t think of a good reason to trust any for-profit corporate news. They don’t serve us, they deliver us to their customers. So I subscribe to news sources that I think actually want me to know the truth—The Intercept, Democracy Now!, Z Communications, and KZFR, for instance. If I’m deceived, I’m inevitably deluded, and the stories I hear are bound to influence what I think about.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the hoorah—45 makes me laugh every day—and I’m looking forward to his supporters waking up, as they will eventually. My wife occasionally used to repeat a saying of her mother’s, “The masses are asses.” And they are, or we wouldn’t still have an electoral college and only two major political parties, both of them astonishingly corrupt, and a congress whose decisions affect everybody but them.

The Russian bits sound like an idea I heard first in the sixties— that the Cold War was just a collaboration among oligarchs in the Soviet Union and the United States to make even more money, the reason for most wars.

What I still want most—next to a tropical getaway—is a do-over, a constitutional convention. I want to rethink everything, from who’s a citizen and what that means to how laws are created, deleted, and enforced. Anarchism, to introduce a suitably radical note, doesn’t mean no rules, it means no rulers, and I think some flavor of anarchism is worth a discussion.

Meanwhile I make sure I meditate every day, and you should, too. If we’re anxious and fearful, we lose, no matter what side we think we’re on.