"I feel that much of the world's sorrows come from people who are [exotically intricate] yet allow themselves to be treated as [just another reduction]"--Maude talking about flowers and people in the film "Harold and Maude"
"We can't out-fight them, but we can out-think them. Every provocation throughout history has been to get us to out-fight them."--John Trudell, Lakota depth charger
Today's empires and subordinates triumph in their immense, hollowed-out "victories" of deadened spirit over the continuous drive of the nature within all of us --in our beginnings, in our pre-colonized, not-yet-fully domesticated *intuitive* states of being --called childhood and youthfulness. Nature remains a driving force within us, inspiring us, whether articulate or not, to creatively be and 'play' whenever our hearts feel like it. Empire's imagination, however, seeks to systematically curtail and reduce such drive, turning such to its own purposes --as mere tools to use and then toss away.
The people who run empires and those competing for such 'privilege', on the other hand, reflect another reality. A reality of being systematically beaten down and otherwise reduced. They are supposed to be "rich" --with privileges, money, and materials, yet all of this proves empty of meaning when you see the bottom line. Who can they truly trust? What kinds of sensibilities does their art create and perpetuate? Nothing like the arts of the pre-civilized in terms of truly meaningful humanity! No, these warriors and generals are actually quite *poor* compared to the richness of joy and enthusiasm with who we are in our earlier years!
Studying the fears, the bigoted assumptions, the topical understandings without contexts, without empathy (in a direct reflection of what little empathy they reserve for themselves!) we begin to see that these supposedly wise persons are not much wiser than us.(1) Perhaps the "captains of industry" and architects, planners, strategists, "elite" implementers of policy, and even "owners" of states are 'capable' in how they've been trained within such deadening imagination momentums --perhaps even *geniuses* in their own ways-- yet utter beginners in others. Like the artwork below of the guy who doesn't know anything about how to fix his car!
The HEAVY METAL LOUDNESS of these sophisticated aggressors' haughty sneers and grim looks only reflect measures of their own inner pain, their severe alienation! This pain that keeps them capable of arting only various levels of the HELLS within them.
Of course, we *all* cannot help but to be alienated products of our programming, our conditioning, our "enculturation". But our worst informal alienation is nothing compared to the formal alienation of our alleged "betters". Imagining, planning, and ordering mass bombings and the like are nothing compared to even the worst serial murderer.
Stepping back from the turmoil of our collective emotions is not easy, but in my view such is crucial. How can we claim to have "a better way" if we simply reflect the stupidity that they cannot help but reflect themselves?!!
We step back and we see a military structure from "top" to "bottom"--the jargons keeping all the specialized implementers of policy separated, the reductions of what it is "to work", to be "professional", to be "responsible" and "mature", and so on. Others have and can articulate this much better than i. (2) For instance:
"...And if you look at some of the little things about [these provocations], right, we're surrounded by a reality where you have to have permission to think. That's called 'Chain of Command'. See if you really really think about it...in their legions they don't have permission to think. See, this starts to equalize out the numbers."--John Trudell from _Stickman_ edited by Paola Igliori
There at the "top" of this Chain of Command you have these human beings who've been compelled, cajolled, even scientifically engineered (3) to successfully complete, and uphold the Given values of the 'elite' schooling which only films like "Taps" and "The Chocolate War" even slightly demystify.
There are 'good intentions' there, surely. Yet their strategy and methods are predicated on the severe alienation which their role models and "wise" teachers pass down. Can they think for themselves? That is a fight in itself. Most have been taught to follow the orders from on high, and they know nothing else, and it's all internalized.(4)
"...And [Larry Devlin, a famous CIA case officer] said I was getting too big for my britches. He said, `you're trying to think like the people in the NSC back in Washington who have the big picture, who know what's going on in the world, who have all the secret information, and the experience to digest it. If they decide we should have someone in Bujumbura, Burundi, and that person should be you, then you should do your job, and wait until you have more experience, and you work your way up to that point, then you will understand national security, and you can make the big decisions. Now, get to work, and stop, you know, this philosophizing.' And I said, `Aye-aye sir, sorry sir, a bit out of line sir'. It's a very powerful argument, our presidents use it on us."--John Stockwell (5)
So these human beings have these good intentions which begin from a place that is already severely alienated. They truly cannot help themselves! So they look at other states which are making war and they don't really seem to understand the contexts and don't know how to empathize with these other human beings. They have a political science theory and that's all they know. So, by their thinking, "collateral damage" comes with the territory. In their minds, war is "the only way". They believe that there is nothing "possible" outside of it; whether it's the war of diplomacy (erroneously called "peace"), the war of "First World" values being deployed (i.e. the Peace Corps, Missionaries, and non-governmental organizations--which hail from such "First Worlds"), or the covert and open "low intensity", "conventional", and nuclear wars.
Even the alleged alternatives (i.e. the Left and Right "wings" of colonization) and their politics uphold the basic values and strategies of war. Such meta games run rampant throughout our whole society, but these "well educated elites" know of nothing more.(6)
Chewing on all of this could prove decisive to life beyond this same old again. It is meant to inspire a beginning, or a further launching. We visionaries, "idealists", radicalized, and others who dare speak our truths must see that we have power, and that power is underneath our fortresses of all of these ways that keep us divided from other human beings. That power is within our armors, in the places where we keep our hearts, our care. And while even the martial arts is a kind of care in seed (caring more than total indifference), such arts are not truly us, not truly the spirit which keeps us loving life and keeps us wanting to continue human dreams.
Dare to get back in touch with such dreams--these desires which brought you into the communities which move you to visit here! And dare to radically imagine ways of interacting that could *blow the lid off* of the dark age that has kept *all* of us drowning so far.(7)
1) For instance, read the quite despised Noam Chomsky discussing what are called 'progressive intellectuals' and the belief systems of what he, in his city mind, calls "real power". Chomsky.info has a lot, yet more to the point see his online book _Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies_ (in the first chapters). See also C.Wright Mills, Joost van Steenis, and John Stockwell.
2) For instance, see Raoul Vaneigem's "The Revolution of Everyday Life", don Miguel Ruiz's _The Four Agreements_, John Zerzan's "Future Primitive", Feral Faun, Venomous Butterfly, Hakim Bey's _Millineum_, John Trudell, Aldous Huxley's _Brave New World--Revisited_, Theodore Roszak, Paul Goodman, R.D. Laing's _The Politics of Experience_, Ken Knabb's _Public Secrets_, and Jason McQuinn.
3) See _Science of Coercion_ by Christopher Simpson, in general, and education analysts like Diane Divoky, John Taylor Gatto, John Holt, and Grace Llewellyn for a revealing view of how there is a science to 'educating' the young. See also Noam Chomsky on "a good education".
4) See also Chomsky on 'internalized values'. Though he's discussing the media, you can see how it's related to other institutional forms.
5) See http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Stockwell/StockwellCIA87_1.html For a video/audio version, see also: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4068.htm
6) Something more, albeit in its apparent infancy, is the post-left anarchist movement and the anti-politics movement. See Jason McQuinn for starters, on the former, and www.anti-politics.net/forum/ for invitations to the latter.
7) For creative ideas to possibly inspire, see Saul Alinsky's _Rules For Radicals_. Also imagine what the "crucial arts" might look like!