Dec 052016
 

By Stephen Cocconi © 2016

The Day the Earth Stood Chill

lighteing-shock-victimPreface: It has taken some time for me to compose this piece. I’ve had to confront aspects of culpability, hopelessness, arrogance and Pollyanna idealism which (or witch) brewed within me as a deceptive palliative for coping with the fears I see in the world, and how they commingle with those in my world. This exploration has been personally poignant, forcibly as cleansing as a delousing, and yet instructive as to the ways I/we must begin to recast attitudes and expand our awareness to create the next phase of collective reality. As an Old Soul, I feel the terror of a world closing in around me. An increase in economic insecurity is inevitable, and I am amongst the 90% of the population who has only minuscule influence on a system that apportions it. Many will relate to this last statement. But in my/your Soloverse, the space of Being within, I may decide to succumb to fear or learn to establish safety in my own psyche. From this point forward, that is where my/your first power is to be found.

The Present: Accountability vs. Culpability

I received a call the night after the election. It was from a woman who reads my web site. She asked me what Michael had to say about this election result. She preceded it with an imploring “Did we do enough? Did light workers fail the planet?” The question alerted me to having been mulling over the same questions sub-consciously while in a stupor of disbelief haunting me all day long. The answer was somewhat yes and somewhat no. She, at least, had always held that people doing various kinds of healing jobs were the vanguard of change. When one favorable change occurred it was because we somehow held the vision for it to happen. If the opposite happened, as it did in her estimation, then it was because somehow we light workers were not convincing enough in our resolve. I asked Michael’s Consortium about this notion, this was their reply:

{MC} “Personal guilt about worldly events can have a crushing effect upon Personality. It is the foundation of Martyrdom. It is useful for a person to weigh the consequence of their individual actions, but not blame themselves for group behavior. What you did, or did not do, yourself is what you are accountable for; not the outcome of an entire race, nor nation, nor world view. To entertain that belief is a trick of Ego to keep you in the delusion of grandiosity (an overblown sense of influence). Thus paralyzing simple but effective actions it beckons you to abdicate your power to act in the face of fear.”

But as a member citizen of life on Earth, you are still bound to its fate. Inaction, abdication of personal duty toward your fellow citizens, (remember God implied to Cain that indeed he was his brother’s keeper) is an abandonment of the common welfare. Albeit a choice, it is one that preserves selfishness, Fear has two opposite uses and meaningsalienation and powerlessness. Those feelings of separateness foster distrust and result in defensive hostility. It also invites exploitation of those same feelings. So those who assumed smugly that their position was correct, without investigating it, may have inflicted upon all those others the karma of the inactive bystander, i.e. the opposite of the Good Samaritan. Only persons truthful in their assessment can decide their degree of involvement. Regardless if you assessed or not, there still are karmic obligations in effect. Those who did not participate, as well as those who did, without considering the consequences of blindly assuaging their own fears, are each culpable in their own ways. Honestly confronting your own culpability and turning that concern into useful action, will go far in eliminating that karma in the present. But no matter what, you are all on the lifeboat called Earth, together; either rowing or sinking.” {/MC}

The Politics of Emotion: Fear has the upper hand: We are being tested.

Prescience is not limited to psychics, public opinion polls, or stock brokers. Goodness, how we fear the truth; especially when our much-preferred viewpoints and opinions about reality are disabused by facts that actually show us reality. Bernie Sanders told you what was going to happen…in simple terms, citing concrete facts and employing solid reasoning based on historic trends about human nature.

For those who know of the Michael Teaching’s system of evolution, you can deduce from events of the last year culminating with this presidential election, that the collective Soul Age of the United States, and for that matter much of the 1st world[1], has regressed. It has taken the form of a pandemic of emotional intolerance boiling to the surface and crowding-out the capacity of most people to employ higher intellect, which I call reason; leaving their fight-or-flight-uncertaintybrains to retreat to unconscious animal instinctive reactivity.

But fear does not only spur action (fight), or simply reaction (flight), but also inaction (freeze). It was not the many Baby Souls spurred to the polls by a need to stop a so branded female, liberal anti-Christ, it was also the same motivation that caused 45% of eligible voters to stay away and NOT participate. Michael called this latter behavior “victimization through abdication.”

One of the ramifications of fear’s expulsion of critical thought is to reduce every problem to black or white, binary categorizations. What we know as racism, sexism, and anti-anything, are but a few examples. Vague religious or ideological aphorisms become the favored “go-to” rather than facts. Familiar assumptions offer a known sanctuary to assuage fears and dispense comforting justifications in the face complex problems. Uninformed faith bolsters false certainty and unrealistic expectations. Just as facts, by contrast, have the capacity for affixing reality and dispelling falsehood, yet introducing reasonable doubt. Reasonable or not, doubt is terrifying to a Self reamed-out by uncertainty. This is part of the human condition where compassion has been largely forgotten.

The Past: How did we get here?

This is an auspicious period in history. Globally, when the transitions between World Views, as I am recasting Soul Age (Infant, Baby, Young, Mature, Old), in this case from Young to Mature; connections fray and tear as both interpersonal relationships and even one’s own psychic fabric are ripped apart. It leaves holes in families, communities, and allegiances. From that disintegration, a new configuration of the remaining parts reforms just as evolution has always done. In other words, whether that reorganization is one that people like or prosper from is not a requirement of the mechanical reassembly process. Achieving those qualities will demand a more ardent personal attitude. Only deliberate and consciously aware choices provide the clarity you’ll need to discern joy out of difficultly by cultivating a sense of enoughness.

rationalizationBut, the modern era has a problem. Instead of focused and attentive mental deliberation and intentional creation of your reality and adoption of beliefs, many human beings have fallen back into the habit of rationalization. Rationalization does not actively build understanding, it simply assembles excuses trying to justify what it is about to do in reaction to fear or want. To one degree or another, every person of every Soul Age is feeling this collective anxiety. And with that predisposed condition, polarization moves in and captures everyone. It is a sludge from pain amassed over several millennia of human cruelty, confusion, and ideals crashed by repeated betrayals. You can think of it as humanity’s collective karma. This is mechanical Soul Age evolution.

Everyone in the 2016 election cycle has been tempted, and many succumbed, to justifying varying degrees of rationalization. The “false news” web sites, now being outed are one example of orchestrated commercial propaganda being equated with free speech; where outright lying and fabrications were glossed-over as personal opinion. Then mainstream news organizations, admitting to having been complicit in not challenging that misinformation, promulgated a disintegration of public trust, a trust they are charged to uphold, as America’s “4th Estate”. Having indulged themselves with banal parroting of cults-of-personality; they failed in their duty to challenge candidate and party statements alike with pertinent, well substantiated, and factual reporting. Despite that miscarriage, the public took both of these baits and swallowed the respective right and left barbed hooks, completely. Those on the Left were reeled in, stranded on a shoreline of exclusion, left to suffocate and die. Those on the Right, temporarily assuaged by Mr. Trump’s victory, will soon enough discover that they have been merely transferred to the equivalent of a restaurant’s lobster holding tank. Their temporary safety is soon to be boiled away, as their livelihoods are devoured. In both cases, the outcomes must be seen as a tragedy for evolutionary advancement in both spiritual awareness and by extension, human rights.

In America’s recent historical reality, and indeed the majority of the industrialized world, decades of advances toward more inclusive, just, and aware forms of society have retreated as lost blue collar jobs (affecting the common citizen), shrinking middle-class wealth, and white insecurity, have awakened primal memories of scarcity and danger, exacerbating the pressures of emotional volatility to the point of explosion.

Then, it happened. Donald Trump was the galvanizing candidate that lit the fuse for out-of-control hostile emotion to be unleashed. What has risen from under the surface and inflamed are not conflicts in ideology, but levels of grief about bygone security and rising terror about the future. The great opportunity missed was not about coming up with a better argument, position, or slogan, but acknowledging authentic emotional vulnerabilities, and not belittling them as weakness. But during this age of scientific rationalism, modern society so arrogantly believing itself above the prejudices and irrationality of baser feelings, have just as intolerantly relegated emotion to the status of least respected player of human capacities. Fearing the shame or humiliation of admitting to frailty or failure, people have learned to assert some belief, or verbal excuse, as justifications for the emotions arising within them. People defensively or desperately retreat to some sentimental memory or loosely informed opinions, to concoct any number of rationalizations, in an effort to legitimize their love or hate either candidate. Hero worship and vilification are two sides of the same emotionally charged coin. An internal state projected outward.

freud-on-emotionsYet the effect of covering-up raw emotions acts to propel the words they assert like hammers driving nails, seeking to verbally crucify those who would disagree. But it has the unintended consequence of pounding one’s own intellect into a battered heap of ineptitude leaving a jumbled ooze of cognitive dissonance; with fear and confusion more broadly in control.

In 2016 World Views clashed in a crescendo. Everyone was/is/will be affected. The glee of some and the apparent shock in others are both signs of a greater disintegration of the collective human psyche when a transition between Soul Ages occurs. It has come to a head. It is time to confront it. Democrats did not. Conservatives did not. So a reactionary Wildcard did. Mr. Trump was an expression of the Angry Father energy we spoke about in the Overview of 2016. He did not have to really say anything of substance. All he had to do was model for followers their substrates of fear: bigotry, violence, and a willingness to avoid life’s complexities with a simplistic black-or-white, us-them mentality that his audience was desperately craving. Using a phrase about um-the-element-conusionemotional recognition, they “got gotten” by him. Remember, his supporters saying “he says what I think.” He equated ignorance with virtue. So churchmen lined up to sanctify it. He gave his supporters permission to vent all of what had been repressed: hate, shame, and fear of acknowledging themselves as victims of the powerful; they were encouraged to bash those with less power or privilege than themselves: minorities, the poor, the helpless, and the Earth itself.

Instead of acknowledging the legitimacy of those fears being felt by the Baby Soul Conservative core in heartland America, Mrs. Clinton and many progressives glossed over their concerns with pacifying statements and a liberal dose of arrogant superiority by smugly shaming their lack of intelligence as a “basket-of-deplorables”. While never quite seeing, or naming, their own Shadow hatred operating behind the scenes. In the aftermath, some have come to realize that expressing superiority can have a bitter aftertaste, especially when you are the ones being forced to eat crow. Post-election and savoring victory, Trump voters are frothingly smug in passing back an experience of belittlement to Clinton voters. Just as her supporters did to them prior to the election! And, of course, the same people who declared Hillary Clinton corrupt, and cried out for more witch-hunt investigations of her, immediately dismiss the same standards applied their own candidate’s, now President-elect, conflicts of interest. All hail Cheezer! – (mix orange Cheetos and King Caesar). Voila’! A party snack for a leader.

Liberals, in the minds of Conservative, should just “get over yourselves.” Sound familiar? Well-trodden rationalized excuses are like neon billboards. So familiar as part of the landscape that few pay attention to them. Yet, the meme of those messages are glaringly habituated and unquestioned narrative seldom challenged. For Conservative Baby Souls something like, “it is God’s will.” Perhaps, for students of the Michael Teaching, perhaps it is TAO’s will?

Collectively, the rest of us failed each other. Those of us who had the knowledge did not have the patience, know-how or courage to confront anger: theirs or our own. Those who would embrace hatred, and mistake it for a feeling of power, did not care about facts, but hurled insults and made accusations instead. We failed them because we believed they “should know better.” But like little children, early Soul Ages are often terrified when an authority says “do as I say, we know what’s good for you”; especially when those authorities (of neoliberal economics) were the same ones that had robbed them of their security in the first place. Their backlash was understandable, even predictable.

Yet, as our fellow citizens, they failed us because they no longer confronted insecurity with critical thinking or cooperation. They just wanted revenge (to pass the experience) for what they had lost. What Trump held out, was a restoration of some hallowed privilege and a perception of a world where they could fall back on naïve credulity and feel safe. In itself, a want for safety is completely justified! But the tactics used to garner it, have often given rise to some of the greatest atrocities in human history. Once again, the historic realities bolstering that truth, were forgotten: i.e. recall the similarities to Hitler’s rise in Germany? Those relevant warnings sounded directly from the Germans and Europeans who directly experienced the Nazis, were ignored by desperate people. Instead of acknowledging Trump’s tactics, they defaulted like needy children to the promises of a big-daddy who would “make everything all better.” Never requiring any mention of…HOW!?

In this election, and in this fight to address climate change, Mature Souls were not just wrestling with Young Soul’s need for power so much as they were butting head-on against Baby Soul’s need for security and predictability. The rejection of reason, however, was not an overnight event. It has taken many forms over the past 35 years and has been a systematic sabotage by the Young Souls who have most to gain and fear they have the most to lose. Mature Soul institutions like free public education, social safety net, unions, independent courts, fair distribution of resources, and non-commercial news and information, have been systematically eroded by nefarious Young Soul fear-ignorance-hate-is secure_hiding-placepower brokering, bought and paid for by corporate interests. Through manipulation of the threat of any minorities as bad guys, it hid the economic injustice and resource exploitation that produced real inequality. At the core it has undermined the cherished belief of America being a nation of fair-play; one that stands together with equal protection under the law. It has sold that dream for nationalistic slogans like “Make America Great Again”, and images of eagles, flags and spectacles like heroic soldiers marching to paeans of some fight to preserve freedom. Yet domestically, peace officers that once “served and protected” its citizens have been transformed into a para-military force acting almost as mercenaries for a privileged few with directives of “control the rabble.” Witness the unarmed Native American at Standing Rock Reservation protesting the Dakota Oil Pipeline. They are fighting to protect their water supply on land that was effectively stolen from them (i.e. taken by Fed government using treaty nullification). This, in comparison to a group of armed white males whose takeover and destruction of a federal wildlife reserve (land citizens collectively own.) cost taxpayers millions. The former group has been attacked with deadly force while the other was molly-coddled, and then acquitted of wrong-doing.

When institutions are evaluated by Soul Age character, it is quite easy to see where things are now. At this point, it is negative Baby Soul us against them, being exploited to camouflage, but justify, negative Young Soul power centralization to defeat Mature Soul democratic processes like voter suppression laws.

On Collapsing Parallel Realities: Shift the Now!

There has been a great deal of talk about “parallel realities” within this Teaching as being the source explanation for the election results. How did other concurrent scenarios converge into this one? 3 mergers resulted in a median collective Soul Age that was significantly younger. The final shift happened just 24 hours before voting, producing this historical outcome.

Colliding universes, conceptual illustration. Some scientists theorise that our universe is one of many bubble universes, with the potential to someday collide with another.

Colliding universes, conceptual illustration. Some scientists theorise that our universe is one of many bubble universes, with the potential to someday collide with another.

Any “parallel” can brings with it four potential factors: 1) contrary or altered scenarios, 2) different key players, 3) different configurations of events, 4) and a variation of the Soul Age consciousness, i.e. the proportions of love or fear present in individuals or collective planetary experience. Together they can shift the probabilities of expected outcomes. While you “create your own reality” personally, you are still part of a larger human species which is a summation of World Views into collective whole. That effect is commonly termed “consensus reality” or “group mind” or “cultural zeitgeist.” In a sense, all of you together represent a mock-up of the TAO in any given parallel. Not merely its agents, but its creators by your attitudes and by your choices. In this case, the large increase of Baby Soul consciousness added into this parallel, now your reality, tipped the scales such that you have a President Trump instead of a President Clinton. The prevailing spirit of the times became denser, more reactionary, and favored the fear-based need for reductionism. For others, that parallel shift triggered apathy, numbness, and a petty belief that their vote didn’t matter. Hence, many did not come to the poles that would have; while conservative Middle Americans were compelled to do so with greater fervor. Those influences more significantly revealed themselves in the “safe” preservation of Republicans holding onto the House and Senate. But older souls who viewed Mr. Trumps  to be a ‘good thing” acting as the catalyst for some idealized whip-them-up into change approach, believe that turning up the heat of intolerance would magically motivate others to “get up off their ass and do something.” But such naïvely inspired with a built in hubris for assuming they know the direction of change, does not account for the tacit approval of the worst, not best, of human nature was condoned by the election outcome. Nevertheless, they do have a vaguely correct insight: tense times raise levels of pressures for radical restructuring.

Unfortunately, current collective reactivity remains, like it has in the majority of instances in previous historic periods, intoned a more reactive and destructive form of reformation, rather than a constructive and proactive one. What is needed and woefully absent is the spirit of Soliphilia. It is a mindset of interdependent solidarity between people to overcome the alienation and disempowerment present in adversarial political decision-making. It requires mature use of intellect and acknowledging common ground and shared dilemmas. Unfortunately, those principles that were largely obliterated by this election cycle.

It is times like these I wonder aloud “what is the TAO thinking?” Then a booming realization crashes into my mind: that in a free will universe of choice where we collectively create our evolutionary path, we are the TAO in action! Well, I guess we showed us, huh?!

Future: So what do we do next?

This final segment was inspired by an article: A 20-point Guide to Defending Democracy.  What follows is Michael’s blueprint for navigating the rest of your days in a human body. A recommendation for attitudes and behaviors to direct yourselves toward creating the future you say you desire.

  1. GRIEVE your losses! The first step is the most important. Mourn all the hopes, ideals and actual real world opportunities that you believe will no longer be viable. Empty grief and fear out of your system like coughing up a poison bacillus which must be cleared from the lungs to heal a severe infection. Breathe deeply, hack it up and release it, but don’t aim it at anyone! Don’t try and transmute or make the “best of it”, until you have acknowledged fully what has happened. Then, begin the process of rebuilding. Be explicit. Use the Divine Light Prayer Grid as one possible tool for articulating and restructuring.
  2. easily-offended-easily-manipulatedTake No Offense. Anytime you perceive that you have been insulted or slighted by someone then assume the haughty position of “being offended”, you display a vulnerability to manipulation through your victim attitude. Let us acknowledge that some allegations and statements aimed at you can sting! Everyone is capable of sensing the energy wave intoned on words. But for many, the sting you experience beyond their carrier emotion, originates within your own sub-conscious knowing. That those words bare some embarrassing truth, or because your own self-doubt and insecurities causes you worry that those accusations could be true. But your reaction to such attacks can be measured and tactical. Pretending is not what we are recommending. Acknowledge that person’s strike at you. The long term remedy lies in deactivating your own “buttons” with self-knowledge, self-compassion, and self-acceptance. You may measure the heat in someone’s attack, but only can allow yourself to feel burned. If you have immunized yourself to overt reactivity, then no matter what happens, you have the power to choose your responses. You act as a deliberate creator of your reality and not a victim to what someone else casts upon you. Now get healing your wounds!
  3. See past Ugly! When you see (what you judge as) ugly…Don’t hate it or pretend it away by naming it something else. Try to understand what effect it is having, how it got there, and why you feel the need to change it. Kiss the frog and it may turn into a prince or princess. 🙂 Many of you already fear that Mr. Trump Presidency will be a horrible warning rather than a shining example of human nature, and loath it with that expectation. Learn from what is no matter how revolting. TAO has a purpose for everything!
  4. Question your own Assumptions: When you can go no further in rooting up and out their foundations, you will have uncovered your genuine personal principles, your truth, and those items, people, or beliefs as your genuine values. But never stop probing from new angles to challenge your beliefs! Remember the popular meme: “Don’t believe everything you think.” Your assumptions could be faulty and the conclusions you draw erroneous. Self-righteousness is not the same as self-responsibility. One is rigid the latter adaptable. Know the difference.
  5. Become resolute. The next step is to begin the process of acceptance, forgiveness, and then enact personal determination at a level that few Old Souls have risked taking. From this point forward, it means not denying your emotions, nor blaming them on something else, but harnessing them into what you want instead of what you are afraid of. How? FEEL all of them! But do not ACT upon them until they are neutralized by understanding. This will be the crucible stage in conscious evolution toward the Humane Being. Make no final pronouncement about what will happen next. Be open to what the future brings. Collectively, history is being written.
  6. Talk with other people. Respect their common humanity with yours, even when you categorically reject their beliefs. No, you do not have to suffer those who are stupid or conniving. It is not about accepting everyone, but reaching people where they are, with who you are. Try to remember that they too, have a positive intent beneath their beliefs and actions, no matter how distorted, narrow, or contrary you deem them.
  7. Stop worshiping money: The New Age did much to distort the power of money and inadvertently deified it even more than in previous generations. It is a means to an end, not a validation of how good, powerful, justified, or righteous you are. Other energies are available for you to exchange resources, or exert your will, or fill a void with safety.
  8. When necessary, cut your losses. Sometimes you will have to reject, discard, and even destroy some idea, some option, or even someone, to eliminate a drain of energy. This is employing the positive side of the masculine principle to reduce distraction and recapture focus.

get-strongerIn short, we can only offer who we are and do our best. But make no mistake; we can increase output our best. A man in this teaching reminded me, “we must set a goal, train and get stronger.” That is the hurdle we must vault. I suspect I will see my face planted in the dirt of bitterness, despair, and anger more than a few times before I learn to rise above it. It comes down to “one day at a time.” Every day I begin anew. I suspect there are tears, fears, hopelessness and grief; I will shed along the way. For that, I must grant them safe passage out of me, not bury them more deeply within me. Otherwise, they hide in Shadow. What you are witnessing now are the shadow demons of fear arising like the living dead, to be noticed and laid to rest for good! First however, chaos will ensue for a while. But as I/we face our painful emotions, learn not to fear them, but feel them, processing them without interpretation, they dissipate. Their power to convince your Ego to hide or attack declines, and its’ systemic toxicity diminishes as if a cancer were in remission to a blemish. Health is restored with a stronger and more adaptive spiritual immune system.

In summation, I love life itself. I am already feeling what has been recently termed solastalgia; a distress at the rapid diminishment of our biological environment. So, I will continue to nurture my land and replenish it as much as I can. Living, that process of interaction with my fellow humans, is a more difficult challenge; especially with people of different world views that sometime perpetuate the sources of their own anguish. Then blame others for it! Hating my neighbors for their fear-based intolerance is something I too will have to resolve. I lose patience. Compassion goes out the window. But for now, I am deeply aware of the systemic poisoning of the intelligence of the “common man” that began when we turned back the clock on critical thought. Education, critical thinking, and knowledge are the foundation for spiritual awareness and hope.
what-you-can-controlBut when fear and ignorance brew hatred, cynicism takes over. As hope was undermined, cynicism grew and brought us here. I am committed preserving what beauty is left to us by refusing to be cynical. Sometimes pessimistic, yes; but it will take some time before all the effects are known. I am especially concerned for all of our children. We Baby Boomers including myself, who have perpetrated these conditions onto our offspring, will be long dead before the worst of it hits. We owe it to our descendants (many of whom will be us reincarnate), and to every living thing on this planet, to continue to take a stand against fear by advancing awareness through acquiring knowledge. And, apply it as Humane Beings!

Love for life, is the force that can dissolve fear! But acting bravely and proactively is the mechanism to take the fight to fear’s doorstep. And there will be a fight! The time to passively “hope for the best” from the sidelines is over. If you genuinely believe in conscious evolution, then everyone must actively strengthen themselves with love and compassion to empower your courage in the face of fear – your own, or that cast upon you by another. The only place for intolerance is toward intolerance itself. Not of a person, but of an attitude. Remember this newer version of a familiar meme: “Never fear fear itself. Meet it head on with the courage to tell the truth. That is love in action.

[1] While most have heard of the “3rd World” as a reference to less industrialized and underdeveloped countries, the 1st world is a geopolitical term is assigned to industrial democracies. The 2nd world were Communist block countries.

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  4 Responses to “Emotions Drove the 2016 Election, Not Issues”

  1. Hi, thank you for your work.. it is very interesting.

    You said “I am already feeling what has been recently termed solastalgia; a distress at the rapid diminishment of our biological environment. So, I will continue to nurture my land and replenish it as much as I can.”

    I’m wondering what your ideas are or if you have talked with Michael about how we can live in a way that nurtures the earth?

    I have been working towards this for many years now but have become confused about what our relationship with the earth is. I have even found that I have much anger towards the earth. It is my desire to have a nurturing relationship with the earth both wanting to feel nurtured by the earth and wanting to nurture the earth through my actions. I often find myself paralyzed in inaction because of my confusion over how things work.

  2. Steve, This is a fantastic article and addresses much of what we experienced. I was painfully aware of maybe 5 of the shifts you mentioned, particularly the last 3. I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching and re-calibration in the past 6 months to a year, essentially tossing out many of my previously held beliefs. Since I’m an Intellectually centered Scholar-Warrior in pragmatism and power, I felt the need to better understand the use of power during this time. You made reference to Neo Liberalist Economics as a driving force, and indeed it is. You can find more about the details of our current situation in a book called Post Capitalism by Paul Mason, available in Amazon in all formats: https://www.amazon.com/Postcapitalism-Guide-Future-Paul-Mason-ebook/dp/B011I42XQ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1481038911&sr=1-1&keywords=postcapitalism

    Also a book of essays called Technicity, also on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Technicity-Louis-Armand-ebook/dp/B00E20UFTU/ref=pd_sim_351_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00E20UFTU&pd_rd_r=PBQJAZ50J42JA3P48FH3&pd_rd_w=Rziz1&pd_rd_wg=liyZt&psc=1&refRID=PBQJAZ50J42JA3P48FH3

    I also discovered the philosopher, Bernard Stiegler and Symbolic Misery: Volume 1: The Hyperindustrial Epoch, which is quite amazing. This is from the Foreword of that book: “Our epoch is characterized by the seizure of the symbolic by industrial technology, where aesthetics has become both theatre and weapon in the economic war. This has resulted in a misery where conditioning substitutes for experience.” And this from Chapter 1: Aesthetics and Politics: “The problem of politics is one of knowing how to be together, to stand each other and stand together, across and starting from our singularities (much more profound than our ‘differences’) and beyond our conflicts of interest. Politics is the art of securing the unity of the state in its desire for a common future, in its individuation, its singularity as becoming one.” And then (excerpted) “the heart of the economy, of industry, and of politics, the sensible community is today entirely fabricated by technologies of what Deleuze called ‘control societies’ and it is essentially on this front that the international economic struggle is taking place.” The next 100 pages go further. Here is the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Symbolic-Misery-1-Hyperindustrial-Epoch/dp/0745652654/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1481041749&sr=8-5&keywords=bernard+stiegler

    I found these references illuminating and if you can get through them, there are some profound ideas presented.

    Thanks for all you do for the Community, Steve. Your work is important.

    Regards,
    Joe

  3. Yet another comment, regarding Neoliberalism, this from the book PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason. From the Introduction:
    “Neoliberalism is the doctrine of uncontrolled markets: it says that the best route to prosperity is indivisuals pursuing their own self-interest, and the market is the only way to express that self-interest. It says the state should be small (except for its riot squad and secret police); that financial speculation is good; that inequality is good; that the natural state of humankind is to be a bunch of ruthless individuals, competing with each other. … Among the 1 percent, neoliberalism has the power of a religion: the more you practice it, the better you feel — and the richer you become.”

    We have turned words into symbols (as discussed by Bernard Stiegler in Symbolic Misery) but one of the most profound ironies of our age is the word Liberal: it is used as an epithet or an identification, but Neoliberal Economics has a very different meaning than the one used in our common culture.

  4. Steve, This is a fantastic article and addresses much of what we experienced. I was painfully aware of maybe 5 of the shifts you mentioned, particularly the last 3. I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching and re-calibration in the past 6 months to a year, essentially tossing out many of my previously held beliefs. Since I’m an Intellectually centered Scholar-Warrior in pragmatism and power, I felt the need to better understand the use of power during this time. You made reference to Neo Liberalist Economics as a driving force, and indeed it is. You can find more about the details of our current situation in a book called Post Capitalism by Paul Mason, available in Amazon in all formats: https://www.amazon.com/Postcapitalism-Guide-Future-Paul-Mason-ebook/dp/B011I42XQ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1481038911&sr=1-1&keywords=postcapitalism

    Also a book of essays called Technicity, also on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Technicity-Louis-Armand-ebook/dp/B00E20UFTU/ref=pd_sim_351_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00E20UFTU&pd_rd_r=PBQJAZ50J42JA3P48FH3&pd_rd_w=Rziz1&pd_rd_wg=liyZt&psc=1&refRID=PBQJAZ50J42JA3P48FH3

    I also discovered the philosopher, Bernard Stiegler and Symbolic Misery: Volume 1: The Hyperindustrial Epoch, which is quite amazing. This is from the Foreword of that book: “Our epoch is characterized by the seizure of the symbolic by industrial technology, where aesthetics has become both theatre and weapon in the economic war. This has resulted in a misery where conditioning substitutes for experience.” And this from Chapter 1: Aesthetics and Politics: “The problem of politics is one of knowing how to be together, to stand each other and stand together, across and starting from our singularities (much more profound than our ‘differences’) and beyond our conflicts of interest. Politics is the art of securing the unity of the state in its desire for a common future, in its individuation, its singularity as becoming one.” And then (excerpted) “the heart of the economy, of industry, and of politics, the sensible community is today entirely fabricated by technologies of what Deleuze called ‘control societies’ and it is essentially on this front that the international economic struggle is taking place.” The next 100 pages go further. Here is the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Symbolic-Misery-1-Hyperindustrial-Epoch/dp/0745652654/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1481041749&sr=8-5&keywords=bernard+stiegler

    I found these references illuminating and if you can get through them, there are some profound ideas presented.

    Thanks for all you do for the Community Steve. Your work is important.

    Regards,
    Joe

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