Apocalyptic Comic Strip, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

Still not getting it

It isn’t for any lack of information. An avalanche of critical consensus has described what happened in November as a massive rejection, by ordinary Americans, of the status quo.

Trump’s win has been called “a very, very bad answer to some very good questions.” In a colossal waste of opportunity, those questions are still not being addressed by the anti-Trump forces with the most power.

Golden Moment

As a body, the Democratic Party seems unable to self-reform. With a staggering lack of imagination, they have come up with no plan to revivify the unions, their traditional base.

No new vision to unify the poor, working–class and middle-classes. No plan to respond to the public’s fear and loathing of Wall Street.

Instead of pouncing upon this golden moment, to say “…no to fracking, no to TPP, no to Israeli occupation and yes to single-payer healthcare, [these issues have been] pushed aside by the corporate wing” (Cornel West) of the Democratic Party, as it slinks back to its day job as a giant fundraising machine.

Historical milestone

This tells us, as clearly as anything could, that the massive fix we need has little to do with parsing the differences between donkeys and elephants, let alone with the antics of one man.

It’s about the greater system within which political parties and presidents exist. The country is having its Pluto Return, a historical milestone involving the planet of self-destruction. (See “Right Use of Power”).

Built-in safeguards

The founding fathers cobbled together a complicated system. They wrote into the US Constitution a warren of cunning safeguards designed to counteract the rise of a tyrant(1) and the entrenchment of a moneyed establishment (Capricorn).

Realizing that a dualistic model of government was too simplistic to do so, those canny gents created instead a system that would confound consistent alliances. (Consider the way Wall Street loves Trump’s anti-banking regulations but opposes his anti-globalism stance).

Deep change

We don’t know yet whether this original vision for the country, ingenious and prescient though it was, is elastic enough to withstand the current period. We do know that it would take a deeply destabilizing kind of change to reawaken that vision.

This kind of change can’t happen without people imagining it. And we can’t do that without a conceptual framework  that allows for this imagining.

Instead, most of us get our conceptual framework from the mass media, a multi-trillion-dollar industry that treats our brains
as “a garbage dump for cultural commotion” (journalist Mick LaSalle).

Presenting every political issue as a red-vs-blue dichotomy, the media narrative gives us no way to conceptualize the kind of change that would turn things around.

Individual imagination

But there’s no reason why this should hamper our own imaginations.

Our first step towards a solution is to recognize the manipulative nature of the official paradigm (see “HyperNormalisation,” by the visionary documentarian Adam Curtis).

The more we self-inform via clean information(2), the less we will be thrown off by the poor performance of dying institutions like the duopolistic political party system.

When we keep our own creative responsiveness alive and well, the less we obsess about opinion-makers and pundits coming up short. The less energy we waste despairing that others — including our friends and relatives — appear to be on the wrong side of history.

Battle cry

If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.

— Scoop Nisker

Consider that wonderful battle cry from the 1960s: Think globally, act locally. Here is a perspective that allows for the involvement of, but does not prioritize, institutional politics. It doesn’t even mention political parties.

Nor does it presume that we have to sit around and wait for the right leaders to get us moving.

If we, as individuals, stay alive to the present moment, we will get the right leaders. They will naturally arise out of an engaged populace.

That’s where change starts: from the bottom up. With us.


1 Their forebodings are symbolized, in the Sibly chart of the USA, by Saturn in the 10th square the Sun. See Soul-Sick Nation.

2 Some of my own favorite sources: Democracy Now, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Al JazeeraThe Baffler, TruthOut, Glenn Greenwald, Tom Dispatch, Salon, Chris HedgesThe New StatesmanSlate.

Image sources:
Seashell photo: Nina Leen
[Hooded observers]: Yaroslav Gerzhedovich