[I wrote this post on November 23, 2016 – three months ago.]
Did we really think we could build a war machine that would not make war on us?
It is heartbreaking to hear the reports from Standing Rock, from the undeclared war on the water, the land, their human protectors. And I wonder: Haven’t similar scenes been unfolding in other countries, and in American inner cities, at the behest of our war machine, for decades (at least)?
It is not that the mercenaries in North Dakota are doing anything out of the ordinary; it is just that they are doing it here. And, in my world, personal connections to people at Standing Rock are far more common than personal connections to those dying in our nation’s murderous raids overseas. Continue reading
Let’s talk about bounded choice.
Years ago, on my way out of Zendik, I read a book of that title (subtitle: True Believers and Charismatic Cults). The author, Janja Lalich, had become a sociologist, specializing in cultic studies, after ten years in a political cult that dissolved when the followers lost faith in the leader. In the book, she draws on her own experience, as well as her research into other groups (Heaven’s Gate, in particular) to show that cult members are neither stupid nor mindless, that they do think and choose for themselves – it’s just that great swaths have been removed from their field of possibility. So they operate within an extremely narrow range.
This last election, and its aftermath, have confirmed for me that yes, industrial civilization is a cult, and yes, its true believers experience, and act from, a condition of bounded choice. Continue reading