The Irredeemability of “America” and the Call for a Decentralist Revolution

February 1, 1995

The rapid disintegration of the “Communist” world, and the resulting demise of the Cold War, overshadowed a more significant war: the catastrophic effects of a long era of a diabolical capitalist model that has maintained war against the “Third” world and the planet. The Cold War, i.e., the East-West confrontation, was a cover for the “Third” World War, the North-South battle of the rich against the poor. The “New World Order” is simply a unipolar, Pax Americana version of the Old World Order.

This should not be surprising. The foundations of Western Hemisphere “civilization,” including but not limited to the United States of America, are rooted in arrogant European ethnocentrism that shamelessly carried out the most heinous genocide, against indigenous American and Africans, in human history. Since 1492 each person now alive has been instilled with the character and unconsciousness of over 33 million direct ancestors through 25 generations of offspring (225 equals 33,554,432). This character is deeply etched into our subconscious. With little awareness, we live with the presence of this past, a legacy of our original violent theft that has been preserved to this day through generations of various demonic methods of exploitation. This record, which I describe as the Columbus Enterprise, is fully in force today under the term, “New World Order” or neoliberal economics. We have barely, if at all, been conscious of this conceitedness, and the incredible suffering it has caused, and continues to cause, even to ourselves.

Fundamental injustices were in fact originated in 1492. They were legally legitimized and have become increasingly structural and systemic through the establishment of various EuroAmerican nation state oligarchic structures, including the “Constitutional Republic” of the United States of America. Anthropocentric racism, classism, and sexism have dominated the life of virtually all these oligarchic republics, whether “democracies” or dictatorships. Additionally, the United States, with its religion of “Manifest Destiny” and obsession with maintaining the American Way Of Life (AWOL), has become the most violent and destructive empire in human history through full fledged colonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism.

The rapid development of the institutionalized and pervasive greed of market/political forces has captured virtually all of modern, western life. It seeks to capture the entire planet with its “free” market free-for-all. This force has seduced and co-opted most of us, including those of us in the peace and justice “movement,” into an insidious complicity with and dependency upon the plutocratic and economic structures and the values that underlie the American Way Of Life. We are caught in a depressing hypocrisy, ironically the more so, as we harshly condemn our national policies and values.

Disconnect from our feelings, souls, bodies and minds, and in our relationship with all nature, leads to emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, social, political, and ecological breakdowns. Our minds, bodies, souls, and life practices are not integrated. We are not grounded with nature, therefore not wise. We are dangerously spinning into chronic dis-ease as fragmented, unfeeling automatons, rapidly falling toward extinction.

We continue to foolishly believe that legislation will bring peace, justice and “order.” Endless attempts at crime “control” through passage of more criminal laws, adding police and prisons, will continue to frustrate us. International attempts to bring permanent peace to conflicts rooted in structural injustices are doomed to failure. Even our highly praised civil rights legislation has not eliminated racism. In fact, some authorities, such as former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, recently deceased, claim that racism is more widespread and insidious now than before the civil rights movement started in the 1950s. A simple principle is ignored. There is no peace without justice. There is no justice without a consciousness of our sacred interconnectedness, our ancient dimension of mutual aid and cooperation.

We are at a critical point of dissonance between reality and surreality. As a species we are on the eve of a great ecological awakening antithetical to the paradigm of our addiction to anthropocentric domination. The structure of our thought is facing extraordinary reality checks. When awareness of feelings and a liberated mind are allowed to integrate, there is potential for an explosion of consciousness. Michael Foucalt, the French philosopher, suggests we are in front of an “epistemic break,” a sudden image shift in consciousness in which the unthinkable becomes thinkable. Ivan Illich, the provocative revolutionary priest and cultural historian, describes the “coming rupture of consciousness” as a “catastrophic break with industrial humanity’s image of itself.”

A careful review of history reveals decades and centuries of repression of feelings, and addiction to thoughts of domination and associated denial patterns. However, deep reservoirs of pent-up compassion energy and ancient wisdom, when finally released, can sweep aside old patterns almost overnight. These might be called Zeitgeist moments.

It is time for those of us who claim to be committed to a peace and justice “movement” to understand the empirical record of the irredeemability of our nation-state political model, our capitalist economic structures, and the anthropocentric greed/selfish values that underlay them. It seems to me that as we acknowledge the presence of our recent past, this legacy of demonic proportions, we are able to tap into a deeper past, an ancient reservoir of a consciousness of interconnectedness, solidarity, and mutual aid. This is likely a very painful but extraordinarily powerful healing process. Profound catharsis produces a feeling of lightness accompanied by demonstrable relief.

Revolutionary (turning around) liberation from our addictions to AWOL requires a renunciation of any and all claims to disproportionate privileges and power acquired, consciously or unconsciously, from conditioned personal or structural attitudes and actions of violence. Without vital, interactive face-to-face community, renunciation is virtually impossible. As philosopher Paul Goodman stated in the 1940s and 1950s, the hope in face-to-face community was the only truth he trusted.

Interdependence, not independence, is a better model. A biocentric consciousness replaces the anthropocentric paradigm; biocracy (acknowledging the participation of all life) replaces democracy (conspiracy of humans against nature). Bioregionalism that identifies geographical areas as self-sustaining, replaces violent, political nation-state structures. Nonviolence, the respect for all sacredness both in the means and ends, replaces the arrogance and destructive power of violence. Local self-reliance replaces dependency upon unhealthy centralized transnational economics, politics, energy and food production. Slow and deliberative becomes as beautiful as small and accessible. Less is understood deeply as more, richer and healthier.

With the exception of indigenous peoples and perhaps a few spiritually enlightened others, I believe the potential changes in consciousness are so radical as to be unprecedented in our understandings of human history. Imagination and risk taking, in interaction with emerging intimate and decentralized communities, will enable us to withdraw, disengage, and transcend our dysfunctional dependencies upon inhumane and destructive centralized political and economic institutions. The market and nation-state politics will no longer define our identity or value. In effect, recovery of our natural and ancient consciousness of sacredness, in the context of the Commons and Nature, empowers us to trust our capacity to harmoniously “regulate” our lives without addictions to dependency. As we actively confront the unjust structures of neoliberal political economics, we can offer our lives in nonviolent community as an alternative model.

This path will be exciting, experimental, and difficult. It will also provide us with hope and affirmation necessary for the survival of our species with dignity. The stakes are high: revolutionary nonviolence or painful nonexistence.


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