Our Nation in Crisis – An American Vision: Part 2

 

The Big Picture

Next are some examples of contributory factors which often supported bad outcomes. Most were given bipartisan support.

We now face a struggle for our future and quite possibly a struggle for the future of our world. While environmental issues are among those at the core, the problems go well beyond. And it is important to realize that failures of vision and perspective are not the province of one idealogical group. In general we have been inattentive even when it may not be a matter of ideology.

Here is a short list which demonstrate bipartisan errors:

The War on Drugs/War on Crime

In the 1980s we declared this war. Stop and frisk escalated and mandatory (long) sentences were imposed even for nonviolent crimes often involving very small quantities of drugs. Rather than going into extensive details, it is sufficient to say it was excessive and our prison population swelled to one of the highest in the world. We went from 1 million to 2.5 million. We seem to have recognized our error and the population has been reduced, but part of the support comes not from a belief in justice, but the perception that it cost us too much money. We have alienated and grievously stressed minority communities and ruined countless lives and families.

The Second Prohibition 

The first prohibition related to alcohol. It was assumed it would benefit society. But what we did was to help build crime syndicates. Their profits were huge and, once established, they branched out into many other criminal enterprises. Finally we recognized our error and resumed legal sale of alcohol with appropriate regulation. But we had already built criminal enterprises which continued.

And then, much later we instituted a prohibition of recreational use of marijuana. We failed to see that it would have a similar effect like that of alcohol prohibition. But this time we helped build international cartels. Of course, there are other drugs involved, but marijuana made a significant contribution to cartel profits. Many in government and law enforcement recognized the error and there is an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) made up of senior law enforcement officials and even heads of states which supports reform. We are making progress and many states now accept medical marijuana and steadily some are legalizing “recreational” use. In all cases there is regulation as with alcohol.

Globalization of Trade

Of course, in the world as it is, we must engage in global trade. Questions revolve around how it is done. Again, I won’t attempt to delve into a complex issue except to note one specific effect. The agreements we entered into often had the effect of exporting jobs. And the types of jobs affected the people we refer to as the “left behinds”. Our error was to fail to face the inevitable. We needed, from the beginning, to look at the implications and to plan for retraining and education to help move people into alternative employment. There was a rather large void of attention to the need and also how and to what we should attend.

A Changed Economy

The pace of change has increased and that means jobs must change and the employment face of communities must change. In a prior post I dealt with vision in regard to the future of Appalachia. Politicians claimed they could save the jobs related to coal. Reality and the facts were very different. In Appalachia coal was running out, coal companies were finding ways to produce with fewer employees, other kinds of coal in other areas were deemed more desirable and it was clear that wind and solar were to be steady producers of energy. In short, these jobs would inevitably disappear no matter what politicians claimed. We have yet to face the future in terms of what this beautiful area might have for its employment needs which very much speaks to the future of their young people.

I’ll leave the list there. There are many other candidates for a list of errors made by many people across party and ideological lines. The basic issue is vision and commitment.

Next we will go into discussing some lessons learned about issues which affect our viewpoint and outcomes.

What errors of vision would you note?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

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Welcome To My Newsletter – Myth and Transformation

Roger B Burt: Author of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power

                        

Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy                Book 2 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called                               Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Women in Power                                                       The Chosen Rise

Available Now at Amazon                                        Coming Soon

Transformation Seems on the Horizon -Like It Or Not!

What might transformation bring us?  Have you asked your soothsayer lately?

Waves of Change

I’m going out on a limb and saying I expect increasing waves of change. It may mean disaster but I love possibilities and see good ones on the horizon. They help guide my fiction writing. What do you see in the future?

I’m constantly captured by a view of waves in human history. They may be multiple and overlapping but we can see them and currently they seem to be coming more rapidly. In the ancient world the waves were long term but now they seem to be accelerating. They offer the fiction writer a lot of interesting material.

From Dark Ages to Hope

Some times we look at the ancient world and see wonder, but it could be a cruel place. After the Dark Ages came the Renaissance. Certainly many evils remained but there was marked change as reason and a turn to individualism triumphed. More recently we have seen things like the consolidation of countries in Europe and marvelous increases in research and technology.

Social and Political 

During the time of the World Wars there was massive conflict but there were also social and political creations. Even with our current conflicts we can see distinct possibilities. If we sit back and focus, it is often surprising what we see may be possible shortly.

What’s the Point?

Recent events suggest we may be entering a dark and foreboding era but there may be welcome surprises. Certainly there are those who are focused only on their own benefit. But we still have options for lovely and fulfilling transformations. There may be benefits that can be truly substantial. Future possible transformations inspired me to write the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

What kind of transformation do you think may lie just ahead?

Let me invite you to also join me at my blog cuspofreality.com. In my posts I’m sharing my thoughts about our world as it is and how it may be. We may stand on the cusp of reality and when we step off we can only dream of what we may find. 

Available Now: Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt 

(Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Our Nation in Crisis – An American Vision: Part 1

What do you believe is the core we need to address?

The Need for Vision for an America in Crisis

This has been a grueling election process with a conclusion very few expected. Now we have to deal with the consequences. 

Our middle class has seen income stagnate over forty years. Income inequality has been substantial and is increasing. We have created a body of people we are calling “left behinds”. And through it all there has been a stunning lack of vision combined with obstruction of problem solving.

Being Driven By Emotions

Many people in this country have been hurt and they are angry. Anger often leads to a search for someone to blame and awakens prejudice. We are just beginning to see and feel what fruits it will bear. Emotion, especially in the absence of constructive action may lead to feelings of hopelessness. People will strike out. Possibly they will strike first at the ballot box but surely more definitively in time. We wait to see where it will lead.

Seeing the Consequences

While I surveyed the national landscape, one of my daughters sent me this link to a Huffington Post article. I was stunned. The man had outlined the exact set of conclusions I had reached.

History Tells Us What Will Happen Next With Brexit and Trump by Tobias Stone

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tobias-stone/history-tells-us-what-will-brexit-trump_b_11179774.html

From the article:

“Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable. That was Hitler, but it was also Mussolini, Stalin, Putin, Mugabe and so many more.”

A Partial List of Risks

We now have questions to ask ourselves. We see and feel the anger. Do we now have a national awakening or are we to be led deep into feelings of hopelessness, disenfranchisement, dysfunction and destruction. Since World War II we have been the leaders of what we call The Free World. There have been substantial lapses such as with the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, but in general we have been able to offer support and security in many ways. If we fail now, before us there stands a vulnerable world. Europe took a bold step in establishing the European Union and it is now shuddering as nationalistic and populist movements such as led to Brexit threaten its future. And just to the side stands a sociopath called Putin who took Crimea and may well make additional forays into Eastern Europe. Of course, there is the Middle East with what I am calling their hundred years war just beginning. China has been flexing its muscles and we cannot know where that might lead without carefully crafted diplomatic restraint. Would North Korea see an opportunity to attack South Korea or go deeper into provocative conflict with Japan? What of the continuing tensions between Pakistan and India—both nuclear powers. The list is long and ominous. And in each case carefully crafted American support and diplomacy has proven crucial in fostering stability and progress. What if it declines or is missing?

It is easy to dismiss the prospects and blindly declare it will not come to worldwide conflict. But we need to pay attention to the history of deep wave phenomena. One of the most recent ones began just prior to World War I. No one expected that cataclysm and the duration of it through the creation of the Third Reich. The history of Nazi Germany has echoes suggestive of what we now see on the horizon in many areas of the world. Tobias Stone has warned us and history confirms his thoughts. The consequences for America may be considerable.

Paying Attention to Waves

Wave theory is fascinating and waves come in many forms. Recently I mentioned the book Postcapitalism by Paul Mason which addresses economic waves. Stone in his article addresses political/social waves. Waves are fundamental in human history. And now we seem to be entering another wave and we can either shape it or abandon ourselves to it. Inaction may lead to breathtaking consequences.

And in fiction we have a long history of exploring human conflict and where it may lead us. We are on the cusp of a real world exploration. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I chose a fictional exploration where mythology and the women’s movement are woven. It is an exploration filled with hope as strong women lead us into our future.

What do you see ahead as these conflicts build? 

Next we look at some factors which contributed to putting us deeper into risk. 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Men, Women and …

 

But There’s More

Men, Women and …

In recent posts there was a discussion asking when men will begin to truly examine themselves as we move into a rapidly changing future, in a time when women are clearly becoming empowered. But it is a time of complex challenges.

Raising An Important Question

In the second book of my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy-Challenge one of the major characters, Beck, has an intriguing interaction. In the undersea world that he and his wife Chantia have entered there are the Tethyan people. These people are predominantly female but there are a few men. Beck knows men are there because the mission of the Tethyans is to guard the future in case of a catastrophic failure among humankind.

Beck is intrigued and asks to speak with some of the men. The first two don’t seem to be able to give him much information. Then comes Lucas who is of the Illuminata, the clarifiers. Lucas points out that there are numerous questions regarding the men and that they are yet to be answered.

We, In Our World, Have Numerous Questions

What Lucas says reflects the developing picture in their rapidly developing world. In our current world we have a similar problem. Earlier posts talked about the changing roles of women and the need for men at last to begin to probe themselves and their future because they have to change as well.

The Third Force

I struggled to come up with an appropriate term for another issue. It is becoming apparent that humankind is not merely made up of men and women clear in their images and identity. (Duh!) We have struggled for a long time to believe in a simple dichotomy which is an untruth. But in recent decades we have truly discovered the LGBTQ community. 

Again I struggle with terminology. The diversity involved does not quite seem like an integrated “community”. But I think you get my drift. At last we are going to have to deal with our real diversity. We are not seamless and do not merely have two partners who come together for reproduction. 

Rich Complexity

When I look at programs about animals it seems they are all about food and reproduction. There are the predators and the prey, males and females. It seems primates have some forms of culture but nothing approaching our language and depth of culture. And while their world may change, rapid development is unlikely. We are quite different.

Challenge

Yes, we are challenged and need to step back, control our prejudices and take a look at our diversity as a precious gift, not something to be feared. Again we come to the theme of transformation. In Gaia’s Majesty I address the challenge and the possibilities for our future. Our rapidly changing human culture presents us with  moments of opportunity to be seized. There is much more to come as the cascade seems to be intensifying.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

As We Enter A New Year

 

What Lies Before Us?

It is traditional at the beginning of each new year for us to explore its meaning and what it may hold. This year is no different but it appears to hold extraordinary possibilities. What may emerge is far from clear and we see both chaos and transformational themes on the horizon. But transformation is not always inspiring and uplifting. The possible transformation on a threatening world stage is something to be feared even while we see the wonderful transformation which may occur as women are released from subjugation and come to power.

Searching Future Possibilities

On my blog this year I will continue searching the landscape of our future. I should emphasize that I consider my blog posts to be what I call “thought documents”. I am an intuitive personality type which means my focus is on possibilities. And that is what I will seek in the posts. I will not attempt to be comprehensive for any given topic but will identify something worth considering.

Transformation

I truly believe we are facing transformation which can be devastating or uplifting in an extraordinary fashion. Perhaps it will involve a clashing of both types with our response yet to define where it will lead us.

When the idea of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy began to form I did not see where it would lead. Among the components were my being intrigued by the myth of the mermaid and at the same time I’ve been intrigued by the movement to bring women to power over the last few decades.

I thought I was writing a story but found an exploration. 

Partnership Rather Than Power

Perhaps the word power is not a good choice regarding women because if we were to replace the dominance of men by the dominance of women, perhaps we have missed a chance. Over the millenia humankind has grasped language, culture, extraordinary changes including such things as the Enlightenment. But now the better word related to our best opportunity refers to true partnership between men and women. Such a partnership can offer fulfilling potentials for all of us and provide a bastion of commitment to bring more dangerous forces under control.

This will truly be a fascinating time and for me it holds shining hope needed to support the development of our full potential. And in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy we see what powerful women may bring us.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt