Now that even The Shepherds are starting to ask questions? AP: Is everything seemingly spinning out of control?
I hate dehumanizing my seven billion brothers and sisters by calling them sheep. But after spending fifty years on this planet with them, it is tough not to make the comparison. I do not think less of them for their self-involvement, life on this planet is tough. There is work to do to keep the children fed and teach them right from wrong. Friends and neighbors to care for, lawns to be mowed, garages to be painted, things to do, places to go, people to see. Busy, busy busy. There is too much to do already, in their small portion of the world. They have learned since grade school that looking up, or god forbid, speaking up, is dangerous and just plain wrong. And when they do look up from the monumental task that keeping body and souls together on this little rock can be, what do they see?
Forces beyond their control, from all indications. Events and actions on a global scale that seem to bear no relation to their neighborhoods or living rooms. Especially through the warm insulating filter of their teevees, which tell them that everything is no more of a mess than usual and that their highest function is to consume, that if they consume correctly they will feel fulfilled. Their leaders reassure them and tell them not to worry. We know what we are doing, we will keep you safe, they say. Trust us, and go about your lives …well go about the lives that we proscribe for you….and do as you are told…don’t bother to pay attention…if you see that something is wrong, report it to the Authorities….we will keep you safe, we will keep you warm, we will take care of everything so that you can play your part. Go along to get along. You can’t fight City Hall. Trust us and consume. We are smart, you are busy. Trust us. The world is too complex for you to grasp, we know what we are doing. Trust us. If it seems like things do not make sense, that is because YOU do not understand. Trust us.
We have built a nice green meadow just for you…all you need to do is graze contentedly.
Oh, and a small reminder. We have dogs and guns and can do whatever we want. Don’t make trouble, keep your heads down, ignore the smells and sounds from the slaughterhouse just over the hill. Trust us.
Semi-reassuring words from the AP article:
American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.
“All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored,” he said. “Of course, that doesn’t mean it will happen again.”
Confidence restored? Is that the critical measurement, confidence? I suppose it is….if you are a shepherd.
The tag lines:
After all, this is the 21st century, not a more primitive past when little in life was assured. Surely people know how to fix problems now.
Maybe. And maybe this is what the 21st century will be about – a great unraveling of some things long taken for granted.
Oh Ho! A “great unraveling” indeed.
No Virginia, there is no Sanity Clause.
The comforting reassurances by the historian in the AP piece of crises overcome in the past in effect ask us to ignore the future…and of course, if you are a good sheep, that is by far the wisest course. The Authorities know what they are doig, the Shepherds will take care of us. Just keep grazing… and um, releasing methane. The Shepherds don’t want to…can’t afford to…disturb or alarm the sheep. If the sheep ever looked up from their grazing, they might notice that not only is something going drastically wrong, but that the Shepherds not only don’t have a clue what to do about it…but that they are actually actively making it worse, while profiting from it….and “making plans” for them and their fellow shepherds…but not so much for the sheep.
Though the Shepherds tell us differently…that Iraq is a war for freedom, not oil…the sheep do not yet know that the Shepherds are in a great global struggle for energy hegemony…for control of the planets dwindling resources.
But as the price of gas rises to the point where they can no longer merely graze peacefully, a percentage of the sheep might look up.
And when they do, they will have some hard decisions to face. The first being whether to support killing their fellow sheep in Iraq and elsewhere so that the Shepherds can profit from controlling the oil. How many lives are they willing to have their government take in their name to preserve “The American Lifestyle.”
And since oil use and emissions are still going up….what happens when killing people for their oil doesn’t work anymore?
Humans, let alone Americans, have never faced a “great unraveling” of the magnitude we are facing. Other than the context of “world wars,” humans are not used to thinking globally. Climate Crisis will “unravel” that. This is NOT an American problem or a Chinese problem or a Indian problem. This is a planetary problem…unlike any the human race has faced before.
We as Americans and as humans have a decision to make. Do we fight and kill each other for the remaining resources as all the while the Climate Crisis is ignored and exacerbated due to resource wars?
Or do we find a new way?
Will this be the crisis that makes humans change from a group of tribalized nation states scratching and clawing in competition for their individual survival at ALL costs?
Or will we finally be FORCED to learn to cooperate and work together?
We know what the status quo says, we know what the corporations say, we know what the Republicans say, we know what the Military Industrial Complex says.
As we sheep look up and see what the Shepherds have done…and are preparing to do….WE will have two choices as to what to say…
And “they” will not take ‘no’ lightly.
Humans only change through crisis. Get ready for change.
Update: for emphasis I will post this link again: Federal Report: Warming = More Harmful Climate Extremes
The Shepherds would have us believe this is some far off future that we are facing. It is not. Climate Crisis is here, now.