(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Simulposted from The Wild Wild Left
I see this question more than any other question across the Liberal Blogosphere.
People are frustrated as hell. I am frustrated as hell.
I see this question asked a thousand ways, a thousand times, it seems an obsession. People are looking for a Savior, a Leader, how to make Coalitions, how to ignite a groundswell uprising. We analyze The Question to Death. Most of the essays and op/eds on the subject are most excellent, I spent a couple hours on and off reading our brother-blog, Docudharma yesterday and found tons of food for thought on the subject.
But even out of the best of these, sometimes it irritates me. I want to yell, “What do you mean ‘we’ Kemosabe? I don’t see you out on the street!” I want to say, “Why are you waiting for a Leader, instead of being one?” Then I calm myself, I think to myself, “We cannot will this into being, the times will create it.”
But most of the time, I just think, “Right on!” I know the act of speaking to it, moves us into the direction where action happens. How many men and women of color asked these same questions before Rosa just sat down? How many whispered in the mean fields before Woody started singing?
We are all impatient, all painfully aware that a change has to happen or we will suffer, most of us are already suffering.
I’m one of the ones at ground zero. I am quite aware of what’s going on, searingly, personally aware. I talk much less about it than you could all ever know. Many of you are worse off yet.
Some of you are doing much better, but still, no one in the country is doing as well as they once did. Fewer yet are still living at what I like to call the “3 home level.” I suppose this distinction is a Michigan thing. You see, many Union Factory Workers had modest homes in the city and tiny cottages they weekended at, or spent a few vacation weeks in Summer. Here? Anyone with 3 homes has by default, got to be an “Executive.” One of the people fighting the Unions and the Workers to show profits and get their huge bonuses.
Not that I want to silence voices from above in the economicsphere, all voices are needed to fight fascism. It is only the idea that being told to hit the Street by those who would not end up homeless, jobless, with no way to feed their child sometimes rankles. They may have more to lose, but it is a much, much longer path to losing it all. They won’t be the first to bury their son, or to die, leaving him Motherless.
So, in those short thoughts that just spilled out of my brain, I defined one of the answers of “Why not?”
Its more than fear, it is SELF-PRESERVATION INSTINCT.
I had a spirited debate yesterday with a musician. Now, I may be wrong, but I doubt that many working musicians are Conservatives. Yet, the fear of work-loss keeps him anonymous, makes it impossible in his mind to post freely under his true name.
I would venture to guess the majority of Bloggers feel the same way, due to the concrete evidence that the majority of Bloggers post anonymously.
Lets analyze that.
In a Free Country, we are AFRAID to voice our Political views, well, uhhhhhhh, FREELY. The bravery of others, who posted with their real names inspired me to do the same.
I am of two minds about this, as I am about many things. Nothing, ok, little, is black and white to me. It depends wholly on who you are afraid of. The Government? Your employers? Your peers?
First of all, if you have signed a Petition the Government knows who you are anyway. You are on a list. Secondly, if you have written what they see as subversive articles anonymously, they quite have the capability to track your I/P address and know who you are. You are on the list.
Now, employers? Should any of your employers bother to google each and every one of their employees, and dislike your Politics, on what grounds could you be dismissed? Is this really America? They could be sued into oblivion.
My other way of thinking on this? Smarter, not harder. With advanced surveillance, and the propensity for targeting perceived Leaders at any demonstration, is it not smarter to cover one’s face, hide one’s identity? It seems so. That seems to be the prevailing opinion of demonstrators world-wide. I get it. Are we that far off from the hoodings and midnight disappearances of people seen as trouble-makers to the status quo?
I would argue with myself a bit against my own point: Hooded, scarfed people look like thieves, terrorists, Klansmen, like People who think they are doing something WRONG. Maybe what is lacking is for people to see the Faces of those who are standing up, whose pain and resolve are evident in the very window to the soul we all recognize. Our eyes, our faces. In a John Wayne mentality country, only bad guys cover their face. In an XE country, survivors do.
I have no answer to that one.
Now, what to protest?
Ummmm, “everything” is not an answer.
One of the best essays I read talked about a “spark.” Another spoke of a “Uniting Single Principle,” like the 60’s had: the draft and Vietnam. A while ago, I read one about whether the times create a Leader or a Leader creates the times. All excellent questions. We have spoken on WWL Radio about tipping points, and what could finally, after outrage after abomination, move people to action?
Others, the more Centrists of the Left, cling to incremental change. They think voting and bargaining will return us to a state of Civil Rights and economic safety. This is the argument I most easily dismiss. No one who has accrued wealth or power from or over others, ever returns it freely. It is too far gone.
There are just too many variables to predict what will motivate us. We have no jobs, no civil rights or protections, rising costs of living and medical care, diminishing education, wildly excessive military spending, bailouts to those who stole our country’s wealth and are at never-ending war in an effort to conquer the planet for the Elites.
I am pissed at every single one of those travesties, as well as the rise of gender-bias and racism/xenophobia in this country.
So why am I not out on the streets? Why are YOU not out in the streets? Is it the whack-a-mole theory, where if you protest one issue, the other will smash you while your not looking?
I don’t know.
I think, perhaps, its just not time.
I know we are frustrated, and ask the very valid question, “If not now, when?”
Apartheid didn’t end in a year. India did not free herself overnight. America herself has come to change only in fits and leaps.
My only answer is this. No matter how you come at it, whether we all agree on the “how, when or why’s” it is the whispers in the Fields that matter.
We need to rage about what is being done to us; we need to start to speak about what the society we envision would be like.
We need to quit criticizing ourselves for not doing MORE, when there is so much work to be done laying the groundwork for succeeding when it does happen. We need to lose the illusion that this “something” must be planned and plotted.
IT NEVER WORKS THAT WAY.
A spiritual warrior does not rush to the hunt because its there. He rather hones himself, speaks to others about what is wise and what is not. Revolution starts in whispers, I say.
The time will present itself spontaneously.
One woman will stand up, or sit down. Someone will come, and put shoulder to shoulder, then another. Then another. Word will travel and others will come. Others will stand.
Nothing happens in a vacuum.
Prepare yourself to stand up. Know what you are fighting for and against. Read, listen, learn, speak. Never be silent.
The time is coming.
The times will create the Leaders, and if those Leaders should fall, others will rise in their place. Be ready to follow, be ready to Lead if that is your nature. Waiting is not frustrating if you are preparing, if you KNOW it will fail without the proper timing, if you KNOW your very survival depends on that time being right. The cosmos just works that way. It creates itself.
Keep your voices, your words spilling truth forth. They are what CREATES the TIME.
You will know when the time is right.
You will know.
…and I will be standing next to you.
(so spills out of my brain in a swoop with my first cup of coffee..)