Thursday, March 11, 2010

In the Meantime

My next post here will transition from our thinking of Faith to thinking over John Ralston Saul's ideas. In the meantime, I'm presently writing something to form the basis for a movement to create a voice to contrast the Tea Party. Not on the basis of policy against policy, but on a basis of approach against approach when it comes to making our Society together. I'm calling it the Tavern Party. (America was born in Taverns- not ransacked ships).
Clicking on my profile gets you to the actual blog site. I have the domains secured as well.

Let me know what you think, Mike

A New Common Sense (beginning draft)

America, as history shows, wasn't born in a ransacked ship. America, was born in Taverns. Taverns where people from their walks of life took time to discuss with one another, the idea of giving Democracy another try. The last ones to try it on such a large scale, were the Greeks. They themselves gathered together in "Symposiums" to figure Democracy out; invent it we might say. Think of their Symposiums, as something very akin to our New England Taverns- rather than the dry academic lectures that comprise symposiums today. Maybe the only real difference came from the fact that the climate of Greece favored grapes and wine, while the climate of New England favored grain and beer. In either case, whether from the Greek Symposium, or the American Tavern, Democracy emerged when ordinary people such as you and I, gathered together in a manner that believed in the best of themselves, and of Life- and celebrated the prospect of living into the ultimate form of Society: Democracy.

And who wouldn't get excited at such a prospect? After all, most of human social history is the story of societies forming themselves by a hierarchy of some sort- which most likely funneled most of the flourishing to the top. The top in return, justified their privilege as due them, through some rationale involving God: before Christ it was Caesar; after Christ it was the Church. Democracy was our chance to break up the humanly sculpted irony of some people usurping God for their private gain on the backs of their neighbors.

Democracy (and what Christ really said about neighbors). Democracy's not bound in an ability to vote. It's bound in an ability to make together, a Society that supports diverse Human Life in ways that don't impede Life's innate push toward complexity- the complexity that Life needs in order to flourish. Societies that depend on precise or even vague homogeneity to form themselves, are not Democracies; we call them country clubs. The Tavern Party is formed today with the belief that America is about pursuing real Democracy once again, and that today, we have it backwards when we think ( like the Tea Party) that Democracy is about pursuing America. The America made larger than Democracy, is in reality, a mere ideology- a club of sorts. As for any of us longing for real Democracy know, ideologies exist in minds, and that real Democracy laughs at our puny attempts to domesticate it into some homogeneous geniality that can fit neatly between two ears.

Which is the larger, America or Democracy? When I listen to the war like rhetoric from the Radical Right I could conclude that America is. But I'm not fooled- I'm more intelligent than that; I'm more courageous too- as most of us are on both counts. All it's come to take to be an American it seems, is to do a few simple things: fix a narrow view of the world; wave a flag over it- (or at least wear one on your lapel); reduce complex ideas to taunting rhymes; stand to a side and puff up: things that we first learned to do on our childhood playgrounds, things that our parents and teachers worked so ardently to drive out of our budding characters: for the cause of growing up. Obviously, Democracy is the larger. And as such, is complex and demanding of all our intelligence- and maturity. Not just the kind of intelligence that builds expertise, but the kind that seeks to share in common, the sense of complexity found in Life itself; Life's innate Complexity I would offer, serves as the basis for our new Common Sense.

Basing our new Common Sense on the like of Nature's complexity takes courage though, because Courage faces the large as large; the complex as complex: anger in contrast shrinks things down to size in order to bully it; anger is too easy to come by, and sadly- is often mistaken for Courage. Ideology simplifies reality's innate complexity to bite sized pieces- and sound bites- and reduces Society to a play ground, where ideology bullies all who won't play its game of make believe. Ideology and anger are a natural boy-girl relationship; the kids on such play grounds look for the Alfalfa's and the Darla's for leadership.

meant to continue

1 comment:

  1. It seems our leadership and our country in general is very lacking in wisdom. I agree that the mindset generally depicted by (or seeming to represent) the bulk of society is very childlike. We're like kids in a giant Toys R Us, there are so many goodies around us. And we've been taught to play the games and eat the candy because our consumption and payment is necessary to keep the heat and electric going.

    We have strict aisles and departments and daring to venture past the quick sliding glass plates barring the entrance is not only frowned upon, but likely to draw scornful sentiments.

    Which are likely defense mechanisms. The kids inside the toy store narrow their eyes at the ones who venture outside. They see the sunlight from a distance, coming in through the windows - while the others seek to experience it fully, to feel its warmth on their skin.

    I guess this is more of an existential than a political metaphor that I've generated, but the intention is equally applicable. The problem, as you've swiftly described Mike, is those off-the shelf habits of coping and our fear of leaving the familiar structure of the toy store.

    Common sense is derived from learned, passed down, humanly applicable customs and thought mannerisms. These things don't come prepackaged but are learned through experience or inherited through direct human care-taking-instruction. Basically common sense gets learned outside the store, or in the corners without merchandise or cameras.