Conflict Resolution: within and without


Cicero argued that a good orator needed also to be a good man, a person enlightened on a variety of civic topics.

At, Chris Hedges says we must overthrow the existing political and power structures : “there will be no genuine democratic, social, economic or political reform until we destroy our permanent war machine.” According to Hedges, we live in a ‘managed democracy’ – a political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control

Before we run for the pitchforks, let’s think about this: can’t we slow down and come up with a way to get the money out of politics? Am I just naïve and there’s no point in a making the effort? I saw a bumper sticker that said, “you can’t buy my vote” – OK, but your vote can’t buy anything except more of the same– so there’s that – the “that” being that there is a job to be done: educating ourselves and each other. It’s not easy, but what are the alternatives?

Hedge’s mentor, Sheldon Wollin, says we vastly underestimate the essential role propaganda plays– that it is the mechanism of control – and that in spite of alternative media, propaganda keeps the corporate interests in their hegemonic vise grip.

Martin Luther King was a master at cutting through the prevailing propaganda to reflect the ludicrous nature of poverty in the richest country in the world and the embedded racism in the ‘home of the free.’

King’s biggest threat to the establishment (IMHO) was his ability to communicate the potential within each of us for self-empowerment and direct action…to use “ grace, humor and intelligence to “confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices… Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.”

Each person lives in a kind of solitary confinement – even  so-called bad guys will like children or dogs so how can penetrate the isolation and humanity and use propaganda to our advantage –  to break out the latent action heroes within each of us?

Cynicism is easy, you just turn away…but wouldn’t it be cool to stand, see and live our potential…and
A) get the money out of politics and
B) End poverty and provide a Living Income Guaranteed for all?



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