“Capitalism was not a normalcy but an abnormalcy. Property is normal, and is more normal in proportion as it is universal. Slavery may be normal and even natural, in the sense that a bad habit may be second nature. But Capitalism was never anything so human as a habit; we may say it was never anything so good as a bad habit. It was never a custom; for men never grew accustomed to it. It was never even conservative; for before it was even created wise men had realised that it could not be conserved. It was from the first a problem; and those who will not even admit the Capitalist problem deserve to get the Bolshevist solution. All things considered, I cannot say anything worse of them than that.” — G.K. Chesterton, “What I Saw in America”
As the novel coronavirus has burned its way across America, it has highlighted the searing inequality that has lurked just below the surface of the economic boom of the past generation. It has revealed that self-serving politicians are indifferent to the lives of their constituents, that racial disparities in healthcare and poverty have created a deadly caste system, and that political partisanship has become so toxic that some people would literally rather die than listen to leadership from a member of another party. — Heather Cox Richardson
There comes a time when we must allow something timeless to touch us in order to truly change and move beyond our fixed attitudes and limited understanding of the mysteries of life. When it seems like all might end in disaster, it becomes a question of finding the deeper imagination of life, the enduring patterns and essential stories that reunite us to the pulse of nature and the heart of culture.”
- Michael Meade
The two opposing cultures living side by side in an uneasy truce are coming to a transition point. On the one side, artists and visionaries who have been more or less invisible to the larger culture — a culture founded on exploitation of everything as a premise for survival — are poised to take the lead because what is required in the world now is vision and heart, which our current system lacks. The system lacks it because the people running it lack intelligence of the heart.
Lacking wisdom of the heart is amazingly common in our world. It’s a requirement in almost any enterprise.
How these sociopaths convinced everyone they were uniquely qualified to organize and set the pace of life for all of us was quite a con job. It required a lot of indoctrination, a lot of cruel coercion. Religion, schooling and received wisdom of all kinds laid the groundwork. It became an unquestioned juggernaut. It became “the way things are.” The masses followed along passively, just trying to stay afloat.
It’s hard to think for yourself. Few people care to make the effort.
So here we are, with a system that the 1% loves and the rest of us suffer with. America is the worst, in spite of being the richest country in the world. At this point the generation just coming to adulthood can’t figure out how they are going to eat, pay the rent and have a life, even if they do everything right, especially if they do everything right.The system doesn’t work for free humans. It doesn’t even work for slaves.
Is this a revolution?
The word “readjustment “ doesn’t do justice to what we’re facing. A major upheaval is in process, but a change in thinking has to happen first. Kindness and generosity have to become normal, expected, commonly practiced. The bosses and lawmakers who think workers will instantly get lazy if they have a little respite from their indentured servitude will be known, not as leaders, but criminals. But people will have to refuse their chains and leg irons.
The revolution that is coming is a revolution first of all of the heart and mind. Only then can we create a human world. Cruel people create a cruel world. How could it be otherwise?
The Fates have given us a chance now. Will we take it? I sure hope so.
- Anima Fire is my publication