In a world full of giant egos wanting more more more, it is refreshing to find people with individuated egos who want more powerful experiences and less stuff. An individuated ego is a balanced ego: it is an ego in balance with other egos, in balance with the environment, and most importantly in balance with Soul. Here are six powerful strategies that have the potential to turn the tables on our overreaching egos while also contracting our souls into the here and now.
“Ideas matter – but they don’t matter enough, if you don’t have the institutions to propagate them. If you don’t have schools, if you don’t have public spheres, if you don’t have places where dialogue can take place, and people can come together and question and analyze – those ideas begin to evaporate. In the US, most of the pedagogical institutions, from schools to the media, are dominated by a corporate elite – these are not public spheres anymore, these are toxic spheres that align themselves with market-driven values that cultivate an ideology in which people don’t know how to deal with democracy and what its demands and responsibilities might look like.
Cultural critic Henry Giroux examines the rise of authoritarianism in American culture and politics, and the collapse of democratic institutions and language that set the stage for the Trump Administration’s toxic blend of cruelty and capitalist supremacy that will rule until the left can reclaim the power of democratic ideas and action.
See how they play us, folks? It’s been happening for a while which partially explains why the U.S. is no longer considered a democracy A deceived public is what’s to be expected in a dictatorship. George Orwell wrote all about it in his prophetic novel 1984, but today’s America is a more sophisticated version of that. We’re in a strange, unchartered space.
The fact that one of the dumbest Presidents ever calls the media “fake” does not take away from the fact that the American mainstream media is indeed fake, for the most part. He calls it “fake” not from a scholarly foundation, but from the widespread criticisms of his ability to lead a nation with any semblance of intelligence & sanity.
In the end, the same dark forces that concocted this Russiagate nonsense are now the same dark forces that will bring Trump & Co to their knees to do their bidding – business as usual. Trump is just a repulsive mask of that beastly reality (as Obama was the softer facade). If Trump ventures too far away from “script”, he will be forced to resign. Nothing will change until people realize that they have been punk’d all along by the mainstream media & the military-industrial complex that calls the tune, regardless of political affiliation….
“When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.”
“The revelations coming to light about Hollywood Oligarch Harvey Weinstein perfectly capture the true nature of our status quo: a rotten-to-the-core, predatory, exploitive oligarchy of dirty secrets and dirty lies protected by an army of self-serving sycophants, servile toadies on the make and well-paid legal mercenaries. Predators aren’t an aberration of the Establishment; they are the perfection of the Establishment, which protects abusive, exploitive predator-oligarchs lest the feudal injustices of life in America be revealed for all to see.
“Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles (whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine) concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street go to war.
‘In the name of anti-Trumpism, much of the media and Democratic Party is actually legitimating as ‘adult’ the myths of generals and billionaires who brought us this toxic form of capitalism we’ve been living with in the first place. And without fully understanding it, they’re saying ‘we’ve got to get rid of Trump and go back to this toxic capitalism, which we can make better, in some way.’
Sociologist Charles Derber examines the current rising tide of anti-capitalist consciousness in the context of similar movements of the 19th and 20th century, and explains why the fractured, post-1960s left can find unity and power in challenging the grip of capitalism on our consciousness, and on the possibilities for society in the future.
This is a very dangerous moment we’re in, because the benefits of whiteness are not as great as they once were, materially. And that can mean one of two things – perhaps a movement on the left to deal with an economy that would benefit everybody at the bottom and the middle, black, white and brown – or it can mean an even more intensified racial politics. And I think right now, we’re seeing the latter.
While teaching U.S. history at a public charter high school in the District, Julian Hipkins III noticed that students tended to assume that “race” was as old as mankind. “Almost like it was natural, a given,” as he put it.
So, using some specialized lessons, Hipkins helped the students explore the invention of race and the reasons for it, as laid out in colonial law. Especially the Virginia slave codes enacted between 1640 and 1705.
Question: How did wealthy landowners thwart the efforts of enslaved Africans and European indentured servants to join forces in a common struggle for economic justice?
As the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee says it has reached the conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and CNN reports a number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Trump’s victory in November, we speak with Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen. “We don’t know if there was a conspiracy,” Gessen says of allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. “But even if there was, we should do our best to try not to engage in conspiracy thinking. … It lends itself to this idea that once we discover that Trump colluded with the Russians, that we’ll magically get rid of Trump.” She says it is unlikely the investigation will produce the kind of evidence of collusion that could be used as a legal basis for impeachment, and argues impeachment is unlikely while Republicans have control of both houses of Congress.
The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.