We live in virtual worlds that are inherently nonhierarchical and antibureaucratic. We live in a real world that has essentially come to a halt — capitalism is flat and government’s hot air is leaking. Our real world is mired in slow growth, a ruptured infrastructure, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, staggering poverty and violence, a public education system that is so large and so monolithic that it can’t even begin to realize it has failed to adequately function as a leveling force in a democracy, and a nightmare health care system that clearly cannot be maintained and grown to cover the millions of Americans that, in the richest country in the world, have no access.
We live in virtual worlds that are not loyal and do not reinforce obedience. Our virtual lives are encouraged by our stories — Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and so on; we engage with our stories, make intimate connections based on our mutual understanding. We live, instead, in a real world where political figures that are suppose to represent us don’t know who we are — not at all; rather, they speak about “Americans” — “what Americans want”; “the American people prefer”–as if we’re a foreign species unacceptable to the special interest groups and lobbyists that keep handing out money and gifts to get their way. Washington is totally paralyzed and bifurcated. At the center is negligence and absolute incompetence, narcissism and corruption — an overwhelming hubris.
Yet what we, the American people, want is simple: peace and harmony, meaningful work, time and space to find happiness with our loved ones. Is this so difficult to ensure safely?
America is schizophrenic. We’re frustrated and we can’t take it anymore. We want an end to the cold, hard and callous way of living and working, particularly in politics — the status quo — and we want to move to a more creative, palliative and compassionate way of life that considers virtue and happiness, first, conspicuous consumption last. Life is short. We only have one life.
Hell, we need to turn this ship around, recycle old ideas and scream for new ones. We need a Citizen’s Manifesto, a Call for a New Order. We need to latch on to new ideas and discredit ones that don’t work.
Citizen’s Manifesto, a Call for a New Order: The Ninety-Five Theses
(a blog is our version of the Castle Church in Wittenberg)
1. No one is Master over our lives. We are Masters of our own lives — the only ones we have.
2. We are inextricably linked to the awesome, subtle and mathematical precision of Nature.
3. Nature is awe aspiring.
4. Nature is governed by knowable laws — Physics.
5. Nature is finite and infinite, simultaneously, going through a process of life and death.
6. As we decay, we come closer to the infinite; when we finally die, our stories — our lives — remain, giving sustenance to others. This is how we live in and with history.
7. How we live — the purpose of our lives — will determine our legacy.
8. Being positive and affirming is key for attracting the positive and affirming — cycles of creativity that inspire virtuous action.
9. Climate change is real. It is a sign of our hubris — our disconnection from Nature and ourselves. Climate change is real because it’s mathematical, a sign of our lack of positive and affirming life styles.
10. We humans have placed ourselves at the center of the universe, while life and our minds are simply a continuation of Nature.
11. Our mediated experiences — MEDIA — are shallow and manipulated into believing we are a homogeneous whole, which stands against the diversity we find in Nature.
12. The more DIVERSE the system, the more easily problems and challenges can be solved.
13. The purpose of mediated experiences is to move us — and have us believe — that conspicuous consumption is healthy for us.
15. Conspicuous consumption works against Natural Law — and negates the promise of DIVERSITY.
16. Our government lacks diversity, adhering to the homogenizing power of global markets and special interests.
17. We are exhausted by a political system that assumes to know us — it doesn’t. We the citizens that pay for Washington are the special interest group most in need. Let’s take charge, NOW.
18. We don’t live in a Democracy, then — it’s something else we can’t yet define.
19. We live instead in a stagnant capitalist system that aspires towards a vertical economy. It’s spiraling downward, out of control.
20. Shut off televisions and get informed.
21. We are tired by special interests trumping our inalienable rights — freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
22. Let’s boycott special interests, not buying their products, not abiding by their selfishness.
23. We are tired by politicians doing nothing and yet assuming they know what we want since they always turn their backs on the small, working class citizens who are actually holding this country — and its government — together with the shares extracted from what little value we get from our over work.
24. We demand a payback, in the form of better schools, which we will govern, health care for all Americans, a process to employ Americans to rebuild the infrastructure that is falling apart.
25. Public Education is criminal.
26. Our children are not homogeneous, nor are they automatons.
27. Our children are creative, enthusiastic forces that need a safe and creative environment to learn.
28. Stop turning your backs on our children!
29. Let’s stop turning from — and denying — history, science, especially, and fundamental economics and put into action what we, the people, already know: we have been transformed, utterly.
30. Reach out to the experts in our country; they’re in our universities.
31. We, the people, have lost control over monolithic government — we need to take it back.
32. Capitalism, as we practice in the USA, is broken — growth is flat.
33. We need to change it ourselves, recognizing that we can’t keep on living with a more growth mantra.
34. Less is more.
35. Efficiency is key.
36. At the heart of efficiency is diversity — the more diverse we are the better we are at solving problems.
37. We live separate, distant lives from our neighbors and ourselves.
38. We want and need to share our stories, a greater intimacy.
39. Intimacy moves matters of the heart.
40. The heart is where virtuous action lives.
41. Do something, anything, for someone else.
42. Honor thy neighbor as thyself.
43. Travel the road less traveled.
44. Imagination, stupefied by institutions — education, government and entertainment — is the only way out of this mess.
45. Imagination requires discipline.
46. Discipline requires safety.
47. Safety requires humility.
48. Humility inspires.
49. And vulnerability is strength because it comes from Truth.
50. Love and truth are synonimous.
51. Love and truth are antidotes to corruption.
52. Corruption is a sign of illness.
53. A culture that breeds the illness of corruption is dying a slow death, a cancer has taken over from within.
54. How we choose to look at a given situation is the only human freedom.
55. The only human freedom — the freedom to select a point of view — can be leveling.
56. We all suffer.
57. To be human requires that we open up to the Other who suffers as we do.
58. Thus choosing to reside inside the Other’s story will make us more humane.
59. Violence and war — the solutions for all of humanity’s problems — erace the Other.
60. Violence and war are approaches held dear by the most privileged.
61. Privilege is blinding.
62. This kind of blindness kills.
63. We live in a world of increasing complexity.
64. Complexity requires simple approaches.
65. Complexity requires diversity.
66. A lack of diversity is a sign of our illness, too.
67. Our institutions thrive — and are dying consequently — on zero tolerance for diversity.
68. Our instutitions are old world models that are broken.
69. Technology provides answers but we’re abusing out technologies.
70. Technologies are pushing us.
71. Technologies are confusing and we’re living in a new world order because of technologies.
72. We don’t understand our technological selves.
73. Technologies, first and foremost, are by definition created with our fallacies.
74. Where there is technology, there is both wonder and error.
75. Failure is important.
76. Failure = learning.
77. We culturally define failure as unacceptable.
78. How we define failure in our culture is another sign of our illness.
79. Fail all the time — and we’re punished for it.
80. This form of cultural punishment rejects the imagination.
81. The imagination requires failure.
82. Thus we fail to communicate, the most dramatic characteristic of our illness.
83. A failure to communicate means we live disconnected with each other.
84. Disconnection causes misunderstanding.
85. Misunderstanding is the first rung in the ladder that rises to violence.
86. Then hope is on a tightrope, which is why our illness inspires anxiety.
87. And anxiety creates desease, the manifestation of our global illness — the disconnection we feel with ourselves, others and the Earth.
88. There is a way out if we examine the laws of Nature and we place ourselves in this continuum.
89. Growth is natural — if it’s intellectual, emotional and spiritual.
90. Growth, when natural, requires safety and the imagination.
91. Nature is imagination.
92. Our disconnectedness renders us hopeless because we’re reaching a point where we can’t find the language of social harmony.
93. Harmony is how the Earth works.
94. Harmony is a balance.
95. Harmony is the peace within we need to see the Other.