(Note to readers and followers of this blog: I haven't been posting nearly as much as I'd like, due to rather severe work demands. I am hoping that will change within the next few weeks. A lot has been happening in the world, and I have a few comments on the flux of events. Stay tuned...)
Over the last few months, as part of my admittedly desultory attempts to become proficient in another language, I read Красная Шапочка, a Russian version of the well-known children's story Little Red Riding Hood. With the help of a dictionary it only took a few hours. I was also helped by having heard the English version when I was a little kid. I think of the scene in which Red Riding Hood discovers that she's been talking to a wolf dressed as a grandmother. The wonder, surprise and terror of that scene seems an apt picture of the surprise many Americans probably feel at present regarding our current political situation.
We who are to the Left of mainstream American politics have had our moments during the last couple of years in which we realized that those who are put forward as the traditional champions and saviors of the Left are actually worthless corporate stooges. (For instance, compare Mr. “Change” Obama's denunciation of the U.S. resource war in Iraq with his continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his invasion of Haiti, and the decision by both Obama and Hillary Clinton to initiate U.S. air strikes against Libya in order to protect the flow of oil – er, I mean to protect the Libyan people.)
Now it appears that many who were swayed to vote for the mainstream Right in 2010 are having the same realization regarding the people they elected to office, as they see government services and protections against corporate power being stripped from them. I wonder how many Wisconsin state employees voted Republican in 2010. I wonder how many voters who elected pro-nuclear candidates are now having second thoughts, even as those whom they elected charge full speed ahead. I wonder how many residents of states now attempting to impose strict “austerity” measures are happy about their own safety nets being cut. I wonder how many small and medium-sized businesses are being hurt by anti-immigrant legislation. Many who voted Republican or Tea Bagger did so because their prejudices were skillfully played by campaign strategists. How many now have buyer's remorse? “Grandmother, you've got wolf breath!”
To me it seems at present that one of the keys to building a resilient life and a resilient circle of community is for people to structure their lives in such a way that they can meet their needs regardless of who is in political power. This involves creating alternative, “diagonal” arrangements for getting one's needs met. It also involves disconnecting from the prevailing system as much as possible. For me this means giving up on politics as a solution to any of the problems we now face in a post-Peak world and a post-Peak nation. Both sides of the political process have been bought and paid for by corporate sociopaths.
But some are still cheerleading for one side or the other. “Yes, all politicians are corrupt – except for our man; he's different! (Even though the only way our candidate could ever have become well known is via massive injections of advertising revenue from some very rich people.)” “Red Riding Hood, your cries for help are being answered! How about Dennis Kucinich to the rescue! Or, if you like Republicans, how about Ron Paul!”
Or, if you think like me, how about Quinn the Eskimo?