Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Revolutionary Road...

This week I saw about the best movie of the year so far, at least for my tastes"Revolutionary Road". Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, they turn in a fine performance representing a progressive married couple back in the mid 1950s who struggle balancing their original dreams and ambitions with the societal pressures of conformity and "pursuing the American dream". I won't go into detail on the movie so as not to ruin it for those of you who might yet want to see it, but it is the catalyst for my train of thought these last couple days.

America is going through a quiet revolution of sorts these days. This revolution is so quiet, a majority of Americans are clueless about what is going on and why. And this "revolution" is so multi-faceted that I think it is hard for anyone to get their intellectual "arms" completely around it. A lot of people are currently living in "shell shock" over what has happened to the nation's economy and to their personal investment portfolios. Everyone is pointing fingers at each other without really understanding who the real culprits are/were that caused this mess. The reality is...while American and much of the world has been busy the last 8 years REACTING to 9/11, the terrorists have already and continue to succeed in what was their ultimate goal...the economic collapse of the USA and elimination of our "Superpower" status in the world.

OF course, you can't put ALL the blame on these nameless/faceless "agents of terror". Few people are really asking the obvious question of "why are they after US? Why do they hate "America" so much?" Now, it’s easy to stay focused on the surface issues of cultural differences, the authoritarian religious and state regimes who want us to fall under the spell of the "American dream". It is true that MOST religions and states do not want their human subjects to truly be free and independent of their influence or way of life. True freedom is a scary concept for most inhabitants of our planet. How can we possibly live without our rules, regulations, trade controls, and legislated moralities? Wouldn't it be chaotic or even anarchistic to allow EVERYONE the freedom to go anywhere in the world they want to go and can pay for? Doesn't it seem impossible to conceive of truly free markets without government interventions or "price fixing"? And how could our own government ever survive with LESS taxation and less spending...or limiting them to simply pursuing their constitutional role of protecting our borders and national interests? Do we really need our legislators to tell us what we can smoke, drink or what we can or can't spend our money on? Do we need our government to allocate our tax revenues for bailing out the banks and finance companies that have been gouging our culture for decades...while offering nothing to the unemployed mortgage owners or individual taxpayers?

Here is how the revolution will play out in time. It won't all necessarily be in my life time, but perhaps it will. Currencies are going to have to go back to being based on "something". Between the eras of Roosevelt and Nixon, the USA legal tender became totally "paper based" on the good faith and credit of the United States government. That credit is now bankrupt by all standard accounting practices. It will either have to go back to being based on gold or some other melded into a regional or global currency (have you ever heard of the "Amero"?). Probably the later. This WILL be revolutionary.

Most federal entitlement programs will be liquidated and/or replaced with "global" programs. This somewhat melds with the regional or global currency scenario. Globalization will continue to overcome statist resistance or reluctance to give up national sovereignty in exchange for peace and security. International global funds and banks will force incoherent government systems to surrender their sovereignties in exchange for monetary security that will keep the masses from pure revolt. Just enough money and goods to the poor will keep them in line/place and buy the least for the time being.

These global banks or funds will be owned or funded by a FEW global billionaire companies controlled by billionaire families or persons. There will be layers of protection for the big money players while weak individuals and small business will march to the drum of whatever rules and regulations these big global players come up with. Some people will be exchanging a bag of gold for a piece of bread while a few will be eating free of charge.

The masses of world populations will continue to flock to extremist, fundamental religions...looking for meaning and answers in the "supernatural". Since free trade and ordinary causes will be harder and harder to count on, more people will be looking to "God" versus governments or corporations to give them security or a cause to live by. Life in THIS world will continue to lose its significance for the lost inhabitants who will flock even more rapidly to causes promising a better "after life". Exchange your "free will" for the sake of being a "team player" in the New World Order will be the direct or indirect cry of those whose media or voices control the masses. Mysticism will rule the day as realities of life become harder and harder to bear.

I truly hope my views are way off...but at this juncture...I don't think so.

So..."how should we then live?"...

For those of us who are not ready or willing to give in to the trends of the day...I have the following suggestions, most of which I have fully adopted or am in the process of adopting:

• Do not count on the “government” or your “company” to secure your future. They have their own priorities…and it is not YOU
• Spend less time at the “feeding trough” of force fed news and views from your national news and media. Read and pursue a variety of news and views from outside the border of your hometown and/or country. The world is too big and influential to ignore anymore. It all has a direct impact on YOUR individual life and future.
• Stop waiting for an institution or “someone else” to attend to your pet peeves. If you haven’t lifted a finger to change the situation in your direct reach or influence, don’t expect anyone else to. The world at every corner is crying for true LEADERSHIP. Leaders DO…not just DIRECT.
• Do not blindly accept the “rules” your family, culture, government or religion place on you. Question EVERYTHING and re evaluate ALL your presuppositions SOMETIME in your life. If you have never gone through that exercise, you have never truly lived nor know who you REALLY are.
• If the choice is between being an independent, productive thinker/worker or a “team player”, take the first option.
• Don’t go with the herd. Most of them are running off the edge of the cliff. Think before you take a step that direction.
• The only “commandments” you need to direct your life are “love your God/creator with all your heart, and your neighbor as YOURSELF”. In other words, if you don’t love and accept yourself, you will be a pretty worthless lover of God and man/woman.

I fully related to the previously mentioned movie, “Revolutionary Road”. It depicted so many people I have known in my life over the past 50+ years as I grew up in America. The struggles those characters…and the real people in my life from those times…dealt with are in many ways amplified in THESE times. Many of us are ready for a “revolution” of change in our world. Slowly but surely some of us are waking up to the fact that the revolution starts with each of us individually. The “Power of One” as I have mentioning often in my blogs.

I am endeavoring to live in that power and change the world around me for better. I am trying to be wiser. I am trying to treat MYSELF better. From there, I am trying to inspire the small circle of people closest to me in these times. And beyond that…and yes, through this blog tradition… I am trying to contribute to and enhance the global consciousness.

Let the revolution begin… or continue…in a more positive way.


Timothy said...

Hey Ed,

I haven't seen a revolutionary road yet, but I am eager to. Did you like the movie American beauty? It has to be one of my favourite movies, and it shares the same writer/director to revolutionary road (i think some people even call it American Beauty 2).

edward said...

Hope you get to see it Tim. I think you will see the impact as I did. I too liked American Beauty and the themes definitely cross pollinate.

Hope all is well my friend...