The danger of icons, guys with phds, charisma, looks, and books with their names on them. is the tendency for people to follow them more than their ideas, or both their ideas and them. Its ok to feel love for them, like fans for a pop star, but is that real love or a certain kind of fawning psychophancy? You have to know someone to love them. We don’t really know public figures, we see a side of them, their public persona, we hear them speak or read their words, and they sound great and they seem honest, brilliant, courageous, and pure. We may be beguiled by their style.
But the last thing we want is a cult of the personality, because it is false, it is creating false idols. It can be very subtle, the difference between love and creating idols. Everyone loved John Lennon, Osho, they were so loveable. Like I love Noam Chomsky, I don’t know him, he seems genuinely tranquil and honest and extremely perceptive as well as rigorously informed and well intentioned. I would love to have him for a friend, just to talk to. But I don’t idolize him. What is most important is his ideas and perceptions, that may be useful in my life.
The idea is that each of us digs down and becomes creative, generous hearted, and working for the good of all, and that we embody love. We find our own special gift to offer. The Old Testament warns against idol worship (its not just about statues, it about worshipping individuals as idols).
It is childish in some ways, to pass the responsibility to others or the leadership, not assuming one’s place as a responsible adult, as we must learn from the huge mistake we made by entrusting those that govern us, passing the responsibility to those that have forsaken and betrayed us.
We need to take full responsibility and govern ourselves. We need to grow up and get real. That is what horizontal governing is about. It is a mature way of organizing. These monumental problems we face forces us to mature or die before our time. Examine those people in Rojava, Syria, see how they differ from us. All the superficialities are gone.
Our culture has made most of us deeply superficial. We think we are deep when we speak of deep things. But that is not deep, what is deep is to speak deeply of deep things and to act responsibly from love.
And what happens to those individuals who find themselves catapulted to the top, loved, and revered, sought out for speaking engagements? Can they separate the gratification of their egos from the need to go beyond the domination of the ego and the adulation of psychophants, and to be coming genuinely from the heart? “The progress is always done from two directions: on one side is the growing egotistical desire; on the other side, one must see that one has the intention to bestow.”* These “leaders” can be as easily corrupted as the “leaders” of government. Everyone is corruptible.
One way to tell if this has happened is to see how truly humble they really are by their willingness to connect with the ideas of others, even to give up their ideas when someone has a better one more useful and cogent, to listen to others with different focuses, with different backgrounds, to be open, receptive, available, and to recognize that we all need to be weaving the new story.
Some of these thought leaders are repeating themselves and don’t have anything new to say, anything we can really use right now. They are enjoying their status, the money it brings them, and have their ideas to promote. This has value, of course, for those who haven’t heard their ideas yet, but we need to be constantly making our way like a ship through the ice, removing and going around obstacles. creating new concrete solutions, moving towards freedom with responsibility, to the “new paradigm”.
Living under corrupt governments, being raised in toxic cultures, has affected all of us. We have collective and individual trauma to overcome, we have been manipulated and programmed. Its possible that having to live our entire lives accepting the unacceptible makes us numb, to the point that we lose our sensitivity to others, our deep natural compassion is rubbed away, and we go blithely about our business walking by bodies on the street, begging or unconscious or dead, while our governments are bombing and destroying ancient cultures, murdering millions of innocent people, and creating world refugee problems. After all, what can one person do, we rationalize.
We are so busy with our own lives. We have never taken the trouble to unite. They have kept us divided. Look at what is happening in Lebanon right now, people who have hated each other for centuries have come together to resist their corrupt government. They have put aside their racism finally. But what are they going to do now? They don’t know, a leading Lebanese journalist has admitted.
Now with people finally ready to resist the corrupt regimes that rule them and take to the streets, it is the time for us, humanity to really connect, the grassroots people and the highly educated, the people with “street smarts”, people with their feet on the ground, their hands in the dirt, the indigenous, the people who are being swept along, and to become like one great mind, one pounding heart with imputs from billions of individual minds and hearts. The people who want a regenerative society, those who want a more beautiful world, the builders, the farmers, the techies and innovators, the so-called “thought leaders” need to share their ideas for every new step or let others have their turn, to promote the new and necessary ideas for action, concrete ideas to keep humanity moving towards transformation.
Ideas are the foundations for actions. We are so easily trapped and manipulated, like many of us are in our private lives. All of this babble may have little value if I didn’t have an idea which seems like the logical “next step”, the idea of systemic changes in how we have been “governed”/controlled. Freeing humanity from the toxic grip of corruption.
This is about governing by and for the people in an horizontal way (sociocracy and the Rojava, Syria as a model) as I have described in other posts, creating a network of all the protest movements (Extinction Rebellion, can you help), and getting this and other messages to the protesters around the world as soon as possible. It is necessary for as many people as possible to participate in this now (getting this message out to change to horizontal governing), as this window of opportunity will not stay open long.
Quotes from the video about Rojava:
“Rojava, a model in societal self-direction. Neighbors make most decisions that affect them in a body called a commune, which is simply a neighborhood assembly.
Communes are connected by electable and removable spokespersons, one woman and one man. to form a neighborhood council, and neighborhoods are linked to form city councils and so on and so forth.
This is a bottom up or horizontal system for organizing societies. The larger the area a council or administration has, the less power it has. The heart of power is in the communes themselves.
The commune is made up of commitees which residents can sign up for i.e. committee for defense, health, peace and consensus, economic, education, women.
The video goes into explaining each committee one by one to understand how they work.
They have their own police force which is quite different than what we experience as “police”.
They have courts as well, but again different, and most disputes are settled out of court through the peace and consensus committee.
Conflicts arising from patriarchal violence are not to be judged by men.
There is direct democracy in the commune system, and hence, flexibility.
We decentralize power by encouraging consensus and participatory decision making.
Liberation of women is the main pillar of their society, “if women are not free, no one is free.”
There is no master plan. As the Zapatistas say, “We have to make the road by walking”. So let’s get started.”