Braving the Stormy Seas of 2017 and Beyond…

A Society based on Rickety principles is headed for the bottom

The instinct of survival, impacted by fear and insecurity of the future is driving out normal instincts of sympathy, and solidarity between people, and replacing them with an ethos that values personal gain at the expense of the weakest among us. We’ve grown complacent in a world that venerates corporate greed and recklessness, panders to an endless war machine, and pillages and wastes the earth. All this while our collective wealth and influence is being transferred to the hands of the few.

Suspicion and hostility have engulfed all departments of life, be they political, economic, social and religious. We’re entering a dangerous moment in our history as governments are increasingly hostage to corporate and military power, unable to respond to their citizenry, carrying out irrational acts of austerity, stripping their constituencies of their civil liberties, and propelling the free world into a perfect storm of authoritarian oligarchy, financial corruption and perpetual wars.

Between the Devil and the Deep blue sea

Our personal and collective troubles were weighing too heavily on us when the perfect storm hit. That’s when the populace decided it had enough, and that’s why we witnessed that swelling sea of change. Everyone had a new design for the best, fastest and most efficient ‘ship of state’ for the future. That was the promise of the ship building duopoly in Washington in 2016. Now, with only weeks before the launch of the GOP ship with its new captain and crew, there’s fear and trepidation about its intended course, as well as its endurance against the storms that will lie in its path. We may have chartered the wrong operator, courtesy of the DNC’s short-sightedness for not entrusting the command of its ship to an unassailably more competent captain.

Capitalizing on that Berning Revolutionary spirit that’s still in the air

Mass movements can’t succeed without full-time organizers in the field, and in the corridors of power. Here’s a golden opportunity to reignite and channel the passions of the millions of young people that aspired for change, and who have since disbanded. How did the Tea party get so powerful in Washington with so little effort and representation? The party focused its attention on the Congress and state legislature. Why can’t the new movement; the alternative to the two party system (the Left or “Our Revolution” or whatever else) assemble that kind of power, garner that indispensable momentum to move forward, to gain influence like the Tea Party?

We also need to level the playing field by allowing new independent non-profit media to cover and transmit election information so that everyone’s voice can be heard, not just the powerful parties that have nothing new to say but can afford to be heard, at the expense of those movements that have lots of new ideas but lack funding to get their message across.

A new ‘Ship of State’ for 2020

Humankind is not yet smart enough to build a better organized or just society but we can certainly progress in that direction. Until our institutions, businesses, governments and the electorate are all sharing democratic control, we will not have a functioning democratic society.

The West still has some of the freest societies in the world, where governments have the least capacity for intimidation than anywhere else in the world.  There’s a lot that we can do to support a global, pro-citizen agenda if we organize for our rights, as we’ve done in the past, and we can win many small victories. What really matters is the collective impact of the countless small deeds of the ‘common folk’ like you and me; together we can lay the groundwork for momentous events in history. We the People have done great things in the past, and we’re the ones who’ll keep on doing them in the future.

So here we are at the end of a most turbulent year still convincing ourselves that things will get better, that we will finally reach that new shore. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when we get that bigger home, go on that nice vacation, when we retire. Let’s stop waiting and decide that there is no better time than now to get involved in meaningful civic action in order to impact change in our community, and create better tomorrows for our children and fellow humans across the globe.

The message cannot be made any clearer than the title of one of Ralph Nader’s books; “Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think!

Alan B. Nagy

Photo Credit: Royal Navy/MOD/OGL, via Wikimedia Commons

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