Monday, February 18, 2013

House of Cards

This morning because it was too cold out (48 is too cold for this Florida boy), I was doing my Tai Chi in the living room as my wife did her morning exercise. We got to talking about the Kevin Spacey show, House of Cards, only on Netflix, about a majority whip in Congress, which we both enjoy immensely. Spacey’s character is a composite of Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell, egocentric, power driven and only occasionally interested in what’s good for his district or the nation. My wife and I are both political junkies and follow politics closely. The show lays bare the machinations, motivations and deals that lead to legislation and its passage – none of which has much to do with what’s good for the people or nation.


We were bemoaning this reality and observed that it had always been thus back to the Romans. Rich powerful special interests concerned only with themselves and not the nation or its people, have always dominated. Our current disappointment with this ‘natural’ state of affairs is that we thought we’d moved a little beyond it, that in America at least the poorer, less powerful classes had a chance to better themselves. Clearly this is no longer true, tho it was true once. The less powerful poorer classes are losing ground in America as is the nation as a whole. We used to be #1 in nearly all the quality of life indicators, now we’re not.


Why? Has the USA declined? Are we degenerate? Is God punishing us? Too much sex, gay rights and women’s equality? I think not. It is not so much that we have declined as that the rest of the world has gotten better and caught up with us. This coupled with our refusal to innovate, especially in the realms of spiritual technology, and our refusal to let go of outmoded traditions like the filibuster and subsidies to big agra-businesses and energy extractive businesses is holding us back.


After WWII, when the world was devastated and laid waste, and we were the only power, our shit didn’t stink. We had no competition so our inefficiencies and outmoded traditions – our shit - didn’t matter. But as the world has caught up – thanks in large part to our aid and efforts, our shit—our inappropriate inefficient ways of thinking, doing and being, has begun to stink.


This need not be. Don’t shit where you live is still good advice. Churchill said the people get the government they deserve. If we want to see a better, more effective efficient government, more in line with our ideals, then WE have to change and demand it. We’ve got to see our shit for what it is – shit – and manage it better.  We’ve got to seek the Kingdom first, use the spiritual technology that has always been available to us and work with the complex interconnections that characterize contemporary real life and use our best to build a world that works for everyone. Realizing that if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got, we’ve got to stop doing what we always did and clean up our mess, turn away from it and be more about what we want to be about - our ideals.

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