Sunday, October 19, 2014

Looking At History To Determine Our Future

PPTS has completed the groundwork of a 24 week series entitled "The War On The Poor!". In retrospect, the arguments raged, even for the series title. Many on the team, and from listeners wanted the series to be called "The War FOR The Poor!". I chose the final series title because the alternate option seemed to be more appropriate for those who would come to disagree with the information presented in the series.

I did, however choose for each "battlefield" to include the word "for" because these eight investigations, each lasting (at least) three episodes deal with areas of our nation's life which seem to be at risk. Women, equality, healthcare, education, Justice, etc. ...these battlefields all seem to stand in the gap, at risk.

That's because they are. Forces well above the abilities of the average citizen, those who make up the 99 percent of us all are engaged in a very uncivil war to capture each battlefield, not for the greater purposes of increasing the lives and living in America of all her citizens, but rather for the taking by oligarchs, corporatists, plutocrats and theocrats for nothing more than the joy of refusing their bounty to any but themselves.

This is, in the end democracy itself at risk. Mine is not the unthinking cry of the vain, or the timid. These are not thought experiments or some laboratory exercises.  Nor are these inscrutable mysteries innoculated from our thought and reason. They are the vanities of man.

Has this ever happened before, anywhere?

Of course it has. It has happened since time immemorial. Power has been defined, denied, refused and won by man over man, but to what end? In some cases, for the betterment of all. In other cases, for the vanity of a few.

The cost of democracy has, is now, and will always be nothing less than diligence. From even before our experiment began, we were warned of dangers to democracy by those very same founders (and many others) of our nation. History has, so far, proven their warning prescient and timely. Strangely enough, even ancient warnings are holding sway today across our land. There has been, and remains to this day, only one power strong enough to overcome those who would simply take from democracy and The United States of America all they can hold before tossing aside the vestigial remains of what once was.

That is the voice of citizen.

During this month of October, 2014, we are investigating realities from our past, from even before the founding of this nation to the present day to see, and realize just exactly what it is we have accomplished, what it is we stand to lose, and what we can/should do about it right where we live "...within 12 miles of where you live."

Thomas Jefferson believed that his generation must win the independence, and the next must win the equality for all. From the enlightenment of the world, we faced the eventual necessity of addressing our inhumanity to our fellow man directly, painfully, and finally. That task remains, to this day, unfinished. Equality is a noble ambition, yet one fraught with difficulty and danger. Thus, our investigation quickly moves from the "know about" to the "know how" of democracy in our time.

Victorian and Edwardian England have much historical significance to our goal as a true liberal democracy. If every person, every citizen matters then we must understand how nations have failed at proving it. Yet, the history of that time in England reverberates with the words and feelings--and actions which we must deal with now. Those same words and feelings from way back then are being heard in our own country today, but not only where we live, but across the planet. As repugnant as we may find them, we do not create service for ourselves or our fellow citizen by ignoring them. We've been trying that for a very long time, indeed. It is also important to note that many great and wonderful things came through those desolate days, as well.

By investigating the thoughts and mores of those times in England (primarily due to their overwhelming presence at the time, and the clear historical record which remains of them), we can get a more observable view of ourselves today. We might even understand that the "War ON the Poor!" of those days has not changed very much, much to our national shame.

I promised a video that would be very difficult to watch, yet one I believe we must see in order to begin a genuine conversation and discourse about what WE should do about it, right now. Here is that video. It's approximately 90 minutes long. It is very difficult to watch, and is not safe at work or for children. Nevertheless, I urge you to view it. Take notes. Make observations. Look around our national landscape today, and see if you can hear, or see anything akin to what this documentary presents to you.

From the days of the workhouse/poorhouse, we visited the history of America and the world from 1900 to 1950. Two World Wars, planetary economic collapse, and the folly of greed and avarice. Why one assassin's two bullets killed tens of millions of humans in the search for power and economic superiority was investigated. I stopped the series here, because I believe we have enough reason just from these few episodes to take seriously the series which came before it.

From this point until November 9th, 2014 (following the national general elections), we will be looking for your response to both series, and your election stories. Do you agree, or disagree with the views expressed by PPTS during these past two years? Why, or why not? How did your voting go? Was it important enough for you to do what was required to experience the sanctity of the ballot box, to actually "exercise the franchise"? Were you citizen?

As this is written, early voting is under way. What will be the story we share on November 9th, and beyond? What have we, as citizen, determined to be the foundations of our nation's future history? Will democracy be preserved, or have we chosen to allow our land to slide over the abyss, not into war, but into Hell itself? How shall we answer the world, and the ages?

That will be decided one of two ways. Either citizen will show up, and show off, or citizen will not. There is no other possible conclusion to this most important election in 2014. We hope we have explained why we hold this conviction. We hope you have become sufficiently informed, and we now look to you to share with us YOUR reasoning, and YOUR actions.


The Tennessee Progressive