The Promise of Interregnum

Into the Future

Can you see the way forward?

Some of the next few posts are a departure but are related to the essence of the blog Cusp of Reality but also the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. This is not a time of clear stability, to put it mildly, and one of the underpinnings of the Trilogy is that we are shortly to embark upon a very new era. This perception has led me to do broader explorations. And what I found is fascinating.

It would be simple to sit back and observe recent events and shake our heads at the seeming futility and foolishness. We are beset by a political cycle in which the key elements are pandering and manipulation. We may view it as futile or may see in it a transition. There is talk about politics but it is reasonable to take a larger view and that we are seeing a new wave developing regarding not just the United States but the world.

Below you will see a quote from Jonathan Taplin in which he indicates that his view relates to the last gasp of the “establishment” and that we are in what he calls an interregnum. I believe in the essential validity of his perceptions.

And in the next post I include commentary on two items drawn from Wikipedia which relate to defining and describing neoliberalism and neoconservatism. The evidence is right before us. We see in these descriptions a great deal which gives us clarity about recent events. And later I will present material from Paul Mason’s book Postcapitalism. The case he builds for what is coming is supported by much of what we have already seen.

As difficult as these times are, this material presents the idea that this is a transition of great importance. Gradually all its components will be revealed including the role of women in the future.

Interregnum article:
View story at Medium.com

The Establishment’s Last Gasp By Jonathan Taplin
“The Italian philosopher, Gramsci defined the concept well:”The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum many morbid symptoms arise.” This sense of being trapped between a dying establishment and a new order that is not quite formed, plays itself out in four areas. In our domestic politics we see a populist dead end battle as an older, whiter America invests its hopes in Donald Trump and such people as Ted Cruz to stave off the multicultural state filled with immigrants and young people in which they are no longer the majority of citizens. In the world of business we see the giants of the carbon economy (Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Peabody Coal) fighting to preserve their businesses in a world that must transition to a clean energy economy. In fact that economy is well on its way. Similarly, the giants of Wall Street and Silicon Valley are fighting against real regulation of their businesses and serious taxation of their billions in capital gains. And finally in the world of international affairs we see the forces of the military industrial congressional complex battling to keep an $800 billion military budget in order to preserve America’s status as the sole hegemon, even as they realize that the future is a multipolar world.”

Do you feel trapped, hope or something else?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

 

Adventures in the World Pt 1

 

Engaging Europe

About here I thought a change of pace and focus might be desirable. And so let me begin with some observations from times my family visited Europe when I was young. It began just after World War II. I was very young during the war and could not grasp the horror. I saw films but in person it was quite different.

Awakening

Of course there were no Nazis goose-stepping around. There were people working to put their lives back in order. In London we had dinner with a doctor friend of my father and his family. It was cold cuts. There was still rationing and meat was precious.

London itself was a shock. Yes, I had seen pictures, but walking through cleared streets with great piles of rubble on all sides was humbling.The people were pleasant and welcoming but, even after all these years, I have to say there was a sense of silence as if they were trying to regain a view of what the future might be.

Rather than go into greater detail and sequence, let me just touch on some recollections.

Vignettes

Paris was pristine and beautiful. I mentioned earlier seeing a haunted shop girl and I’m sure there was an undercurrent I could not appreciate. It has to take time to recover from such a dreadful occupation. I know the answer but thought about the absence of a statue in a square to thank the German general who declined to act on Hitler’s orders to destroy Paris.

In a later trip we went to Germany. By then repair was well under way. The people were generally welcoming. I think the fact that the Marshall Plan helped them recover must have been crucial. In Munich I saw my father talking at length with a man he was buying a camera from who was deeply scarred. He had been a tank commander during the war and was forthright. Outside I could see deeply scarred buildings sitting next to glossy new buildings. Scars of all kinds were everywhere.

We encountered another component of lasting conflict. We went to a restaurant for lunch and were seated. Nothing else happened. We were ignored. We finally simply left understanding that not everyone was going to be welcoming after such a conflict. Devastation of all kinds can be enduring.

Dreams

Looking back I can see that those trips were unlike anything else I experienced. Too often we simply go somewhere and hang out at a resort. On those trips we had in depth experiences for ourselves and those around us. We could not know the full extent of the personal suffering nor did we really want to know.

But the richness of cultures in Europe ofter lead us to dreams. Depending upon your age there will be dreams which are touched and enhanced. In Rome I loved to see the Alfa Romeos streaking around the streets. Their guttural sound was stirring. Of course there were the romantic films at the time. And so at night I could lie in bed listening to the echoes of the sounds of these sprightly cars and dream of driving one someday while I appreciated the lovely young woman next to me.

I’ll leave it there. I just seemed to have needed to share a little of things from long ago which give glimmers of our lives, who we are, and instruct us. They deserve gathering and consideration.

What are your most precious memories?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

 

Risk From an Unfamiliar Culture

Lessons in Life

Usually I stay away from the political arena but it’s often hard because the line between the political arena and the rest of our lives gets frayed. The roots of this commentary come from the book Red Notice by Bill Browder. I made mention of it previously and the deeper I got into it, the more I found what he wrote has broad implications.

Once again I have to say I am stunned by this book. In one sense it feels like it is a compellingly interesting novel, but it is really his story. There are times when I simply gulp at the import. I also find it is stirring memories and his experiences and conclusions mesh with so many components of our world.

The Focus

But let me focus on the central point of this post which relates to the reality of Russia. Our world is growing smaller and our interfaces more complex. Here in North America we have our differences but are functioning reasonably well. But in other parts of the world there is much more drama and issues that lead into deep conflict.

A Reprise of a Story

In two previous posts I wrote about a man by the name of Nicolai Kokhlov. I met Nicolai while I was working on my doctorate at Duke many years ago and the experience was unforgettable. He brought a bridge to another reality I have never forgotten.

Nicolai was the head of Russian intelligence in Eastern Europe and, to put it mildly, it was not a nice job. He didn’t just gather intelligence. He also had to have people killed. The fact of what he had done was startling because he was a mild mannered man of substantial grace. He seemed so gentle and humble. One evening we fed him vodka and heard the depth of his story.

On that evening he talked about some of his work in detail and there was an utter disconnect from his demeanor and what he had done. In the end he could not endure the life and he made arrangements with American intelligence to defect. He was to go on Radio Free Europe and announce his defection. At the same time our people were to take his wife and children and spirit them out of the country. He made his announcement, but we did not go for his family. They were taken by Russian intelligence. In the end they were not murdered but he never saw them again. At the time off our meeting he had remarried and had children with his second wife.

The Russians poisoned him with a radioactive substance and our German military hospital saved him. It was clear he had a morality very different from much of Russia.

The Point

On that evening we heard in detail about a very different culture and how we too often betray our promises. Now comes Bill Browder’s book. He is a brave and determined man who opened investing in Russia as the communist empire collapsed. But at one point his investment business was attacked. But it was attacked in a way that the attackers were going to take huge personal loses to their own investments. To us it seems curious but Browder quoted an old Russian proverb and summarized the import this way: “The moral is simple: when it comes to money, Russians will gladly—gleefully, even— sacrifice their own success to screw their neighbor.”

Now the Conclusion

We have a curious story unfolding about Trump and his family and their enmeshment with Russian oligarchs. What Browder spells out in Red Notice is the risk which there is not just to the Trump family but to our nation as well. We do not understand this component of the Russian culture but it comes down to the fact that they may seek serious damage to us even while damaging themselves. To that we need to give serious attention.Did this issue even occur to you?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt 1

Shifting the Focus Regarding Women

(Sorry. I just couldn’t resist.)

It’s time to turn the focus to the issue of patriarchy and men. But first I believe there is a definitional problem regarding feminism.

I’m intrigued by a term I keep hearing. Radical feminism. Perceptions that suppression of women needs to end and be replaced by empowerment seems to me to be anything but radical. So, I did some research and came up with the following definitions of radical feminism.

Definitions of Radical Feminism

The definition from Robert Jensen’s book The End of Patriarchy is “Radical feminism is a radical, structural politicized response” to “patriarchy’s rigid, repressive, and reactionary gender norms.”

Wikipedia – “Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts.

Another is – “Radical feminism is a philosophy emphasizing the patriarchal roots of inequality between men and women, or, more specifically, social dominance of women by men. Radical feminism views patriarchy as dividing rights, privileges and power primarily by gender, and as a result oppressing women and privileging men.” (The site from which I drew this definition shall remain nameless because when I type the name my fonts go crazy. Creepy!)

New Question

I think I need to turn the whole thing on its head by asking the question, “What is the justification for subjugating women?” The fact that subjugation exists is not justification. A woman’s place is in the home is not justification. Men do all things better (that’s laughable) is hardly appropriate. I won’t bother with more space to note absurd justifications.

I prefer to simply deal with the movement of feminism of which there may be various forms with varying degrees of proposals and demands. To my mind, fulfillment of the potential of women and their participation in world society is anything but radical. As far as I’m concerned we can ditch the term radical.

The Bottom Line

I have to wonder what the perceived benefits for society as a whole are by subjugating half the population of earth. And then I get to the point where I wonder why we are even having a debate. Does it simply come down to a male stating “because I said so” ?

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in debates that we make it one form of an academic discussion in which we pick over words. In this instance I’m fascinated by why we are even having this debate. Once we note that women have been the focus of discrimination and subjugation it seems reasonable to focus and make changes. Granted we haven’t done so well with racism which we have declared to be inappropriate and damaging. Now we know some people declare against racism but behave in a racist fashion anyway. The same thing is happening with women and there is a certain absurdity attached to this debate. With the subjugation of women, though, there seem to be a cadre of insistent defenders of subjugation who must be dealt with.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A Tragic Waste

 

What’s on your list of wrongs perpetrated against women?

Pervasive Efforts

A recent post presented the concept of the mysterium tremendum which relates to that which grips or stirs the soul. It is of interest because it is my belief that this sort of effect of women on men may well relate to the pervasive and eternal efforts by men to keep women from empowerment.

Daily we continue to see evidence of these efforts. Recently I turned on the television and saw an interview about the fight to get women who had piloted aircraft in World War II, Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASPs, the right to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery . These women had been granted veterans status in 1977 and burial rights at Arlington since 2002. Then, recently, they were deemed ineligible.

It is not necessary to go into greater detail. The subterfuges, the discrimination and callous attitudes regarding women are endless.

Truth From Leonardo

And then I ran across an interview with Leonardo DiCaprio regarding his recent movie The Revenant. At one point the interviewer asked, “Why is the role of women in the movie so small and the men so gruesome and dominating?” His answer was, “This represents the savagery of a lawless culture. Women have been the most persecuted people throughout all of recorded history, more than any race or religion.” He was not asked to elaborate or support his statement but I know what he meant.

And currently we have an ongoing war against women in the United States. And what I find is that the rationale is lacking in substance because of the pervasive nature of the war.

Inner Meaning Beyond Our Grasp

What is so interesting is that there is normally no in-depth discussion of this process. The battles are fought on specific issues but rarely focus on the extent of the discrimination and its inner meaning. It seems we don’t know the proper questions to ask and I believe in part it is because the real reasons are deeply buried in our psyches and we don’t know how to access the real process. Does the Mysterium Tremendum touch on the real reason ( See WordPress posts of 1/18/16 and 1/20/16)?

What does your intuition tell you?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

How Are You America? Pt. 5

Focusing the Way Ahead

How distressed are you about where we are as a country?

Two Sides to the Coin

On the one hand our country is doing fairly well. Unemployment is low and there seems to be optimism in the business community where profitability and stock prices are rising. On the other hand we are mired in partisan politics and obstruction. And it is the later that should give us substantial pause because the world is changing fast and there are increasing number of people who are left behind and being left vocationally isolated. The clock is ticking.

In “mental health” we tend to focus on pathology rather than addressing life management and what that it entails. We too often look at disability rather than need, change and adaptability. In so many areas there is a lack of vision. In opioid addiction we look at the addiction and fail to focus on the condition which led to the addiction in the first place. It is still there are needs to be addressed. The list of issues is long.

Making a Beginning

Little is heard about an assessment. In the largest picture it is apparent that capitalism is changing and there is a talk of the postcapitalism society. In fact though, we are not clear what that means or entails.

In specific issues such as coal we are failing to face the challenge. Renewable energy is becoming steadily less costly but it seems we are intent on not facing the effects of what has come before.

Detroit is diversifying and we see, in the past decades, what happens when we fail to face change. Our auto industry had serous challenges and the response came late.

It seems we may have two countries. The country which is thriving and the county peopled by people who get no assistance to foster necessary changes. These are the left behinds.

Making An Assessment

We have a choice to make. We can stay mired in this tiresome conflict or we can face and be energized by the challenges. Challenges can be fascinating and thrilling. Energy can be generated and the fact is that the problems we face can be challenged and affected. But we have to examine them, come together to seek mutually acceptable solutions. This is a time for liberals and conservatives to meet. Liberals can bring ideas to help us move forward and conservatives can bring a perspective of the need for functional and reasonable efforts. No one needs to be reckless and no one needs to be stuck in the mud.

Change

Change is not always easy and challenges can be difficult particularly if we fight each other. But people can change and solutions can be found. Part of it involves seeking perspective and using vision to explore possibilities.

America has a unique and interesting history. The people who came here were people who accepted challenge. Settling here was not easy and involved risk but one thing is clear, the people who came were venturesome, sought vision and faced challenges with solutions. These are traits which are passed down and those traits and the people are still with us. We just need to start exploring, setting goals and getting to work.

Where would you like to begin?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Women and Our Future Pt. 5

Is That All It Is?

Confronting Possibilities

What key memories do You have?

Long ago I remember standing in front of a cathedral in France. I was ten years old and looking around at a new world with new people. At that age I had little perception about what Europe had just endured nor the reach of its history. I recall my mother placing a handkerchief on her head before entering. I asked her why and she said it was “customary”.

Being who I was then and am now I didn’t press it further but for me it opened questions and they remain unasked in so many ways. The true answer and the depth of meaning remains to be probed. Of course, there are answers many people accept, but I find them shallow and lacking of substance. Possibilities always present themselves.

The Polar Bear

There are many interesting documentaries on television and recently I saw one about polar bears. I’ll put aside the barren environment in which they live and how it is now endangered along with their future.

Almost the entire documentary focused on the males search for a mate and the conflict involved. It seemed fraught in so many ways including his initial contact with the female with whom he wanted to mate. I had to think “Is that all It is?“ I doubt many people view our struggles as just about continuity as a species.

Power and Submission

In later posts I’ll go more deeply into the issues of power and submission but for now let me raise the question. I’ll just call it “Is that all it is?” which means are we simply in a battle between men and women about dominance and submission related to reproduction? I failed to see the greater purpose involved in a woman covering her hair in church and I fail to see a greater purpose in subjugating women. To me a better question to focus is whether we as a species have a larger mission.

The world of animals is fascinating in its diversity and their struggle for survival shows tenacity. From the struggle comes increased complexity, a culling process and new futures. Looking back at human history we can see something of a similar process but we also see something else. We acquired language and mastered the development and balancing of culture.

What’s Next

I am always asking what i might call my life question. Is the struggle to survive and gain a mate all there is? But does the acquisition of language and culture suggest that there may be other fascinating possibilities in our future. And how might an end to the subjugation of women fit in? “Possibilities” attend my life and I have to raise them again in this context.

We have hopes and dreams which alone suggest there may be interesting ways forward. And fundamental for me is the question about what may happen when we empower women which I firmly believe is to happen. And some of that is what has fostered my efforts in writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

How would you define the essence of our future as beings?

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt