The Tragic Loss of Conservatism

 

 Coming Soon

Gaia’s Majesty-Transformation: Life Forces Revealed

(Book 3 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

The child of prophesy is coming of age.

Earth has descended into almost biblical chaos.

        Then comes an opening to a future never anticipated.

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The Tragic Loss of Conservatism

It Is a Loss

I recall a time past when there were proud people of substantial values who held forth with the values of constructive conservatism. Yes, I used the word constructive. These were people to be admired because they contributed to stability, depth of commitment and the productive exchange of ideas in a world facing inevitable change.

In Opposition

The family I grew up in was firmly Republican. Late in the evening of the election of 1952 we sat up and cheered at the election of our hero Dwight Eisenhower. He had led us through the ruinous war against Naziism. His value of our country was firm and he stood before us in triumph and vision. He was the person who brought us the interstate highway system among other benefits.

Through it all he stood firmly for traditional values and against reckless change. As such he was a hero and benefactor.

My World Changed

In time my experiences in my life led me to embrace other viewpoints. My family was privileged and we toured the world beginning shortly after the end of World War II. It was breathtaking. I found myself over time seeking novelty and diversity. My brother went to Princeton and I went to the University of Michigan. It was time to head out further into our country. From there I went to North Carolina which was emerging from its racist and revolutionary past. Just one hundred years after the Civil War. It was a stunning lesson. From there I went to work in inner city poverty in Baltimore. Nothing could remain the same and I had to examine values and the future. I brought the experience of each corner with me. I never lost my rich past but turned to support progressive positions.

Two Definitions of Conservatism

Now let me turn to the world of conservatism. I found two definitions.

Commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation.

The holding of political views that favor free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.

Who can be opposed to supporting traditional values in most instances. Exceptions are found of course as in the case of when racism is a traditional value in the culture. But generally stability is something to support. And in the second definition it is obvious that we support free enterprise and private ownership. It is when we come to socially conservative ideas that we may run into conflict.

In Progressive Ideology

In general, at least for me the issue is not in the ideology. It is a matter of how we take it forward and whether it is ill planned and ill considered. On the streets in the sixties and its time of revolution there were many things worthy of advancement. Among them was racial equality and the advent of the empowerment of women.

There were times when I found myself working against the radicals in the “progressive” mix. Change was clearly essential, but not necessarily revolution.

What Was to Come

It is not a clear and simple world out there. We fought our battles decade after decade and it was challenging. Change brought stunning openings of possibilities along with undesirable revelations. In the next post I’ll dig a little deeper into what I saw and where it has led us.

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Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1  (Click to See) 

Avery’s life of dedication is enhanced when she meets the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was ordained.

      Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2   (Click to See)

The Tethyan people of the sea have been joined by the Andromeda warrior women. They fight for the future of humankind. Then will come the Child of Prophesy.

Available now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.

Echoes From The Past

 

Life’s Promise

Somehow we have a dream that a stable and glorious future will open before us. It is unlikely. Our lives are not ours alone because we share it with family and intimates, but also must share it with the world at large which is not under our control. But the past has a way of reaching out to us which is not necessarily a bad thing. It may tell us about how the world is and such things as the variability of opportunity. 

From My Past

In 1967 (yikes that’s a long time ago) I took a job in the inner city of Baltimore. I was one of the first people hired in one of the first community mental health programs in the country. I was just leaving Duke with my doctorate in hand and I was definitely ready to depart academia. The whole idea of community mental health was to bring mental health services to the public using a public health model. It was a marvelous idea.

Wait a Minute!

But there was not just one problem. Communities are different, and because of that the whole idea of applying the medical model to our inner lives was flawed and established practice is not so easily changed.

I was given an office and told to give service. But there was no one there except for a woman social worker. She led me out into the city and steadily the staff grew. Young professionals learned about the community and what it needed. It was tumultuous and fascinating.

Wait Another Minute!

But in some ways the least of our problem was adapting services to a poverty environment in chaos. An even larger problem proved to be the conservatism of the mental health establishment. All they wanted was the grant money and the glory of having landed funding for a “glamorous” enterprise. They had been providing services by psychiatric residents and medical students on six week rotations. We dug in our heels. The people of that community needed reliable ongoing services, not a series of inexperienced people passing out medication. Granted, our group of twenty somethings were inexperienced, but we were dedicated as a group to learning fast and meeting real needs. 

What We Concluded

What we found was a need for life management  in a form of partnership. Many “mental health” problems were an outgrowth of the dynamics of the poverty environment more than anything else. Of course, it was much more complicated than that but that is a rough outline. But we had found that a highly beneficial set of services and programs could have been focused.

In the End

At last though, those in power are in power after all. In time the bright eyed, groundbreaking young people moved on and the higher powers invoked a retrenchment. The community based clinics were closed, staff was withdrawn to a central building and business as usual restored.

Across the country the reform movement of that era was coming to an end.  And with its end came the end of community mental health. I tell the whole story in my book Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health.

Now the Lesson

Yes, community mental health came too soon and its time is still not yet at least until we get through our present upheaval when a younger generation with vision may take power.

But, looking back we can see something. On the street we learned a huge amount about such communities, but all the data was kept in our heads and used to formulate a highly focused, problem solving service system. If a system with managers of more vision were to be devised now, the information technology at our fingertips could help us sift, store, integrate and develop data for a viable system. And it could be adapted to fit the community at hand—whatever its form. Then we would truly have a community mental health system, but probably with a more refined name. And if we had had information technology we could have documented and built.

Coming back to one of my original points, I can see that something from the past can be brought forward to a much more adapted use at a future time when new tools and vision are available.

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Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

(Available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.) 

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them.

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

(Available now in Pre-Order and goes on sale April 29 on Amazon)

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Seeking Clarity in the Fog

From the Cusp of Reality Humankind Explores Its Future

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When you see “neo” attached to a word, what does that suggest to you?
Entwining the Political and the Economic
For a very long time we thought we knew what each political party stood for and families often passed down dedication to a particular party from generation to generation. Below is information on neoliberalism and neoconservatism. I think I got it wrong. Neo seems to simply mean that it is a new form of something and in this instance I have a hard time seeing them as either liberal or conservative. What it does indicate is something which supports the idea of an interregnum but the question is, if we are entering a very new era, where will it lead us? And in the Gaia’s Majesty series I suggest a direction with a mythological context. We are all explorers whether individually or collectively. It is fascinating to think about where our explorations might lead us. Implicit in this mythological exploration is that it may well have a totally unexpected outcome.

Speculation can be a wonderful thing. It is not only engaging and interesting but can lead us down unsuspected paths with all kinds of wonderful things at the end.
Elements of Our National Interregnum

Neoliberalism (From Wikipedia)
Neoliberalism[1] is a term which has been used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences[2] and critics[3] primarily in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism beginning in the 1970s and 1980s.[4] Its advocates support extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Neoliberalism is famously associated with the economic policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States.[6] The transition of consensus towards neoliberal policies and the acceptance of neoliberal economic theories in the 1970s are seen by some academics as the root of financialization, with the financial crisis of 2007–08 one of the ultimate results.

Neoconservatism (From Wikipedia)
Neoconservatism (commonly shortened to neocon) is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among Democrats who became disenchanted with the party’s domestic and especially foreign policy. Many of its adherents became politically famous during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administrations of George W. Bush and George H W Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[1] Prominent neoconservatives in the Bush administration included Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, Robert Kagan and Paul Bremer. Senior officials Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, while not identifying themselves as neoconservatives, listened closely to neoconservative advisers regarding foreign policy, especially the defense of Israel, the promotion of democracy in the Middle East, and the buildup of American military forces to achieve these goals. The neocons have influence in the Obama White House, and neoconservatism remains a staple in both parties’ arsenal.

Emergence is Another Useful Word at This Time

As you can see from the above descriptions “the times they are achanging”. The philosophical alignments are very different from what they used to be. Struggle is very much a part of human existence and the positions outlined above speak to struggle. We used to be clear about our realities but these differences and the changes over a relatively short period of time do support the idea of us being in an interregnum. Stay tuned!

Do you have thoughts about the outcome?
Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

#neoliberalism,#neoconservatism,#privatization,#fiscal austerity,#neocon