An extensive, in-depth Autobiographical Tapestry blended with both Family and World History and Ruminations
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Hello again, and welcome to my website! This autobiography of sorts is composed as a tapestry of words in images to capture the events and experiences of my life upon the canvas of a much larger picture of the world I grew up in. These include my thoughts, feelings, and analyses as well. I was fortunate to grow up and live during times of dynamic change and derailed transformations. They were not ordinary times, and yet I struggled to be ordinary, ordinary enough to be respected and loved, or so I thought. Heck, I was weird! So weird! As weird all those kooky-strange TV shows, books, and movies I devoured as an eccentric, nearly-deaf, farm boy. Our world, however, went crazy, so to speak. My life felt peeled open against such chaos. It felt scarey! So here I am, OK? Note, however, these writings aren’t really all about me as much as they are about the world we all emerged from. They’re FOR what actions we may choose to engage in next. Ready? Yeah? Great! Let’s go, because it’s hard as hell to write in the first person without sounding as if I’m bragging and using too many I-did-this-and-I-did-thats. Yes, just jump on in past those rocks over there. The water’s deep. Really deep! No monsters anywhere, tho.
My name is William Dudley Bass. I was born in 1959 during the global Cold War 14 years after the end of World War II. The Space Age dominated my youth. Mama gave birth to me less than two years after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into Earth orbit and ten years before two American men became the first publicly-acknowledged humans to land upon the Moon. Those Apollo 11 astronauts including their colleague back in the Command/Service Module then returned safely to Earth. I grew up dreaming of outer space and wanting to be a NASA astronaut or work aboard a Star Trek starship. One of my favorite pastimes back then was laying out on my back to stare up at the night sky. The many billions of stars filled me with wonder. I watched for meteors, human-built satellites, comets, and, yes, spaceships, especially flying saucers. I still love to gaze up into those celestial wonders on starry nights.
Storytelling is in my blood. While I grew up in the American South around so many fantastic storytellers swapping true lies, I’ve been out here in Cascadia for so long now I’ve become one with the elemental magick of nature here. I’m basically an author from the Pacific Northwest. Self-taught with a zest to know what’s really going on, too. I serve from time to time as an independent Current Affairs analyst and sometimes moonlight as a free-lance guerrilla writer and editor. To flow as a creative visionary feels natural. In addition, I enjoy my current “day job” in retail sales on the floors of one of Seattle’s largest outdoor adventure stores. Constantly meet so many people there coming and going from all around the planet. Once upon a long time ago in my native Southeast, however, my mother wrote a poem about me called, “Angel or Devil?”
Off and on over the years since a child with an unusual awareness of what was going on in the world, this fired-up “angel-devil” used to volunteer as a political activist for many different causes. In recent times I’ve pulled back to reassess. What results do we as human beings really want to experience? There must be more effective ways beyond reacting in rage, hate, and vengeance to so much criminal injustice, pervasive corruption, and tyranny. People move at, into, and around one another as Postmodern neo-tribes often stuck in self-righteousness and ideology. We grow up within the prisons of our individual and cultural belief systems unwittingly enslaved by our own minds. This Matrix is self-created by our culturally-conditioned abstract minds as the biological equivalent of machine software. Or is it?
What can we do to break free of repeating thousands of years of the same cycles of tyranny, illusion, disillusion, revolution, civil war, chaos, order, stability, suppression, repression, resentment, division, and conflict? Followed by more tyranny and rebellion? What can we do as human beings to rise above being lost in our emotions with closed off hearts? What can we do as individuals and as a species to rise above the cognitive absolute righteousness of our religious, political, socio-cultural, and even scientific belief systems?
When will more human beings understand living in constant struggle and suffering co-creates more of the same rather than true resolution? That time is not linear, not even circular, but an invisible ocean we move thru? To focus outwardly on what’s measurable with instruments ultimately fails unless one’s immeasurable inner strife is internally addressed? That each one of us not only reflects but co-creates the other? Life goes on. Life grows everywhere life can, and every one of us dies eventually. Certainly our bodies do. Our consciousness, however, continues on in our universe and even exists before biological birth and after biological death. Both birth and death are now regarded as slow processes and not as instantaneous events. Evidence is emerging to suggest our universe itself is most likely the result of a co-created tho accidental simulation or a holographic projection from among the multiverse.
Does consciousness beyond the physical limitations of biology help explain what those in many religions refer to as souls and spirits? Is there life in these non-material realms other than consciousness itself? New understandings arise, too, as we better understand once-ridiculed or misunderstood relationships between the power of the conscious mind and its affects upon reality? These still-controversial interpretations of evidence for things such as consciousness beyond the body, for extraterrestrial even extra-or-intra-dimensional life, of what constitutes gravity and dark matter, of what actually are spacetime and timespace, for reincarnation, for an intelligence in the Kosmos beyond biology as we understand it, and for holographic and simulated universes among multiple and/or parallel universes continues to grow.
Do these things accelerate the increasingly rejected religion of reductionist scientific materialism? Growing numbers including myself are convinced the answer is a crushing yes. This demands reevaluation of belief systems based upon such outmoded world views where physical materialism and scientific reductionism are as obsolete as religious superstitions. Our inner world does indeed create our outer world. Our mind does create our reality, but we still haven’t learned to break this sociocultural consensus on a regular basis. We have yet to generate such co-creation in an consistent with effective results. What do we do to harness these growing powers of self-awareness, prayer and meditation, and of love? There is much yet to discern as we continue to evolve.
Before such matters of mind in the Kosmos arose to grapple with, however, I came close to dying several times during my birth and first two weeks of infancy. This is what I’ve been told by those who were there in my life during those distant days and nights. Apparently I endured TBI or traumatic brain injury from a messy forceps delivery gone awry. In addition to being a “blue baby” at birth, I was born with the umbilical cord tangled around my little neck. The oxygen deprivation resulted in anoxia. As a birth trauma baby, my parents told me multiple times I spent two weeks in the hospital and almost died repeatedly as a consequence of multiple infections resulting from the damage to my head. Life was struggle and suffering punctuated with moments of joy and bliss. Even so, I managed to become an award-winning fiction writer early on in life despite such circumstances. Grew up on a farm in Virginia and learned to read and write before I could speak. In a way, my first language was Silence. The doctors, however, informed my Mom and Dad their son was “mentally retarded.”
Thanks to the awareness of “MeMa,” my paternal step-grandmother who kept me in Richmond for a week while my parents had their first child-free getaway to Virginia Beach, my family had me tested for hearing. I was diagnosed at age 5 as profoundly hard-of-hearing in both ears. I was also hampered with a speech impediment. He spent the next five and a half years in weekly speech therapy sessions in Richmond, Virginia learning to speak English. These sessions involved trips of up to an hour and a half to two hours long one way by automobiles driven by a rotating family volunteers including Daddy and two of his great-uncles. This period extended from about 1964 to 1970. Dr. Cutler was the man who oversaw a team of speech therapists and audiologists at the Medical College of Virginia on the edge of Downtown Richmond. It was Dr. Cutler who once encouraged me as a young boy in elementary school to become a bridge between the Deaf and Hearing worlds. Life has its own will to change as we do, and my family chose to mainstream via hearing schools me instead of sending me to schools for the deaf.
Learning disabilities, however, weren’t well understood or even recognized back those years. It wasn’t until 2005 doctors discovered I also had moderate to severe Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD, mild to moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, and a movement development disorder from bypassing crawling as an infant. Years later in 2012 those were reconfirmed and more learning disabilities were uncovered such as dyscalculia and so-called global brain disorder non-specific/nonverbal learning disorder (NLD). Furthermore, psychological issues arose over time as these issues were not recognized for years and in some cases for decades. Thus I experienced different degrees of bullying, impatience, and ridicule. It didn’t help I often interrupted conversations because these matters along with my hearing impairment. Couldn’t tell time on an analog clock face until fifth grade, for example, nor understand why a tiny dime had more value than a larger nickel. I was often dismissal as a child and even as a young adult. These events and experiences in turn shaped and molded my perceptions and world views.
All of these conditions were believed to result either directly or indirectly from the initial birth traumas. Many old mysteries regarding what unknown problems prevented a man lauded thruout childhood as among “the best and the brightest” from achieving such “success” were finally solved and understood. The whats, whys, hows, and whens were answered, altho there were few answers as to how to rectify many of these issues without large financial costs. Even more importantly what steps does one so “disabled” since birth take to break free from victim mentalities? How does one even share these things without coming across as a victimization addict collecting lists of diseases and injuries as some kind of reverse-trophies?
As I looked back upon my life years later, this birth trauma and related physical and psychological health issues are among the top three pivotal events of my life. This was a formative period of individuation and identification. My disabilities proved a gift in a number of ways, such as they helped me focus almost exclusively upon honing my natural gifts as a creative writer, to see deep relationships between superficially disparate things, and as a inner or spiritual listener. Those same disabilities provided the capacity to relate to and identify with the struggles of those who suffered grotesque disadvantages from classism, racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism, and other forms of bigotry and oppression. Experiences on the receiving end of prejudice and loathing were significant factors in the formation of my world views.
As a child and young man, I worked long, hard hours on my parents’ dairy farm. Still found time to play in the woods and hills of home. Loved exploring the fields, swamps, and rivers of the American Southeast. Regardless of such disabilities, I went on to develop different compensation strategies without being self-aware of doing so. Certain “natural gifts” emerged that didn’t fit neatly into any one conventional category. These included various degrees of unusual empathy, intuitive awareness, spiritual perception, and synesthesia. An uncanny ability to embrace paradox and engage in synthesis with syncretism emerged at a young age. These responses and reactions to these so-called disabilities, however, were often undermined by my anger and rage at the world.
Even so, I went on to earn advanced degrees and engaged in an adventurous lifestyle of mountaineering, kayaking whitewater rivers, and long-distance backpacking. Graduated in 1981 from Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia not far from where he grew up. Roughly in the rural center of Prince Edward County, Hampden-Sydney is one of the last three non-military, non-religious, all-male liberal arts colleges left in the U.S.A. It was a private institution founded at the beginning of the American Revolution. One of my father’s cousins taught chemistry there. After graduation, I married my college sweetheart and worked on the family farm for three years. After divorce, I went on to graduate school and enrolled in Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
VCU was the exact opposite of H-SC. It hummed with inner city vibrancy whereas Hampden-Sydney was quiet and reflective. VCU teemed with many different ethnic and religious groups while H-SC was primarily White and Christian. VCU also teemed with women, which were appreciated as a divorced young man. Ironically, however, I didn’t initially want to attend any colleges in Virginia. My family did consider Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University where my maternal grandfather researched light and taught physics. My grandmother taught history at the nearby high school there in Blacksburg. Other relatives pointed to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Really wanted to go to college in California, however, and learn to make movies. There wasn’t any Internet back in those days to facilitate such things, and my parents and grandparents initially sought to somehow protect me as they felt my hearing impairment and suspected learning disabilities made me more vulnerable.
While at VCU, I became involved in the OAP, the university Outdoor Adventure Program. It changed my life as I turned further away from Corporate America and academia towards the subculture and lifestyles of adventurers and explorers. My first backpacking and camping trip ever was in March 1985 to Mount Rogers, Virginia. Soon experienced whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Lower Youghiogheny Rive in Pennsylvania, rock climbing along the Potomac River cliffs of Carderock, Maryland, caving in Virginia’s Breathing Cave, and dayhikes in the Shenandoahs. Participated in a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) mountaineering course across June and July of 1986. The course was a NOLS expedition deep into the Wind River Mountains of the Wyoming wilderness. Those experiences in the Winds transformed me as I pivoted further into the Deep Wild. This NOLS Wind River mountaineering adventures as the third of the top three formative events in my life. My first was the birth trauma resulting in hearing and brain damage mentioned above shaping all that followed. The second was the UFO encounter described further down.
Life goes on as life does, and I went on to do many things. In the world of business I came to realize I was more of a “fixer” than an entrepreneur. William would go into distressed small businesses, “fix” them, and turn them around. People used the term, “fixer” to describe a type of unofficial disrupter somewhat akin to a more trained organizational development consultant found in larger organizations. I do prefer working with others together on teams. I like to foster processes of collective leadership. More and more worker-owned businesses, cooperative enterprises, public banks, and currency backed by hard, tangible assets are among numerous significant changes needed to help restructure our civilization.
When asked to describe me, however, many call me a philosopher and storyteller. Some people consider me mellow and easy going. Others say I’m intense and sometimes difficult. Ever since a child I loved to immerse myself in books, writing, and being outdoors in nature. Often, however, I see myself as one who enjoys research and exploration, meeting new people, and then writing about these experiences as well for whatever comes up. As long as I can remember, I’ve had a penchant “to take the red pill and jump down the rabbit hole” in his determination to discover and reveal the truth. This was long before I ever heard of The Matrix and Alice in Wonderland, too.
As a storytelling philosopher and visionary activist, I embrace an eclectic lifestyle. While single now, I’ve been married to three remarkable women, each one intense, creative, brilliant, spiritual, erotic, and adventurous. Being married and divorced three times does feel somewhat embarrassing at times. I’ve chosen to view the pain of divorce as an opportunity to rediscover myself and others, however, including learning what and who I am uncoupled from any other. There were a few other women in my life, lovers, with whom I shared amazing and sometimes painful experiences. Every one was a lesson in co-creating deep relationship and letting go of attachments to outcomes. Been single for a few years now. Sometimes I feel I might turn into a monk, and that would be terrible as I identify more with warrior and artist archtypes.
Life blessed me with three lovely and rambunctious daughters so any attempts at monkhood must fortunately wait a while yet. Each girl’s a different gift: a birth daughter, an adopted daughter, and a stepdaughter. I love them dearly and helped deliver two of them in home births.
Several themes emerged dominant in this life of mine. They weren’t recognizable until years later, however, and in some cases were pointed out by others. These themes include a keen sense of injustice with a fierce stand for social justice, an appreciation for the great outdoors, a love for reading and writing, and a passion for geopolitics and history. I especially sought the truth of what really occurred beyond the controlled limitations of the mainstream mass media. Another theme is integrating mind, heart, and working with one’s hands. I value the dignity of manual labor as well as intellect. I have great respect for the capacity of working people in all trades and professions to build items of real, tangible value as they work in service for so many others. Often they must do so in the face of significant obstacles.
Ethics, authenticity, integrity, activism, curiosity, travel, exploration, honor, and a keen sense for adventure round out my core values. Experiencing, learning, teaching, and having fun provide both foundation and framing for these values. Personal relationships are cherished as the fabric weaving so many lives together. The dance and challenges of deep relationship constitute the real foundations of partnership from romance to parenting to community.
Early on I was aware of our common humanity as a species within a planetary biosphere. As a child, I rarely experienced this awareness in others. Perhaps this is something to attributed to the effects of being a birth trauma survivor including being a profoundly hard-of-hearing boy in the rural South. I also grew up acutely aware of warfare and racism. Some of my ancestors and relatives fought in the American Revolution, in the American Civil War, the First and Second World Wars, and the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam. Some intermarried into Native American tribes in Virginia and the Carolinas while others later owned African-American slaves in the same three states. Certain parts of the family narratives were glorified and championed, such as so and so serving as a courier and attaché for Confederate General Robert E. Lee or another great relative serving as a locally famous country doctor. Other family tales were hushed up and rarely acknowledged such as the buying, owning, and selling of human slaves on both sides of my family. My childhood was marked by family and school trips to nearby Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields, to Colonial Jamestown and Williamsburg, to cemeteries to celebrate dead war veterans, to one-sided tales of White daring-do during the Indian Wars, to plays about the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, and picnics at old churches. All during one of the most turbulent times in United States history.
I was born in the town of Farmville, Virginia, the real Farmville, and given the name, “William Dudley Bass” to honor men on both sides of my family. Grew up a few miles outside of town in Prince Edward County near the village of Rice. Named for a British aristocrat, the county gained early notoriety for its Worsham Debtor’s Prison (1786 to 1820 or 1849) and the formation of Hampden-Sydney College, a private, White, all-male liberal arts institution during the American Revolution (1775-1783). Before those developments, however, the county was once was part of the expansive Native American hunting grounds that sprawled along the frontiers of the Powhatan Tribal Confederacy. During one period of violent upheaval, the originally much larger Prince Edward County was briefly affected by Bacon’s Rebellion of 1675-1677.
Prince Edward Country earned greater notoriety, however, as being in the center of rebel General Robert E. Lee’s violent retreat to nearby Appomattox Court House towards the latter part of the American Civil War (officially 1861-1865). Along the way there were skirmishes around Rice called the Battle of Rice’s Depot as well as the nearby, same-day Battles of High Bridge (over the Appomattox River) and Sailor’s (Saylor’s) Creek. One of the old Bass farmhouses on the edge of Rice, the one at Sunnyside Farm, still has bullet holes thru the old wood siding from the skirmishing during 6 April 1865. Three days later Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to the Federals under General U.S. Grant to help end major combat operations in the Civil War.
The war itself didn’t quite end, however, as official histories claim. Confederate naval ships far out at sea continued the fight, basically due to lack of communications. Last pockets of Confederate resistance in remote areas of Texas, for example, weren’t stamped out until 1866. Not to mention the wars against Native Americans in the West continued. The Civil War began much earlier than officially recognized, too. Fighting began in 1854 out in the border reasons of Missouri and Kansas between Abolitionist Free-Staters and pro-slavery Border Ruffians and States Righters. This was seven years before rebellious Confederate forces bombarded Union Federals at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, outside the city of Charleston where my mother was born. Civil war broke out over White enslavement of Black people in the American border states, primarily Kansas but also others, disguised as “States’ Rights” but rooted in capitalist economic mayhem. Fighting was fueled by financial desperation to maintain the relationships between the South’s “Peculiar Institution” and the North’s industrial factory complex. Issues such as “State’s Rights” were leveraged with great emotion to mask over both slavery and industrialization. Furthermore, civil strife in these border states was marked by atrocities on both sides. Such atrocities inflamed people on all sides. Abolitionists and the pro-slavery groups grew more polarized. Atrocities fosters extremism, which in turns leads to revenge reprisals, and a downward spiral into the abyss of mutual destruction ensues.
Another way the Civil War continued for many decades after Lee surrendered in 1865 was demonstrated as former Confederate officers created and led the Ku Klux Klan in a pro-White supremacist, pro-Democrat Party rebellion. This resulted in a simmering, terrorist insurgency against Federal military occupation of Southern states, Republican domination of government, and against Reconstruction. The KKK’s goals and targets were the capture and control of state, town, city, and local offices as well as businesses to maintain White racist domination and to subdue, intimidate, exploit, oppress, lynch, torture, burn, and otherwise murder and maim Black Americans, many of them former slaves, and any White and Native American allies of Black people.
This mix of murderous buffoonery, localized state terror, and intermittent guerrilla warfare led directly into localized race wars and riots as well as spilled over into massacres of Native Americans. The KKK’s insurgency waxed and waned. At its greatest height, however, the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s numbered well over 4,000,000 members across the United States, including large concentrations in the Midwest. Yes, four million people! The Confederate Battle Flag was adopted by the KKK and other White supremacist organizations. This was especially the case during White backlash against the African-American push for Civil Rights began in the 1950s and 60s. Christian crosses were held up to symbolize White racist values, much to the disgust and horror of Christians elsewhere.
This militant racism, however, caused further divisions and conflict among the working and middle classes. Instead of working together in unity, Blacks and Whites, professionals and tradesmen, labor and environmentalists, soldiers and civilians, immigrants and Natives viewed one another with suspicion and hostility. The wealthy classes, especially the Global Financial and Power Elites, prospered exponentially instead of being challenged and defeated by a unified opposition.
Eventually the KKK provoked a national backlash and rising up of African-American people in what was at the time termed the Negro Revolution. Malcolm X, however, declared this uprising the Black Revolution. Eventually many Whites and other Americans from a number of ethnic and religious groups joined together with their Black brothers and sisters for justice, equality, and freedom. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, a triumphant for those led by and inspired by leaders such as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., but the revolutionary struggle was far from over. Many thousands of Black citizens were lynched from 1865, the official end of the Civil War, into the 1950s and 60s. Hundreds if not thousands more of Asian immigrants, Mexican-Americans, immigrants from the Caribbean and other areas of Latin America, and Whites viewed with suspicion as either pro-Civil Rights or as “foreigners” were lynched, too. The White genocide of American Indians accelerated after the end of the Civil War as the young empire turned its troops and guns to the West in unofficial efforts to reunite North and South. This was the socially unacknowledged, hidden, and repressed canvas I grew up in, a canvas all the world could see and indeed saw but rarely discussed. Leave the dead in the grave as some liked say, but often the dead, over time, get their revenge.
Even as a young schoolboy, I observed these events with a mix of outrage, criticisms of racism with demands for social justice. As an underdog myself, I identified with the disenfranchised and oppressed as a White almost-deaf kid who felt suppressed, ridiculed, bullied, and not accepted.These “invisible disabilities” allowed him to cultivate empathy, understanding, and connection with the downtrodden. These barriers in my life eventually came to be experienced as gifts. At the same time I was able to perceive the volatile mix of class war, racial segregation, and White privilege. I understood even as a boy being White and male awarded me certain privileges regardless of the sum totality of his various health conditions and disabilities. Couldn’t stand it anymore. Legal processes were boxed in. Those in power made the laws to protect their elitist privilege even if done so in the name of the people under the banner of democracy. I finally stood up to organize neighborhood kids to come together and revolt against the otherwise unchallenged Dictatorship of Adults. Together we children rose up against what as a child I called Parental Dictatorships. Over all of this class and racial strife, however, loomed the iconic mushroom clouds of detonating atomic and hydrogen bombs marking the global Cold War with its threats of nuclear and thermonuclear extinction. This was a level of planetary disruption the Canadian anti-nuclear, pro-peace Cold War activist Jim Stark labeled, “omnicide.”
Our family meals were battlegrounds. I remember many conversations and even more arguments about race and religion, atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, ICBMs, thermonuclear warfare, the Nazis, Communism, finances, and even UFOs and space aliens at home around the dinner table with the ever-present television set turned on, in classrooms at school, and even in Sunday School classes in Protestant churches during the 1960s and 70s. One of my mother’s uncles, Edwin Lee Jones, a devout Southern Presbyterian, even positively compared the physical energy of the atomic bomb to the spiritual energy of Christianity. Mr. Jones wrote essays, pamphlets, and spoke publicly on those topics. My “Uncle Edwin” did so with admiration for atomic bombs and Jesus Christ as both good and holy. This boggled my mind when I later found out about my otherwise beloved relative’s inclinations and accomplishments, especially when I held his little pink book on Christianity and atom bombs in my hands.
Turns out my great-uncle Edwin, part of a family of construction laborers who eventually went into business for themselves as the J. A. Jones Construction Company, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, participated in the Manhattan Project during the Second World War and in the early atomic bombings of the Cold War. His dad J. A. Jones was my great-grandfather and was once an uneducated common laborer. The elder Jones was a driven and intense man who became a bricklayer and founded his own construction company.
His story was the proverbial rags to riches of a working class man with a huge personality who becomes a successful entrepreneur thru hard work. He also worked with the system he was born into rather than against it. J. A. Jones had multiple wives and many children, too, and as such proverbial stories often go, public success masked over domestic unhappiness. Several of his sons took his company to even higher levels of success during the Second World and Cold Wars, but he left little of his aggregated wealth to his daughters, including the girl who grew up to become the mother of my Mom, as they were instructed “to go marry rich men, stay home, and raise children.”
Edwin Lee Jones eventually headed his deceased father’s construction company and expanded it into a large construction empire. Edwin Jones engaged in the construction of the Clinton Engineer Works (CEW) at the new Oak Ridge, Tennessee nuclear weapons facilities during the Manhattan Project. Oak Ridge is located close to the small East Tennessee city of Knoxville where the headquarters of TVA, the Tennessee Valley Authority is located. The TVA project is a U.S. federally-owned corporation launched in 1933 during the Great Depression to generate vast quantities of low-cost hydropower to develop the industrial economies of Southern Appalachia and surrounding areas.
These complexes the Jones Family engaged in constructing for the U.S. Government were among the top three secret Manhattan Project sites. The other two were in Hanford, Washington, and in Los Alamos, New Mexico. It was strategic to locate the massive energy-intensive facilities of the Manhattan Project near hydropower. The one at Hanford was on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River, and Los Alamos in the upper basin of the Rio Grande. These three areas were also located in relatively out of the way places. Many puzzled why little, out-of-the-way Appalachian Knoxville was chosen to host the 1982 World’s Fair. The official title of that particular world’s fair, however, was the Knoxville, International Energy Exposition. Not far from the Hanford Reach is the small, Eastern Washington city of Spokane, tho further away from the bends of the Columbia than Oak Ridge is from Knoxville. Back in 1974 Spokane hosted the World’s Fair, too. It was the first one to celebrate the environment. Both Spokane and Knoxville were the smallest cities up to their time to host the World’s Fair.
Keep in mind those who oversaw and managed the construction of Manhattan Project facilities, especially at the level of Edwin Jones, likely knew what was happening. Allocation of resources, designs for particularities of plumbing, electricity, energy consumption, radiation containment, demands for certain metals and minerals, concentrations of certain scientists and engineers, and so forth must have been overseen with a certain alert scrutiny. We don’t know for certain, however, as no writings to such effects by my great-uncle are known to exist or if so made publicly available. Hydropower was also used to generate enormous amounts of relatively cheap electricity leveraged to produce massive quantities of aluminum. Aluminum was the primary material in aircraft production and other military needs. Later aluminum played a major role in Cold War weaponry and the Space Race. This hydropower usage was also used as a cover for the large consumption of electricity demanded by the Manhattan Project to develop atomic bombs.
After the Second World War morphed into the next, Jones served as an official observer at Earth’s first Cold War atomic bomb detonation on Monday 1 July 1946 at Bikini Atoll. This was the Able test during Operation Crossroads and involved a particular atom bomb with the notorious “Demon core” that killed at least two scientists and contaminating labs in two different critical mass nuclear accidents.
The United States, as did the Soviet Union, brought in many Nazi scientists at the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War to work on classified American military, scientific, and intelligence projects. The largest of these covert actions was known as Operation Paperclip. Far more Nazis entered the U.S.A. than the U.S.S.R. Larger numbers were brought in than officially acknowledged, including many engaged in Nazi secret weapons programs and medical research. Corporate capitalism as fascism without the fascist label proved a much more welcoming bed to lay in than the state capitalism/degenerated workers’ regime of the Stalinist bureaucracy that hijacked and distorted communism.
Credible insiders and whistleblowers allege these Nazis went so far as to discreetly seize power of parts of the American government especially the military-industrial complex. They did so from behind the scenes and built upon American anti-Communist hysteria to hide their crimes and wield great influence. Many of these Germans as well as a number of their American “benefactors” even allied themselves with breakaway Nazi and Fascist groups who did not surrender and instead hid out after the fall of Berlin. Many of these Germans and Italians and other Axis allies made their way down the Atlantic and into South America and allegedly Antarctica. These Axis scientists and engineers contributed much to American rocket and aircraft development as well as biological warfare. This included the infamous V-2 rocket, V for Vengeance, that caused so much destruction during the latter part of the Second World War. Anything products portrayed by Western industry as “peaceful” could also be weaponized. Indeed, many products marketed for widespread peaceful, civilian consumption were spun off from initial military applications.
On Saturday 6 September 1947, a captured Nazi V-2 rocket was launched from the deck of the American aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway. The test firing was successful, the rocket detonated six miles away, and a new age of naval missile warfare dawned. Large rockets with highly destructive warheads could now be fired from ships at sea upon distant land-and-sea based targets, a massive new development from ships firing small rockets or catapulting rocks and burning oil as in centuries past. This was especially the case as these new atomic bombs could be mounted upon sleek missiles powered by massive rocket engines.
This was the cauldron of violence mixed up with love and illusions of normalcy my siblings and I grew up in. Mom and Dad placed a second TV set in the kitchen next to the table. We watched televised riots of people raging in the streets, disturbing news from the Vietnam War, and baffling reports on flying saucers as we ate breakfast and dinner.
Prince Edward County gained further notoriety for being in the center of class war and racial strife all through the 1950s, 60s, and 70s in the so-called near-revolution and quasi-civil war of those times. Blacks were the majority in Prince Edward and still are. Whites dominated the local politics and government, local businesses and markets, the media, and religious organizations. Fed up with grossly racist and substandard conditions in the segregated public schools, students first walked out on strike in 1951.
This strike led to a fierce although relatively nonviolent struggle for racial equality and racial integration of the public schools. White economic, financial, and social intimidation resulted. The struggle resulted in 1951’s Davis v. County Board of Prince Edward County. In 1954 this case made it to the United States Supreme Court where it was bundled with four other similar cases into Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka et al. Of 167 Black American students named as plaintiffs in this landmark case, 117 were Virginians from Prince Edward County. The Supreme Court, in this and in Brown II the following year, overturned decades of racial segregation and ordered all public schools to be desegregated and racially integrated.
One of my nearby relatives, Beverly Calvin Bass, was also engaged in these conflicts between Whites and Blacks struggling over segregation, desegregation, and integration of schools and businesses. Calvin Bass and my paternal grandfather Carroll M. Bass were cousins. Calvin Bass was loved by many and respected by many more. He was a warm-hearted, generous man of great personal dignity, highly energetic, and almost rigid with a stern self-discipline reflective of his Presbyterian morals. He epitomized the Southern gentleman farmer academic, a working scientist who taught at the college level and then went home to roll up his sleeves to fix machinery, milk cows, and deliver calves. Calvin Bass was also a mentor to William’s dad Bill Bass as he transitioned from serving in the Navy to being a dairy farmer. He was very engaged in the extended Bass family network. In addition, Calvin Bass ran Sunnyside, one of the two remaining working Bass dairy farms in the Rice-Sandy River area of the county. His parents lived in the large old farmhouse still pocketed with Minié ball holes from the Civil War Battle of Rice’s Depot.
Long ago in the early part of his adult life, however, he also once lived and worked in eastern Tennessee not far from where the Manhattan Project Oak Ridge facilities would later be established. Later on he moved back to Prince Edward County to run Sunnyside Farm. From there he also taught chemistry and physics for decades at Hampden-Sydney College. William attended the same college later on from 1977 until he graduated in 1981.
Calvin Bass also served as Chairman of the Board of Prince Edward County public school system during the early time of the first court cases including the Brown v. Board of Education issues. He’s credited with helping to maintain peace between the races when conflict could have easily erupted into widespread violence. This is especially noteworthy as so many felt America fragmenting and on the verge of a new civil war or revolution. Calvin Bass worked quietly with leaders from both races to resolve these thorny issues to defuse racial strife.
Yet keeping the peace meant delaying desegregation and then integration of the schools. Keeping the peace meant maintaining White control of the local economy and government and allowing integration of the schools to proceed while maintaining de facto segregation with a financially impoverished rural county feeling compelled to run two simultaneous school systems, one private and predominantly White and the other public but predominantly Black. Most acted and reacted to these events unaware of the bigger, deeper issues of white privilege, Judaeo-Christian indoctrination, sexism, the role of capitalism, and the distortion of American origins into patriotic myths. There was a low level of class awareness as the working classes were fragmented further from achieving liberty, justice, equality, and unity.
My grandfather’s cousin continued to work for peace. He stood for peaceful coexistence even if it meant tolerating ongoing imbalances of power and wealth as those injustices could be addressed and improved upon one step at a time. In 1958’s Eva Allen et al. v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, VA., etc., et al., for example, Calvin Bass was among the witnesses called forth by the defendants. He observed race relations had declined significantly since 1954. He observed education suffered for all citizens within the County and affected everyone regardless of race. He also felt closing the schools would increase the chance of racial violence. County Sheriff James T. Clark declared local law enforcement even if backed by the State Police would not be enough to enforce the law and maintain order should mass violence resort.
There were fears of not just riots in the streets and lynchings in the woods, but of tit-for-tat murders and arson in remote rural areas by all sides. Such mayhem was imagined to disrupt the local economy, draw in direct Federal intervention and even occupation, draw in “outside agitators,” and the violence would likely spread to other counties and cities. Fear of loss of power proved greater than fear of violence, however, and those Whites at the top of the local pyramid in Farmville were not about to let go of control and let the Federal government tell them where and how their kids could go to school.
Alarmed and yet determined, the Whites in positions of authority responded with their strategy of Massive Resistance by closing all the public schools. They built poorly funded all-White private schools that few White families could actually afford. Prince Edward County Schools were shut down for 5 years. Five years! Many Blacks who were shut out of school for so long never went back to complete their education. Instead they cycled between dead end jobs and prison.
Many White families went broke trying to finance an alternative school system built upon racism and class war in a rural county. The Whites at the top of their pyramid of wealth, despotism, and power benefited the most from the disruption between working class Whites and working class Blacks. More demonstrations broke out in 1963, although with little violence from both sides. A second Farmville-area case over desegregation, Griffin v. County Board of Prince Edward County, made it to the Supreme Court of the United States in the Spring of 1964. In less than 3 months, SCOTUS ordered the public schools to reopen and integrate.
Tensions remained. Cuba was a series of flashpoints culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. Vietnam burned. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Black leader Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy in 1968, and Fred Hampton in 1969. These murders were followed by the attempted assassination of George Wallace in 1972. Not just Vietnam, but Congo and all of Indochina burned. The Cold War burned across Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
American revolutionaries and whistleblowers exposed Hoover’s FBI Operation COINTELPRO in 1971. The public discovered COINTELPRO was launched against Black Americans in 1956 and was expanded against White Leftist groups in the late 1960s. Religious organizations as well as the Black Panther Party were infiltrated and severely damaged. The Pentagon Papers scandals occurred in 1971 as well. These were public revelations of CIA “secret wars” waged across Indochina. Disclosure of these unethical, illegal, and clandestine government actions roiled Americans and further undermined Nixon’s “Imperial Presidency.” Along with more revelations about the CIA, an atmosphere of toxic paranoia spread deeper into the minds of many Americans.
Watergate began to unfolded under Richard M. Nixon in 1972 as the Weather Underground, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and the Black Panther Party, the last holdouts of the Revolution that never quite ignited, were crushed. The White private schools, the so-called segregation academies, continue to operate as if nothing had ever happened. Other Whites sent their kids to the public schools. There were intermittent fights between groups of Black and White youths, and some mixed White and Black groups fought all-White kids. Another strike by Black students in Prince Edward occurred in 1969, and in 1977 small riots, or as some might say, a mix of scuffles, fistfights, and protests broke out in Farmville on the public school campus in the wake of Roots, Alex Haley’s television miniseries about slavery. Not a peep of it appeared in the local newspapers. We heard about it thru grapevines of whispers.
I was born into this turmoil, and was sent to start First Grade at the White private academy in Farmville at great financial cost in September 1965, about a year after I began wearing hearing aids. I spent First Grade in the basement of a church, Johns Memorial Episcopal Church, and Second Grade in a crumbling, former telephone company building. Digging through musty piles of forgotten books in the basement library of the old church where I was sent to First Grade, I discovered, of all things, a copy of The Communist Manifesto. The church library was where teachers ordered “the bad kids” to go sit alone in boredom as a from of punishment. How messed up was that?
Dudley, as I was called back in those days, was delighted to be sent to the library. So I cut up in class to get in trouble on purpose, misbehaving until my teacher, Mrs. Bagby, ordered me off to the library to sit all alone until I somehow learned “to behave.” The teachers believed their students were unable to read beyond “See Dick and Jane run.” Alongside The Communist Manifesto I also dug into books on science and nature. Loved books on space. I remember being especially impressed by a few large books with big pictures of the Moon, of astronauts and rocket ships, of Saturn and its rings, of Mars and Venus and the stars beyond. I dreamed of growing up to explore outer space. This was during the time science fiction TV shows such as Lost in Space and Star Trek were popular, especially with me and my close friends. Spooky waves of mysterious UFOs swept the nation and the world. Sightings and abductions were widely reported. My buddies and I would babble on for hours about these things.
Eventually Mrs. Bagby and the school staff caught on to my tricks to deliberately get into trouble so I could be sent out of class to the Library. They made me stay in the classroom and go sit in the corner to stare at blank walls instead.
As a young boy, I began reading and writing well before starting school even if I couldn’t hear well enough to speak English. My mother, a poet, didn’t know “Little Dudley” was partially deaf, but she was certain I was not “mentally retarded” as the doctors claimed. By age 3 she had me learning and practicing rudimentary writing, drawing, and reading.
Coming across the famous Marxist slogan, “Workers of the world, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” in a forbidden book at 6 and 7 years old left a profound and catabolic impression upon me. Reality was not at all what the mainstream media and the Authorities in power portrayed reality as. I understood those words immediately as a boy with disabilities growing up directly witnessing class warfare, poverty, terror, and racism. I faced uncertainty at home with unpredictable parents and outside in the world as well. We grew up in the Postmodern Age of Anxiety.
From 1966 – 1974 as part of “the Revolution” of the times, I organized local children into a revolutionary, anti-racist guerrilla gang, called ourselves a “communist liberation army,” declared the farms and woods of the area an independent socialist republic, and declared war on the governments of the United States as well as of all other nation-states. I learned to be clear so as to make distinctions between the Constitution of the United States of America on one hand and the Governments of the United States with its various regimes, administrations, and Capitalist economy on the other. I had high regards for the Constitution itself, first established in 1789, and especially for its Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights did not go far and deep enough, however, to secure democracy in all areas of the Union as a Federal democratic republic. The realms of economics, finance, markets, commerce, monetary policy, and business, for example, was completely ignored other than commerce across interstate borders. The rights of working class people were dismissed. This document especially benefited the wealthy elites, White adult males of property while masquerading for all humans. One only has to look at who and what elements of the population actually wrote the laws and developed the legal and political institutions of the Republic. Who were those whom were “elected by the people to represent the people,” exactly?
The Constitution nevertheless stood and continues to stand tall among the most revolutionary documents ever crafted, especially after much compromised and then implemented. At the time I felt strongly the Constitution transcended nationalism and ethnic identities and thus was powerful enough to stand for all of Humanity across the entire planet and indeed anywhere in the Universe. This Constitution is best regarded as a living, flexible document, not some rigid framework or ossified fossil frozen in time.
I was not at war with the Constitution but rather the governments and corporations ruling America and much of Earth as fascism, racism, and class war disguised as democracy, patriotism, and freedom of opportunity. The Constitution was something to fight for, not against. The governments and the economies of the world were manipulated by Global Financial Elites and had made a mockery of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Note American military officers took an Oath to uphold the Constitution, not the governments of the United States. Too many people fused those distinctions.
War was also declared on the worldwide Dictatorship of the Parents. In Elementary School, I wrote a manifesto criticizing Republican Democracy in the United States for fostering racism, poverty, bigotry, fiat currency, and seemingly endless warfare. Back then I promoted an eclectic mix of what might be labeled embryonic forms of anarcho-libertarianism, neo-communism, and democratic socialism today. In 1977 I graduated from this high school with extremely mixed feelings and anger at the disruption Finance Capitalism and its Democrat-Republican Duopoly caused working class families of all races and backgrounds.
I was aware of and used to hate the financial drain upon my parents and grandparents who struggled to put me and my siblings through this private academy. The adults in our lives were as afraid of racial violence exploding into open civil war as they were of atomic bombs, flying saucers, UFO invasions, and nuclear annihilation at the height of the Cold War. In the mid-1960s there were several UFO waves or “flaps,” across America and around the world. As a boy, I was caught up in these mysterious waves. One late afternoon my family and I encountered an unidentified flying, metallic, sphere-shaped vessel on their farm. The UFO encounter in Virginia was a disruptive event. Decades later, I would look back to declare this singular UFO event as one of the top three most pivotal events in my life. This began a long journey deep down into one of several so-called rabbit holes across the course of his life. One must understand regardless of what one may believe such phenomena to actually be, UFOs exist and people experience them, sometimes traumatically. These experiences and the research inspired by such experiences had a major effect upon my worldview. Yes, I stand for full public Disclosure.
Growing up into these events and the emotional whirlwind of anxiety, fear, hope, passion, uncertainty, love, and violence seared him. Life was struggle. As a young boy becoming a teenager, these intense times left a profound impact upon me. I became radicalized as early as First Grade even with only an alert child’s understanding of Current Events.
My awareness of the relationships between money, socio-economic class, racism, gender, power, our environment, propaganda, the suppression of information, and the endless destruction of war were developed and honed growing up in a world seething with dynamic contradictions and chaotic changes. The profound hearing impairment was discovered relatively late at age 5, and my cluster of learning disabilities weren’t diagnosed until later in adulthood. While these issues certainly handicapped living life in a conventional manner, they also served as gifts in unexpected ways.
As gifts, these neuropsychological injuries and disorders allowed for the perception of reality in different and in a sense even more realistic ways. As a recipient of much abuse while growing up within the turmoil of the 1960s and 70s, I came to identify early on with others experiencing fear, oppression, and being misunderstood. Shortly after birth, the doctors informed my parents their baby boy was “mentally retarded.” Thus I grew up being mocked as “deaf, dumb, and stupid,” and worse, such as being called the N-word by White bullies. Many Black and poor White children and teenagers in the region often accepted me as one of their own while the town and city Whites bullied or ostracized me.
“Rebellion, Revolution, and Transformation!” emerged as my evolutionary dialectic. Eventually, however, I chose to move beyond this to be a stand for love, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, oneness, and service in the face of hatred, vengeance, shame, rage, and violence. These changes didn’t occur all at once, however, but in fits, starts, and stages as a process over time. Such vocabulary wasn’t always conscious in my mind, especially in the beginning, but emerged over the years to define and clarify a sense of purpose and understanding.
Growing up the way I did allowed me to experienced the socio-political and economic power imbalances arising from prejudice, racism, classism, sexism, nationalism, religious righteousness, and homophobia. I grew to believe the unification of Planet Earth under a Democratic Socialist World Republic free of private banker and corporate control can best serve humanity. Imagine us free from secret societies, espionage and intelligence services, and hypercompartmentalized government agencies and “Beyond Top Secret” military units engaged in unacknowledged and deniable black projects. Imagine all the different people from today’s codependent hodgepodge of quarrelling nation-states and stateless-nations choosing to collaborate together as one people. Imagine a constitutional federated cooperative anchored in a Universal Bill of Rights forming the next stage of human socio-cultural and political-economic evolution. Imagine truly establishing democracy in our political and civic realms. Imagine expanding our same democracy beyond government into the realms of economics and business with transparent public control AND ownership of the money powers. A united planetary democratic republic of liberty guided with democratic socialist socio-economic principles would truly allow us to solve our numerous and severe common challenges.
At the same time those of us now living in the 21st Century must move beyond the limitations and emotional reactivity of 18th and 19th Century political and economic language. The terminology of the 20th Century no longer serves us any more either. We continue to divide ourselves by our often hostile emotional reactions to words and phrases of bygone eras, or else rush to embrace them without critically examining such terminology and associated automatically triggered belief systems imprinted into our mind-body complex.
We must collaborate to end war and abolish slavery of every kind. This includes breaking ourselves free from enslavement to our belief systems. Our economy, environment, and energy can be integrated as we learn to work together. We can work to establish wise stewardship of our Earth and Solarian Commons. At various times I’ve worked with others in different ways to help build a responsible society of decentralized yet integrated worldwide networks of local cooperatives with public control of the money power. This is part of building true political and economic democracy with a wiser, more pragmatic socialism.
You, too, can engage even as you read this. Click on the icon at bottom to vote in the remarkable and important Global Referendum for a Democratic World Parliament. This movement bypasses the United Nations and its spider web of nation-state regimes to go directly to all the people of Earth age 16 and up. This is an extraordinary and potentially transformative referendum. Please go vote in it. Vote, “Yes!”
Some have called me a Postmodern Renaissance Man. Feels like silly hyperbole to me. I do, however, seem to have a flair for syncretism and synthesis. Too much of a futurist to be a Renaissance anything. I’m passionate and curious about world history and current affairs analysis. I’ve who studied the intersections of local-global politics, religions, economics, wars, and cultures. And I loved reading and watching science fiction books and movies! I loved corny films such as The Green Slime, dove deep into 2001: A Space Odyssey, and crashlanded into Planet of the Apes with awe. All three movies were released in 1968, the year I turned 9 years old. I saw so many sy-fy movies with my best friends from those early years, Eddie C. and Bobby F. My mother took me to lots of science fiction films, too, such as Fahrenheit 451 back when I was in the 1st Grade.
Blessed with such eclectic experiences, I’ve developed a deep and unorthodox background in world history, comparative religions and mythology, literature and spirituality, science and mysticism, and geography. Long ago I chose to dive deep into explorations of consciousness where the edges between science and spirituality are both sharp and blurred. My Mama realized I wasn’t “mentally retarded,” as the doctors had declared soon after my birth, when she saw me beginning to read and write at age 3, albeit at a rudimentary level. Even tho she didn’t necessarily like some of the directions my writing went in as I grew older, Mama constantly encouraged me to write and to keep writing all the way up to the end of her life. She was herself an award-winning if little known poet. My inability to complete and publish my books disappointed Mama as well as myself. Having a few poems published in small chapbooks and a number of articles and essays on mountaineering and kayaking adventures and on alternative spirituality, while cheering us all up, just wasn’t the same to her. Many years and decades slid by before I was able to forgive myself for those so-called failures.
Nevertheless, my natural gifts in creative writing showed up early on. From grade school to graduate school, I discovered I excelled in crafting Southern literary fiction, won awards for science fiction, and took to non-fiction in a wide range of topics. They include outdoor adventure, nature and wilderness, and the frontiers of love and human relationships. Sometimes I even dabble in bad poetry. I discovered I was something of a natural up on stage but am more raw storyteller than polished presenter. My first Myers-Briggs Test showed in 1992 I was a rare INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging, an “Architect” or “Mastermind”). The second test, however, in 1998, showed I was an ENTJ (Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging, i.e. a “Commander.”) I always seemed to be close to the Introversion-Extroversion divide but moved along between those two as if on a spectrum of sources I could plug in to restore my vitality. Years later, an Enhanced Myers-Briggs Test determined I’m an ENFP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver) gifted with the Genius Talents of “Exploration & Authenticity.” Earned a number of degrees and certificates over the years, too, but my favorite is paperless. It’s Experiential education from the School of Life.
My first love, however, remains creative writing and public speaking followed by being with family and friends and playing with my children outside in nature and the great outdoors. Being stubborn and confident, I’m just as prone, however, to venture into the wilderness solo or travel alone. Somehow I find ways to navigate between community, art, activism, and being alone in cities or in the backcountry with a natural ease. Life is messy, I like to say, so have at it, have at it all!
Early on, however, I took a stand for liberty, community, and solidarity. I took a stand against the expanding Empire of the Global Elites. As this began back when I was in fourth and fifth grades in elementary school, I didn’t use such vocabulary. I did understand, however, the American Republic had veered off course into perpetual warfare and empire building, the military was misused, and those who controlled the money controlled our governments. Converging wicked problems clearly challenged humanity around the planet, although as a child I hadn’t yet encountered the term, “wicked problem.” Our species must learn to work together or else our global civilization is likely topple into Collapse and omnicide. We must find ways to cooperate beyond our differences. If we succeed, all of our children and their descendants shall have the possibility to experience worldwide and life-enhancing transformations. Some form of a Democratic Socialist World Republic of local-global cooperatives rooted in community, for example, may well allow for astonishing resolution to humanity’s most complex challenges. Time is short, however, far too short.
Even at an early age I considered myself a cultural activist. As a supporter of intentional communities across much of my adult life, I lived in a rural worker’s cooperative on the edge of the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina and in several urban cooperative households in Seattle. Over the years I participated in a number of personal growth, training, and development programs thru institutions such as Landmark Education, Peak Potentials Trainings, the Body Electric School, and other similar institutions. In those places I was able to study a broad range of experiential learning from the psychology of relationships to money and finance to understanding spiritual experiences to delving into human sexuality and erotic play.
The now-historic period of 1999 – 2001 proved to be another pivotal time in my life as well. I grew increasinly disturbed and then alarmed by mounting bankster and corporacrat-driven globalization girded by militarized police and out-of-control national security states. Recent trends in our still infantile global civilization triggered even greater perturbation. These upheavals resulted in diminished freedom, corrupted democracy, increased destruction of the environment, and growing socio-economic disruption of everyday life for the majority of human beings. We grew fragmented, polarized, and fused.
When President Bill Clinton and Mayor Paul Schell, both party Democrats, brought the anti-democratic World Trade Organization to Seattle, tens of thousands of people gathered from all over the world to demonstrate peacefully against the WTO and corporate globalization. Violence erupted, unfortunately, and altho I remained a peaceful protester, I got caught up in the 1999 Battle of Seattle during the Anti-Globalization Revolt (1994-2005).
Nevertheless, I marched as a peaceful protestor, stayed nonviolent, and tried to get people on both sides to stop cursing one another and throwing hand-missiles at each other. Glad my young daughters stayed home! We Americans must find ways to move beyond the so-called “two-headed snake” Republican-Democrat monopoly over democratic republican politics. More and more Americans have come to see the Libertarians on the Right and the Greens and Socialists on the Left as viable alternatives. Even so, all sides still define themselves with stale, limited, and anachronistic 18th and 19th Century language.
I felt Inspired by such volatile experiences to join the Centre for Research on Globalization, based in Montreal, Quebec, and the Green Party in Seattle, Washington. He also joined with others in Seattle including his close friend Syd the Minnesotan Anarchist who lived for 3 years in Twin Oaks Commune in rural Virginia, the dynamic Susan Partnow, and the late Habib to form a number of local-to-global Cultural Creative groups. Together with so many others from a mix of intentional community groups, social justice and anti-racist activists, fair trade and economic justice activists, anti-capitalist anarchists and democratic socialists mixed with anarcho-libertarians, and pro-Earth, pro-global democracy and anti-globalization activists and helped established the short-lived but catalytic People Web. The People Web was a short-lived social alternative to the World Wide Web of embryonic machine life. Those were exciting times filled with vision, purpose, and hope manifesting into action.
Along with numerous others, I participated as a impassioned, curious newcomer in organizations such as the Global People’s Assembly, which sought to either reform or bypass the United Nations Organization as a grassroots alternative to corporate, elitist, mainstream politics. There were also the Global Citizens Council, the Global Citizens Circles, and other networks focused upon raising global consciousness into higher levels of awareness and enlightened action.
Eventually I joined many groups, only to discover later on doing so wore me out. I had spread myself too thin to be as effective as I’d intended. I found it hard to hear and listen at large gatherings full of boisterous cultural revolutionaries. I felt at a loss in large, noisy meetings, too lost to function effectively with my hearing impairment, ADHD, and other disabilities. Exhaustion and isolation resulted. I felt overwhelmed by engaging in too many overlapping, dynamic, and fluid organizations driven more by excitement and a sense of destiny. As the Anti-Globalization Revolts spread around the planet as an odd, low-level type of world war, many were gripped with a deep sense “We the People of Earth” were on the edge of a historic global transformation. Many believed, including me, by then the father of two daughters, the tide had shifted in our favor. We felt we were the early harbingers of what Paul Hawkens would later call, “Blessed Unrest.”
The years 1994-2001 was a time of euphoria and great hope. Waves of revolutionary change swept the world as more and more groups of people rose up in nonviolence against the Global Financial Elites and their Allies in power. The euphoria, however, was dashed by the Republican Coup of 2000 and then obliterated by the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. The Left’s failure to own organizational leadership as necessary and instead pushed such leadership away as “patriarchal heirarchies” led to these revolution dissipating when the going got hard and focus was demanded by the times. These Leftists did not want to turn into despotic single-party tyrants as many so-called Communist groups did upon degenerating into dictatorship. So many activists were so intent on jumping over and leapfrogging directly into Utopia they failed to consider the baby steps and necessary phases people must pass through.
During the Election of 2000, I helped support and voted for Green Party candidates Ralph Nader for U.S. President and Joe Szwaja for U.S. House of Representatives from Washington State’s 7th Congressional District. My role was miniscule and my contributions minor. Nevertheless it was my first exposure to volunteering for a political party and its candidates in electoral campaigns for office. Nader, however, failed to build the Green Party and instead used it to market his own agenda. While Nader and the Greens had much in common, the decision to focus Green Party energy and resources on sporadic elections rather than to build the party had serious consequences.
The United States endured a brutal election campaign. Nader and the Greens ran a strong alternative campaign despite internal discord over how to build up a powerful third party of the Left. Former Vice-President and Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote, which was disrupted and rigged by the Republican Party in places such as Florida. A bloodless coup prevailed. The Republican Coup of 2000 stole the election from Al Gore and manipulated the Democrats to spin around to blame the Green Party even tho Gore clearly won the popular vote. The Supreme Court bent to the Far Right, exploited the constitutional position of the Electoral College, and maneuvered to put the Bush-Cheney Team into the White House.
Many outraged Americans viewed former Texas Governor George W. Bush as more of a usurper-puppet than their true President. This included progressive liberals on the Left with Greens and Socialists on the Far Left as well as many traditional conservatives on the Right and Libertarians on the Far Right. Some called for Americans across the political spectrum to rise up together against Bush-Cheney. Some called for people to rise up against Bush-Cheney. The corporate-controlled mainstream mass media diverted public attention away from the bloodless coup aspect of the Election of 2000 and back toward celebrity scandals, violent crimes and spectacular accidents, and focused on President Bush II as “the Uniter and the Decider” as the Democrats teetered into self-destruction. Nader and the Greens imploded and vanished for some time from the national spotlight.
That often happens to movements after the people within choose to focus on winning election campaigns around key individuals rather than building a broad, deep working class party.
Al Gore, to the surprise of many mainstreamers who weren’t aware of close Democrat-Republican ties behind-the-scenes, conceded quickly with ease to declare peace and acceptance of the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional decision. There was little real difference in policy between the Neo-Liberals who hoodwinked minorities and workers to dominate the Dems and the Neo-Conservatives who bamboozled Fundamentalist Christians and regular conservatives alike to support Neo-Con domination of the Repubs.
Both main parties supported the Washington Consensus. Both distracted the too-busy-and-too-worn-out-to-research-the-truth general public with emotional hot button social issues such as abortion, gay rights, and welfare debates. Big banks and corporations controlled and influenced not just businesses, markets, and money but also election campaigns, politics, and governments at all levels. Gore quickly recognized George W. Bush as President and called for the country to remain peaceful and united. There were threats and rumors of rebellion, riots, and possible civil war in the wake of the Republican Coup. After all, an untimely domestic war would disturb Gore’s private amassing of wealth along with others of the Global Elites. There were public conversations proposing abolishing or banning all political parties as people were reminded many of America’s Founding Fathers opposed the formation of political parties.
Gore sealed the deal for Bush-Cheney, however, and energized the Democratic mainstream to turn against Nader, the Green Party, and other Left independents. Libertarians, however, chose to flock into the Republican Party to “take it back” for traditional Constitutional conservatism.
Back in Washington State, Joe Szwaja went on to loose the local election even as he established the record for the most votes won by a Green in U.S. Congressional elections up to November 2000. In the midst of these upheavals, I served briefly on the Global People’s Assembly and on the short-lived People Web. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the resulting Long War without End, unfortunately, snuffed out the global wave of activism just as the Cultural Creatives began to come into their own.
Time passed, and during the early to mid-2000s I served about four years on The Board of Vote World Parliament. VWP’s an international NGO based in Quebec that seeks to collect two billion “Yes!” votes in the Global Referendum for a Democratic World Parliament by 2016. In addition, I was also the initial VWP liaison with Four Years Go. Again, however, I accomplished little, certainly far less than intended or expected. I was too distracted by being in too many organizations. Truth is I did little beyond networking, envisioning, and corresponding with key individuals for VWP. Even those competing tasks demanded much time and energy. I felt overcommitted and overwhelmed with career and personal challenges including being a hands-on father to three young girls to work for peaceful, democratic planetary unification as I would’ve liked. Even so, I felt my contributions served in a variety of little ways including my syncretic synthesis of new ideas, fresh perspectives on old problems, bringing in depth of knowledge of history and geopolitics, and in helping to build networks of relationships.
After feeling out random individuals, it became clear, sadly enough, people were too focused on survival to worry about nuclear weapons or see the necessity for a democratic world government to bring people together to address local-global issues as well as prevent global dictatorship. Almost everyone felt overwhelmed and exhausted by too many local, regional, and national financial and political issues to fret about the energy it will take for people to bypass nation-states, transnational corporations, autonomous cartels, state-within-a-state national security regimes, international banking cartels, warring military and terrorist forces, crime cartels, corrupt governments, nuclear weapons security, and religious self-righteousness to work towards establishing a new planetary relationship.
Eventually I backed away from these activist groups. In my experienced the majority of the people spoken with expressed little belief global democracy and peaceful political unification of Earth were even possible. Indeed, people felt the New World Order for a global tyranny disguised as patriotic democracy was not only more likely to occur but was a process already well underway. People felt disillusioned by 9/11, the expansion of terrorism, the rise of religious fundamentalism, the erosion of basic liberties, the technological explosion of both corporate and governmental surveillance of individuals all around the planet, the normalization of violence, and the decline of the Anti-Globalization movement. Many felt discouraged or delighted by the collapse of world Communism, more accurately described as degenerate worker states and as despotic State Capitalism as Stalinist and Maoist regimes did not at all reflect what Marx and Engles as well as the Bolsheviks stood for. Regardless of glee or sadness, the general public recoiled from seemingly endless revelations of horrific atrocities committed under all of these psuedo-Communist regimes.
This loss of hope and resulting cynical apathy was further fueled by the failure of much-vaunted Capitalist reforms. After all, Adam Smith wrote his Wealth of Nations at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Many people today have been trained with selective education to compartmentalize knowledge disruptive to being controlled away in their sanitized minds. As a result, the majority of people in society at large have difficulty acknowledging Capitalism was built upon slavery, environmental destruction, degradation of resources, chaotic anarchy disguised as competition, and endless imperial wars justified in the name of “free elections and more jobs.” The resulting economic chaos and financial tyranny belied the exuberant hope and opportunities marketed by Capitalism and its purveyors led many once so awake and hopeful into the abyss of despair, exhaustion, and paralysis. Increasingly widespread and persistent warfare, naively thought to have ended with the Cold War, continued to amplify religious, ethnic-racial, and political polarization rather than global harmony, cooperation, and unity. Hatred set in between many groups. Discouragement set in as apparently many of those who expressed in the possibility of a united planet felt humanity was already well on its way to either a global fascist corporatist dictatorship or a neo-feudal fragmentation into numerous warring blocs under the financial control of despotic plutocrats.
For myself and many others in the beginning, however, events such as the Battle of Seattle resulted in widespread if short-lived alliances between Left and Right and the rise of Cultural Creatives. These left us ecstatic. We experienced the blossoming of what Paul Hawken would later call “Blessed Unrest” as hundreds of thousands and then millions of activist groups around the planet began to leverage new technologies to work together, the initial success of attempts to reform Capitalism, and the visible efforts of people from across different religious and ethnic groups networking and cooperating on projects were signs of a major shift in world consciousness. Natural Capitalism, Democratic Capitalism, Integral Capitalism, and Ethical Capitalism all championed a mix of solo entrepreneurism and cooperative networking, but proved among the last gasps as these movements failed to reform Capitalism. Every effort to reform Capitalism failed, including by those with genuinely noble intentions championing democratic republican ideals. Instead Finance Capitalism, Disaster Capitalism, Crony Capitalism, and Corporatocratic Banksterism and Fascism blossomed as they wagged pointy, I-told-you-so fingers at the rest of humanity. The pendulum of activist politics began to swing towards Democratic Socialism, Neo-Communism, new forms of Anarchy, and cooperative entrepreneurship.
This enormous, worldwide shift was viewed as real and historically significant and indeed transformative. Things appeared to get better. Violence, hunger, and poverty were down. Epidemics were being addressed quickly. The Internet was exploding around the world with incredible possibilities. The Cold War was over. Science was breathtaking. Environmental crises were serious, and people were busy working towards solutions.
Yes, wars, tyranny, diseases, pollution, and disunity persisted and were expected to persist. They were also expected to wane. People forgot about nuclear weapons and ICBMs being a global menace. World democracy with social and economic justice was possible. So was a new, environmentally responsible capitalism. Humanity certainly had the technology and the financial resources to create a transparent, democratic world republic. The air was electric with an energized sense of possibility and hope, hope with action to generate desired results.
All this died with 9/11, a new global war, and the return of the forces of world Empire with widespread socio-economic breakdown. Two unstoppable waves of tremendous force converged upon the rising boundary-free global democracy, prosperity, and justice movements of the Blessed Unrest. One were The Powers That Be, TPTB, the so-called 1% or the Cabal syndicates, that reestablished their soft dictatorship to maintain and expand the pre-Battle of Seattle status quo of empire. These elites sought to leverage Financial Capitalism to snuff out all attempts to reform capitalism. The other wave rose from below as the truly disempowered and oppressed peoples belong to many ethnic and religious groups felt left behind by both the White privileged leadership of the Anti-Globalization movement and the rise of the Internet and still suffering under even the “soft” despotism of TPTB rose up in violent reaction.
The Great Global Recession, or Great Depression 2 began to unfold in late 2007. It continues to spread around the planet even now as it continues to confound experts on all sides as it doesn’t fit neatly into any category and thus defies expectations and predictions. This recession-not-a-recession-it’s-another-great-depression-wait-it-technically-ended-years-ago-so-it’s-over-so-we’ll-just-call-it-a-financial-crisis-with-growing-income-inequality-now-nonrecession-recession creates contradictory conditions with some sectors of the economy booming with great wealth while the others drop into persistent economic gloom and financial despair.
My then-now-ex-wife Kristina and I lost high-paying career jobs and all of our investments, savings, homes, and properties in this recession. The Great Recession also exposed embezzlement fraud via an international Ponzi pyramid we had naively and unwittingly participated in only to discover we and many others were misled, lied to, and exploited. Two men were arrested for widespread fraud in 2008 and the process to try, convict, and imprison them took until they were finally convicted in July 2015. These charismatic, sociopathic criminals sprung out of the personal and professional growth, training, and development movement and ended up stealing from their own children and grandchildren. While they stole over two billion dollars from thousands of people from Hong Kong across Canada and the United States into Latin America and out to Malta, doing far more damage than typical robbers, these two Canadians were sentenced to a mere 12 years in prison. Granted, one was in his 60s and the other his 70s at the time. Even if the Great Global Recession had never occurred, sooner or later the scam would have been exposed. The Recession merely, quickly, and cruelly broke the legs out from beneath this devastating fraud.
Before the Recession began, we knew a crash with subsequent severe economic shocks was coming. Analyzing various economic, financial, monetary, political, and geopolitical/military trends demonstrated a worldwide economic collapse of some kind was on the way, and it would be traumatic. The irony was we were part of the Anti-Wall Street financial crowd. This was a strange brew of anti-government, anti-tax libertarian and religious conservative mixing together with liberal, even leftist democratic socialist anti-government New Agers and thus prepared for this crash. We were united in our greed as well as our opposition, right or left, to what we viewed as the de facto Euro-American Global Empire. As such we viewed this de facto Empire with its normalized tax swindles of hardworking middle and working class families, bankster corruption of politics, bank cartel control of the money powers, NSA-CIA-DIA-FBI-ATFE-DEA corruption and drug wars, suppression of the truth regarding UFOs and ETs, covert torture, and perpetual warfare around the world all disguised as patriotism in the defense of freedom.
We learned many harsh lessons regarding trust, money, and especially our own greed. We justified our greed as we were all sick and tired of working hard and working smart for so little and for less and less as the Empire took away more and more of our freedoms in the name of security. I learned to let go and stop clinging to material things as they ultimately don’t matter. I learned I was swimming with sharks, so to speak, and I am not a shark. The details of this massive scam are described in an article I’m still researching and writing.
In 2011, after experiencing the corruption and widespread fraud exposed by the Great Global Recession, I participated in Occupy Seattle, Occupy Olympia, and Occupy Earth. While I didn’t camp out with Occupy as I had the responsibilities of young children, I did engage in a number of marches, demonstrations, and rallies. Sometimes with all or some of my children and my then-wife Kristina. Quietly re-radicalized by the devastation of the Great Global Recession upon many of his family and friends with grinding financial struggles unraveling his marriage, I ended up homeless and semi-homeless. While sympathetic toward some of the views and values espoused by Libertarians and Anarchists, I grew to identify far more strongly with Democratic Socialism. I rejoined the Greens and began to volunteer with the Green Party of Seattle.
Quietly, however, I sunk deeper and deeper into severe depression in the period between 2010 and early 2014. My depression, a neuropsychological illness, was triggered by his house burning down in 2010, a natural gas explosion in 2011, the unraveling of his marriage, the embezzlement of my and his wife’s savings in a Ponzi pyramid, and nothing but dead-end, low-wage jobs and enough energy to launch a business. These traumas also left deep marks upon my soul and psyche. This period of depression was a life and death struggle a cancer of the mind, a psychic tumor seeking to compell me into suicide. The constant battle with depression left me too exhausted to get as involved as I would’ve expected or liked. I moved forward anyway, albeit erractically. I embraced the Yoda character’s, “There is no try, only do or do not” mindset to keep moving. For me I had to keep moving or die.
Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party of the United States especially inspired me in the midst of all this turmoil. Jill Stein’s brilliance and her courageous campaign for the American Presidency in 2012 reinvigorated the Greens and the American Left. She helped create the Green Shadow Cabinet and the mobile Jill Stein Campaign School. Along with other Greens and Socialists from Washington State and Oregon including my close Seattle friend Syd, I participated in the Jill Stein Campaign School held in Portland in March of 2013.
Inspired locally by the dynamic and unstoppable Kshama Sawant in her recent and ongoing campaigns for first state then city offices, I moved in the Summer of 2013 to also support and determine how best to volunteer for SA, the Socialist Alternatives of CWI, the Committee for a Workers’ International. Against all expectations, we managed to organize enough working class people and raise enough funds while refusing to accept corporate donations from Big Businesses to defeat an incumbent Democrat elitist and elect Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council. She was the first Socialist elected in nearly 100 years. While the race was hyperlocal, Kshama’s victory was considered historical by Leftists from around the world and alarmed many on the Right. Our victory was the victory of an organized working class movement led by a small yet disciplined vanguard. This historic event demonstrated what is possible during the long twilight of Empire and Capitalism.
We are way past due as a people to emphasize our social responsibilities. Individual liberties become meaningless without social responsibilities, and vice versa. The problem, however, is people tend to divide themselves into those hyperfocused upon one or the other to the extent they ridicule, revile, and dismiss its companion. Part of our individuation and maturation as a species includes moving thru paradoxes such as what steps do we take now to integrate social responsibilities and individual liberties? What steps must we create to move past ossified ideologies and our current systems of expanding self-destruction? What is the dialectic process to address, leverage, learn from, and transcend our contradictions?
Note Karl Marx, Friedrich Engles, Leon Trotsky, and Vladimir Lenin all wrote extensively for the necessity to embrace contradictions and learn from these paradoxes rather than fight them, run away, or ignore them. These early “true” Communists were and still are vilified, lampooned, and dismissed by Capitalists. This ridicule is an automatic, knee-jerk reaction inculcated into Capitalist society and upheld by people who don’t even bother to read their works or study what really happened. In addition, in a process little recognized and understood by many today, what these men wrote and created was hijacked and distorted by Stalin and Mao and the nationalistic pseudo-Socialists and fake-Communist tyrants who followed in their wake.
Even the Nazis, masters of cultural appropriation and deception, as exemplified by their use of swastikas and Nordic runes, appropriated the Leftist term “Socialist” and “Worker’s Party.” Swastikas are ancient solar symbols found all over the world symbolizing life and eternal life as well as the Sun. Runes relate to Ancient and Medieval Norse Pagan and today’s Neo-Pagan religions. The Nazis, unfortunately turned a sacred cross symbol of eternal life into one of genocidal hatred, adopted old Norse symbols to represent the Gestapo and the SS, and dared to call themselves the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. In the same manner the false Communists from Stalin and Mao appropriated and damaged the groundbreaking, revolutionary work of the early Marxists and Bolsheviks.
We must reform or overthrow and abolish unjust political and economic systems. But what does that or would it look like? The same methodologies of the perpetual past? Reform leads to appeased peace leading in turn to frustration leading to breakdown and riots and breadcrumbs and distractions for the masses and more frustration and corruption and eventually revolution followed by the blossoming of new possibilities followed by civil war and despotism followed by chaos and then a more mundane tyranny and then a graduated peace with ever-marginalized populations. ¡Arrrhrgh! And history repeats yet again. And again. We must find ways to break out of our cyclical traps of forgetting what really happened in history and learning all over again how messed up we are as we repeat the failures of the past without waking up. We must learn to stop projecting our past into the future and to instead be present here now in these moments already passing into the past.
Most importantly is we learn to do so without violence except in self-defense. Democratic Socialism continues to emerge as a radical and pragmatic alternative to unhindered combinations of Democracy, Capitalism, Fascism, and State Capitalism (Stalinist and Maoist variations often misidentified as “communism”). Even so, we must envision, design, and implement new systems for our future and move beyond today’s isms with their beliefs shackled to language of the past. Not even Democratic Socialism is in itself “the Way” as it is still rooted in 18th and 19th, even 20th Century terminology and points of view.
Democratic socialism is broadly defined here as reclaiming democracy in politics and governments as well as expanding democracy beyond the republic itself into the workplace, into offices, jobsites, businesses, financial institutions, corporations, and markets. Democratic socialism is not the same as social democracy such as those of Europa as those remain primarily capitalist bourgeoisie regimes where the international banking cartels and their transnational corporate allies remain in control.
Even so, and this is important to note as so many of us get locked into competing belief systems labeled with –isms, democratic socialism is itself not the answer but a major movement in a certain direction as capitalism declines and, as ascertained by many, its systems collapse. We must move beyond our limiting beliefs and our isms. We must expand our consciousness. We must unfetter our imaginations while staying anchored in our ethics. We must maintain our integrity, and restore our integrity if we lost it along the way. The future already presents us with more and more complex moral dilemmas. We already feel overwhelmed and divided in the face of current, ongoing wicked problems. Meanwhile progress marches on as technology and greed for power undermines our efforts to unite ourselves even as we are brought so close together.
The old observation advancing human technology outraces human ethics and morals remains constant. Supertechnology including robotics, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence is already transforming the nature of work, capital, markets, and machines in unpredictable ways. Some point to the so-called Star Trek economy and its Federation of Planets as types of pragmatic utopianism to model here on Earth. Whether or not electronic and machine labor ultimately replaces human labor, the issue remains as to who and what controls the technology and the wealth it generates. Going even further, the debate whether or not A.I. and machine life will enslave and eventually exterminate not just humans but all biological life in our future must move from arcane debates into the forums for everday, ordinary folks. All of our lives shall be impacted by the approaching Singularity, the merger of machines and biology, of human minds and artificial intelligence, but no one truly knows what path we’ll take thru the tangled timelines beckoning us beyond tomorrow into consequences unknown.
One may be forgiven for feeling the underlying economic and financial issues must be addressed and resolved before success is achieved in the political arena and in environmental problems. The latter is a Pandora’s Paradox as environmental problems including global climate disruption plus chemical and radioactive pollution are fast overwhelming the human capitalist systems that caused these converging challenges. These wicked problems merging from so many different directions into one horrendous mess felt overwhelming to me as well as many others.
Addressing underlying economic, monetary, business, and financial challenges before moving to address political, social, and environmental ones is only part of the problem. The underlying factors are ultimately psychological and spiritual ones for humanity. It is even deeper than those matters as materialism itself must be challenged. Our economic, financial, and monetary systems must be radically changed on a planetary and solarian level if we truly expect to dramatically improve our everyday lives. Indeed, we must move beyond change itself towards transformation and ascendance. Yet to do so requires transforming the political and governmental institutions of Earth. What is required is radical systemic transformation on a revolutionary level. What will this look like? How will it happen? Will our why be strong enough to for us to unite and move forward together?
Over time, however, I came to advocate for what I call the Three Prongs. They are a three-pronged thrust into the Global Elite’s system of capitalism, fascism, religious fundamentalism, environmental parasitism, and perpetual warfare.
The First Prong is running Leftist including Radical Left candidates and supporting Leftist issues to forward reforms while building coalitions and bridges between Far Left groups and the Left and the moderate mainstream. This can only go so far, however, as the system itself must be not merely changed but replaced.
The majority of people, educated or not, are not as passionate and absolutist about politics and constant, relentless political action as core activists and campaigners may wish to believe. As the system is really a network of individual and collective relationships between human beings, it often takes prolonged action to change things. Transformation rather than change is preferred, and sometimes a singular catalytic event will spread rapidly thru human systems to ignite radical transformation. Even then, often there is a lack of sustained follow-through and the new system sooner or later subsides into the daily foibles and quirks as humans on the go settle down into calmer ruts and grooves. While I have entered into periods of activism off and on thruout my life, I also know there is far more to life than any cluster of activities. There is far more to life than marching in the streets, volunteering for political campaigns, working in government, building a successful entrepreneurial enterprise, going back and forth to one’s job to pay the bills and raise the children, passionately watching team sports with our friends, or streambinging on movies and episodic serials.
The Second Prong is the development of a committed, disciplined revolutionary network to provide a cooperative organization for rapidly escalating mass protests and populist uprisings to rally around. Imagine how the Wisconsin Insurrection, the Occupy Wall Street uprisings, the early Arab Spring, the massive public demonstrations across Turkey and Brazil, and Black Lives Matter may have unfolded differently if such disciplined structures were prepared and available to step forward and provide guidance and leadership. The key words are “committment” and “discipline.” Perhaps even more importantly, the Second Prong as a vanguard supports both the campaigns and governance of the First Prong and stays alert to prevent any one person or small band of plotters from exploiting turmoil to establish a dictatorship.
The catch, however, goes back to people generally don’t like being told what to do and how to think by arrogant intellecturals anymore than ordered around by cruel, petty tyrant bosses. Angry, fed-up, and desperate people aren’t “unconscious workers,” and they do not want intellectual theorists and hyperorganized small-scale activists to suddenly jump up announcing their “scientific” way is the best and only way to move forward telling them how to think and what to do. People already in motion do not like being talked down to and told they are “not correct.” They don’t like being told what to do. At the same time, however, it is important to note during times of chaotic revolutionary upheavals when everything is in a state of flux, those who are so antagonistic toward arrogant and cruel leadership tend to support and in turn be exploited by crafty sociopaths attempting to take over the very revolutionary movements they claim to serve. We all must be on guard against such cancers seeking to kill the soul of any revolution by hijacking the bureaucratic machinery of government.
Successful revolutions require a critical mass of widespread protests and demonstrations guided by cohesive, disciplined leadership and where the police and military rank and file choose to join the revolt as in Russia in 1917 and in Egypt 2013. Note, however, those two examples were subverted from within by entrenched bureaucracies with financial interests at stake. Both subversions resulted in even greater tyranny and bloodshed as bureaucrats hijacked those revolutions.
Josef Stalin leveraged the entrenched Tsarist imperial bureaucracy in the new U.S.S.R. to overthrow and murder the relatively fewer Bolsheviks as well as hijack the local soviets. Stalin went on to misappropriate the mantels of Marx and Lenin to bolster his concentration of power as Supreme Leader. This occurred towards the end of the Russian Revolution and Civil War and morphed, under Stalin, into the Great Purges and the Great Soviet Famines. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi helped overthrow both Mubarak, the corrupt, authoritarian dictator of Egypt. He then helped overthrow the democratically-elected but inept, Muslim Brotherhood fundamentalist Morsi to become the new President of Egypt. As such el-Sisi quickly consolidated absolute control and wielded even more power than his predecessors. Today Egypt is more beset with religious strife, fear, terrorism, and insurgency than ever before.
The intention of the Second Prong is to destroy the entrenched systems cannibalizing our still-developing planetary civilization. We must move beyond the limitations of capitalism, the National Security Regimes, the military/security-industrial/financial-education/prison-intelligence/surveillance complex, fascism masquerading as Democracy, and slavery masquerading as freedom. We the people must find the courage and the will stand in our power, educate ourselves, reclaim our liberties, expand democracy into the economic realm, and take on the responsibilities to resolve the complex convergence of local-global problems threatening our species with extinction.
The Third Prong is quietly growing and connecting a self-aware Alternative Civilization embedded in the midst of Mainstream Civilization. This Alternative Civilization serves as the model to facilitate newly elected Leftist candidates and their allies in radical reforms. We place systems in place to step into power should the Second Prong succeeds.
While the First and Second Prongs may work together toward shared goals, the Third Prong is often independent of the other two. Indeed, those striving to struggle in the first two are often dismissive of the Third Prong as naïve when the Third may be the one with the greater accomplishments. The heart and brains of the Third Prong are the core networks of the Blessed Unrest.
Think of this alternative more as a Breakthru Civilization. We build and build until we breakthru into mainstream awareness to include them as we leave the Breakaways behind in the garbage of their own history. Our Alternative Civilization also serves as a safer fallback should Mainstream Civilization collapse. The idea is cultivate and develop the capacity to live free from the domination of the Global Financial and Power Elites from the fortresses of their Breakaway Civilizations.
Alternative Civilizations have existed within the Mainstream for decades, even centuries. They’ve mostly been isolated and separate, even independent of much of the greater world. Often they died out or were suppressed and broken apart by mainstream authorities. What would it look like to network and integrate today’s alternative communities into a new Breakthru Civilization?
Let’s awake into our own self-awareness of what’s possible here. We are already building the foundations for an interdependent, self-sustaining Alternative Civilization. We do so in the midst of the decaying Mainstream as we prepare to breakthru into mass consciousness. We work together with cooperative and collective intelligence as we leave the Global Elites behind in their Breakaway Civilization. Leave them inside the tombs of their own making.
Life goes on for the living. Life goes on for those who choose to live. I continue in my own way to dive deep into the nexus of creative conflict where capitalism and socialism crash into one another. What steps do we take to move beyond such labels? We must invent new concepts and a new vocabulary. Perhaps even a new language. There’s no stopping human nature. It’s hard for me to sit still. I’ve gone deep in spiritual and mystical explorations. In recent years, I’ve attended and participated with a range of local religio-spiritual organizations. They include local Unitarian Universalist Churches, Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhist sanghas and meditation retreats, Native American Church ceremonies and sweat lodges, Sunni Muslim mosques, Neo-Pagan Wiccan celebrations and Reformed Druidic circles, and transdemoninational gatherings. I write like crazy, have stacks of unfinished book manuscripts, and blog on numerous topics as I shares from my personal life. I’ve a multidimensional view of unfolding events elsewhere on Planet Earth thanks to my natural gifts of synthesis and syncretism. One of those books I struggle to complete is on local-global democracy, economic, and community issues.
Influenced in part by my former wife Kristina, a brilliant organizational development consultant and business coach, I see the bottom line of any and every truly successful business, in fact every organization composed of human beings, is not money, not even people, but the relationships between people. There was a period, for example, where I applied this raw, unorthodox set envisioning and organizational skills to fix troubled businesses by transforming how they function on a day-to-day basis. I seeks to do the same cultural activism as an author. I’ve come to view politics, however, as training one for hostility instead of service. Humans generally demonstrate more interest in marking other people and their groups as “the enemy” rather than train people of different belief systems to embrace paradox and work together.
For a while I helped restructure small, family businesses, microbusinesses, and served others within creative networks of solopreneurs. Then moved forward to explore cooperative entrepreneurship within the legal framework of the current Capitalist system. Despite some health challenges, I also participated in unorthodox ways to reform our global system as we can while also understanding we must eventually replace the same destructive system through envisioning new systems with new language. In the last few years, however, I left those worlds and became almost like a monk. I went inwards to work on myself. Lived as a reclusive hermit in the midst of swarms of people. Would disappear into nature. Wrote a lot. Healed my mind. Healed my body. Developed my senses of awareness and perception to bring wholeness to body, mind, and soul. And suffered intensely painful broken hearts along the way.
The bottom line for any and all successful businesses as well as a successful economy involves ownership by the workers with the emphasis relationships between people first and profits last. For these and similar reasons, once people called me “the Relationship Guy.” For me relationship is a spiritual practice. This applies to sexualoving relationships with a primary life partner, to deep friendships, to familial relationships with one’s parents and one’s children, to colleagues at work and in business, and most importantly, with one’s self.
In doing so, I’ve returned to my core values as what I stand for in this life of mine. Those values include Acceptance, Love, Kindness, Integrity, Authenticity, Loyalty, Fun, Creativity, Curiousity, Adventure, Exploration, being Firm yet Flexible, Solidarity, and Vulnerability. Some values are old, such as an appreciation for storytelling. Some I’ve worked to remove, such as egoic pride and anger triggers. Others are new ones I chose to adopt as my own, such as Compassion and Solidarity. Usually I am coachable and willing to shift my point of view to consider the value of other perspectives. I go full tilt to experience all there is from living life full out. Then I retreat into seclusion to heal, contemplate, consider, discern what lessons exist to learn, and to create anew. I make mistakes. Lots of mistakes! I’ve changed my mind on things without shame as circumstances change and new data presents itself for deliberation. I learn from many of my mistakes, although I took awhile to learn those lessons, too. Some mistakes I seem to keep repeating, darn it, and I’ve learned to laugh at myself during these crazymaking situations. I’m perfectly imperfect, and hope to live a long, long time as long as my body, mind, spirit, relationships, and finances are healthy.
As I ventured deeper into my psychospiritual explorations of consciousness and spirituality, I began to move away from activist politics. No one listens to those screaming and shouting. No one seeks to bridge differences when all are polarized by their own -isms. No one laughs with anyone when they’re busy ridiculing and laughing at others. I began to see even those political and economic activist movements whose beliefs I align with merely repeat the past if they make fun of love and kindness and dismiss consciousness beyond the body. Even materialistic belief systems reducing everything down to mathematical formulas forget such arrays of numbers reflect not reality but numbers, symbols made up by the human mind to quantify what is created and percieved by the imagination. The materialists forget their own dialectical contradictions when up against the immaterial they fail to acknowledge. As such they fail to grasp even the irony. After all, the mind existed long before there existed any economy at all. Materialism is itself a belief system created by mind and trapped within its own rigid reductionist illusion.
Consciousness interpenetrates into matter and exists beyond the body before birth, during life, and after death. Institutionalized religion may well be a tyrannical farce responsible for the deaths and torture of millions and millions of human beings and many other other living organisms. Religion is, after all, the misappropriation, regulation, and regimentation of others’ individual and collective mystical and spiritual experiences. The codification of such experiences reduces spirituality into the rituals of automatons and removes the magick and the mystery of Oneness from public awareness. I finally realized my Three Pronged Approach was ultimately doomed to fail as every attempt at reform or revolution has failed before for it forgot the mind, the heart, the spirit, the soul, and consciousness. The Three Prongs fed upon suffering, struggle, vengeance, hate, and fear as all -ism right, left, and center feed upon such division and violence.
We must heal ourselves and learn to accept, forgive, and love ourselves as well as others. These are practices to practices. There can be no successful external revolution until we move beyond revolutions of mind and thought towards revolutions of heart and soul. There can be no planetary unification until we learn to integrate the divisions within ourselves. There won’t be any world peace until we first achieve peace within our hearts.
Furthermore, it is a mistake to disappear into spiritual pursuits as civilizations crash. There can be no hiding out behind endless prayers, meditations, and rituals. There can be no hiding out in science, mathematics, and religion. There can be no hiding out in financial and monetary policies. There can be no hiding out behind political activism and the rage of the streets against oppression. We can choose to stand in our power. We stand in our power with courage and vulnerability. Violence is not the answer, nor is pacifism and nonviolence.
Choosing to help and serve others is a primary expression of the answer. Learning to harness the creative imagination and the disciplined focus of our minds to influence and shape what appears to be consensual reality is another part of the answer, especially as the Kosmos abounds with far more multiple universes, dimensions, and densities than we once thought.
Perhaps our universe is holographic in nature and a matrix of software code generated by minds elsewhere in another dimension and either accidentally or deliberately set free to grow the one we abide within. Our minds and our hearts are far more powerful than any political and religious movement. We as interdependent individuals are waking up into higher levels of interconnection and generative creativity. Together we can manipulate energy, matter, and consciousness. Yet we are still learning what to do to achieve these results with any consistency. Again, these are practices to practice. And life is still full of as many challenges and hardships as it is with wonder and joy.
Yes, I remain hard of hearing. I read lips and am a keen observer of body language. Still haven’t mastered sign language, tho. Haven’t mastered any language, for that matter, even tho I love learning different languages. Took me years of speech therapy simply to learn English. I feel I remain an old bridge under slow construction between the Deaf and Hearing worlds. I wrestle with ADHD and the consequences of going through life for so long before my complex of learning disabilities were recognized as such. Life goes on for the living even when circumstances prove almost unbearable. Often they are almost unbearable, but only almost. For even in the midst of suffering and sorrow are many joys and moments of success and happiness.
My family and I experienced a series of traumatic disruptions during the Great Global Recession. Jobs were lost, investments embezzled, homes were foreclosed then short-sold, the next home burning down with all their possessions, transient periods in temporary housing, another home damaged in a large, fiery natural gas explosion next door, the kids scattered between fragmenting families, one child enduring a broken leg from a sledding accident, struggles among the adults with depression and anxiety, and the painfully slow unraveling of a blended family marriage under grinding financial stress. The suffering intensified from the shocks of all of those BAM BAM BAM events. I became lost in my circumstances. Depression set in. Other illness sprung forth from those. Fortunately, those dark times receded as the light grew and expanded as a fire in the soul.
As I emerged from the dark abyss of my soul to heal myself, I rooted my sense of self in a garden of sorts. What was truly amazing, however, was the resilience of my children. I go to bed expressing my thanks for all the little things enriching my life and awake every morning in gratitude. I’m glad, to quote his friend Ross, we’re all “still above ground.” People sometimes ask what is my purpose in life? The wording changed over time and continues to evolve. Currently, however, I experience my deep life purpose as I create art with language and images as a catalyst for change and transformation.
Be a Stand for what you believe in, right or wrong. Be a stand for Love, for a love deeper than the emotions, feelings, thoughts of love as those things are not love but its expressions confused as love. Be a stand for love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, firmness, courage, and service, especially service to others. Yes, one must still take care of one’s self before they can fully take care of others, and it’s an ongoing process. Without getting lost in indulgence to self, without getting lost in emotions, getting lost in feelings, getting lost in our thoughts. Forgive yourself is forgiving others. Loving yourself fully allows you to love others fully. Acceptance is not like versus dislike. Acceptance is recognition and acknowledgment of circumstances, choices, and consequences.
Accept what is so.
Choose with whom and what to associate with and not to associate with.
Accept what’s so and you will be successful in being with it to work for change, or choose another thing. Acceptance opens the mind and heart to love. Even deeper than all of these values and choices, however, lies trust.
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William Dudley Bass
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Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.