So the more I read and speak to people and the more I am immersed in optimizing my own life - marriage, friendships, parenting, neurodiversity management, job -- the more I see in all these arenas such a moment of opportunity. We have a breathtaking chance to push ourselves forward and change the world for the better. Humans across the globe are all so united in our interests and old stupid thinking stops us from realizing this. Humans have so much in common right now, regardless of ethnicity, religion, citizenship . . . regardless of any of these old boundaries. We all need to exist and raise our children in a peaceful way. In some ways it is that simple. This is what spurs my abortive and strange flirtings with politics as of late and my eager manic thoughts.
It is sort of an intellectual reformation going on now: the anniversary of Darwin, the growing consciousness of the necessity of treating all living things with kindness, the complete and utter loss of faith in politics and political systems, the death of the Catholic Church, the election of Obama, the failings of the corporate form, the bloated power of the holders of the capital (the money) in our society, our ideas about what was good - everything from serving the pope to not regulating derivatives - those ideas are all changing. Corporations are poised to gain ever more power and religions are imploding with cause. Yet many followers of Christ and Buddha and the Prophet are just and bold of heart and eager to serve. Ideas of what illness is and how it is caused are changing. I see all these things as humanity teetering on the edge of great change. This is our opportunity and perhaps a necessity given our rapid ravishment of the planet. I don't know, but I worry about it.
It is time to examine old conventional wisdom about everything and question our religions, our corporations, our sovereigns, our banks. Not in order to get rid of them - I mean, maybe, but my favorite saying applies: fiat justitia ruat coelum - let justice be done, though the heavens be rent asunder. And maybe the heavens need to be rent asunder. Our truths are our cultures and our humanity, and no matter what heaven you believe in, humans should attempt to flourish, I think, and take care of each other. Severe lack of knowledge hinders us from doing so. We don't have a great grasp on what it means to fairly regulate the world economy (including all of our retirement funds, all of the banks, all of the high-end financial instruments), the world wide web (including protecting rightsholders and protecting freedom of information), the world (including climate change) and ourselves (including what constitutes mental illness (perhaps it is only neurodiversity)). We don't know how to efficiently heal all of us (health care). We don't know how to serve those most in need. We need new conventional wisdom. We need to change what we previously believed. I am not advocating where necessarily to go next, because I don't know.
We need the greatest minds to come forth and give us a good plan. That is what Obama has done in Iraq and Afghanistan and I don't think you could reasonably expect better results at this point in the Obama Administration, especially given the shitstorm he inherited.
My son, by the way, asks most of the adults he meets these days - speaking privately and seriously - "Are you voting for Nick?". Nick Clegg is the Lib Dem candidate for PM in the upcoming UK elections. Yes, indoctrination starts early in my family. (See below at *) but I do think it would just help tremendously if we handed the Liberal Democrat-minded a huge chunk of power. It would send a message to clear-thinking Labour and Conservative politicians alike that their knee-jerk sucking up to their old outdated parties doesn't have to happen anymore. I mean really, who wants their career paths defined by Cameron or Brown anyway?
This is why I am voting Lib Dem this bank thing is fucking serious and so are the failings of representative democracies. They get that. Those are very important things. On the rest of it they will do probably about as well as the others could do. We will have to watch them on foreign policy.
Anyway, every election matters, but when I think of this moment for humanity, I think we have the opportunity for change far beyond what one election can achieve. I am thinking paradigm shifts in thought about what our institutions do for us - our governments, our religions, our banks, our corporations -- what we want them to do, what they are doing, what we need them to do. We need a rich cross-fertilization between all the old divisions in our cultures: the politicians need to work with the clergy, the banks need to work with the politicians, healers need to work with traditional physicians, just in order to get everyone what they need.
*This is what I think of as a great Washington moment. When I was at Skadden, I used to take any little girl I could get my hands on to the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center. I think the matinees in December of the Nutcracker are about the greatest thing in the world. One year, I took the charming daughter of one of the other associates and after we were seated fourth row stalls (I am good at getting seats), we viewed our program. On the back cover was a portrait of Reagan. The little girl asked me who it was. I said that his name was Ronald Reagan and he was president of the United States not so long ago and that he was a very bad man. A blue-haired grandmother with a broach leaned over her granddaughter, sniffed, and said "well, now I know how Democrats are made."
Touche, rich old lady. Touche.