Yesterday, a friend sent me a poem that became yesterday’s post. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do so now. It says pretty much all I want to say today and is much better written. I am only writing this to clarify my thinking for myself. But you are welcome to join me, if you wish.
Here is the poem again:
A number of things strike me when reading the poem:
I like the image of a great river sweeping all before it. Things certainly feel that way at the moment. There’s no doubt that this is a time of flux. We are entering a time of Great Change. And at such times it is easy to panic. Tempting to lurch for the first passing thing that looks like it is solid and strong and will take your weight. Something that looks strong and certain. Something that will save you from the flood. I think that that is what we are witnessing with the recent rise in nationalism around the world. I think that it explains the rise of Trump in the US. Of Farage in the UK. Of religious fundamentalism. Of the Far Right. All these examples offer certainty at a time when the Old Order is visibly crumbling.
It has been apparent for some time now that the old orthodoxies are no longer working. They are working for a privileged few perhaps, but not for the majority. Free Market Capitalism has run its course. The Banking System that sustained it has collapsed. Several times. The Political Establishment that endorsed it have tried to resuscitate it by pumping Public money into its dying body. Because they don’t know what else to do. They no longer have a viable alternative to offer. They killed Communism. Made Socialism a swear word – crazy, unworkable, dangerous. All they have to offer is more of the Same. More of what is no longer working for most people. More Banks. More Loans. More Consumerism. More Globalisation. More Economics. More Profit (for a few). More Austerity (for the many). No wonder people chose to reject Clinton and Merkel. They chose to reject an Establishment that was offering them nothing new. No Hope. Just the same old boot kicking you in the face.
But you have to be careful what you grasp hold of as the River pulls you by. What appears to be Hope and Certainty may turn out to just be a weight that holds you back, pulls you down, drowns you beneath the waters. It has quickly become clear that Brexit and Trumpton were just dreams all along. No real substance. Just hopeful words and promises. Nothing to really hold on to. Smoke and mirrors. Ghosts.
I think that, really, The UK Referendum and the US Election were an illusion of choice. Choose between an Establishment that is broken and no longer works or a pipe dream of Greatness pedalled by charlatans and opportunist con-men. That’s no real choice.
And, in many ways, the outcomes are irrelevant anyway. It doesn’t matter who won, Clinton or Trump, Leave or Remain, Left or Right. Because the River is coming anyway. Trump isn’t the River. He isn’t the Great Change coming. He is just a blip, a pouting fool, an irrelevance. He will, very soon, be shown to be not up to the job of Leader. He will be swept away. And what by I do not know. Climate Change? Oil Poverty? Mass Extinctions? Loss of Biodiversity? There are certainly a whole host of Global Crisis that he chooses to ignore that will, at some point, engulf him. And the rest of the World-wide Political Establishment with him. Because none of them have any idea what to do in the face of these Global Problems. Nothing to offer. Do not expect them to save you. They don’t know how.
But the Elders of the Hopi Nation know what to do.