Monday, June 21, 2010

Authority was made to be questioned

When you think about the powers that be, public opinion and what’s considered to be normal, one could be quite tempted to simply not accept everything we’re offered as a truth, a given, a more or even a law. Some things are elemental and no brainers and don’t have to be questioned such as heinous crimes or attitudes of a dubious moral nature.

A paradigm by definition requires an overthrow to continue with evolution on pretty much every level, in any industry and in any quasi structure where the norm has been established. It happens with music, it happens with fashion, it happens with art, it happens with religion and it happens with politics.

What’s most interesting is that dissent and the power of breaking a paradigm begins with doubt, questioning, and the use of reason by people who are tuned to a different wavelength, a new zeitgeist if you will. From worshipping mother Earth, we switched to a panel of anthropomorphic deities that more often than not, showed character flaws we could relate to. Then Rome plagiarized the Greek system, changed the names and said it was a new religion. In other parts of the globe, Nordic mythology brought a rich mix of fiction and nature veneration, Zoroastrianism and Islam brought different spins to the Messiah story, Taoism brought a series of beliefs and pagan rituals to the masses, Buddhism ascribed godly attributes to the worldly, Hinduism professes its own series of mores and rules through a richly textured religion, Confucianism and Shintoism offer vastly different ways of seeing life in the same country and that’s without taking into account the beautiful religions from Native Americans, Amazon tribes, African tribes, Eskimos and all other aborigine tribes to explain what is this life we live. And this is just religion and just what we know without taking into consideration something as extensive as the Incan, Mayan and Egyptian religions. But trends have been found and they have changed. Catholicism is fighting tooth and nail to stay as the dominating super power religion while secular trends are trying to bring it down. If history serves as a frame of reference, what this means is that eventually something will replace it.

The same goes for economic systems. Feudalism, monarchies, fifes and capitalism are all wonderful isms for as long as they work to keep the participating parties happy. Politics have the eternal battle of the isms vs democracy. The progress of science is even based on dissenting voices questioning what has been established as knowledge. And as if that weren’t enough, a technological gestalt is pretty much impossible at the rate we’re delivering advances.

What does this hefty intro mean then? Well to quote Dylan: ‘The Times are a changin’. People don’t trust their governments, economic systems are collapsing, a desire to unify the world is in conflict with those who would rather facilitate segregation and knowledge in general has the daunting task of having to convince an ever growing society of cynics that what they’re living is not only normal but that they should be thankful for what they receive.

In this current economic state and even if you hate what you’re doing, it seems you have to be thankful for the cluster rape of work you offer at bargain prices while company magnates expect you to not notice that they have plenty of pie on their face, which they obviously don’t want to share. The debate over what is just and unjust is coming into play and people don’t like the results their observations are offering, and they want an explanation.

Why is it possible that healthcare can put a family on the street? Why do we have to give money to bail out an industry that is based on greed? How can we be expected to trust a government that thrives on backstabbing and scapegoating? Why are the powers that be surprised that we aren’t biting on the red herring? Why are they so scared?

Think, question authority, have an opinion. After all, it is your right... for now.

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