Saturday, May 05, 2007


The Situation

Some days are better than others. Some arrive with inspirational ideas. Others are more painful, yet serve to stretch our imaginations. Yesterday was one of those.

But amidst the aggravating news (which I've subjugated to our other blogs), I was rewarded with two very different correspondences--one with a new reader, one with an old hand--that hopefully help to answer questions that might just be percolating in the minds of other viewers. With that in mind, I've decided to share the pertinent parts of these correspondences here.

New Reader to Spartacus:

In a nutshell, what is your basic philosophy or what is your personal mission? I was a bit overwhelmed by trying to read all you sent me--it's fascinating but I'm a bit apolitical these days I guess and would like to be more savvy.

Spartacus to New Reader:

I guess my philosophy is that nothing good can come of any process--economic, social, or political--that excludes a majority of the population from direct, meaningful participation in decision-making.

Based on that, my estimate of the situation we face in the US is one of colossal social disintegration due primarily to the criminal structure of governance that evolved in our federal institutions over the last two decades. Stated another way, I no longer believe we can rely on public agencies to protect us from market forces harmful to our health or well-being, and that we will have to create community structures to do that.

My role in this has been to assist private efforts to investigate and disrupt corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors that undermine democratic institutions and a healthy civil society. Presently, I am mentoring younger people interested in learning these skills. The school I hope to start would be a big help.

The experience I describe in my online memoir Reign of Terror (in the Skookum sidebar) is not what most people imagine politics to comprise. I only became involved so deeply when my friends and family were threatened. After that, there was no turning back.

This story is not one many people want to hear. Thanks for asking.
Old Hand to Spartacus:

How are you? What's up?

Spartacus to Old Hand:

Given the collapse of democratic society here and elsewhere, a contextual discussion that produces a working estimate of the situation for us all to feed into and revise could be useful as things continue to disintegrate.

There's a wealth of young talent looking for an opportunity like our research center could provide, but there are no resources. The closest thing is groups like Open Society Institute, but they have not surmounted their involvement with dysfunctional social change models.

A symposium on American fantasy vis a vis governance, media, and economics might be a worthwhile gathering--as would other topics--but I'm not sure who would sponsor a multidisciplinary conference of activist scholars unaffiliated with academic institutions. It's a quandary we've yet to overcome.

All this can, at times, dismay less than hearty souls, until we point out how bad it would be were we not engaged. I do find, however, for those eager to understand, that the reward of subverting bad guys is actually quite appealing. It has brought several top recruits out of the grip of depression rampaging in our country--now we just need a backer.


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