Civil Disobedience ~ The Fine Art of Civil Action
Posted January 29, 2013on:
~ by Sarah McCroskey
As we press further into the 21st century, more and more is being revealed regarding the dark art of human manipulation, enslavement and ‘power over’ politics. By no means is this a recent occurrence, these tactics and mindsets are as ancient as civilization itself. So why is it that we now find them so obvious, so onerous? How is it that we have finally reached past the point of tolerance for business as usual in human affairs?
From a worldly perspective, this can appear to be a depressing subject indeed. In our everyday experience of polarity from the political arena to economics, environmental destruction and the current surge to demolish the middle class, collective bargaining and repossess the homes of hundreds of thousands of families – it is all looking dismal indeed. And this is just our little list as U.S. citizens. Within and beyond our borders lives the expressed or implied violence of police states, despotism, genocide, surveillance, imprisonment without charge or due process, sexual abuse, torture, illiteracy, poverty and hunger – it IS criminal what goes on in our world. No one is immune and no one is above reproach. Truly, our shadow is in charge here. Our personal and collective shadow is running the show.
Opposition politics and resistance are essentially ineffectual – not to mention exhausting. Those who have “fought the powers that be” from environmentalists to social justice – the movers and shakers are plain TIRED. And through some cruel twist on the law of attraction – our disapproval and fury tends to feed OUR power to those we oppose. I think we’re finally getting it – resistance and opposition don’t really work. As the endlessly witty and eloquently irreverent Caroline Casey says, “Tyranny loves opposition.” She goes on to say, “Tyrants don’t care if people hate them, as long as people don’t love each other.”
Behind the Scenes of Opposition Politics
So why doesn’t it work anymore? Or perhaps the more germane question is, why hasn’t it ever worked? This is not to say that achievements for liberty, justice and “don’t log the old growth redwoods” haven’t been made. But one thing is for sure – the gains are hard won and emotionally unsatisfying when they are founded in fear, rage or even righteousness. Yes, at the end of the day when the feelings and positions we hold are based upon fear, separation and vilifying others we are diminished in our experience and ultimately intensify the stance of those we oppose. Blame / defense is ineffective – a never ending loop of I’m right / you’re wrong. On the inside, as the basis of our personality, or on the “seeming” outside as the basis of our collective experience – our souls can no longer enact or tolerate the lie of you OR me. We are done with fear and separation.
The times when huge strides have been made – and more importantly have lasted – are when a commonly held human value is powerfully and consistently summoned and the action, expression and motivation stays true to a higher order of engagement. Equality, human rights, a vibrant, healthy Planet – these values stand on their own. We can be nourished as proponents and “visionary activists” (again, Caroline Casey’s term) when we embody the values we yearn to see reflected in our world. We define a living agenda beyond mere ‘opposition as usual’ by coming from love and open heartedness while taking action and making our case. In honoring “the personhood” of our challengers, the integrity of heart-centered intent remains front and center and our motive lives sincerely beyond reproach.
Now this may seem “all lovey-dovey” which we tend to think of as weak, too nice, ineffectual or dangerously naïve, but in truth this sincere adherence to our loving intent for our world (including our ‘opponents’ and their children’s children’s future) displays and underscores the power of love. When the ends and the means are consistent and the prize to be won is authentically rooted in an innate human value – love – perseverance is all that is required – eloquence, courage and perseverance.
Stay tuned for the continuation of this article tomorrow.
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