I must have written what follows early last summer. I might have even included it in a blogpost. In any case, what I remember about it now is the title: THE GREAT DIVIDE.
Aha! Just searched <the great divide exopermaculture> and came up with this, from August last year.
The reason I’m including this material now (again!) is that it continues to strike me as to just how divided we are; and what fascinates me especially: I can’t predict which side of the divide any of my old friends will be on! So many stories of how old friends either see eye to eye with me (and soul to soul) or, from my point of view, they continue to follow the mainstream news, which (despite Project Veritas beginning to take CNN down and seeking funding to take the rest of them down), still does indoctrinate the minds of vast numbers within this country and the world.
This material also strikes me as relevant to what is sure to be coming right up, once the trial of the policeman Derek Chauvin that supposedly killed George Lloyd in Minneapolis and started all the riots last year comes down on one side or the other. You know damn well, that the riots will start up again. Black Lives Matter will once again, be on the table as one more diabolical way way to divide us, despite that the character of the BLM founder has now been exposed.
But hey, how about this?
THE GREAT DIVIDE 2020
Does this mean we have to hate each other? It certainly seems so, given the violent protests that are erupting in Democratically run cities of San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and now, Kenosha Wisconsin, where three people died two nights ago of gunshot wounds.
But: says my son Colin, the black man that was killed by cops who inspired Kenosha’s violence and burning, was resisting arrest! In a huge way! Just like Floyd gasping from intake of Fentanyl in Minneapolis and I don’t know who else. He had listened to a podcast by two black men, brothers, who claimed that the police were definitely within their rights to shoot the man when he was reaching, as if for a gun, after having wrestled himself free and run to his car.
Police violence vs. protestor violence, one more furious divide.
CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING. In each case, where there is a conflict that appears polarized, what is really going on with each side. What is the backstory for each. And then, as Q says, what is the REAL backstory. Check and check again. But of course, there is no limit to how much the context can be enlarged.
I live in an academic town, home of Indiana University, and from the research I have done, most university professors at any university have decidedly leftist politics; indeed some of them verging towards “collective identity”, i.e., Marxism! Furthermore, I have noticed that most children are taught to have “group identities” in school, since they learn from an early ago through cooperative “group” projects, rather than individual competition, the way it was when I was in school.
In other words, it appears that Marxism, Communism, have infected the schools, all the way down! Exactly how I used to think, back in the ’60s, having coming from a Republican family, and newly liberated in my early 20s to hate my medical doctor father: YES! Redistribute all wealth. Equality of results, rather than — I make this distinction only lately, when reconsidering this more socialist, communist approach — equality of opportunity.
One way to distinguish the divide: capitalism vs. socialism.
Back even further, traveling to Wisconsin and Minnesota in the big station wagon with Mom and Dad and sister Paula (because she got car sickness in the front, and the other seven of us in the back. Mom, to Dad, as we neared Wisconsin, and his own parents: “Ben, don’t bring up politics. Promise me you won’t.” So he didn’t. His own Dad, a Democrat, had very definite socialist leanings, which as I recall, was quite common in this part of the Midwest even back then.
So, how am I working with The Great Divide personally? A few examples.
About ten days ago, a talk with my friend, I’ll call her “Clara,” in Portland, she makes an offhand reference to “Trump goons” in unmarked cars grabbing people, as if, of course, I would agree with this opinion. Sudden alert . . . I changed the subject. (I could have said that they had filmed then followed those who were causing destruction, grabbing each of them while alone so as not to incite further violence.)
Cross another off my list as a friend?
Call her back and explain where I’m coming from?
No. (at least not yet.)
A few days earlier, I had discovered that one of my sisters (the one I had assumed was most “awake”) live in two different worlds.
This sister is learned, and astute. Sends me her sources, assumes that because we follow different sources, we have decidedly opposite opinions (in this case about vaccines), and have different world-views.
A bit of our exchange here:
Everyone is in their own bubble.
I subscribe to the New York Times, the NY Review of Books, the London Review of Books, the New Yorker, and Harper’s (way too many subs; need to stop all by the NYRP and LRB).
I also listen a lot to podcasts on Times Literary Supplement and the LRB websites, and listen to the BBC, my preferred radio.
NPR has some good stuff (Fresh Air; On the Media, Ira Glass), but is otherwise insipid, so I am turning that off more and more.
And of course I often catch the Best of Late Night on the NYT:
So that may be why we have diff worldviews at this point.
Totally agreed! The silo you are in was the one I was in, until early 2011, when I suddenly stopped my print subscription to the NYT and Atlantic and New Yorker and began to dig deep and wide and long.
For a long time things hadn’t been adding up. But I finally copped to that and bit the bullet. And now I’m finding a few others of like mind, even here in this academic town which is still addicted to all the same sources you use.
I relish these new friends, all men around my age. One a retired math professor, another a world traveler (153 countries so far), another an extraordinary musician.
Also, my son Colin. He and I have been pretty much on the same wavelength since [my husband] Jeff died and I gave him Jeff’s computer. Colin had been trying to understand the world of economics by going to the local library and reading things like The Economist. Suddenly, he had the whole world at his finger tips.
Be well, dear sis!
Then, two days ago, she sent me a story in the NYT (surprisingly!), which she said is right up my alley: “Meet the Philosopher Tryiing to Explain the Coronavirus.” Not surprisingly, he is an outlier where he teaches.
Notice, that despite our differences, she sends me stuff to buttress my own way of thinking. She is not the only one. A woman who has just moved into this house, despite our extreme differences of opinion (her son works at the WSJ), wanted to introduce me to a friend of hers who thinks the same way I do. So she did. And it turned out to be one of the three men I referred to in email with my sister, above.
In other words, this woman is capable of separating her emotional and personal relationships with people from her and their ideologies, no matter how different. This is rare. I’d call this emotional maturity, and I’m trying to learn it myself, despite my own hot blood.
I think about my deceased husband, Jeff. Where would he be in all this? I suspect he’d be right with me, wide awake, completely divorced from MSM and researching like crazy on my own. On the other hand, his own advice to me, when I would get too obsessed with finding out what was true or false?” comes back to haunt me now: Is this something you can do something about? He would ask. If not, don’t get so worked up!
Back when we were married, he tended to think that what the leftists deride as “conspiracy theorists” were a relatively small group of people, all of whom referred to each other’s writings, etc., i.e., that they lived in their own little silo. Likely true! But that was prior to the internet taking us all over, so that independent citizen journalists are springing up everywhere, taking hold of “the news.” And then, of course, there’s the Q phenomenon . . .
I look at myself, over time, and notice that I’ve had different favorite sources over time, that my preferences mutate, depending on what I’ve read or listened too last. New discoveries feed one another and appear to align in a certain direction.
For example, I used to prefer liberal sites like Common Dreams, truthout.com, and truthdig.org. But I haven’t looked at these sites in several years. Why?
Frankly, the more I research the more I discover myself “moving to the right. “ Especially since my natural home, liberalism, has been veering so sharply to the left that it’s hardly recognizable anymore.
One final story, Claudia.
Claudia, who is a Bernie supporter, and wants the Green New Deal!
So strange! When Trump was elected, she was secretly for him where she lives on an island that is totally leftist. But now, she’s flipped completely to the extreme left!
Frankly, I’m stunned!
What’s totally amazing to both of us is that we now exist on either side of that Great Divide. And yet, neither of us has let it disturb the heart and soul of our relationship, which has extended now, for 35 years.
Last night, our conversation was, as usual these days, vociferous! Both of us equally passionate, about our opposite points of view! And yet, both of us claimed tthat we could see where the other was coming from. I don’t know how she saw where I was coming from, but I certainly do appreciate her need to believe in the Green New Deal! It sounds so wonderful, until you realize, as my sources indicate, that it’s one more stepping stone to the New World Order . . .
So interesting, our mutual ferocity, during the time when transit Mars squares the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto conjunction. We are learning how to use the energy, without killing each other! Both of us laughed, as, after one hour, we finally hung up the phone.
Though it appears that this Great Divide will only worsen as time goes on, let’s prove this prediction wrong. We CAN change our destiny.
My newly arrived housemate has just set the two of us up for a challenge . . .
Should be fun! Let’s play with our differences. That way we will begin to feel our unity underneath.
In sum, so much depends on both what sources we are drawn to, and those in turn depend on our natural or learned proclivities to go in one direction or another.
My own preference, is to notice the divisions, and to seek to follow what I see as the Good. What direction do I want to see my own life, and the life of society, to follow? It won’t be Capitalism, and it won’t be Socialism, it’s got to be some kind of dynamic between the two. Both feature different and seemingly contradictory aspects of human nature. The first, capitalism, values individualism over community, and Socialism does the opposite. To me, both are crucially important. We do not live in two different worlds. We live in the same world, where we are all One. And yet each of us has our own mind, our own individual nature, and seeks to express it in the world. How to combine these two values is the real work of our time.
Neils Bohr: The opposite of one great truth is another great truth.
Emerson: Do I contradict myself? So I contradict myself. I am large, I contain miracles.
And to me, the real miracle, is that with at least two women, I am committed to sustaining our relationship no matter what our differences of world view.
We do not live in two different worlds. We just think we do.