In the early 1800’s Edward Cole Painted five paintings, depicting what he feared would occur to the United States should they become a greedy, consumerist society.
America is mirroring the fall of Rome, and we need to talk.
I do not often talk in detail about my pre-music life. Until recently it was not really relevant. But before I “talk politics” I feel like I need to tell you why I should. I was fortunate to have had a life which made me travel and live with people from all over the world from a very young age. I have problems talking about this stuff – i don’t want you to think I am bragging. I am not and I don’t say any of this with any grandeur, because an education is only as good as what you do with it, and I haven’t done anything with it. And until recently, I took it all for granted.
I went to an international high school where not only did I receive the very best classroom instruction, but became friends with and lived within an abnormally multicultural environment for the 1980’s. Students came to this school from all over the world and because it was a boarding school, we studied, ate worked and did three hours of sports a day together. It was mildly militaristic in its teaching style, probably due to the environment created by our Headmaster, a man I later learned to greatly appreciate and admire. But in my four years there, I was perhaps one of his greatest challenges.
Many of my classmates went on the be real rocket scientists, business leaders and innovators in many areas around the world.
After high school I was 15, nearly 16 in university and by 19 received my degree in Political Science with a minor in Psychology. I was very involved with my political father who had a view to send me to the best schools, something he hadn’t received the benefit of and so gave me everything he would have wanted for himself. This world wasn’t such a stretch for me at the time as I was raised, parented and socialized in the conflicted world of french Canadian politics.
I always say “I could make a martini before I made my own toast for breakfast”.
And I also knew terrorism way before we invented ISIS.
In those days, the “terrorists” where I lived, were called the FLQ – The Federation for the Liberation of Quebec. Because of my father’s involvement, they threatened to kill me to keep him out of the turbulent political scene of french Canada in the late 1970’s. And so my new daily friend for many months became an RCMP officer with a gun, who drove me to school every day, and sat outside school in case anyone suspicious tried to come in. I was in grade four.
I naturally don’t relate terrorism to any particular culture, because of my own experiences, terrorists looked exactly like me, but wanted everyone to speak french. Terrorism always comes from the imposition of some form of fundamentalism. Always.
In my case it was language, in the case of the current political climate it is religion.
I have lived in Africa, under a dictatorship government. This had implications for a teenage girl with a big mouth like me, who didn’t like being told where I could walk, or be seen (I was white in a black world), what I could wear, how I should act. It was all very offensive to me, who was born in the year of the Horse under the element of fire. That was the year 30% of Chinese female babies were killed because no one in China wanted to have a female fire horse: apparently they aren’t very good with limitations and tend to have a “fiery” temperament. Imagine that.
In Guinea, I was told what I could say out loud and what I had to keep to myself. This made me crazy. Like when my mother would tell me not to bite my nails which would cause me to become obsessed with biting my nails.
I remember one time being in a government building, with my mother, and I made a derogatory comment about in English to her about a photograph of Sekou Toure – the self appointed Dictator of the country since 1957. She nearly jumped out of her skin, throwing me into a corner whispered to me urgently
“Shhh! We don’t say his name out loud, you can be put in jail!”.
I was completely stunned.
She went on to explain that because the African guards, who were everywhere all the time, especially around the whites always suspicious of our activities, didn’t fully understand what we say when we speak English or french, because our dialects were so different, and offending the Leader was a jail able offense, we didn’t say his name. She cited the case of one man who got drunk (the expats of African compounds do that allot) and went on down the street one night yelling about the “stupid Guinean government” and saying all sorts of things he surely would not have said sober, and was put in jail. They had not heard from him in two years, although there were periodic notes from the government stating that he was still alive.
That reminds me of the time the boarder security guard at the airport in Spain asked me if I had drugs in my suitcase at customs and I answered snidely:
“Oh yeah I have a bag full of weed, of course I do”, in my best resting-bitch-face-teenager-speak.
Then I proceeded to watched in horror as every article of my personal life was strewn about a questioning room while the guard shredded my suitcase looking for evidence of my stupidity.
Subsequently my parents did not speak to me for the next three days.
We traveled for my father’s work. He worked for Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Justin’s father. For many years he sacrificed his family and life for the politics of Canada. He was raised in a time when Nationalism and national pride was an important thing.
In my opinion, National pride is tribal behaviour and we are evolving past it in large part due to the opening of our communications with one another. In the same way that I benefited from being in an international school and traveling, everyone has now the same opportunity through the internet.
I am telling you all this because I have experienced life in different governmental styles and so come at what I am seeing from a different experience, sometimes a visceral one – shades of insanity from what I hear on TV.
Because of the opening of our communication and a more real knowing of each other through the internet we are loosing our concept of borders, cultural lines we are seeing our similarities and discovering things to appreciate about one another. The idea of wall building offends us. We rejoice at the removal of them, in fact. That is because we are joining in a united consciousness indicating the next stage of our evolution.
It is a very exciting time to be alive.
In studying political science, I focused on two key areas of personal interest and those were ancient philosophy and civil rights in America. Martin Luther King Junior was my inspiration for wanting to study both. I felt like he had the right idea about effecting change, and my studies focused mostly on the peacemakers, the natural leaders who were rarely elected, more universally selected.
In political philosophy we spend most of our time focusing on ancient history. Philosophers, political systems and their evolution, and how culture functions within these ideas. Of course as a 16 or 17 year old I continuously asked myself how this was in any way going to contribute to my REAL life. This wouldn’t get me a job. Indeed my concerns were mirrored by our culture that would assume if you didn’t go from Poli. Sci to law – you were just wasting your time.
So I tried working for lawyers, even considered law school – but I couldn’t stand the idea of gaining my living by arguing all the time. I was a Libra after all.
I became disillusioned with politics in north America, like many people have over the past few years. It seemed like nothing any individual could do would ever effect any changer, and anyways, things were such a mess, where would we even start. It became much easier to focus on my own little life, and my family – what most people do i suppose, and see the world as outside of their concern, like we aren’t a part of the whole thing living on our own little islands.
The fact is, America is mirroring what happened in Rome. Without getting into too much ancient history to bore you, Rome fell because of a few things, historians will tell you it was from economic loss and defeat in war. I will tell you that Rome fell because of a pathological focus on fulfilling human want and desire. Rome fell because people replaced coin with wheat, and we forgot that we rely on everything to survive.
we became arrogant. we invented religion to control people to do what we wanted so that the 1% – yes invented in Rome – could continue to accumulate.
Why? because they mistake material accumulation with happiness, with security, with a feeling of power and certainty – success and accomplishment.
Then an army came over the roman wall – defeated them,. and Constantine took over.
Constantine was a nut case.
First thing he did – build a wall.
Second thing – kick out all the non Christians.
Constantine went on the lead the “Great” Byzantine” Empire.
Basically – That’s Aleppo and Mosul and a whole bunch of places that matter right now.
Of course he named a City after himself (Can you imagine Trumpstantinople?)
Constantine’s “fatal flaw” was that he adhered to a fundamental viewpoint about something and imposed his will on the people.
He imposed through marketing, scare tactics, law, force, judgement.
Others that say Rome fell because of enormous number of slaves, and slaves cannot uphold an economy – they have nothing to trade or spend.
Just a side thought…we actually OWNED each other at one time – can you even imagine that?
No you can’t – because we have EVOLVED.
But at one time, owning a human being was a mark of “success” – upon you, or your family. The more slaves you owned, the more humans you actually owned as property, the more “successful” – untouchable, safe, secure – you were perceived by your community. More respect results in more safety right?
The United States is Mirroring Rome – in so many ways.
Last year i had the opportunity to see H.H The Dalai Lama in Perth Australia, give a talk on what it is we can be doing to improve the situation of the planet. It seems like such an impossibility, when we think about the magnitude of trouble we have created for ourselves. But by he time I left the auditorium, I felt like we could do anything, if I followed what he said.
Which was simply to focus on finding personal happiness.
That doesn’t mean living life selfishly, it means being very responsible for the care and well being of your self – so you can be of the greatest potential service in your life.
Being of service is the function of every human life – no matter who you are, or where you were born. No matter what culture or colour, every person was put here to serve the rest of life. The ultimate tool we are given for this service, is our creativity, our imagination and our ability to understand that we are alive (sentience). Our creativity is this, in whichever form it manifests itself. A life that is directed towards discovering and using that highest level of creativity for the highest and most good – is a happy life.
How can war happen if everyone has such a focus?
In Rome, they became hyper focused on material things – sex, drugs, alcohol – everything and anything to get away from the fact that they were heaping a massive amount of abuse onto other living beings, slaves animals and the land – for what they believed to be the satisfaction of their baser nature desires.
Seem familiar? Sounds like Vegas to me.
After Rome fell, they tried to propagate Christianity, We had the Inquisition and all sorts of insanity – all based on the idea of one man that a fundamental concept that was created by man had to be protected, through destructive use of force.
Today we have another man, proposing to jail those who wish to speak freely, to condemn women who take control of decisions regarding their own bodies and well bring, he would launch nuclear weapons because his feelings have been injured, he would impose what he believes, and his ears would be closed to anything outside what he believes.
We have paid for the choices that Constantine made up to today. We will continue to pay for them, if we give any more focus to those who speak in old ways – tribal conquest, war, conflict – these are not what will accomplish what we need anymore.
Take away the ammunition. IN all ways, and you end the war.
There are lessons to be learned from Rome, because what followed was even more horrific, and continues to this day.
Want to know the rest of history – really without all the fluff:
Romans formed Europe, Europe invented wine and boats, people probably got tanked, got lost in the ocean and landed in random places they never intended. They saw people different from them, killed them, sobered up and stole the land. They acquired new kind of slaves and have been trying to continue the enslavement ever since.
Every colonized nation has this story.
Will we continue to do what we have done in the past KNOWING it doesn’t work to improve life on the planet?
Today, it is the original people of the lost lands that are going to have to save us, which is ironic after all the crap we have heaped on them as colonialists.
OK, political rant over. But let’s at least go away with the idea that if America is not going to fall like Rome,. then each person has to do their own shift. Its the only thing that can effect mass change.
There is the moral of all human tales;
‘Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First freedom and then Glory – when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption – barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page…