Thursday, June 05, 2008

Beyond the Madness

As it became clear that for the first time in the history of the geographic state of the United States, a person of African American descent had become the nominee for President of a major political party, a little tingle went up my spine.

For the world most definitely needs an America that is awake, an America that is wise, an America that has the courage to face our fears and our failures.

And America needs to comprehend what it has become.

Let us be clear at the outset that we will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure the national spirit by Dow-Jones Averages, nor national achievement by the gross national product.

For the gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the people who break them.

The gross national product includes the destruction of the redwoods, and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads, and it even includes research on the improved dissemination of bubonic plague.

The gross national product swells with equipment for the police to put down riots in our cities; and though it is not diminished by the damage these riots do, still it goes up as slums are rebuilt on its ashes. It includes Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the broadcasting of television programs which glorify violence to sell goods to our children.

And if the gross national product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.
It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It allows neither for the justice in our courts, nor the justness of our dealings with each other. The gross national product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor devotion to country.

It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile; and it can tell us everything about America--except whether we are proud to be Americans. Robert Kennedy, Detroit, May 5, 1967

Let us begin to measure what makes life worthwhile again.

Let us move from these dark days

and embrace a new future, a new hope,

where we step outside of this military industrial corporate matrix

of consumers and consumption,

and this struggle for even more.

Let us move from this age of carbon

and the wars and calamity that it must bring,

to a new world

that comprehends that all violence is terror,

and all oppression is a crime.

Let us move from an Energy Age of Hunter Gatherers

to an Energy Age of Harvesters.

Beyond Fire

Beyond Violence

Beyond the Madness.

"Beyond the Madness" courtesy of H Ron Banks

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of my favorite quotes. SP

1:29 PM  

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