One of the most important things any of us can do as a citizen is to speak out.
In order to be effective though we must seriously educate ourselves.
When I began researching Fluxion, issue 4, I realized I was going to have to take some time and do some extensive reading. Actually this began a few years ago.
My friend Marc Borzelleca’s father was visiting and we all had gone to dinner. Conversation eventually steered to political subjects. I made a comment about some issue… the Palestinian conflict I think… and while I knew he agreed with me, he challenged me to explain my view. I was stunned— mostly because I could not defend my opininion in conversation with him. He wanted to make a point about knowing your subject, really knowing it—from all angles if you plan to discuss it with any knowledge and depth.
It was a watershed moment. I was so inspired.
It is an ongoing challenge too. I try to encourage others whenever possible to do the same.
Ignorance and resentment are quick paths to violence and hatred.
Education and openness can counter this. Willingness is the key.
Instead of trying to change someone’s mind on any isuse ask them the origin of their views.
In the course my own reading I have come across numerous texts that I think are essential reading, and others that have simply been very informative.
I list many here (by catagory) as a starting point.
Visit your local (preferably independent) bookstore and see what looks interesting and informative to your concerns.
Extremism is one of the biggests threats we face as a nation. We hear all the time about foreign terrorists, but its the domestic ones we really need to take a close look at.
A Peoples History Of the United States (ESSENTIAL READING!)
Empire of Debt! Man, has this one come home to roost!
Cultural Creative is a term coined by Ray and Anderson to describe people whose values embrace a curiosity and concern for the world, its ecosystem, and its peoples; an awareness of and activism for peace and social justice; and an openness to self-actualization through spirituality, psychotherapy, and holistic practices.
Culture jamming is an individu
alistic turning away from all forms of herd mentality. Culture jamming sometimes entails transforming mass media to produce ironic or satirical commentary about itself, using the original medium’s communication method.
“When we were youngsters, our father would ask us provocative questions. One day he asked, ‘What is the most powerful, event-producing force in the world?’ We guessed and guessed. His answer: ‘Apathy.’ What? ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘apathy, because huge numbers of apathetic citizens, or victims, allow bad guys to create all kinds of problems on the ground — from dictatorial regimes, to repressed economic conditions, to health and safety hazards, to corruption, to wars and so forth.’ Edmund Burke, the British conservative philosopher around the time of our country’s revolution, put it another way– ‘All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.’ Thomas Paine’s Common Sense galvanized his fellow American colonists into seizing their independence from Britain. Today, as we again face “times that try men’s souls,” Ralph Nader’s call to civic action is as crucial to our country’s future as Paine’s was in 1776. In Civic Arousal, Nader responds to thoughtful letters written by two young citizens, both frustrated with the political status quo but unsure about their power to affect real change. His insights will inspire every citizen to participate in our democracy and movements for positive change in this country.“