"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Holy Poverty

Samuel Taylor ponders the ol' WWJD, and emerges with Anarcho-christian minimalism:

i’ve been reading up on st francis of assisi and listening to some anarcho-folk punk in a room five by ten feet, minus a corner for the closet. this summer i’ve been thinking a lot about goods. artifacts. the thought process has been spiraling outwards, demanding more and more of my consideration. poverty is the big thought this summer.this, then, is something like the fruits of my considerations.

Are we witnessing the Red Dawn of Pre-Apocalyptic America or are we on the cusp of the Post-Consumer revolution? It's a toss up. The Big D is coming one way or another, and it's going to shake things up for sure. What comes out is up to us.

I used to be an adherant to the Utopa of Oblivion line of thought, but in real terms things aren't quite that dire. I think we've got the Global Thermoneuclear War thing under control. I don't belive it's Oblivion so much as the potential for a Great Leap Backward, a new Dark Age. Nor is Utopia really feasible. The challenge now is more about how to live well within our means, prevent the ice age coming, be a happy enough nation to cut back on the Prozac, get fit, etc.

I've been thinking along these lines a lot. It seems to me that most people I know (and indeed, most people in the country) believe we're "on the wrong track," as the polsters put it. Things are not working out in a whole lot of ways, and one of the critical questions we need to answer is whether we're going to face the coming troubles alone or together.

There's a chance that on the national level things will begin to swing back this fall; I think the Democrats will get one more clean crack at Health Care, and maybe figuring out how a non-Imperial America behaves in the world. But the truth is that while these are good things, the federal government isn't going to fix all our problems. It can stop making them worse and be helpful in some key areas (again, Health Care, Energy Independence, etc), but what's wrong is not just our political leadership, it's the culture and economic situation that are at the root of all this folly.

Voting alone can't possibly cure that. It goes deep. It's a philosophical and spiritual problem, and it requires answers on the same level. Government doesn't really go there-- unless it's totalitarian, which the Bush administration arguably is in some respects. What's needed is a better way of thinking about ourselves, our communities, our country and our world. Luckily, we're on our way.