An Outline for a Study into
"Overcoming Political Disillusionment"
Outline of Considerations and Study for
Bringing Back the Dis-empowered Would-Be Voters, & the Burnt-Out Idealists,
Bolstering the Movement of Thinking Activists,
and Returning to Democracy
Introduction to Expanded Outline for "Overcoming Political Disillusionment"
I. Bringing Back the disillusioned, Dis-empowered, & the Burnt-out
II. Common Sources of Burn-Out For Activists & Would-Be Activists
III. Spotting & Healing the Pain That Dis-empowers; Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
IV. My Beliefs about Preventative Health Maintenance - Individual, societal, and governmental
V. Spotting & Exposing the "Politics of Pain" (manipulation, hopelessness, & dis-empowerment)
VI. My Beliefs about Preventative Health Maintenance - Individual, societal, and governmental
Discussions & Charts on Political Activism, Empathy, Apathy, Healing & Recovering Democracy"
You may know before you begin that there are a number of links for getting active at/via
Christopher's Political Page
for putting to good use any energy this page may stir up,
as well as for the PolyPsyArt, the 911/Mid-East Conflict section, and essays such as
"The Four Governments" and "Getting Real About Conspiracies"
INTRODUCTION to THIS PAGE
A democratic government is only as effective as its people are in electing true representation. What do we do when most of the people just don't want to bothered with politics? We end up with... well, what we have now. Very few Americans would consciously condone, let alone cause what too many of our representatives have allowed if not paved the way for, in many 3rd World nations, especially those with resources, particularly those with oil reserves. How has this gone on? Well, I needed to have an explanation, and that's a big part of why I put together the "Overcoming Political Disillusionment" page.
Paradigm shift tension, anyone? How much are we ready for? But doesn't every writer asks that question - or just those who want us to "bridge" - to encourage exploration of our potentials and what we perceive as our limitations?
Many writers note the incredible degree of short memory and denial that is going on in America. Perhaps that is because we want so strongly, even tenaciously, to believe in our "good guy" image of ourselves - certainly more than we want to acknowledge our attachment to our standard of living. "Our national denial" happens apparently because of that. Well, I believe it essential to the planet, considering the power of the United States, that the citizenry wake up, suffer the inevitable heartbreak, get a hold of ourselves and heal that, get real AND learn to use our anger constructively, and get in charge of what we can be proud of, and create much more of same - before the forces of international corporate-based fascism take the reins.
I do my best here to break up the implied challenge into managable chucks, including various aspects of citizen awareness and motivation and government responsibility. I also toss in selected quotes and special notes here and there.
There are two outlines for "Overcoming Political Disillusionment" - one a brief summary, the other extended. This page egages what might be called a cross-discipline approach ... for well-being of the mind as well as of the government of society. It is designed for an honest look at the current state of American politics, a thorough scan of the elements of psychology as related to democratic participation, and a presentation of Healing considerations and resource links related to the above - for both individuals and society. I suggest solutions that do have precedent and a track record of commendable, albeit rarely immediate, results. I will be adding to this page as more and better resources come to my attention, and so I welcome your input.
And the political input - just "extrapolations of right-brained logic"? Nay, we have facts and a Reference page with links to those far more the Sherlock than I.
Should we have faith - in spite of the facts? In the "My Beliefs" section, I posit how we can, and back that up with a few more links. I hope this page helps generate some ideas for bringing back "retired" activists or bringing in potential activists, and provides some references and links for continued revelations. Realistic goals for well-being, while certainly not original, are certainly better than what we seem to setting course with now.
Thank you again. You may want to keep your browser's 'Back' button handy - as you cover the material here you'll come across a great number of resource links for the avid curiosity. I invite you to read critically and email me at PolyPsyArt@iinet.com with suggestions for making this page more clear, effective, meaningful, or just letting me know where you found it not so.
-Christopher Pringer, October 13, 2002 and February 17, 2003
At this point you should be aware of the choice between this page (with it's long and in-depth analysis, as indicated by the "Summary Outline" just below [under the Bill Moyers quote], as well as special sections only on this page) AND the page,
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- Bill Moyers
Overcoming Political Disillusionment
|A ... attitudes play an important part in the healing and preventative maintenance for sustained well-being under challenging conditions...|
|B Nurses aren't the only ones who suffer from "burn-out" ...|
|A Activists risk burnout by striving for the worthiest intangible goal(s) and/or tangible goals perceived, but increasingly perceiving (due to an overworked mental and emotional body) that now the increasingly more difficult work is accomplishing increasingly less towards the originally perceived goal(s)...|
|B A true leader empowers others to believe in themselves and become more than they are, to help make a difference in their world...|
|C ...Even if a sophisticated method of dis-empowerment was in effect, there would still be ways to make the system work... primarily through awareness and exposure... and a certain amount of correction enforced into the existing system... faith and preserverence toward the healing and preventative maintenance, and sustainability of effective democracy and the balance of powers in and around government.|
|A||Un-earthing inner talents & resources; Preventative Health Maintenance (Body-Mind & Basic Physical)... Ones talents and resources, and especially ones gifts, have generally been found psychologically associated to one's conscious or unconscious pain(s)...|
|B||Re-Education towards Re-Establishing faith in individuals and in the democracy than Can and Should be brought about by Citizens - even if that entails greatly increased and continued vigilence, responsibility, active questioning of and appropriate demands upon authorities, and hard work.|
|C||Applying solutions on personal, relationship, communal level... How one defines certain values, and manages one's believe system in that regard may make all the difference... a strong faith, one that will persist through the darkest of months and years, will be most helpful...|
|D||Thinking Globally, Acting Locally (w/ Global Effects)|
V Spotting & Exposing the "Politics of Pain" - That is, exposing manipulation that has resulted in political dis-empowerment, manipulation that has been done (consciously and/or unconsciously) through the following:
|A||Re-Defining Co-Dependent Pity by calling it "Compassion," Whereas on the Contrary, we know that compassion acknowledges the potentials of the individual|
|B||Re-Defining Calloused Toughness by calling it "Courage," Whereas on the Contrary, we know that courage is strong enough to include flexibility in direction, speed and means of attaining goals, vulnerability of the ego and consideration of one's own falibility|
|C||Re-Defining blind faith by calling it "Citizen Awareness"|
|D||Re-Defining Responsibility by calling it "Whining"|
|E||Re-Defining Pain by calling it "Essential for Good Business" if the suffering was primarily endured by poor Americans and 3rd World peoples and then creating more pain for whomever "whines" about it (eg: "Cry and I'll give you something to cry about")|
|F||Re-Defining censorship of the media (through the Monopolisation/control of the Media via 5 individuals own ALL media of US, vs hundreds of owners 20 years ago) by calling it "Informed Citizenry"|
|G||Re-Defining World Dominance by calling it "World Leadership"|
|H||Re-Defining the manipulation of citizens into giving up civil liberties by calling it "Security" and "Justice"|
|I||Re-Defining Absolute Power (Dictatorship) by Calling it "Presidential Authority"|
|J||Re-Defining insanity by sending the clear message that "the appropriate response to insanity is [a response which would, under any personal circumstance, be recognized as insane]|
|K||And as above is accomplished, so is the Re-Defining of political dis-empowerment by calling it "democratic process"|
VI My Beliefs about Preventative Health Maintenance (Body-Mind and Basic Physical), Preventative Political Health Maintenance, and about Faith in Our Potentials (Individually and communally/globally)-- And yes, they are positive, and realistically proactive, in spite of the above noted challenges - no one said it would be easy, right?
a dreamer yearning to dream again..."
- Al Gore
"Stand often in the company of dreamers: they tickle your common sense and believe you can achieve things which are impossible."
- Maryanne Radmacher Hershey
"Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed citizens to change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
- Edmund Burke
"It's my opinion that never before have we, as a nation, stood in greater danger of losing our individual liberties as we are today"
- Frank Serpico, whistle-blowing ex-New York City cop, regarding government's anti-terrorism measures
"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change."
- Robert F. Kennedy "
E X P A N D E D O U T L I N E
A primary motivator for this writing is the fact is America has one of the lowest levels of citizen participation -in how our government represents itself to us and to other nations- on the planet. We as Americans and/or as Global Citizens are facing problems regarding the sustainability of life on the planet, and we are in dire need of utilizing very different and more effective means of cooperatively solving those problems with other nations on the planet. In order to do this, there needs to be more citizen awareness and more citizen motivation towards participation. To get there, we must deal with the basic problems that have blocked this motivation: disillusionment, thence hopelessness, thence dis-empowerment.
I have included much here regarding "Common Sources of Burn-Out For Activists & Would-Be Activists," including selected references to some of actions of our government that have most contributed to the desease of apathy (section II). (Just in case you haven't been there yet, a very good introduction to this outline, to the overall study of the concepts on this page, would be found in the chart-illustrated discussion in "Political Activism, Apathy, & Healing" - also by the author and at this site.)
In getting to the base of disillusionment, I will use the most currently pressing political issues to illustrate:
1) the elements of psychological disillusionment,
2) the current state of politics in this country that results from this state and is increasingly fostered by it,
3) the healing of disillusionment on both individual and collective levels. I will also suggest (primarily with sources and references) how we may re-instill faith, hope, determination, and raise an effective democracy in our society -- in spite of the current tendencies toward dictatorship.
These solutions have precedent and a good track record with individuals in personal growth and therapy, and it is individuals which make up the citizenry that can make our government truly representative of our highest values. The healing can only come about through the acknowledgement of the political condition and psychological effect - individually and collectively. I will do my best to be accurate about the degree to which these exist, where they exist, and why.
I don't know many healing practitioners interested in politics, or politicians interested in healing, or in the pragmatic psychological how-to's of re-instilling faith, hope, determination, and raising an effective democracy in our society -- in spite of the current tendencies toward dictatorship. The exception to that might include Dr. John Hagelin of the Natural Law Party(?) And I've often said that if the Natural Law Party and the Green Party were to combine, we'd have quite the potential for healing many systems on the planet, and start us (the entire planet) well on the path of sustainable cooperative living.
In any case, they or any other health-oriented political party will accomplish nothing if they do not have a healthy base of support. We do not now have that, and that is what motivates the assembly of these pages. How about high school and college level programs that at least begin to raise the questions basic to these issues? One question to consider as you read: In light of the information presented here and on the introductory page, "Recovering Democracy at the Crossroads," how might we meaningfully define these terms: "Awarness," "Citizen" and "Citizen Action," "Patriotism," and "Responsibility." More questions, put forth in a different way, specifically for the most productive results, are in the "Questions Prayer 4 World Peace."
I Bringing Back the disillusioned, Dis-empowered, & the Burnt-out (inspite of the points made in Section V.)
II Common Sources of Burn-Out For Activists & Would-Be Activists
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I think re-education of the brainwashed is the key. But how to accomplish this I'm not sure. Mass media & "Homeland Security" still have the upper hand.
Warmest regards ... ~ David
My Response to that:
[I agree for the most part, and] People shut down about something when they've been hurt enough to give up hope... They feel bad enough about it that the memory gets shoved under sooner or later, and they use the energy (that otherwise would've been used for the original concern or desire) for something that doesn't bring up the pain again. This also helps keep the pain "safely" buried.
(Some would say that the soul uses the various earthly levels of ones awareness -the “body-mind”- to unconsciously "store" the energy until the personality is ready to deal with that issue and heal it). This is classic denial, although a little more specific type, and this description includes the body-mind's involvement. And we've all done it, at least in small, relatively insignificant ways -- unless you're a Jesus this life and have never given your power away to anyone ever. Anyway, when we heal that ... well, that's what [this] is all about, as related to how and when we've given up our power to create and maintain a government to represent us ...
How well one can handle disillusionment might be
DETERMINED BY the amount of stress AND contradiction that
one can handle in life, but MORE SPECIFICALLY BY:
¤ the degree to which one can consciously live with injustice by others upon self and others, even though one has very high ideals about societal fairness, and how long one feels one can postpone the gratification of eventual justice; eg: conflict between a) one's having what one wants and needs and b) the recognition of the implications of truths?
¤ how likely one is to feel so disheartened about feeling/being not able to do something about the pain, that some kind of pain-denial coping mechanism is initiated ?
¤ how much early training (via life challenges) one received and converted into stress handling and problem solving capacity - or counter to it, leading to lack of confidence regarding ?
¤ how much permission felt to feel and express emotional pain, look into it's deeper sources ?
¤ how likely is one to even extrapolate as to how others may respond internally and externally to such pain
¤ the capacity for "cognitive dissonance" ? - cognitive dissonance is the ability to simultaneously hold (consciously) in mind two concepts that are both "true," yet contradict one another; emotional dissonance is similar, but has to do with conscious awareness of two equally strong yet opposite feelings about something.
| C I believe there has been a key relationship between how the American people feel about engaging in active citizen roles, and the actions and communications of our government, or of various elements within or associated with it. How government actually does exist in our society does so THROUGH the belief systems of citizens. However, they do not all *function* as most of us would prefer they do. In actuallity, it functions partly in fantasy, partly in disguise, and largely by default in leu of citizen participation, in what I call The Four Governments. |
The notes/links on the Political Reference page would strongly indicate that we have every reason to believe that the current administration has a modus operandi, indeed a history, similar to that of the more sophisticated mafia's we've heard of. However, it is most apparent that the level of sophistication in this mafia is infinitely beyond what we may have conceived, let alone attributed to key members of one or more bodies of government, particularly the executive body. Whether or not this mafia has been purposefully creating a negative effect on the motivation and psychological capacity of citizens, is not necessarily the issue. The point is that no government, let alone its means of operation, can survive without citizen support, either active or passive.
I have a certain amount of respect for the blindly naïve patriots - whose poor hearts it would break for them to actually realize the truth of the above. And ,if we are to heal, they will break eventually (as mine did). And then they'll get mad and want to do something about it, while dealing with the inner processes that go on in the meantime. Or they will withdraw for a time, maybe a lifetime. This is another set of folks for whom I wrote this page, although it will probably be some time before most of them will be ready for it. The sooner folks get through any disillusionment, the quicker we'll be back on our democratic feet. Because if people aren't participating, it's not a democracy, and of course, we all work best when we all work together.
[The later note reminds me of a most impressive set of webpages by a daring leader, including "We Are All In This Together". What's impressive, besides the content, is the background of the originator of these pages. "William C. Gladish earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Indiana University. He received an Air Force officer's commission in 1982 and served on active duty for over ten years as a pilot and navigator. In 1992, he completed a master's degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is a graduate of many professional military programs, including Air Command and Staff College. He has served as an assistant professor and has received numerous leadership awards from the Air Force. He presently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel (select) in the Air Force Reserve and continues to study the impact of large corporations on humanity and the environment and their threat to the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" -- A pilot no less! Holy Cow, AirForce Gaia! -cp]
Anatol Lieven has an excellent analysis of the current U.S.-Mid-East political situation in his article in the Oct. 3 *London Review of Books*:
"None of these fantasies is characteristic of the American people as a whole. But the intense solipsism of that people, its general ignorance of the world beyond America's shores, coupled with the effects of 11 September, have left tremendous political spaces in which groups possessed by the fantasies and ambitions sketched out here can seek their objectives. Or to put it another way: the great majority of the American people are not nearly as militarist, imperialist or aggressive as their German equivalents in 1914; but most German people in 1914 would at least have been able to find France on a map.
"The younger intelligentsia meanwhile has also been stripped of any real knowledge of the outside world by academic neglect of history and regional studies in favour of disciplines which are often no more than a crass projection of American assumptions and prejudices (Rational Choice Theory is the worst example). This has reduced still further their capacity for serious analysis of their own country and its actions. Together with the defection of its strongest internationalist elements, this leaves the intelligentsia vulnerable to the appeal of nationalist messianism dressed up in the supposedly benevolent clothing of 'democratisation'.
"Twice now in the past decade, the overwhelming military and economic dominance of the US has given it the chance to lead the rest of the world by example and consensus. It could have adopted (and to a very limited degree under Clinton did adopt) a strategy in which this dominance would be softened and legitimised by economic and ecological generosity and responsibility, by geopolitical restraint, and by 'a decent respect to the opinion of mankind', as the US Declaration of Independence has it. The first ocassion was the collapse of the Soviet superpower enemy and of Communism as an ideology. The second was the threat displayed by al-Qaida. Both chances have been lost -the first in part, the second it seems conclusively. What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind."
Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Chair, Dept. of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Current Reviews, FRENCH NEWS Journal Articles at
"The Military, the State, and the War - and Related FRENCH NEWS (Great for Comparison!!!)
Current Reviews, US News Journal Articles at
"The Military, the State, and the War" and Related US News Reviews
III Spotting & Healing the Pain That Dis-empowers
IV Boundaries & clearings of Toxic Emotional Energy (Preventative Health Maintenance)
V Spotting & Exposing the "Politics of Pain" - That is, exposing manipulation that has resulted in political dis-empowerment, manipulation that has been done (consciously and/or unconsciously) through the following [for most statements made below, please refer to the essay " 'The Lords of Culture' and Listening..." for the psychological aspects and references, and the References page for the political backup]:
section continued below
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VI My Beliefs and Findings about Preventative Health Maintenance (Body-Mind and Basic Physical), Preventative Political Health Maintenance, and about Faith in Our Potentials (Individually and communally/globally), include the following:
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Pain is never just something in the mind - so long as we have physical bodies and emotions. Pain comes from experience, whether current or past. Humans often go through tremendous work and pain in order to suppress already traumatic experiences. We engage great creative activity to insure that those memories are locked away until we are ready to engage with them. In any case, most psychologists would agree that we are designed to do that, and we do it exceedingly well. That suppression of energy effects the bodily systems in various ways and to varying degrees, particular to each individual and his/her experience(s). IE: Mental dominance is one general style, comprising a great set of complex mechanisms, to provide such protections.
To be human is to have mixed emotions, some or all of which may be feelings arising from emotional storage, and any of which that we may not be aware of. This is true in the long term and not just on a momentary basis. One who practices personal growth (at least one with a Gestalt viewpoint) is one who tries to know his/her ulterior motives (also a universal item of baggage) and other tendencies, so that s/he will not act on them, consciously or unconsciously, or "project" them onto others. And those are a few more things we are all capable of having and doing when not aware; projection (such as blaming or scapegoating) can happen when one unconsciously feels the need to distance oneself from some inner quality. Those people that we define (accurately) as "pathologically impaired" have more of this emotional storage and/or greater amounts of "charge" to the emotion(s) stored, and do more projecting and acting on ulterior motives.
"Patriotism Better Defined for 911, v5a" with Ecumenical Logo Set, Balance Scale, Peace Flag, Tree & Flower of Life, Dove & Transition Mandala midground, Intertwined Hearts and Chalice Tapestry 8A1 background", Chris Pringer, 9/11/2010, rev.9'12. At my Art Gallery my artwork can be viewed at full resolution, and is available in framed or canvas prints, greeting cards, & more.
|H||I believe that the first thing we need to do to achieve optimal individual health as well as optimal political or government health is to see and admit to our past and current mistakes and shortcomings (here is where some of the re-education comes in - particularly regarding our government's history since 1960), to forgive ourselves for all that, and then get on with a new life. If that sounds familiar, it should. I believe in the principle of "As Above, So Below," as it applies up and down the hierarchy of communal structure as well as up and down the spiritual, psychological, and biological hierarchy(s) of human beings. EG: When one heals one's heart, this not only effects the capacity for health of other organs and systems in one's own body in a positive way, but also the capacity of others in his/her community to heal their hearts as well. (Not convinced? See the research of the "HeartMath Institute.")|
|I|| It's a heartbreaker sometimes when looking at things - even "looking up" can be a pain sometimes, but I know that denial doesn't help us... Some days I feel knocked down, but I eventually get back up again to do what I can. I believe that no good work or sincere prayer is ever wasted [as per the law of Karma], even though it sometimes seems to take forever (maybe additional lifetimes) to get some kind of result. So... For my own peace of mind, I just keep writing letters to reps, or writing/editing webpages, dropping seeds in other ways, etc... Even considering the amazing enforced ignorance about the global warming and environmental imbalances and their long-term implications... Maybe if enough of us believe we can, we will help repair our planet in time to keep it from continuing the downhill direction it seems to have been going the last 20 years.
More esoterically speaking: [If given the reality of Re-incarnation...] If it has to be a brand new planet when I come back again, or to this planet in the "starting over" mode - because the current one got screwed, well, so be it - While my emotional body would be tempted to convince me all was lost, I hope to be able to say I did my best in my own small part in the advance of the evolution of mankind.
|I|| More pragmatically speaking, and just to summarize the intention behind this Outline, I believe that we need to take an honest look at 1) the current state of politics in this country, since the healing can only come about through the acknowledgement of the political condition and psychological effect, 2) the elements of psychological disillusionment and dis-empowerment, 3) the means for our healing attitudes and repairing the means for democratic participation, 4) the means for re-instilling faith, hope, determination, and raising an effective democracy in our society -- in spite of the current tendencies toward dictatorship.
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"Thresholds, Changing Trends, and Learning from Extremism" at the page, "New Information & Facilitating Paradigm Shift Potential." Initiating with a slightly eclectic introduction, the writing provides a fair amount of the scholastics and background research on "Threshold Effect"," and "Classic threshold models - the two most pertinent - as well as a few related uses for this variable that is useful for recognizing, assessing, and predicting key events and trends in processes. Trends being the operant word, since the current times 2015-2016 have been especially remarkable for their unpredictability. Also includes a pertainant review of Granovetter's model in Malcolm Gladwell's article, "Thresholds Of Violence" -- about the "school-shooting epidemic," "The Power of Context" and "The Tipping Point." As well as some implications - but with considerations for practical application, including for how to take all this in - AND references, including an extensive list copied from the Wikipedia page on Conscience. Finishes up with a summary assembly of context usages of "threshold effect" at the site. [New, June 2016]
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Web site/page © Chris Pringer, 1997 to Present (see individual articles and graphics for © dates by the author/artist)