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Re: [cyfranogi] Turning on the lights

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  • Benoit Couture
    Geoff, Everywhere that you mention something regarding dehumanization, I agree that we do not need any of it. BUT, I strongly disagree when you insist on
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 30, 2006
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      Geoff,

      Everywhere that you mention something regarding dehumanization, I agree that we do not need any of it. BUT, I strongly disagree when you insist on positions like:

      "In the early days of the 20th century something strange happened in the South Wales Valleys, a new mutual culture evolved that spoke loud against the dehumanising of people in the name of any abstraction or ideology. A new syntax developed that simply said 'No' to dehumanisation. Firmly saying to those who fail to respect others that they do not deserve respect from 'us' - the key holders of core civil values - and should be told in 'No' uncertain terms to change or fuck off. "We shall have to say 'No' more and more, because only by saying 'No' more and more to the things that dehumanise 'Us' can we say 'Yes' to the most valuable things." (Bevan)."

      My answer to this one is that, only by the power of YES do we eliminate the ground for what we do not need for our humanity to be healthy. As soon as we take on ourselves to put no in place, then we are no longer involve with yes. The best recent example of that came in the following letter regarding HO'OPONOPONO: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/cyfranogi/message/1756 Yes is in the Spirit of life that sets us free from the law of sin and death. The path of YES is made of the forgiveness that goes on forgiving until complete delivrance of that which is being forgiven.

      Tyronne Power, a modern humanist who understands the sound of Bevan reminds 'us' that ' When forces of darkness knocked the lights out we had to do something about it. It's the way I was brought up to think, it's the way the Old Mutuals thought. That's why the Miners Institutes were built not solely as centres for learning and personal development but for a vision of the common good that included us all in opening new windows of light to discover new tomorrows. They taught 'us' to improve our humble beginnings, to turn darkness into light and empowered 'us' to express contempt for all those who dehumanise others at the top of 'our' list of the most deadliest of things."

      As soon as we speak of "new windows to discover new tomorrows" then we must create our own agendas, which refute somewhere else in your article. This is why that instead of speaking of "new", we ought to speak of "renewing, renewal or renewed" so that the all-inclusiveness of yes remains intact in the ongoing growth of forgiveness and deliverance.

      HUMOUR NOTE

      When it comes to "fuking shit", here is a smile for us all:

      From the street of Qu├ębec, there is a poet, song writer, known by the name Plume. He is a brilliant thinker. He describes a state of mind to his fans on one of his live albums, that gets everyone laughing for quite a while because we can all relate. It is the state of mind when the optical nerve unhooks from the eyeball and falls into the large intestin and all we can see, smell, touch, hear and taste is shit, of our own making. He gives this explaination to describe the new word that he had thought of for such a familiar mood. The word is "Visiorrectumy" made of "Vision" and "Rectum".
      In our family, we accept that our personal and communal health depends upon our ability to process the fertilizers and nutrients of our own shit and to rid ourselves of left over excrements. YES all the way!!!...

      with love and humour,
      Benoit Couture


      Geoff Thomas <geoff@...> wrote:
      HOW SOCIAL CURRENCY SWITCHED THE LIGHTS ON IN THE 21ST CENTURY

      When the lights go out in a big city, as they did in New York in 2003, people seemed surprised how easily life can be plunged into darkness. Although millions complained about the temporary disruption to everyday life there was a common understanding that the lights would be switched back on. This understanding was based on the knowledge that the physical infrastructure was in good shape and that it was only a matter of time before it would be reconnected. What we sometimes forget is that in order for civil society to function we require the equivalent social infrastructure to be in good shape. For this to occur the social energy produced by the light of mutuality is the only show in town. When the supply fails for an extended period life rapidly descends into darkness.

      Journeys into darkness begin with lack of civil respect for others, pick up speed on the road to dehumanisation and end with "final solutions". Genocide did not start with screams of mass slaughter it began with dangerous whispers that threaten common civility. Strange fruit did not suddenly blossom from trees in the Deep South its harvest was planted in the seeds of dehumanisation.

      Andrea Dworkin once said 'pornography is a civil rights issue'. What she was really saying was that 'dehumanisation is pornography', speaking loud that if we tolerate human abuse we are giving green lights to mandates that dehumanise others. She was singing clear to those who wish to exercise their 'freedom to be by shaping others in dehumanised form' that never again are 'we' going to drive the trains to Auchwitz

      no matter how well paid we are or how sexy you dress us up. More importantly 'we' are not going to tolerate this fucking shit because 'we' have civil principles. She was also reminding 'us' that secondary social policies regarding opportunities to produce and star in pornography are debates about 'rights of access' to get on board the Auchwitz train.

      To simply clarify the above consider a historical analogy - social reform in the workplace. It is commonly assumed that dangerous work practices that were tolerated in old Victorian industries should not be tolerated in the modern age. Collectively, people fought in the struggle to provide safer working conditions for all, the understanding being that future generations would not have to endure such shit. Gradual social change ensured that dangerous working practices were consigned to history. If we assume that civil society is about our living space, of which the workplace is a part, then the same vision of what we are prepared to tolerate should apply. Very simply, 'we' should learn from the past and say never again will 'we' allow this shit to happen in the future.

      Aneurin Bevan remarked that "dehumanisation of ourselves and others is the deadliest of things, if we fail to defend against it with our hearts and cultures, it will eventually destroy us all". He realised that where there is no opposing force - no strong sense of collective mutual respect for others embedded in the core values of civil society - the culture is prey to be hijacked by vultures with their own agenda. These vultures do not speak for "us", they feast off the death of common humanity and in the process encourage "us" to become "sub-human".

      Bevan was talking about an inclusive Culture with a capital 'C' not an exclusive culture with a small 'c'. Reminding 'us' that cultures that do not honour basic principles of civil society prosecute the belief that their 'exclusive mandate' gives them the right to harvest strange fruit, to dehumanise their own citizens, to rule by fear, subjugating the potential of the human spirit by celebrating the horror they create. The old warning from history tells us that for civil society to collapse allowing injustice to prosper all that is required is to switch off the power of good people.

      In the early days of the 20th century something strange happened in the South Wales Valleys, a new mutual culture evolved that spoke loud against the dehumanising of people in the name of any abstraction or ideology. A new syntax developed that simply said 'No' to dehumanisation. Firmly saying to those who fail to respect others that they do not deserve respect from 'us' - the key holders of core civil values - and should be told in 'No' uncertain terms to change or fuck off. "We shall have to say 'No' more and more, because only by saying 'No' more and more to the things that dehumanise 'Us' can we say 'Yes' to the most valuable things." (Bevan).

      Tyronne Power, a modern humanist who understands the sound of Bevan reminds 'us' that ' When forces of darkness knocked the lights out we had to do something about it. It's the way I was brought up to think, it's the way the Old Mutuals thought. That's why the Miners Institutes were built not solely as centres for learning and personal development but for a vision of the common good that included us all in opening new windows of light to discover new tomorrows. They taught 'us' to improve our humble beginnings, to turn darkness into light and empowered 'us' to express contempt for all those who dehumanise others at the top of 'our' list of the most deadliest of things."

      In the early days of the 21st century let us remember the high price that people have paid for the civil message that "the less human we are when we treat one another as human beings, the more inhuman we become". If we have learnt anything from the 20th century it is that there is an urgent need for the creation of a civil currency that will anchor and empower peoples' mutual capacity for human good, thereby guaranteeing to future generations that they will not bear witness to the social injustice of any spiritual darkness that gives free reign to 'human indifference' between those who constructed gas chambers and those who entered them or any other equivalent horror.

      If we are serious about switching the lights on in the 21st century and consigning dehumanisation to history let us create a civil currency that transcends boundaries of human indifference, a transactional currency that can only be acquired by civilly interacting with others regardless of age, disability, gender, language, race, religion or sexual orientation. The challenge is to originate a humanitarian currency that will challenge dehumanisation by validating our capacity to share and celebrate our common humanity in the places that we live.

      Traditional currency is simply a human artefact a translation of how we commercially value agreements and processes of exchange between people. The DNA of a new civil currency can be designed to embody core values of co-operation and mutuality that foster and encourage civil interactions between people. By making core civil values visible the currency will offer people the opportunity to subscribe to 'processes of interaction' that test their civility for others thereby revealing their sense of social inclusion or exclusion of others. The currency will challenge 'us' to test our capacity to be human by subscribing to core civil values that overarch tribal and ethnic identities.

      The struggle against dehumanisation is a civil rights issue. Edgar Cahn, a visionary civil rights activist, has suggested a blueprint for a more humane tomorrow in the design of 'time currency' that attempts to create new social capital infrastructures that incorporate core civil values. Cahn recognises that it is the hidden hand of humanism that holds civil society together and that it is time to give this hidden hand a helping hand to form a strong fist by affording it a currency, an agreement for civil exchange. This currency will help shield people from the tyranny of dehumanisation, protecting them in a new civil culture with a Capital C from the strictures of self-appointed or democratically elected preachers of socially exclusive 'isms' be they religious or secular. The cost of building these new social networks generating positive social capital are fractional compared to their benefits.

      When Bevan stated that 'dehumanisation is the deadliest of things' he was reminding 'us' of the hidden civilization of humanity urging us to be vigilant against the darkness that threatens to destroy us all. We now have the potential to guard against it with a humanitarian currency that will affirm our humanness and belong to us all - a multi-cultural currency that will underwrite civil culture.

      It is time to turn on the lights, to reinvent mutualism in currency form to build new social networks for human exchange that will underpin the sustainable development of active civil society in the 21st century. The sooner we it get through our dumb fucking heads that dehumanisation is shit, the sooner 'we' will realise that the light of humanism and the reflected glow of mutuality is the only show in town.

      Geoff Thomas

      .

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