NEW IDEAS

How can the world change if the creation and dissemination of new ideas is controlled by those in power?

"Our wildest desires and dreams are real, and possess real power."

We are living in an historical era of unlimited of possibility. The old world is dying and a new one has not yet been conceived. Yet the leading candidates for architects of this new world are the same wealthy elites who designed the old one. Truly new ideas that can lead to a more humanized society are not easy to find.

In the U.S., corporations, governments and churches are able to tightly manage and manipulate collective consciousness. The new, the revolutionary, the latest and the greatest are really just the old and moldy dressed up in new clothes. In the thinking of both the left and the right, the dead ideas of the dominant culture go largely unquestioned. Cultural precepts like patriarchy, hierarchy, the authoritarian family, religious ideology, fixed roles, alienated work, consumerism and militarism are all accepted without serious challenge.

So where will the new ideas come from that will allow us to build a new world on the rubble of the old? We know where they won't come from. They won't come from Congress or the public relations department at Exxon. You won't find them on TV. Don't count on hearing them from the universities who gorge themselves with government and corporate funding.

Instead, new ideas will originate wherever critical thinking flourishes: the grassroots, the fringes of society, the underground—wherever common people are struggling to discover their individuality and seize control of their lives. This is the terrain that the ruling elites can't control because it is too diverse, too decentralized.

None of the "great ideas" that changed history suddenly materialized out of thin air. The genius of Marx and Darwin was in their ability to assimilate and articulate ideas that were already part of the consciousness of the times, embedded in everyday life. We all contribute to the way human society evolves, especially when we think new thoughts, believe new things and live in new ways.

We must learn to take our subjectivity seriously. What we believe in our deepest heart is true. Our wildest desires and dreams are real, and possess real power. The controlling force of all the corporate propaganda, religious guilt, and governmental coercion shrinks to insignificance in the face of a single human being with a profound belief in a revolutionary idea.

1996

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