9/11 mostly consolidated what I had suspected as I witnessed changes in media, politics and behaviour patterns since arriving in Canada in the sixties.
In the years since that day I have come to see two parallel operating systems and all that is reported in the public domain fits into one or the other of those two. Power-over and power-from-within. These systems govern our feelings and emanate out towards our thoughts, actions, and relationships. So it could be said that 9/11 has either clarified my beliefs or that I have become a victim of my own ideology.
Watching the evolution of leadership in North America, Canada and Europe, the wars and crises in the Middle East and Asia, I perceive that those who organized 9/11, those who organized the war in Iraq, the rise of the Taliban, the rise of the Nazi's, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and the illicit drug trade - are the same tribe. They may have different names and different ancestors and believe they have a unique role to play in the scheme of things, but they are committed to the goal of absolute power over all. All political, financial and ideological investment leads to the zero sum notion of power that decrees people must be kept away from their innate power and centralized into the realm of the ruling elite.
What is increasingly apparent in Western capitalist societies is that consumerism replaced civil society. The huge influence of the entertainment media has filled our lives with structural violence that informs us we should be scared of our community, that we are too fat, too ugly, don't know enough; and no matter how hard we try or wish to believe in ourselves, we are reduced to our fleeting appetites looking for the next fix. Whatever our true nature might be, we lock our doors, get in our cars, and compete for the most of what each of us wants. We have consumed our future and given up our imagination to corporate services. So when we are faced with countless images of crumbling towers, bomb shattered cities, we believe we must choose sides.
In the power-from-within world I have witnessed more determination, more strength in character, more insight and more organization to create community that reveres and sustains life. Theatre, health, music, support for those in crisis, along with the new examples of human nature. The strength of those who organize these events is often heroic.
Ten years after 9/11 I realize our greatest threat is our collective illusion of power. All the wars in our history have not been about the enemies we have been told to fear, but about the power within we are asked to sacrifice, for the insatiable egos of those who have built their fleeting empires on the blood of others.