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Desire, Design and the Operating System


It appears to me that human history and all its inventions dwell within a circle of power.  The glorification, the use and abuse of power interacts with our human endeavours mostly beyond our control. There are nations and people who possess power but not forever.  Anyone who has had power over others or things fears they cannot hold their control forever.  As individuals and institutions we create laws, culture (media) and ideology in order to maintain an illusion of control, to protect ourselves from chaos.  If I were to say this is the truth - it would be my attempt to wield power over this instant.  If I were to study philosophy, science, law and culture to the breadth and depth of my capacity it would be in order to influence the world.  It's too late in my life to attempt this even if I could, and even if I achieved it (500 years after William Shakespeare), it would be for a brief moment in time and place, and it would be a call for the next player to deconstruct this theory.

As news stories appear daily about our prime minister, the mayor of Toronto, or the president of the United States as they play out the extent of their given powers while they can, some may believe they possess powers beyond their position and that all they have to do is manage it well. But all political leaders must negotiate with the ever changing directions of power in their lives - the interests that support them and attack them are like tennis balls on a court which they must hit and send back to their opponents.

All that we desire and design is negotiated with other desires and designs which we cannot see or even plan for. There is always the pressure of the operating system projecting and sabotaging our strategies.

Our human history has led us to believe that we possess the power to control the world and we give those willing to stand up as leaders our loyalty, as long as they convince us they can protect us from the chaos of invading interests. But when our leaders break or reveal cracks in this promise we sack them with derision and ridicule.

This is a very violent game - to the senses of all who are involved.  It seeks scapegoats and sacrifices.  It allows millions to suffer starvation, genocide, indignity and madness, mostly because we cannot see power as something beyond our will, that no matter how much we worship and strategize, we can never control.

Because we are addicted to our own sense of entitlement we believe our leaders hold the key to our security through some kind of magic.  The esoteric rites are for high priests only, who are trained to keep the secrets of their submission to powers we cannot name or see.

So how can we live free of oppression? First by understanding that the oppressor is not a person or party or nation or corporation - it is a co-dependent game of denial.   They play their part sometimes well, sometimes appallingly, but the news reveals they are exhausted.  Even the largest corporation treating civil society like an obstruction to their goals, installing  puppet governments to do their bidding, can only maintain their illusion if we keep believing in it.

If power is within and beyond us then we must learn how to negotiate with power as we would with nature - that it belongs to history and the future, to our ancestors and our great-grandchildren.  This requires a sense of shared ownership and responsibility.

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