How did we end up with a Charlottesville in the 21st century?
We can no longer simply be satisfied with being offended or appalled. Simply being offended assumes you're satisfied with the status quo and nothing will change. At this point the status quo itself IS THE PROBLEM.
So how then did we end up with a Charlottesville, Neo-Fascists in the White House, an incoherent Billionaire "Wall Street" president whose dirty work is done by disenfranchised white supremacists with guns, on the verge of nuclear war, the neutralization of environmental protection all unfolding behind Soviet style propaganda?
In short, the very soul of American democracy is what's at stake. Posting angry Facebook or Twitter feeds won't change, but only reinforce the dangerous status quo. Do protests in light of the militarization of the police (many of whom either side with the Neo-Fascist agenda or else won't get in the way of it's deployment) work? Is the answer locking yourself away in your cloistered home or apartment or getting involved in a New-Age Meditation cult even as, all things around us, our social protections and rights continue to erode putting us into debt, selling our jobs overseas, and feeding us candy-news for decades? Have we as US citizens become the proverbial "frog in the pot" ignoring all the dangerous signs from the 1980s till now?
What is our recourse given our resources and context?
One response is to have a long-term strategic goal with short term tactical objectives. The long term goal is easy enough to agree upon: the restoration of democracy and a better safer future for all citizens and human-beings on this planet.
The tactical, short-term objectives must align with the long-term goal. One tactic is to commit ourselves to constantly be reminded of what is healthy for all people with truthful information (not Soviet style propaganda that incites fear). In other words, we need a context in which to think and be with others who are committed to the same goal. One manifestation of this is an organized educational project that's committed to these goals and whose pedagogy keeps us focused, challenged, and above all courageous enough to speak truth to power.
Although we are by no means THE solution, we do believe that The Global Center for Advanced Studies is one tactical way to struggle for democracy. We are only four years old and already we have made significant differences by offering free (or low-cost) courses to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. This Saturday (Aug 19) at Noon EST (12pm) we are offering another free talk by one of the most respected intellectuals in the world, our honorary president, Lewis Gordon. Prof. Gordon will be giving a talk on Charlottesville in our event, "Fighting Fascism in the United States". Join us by enrolling and getting involved in our E-School.
It's not enough to just be offended, and the traditional educational structures have only allowed the status quo to continue. For now we must organize and have the courage to come together for a better future.
GCAS is doing that. Join us.