‘Rebellion’ is not enough. We need to build new systems from the ground up, right now
For the last month, as a journalist and academic, I’ve experienced a strange sensation of paralysis.
I don’t usually experience this. Usually I find myself driven by the pressures of wanting to cover with due justice a full spectrum of intersecting crises and potential solutions.
But this month watching the spectacle of political madness unfolding across Washington, London and Brussels, while chaos and suffering continues to kick off across Venezuela, Yemen, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Nigeria and beyond, I experienced something I haven’t felt in a long-time. A sense of total burn-out. Of futility. Of tiredness.
Watching the news has become like entering a psychological boxing ring where you get the shit punched out of you repeatedly until you drop to the floor, broken, bloodied, and inert: helpless.
I can’t imagine this is a particularly unique sensation. But I wanted to share it with you because this is common ground. Common ground across the deepening divides tearing our societies apart. No matter which side of the divide we stand on, that sensation of paralysis and helplessness is playing out in tangible form in the political processes we see out there.
The sensation of paralysis is therefore not just a psychological artifact. It’s the internal experience of the systemic dysfunction playing out in the world. It’s a reflection of the state of collapse that our prevailing democratic institutions are experiencing as they prove completely incapable of responding to and solving for the intricate complexity of inherently interconnected converging global crises.
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