Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true. ~ Adyashanti
Naomi Klein: “The worst is yet to come!”
What happens when disaster strikes? What do we do when all normalcy ceases? To whom do we turn when events like the recent Manchester bombing, the Paris attack or events like those on the morning of September 11th, 2001 in New York occur? In her new book, No is Not Enough, activist and author Naomi Klein encourages us to be prepared for such disasters—which she calls “shock” events—not so much for the event itself but for likely actions by the U.S. government in the wake of these occurrences.
In the video below, Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! interviews Naomi Klein about her book and the general proposal that in the wake of a cataclysmic event, the U.S. government is likely to invoke a series of actions designed to tighten control of the general public. Under the guise of national security relative to a shock event, the government is likely to suspend civil liberties, human rights and the right to privacy. (Part 2 of the interview begins at approximately the 2:20 minute mark and lasts about 15 minutes). In addition to the usual question and answer format, the interview presents a video within the video. In the internal video, produced by the Intercept, Naomi describes a five step preparedness toolkit. She urges us to anticipate inevitable crises, at which times we need to be prepared to mobilize rather than comply with the government’s attempts to contain us—to keep us in our homes, for instance, “for our own safety”. We need to be mindful of the history of the previous U.S. government’s uncharacteristically freedom-destroying responses such as internment of Japanese-Americans during WWI, deportation of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the early 1930’s and abandonment of freed slaves in the wake of the Civil War.
In this regard, we should remain vigilant, particularly after shock events, ever mindful of the likely machinations of the current U.S. administration and their concerted effort to maximize the profits of the rich and powerful (e.g., relaxing or abolishing limits on corporations and privatizing societal institutions such as prisons and air traffic control). Finally and most importantly, Klein proposes that we should be ready with a “bold counter plan” to not only resist but reverse all attempts by the government to curtail our freedom. Such a proactive plan is necessary because “ ’No’ is not enough”.
Similar to conclusions by Chris Hedges and others, Ms. Klein concludes that the election of POTUS 2017 is not the problem, but rather the symptom of a deep societal illness from which we must, somehow, recover.
In a recent video Naomi reads from her new book, suggesting that this current socio-political predicament in which we are now immersed is not an anomaly but a “culmination”—
—the logical endpoint of a great many dangerous stories our culture has been telling for a very long time. That greed is good. That the market rules. That money is what matters in life. That white men are better than the rest. That the natural world is there for us to pillage. That the vulnerable deserve their fate and the super-rich deserve their golden towers. That anything public or commonly held is sinister and not worth protecting. That we are surrounded by danger and should only look after our own. And that there is no alternative.
There is an alternative. We must be ready to change ourselves. We must begin to face the reality that the problem is not outside of us, but, in fact, IS us. We all participate in ways of thinking and perpetrating behavior toward others and ourselves which express a culture of individuals—as Klein expresses it—”grounded in dominance-based logic at every level”.
Too many of us pretend we all can, someday, become viable players in this winner-take-all game we think of as EveryDayLife. We buy into the rhetoric of presumptive leaders–some legitimately elected and some not—that we, the people actually matter–that we, like they, can become billionaires and wield power and influence. Such naive delusions set the stage for the vanquishing of our own liberty. We still believe promises like “forty acres and a mule”. Accepting such promises erroneously elevates those who would steal our liberty to the status of beacons of possibility whom we seek to emulate. As Naomi Klein suggests, we cannot remain mesmerized by the laissez-faire stories described above. To do so is to follow news headlines to our doom, to allow ourselves to be duped by the intentional misdirection perpetrated around disastrous events. Instead, we need to prepare, to be vigilantly perceptive, and to be ready to respond to attempts to eliminate our freedom. We each bear this responsibility. Only by personally accepting the responsibility to preserve the freedom of all can we insure our own freedom.
You might want to hear the full forty-five minute DemocracyNow! broadcast in which the Klein interview appeared.
You might also be interested in listening to a somewhat more subtle (meaning “integrated”), long-form interview of Naomi Klein on the Laura Flanders Show.