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The Paths of Inspiration and the Genesis of Change

The Paths of Inspiration and the Genesis of Change

The election of Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States, should make us reflect upon the movement for civil rights and dignity for all peoples, which began before Martin Luther King, Jr., took ahold of it and will end long after Barack Hussein Obama’s service as the 44th president.   In the long view of history, political and cultural ideas move across continents and over generations.  Mohandas Ghandi forged a vision of non-violent civil protest against British occupation of India during the first half of the 20th century.  The ultimate success of the movement in attaining Indian self- determination and independence gave international legitimacy and power to his ideas.
  In this way, Ghandi influenced the next generation of leaders worldwide. King studied and took up the cause of civil disobedience as a tool in advancing civil rights for African Americans during the 1950s and 1960s in the south. King’s message of civil rights was supported by the American Constitution. Nonetheless it was his non-violent methods that diffused fear of change and gained sympathy of not just idealists and activists, but average Americans and their political leadership.
While problems of race and class in America remain, Obama’s presidential election was not expressly about race. His message was inclusive, claiming common ground between those in the middle class regardless of demographic differences.  Obama has widened the vision of equality to include economic fairness and of justice to mean government free of corruption and special interests.
Obama’s time in office is just beginning, but his movement represents ideas whose time has come. His leadership, charisma and oratory inspire participation in civic life and a renewed effort to solve problems.

And for all that, a younger generation will take from his example and seek understandings of and solutions to other conflicts now and in the future.  With this in mind, I wonder not so much what Obama can do to bring peace to Israel and Palestine as what others will do with the spirit of inclusive leadership, independence of thought and fair judgment.  

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7 comments

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4:42AM PST on Feb 1, 2009

while large groups of society are gaining freedom , there is still a problem for some single independent individuals , such as single women or girls who are loners , because now it is actually more dangerous for me , in cape town south africa - because members of mass groups are becoming extrememly anti-women & dangerously psycho-violent that is absolutely frightening. not to mention plagues or astral invasions on privacy on all levels & mind-tuning in , mind rape epidemics, abuse & harming of any spinal movements etc.
& now with the new govt in south africa for example, the new police are biased & cruel, often violent & incorrect ; & there is no way out for the victim - we don't have big USA Whitehouse 'other options & soul mates for comfort'. i only now have any violent leftist from zaire or those places non-stop harassing me , worse & worse ; & corrupt UN officials & filthy pervert diplomats here from overseas waiting & watching for their sport & elitisms.
what about a girls privacy , secrecy, or hermits now ?

12:35PM PST on Jan 28, 2009

I feel great and wonderful changes looooong over-due coming.

9:57AM PST on Jan 28, 2009

it saddens me to see so many people deluded by such a fanciful portrayal of history and change. Could ghandi's methods worked if Hitler was in power? Are the kind of changes that MLK help to bring about even remotely similar to the kind of holistic cultural shift that needs to take place around the world in order for humanity not destroy the earth?

The change necessary for people to start living sane and sustainably is much larger (by orders of magnitude) and will not happen simply by non-violent civil disobedience. because those who want the current system to stay intact are the those who hold a monopoly on the use of violence, coercion and justice in the first place. (you can add to this list information, education, media, news, economics, food, water, and industrial manufacturing as well)

one more thing. I don't want to live under a pendulum like political system that only swings 2 ways (really only one way if you look deep enough: toward the corporation and the centralization of power and away from accountability and well being of all life). Also, we have already repeated history many times over, and each time the price goes up. (see histories of the Byzantines, Greeks and Romans) now we have a planetary biosphere on the line.

thanks for you time

9:55AM PST on Jan 28, 2009

it saddens me to see so many people deluded by such a fanciful portrayal of history and change. Could ghandi's methods worked if Hitler was in power? Are the kind of changes that MLK help to bring about even remotely similar to the kind of holistic cultural shift that needs to take place around the world in order for humanity not destroy the earth?

The change necessary for people to start living sane and sustainably is much larger (by orders of magnitude) and will not happen simply by non-violent civil disobedience. because those who want the current system to stay intact are the those who hold a monopoly on the use of violence, coercion and justice in the first place. (you can add to this list information, education, media, news, economics, food, water, and industrial manufacturing as well)

one more thing. I don't want to live under a pendulum like political system that only swings 2 ways (really only one way if you look deep enough: toward the corporation and the centralization of power and away from accountability and well being of all life). Also, we have already repeated history many times over, and each time the price goes up. (see histories of the Byzantines, Greeks and Romans) now we have a planetary biosphere on the line.

thanks for you time

6:21AM PST on Jan 28, 2009

i find your essay well written, accurate and thought provoking, as well as uplifting and encouraging. thank you for sharing it with us, marc. blessings and peace, roberta

7:47PM PST on Jan 27, 2009

If we don't learn from history, we are going to repeat it!

7:40PM PST on Jan 27, 2009

The pendulum of government always swings both ways. Now it is our turn.

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