This is the personal blog of Rick Staggenborg, MD. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Take Back America for the People, an educational 501.c3 nonprofit established by Dr Staggenborg.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011


With the Arab Spring and the Revolution that has become visible in the Occupy movement in the US and around the world, many people are beginning to have hope for the first time in their lives that the imposition of a permanent fascist New World Order that would enslave us all can be stopped and reversed.

The question is, is this starry eyed optimism or are the pessimists who dismiss the Revolution as a temporary phenomenon right? The answer may depend on how you view the situation. In any event,the pessimists are guilty of accepting a self-fulfilling prophecy. If they do not believe that democracy or the end of war are possible, they will not see how they may be wrong. Therefore, they will not know how to help the Revolution succeed and even if they try, their efforts could lead to the opposite effect of what they want if they promote division rather than the union of the international front against fascism and war that has the collective power to crush the corporatocracy if enough people believe that it can.

Whether the pessimist or the optimist proves to be the realist depends on whose vision prevails. That is why we must encourage doubters to suspend their disbelief in the possibility that we can save human civilization and join us in convincing others that war can and will end when enough people reject the self-fulfilling prophecy that it is inevitable.

If you wish to know the objective truth of something you must seek to understand it from every point of view and find that which is true from all of them. To understand the world as it is enables one to understand the world as it should and can be, if we apply our collective will to creating that world.

Planning for the future in what seems like a chaotic world situation requires a unified world view that sees the future as one of many possibilities. To develop such a way of looking at the world, you must have a clear grasp of what is important to attend to based on a good understanding of what has led us to the present moment.  

In today’s world of information overload that may seem impossible, but it is not. The key to overcoming America’s Attention Deficit Disorder is to help our neighbors understand what issues are fundamental to the process of taking America back for the people. In selectively focusing attention on information that answers the most pressing questions of how to create a united front against fascism in America and war in the world, patterns begin to emerge that make the importance of new information easier to recognize.

Once enough people understand the pattern of recent history, the collective consciousness will shift in the direction of positive change that is possible only through collective action. It is not true that history repeats itself. History is made by those who refuse to accept this futile proposition.  Those who make history are those who study the mistakes of the past to find new paths that we can take together to a more promising future.

Some look at world history as one of endless warfare and an individualistic struggle for supremacy in a hostile universe. These people implicitly reject the idea of democracy in the belief that selfishness is an indelible part of human nature. Thus, the falsely believe that history repeats itself regardless of the efforts of individuals and societies to change.This worldview is distorted by the failure to recognize the abundant evidence to the contrary.

Those of us with the faith that men and women are capable of governing themselves know that they are wrong. It is those who reject the idea that we cannot individually and collectively change history who will be the agents of the change for which the world is clamoring. The stubborn refusal of pessimists to challenge the self-fulfilling prophecy that their own neighbors cannot be trusted to make sound judgments about what form our society should take is a danger to democracy itself and ultimately, to the survival of human civilization.

There are examples to be found throughout history of social cooperation creating critical positive change. Here are a few:

-There have been many centuries in which Jew, Christian lived in harmony throughout much of the world.
-In the American Revolution, men put aside fundamental differences on the issue of slavery in order to ensure that they did not all become enslaved by the fascist Old World Order of the British Empire.
-Americans came together in crisis of the Great Depression to try social experiments that would have been unthinkable ten years earlier, at the height of the Red Scare.                                                                       
-There was shared sacrifice during WWII and a sharing of the benefits of the economic prosperity that followed, including with the vanquished nations of Germany and Japan.

-Throughout the history of the US there has been an evolution toward democracy punctuated with stunning successes by both the forces of democracy and those of the fascist mindset that currently controls the US government and its military.

When trying to develop a strategy to create the fundamental social and political changes that must be made to save human civilization from the depredations of the selfish elite class, we must keep in mind the lessons that history provides. If we apply to our current situation the lessons of both our successes and failures in the past, we can together create a road map to peace based on mutual respect, empathy and a deep appreciation of our interdependence. Any such map must lead to a world in which all enjoy the benefits of liberty and justice. Only in such a world is democracy possible. Without democracy, there can be neither true freedom nor peace for anyone.

If we begin with the assumption that democracy is possible, then we must assume that we are capable of achieving the consensus necessary to create a government and a society that will function according to the wishes of We the People. One of the fundamental contradictions in the American collective consciousness is that we can somehow force the other side to accept our vision of America through waging a Civil War for the hearts and minds of our neighbors using weapons of ridicule and invective.  This has led to a social psychological disorder I call America’s Borderline Split.

US society has the characteristics to merit the diagnosis: Idealization and devaluation of our leaders, self-destructive anger, generally unstable emotions, and a disturbing tendency to be preoccupied with death while doing little to help ourselves overcome our self-destructive behaviors. Like the individual with borderline personality disorder, we feel profoundly empty and as a society struggle to maintain a coherent image of ourselves and others as basically worthy of love despite the imperfections all humans share.

We are so busy fighting each other that we cannot come together to fight the real enemy: fascism. Our common enemy is not those who vote for leaders whose policies we despise, or even the corporate Puppets in Congress. The real enemy is the small group of counter-Revolutionaries that was never happy that the US government was designed with a view toward creating a society in which each citizen had an equal voice in the operation of the government. From the Hamiltonian Federalists to the modern Republican Party, there has been a never-ending battle between those who believe that democracy is necessary and possible and those who have no faith in We the People to decide our collective or even individual destinies.

Those who reject the notion that we can achieve the consensus necessary to assure the continuity of progress toward democracy are the COINTELPRO agents among us. Wittingly or unwittingly, they serve as agents of the State in helping to divide us, just as the survival of human civilization depends on our coming together. Some might assume that these are those who would consider themselves “conservative,” but they would be wrong. Many self-identified liberals are so used to despairing at the corporate media and politicians manipulating the public discourse that they have given up hope of reasoning with those with whom they disagree. The truth is that both sides are entrenched in a pit of despair and loathing. Only we can free ourselves from this trap. The time for recriminations is over. Politics does not have to be a battlefield if we learn to think of each other as fellow Americans and citizens of the world.

A world in which everyone has the right to the benefits of freedom, justice and peace starts with the idea that such a world is possible. If you do not believe that it is then you cannot conceive of how to help create it. If you do not consider what it would take than you will miss the obvious signs that such a world is right in front of us in the near future, if we work to get there from here. If you believe as I do that the pattern of history is coming to a dramatic punctuation point, the signs are all around you.

The pattern of change is unmistakable if you know what to look for. The Occupy movement is the most obvious sign of a Tectonic Paradigm Shift that is taking place in human consciousness. At the same time, international activist communities are learning better how to unify their efforts, a world ecumenical movement is building and vast networks are forming that are connecting the dots that represent our individual interests. Projects like John Perkins' Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream are painting a picture of a world in which it is generally recognized that the interest of each of us is intimately connected to the best interests of all.

All humans are much more alike than they are different. The commonalities that we share make us human. Our differences give rise to the variation in thought that can help us adapt to a world that is changing in dangerous ways. As long as we continue to think of ourselves as members of this or that group first rather than fellow travelers on Earth, we constrain our individual and collective power. Only by uniting can we realize our potential to change the world into one fit to leave our children.


  1. We must keep educating folks so they see we can make PEACE together. We can stop making more unnecessary weapons. [overkill]