A couple weeks back, I was listening to NPR’s affiliate station in San Antonio, TPR – KSTX 89.1FM. It was early evening and I’m assuming the show airing may have been rebroadcast. The info, though, was very very timely. The interview featured two military advisors who wrote a document titled “A National Strategic Narrative” and signed it “Mr. Y”, a throwback to an article written by George F. Keenan, originally titled “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” signed by and given the pseudonym “Mr. X” or just “X.”
I am usually dialed into NPR, forcibly keeping up with the chaos of the globe, with little hesitation to turn the car off whenever I reach my destination, but this time was different. This “Mr. Y” article peaked my interest as a potential tide shifting conversation geared towards changing our (the USA’s) national narrative.
As I sat in my parked vehicle, radio on and draining the battery, the host, Tom Ashbrook, prodded the two authors to spit it out. Just what were they trying to say? What was this talk about our country reevaluating our mode of operation? Why were former military heads presenting the idea that our country has gotten trigger happy when it comes to dealing with the rest of the world?
After about 10 minutes of dodging Ashbrook’s attempts at breaking the ice on what I was already convinced is a vital reality check from some seemingly well-informed members of society, I shut the radio off and proceeded about my business. I couldn’t stop thinking about this “Mr. Y” and the implications I took from the hosts words. The ideas suggested resonate with my perspective, that we as a nation are focused entirely too much on being the law of freedom without respecting freedom’s ability to govern itself.
In short, this article emphasizes the need for each of us to open our eyes AND minds when it comes to taking this country to the next level. By reinvesting our dollars and energy into building strong communities (and in turn, society). The US may be able to regain unity amongst its people and reestablish itself as the great country it promised to be.
Upon reading the full text of the article, I am a little at ends, though I agree with most of the points made. Though I am an idealist, I can understand the logic in the very “realist” economic points of the plan. My grief is that the conversation presented for the reader still hinges on some form of assumed consent when it comes to policing information available on the Internet. Maybe it’s because I volunteer my organizing energies to a grassroots media justice organization, or maybe it’s because a huge red flag goes off in my head when I read in quotes, “new world order.”
Funny thing is, my bias and sensitivity to conspiracy theories actually support the reasoning outlined in the article as someone who has come to the point of questioning everything, including my “perceptions of self, society, religion, and life itself,” by way of the Internet. In part, that is why I feel it’s important to pay close attention to the impending conversations this article will inspire. It is written in a way that many private interests can manipulate.
So long as we continue to uphold a general forum for the free and unrestricted exchange of information and ideas online, I can agree that some level of techno-responsibility may be in order. My fear is that the giant businesses that really influence how the future is molded will continue to muscle their way around this potential social progress, imposing their will and perpetuating blind privilege. Though security on/from the Internet is an issue, it should remain open and not filtered based on how much money the user can afford to pay.
That being said, I for one do think it’s time for a shift in not only our national narrative, but a global one. We have been on this path way too long, and it’s only going to take a couple more huge events before we step back and agree that unless we clean up our act as a species, this story is going to end badly. Whether or not you deal first hand with any number of the faulty systemic constructs that are driven by the notions of “scarcity” or “profit”, it can’t be ignored much longer that maybe protecting the business is not doing justice to humanity. We have been given a cosmic opportunity on a planet far too perfect, and we are blowing it by focusing on time clocks and mortgages.
This backseat approach to steering progress will not save anything but a dying system based on greed. The growth model is flawed. It’s time to put private interest on hold, strip away from our individual causes, and defend the earth and humans above all else. This is my opinion, and in this forum can only be presented with holes. My hope is that it resonates with anyone who sees problems in the world not being fixed because we are too busy trying to create more competitive economies.
Either way, discussion is in order.