What America Needs Now

It’s time for a new movement; a deep and broad movement.     Hamilton Nolan *

There are so many issues with the new president — racism, sexism, xenophobia, inequality, profoundly dangerous lack of judgement –– we need to unite against them. Divided we fall, united  we stand. To be interdependent is to be mutually dependent. I depend on you and you depend on me. We depend on them and they depend un us. Democrats depend on republicans and republicans depend on democrats. In his farewell speech Obama said that democracy doesn’t require uniformity, but it does require a basic sense of solidarity.  Does that sound like America today?

After declaring our independence it required a war to achieve it. Cultivating interdependence seems  a better strategy than war. War requires two sides, two enemies. Interdependence means one side, one “tribe”. Today, America is a land of many sides, many tribes. We tend to see the world from an  in-group, out-group perspective. Clay Farris Naff ** explains today’s perspective:

Our instincts evolved to cope with intense in-group competition for status, and even more intense intergroup competition as small bands of hunter-gathers clashed over territory, mates, and resources.

Trump ignited a simmering “us and them” mentality by relentlessly and recklessly exploiting another powerful instinct: resentment.

 Humans are prone to treat one another decently, lovingly, sometimes heroically — but only when we recognize one another as members of the same family. Cast someone in the out-group, and there are no constraints.

 Seeing and Doing Interdependence

        On space ship earth there are no pilots, only crew. Buckminster Fuller

 A declaration of interdependence must be followed by a practice of interdependence. Achieving interdependence takes both seeing and doing; both vision and action. See the big picture, a holistic picture. A new collective vision is needed. We don’t need a visionary leader, we need a public with respect for a broad, holistic, inclusive vision.

After seeing we need doing. We need to resist tribalism. Extreme loyalty to the in-group is not interdependence. Interdependence is about the common good: of the people, by the people, and for the people. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

We evolved to live in kin-based groups of 150 or fewer, not in mass societies  of 300 million or more. That is a problem.  Clay Farris Naff

 In America, how realistic do you believe seeing and doing interdependence is for politicians and the public?  In the world?

*The New Movement Starts Now.  Utne Reader. Winter, 2016

**Make America Kind Again. The Humanist, Jan/Feb. 2017





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  1. Jane Goodman says:

    Thank you for this. So important. I learned a new word today, othering. We need to stop othering and work together.

  2. Marianne says:

    Just as organizations act and treat their employees and customers kindly, with respect and a sense of interdependence, so I think a country is likely to act due to the values and behavior of the leaders. I am afraid with the new leadership, our country will become more hate filled, divisive and see one another as the “other”. It will be important for those of us who do believe in respect and interconnected to be alert to ways we can stand against what Trump stands for.

  3. Eugene Unger says:

    We will see how our country goes during and after the inauguration . Humans are innately selfish . Add spoiled self centered personalities to the mix and what do you have? A huge blame game! Trump Clinton, take your pick . Deeply flawed persons with who knows what secret goals ! One won the election, one lost. Get over it!! There will be trouble , America will be shaken to its core by selfish acts! Down through history hate, the selfish strive for power! Take away Government financial support in all areas of society, welfare;student loans, US loans to other countries , the list is much longer as you know. Who is left to protest the rich. Your list of Trump social failures , magnified by the media press, are they worthy of thoughtful , insightful people? Do we really know the people who run government? Do we really know each other? Thank God we are not in a war!! We are so weakened by our hate for people we don’t know we are vulnerable ! Our enemy is ourselves . Will we survive each other’s perceptions of evil? By the way, all this is predicted in our Bible . God is not surprised or concerned. He created us to be good, but evil is much more attractive . Ps I took a dad fall in the garden yesterday! 911 to hospital. Good news no broken bones. Bad news, hurts like hell and will probably will miss Tuesday breakfast. I’ll keep you posted. Love you my friend Gene Sent from my iPad


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