January 21, 2003
It Was Huge!Following is an excerpt from a note I wrote to Rita Weinstein, author of "The Day The Earth Stood Still," which is posted at Online Journal. I post it because the exchange, and her article, deal with matters that concern a huge number of people, not just Rita and me.
Thanks so much for your kind words. Your article did touch a nerve and I think it goes a long way toward answering the question: "Where to begin?"
You've actually taken two steps. The first (and last) is to communicate the truth. That is huge. Ultimately it is a war of ideas, a culture war. But you have taken a second step here by suggesting a specific action, a "sickout." What a great idea! And besides the proposal for a specific action, the idea also makes apparent the immense strength we the people have, and hints at ways that power could be exercised.
I'm glad there are people who organize the events like the march on Saturday because that kind of thing will make a difference. Like you, I would be at a loss to even begin to make something like that happen. But I was happy to participate and spread the word or whatever I can do with my particular resources. And I think collectively we can change it. We are already in action and this movement will continue to grow. And everything all the members of a determined population can do in the course of their day-to-day affairs will make a difference.
This weekend is a huge moment in history, though the corporate media will do everything they can to wash it into oblivion. The worldwide movement against the Bush tyranny and war machine took a big step in self consciousness and visibility this weekend. It's true that the US corporate media could no longer ignore it. They hated that.
We have seen each other, from Tokyo to Damascus. We know we all speak for the same thing. That is huge.
Thanks for writing. I look forward to being in touch.
PS I'm going to include a quote I really like that I think is relevant.
Throughout history, the really fundamental changes in societies have come about not from dictates of governments and the results of battles but through vast numbers of people changing their minds -- sometimes only a little bit.
Some of the changes have amounted to profound transformations -- for instance the transition from the Roman Empire to Medieval Europe, or from the Middle Ages to modern times. Others have been more specific, such as the constitution of democratic governments in England and America, or the termination of slavery as an accepted institution. In the latter cases, it is largely a matter of people recalling that no matter how powerful the economic or political or even military institution, it persists because it has legitimacy, and that legitimacy comes from the perceptions of people. People give legitimacy and they can take it away. A challenge to legitimacy is probably the most powerful force for change to be found in history.
To the empowering principle that the people can withhold legitimacy, and thus change the world, we now add another: By deliberately changing the internal image of reality, people can change the world. Perhaps the only limits to the human mind are those we believe in."
Willis Harman -- Global Mind Change