#159 – Paradigm B: The Land of Self-Defeat

The failure of our species to create a sustainable community is the failure to create a narrative that is inclusive. The reality is that we are all fundamentally alike but we believe otherwise. We fabricate non-existent differences and thus one tribe or religion or sect or ethnic group or nation or socio-economic group or cultural group is alienated from another. For example, Katherine J. Cramer, a political scientist described the attitudes (beliefs, attitudes and values compose a typical narrative) of rural Americans. “The way these folks described the world to me, their basic concern was that people like them, in places like theirs, were overlooked and disrespected.” (1)  It doesn’t help when insensitive politicians label them “deplorables.”

Instead of our leaders trying to bring people together into a harmonious narrative (integration), what is happening in the Global Village is a fear-driven belief in the various kinds of the other mentioned above (disintegration). Demagoguery, wherein politicians are appealing to the desires and prejudices of the people rather than to their sense of community, is fueling the worldwide dystopia.

In America we can see that this happened throughout our history. The great Sioux chief and mystic Black Elk makes some penetrating observations that pin-point how Wasichu (the white man) was behaving in an insane manner and was taking the red man (albeit unwillingly) with him as he proceeded along his path of self-destruction. “But Wasichu came, and they have made little islands for us and other little islands for the four-leggeds, and always these islands are becoming smaller, for around them surges the gnawing flood of Wasichu; and it is dirty with lies and greed.” (2)

If we were to begin a dialogue about how to get a handle on changing human behavior, where would we begin? Click on the link below to join those who are starting this discussion.

Insight # 159:   

No me tapasel sol con la mano.
(We can’t continue to cover the sun with our hand.)
— Lino Gonzales



  1. Potts, Monica. “In the Land of Self-Defeat.” The New York Times Sunday. October 6, 2019, page 1.
  2. McLuhan, T.C. Touch the Earth. New York: Simon and Schuster, (no page).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *