November 15, 2016

Break the Mammon Mindset

Filed under: American Revolution, Freedom — Tags: — Russ @ 12:57 pm


The standard mindset among system NGOs is: “First we need funding in order to subsist, then we need the mainstream media to take us seriously, then we need to get the establishment to listen to us.” The same is true of established churches and many other kinds of organizations, and this mindset percolates to individuals who become interested in politics. This mindset is part of the Mammon ideology, also called the “bourgeois” ideology.
Instead, picture this affirmative mindset: First we need to hold a true idea and commit to a real goal and must never waver from this core commitment. Then we seek whatever we can get in order to subsist and be heard and fight along the line to which we committed.
Compare the difference between the Mammonist “bourgeois” mindset and that of a public citizen. The former, whatever he superficially claims about his focus, really places his “job” and his car at the center of his life. Then everything else, including his political interests, is really a hobby at best. On the contrary, the affirmative citizen and faithful of God places her commitment and her faith-in-action toward this commitment at the center of life. And then a “job”, if one’s part of the majority who can’t “make a living” directly through our commitments, is just a way to pay the bills.
If everyone who claimed to care about certain ideas and to want certain outcomes were to liberate their minds from the Mammon mindset and live the affirmative faithful mindset, we’d have a very different political and cultural scene. It really is true that the first proximate obstacle is in our own minds.


  1. You’ve spoken here to something I’ve just written three minutes plus on:

    As someone who spent a career that was either in, or frequently touching, the formulation of government policy and who, especially over the last half dozen years, has undertaken a variety of public advocacy roles, I thought it might be useful to share a few thoughts derived from that experience.

    They range from the simple to the less so.

    To do that kind of work takes commitment, time, presence and persistence. Each one of those terms could be unpacked further. Once you start, follow through, You have to be willing to invest the time it takes. You have to be there so that even if you’re not testifying you’re recognized as familiar by the legislators present. Prepare to shell out gas money, or reharging your Tesla battery, or getting to know quite well your advocacy car pool members. (BTW carpooling is great for planning an Augusta foray and debriefing yourselves on one afterwards.) And you have to keep coming back, . . . and coming back, . . . and coming back

    Don’t try to work alone. Recruit partners to increase your power. Create multiple messages that cover the waterfront of your issue. Partners function as sounding boards, help you pick apart your issues and points of view to form comprehenseive and compelling arguments.

    Search for and find allies. Don’t presuppose who they might be. Really try to work across what may seem to feel like fault lines.

    You’ve got to know or learn how to analyze issues from multiple perspectives, how to write about them, how to figure out what your central points are, how to make them in three minutes or 450 words, and how to orchestrate with others to be sure all the central ones get covered whenever opportunities to present occur.

    Expect to learn a lot and to be surprised at some of it.

    Stick with it, especially when you think or feel you don’t know what’s going on. Making sense of a legislature in session is not easy. It can be arcane, it runs like a private club whose rules and conventions are sometimes unclear, and it takes time and patience. Write your questions down and ask them of your reps and senator when you seek them out!

    There are instrumentalities, official and otherwise, to help get and stay atop of things. For example, committee hearings and work sessions are routinely broacasting. Get on legislative committee e-mail lists for hearing dates and subject matter. Follow precisely the instructions for participation which may vary from committee to committee. Know that various individuals and interests independently video proceeedings and post them on Youtube. When really digging deep into an issue the fact that more than one camera was recording at a session can let you view the room from triangulated lines of sight which allow you to read body language, attention and inattention, and observe legislators from more than one perspective.

    Try to know about the individuals in your legislative or executive audience. Do your homework on the issues, to be sure, but be at least aware that each legislator comes from a specific district, had a specific career before or during their public service, has been identified with specific legislative issues all of which may suggest references, comparisons, metaphors relative to your issue which will touch specific legislators where they “live.”

    Know, too, that there are real structural and procedural impediments to the work you will want to do, and every one of them should be on Larry’s proposed department’s agenda to facilitate the responsiveness of government to access of the public.

    A major one is closed caucuses wherein the two parties have, in violation of principles of transparency retreat to spaces to which the public is denied access (but, significantly, often not lobbiests or legislators not asigned to a committee). I myself have made a personal decision to attempt, politely and quietly, to observe the next ones I see and take whatever consequences come my way even as I try to make sure that I return the favor to legislators who are afraid to let us see them do the public’s business in such forums.

    Committee hearings and work sessions are quite well set up for public access (except, of course, whenever caucuses are held) but I’ve been to public hearings, especially of non legislative bodies, where room layout, poor microphone technology and speaker mic consciousness, placement of power point screens, and the like may be OK for the Board or Commission members involved but can make proceedings in one or another respect unintelligible to the observing public. I don’t think it’s deliberate, but a department of public participation might do very useful work to momitor the accessibility of such proceedings and suggest improvements.

    Comment by Hendrik Gideonse — November 15, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

  2. Thanks for the advice. Certainly I’ll continue to look for comrades for the necessary movement-building. As for the rest of it, I’m certain humanity needs a complete break with the corporate system and to organize a political, religious, social, cultural movement outside it. History proves that only a coherent, committed anti-system movement can be in a position to do any kind of work “within the system” without the campaigners being corrupted, misdirected, derailed, bribed, blackmailed, what have you. I see no examples of where anything like what everyone’s trying to do right now ever worked. That’s why I reject not just Sanders but the Greens as well, and where it comes to GMOs that’s why I reject labelism. These aren’t conscious, committed enemies of the corporate system, but those who are still trying to make a deal. But the evidence is clear that no one can make a deal. The corporations are totalitarian.

    So I’m clear that we need the equal and opposite unequivocal, uncompromising commitment to abolitionism. If this means a long, gradual process of mustering and organizing the necessary forces, so be it. The only alternative is to continue to temporize and therefore accomplish nothing until the system collapses of its own insanity and physical unsustainability. That scenario will bring the worst of chaos, famine, violence, destruction. I’m driven to at least try to avert the worst by organizing the new movement to affirmatively and constructively liberate, purify, and redeem the Earth. The ideas exist, the knowledge and science exist, the physical resources exist. All that’s lacking is the human will.

    Comment by Russ — November 15, 2016 @ 4:48 pm

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