Quidnovi: In every generation, Pharaoh    
 In every generation, Pharaoh4 comments
picture14 Mar 2003 @ 09:24, by Quidnovi

Today, in our generation, we all face global corporations and international economic institutions that clearly have enormous power. Some believe that they place themselves beyond public accountability, and that their policies endanger the earth, shatter the lives of children, enslave workers, turn the very water of life into a commodity too expensive for hundreds of millions. Others believe that their structures and behavior increase prosperity and freedom for most people.


There is a double spiral in evolutionary and human history: Spirals of growing and deepening Community have given rise to more efficient forms of Control; the newly effective forms of Control have burst the outer and inner bounds of the Community that birthed them; to encompass these newly established patterns of Control, in turn, newer, broader, deeper forms of Community have emerged; and so on.

This rhythm can be understood as the dance of God in the world. But Control has a way of running amok, blocking the rhythm. In the last fifty years there have emerged institutions so huge, so controlling, so global in their reach that they have to a considerable extent escaped the forms of community and connection-making that have been shaped over the last several centuries by national democratic processes, and have become major top-down unaccountable power centers.

Most of these global institutions have been businesses, understood as "private" corporations despite their enormous power over the planetary public. These corporations have then used their power—often secretively—to move into the political processes of many nations to create or reshape some major international financial and economic institutions—especially the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization. They have been able to bypass and negate decisions previously made in public visibility by the national governments.

The corporations and their servicing institutions have especially endangered decisions won by decades or even centuries of painful struggle at the national level that affirm both the basic process of public accountability and the specifics of workers rights, environmental protections, and public health and educational services.

To put this in the archetypal language of biblical tradition, these global corporations and their servicing institutions are Pharaoh in our generation. Pharaoh was not consciously and deliberately evil; he worried about his country, and grew fearful that an odd and indigestible minority might make trouble for the complex pattern of its governance. The arrogance that grew inside him until he was swallowed up by it was probably rooted in the loneliness of pyramidal power. So much depended on him that he became convinced that his own wisdom was indispensable—and total.

If we look for a Pharaoh in our lives today, we should be looking not for deliberate evil but for people or institutions who hold such great power that they become convinced that they are indispensable, and who are isolated from critical comment and accountability so long that when they meet it they respond chiefly with stubbornness and anger

(...) Our religious traditions remember not only Pharaoh: they remember also a series of such imperial powers—out of which, again against all "logic," came the birth of new religious communities that transformed the world:

- Both Jews and Christians remember the Roman Empire, which used its arrogant power to crucify Jesus and torture ten of the greatest rabbis to their deaths, to sow ancient Palestine with salt so that crops would not grow, and then to sell its people into slavery. Out of that oppressive addiction to Control came both the new Community of Rabbinic Judaism, and the new Community of Christianity.

- Muslims remember that the arrogantly powerful of Mohammed's (PBUH) day forced him to flee from Mecca to Medina in order to bring God's teachings to the people. Out of that resistance to Control run amok came the Community of Islam.

- Buddhists remember that Gautama had to leave the power of the palace to understand the sufferings of the poor and to experience and teach enlightenment. The entire Buddhist worldview was born from that experience.

- In the last century, many peoples came to remember that Gandhi had to face a mighty empire to fuse the ancient insights of his people into the teachings of satyagraha (soul-force or nonviolence). From that experience of the Imperial Raj came the birthing of a planetary consciousness of nonviolence—a new level of Community merging from suffering under colonial Control.

- And one of the most poignant and powerful expansions of that community of nonviolence came in Black America's response to racism and segregation, Control run berserk in the form of police dogs, lynch mobs, and church bombings.

- The indigenous communities and spiritual traditions of the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, remember how they were shattered by arrogant political leaders in concert with arrogant economic bosses.

- Growing numbers of women remember how the spiritual experience of women has been suffocated for millennia by the arrogance of some religious, political, and economic tyrants.

These are the separate streams of the separate memories of our different traditions. Today these different streams flow together into a great ocean of planetary outrage and planetary promise...


The text above is part of a (much longer) paper by Arthur Waskow and Lee Moore, project coordinator for The Shalom Center. [The article benefited from the participation of Richard Kohl (comments); and the reports of Antonia Juhasz , project director at International Forum on Globalization, San Francisco; Jim Shultz of The Democracy Center, San Francisco; David F. Waskow of the International Trade Division of Friends of the Earth; and Sarah Anderson, John Cavanaugh, Thea Lee, and the Institute for Policy Studies, Field Guide to the Global Economy (New Press, 2000).]
The utchat represents the Egyptian sacred eye. The right eye, the Eye of Ra, symbolizes the Sun. The left eye, the Eye of Thoth, symbolizes the Moon. Together they represent the Eyes of Horus The Elder. The utchat, therefore, is a symbol for the ability to spiritually perceive that which is illuminated, as well as that which is hidden.

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15 Mar 2003 @ 14:03 by sharie : Private or Public
How can they call themselves "private" corporations when they have such impact on the public. Great point.

The CEO's aren't as innocent and well-intending as Arthur and Lee would like to believe. Have you read the corporate memo's that have been exposed? Tobacco company executives intentionally chemically altered the nicotine so smokers would be addicted... essentially turning smokers into the CEO slaves (this memo became public record during the tobacco trials in Florida). Then there's the CEO whose memo spoke of transferring toxic industries to Africa where the CEO's could poison the people with very little retaliation (there'd be little or not compensation to the poor tribes)... then there's the Erin Brockovich story, and on and on the slaughters go. They are committing pre-meditated mass murder. These people belong in prison.
Why haven't the prosecutors arrested them?  

16 Mar 2003 @ 01:57 by vaxen : because...
the 'prosecuters' are just another part of the 'team,' sharie.


16 Mar 2003 @ 11:35 by shawa : Great article, Vaxen, thanks!

16 Mar 2003 @ 21:24 by ashanti : _

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