democracy and self-organization: the change of which barack obama speaks
by robert aziz
Something that is happening in America today is awakening unprecedented social and political sentiments, not just within that country, but within the global community as a whole, especially amongst democratic nations. Of course I am referring to the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.
As anyone who has followed these remarkable developments will know, the how and why America has arrived at this place with this particular candidate has been the subject of much discussion and speculation. There are those who would entirely attribute these developments to Barack Obama's "celebrity" status, which is as much to say they simply emerged out of thin air without reference to his substantive message for change. Others would argue they have everything to do with the fact that Barack Obama speaks slowly, thus almost hypnotically imprinting on his unsuspecting audiences airs of importance. Others still would have us imagine that these developments are the result of certain political sensitivities in America that would preclude an African-American candidate being subjected to the same degree of scrutiny to which a non-minority candidate would. This last theory is an especially curious one in light of the fact that the strategic objective of the aggressive smear-campaign being conducted against Barack Obama has been to create, by hook or by crook, fears about his "differentness."
No, I would not be inclined to attribute the awakening of such unprecedented social and political sentiments to any of the above "accounts." What I am led to see, rather, in approaching this same question from the perspective of the Syndetic Paradigm, is the fact of a deep resonance between the destiny of an individual and the destiny of a culture. What I see is a resonance between the place at which Barack Obama has arrived by way of the unfoldment of his personal destiny and the place at which America and democratic culture have arrived by way of the unfoldment of their collective destiny. Barack Obama, we could just say, has awakened unprecedented social and political sentiments within America and the world because the change of which he speaks affords democratic culture unprecedented access to the next chapter of its unfolding destiny. And with this assertion we encapsulate the fundamental thesis of my most recent book Democracy and Self-Organization: The Change of Which Barack Obama Speaks.
The resolution of theoretical contradictions means little or nothing to those who were never aware of the theoretical contradictions in the first place. I have observed this on numerous occasions in the form of the reactions within the Jungian world, or more accurately put, the absence of reaction to my own analysis of contradictions within Jung's theoretical model. Whether, therefore, we are talking about a theoretical contradiction or, on the other hand, a false premise underlying an ideological ideal, in the absence of an acknowledgment of the existence of a problem, proffered solutions will mean nothing whatsoever. Even the best solution will be lost on those for whom the problem to which the solution speaks never existed.
As I was writing The Syndetic Paradigm: The Untrodden Path Beyond Freud and Jung, I had always imagined the answer it would offer to the problem of our current cultural crisis of meaning would speak most compellingly to questions being pursued within the areas of spirituality and depth psychology. In light of what I explained above, however, it should not be hard to imagine how 9/11 changed this; for the temperature of a problem that could amount to no more than a low-grade fever to the areas of spirituality and depth psychology would dangerously move altogether off the charts of the conceivable as a result of the events of 9/11 and the subsequent actions of democratic nations. In the politics and militarism of the post-9/11 period, the ultimate futility of the false premise of the old paradigm that would place power above dynamic meaning would be forced upon democratic culture with a vengeance; and by way of this sudden and critical turn of events the problem of our current cultural crisis of meaning would hit the radar screen of consciousness for vast numbers of people as it had never done before, thus creating an opportunity for democratic culture to receive that which could propel it into an altogether new orbit.
In light of the above it should not be surprising that as I continued my work on The Syndetic Paradigm in the years following 9/11, my attention was increasingly drawn to the political and cultural implications of my conclusions. Indeed with the completion of The Syndetic Paradigm the explication of those conclusions became my deepest concern. Democracy and Self-Organization: The Change of Which Barack Obama Speaks is most certainly a step in that direction and as such it is far more than a book about a politician who is running for President of the United States. Rather, it is about an outstanding presidential candidate in the person of Barack Obama, who has come to find himself in the position of being the political point man, as it were, of that toward which we are all being collectively led by way of self-organizing nature, regardless of party, regardless of nation.
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