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The First Step to a True Democracy – Awakened Sustainable Communities

 (The following is excerpted from Dr. Husfelt’s forthcoming book The Greatest Lie Ever Told - a Manifesto for a Religious Revolution and a New Consciousness)  

A man argued that Sparta should set up a democracy, and to this, Lycurgus replied: “Begin with your own family.”[i]

Over the past thousands of years humanity has experienced a ‘domination’ model as its primary form of existence. Domination as philosophy and doctrine has been the basis for past and present paradigms and the foundational beliefs of the majority of secular, governmental and religious institutions. In the past, there have been a few attempts at developing and instituting a partnership or egalitarian secular and religious society such as Sparta in its hay-day. To the citizens of Sparta it was a unique and special society of honor, love and equality based on the individual’s commitment to do what was right and just. This is illustrated by a story told about the Olympic Games: “An old man wandering around the Olympic Games looking for a seat was jeered at by the crowd until he reached the seats of the Spartans, whereupon every Spartan younger than him, and some that were older, stood up and offered him their seat. The crowd applauded and the old man turned to them with a sigh, saying ‘All Greeks know what is right, but only the Spartans do it.’”[i]

Of course, the Spartan slaves, the Helots, would have disagreed with me. And they would have been right. Having slaves would qualify as a domination society. But once again, we need to consider things not from an either/or premise but from an interpenetration prospective. I am in no way justifying or endorsing slavery, which I consider a hideous and destructive stain on humanity, but we must look at the totality of the Spartan society. It was not a domination society by issue of being either patriarchal or matriarchal; it was a culture of sexually equality. This alone is unique in the annuals of worldly cultures.

We have suffered through millennium of patriarchal rule but before the men took power, secular and religious power were in the hands of women—matriarchal rule. “But as far as the effects are concerned, it still matters little whether the dominator is matriarchal or patriarchal, just as it wouldn’t matter if blacks ruled over whites. One group will simply be the dominator and the other the dominated.”[ii]

Besides the Spartans, another social and religious group, which strived for an earthly paradise and equality, was the Shakers. Religiously they believed in a Father God and a Mother Goddess. Foundational spiritual and religious equality from the get go will result in an egalitarianism of the sexes as a reflection of the macrocosmic belief in the equality of deities—Father and Mother. Originally Judaism recognized a god and goddess, but the reformers did away with the goddess and what we have today is a patriarchal religion, which includes in its ‘manly’ ranks: Christianity and Islam. All three are known as the religions of Abraham—male dominated religions, who basically competitively hate each other. It’s like three bare-chested males beating their chests to see who is strongest and loudest or who has the biggest penis. 

The Shakers’ “founder was a woman. Ann Lee believed that each of her village communities was, quite literally, a small part of the Garden of Eden.”[iii] Equality ruled the day and “although the members’ material needs and possessions were kept to a minimum, their lives appear to have been fulfilling and rich. Craft skills were particularly welcomed and their traditional houses and exquisitely elegant furniture remain a testimony to their often ecstatic and life-affirming way of being.”[iv] The Shakers as well as “many of the community experiments which flourished during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in America were both religious and often egalitarian. Few, however were to survive the flux of the industrial revolution of the cities. But as far as can be ascertained, their natural predecessors, those peaceful agriculturalists, living over six thousand years ago, also naturally embraced the brave words of the American Declaration of Independence which insists that all are ‘created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that are – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’”[v]

These are definitely brave and poignant words expressed by the framers of the Declaration of Independence. There are two aspects that are extremely important and ‘jump out at us’ in the above quote—equality and creator. Democracy indicates equality. But our form of democracy is far removed from equality. It is a patriarchal capitalistic form of democracy based on inequality. In our society the chasm between the haves and the have nots is catastrophic and ever widening. The recession is further indication of the failure of patriarchal capitalistic democracy as the government removed capitalistic over-sight and regulation with the mantra of trickle down economics and that the barons of capitalism know what is best for the economy and the greater good of the people.

This was pure lies and horse dung. Equality is most important in life. Not the favoritism, arrogance and cronyism of male ruling elites over all others. Inequality is the ruling principle of our patriarchal capitalistic democracy not the equality that is the foundation of a true democracy. 


 

[i] http://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/background/8c.html

[ii] Malcolm Godwin, The Holy Grail, p. 218

[iii] Ibid, p. 222

[iv] Ibid, p. 222

[v] Ibid, p. 225

 


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