“Useful Idiots” (Updated and Republished)

saul-alinsky

A slight departure from our customary Chrysalis Tarot -focused writings, but one with a single yet important purpose; namely to shed some light on the agitating noise and manufactured disharmony we’ve witnessed since the 2016 election and shows no hint of subsiding.

As I’ve written, the world is experiencing the birth throes of a new paradigm – a new worldview or zeitgeist. This cultural revolution has been proclaimed far and wide for many years; it has been anticipated by those we call prophets – those who possess “eyes to see and ears to hear.” A search for “paradigm shift” on Google returns over 8-million hits. The emergent, nascent paradigm, whose characteristics we have only glimpsed, is influencing the events advancing global change. If you can’t articulate at least a rudimentary appreciation of this New Paradigm, making sense of current events is rather daunting. 

It remains to be seen if this new paradigm lives or dies. If it lives, it can usher in a new Golden Age. If not, the pain we will inflict upon ourselves depends upon how well we as a species – and as civilized nations – can command the inevitable winds of change. We’ll eventually make it to a new Golden Age, but there are two routes. Clearly, even those with the most stunted spiritual antennae recognize that humanity’s present course – the status quo – is unsustainable. And this mild assertion has nothing whatsoever to do with the scientific hoax known as a “climate emergency.”

Since the politics of the day is so incendiary, we turn to the politics of the past to make some useful points. This is where the somewhat sinister looking character pictured above enters the picture. He is one Saul Alinsky. He died in 1972 at age 63. As spiritual symmetries and synchronicities would have it, Alinsky’s story includes intriguing parallels to today’s slippery political landscape. 

Alinsky was born in Chicago in 1909 to Jewish immigrants from Russia. Wikipedia calls him an “American community organizer and writer.” He wrote a book in 1971 called Rules for Radicals, which is still considered the bible for community organizing. William Buckley once referred to him as an “organizational genius.” Among his disciples are Barrack O’Bama and Hillary Clinton, et al. Clinton wrote her thesis on Alinsky.

Let’s recount a few of Alinsky’s ideas that he termed “power tactics,” as outlined in his Rules for Radicals, and draw the obvious conclusions.

Here are 5 from his list of 13 (emphasis is mine):

  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
  • A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
  • Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose (think COVID-19).
  • The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

No one can rationally deny that today our society is being polarized for political gain.

Alternatively, perhaps it’s simply better to accept legitimate change, adapt and then move on. America, by the way, also has a rulebook, along with a few suggestions for being a “good American.” It’s known as the Constitution. Dissent and civil disobedience are Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights we all cherish. Wanton disrespect and lawlessness, flames fanned today by Marxist propaganda, not so much.

16-kaliWe live in the Age of Kali, whose ongoing cosmic mission is change through creative destruction. “May you live in interesting times,” the sage cursed. Chrysalis Tarot fans are familiar with Kali, even if we sometimes don’t fully understand her intent or immediately recognize her footprints.

For those who are unfamiliar, Kali is an archetype. Like other archetypes, she resides in the human psyche. Chrysalis Tarot is first and foremost about “archetypal psychology” and the Collective Unconscious. Chrysalis does not promote fortunetelling. We designed Chrysalis to increase individual self-awareness and higher consciousness, as symbolized by Kali’s necklace of skulls, so we might make informed choices.

The “tower” in the image symbolizes the human ego, which is in constant tension with the Higher Self. They are inversely proportional; as ego decreases Higher Self or spiritual awareness increases. This transformative experience is described as spiritual growth, awakening or enlightenment, which are essential to seeing things clearly – to being able to think and reason clearly and critically. Not to be a Useful Idiot married to an ideology rather than to reason.

The Bible calls to mind the theological doctrine of eschatology. In metaphysics, as opposed to religious dogma, this doctrine refers to the study of, and reasons for, profound changes that precede a cosmic evolution of consciousness or paradigm shift. You cannot separate eschatology from paradigm shifts or the evolution of consciousness. Eschatology – the theology of End Times – is a macrocosmic (universal) absolute that informs microcosmic (human) understanding.

The old paradigm, the current dominant worldview, is fading away; the perigee of its demise represents what is often called the “End Times.” What worldview will replace it? The Alinsky-style totalitarianism of a New World Order with problems so humongous that only Big Government can solve them? May God forbid it! 

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Two thousand years ago there was another birth – another paradigm shift – that gave name to what we now call the “Common Era (CE).” Back then, before the present era became common, the eschatology of John the Baptist, a Jewish prophet, was apocalyptic.

The eschatology of Jesus, another a Jewish prophet and John’s cousin, was about the coming of a “New Kingdom” (a new paradigm). Paradigm shifts always reconcile and reset what’s known as the tension of opposites. A tension of opposites, say freedom vs. slavery, is like stretched rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle, to paraphrase Morrie Schwartz.

It is not my intention to preach yet another facile Sunday School lesson by making references to John and Jesus. I’m a spiritual naturalist, after all, who considers organized religions to at best be a harvest of instructive metaphors and mythologies, not of literal, absolute truths. I wish simply to remind the reader that at its core, the situation today in America and the world is spiritual in nature and far more complex than the threadbare left vs. right political polemics or sectarian religious zeal one might believe.

“In political parlance, a useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of (such as Marxism) and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.” ~ Wikipedia

On a positive note, one name being given to the New Paradigm is Re-Enchantment.  The best primer I’ve come across on the subject is titled, “The Re-Enchantment of the World,” by Morris Berman. It’s available inexpensively in mass market paperback. 

In 2022, I’ll begin a new series on the metaphysical aspects of re-enchantment and how Chrysalis Tarot might be useful in understanding and perhaps in transitioning to this new world view. 

N.B. For additional insight into the term “Useful Idiots,” I recommend this piece from an excellent Word Press blog called Sheeplywolves. 

 

© Toney Brooks, 2017, 2021