Reviving, Thriving, Embodying Peace

I love Rabbi Michael Lerner’s 10 Commandments To Revive Progressives After the November Defeat. What I particularly like is that many of the commandments apply equally well to any group of people that feels tempted to despair, fear, demonizing ‘the other,’ scapegoating, and behaving like a victim; and the rest of them speak to creating a true community of pacific mimesis on Earth, rather than idolising political leaders who promise change or hope or even political success.

(My comments and summaries are in quotes.)

1. Don’t let the media frame this as a defeat of progressives (because Obama’s agenda wasn’t progressive)

2. Challenge the elitism in the Left. (Voting for the right-wing was a rational choice, not a stupid and reactionary one. I’m not 100% sure of that in most cases, but I do think that painting all Republicans or conservatives as stupid and reactionary is stupid and reactionary, especially when Democrats, liberals and progressives see themselves as smart and thoughtful.)

3. Challenge the religo-phobia in the Left. (Believing in God isn’t stupid or immature.)

4. “Do not demean those who disagree with us. Act as though every person, no matter what their politics, is created in the image of God or deserves fundamental respect, and only challenge their ideas and policies, but without attributing bad motives to them.”

5. Take time every day to rejoice in the grandeur and awesome mystery of the universe….

6. “Build a unified political movement that calls for A New Bottom Line in American society so that instead of judging institutions, legislation or policies rational or productive only to the extent that they maximize money and power, they are judged by how much they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical and ecological behavior and awareness, and the extent to which they tend to encourage us to be more caring toward each other and the earth and more able to respond to the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement at the grandeur of being and consciousness and to experience true gratitude at being alive.”

7. Build within the Democratic Party an opposition to the corporate-oriented leaders of that party.

8. Build outside the Democratic Party a separate political party that talks about love, kindness, generosity, and The Caring Society — Caring for Each Other and Caring for the Earth. … Start speaking the language of the heart.

9. “Create a United Progressive Fund so that all the different progressive organizations stop competing with each other for funding and instead allocate according to how many people belong to any given progressive organization.”

10. “Don’t be realistic! The powers that be in the media, politics and economics define “realism.” … Realism is idolatry — believing in God is believing that there is some Force in the Universe (some of us call it God) that makes possible the transformation from ‘that which is’ to ‘that which could and should be.’ “

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