Godly Leadership | CrossLeft

Godly Leadership | CrossLeft

Pilgrim at CrossLeft.org has written a post bemoaning the lack of a progressive leader who can galvanize the left into a cohesive voice against the abuses of the current administration. S/he looks somewhat longingly back to the 70s, asking what happened to the activists of days gone by.

I'm wondering if 60's style protests would have any impact, even if they could be organized. With most news coverage reduced to sound bites and a few seconds of video footage, what can a protest accomplish but to make the protestors look like extremists? The article sites fear of the consequences as one factor in preventing effective protest, but I think it goes deeper than that. I'd be willing to get on the FBI's "bad side," perhaps even be arrested for non-violent protest, provided I thought it would make a difference. That's where I think the problem lies. Learned helplessness and apathy.

I remember my college Psych 101 class, where we learned about experiements done on dogs. They were made immobile, and then exposed to repeated electric shocks. After a while, it got to the point where the dog wouldn't move to aviod the shock even when it was able to do so. It would just lay down and take it. Learned helplessness. That's what i fear is really wrong. And I don't know what to do about it.

An effective media would go a long way toward correcting this, I think. But I don't see that happening. In an era where staged conflict is passed off as "reality," (reality shows) what chance does in-depth, intelligent reporting have? Or, for that matter, an in-depth, intelligent politician? I understand that there has to be some focus on being elected in order to be able to effect change, but electability has become an end unto itself. In that regard, I don't see the left as any better than the right.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't know what an answer is. Maybe no short-term answer is needed. I'm actually thinking that the writing is on the wall for this administration. But what about next time? How can we learn to see the "warning signs" and be heard about it, before it's too late to do anything about it?
Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.




I'm glad I could provide a good example for your class. ;)

I agree that we're on a cusp. I'm just not sure what that means in terms of appropriate action.

I'm reminded of the scene from Monty Python's "Life of Brian" where Brian's "supporters" keep going on and on about needing to stop talking, and actually do something. So they make a motion to discuss it in committee.

I'm going to tell my class that you retained the learned helplessness lecture.....they just tested over that. Unfortunatly learned helplessness is not easily reversed.....this explains why a battered woman stays in a house to be battered again and again.

Those of us with an internal locus of control know that our choices determine the consequences in our lives. We see that we can produce change. For the others with an external locus of control, consequences just happen no matter what they do.....they do not believe they have any control on the outcome.

It will take an organized effort (not riot) to get our numbers high enough to force change. I think we are on the cusp.....the last elections were close. With the approval rating in a slump this may be our chance.