Sunday, 21 January 2018 10:32

America is where it needs to be but must change

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AMERICA IS WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE BUT MUST CHANGE

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

America, a country, like individuals, is the sum of its past. The sum of America's past determines where it is at today.

America's past was one where Europeans came to the Americas and expropriated the land from Native people and imported African slaves and used their labor for free to cut down the virgin land.

From about 1830 America began to industrialize. It imported working class Europeans to the country to work in the factories. They were worked for sixteen or more hours a day, pretty much like the African slaves working on America's farms.

America began as a slave society. Slavery influenced America's culture to the present. America is a slave society (beneath the veneer of democracy is slavery; white working class are supped up slaves).

American politics is the politics of slave masters and slaves. The political class works for the economic class (the real owners of America); the political class passes laws to oppress white working class and, of course, black and brown folks.

Is this dreadful situation going to change soon? I wish that my wishful thinking could change America but it will not change it.

I wish for a social democratic society, as exists in Scandinavia but that is not going to happen in the USA in the next one hundred years.

America has a slave culture; it specializes in oppressing folks while giving them the impression that they are free. Exploitation is in the bone marrows of Americans.

One must accept the slave culture of the USA. This does not mean that one should be fatalistic but that one should not engage in magical thinking and expect changes today.

One must quietly work for the type of society one desires. I work for a social democratic society where the public gives all people education through university and gives all people health insurance.

I accept capitalism as the most productive economy there is but want to add some socialism to it, as in mixed economy.

Will this happen in my life time? I am not sure but the desire keeps hope alive in me. When hope for a better future dies in a man he gives up the spirit and dies. So, I will cling to my hope even if at present it seems utopian.

Regarding African societies I do not expect them to change soon. If we succeed in getting Africans, especially Nigerians to become less thievish we would have made tremendous progress. I do not expect Africa to be well governed in this century. But out of the chaos and anarchy that is Africa a future well governed Africa will emerge, say, in the twenty second century?

The present Africans are too corrupt and, as such, only a fool would expect them to change in their present life times. Give Africans money to develop their continent and they steal it. That is not going to change soon.

When I see people I immediately appraise their character strengths and weaknesses and wish that they had only healthy characters. Is my wish going to change and make people have healthy, that is, loving characters?  If wishes were horses poor people would ride them!

People's characters are the sum of their body and social experience up to now. They cannot be suddenly changed because one wants them to change. It takes several centuries to understand and change the human character and culture.

Therefore, I live with people as they are now.  I am a social-political realist and accept people and their cultures as they currently are: imperfect and do not hope to change them. However, I quietly articulate what they could become in the future but do not expect that future now.

BYRON KATIES'S LOVING WHAT IS

Byron Katie is correct in saying that what is happening to the individual is what is happening to him and that that is his present reality.

For example, I could not do all kinds of jobs; the only jobs I could do were the jobs that I did; not ideal jobs but those my body could do. I spent a lot of time wishing for ideal jobs.

Every person is doing what he can do at any point in time. One's reality is ones reality and cannot not be it given his biological and social experience.

Wishing for another reality is pointless, for one's reality is what it is; it cannot be changed but could be understood and made less painful.

Byron Katie's Taoist philosophy dovetails to my realistic philosophy; we have a meeting of minds.  I will give a public lecture based on her philosophy and the Work (I do Monday evenings, two hours, public lectures).

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

January 21, 2018

www.centerformindscience.org

 

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176