Saturday, May 25, 2024

#146 / The "Mitochondria" Of Politics


If the purpose of "politics" is to serve as the "active ingredient" in "self-government," and that's the way I'd put it, then the question of "what powers politics" becomes rather important. 

"Mitochondria" power the human body, and I am sucker for metaphor. If you are willing to explore the metaphor I am going to suggest, here's a link to an article from MedicalNewsToday. That article will tell you quite a bit about mitochondria. I want you to consider that we need to do to find the "political" equivalent of mitochondria, which we surely need to do if we want to be serious about self-government.

To put it another way: What powers the politics that gives us "self-government" and that insures the health of our body politic? What is the "political" analogue to the mitochondria that power and protect our physical bodies?

I would like to suggest to you that our "political mitochondria" will be found in "small groups" which get together, regularly, and in a disciplined way, to try to achieve the kind of governmental actions (including even "revolutionary" actions) that will ultimately determine the shape and character of our human world. 

I have been putting out blog postings that say that there are challenging times ahead (just in case you haven't noticed) and that we are not going to be able to rely on the routine "administration" of our government to deal with either the perils or the possibilities ahead. "Powerlessness" is the failure of politics, and we need to be able to "power up" to realize the possibilities, and to stave off the perils that we currently face, and that we are going to face even more, in the future. 

[If you have to ask "what perils?" and "what possibilities?" I don't think you have been paying attention to what's going on in the world]. 

I am advising that "small groups" are the "political" equivalent to mitochondria. I have previously said exactly that, albeit in different words, in "Find Some Friends." If you want to go back to the time of the American Revolution (which is always a worthwhile and much-recommended trip in time) then I suggest you look into the existence and operation of those "Committees of Correspondence" that were a main reason that our Revolution was successful.

I am not any recognized national leader. I am not any recognized state leader. Actually, I am not even recognized as a "local" political leader, anymore - and I'm not sure that "leaders" are really "where it's at," either, when we start thinking about how to create and sustain a healthy and powerful politics. That said, I do have some real experience in what I consider to have been a "revolutionary" politics, carried out at the local level in Santa Cruz County, California during the time I served on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors (1975 - 1995). The local newspaper, which never once supported my election to that County Supervisor position, did say that I was one of the two most important individuals who affected Santa Cruz County during the 20th Century. Maybe I was. And maybe not! But what definitely did influence this period of Santa Cruz County history were the small groups of people who worked on issues of land use and environmental protection, protection of our marine environment, protection of local neighborhoods, and who fought for economic, racial, gender, LGBTQ+, and social justice.

I was introduced into politics through my association with the Save Lighthouse Point Association. What ultimately came out of the efforts of that group changed history in our local community, and actually changed state and national history, too. Those "Committees of Correspondence" did change history in what became the United States of America. 

Want to "Make America Great Again"? Listen to Margaret Mead, whom I have frequently quoted:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Find some friends. Get together in a group. Don't forget what those mighty mitochondria can do!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. So true. Santa Cruz is the land of small, effective groups.


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