“We the people” has historically meant “fifty-five privileged white males whose class interest required a strong central government.” Bush and the 2000s – the last history Zinn covers – did nothing to disprove this buried fact. “We the people” will continue to represent and reinforce that fundamental reality until “we the people” reclaim ourselves and start creating a civilization worthy of the name. America as we know it is a failed experiment. America as we might know it? That’s a different story, and one we’re able to tell if we will it. Instead of looking to our leaders to save us, instead of expecting our government to change and therefore to change our lives, we have to live the cliche: be the change we wish to see. Our reliable plutocrats are only reliable in their plutocracy; they owe us nothing, they will give us nothing. Why should they? Why should they concede any power, or any more than they need to? We expect too much of them by expecting anything at all. Instead of expecting anyone else to do anything, we can take up the call ourselves and start changing the world. How? We change ourselves. We end the tyranny of consumerism over us; we opt out, in whatever small ways we can. We create ripples. Sure, they’re only ripples in the middle of an ocean. Who cares? You do, and that’s why they matter. That’s why they will matter. Don’t expect your ripples to turn into waves right away. Just keep your head above water as long as you can. Who knows…you might see a few waves! But even if you don’t, you keep swimming anyway, you Dory-inspired warrior, you. Why? What else will you do? Sink to the bottom? Become ragged claws like that poetic coward, J. Alfred Prufrock? Why are you so afraid of your own power, your own being? Be! That’s the only life imperative you have to worry about. In being, you act. In acting, you are. You are your actions. So do something and become something, and then, never stop! Change, sure. But keep going. When enough of us make ripples, we’ll no longer move with the water; the water will move with us.
This is water. This is water.
We are water. We are our own greatest source of life. We look deep insides ourselves, and we see that we already have everything we need to flourish. Flow, all you miracles. Flow.