[A book with four interlocking themes:
- how to communicate with the dead;
- the life of a 19th-century American;
- the massive task facing us today, and
- the physical world’s place in the scheme of things.]
[Sunday, February 26, 2006]
(7 a.m.) I begin to see it, my friend. I got the outline of it, but of course can’t tell the detail or how to make it practical – and I well understand that making it practical is not my job, as it calls for talents I do not have, and would lead me away from the talent I do have. But I will help you get out the word and we will see what happens.
Yes. If people in your time don’t respond, well – like I said – it won’t do itself, it needs people to fight. But this gives ‘em a vision, for them that catch it.
All right, Joseph, proceed. And this time I’m going to raise objections and questions as I see them if only to help you to deal with your unseen audience.
You do know how few people could do this, at this time. Part of the trick is to get people in general doing it – interacting with the other side, as you call it, on a matter-of-fact basis like talking on a telephone. That is going to cause its own problems, but it is the ticket, for a couple of reasons.
All right, you were asking for suggestions and I made one that startled you. Let’s see if it startles your friends. You have been getting the feeling that we have been doing this for some practical reason, as well as developing your ability, and you are right. I will lay it out and we’ll see.
I told you, in your time you are facing the same problem we faced, and the same problem “the people” always face – some people are hogs and want the rest of the world to be their slaves, making bread but not getting to eat it. This is not attacking any particular family or group, because “hog-ism” is something anybody can fall into. The reason it has to be contained by society’s structure – and not just by a few trials here and there – is because it is a part of human nature, and so nobody should be trusted to not be a hog; everybody should be protected from each other and from themselves, from being or becoming run by “hog-ism.:
The communists sort of had a notion about that, but they believed in the perfectibility of man – which they helped disprove! – and they trusted people with power – and disproved that too – and, worst of all, they had this fuzzy idea that there shouldn’t be rich people and poor people but all one level. Well, that just goes against everything in people, and animals too. Even among my family some had a lot of horses and some didn’t, and what is the point of having talent if you can’t use it to get ahead. But it is when getting ahead means pushing people’s heads under water that things are out of control.
What you want is not a society without classes but more what we were building before the anti-slavery crusade threw up so many rich combinations because of the war.
You need an anti-slavery society of your own, a world-wide anti-slavery society, set up to agitate against slavery in your time, the way the anti-slavery societies did in my time.
It wasn’t the Republicans that saved the union and destroyed slavery, and it certainly wasn’t the Democrats or the Whigs before ‘em. It was the people, and if you don’t understand that you don’t see the key to your own struggle.
You once get the people understanding what is at issue and who is on one side, and who is on the other, and your battle is half over. It wasn’t the Republicans that began the idea of resisting the spread of slavery – it was the idea of resisting the spread of slavery – of wiping it out – that created the public opinion and the events that created the Republican Party!
You are all going about it the wrong way if you think you can vote a party into power and have them protect you. What you have got to do if you are going to have a prayer of succeeding is to get the people to understanding what is going on – and then organizing right along with it – and then becoming a force. Once the force is there, one or the other parties will attach to it, or a new one will spring up around it, and then you will have a chance, if you remember not to trust them either but to stay on the watch. Power corrupts, and if you think you are an exception, why then I would set two guards on you first off.
But – you see? First you need your Worldwide Anti-slavery Society. Then you need to get out the word – not just in your country but in all countries where you can. Then the people got to throw up organizers, and workers, yes and martyrs too, for there was never a crusade without sacrifices. And then at some point political leaders will come.
Don’t make the mistake of racism or class-ism. Just because somebody’s rich don’t mean he don’t have a conscience. Just because he’s poor, don’t mean he’s listening to his. Some Mexican or Frenchman or Chinese or Hindu Indian may be your Abraham Lincoln, or more likely your Elijah Lovejoy or maybe your John Brown. This is a worldwide struggle now because all your time is becoming one thing.
I need to go. More later?
Whenever you’re ready. (7:25)