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The story so far

The story so far

After about eighteen months of this inquiry, I took time during our 2005 summer holiday to consider how it was going. For more detail of the review process see Action Research Inquiry.

The inquiry was kicked into action, and early on was turbo-charged, by the openly tyrannical response of the Bush administration to the 9/11 events in New York. Though deeply shocked by such an iconic colonization of the US disaster movie, I did feel that they had it coming, if only because of US support for Israeli oppression in the Occupied Territories and their collusion with the Saudi Royals and the other oiligarchs of the Gulf.

The WMD fiction, the attack on Iraq, the reprisal attack on Falluja; the Abu Ghraib torture evidence; the legalisation of torture by the US administration, Guantanamo ‘enemy combatants’ and the Israeli wall, woke me up from a dozy abstracted sense that domination and bullying were a cultural problem and propelled me into looking at them as life-threatening. Both locally as it has proven, in London, as well as New York, Madrid and Bali, and on the global scale, as the ubiquitous shadow side of the supposed naturalness of dominance—damage, undermines the ecology of the planet. I became newly aware of the extent to which the nakedly imperial ambitions of the US had deep roots and a long history. Of course I knew this but I didn't feel it.

Feeling it meant moving into some kind of action, action that at least meant I was not bystanding the intolerable actions of the US and the UK governments. What was available to me? Where did I have the technical means? Where potentially could I find a voice however tentativeor uncertain? This continuing inquiry, published on the internet, (see CONTENTS) has been the result.

The inquiry unfolded haphazardly, as inquiries should. Daily events stimulated and overwhelmed my capacity to respond (they still do) but the material does seems to have fallen into a handful of categories or responses. Follow the selection of links below to taste the findings.

  1. Find the strength to look at the horror of what was being done in your and my name, keep in touch with a wider range of non-mainstream media for information that was less filtered for acceptability.

  2. Look at my own behaviour, at the extent to which it might mirror the domination that was being written on the world, as the Bush administration, to quote Ariel Dorfman, ‘crashes America into the world’.

  3. Trying to divine what was shaping the attitudes and policies of the US and allied administrations and the opposition to them.

  4. The origins of domination and subordination and what keeps them in place.

  5. A sharper sense of the extent to which domination is ‘in the grain of the time’, the extent to which we inhabit cultures of domination. Documenting this became a daily preoccupation.

And… a big and… the task of Confronting the love of power began to overwhelm the parallel task of Facilitating the power of love, and Satygraha, Ghandi's name for positive programmes that are distinct from, and not shaped by, resistance to tyrrany and oppression.

Living from love is not an abstraction for me, it is a daily moment by moment take on life, a task involving family, friends, colleagues, and the work I do, but in the last few months I felt I was being co-opted unwillingly into a level of interest in the dynamics of domination that however necessary last year, and the year before, was now in need of redress.

To honour this structurally, I came up with the notion, and supplied the means, to change the name and the whole way of organizing the inquiry's outreach.

g.o.r.i.l.l.a., the name I adopted ten years ago when I began web actitivities resisting the abuse of power in the psychotherapy communities in the UK, (gorillas are a huge, gentle vegetarian creatures threatened with extinction) and the blog format, gave way to livingfromlove, where you are now reading this. A new container that better reflects present priorities.

This review continues in The story so far: 2.

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This document was last modified on 2005-11-07 13:17:14.