A WAKE-UP CALL TO THE PEOPLE OF

RUSSIA
CHINA
ISRAEL
YUGOSLAVIA
EAST TIMOR
NORTHERN IRELAND
RWANDA AND BURUNDI
UNITED STATES
CANADA
...

You are blindly dancing
THE TERRIBLE DANCE OF POWER

So long as you are blind to the dance,
You are destined to continue it.
and pay the price


THE TERRIBLE DANCE OF POWER

There is a dance that takes place with great regularity,
a terrible dance -
a dance of death and destruction,
human beings killing and destroying one another in great numbers
for great and noble causes.
We have danced this dance throughout our history.
We dance it now
In Russia with the oppression of the Chechens
In China with the oppression of the Tibetans
In Israel with the oppression of the Palestinians
in the Balkans with the oppression of the Kosovars
in Sri Lanka
in Burma
in East Timor
in Northern Ireland
in Rwanda and Burundi
in the United States
in Canada
in the Philippines
in Peru
in South Africa
in Zimbabwe
and elsewhere.
We have danced the dance in years gone by
in the great American West
with the annihilation of the American Indian
in Turkey
with the killing of the Armenians
in Germany
with the murder of Jews and gypsies and homosexuals
in the Soviet Union
with the starvation of the peasants
in South Africa
with the subjugation of Blacks
in Cambodia
with murder of millions
in India
with Hindus and Moslems massacring one another.
Death and destruction
always for great and noble causes.


Step #1. The High Power People are the bearers of some higher vision

The dance goes something like this:
There is a nation
and in that nation
there are the High Power people.
The High Power People control the nation's resources -
its food, materials, technology, weapons, opportunities.
And there are the Low Power people.
The High Power people see themselves
as the bearers of some higher vision -
Manifest Destiny
the Master Race
the True Religion
the Way.
And standing in the path of this vision
are the Low Power people -
blocking the vision
or defiling it.

Step #2. The High Power People see themselves as somehow special.

The High Power people see themselves as WE -
as somehow special,
noble
righteous
favored by God.
And they see the Low Power people as THEM -
as insignificant
or unclean
or dangerous
or evil.
And because the Low Power people are so insignificant or dangerous or evil -
because they are THEM -
the High Power people can do to them
things they would never do to one another.

Step #3. The High Power People feel justified in oppressing the Others.

And so
the High Power people act against the Low Power people.
They establish rules or laws or customs
that make things better for the WE
and worse for the THEM.
They may prevent the Low Power people from practicing their ways,
they may drive them from their territory,
or confiscate their property,
or enslave them
or exile them
or annihilate them.
The High Power people can do all of this without guilt or shame
because they see the Low Power people
as THEM
as lesser
as insignificant
or unclean
or dangerous
or evil.

Who wouldn't do this to such people?


If the Low Power People are dispersed, crushed or eliminated,
the dance is over.  If the Low Power people are not destroyed,
the dance goes on.

Step #4. The Low Power People protest.mildly.

The Low Power people respond gently -
fearfully,
even apologetically.
("We don't want to make them angry.
If we behave nicely, they'll see how good we really are.")
They cast ballots
elect representatives
debate
demonstrate

Step #5. The High Power People are affronted.and react

To the High Power people
the response of the Low Power people
is seen as a complaint
or threat -
and insult to the WE.
"Who are THEY to complain?"
and the response of the High Power people is harsh -
requests are ignored,
promises are made
and broken;
they delay,
or they intensify the oppression.

Step #6. A Radical Group develops among the Low Power People.
In response to the High Power people's actions
there develops among the Low Power people a new force -
a radical force.
The Radicals stand for more drastic action -
It's not accommodation they want
but fundamental change -
overthrow the High Power people
or separate from the nation.
Step #7. The Radicals go to war with both the Moderates and the High Power People.

The Radicals become a WE
and all who are not WE
are THEM.
The High Power people are THEM...
so are the Moderates.
And you can do to THEM
things you would never do to one another -
you can hurt them,
maim them,
bomb them,
torture them,
annihilate them.
The Radical can do all of this without shame or guilt
because they see the High Power people and the Moderates
as THEM -
as lesser
insignificant
unclean
dangerous
or evil.

Who wouldn't do this to such people?

Step #8. In the High Power People a split develops between the Accommodators and the Extremists.

In the High Power group
there are those who want to accommodate to the Low Power people -
redress their grievances,
right the wrongs done to them.
But, in response to the Radicals' actions,
there emerges a new force among the High Power people -
an Extremist force.
Angered by the Radical's actions,
the Extremists stand for no accommodation with the Low Power people.

The Extremists become a WE
and all who are not WE
are THEM.
The Radicals are THEM...
and all those suspected of being Radicals...
and all those who support the Radicals...
and all those among the High Power people who would accommodate to them.
They are all THEM,
and you can do to THEM
things you would never do to one another -
hurt them,
maim them,
bomb them,
torture them,
annihilate them.

The Extremists can do all of this without guilt or shame
because they see the Radicals and the Moderates and the Accommodators
as THEM -
as lesser
insignificant
unclean
dangerous
or evil.

Who wouldn't do this to such people?

Step #9. A Radical Group emerges within the High Power Group.

And among the High Power people
there emerges a High Power radical group.

These are the privileged sons and daughters of the High Power people,
who align themselves with the goals of the Low Power Radical people.
The High Power Radicals also stand for radical change -
fundamental changes in the power structure,
redistribution of wealth, power and privilege,
or separate homelands or nations for the Low Power people.
To the High Power Radicals
they and the Low Power Radicals are a WE,
and all who are not part of the WE
are THEM.
The Accommodators,
the Moderates,
the Extremists...
they are all THEM.

And you can do to THEM
things you would never do to one another -
humiliate them,
hurt them,
maim them,
bomb them,
torture them,
annihilate them.
The High Power Radicals can do all of this without guilt or shame
because they see the others as THEM -
as lesser
insignificant
unclean
dangerous
or evil.

Who wouldn't do this to such people?


Step #10. [Optional.] Change roles.

Sometimes the dance takes a new twist -
sometimes the Low Power people win;
they overthrow the High Power people,
and they becomes the new High Power people,
seeing themselves as the bearers of some higher vision -
The New Society
Manifest Destiny
The Master Race
The True Religion
The Way.
And standing in the way of this vision
are the Low Power people -
THEM.
And the terrible dance goes on -

Step 11. Even as we kill one another, we all take comfort in the fact that we are justified.

WE humiliate
WE hurt
WE kill
WE maim
WE bomb
WE hack
WE hang
WE mine
WE strangle
WE starve
THEM -
Always justified in what we do.
WE are the right and righteous.

Who wouldn't do such things to THEM?

The terrible dance continues
In Russia
In China
in Sri Lanka
in Israel
in Yugoslavia
in Peru
in Mexico
in Northern Ireland
in the Philippines
In Rwanda and Burundi
In the United States
In Canada
in....
in....
in....

A WAKE-UP CALL FOR ALL OF US

The Terrible Dance goes on
and it will continue
to cause pain, oppression, death and destruction
until we all choose
first, to see the dance,
second, to abandon our arrogance and righteousness,
third, to recognize the one-ness of us all,
and, finally,
to step out of the dance
and create a new dance.

Visit
www.terribledanceofpower.org
Write ethnic18@aol.org


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: "The Terrible Dance of Power" is intended to be a living document. New
dancers come on the scene and old dancers give up the dance. Unfortunately,
giving up the dance is a more difficult process than beginning it. Once "The
Terrible Dance of Power" begins, it is self-sustaining in a cycle of
righteous retribution.
Feel free to copy "The Terrible Dance", translate it, dramatize it, and add
or delete players as they move on and off the stage and as they relate to
dances in your world.

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