Sunday, January 18, 2009

I have been watching CNN's Obama love fest and following Dawn's DC blog. I've also been thinking of writing an essay on "Obama and what it means for Education" for Harvard Educational Review but I get caught up in the emotional highs and I can't write. Did you see those kids from Ron Clark Academy, the little Obamas (although there's another Chicago group calling itself same)? I love it!
Over dinner the conversation goes like this:
Leny: there's a love fest going on CNN but the radical left is cynical; they think O is not going to change anything fundamental.
C: what does the radical left want?
Leny: a change away from the imperial narrative (being no.1 in the world; of behaving as if the US owns the world); demilitarization; redistribution of wealth.

Oh, I don't much like it when I sound like a damper on the euphoria of the moment. Yes, it is a historical moment. It is a radical shift. It sends out a message of hope and renewal in America's greatness (but pls, let's redefine this word).

But the other night I was listening to Jeff Sachs' lecture on his theory of divergence and convergence and he is saying some things that I haven't heard in the discussion of the financial/economic mess we're in. What I hear him saying is this: We can no longer rely on the economic theories of the 50s when we relied on nature's limitless capacity to support our technological and industrial innovations. Today we know that those resources are limited and that the carrying capacity of the planet is in peril. We cannot tell China and India and the rest of the planet not to develop that is why we need new economic theories. Etc.etc. Why haven't we heard from Jeff Sachs on the current mess we're in? Why haven't the Obama folks asked him for advice?
In a guest appearance on the Daily Show, Sachs said: first, we need to stop bombing everyone we disagree with. (watch the rest of what he said...)
So I am hoping that Obama would lead us gently into a new way of thinking about ourselves and the planet we live in. I hope he is just holding back because maybe he senses that the Average American is not ready to hear this new paradigm.

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