Power manifests in a regularly recurring historical pattern: when there is a successful critique of the dominant power and its institutions and accompanying mythology, the critique in turn becomes institutionalized as the new center of power and new mythologizing and in that process falls into a corrupted form of the original. This pattern emerges with civilization, disrupting the community basis that is normative for the human ego: as collective power structures scale up, the ego scales up its identification. Thus the origins of this recurring historical pattern are evolutionary and psychological: dating back to the emergence of homo sapiens sapiens around 200, 000 years ago, the individual ego identifies with collective power structures greater than itself in order to counter its weakness and anxiety over survival. Today collective power – modern highly industrialized technology supporting an economy of infinite growth – has attained a global scale of destructiveness, and we must divest from our identifications with it.

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