Success Stories: Survival and Rebellion Taos Style

By: Bill Whaley
1 December, 2017



In America today, the public discourse, once a discussion promoted by the mainstream media, has been undermined by the prevalent “Tweet.” The brilliance of Donald Trump cannot be underestimated, due to his captive followers and their “belief in belief.” The institutions of Congress, the Courts, the rule of law, the Greco-Roman Judeo-Christian ethics and morals, which undergird principles, have been thrown out. Trump has found a way to neutralize the media, the facts, reality itself by appealing to the cult of resentment in an atmosphere of sado-masochism.

While some of us adjust to the deplorable consideration of “facts” and our own retrograde connection to “fake news,” which is real, our reality has been subverted by propaganda and the interpretation of ideas detached from experience or verification. During the 16th and 17th Century, the wars of religion in Europe, a contest between Protestants and Catholics, degenerated into a myriad of sects and factions, states v. religious establishments, common decency v. violent reprisals, and led to the Enlightenment and Modernism.

But the Renaissance or promise of Humanism was undermined by Modernism: the detachment of body and mind, the separation of the qualitative from the quantitative, which made the world safe for science (religion by another name) or the faith in empiricism. But detached from the historic and traditional ethics and morals, the reasoned analysis of the human being by the Greeks or the felt compassion of the Christians, Science and vice combined to bring us, several hundred years later, to the current state of crisis.

In the USA, we are now captive of the “Donor” Class: the elite billionaires, who are slaves to their appetites, the lust for more money and power. The worst of the Conservatives have names like Mercer (Trump funders), the Koch Brothers (Republican funders) and the Adelson-Vegas mobsters (Trump and Republican funders). Make no mistake, the Russia-style oligarchs and gangsters, the kleptocracts, are running the country. On the liberal side, Wall St. Bankers and names like the Billionaire Buffet and Gates and Apple (Jobs) and Facebook (Zuckerberg) all conspire to pilfer the private purse and keep it but with a smile and patrician tone of tolerance.

The ideology of capitalism survives in the above names and nameless corporate and institutional suites as beings who are anti-color, anti-women, and anti-middle and lower classes. The upper middle class professionals serve as clerks for the rich just as the cops serve as their police force to keep the rich safe from the folks. Shoot a black man, send a message. Grab a woman, send a message. Some grimace, some smile, all are agents of the con, just like the puppets called Clinton and Trump.

Taos and the Rest

But we Taosenos have our way of adapting to the trade in capital as locals, including Hispanic Natives and the Natives at Taos Pueblo, and their affinity groups among Anglos, adapt and wield the ways of survival.

Taos Pueblo survives because the Tribe ignores “modernism” and the separation of human beings from nature. Clever Hispanic Taoseno politicos conquered the federal government and bled the Americano occupados via los politicos for years in response to Manifest Destiny (just as the Coop does today). Now the agile and adept locals are turning family homes and guest properties into AirBnBs to meet the needs of tourists. It’s one thing to work as a maid at minimum wage, and another to clean up your adobe abode after getting paid high dollars for a room rental.

Meanwhile, the culture of art and yoga, the recreationists and outdoor enthusiasts combine to make lives meaningful the old fashioned way: prayer, creativity, survival off the trickle down, ignore the TV. In Taos newcomers and tourists serve as flowers in the fields for local pickers.

Since “non-resident” Taos Town leaders and alienated Kit Carson Coop Trustees ignore their historic duty to the local culture and residents, activists and rebellious Taosenos are closing ranks behind a younger generation of potential political leaders and independent home solar projects to beat “the man” at his own game and release themselves from the claustrophobic Reyes’ “grid.”

Currently the Town hides behind the p.r. of “Strong at Heart,” coincidentally a mask for a power grab behind alleged good intentions (Sartre called it “bad faith”), just as the Coop promotes the commodification of “Solar Energy” at ten times the cost of private independent installation. An old man at Taos Pueblo once told C.J. Jung that “the sun is a god, anybody can see that” (but the Coop can’t). It’s free for the taking.

Anyone can see that the Mayor and Manager, who live in Lower Las Colonias in the County, are “not from here.”  The opposition to the mayor, candidate Darien Fernandez, and council candidate Pascual Maestas, who is running for Fritz Hahn’s seat, act like they “are from here.”

The Sins of Leaders

Bellis, Barrone, and Hahn gave away the citizens’ rights to sunshine and transparency in their pursuit of Smith’s and the Holiday Inn, even as they were aided and abetted by the likes of Pollard and the Planning Commission. Why is the Don Fernando, despite a state gift of $500,00 still closed? And why hasn’t the developer of the Holiday Inn broken ground. Is he out picking up litter with Pavel?

Bellis is Barrone’s “bête noir” and the Mayor must pay the price for deceiving the people just as Hahn must pay the price for “betraying” his principles and the voters who supported him. The Trustees at the Coop “physically” revenged themselves on a trustee who “spoke (literally) truth to power. But there’s a greater power than a 100-Watt light bulb (even if Trustees don’t know how to change it): that lucky old sun keeps rolling round heaven all day, anybody can see that.

A righteous man and the hoi polloi are coming for the elites who dwell behind the White House gates, protected by right-wing conspirators and fools, fools who would rather consort with molester Judge Roy Moore in Alabama than a decent representative of law and order, a former U.S. Attorney, Doug Jones. Yes, Robert Mueller and the FBI are closing in on the Russian-Republicans in D.C. who betrayed their country with the help of Corporate Americans, like Facebook et al, which posted subversive propaganda.

The melodramatic doings are playing out on Reality TV whether real or fake.

A Trend?

Recently, in one of the native villages aqui en Taos, an internecine battle turned into a humiliating defeat for alleged and historic local bullies, who were deposed by the hoi polloi. Repeated allegations of fraud and abuse aimed at the now “headless one,” have contributed to guerrilla war in an important County political contest. We might take a page from the patient people of greater Arroyo Seco, who know a thing or two about “pitchforks.” (Didn’t they rise up when Dennis Hopper and his show-biz thugs tried to arrest one of their own lo’ these many years ago?) Eh?

For this is the calm before the storm. Merry Christmas, mis amigos.

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