Chapter 2 – Retail and Consumerism
I would comment that I chose America as an example of the whole Western paradigm, as it is a trend setter for the world, good or bad.
In a society which has so far been based on consumption and procurement, without dramatic intervention, the continuing severe contraction of the retail industry is a clear and present indicator of the process of the collapse of the paradigm of consumption in America.
Every civilisation in the past has failed, as will we, our choice is to make the transition from the old to the new as peaceful and uneventful as possible, I know, a hard task! However unless there is an epiphany, and both Washington and Wall Street have an awakening, and realise what is good for all Americans is good for them, then the below is the path down which we may all be led.
Poverty and Inequality is not only about money, it’s allowed to exist, it is a choice our Governments make, for inequality is also about access to education, to nutritional food which leads to the aspect that the poor are so limited by which is the opportunity to shine – inequality in an economy is a big issue, in an economy the size of the United States it is a major issue. If the playing fields was level, I don’t have any problem with the rich being rich, what I do not agree with is a policy of creating a class system whereby the poor and those who don’t have money are treated with disdain and contempt by their own government, effectively blamed for the momentary place they find themselves, policies are in place to take support from those in an country who most need it, because they are easy targets and have no paid lobbyists, nor it seems any empathy from their elected advocates – that the poor and uneducated continue to vote them in even to their own detriment is an outcome of the success of the mass control programs I touched on in my previous post, here
From Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and Chief Economist and fellow of the Roosevelt Institute who offers a number of provocative insights in his 115 page report, but the key takeaway is – inequality isn’t inevitable, and it’s not just a social issue, but also an economic one, because it’s largely responsible for the fact that every economic “recovery” since the 1990s has been slower and longer than the one before. Inequality isn’t the trade-off for economic growth; rather, it’s both the cause and the symptom of slower growth – we can download the full report here
Already there is over a billion square feet of vacant retail space in the USA, and now the news that major U.S. retailers have announced the closing of more than 6,000 stores from coast to coast. The list includes only those retailers that have announced plans to close more than 10 outlets this year and next – This growing list of stores closings coincides with the ongoing decline in discretionary consumer spending – which is the consequence of the collapse of a viable living income, for those families, which are a countries financial backbone, the middle class in America.
The loss of retails outlets, will be the hardest felt in poorer and the lower middle class areas throughout America and of course overseas in countries, like Australia and perhaps Canada who tend to follow these flawed strategies.
Even at the time when productivity has increased, Corporate profits are at a all time high, disposable income for the majority of Americans has been reduced, there is just not the money available to consume anymore – credit cards are maxed out – many Americans are not earning to live, they are living to pay – this lack of money to consume in an economy based oin consumption, will impact much more than retail sales, it will affect the total gambit of consumption, travel, restaurants, new vehicle purchases, service industries, manufacturing and housing, in fact any expenses which are seen as unnecessary, then later this year the holiday season, travel and Christmas selling will be a disappointment. Income for the majority, has extra pressure coming from historically low wages – the demands of rising taxes, housing and health-insurance costs and you’ve got a formula for financial contraction across the board. All during this, the rich are being excused their equitable contribution to society itself, forcing the balance of the population to make up the difference, whilst the rich share an ever decreasing burden – that legislators don’t see the connect between income and expenses (especially when the US budget is serious deficit) is also a serious ideological deficit, but perhaps now too many legislators are no longer working for all Americans, and are perhaps working only for the rich?
The financial information is available …. below let’s look at brief statistics of the Income gains going to top 1% in various years
1954-7: 5% 1975-9: 25% 2009-12: 95% http://nyti.ms/1BhNrQq
The latest figures show that of all new money, 95% of it went to the very rich..
A further effect of the contraction is that households will tend to buy the cheapest of the known brands, further accelerating the investment in overseas manufacturing and reducing U.S. production capacity (and jobs) at home – however there will come a time, when no price will be low enough and even that strategy will fail … in the long term overseas manufacturers themselves will be vulnerable (affecting manufacturing countries such as China and many others), this will spread globally.. This is a trend that will likely affect the EU and other countries that follow the illusion of the American dream.
The effect of the employment in those sectors affected directly by the overall contraction will be major, it will naturally have a flow on effect on all companies involved, sales organisation and distributors, service, spare parts, any suppliers of technology, raw materials, energy, logistics, investment, construction for the entire sector as the ripple of the domino effect reaches outwards.
A correction will be necessary, this can either being managed, or it will just happen and the ashes will lay where they fall.
By it’s very nature I feel like Alice and the looking glass, change outside of the norm will not be possible, as observations of Politciians, reveal their many flaws, which are that they are driven primarily by self interest and dogma – however let’s look at sometime in the future. Then when we look back, what will have become of the monumental edifices, the largely vacant shopping malls, these symbols of the past ‘glories’ of consumerism, consumption and distraction – what are we to do with the vast buildings and their open spaces, perhaps housing? … a productive thing we could do, it rip up the vast car parks and do something useful with the land, like grow food!
Flowing on from this retail contraction, inevitably there will be corporate failures, first in retail, then in manufacturing and service industries, the more leveraged the company is, the more likely, but around this point this will be a financial Armageddon scenario, there will be no one to buy these assets, Banks will have made loans to formerly secure and even the blue chip – stocks will plunge, companies will fail, or go into Chapter 11, bankruptcy protection, (these assets will again be unwanted, useless, perhaps even toxic, as there will be no buyers), then the Banks (which were formerly too big to fail, and which are even now larger) will become vulnerable, cash will dry up, if this correction is wide spread, then the cycle that was started by greed, whose first chapter was the 2008, Global Meltdown will have its Finale, its curtain call for the banks will be asset rich, but cash poor, huge asset right downs, and this time, there will be no bail out, the Public cash cow won’t be there, the public won’t allow it (and the US can’t afford it) what we have is wide spread Corporate collapse – the US Budget itself will become even more vulnerable without Corporate Taxation and personal taxation income from the millions of the now unemployed, the currency will dramatically devalue, imports will costs more, what will need to happen will be severe and permanent expense cuts are applied – I cannot see the Hawks and the GOP accepting this, hence in time, inevitably societal collapse will follow.
The Corporate spin that Trade deals are good for America is a falsehood .. they are only good for Corporations – the NAFTA was supposed to increase jobs, but it has had the opposite effect, in effect over 600,000 jobs have been lost in the USA – Corporations just took the opportunity to move manufacturing to lower paid jurisdictions such as Mexico … the TPP .. the Trans Pacific Partnership will just exacerbate the job flow out of America to the regions that endorse the Treaty, but the real basis is the Corporate grab for more Power and control, the strategy is to entrench Corporate domination, what’s at state here is individual sovereignty .. I would suggest you look to David Korten’s article that will develop this further, here. This confluence of flaws and scenarios, from the Political, Administrative, Taxation, Judicial and financial mis-management, means we enter the unknown realm, of what happens next?
There is a lesson for us all here, sadly one we won’t learn from.. as George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said … “history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it – Hegel”
I guess a part of what I am saying is that unrestrained consumption for its own sake could not be sustained – but from an environmental point of view, the ending of this paradigm, means that the planet will get a reprieve.
References, Comments and Influences:-
Definition of Consumerism: a social and economic order and ideology encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. Early criticisms of consumerism occur in 1899 in the works of Thorstein Veblen.
The status-quo is always in transition, slowly … what works today may be made redundant tomorrow with a truly disruptive paradigm ( a life changing concept, not just a technical concept ) that takes hold of our imaginations – whether we have that time to wait, I don’t know – the future of the planet is in the hands of the Politicians at the moment, a more pathetic display of ignorance and uninformed power I have yet to see … the real issue is they they do not know what is the right decision, they are influenced by lobbyists by donors, and occasionally maybe a constituent, they do not know the right path, so they stay with no decision, which though they may not realise it, is still a decision which gives us more of the same, more of that which is patently not working.
During my research, I can see many people with thoughts of the future, so of us will be right, other not, me included, it really doesn’t matter. There are many people who are trying their best, actually within each person, I believe everyone is trying their best, we cannot and should not judge others, it is hubris and ego to consider that other people aren’t doing what they can, or that we are doing more. At some point the concerns of the people will reach an inertia and change will happen – but what is without question is that we are always in transition, as nothing stays the same, the purpose of this post, indeed all of my posts is to raise awareness, to offer a perspective … not to do so would be irresponsible, my efforts and those of others may change nothing, or perhaps everything, we cannot know what the ripple we create, will touch and what may come of it.
Inequality in the long run Thomas Piketty * and Emmanuel Saez 23 May, 2014
Rewriting the rules of the American Economy – Joseph E. Stiglitz – Download here
A Paradigm of Control
A way to control us, to move us towards an external agenda has been around since before the second world war, it was refined into a process by Edward Bernays, who is noted as the father of Public Relations, and its more sinister sister, Propaganda … he combined the ideas on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, into his book Propaganda (published in 1928).
We can find a resource to deconstruct the book ‘Propaganda’ (1928) by Edward Bernays, the father of Public Relations as well as the engineering of mass consent here – http://bit.ly/1kSTqDD
The concept was further explored in the four (4) part BBC documentary by Alan Curtis called “The Century of the self”(2002) – due to its importance and unavailability I went looking for an online resource, the only complete ones I can find are on Torrent sites – (Yes I know) – but it contains in my view a important perspective, as well it is a lucid and detailed analysis of our current paradigm and the mechanics of how we are controlled and manipulated to follow someone else’s agenda ..
We are not free, this is the great fear that is manipulated (in the USA and elsewhere) but we are not, we are just told we are … note if someone keeps telling me I am free or I should fight for it, I am obviously not free, in a way it’s like the short story, written by Hans Christian Anderson – Emperor’s New Clothes which can be defined as: Collective ignorance of an obvious fact, or deception, despite undeniable evidence – this also reminds me of climate change and the effect of Political influence on decision making.
Today the various aspects of control and propaganda are used by Governments, Corporations and many others to actually engineer our consent and or compliance … it is strange, for if you have tried to change an individual person’s mind, this proves almost impossible, but in the mass market using herd influences what we “like” but more, what we “fear” in all its forms are used to influence us, to, if you will, stampede us towards herd compliance – forcing us to use the emotional (the ancient limbic center of the brain), not the reasoning centers of the brain, to manufacture decisions that have been manipulated which are by and large invisibly coerced.
You might ask for examples of ploys, a very incomplete list as below.
Scarcity … We have only one left at this price or get one before the price goes up, next week – Rare products, real-estate and all collectibles work on this premise as well.
Fear – any number of triggers, to make people fearful, normally of a minority such as a person’s ethnicity, religion, race, skin colour, financial status (the poor and the homeless ) Abortion, Sexual preference (Lesbian, Gay and the Bi-sexual)
Asylum Seekers (Australia) and Immigration in lots of places (fear) – this I do not understand, for when you think about it, we are all immigrants, our families, all came from somewhere else.
Appealing to our likes, to our vanity, to our ego, to our self-worth (or more likely) our lack of it, and to our inherent human flaws weaknesses.
Nationalism and Patriotism – This week we are hearing about Texas being fearful of being invaded … what mind would conjure that thought? Fear based certainly, mind you such fear based thoughts are a great way to divert attention away (for a number of news cycles) from real and present problems in other areas of a State or countries economy or political system.
The more educated and experienced we are, the more likely it is that we will see through these control and influencing strategies, but sadly probably only in hindsight, rarely in the moment.
All these triggers are used to keep us feeling anxious and unsafe, in these emotional states we are susceptible to manipulation … these states are normal these days with the manufactured uncertainty courtesy of the 0.1% … the economies are failing, job security is (and in the major part always has been) uncertain, the paradigm is failing, me I believe it has already, we are in transition, but to what? … those in control hope to be there at the right time to offer an alternative .. to take away our fears – and our liberty at the same time … but remember when they say — you will be safe, you have to ask, safe from what – from the 0.1% or their manufactured threat. We are controlled in difficult and dire times, through our fears, we would rather choose something that is safe, than what we really want – so unless we have no alternative, we will maintain the status quo. Convention, is safe, convention is the paradigm, the layers of beliefs, that has been sold to us and the generations before us … but we are changing, convention is no longer what is safe, for now it has become a prison – a prison we can escape from sooner rather than later, if only humanity would learn from the past – but I feel confident, when we do begin to understand the lessons of the past – accept our environmental responsibility, and climate change – humanity will escape from this prison.
Control, conformity, aggression and even the path to hate come from fear … this is the most powerful trigger we have … but if you can appeal to desires, even manufactured desires (sold to them in the form of a paradigm .. “the American dream”) through this, which are led to consume or procure, you can manufacture a false happiness in the people, which they will buy, until the dream cannot be attained, however, this manufactured happiness is primarily about material things and the surface of life, there is no attempt or ability to find actual true happiness, for this is only attainable within us – it is not possible to find happiness in the broad terms of what is important to an individual, through control, or to find tranquility, that comes from their actual meaning of life – those in power cannot “fix” this, because it is not something that can be manipulated externally – because it is different for each of us as it is not material, it is emotional, but primarily spiritual.
A primary outcome of the paradigm of control we are in, is consumption – this needs money … unless you have it to purchase or consume, you have to borrow it – debt and its obligations are another way we are controlled, for the real price of debt is freedom. The consequences of this uncontrolled consumption, is the rape of our home, and the profound environmental disaster we are already within, but have no fear, the planet will survive, but if we continue the course we are on .. we will not.
The Media’s (attempts at News) is a subject for a detailed analysis later, but due to influence of corporate power through ownership or advertising revenue (whether explicit, implied – is again fear driven) … the majority of news organisations are no longer impartial – they either totally ignore an issue or beat it up to make it seem larger than it is … to generate fear (and ratings and revenue) … to push someone else’s agenda – as well to much of media is opinion, mostly uninformed opinion … or others spew hate and division, others infotainment – entertainment (diversion) and others meaningless rhetoric.
A definition; it is information that is not impartial or balanced which is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission), misrepresentation, focusing on a negative aspect, to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded emotive messages to produce an reaction, an emotional reaction (such as a fear driven response) rather than a rational response, when the information is impartially presented.
An example of this was the alleged and fraudulently represented the “infamous” weapons of mass destruction – proposed by President Bush his administration, and the coalition of the willing that were either lied to were coerced or complicit in the lies.
Now we refer to the master of manipulation … the way our past is manipulated, how the Bible, and other “good” books are manipulated for an external agenda,(where religion itself is used as a weapon) we must defer to recent masters, such as the Nazi’s and Adolf Hitler here – but the American, Russian, English Governments are almost there, good students seem to be the European Union, and the Australian Governments (Our Prime Minister is uninformed as well as being fixed in his beliefs, a Fundamentalist close to matriculating) are along the path – remember almost all Governments use these manipulation tactics – so do many families of course.
Here are some applicable quotes …
· It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge – Adolf Hitler and How fortunate for leaders that men do not think – Adolf Hitler
And for Iraq ..
· Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it – Adolf Hitler
This is how we went to war in Iraq – the lie was that the Iraqi’s had “Weapons of mass destruction” – it actually turned out that the lie was the Weapon of Mass Destruction … there were no actual such weapons in Iraq. The how is just a process of observing the timeline of events, but the more important question is Why … what was the reason that Bush ( who must be judged by history as a failed President) wanted war … is it just a simple case of divert our attention from his failings, or the state of the American economy, or was it a case of just follow the money … or something else.
The days of servant leadership is over … those Presidents that have had Military experience in a war zone .. the last was George H. W. Bush, before that Jimmy Carter a link to the Military records of US Presidents is here … in my view until one has been to war, once does not recognise the absolute waste and futility of it … it is surprising that no one since has an active war record .. they see no problem so readily going to war … obviously because they or their families won’t be part of it.
We can go back almost 2000 years to a quote about belief systems, by Lucius Seneca … “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful” – Lucius Seneca , also Napoleon Bonaparte said “Religion is the only things that keeps the poor man from murdering the rich.”
We will talk of this another time – namely the layers of military, the influence of the Military / Industrial / Intelligence sectors, the origination and the effect of terror and of course war itself (where the basest unrestrained drives are released uncontrollably) — Heinrich Himmler ( Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi German Chief of Police) said of terror –
“The best political weapon is terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don’t ask for love; only for their fear”
This is a integral part of any divide and rule campaign, by convincing through repeated lying (by the ignorant, too many Politicians, the bigoted, and fundamentalists) , that the poor, that the homeless, that immigrants, that a religious Minority (the Jews in Nazi Germany), in the current case the Islamic communities are blamed and profiled and thus targeted, this is quite revealing and wrong … it distracts people from the real cause, which in the current case is a total incompetence to deal with a new reality, a change global economy, as it moves away from consumption.Another way to distract people from their lack of opportunities is to go to war, in America’s case to start a war, which they do on a regular basis … they are in severe deficit, being technically bankrupt yet they continue to sign checks that just increase the overdraft. Why? Distraction, Predatory capitalism .. something I will need to do research on and see what comparison to previous cultures in history.
Let’s see on the surface, how Propaganda is used today? The most blatant users is always Government, and hence Political parties, as will those who are trying to become part of it, for their own agenda, of course it is used by spin doctors in business, but always it is used to push an agenda!
Political Influence – Propaganda
The Tea Party was originally a grass roots movement that came as a response to the gross injustices of the Global financial meltdown … that was hi-jacked by sociopathic, power seeking manipulative souls, perhaps in hindsight this should not be a surprise … the Tea Party has become such a divisive force in the USA, it has in effect now a major force in what was the Republican party, now the resulting party is no longer a healing and governing force, in fact one might call the Tea Party itself the American Taliban …. this place where the Fundamentalist (Christian fundamentalism began in the late 19th- and early 20th-century among British and American Protestants as a reaction to theological liberalism and cultural modernism)
Religion has been turned into a weapon ( it often is) … in this case the Christian Ideology is the weapon, it’s dogmatic immovable rhetoric, the inability to take criticism …. but for me, God only has one law – “love one another’ – one could define the platform on which these Politicians stand as to be made of sand, the Hubris of those that would consider themselves “holy” enough to interpret God’s law (cherry picked passages of course to further an agenda) – however this Propaganda is incredibly divisive .. it has corrupted and split the Republican party, it is even more divisive than its lesser know offshot “Creationism” – truly people who believe this are not in this world, with ample evidence of animals going back tens of millions, hundreds of millions of years …. and mankind going back to its origin point in Africa up to a million years ago … in a larger context what was once the home of the free … it is hastening the devolution of the United States of America as it is being manipulated along the path of division, to militarism, fascism and at the appropriate time, ultimately tyranny.
Aspects of a Fundamentalism (no matter what the underlying religion is)
- · A Tribal Mentality
- · Xenophobia
- · Aggression – comes from fear
- · Control and conformity – comes from fear
- · The Inability to take criticism or defend their words except from unsubstantiated dogma.
- · Hostility to Science and education in general
- · Need to control women’s bodies
- · Devolution of education
· Blame for what is wrong with America (or any country) – a target group or groups are needed to blame for all the ills (with Hitler it was the Jews) – this group that is blamed always an minority (and with little political power or influence), such as the poor, the homeless (a large number of which are ex: military), Lesbian, Gay and transgender communities, American Indians .. plus! –
· Divide and conquer – religion is being used (not for the first time) as a weapon
· Disinformation – America was not founded as a Christian country – it says so in the 1st Amendment, by John Adams in the Treaty of Tripoli – that Politicians say it is leads me to question their sanity, their ethics, intelligence – but most of all their honour and integrity.
· Using religion to exacerbate deep ideological differences, such as those between the North and the South
· Depersonalisation of people … seeing a person define by the colour, creed, religion or sex, using Labelling including Ethnic Profiling – it negates the concept that everyone has value, those they love, we must remember that past the external label everyone has family, everyone has desires for how they define happiness …. profiling in the case the distance of those in the middle east defines everyone as Muslims, when a large number are not … it is another way we divert attention … we blame others, when the cause is within our own society. We blame the world for 9/11 .. the cause of which was either as the 0.1% would have us believe or perhaps it was initiated within the United States, to find a scapegoat – Bush decided that cause was Iraq, which with the Global Financial Meltdown are in large part the reason for the mess we are in, for it has put us all on the path into the abyss.
The actual blame for the state of America, is not external … is within those who manipulate us … in their inability to understand the change of the paradigm, that previous strategies no longer work, in their fears (to always be anonymous, and to divert focus away from them – lest they become a target, themselves) whilst at the same time, becoming a privileged entitled elite within the world, at a cost to everyone else – manufacturing compliance for their strategy, through the media and their influence on Politicians and the political process
Remember a definition of the process of control … Much of #control is not in overt or authoritative #action but in planting seeds and mindfully #waiting ~ David Sanders #longcon
This is the status quo, and more control will come unless we change, the alternative is dramatic global change … preferably by a mass awakening .. or revolution which sadly seems more likely (as I said in my preface post) here , will just lead to more of what we have now is a generation or more, I believe what is needed is that we dramatically change our beliefs, namely that there have to be winners and losers, rich and poor, national borders for instance (no borders, no wars) – let me know what you think? If everyone has what they need, why would we need money at all? The key to this is respect for others and their right to liberty and self determination – note , there is much confusion between liberty and freedom … we can all be free… but freedom does not confer on anyone a right to restrict the rights or freedom of someone else!
References .. Books and Publications as for the preface post, the works of Freud, Jung and Edward Bernays … Laurence Lessing, Noam Chomsky; Fundamentalism – A Very short Introduction by Malise Ruthven (Oxford University Press); Encyclopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia; plus many more – interpretation comes from these resources and my own observations.
I have been so focused on my research into my current work America: the edge of the abyss .. when the below came to me in a rush! Perhaps it is a fantasy, inconsequential, a fiction, if so pay it no mind, but from the work that I have done of the spiraling culture of devolution, it may fit in broad terms.
Unless we have the time to pause and reflect via some king of “real” unifying event, or person, perhaps someone of the standing of the Pope to offer world leadership, or a major climate event – more likely, those behind the scenes will manufacture another event, a terrorist act where America will give away their liberty for security as they have previously done through the Patriot Act, and organisations such as Homeland, militarized police (almost every where) and other federal agencies, the FBI, DEA, TSA etc – such an event, will generate such fear a clamouring to keep “me” safe, it will hand the future to the very rich .. then as now, furthering the devolution of freedom,liberty and democracy to a darker, Fascism, to finally a new world order.
A great man, a thinker said it so much better than I can ..”Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security” – Benjamin Franklin
I feel, that we could be in the very beginning of a new dark ages, the wish for those behind the scenes is to effectively go backwards before the Magna-Carta (1215) .. but here there is no King that the Barons (the very rich families, represented through their sometimes visible Corporate or banking face) will accept to limit them, including the puppets we call the elected government, these Barons are about power, their only high priests are money and power …and for the majority, life will be oppression, subjugation, terrorism, tyranny, democide, poverty, slavery and hunger.
At the moment via slow mass manipulation the very rich are combined in the efforts to create a “new world”, one that has few if any obstacles to improving their power and control. Our lives and individual quality of life are of little meaning to them unless it affects their plans. Their ultimate motivator is one of power fueled by entitlement, drive by an ideology. Today global trade agreements, and individual countries conservative policies are removing more obstacles to their ascension.
I don’t foresee a technologically bereft society, but as in now technology will be used to surveil, monitor, to terrorize cruelly subjugate, to control and force conformity … such actions will be aggressive .. and as we know all these acts come from fear .. from a corrupt and flawed ideology .. a true terrorism.
At sometime in the future when they have achieved their aims, and the world is setup the way they wish, subjugated in slavery I mean, ultimately it will not be enough for them, fights will break out amongst themselves, creating a new geographic break up of the world, new countries … and so the cycle of ultimate decay and destruction will move forward … the poor, the uneducated the bureaucracy will all be subservient to the new order, fealty will be owed to these people who come from a world of entitlement, like the Kings of Old … but they will be tomorrows Kings, who’s will have armies made up of all but them, the poor, us, serfs really … perhaps a way to become anything is to fight in their wars, the only avenue out of poverty … so reminiscent of the Roman Empire.
Does this sound like a 1000 years ago, the Dark Ages … a culture of dynasties, of entitled sovereigns (anointed no less by a manufactured legality, like our is) eventually alliances between these new countries will be made through marriage between the very rich, all to maintain the new world order into the future .. that will fail of course as everything does, as every culture has in the past and will in the future, we will have learnt nothing from the past until someone says “what happened last time we did this”?
But until it does, the new world order will have at least the following
1. 1. No education other than what is absolutely necessary to fulfill your role.
2. 2. A very defined and enforced Class structure
3. 3, Relationships will be strictly controlled
4. 4, Media and Information will be strictly managed and controlled + + +
5. Ruthless Military control by the true believers – these will also expendable at the end of the day
The thing that is overlooked, is that a 1000 years ago, when we did this, we had no capacity to really hurt Gaea, that we have already is self evident … what those behind the scenes don’t understand is that Gaea will not be neutral – she will have a say in the battles … her power is of a scale so far beyond ours that ours is inconsequential.
This is all in the public arena, you all know how this will happen, we have had 1984 and Animal Farm from George Orwell (about the ultimate breakdown and corruption of ideologies – as has happened in America and other countries), so many Films such as V for Vendetta about the how, and the resulting social and moral destruction that will follow, based on privilege and entitled acts – we have the experience of the Russian revolution, the Nazi’s, Pol Pot (and his killing fields), Yugoslavia, Armenia – all believed they were creating a paradigm, some thought it would last a 1000 years … the trouble is all ideologies when they are enacted by ruthless zealots who “kill” … they have this belief that life will be great .. “when” …. the trouble is to get to that “when” millions or in our case billions might have to die …. for we will be expendable. As usual, the victor writes the history books, and the media is controlled, the spin masters will manufacture and write a palatable history.
When will such madness end? With the extinction of man? Will Gaea say enough is enough, and sweep us from the world and start again – or perhaps change will come by a spiritual revolution? I believe that mankind has the capacity to change, so long as we can change what we value .. the first step is changing what our children value …. nurturing our children, so no child is abused or forced to live in terror, by having their family murdered or worse still executed by say drone strikes … for all that brings their past and will just perpetuate the violence.
Working on the beginning of the posts which I started last post, America: on the edge of the abyss – it’s a long journey I have started – strange there truly is nothing new under the sun.
I leave you with the thought, how many times has mankind repeated this scenario in history?
I am looking at the current state of America, as a visible example of the direction our paradigm of the Western world is heading. One cannot but reflect on the devolution of what was once the home of the brave, and land of the free, for now that is just a memory, but perhaps it is one that can be resurrected and renewed, if there is the courage and the Political will.
Since 9/11 the decline of America (and others) has become mired and pronounced in areas of control, the sacrifice of the Public good for Private gain, facilitated by the Government support of the Private sector. Since, a national strategy of control, conformity and aggression (a warfare mentality), all these have been marked and profound, all these reactions come from fear, not from strength.
It may be spurious to draw parallels between the decline and fall of the Roman Empire and the ongoing destruction of the American Republic, but let’s have a look at this.
By its very nature this is a ongoing project, here we begin with an overview … I have used many resources in this brief analysis, the first post of a series. For History reference, the 3 Volume set of Edward Gibbon treatise on the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, the recent – “The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World’s Greatest Empire” by Anthony Everitt – for societies themselves – Jared Diamonds book .. “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” and “Republic, Lost” by Lawrence Lessing, chosen for its particular reference to America.
The omnipresent profound public face of ignorance of the Tea Party / GOP and its Fundamentalist ideology, brings Politicians to the fore who seem to be making a headlong dash to ignorance and the lowest common denominator. They may be being manipulated and through their ignorant inflammatory words manipulate the wider population, through playing up negatives, using fear, control, ignorance and denial (Climate Change, Women, and minorities rights for example). The apparent misogyny that men have any right to decide the path of women, especially their sexual rights, and the ridiculous obsession with Gay and Lesbian relationships; is a proof of their misdirection, everyone has inalienable rights to self determination, no matter their colour, creed, sexual orientation or religion.
Whilst I don’t believe the majority of people in Government in Washington and elsewhere are necessarily bad people (some undoubtedly are), there are too many that are under the influence of money that is in the wrong place (Lessing) with the expedient attitudes of many Politicians, this brings us back to the cesspit of the unintended and intended corruption that is Washington DC and some state capitals, the American Political system itself (and others countries I am sure) has been hijacked for the benefit of Wall Street and those who benefit from Wall Street – the inequity that this corruption brings is at the expense of the waste majority of Americans trying to make ends meet in main street, USA.
That the far religious right plunge towards fundamentalism is predictable, their mentality is tribal, judgmental, expedient and valueless – they are in love with the ideology, but have no faith (Pope Francis calls this as an Illness see here ) they have no belief is such basic religious precepts, such as forgiveness, kindness, understanding or compassion … they merely judge … many proponents of the ideology of “Christianity” cherry pick examples from the Bible, out of context to justify their rants – as it is now and way too many times in the past Christianity is used as a weapon to impose rather than to moderate and heal …. the irony must not escape you, what these limited souls forget is that Jesus said, faith is a private thing between you and God – and “love one another” was his major precept! – I can only think they haven’t read as far as the New Testament as yet, or perhaps the words do not suit their strategy.
In 1912 in the USA, there was a similar situation (Lessing) of the oppressive Influence of inappropriate money, it was overcome with a combined swing away from the conservatives to the progressives, when they captured 70% of the popular vote, in the then Presidential election – too late to stop the great depression … but a major outcome after the depression was the Glass-Steagall Act, an act that held that held financial markets in control – President Clinton passed a law which compromised Glass-Steagall .. it may be conjecture but many commentators argue that the repeal of the relevant provision of this act, led in part to the Global Financial melt down.
Positive change is possible, there just needs to be the will of society – however too many are distracted by tiny irrelevant problems that are used to divide and distract the nation … so much information, so much bad news, people become apathetic and indifferent, perhaps they think, what can I do? So the apathy extends to not bothering to vote, what those in control want.
It must be conceivable, that one day America may become something no one surely wants them to be, a liability to the world and its own people, rather than what it was (looking in the wider context mainly in the past) a light for what was right.
My own view is that until the influence of money (intended or otherwise) stops, America is on a path to tyranny, the root problem is that attention to Campaign financing should be a priority.
The insatiable greed or the rich and their profitable corporations are subsidized, by the people … the only possible limitation to their unparalleled power is the once powerful Unions, which have been systematically weakened, (culminating in the Reagan era) that they cannot fight the Oligarchy and the entitled – for much of the middle class have no power, and the Trade agreements worked for the Corporate masters, as it moved so much labour off shore, out of reach and protected geographically, the income from these are financially protected by Tax havens, thus evading the appropriate Corporate taxation – starving the USA of revenue.
Admittedly the overt power of the Unions in the past and the way that it was sometimes expressed through violence and intimidation (in Australia) also added to their downfall and the loss of membership (there are parallels with America itself here).
Remember every society in the history of the world has collapsed, ours will as well, the when is up to us. If the rich thought about the implications of this selfish strategy or tax breaks, low taxation, reducing social service nets and education all by the influence of the 1% .. they would understand it is this pursuit of more and more, is taking from the majority, who already have little, perhaps nothing – one day when families, these mothers and fathers have nothing more to lose, especially when they have lost hope that their children will have a better future, then you will have your revolution and the cocoon that the rich and the 1% have built around themselves with money, will not protect them.
I am an Australian, the reason I am writing about this is because the USA is a trend setter, and where changes bleed down to other cultures around the world, and unfortunately in this bad example, one of them is Australia. Already the fundamentalist ideology of the Tea Party / GOP is affecting decisions in Australia, through the influence of our Corporate masters, we need to learn from the American experience and stop it whilst we can.
The inequities are profound, the Machiavellian manipulation of Christianity, well Christian ideology, where just those cheery picked parts to further and justify the strategy – and rather than allowing the population to be informed, the media focus (for they are an integral part of the control strategy) are used to divide the population by directing the population to unimportant issues whilst at the same time running an agenda to further the gap between the rich and the balance, the 80% + of America that are in difficulty.
The percentage of the budget that goes to education is abysmal … America came to the forefront in the world by nurturing and expanding minds, not by controlling them. This strategy to defund Public education, it built around reinforcing a class system, by making the majority of the population poorly uneducated, only suitable for wage-slavery or the military – to be basically expendable.
The charging of student debt at such high rates forces student (if possible) to join the very system that is oppressing them, this will perpetuate this system of control, all to pursue the myth of the American dream, or perhaps the nightmare of it.
Campaign reform must be an absolute priority.
Politicians, many have an expedient value base, that says the end justifies the means, they are controlled through their ego, their weaknesses and their aspirations which are either recognition and or power – they are influenced (intentionally or otherwise by contributions) and their own external validation and the biggest illusion, the pursuit of security and money.
· The question – should there be career politicians? Should there be other parameters as well, like empathy,education and intelligence.
· Influence – The progression of Government employees, including elected officials moving to K Street, and the Lobby industry influences decision by inappropriate contributions to campaigns or directly to personal wealth of politicians, either by direct funds or perks – here with the seed of the beginning of corruption and manipulation.
· The lack of enforcement of existing laws to provide punitive and corrective action to stop the now seemingly fascist tendencies of government, Federal and in some cases states.
· Their Militarisation
· Their Values, morals and legal training.
· Lack of appropriate education and training
The perception of the change from “Protect and Serve” ethos for the community, to an apparent them and us mentality – I am not a Policeman, so I am trying to understand this shift in focus. The situation seems most profound in the USA, where there are no effective limits on the availability of guns, nor any legal limits on their carry and sometimes usage (stand your ground laws) Some Police (and some of the population) shoot first and reflect later.
Gun Laws – Surely a change in the law to minimize the 30,000 deaths per year which directly come from their easy availability and thoughtless use, premeditate and accidental deaths could also be looked at. Self defense is not included.
There is a huge number of Policeman that have honour and integrity and are morality based, for them I apologise unreservedly, I am addressing here those that aren’t.
There are truly good people in America, many evolved souls that think before their act, rather than react before they think.
Religion is being used to control – the influence of Corporate Church’s and cults of all types where they are tax exempt, too many are only about the money – an area to examine is whether Churches who have this status are indeed healing the world, and not dividing it also Churches, whose only function is to accumulate money and influence should be treated as secular instruments and taxed accordingly. I am thinking of the most visible of these right now, one that used intimidation of those that dissent .. Scientology
I frankly do not understand this issue at all. I can see how those in power manipulate the populace using fear, however it makes no sense, as all nations including all Americans, if you look into their ancestry all came from somewhere else.
There are other areas I will cover in the coming posts, the concept of Liberty and freedom – the Constitution – (Politicians and the Media re-writing it) – Continuous War – the total lack of care or compassion for returning soldiers, who sacrifice and suffer for America and then are seemingly deserted by it … many become homeless because of PTSD or other reasons associated with their service .. surely this cannot continue. Rome and its citizens honoured their soldiers.
Attention to be given to the way the USA projects power based on their moral values through influence, but more often for Private gain, and control. The Military, Industrial and Intelligence communities and Private armies. The Unaccountability of Politicians .. when they insist on it for other leaders as demonstrated by Nuremberg and more recently Saddam Hussein (Iraq) was held accountable, but those behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan .. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Blair are all jointly responsible for perhaps 300,000 + civilian deaths, yet they are all free.
I must be careful to approach these subject without projecting my beliefs onto it, hence If anyone wants to contribute or help me understand those things that I do not, then I welcome their input, or have any contrary thoughts to my current thoughts. I would welcome any constructive thoughts and dialogue that do not come from dogma, aggression or fear.
Is the future legacy of those who in the past defended to the death the Republic – to be forgotten, or will it’s future be hi-jacked and replaced by tyranny, a dictatorship or worse a fascist autocracy, or will it shake off this momentary aberration and continue to evolve and prosper – time will tell.
Perhaps I am an optimist; I believe the light of the founding fathers still burns within Americans. They may come through the other side of this – if so they will be changed for sure, hopefully for Politicians, when the choice comes to exchange liberty for short term gain, they will baulk … and recede from the abyss.
From my new blog A Mindful Union –
Let’s look at an overview of meditation itself
For me, I believe we don’t meditate to find peace. We meditate to be at peace with what we find – in Mindfulness meditation we develop the ability to accept the emotions and feelings that occur during the meditation.
For meditation, we need to develop the ability to stay present. What I mean by that is to stay in the moment, without reliving the past or having expectations about the future.
Imagine yourself meditating half way down a long hallway in a house, from the front door to the back door. The thoughts come in the front door, you note them and accept them (for they are you) … then you lightly move on, without engaging in the thought itself, (it will go, once you don’t validate it) the thought then moves on down the hallway and out the back door, it may come back, each time it does follow the same process, it will lose its urgency its .. you need to engage with me.
The thought may be about the past (depression, regret or shame perhaps) or about the future, such as anxiety or fear about a forthcoming event, or perhaps the fear of loss. We cannot invest or follow the thought (no matter how important or urgent it seems), for the moment we do, we drop out of meditation, because we are no longer present, so we can no longer be mindful.
Once we regularly meditate, we develop mindfulness, in part it allows us to understand what we can change, and what we can’t – to detach from things we cannot control, for instance, other people’s action (or any influence outside of us) that effects us. I find now, that mindfulness itself is not difficult, but what is difficult is to remember to be mindful in our day to day lives.
Note; Mediation is not something to be achieved, it is something we have to be the person to properly meditate – it can be a slow process of becoming, but take heart, even sitting on a mat for 30 seconds with a clear mind, is worth celebrating, remember little steps forward – often. Each day if you truly wish it, it will get better it – but it does takes time – remember nothing worth having is a easy fix.
Sleep – the great restorer
Once I regularly meditated, it affected my whole life. Sleep, became deep and restorative. Sleep, especially uninterrupted sleep can be elusive, yet mindfulness meditation assisted me in getting more restorative regular sleep, without medication.
Mindfulness meditation can allow us to gradually develop greater control over our emotions, which leads to clarity of thought in difficult situations. For me the revelation was that once I realised that everything changes, nothing seems to be that imperative in the moment, remember it’s not the situation that is causing you pain, it is your thoughts about the situation.
We go through life, one foot in front of the other, focusing on the next goal, the next thing, always the next thing …. then … life happens.
In my case I had been in a relationship for years, we were deeply involved, when all of a sudden she said "David, I can’t do this anymore" … do what I thought … the most monumental challenge of my life was about to begin – I had to face it head on.
I know the more widely accepted model is the Kubler-Ross model, but I felt this was was more applicable to my emotional or spiritual challenge
Stage One – SHOCK & DENIAL
We may react to learning of the Challenge with numbed, uncomprehending disbelief. You may deny, frantically try to rationalize the reality of the loss in order to avoid the pain. The shock is normal, experience it, as it provides the emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks or longer,
Stage Two – PAIN & GUILT
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of profound pain – this is normal, please try to experience the pain fully, and not hide from it, at this point is is incredibly important not to escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
Life feels chaotic, uncertain and scary at this point ..
Stage 3 – ANGER & BARGAINING
Frustration increases and may give way to anger, be aware that you may project this anger and anxiety onto family, friends or medical professionals – be aware and try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time to look outwards and find ways to release the bottled up emotion.
You may shout at the rain, Why Me ? You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never …. If… )
Stage 4 – "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS
A relatively long period of reflection may overtake you. This is a normal stage – flow with this, do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning friends or family. Encouragement from others does not penetrate and serves no function but to increase the self doubt. For during this time, you finally comprehend the true magnitude of your loss, and it depression deepens, you may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories – this may be exacerbated by feelings of emptiness, despair and frustration and self doubt.
Stage 5 – THE UPWARD TURN-
As the reality of starting life without, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" the feeling that your head feels like a sponge with no ability to think begins to lift.
Stage 6 – RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself looking for realistic solutions to the life challenge posed by life without your loved one. You start to work on practical ways of reconstructing yourself and your life.
Stage 7 – ACCEPTANCE & HOPE
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, we learn to accept and deal with the reality of our situation. Acceptance doesn’t necessarily bring instant happiness.
Given the challenged face and the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.
You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living
I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is me
I later went into meditation, mindful meditation and movement therapy such as Thai Chi and Chi Gong (Qigong) … it was the initial reason why I give to others by teaching mindful meditation and movement therapies like Qigong and Tai Chi. online and in person http://mindfulunion.wordpress.com
Writing meditation is an exercise that I have used on many occasions – The purpose is to help direct our mind to change our behavior, by understanding the causality of that behaviour.
The way I have understood it is that any challenge we have undergone, in the past or even a current challenge is often not understood at a feeling level – because we are face to face with it.
Hence by writing we can forge a connection between the conscious mind and that part of our mind that houses feelings. Now do correct me if I am wrong but feelings are placed in the mind in the mammalian brain, referred to as the Limbic system … its where feelings are, it where all decisions are made … so I have found by writing every day we gradually form a link between the feeling part of the mind and the rational mind … we convert the feelings into something we can understand … we have to do this as the Limbic system does not have language hence, we have to understand its messages another way …. gradual and regular journal writing did that for me, perhaps it can do it for you?
Gradually over time, we form a link between the parts of the brain and will understand that a frustration we might be feeling may be something like a past regret, a depression or some level of anxiousness about something in the future …the quickest way to start to understand this is to say …. if you are feeling depressed or shameful then the event you are thinking about occurred in the past. If you are feeling fearful or anxious then the event you are concerned about will occur in the future.
Many of the common feelings come from fear … control comes from fear, aggression comes from fear … even conformity is based on control which comes from fear, there can also be fear that non-conformity will hinder us in attaining their goals or being accepted … Governments love it, but conformity is a pipe dream as it is quite unattainable.
Take a few minutes a day … find a quiet place and start writing …
I have found that after about a week of being quiet and writing, you will find yourself becoming more in tune with your feelings, you will become calmer … this can help with your day to day relationships —- My experience is that the changes in your understanding and behaviour will take place without any conscious effort, no matter how old, or what has happened in the past in the normal course of your life, writing a journal will literally calm and bring understanding to your life in just a matter of a few weeks.