This is a change from my usual fare … however I felt that this was worth a mention. Recently my Windows laptop started to give trouble … it started to overheat and despite having it serviced and likely areas of concern checked and repaired (like heat sinking, fans etc) no cause could be identified, hence it was time to consider a replacement. I was curious when I investigated options, and thought that I would experiment, hence I bought a MacBook Pro … the reason being that my son has one and has always sworn by it .. I always like to challenge myself, so an experiment had begun.
Overall the Mac is a revelation, it is well integrated, more so than the equivalent Windows device.
I installed much of the same equivalent software from Windows and secured Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac … although Excel and Word appear to work as expected … Outlook 2011 for Mac is a disaster … it is a very poor facsimile of the equivalent Windows Product… I wished they had not called it Outlook, because then I would not have installed it.
It has almost none of the features of the Windows version, it is over-priced for it is just a very simple unsophisticated email client, even looking forward to the new Outlook 2016 offering it doesn’t seem to be much of an improvement, so the outcome for me, is that it has damaged the brand that is Microsoft severely.
So now I am looking for a halfway decent email client to replace it … though not much luck so far.
Beliefs and Ideologies – Part 4
I find this to be difficult, to observe and interpret without projecting my beliefs, so I may take a break from the darkness, I know there is much to discover, but after this I think I will look at the wonderful positives of this paradigm, I shall look for joy and good news … for the last thing we can do is assume that the world is full of darkness, it is in fact full of a vast number of good people doing the best they can to make a better world, very few are in positions of authority or influence – and then we have others who are seriously out of their depth!
Let’s look at the birds, and animals of all descriptions, they need no dogma, no belief system, yet they live a life as they wish and are truly free … why can’t we, or at least being able to thrive in a more open, loving society – it’s in our hands to create it, but right now we are in the opposite, a combative, divisive culture that has been created, I believe to serve a different agenda.
But let’s first look at what a belief system can create, this is only one, others in detail maybe markedly different, but how those in that belief bubble relate to those outside of their belief system generally is not … a community I know contains some very good people, who are convinced of an ideology. I guess if we were to label their beliefs (which I hesitate to do) they have a doomsday belief system, it is their belief that the world is coming to an end and what they are doing is creating the future, yet their behaviour is not what one would expect from such a goal, it has become over time judgemental and lacking compassion – it is my view that this behaviour comes from projecting the beliefs of the tribe onto everything – all thoughts, things, systems and people are judged, and those that do not believe as they believe are seen as having little relevance or value to their goals – for they, like most of us, are in a prison of their beliefs, constrained by the purpose given by the ideology, its familiarity and importantly their attachments to the people within it – this is a tiny example of the effects of ideological belief systems, all of these come from an embryo to be born, evolve and in their time die!
For the above example, I agree that this paradigm, most of what we exist within is coming to an end – however to consider that this community are the way forward is based in a belief system, an ideology, it may be pointed out that when people over-identify with an ideology, a prophetic expectation, everything is secondary. If the event that is prophesied does not manifest there will be a huge life challenge to those within the belief system. There are many good people within this particular dynamic that may be damaged, for such a long term investment in an ideology would cause havoc, if or when the date of the event arrives – I hope they come through this challenge, grown and expanded to help others.
In the transitions between ideologies, perhaps not everything has to be lost, because we could learn so much from the past, and transition to something that came about through the sum of our experiences – however one thing we know about humanity, is we never learn from the past, (goodness if only an objective history was taught in all schools) for as George Santayana and others such as Bernard Shaw and Hegel have said.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
“Governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deducted from it” – Hegel
This particular paradigm, controls us (in a broad herd sense), by deliberately targeting the ancient part of our mind, where our emotions live (and where all decisions are made – have you ever thought “that feels right”?) this targeting is done in advertising all the time. However, the targeting of our beliefs and prejudices, is designed to manipulate us, mainly through fear – there are many ways, but an example of this is by giving us something or someone to blame for our lot in life (a minority perhaps, separate from the majority mainstream, in the culture – to target our prejudices – it may be a persons, race, heritage, religion, origins, colour or perhaps as recently demonstrated, the Lesbian and Gay community ) – when triggered we then don’t reflect and respond, we react and hopefully at sometime we may regret our precipitous actions … the only way to stop such reactions is through relationships and via the education of all people. But to achieve the outcome that is desired by various Governments, this paradigm, has been designed, or has evolved to appeal to the worst in us, instead of the best in us.
All things, are constantly in transition, we can go back in history, for previous instances to look at a major and revered religious belief system, and one aspect of the future foretold through it. Let’s choose one, perhaps the Hindu religion and their forecast of events (something I have only recently investigated, excuse any ignorance on my part) … With Hinduism we are at the end of the Kali Yuga age, a period where mankind’s ethics, honour, religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, forgiveness, mercy, vitality and memory have all decreased more and more over time. Look below at some of the markers of this Kali Yuga period sound familiar to you, they do to me; just remember these words were written over 4,000 years ago.
- A man’s qualities and social position will be calculated according to the extent of his wealth
- Religious principles and justice will be determined by a show of strength
- Those without money will be unable to get justice
- Anyone who can cleverly juggle words will be considered a scholar.
- Lack of wealth will be looked on as dishonourable.
- A proud person who can put on a show will be thought pious
- The purpose of life will consist simply of filling one’s stomach, and audacity will become equivalent to conclusive truth.
- A person’s religiosity will be measured by a person’s reputation for material accomplishments
- The citizens will be so oppressed by merciless rogues in the guise of rulers
Hinduism is rare as far as Religions go, as it has evolved without any discernible controls, it has grown organically like a flower blooming. It has no founder or date of origin. The authors and dates of most Hindu sacred texts are unknown. Scholars describe modern Hinduism as the product of religious development in India that spans nearly four thousand years, making it the oldest surviving world religion – but Hinduism is not a homogeneous, organized system. Many Hindus are devoted followers of Shiva or Vishnu, whom they regard as the only true God, while others look inward to the divine Self (atman). But most recognize the existence of Brahman, a spiritual concept in Hinduism, the highest Universal, the Ultimate Reality, the unifying principle and Supreme Reality behind all that is.
Perhaps there would be less conflict if we could all see, in our separate God’s the same mother of us all, the Earth and the Universe herself.
Actually, we are drifting way off topic, apologies – for this is also a belief system, which I am only just investigating, but Hinduism is the oldest of current day religions of such great antiquity, coming after would be many, including Buddhism, Jainism plus many, many more – other religions such a Christianity and Islam are quite new in comparison … but I must always remind myself not to project my own beliefs onto the topic, which I know is unavoidable, but I shall try!
Now let’s come back to today, I am concerned how belief systems in general, when they become accepted and normal, such that they are reinforced by Government and the mass media are used to place humanity in a prison of beliefs, to impose moral and behavioural codes, to convince us that this is the way it is, where the walls of the prison is the dogma and belief systems of this paradigm, reinforced by those that wish us to be in prison, for in this place, we are controlled and controllable, we conform generally to certain code of acceptable behaviour (and are punished if we transgress) which is reinforced by Government in its many forms – for this paradigm is all about the illusions created by the dogma itself. Since the beginning of recorded time, people’s beliefs have contributed to the dogma of a certain age … everything around us is dogma, and by living within it without questioning it, we become, perhaps not actively, but are complicit in its continuation. At some point, under critical analysis, the belief systems that for decades perhaps centuries has been evolving, under pinning all civilisations will fail and like a game of dominoes the paradigm itself fails. Then everything will be as ashes to fertilize something new.
As with any ideology, and let’s face it the world abounds with them, for all Religions and ism’s (Capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism etc) are belief systems, quite wonderful in theory for many have wonderful attributes and goals, but there is a fatal flaw common to all ideologies and belief systems – they often falter and fail because at some point the survival of the belief system becomes more important than the individuals within it (the one’s the belief system is meant to serve) – this can be seen in every established system such as the Catholic Church, Church of England and others … Governments and their various departments, become populated with people who are so detached from the population in politics or a bureaucracy, their beliefs value only the continuation of the ideology (or their agenda), and their advancement within it, over time, the system and the promise it held in theory (say at the beginning), becomes more important that the people it is meant to serve, it fails and dies, primarily through expedience, for this holds a multitude of sins.
When large belief systems are initially executed, we have seen expedient war crimes such as democide and genocide carried out in it’s name (Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Syria (ISIS)), when threatened (or perhaps only questioned), there can be no limit to the atrocities that will be carried out. We have seen this in Nazism, Fascism, Communism and in the present day with the oppression and inequalities coming from the Capitalist economies, which we have not seen climax as yet. These paradigms that support a version of the world have great inertia, but now (I believe) that our current one is already in the process of collapsing, within 10 to 15 years, definitely 30 years at best, we will see only a crumbled facsimile around us.
One wonders at the emphasis on the un-funding of Public education that is apparent in many countries, (here I speak of Australia and the USA) is it based on creating an uneducated class who are ignorant of anything unless it comes from a TV screen or is only employment focused. Let’s remember here that only the educated are free … so perhaps if we are not educated we will be compliant, and controllable … it is well know that the desire to control, to have others conform comes from fear as does aggression….
I have often used the metaphor that “Politics is theatre, and the players primary focus is to stay on stage, centre stage” – but perhaps we, the people should be on stage and in the spotlight and they, those who would administer us to move us towards our an equitable future, should be listening to us – or perhaps it is that this person is not frankly up to the task.
Within every ideology, those outside of the belief bubble (the un-indoctrinated or those that question the difference between the proclaimed belief systems, the words of the officers and their actions) those who have different thoughts about the system are seen as a threat … all religions, ideologies and “isms” do this, they exclude, shame or oppress others who are within it and who question it. We can see that these separate belief systems strike at the very heart of who people think that they are …. hence it is becomes highly subjective, when Political rhetoric is targeted at these points, to postulate that a certain “groups” behaviour is to blame – emotive reactions (without reflective thought abound, people react, from fears, they don’t respond) are the uneducated normal response.
Something that I have never understood about America is that people identify themselves by the Political and Religious beliefs – to me such beliefs, the who I vote for and what I believe are highly personal and private…. but perhaps this strategy, unconscious or not, is by putting these beliefs out there, it is immediately saying, this is what I believe and who I am … and if you don’t believe the same … well … it isn’t going to be fun connecting with me, and forming a relationship, how though, on this basis can dialogue between differing views, to be open to discussing new ideas, that may lead to a consensus exist? Such behaviour perpetuates and exacerbates division within society.
The way forward is in education of all, is in open and non-judgemental discussion … it’s in co-operation and co-existence, a way forward for the whole of humanity instead of only a small minority who have become a prisoner of their beliefs that we, the majority of the population do not matter …. I’ve said this before, if we continue down this path, the moment that the Mum’s and Dad’s of the world, loose hope and know to be true that no matter what they do their children are condemned to poverty and servitude, then the world will have its revolution, and those that have this entitled, privileged position should remember that those that work for them do not have their point of view, so when it comes to a choice to support their families or their employers, the situation is decided.
The Hindu Religious Kali Yuga period is coming to an end shortly, it postulates that there will be a period of dramatic change over a long period … is this when those that remain in humanity will see that humanity is but one family, that all life, whatever the species has the same value, that humanity is just one species, not the species … God (if and however you perceive), I hope so!
Part 3 – Politics
How does one start – I guess we start as all analysis should, with the what, the where, the who, the why and the how!
New insights will come, so over time, this post will grow, in breath and depth.
When people communicate deceit, it’s called politics – that’s not how it should be, but in this age it seems to be the way it is. There is little transparency or accountability – the strategy is the epitome of duality, the Politics of blame and division … for no one has a congruent vision where an evolved inclusive future lay.
Incidentally, I am writing this on the 800th anniversary of the Signing of the Magna Carta in Runnymede in 1215 – you ask why? Because the Magna Carta is the underlying base for the current rule of law ( full explanation here ), the courts, the enforcement agencies and services and government itself, needless to say, we have lost our way!
I have had a really difficult time; weeks have gone by for me to be able to achieve some perspective on the underlying mind set that drives the political process, what are their beliefs, the goals, and their basic ability to understand the big picture? I feel, by and large it is the same for all Political processes, with very rare exceptions.
For me the only good politician is someone who doesn’t want to be one … but for the vast majority, we must demand accountability, competence, integrity and compassion from those that we elect, but we rarely achieve even an semblance of this (even knowing this we still re-elect them) so what drives these people, are Politicians incompetent or venal or? … or does it just look that way. Although some undoubtedly are we cannot make such a generalisation, we must remember they are us, in some ways the best of us and very apparently the worst of us ( including those that seek power for its own sake and to further their own interests ) perhaps others are driven by their need to meet their version of societies expectations to achieve, or by a need to be validated and separate from those they represent or others. But perhaps this may be a good concept – they over-identify with an ideological cause ( A Zealot) suffer from a lack of intelligence, imagination or empathy, or they cannot fully appreciate the human consequences of their career-motivated decisions – or their actions are purposefully, manipulative and pragmatic, a part of their plan for those who seek to rule. There are also those that appear to be ignorant and divisive in the extreme, who purposefully make quite untrue, even inflammatory statements either because they believe them, or are pandering to either their voter base or their backers.
For some at least, in the beginning, some are driven by a need to facilitate change, to make a difference, to right a wrong – then for most at some point, they become part of the system they originally abhorred, it becomes about fear of change, about losing an election, their identity, the income – so they do whatever is necessary to stay in power … this manifests in many ways.. by yielding their integrity to the influence of others either by direct bribery, favours, trips, girls, privileges .. or influence from their donors through campaign contributions – but in the essence we need to understand from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words “Presidents are selected; not elected” – almost all candidates to my knowledge are vetted by some sort of party machine and chosen to represent a constituency (this is where there loyalty is and who they are accountable to … not us) here they are molded shaped, and become a product, like Corn Flakes for instance, here is a quote from someone who knew ..
“The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal — that you can gather votes like box tops — is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process – Adlai Stevenson
Whilst I cannot understand the character of or belief base that many Politicians stand on, if indeed there is one … I would defer to Charles de Gaulle, a seasoned observer of Politicians, and a former President of France when he said
Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.
Some belief systems are flawed .. I just shake my head – One very important thing to remember is that Politics has no interest in religion except to manipulate it!, I feel that applies to most issues.
God help us, we have the supposed true believers (if they actually believe in anything), the tribal mentality of the Tea Party (and other fundamentalist groups world wide) who project onto others their judgmental rhetoric, using Christianity (or their cherry picked version of it) as a weapon to divide, to hurt, to demonise and oppress ( yet they do not see this behaviour as bigotry and hypocrisy ) such behaviour is not Christian ( or indeed any true non-secular religion ) all were originally intended to be a doctrine of compassion, empathy and healing – mind you we shouldn’t be surprised as all through the ages, Religions have been used as weapons for expedient ends, in this case manipulated by the far right and the fundamentalists movements such as The Tea Party – it is not new, religion has been used by the faithless, the expedient, ideologues, those seeking power & control and monsters within the Catholic Church … every Church and every religion has had them, in fact, to oppress, demonize, ostracize and victimize.
Politicians, have no idea what life is like for “normal” people …. they are so detached from their constituents, they are in a perpetual bubble, only talking to the like-minded, as well as lobbyists and taking orders from their superiors – totally detached from the on the ground effects of their laws on the people they are paid to represent … there goes democracy.
The effects of the meltdown are still effecting us, and a significant part of the reason why austerity programs are needed in the first place is the inequitable burden place on the many over the lightening burden of the right, the conservative, in other words the many are subsidizing the rich .. yet the poor are made to suffer when the rich through their self interest continue to abrogate their responsibility to contribute for the necessity for infrastructure such as roads, rail, air transport, communications, post, education, emergency services, even though the companies they invest in use this infrastructure – they deny responsibility and support nothing it seems except the military (enforcement arm of their Corporate masters), all except those programs that support returned soldiers, who on this basis are seen as expendable .. such a belief system is not honourable, as soldiers give their youth their health and sometimes their lives for their country – even if the country is no longer what is was.
Disregard the political rhetoric, for to know what a person, a politician, a party, a government values, just look at where they spend their money, that is the only measure, their actions.
To me Governments should be about facilitating an environment where people can create their bliss whatever that is …it should not used to direct, it should consult, collaborate and co-operate – not dictate – in fact I have no idea why the Governments have to make a profit, balance the budget in any definitive sense … the USA hasn’t for more than a decade, the country is technically bankrupt, yet instead of making the tough decisions, by cutting expenses, and increasing the taxes on the rich ( the strongest period of growth in the USA, was the 1960’s, where taxation on the very rich was 90%) – the current U.S. National Debt Clock : In Real Time (+ Each State Debts) is here – currently the deficit sits at over USD$18 trillion greater than the countries GDP (Gross Domestic Product) it is highly unlikely that this debt will be repaid, now instead of facing it, the USA borrows more, and other measures in effect devalue the currency and the buying power of the US Dollar by just create more money, this is called quantitative easing .. the full definition is here .
In any case, no matter how it happens, what the source is of the external influence is, the source of the corruption, whether ideological, financial, privilege or plain old blackmail – for too many of the congressman and senators, no longer are representatives of the people that elected them … democracy is dead – currently we have, I believe an idiocratic form of government, this is where the idiots in power were elected by people, who are very probably, also idiots .. all this is being manipulated through Fear, Propaganda, distraction and disinformation, as I have mentioned in my previous post HERE … along with economic pressure on everyone’s family, everyone is looking after themselves as best they can, this has led to a very uninformed public .. something more frightening is on the horizon, a banquet of consequences, for the country and for those in the Political leadership, their very existence will be threatened .. they will try to fight back with all the tools at their disposal, Propaganda, oppression, tyranny, fascism and finally an occupation by the military (well pseudo military) of the America people, by the American people. I cannot see this lasting, as any occupation requires detachment from, profiling of, to bring a distance from the people they oppress … the rich who are choreographing this, have to remember that many of the 99% actually work for them, some may have compassion for, or families who once they are effected, the end is nigh.
If you want my opinion, and that’s all it is, this disbursement of military grade hardware to Police Departments all over America (still owned by the Federal Government) is for a darker purpose, given the right circumstances to be used against the general population …. the US Department of Defense has active programs where they have studied societal collapse here .. strange that, for a major cause of this inevitable societal collapse is the funding level of the Department of Defense itself, greater than the next ten countries (including China, Russia and the UK) combined .. see verification of figures here.
There are too few Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren’s around to make a difference, but perhaps their passion and courage maybe the trigger, an inspiration for others, that will create an environment for others to represent the people who elected them … first those others have to still care what happens to America (or anywhere else) more than themselves – they must push through that fear.
Something I am working on now, is why do people vote for parties that are clearly working against their welfare? I shall let you know! Areas of study for this phenomenon will be
(a) A Generalisation – I feel, that people are so insular, so indolent, so apathetic, so involved in their own lives, fighting for their own survival, with external manufactured pressures (courtesy of those who control the paradigm) they do not anything left to empathise or have compassion for the plight of others, until an injustice affects them or those they know or love? Therefore oppression and demonisation always happens to minorities ( one at a time) the homeless, the poor, returned veterans, racial minorities, pregnant mothers, Gay and Lesbian alliances – they do this to divide, however what would happen if all these groups combined, they need to get collaborating .. like at election time.
The most urgent action necessary in America today is election reform (funding)
(b) Are those who vote blindly for a party that works against their own interests (1) Closed in their behaviour, a prisoner of their beliefs (2) Afraid of change (3) Ignorant, and kept that way by propaganda spewing media such as Fox News (4) Family influences … still working on this.
(c) It is my belief that The very rich wish to in effect take control of Democracy for their own ends (see previous posts on A paradigm of control here ), they hope to buy elections, the sad thing is they have the money, the control of media and through the Politicians it appears to be for sale. These same rich, earn their money and then shelter it through elaborate taxation minimization, avoidance, evasion strategies … using off shore and many other strategies to accomplish this. This of course worsens the financial position of America itself. Once they have control .. well I have spoken of this before … the further erosion of rights, and over time have tyranny expressed through fascism – all the time diverting attention away from domestic issues with continuous wars that the media will be working for the Fascists foes without saying.
The most urgent action necessary in the USA today is election funding reform (Yes I know I said this before!)
One other item of interest – Recall Elections – accountability .. in some jurisdictions voters can recall their representative during their term – a beautiful way of making them accountable – firing them in fact, sadly I don’t think we can do this in Australia .. anyway a full explanation is here
This pursuit of power and control through inequality and the Politics of blame (at the same time, taking no responsibility themselves) diminishes all who seek it and all who worship it.
This is a work in progress …. the post will change as it grows, as more information and insight become available.
Other subjects we will focus on is The Media, the Military, Food, Inequality, The Rule of Law, the Environment, the pursuit of money / influence and power over the public good .. this expresses itself in areas as above but also in other areas such as Medicine as well as the Insurance Industry, the Pharmaceutical industry (where the maxim seems to be, why heal when we can create ongoing customers) and frankly any other subject that reveals an area of concern for our current society today and for the future. The Media because this is the way through continual re-enforcement of the beliefs that surround this paradigm, has in a large part created this paradigm, and the power of advertisers who can through their finial influence influence news services … cross media ownership as well as Corporate ownership of Media companies has acerbated their influence. The Military investigate the reason for the continual Militaristic expansion and focus on defense when the power and funding for the US Military is already out of control.- for the reason for the defense department is not to defend America but to promote and protect American Corporate interests and predatory capitalism, which is an extension of a State sponsored capitalism, for pure Capitalism is war and would have destroyed itself by now.
References are many, one quote came from the book, The Nuremberg Trials By Doug Linder (c) 2000, perhaps originally from Hannah Arendt, As well all previous references in this series detailed in other posts.
If anyone has any perspective to help me understand the Political mind … and Politics at large then I look forward to hearing from you.
Part 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.
Needless to say Technology itself insulates us from nature … go for a walk and see people with their heads in the phones, even in public places, where they could open their eyes and see wonder in everything, from the trees, the cycle of life, the ants and insects, just wonder everywhere!
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.
I would pass on the general comment that unchecked consumption is a greater threat to the planet than the growth in population itself .. also that flawed retail marketing and production strategies in food production and distribution, mean that between 40-50% of all food grown, never reaches a person.
This came from what I have been able to understand from the upcoming Pope’s statement on climate change …
To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.
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 Politicians, 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 and personal taxation income from the millions of the now unemployed, confidence will collapse, the currency will dramatically devalue, imports will cost 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 (especially to defense), the US. will print money, borrow more but 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.
Publications: 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
Part 1 – 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?
Preface and Index
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.
Completed and Posted to date are as below:
Part 5 and more to come
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, beliefs, 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 create division and 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 tax free 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.
Unfortunately when politics has become synonymous with religion it is merely a cynical manipulative deception, for the far right has no belief in religion, they only wish to manipulate it.
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 the well armed citizenry, who have had enough of the Politics of blame and inequality, when finally without hope for a better tomorrow for their children, come together to revolt, or will the USA 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.