When you’re dead, you don’t know you’re dead. People around you feel it, though. It’s the same when you’re stupid.
My promotion of a gift economy seems stupid because it doesn’t involve the pursuit of money. As a result, I receive gifts, especially when I travel. Books and shirts are among the most popular items I receive, and the latter often contain witty historical expressions. Among my tee shirts is one with a phrase from Benjamin Franklin: “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
Most people I encounter clearly do not agree, at least in practice. In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. Still, I’m astonished at the prevailing mentality among the American citizenry I encounter. Apparently we are so afraid to question authority, so willing to believe blatant lies, that we willingly capitulate to liars and thieves dressed as CEOs and politicians.
I provide few links in this essay. Evidence for each of the following claims is abundant and easily obtained. If you’ve not grasped these tidbits by now, additional evidence will remain unconvincing. I suspect your ignorance is willful, your inability to see a direct result of eyes sealed tightly shut.
Most notable is the inability of nearly everybody I know to pursue radicalism. For starters, most people I’ve met cannot distinguish between a radical and an extremist, despite the clear difference.
If it’s unclear I’m writing about you, ask yourself this question: “What have I done recently that runs counter to the status quo?” If you don’t have a significant response, you’re likely to squirm while reading this essay.
Plunging down a rabbit hole — any rabbit hole — apparently makes one likely to pursue radicalism on additional topics. Fortunately for governments, few citizens are willing to look deeply into any topic, no matter how important. The shadows in the cave are far too comfortable to risk facing reality head-on.
And then there are the
Strong Suggestions of Thermodynamics Laws of Thermodynamics. The official story of 9/11 violates the Laws of Thermodynamics, yet few people I know are willing to question the official narrative (consider, for example, controlled demolition of WTC building 7 and the admission of an inside job by Dubya’s chief economist). After all, doing so would adhere to Franklin’s maxim, a notion foreign to the typical modern ‘murican. The Orwellian absurdity continues with the disparaging term applied to those who question the impossible official narrative: “truther.”
A few additional examples are presented below. They provide an opportunity for me to launch a too-infrequent rant into the void. Ergo, my latest attempt to combine reality with its common partner, absurdity.
Civilization is not the only way to live. Indeed, humans lived without civilization for more than two million years. We’ve lived within the shackles of civilization for a few thousand years. Civilization clearly is omnicidal. Few notice. Even fewer care.
Civilization is an expression of patriarchy. The current version of industrial civilization benefits a few Caucasian men at the expense of every other living being. Most civilized people believe this set of living arrangements is wonderful.
If you are reading these words, you benefit from imperialism. American Empire is real, and it covers the globe. There is no escape.
The two dominant political parties in the United States represent twin cheeks on the same ass. If you believe the next person to occupy the Oval Office will improve the situation for the masses, then you do not understand the issue. Elizabeth Warren, or any other “progressive” candidate (i.e., contemporary neo-conservative) — the next great hope of many forgetful Democrats — will prove as disappointing as the current president to these deluded, die-hard
dims Dems. Warren, by the way, is worth about $14.5 million, owns a $5 million mansion in Cambridge, was paid $350,000 to teach just one class at Harvard, and has the audacity to say that “the system is rigged to benefit the rich.”
The United States is dominated by a corporate government and corporate media. When greed is your only god, sociopaths assume control. We’re there, fully embedded within patriarchal fascism. The standard response of my fellow citizens: “I want more. I deserve more.” Apparently I occupy the land of the me and home of the crave.
The big banks have run this country for a very long time. They orchestrate everything from laundering drug money to cracking down on any form of resistance. They’ve been in charge for a very long time. Few notice, and even fewer care.
Working on behalf the big banks is the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which has ruled the country and world with an iron fist since World War II. The myriad agencies within the executive branch, including the National Security (sic) Agency, feed the machine. NSA whistle-blower Bill Binney, who worked for the NSA for 30 years before resigning because of concerns he had regarding illegal spying on U.S. citizens in 2001, provides an apt summary: “The Ultimate Goal is Total Population Control.”
The American system of public education is designed to “dumb down” the populace. Critical thinking belongs to a bygone era. Nearly every one of the so-called, self-proclaimed teachers I know refuses to acknowledge reality on this issue. And most other matters, for that matter. These teachers are paid to think, and also to teach others how to think. They have overwhelmingly failed, and they continue to fail.
The prison-industrial complex, like almost every other aspect of American culture, is designed to enrich the wealthy and enslave the poor. Some people claim the system isn’t working. Au contraire: It’s working as planned, as indicated by the beneficiaries of American Empire.
Monogamy and the marriage-industrial complex are part and parcel of patriarchy. The dominant paradigm is not superior to other ways of living. Deep down inside, you surely understand.
We cannot sustain the unsustainable, including civilization. Nor should we attempt to do so. Civilization requires tremendous violence. Industrial civilization is the most violent version yet.
American exceptionalism is a myth. American military power, largely supported by willfully ignorant taxpayers, is necessary to maintain American lifestyles, including grid-tied electricity, the modern banking system, and all that follows.
Abrupt climate change is under way. Global climate change causes suffering and death of humans and other organisms. There is no escape.
Net energy decline is under way and soon will contribute to the early death of most humans on Earth. Fossil fuels have peaked and the Age of Expansion has been replaced with the Age of Contraction. The Age of Conquest has nearly reached its overdue end.
Collapse of industrial civilization is under way and will be complete soon. When collapse is complete, the world’s remaining nuclear power plants will melt down catastrophically, thus shortening the lives of many humans and other organisms. There is no escape.
The interaction between anthropogenic climate change and collapse of industrial civilization affects every aspect of human life in the industrialized world. There is no politically viable approach to addressing either issue, much less the interaction between them.
Many centuries ago, Plato presciently wrote a line that resonates strongly with me: “Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.” Indeed, we’ll disparage them by, paradoxically, referring to them as “truthers.” We will therefore remain in the shadows of our cave of blissful ignorance.
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4 June 2014, Wyoming, debate with H. Leighton Steward, who often represents the fossil-fuel industry. Read about Steward here.
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