Pandering to the Populace

I’m reposting below a short essay that first appeared in this space on 17 August 2016. Titled, “Lies My Culture Told Me,” the essay seems relevant to the recent presidential election in the United States. I begin with a brief introduction.

I went solo on the latest episode of NBL radio, which broadcast live on 1 November 2016. It’s archived here.

***

The masses are confused after they select a wealthy, overt misogynist and racist in a culture characterized by overt misogyny, racism, and monetary disparity. They seek to blame others.

Sometimes a society gets the politicians it deserves. Appealing to the lowest common denominator in a dumbed-down culture leads to the abyss.

Confusion reigns. It’s accompanied by abundant denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and also by very little acceptance or gallows humor.

Maybe it’s time to open your eyes to the culture you inhabit? To the culture many of you promote as virtuous?

 

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.

~ George Orwell

 

Note my preferred pronunciation for this set of living arrangements: siv-uh-LIE-zey-shuhn. The entire phenomenon — reminiscent of Nietzsche’s “thing as it is” — is a fraud. It is characterized by lies heaped upon deception. Individuals are rewarded for lying. Truth-tellers are punished. And, like the future depicted in some science-fiction films, there is no possibility of escape.

Examples are legion. I list below and describe briefly a few.

Throughout this short essay, “we” refers to the civilized version of our favorite species, Homo sapiens. We perceive ourselves as supreme in every way. What applies to other species, from this viewpoint, does not apply to humans. From the “Eastern” religions through the Abrahamic religions and all the way to humanism, humans are superior.

We can and will experience infinite growth on a finite planet. There are no limits to growth in any form, from the industrial economy to the human population. Notwithstanding abundant science and simple logic, we can grow forever.

More is better. This single, simple phrase is a decent definition of contemporary human society. More of what? Everything. Just more. That is all we want. That is all we need.

Everything, every thing, and every being must be monetized. From soil to oil, from water to air, from joy to toys, everything must be assigned value. What kind of value? The only kind this culture understands: the kind with dollar signs.

Thinking positive is the first step toward a better future. Hope, otherwise known as wishful magical thinking, is unimpeachably good. To relinquish hope is to give up on humanity.

Racism is normal. Misogyny is normal. Poverty is normal. Identifying others as others is normal.

Monetary disparity is customary and expected. Poverty is customary and expected, even though it did not exist until money was created coincident with the first civilizations. Monetary disparity and poverty are the means by which we keep track of the winners and losers.

What could possibly go wrong? Probably nothing that hasn’t already.

______

*The title of this essay was inspired by James W. Loewen’s popular 1995 book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

 

 

The next episode of NBL radio will air at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at PRN.fm. Thanks for your patience.

Thanks to Crawford’s Attractions for initiating a fund-raising campaign in support of speaking tours. It’s here. We’re also seeking volunteers to support my speaking tours this year. Details are provided beneath the “Coming Events” tab atop the page. If you are able to help, please send a message to booking@crawfordsattractions.com

From Kevin Hester comes this message: Professor Guy McPherson will be touring New Zealand in November 2016 talking about Runaway Abrupt Climate Change. Regular updates are provided at KevinHester.Live and Facebook events will be created as the date draws near.
______

Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. To listen live, tune in the first Tuesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here. We’re on Stitcher, too.

Please help us out by sending your contributions to Mike at mikeyjonsliwa@gmail.com. We welcome your toll-free call during the broadcast: 888.874.4888.

I’m booking guests at the mud hut. For details, click here.

McPherson’s latest book is available in audio, and can be purchased here. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time is intended for ages 11 and up.