(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
There is no grand conspiracy to turn the world into a one-world Empire and destroy democracy and the Enlightenment principles that inform the form of government we once enjoyed. As you know, I no longer believe we live in a Constitutional Republic but, rather, in a transitional state a new combination of neo-feudalism, imperialism, fascism into something utterly new and unprecedented. The source of all this is something we can find by looking in the mirror for long enough.
This has all happened with, more or less, the consent of people around the world. The chief feature is Orwellian version of a Brave New World. The Global War on Terror is the most clear example of this. We wish to eliminate terrorism by using terrorism and making sure that terror is used to subjugate peoples abroad and to subjugate people here. They can do that here in this country because of its radically anti-intellectual tendencies (due to the failure of public schools to educate anyone and, instead, pretend to educate) and a stunning flight away from even the concept of virtue for which we were warned in the seventies by Christopher Lasch’s prescient book The Culture of Narcissism. This allows people to be unashamed to be cowards. You can only describe the American public’s reaction to 9/11 as cowardly–in going to war against weak countries who had no capacity to fight back and were not the cause of the terrorist attacks. In fact, it was Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (and perhaps Israel) who were involved directly in 9/11 even if you accept the notion that the American gov’t had nothing to do with the attacks (highly improbable). Even if the gov’t story were true the reaction is still cowardly and the way those wars were fought were deeply dishonorable–wantonly killing civilians because maybe there were some insurgents among them. Estimates of deaths in Iraq go from around a hundred thousand to more than a million–most of it due to U.S. saturation bombing of neighborhoods and communities which was largely unreported in the American press. In Afghanistan the violence was not as bad because the U.S. uses direct terrorist tactics against civilian populations like the people in the border regions (see Chris Floyd’s latest post).
There is no conspiracy only the ongoing wheel of history moving away from the unstable mythological frameworks brought on by the modernist project (the general movement away from uncomprehending belief in a particular world-view towards an intellectual openness to new ideas) and it’s inability to take into account the needs and requirements of human beings. People need to belong, people need to feel they are a part of something larger than themselves, people need to have some kind of spiritual framework and modernism doesn’t seem to be able to provide for these needs. It has brought fantastic riches and technological marvels but has done very little for the human spirit and, if anyhthing, has caused us to devolve rather than evolve as human beings. Cowardice, self-indulgence and narcissism are the main features of society today–and BTW I include myself in that critique.
And, at the same time, there never was a time when the nature of existence of life, of human nature were better known–we truly live in an age of not just information but wisdom that is flying all around us yet we cannot, fore some reason, take the medicine that will move us out of our problems.
The conspiracy we face it made in the collective unconscious, as I alluded to above. It is we who are resisting opening up our lives to the new and who want to return to authoritarian systems where our place in the world is clear and unambiguous. This is now possible for us. I think the social contract is that as long as the corporate system supplies most people with a Matrix-like system of amusements and entertainments that the people will go along with anything–endless wars, an hereditary aristocracy and a neo-feudal future where their children will inherit a world where they will be serfs if they’re lucky, slavery or death if they’re not.
In order to break out of this we need to open up our conscious minds to the knowledge of how deep our unconscious is and how much we are dominated by it. Once we understand that we can begin to take steps in life that are more reasonable. It all starts with each one of us and has nothing to do with politics as such–our problems are cultural and philosophical. While those who read this may be dissenters most of our fellows believe in a world of winners and losers. Winners should glory in their success and indulge in excesses while losers should suffer mightily and sing the blues.