ME: I have to agree that Stormtrooper lives matter; however, they matter solely because without compunction they take the lives of the marginalized. Somehow that seems to be a negative manner of “mattering”.
FRIEND: From the perspective of the Stormtroopers, they were just doing their jobs. The Emperor was the rightful ruler of the galaxy.
ME: Does that make it right? Only you can answer that for yourself.
FRIEND: Of course not, but from either perspective, lives are on the line. Division is the enemy, not the people on the other side of the divide.
ME: Who is it that creates the division, if not the people on “the other side of the divide?”
FRIEND: It’s not the people, it’s the leaders, their media, and the people’s inability to think for themselves.
ME: How do the leaders and their media gain the power to create the division (that I will agree is a manifestation of the problem) if not by the power given them by “the people on the other side of the divide?”
FRIEND: The people on the other side of the divide have no power either. It all comes down to the masters… The 1%… They control both sides to create the division.
ME: I couldn’t disagree more. Without the acquiescence of the people the masters have no power. Power does not come from money for money is only a substance that is manipulated by humans. It is the belief that people place in that substance that imbues it with the ability to condition other people. And if we were to take all the money the masters, the 1%, away from them and make them plow their own fields or mine their own iron ore, etc. then they would only have the same power as anyone else.
FRIEND: Money buys you control of the media, which is how they maintain control over everything else. People are waking up again due to non-corporate media becoming more available, but it’s only a matter of time before they find a way to control that too.
ME: Yes, money does buy control of the media and that is one of the prime methods the 1% uses to control things, but that only works because people choose to watch that media and to accept what they are told on that media. Thus it is still the acquiesce of the people that is where the root of the power over them lies.
FRIEND: Agreed, but how do you break the cycle?
ME: Now that is an excellent question. One I ask myself all the time and I wish I had the answer. In fact, this question seems to be the seminal question and I wish someone could come up with a viable strategy to combat this problem. For what it is worth here is some commentary for cogitation:
I suppose it goes without saying that, provided this is of any use, the answer to this eternal question is to raise people’s consciousness. Thus we might redefine the question as how do we help “the people” to raise their consciousness.
Raising a people’s consciousness by force can lead to some undesirable effects. For instance, one of the primary methods used to adjust people’s consciousnesses has been the use of great tragedies as the impetus. But there is a problem in this method. It can produce a closing of one’s consciousness in on itself thus producing a separation between themselves and whomever they deem as “the other,” as it can expand their awareness of the unity of the “greater whole.”
An instance of this is what happened in Europe durning the 1930s. During the years of deprivation caused by the Great Depression led to the rise of dictators. Again in 2001, it led the American people into allowing US military invasions into sovereign nations that were no threat to the US. This has exasperated an already volatile situation in the Middle and Near East. Neither of these have produced helpful or positive effects.
Then, beginning in the 1970s there was a shift in the economic system within the US and Europe from a Keynesian form of Capitalism, which had been designed as “Capitalism with a human face,” to what has become known by many as NeoLiberal Capitalism or “Market Fundamentalism which is essentially a revival of the Laissez Faire Capitalism of the 1890s to 1929 which ended with the Market Crash of October 24, 1929 (“Black Thursday”). A collapse which produced the need for the “Capitalism with a Human Face” mentioned above.
If we include the so-called third world, this shift back to Neoliberal Economics actually began in the mid to late 1960s and was enforced with extreme brutality in South and Central America and which has existed in much of Asia and Africa since its advent in the 19th century. A date that should resonate with all Americans is Sept. 11, 1973 which is the date that the Nixon Administration CIA engineered military coup in Chili overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende and installed Augusto Pinochet as “President” of Chile. During whose reign literally tens of thousands were “disappeared,” were tortured (with the same techniques called today “Enhanced Interrogation,” and/or were simply murdered. These same NeoLiberal Austerity Economic policies were implemented in several other Latin American nations such as Argentina and Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s.
This produced a complete and total alignment of Chile’s economy with the NeoLiberal Austerity Economics embraced by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair in the 1990s. These policies spelled absolute disaster in each and every nation in which these policies were implemented, including the US, Britain, and in the periphery nations of the EU. Of course some few, very few profited hugely during these periods of wealth transfers. (There is, of course, much, much more to it than these few tiny tidbits, but there is hardly space to deal with them all here.)
A series of books I read years ago referred to this problem as “glamour” which was defined as “emotional level” illusion. They further claimed the solution is in dispelling this “glamour” or illusion. However, as most people were therein defined as being oriented in what was referred to as their “desire-mind” or mind tinged, to a greater or lesser extent, with desire. This would indicate that the manipulation of people’s desires is the way to control them. Indeed, this is exactly what Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann laid out as they enumerated the rules of “public relations” and the advertising industry.
Yes, I know. None of this answers the question of how do we “break the cycle” of popular acquiescence or how to dispel the aforementioned “glamour” or illusion. What I am trying to do here, I think, is to start a discussion of which illusions might be at the root of this set of “glamours.” Few people I discuss these subjects with have any idea that these types of events have ever occurred much less how these events have come to impact their personal lives. Since most people seem to only notice what impacts them personally (and that mostly if it impacts them negatively) it seems imperative to somehow bring this type of knowledge into the awareness of enough “average” people so that the other “average” folk can no longer ignore this type of information.
However, since most people understand economics to be “The Dismal Science” it is really difficult to get them to open their minds to how this science impacts their lives and the lives of their significant others.
So, how do we break this cycle? I do not know. And I really wish I had some good idea how we could even begin. The only suggestion I have come up with is to be sure that we educate ourselves.
Roger W Mills II