“Whenever our loftiest insights inadvertently reach the ears of people who are not constituted or destined to hear them, they must –and should!– sound foolish, or in some circumstances even criminal.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Let’s admit something here at the outset: the term “awake” has become too cliché. It’s been tossed around cyberspace so much that even its platitudes have platitudes. But it is effective. It’s easier than saying, “no longer ignorant to deception.”
Or, “popping the blue pill was just too boring.” Or, “I grew tired of wearing the Eye-guards of Culture passed down by my parochial forefathers.” Sure, it’s a tired cliché of a word, but it’s one that packs an alarm clock and a slap across the face. I used it in Four Hard Truths that Will Jolt You Awake, the article of which this article is an addendum to.
Maybe the three truths in this article are not news to you. Maybe you are already “awake.” Maybe not. Either way, it’s important information that cannot be reiterated enough. If we are going to evolve into a healthier species, then we need to work on finding solutions to our unhealthy actions. But before we can work on healthier solutions, we need to pinpoint exactly what those unhealthy actions are. Here are three of them, laid out in all their inglorious detail. As Gloria Steinem said, “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.”
1) Police instigate conflict
“The primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.” ~ Derrick Jensen
Police seemingly mean well. The problem is that they “mean well” through the perpetuation of an unhealthy system. They “mean well” by upholding the laws of a fundamentally unsustainable mode of human governance.
They “mean well” within an extremely corrupt box where the wealthy are protected and the poor are oppressed. George Orwell said it in simple terms, “The capitalist society is a police society where the number one goal is the protection of upper class property.”
Ours is a system of disorder where crime creates business. A preposterous as it sounds, we have over 2 million people in prisons run by private corporations that trade their stock on Wall Street based upon how many people they have in jail.
It employs police and guards, generates high-value commodities for security, and stimulates the profit-gain of privately owned prisons. The only thing more profitable, in our economic system of disorder, is war. As Robert Anton Wilson advised, “On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge maximum security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.”
The thing is: it’s not necessarily a policing problem, it’s a system’s problem. But when police are sworn to uphold a problematic system, then you’re bound to have problematic police who instigate conflict in order to create revenue for the problematic system. They’re just doing their job by following corrupt orders and upholding the laws of a flawed and violent system.
The problem is: people (including cops) blindly and ignorantly believe that the violent system is the only way, or even the best way, that it can be done. But as Mark Passio said, “Order followers are the people that keep the system of slavery in place.” So the solution is simple, albeit risky and filled with dangerous consequences: Stop following the orders of the unhealthy, unsustainable, violent system. It begins with police not instigating violence in order to create revenue for the state. It ends when the police wake up, blur the thin blue line, and hold each other accountable.
2) Elections are Auctions (or worse)
“If you vote, you have no right to complain.” ~ George Carlin
We must be able to admit that the election-based system (and especially representative elections) of appointing leadership has failed miserably. Just take one glance into the Republican camp and you’ll see the Frankenstein monster Trump rearing his ugly orange head, vomiting hate, violence, and lies through narcissistic, racist, ignorant, misogynistic, and bigoted bully tactics. He’s a spoon-fed baby of a man who only has money because he was born into wealth. He represents everything that’s wrong with America.
Take a glance into the Democratic camp and you’ll see the same old Military Industrial Complex rhetoric being spewed by Killary Clinton from her plutocratic pulpit backed by greedy corporations from Wall Street calling themselves “persons” who are backed by even greedier corrupt banksters with their vampire-tentacles in every country’s pie.
Bernie may be a tiny ray of hope, but he is still a career-politician-ray-of-hope who thinks inside the box of a very corrupt system, and change from within has a ridiculously low probability of success. It seems Lao Tzu’s words never applied so much as now: “The court is corrupt, the fields are overgrown with weeds, the granaries are empty; yet there are those dressed in fineries, with swords at their sides, filled with food and drink, and possessed of too much wealth. This is known as taking the lead in robbery. Far indeed is this from the Way.”
But there’s another side to this ugly election coin that’s even more difficult for us to admit: we the citizenry are lazy, apathetic, and ignorant to how civic power and politics work.
We’re mostly ignorant to systems of control that attempt (and apparently succeed) at keeping everything the way it is, inefficient with a controlled obsolescence, so that We the People keep buying things we don’t need so that the rich can keep auctioning elections and buying laws to keep the poor oppressed. Worst of all, we keep waiting for some bloated windbag in power to attempt to change things through petitions and corrupt elections. We need a lifestyle change: a Psycho-spiritual-political-cultural overhaul.
As I wrote in No President in 2016, “There is a third option. We can “elect” to think outside the ballot box. We can “elect” to take money out of politics. We can “elect” to have a complete system reboot, to include, especially, the electoral system.” Indeed, we can “elect” to take the auction out of election. We can “elect” to be proactive citizens who learn how to lead ourselves, and through such self-leadership, discover authentic leadership, the kind of leadership that doesn’t create followers, nor even voters, but even more leadership.
There is never only one solution. But one potential solution could be the implementation of a sortition-based system of appointing leadership, with assembly powers to vote out “bad seeds” – a lottery that balances out a system of governance through simple probability, while empowering citizenry and preventing power from corrupting. Let’s do away with elections (auctions) altogether.
Let’s bring back sortition through lottery by way of assembly, forcing everyone into proactive citizenry. Sortition would level the playing field, keep power from becoming entrenched, and educate the masses, while also maintaining a healthy egalitarian ethos. It’s worth a shot. Sure, it’s easier said than done. But as Spinoza said, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”
3) Wars are for profit and control
“In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful. The government assures the people that they are in danger from the invasion of another nation, or from foes in their midst, and that the only way to escape this danger is by the slavish obedience of the people to their government. This fact is seen most prominently during revolutions and dictatorships, but it exists always and everywhere that the power of the government exists.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. The Military Industrial Complex is a violent, 800-pound, war-profiting gorilla beating its chest over all the oil turned money in its enormous clinched fists. It’s a silver-backed, terrorist-generating war machine with an USA/UK flag tattooed on its a*s. But we took too long to acknowledge it, and now it is 800-pounds of fury, reeking of drone strikes, flattening countries, and shitting out plutocracy disguised as democracy.
Gone are the days when we can’t see the 800-pound gorilla through the smoke and mirrors. Gone are the days when the “war on terror” isn’t seen as the smokescreen that it is. We now realize that such a war can never come to an end. It can only end by becoming non-profitable for the military industrial complex.
And the only way it becomes non-profitable is by changing the way the economic system functions. And the only way we change the economic system is through proactive citizenry in solidarity against entrenched, power-mongering, plutocratic politics. As Malala Yousafzai said, “With guns, you can kill terrorists. With education, you can kill terrorism.”
The U.S. has spent roughly $21 trillion on military defense since WWII. It’s been estimated that $17 billion per year would provide adequate food, water, education, health and housing for every single person on the planet. By these figures, war is 20.5 times more expensive than lifting the entire world out of poverty.
The money saved from cutting military spending can be used toward education, healthcare, housing, and environmental cleanup, as well as provide food and clean water to impoverished nations and people. This will allow people to rise up out of slavery and join in solidarity to create a new world that benefits both nature and human beings. War is not peace! No matter how many times you hear an Orwellian politician full of hot air and bipartisan claptrap say otherwise.
As it stands, we are a militarized corporate republic that pedals plutocracy as democracy. Militarism is instrumentalism applied to nationalism: it is a principled rejection of eco-centric, soul-centric, egalitarian and anarchic freedom. When a $1.5 Trillion F-35 Fighter Jet is paid for, and then doesn’t work, you know that you live in a militarized plutocratic system that would rather profit off war and death than use the money to pay for education, health care, and end poverty. It’s basically entropy versus life, and as long as the military industrial complex is allowed to be bloated and overreaching then entropy will win.
In closing, Chris Hedges hits the nail on the head: “Play by the rules and we lose. Resistance will come from those willing to breach police barricades. Resistance will mean jail time and direct confrontation. Resistance will mean physically disrupting the corporate machinery. Resistance will mean severing ourselves from the dominant culture to build small, self-sustaining communities. This resistance will be effective only when we refuse to do what we are told, when we turn from a liberal agenda of reform to embrace a radical agenda of revolt.”