Monday, August 30, 2010
Making a Timely Response
murph exercising his inner Neanderthal with the hides
Had to do something with the mint and lettuce from the garden: Tahbouli salad
By murph (& freeacre)
Scrapwood asked the question in the previous comments, "Why are their no longer people like Mario Silvio (deceased). Where are the protests and why do young people just sit on their hands and do nothing.
I have a tentative answer for you.
I have had the excuse to talk a bit with younger people lately, 20 somethings. It appears to me that many of them realize that something is terribly wrong. It also appears to me they have no idea what to do about it or they realize the futility of trying.
IMO, it appears to me that we missed our chance (if there ever was one) to do something important in the direction our society was taking back in the 60's -70's. Yup, lots of protesting, lots of ideologies floating around back in the day. However, you probably noticed that nothing came of it. I attribute that to the naïve-ness of the population at the time. I was into some of it. We really didn't understand the nature of what we were dealing with or fighting against. We actually believed that protesting in the streets would/could change anything substantial. How wrong we were and we got beaten up bad. We were also under the impression that we lived in a system where those that governed actually had our interests and well being at heart. Wrong again.
I read/listen to speeches and documents by people that have some influence and the fringe activists of every stripe. None of them will actually admit (if they realize it) what the problems actually are and as you should realize a problem can't be fixed if it is not defined correctly.
This country, socially, decided a long time ago that bigger, more, and more complex was better and that there was nothing wrong with greed. Consequently, there is never enough of anything, enough of actions or things or laws or ANYTHING. Always more and more.
While we have a very few examples of (what we call primitive) social groups where that drive for more is suppressed or not indulged in, it certainly is prevalent in all of what we call western civilization. There is much written concerning this drive for more of everything and what drives it. Take your pick of the explanations; it is readily observable no matter what its driving force is. This is the fallacy of western civilization; that there is always more available. Which is true for the short term. For the long term, we have all kinds of examples from history of what that attitude brings down on the societies of the time, collapse and chaos. (Notice that I do not use the term anarchy for this.) In the 60’ and 70’s we forgot that in the end analysis, there is no free lunch, that infinite expansion is not possible, that there are always consequences for decisions and actions, that there are absolute limits to growth dictated by the environment we live in, the physical reality of finite stuff on this globe.
Back in the day we forgot that there is always a certain percentage of the population, (usually around 1%) that are by definition psychopathic, that is, they will do absolutely anything they can get away with to further their acquisition of stuff and power over other people. They are absolutely ruthless in this pursuit. Supposedly, our system of government was put in place to limit and control those tendencies. Over time this was corrupted almost absolutely until we now have multiple crises over it. The psychopaths are truly and absolutely in power. The people put into power now have almost complete control and are expanding their control over the absolute essentials needed for personal survival. These people are not content with having every single material thing at their disposal and enjoyment. Instead, this is expanded into the desire to absolutely control everyone else on the planet also. I have to admit that I don’t understand or have any empathy concerning this drive to control people like this. Right down to the local level in communities, there are those that wish to control what people can or cannot do even when it is benign. Science is often utilized to prove that the control is necessary for the general good. In some cases, that might even be true. But, unfortunately, most of the “good for you” control has nothing to do with your or my well being. It is control for control sake and not to enhance the experience of living and making it safe. Every time I hear someone say that there ought to be a law about something I want to scream. Shit, we have laws governing right down to what we can eat or drink or smoke or even say or think now. There are never enough laws to satisfy the psychopaths. Of course, the psychopaths don’t have to live according to those laws, just everyone else.
We no longer live by the concept that your freedom stops at the end of my nose and visa versa. We no longer have the live and let live paradigm in our society. Instead, we have opted for more central control over our lives and opted for the greed is good concept. We are now looking at a future of consequences of those decisions.
If my above observations are correct, protests are an exercise of futility. Just a good way to let off emotional steam and maybe get beat up bad by the police and see just how much physical abuse one can take and still function. Protest will not change anything currently dealing with how the system operates nor change the minds of the people in power.
Which brings me to the subject of attitudes of the people in power. It seems obvious to me that there is a rather large chasm between those in power and everyone else. It also appears to me that those in the political elite (the minions for the PTB) have little if any respect for the peons below them in economic and social status. We are viewed as being useless eaters, stupid and untalented. For a good rant on this see; http://www.joebageant.com/ titled “Understanding Americas Class System”, his latest missive on this subject that I totally agree with. If Bageant is correct, what will protests or any other agitation actually accomplish? To have protests and challenges to policies and actions to have any affect on those policies and actions, those initiating them must recognize the validity of the protests, which they sure as hell do not.
One thing I do maintain is that if we want serious changes, we have to stop feeding the psychopaths and ultimately take away their power. That’s what revolutions are about. The problem is, historically, revolutions always seem to end up with another set of psychopaths in power. They may tread lightly for a while and make all kinds of promises, but in the end it is their power they are concerned with. World power is one giant Medusa. Cut off one head and another takes over. If this madness is to cease, the Medusa must be eliminated, by any means possible. That means that the controlling elite over the political elite has to be eliminated. How that would be accomplished I have no idea. Feel free to put the ideas of how to accomplish it out there. You will find that most will laugh it off. There is still that hope that one may one day become part of that elite too. I have not much hope for the elimination of the psychopaths, to be frank, at least in my lifetime. That’s for the younger generation to deal with. No wonder they are skateboarding.
(an add-on by freeacre)
I have a soft spot in my heart for the next generations. My very dear son is a GenX-er. I think these kids mostly fall into three categories, in terms of how they are choosing to deal with the struggles that they face:
1) They are techies who think that there is a technical fix to the problems ahead. These are the ones devoted to green power, better phone apps, or whatever. They are optimists (like my son - go figure) who are scarcity deniers, and who also do not read the papers, watch the news, and could care less about political parties. They are probably acutely aware, however, of the many ways the military could stifle them with the newest pain rays or other computer chip horrors if they were to openly rebel.
2) They join the military, due to economic realities, joining the ROTC in high school, or playing too many video games. These mostly working class kids are cannon fodder for our endless series of wars to prop up the stock market. Hoo Raaah! There are not enough of them being born here, which has required a permeable southern border.
3) Our “surfer” dudes, skateboarders, snowboarders, X-treem types or their tattooed and pierced wannabees who I think of as “shunners.” These kids are disenchanted with the foreseeable future, would like to get off the grid, and are trying to figure out some ways to get out of the system, since they have long since figured out that it holds nothing good for them. They have turned their backs on the corporate ladder (obviously), and are attempting to Not Feed the Beast. They do not read newspapers or watch the news, except maybe John Stewart on Comedy Central. These are the ones who call in sick to their pizza delivery jobs due to the National Snowboarding Championships being on the tube.
That’s my take on these Dear Ones born into this House of Horrors. Personally, my bet is on an asteroid to hit the re-set button.
Hot Springs Wizard preparing for Burning Man