Thursday, July 03, 2008

Life in a Vacuum

Life in Western culture is much like living in a vacuum. Who won the ball game, what’s for dinner, the latest story of some lost soul who went berserk and shot up a school, what atrocity did some pop singer commit?

Granted on the surface that it would seem crazy to be concerned with everything that is going on in the world, on the other side of the planet, or what politicians are up to. Unfortunately it does matter because things that are going on in the world and what our politicians are up to are being done in our name with our money and the results are murder and mayhem all the more devastating due to the enhancement of a technology that makes weapons and their delivery more efficient than ever before.

True human history is a panorama of endless bloodshed and slaughter so why bother, why pay attention after all isn’t it human nature to be violent, isn’t that the natural state of humanity to compete and kill for self gain, to perpetuate ones DNA? Are we nothing more than bags of water, living aquariums whose purpose is to propagate and preserve DNA? That is a pretty grim and narrow view of life and of humanity. I don’t think it is a valid view even if in some sense it is true. It is like saying a masterpiece painting is nothing but a stretched canvas with some colors applied to its surface. Though that is accurate as far as it goes it doesn’t go very far and misses much in its view and the same can be said for describing humanity and life through some quantifiable mechanical aspect.

Recently I read an essay about how stupid Americans are when it comes to politics. The article pointed out how little many Americans know about history, current events, and politics. The frustration of the author was palpable. He questioned whether or not we actually want these people to vote certainly a valid question but then again most of them don’t vote something I advocate, not voting that is, since to participate in what has become such a farce is to support the evil of the state. Perhaps the problem isn’t so much that people don’t pay attention perhaps it is the whole structure of our society. Can you name the 23rd president? How many states are there in the United States? Does the moon orbit the earth or does the earth orbit the moon? Does anyone in their right mind care? We have evolved cultures that are extraordinarily complex and ritualized from much simpler cultures with information, much of it erroneous, mundane, and useless delivered in a multitude of media that threatens to overload our senses. However amidst this sea of rumor and misinformation, there are facts that do matter and it is up to us to decipher what is important and what is not. Unfortunately many seem incapable of doing so or perhaps a closer approximation may be that many don’t have the desire to do so. Rather we write the whole thing off as impossible or worse yet many just place their trust in the government to do the right thing. And this is the conundrum – most people just want to understandably get on with their lives and want life to be predictable with a modicum of surprises yet it is because people don’t pay attention much less think that bad things happen and life becomes more unpredictable filled with some very unpleasant surprises. Worse still many just prefer to believe in fairy tales ignoring the monumental human suffering that is reality for many people around the world with the United States being the chief fountainhead of this misery.

Question everything, stop making assumptions, look for the important facts and corroborate them, ask why people in authority should have any authority, don’t believe anything authority would have you believe without extraordinary proofs. Keep in mind that most of the powers that authority lays claim to comes from you. For authority appearances are more important than facts. Authority emphasizes its power through symbols of power which take the form of state buildings, badges on policeman, monuments, etc. the purpose of which is to relegate the individual to unimportance while uplifting and maintaining the power of the state.

We live in a very complex culture, insanely so, but it is because of this that we need to cultivate the skill to seek out what is important and what is chaff. In the end the important things tend to be much simpler than the propaganda we are deluged with. For example, it is wrong to murder people, it is wrong to steal from them, it is wrong to destroy their homes and infrastructure, let people live their lives the way they wish to, none of us are better than anyone else. One tool used by the state is to reinforce that we are better than anyone else and it is the tool by which they convince the masses to approve of the insane and brutal policies that we victimize weaker states with by adhering to the belief that America is the best nation ever, that Americans know how to live better than anyone else therefore we need to bring the rest of the world up to our own Olympian standards. These are the foundations of insanity and delusion for authority has but one goal the garnering and preservation of power to enrich their own coffers at the cost of everyone else.