Apathy, Lies, and the Fall of Democracy…
Why have we so easily relinquished control of our society to the corporate elite? Are we so caught up in ourselves, in our so-called “individualism”, in our sense of entitlement, in the busy-ness of our lives that we haven’t been able to see the systemic destruction of our society? Are we so caught up in who will “survive” on Survivor or be the “lucky” person remaining in some quasi-reality show that typifies the moral decay of our culture? Are we more concerned with with who will win the World Series, Super Bowl, or Stanley Cup, than we are who wins the presidency or who assumes control in the House or Senate, or what Justices preside in our Supreme Court? Are we so caught up in maintaining our daily schedules that we can’t see what is happening to our world? It is happening right before our eyes…
We have been deceived, and it has been a masterful deception indeed. Through globalization, the elite have effectively and efficiently changed us from a country of manufacturing to a country of consuming. We make very little in this country anymore and it has had a very adverse impact on how we view our roles and responsibilities in a democratic society.
We have taken an approach that we want to think and feel is individualism. Individualism, in this context, is “a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control”(New Oxford Dictionary). We use this idea or theory to justify our own apathy. We use it to show our busy-ness. We use it to show our status. We take the look of being ultra-organized while, in reality, we are not thinking critically or questioning anything. We are working on the next item on our to-do list.
We live under the guise of “freedom”. We think we are free to do whatever we want because we live in the United States of America, the self-proclaimed shining example of liberty and freedom. The country where anything is possible and you can live “the dream”. We are living a lie when we think we are free. We live in a society that is wholly governed by the corporate elite. Chris Hedges notes from Empire of Illusion:
Corporations are ubiquitous parts of our lives, and those that own and run them want them to remain that way. We eat corporate food. We buy corporate clothes. We drive in corporate cars. We buy our fuel from corporations. We borrow from, invest our retirement savings with, and take out college loans with corporations and corporate banks. We are entertained, informed, and bombarded with advertisements by corporations. Many of us work for corporations. There are few aspects of life left that have not been taken over by corporations, from mail delivery to public utilities to our for-profit health-care system. These corporations have no loyalty to the country or workers. Our impoverishment feeds their profits. And profits, for corporations, are all that count.
Look around you. Look at all of your “things”. Where did they come from? As a society of consumer, we have put ourselves squarely in the hands of the ruling class. Our obedience and steadfast quest for the next best, newest, biggest, even better “thing” displays our loyalty to the corporation. They love our obedience. They feed our hunger for image and quench our thirst for status. They thrive on our insatiable desire for more. We can’t help ourselves, we are addicts to what they supply, and they know that. That is what makes the idea of “freedom” as it applies to the U.S. a truly ridiculous and far-fetched dream.
We are fooled when we believe the lies of the elite telling us about threats to our freedom from foreign entities. The U.S. spends more on their military than the next 26 countries in the world combined, and is allies with all but one of those countries (source – here). Are we really that scared of some foreign country taking our freedom away? Yet, we put our young men and women out there to fight a lie. In reality, they are out there fighting for our corporations at the expense of their own lives and the countless innocent civilians living in Iraq, Afghanistan, and likely soon to be Iran.
The deregulation of the banking industry was the beginning of the end. We have opened our treasury up to the criminals and they are looting like there is no tomorrow. They have no clue as to how to manage the money they are looting as evidenced by the 2008 financial meltdown that we, as taxpayers, had to pay the price for. Socialism bailing out capitalism seems so ironic in a country that so fervently defends capitalism.
So how do get get out of this mess? How do we change the direction of our country? How do we take back control of the treasury, the military, the government. We start by holding those responsible for criminal activity accountable for their actions. How do we do that? We have to aggressively defend our first amendment and we need the press to lead this quest. The press must hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. They must resist being part of the “club”. They need to expose the elite for who they are, liars, thieves, and murderers. Noam Chomsky wrote,
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.
The elite have effectively achieved this and we need to demand that our press ask the exposing questions. If we hold our elected officials responsible, the rest will begin to fall in place. This is not an impossible hole to get out of, but it also isn’t going to be easy. Money corrupts and it has completely corrupted our country. It is time to stop consuming, become self-sustainable, and break our allegiance to the corporate state.
People never give up their liberties but under some delusion. – Edmund Burke