Saturday, February 15, 2014

Living in a State of Fear.

"Man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains" - Rousseau

Every day, the average American - with an average IQ of 100 (meaning they can pass the written DMV test on 70% of the attempts) - is inundated with media manipulations designed to produce anger (anger is the easiest reaction... for some reason people can express anger much more quickly and with greater intensity than they can empathy. The same seems to me to apply to the ratios of jealousy/love, requesting forgiveness/offering forgiveness, negative thoughts/positive thoughts. I wonder if this is existential? Or is this part of the unintended consequences of media saturation or religious indoctrination?) with statements of half truths and outright deceptions.

Here's a couple obvious examples.

A favorite of the Left: The U.S., a massive country geographically, with a large population is often compared to countries like Norway or Canada - and why can't we offer free healthcare and college tuition like they do?

Because they have tiny populations and massive revenues for Oil exports per capita.

The Right will point to the "Miracle of Chile" to both support "capitalism" in the Latin American hot bed of Socialism and to lend an excuse for the murder of thousands of political dissidents during the Pinochet years.

Horse Sh#!. Chile supplies 35% of the world's (population 7.143 Billion) copper and has a population of less than 20 people. Even with that incredible metric Chile has its issues. I like a great deal of Milton Friedman's ideas... but I am quite sure that the strategy he caused to be executed in Chile would have been a complete failure in Ethiopia (or if China and India had not industrialized). And just as it is in the U.S., a very small elite have the population completely enslaved. So much for Libertarianism.

The progress humanity has made in the post-Enlightenment period is impressive. Unfortunately, the elites have reconstructed the very systems that the French and American revolutions were fought to overthrow. Forget the "1%" or the "elite". What the Fractional Reserve Banking systems of the world and their respective Central Banks have done

(and the military and police states used to enforce this despite most of the "enforcers" being "peasants" themselves. This is SOP in the enforcement business... the people volunteering or being forced into these activities never seem to see how they are manipulated into doing all manner of disgusting, disgraceful, and murderous actions and activities. Every establishment  uses the same strategy: Group young men together in places like military boot camps and police academies... beat them down to the point that, in order to survive this experience emotionally, they must depend on each other... "its all about the man next to you"...  instill an "us" versus "them" into these future soldiers and police against the people they are supposed to be serving in the first place with nonsense like: "green berets", "special forces", badges, medals... calling them "elite" (which insinuates that The People are inferior)... enlist help from propagandists in the media who then make movies like "Lone Survivor" (I read the book, did not see the movie, and had a completely different take away than those I saw posted in my Facebook feeds) to suppress dissent and to keep the recruits of "low information" very young men coming... this is the strategy that resulted in Black African death squads working for the White Apartheid regime, the NAZI SS and Gestapo, the Soviet KGB, Latin American "Death Squads", American DEA Agents, et al... all comprised of former human beings now capable and willing to participate in the murder and torture (prison is torture) of their fellow man in exchange for money, power, and status)

is to have effectively recreated an aristocracy and a peasant class. The only thing missing is the Monarchy.

One might argue that the "standard of living" for everyone in the industrial West has improved since the 1913 passage of the Federal Reserve Act (which the American victors then installed around the world in the period immediately after WWII). If measured by the number of cars, toasters, dishwashers, blenders, and electric toothbrushes, et al, that might be so. If measured in terms of free time, time spent outside in the sunshine, peace of mind, obesity, philosophical intellectualism, and personal security (how many MILLIONS died in the industrial wars from the American Civil War through Afghanistan? All of these wars were essentially fought over the idea of property rights derived from natural resources; and how many MILLIONS have been imprisoned by the elite for political or moral issues that were Malum Prohibitum rather than Malum In Se? How many of the young men drawn to or placed in those military boot camps or police academies even know what Malum Prohibitum means?) that system simply must be marked: "Epic Fail". When you throw in the enslavement of the masses via debt slavey to force the peasants to work on the Corporate and Government plantations (which, to be fair, are infinitely more pleasant than the plantations of the Antebellum U.S. South but which upon close examination bring the individual to the same place - a place where The People are controlled from birth through death by the establishment) controlled by the modern aristocracy I think the issue become incontrovertible.

The need to use force to control others seems to dominate our culture. That the "Sex Police" of both the Feminist Left and the Rabid/Fundamentalist Right engage in a never ending stream of propaganda to stop (great) sex from happening in a population of people that are TFTF (too fat to, well, fill-in-the-blank however you see fit) in any event never ceases to amaze me. Perfectly reasonable people that are soon to be TFO (too f***ing old) or just plain dead are busy having no passion, denying themselves the chance to actually live before they die, and are enraged by the very idea of other people engaging in such pleasures (Americans near universal, boorish, and provincial hatred of the French and their culture  is just another expression of this. It won't be long now before some Congressional boob from Billy Bob land wants to rename "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries" as seems to happen every 20 years or so. Think just how bizarre it is that the "fly over land" culture of obese beer drinking, hot dog and hamburger eating, NASCAR watching, tattoo ladened, pierced self-mutilators looks down their collective nose at a culture of grace, a taste for fine wine and excellent food (they wouldn't be caught dead serving what is offered at a typical American BBQ), a passion for love, and the discipline to enjoy all of that without seeming to wind up weighing more than their cars).

I think the problem can be summed up as a lack of philosophical examination of our existence because of the distracting drone coming out of the media/TV/movies for the most part, and by fundamentalist religious belief systems in certain pockets of the country. Think about it... do you know how many days, actuarially speaking, you have left to live? How many days you have left of health? Of physical beauty? Or whatever else is important to you? Not very many. Certainly not enough to spend any of those precious days unexamined and without fulfillment (however you might define that). How often do we consider our very existence? Me thinks that that is an important exercise, and that it is impossible to engage in this exercise when the TV is on. It is also impossible to perform this exercise while ensconced in a corporate cubicle irrespective of how much money you are making.

(Of all of the undeserving "heros" that exist in our media created national psyche, no more offending group exists than the cancer industry. From oncologists and radiologists to Big Pharma there has never been a greater "champion of exaggerated claims and false promises", well, with the possible exception of the Great Religions. Thankfully, this is making its way into thinking people's milieu. Many might even actually accept this and live and die accordingly. In the final analysis, you don't have a choice.)

When I first started blogging about America's energy predicament I missed the real issues and implications by a mile. 10 years+ of noodling the energy/economic/industrial/political model has left me with a sense that there exists in our society an endless supply of control freaks that get their jollies scaring the sh#! out of people and into living in a State of Fear: Feminists promote fear of men as molesters and rapists. Defense profiteers promote fear of Muslims (and why won't they just give us our oil?) as terrorists, the Left promotes fear of loss of health insurance and other economic issues of fairness and inequality, the Right promotes fear of the loss of "American values" (whatever the f*** that is), and certain dimwits in America are worried about immigration from countries that are no longer interested in emigrating anywhere.

What none of these groups seems interested in or capable of understanding is that whatever "problem" they identified that needed fixing either got fixed or can't be fixed or the ground completely shifted under their feet while they were standing on their soap box. That does not seem to end their enthusiasm or ire or their desire to see everyone else angry about whatever it is that they think people should be angry about instead of enjoying this precious day.

99% of the "Peak Oil" crowd seems bent on scaring people into supporting some kind of government action. While it appears that these people were absolutely right about the Peak in World Oil production, and maybe even world wide Natural Gas production, what they missed over the past decade is the implosion in the fertility rate of the industrialized world. To say this development is "unprecedented" is an unfair use of that word. Whether by luck or some invisible hand, that train has left the station and is hurtling down the track to its next destination. No doubt, some group somewhere will want to scare the sh#! out of people regarding that development, too... not to worry, there is nothing "we" can do about it and in the end it will take care of itself. Best to stop by the Jeffers Freedom Farm for some homemade dandelion wine with fresh mozarella and tomatoes, and then go off for some afternoon delight while still under the influence because in all of these matters we are our own worst enemy. There are no macro solutions. If one accepts that that is true, the rest is easy.

Of course, old habits die hard. I am interested in watching how Argentinians handle this, as I expect that they will lead the way, and not Spain, Italy, or Greece, for historical reasons. While the PIGGS got hit with peak oil (imports) several years before Argentina, its the picking of the low hanging fruit that jolts the tree the most, especially for trees/countries that have been in drought.

Our real dual tasks are to keep the scaremongers from using propaganda to motivate the people to give up their freedoms for security and to enjoy every precious minute of this very, very short existence.  I wrote this in July of 2008, right before the Great Recession began.

I am still comfortable with the ideas expressed in that post.


Anonymous said...

Health care is not free in Canada or Norway, or the European Union or anywhere else in Asia. It is only free in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Canada and Norway have single payer health care systems, which are far less expensive than the system in the United States prior to the Affordable Care Act. Canadians and Europeans pay approximately half as much per capita as the Americans for a superior quality of health care which includes fewer deaths from preventable illnesses and hospital errors. While Americans have had the most expensive health care system in the world over the last several decades, over 100,000 people every day die in the US from hospital errors. Doesn't that seem to you like something is wrong? Most people would call that a ripoff

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Yes, the U.S. system is beyond a rip off...

but regarding the other statistics - "fewer deaths and preventable illnesses" no other large industrial country has an entrenched class of criminal/obesity/alcoholism/addiction that the U.S. has.

It is a sad observation... but Remove the African American community's input on the health data (not the cost data) and things look remarkably different.

But there is a reason for this:

NO ADMINISTRATION wants to have healthcare decline from nearly 20% of GDP to 9% of GDP, as it is in rest of the industrialized world, on their watch. a 9% contraction in GDP would be worse than the Great REcession of 2008-present.

Anonymous said...

That we are to fear nearly *everything* - THAT is the great lamentation of our time.

I too never saw this coming. I get that mature, established societies crave safety, but, well, wow.

Stephen B.

PioneerPreppy said...

I don't know about the fear angle across the board. Seems to me one really has to look at the what the one pointing things out stands to gain. For instance I would never accuse you of spreading fear when you point out the dangers involved with other movements be they feminist, leftist or way right.

While pointing out we may be losing our rights or freedoms may instill fear I do not think very many who are pointing are doing it for personal gain. Which is the real evil we need to watch for.

I am also not so sure those countries sending all the immigrants have stopped either. Slowed down I am sure but not stopped and besides there are enough of em already here they now have other ambitions. Of course Immigration has always been something you and I don't agree on.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


You and I will flesh out the balance of your comments soon. I look forward to talking with you... regarding the immigration thing:

The decline in the fertility rate in Central America is in the process of ending immigration into the U.S.

The decline in American fertility ensures a peak in the population sometime soon.

tweell said...

Fnord. It's the most powerful tool government has. Sometimes it is even correct!

Publius said...

Wow! You are on fire in this essay, Greg.
Right on target.
The USA is a nation of sad morons.
It's funny - destructive habits like tobacco, alcohol, and eating junk food are encouraged, but if you want to, say, get some nookie, or arrange your life differently from the mainstream, you get crucified.

I even lost a "friend" because we were considering home-schooling. He went ape-shit, accusing us of being anti-American, anti-community, etc.

It's so bad here, we are going to emigrate if possible.
Even if life were better materially in the USA, which I don't think is true, it's not worth the continual bullshit of police no-knock raids, anti-social psychopath neighbors, poor food, puritanism, and overall boorishness.

God willing, we will escape.
And as an added plus, the women are better looking and less obese where we are headed.
And the men.
And the children.

You are right to be fatalistic: there is nothing we can do about peak oil. No macro policies will change. Whatever happens, will happen: partial die-off, depression, civil wars, climate change-induced mass migrations and violence.
Might as well enjoy life!

Anonymous said...

The real intent of Obamacare is to indemnify the heathcare cartel against the possibility that someone will elect not to pay into the system. Now, everyone MUST submit, with the taxpayers footing the bill for those that can't or won't pay. This is a very similar strategy to that used by the banksters, who gave loans to everyone with a body temperature above ambient, with the tacit guarantee that the government would make them whole (at the taxpayer's expense) when the whole thing blew up. There is no doubt in my mind that the fix was in long before the crisis occurred. American Fascism at work.

We're getting a full dose of all big government has to offer, including secret police and indefinite detention without trial.

The same process is occurring very rapidly across the Western World. I've never been a conspiracy theorist, but there seems to be a lot of coordination. Who's pulling the strings?


Coal Guy

Publius said...

@Coal Guy: Well, it might be time to start becoming a theorist of conspiracies.
Conspiracies happen all the time: every bank robbery with more than one person involved is a conspiracy.

Bankers colluding on setting rates is a conspiracy.

The secret lobbying behind Obamacare was a conspiracy.

Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy warned us about real conspiracies.
I have to say that personally, I think only a gullible fool could believe the singles shooter hypothesis behind Kennedy's assassination... history is rife with conspiracies of all kinds.

Even without conspiracies, all empires decay and collapse. It is not optional.