Go to Hell Milton Friedman

This might go long so change channels if you do not want to spend the time. I have sent a lot of messages recently concerning the massacre of innocents at the high school in Parkland, Florida and I have tried to do everything I can to support the amazing way in which groups of students have responded, with pushback amidst the sorrow.  I am amazed at how they have turned their righteous anger into action against who and what they understand, correctly in part, to be the cause of their misery. I say “in part” because what they experienced and what caused their moment of agony is really our preference for inhumanity over humanity.  We, the vast majority of us, accept as a necessary part of our world the slaughter of other human beings be it from war or crime or hunger or lack of clean water or adequate sanitation.  We not only tolerate it but pay for it, are entertained by it in the movies we watch to be made happy.  Sorry to have to tell you but Star Wars is about perpetual war, through the eons, brutality and death never ceasing.  We are inured and fascinated but never so much appalled as to reflect on how inhuman we are and how much better we are becoming at just letting it go or saturating ourselves until so full that we cannot be sensitive, least compassionate, for those who are the tragic victims of the violence we now take for granted as a permanent feature of our existence and our children’s.

 

Most know, I think, that what happened in Parkland, Florida and at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at Columbine not so very long ago, at a theater in Colorado, at a night club in Orlando, on a concert field in Las Vegas, has as much to do with money as anything else.  Yes, and of course, the murderers were in a crazed state when they carried out mass slaughter of human beings and, yes, in some instances, more could have been done to prevent from happening what happened.  But realistically, not much at all could have been done because the craziness of those who killed was hardly possible to detect until the insanity was shown in their actions.  Yes, better gun registration with meaningful background checks might have, for an added day or two or three kept military grade weapons out of the hands of the shooters.  But, as everyone who is half-way sane knows, if one really wants to get such a weapon of destruction, he or she will find a way to get one because they are ever so readily available.

 

The sane thing for a sane society to do would be to do what is needed to make impossible for one who has the potential for insanity, to go insane, to carry out insane acts to have such weapons.  We do know that there are people who seem sane who are not really sane and we know that people who are truly sane can lapse into moments of insanity without hardly a sign of potential for this before they decide to do something insane.  People who know the shooters, often tell us that they can’t believe that the person they knew could or ever would act in such a way.

 

Really, the sane and possible to enact solution is to do what is necessary to keep these weapons out of the hands of the insane and the potentially without a moment’s notice turned insane.  And, while it is true that we cannot collect all semi-automatic and automatic weapons that exist, we can reduce the numbers of such weapons available by forbidding their sale, this by law, by laws that are bound to be broken, but, as with other laws, do have an effect on minimizing whatever it is that they exist to outlaw or restrict.  The argument that those who are willing to break laws will do or get what the law is intend keep them from doing or getting is an argument for lawlessness.

 

In a sense, as pertains to guns, we currently live in a state of lawlessness because there are not adequate laws to make for conditions that allow sensible people to live in a sensible society.  And sensible people in this society have given into, have come to accept a as sensible that which, rationally speaking, is insane and this insanity that has become acceptable is broader in scope than being solely about guns or poverty or war.  It is acceptance of basic premises that are made irrefutable by reference to their prevalence, by their presence over so long a span of time that they seem to be correct because they are all that can, realistically be or be possible.

 

We have learned to accept that we are bound in by certain parameters and, even if life within these bounds is ridiculous in ways or altogether, it is the life we will live because it is understood to be the only life we possibly can live.

 

To know that these parameters are artificial and of our own making is devastating to conceive even though we may know that this is ultimately the truth.  The comfort of a good many is secured by being ignorant of such truth, ignorant by choice quite often because one wishes to be comfortable and too, secure in knowing that he or she acts righteously, even though it is righteousness that only can stand as such within the absurd parameters accepted as the actual and only possible reality available.  Such limited thinking—to think otherwise would be to think outside the bounds of the accepted rationality—in some instances, reason to be considered insane.  To even suggest as a goal, a world without war, for instance, is to risk being thought not right in one’s thinking, in one’s perception of reality.

 

So, I will say what I know too many will consider ideas of a person unbalanced, out of sync with reality, that the true and real cause for the inhumane acts that we are made uncomfortable with on occasion, that we find ways to work through our around to recover our balance, is an economic system that people need to realize is an, if not the, dominant factor affecting in all facets of life, the health of the planet included, is an economic system that is not only tolerated but touted by most citizens of our society as the best and best possible, an economic system that by its very nature necessitates inhumanity and makes allowable and even good the degradation of mass numbers of human beings and the Earth upon which they live.

 

If we, the people of this Earth will not be so brave as to look the monster in the eye and define it properly for what it is, then to hell with us all for we will have accepted for ourselves this hell of our own making.  We will have accepted that for the good of some it is right to sacrifice others, be it by war, by starvation, by lack of proper health care, by crime, by corruption, by whatever it is that comes with the necessity of bettering ourselves by being better at it than them.  If this sounds like a condemnation of competition, you hear right for it is.  Competition is healthy, it drives us to greatness, it pushes us to strive, to work harder, to persist.  Truth be told, there exist healthy competitions but, truth be told, capitalism does not sponsor such.  It sponsors a kind of completion by which those who lose are made miserable made to suffer miserable deaths.  Such has been made widely acceptable, our consciences made unconscionable by our acceptance of the lie that capitalism is a force of good (to hell with you Milton Friedman) when it is horrible to so many people.  Remember that, that it has been horrible to many, very many people, and accepted by so many who have been the beneficiaries of their misery.

 

This is not to say that capitalism is inherently or necessarily evil, though I am still uncertain as to whether such may be true.  It is to say that in its present form, in the form it was shaped into at inception, capitalism is based in predation, to exist there must be prey and predator and more, and more than ever now, are prey and, within systems of government, the predator made not only insanely powerful, but by states’ decree honorable.  Consider those held up in our modern day societies as successful, lauded in our schools and every other venue where deeds are discussed and value asserted.  Are these most often humanitarians, people who are ultimately guided in their humanity?  Or are those of them who are considered humanitarians ultimately guided by their greed, successful enough in their predatory endeavors to give up a little to pay for a good name?

 

The owner of the corporation that makes the AR 15 probably gives something to charity.  The owner of the United Fruit Company that in a very real way made slaves of the people of numerous Latin American countries, I have read, gave enough to be applauded for his charity and humanity.  Didn’t John D. Rockefeller play a role in the degradation of foreign peoples in foreign lands.  Didn’t too many an American soldier, often drawn from the ranks of the poor and ‘disadvantaged’ fight die in wars they for the sake of wealthy people responsible for the low wages they received for the hard work they were forced to do to stay alive?  Yes, these are but a few examples.  But there are more and you and I have to decided how many it takes to show that the balance is weighted against the goodness of capitalism and for the misery it causes.  THE PEOPLE WHO DIED IN AND IN AND FROM SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND BY EUROPEANS WHO TRADED IN PEOPLE IN AFRICA AND AROUND THE WORLD.  THE PEOPLE WHO DIED FIGHTING IN VIETNAM DIED BECAUSE OF CAPITALISM.  THE PEOPLE WHO DIED TRYING TO SAVE DEMOCRACY IN IRAN DIED BECAUSE OF CAPITALISM.  THE PEOPLE WHO DIED FIGHTING FOR TO GIVE THEMSELVES A DECENT LIFE IN GUATAMALA AND CHILE AND EQUADOR AND BOLIVIA AND ARGENTINA AND, YES, IN CUBA AND VENEZUELA, DIED FIGHTING AGAINST THE U.S. AND THE SAME FORM OF CAPITALISM THAT PRODUCED THE GUNS THAT KILLED THE PEOPLE WHO DIED AT THE PULSE AND AT THE COLORADO THEATER AND AT COLUMBINE AND ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP AND AT SANDY HOOK AND IN A HIGH SCHOOL IN PARKLAND, FLORIDA.

 

We do not necessarily have to abolish capitalism but we certainly do need to think an awful lot about what it has wrought and what we can do to insure that whatever is bad in it and about it be gotten rid of, as soon as possible, if not for any other reason as to do what is right by our children.

Invitation for Conversation

 

PLEASE VISIT THE MARCH FOR OUR LIVES SITE AND DO WHAT YOU CAN TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE EFFORT

The site has a long list of sister marches.

THE INVITATION

I will be in DC from March 22 until the 25th. If anyone would like to meet up for good conversation, let me know. If there are a few (or many) of us, I will make arrangements for a place to chat. Do support the students! They are now expecting 500,000 in DC alone and have raised close to $2,000,000. I will be staying at Crystal City in Arlington so if you are nearby, let me know and we can chat over coffee, wine, or beer.

Wow! A conversation.

Response on FB to comments in my last post:
Stephen, I agree with almost all your observations with one exception. There are answers and ways forward if we choose to live the life we strive for. We must turn our ideas into practice. It’s no longer sufficient to discuss what’s wrong. Each one of us that see a better way to organize a society, has to do something to move our country and world in that direction during the short time we are on this planet and not in it. I think it starts with thinking and acting with the collective good as the goal. With our cultural lean toward individualism, we are seeing the commons diminished and degraded. We, as a people, have lost the ability to recognize our connection to all life on this planet. The spiritual oneness is lacking and hard to find.
My Response:
Stephen Lafer
Stephen Lafer I do say by the end that when things are/seem impossible that is not reason to stop looking for ways to make the impossible the new possible. The task ahead is not about guns and school murders in mass. It is about a society in which the political system has come to be fashioned so that such things are allowable, even regularized as have been other forms of violence and bad behavior-war, fraud, incredible wealth for some and very little for some others and the resulting forms of poverty, use of wealth to gain political power over others in a nation that is supposed to be a democratic one, jobs that pay too little, rip-off advertising, rip-off leaders, and so on and a population not so well educated as to know what is wrong and even less about what to do to make things better. The solutions to underlying problems, the means for bringing about meaningful change have much, I think, to do with building educational programs dedicated to helping Americans to know how to think for themselves, to desire to study well enough what is going around them and what is affecting them directly so they know what to do something about and so they know what to do about it. That is a most difficult task, seemingly impossible but doable if there is the will to really shake things up. In that shake-up, of course, all will have to give up something but, if they do, it is very possible they will get something better, a smart country dedicated to the humane treatment of all.

Why read so much? It may help us get somewhere!

A guy I know through Facebook now (we were classmates in elementary school) offered the following post on Facebook.  My reply follows.

David Posted this:

A sobering view on guns and such by Marc Cooper :

“Good for the kids. Better to see them speaking out on this than, say., Matt Damon. My followers know I have been very critical of the “gun safety” movement but not because I am a second amendment die hard ( I am not) nor because shooting is a hobby of mine. I am critical because it is politically unhinged and until now has failed miserably.

So, you might ask, what am I FOR when it comes to this issue. I will answer in descending order of political viability.

Best remedies: An urban Marshall Plan that provides education, jobs and safety to urban cores that have been abandoned and where most gun homicides take place. This also requires a bolstering and tripling of the so called safety net. NONE of this is going to happen because nobody gives a shit about poor people or kids who become violent gangbangers.

Wholesale legalization and regulation of drugs that provide support and safe haven for addicts thereby reducing much of the lethal gang violence over turf. NONE of this will happen.

Serious educational and community mental health intervention. In case you have not noticed this is a highly neurotic and tense society where depression and alienation are commonplace and wherein 2/3 of the population are quietly or loudly dependent on psychoactive drugs. NOT going to happen.

To accomplish the above we would need to recognize that we are in an Empire in decline and even declining empires are propped up by military might and spending to the continuing degradation of civil society. In case you have not noticed our community, civil, family and political institutions are in a continuing downward slide thereby generating an unknown number of very depressed, violent and dangerous people by the hour. NO sign this is about to be reversed as we have believe we are indispensable and exceptional.

Well, we are… in the wrong way. That is why comparing us to Japan, Australia or even the UK (that has mostly abandoned its empire) is absurd, The levels of social tension, alienation, everyday violence and overall decline are much sharper than in those more peaceful countries.

Second-best remedies: a national gun registry. NOT gonna happen in your lifetime. Confiscation of weapons from anybody who has been convicted of any violent crime including misdemeanors. That means a very invasive measure by law enforcement that would follow all courtroom convictions. I’ not very comfortable giving the state that much power, but in any case, NOT going to happen in our lifetime.

Reversal of current restrictions to properly audit licensed gun dealers who currently have lax supervision. This is NOT going to happen except, perhaps, on a very reduced scale.

Serious research by the CDC on the CAUSES and effects of gun violence. There is minimal funding for this already but there has been no political will by CDC mgmt to go forward. Probably with good reason as the Republican congress would most likely cut all funding if suck work began.

Third best remedies: The feds must get their act together on making criminal background checks watertight. Currently it is more or less a joke. Maybe this will happen. Real universal background checks on EVERY gun sale. Some states are closer than this than others. In California, for example, private gun sales must go through a licensed dealer and the buyer must pass the background check. In most states this is not the case. I would argue that even transfer from one family member to another would require the same check. Tighter background checks are probably coming but not on most private sales and not at all on family transfers, Even if that were to magically occur it would be replaced by a black market. Sorry but true. Still, tougher background checks please.

Concealed carry which is now under jurisdiction of state and county governments is far too lax. Background checks and much more training for CCW’s should be in place. Currently, the trend is the opposite.

Worst remedies. Indeed what I would call jacking off: any call to repeal to the 2nd amendment. Politically, absolutely impossible whatever your view. Forty percent of American households and 60 percent of rural households have guns. Get real. Moaning about Japan and Australia. Pointless and in the case of Australia not really true. Banning “assault weapons” or any other equipment as all of it is already in circulation in the millions and, in any case, account for a tiny percentage of killings. A sei experienced shooter with a run of the mill .45 or 9mm handgun can crank out 50-80 shots per minute just as easily as from an AR. I have no particular love for AR’s but they are a distraction and a bogeyman. The PRIMARY problem arising from gun violence are small, cheap handguns. If you start banning semi auto handguns you have essentially abolished the second amendment and you will turn millions virulently against you.

That brings to me to my final point: the absolute worst thing you can do to promote any sort of gun control is to continue to stigmatize and ostracize current gun owners. Most of them know how to safely handle weapons much better than non owners and while some are nutty, that is the case also among every political faction in America. The NRA has only 4 million members among maybe 100 million or more people in gun owning families. Assuming that anybody who owns guns is an NRA nut job is equivalent to saying that anybody who pulls the lever for Democrats is responsible for the corruption and Big Money that dominates the party leadership. THERE WILL BE NO SIGNIFICANT REFORMS WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT BUY IN FROM THE TENS OF MILLIONS WHO OWN GUNS. The NRA and gun extremists best thrive is an us versus them environment and, sorry, most urban liberals are as guilty of that stigmitization as are the board members of the NRA. No common ground means NO forward movement.

Those are my proposals. The most important ones being the ones I listed first and that will never happen. Indeed, I do not believe that any other reforms will have any real impact on gun violence. That does not mean I am not willing to give them a chance — so long as there is some buy in. I am pessimistic about lowering gun violence not because I secretly worry that somebody is going to seize any of my guns. I am skeptical and pessimistic because I see gun violence not as a cause of social decay but rather as a symptom of what has always been a violent society currently in the throes of aggravated and deepening disruption. When half the country is doped up, when two jobs won’t pay the mortgage, when black youth see no future, when society has stopped caring about the bottom 2/3 of the population and with 350 million guns in circulation, you gotta be dreaming that much of the above is going to make much difference. There are more than enough head cases out there and more than enough weaponry out there for decades to come that only a fool would expect an end to mass killings. And as ghastly and horrifying as school and church shootings are, and they are, they UNFORTUNATELY only the spectacular punctuation of a daily grind of of anonymous smaller scale homicides that should be seen for what they are: the social fabric and the body politic is running a 104 degree temperature and band aids are not gonna work. The underlying illness is a a great republic that has been decimated by the glories and cost of empire.

Liberals play a special role in this mess because better than anybody they should know the value of seeking out root causes of disease and not just dance around the symptoms. Look no further than Mexico where even Jesus Christ can’t legally buy a gun. Yet somehow some 100,000 people have been shot to death in the last handful of years. The problem isn’t gun control in Mexico… it’s rather a dysfunctional society. You get it? Adios.”

Me to Cooper through David

I appreciate the thoughtfulness here and the willingness to explain yourself at length on this matter. I see much sense here and do not like it much that such good sense produces the kind of viable alternatives you have listed. Indeed, this is a very sad and sick society and the real fixes are to be found in major adjustments to the way we live and the way we think and, as you say, the likelihood of a meaningful shift toward enlightenment is highly unlikely in our lifetimes. On the other hand, the nurturing of a more thoughtful citizenry should not be a goal that we abandon. The beginning of the Constitution recognizes that democracy is always a work in progress, the always present goal of a real democracy, a more perfect union. We haven’t spent much time or money on bettering ourselves on fronts other than the economic and technological because we all about an economic system that is all about individuals making money . It seems that there is not enough money to be made from helping people grow smarter and more able to govern themselves sensibly (there is some, obviously, or there wouldn’t be the move to privatize education) and, sensible self-government would probably cause some who benefit from the current way we live to lose some of their wealth and the power they buy with it. I could say much about each of the specifics you mention but I will do that over time in my space. Suffice to say here that the gun situation is a crisis of major proportions because, as you say, there are too many guns circulating and still being pumped into the society to hope to get control over who possesses them. It is beyond comprehension but, yet, a truth we live by, that powerful assault weapons are going to be in circulation for a long time to come, if not forever unless we allow for a police state of sorts that would make possible mass confiscation. I still believe there should be extremely strict rules governing who may possess such artillery. My preference would be that no civilian be allowed, under law, to possess such firearms, that, despite the fact that they are “out there” everything possible within the bounds of what is democratically right and proper, be done to collect the ones that are out there and, too, that no more be commercially available. I would also really like it to happen that gun violence in entertainment be sensibly curtailed so that violent death is not treated as a treat but as something (duh) destructive, ugly, and intolerable. We have inured people to the pain and suffering that goes along with people, whoever they are, being blown up and blown away. This should not happen by force, by force of law, but by the fucking idiots in the film and television industries who are willing to put the stuff out there to earn dollars without taking responsibility–or being made responsible by a public of decent people (can we hope for such) for their role in the promotion of debauchery as glorious fun. In regard to David Frieland, I agree that there is no solution to be found in Sacks’ analysis and this is a virtue as the point with which we have to wrestle, as hard as it is to recognize the validity of such, is that there is no solution or, more to the point, no solution that is viable. What we really need to get to where we should be as a decent society is impossible to do because of who we now are in relation to where we should and need to be. That said, because something appears to most sensible people to be impossible is no good reason not to try and do it, making it possible by changing the rules by which we think and by which we act and by which we behave. By the way, THIS IS THE KIND OF TALK WE NEED TO BE TALKING IF THERE IS ANY POSSIBILITY OF MOVING EVEN THE SLIGHTEST INCREMENT TOWARD A STATE OF SANITY. THANKS DAVID!

 

FUND CLOSED. CONTRIBUTE TO MARCH FOR OUR LIVES AT MARCH FOR OUR LIVES .COM

March for Our Lives website

Funding March for Our Lives Student Travel to Washington D.C. on March 24.

This may be one of the most important moments in recent American political history, students becoming activists to change aspects of their society that they fin

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On March 24, 2018 students will be demonstrating in Washington DC to ask that the something be done to prevent mass murder on school campuses such as has taken place in several locations, most recently in Parkland, Florida.  Since the adults have not been able to rally support for the cause of protecting the innocent, groups of students have begun to do exactly that.  MARCH FOR OUR LIVES.COM is the site created to promote the march in Washington and other cities around the country.
IN SUPPORT OF THE STUDENTS, I HAVE ESTABLISHED A GO FUND ME SITE TO RAISE FUNDS TO HELP STUDENTS WHO OTHERWISE COULD NOT AFFORD THE TRIP PARTICIPATE IN THE MARCH 24 ACTIVITIES.  
CONTRIBUTE BY USING THIS LINK  

When is it impossible to tolerate?

I need to speak. The urge is too strong to ignore. To say that I am appalled by what happened in Florida is not as true as I would want it to be because I have been appalled by so many similar events in the recent past that disgust has been replaced by a kind of fury with which I am finding hard to cope. To say that it is time to do something about the problem produces in me laughter of the kind that comes with listing to someone who is professing absolute and obvious bullshit. It has been time for a very long time and not much of anything meaningful has happened to deal with the appallingly absurd and impossible reality that our current reality. The tragedy is that life goes on as usual even though what is usual is wholly unacceptable, so far beyond the pale that beyond the pale is what is accepted as normal.
I do not know what to do. I do not know who to talk to to get something done. I do not want to go on this way because life is not very pleasant. It can only be pleasant if I ignore what is going on around me and I do not know how to be so ignorant. I cannot live decently when I know that kids are being killed in their schools on a regular basis. How could I claim to be a decent person if I could do such a thing?
I have suggested to some who might have at hand the opportunity to do something big enough to help us get out of the rut we have accepted to be a permanent feature of our existence; tragedy followed by well wishes followed by no meaningful action at all to change the conditions that allowed for, caused the tragedy to occur. “Here we go again” is about another turn on the carousel that goes nowhere, only in circles. We learn nothing from our tragedies because we do not want to think too much about them because we want to get on with living the good life even when we get glimpses of how bad life is for others, those directly affected by the tragedies we behold and then try to push out of our consciousness so that we can “go about our business.”
This is pathetic. We have become pathetic. If the slaughter of babies at an elementary school did not bring about mass action of some meaningful kind, then we are beyond pathetic, patently inhumane. Consider what we want to forget, the terror those kids felt as they saw their classmates murdered after hearing their screams and watching blood drain from their little bodies. How the fuck did we manage to go on without doing something sanely drastic to make sure that something like that incredible tragedy would never take place again.
Within days, if not hours, we were back to living our lives as we had before the massacre, back to work, back to spending to keep the economy alive, back to forgetting well enough to live the lives we have become used to living, lives of unconsciousness that allow us to proceed as though nothing terrible ever happened. And, when it comes to seriously considering root causes of the ugliness we paint over, that we will not do for to do so is to make us aware of at what cost our good lives come, at the cost of others, even babies, living terribly, sometimes in terror, cost we are willing to have THEM pay as long as we can afford admission to the next dumb ass block buster movie the advertising agencies promote with our stupidity in mind.
I hate Facebook. When I pay attention I discover what I hate to know, that day in and day out most people choose to ignore or, at best, only lightly involve themselves in the process that should be our salvation, the democratic process. I read message after message of trivial things right there in the midst of critically important events taking place. I find little in the way of conversation about taking meaningful action. Fucking postings of disagreement or disbelief do not do shit. Messages circulate and too few are willing to get off the carousel, to take the time to really take the time to think about and offer up suggestions for new directions. Saying what someone has already said, even if it it good, does not help push thinking toward proposals for solutions.
My mission now is to find find a few people willing to look at the big picture, the causes of the agony that humane people should be feeling these days. I am determined to find a few people who will spend a good amount of time to look deeply into how we function as a society and what it is that causes so much disfunction. I want to take about that which is responsible for school massacres and that which is responsible for economic misery so many experience, for people treating each other badly, for some having very little–some not even enough–and others having so much that they can buy anything they want including the decision making processes by which society determines what is right and wrong, legal and illegal, acceptable and unacceptable.
I want to converse with a few people who want to do something potent by act and by scale. I want to work with people who believe that the good of the whole, that the flourishing of humanity the basic cause for right action and decent behavior, is their life cause, who understand that the truly good life can only be established if humane principles serve as motive for what we do as a society of human beings.
As I have said before, I have a good sense of what the root problem is and I know I know what it is because so many atrocities can be shown to have been carried our and allowed in the name of profit.
I have for many years now, as an educator, as a teacher of teachers, as a student of human behavior–as a reader of lives lived, in fiction and news (and not the stale psychology) come to know of many things of which we do not speak, of the cruelty of our system, of its inhumanity, of our willingness to allow others misery so we can live well.
I suffer from a troubling illness and I will call it awareness combined with empathy and compassion. I find it near intolerable to know of others being harmed, having their lives ruined, sometimes taken, for the sake of what is good for the American way of life, for the good of American, defined as economic prosperity.
If a few people wish to explore the miserable to expose what should be obvious, that capitalism as we know it is a predatory form of economy, we can start by looking at the kid of inhumanity it has produced–wars, mass poverty, environmental degradation, child abuse, debauchery (think about all of the stories surfacing now about wealthy men abusing women because they possessed enough money to do so with impunity). Our system, looked upon with open eyes, an essential component of it is nothing less than rape, rape in a variety of forms, from rape of intelligence in schools that promote the system over the truth, rape in the form of wealth from the many to allow others lives of luxury, of other nations for commodities and cheap labor, for democracy so that a few could have what they want while the rest would pretend that they lived under a system of government that was for and by and of the people.
Here is a recruiting quote from the book Bitter Fruit by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer. The speaker is a man named Edward Bernays, a man who worked as a publicist for the United Fruit Company who helped to convince the United States Government to overthrow the democratically elected reformist government of Guatemala in the 1950’s. I quote him because he speaks to the fact that many of wealth and power have not respect for democracy or the rights of human beings to live decent lives. He writes that,
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country…it is the intelligent minorities which need to make use of propaganda continuously and systematically.”
If you understand the magnitude of the comment, its relevance for the way we live our lives–if you want to do something to improve this society so that it does serve the people, the whole of the people, please let me know. I am desperately trying to discover a way to cope.