Archive for category globalrevolution

*Culture War, Class War 2022: Truth and Generations* by Michael Adzema. Free. Downloadable. Complete book.

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CULTURE WAR, CLASS WAR 2022
 

Because of the current global crises of war, rising fascism, and environmental collapse, I am making this book available in many formats, most of them at no cost. I am hoping to help a Democratic Blue Wave on
November 8th, 2022, election day.

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You may use this book, in any of its formats, any way you wish. I own the copyright, and am making it available for you to use, distribute, post, embed on your site, whatever.

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Culture War, Class War 2022 by Michael Adzema was released October 16th, 2022.

 

A complete copy of Culture War, Class War 2022: Truth and Generations is posted on this page. Scroll down past the other offers. The book was published at Amazon on October 16th, 2022.

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However, if you want to see and/or download your own free copy of Culture War, Class War 2022: Truth and Generations, I am making available for everyone a free pdf copy of this work – complete in all aspects, as it is on Amazon, and extensively illustrated. It is available now at this link:
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Enjoy, with my complements. Please send any comments or reviews that can be used in sharing on social media to my email – sillymickel@yahoo.com
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And if you want the paperback copy, you can get it at the following link... All my books are sold at cost or the minimum allowable by Amazon.

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Click link: Culture War, Class War 2022: Truth and Generations

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And again, for the ebook/Kindle copy, click this link:

Click link: Culture War, Class War 2022: Truth and Generations

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You can see & read the book, at two of my blogs, by clicking either of the links below:

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https://sillymickel.blogspot.com/2017/10/culture-war-class-war-by-michael-adzema.html

or

https://wp.me/p1C4cs-2HP

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Finally, you may use the following embed code for the entire book, as a pdf, for your website or anywhere else that takes code.

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Below is what the book will look like on your site, using the code above. It can be popped out to its own tab and expanded to full screen. When you do that, it can be downloaded, too

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If you’ve read down enough to see this, thank you for your caring. Now, let’s all do something to help Democrats win big on November 8th. At the eve of the most consequential election of all time, with the fate of democracy in the world and the continuation of life on planet Earth in the balance, I encourage you to use any of the means above to share this information in any way you want in doing your part to create a Blue
Wave and save freedom and the continuation of your life and that of your children.

 
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Originally published, 2013 as *Culture War, Class War: Occupy Generations and the Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths”* has been revised and updated with a new subtitle, “Truth and Generations.” 
 
 

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Also by Michael Adzema

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From the Return to Grace Series:

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Culture War, Class War 2022: Truth and Generations.”  Volume 1.  (2022)

The Necessary RevolutionVolume 2.   (forthcoming; currently Chapters 17 to 32 on Culture War, Class War blog)

 Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call.  Volume 3.  (2013)

Apocalypse NO: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious.  Volume 4.  (2013)
Wounded Deer and Centaurs: The Necessary Hero and the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events.  Volume 5.  (2016)

Planetmates: The Great Reveal.  Volume 6.  (2014)

Funny God: The Tao of Funny God and the Mind’s True Liberation.  Volume 7.  (2015)

Experience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor.  Volume 8.  (2013)

Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness.
  Volume 9.  (2014)

Prodigal Human: The Descents of Man.  Volume 10.  (2016)

Psychology of Apocalypse: Ecopsychology, Activism, and the Prenatal Roots of HumanicideVolume 11.  (2018)

Back to the Garden: The Psychology and Spirituality of Humanicide and the Necessary Future.  Volume 12.  (scheduled 2023)

Primal Return: Renaissance and Grace.  Volume 12.  (forthcoming)

Primal Renaissance.  Volume 13.  (forthcoming)

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From The Path of Ecstasy Series:

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The Secret Life of Stones: Matter, Divinity, and the Path of Ecstasy.   Volume 1.  (2016)

Dance of the Seven Veils I … Primal/Identity Psychology, Mythology, and Your Real Self … Adult to Toddler.  Volume 2.  (2017)

Dance of the Seven Veils II … Prenatal/Perinatal Psychology, Mythology, and Your Divine Self … Infant to Prenate, Veils Four-Six. Volume 3.  (2022)

Dance of the Seven Veils III … Periconceptional/Transpersonal Psychology, Mythology, and Your Original Face … Cellular to Soulular, Veil Seven and Beyond.  Volume 4.  (scheduled 2023)

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Other: 

The Dangers of Mysticism for Modern Youth.  (1970)

 Primal Renaissance:  The Millennial Return.  (1995) 

Culture War, Class War:  Occupy Generations and the Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths.”  (2013) 

Who to Be:  Identity, Authenticity, and Crisis.  (2020)

CULTURE WAR,
CLASS WAR 2022

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 A Cultural and Political Psychohistory of America from the 1950s to 2022

Revised, Completely Updated, 2022


Return to Grace, Volume 1

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MICHAEL ADZEMA



Gonzo Sage Media: Eugene, Oregon: sillymickel@gmail.com

Copyright © 2022 Michael Adzema

All rights reserved.

ISBN-13: 978-8354828982


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For “My Generation” — the Vietnam/Boomer Generation — and for resisters and progressives in all cultures who are struggling against all odds to maintain and advance democracy and freedom. This is for you.

And for new generations arising in a context they cannot understand, I wrote this book also for you.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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  PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.  Civil War is Class War Manifest:

A “Fierce, Rearguard Battle” by the Filthy Rich Intensifies … Things Have, As Predicted, Heated Up Since 2013

  INTRODUCTION:  Culture War Is Class War Disguised.

As Progressive Ideas Gain Ground Alongside Increasingly Oppressive Governmental Policy, Conflict Intensifies

     
  PART ONE:  CULTURE WAR — TRUTH
     
Chapter 1 Smoke, Lies, and Revelations — 1950s Through 1970s:

Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies

Chapter 2   Truth’s Solitary Journey:

War, Nukes, and the Media …. the Comfortable Ignorance of Grade School Propaganda Gone Forever

Chapter 3   “1984” Comes to America — Slick, Gradual, and Perfect:

Dictatorship, Authoritarianism, and the Consequences of a Lack of Accountability

Chapter 4   Matrix Aroused — The Sixties:

How We Became a Nation Of Puppets, and The Hidden Puppeteers

     
    PART TWO:  CULTURE WAR — GENERATIONS
     
Chapter 5 World War Two Generation, Alcohol, and Tobacco:

“I Need a Drink” … Booze and Tobacco Are Perfect Drugs for a Generation Rooted in Denial and Recklessness

Chapter 6   Fifties Generation, Marijuana, and Caffeine:

Rebels Without a Cause, Beatniks, and “Mad Men” … Existential Angst and “Phony” Conformity

Chapter 7   Vietnam/Boomer Generation — Marijuana and Psychedelics:

“Wow, Man!” “Just Do It” “Go With the Flow”

Chapter 8 Castles in the Sky:

Cocaine, and Booze:  Gen X/13th Generation is a Concocted Generation, born 1961 through 1980

Chapter 9   To Save the World:

Millennials … Psychedelics and Activism

     
  PART THREE:  CULTURAL REBIRTH, ABORTED:
     
Chapter 10 The King Won’t Die:

Attack of the Body-Snatchers … an Aborted Changing of the Guard

Chapter 11   Culture War Allegory:

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers … to Follow or Not to Follow the Script

Chapter 12   Cultural Rebirth, Aborted:

It’s a Not so Wonderful Life for the WWII Generation … yet the King Refuses to Die

Chapter 13   A Culture War Rages:

Monsters Never Really Die in Horror Flicks … The King on Life Support and The Consequences of an Abomination

     
  PART FOUR:  CLASS WAR — THE MATRIX
     
Chapter 14   Truth and Liars:

“Obvious Truths” (Actual Untruths) Were Employed Together with an Exact and Strategic Use of Misinformation

Chapter 15 Creating a Totalitarian Mind:

Recipe for The Matrix: Misinformation, Repetition, Impoverishment

Chapter 16 Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies:

Power Versus Passion, Money Versus Authenticity — Opposing Ways of Changing America

Chapter 17 A Matrix of Misinformation:

The Lies Themselves … When Did the People Become a “Special” Interest?

Chapter 18   Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence:

Repetition Makes It Possible to Control and Equal Time for Idiots

Chapter 19   Reality Transplant, the Media:

The Ladder of Status, the Great Suck Upward, and What They’ve Succeeded in Getting Us to Forget

Chapter 20 Only the Game Remains:

Religion of Capitalism — The Game Is the One Truth Faith; The Game Is to Lie and Manipulate Without Consequence

Chapter 21   The Great American About Face:

There Was a Time When Kindness Was a Noble Thing; Nightmare Apparent

Chapter 22   Better Off than Fifty Years Ago?

Rules Made to Benefit the Wealthy Are Now More Important Than Life

Chapter 23   The Compassion Gap:

With the Excuse of “The Game,” Small-Hearted Folks Can Now Flaunt Their Mean-Spiritedness

Chapter 24 Money Madness:

The Wealthy Are the Creative Sector … Creative in Devising Schemes Putting Our Money in Their Pockets

Chapter 25 An Attack on Facts and Reality Itself:

Confused People Take Comfort in Stupidity, and Burdened People Become Confused People — That’s Their Plan

Chapter 26 Setting the Record Straight on Boomers:

The Boomer — Generation X Culture War and the “Truth Dividend” of Having Been There

Chapter 27   The Fall 0f “Obvious Truths”:

Arrogance Comes Before the Fall, Lies Are Being Called Out; The Awakening, Their Legacy Remaining, Everything Hangs in the Balance

Chapter 28   A Life-or-Death Struggle Ensues:

On a Field Ravaged by Corruption and Incompetence, an Ultimate Battle for Life and Democracy Is Waged. It Could Go Either Way

     
    AFTERWORD
    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    NOTES
    REFERENCES
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

Civil War Is
Class War Manifest:

A “Fierce, Rearguard Battle” by the Filthy Rich Intensifies … Things Have, As Expected, Heated Up Since 2013

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…while public opinion favors the Democratic side of this Culture War/ Class War, the moneyed interests have for decades restructured American institutions to reflect their intentions, and not the will of the people….”

“…such a civil war would be desired by the wealthy powers-that-be for the purpose of keeping folks busy and distracted, while they use their influence in Congress for additional larceny against the American people.”

“…this civil war has already started, and already with casualties.”

“Race war is also class war disguised, with the issue of race being used by the wealthy side of the class war to enlist gullible White racists and Republicans to their side.”

“…it has become increasingly clear that the country’s conservative, right-wing turn is being accomplished only by illegal, unjust, and unfair means. As the majority of the country has moved on to more progressive ideas, the Right and Republicans continue to win only be cheating, by changing the rules that have been in place for many decades.”

“…the division between the people’s will and their controlling-governing bodies is the Culture War/ Class War I have been analyzing made manifest. And the success of the Right at the governmental and institutional level is exactly that ‘fierce rearguard action’ massively fueled by the moneyed interests I described in the First Edition as being their last effort in an ultimately futile agenda.”

“…all the patterns of the Culture War/ Class War described therein have expanded and have become more intense and violent. They are currently reaching a peak of tension as the January 6th Congressional Investigation continues revealing its stunning findings…”

“…the day of reckoning for Democrats and for democracy — election day for the 2022 midterm elections — is coming up fast. Democrats need to win big to stop the Republicans’ ongoing coup and to keep our democracy.”

“…all this Culture War/ Class War/ Civil War will culminate soon in that Americans will know in November 2022 whether we will be irrevocably shunted onto one route or another: Democrats will win in November enough seats to actually control the government of the U.S. or else Republicans will get in, take up control again, and will continue uninhibitedly undermining American democracy, taking away American freedoms, destroying our planet’s life, and interfering into the private lives of Americans. All this Republicans will attempt to do; even as they swim against an increasingly powerful tide of public opinion and progressive awareness. The tension could not be greater.”

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My Prediction — A “Fierce, Rearguard Battle”

We will look into those developments in this and subsequent works in the Falls from Grace Series, of course. However, at this point it would seem a good idea to take a look at how the First Edition of this book, Culture War, Class War — the first volume in said series — fared in its analysis and prediction of events.

Right off, for the Second, Revised Edition, we have the Donald J. Trump phenomenon. This book’s First Edition thoroughly analyzed the George W. Bush years. In looking back at what I wrote, it is clear Trump was W. Bush 2.0. Donald Trump was a meaner, more criminal, more violent, sexist, and racist version of former president George W. Bush. And whereas Bush acted as a dictator; with Trump we had a person who acknowledged his desire to be a dictator — praising dictator of North Korea, Kim Jung Un, saying he, Trump, would like to be adored by Americans the way North Korea’s people “adore” Kim.

That which George W. Bush did that was hidden and covered up, Donald Trump did right out in the open and with him brazenly (or ignorantly) admitting it. The fact that Trump has so far, August 2022, gotten away with his many crimes shows an important factor of the Culture War/ Class War. This is one that has to do with how thoroughly the 1% is protected from their corruption and illegality — with all kinds of systemic perks in place and employing the protection of the media … which they indeed own. While on the other end of the spectrum, with minorities, laws are being enacted to allow them to be run over at protests and they are being gunned down and slaughtered by police when being pulled over for minor traffic violations. Culture War is Class War manifest.

For while public opinion favors the Democratic side of this Culture War/ Class War, the moneyed interests have for decades remade American institutions to reflect their intentions, and not the will of the people. That is exactly what this book showed wealthy folks were doing in its First Edition. There, I detailed how the filthy-with-money folks controlling us had since 1970 restructured education, especially higher education, along with publications and media broadcasting. With that in place, Republicans and the mainstream media colluded in instilling ideas, processes, and inanities into the minds of ordinary Americans — these are those “obvious truths” discussed in this book that indeed are not true at all. Yet these notions are put out there to fill the air with nonsense, tortuous untruths, “alternative facts,” and outright lies and to thereby confuse efforts at revealing truth. Indeed, the Filthy Rich, since 1970, reconstituted publishing and the media for ends they would desire, while spinning their actions differently when explained to the public.

Most certainly that is the pattern we saw of the wealthy elite in the First Edition, as enacted through their proxy Republicans in government. I detailed a good deal of that pattern in Part Two of the First Edition, which was on “obvious truths.” For Republicans wish to convince Americans of lies and fabrications for the sole purpose of keeping folks blinded with misinformation and conflict, keeping people steeped in confusion and violence. This cobbles any power ordinary folks have to fight back.

This time, 2022, however, Republicans have added the remaking, in a hard reactionary twist, of the Supreme Court. We find now, as well, that the FBI and even the Secret Service — who protects the president — need to be added to the list of institutions that have been corrupted to cut an image along the wealthy elites’ desires. Which greedy intentions benefiting the very few are ever, for over a hundred years now, behind the actions of Republicans and now, even worse, are still buttressing Trump against any blowback for his many crimes.

This corruption of institutions to protect the wealthy side of this Class War, I predicted in 2013, the filthy rich would do. It is part of the “fierce rearguard battle” I described they will continue to wage; even as they must needs continually retreat overall since their policies are increasingly seen, by an ever more woken public, to be against the popular will. To that end, the wealthy elite, operating through Republicans they have installed in government, have inserted a right-wing bias in many of the institutions of government. Which powerful governmental entities operate — much as the systemic racism does in general in our society — to undermine the people’s will and freedoms and to act for the benefit of the 1%. Indeed, Hillary Clinton was correct, in the Nineties, in calling out the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that has been taking over in America. The First Edition detailed the rise of that “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and this Revised, Second Edition will further reveal it.

We see this right-wing corruption with the current makeup of the Federal Bureau of Investigation — which is riddled with careerists beholden to a conservative ideology. Christopher Wray, the current head of the FBI, is a member of the Federalist Society, to begin with. He was appointed by then-President Donald Trump in 2017, after Trump fired James Comey, shortly into Trump’s term. Comey had refused to play along with Trump’s direction to go light on Trump’s criminal cohorts. After Comey’s firing, Christopher Wray was hand selected by “the Donald” to do the corrupt president Trump’s bidding.

The Federalist Society is a powerful conservative-libertarian organization pushing extreme Right-wing policies. It is funded by the Koch Brothers and other wealthy conservative donors. It was supremely influential in Trump’s picks for the bench, during his one term. Notable among its members are Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Josh Hawley — both of whom were significant players in the January 6th, 2021, insurrection against the United States.

Among Supreme Court Justices, The Federalist Society includes six of the current nine of them — Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. Former Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, now deceased, can be added to that list. Christopher Wray’s membership in the Federalist Society coincides with his refusal to properly investigate Donald J. Trump or his accomplices in the January 2021 coup attempt. It coincides also with Wray’s refusal to do anything preemptive or preventative ahead of the January 6th, 2021, coup attempt. Wray knew the insurrection was coming, did nothing.

It is reported, additionally, that it was Christopher Wray’s sabotaging of the investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during the time of Kavanaugh’s confirmation process that allowed Kavanaugh, an accused rapist, to make it through to the Court. Specifically, the FBI had a tip line for Kavanaugh and received 4,500 tips from women who had something to report. The FBI did nothing to follow up. The FBI then, under Wray, selected a few of these women and, check this, sent their names to the Trump administration. There, of course, they were tossed. As Sheldon Whitehouse, senator from Rhode Island, phrased it in a tweet posted recently, August 4th, 2022, “Wray confirms: Kavanaugh tips from tip line were sent to Trump White House without investigation; and Trump White House directed what witnesses FBI would interview.”1

So in the same Trump administration, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Secret Service all were breaking the law for Trump. And some of that led to a restructuring of the Supreme Court of the United States, which will remain long after Trump. What Righties will not tell you is that the so-called “Deep State” they fear so much is indeed in place … but it is there to protect their guys — Republicans, Trump, W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and so on. It is rarely if ever, as we will continue to see in this book, on the side of Democrats.

Yet in 2022 President Joe Biden, like Barrack Obama before him, is timid about “looking political” in doing what should rightly be done in removing the current FBI Director. Hence Christopher Wray remains.2

Along the same lines, although David DeJoy — appointed to be head of the United States Postal Service by Donald Trump — acted in a traitorous manner to obstruct the presidential election of 2020, he also remains. We are told it is “difficult” to remove him. Again the timidity Barrack Obama showed during his terms appears again with an only slightly bolder Joe Biden. We might remember that DeJoy destroyed sorting machines and delayed postal deliveries in 2020 with an intention to obstruct the mail-in votes for that year’s presidential election, for the purpose of supporting Trump’s campaign.

Similarly timid, Joe Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, is overly concerned with “looking political” in his investigations of Trump and into Republican treason. Consequently, Garland has allowed these right-wing careerists in the Department of Justice to undermine efforts at justice we might make in terms of accountability for the Republican traitors and criminals who attempted to overthrow American democracy in 2020-21, and continuing, in 2022.

Merrick Garland was Barrack Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court in early 2016. He was never allowed a confirmation hearing; as Speaker of the House, Republican Mitch McConnell, delayed putting his hearing on the Congressional agenda until after the 2016 election. At that point, with Trump installed as president, Garland’s nomination was withdrawn; and Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch, instead, to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate on April 7, 2017. As a kind of consolation prize, after Joe Biden became president in January of 2021, Biden appointed Merrick Garland to be his Attorney General.

Merrick Garland has been a disappointment to the forces seeking justice in America for the criminality, corruption, and deaths perpetrated by Trump both during and after his term in office. Merrick Garland follows in Barrack Obama’s and Joe Biden’s footsteps in being “timid” about going after Republicans and especially Trump.

Indeed, quite recently (19 July 2022) Attorney General Garland released a memo saying that “election-year sensitivities” preclude his investigating Trump. In response I say, Trump has not even announced for 2024, and this is 2022, fer chrissakes. With that reasoning by Garland, there is no time where it is possible to enact justice on a Republican president — current or prior.

. Not long after that, Merrick Garland let us know, in a televised interview with Lester Holt on NBC News, that the January 6th investigation is the largest one ever conducted by the FBI. Despite this, actions requested of Garland by the Congressional January 6th Investigation Committee go nowhere at the Department of Justice. Subpoenas ignored by Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff at the time of the insurrection, and others equally high up in government, are left unpunished. Meadows and such others who are higher in the “food chain” — who are in plain sight criminally refusing to cooperate, who are often actively participating in a continued attempted overthrow of our government, who are ignoring subpoenas, violating gag orders, withholding documents demanded by the Committee, fund-raising around their corruption, and such — are left, by the DOJ under Garland, to continue their illegality.

It would seem, then, that Merrick Garland is content to investigate and indict lower-level players in the January 6th insurrection but not the prime player and protagonist in its coming about, Trump, or any of its other major players. Jim Jordan; Ted Cruz; Josh Hawley; Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas; Matt Gaetz; Andy Biggs; Kevin McCarthy; Roger Stone; and many more Republicans are among those in and out of government being allowed to freely continue their damage free of any consequences.

Not to mention, with this delay in prosecution by Garland, Republicans will be saved the fire that should be upon them prior to the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. Clearly, a more robust investigation by the Department of Justice, leading to indictments of higher-up Republicans, and Trump, around their treasonous acts, would put welcome pressure on the GOP in the midterms. Such investigation and prosecution of traitorous Republicans and their accomplices in full view of the American public could not help but swing the electorate away from Republicans and their abundant lies. This is important, because it is expected that the governing party, Democrats, will lose seats in Congress in 2022 — as happens routinely in the midterms — and not gain them.

If Republicans take over Congress in 2022, as it appears they will, they have vowed to investigate Democrats in a purely partisan manner, and to hold hearings, indict, and even imprison their Democratic opponents. Just yesterday, in response to the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, “When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department [the Department of Justice]…. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.” No doubt, then, with Republicans controlling Congress, the GOP will sabotage any actions Merrick Garland might have made by then around justice for their Republican co-conspirators in treason.

If you don’t think Republicans’ control of Congress would affect ongoing investigations in the Department of Justice, I refer you to the news of 6 August 2022. Reports from CPAC — the Conservative Political Action Conference — have it that Republican’s goal should be to defund the FBI and the Department of Justice. This was put out by Republican Congressman, Andy Biggs. Biggs is one of four Trump cronies the January 6th Committee referred to the Department of Justice for enforcement of subpoenas. He’s a guy with justice breathing down his neck for his involvement on January 6th. So this is how Republicans react to a threat that the Department of Justice is coming for the filthy elite’s Republican proxies. In order to cover up their criminal actions and to allow them to continue their treasonous activities, their efforts to remake America in any perverted form necessary has no limit.

Moreover, if a 2022 midterm pickup of seats by the GOP leads to a 2024 Republican presidential win, we can expect Attorney General Garland’s efforts to be tossed as quickly as FBI tips on Kavanaugh were when they were sent to Trump. Lastly, the Statute of Limitations will come into effect quite soon and render moot many such possible charges against Trump.

Yet Trump, in criminality and illegality, went well beyond anything any Republican had ever done — Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Herbert Walker Bush, George W. Bush. Regardless the corruption of those former Republican presidents, Donald Trump outmatched them decisively in actively working for the overthrow of democracy in a bloody coup — January 6th, 2021 and ongoing in 2022 — and, in plain sight and with audio recorders everywhere, seeking the reversal of election results and his installation as president for what would to him have no doubt been indefinitely.

Correspondingly, the Culture War/ Class War I described in 2013 has heated up to the point where it is exploding in violence and conflict of all kinds. The attempted coup by Donald Trump — the insurrection of January 6th 2021 — is the potent example of that Culture War/ Class War. For that reason, a photo of its violence was selected for the cover of this current, Second Edition. The insurrection of 6 January 2021 demonstrates the end result of such a Culture War/ Class War conflict in a civil war, which that January event, and other events connected with Donald Trump, were intended to bring about.

Yet bloody civil war is already bubbling beneath the surface in America. The ongoing occurrence of mass shootings is a visible and gruesome aspect of the Culture War in America. The National Rifle Association (the NRA) we find has also colluded with Russia in the undermining of American well-being. The NRA bestows huge amounts of money on Republicans in government who will kowtow to its demands. And even after shootings like the one at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, where nineteen children and two teachers were murdered and seventeen others injured by a young man with an AR-15, assault-style rifle, Republicans maintain that folks should have unlimited access to such weapons of massacre and ghastly murder. The assault at Uvalde was so brutal, so gory — an AR-15 being so powerful as to blow people up — it is said some of the ten-year-olds were decapitated by the bullet blasts. Indeed, they needed to do a DNA check on some of the children so as to identify them.

Yet the NRA continues to have support among right-wing conservative Americans in that such MAGAts feel they need such high-powered weaponry like AR-15s to defend themselves against a government they are told — often it is by Fox “News” — will oppress them and take away their freedoms. So, this is not about rifles to be used for sport, as often the gun proponents claim. Hence, we see the rise of gun massacres and gun violence in America as a violent bloody outcropping of the Culture War … and as a prelude to a civil war, if the Right gets their way in the fall elections of 2022.

Civil War Is Class War Manifest

These right-wingers are indeed preparing themselves for a civil war in America. Such a civil war would seem to be the Culture War made manifest. Which is one way of looking at it. Yet we have seen that Culture War is actually Class War in disguise. Hence, such a civil war would be desired by the wealthy powers-that-be for the purpose of keeping folks busy and distracted, while they use their influence in Congress for additional larceny against the American people.

So yes, the Culture War/ Class War I described in 2013 has intensified and now even civil war of some sort is arguably at our doorstep. We have Texas wanting to secede from the Union. We have Southern and Midwestern states wanting the power to overturn election results if Democrats win. And we have blue states, especially on the West Coast, and particularly the Pacific Northwest, wishing to be free of the racist and fascist baggage of the majority of states in the Union. These blue states also are heard wanting to break away on their own.

We had right-wing thugs busting windows, piling up bricks to be handy for protesters, and setting fires during Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 with the intention of implicating the demonstrators — Black and White — and setting off a race war. Which race conflict is also and quite clearly another variation of the ongoing class war — the class war ongoing since the beginning of civilization and as familiar as the brutal reign of pharaohs and kings.

One proponent of the right-wing agenda and a supporter of Donald Trump is Steve Bannon. This is a man who frequently discusses the civil war/ race war he is expecting to happen and wants to bring about. As recently as August 2022, in a speech at CPAC, Bannon said we are already at war: “We are at war … a political and ideological war.” He went on to call President Biden illegitimate and said that the 2020 election was stolen. meh.

Yet this civil war has already started, and already with casualties. We see it in the ways protesters on the Left — for example, Black Lives Matter and Antifa — are treated differently by police than those on the Right. On one side, the conservative side, killer Kyle Rittenhouse — who outright murdered several protesters and injured another with an assault-style rifle during the BLM protests of 2020 — is hailed as a hero. Meanwhile, the other side, we witness one killing by a BLM protester in Portland, Oregon, who thought he was acting to protect the life of another protester who was under attack.

The man in question, claiming self-defense, was never even given a trial when the police went to apprehend him days later. He was merely gunned down by the authorities. The officer’s claimed he was attempting to run. Which sounds a lot like the official police rationale for any of these slaughters against minorities and the Left; which we have seen can be an outcome for any infraction, no matter how small, if it is performed by the Left.

Michael Reinoehl was the protester in question. He released a video on social media before he was gunned down by supposedly arresting police officers. Reinoehl explained how he had fired in self-defense during the encounter at the demonstration; he did this to save another protester who he thought to be about to be stabbed. Of the incident on 29 August 2020, Reinoehl said, “Had I stepped forward, he would have Maced or stabbed me…. I was confident that I did not hit anyone innocent and I made my exit…. I had no choice. I mean, I, I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that.”

The right-wing victim, Aaron Danielson, was a member of the white supremacist group, Patriot Prayer. Its members were known to engage in violence against anti-fascist and BLM protesters in Portland, going back as long as 2016. Danielson was one of the participants in a massive rolling demonstration of Trump supporters that Saturday — the day of his death — which was termed the Trump 2020 Cruise Rally. The rally involved hundreds of cars, many bedecked with Trump signs and flags. It is reported this parade of cars attempted to drive through the crowds of BLM protesters and that folks in the rally were spraying demonstrators with pepper spray from the back of their pickup trucks. All this happened before the shooting in question. All this played into the context of a BLM protester shooting a member of such a group who had been harassing and assaulting protesters for hours.

Yet none of these details of the incident mattered to the police who gunned down Michael Reinoehl. A family man, who was an avid snowboarder, Reinoehl became concerned about the fate of the planet and began attending the Portland protests. His murder during his supposed apprehension was noted by William Barr, infamous Attorney General of the United States under Donald Trump, the way one would describe the assassination of a terrorist leader: “The tracking down of Reinoehl — a dangerous fugitive, admitted Antifa member, and suspected murderer — is a significant accomplishment in the ongoing effort to restore law and order to Portland and other cities.”3

Correspondingly, and as we might expect, the media barely mentioned the incident of this Black Lives Matter protester’s killing by police. We see that, just like with the murders at Kent State in 1970 and the assassination of Black Panther Leaders, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on 4 December 1969, the media conforms to a right-wing narrative that Lefties are dangerous and vicious; whereas they view those on the Right who storm Capitols, kill police, and occupy State Houses as being more like errant children or tourists.

The killing of Black Panthers Hampton and Clark, incidentally, is instructive here. The attack began when fourteen plainclothes police officers pulled up in front of the apartment building of the victims during the predawn hours of December 4th, 1969. They arrived hunkered inside a Peoples Gas truck. They had a machine gun, a shotgun, pistols, and a map of their target — the bedroom of Fred Hampton. The police busted down the door and began firing. They sprayed bullets over ninety times, which included machine gun rounds. They fired ninety rounds wounding four young Black Panthers and killing Hampton and Clark. History.com reports, “Not only was the killing of Hampton and Clark a cold-blooded assassination of two militant Black activists, but documents later revealed it was coordinated by the FBI as part of a secret program to neutralize and destroy the Black Panther Party, which FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover privately called “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.”4

The real story of this attack, however, did not come out for years, as the police, as they are wont to do, provided the initial cover story; just as they did later in Portland on the killing of Reinoehl. Cook County state’s attorney, Edward Hanrahan, said at the time of this cold-blooded assassination of Black Panther activists in 1969 that the officers were trying to execute a search warrant for illegal weapons when they were surprise attacked. Quoting Hanrahan, “The immediate, violent, criminal reaction of the occupants in shooting at announced police officers emphasizes the extreme viciousness of the Black Panther Party.”5 None of that is true however. The victims were in bed, probably sleeping; hardly were they able to fire back. “Announced police officers”? I repeat, the attacking authorities were in plain clothes and they arrived hidden in a Peoples Gas truck, as though it were a Mafia hit. Notice the pattern: A cold-blooded assassination by police was followed by bald-faced lies from authorities.

These Black Panther and Reinoehl examples therefore demonstrate the differences in how the Left and the Right are treated by authorities and the police: One side is murdered, gunned down in cold blood, then lied about afterward; the other, like Trump and his accomplices, are honored and/or go free. Just as with the murders of those two students at Jackson State, in Mississippi, in 1970 and the four at Kent State, as well; one side, the right-wing side, of this Culture War applauds the assassinations and assaults of those on the Left. It was headlined in newspapers at the time in 1970 that folks in the South cheered the killings of students at Kent State, calling them “bums.”

Let’s revisit the Jackson State killings. According to Wikipedia.com, on 15 May 1970, eleven days after the Kent State massacre, two more students were murdered and twelve were injured in a thirty-second volley of over 460 shots by police directed into a student dormitory on campus. Initially, around seventy-five police from Jackson, Mississippi, and the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to about one hundred Black students at then Jackson State College, now Jackson State University, who were reportedly harassing drivers on the main street that bisected the campus. I repeat, about seventy-five armed officers were dispatched to handle about a hundred mischievous African-American college students.

That overreaction, not suspicious enough, then two and a half hours later, the crowd was gathered in front of a woman’s dormitory, Alexander Hall. Mind you, while the initial minor confrontation happened around 9:30pm, what follows at Alexander Hall happened around midnight, with no indication there was much belligerence on the student’s side between. Unexpectedly, the police gathered there opened fire on the dormitory.6 Forty state highway patrolmen used shotguns to blow out the windows on the narrow side of the dormitory building. Every window was shattered in the barrage of 460 bullets.

Naturally the police provided a bogus report to justify their outrageous response to mere protesters. The police response was that a “sniper” had been seen on one of the upper floors of the dormitory. Seriously, they actually came up with: that a single sniper was shooting at them “from all directions.” Of course, afterward no evidence for a sniper was ever found, and the students maintain they never provoked the officers. The President’s Commission on Campus Unrest investigated the incident. It resulted in no arrests, but the Commission concluded, “…that the 28-second fusillade from police officers was an unreasonable, unjustified overreaction…. A broad barrage of gunfire in response to reported and unconfirmed sniper fire is never warranted.” 7

This shooting of students by police occurred eleven days after a similar thing occurred on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. The Kent State massacre occurred on 4 May 1970, in Kent, Ohio. Four unarmed students were murdered there, and nine others were injured. Around three hundred students had gathered to protest President Richard Nixon’s escalation of the Vietnam War, in his bombing of Cambodia, and the presence of the National Guard on campus. The student protesters were confronted by twenty-eight National Guard soldiers. The National Guard fired tear-gas canisters into the crowd to disperse the protesters. About ten to fifteen students proceeded to throw the canisters, and some rocks, back at the soldiers. When supposedly a sniper shot was heard — there was no shot, but at this point, you know they’re going to have some bogus story — the Guardspersons began firing.

Now, keep in mind the cold-blooded assassinations — in a massive barrage of bullets — of Black Panthers Hampton and Clark that were ordered by FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, five months earlier. Remember also the similarly unprovoked barrage of 460 bullets by police into Alexander Hall at Jackson State, which would occur only days later. First, one notices that sniper fire seems to be the go-to cover story at this time. Second, these events all have the markings of being intentional, of being planned. All occurred while J. Edgar Hoover was FBI Director. He was FBI Director for fifty years, up till 1972. Clearly, FBI Director Hoover shows himself — using the assassinations of the Black Panther leaders as evidence — to have no compunctions about using police authorities to gun down leftist opposition. The strategy seems to have been to use selective murder of activists to keep the Left terrorized and subdued, so Righties in authority, on behalf of the 1%, could continue their thievery and corruption in government undisturbed.

Further evidence that the massacre at Kent State was a strategic move by the powers-that-be, directed by J. Edgar Hoover, is based on what is heard on an audio recording of the event. On the recording, one can hear the word, “fire!” though it is not clearly heard enough to be definitive. This theory has it that a National Guard commander shouted “fire” — to open fire on the protesters — in the moment before the assault. In any case, over a horrific thirteen seconds, about sixty-seven bullets were fired into the crowd and at the end of it lay four dead and nine wounded student protesters.8

This violent assault of the Right on the Left continues to have casualties. Even this year, 2022, in Portland, Oregon, again a right-wing, women-hating thug shot into a group of anti-racist protesters. A sixty-year-old woman was killed. On 19 February 2022, Benjamin Smith, age forty-three, sprayed bullets into an anti-racist demonstration injuring four and killing the woman. Calling them “violent terrorists” and misogynistic slurs, Smith also threatened to shoot them if they passed his house. News reports have it that these women shot at were not even part of the official demonstration but were traffic coordination volunteers. And what happened? Says, Dajah Beck, one of those involved with the group attacked by Smith, “We were unarmed traffic safety volunteers who weren’t with any protesters…. Four women trying to de-escalate, and he unloaded a 45 into us because he didn’t like being asked to leave and stop calling us ‘terrorist cunts.’”9

Note that the first official police reports, according to an early news release, had it that the initial confrontation was between an armed homeowner and “armed” protesters. This is a typical spin used against the Left, characterizing them as armed, vicious, and dangerous — to use words used against the Black Panthers in 1969, against the Kent State antiwar protesters, and by William Barr against Portland protester Michael Reinoehl. These characterizations of the Left are ever used to hide police and right-wing terrorism of the Left and to distract the public from the murderous injustice involved in their attacks on them.

And as usual, such a characterization of the Left as violent, armed, and vicious is a fabrication; totally made up by the media and the Righties in government to keep the Left under violent attack by gullible MAGAts in this Culture War. Whereas Righties repeat concocted untruths like the one everyone has heard that there were antiwar protesters in the Sixties spitting on veterans returning from Vietnam … totally untrue! a fabrication with absolutely no evidence … indeed, “peaceniks” is a more accurate characterization of the Left. Unlike on the Right, where violence is praised and rewarded, on the Left we have, overwhelmingly, folks working for a world without violence, with peace, and doing it nonviolently.

Sure enough, the video of the Portland shooting of traffic coordinator, June Knightly, showed a man approach the group and begin yelling at them. He threatened to shoot them if they should go near his house, calling them “violent terrorists,” and casting misogynistic slurs at the women.

In actuality, the deceased victim, June Knightly, was a longtime and beloved member of the activist community in Portland, Oregon. She would frequently help to keep marchers safe by assisting with traffic control and security at protests.

As for the shooter, Benjamin Smith, his roommate told Oregon Public Broadcasting, “He talked about wanting to go shoot commies and Antifa all the friggin’ time.”

What it amounts to is that one side — people of color, demonstrators, hippies, and Democrats — are seen as proper targets for murder. Using twisted logic and outright untruths, right-wing media outlets like Fox News implicate them, insanely. Lefties are blamed for everything wrong, including the criminal actions of the Right. We see this, for example, in the batshit crazy claims by Republicans — Marjorie Taylor Greene, for instance. She maintains that the January 6th insurrectionists, bedecked with Trump flags, summoned and then directed by Trump himself to go the Capitol, and shouting “Hang Mike Pence!” were actually Antifa. This, as late as August 2022, Greene has publicly asserted; while conversely she has called the insurrectionists Trump-supporting political prisoners.10

Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently, knowing they are speaking to uneducated simplistic MAGAts, Righties and Republicans no longer even try to appear consistent or logical and will say just about anything at anytime … as long as it riles up their followers and keeps them confused enough for future manipulation. Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity also revel in their rousing up violence against those on the Left, speaking as if we are already at civil war.

Meanwhile those protesters and murderers on the Right are sometimes given the royal treatment, sometimes honored, and when egregiously committing crimes, they are let off with little consequences for their actions. There is no doubt that White and Right protesters are treated with much kindness. Whereas ever since Chicago police and construction workers rioted at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, brutally beating and cracking the skulls of protesters; and ever since four were murdered at Kent State in 1970 for protesting an unjust war, there has been open season on the Left and its protesters. I should mention the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, on 12 August 2017 — where a peaceful demonstrator, Heather Heyer, protesting against a White supremacist rally, was run over and killed when a car driven by White supremacist James Alex Field, Jr, plowed into the crowd.

Heather Heyer — being run over by an auto driven by a Right-wing thug — is not the only incidence in recent years where protesters have been maimed and murdered by Righties running vehicles into protest crowds. We need keep in mind, such murders by the Right of Leftie protesters are even being sanctioned by law in some states. Republican lawmakers in 2021 introduced eighty-one anti-protest bills. And Oklahoma and Iowa passed legislation that grants immunity to drivers who have run over and injured protesters in public streets. You heard that correctly, the Right is being told they can get away with driving cars into protesters and maiming people.

Compare that sanctioning of Rightie violence and the kindly and supportive treatment of the Right by authorities with what I have been saying about the Black Panther leaders, student protesters, and Michael Reinoehl. Clearly one side is getting away with murder and being encouraged in it, while innocents on the Left are being massacred.

Race War

We can say, culture war is class war disguised. Race war is also class war disguised, with the issue of race being used by the wealthy side of the class war to enlist gullible White racists and Republicans to their side. Finally, civil war is class war manifest. That also is something not pointed out, generally speaking.

We see that the Civil War in America in the 1860s was a manifestation, much like today, of the desires of the wealthy elite — particularly the slave owners and the powerful rich people in adherence to their economic interests. They set themselves against the will of the African-American slaves, initially, of course. Yet more and more people, White as well as Black, even at that time in the Nineteenth Century, were moved by their empathy past the hate and bigotry around them.

Such “woke” people over a century and a half ago increased in number as America grew psychologically past the ego compulsion to find fault with an “out” group, in order to bolster one’s flagging self-esteem. Hence the wealthy elite of the Civil War era, in collusion with the slave owners, set themselves as well against the will of the people, not just the African-Americans of that time. This is very much like they are doing today in America … with the wealthy forcing their huge meaty palm down upon the Right side of the scales of justice … in spite of public opinion arrayed against them.

My Prediction — Truth Versus the Big Lie

This book also predicted the rise of the Big Lie and the use of falsehoods, which we see abundantly in America since the installation of Donald Trump. What we saw that was commonplace with the W. Bush administration became comically absurd and reality bending during the Trump years. We witnessed surreal assertions that there were “alternative facts” — as Trump advisor, Kellyanne Conway, phrased it, famously. We saw also the rise of torrents of “fake news” and misinformation. And this in particular by the person and persons who made it their modus operandi to accuse others of it — which would be Donald Trump, Republicans, and the Russians supporting them.

We see how those committing crimes and treason are the most likely to raise a ruckus about it and point their fingers at innocent others. This tactic of boldly shouting out that the other side is doing what one, oneself, is doing was Trump’s and the Republicans’ strategy and was pervasive during the Trump years. And it makes strategic and psychological sense to direct attention at a scapegoat when one is oneself guilty. A prime example of this use of preemptive accusations as a shield for one’s own crimes was Donald Trump’s allegations of Hillary Clinton as “crooked Hillary,” “stolen election,” and “lock her up.” These and terms like them thrown out by Trump and his Republican stooges are actual admissions and depictions of their own secret and not-so-secret activities.

Such a preemptive accusation by the GOP is strategic because one’s opponent is thrust into having to defend themselves, which takes the heat off oneself. Even more diabolically, any pushback to the accusations, any attempt to address the crimes of those shouting about it, comes across as defensive and childish. For no matter how well phrased the accurate accusation, it ends up sounding like, “No, I’m not. You are.” And how that shows up in the actions of those Democrats on the defensive is exactly that “timidity” I mentioned — thinking especially about the responses of Barrack Obama, Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Attorney General Merrick Garland — where one is afraid of “looking political” and so hesitates in doing justice and seeking accountability.

This tactic by Republicans falls under the category of “rope-a-dope,” as framed by former Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele. By that I mean that in so many ways, Republicans use Democrats’ less aggressive stance and their sensitivity to fairness and peace against them. Whereas when comes an opportunity to counterattack, Republicans come in guns blazing, truth and fairness, irrelevant.

This pervasive use of the Big Lie by Republicans was all laid out in the second half of this book on the “obvious truths.” While the terms that were being used in the national political conversation — as I analyzed in the 2013 version — might seem dated, now, they still accurately reflect the arenas of operation of the conservative mind. It was once popular for the phrases “Democrat special interests,” “tax and spend” Democrats, “wealth-creating” sector of the economy, the “health-care crisis,” “Obamacare,” and union “fat cats” to be thrown around. The terms in use by the Right to concoct their self-serving fabrications are continually changed, though the underlying agenda remains. Now we hear such terms as “fake news,” “witch hunt,” “alternative facts,” “stolen election,” “treason,” and “coup” repeated endlessly by the very entity, the GOP and Trump, who are most guilty of that which they accuse others. That hidden Republican agenda, served by the use of these terms, has to do with the Right’s intention to use government as a profit-making enterprise for the supremely wealthy.

Although changing the terms by which Republican propaganda is put out might make it seem we are somehow changing, we are not: The pervasive mindset on the Right — one that was analyzed and described as far back as the 1950s as “the authoritarian personality” and more recently as that of “the patriarchy” — remains. It is characterized by an emphasis on power, control, scapegoating, and punishment. Its methods are lies, misinformation, propaganda, threats, brutality, and murder. To that end of tracking their varying terms, I’ve updated some of those “obvious truths” — which are not actually true — in the final Part of this book. I include as well some newer gambits being thrown out there by Republicans more recently, in 2022.

My Prediction — Psychedelics and Mental Health

This book in its original version also shed light on the developments in the drug and counseling field, when I detailed how the generations alive today differed in their use of recreational drugs.

We find increasingly that the drugs attractive to the Sixties Generation, which I mentioned in the First Edition were psychedelics and marijuana, are being found, just as they were for primal societies, to be the best hope for the mental health of the nation; indeed, the world. This is another area where the Baby-Boomer/ Sixties/ Vietnam Generation showed themselves to be ahead of the wave in terms of America’s and the world’s direction. We saw in the First Edition how that psychological evolution — manifesting along with and promoted by that very Sixties generation — was blocked by the powers-that-be: The “king” simply will not “die.” We are beset by the reactionary thuggish thinking of bygone generations surrounded by a sea of an increasing number of “evolved,” “woke” folk, wondering why their greater numbers have so little sway in government policy.

For in our society, progress continues in the cultural arena unabated, less so in the political arena. This progress corresponds with the growing legalization of such psychedelics and marijuana in the U.S. In Oregon, magic mushrooms/ psilocybin are now, August 2022, legal, as is marijuana. When the First Edition of this book was published — November, 2013 — there were only two states in which pot was legal: Washington State and Colorado. Both had legalized the substance only shortly before, in November 2012.

Currently, however, 2022, there are nineteen states plus Washington, D.C., and Guam where one can legally purchase cannabis. In Maine, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Washington state, and Oregon, pot is now legal. In California there is an effort to legalize magic mushrooms as well. Meanwhile many cities have legalized magic mushrooms/ psilocybin on their own, and they include, Denver, Colorado — the first city, in May 2019 — Oakland, California, June 2019; Santa Cruz, California, January 2020; Washington, D.C., November 2020; Somerville, Massachusetts, January 2021; Cambridge and Northampton, Massachusetts, in February and March 2021; and Seattle in October 2021.

This is a potent example of how this Culture War/ Class War is being won by the people in terms of their desires; while the intentions of those wealthy who would wish to control all aspects of our lives are in retreat. This contrasts with the management of the governmental and social policies of the U.S. in recent years, which have become increasingly aligned with the intentions of the wealthy.

November 2022 — Culture War/ Class War’s Reckon­ing Point

To this end — specifically, increased control of society’s mechanisms by the Right even as it goes against public opinion — the stealing by Republicans of three more seats on the Supreme Court and the overturning of Roe V. Wade come to mind.

The reversal of Roe V. Wade is instructive on many levels. Amy Coney Barret’s seat was stolen by rushing through her nomination process just prior to the 2020 election; it was the seat held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Brett Kavanaugh’s seat was taken from Anthony Kennedy, when during Trump’s term, Kennedy suspiciously stepped down from the bench. It was suspicious because Brett Kavanaugh clerked under Justice Kennedy and Justice Kennedy’s son worked for Deutsche Bank, the same bank that gave Trump so many loans. Then Kavanaugh’s $200,000 credit card debt disappeared before his confirmation.

And of course, the Supreme Court seat that Antonin Scalia held at his death on 13 February 2016, almost nine months before that year’s presidential election, was robbed of its proper Obama nomination. For Mitch McConnell defied American rights and the Constitution in preventing any nomination process from going forward in Congress during the last year of Obama’s term; hence the seat was left for Donald Trump to fill in 2017. With these stolen seats on the Supreme Court in place, Roe was overturned.

Yet on the cultural side? As of 3 August 2022, conservative, red-state Kansas has voted overwhelmingly — fifty-nine percent — to keep the right of abortion, in a referendum held the previous day on the Supreme Court’s decision to allow it to be outlawed. The numbers that showed up to vote for the right to abortion in red-state Kansas are reported to be as high as they were for Barrack Obama, when he won his surprisingly popular race for the presidency in 2008. Yet this was a referendum, and it was on a primary day, not a general election. More so, and outside of just Kansas, polls are reporting that approximately seventy-five percent of the American population favors safe and easy access to abortion; which contrasts with the opposition to reproductive choice as enshrined currently in the Supreme Court.

These things in mind, it has become increasingly clear that the country’s conservative, right-wing turn is being accomplished only by illegal, unjust, and unfair means. As the majority of the country has moved on to more progressive ideas, the Right and Republicans continue to win only be cheating, by changing the rules that have been in place for many decades.

We’ve had three stolen Supreme Court seats, along with three stolen presidential elections: Gore’s, Kerry’s, and Hillary’s victories were taken from them in ways that I explained in 2013 and expand upon in this revised work.

In sum, the division between the people’s will and their controlling-governing bodies is the Culture War/ Class War I have been analyzing made manifest. And the success of the Right at the governmental and institutional level is exactly that “fierce rearguard action” massively fueled by the moneyed interests I described in the First Edition as being their last effort in an ultimately futile agenda.

All in all, since this book was published in November 2013 originally, all the patterns of the Culture War/ Class War described therein have expanded and have become more intense and violent. They are currently reaching a peak of tension as the January 6th Congressional Investigation continues revealing its stunning findings, which implicate so many Republicans; and Biden’s Department of Justice, under Merrick Garland, continues issuing subpoenas and indictments of lower-level players, on his way, supposedly, to the top.

We can hope that the FBI search of Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago on 8 August 2022 — ostensibly having to do with Trump’s removal of many boxes of classified documents from the White House — indicates Garland will have some teeth.

On the flip side of that, we notice Merrick Garland only acted against Trump after the former president made off with nuclear secrets above top secret along with payroll information on those working as spies for our intelligence. Even with espionage of the likes that our intelligence operatives would be ferreted out and killed and the possibility that nuclear secrets in foreign hands could lead to worldwide nuclear annihilation, it took Garland eighteen months to approve the search.

With what else we know about collusion between Trump and Putin to undermine the United States and return Russia to its Soviet-era glory, along with Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons against the world for its support of Ukraine, we can speculate now what their grand plan might have been. This is a plan that was worked out by Trump and Putin, with oligarchs around the world, for example, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) of Saudi Arabia. It is a plan whose details were concocted on pleasure boats and hotel rooms around the world going back before Trump’s installation in 2016.

It is a story that was told us by whistleblowers from the U.S. and Russia. For their contributions in warning us, these truth-telling witnesses to the worldwide conspiracy were rounded up and prosecuted by Russian and American authorities, after Trump gained power. Reality Winner, in the United States, comes to mind. Yet this patriotic person, who was imprisoned for her service to our democracy, had at least one Russian counterpart.

Winner’s Russian counterpart was a first-hand witness to the conspiracy involving Russian oligarchs with Trump and Republicans undermining America. As Rachael Maddow of MSNBC News reported at the time, she reached out to, tried to warn the United States. Yet Trump, with his Attorney General, Barr, would have nothing to do with her. Ignored by American authorities, she was picked up in Southeast Asia and returned to Russia, for consequences about which we can only guess.

It would seem the plan was to unite Russia and the United States strategically — with Trump and Putin working behind the scenes together using nuclear blackmail to keep themselves in power — to create a worldwide hegemony. Which for the rest of us would be a dystopian nightmare, along the lines of North Korea, if Trump were to get his wish. When Trump lost, it appears plan B was to steal the nuclear and other sensitive documents and proceed as close to plan A as possible.

Despite these grave and dire consequences for Trump’s theft of national secrets, we find out Garland had been in negotiations with Trump for the return of these top secret national documents for a half year and even longer. This, for a crime — espionage, nuclear secrets to the Russians — that was punished by death when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg did the same thing in the early Fifties.

So, with the gravest consequences ever for non-action — the end of life on this planet and the enslavement of the world with a nuclear gun held to its head — Merrick Garland has pussyfooted. Despite the highest crimes being committed by Trump and the Right against the United States and the very life on this planet, the wealthy elite conspirators — example, Trump — are protected, allowed to skate, walk free. No consequences. So far.

If Garland has a bite, it has so far been a nibble. A man, Trump, who has committed high crimes and treason against the United States continues to walk free in September 2022 and to spread lies and incite violence towards the rest of us in the country.

If Garland has teeth, then, for the sake of the country, the life of the planet, and the cause of democracy continuing in this world, he’d better get to his indictments fast; it needs to happen soon. The Democrats cannot risk having another time when they had an opportunity to act but didn’t — out of some nicety or other toward Republicans. For the day of reckoning for Democrats and for democracy — election day for the 2022 midterm elections — is coming up fast. Democrats need to win big to stop the Republicans’ ongoing coup and to keep our democracy.

Indeed, all this Culture War/ Class War/ Civil War will culminate soon in that Americans will know in November 2022 whether we will be irrevocably shunted onto one route or another: Democrats will win in November enough seats to actually control the government of the U.S. or else Republicans will get in, take up control again, and will continue uninhibitedly undermining American democracy, taking away American freedoms, destroying our planet’s life, and interfering into the private lives of Americans. All this Republicans will attempt to do; even as they swim against an increasingly powerful tide of public opinion and progressive awareness. The tension could not be greater.

In this Second, Revised, Edition of Culture War, Class War — subtitled, this time, Truth and Generations — we will again and again see how this book accurately depicted and predicted the current radical division of minds in American society. We will review also the psychological forces on both sides, and operating in all generations involved, which help us understand this divide, this violent split in the American population between Left and Right. I will have added, however, for this edition, additional more recent developments in this Culture War/ Class War. For the tendencies detailed herein have burgeoned in recent years and have reached an explosive level.

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INTRODUCTION

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Culture War Is Class War Disguised

As Progressive Ideas Gain Ground Alongside Increasingly Oppressive Governmental Policy, Conflict Intensifies

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[Quotes/highlights:] “Culture War, Class War explores the resulting cultural divide and how it was instigated and kept alive for fifty years in America by certain elite powers and how and why they chose to benefit while tearing families in two and keeping America paralyzed.”

“Hostilities have resumed since the Sixties — especially beginning in 1970 — until currently there is all-out class war that is becoming increasingly bloody and one way or another is taking a toll in lives of the American people.”

“Democratic and liberal ideas have been gaining ground everywhere since 1960, and Hillary Clinton easily won the popular vote. Yet Hillary Clinton was blocked, as Al Gore and John Kerry before her, by GOP shenanigans and, in 2016, foreign, specifically Russian, interference in America’s elections.”

“The ferocious assault from the Right on liberal values on the policy level, while those values have been gaining in popularity throughout the country, is clearly understood in light of the intense fighting of a waning old guard with its back against the wall — an increasingly maniacal geriatric set of the filthy rich and its paid accomplices, fearing their extermination, as their policies are increasingly unpopular and extraordinarily blatant in their corruption and abject alliance with the ends, solely, of the 1%.”

“This book will help you to understand how the wealthy elites were able to pull off that major accomplishment of installing Trump — who was arrayed firmly against any benefit to the voters — after having fertilized the minds of Americans with lies, in a full out and conscious assault, since 1970.”

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[Introduction text begins:] Class War is disguised as Culture War. The 1%especially the wealthiest of them, who have been termed the Filthy Rich — foment Culture War among the 99% to distract and cover their real economic motives.

Culture War, Class War explores the resulting cultural divide and how it was instigated and kept alive for fifty years in America by certain elite powers and how and why they chose to benefit while tearing families in two and keeping America paralyzed.

Class War

Of course, class war has been going on since the beginning of civilization; it is inevitable with hierarchical societies.

Yet some eras are more harmonious than others. One might think that enlightened principles of democracy, freedom, and human rightsnormally associated with Western societies in recent centurieshad made modern times one of them. One would be wrong.

While the rise of unions in the early decades of the Twentieth Century and the post–Depression-Era initiation and expanse of social programs to benefit the common welfare might have made the America of the Forties, Fifties, and to some extent, Sixties, one of those more harmonious eras, that trend in America and that era of relative class peace has been totally reversed. Hostilities have resumed since the Sixtiesespecially beginning in 1970until currently there is all-out class war that is becoming increasingly bloody and one way or another is taking a toll on the lives of the American people.

Culture War, Class War is about how that reversal happened and what has transpired in the last fifty years to bring us to this crisis. In particular I focus on the story not told about that — the story the 1% has made sure you would not hear.

Culture War

This book looks into why America’s “privileged class”its “royalty,” “blue bloods”started a “culture war” against the middle class, working class, the poor … and the educated, artists, and humanists … in the early 1970s. We discover how their fear of Sixties activism panicked them into an all-out assault against elements that threatened their wealth and privilege in all institutions of American societymedia, education, medicine, government, politics, publication, religion, especially higher education, and so on. They then restructured these institutions to better suit themselves and to ever facilitate their profit-making enterprises.

We see how this Culture War/ Class War continues today: blatantly so in the MAGA, Trump, and Tea Party movements, the Republican Party, the Wall Street giveaways at the expense of jobs, tax cuts for the “filthy rich” and corporations, budget battles and cuts in government services and entitlement programs, rampant anti-environmentalism, the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade, and anti-minority, anti-immigrant laws and attacks.

For example, we see rabid Culture War/ Class War in the abortion debate; attacks on unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and many other states; ever shrinking civil and human rights, including the suspension of habeas corpus signed by George W. Bush; assaults on voter rights; the gunning down and murdering of minorities; redistricting and gerrymandering in states to ensure the cultural divide while giving unfair advantage to Republicans; runaway imprisonment of minorities and free-thinkers through egregious anti-drug and anti-sex/anti-gender laws; indefinite imprisonment without trial and torture of political prisoners; ongoing budget, debt, and tax battles; and much, much more.

We saw it in 2010 with politicians like Congressman Barton who kowtow to corporations shamelessly defending British Petroleum from having to pay for its atrocious oil spill. Culture War/ Class War was visible to all in the candidacyRepublican of coursefor the Arizona Senator’s race running in 2012 on a platform of doing away with Social Security and Medicare. Currently, in 2022, Republican Senators Rick Scott of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are taking such a position of eliminating Social Security, as well. Moreover, Senators Lindsey Graham (SC), Mitt Romney (UT), and Marco Rubio (FL) — all Republicans — have gone on record saying they want to at least cut Social Security.

We have seen Culture War/ Class War since 2010 in the all-out attack on the poor and middle class by the wealthy 1%, who succeeded in getting an additional half trillion dollars in tax cuts at the end of 2010 from President Obama and have been using that money to take away free speech and democracy by clubbing their critics mute in the public arena of discourse and orchestrating the legislative and electoral processes ever since.

The Resistance

And we see the fightback from the grass roots in the form of the Wisconsin union uprising of 2011, the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, the rising up of pro-choice women in support of reproductive freedom in 2022, the Women’s Movement, and the worldwide Occupy movement, which began in 2011. There has been an Arab Spring and an American Autumn to get or restore those basic human rights and move toward economic justice in societies around the globe.

Other more current outcroppings of resistance have to do with the reversal of Roe Versus Wade in July of 2022. This fight over abortion rights, thus, is far from over. A new wrong has been created which the women, and righteous men, of America will struggle to correct. The women are already showing their power in nationwide demonstrations.

And the women are powerful. The Women’s March in Washington D.C., on 21 January 2017, a day after Trump’s inauguration as president, exemplified both their ability and their desire to not turn back the clock on their rights. The March has been called the largest single-day protest ever staged in the U.S.1

One of the biggest battles in that Class War was waged in the U.S. presidential election of 2012. The 1% — having gained an unfair advantage to use their vast wealth unrestrainedly to further their ends electorally — had managed to pollute the electoral process so much that one of its most visible members, Mitt Romney, was able to be one election away from being the most powerful person in the world. Almost one half the American people somehow did not see how that would be a Waterloo for the forces of the 99%, and they were okay with that happening. The unfair advantage was one that, claiming free speech, allowed corporations to unrestrainedly use their money to contribute to candidates and influence elections. This occurred with the Supreme Court decision of 2010 regarding Citizens United in which corporations had been declared to have the rights of people.

To make things worse, this came on the heels of the 1%’s ongoing effort to dial back the 99%’s ability to have a say in their governing with fantastical redistricting outlines and by limiting and harassing voter participation throughout the U.S. with draconian registration requirements and purging of voter rolls. The fact that Mitt Romney lost in 2012 is in indication of the “fall of obvious truths” that will be discussed in the latter part of this book and which is the hope abundant in the advance of generations.

Still, the never-ending budget battles — which included, incidentally, a shutdown of the U.S. Government in 2013 because the Republicans do not want to allow health care coverage in America (Obamacare) — and the filibustering and gridlock in Washington during the Obama years on virtually all legislation needed for American advance indicated that the Romney battle, though won, did not end the class war. Regarding the government shutdown, Barrack Obama wrote, at the time, “They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.  In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job.”

Finally, we see how the aspirations of the corrupt 1% and the filthy rich billionaires was realized four years later with the installation of puppet Trump. Of course, that was only accomplished through the robust assistance of Russia’s Putin.

The Trump Factor

How this outright foreign interference in a U.S. election — by the power in the world, Russia, most arrayed against the U.S. — could happen is made understandable in this book. Democratic and liberal ideas have been gaining ground everywhere since 1960, and Hillary Clinton easily won the popular vote. Yet Hillary Clinton was blocked, as Al Gore and John Kerry before her, by GOP shenanigans and, in 2016, foreign, specifically Russian, interference in America’s elections. The ferocious assault from the Right on liberal values on the policy level, while those values have been gaining in popularity throughout the country, is clearly understood in light of the intense fighting of a waning old guard with its back against the wall — an increasingly maniacal geriatric set of the filthy rich and its paid accomplices, fearing their extermination, as their policies are increasingly unpopular and extraordinarily blatant in their corruption and abject alliance with the ends, solely, of the 1%.

We recall again that which happened in 2016, when a worldwide cartel of billionaire oligarchs headed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and in collusion with moneyed interests in the United States, was able to put into power the billionaire puppet Donald Trump. The culmination of all the prior voter suppression, redistricting, and voter registration manipulation previously — and now employing a massive hacking and misinformation campaign — was that the 1%, through Trump, were able to hypnotize a huge swath of the American population that their middle- and working-class interests would be advanced by a person born into money, Trump, who had displayed anything but a nature of largess, let alone compassion, previously.

The 1% managed to convince a goodly number that an autocratic personality, who gloried in surroundings of gold, would somehow benefit their pocketbooks. The billionaire elites somehow orchestrated the media to convince many that an ostensibly authoritarian (“You’re fired!”) and acknowledgedly sexist personality would benefit their freedom and human rights. And the 1% somehow convinced enough people that someone who advocated nuking Iran (Trump) and using nuclear weapons with North Korea would somehow be better for peace. This book will help you to understand how the wealthy elites were able to pull off that major accomplishment of installing Trump — who was arrayed firmly against any benefit to the voters — after having fertilized the minds of Americans with lies, in a full out and conscious assault, since 1970.

The Women’s Movement

Yet immediately upon Trump’s inauguration, Trump was faced with astonishing pushback from a resistance movement fueled by women power.

The Women’s March on Washington arose as a reaction to the installation of Donald Trump as president of the United States. In particular, women were alarmed because Trump’s misogynistic comments, past behavior, and his implemented and proposed policies clearly revealed him to be anti-women, anti-children, anti-democracy, against free speech and the open media, reactionary and regressive (in the bad meaning of the word) and authoritarian in general … aspiring to be totalitarian.2

The Women’s March on Washington of January 21st, 2017 — exactly one day after illegitimate President Trump’s inauguration — addressed issues that were comprehensive. Yet they were held together by a keystone regarding overturning the perva­sive male domination of the trajectories and policies of nations — which currently, are still in the sway of patriarchal notions — toward something that has all the elements I have been mentioning as needing changing in the First Edition of this work. This includes, along with women’s rights, a concern for the environment and the planet, LGBTQ rights, workers’ rights, racial equality, immigration and healthcare reforms, religious freedom, and reproductive rights.

Regarding the issues of climate change, nuclear contamination, and pollution, the March’s organizers were clear: “We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed — especially at the risk of public safety and health.”3

The Women’s Movement, as it arose in the Women’s March, was a worldwide movement at its very start. A credible estimate of its strength in January 2017 is that over five million people — women, men, and children — marched throughout the world, in eighty-two nations. Other estimates have it even stronger and that 3.3 to 5.2 million participated in the United States alone.4

In the United States, the March encouraged women to step up to positions of political power. The organizers of the March came out with “Ten Actions for the First One Hundred Days,” in which, among other things, women were encouraged to run for office at all levels and in numbers greater than they ever had.5 That part succeeded, as was evident in the unprecedented gains by women in political offices nationwide in the elections held later that year.6

These gains were indisputably inspired by the Women’s March and cata­lyzed by the Ready to Run program operated out of Rutgers’s Univer­sity. The Ready to Run program schools women on the details and procedures of running for office. Applications for the program, which has eighteen partners and is carried out nationwide, soared after the 2016 election was stolen from Hillary Clinton, a woman.

Hillary’s Win and Its Theft

Incidentally, the manner in which a win in the 2016 election was taken away from Hillary Clinton was part of what drove the fury of women that followed it. Hillary’s presidency was ripped from her through a massive misinformation campaign conducted out of Russia, with collusion from the Trump campaign and many in the Republican Party.

Despite all this, Hillary Clinton prevailed by over three million votes in the popular vote count but was not awarded the office because of razor-thin, highly questionable “wins” for Trump in states — it is still to be determined to what extent there was Russian and Republican influence on the actual tallies, though that is likely — which created an electoral college win for Donald Trump. As former president, Jimmy Carter, remarked in 2022, the presidency of Donald Trump in 2016 should be declared illegitimate, due to the illegal interference in the election from a foreign power. I might add, with paper-thin wins in battleground states, clearly if there had been no interference it would have made the difference and we would have seen an easy win for Hillary Clinton, including in the electoral college. Yes, Hillary was robbed.

Indeed, the vote totals in the states that created the electoral college “win” seemed perfectly calculated to bring them about, barely winning, in these states. Experts using mathematical models have asserted that the win was highly unlikely to have occurred in those states — in those exact states with those perfectly suited electoral votes and with such consistently narrow margins of victory — without some intentional manipulation of the results, brought about through some kind of hacking.

Further suspi­cion attends the fact that, just as with Gore in 2000, states were given to Hillary early on which were taken away later on election night. In both cases, exit interviews conducted with folks after they voted showed the Democrats winning, while the final tallies contra­dicted that giving the win to Republicans. In response we were given — just as after the 2000 and 2004 elections, stolen from Gore and Kerry, respectively — ludicrous explanations as to why people, in exit interviews, would lie after the fact about who they voted for. Ludicrous, because such exit interviews had been reliably accurate in the past. As if suddenly in the history of elections and polling American psychology had changed from what it had been and what it is like every­where else in the world.

Additionally, though the intelligence services of the United States looked into Russian influence on the 2016 presidential campaign in the misinformation it spread and other ways, it never looked into whether the final vote tallies were tampered with. Clearly, for intelligence authorities to admit there was hacking of the election results and that Hillary had actually won the electoral college as well would have created a constitutional crisis and a kind of civil war that the powers-that-be wished to avoid by simply saying it was not looked into. Not looked into became, then, in the media and among the politicians and talking heads, that it had not happened.

This pattern of not finding that which one does want to know reminds me of the half-assed investigation into Brett Kavanaugh that allowed him onto the bench. With Christopher Wray at the head of the FBI, we find that the investigation was so shallow it did not even include interviews with other female complainants against Kavanaugh. Not looked into sufficiently, it was determined that the attempted rape by Kavanaugh could not be determined. You seeing the pattern? The intelligence services of the U.S. and the FBI simply cannot find evidence for things they simply do not want to be true. Or they want to keep hidden from public scrutiny, for reasons which, when you come down to it, amounts to treason against the United States on behalf of a foreign power.

Yet, since this vote tampering has happened as well in order to deny John Kerry and Al Gore the wins they also earned, in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, it is something I hope will finally be addressed. Then we will have a chance to ensure actual democracy in the United States, for we can prevent vote tampering in the future by implementing non-hackable means of vote counting, with paper receipts.

In any case, this corruption of democracy — along with Trump’s infamous comments, derogatory of women, and including references to sexual predation and assault, as evidenced by his “pussy grabbing” comment, and with the Women’s March on Washington as inspiration — resulted in such phenomenal interest by women in politics in 2017. EMILY’s List, a partner of Ready to Run, was contacted by ten thousand women, by March of 2017 alone, who were enthusiastic about running for office. Another partner, VoteRunLead reported interest by 6,545 women. That was the number of women signing up to learn about campaigning as of April of 2017.

Thus Trump’s policies, his misogynism and apparent sexual preda­tion, and the theft of the presidency in 2016 mobilized women to run for office the following year. They not only ran, they won. And in a big way. The Left has its tools for progressive change; they contrast with those of the moneyed Right.

#MeToo Movement

Not long after the elections of 2016 another movement related to women’s rights arose, triggered by one after the other of revelations of sexual abuse by men in power. This time, these events were not covered up, dismissed, or overlooked. America is currently reeling from the changes being wrought in our understandings of men’s behavior regarding women, in the workplace and otherwise, and the increasing awareness of the way misogyny infects patriarchal cultures, even the ones of today. This move­ment is nothing but auspicious for gender relations in America and for an increased power of women’s voice on all issues of policy and in the cultural arena.7

Moreover, around the world, we see gains by women, even in recalcitrant Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, where women are finally being allowed to drive automobiles.

Joe in the Middle

Furthermore, as we saw in the Obama years, we see the continuation of that Republican obstruction of any legislation benefiting ordinary humans, to date, during the first and second years of Biden’s presidency. Though Joe Biden won a stimulus package in 2021, Republican forces … all of them … with the help of two renegade senators — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — were able to block Build Back Better in 2022.

Build Back Better — President Joe Biden’s premiere plan, which he had campaigned on — had substantial help for the fight to save the planet and to rebuild the infrastructure of the United States. So, while four years earlier the Republican-led Congress, under Trump, voted massive multi-trillion dollar tax relief packages for the very wealthy; with the Democrats in charge and Republicans obstructing, nothing of funding was allowed Biden in Build Back Better to save the planet and to redo the infrastructure in America that would benefit the lives of ordinary Americans or help protect them from some of the dire environmental collapses that are upon us.

Indeed, then, this one-time “cold war” between the 1 percent and the 99 percent — begun in the Seventies — has heated up fast and continues unabated for the foreseeable future. In comprehending how all this came about and arming ourselves for the ultimate struggle approaching, let us start by looking at Culture War/ Class War beginnings.

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PART ONE

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CULTURE WAR — TRUTH

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Smoke, Lies, and Revelations — 1950s through 1970s:

Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies

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[Quotes/highlights:] “This book reminds us of truths we should not forget.”

“…with the rise of the power of huge corporations during this period, and with competition and profit rapidly eroding all values and making truth the servant of the (always hidden) agenda, factuality and honesty were the first of life’s pillars to be invaded and occupied.”

“…by the end of the Fifties, Americans were caught between the opposing evils of confusion and anomie, on one side, and being assimilated by corporate culture (“resistance is futile”), on the other…. [M]any suffered through or clung to traditional ways. This would be true specially of the elderly. Many, also, ignored the assaults on the credibility of these institutions over time.”

“…when JFK was assassinated, the floor fell out from beneath aspiring Americans. It left them feeling empty, directionless, and therefore vulnerable.”

“JFK’s assassination left people feeling powerless. If a President could be assassinated, no one is safe. When the cover-up succeeded, we knew we had no voice. We knew the truth would probably never be revealed. This was the new America.” – Carol Lemieux

“Of note is the fact that Democrats would win the popular vote in three out of the last six elections — Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote — and be denied the presidency because of the electoral college. This trend of popularity for Democrats thus shows increasing progressive enthusiasm over time laid alongside a concerted effort by the powers-that-be, the moneyed interests, to keep that progressive fervor from manifesting in public policy.”

“Afterward, however, after Obama’s eight years as president, we saw a repeat of history with the installation into the presidency of Donald J. Trump…. Trump was W. Bush 2.0. Trump’s corruption and illegality ignored the Constitution of the United States and were more severe and consequential, even, than George W. Bush’s.”

“We will soon see how Barrack Obama was himself, with his ‘timidity,’ the cause of that ascension by Trump in several crucial ways. This culpability begins with the fact Democrat Barrack Obama and his Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, declined to take up investigations of the crimes the W committed in office and continues right up to the time just before the presidential election of 2016.

“…in his memoirs, Barrack Obama delves deeply into whether he had been ‘too timid’ during his terms. For Obama did not release to the public the intelligence community’s discovery of the interference in our election by Russia.”

“…over the course of those decades since 1970, Americans saw essentially the rise of a one-party government. Corresponding to that, we witnessed a consolidation of the mass media and its subservience, along with the government’s, to that same small group of people and powers, aligned with the huge corporations and serving their interests for profits and for enrichment of the already filthy rich.”

“…since 1973, there was little room in America for any of the elements that characterized the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Age of Reason or Rationalism, or the Age of Enlightenment — whose adherents and tenets spawned the American experiment.”

“It had become clear to the people at the top that they could better manipulate the masses without free thinkers in the way. They did not want smart people noticing, that’s for sure.”

“…the government taking over people’s minds, having happened beginning in 1971, is now being done in full view.”

“Students at my college … Franklin and Marshal College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania … occupied the Administration building and found the documents — the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni insisting on this change or they would stop their funding. This was a concerted effort by the wealthy elite that hit all the liberal arts institutions/universities in America at the exact same time — the spring and summer of 1971.”

“…the Sixties Generation was the last educated generation. The result was that free-thinking generations would no longer be. They would not be encouraged; they would not be fostered; they would not be tolerated; they would not be allowed.”

“…yes, we are still fighting this Culture War. For not only did it never go away, not only has our side not been heard, not only has the other side pounded our positions into rubble; and shouted down, ridiculed, slandered, and misconstrued our points to their own malevolent ends, but…. We ain’t won yet!”

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[Chapter 1 text begins:] I was born in the year 1950, just prior to the collapse of certainty and traditional truths in America during the 1960s. Culture War, Class War is far more than my story, however. I can say I watched the developments that this book unveils and that I was an avid participant in many of its events. But this is America’s story, America’s untold story. I could not have witnessed all the happenings that are brought out here, nor could anyone. For much of this was hidden, and that is the first point.

Yet that which is also here is much that many people have seen. Though a lot of it is not remembered. These events are discouraged from being thought about, because they are a reality inconvenient to those who orchestrate events. Hence, such people, who own the media, are wont to back away from allowing their news organizations to report on them or to remind us of them. This book reminds us of truths we should not forget.

Yet, when brought to mind, these truths lead to obvious conclusions. This book sheds light on these “inconvenient” but obvious realities of America’s past and present. We begin in the past, the 1950s in America.

Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies

For many the Fifties, with the Cold War as a backdrop, was a time of confusion. The traditional bellwethers for morality and behavior had been undermined from several fronts. Important among them were religion, the military, and the family. Discoveries in the sciences and social sciences had called for a revision of what was commonly thought … what counted as common sense and what could be counted on as reliable knowledge.

Right-wing, Cold War politics did their part to confuse the populace. Honesty and truth had been — since the McCarthy era of the early 50s — shaky, uncertain, and vulnerable. We should note that after WWII and with the Cold War against Russia in full-on battle mode, the control over the populace that was instituted during WWII remained in place as Cold War strategies.

Dark Visions, Dire Warnings

Then, with the rise of the power of huge corporations during this period, and with competition and profit rapidly eroding all values and making truth the servant of the (always hidden) agenda, factuality and honesty were the first of life’s pillars to be invaded and occupied. Yet insightful commentators saw through it. While this erosion of honesty and truth over the course of the Fifties, tied to the rise of corporations, was gradual, secretive, and so went largely undetected, some astute observers were not fooled and even tried to warn the nation.

Books were written in the Fifties about the changing values influenced or directly the result of the amassing of power in these huge corporations. These exposes increased in number during the early Sixties. Noteworthy among these analyses include Organization Man (1956) by William Whyte; David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd (1950); & C. Wright Mill’s trilogy on power—The New Men of Power (1946), White Collar (1951), & The Power Elite (1956), along with his obviously relevant Character & Social Structure (1953). Works like Erich Fromm’s The Sane Society (1955) & Presthus’s The Organizational Society (1963) made arguably more serious criticisms that the psychological map of Americans were being negatively affected in important areas.

Literary works that were read widely during the 1950s, having a significant impact on this era, include George Orwell’s 1984 (published 1949) and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932). Both books describe dystopian societies that were plausible evolutions of societal tendencies occurring at that time. Conformity; repression of feeling; propaganda and the control of minds by a totalitarian regime; the use of drugs to placate the populace and to keep them in compliance to overweening social controls of all kinds; the consolidation of wealth into an upper echelon of society that would determine all that happened below — these and other characteristics of a world of slaves and sheeple were described in these works.

Works such as these set the stage for the decades following in providing clear images of the dangers of a corporate-dominated society with little concern for human feeling, liberty, or rights. On the other side of it, however — something we would not know for decades later and not until the second decade of the Twenty-First Century — these books describe some of the tendencies and goals of our current totalitarians out of Russia, other oligarchs around the world, and Republicans in the United States. It is as if they took such books as 1984 and Brave New World, meant to be warnings, as societal blueprints for their desires to be worshiped and for their goals to control everything below them for their ends alone.

Prophetic, prescient presidential address

The most significant warning came from the President of the United States who had presided over this post–World-War-Two rise of corporations. Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his final televised address to the nation before leaving office, warned against the power and influence of the military-industrial complex. Prophetic and prescient, his words — often quoted over the decades since — included “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex….”

Eisenhower gave this address only days before his term was to end. The significance of Eisenhower waiting till he was about to leave office to inform the American public calls out to be addressed.

Many of us, in 2009, after Barrack Obama was elected, wondered what had happened to Obama since he took the presidency. We wondered what happened to his ideals, his promises, his “audacity of hope,” and his prescriptions for fundamental change. As Jon Stewart — the well-known comedic political commentator — famously put it at the time, Obama was “timid.” I think we all were expecting more “audacity” after Obama’s election and less mere “hoping” for change.

We suspected something dire had happened to Obama, for we have watched as Democratic president after Democratic president — especially Bill Clinton, to some extent Jimmy Carter — dialed back their progressive efforts once they assumed the presidency. Jesse Ventura, speaking on CNN, two years into Obama taking office, said Obama was no doubt “taken out to the woodshed.” It occurs to me that those unseen hands directing Obama’s actions might have even been there in 1961, too, and that they were the military-industrial complex Eisenhower called out.

Certainly, the forces of the military-industrial complex at that time, in 1961, were not as influential, bloated with power, as they are now. Still, why else would Eisenhower not speak about this until his term was just about over? If he did not feel pressured (threatened?) previously, why would he not have been making this an important issue? His speech on the “undue influence” of certain sectors of society over the rest of us was, after all, the summary statement, culminating viewpoint, of his eight years.

Also, if he did feel pressured (threatened?) not to reveal or let some truth be known during his time in office — yet felt it was something of extreme, even dire, importance — might he not have risked it at the very end, for the good of the country? In such a situation it is possible Eisenhower was feeling that his conscience needed to be relieved as he saw the end of his influence and of his own life in sight. Eisenhower had, after all, gone through several health crises during his term that could have been terminal.

Eisenhower might conceivably have reasoned that his legacy would be completely blackened, his influence totally skewed in a way he did not wish if he did not “spill the beans” at some point. The end of his term — just prior to leaving office — would then be his last chance to come clean and the only time, perhaps, that he could feel he could go through with it without immediate personal, or some other kind we do not know of, repercussions.

There may be much more to this warning to the nation than had previously been brought out. For coming into office right after Eisenhower we had John F. Kennedy, a Democrat. With his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, as Attorney General, JFK was anything but “timid.” They went after organized crime, and no doubt ruffled the feathers of the military-industrial complex as history records that prior to JFK’s assassination he had come to the conclusion that the United States needed to withdraw from or dial back substantially its involvement in Vietnam. The hidden powers of America, behind that military-industiral complex, would not be keen on these and other moves by the Kennedys. And we see the result of their bucking that complex of which Eisenhower spoke in the event transpiring on the 22nd of November 1963 in Dallas, Texas. This complex would then complete their assassination assignments for the Kennedys on 6 June 1968 when the younger brother would also be taken out.

“Resistance is futile”

Regardless, at the time, by the end of the Fifties, Americans were caught between the opposing evils of confusion and anomie, on one side, and being assimilated by corporate culture (“resistance is futile”), on the other.

You might say Americans’ minds were under siege from both the Right, with its misinformation, and the Left, with its new discoveries and new facts coming to light in the sciences. One was forced to make a choice between the hatred and violence of traditional society and a new one based on science and the multiculturalism coming out of the humanities and social sciences. This division was the earliest schizoid splitting of society’s mind that would become the Culture War we saw ever after and till today. A lot of it, as we see clearly now, comes down to whether you believe the fantasies of traditional religion, which itself is a cover for the desires of the wealthy elites, or you believe science.

Back in the Fifties, however, in reaction to the untruths coming from the political sector — with its Cold War rhetoric and propaganda — and the sciences’, with its truth undermining traditional beliefs about family, religion, and the military, many suffered through or clung to traditional ways. This would be true specially of the elderly. Many, also, ignored the assaults on the credibility of these institutions over time.

There was an astounding era of unity and enthusiasm during the Kennedy years, where corporate culture was subsumed under lofty ideals, which included both technological advance — and thus harnessed corporate energy in a positive direction — and social and intercultural advance, as for example with the Peace Corps. Fragmentation and anomie were forgotten as America believed it was involved in higher causes emanating out of the times that seemed powerful enough to propel everyone into the future with all the fragmentation following and somehow working itself out eventually.

The dream is over

President John F. Kennedy however was murdered, arguably by the Mafia — as History.com would have it — but either in collusion with or under pressure from powers aligned with that military-industrial complex of which Eisenhower spoke.

The Commission that was formed to investigate the Kennedy assassination, the Warren Commission, came up with a ludicrous explanation of how the murder happened. They claimed a “magic bullet” — one bullet — had passed through Kennedy’s neck, gone into John Connally’s chest, then continued through his right wrist and ended up embedded in his left thigh. The conclusions of the Commission were as full of holes as the two victims, it turns out. Indeed, at least as many holes as the single-bullet theory — the brainchild of Arlen Specter, before he became a Republican Senator for Pennsylvania — would have, considering the theory involves up to seven entry/exit wounds in both men. From one bullet. This “magic bullet theory,” as it was called, would allow the Commission to conclude there had been only one gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald.

This fantastical theory allowed the Warren Commission to wrap up work without further investigation. Subsequently, other types of investigations produced the evidence that would lead to the History channels conclusion that it was the work of the Mafia. Thus, the Warren Commission was a precursor to the coverups that would later come about over other Republican scandals — Ronald Reagan’s Contragate; H. W. Bush’s Savings and Loan Scandal (S & L Scandal); W. Bush’s many scandals, most importantly lying to get the U.S. into the Iraq War; and of course the ongoing efforts of the conservative establishment in Washington, D.C., and the media, to minimize Donald Trump’s many scandals and treasonous acts by “normalizing” them.

At any rate, these failures of the Warren Commission would be brought to our awareness over the years; the JFK murder became a source of many conspiracy theories. Yet much evidence was uncovered that contradicted the Warren Commission’s conclusions and pointed to the existence of several gunmen, with Lee Harvey Oswald being the fall guy. This would make Oswald the patsy whose murder by Jack Ruby only two days after Oswald’s arrest would ensure his actual story would never be told. Indeed, the movie, JFK, which came out in 1991, directed by Oliver Stone, gathered this evidence together and laid a good foundation for overthrowing the Warren Commission’s findings in the public’s mind.

In any event, at the time, when JFK was assassinated, the floor fell out from beneath aspiring Americans. It left them feeling empty, directionless, and therefore vulnerable. Carol Lemieux expressed this malaise perfectly in her tweet of 17 August 2022 commenting on this point. She writes, “JFK’s assassination left people feeling powerless. If a President could be assassinated, no one is safe. When the cover-up succeeded, we knew we had no voice. We knew the truth would probably never be revealed. This was the new America.”1

Remember back to what I said a couple pages back on the military-industrial complex not being happy with JFK’s plans, just before his murder, to draw down troops in Vietnam. Well, not coincidentally almost immediately after JFK’s killing, Lyndon B. Johnson — who succeeded Kennedy as president — escalated the Vietnam War and the funding for it. America had its first coup, its first massive cover-up and Big Lie.

Republicans would take over soon enough and over the next forty-six years would hold onto Executive Power for all but seventeen years, including Johnson’s five years.

Of note is the fact that Democrats would win the popular vote in three out of the last six elections — Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote — and be denied the presidency because of the electoral college. This trend of popularity for Democrats thus shows increasing progressive enthusiasm over time laid alongside a concerted effort by the powers-that-be, the moneyed interests, to keep that progressive fervor from manifesting in public policy.

During this time, the tendencies that began in the Fifties — involving the gathering of power into fewer and fewer hands, and the use of that power to influence the beliefs, ideals, and even psychology of the masses — increased and became more severe, pervasive, and threatening, up to the point of the outright lunacy and obvious deceptions and manipulations evident under George W. Bush; and later, even more maniacally, under Donald J. Trump. You might say that whereas Eisenhower, along with the majority of Americans, would view a dystopian military-industrial society as a thing to be avoided at all costs, the wealthy elites after Eisenhower — as evidenced by the Republicans acting on their behalf in government — would act as to seem they were using the books, 1984 and Brave New World, as roadmaps and models of the world they’d like to create.

Yet at a certain point, in 2008, with year after year throwing up W. Bush scandals, corruptions, misgovernment, several presidential elections stolen by Republicans, an unnecessary war, runaway deficits, and most significantly, right from the start, another massive transfer of wealth upward to benefit that small elite and increase their power; Americans were finally beginning to open their eyes to the ways they had been lied to, used, and robbed by the rich and powerful.

All that governmental mismanagement, scandal, and oppression under the W played out on the media nightly, year after year, with no recourse even for impeachment of W. Bush because of an ill-timed agreement between the parties about impeachment that had come out of the debacle of the impeachment attempt on Clinton. This overwhelming evidence against Republicans and W. Bush — stimulated by the discovery that Americans had been lied to by W. Bush’s administration to take us into war with Iraq — finally resulted in the cracks in the Matrix, or web of Big Lies built up over nearly fifty years. It took all that, so that finally an authentic man, a man not of the powerful elite, could win the Presidency handily. That man would, of course, be Barack Obama.

Afterward, however, after Obama’s eight years as president, we saw a repeat of history with the installation into the presidency of Donald J. Trump. We will soon look into why, indeed, history could not help but repeat. Indeed, Trump was W. Bush 2.0. Trump’s corruption and illegality ignored the Constitution of the United States and were more severe and consequential, even, than George W. Bush’s. Yet the increasing progressiveness of the American electorate — overall, despite seldom being reflected in government policy — would make it that history would repeat, again, and would elect another Democrat, after Trump, to clean up the mess of another corrupt Republican.

This of course occurred with the election of Barrack Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, to the presidency in 2020. Biden took over after only four years of a Republican, Trump, trashing the Constitution, human rights, and human lives. That is what amounts to the progress in awareness between 2009 and 2020. Only four years were allotted this time by the powers-that-be for a Republican to destroy so much of what Democrats accomplish beforehand. Am I being sarcastic? Well, yeah.

We will soon see how Barrack Obama was himself, with his “timidity,” the cause of that ascension by Trump in several crucial ways. This culpability begins with the fact Democrat Barrack Obama and his Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, declined to take up investigations of the crimes the W committed in office and continues right up to the time just before the presidential election of 2016. What happened at that time, in 2016, was that the intelligence services of the U.S. informed Obama that Russians were interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Obama sat on that information, rather than using it to fight back against such foreign interference in our elections by publicly disclosing it. If Obama had been forthcoming at the time this was uncovered, just prior to the presidential election of 2016, it would undoubtedly have made more than the small difference that was needed for Hillary Clinton to win the electoral college as well as the popular vote.

Obama wasn’t, however. Indeed, in his memoirs, Barrack Obama delves deeply into whether he had been “too timid” during his terms. For Obama did not release to the public the intelligence community’s discovery of the interference in our election by Russia. Hence, Trump “won” and we were doomed to repeat it all — all those horrible years of incompetence, criminality, corruption, grifting, and thieving by the Filthy Rich of all below them, under the W — with a Trump presidency. The Donald took over the presidency in what should have been an easy win for Democrats in 2016, as it was thought it would be.

The face of mine enemy, 1984

However, before those more recent events and over the course of those decades since 1970, Americans saw essentially the rise of a one-party government. Corresponding to that, we witnessed a consolidation of the mass media and its subservience, along with the government’s, to that same small group of people and powers, aligned with the huge corporations and serving their interests for profits and for enrichment of the already filthy rich.

With most powers and most institutions, including education and publishing, orchestrated to the ends of a mighty few, there existed a pervasive — however very slick and clever — propaganda and cover-up apparatus constantly at work to fill or bend the minds of Americans along lines not in their interests, but rather those of these hidden powers with their corporate and political fronts. So pervasive and overwhelming was this effort in the United States at mind control and misinformation that it mirrored that of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Since such U.S. mind control going back to the 1950s provided no comfort, motivating people through the strategic use of terror and the incitement to hatred, it left that aspect wanting. Many people … pushed to desperation and irrationality because of the continual terror and hatred campaigns … ran to traditional religions or clung feverishly to any one of the many alternatives offering easy one-stop full-service truth — whether evangelical, political, ideological, or traditional.

Enlightenment Overthrown (No Smarts for YOU!)

In this context at no time was there an opening for the kind of rational or thoughtful, peaceful and considered, pursuit of truth, insight, or enlightenment that had characterized the eras that had actually led to the birth of America and its system of democracy, freedoms, and rights. By this I mean that since 1973, there was little room in America for any of the elements that characterized the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Age of Reason or Rationalism, or the Age of Enlightenment — whose adherents and tenets spawned the American experiment.

Can’t have liberal arts, it’s got the word “liberal” in it

Indeed, I personally observed the downfall of the ideal of education in the liberal arts. Since the birth of America, a liberal arts college education had been regarded as a preeminent basis for further education and for life and career in general for those who would be among the educated and eventually the leaders and decision-makers of society.

Liberal arts ideals came directly out of the Enlightenment and Renaissance ideals of a well-rounded, diversely educated, and broadly knowledgeable individual and citizen. It was wisely considered such widely knowledgeable and broadly thinking leaders would benefit society in the wisdom, social consciousness, and moral conscience, indeed, selflessness and social service ideals that would result from that kind of exposure to varying viewpoints and approaches to truth.

However, the Vietnam War had seen increasingly larger degrees of complaint, criticism, resistance, and defiance to its pursuit from these liberal arts campuses. I was on campus and was part of it. I also saw how the campuses were purged of the liberal thinkers — professors were fired, departments of philosophy, religious studies, history, and the other liberal arts were cut back, often to be eliminated entirely. It had become clear to the people at the top that they could better manipulate the masses without free thinkers in the way. They did not want smart people noticing, that’s for sure.

We stormed the administration building and found the documents — the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni

In May of 1971, a year after the Kent State murders of protesters and while this restructuring of American higher education was going on full tilt, we stormed the Administration building at my college of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

We found the documents — the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni demanding a conservative turn be made in higher education. I say this today, the 6th of July 2022, while the news all over Twitter is of the fact that Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican, has passed a law requiring students and faculty of all Florida universities to report their political beliefs yearly. They are being required to fill out a survey questioning them about their views; and if the university does not have a sufficiently conservative-leaning faculty and students, its funding from the state of Florida will be dropped. I mean, as they say, “you can’t make this shit up.” This is how far we have seen the tendency I am reporting, of the government taking over people’s minds, having happened beginning in 1971, is now being done in full view.

However, back in 1970 and 1971, the alumni’s maneuvering behind the scenes to redirect the minds of university students and faculty was visible in its effects only, at first. The Vietnam War protests brought the suppression/repression of university minds onto the agenda of alumni and the wealthy elite, who were acting to negate such protests and pushback from the campuses to the designs of the filthy rich Controllers.

They actually fired professors on my campus, not because they were radical or speaking out against the war, but because they were cutting back departments that had anything to do with the humanities — even the social sciences, religious studies!!! … anything that involved encouraging students to be independent thinkers or to learn anything different from the elementary and secondary school propaganda they had been taught before.

Students at my college … Franklin and Marshal College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania … occupied the Administration building and found the documents — the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni insisting on this change or they would stop their funding. This was a concerted effort by the wealthy elite that hit all the liberal arts institutions/ universities in America at the exact same time — the spring and summer of 1971. We gathered in front of the Administration building and demanded the Dean appear and answer to the charges and respond about the documents, as a condition of our leaving the building. The Dean showed up and, standing on the steps of the building, he sheepishly mealy-mouthed his way through his responses to our evidence. He never denied it.

Afterward, some students chipped in (what little they could) to pay for some of these fired professors to continue teaching the next semester. We could not use any facilities; we sat on the grass, outside. Of course, we could not afford to continue to pay our professors out of our own pockets; nor could the profs get by on the $1 — $25 voluntary donations!

The result was that the Sixties Generation was the last educated generation. The result was that free-thinking generations would no longer be. They would not be encouraged; they would not be fostered; they would not be tolerated; they would not be allowed.

People like to dismiss efforts such as mine and those of my cohorts at this time as trying to dredge up the battles of the Sixties, to relive or redo the past. This ignores the fact that this battle — this Culture War of the Seventies — has not gone away at all but is simply being ignored … and consciously dismissed. This 60s-70s Culture War is as much here as two-hundred-thousand people in Wisconsin — at one point, other demonstrations had similar attendance — were there to protest union suppression, in February through June of 2011; although the media ignored and dismissed these powerful turnouts in keeping with their insidious obedience to the wealthy elites. This 60s-70s Culture War is as much there as that we were in 2011 surfing the tsunami of a worldwide Occupy movement addressing all the issues of this Culture War, Class War.

This 60s-70s Culture War is as much there as the massive Women’s March in Washington in 2017, whose record-breaking turnout marked the beginning of the resistance after Trump’s inauguration. This 60s-70s Culture War is as much there as the months-long protests against the White racism fueling police departments throughout the country after the George Floyd execution by police, seen by billions of people via the internet.

This 60s-70s Culture War is as much there as the January 6th attempted coup in 2021 and its resulting ongoing battle in the press and the streets, as the details of this in-plain-sight treason against America is revealed. This 60s-70s Culture War is as much there as the packing of the Supreme Court thru illegal means, which led to the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade, in June of 2022, and the massive national pushback and protests rising up against it, since.

Meanwhile the media exaggerates every MAGA and Tea Party twitch involving handfuls or at the most hundreds of folks and broadcasts far and wide every trivial pronouncement coming from their gang of cartoonish Republican and Trumpian figures. Meanwhile Fox News and the mainstream media following it portray every little wiggle of liberal thought or action into insane reams of misunderstanding broadcast to the public, infecting American MAGAt minds; while billionaire-supporting pundits and conservative leaning commentators spouting insanity and gibberish `— Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, Megan McCain, for example — are given equal or greater footing than rational talk on even moderate platforms like CNN and MSNBC. Meanwhile, the corporate and filthy rich Controllers continue to pour guns into the streets and classrooms, demoralizing America, keeping it ripe for a fascist coup and the installation of a puppet government beholden to Russia’s Putin.

So yes, we are still fighting this Culture War. For not only did it never go away, not only has our side not been heard, not only has the other side pounded our positions into rubble; and shouted down, ridiculed, slandered, and misconstrued our points to their own malevolent ends, but … We ain’t won yet!

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However this book is not merely about history and activism, it is about truth. History is supposed to be about truth, isn’t it? And activism is supposed to be about truth being brought into reality, is it not? As Mahatma Ghandi phrased it, satyagraha — the power of truth. Satyagraha has been defined as holding firmly to truth or “truth force.” Using strength in numbers and placing oneself, nonviolently, in front of evil is the power of truth, satyagraha.

So this book is about truth and how different generations have approached it and what factors, for example, recreational drugs, have contributed to the way they would apprehend it. Yet the real truth, as in the quest for truth? It starts with oneself. Being no different myself, I will tell you in the next chapter how it is that I began to see the cracks in America’s mesmerizing Matrix of misinformation, as long ago as 1969.

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Truth’s Solitary Journey:

War, Nukes, and the Media …. the Comfortable Ignorance of Grade School Propaganda Gone Forever

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[Quotes/highlights:] “… when I had my first personal experience with a major national lie at the age of nineteen — one that involved an obvious collusion of State Department, Department of Defense, and all the major newspapers in America — I was shaken. When I saw that one day later all the local media followed up by headlining stories that further misinformed and that nowhere was the truth ever reported accurately of what one million people experienced on a day that would go down in history, anyway, but ‘censored,’ I was further changed.”

“…if the 1% do not like the facts, they lie. If they can’t cheat, if the masses rise up in great numbers to struggle for peace, they can simply arrange for it not to be properly credited in the press nor included correctly in the historical record.”

“…the people who pull the strings in this country pulled the strings at ABC that day and changed what would be reported as history. And it would be a lie.”

“If you think this lack of coverage of the pushback is inconsequential, I will note that it had consequences that were huge, when it came to the public’s lack of understanding of the Mueller Report or the decision of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay the initial impeachment of Donald Trump. We know that reduced media coverage of Trump’s opponents and Democrat’s flaccid pushback against the Donald are linked in that when the Democrats, in June and July of 2022, finally put together a nationally broadcast investigation of Donald Trump’s crimes of treason and insurrection for his efforts to remain in power, suddenly many more folks — a significant majority, now — understood that Trump had lost the 2020 election and that the Trump family had been using them.”

“When the Controllers force the news media to portray our situation that way with its conservative bias pumping up conservative proponents on the Right, with a wall erected on the Left blocking out Leftist ideas and activities, they indeed make it so:”

“…the media, at the behest of the Filthy Rich, have totally restructured what is considered news and what will be promoted and forced down upon the pegs of the populace since the early 1970s.”

“Never again would I look at a story out of the mainstream press, no matter how widely reported and/or held to be fact, without looking for the possible agendas and forces that would affect the veracity of what was being said.”

“I found myself caught up in virtually all the major trends over the last sixty years either through first-hand observation or through the fact that as a writer and avid follower of the events of the day — in an era that seemed my whole life to be peppered with national and international surprises and upheavals, some positive; others mostly not — I could not look away.”

“Not many people could tell you why or how that happened— that 180-degree reversal in America’s march toward a nuclear nation. I was one of the people involved in bringing that about.”

“This example is instructive for how our unthinking ways of doing things — evolved out of a time vastly different from today — are mechanically undermining our lives; how they could be changed to benefit us given a little thought to the matter; and finally, how citizens can use their strength in numbers to take action to effect such necessary change.”

“…lifeline utility rates and the default on WPPSS nuclear plants, show the success that can come of activism. They also demonstrate the importance of distributing accurate information to the public. Otherwise, ordinary folks are awash in a sea of misinformation, lies, and propaganda from all large, corporate, and wealthy entities and are vulnerable to any manipulation of them desired by such elites. Indeed, without such an informed public, no progress is possible. Ultimately, then, totalitarianism is the inevitable result.”

“…while this quest was and is personally gratifying, it led me to the most disturbing truth of all time, something widely known, something dire, something so big that most people — in keeping with the times of smoke and lies — are fearfully distracting themselves from, even at the cost of their lives and those of their children.”

“We begin here, however, with the most important part of that terrible truth — the part that is a linchpin in doing anything about the other parts regarding the environment. This has to do with fascism and the truth. With the first and without the second there is no way to do anything about any of the problems of peace, justice, or the environment. We look next at how a society ever more controlled by its and the world’s wealthiest people increasingly also flooded the minds and media of America and the world’s citizens in many and comprehensive ways to benefit themselves. To benefit themselves, regardless the cost to truth, human lives, and the well-being of the world’s masses.

“Amazingly, also, we see how the Filthy Rich, through their Republican proxies in government, needed to continue to up the ante in their assault on us, our money, and our liberty. Their views were coming increasingly under attack, and they were being seen to be what they are: Lies benefiting the rich. So that the ideas of the Left, with roots, many of them in the Sixties, showed their greater value in their increasingly popularity, even with all the assaults on them.”

“How a society could be increasingly progressive in the minds of its population, yet its government and media be increasingly regressive, is hard to understand; it doesn’t make sense. Yet despots throughout history have maintained such arrangements, however brutal their means. They have used the same weapons, as the Filthy Rich and Republicans today, to control otherwise rebellious populations, to set them in alignment with the ends they wish, not any of their own. It comes down to control. Control of power and of information. Control, with its accomplices ‘Might makes right,’ ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune,’ and ‘alternative facts.’

“And, yes, it is happening here in the United States.”

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[Chapter 2 text begins:] Regarding my life and my quest for what is real, I can tell you that the pursuit of truth is a solitary journey. Yet, as I have alluded, I have an unusual and particular personal history in childhood that turned me a particular way.

Comfortable Ignorance of Grade-School Propaganda Gone Forever

I also have a very common set of experiences in growing up that led me to the average American’s thorough belief in the transcendence of America, its superiority as a nation and a form of government, and as the leader of the free world, based on individual rights. I was brought up believing that freedom of the press and the other rights and institutions — such as shared powers in government, a balance of powers, the separation of church and state — gave our country a foundation to provide like no other the discovery and the reporting of events most closely in alignment with the facts, the actual truth. That is the way I was taught; I had no basis or evidence to believe otherwise.

So Much for Being Comfortably Dumb

However, when I had my first personal experience with a major national lie at the age of nineteen — one that involved an obvious collusion of State Department, Department of Defense, and all the major newspapers in America — I was shaken. When I saw that one day later all the local media followed up by headlining stories that further misinformed and that nowhere was the truth ever reported accurately of what one million people experienced on a day that would go down in history, anyway, but “censored,” I was further changed. I mean, this was not the America I had been brought up to believe we had.

Indeed, I have checked the history books and they tell the story of what I saw with my own eyes inaccurately, following the newspaper reports, which followed the reports from unknown sources in the Department of Defense. Even the idea that anyone — especially the media — would take the Department of Defense’s version of the largest anti-war demonstration in history as the basis for the story of that day is telling. For while approximately one million people showed up on Moratorium Day, in Washington, D.C., the Department of Defense’s official estimate had it at 200,000. As if 800,000 other people were not there.

As was reported at the time, this 200,000 is the number who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. Which is suspicious because the turnout was so huge, Pennsylvania Avenue was packed from one end to the other. Protest coordinators could not safely file any more people into the street. Thus, the majority of us were directed to walk over the grass, down the Washington Mall, not onto the street. I was one of those so directed.

After waiting a long time just to get onto Pennsylvania Avenue, we were informed no more could fit on the street and that we could all walk down the Mall to get to the Washington Monument, where the rally would be held. I’ll tell you, I never saw Pennsylvania Avenue that day. I never saw any march down it; nor even any person in said march. Yet I was there, as was the majority of the crowd — as far as I could tell — who never marched. Is it possible the Department of Defense used that ploy of indicating a number who marched as a way of negating the protest’s impact by citing an estimate of only part of the crowd, those on the street. And even then, low-balling the number…. Impossible, right? Incredible.

Yet such speculation follows from what was reported in Sunday newspapers the following day. In headlines around the country, the media cut that “estimate,” that lie, down to only 100,000 people. Some 900,000 people had their voices muted, their passionate activism liquidated.

By Monday, the message of that million-people demonstration — its numbers effectively falsified — was forgotten beneath reports by America’s major newspapers of a meager 10,000 or so who “violently” pelted rocks at the Department of Justice building after the main march. The publication Stars and Stripes, describes this: “The demonstration was mostly peaceful except for a small section of the crowd that violently protested near the Justice Department on the evening of Nov. 15. Demonstrators threw rocks, bottles and paint bombs, smashing windows and splattering the building with red paint. The clash resulted in police using tear gas on the crowd.”1

This pivot to any violence involved — whether, or not, as we have seen with Black Panthers, Jackson State, and Kent State earlier, there was any — as a way to negate the people’s impact, is a ploy familiar to activists. For us demonstrators, this major coverage of minor violence only added insult to the injury of the march being inaccurately reported, intentionally downplayed.

This corruption of the truth, which would go down as our historical record, had a huge impact on the antiwar movement afterward. Such disappointment followed this rendering futile of so much powerful activist energy that the Weather Underground was formed as a result. We activists realized that all the good intentions in the world and all the peaceful energy directed to our leaders were rendered moot if one is not the one driving the bus. Hence a faction of the antiwar movement decided it would require violence to actually render any change in America’s war stance, to actually create peace. These folk became the Weather Underground.

Later I was to find there is additional evidence of the powers-that-be twisting and attempting to negate the impact of that day. It turns out there was quite a dustup in the newsrooms over the coverage of that days’ story. Howard K. Smith lost his job at ABC over the telling of the truth of Moratorium Day. People remember Howard K. Smith from the PBS channel. Some of us who are older remember that he was one of the major anchors at ABC.

What would cause such a precipitous event as his firing? Well, it had to do with the fact that ABC news was scheduled and fully prepared to do dawn-to-dusk coverage of Moratorium Day on November 15th, 1969. One million people flooded into Washington, D.C., the largest gathering for an event, save Woodstock, in American history, and for the purpose of stopping a war. Mom, Pop, and the kids and the students came from all fifty states. The buses were lined up and I personally saw buses that came from the West Coast, from Wisconsin, from Washington State, and so on. It was phenomenal.”2

If a Million People Appeared in DC, and the Media Didn’t Cover It, Did It Really Happen?

Well, before coverage could begin over at ABC, as it turns out, word came down from “on high,” meaning outside of the news department. People like to say that it does not matter who owns a media outlet, like, say Rupert Murdoch now owns the Wall Street Journal, along with Fox News. They say editorial policy is not affected by who owns it.

Well, that day whoever controlled and owned ABC decided their personal interests were going to be hurt by showing a gathering of that many people amassing against the war — one out of every two hundred people living in America at that time managed to personally show up; how many more would have come if they could; how many more would be at home watching and would be stirred and influenced by such a sight? When Woodstock saw such numbers, it was talked about in the media as a phenomenon and it became history.

We see that if the 1% do not like the facts, they lie. If they can’t cheat, if the masses rise up in great numbers to struggle for peace, they can simply arrange for it not to be properly credited in the press nor included correctly in the historical record. Well, that was something I did not expect. I truly thought the press could be counted on, at least, to tell a pretty good version of the truth … or fer godsakes at least get the numbers right.

Media Masters

But no, the people who pull the strings in this country pulled the strings at ABC that day and changed what would be reported as history. And it would be a lie.

As for the News Department at ABC having independence: Well, Howard K. Smith, veteran and senior news reporter at the time, was so incensed and so insistent on finding out who and how and why this coverage was changed from dusk-to-dawn to practically nothing that it led to his dismissal. If he was angry about it, angry enough to get fired over it, can you not imagine that the entire News Department was against the change?

Where’d Wisconsin Go?

While this is history not news, it is more recent news as well … though we cannot call it “headline” news for reasons that have to do with the media. Something disturbingly similar happened decades later, in 2011, regarding media coverage of the Wisconsin pro-union rallies. While the largest rallies in Madison, Wisconsin, history were going on — an estimated 100,000 showed up on one day, 200,000 people a week or so after that — barely anything about them was mentioned in the mainstream media.

Tea Party Patsies and MAGAts

Keep in mind that this same media has covered and continues to promote and “tout” (even) rallies of (often paid) Tea Party and MAGAt proponents attended only by crowds in the hundreds! Even Trump’s events, though he is no longer president, are covered; while so many protests go on for Black Lives Matter, women’s and abortion rights, and the environment that such demonstrations are — not coincidentally, yet conveniently for the Filthy Rich — no longer considered news by the media controllers.

Keep in mind that the media could use the same rationale to stop covering Trump’s events, pronouncements, and activities — that they are commonplace, not newsworthy — yet the broadcasters do not. Thus, we hear of Trump’s antics, less about the pushback against him, and we think that Trump is powerful and that the pushback against him is not as strong.

If you think this lack of coverage of the pushback is inconsequential, I will note that it had consequences that were huge, when it came to the public’s lack of understanding of the Mueller Report or the decision of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay the initial impeachment of Donald Trump. We know that reduced media coverage of Trump’s opponents and Democrat’s flaccid pushback against the Donald are linked in that when the Democrats, in June and July of 2022, finally put together a nationally broadcast investigation of Donald Trump’s crimes of treason and insurrection for his efforts to remain in power, suddenly many more folks —a significant majority, now — understood that Trump had lost the 2020 election and that the Trump family had been using them. Not all MAGAts came to that conclusion, yet a crucial and sizable number of them did. That is a direct result of the January 6th Congressional Investigation Committee’s broadcasting of its hearings to all major news networks … save Fox … some of it in prime time.

The swing in polling around attitudes to Trump and beliefs in a stolen election show the importance of media coverage to keep folks abreast of important developments. Failing which, criminal politicians and Controllers can act, as we see in spades during Trump’s term as president, unhindered in their defrauding the American people out of their money and liberty.

When the Controllers force the news media to portray our situation that way with its conservative bias pumping up conservative proponents on the Right, with a wall erected on the Left blocking out Leftist ideas and activities, they indeed make it so: That the Trump, though out of power, is still powerful and the narrative against him and his treason is unimportant.

Yes, the media, at the behest of the Filthy Rich, have totally restructured what is considered news and what will be promoted and forced down upon the pegs of the populace since the early 1970s. This slant is what qualifies as propaganda, then.

Convenient (for the Filthy Rich) “Truth”

So who determined what would be the truth that day — Moratorium Day, November 15th, 1969, in Washington, D.C. Well, it certainly was not news reporters.

The story is only that the decision to minimally cover the largest protest in U.S. history came from “on high.” I guess from that you can discern that ownership made the decision that day; and we have no idea how many other times it has done that. We can only conclude that just the threat of interference from the moneyed elite will keep the media in line with the interests of ownership.

We Decide, You React

We need consider that when senior people, household names, are fired on the spot, that it sends a message that only grows stronger with the years, especially as ownership will make the decisions behind the scenes as to the kind of reporters it will even have working for them.

Rather Hear from Dan?

By the way, a more recent example of such a thing happening has to do with the dismissal of Dan Rather by CBS News around the time of the 2000 presidential election. You’ve probably heard the ownership’s slant on that story. You should listen to Mister Rather tell the story some time. It is quite different from the “official” version.

President Al Gore. Sorry, I Was Dreaming About a Democratic America

Dan Rather’s version, if it had not been undermined, would most likely have led to Al Gore, not George W. Bush, getting the Presidency in 2000. That is to say, even with “filthy rich” and Supreme Court support at that time to begin “installing” our presidents. That is another thing to think about when you think that we have a free press in this country; or if you should think that any ownership involvement in the news has little or no consequences.

Back to my story, this incident has to do with my understanding of the truth and of history as it relates to the media and their coverage. Properly reported on, Moratorium Day, 1969, should have been one of the major historical events on American public record. It would arguably have been influential in the course the war would take after that day. Yet with the corrupted news coverage of it and in the days following, my belief in America’s premier role — because of its supposed rights, such as “freedom of the press” — in being the most reliable in getting to the real story and reporting events as close to actuality as humans are capable of was shattered forever.

Never again would I look at a story out of the mainstream press, no matter how widely reported and/or held to be fact, without looking for the possible agendas and forces that would affect the veracity of what was being said. Especially I would look at who would benefit financially from the story, if it were true; and who would benefit financially, if it were not reported.

There is a less discouraging aspect to this development. The historical record relates that Richard Nixon saw the massive outpouring of resistance at Moratorium Day, 1969. It is said he was impressed and perhaps intimidated by the outpouring of people flooding the mall from one end to the other. We learn that Nixon intended to drop nuclear bombs on Vietnam, in particular, on Hanoi; but he changed his mind after seeing the huge wave of people who came to Washington, D.C., on November 15th, 1969. It is reported Nixon reasoned that if he did use nukes in Vietnam, the outpouring against him would be so huge it would sweep away him and his administration.

This is at least small comfort, demonstrating to activists that all our actions in a progressive direction bear fruit, yet often in ways about which we will not know. We have no way of calculating the number of people inspired by such events, the number swayed by such events, the number intimidated, or the way the effects of such massive demonstrations ripple out through the country and the world.

Truth’s Solitary Journey

What follows from here in this narrative? This is the story of one person’s informed take on those times. This is the perspective of one person intimately involved in the events of our days. For, Forrest-Gump-like, I found myself caught up in virtually all the major trends over the last sixty years either through first-hand observation or through the fact that as a writer and avid follower of the events of the day — in an era that seemed my whole life to be peppered with national and international surprises and upheavals, some positive; others mostly not — I could not look away.

In particular, this is a story of my quest for truth during those times. Through a coincidence of birth, genetics, and upbringing, and because in general a quest for truth requires too much time involvement and is usually not a higher priority over things like family and community; my quest for truth, forgoing family, wealth, and community ties, was unusual for my times. I found few fellow travelers. In my quest for truth, I could feel, and was quite carried along with, the ebbs and flows of the tides of my times.

I had a life different from most — one which took me to live, to study, and to participate with groups and in places around and around the country for fifty-odd years. Many of these groups and places and the activities and thinking of them would be considered exotic or alien to most Americans. And when folks heard about these developments, for the average person it was something that was happening far away from them with people they did not know … and was on top of that reported to them in a way to distort and misinform.

I, For One, Can Tell You Why We Stopped Building Nuclear Plants in This Country … I Helped Make it Happen

So many of the events of my life would not be well known, although some of the things I was involved in had major influences on our country. For example, the cessation of the building of nuclear power plants in the early Eighties. Not many people could tell you why or how that happened — that 180-degree reversal in America’s march toward a nuclear nation. I was one of the people involved in bringing that about. I was not one of the major players up front. However, I was involved full-time over a couple year period that led up to the events that stopped nuclear power construction to this day. I can tell you what happened.

What is instructive is that at least one of the other persons involved at one point tried to get the story of what happened published. He was not a writer, and he failed; but it is doubtful his piece would be selected for publication anyway. The end of nuclear plant construction in the United States is one of those stories that you will only hear from our opponents and for most people it will have been chalked up to some confusing, mysterious, and random events. It was not.

No Nukes is Good Nukes

The cessation of nuclear plant construction was something that was desired, worked for, and hoped for by people who knew the dire consequences of nuclear energy and who understood the motives of the people behind nuclear energy who had no concept of that, or conscience. Keep in mind this all happened long before the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns, just as we predicted something like that would happen. We predicted that nuclear plants along shorelines or fault lines would be especially vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis leading to catastrophe. Fukushima’s catastrophic meltdown was the result of a tsunami that was caused by an earthquake.

Activism

Let me back up a second. I am an author, now, but for most of my life I was a psychotherapist who specialized in primal therapy and holotropic breathwork. As well, I am a prenatal and perinatal psychologist, and a philosopher. I did graduate work in anthropology and history, as well as pre- and perinatal psychology; and indeed this book was helped along in its development as my history thesis in my graduate research course in the early Nineties at Sonoma State University. Most recently, I have been advancing theory in the field of ecopsychology in a number of works.3 However, I am also an activist.

For a year and a half, from the fall of 1981 to the spring of 1983, I worked for an organization called Oregon Fair Share. I worked as a canvasser out of the Springfield, Oregon, office. The organization was an attempt to work on any issue the community deemed it wanted addressed, sort of like a public, non-work-related union … gathering folks together collectively to have strength in numbers to go up against the large entities in our world determining things for us … government, corporations, you know what I mean….

Oregon Fair Share worked on the issue of fair utility rates, and it won a major victory in restructuring electricity rates around the state so they no longer favored larger consumers of power and instead benefited ordinary folks, smaller consumers.

This example is instructive for how our unthinking ways of doing things — evolved out of a time vastly different from today — are mechanically undermining our lives; how they could be changed to benefit us given a little thought to the matter; and finally, how citizens can use their strength in numbers to take action to effect such necessary change. So let me elaborate a little on this victory of Oregon Fair Share.

These utility rates proposed by Oregon Fair Share — “lifeline rates,” as they are called — are still in effect. Notice, their intent was simple — to effect an environmental advantage for us, while making things better for ordinary folks. And how? By taking away the unfair advantage given almost routinely to the big and the powerful. For the utility rate structure had been set up previously so that the more electricity you used, the lower the rate per kilowatt hour you would pay. Kind of like the way you pay less per item when you, say, go to Costco and buy in bulk.

It makes sense, you would think, I know, to pay less when you buy more. Yet we are in an environmental crisis where use of electricity should be cut back as much as possible, not encouraged. And, yes, we were well aware of all these environmental issues we talk about today back then in the Eighties … and even Seventies…. Which shocks me, by the way, to realize how little things have changed in all this time. It is as if the environmental issue just started up recently, the way some folks think. Even worse are climate-change deniers. How silly to think that the government is orchestrating a problem that we have known about for thirty years and which was discovered nearly two hundred years ago.4

Anyway, the way things are normally done, in an economic model geared toward profit, is someone who buys more of something gets a lower price to encourage them to buy even more, and then a lower price at that point to buy even more. This is how businesses maximize their return on investment and how consuming people are pushed into the mindset of consumerism … to buy buy buy as the goal and purpose of life.

Yet these ways of doing things are put on their head in an environmental crisis. What do you do when the best thing, the only sane thing, is actually to encourage folks to consume less? Also, this was a public utility, keep in mind. We needed to ask folks, why in hell does a public utility, a monopoly, need to maximize profits? Why not just enough to cover operating expenses and wages? And here we came up against another common notion of a capitalistic society: Which is that the other goal, outside of buying as much as one could, is to make as much as one can … of money. So greed and consumption are the two and only goals in this capitalist model.

What Oregon Fair Share had to do was to get the utility to see things differently and change its rates. But first they had to get the community out of its mindset. Believe me, most folks, regardless of the benefit to themselves in having lower rates, simply could not see the issue outside the box in which they were trained to think: That is, that consuming more should reap a reward, which would encourage more consumption.

Think about the environmental consequences of this. If you were able to pay less per gallon of gas the more you drove your car … so that at the end of the month, you could be paying fifty cents a gallon, say … would you not then drive your car a lot more and waste a lot more gas? On the other hand, if at the end of the month you were paying six bucks a gallon wouldn’t you have significant motivation to restrain yourself?

Well, this is how it worked out in the early Eighties with lifeline rates and Oregon Fair Share. It was a small, yet important and long-standing, victory. We were able to cut back the size of the utility bill folks would pay — and it is still a modest amount, even today, I can tell you — while doing something to help the environment by restraining the overconsumption of electricity. I can guarantee you the big operators, who had had it good with cheap electricity, found all kinds of ways to conserve and use less, once they had to pay their fair share.

Nuclear

When I was canvassing for Oregon Fair Share, we canvassed on that issue, utility rates, lifeline rates, using it as an example, to the folks we’d talk to at the door, of the benefits of strength in numbers … and how that worked in tackling the large issues. However, the major issue we were working on when I was there was the nuclear one. I don’t need to lay out the dangers of nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, and such to you, I know. Yet keep in mind, nuclear weapons could hardly be tackled as a local issue. Oh, sure, folks could get a stop sign erected at a dangerous intersection in their neighborhood through the power of Oregon Fair Share. People could also change the rate structure on their electric bill to benefit themselves and the environment. But how does one deal with the problem of burgeoning nuclear waste that is poisoning the globe and nuclear proliferation that threatens our existence at any particular moment?

There was a way to get at the problem, however. It had to do with the issue of the cost of nuclear energy.

At that time, the nuclear power plants that were being built, in Washington State, were the WPPSS plants (Washington Public Power Supply System). They were facetiously called “whoops” plants, because they were way, way, way over-budget, over-cost. So much so that it was an increasing financial debacle to continue building them. They were so over-budget they were going to end up costing the people in the Northwest part of the country roughly twelve-thousand dollars per household, over time, of course, through increases in their utility bills.5

That price tag was just to mothball the plants; that is, to put the construction done on them at that point under wraps for a time when the construction might be able to be completed. Keep in mind, this cost to the residents of the Northwest would not get them any electricity for their money. We would be paying to cover the costs of the bad decisions made by those investors and municipal and regional officials who had decided on building them. So, twelve-thousand dollars per household to cover up a huge mistake of investors and officials, and all without getting a kilowatt hour of power out of it.

Well, we created an uprising in the early Eighties, in Springfield and Eugene, Oregon, as well as around the state, which resulted in the city of Springfield, in 1983, refusing to shoulder those costs and instead taking the loss in their bond rating that resulted. Specifically, our community activism triggered public outcries, marching in the streets, and eventually precipitated a lawsuit, which, winning, caused the city of Springfield to default on the bonds issued to fund the plants.

The lawsuit hinged on a piece of information dug up by the research arm of Oregon Fair Share: The City Charter of Springfield, Oregon, stipulated that its citizens could not be indebted above a specified amount without a vote of the people. The cost overruns at the WPPSS plants were such an exorbitant indebtedness, way above what the City Charter allowed. Since there had been no vote in Springfield, default on the bonds was the only legal course. Once Springfield defaulted, all other municipalities in the Northwest United States followed suit. The investors had to swallow the consequences of their bad investment.

Remember, the entire Northwest of the United States had contracted to build these nuclear plants in Washington State, the WPPSS plants. So, when Springfield defaulted on the bonds, and the rest of the Northwest U.S. followed, it effectively ended nuclear plant construction in the United States. This action, extending its reach to cover the nation, broke the arms of the nuclear industry. No more applications until 2012 were submitted in the United States to build a nuclear power plant. Construction on one hundred plants that were being built at the time was abandoned. Even the applications that were submitted in 2012 pertained to nuclear sites that already had nuclear reactors in operation. No new ground for nuclear plants has been broken in the United States since our action in Springfield, Oregon, in 1983.

To put one leg of this narrative on terra firma, I can tell you this at this time: Peter DeFazio, Democratic congressman from Oregon, was one of the players in the WPPPS default that resulted from our actions. This happened just before he won his seat; and if memory serves me it was one of the reasons he won. He was one of the people who came in at the conclusion to play a critical role.

Representative DeFazio was my neighbor at this time, too, living in the house across the street from me, in Springfield, Oregon. I personally canvassed him at his house on this issue for the organization I was working for, which was tackling this problem, Oregon Fair Share. We had a nice talk about nuclear and other issues. He contributed and was a member of our organization. He is a very, very good man.

I rarely heard of Peter DeFazio on TV in the twenty-five plus years after that, when I was away from Oregon. DeFazio is one of the people who would tell you the truth, so obviously he would not be one of those speaking to you on TV during the W. Bush years. Interestingly, I saw Peter DeFazio on TV a number of times after Obama took office. I don’t consider this non-appearance and reemergence to be coincidence in either instance.

Summing up, these two items, lifeline utility rates and the default on WPPSS nuclear plants, show the success that can come of activism. They also demonstrate the importance of distributing accurate information to the public. Otherwise, ordinary folks are awash in a sea of misinformation, lies, and propaganda from all large, corporate, and wealthy entities and are vulnerable to any manipulation of them desired by such elites. Indeed, without such an informed public, no progress is possible. Ultimately, then, totalitarianism is the inevitable result.

Things Ain’t Bad Enough? This Leads Me to Uncover the Most Horrific, Hidden in Plain Sight, Truth of All Time

So, again, this perspective is rooted in my life experience. It arises out of my personal, passionate quest for truth; and it details a good deal of truth’s many aspects — personal, historical, social, cultural, political, especially spiritual, and so much more.

Unfortunately, while this quest was and is personally gratifying, it led me to the most disturbing truth of all time, something widely known, something dire, something so big that most people — in keeping with the times of smoke and lies — are fearfully distracting themselves from, even at the cost of their lives and those of their children.

That terrible truth and liberating vision is something I unveil over the course of this work, and in the four books that follow from this: The Necessary Revolution, Apocalypse Emergency, Apocalypse NO, and Wounded Deer and Centaurs.

We begin here, however, with the most important part of that terrible truth — the part that is a linchpin in doing anything about the other parts regarding the environment. This has to do with fascism and the truth. With the first and without the second there is no way to do anything about any of the problems of peace, justice, or the environment. We look next at how a society ever more controlled by its and the world’s wealthiest people increasingly also flooded the minds and media of America and the world’s citizens in many and comprehensive ways to benefit themselves. To benefit themselves, regardless the cost to truth, human lives, and the well-being of the world’s masses.

Amazingly, also, we see how the Filthy Rich, through their Republican proxies in government, needed to continue to up the ante in their assault on us, our money, and our liberty. Their views were coming increasingly under attack, and they were being seen to be what they are: Lies benefiting the rich. So that the ideas of the Left, with roots, many of them in the Sixties, showed their greater value in their increasingly popularity, even with all the assaults on them.

How a society could be increasingly progressive in the minds of its population yet its government and media be increasingly regressive is hard to understand; it doesn’t make sense. Yet despots throughout history have maintained such arrangements, however brutal their means. They have used the same weapons, as the Filthy Rich and Republicans today, to control otherwise rebellious populations, to set them in alignment with the ends they wish, not any of their own. It comes down to control. Control of power and of information. Control, with its accomplices “Might makes right,” “He who pays the piper calls the tune,” and “alternative facts.”

And, yes, it is happening here in the United States. .

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“1984” Comes to America — Slick, Gradual, and Perfect:

Dictatorship, Authoritarianism, and the Consequences of a Lack of Accountability

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[Quotes/highlights:] “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

“…liberal arts ideals in colleges were bulldozed away to make room in university curriculums for the career tracks leading directly into positions in management, medicine, law, and many new and highly specialized niches — usually the kind of specialization that would not occur until the postgraduate years, or after graduation directly on the job.”

“Increasingly over the years, a corporate-benefiting and more intensive indoctrination into outmoded and mechanical behavior, befitting a totalitarian state, had people more subdued, more contented in the ‘bread and circuses’ still provided them, even as their rights were incrementally and surreptitiously taken from them.”

“…with education and media suppression, along with an ongoing propaganda and misinformation campaign, Americans increasingly were wont to react with familiar though untrue and/or outdated ideas and truisms in the face of increasingly complex and tumultuous events.”

“…in America, we are better [sarcasm] because we just seduce folks away from higher aspirations of the soul to the lower base impulses that are satisfied with what money can buy. The corporations buy the talent of these ‘uneducated’ graduates and their potential for high achievement and all the rewards that come with rich lives of insight and personal growth. In exchange for their moneyed positions they receive an enlightenment lobotomy.”

“Since Kennedy’s time and because of the Vietnam War protests, I have seen an increasing web of deceit cover this land. I have witnessed things with my own eyes that have been changed when reported to the country and written into history books. I have watched the “1984” of George Orwell creep into America unnoticed — slick and gradual and perfect — as only the best minds, paid handsomely by the people with wealth, can concoct.”

“Bush’s dictatorship was the end result of the slick suppression of truth and manipulation of the masses that had its roots in the Fifties, took the helm after killing Kennedy, and went into all-out war stance when confronted by the backlash of the educated in the late Sixties and very early Seventies.”

“…we have seen W. Bush’s affront to the rule of law and manipulation of the masses for the ends of war simply brought to fruit with the installation of Trump. Worse still, we have seen the dictatorial aspirations of W. Bush more fully implemented by Trump. And it was done in a way to make those changes more difficult to undo.”

“You will see as we continue in this book how W. Bush’s crimes against the United States should not have been allowed to avoid investigation, as was the case under President Obama and with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Indeed, I wrote about this lack of investigation of the prior Bush administration by Obama at the time, in Obama’s first year, saying, ‘those who don’t know history are apt to repeat it, yet those whose history is not accurate cannot therefore know it and are guaranteed to repeat it.'”

“…Obama and Pelosi ensured that coverup of Republican crimes would continue. They set a precedent that even lies that lead to wars with over a million dead can be safely ignored after the fact.”

“The decision was made at the time of Ford’s pardon of Nixon, that the ‘stress-free’ functioning of society trumps justice, trumps accountability, trumps consequences. Although such sweeping under the rug of Republican crimes and treason favors the criminal and corrupt, that part is conveniently ignored….”

“…this thinking that the comfort of a few is more important than the rights of all came about — and it remains in effect in the government and media establishment to this day — making some folks to assert that Trump, currently, is free from accountability as president. This, despite having staged the most treasonous act of an American — an attempted violent overthrow of the government, with people murdered and many more planned to be — and doing it while himself president. This, despite Trump having engaged in espionage: removing nuclear secrets and lists of U.S. intelligence operatives — spies — for the purpose of selling to our adversaries.”

… the rise of liberal thinking in America since the Sixties has been kept at bay and largely fruitless despite its popularity. Indeed, I have heard it said that in the media — publication and broadcasting — there is a wall on the Left, blocking progressive thinking and ideas from showing up in the mainstream. My personal experience and observation agree with that.”

“…by 1975-1976, the wall on the Left of the mainstream had been erected and its door locked to keep out ‘pesky’ counterculture folk with their ‘annoying’ (to the Filthy Rich) ideas. Instead and specifically, books that benefit the profit-takers and powers-that-be, directly or indirectly, began being the ones put out by major publishers. A wall on the Left. A deluge of idiocy washing in from the Right, promoted by wealthy interests.”

“…this is a continuation of the kind of misinformation and attempts to change the narrative of events from one fitting more solidly on the pins of facts to one that is pleasing and supportive of the agendas of the wealthy.”

“…in hindsight after Trump’s abominable four years in his stolen office of the presidency, we see that the wealthy elites intent to control all aspects of the American mind and the American’s purse has no bounds. We see that even treason, espionage, insurrection, attempting a coup, separating children from their parents, inciting mass murder, and the overthrow of democracy and rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the separation of church and state, and the rights of a woman to make decisions about her body are fair game for our American (and Russian) totalitarians.”

“As I predicted in 2013, the forces under threat would, with their huge wealth, fight a ‘fierce rearguard action’ against the cultural elements threatening their values — their much cherished albeit profit-enabling values.”

“…this fight — this undeclared Class War/ Culture War — continues with one side, liberalism and the Left, rising in popularity among the masses, consistently and increasingly since the Sixties. And the other side — conservative and fascist, Republicans and the Right — are viewed with more and more disdain, as their ideas are revealed to be ineffective and irrelevant and their tactics increasingly corrupt and illegal, criminal, and this: treasonous.”

“…we all see that those regressive and irrelevant ideas, flooding us from the Right, remain more powerful than kinder and progressive ones. For the moneyed elites control minds and policy with their exorbitant wealth. They are able to shove their demented views down the minds of gullible Americans through massive media campaigns on Fox News and right-wing media, on the internet and otherwise. Sinclair Broadcasting’s control of the majority of local television news in America comes to mind.”

“It is difficult, to be sure, in the current environment awash with misinformation, much of it purposely targeted by Putin’s Russia to undermine America’s democracy and elections. It is a daunting task —surrounded by such walls of misinformation and lies — to know what is real and what is fabricated by moneyed interests to turn our minds in a particular direction, no matter how false, cruel, violent, or unfair.”

“…this is a time more dangerous and more unlike any time in history by far. Yet it is invigorating with promise and progressive change.”

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[Chapter 3 text begins:] Before the corporations and their ownership by an obscenely wealthy elite, there were the abominably well-off of other societies and economies — the filthy rich nobility that kept the peasants as virtual slaves.

Filthy Rich, Nobility, Peasants, Slaves

The point, I guess, is that we are all taught something quite different about America, from kindergarten on up. We see now it is all questionable: We see how the wealthy elite and the huge corporations use newspapers and the media more than anything else to ever advance their profit-seeking agenda. So I can only wonder how different this control of the media by the filthy rich is from the brainwashing and propaganda we heard that totalitarian societies engage in, especially the Communists in the Soviet Union that were used as examples for most of my life.

Still, is it corporations that do these things, the enslaving? Let us say it exactly so we can pinpoint who are really the actors. Is it not the people who own/run the corporations? So, that, in my opinion, makes it what one network (CNN, I think) who did a documentary years ago on the obscenely increased wealth and power of this class … occurring during the Bush Administration … termed “the Filthy Rich.” I think it is high time we started being specific about who is running America into the dirt.

White-Collar Slavery and Rat Racing

At the same time, along with this amassing of governmental power and institutional control over media, education, and so on — beginning in the early 1970s — it was deemed a good idea to use higher education to train people for corporate niches that were becoming increasingly complex.

So liberal arts ideals in colleges were bulldozed away to make room in university curriculums for the career tracks leading directly into positions in management, medicine, law, and many new and highly specialized niches — usually the kind of specialization that would not occur until the postgraduate years, or after graduation directly on the job. I’m talking, for example, about such tracks as international finance and the like, where formerly the student’s major would have been the more broadly encompassing and social-science-related study of economics.

College students were decreasingly being exposed to the great ideas of the millennia, ideas that had stood the test of time and influenced numerous societies and nations and individuals. Increasingly over the years, a corporate-benefiting and more intensive indoctrination into outmoded and mechanical behavior, befitting a totalitarian state, had people more subdued, more contented in the “bread and circuses” still provided them, even as their rights were incrementally and surreptitiously taken from them.

Alongside that, folks were less able to make rational decisions based on the facts. Media outlets reinforced the sheeple control of the masses, making it so Americans were more likely to know convenient slogans rather than the knowledge come of actual facts and critical thinking. This is what I refer to as the “rise of ‘obvious truths.’” By this I mean that with education and media suppression, along with an ongoing propaganda and misinformation campaign, Americans increasingly were wont to react with familiar though untrue and/or outdated ideas and truisms in the face of increasingly complex and tumultuous events.

Higher education did their part, as I said. The Big Ideas were not taught as much after 1971, making way for the power of the Big Lie to be employed later and ongoingly into current times. For example, if corporations were seen or heard to be needing, say, people knowledgeable in inter-managerial, mid-corporate, communicative intercourse and response, well entire four-year programs were built around that.

Add that kind of narrowly focused citizenry with its ephemeral knowledge and you have the kind of population that will do the bidding of the overseers and be happy for their fat paychecks — until their narrow niche of “knowledge” becomes obsolete because of the development of a new way of approaching or handling things, equally as ephemeral, but more efficient or something … and itself to become outmoded eventually.

Slaughtering Smart Folks

Such an “educated” yet narrowly focused citizenry will be happy for their paychecks, not knowing of any higher ideals than greed and accumulation. Lacking a more generalized view of their society, lacking a more comprehensive overview of the ocean of knowledge and science, such folks with specialized knowledge will not know of their enslavement. Such unsmart grads would not know of the historical predecessors to their manipulation or the like. They would not have training in original thought but rather in specialized training in decided upon processes and procedures and the jargon accompanying them. Hence, they would become rote learners of narrowly applicable and short-lived “knowledge.” This would remove the educated class as a barrier to any kind of totalitarian efforts.

So we can consider ourselves to be better in America. For totalitarianism — as, for example, under Stalin, Mao, or the Khmer Rouge — is usually accompanied by the slaughter of the educated. In my own lifetime, in Cambodia at least one million were killed wantonly, anyone with education was slated for death.

Enlightenment Lobotomies

However in America, we are better [sarcasm] because we just seduce folks away from higher aspirations of the soul to the lower base impulses that are satisfied with what money can buy. The corporations buy the talent of these “uneducated” graduates and their potential for high achievement and all the rewards that come with rich lives of insight and personal growth. In exchange for their moneyed positions they receive an enlightenment lobotomy. Precluding the freedom wrought of an expansive perspective — blocking that way to transcendence and fulfillment — such dumbed-down members of the “educated” class will be useful cogs in the corporate machine.

Should people feel dissatisfied — as we psychologists and liberal arts thinkers know they will sooner or later — others of their kind who took the medical or pharmaceutical tracks have conveniently produced the sedatives, palliatives, and opiates to keep them numb. I guess you could say these social palliatives — including as well, the entertainment industry, religion, and electronics — are the “breathing holes” that Kurt Cobain talked about. They may put you in a jar, but they’ll give you “breathing holes,” and you’ll think you’re happy, he sang.1

Slick, Gradual, and Perfect

So this look into American history notices a decades-long and increasing suppression of truth.

Since Kennedy’s time and because of the Vietnam War protests, I have seen an increasing web of deceit cover this land. I have witnessed things with my own eyes that have been changed when reported to the country and written into history books. I have watched the “1984” of George Orwell creep into America unnoticed — slick and gradual and perfect — as only the best minds, paid handsomely by the people with wealth, can concoct.

American Dictatorship

A well-regarded book about Bush’s America published shortly after George W. Bush left office, and tallying the actions and events of the W’s eight years, concludes without equivocation that America had become a dictatorship.

I believe that to be true. But even if it did not rise to that level, whatever it did rise to did not happen overnight and just because of one administration. Bush’s dictatorship was the end result of the slick suppression of truth and manipulation of the masses that had its roots in the Fifties, took the helm after killing Kennedy, and went into all-out war stance when confronted by the backlash of the educated in the Sixties and very early Seventies.

History, Doomed to Repeat

Having published this book in 2013 — this edition of 2022 being the revised, updated version — one easily sees how prescient the words of this book have been, how prophetic. For we have seen W. Bush’s affront to the rule of law and manipulation of the masses for the ends of war simply brought to fruition with the installation of Trump. Worse still, we have seen the dictatorial aspirations of W. Bush more fully implemented by Trump. And it was done in a way to make those changes more difficult to undo.

Trump was able to put people in positions of power difficult to remove — the Supreme Court, the head of the U.S. Postal Service, the head of the FBI, and many career positions in the Justice Department. Alongside the Trump appointees remaining at their posts, we have seen gerrymandering and the erosion of election rights allowing the absolute worst, the most “deplorable,” elements of society to hold positions of power in Congress under the Republican banner. Alongside that, we have watched the continued onslaught of the democracy of the U.S., with ever more vicious attacks on human rights, our elections, and ever-increasing gun violence, fueled by GOP policy.

You will see as we continue in this book how W. Bush’s crimes against the United States should not have been allowed to avoid investigation, as was the case under President Obama and with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Indeed, I wrote about this lack of investigation of the prior Bush administration by Obama at the time, in Obama’s first year, saying, “those who don’t know history are apt to repeat it, yet those whose history is not accurate cannot therefore know it and are guaranteed to repeat it.”

And we see that has happened in that Obama and Pelosi let W. Bush slide, allowed the narrative that he was a respectable president — worthy of all the accolades of the office. In that way Obama and Pelosi ensured that coverup of Republican crimes would continue. They set a precedent that even lies that lead to wars with over a million dead can be safely ignored after the fact.

President Barrack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in forgoing the investigation of Republican crimes during the years the GOP headed the government under George W. Bush, under the guise that — like Gerald Ford’s reasoning about pardoning Nixon — such unsavory aspects of politics should be put behind us as soon as possible, nevertheless also set a horrible precedent. Which is, that the office of the presidency would be so excessively regarded … and protected …as to allow the most egregious acts of the president and his entourage to go by unnoticed by the media, and free of accountability or consequences, assuming you are a Republican.

And such folks, whose actions had been illegal, fraudulent, corrupt, and even treasonous would remain media and governmental figures with all honors and privileges, regardless the criminality of their acts. The decision was made at the time of Ford’s pardon of Nixon, that the “stress-free” functioning of society trumps justice, trumps accountability, trumps consequences. Although such sweeping under the rug of Republican crimes and treason favors the criminal and corrupt, that part is conveniently ignored when presenting this rationale. That criminality in government that is not investigated and rooted out sufficiently will remain to lift its diabolical head in a not-too-distant future is also not considered.

This rationale behind the pardon of Nixon was reinforced again in 2000 when the Supreme Court ruled that the smooth functioning of society — which in their minds requires only conservatives be allowed in positions of power — and the peace of the nation was more important than the accuracy of the election process. For Al Gore had amassed enough votes in Florida to actually win the election; this was determined not long after the Supreme Court awarded the presidency to W. Bush.

Regardless the supposed “legality” of all these events and their abundantly funded albeit twisted rationales, the occurrence of these frontal assaults on justice in our history makes the America of the 2020’s more like the totalitarian states of China and Russia than anyone influential would ever publicly admit.

Indeed, this thinking that the comfort of a few is more important than the rights of all came about — and it remains in effect in the government and media establishment to this day — making some folks to assert that Trump, currently, is free from accountability as president. This, despite having staged the most treasonous act of an American — an attempted violent overthrow of the government, with people murdered and many more planned to be — and doing it while himself president. This, despite Trump having engaged in espionage: removing nuclear secrets and lists of U.S. intelligence operatives — spies — for the purpose of selling to our adversaries.

Much as in the same way Presidents Ronald Reagan — Contragate, for example — and H. W. Bush’s … the Silverado scandal and the Savings and Loan Crisis … crimes in office were left without consequence, which allowed the ascension of W. Bush and his illegal and costly Iraqi war. Much as Gerald Ford and the Republicans of 1974 allowed the rise of Ronald Reagan, as a consequence of Gerald Ford’s pardoning of Richard Nixon in 1975.

All these are ways, and there are many more, that the rise of liberal thinking in America since the Sixties has been kept at bay and largely fruitless despite its popularity. Indeed, I have heard it said that in the media — publication and broadcasting — there is a wall on the Left, blocking progressive thinking and ideas from showing up in the mainstream. My personal experience and observation agree with that.

In point of fact, the first book I wrote in 1970, I sought to get published in 1975. The book deals with mysticism as it relates to the youth of the counterculture. My literary agent edited it professionally and sent it out to publishers for a year. As he put it, these kinds of work were being picked up just a year prior (1974), but now no publisher wanted to touch them. This is how I am a first-hand witness to one of the specific ways publication and the media were restructured after the Sixties. So that by 1975-1976, the wall on the Left of the mainstream had been erected and its door locked to keep out “pesky” counterculture folk with their “annoying” (to the Filthy Rich) ideas. Instead and specifically, books that benefit the profit-takers and powers-that-be, directly or indirectly, began being the ones put out by major publishers. A wall on the Left. A deluge of idiocy washing in from the Right, promoted by wealthy interests.

I might mention that even some of the more traditional liberal tomes are being removed from university, school, and mainstream availability at this very time. Compare that also with the assault by the Right on what it calls “Critical Race Theory.” Not only is the term, Critical Race Theory, suspect, but also what it actually refers to are the views of history and society showing the way racism is endemic in our society and has been through history.

And to deny that clearly evident and observable endemic racism all around us is to deny facts, is to concoct a history more suitable to Controllers, less likely to “rile up the masses” and threaten their places in power. As you will see coming up, this is a continuation of the kind of misinformation and attempts to change the narrative of events from one fitting more solidly on the pins of facts to one that is pleasing and supportive of the agendas of the wealthy.

As I predicted in 2013, the forces under threat would, with their huge wealth, fight a fierce rearguard action against the cultural elements threatening their values — their much cherished albeit profit-enabling values. Concerning Critical Race Theory, above, I notice Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has forbidden such ideas to be shared at the educational banquet of thought. Not bad enough, just yesterday this paragon of “1984” thinking has decreed that no school or university will get funding if they do not have the correct beliefs among its faculty and students. Specifically, students and teachers will have to yearly fill out a survey where they will be questioned about their political and other beliefs.

So, no, my analogy of America becoming like the dystopian society of George Orwell’s novel, 1984, is more than a metaphorical frame of perspective. It is all too real, as we will see increasingly in this work and especially in the next one in the Series, which is titled, The Necessary Revolution.2

Returning to the class war embroiled with these details, I didn’t think I needed to add that that battle between the obscenely filthy rich and all classes below them would not be a fair one or would abide by any democratic principles, as is the case when money and power, not principles, govern the actions of a nation’s decision-makers.

For the record, though, in hindsight after Trump’s abominable four years in his stolen office of the presidency, we see that the wealthy elites intent to control all aspects of the American mind and the American’s purse has no bounds. We see that even treason, espionage, insurrection, attempting a coup, separating children from their parents, inciting mass murder, and the overthrow of democracy and rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the separation of church and state, and the rights of a woman to make decisions about her body are fair game for our American (and Russian) totalitarians.

So this fight — this undeclared Class War/ Culture War — continues with one side, liberalism and the Left, rising in popularity among the masses, consistently and increasingly since the Sixties. And the other side — conservative and fascist, Republicans and the Right — are viewed with more and more disdain, as their ideas are revealed to be ineffective and irrelevant and their tactics increasingly corrupt and illegal, criminal, and this: treasonous.

Yet we all see that those regressive and irrelevant ideas, flooding us from the Right, remain more powerful than kinder and progressive ones. For the moneyed elites control minds and policy with their exorbitant wealth. They are able to shove their demented views down the minds of gullible Americans through massive media campaigns on Fox News and right-wing media, on the internet and otherwise. Sinclair Broadcasting’s control of the majority of local television news in America comes to mind.

All this said, what possibilities are there to know the truth? It is difficult, to be sure, in the current environment awash with misinformation, much of it purposely targeted by Putin’s Russia to undermine America’s democracy and elections. It is a daunting task —surrounded by such walls of misinformation and lies — to know what is real and what is fabricated by moneyed interests to turn our minds in a particular direction, no matter how false, cruel, violent, or unfair.

Yet books like this are available for those who wish their minds to be free. The internet, as well, though seething with Russian and corporate lies, still allows people-to-people connections where, if nowhere else, actual truth can be revealed and shared. The internet is, I believe, our one solid hope and our primary weapon against the pervasive corporate-benefiting Matrix that binds us.

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Now, that glimpse from the hilltop completed, let us descend the valley and see what got us to this apocalyptic pass — to this time on the verge of fascism, global tyranny, world war, global pandemic, expanding totalitarianism, and planetary implosion: all of it, every bit of it, being rooted in the obscene differences in income and wealth between the supremely filthy rich and all the rest of us. All of it rooted in class war.

For, this is a time more dangerous and more unlike any time in history by far. Yet it is invigorating with promise and progressive change. There is certainly plenty to be done.

Importantly, this ultimate Earth struggle for survival and freedom, arises in a historical context of events that explain it, advise it, open doors to solutions, foretell its unfolding events, and even give us hope for the future. And to this we now turn.

We begin, ever, at the roots. The Sixties changed everything.

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[Quotes/highlights:] “These instances may be seen as the examples of the use of ‘The Big Lie’ as a major, sometimes the only, strategy in conservatives’ attempts to fight back against this outpouring of sensitivity to injustice at all levels, as evidenced by an increasing liberalization of values among the populace.”

“…the media’s active refusal to cover events could be seen as a small, albeit influential, aspect of a much larger effort — however unconsciously carried out — at suppression of the new values and reinforcement of traditional ones by the powerful interests that those values, if successful, either directly or indirectly put in jeopardy.”

“Some commentators in the Seventies speculated that established societal powers had been caught off guard by the initial fervor and tenacity of counterculture energy and demonstrations, but that toward the end of the Sixties and early Seventies there had been time to regroup.”

“…this decline of interest in the Sixties Generation and its values, as exhibited in the counterculture, was part of a concerted effort by the media. The media in collusion with the threatened established sectors of society benefiting the wealthy clearly acted to firmly put a lid on student and youthful dissent and unrest and to stifle the counterculture.”

“…the media played a large and active part in the ‘disappearance’ of this generation. It has been noted, for example, as simply one indicator, that 90% of youth protests were reported by the media in 1969, but only 20 to 25% were covered in 1970-71, and only 1% of such dissident activities could be found in the media coverage of 1972.”

“Donald Trump has surpassed all in his use of The Big Lie as his one and only stratagem. His camp has invented ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ as alternate realities within which to enslave their followers. That nearly 40% of Americans buy into the new, improved ‘reality’ fascism and Russian takeover of democracy is an astonishing and ominous fact of our current times.”

“…these puppeteers owned the media and therefore controlled what the public would be told; they were the main sources of income for universities across the country, so they controlled what would be rolled out as truth and knowledge. Ultimately, these wealthy elite could fund politicians and speakers … and radio and TV show hosts … who would speak their Big Lies. They really had all the weapons to roundly put down this band of youthful idealists whose only weapons were truth, and righteous feeling, and passion of youth, and clarity of youthful mind.”

“…with the constant and pervasive repetition of a ‘conservative backlash,’ the media had a big influence on taking the wind out of the sails of many of the youth.”

“…this cadre of youth retained their values into later life. It became common to hear that these motivated youth decided on a strategy of playing the game to gain entrance to the positions of power and to change the structures of violence and hatred from within.”

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[Chapter 4 text begins:] Whatever happened to Sixties youth? What became of the values, aspirations, ideals, and energy that manifested in those turbulent but exciting, angry but supremely hopeful years? So many books were written about this unusual generation and its revolutionary values. I cite, as only one example, the works of social psychologist Kenneth Keniston who reported on his research in studying the psychological makeup of both activists and hippie types of this generation. His well-regarded and widely read works include The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society (1965) and Young Radicals: Notes on Revolutionary Youth (1968).

“Dirty Hippies!”

Indeed, there was a time during the 1960s, when the influence of the “baby-boomer” youth generation was everywhere to be found. Their activities were broadcast daily on the TV news. They were making political events. They were setting trends in fashion and style which business did its worst to copy, package, and sell — attempting thereby to cash in on such powerful enthusiasms. They created an entire alternative culture in America — the counterculture — which still exists in some areas. They were primary actors in a “shocking” — to conservatives — worldwide sexual revolution, which has continued into today. They experimented with mind-expanding drugs, which have become even more popular since and are seen to be increasingly beneficial. They began an environmental movement whose importance has only increased in the decades since.

Yet suddenly, faster than their appearance, this generation of youth faded from significance in the early Seventies. At the time, commentators were falling over each other attempting to fit a rationale to the relative disappearance of youth influence and the comparative placidity of events.

A common explanation that surfaced in those days was that many youth leaders, particularly activists, had begun being disillusioned about the effectiveness and results of confrontational politics.

Some argued that activists were beginning to “look inward” for the roots of problems or were reevaluating and seeking to come up with better ways of eliciting change. As for the less activist sectors of the youth culture — those referred to by the originally pejorative terms “flower children” or “hippies” — many had moved out of the cities, often in disgust and equal disillusionment, to the countryside.

There they were reputed to be actively carrying out their “back to nature” values singly, in couples, and in communal groups. As far as the larger culture was concerned, they were invisible.

What happens to a revolution not televised:

Others have asserted that the media played a large and active part in the “disappearance” of this generation. It has been noted, for example, as simply one indicator, that 90% of youth protests were reported by the media in 1969, but only 20 to 25% were covered in 1970-71, and only 1% of such dissident activities could be found in the media coverage of 1972.

One could argue in response to this that demonstrations were becoming commonplace, so they qualified less as news as time went by. Yet this reasoning does not fully explain the precipitous nature of this decline, nor the resulting virtual elimination of coverage. In respect to comparable events of recent times, such a pattern has elicited the label “media cover-up.”

Killing “The Sixties”

It is therefore much more likely — and there has been evidence and published commentary to this effectthat this decline of interest in the Sixties Generation and its values, as exhibited in the counterculture, was part of a concerted effort by the media. The media in collusion with the threatened established sectors of society benefiting the wealthy clearly acted to firmly put a lid on student and youthful dissent and unrest and to stifle the counterculture.

Keeping the People Down

I myself have knowledge and personal experience of how a similar suppression at exactly this time was perpetrated on university campuses.

Enlightenment lobotomies … again

Specifically, at the college I was attendingFranklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania — and other colleges and universities around the country in 1971, wealthy alumni threatened to withdraw funding unless (1) certain faculty members, considered “threatening” to established interests, were fired, (2) certain programsconsidered too innovative, “disruptive,” or “instigative”were cut back or eliminated, and (3) certain “unorthodox,” “undisciplined,” or “publicly disrespectful” student behaviors were discouraged, suppressed, and/or harshly responded to and clamped down on.

The total remaking of society, so such a generation would never arise again

Indeed, such active “blacklisting” of counterculture figures, behavior, and values on university campuses seemed to be part of a general dictum across institutionsincluding publishing, films, TV, education at all levels, medicine and science, and the workplaceto actively fight back at what was seen as dire threats to traditional mainstream values. These are indoctrinated values, incidentally, that were calculated to placate the masses and keep them, as for hundreds of years, feeling nervous, unworthy, inferior, and slavish in relation to the wealthy and powerful.

Culture War and Matrix Beginnings

The Fear We Engendered in the Privileged

Some commentators in the Seventies speculated that established societal powers had been caught off guard by the initial fervor and tenacity of counterculture energy and demonstrations, but that toward the end of the Sixties and early Seventies there had been time to regroup.

Declaration of Culture War

A massively funded attack by “the establishment”

These established forces and economic interests began to implement a well-conceived, hugely funded, well-orchestrated, and highly cooperative counteroffensive against the new cultural values, which in their minds represented a dagger poised at the heart of their very existence.

From this perspective, then, the media’s active refusal to cover events could be seen as a small, albeit influential, aspect of a much larger efforthowever unconsciously carried outat suppression of the new values and reinforcement of traditional ones by the powerful interests that those values, if successful, either directly or indirectly put in jeopardy.

Creating a “conservative backlash”

With these considerations, it is understandable that in 1971 and 1972despite increasing unrest and demonstrations on college campuses, increasing liberalization of values among all age groups and growing liberal and counterculture political powerthere would be a number of books published and widely reviewed that closed their eyes on all this. Instead, they presented dubious evidence and selectively chosen incidents to make a case for a so-called “conservative backlash,” which there is no doubt the authors earnestly hoped for and fervently sought to bring about in their proclamation of it.

The same tactics were used during Obama’s terms to create a conservative Tea Party “movement.” They are being used now to support the defeated and twice impeached Trump. His supporters continue to maintain, along with Trump himself, the Big Trumpian Lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

These instances may be seen as the examples of the use of “The Big Lie” as a major, sometimes the only, strategy in conservatives’ attempts to fight back against this outpouring of sensitivity to injustice at all levels, as evidenced by an increasing liberalization of values among the populace.

Strong man truth — Big lies!! … big ones

As background: The Big Lie basically amounts to the idea that you can say the most outlandish thing long enough, loud enough, and from the highest pulpit, and eventually it becomes accepted fact. No doubt, its use can be traced to the earliest times of civilized history and is certainly evident in this past century in the tactics of Hitler and Mussolini, where it played crucial and primary roles.

However, its more recent re-emergence in contemporary America and its rise to the heights of skillful political brandishment came in the hands, first, of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Later it had its most pervasive use, however awkward and skill-less, during the eight years of George W. Bush, where Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and others took it to such moronic lengths they eventually were seen to be what they were — big lies, with no attempt to educate the public at all; but simply to cover up and to manipulate, like common criminals would.

Most recently, though, Donald Trump has surpassed all in his use of The Big Lie as his one and only stratagem. His camp has invented “alternative facts” and “fake news” as alternate realities within which to enslave their followers. That nearly 40% of Americans buy into the new, improved “reality” fascism and Russian takeover of democracy is an astonishing and ominous fact of our current times.

Nevertheless, these later major uses, in fact the evolution of The Big Lie into the only strategy of Republican politics, may find its beginnings in such publications as these books from the early Seventies, as well as to its highly skilled, and much documented, use by Richard Nixon throughout his political career.

Creating Their Own Reality — It’s Their World, We Only Just Live in It

The Success of The Big Lie, and Its Eventual Morphing into the Big Web of Deceit, More Easily termed The Matrix

The hidden puppeteers

Whereas Sixties youth had only their enthusiasm and their heartfelt passion to allow a world of freedom, and all the other values espoused in our Constitution, they were up against huge entrenched, and filthy with wealth, nameless puppeteers. The wealth of these puppet masters got them any support they wanted for anything.

In the Sixties, these wealthy manipulators sensed a threat to the status quo, hearing about idealistic notions of equality, freedom, and such. But they also knew that their positions depended not on the actual enjoyment of the masses of their supposed “freedoms” but only of ordinary folks being convinced they had them.

Culture War, Beginnings: Trauma at the Top:

“Our Youth Have Gone Crazy! They Actually Believe That Claptrap About Rights and Freedom That We Put in Schoolbooks to Keep the Masses Complacent! They’re Daring to Use Them!”

So it was a huge threat to see masses of people proclaiming their rights and actually daring to use them. They could be slowed down in using their rights by having them violently bludgeoned by police and riled up construction workers in Chicago; they could be taken off track perhaps, by having several of them killed at Kent State; and they could be continually arranged to be misreported in the media and maligned as well. But this seemed to make them only more determined.

Paying the piper, calling the tune

Still, these puppeteers owned the media and therefore controlled what the public would be told; they were the main sources of income for universities across the country, so they controlled what would be rolled out as truth and knowledge. Ultimately, these wealthy elite could fund politicians and speakers … and radio and TV show hosts … who would speak their Big Lies. They really had all the weapons to roundly put down this band of youthful idealists whose only weapons were truth, and righteous feeling, and passion of youth, and clarity of youthful mind.

No contest

It was no contest, especially as only one side, the Controllers, was fully aware that they were at war. Indeed the other side, the progressive youth most of themhad no inkling of the powers behind the scenes. That reality would of course be left out of the history and sociology books they had readfunded by the puppeteers of course.

Many Sixties youth even began to believe that they had lost their cause and that most Americans were lashing back at them. This would be disheartening to many; especially to those who had seen the coming together of middle class, upper middle class, and working class to join in mass movements like the one million who showed up from all over the country to be at Moratorium Day on November 15, 1969. In this way, with the constant and pervasive repetition of a “conservative backlash,” the media had a big influence on taking the wind out of the sails of many of the youth.

Living Under the Big (Conservative) Lie

Other youth activists of the Sixties felt they must have been wrong in their beliefs because they had now, according to the media, become the enemy of those they hoped would see the wisdom of these values that basically came from them! That is to say that young radicals in general had come from middle class liberal family backgrounds. They always felt they were carrying out the values their parents had taught them.

For them, then, to be violently attacked by the institutions of the establishment, which they had been taught embodied their parent’s liberal and just values, struck them not just as hypocrisy. More than that, to have the parental generation turn on them, they felt to be not just ignorant and hypocritical, but hurtful. For it demonstrated they had been fed a matrix of lies about what America was all about.

“First, We’ll Instill Doubt in the Masses, Thereby Creating Division”

These youth saw the country come awake to their values through massive movements like the antiwar movement and the cultural flowering, which older and middle-class folks were increasingly taking on themselves. It was therefore disconcerting and confusing to be told they were actually at odds with a conservative majority, a “silent majority.” This wasn’t true, but that would not be obvious to them at the time. So, thinking the country was at odds with the actual following through on the values of their parents and the liberal worlds they grew up in, doubt was palpable.

“Next, We’ll Push Them Into Poverty, Thereby Eliminating Alternatives”

For these youth, their response, unfortunately, was to try to reintegrate with the society they had thrown behind them, but now saw as the only one possible.

“Last, We’ll Compel Obedience”

Still, this cadre of youth retained their values into later life. It became common to hear that these motivated youth decided on a strategy of playing the game to gain entrance to the positions of power and to change the structures of violence and hatred from within. To some extent they succeeded, as we see from the careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and Peter DeFazio, to give just four names of many that could have been used.

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In this, “Part One: Culture War — Truth,” we have overviewed some of the major forces at work in America from the 1950s till today. We saw how what would be thought to be true would be that which had been overly promoted and orchestrated by the wealthy elite, the Filthy Rich, who had total control of the media.

Outside of the influences from on high, we notice another factor, a psychological one, which affects if and how truth would be seen. This relates to the vast differences in recreational drugs in use by the various generations over the past seventy-plus years. We will look into this in the next Part of this book: “Culture War — Generations.” To that we now turn.

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PART TWO

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Culture War — Generations

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World War Two Generation, Alcohol and Tobacco:

“I Need a Drink … Booze and Tobacco Are Perfect Drugs for a Generation Rooted in Denial and Recklessness

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[Quotes/highlights:] “Alcohol numbs pain and creates a euphoric state by blotting out higher-order cerebral-cortical functioning. It reduces access to memory, diminishes physio-motor skills, blocks anxiety, depression, and nervousness.

“These effects alone make it the perfect drug to create and sustain a defensive style centered on denial…”

“There have historically been entire generations (see below) as well as individuals during any period who have kept themselves ‘under the influence’ pretty much all the time, sometimes considering it to be the natural state.”

“…how a cigarette is the perfect breast substitute. Not only does it engage the oral sensory gestalt, but the breathing in of a warm and full air simulates the taking in of warm mother’s milk.”

“Smoking tobacco re-creates for the smoker both the desired warm relaxation — which the neonate or infant would have experienced if he or she would have been tenderly held and breastfed — as well as the depression/sadness which actually was experienced in infancy because the need to nurse was not satisfied.”

“…the physical and psychological effects of sucking in a ‘smoke’ are those of (psychologically) sucking back, or inside, one’s feelings and anger…”

“…the true version of the events that led to such genocide would never be related in history books. And who would ever want to believe that the formative events of great nations … or the calamitous, genocidal events of other nations … could be instigated by a rash action from a small group of idiotic old men in a full-on state of intoxication?”

“Pointing out the normality and ritualizing of alcohol use in this era of the WWII Generation is important because it is an indication of the pervasiveness, at any time of day, of the state of consciousness — that is to say, intoxication — that this potent drug produces.”

“Yet in the WWII-Generation era, normal cultural, business, and social intercourse was often conducted in such an intoxicated state. Heady decisions concerning war, peace, and everything else were influenced by this culturally accepted drug use.”

“World War Two, therefore, was conducted and fought by a generation who grew up to believe that alcohol and cigarettes (nicotine) were an acceptable answer to unpleasantness — whether inside or outside of themselves. Alongside this and supporting it were an attitude and beliefs that negative — that is, unpleasant — emotions and feelings were harmful and should be kept out of consciousness. Thus, denial was the predominant defense in use by the World War Two Generation and defensiveness was their style.”

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[Chapter 5 text begins:] In continuing our exploration of cultural and generational conflict and the Matrix evolving out of that, it is instructive to focus on an aspect of that conflict that has burned with controversy — drug usage.

Drugs and Generations

Since drugs affect consciousness and personality and different substances have different effects, looking at the polar opposite views on consciousness-altering substances is especially fruitful.

For additional perspective on the topic of culture war and the processes of cultural change that have gone on since the 1950s between and because of the different generations involved, let us consider the relation between particular drugs, with each their own unique effects on consciousness, and the generation that uses them. Or, we might say … let us look at the prevailing drug use of a time and the generational culture that is created.

The next three chapters cover “Opposing Worlds,” which deals with the World War Two, Fifties, and the Sixties Generations and their drug usage. Chapters following that are about “Concocted Worlds.” They bring attention to the generations since — Generation X and Millennial — and their recreational preferences and cultural profiles.

To begin, I present some salient facts for your consideration:

Drugs and Consciousnesses

Drug Research, Public and Private

While it is common to state that drugs act differently on different people — especially, when referring to the less-mainstream, more esoteric ones, whose effects have not been experienced by the majority of people as yet — there are some obvious generalizations that can be made. For example, we would not say that we could not comment on the effects of alcohol. Its effects on the neurochemistry of the brain and on consciousness have been fully and scientifically explored, and of course its effects have been experienced by nearly everyone in our culture. Similarly, though research on the effects of the less-mainstream drugs have not been as thoroughly explored and documented, there is, in fact, quite a substantial body of scientific and popular literature on this, especially over the last half century.

Because of the widespread drug use of the Sixties Generation, massive amounts of money were spent to try to determine how and in what way people are affected by the substances they used. Though this research has largely been driven by a World-War-Two-Generation desire to find fault with the drugs, so that the research is biased toward looking for and of course then coming up with findings that would be considered negative, still, the research has a good deal of useful information if you can read “between the lines,” so to speak.

Alongside mainstream research there is also a considerable body of privately funded research, which is therefore less biased, as well as a sizable body of anecdotal research on drug effects. By this last I mean that there is a good deal of literature detailing what people have said they have experienced while under the influence of the various substances.

What follows is based on study of both kinds of research described above, as well as from reports by experiencers related to the author. Last but not least, it is a result of the fact that this author is a member of the Sixties Generation, born smack in the middle, in 1950, and it may be concluded that I share some of the characteristics of my generation. Enough said, or, see below.

Drug Effects — Alcohol

Alcohol was a drug of choice for the World-War-Two Generation, much more than it is for generations today. As we continue, consider how that drug’s effects might have contributed to that era’s historical events.

Alcohol numbs pain and creates a euphoric state by blotting out higher-order cerebral-cortical functioning. It reduces access to memory, diminishes physio-motor skills, blocks anxiety, depression, and nervousness.

These effects alone make it the perfect drug to create and sustain a defensive style centered on denial. Indeed, the drug can be said to “block out reality” in that one can be unaware of aspects of reality that could end up being dangerous and harmful while simultaneously enhancing the positive aspects of reality in an almost manic way. One can feel unafraid and unaware in the face of pain and danger, as well as one can feel confident and overoptimistic in terms of one’s evaluations of oneself, one’s capabilities, and the potential consequences of one’s actions.

We can say these are blocks to reality in that very often reality intervenes, through accidents, adverse social reactions, and the reevaluation of grandiose schemes afterwards “in the cold light of sobriety.” Most often, in the light of day, alcohol-fueled dreams and intentions are seen to be unrealistic in that they did not take into account other aspects which would prevent their success.

There have historically been entire generations (see below) as well as individuals during any period who have kept themselves “under the influence” pretty much all the time, sometimes considering it to be the natural state. For these folks who rarely venture into that state where decisions and plans are evaluated in a sober “cold light,” we know that the effect is a blocking out of reality in that the result of acting on the drug-influenced decisions and schemes is most often failure. It is actually disastrous, one way or the other, a good deal of the time more than would be the case following soberly decided acts. Alcohol-fueled decisions can result in acts leading to harm to the person, to others, or to the physical or social environment.

Drug Effects — Nicotine

There are three relevant effects of nicotine: It is a stimulant; it causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and can cause sweating from the speeding up of metabolism. This allows it to be used to aid in working situations, where continued or repetitive action is required, beyond what a person would normally wish to do. However, it is not useful in, say, sporting types of action in that another effect of nicotine is a diminished physio-motor capacity. For example, people will sometimes complain of feelings of “wooziness” and/or its affecting one’s sense of balance, particularly if one has taken a greater amount of the drug or is unaccustomed to its effects.

Nicotine can paradoxically create a depressing effect. This effect on the body can be felt as a relaxation, and sometimes, but only at its onset, as a relatively short-lasting feeling of a surrounding warm numbness, which is sometimes termed a buzz. Thus, a person can feel relaxed, sometimes to the point of mental depression, but simultaneously be metabolically stimulated. These effects are related to certain psychological effects of taking the drug, if it is taken in the form of smoked tobacco, as in cigarette or pipe smoking.

Arthur Janov — the originator of primal therapy and hence founder of primal psychology — has pointed out how a cigarette is the perfect breast substitute. Not only does it engage the oral sensory gestalt, but the breathing in of a warm and full air simulates the taking in of warm mother’s milk. Indeed, people who smoke have often, in psychotherapy, discovered they have severe deprivations around nursing during the neonatal and infancy periods. The appeal of cigarette smoking, then, for these people, lies in its ability to both engage and to some degree temporarily satisfy the oral craving carried over from infancy. Smoking tobacco re-creates for the smoker both the desired warm relaxation — which the neonate or infant would have experienced if he or she would have been tenderly held and breastfed — as well as the depression/sadness which actually was experienced in infancy because the need to nurse was not satisfied.

We will see again and again this interesting pattern in drug effects, which helps to explain their appeal, in that very often they both assuage an underlying Pain as well as re-create it, either simultaneously or at different times of the drug experience. Primal and other psychologists have learned, of course, that those are the two motivations that emanate from early Pain. That is, that a person, for one thing, is driven to run away from and to avoid her or his Pain. Yet, for another, “the body” … as it is sometimes said … pushes the person to re-create the original situation, over and over again, in what may be considered the psyche’s way of trying to resolve it. Put simply, we are psychologically designed to be forever faced with our problems until we handle them. In the case of primal pain, we stay stuck in the patterns and sensations of our past traumas until we resolve them.

A final effect of cigarette use is its ability to repress anger. Considering the above, it can be seen why cigarette smoking would be related to an “oral rage,” which is how some psychologists have described one of the emotional reactions to nursing deprivation. Stated plainly, a baby would be extremely pissed-off to not get the comforting and nourishing experience of breastfeeding that a human is biologically designed to crave. This anger remains inside, like all primal emotions, and is easily and often brought to consciousness, triggered by the frustrations of normal life, if nothing else.

However, the physical and psychological effects of sucking in a “smoke” are those of (psychologically) sucking back, or inside, one’s feelings and anger or reversing the natural push of anger which is to lash outwardly. These effects are connected with a kind of holding or controlling of one’s breath that occurs with cigarette smoking. Which is also related to the attempt to hold back or control one’s anger in that breathing and emotions are connected (let’s not get into that just here). The physical and psychological effects are also related to replacing the urge to anger with the soothing warm intake described above, the deprivation of which, in nursing, helped to cause the rage in the first place. Last but not least, tobacco intake creates a state of consciousness altered from the one of anger — one in which feelings are hazily confused and not clear and in which thinking and memory are somewhat impaired.

Alcohol, History, and Cultures

Lest one think the effects of alcohol are of no consequence on the events of history, we need take a look at said history.

Medieval Times, Drunken Adolescents at War

For example, the Hundred Years’ War between England and France during the Middle Ages was fought by adolescents whose primary beverage was wine. In fact, there was one campaign in which England was raiding and advancing into France which turned into a precipitous retreat back to England. Because the French turned them back, stopped them? No. There was little resistance to their advance. However, they did run out of wine! Unable to acquire the needed wine in France … for what reason, I do not know … they could not continue.

History also reports that The Hundred Years’ War was ordered and commanded, oftentimes, by royalty and kings in their teens, who considered a daylong, somewhat intoxicated state to be normal; and it was fought by drunken adolescents and teenagers for the most part.

911 and Phantom WMDs, Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, Sinking of The Maine … But at the Start There Was the Wyoming Valley “Massacre”

I have mentioned how the Hundred Years’ War was fought by intoxicated teenagers. It can be added that other wars, including America’s own War of Independence, were fought by inebriated soldiers. For example, “in a severe battle, General Putnam, who was almost perforated with bullets, complained most of all, that a shot had passed through his canteen and spilt all his rum….”

Moreover, major events in colonial times were brought about by alcohol-saturated actors. The Wyoming Valley Massacre, in which a handful of colonists were killed by Native Americans, was precipitous in American’s involvement in the extermination of established Native American cultures and nations — Mohawk, Seneca, especially the Iroquois. The reaction to the “massacre” was a crusade up and around the Hudson Valley in which the Iroquois, among others, were largely eliminated from the face of the Earth. “If they surrendered, they were killed … if they fled, they were killed,” it was written of the nature of this campaign.

What is not very well known is the nature of the precipitating event, the Wyoming Valley Massacre. The true story is that while a number of adult settlers in their prime were off fighting in the Revolutionary war, a group of older, elderly, and fringe citizens gathered one night. Under the heavy influence of alcoholic spirits, the group riled each other up with fiery rhetoric against the nearby Native Americans.

This pumped-up inebriation resulted in a hastily put together, drunken assault against their Native American neighbors. Naturally these elderly inebriated attackers did not fare very well in their attempt, and the Native’s response had the colonists retreating to their fort. Not everyone made it. About four were captured by Natives. It is said the stragglers’ screams could be heard that night from inside the wall of the fort as they were killed by the Native American defenders.

This “massacre” was built up and slanted against Native Americans for propaganda reasons to garner the colonists’ full-handed participation in the war, with its extermination of Native peoples, as mentioned. It was quite successful in accomplishing that. Consequently, also, the true version of the events that led to such genocide would never be related in history books. And who would ever want to believe that the formative events of great nations … or the calamitous, genocidal events of other nations … could be instigated by a rash action from a small group of idiotic old men in a full-on state of intoxication?

World-War-Two Generation, Driving — Wars and Culture — “Under the Influence”

The World-War-Two Generation grew up in a time in which alcohol use was considered fashionable and elegant. It was common and acceptable for men to carry, in their shirt or coat pockets, flasks of potent whiskey or other hard liquor, from which they could publicly imbibe a swallow here and there throughout the day. And they were able to, as well. For in those days it was acceptable to drink while at work in many occupations, including white color ones, where a “two-martini lunch” became a thing. When the World-War-Two Generation came of age, cigarette smoking also became fashionable.

We can see evidence of these patterns around alcohol and cigarette use in the movies produced in the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties. Any unpleasant occurrence or announcement could be followed by “I need a drink” or “Sounds like you could use a drink.” And offering a drink of hard liquor was considered the first act in the normal ritual of hospitality. Also, offering someone a cigarette and/or offering to light another’s cigarette were considered a normal part of genteel behavior.

Elegant accouterments accompanied these rituals as well. Ornate, elegant, and often finely crafted metal flasks were purchased and used. In the same way, elegant crystal and glass containers for holding the liquors as well as elaborate and ritually designed glasses into which the alcoholic beverages were poured were commonly owned and used in genteel culture. In middle-class homes, it was considered fashionable to have a “bar” area in one’s living room containing these liquors, each in separate crystal containers, and the glasses for serving them.

Many a conversation in the movies of the era were shown to be conducted at or near these home bars, following upon the alcoholic bonding ritual of pouring and imbibing the drink. This ritual conversational imbibing of a beverage has its analogies in the water-cooler, coffee klatch, and coffee/espresso-house rituals of other eras and subcultures.

Pointing out the normality and ritualizing of alcohol use in this era of the WWII Generation is important because it is an indication of the pervasiveness, at any time of day, of the state of consciousness — that is to say, intoxication — that this potent drug produces. Since this cultural behavior is still somewhat with us so that its anomalous quality may not be readily apparent, it may be helpful to keep in mind that current drunken driving laws of nearly all states would apply to everyone of that era involving themselves in only a modicum of that alcoholic ritual.

That is to say, those folks, imbibing only one drink, would be considered “drunk” by our standards today, and sufficiently into an altered state of consciousness as to warrant their receiving severe criminal penalties, including jail time, should they put themselves into the driver’s seat of a car.

Yet in the WWII-Generation era, normal cultural, business, and social intercourse was often conducted in such an intoxicated state. Heady decisions concerning war, peace, and everything else were influenced by this culturally accepted drug use.

The results of those decisions could only have been disastrous, most often. We witness an era where many millions in Europe and later in Russia were killed off by the decisions of this WWII Generation. We remember that nuclear weapons were invented, then used, by such people who were predominantly users of alcohol and nicotine. As comparison, today, we find out that the normally inebriated Rudy Giuliani is the one who concocted and set in motion the attempted coup of January 6th, under Trump’s direction. A disastrous plan to undermine democracy in America by means of a bloody coup was concocted by a drunk man. With disastrous and murderous consequences, today. Yet in the WWII era, entire wars, campaigns, and policy were initiated and conducted by mostly inebriated actors.

World War Two, therefore, was conducted and fought by a generation who grew up to believe that alcohol and cigarettes (nicotine) were an acceptable answer to unpleasantness — whether inside or outside of themselves. Alongside this and supporting it were an attitude and beliefs that negative — that is, unpleasant — emotions and feelings were harmful and should be kept out of consciousness. Thus, denial was the predominant defense in use by the World War Two Generation and defensiveness was their style. Folks were more wont to take offense than to seek understanding and personal connection.

Positive Thinking, Negative Results

It is no coincidence that “positive thinking” — as popularized by the late Norman Vincent Peale, which is the keeping out of negative thoughts and the striving to focus always on positive ones — became such a rage near the end of their era, the Fifties, early Sixties. Positive thinking was important in the beliefs of World War II Generation politicians. Notable among those are Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, both of whom subscribed to Peale’s philosophy. Positive thinking has one continuing in fruitless endeavors long after they should have been superseded by better ones, or adjusted to changing developments.

Yet wars like Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were perpetrated by folks who refused to allow into their minds the unwanted facts of events and who remained faithful to catastrophic policies long after they would normally have been changed. For positive thinking is like that: It tells you to not have in mind anything but optimistic outcomes. It wants you to make decisions only cognizant of one-half of the facts — those only that support what you already want and believe. It comes right out of the Bible where it is said one can move mountains with steadiness of faith and belief, allowing no contrary thought.

And just as in the alcohol use, the “positive thinking” fad continues — both of them much abated, of course, since the World-War-Two Generation gradually has been leaving the scene. Astonishingly, though, even in this postmodern era, one World-War-Two Generation author admonishes, in huge text no less, in the title on the cover of his popular book: “You Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought”! (yipes!)

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Yet in reaction to these policies and, as it would turn out, as a precursor to the Sixties Generation of activists and hippies, the Fifties Generation countered the WWII Generation. We will find that this Fifties generation had two sides of it — the revolutionary and the conforming.

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Fifties Generation, Marijuana, and Caffeine:

Rebels Without a Cause, Beatniks, and “Mad Men” … Existential Angst and “Phony” Conformity

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[Quotes/highlights:] “Some [Fifties Generation members] conformed to and followed the WWII Generation mentality and some others, a lesser number, were radically individualistic free-thinkers and social experimenters; they would be forerunners to the generation succeeding them, the Sixties Generation.”

“These free-thinking sorts were cast alongside the pervasive conforming mindset of the Fifties, which was embraced by the great majority of that generation. Yet this dual nature of the Fifties Generation was an influential template in creating the stark division that we see in America as the Culture War, today.”

“Revolutionary numbers for the Fifties Generation were not large, relatively, yet in being the initiators of many of the evolutionary ideas that would come into fruition in the Sixties, these Fifties Generation members were extremely important. Meanwhile, the conforming side of the Fifties Generation would continue their alliance with outmoded and dangerous ideas as brought to them from their culture and their WWII Generation elders. The one side of the Fifties Generation would listen to the beatnik poetry and socially conscious folk songs of that era of the Fifties. The other side would be conforming ‘Mad men’ (Madison Avenue men), corporate cogs.”

“A more evolved generation, which was a result of the change in parenting practices, occurring over this time, sought better recreational drugs — ones that were not as much about denial and defensiveness but about openness and self-realization.”

“Janov has said that marijuana acts to kind of ‘bend’ defenses, which allows repressed feelings to surface….

“Since we all have some degree of primal pain (Pain), we all have defenses to being fully feeling, so the effect of marijuana for most people is to open them to some of the pleasurable feelings that have gotten repressed along with the repression of Pain.”

“…marijuana fosters an alpha-wave state of consciousness — the state sought by meditators. Which brings up another effect: Cannabis reduces one’s feelings of needing to achieve or to be goal- or achievement-oriented.”

“In contrast to drugs like alcohol and nicotine, which serve to aid repression and to help to numb or reduce one’s perception of both inner and outer reality, both marijuana and LSD have the effect of opening or enhancing one’s awareness of inner and outer reality.”

“…for some people this effect of marijuana changes with continued drug use. It is as if the continued “bending” of defenses can eventually lead to a “loosening” of them….”

“This enhanced inner awareness can include the awareness of the underlying motivations of oneself and others, and this is mostly not pretty.”

“Because the normal person is motivated mostly by past, or primal, pains or traumas and is acting out scripts or roles that are pathetic attempts to re-create or struggle with events that happened a long time ago, the normal person is not really in the present.”

“The person, as humanistic psychologists have described, is inauthentic and is acting out games or scripts, about which they are totally unconscious. They have identified with these scripts, roles, goals, and motivations — the outgrowth of a completely unique set of past experiences of pain and trauma — and haven’t a clue as to their arbitrary character.”

“In this state of heightened awareness of the inner world of oneself and others, one perceives oneself and others as puppets or windup dolls. One can become aware of one’s actions as pathetically seeking to satisfy very old needs, which are totally irrelevant to the present context, with others who are similarly and robot-like also seeking to satisfy very different past deprivations.”

“What follows from this perception is the conclusion that people are basically ‘phony,’ or ‘plastic;’ that life is unreal. One perceives that ordinary motivations in pursuit of normal social values such as achievement, status/popularity, and pleasing appearance are meaningless rituals — games — that are totally irrelevant to the true nature of one’s being or reality. And one can see oneself as being trapped in this prison of unconscious scripts, with no chance of release or true perception of reality.”

“Their culture [of the “Beat Generation” of the Fifties] included the rise of existential belief, the glorification and poetification of angst, and the belief that their contemporary society was characterized by alienation, conformism, inauthenticity, and, most tellingly, ‘phoniness.’ The normal life of the World-War-Two Generation was seen as a ‘rat race,’ motivated by such high ideals (sarcasm intended) as ‘keeping up with the Joneses,’ and pervasive materialism and consumerism.”

“…art was deemed a weapon, however impotent, with which to rail against what seemed an overwhelming, huge mainstream ignorance or unconsciousness.”

“The Sixties Generation — also called the Vietnam Generation and the Baby-Boomers — would make a complete break with the dominant culture. They would create a counterculture. They would redefine everything; they would seek to start everything over again, in view of the corruption and conformity they discovered all around them in the form of the establishment.”

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[Chapter 6 text begins:] The Fifties Generation was bordered by the World War II Generation and the Sixties Generation, and it partook of qualities of both of those generations. Some conformed to and followed the WWII Generation mentality and some others, a lesser number, were radically individualistic free-thinkers and social experimenters; they would be forerunners to the generation succeeding them, the Sixties Generation.

Enter the Beats

This generation is exemplified by “the Beats” (beatniks); activists such as Jerry Rubin, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Abbie Hoffman; political figures, such as Bernie Sanders, Jerry Brown, and Joe Biden; and literary figures such as Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and Lucien Carr. These free-thinking sorts were cast alongside the pervasive conforming mindset of the Fifties, which was embraced by the great majority of that generation. Yet this dual nature of the Fifties Generation was an influential template in creating the stark division that we see in America as the Culture War, today.

Interestingly, the supreme American standout from that generation — Elvis Presley — would come down nicely on both sides of that. The Fifties Generation — termed Silent Generation by Strauss and Howe (1991) — is reserved for those born 1925 through 1942. Presley was born in 1935, smack in the middle. His music and his style were individualistic in the extreme. He would set off a rock and roll revolution, of sorts. Yet he was conforming as well; he allowed himself to be drafted into the Army. This is in contrast to Muhammad Ali who refused to be inducted. It is not coincidence Muhammad Ali was born 1942 and therefore, while a Fifties Generation member technically, he was on the Fifties Gen/ Sixties Gen cusp.

Revolutionary numbers for the Fifties Generation were not large, relatively, yet in being the initiators of many of the evolutionary ideas that would come into fruition in the Sixties, these Fifties Generation members were extremely important. Meanwhile, the conforming side of the Fifties Generation would continue their alliance with outmoded and dangerous ideas as brought to them from their culture and their WWII Generation elders. The one side of the Fifties Generation would listen to the beatnik poetry and socially conscious folk songs of that era of the Fifties. The other side would be conforming “Mad men” (Madison Avenue men), corporate cogs.

Not coincidentally, the drugs of use affecting the Fifties Generation subculture were quite different from those of the WWII Generation. It is my argument that this change in focus of drug use was not random but was part of the psychological maturation or evolution of the American populace. A more evolved generation, which was a result of the change in parenting practices, occurring over this time, sought better recreational drugs — ones that were not as much about denial and defensiveness but about openness and self-realization. I explain this evolution of child-caring practices and the resulting evolution of the American personality in others of my works. See especially my Apocalypse NO and Wounded Deer and Centaurs.

In any case, with the Beats in 1950s America, marijuana, for the first time, began being influential in the culture, and the consciousness, America would create. Let us take a look at its effects and then at the events associated with this generation.

Drug Effects — Marijuana

The effects of marijuana are more diverse than those of alcohol and nicotine. Yet there are a number of things that can be said about its effects in general. The effects of marijuana are more subtle than the two drugs mentioned thus far. In fact, there are some people who cannot feel the effects of marijuana; and sometimes it takes several times of using it before one begins to realize its effects. Yet it is not an ineffectual or weak drug by any means.

Initially

The reasons why some people cannot feel marijuana’s effects appear to be related to their having very defended personality types, or, one might say they have a great deal of repression. The reason this would affect their ability to feel the drug’s effects are easy to understand when we consider the fact that repression of feelings of trauma would include repression of the ability to feel things in general. A repressed person is a more neurotic, more defended person; and more defended persons are basically defending against painful feelings. Yet, feelings cannot be separated. And to repress feelings of Pain (i.e., primal pain) means also to repress the ability to be sensitive to other feelings. Hence highly defended or repressed persons can smoke marijuana and yet not “get off” or they may just feel feelings of relaxation.

Janov has said that marijuana acts to kind of “bend” defenses, which allows repressed feelings to surface, for those who are not in the category described above, which would include the majority of people. Since we all have some degree of primal pain (Pain), we all have defenses to being fully feeling, so the effect of marijuana for most people is to open them to some of the pleasurable feelings that have gotten repressed along with the repression of Pain.

Therefore, some widely noted effects of marijuana concern its enhancing sensory ability and therefore pleasure. Listening to music, being in Nature, watching a movie, or sex can all be quite enhanced and different while experienced under the influence of marijuana. Aspects of these experiences that were always there but were never noticed can be explored. One can seem to be experiencing something on many levels at once, or to be fully immersed in the experience so that aspects of it that formerly seemed more “walled off” from one can seem almost tangible in one’s ability to experience it. One can become so immersed in experience that complexities of it can be taken in and enjoyed, which one never even noticed before.1

Part of the reason for this type of effect of “pot” is that it lowers blood sugar and thus causes the normal cortical defenses to be less effective in blocking out experience. Related to this is a feeling of timelessness — a feeling of being in the Now — which can also be related to the diminished cortical functioning, which brain function is goal-oriented and related to linear time. Relatedly, marijuana fosters an alpha-wave state of consciousness — the state sought by meditators.

Which brings up another effect: Cannabis reduces one’s feelings of needing to achieve or to be goal- or achievement-oriented. The sensory world is that which is initially enhanced in the course of one’s experience with this drug; and the experience of the sensory world in its own right does not engage more complex, more “inward,” and more individually unique goals, feelings, scripts, dramas, scenarios, or motivations.

Eventually

Robert Masters and Jean Houston, in their book, The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience (1967/2000), provided an architecture of the psyche, derived from their study of the effects of LSD, that is useful in understanding what can happen eventually with continued use of marijuana. They conducted “depth soundings” of the LSD experience and discovered that there were four levels of the experience: the sensory, the recollective-analytic, the symbolic, and the integral. While marijuana is not as powerful in its effects as LSD, it has a similar effect on consciousness; one might say it acts in the same direction as LSD. In contrast to drugs like alcohol and nicotine, which serve to aid repression and to help to numb or reduce one’s perception of both inner and outer reality, both marijuana and LSD have the effect of opening or enhancing one’s awareness of inner and outer reality.

However, the effects of marijuana are complex because they do not as consistently open one to inner realities as does LSD. Pot opens or enhances one’s experience of the sensory world initially. As long as it does just this, it can be used as a drug of avoidance of painful (inner) reality in the same way alcohol and nicotine are. That is, one with sufficient repression and defenses can use marijuana to flee from inner pain, depression, or whatever, into an enhanced, pleasurable sensory world that does not trigger one’s pain. At this stage, only, pot can be used to defend against pain and can be psychologically addictive in providing a palliative to pain. Once again, it can do this because it serves only to “bend,” not bust, one’s defenses against one’s primal pain.

Yet for some people this effect of marijuana changes with continued drug use. It is as if the continued “bending” of defenses can eventually lead to a “loosening” of them, and with that loosening comes the deeper level of experience described by Masters and Houston and termed the recollective-analytic. At this level, enhanced sensory experience opens the door, so to speak, to enhanced inner awareness. This enhanced inner awareness can include the awareness of the underlying motivations of oneself and others, and this is mostly not pretty. However, this angst is actually part of the Ego death that becomes more important with the psychedelics.

Let me explain: Because the normal person is motivated mostly by past, or primal, pains or traumas and is acting out scripts or roles that are pathetic attempts to re-create or struggle with events that happened a long time ago, the normal person is not really in the present. The person is, as the great religions have described it, in ignorance, in samsara, in dukkha, and is basically unreal. The person, as humanistic psychologists have described, is inauthentic and is acting out games or scripts, about which they are totally unconscious. They have identified with these scripts, roles, goals, and motivations — the outgrowth of a completely unique set of past experiences of primal pain and trauma — and haven’t a clue as to their arbitrary character. Let alone do they realize that other people are similarly acting out their own unique roles which are just as arbitrary and, well yes actually, pathetic.

However, pot, just like LSD, can eventually open one to the horrifying perception of the inauthentic and unreal nature of ordinary social behavior. Sometimes even with initial usage can this perception arise, for persons who — perhaps because they are young, or whatever — are unusually undefended, more sensitive, and more open to actual reality.

In this state of heightened awareness of the inner world of oneself and others, one perceives oneself and others as puppets or windup dolls. One can become aware of one’s actions as pathetically seeking to satisfy very old needs, which are totally irrelevant to the present context, with others who are similarly and robot-like also seeking to satisfy very different past deprivations. In common parlance, it is said that most actions of people are just “games.”

Hence, part of the horrifying nature of this perception, on the recollective-analytic level of awareness, is that indeed people are not truly relating to each other at all, that they are “like people trapped in spacesuits trying to communicate with each other through the layers of barriers between them.” That last is the way one Sixties Generation member described communication between people, as reported in a book by Kenneth Keniston titled The Uncommitted (1963). That book delved into the psychology of the alienated, the non-conformist or hippie, segment of Sixties Youth.

That perception of alienation, dismal existentialism, and the futility of personal connection was happening earlier, also, with the beatniks, along with the marijuana use of the Fifties. What follows from this perception is the conclusion that people are basically “phony,” or “plastic;” that life is unreal. One perceives that ordinary motivations in pursuit of normal social values such as achievement, status/popularity, and pleasing appearance are meaningless rituals — games — that are totally irrelevant to the true nature of one’s being or reality. And one can see oneself as being trapped in this prison of unconscious scripts, with no chance of release or true perception of reality.

The “Beats” — “Phony Baloney,” So, “YOU do it!”

The “Beat Generation” of the Fifties — especially those referred to as “beatniks” — used marijuana and caffeine, predominantly. Their culture included the rise of existential belief, the glorification and poetification of angst, and the belief that their contemporary society was characterized by alienation, conformism, inauthenticity, and, most tellingly, “phoniness.” The normal life of the World-War-Two Generation was seen as a “rat race,” motivated by such high ideals (sarcasm intended) as “keeping up with the Joneses,” and pervasive materialism and consumerism.

Yet activism was not the beatnik’s predominant response to this perceived negative social context, as it would be only a generation later. Passivism, apathy, pessimism, and defeatism — masquerading often as existential insight — were the most common attitudes expressed. This is what one would expect as a result of marijuana and caffeine use.

Nonetheless, art was deemed a weapon, however impotent, with which to rail against what seemed an overwhelming, huge mainstream ignorance or unconsciousness. So the apparent activism of that time in the Fifties is found in rebellious poetry, folk music, and fine arts of all kinds, especially literature, theater, painting, and some film.

Yet such artistic renderings had a powerful impact on the culture in that they were contrary, were opposite of, the dominant conformism of the times, as exhibited in the WWII Generation as well as in their establishment-oriented Fifties Generation cohorts. These literary and artistic works set the stage for the revolutionary thinking and acting of the next generation to come on the scene, the Sixties Generation. The Sixties Generation — also called the Vietnam Generation and the Baby-Boomers — would make a complete break with the dominant culture. They would create a counterculture. They would redefine everything; they would seek to start everything over again, in view of the corruption and conformity they discovered all around them in the form of the establishment.

And they would continue the trend away from the Pain-repressing drugs of alcohol and tobacco and toward the ones that opened one to more aspects of reality, not less. The Sixties Generation would experiment further with mind-expanding drugs, including marijuana, mescalin, and magic mushrooms. And of course, they were influenced by this powerful new psychedelic — accidentally created and discovered in a lab — LSD.

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Vietnam/Boomer Generation — Marijuana and Psychedelics

“Wow, Man!” “Just Do It” “Go with the Flow”

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…for every LSD experience gone wrong, there were hundreds or thousands other LSD experiences that were powerfully transformative. This, simply, is due to the fact that, even without a guide, the psyche’s normal tendency is toward growth and resolution.”

“…those of us who lived through that period and either participated in LSD use or heard the stories of psychedelic experiencers can attest that transformative spiritual experiences were quite common, even when the drug was used just for the ‘fun’ sensory part; and people also described experiences of curling up in fetal position and reliving their births, long before anyone even heard the term perinatal. As concerns the spiritual level, it was not uncommon to hear of people who met with someone who would be comparable to a Jesus, or who went to a place they could only describe as ‘heaven,’ and this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the varieties of spiritual experiences that were had.”

“…it is only when one goes deeper into the psyche and ‘feels’ the Pain of that estrangement, or in psychedelic terms goes deeper into the actual reliving of the traumas that caused the creation of those alienating scripts, that one can go beyond the horrifying reality of cognitive estrangement.”

“…in doing that processing, one arrives at a reality in which one’s ‘heart’ is opened, and one can catch a glimpse of a reality beyond the normal one — one in which we are all spiritually connected, in Love.”

“The Sixties subculture was one of experimentation in all areas, including drugs, which grew out of beliefs — following in the footsteps of the Beat Generation — that normal life/people were characterized by phoniness, alienation, conformism, robotism, and lack of feelingness … and hypocrisy. Plastic became the pejorative the Vietnam-era Generation would use to describe the phony people they saw around them, as revealed, often, by the mind-expanding drugs.”

“…the Sixties Generation … predominant drugs of choice were ‘pot’ (marijuana) and LSD. Alongside this sort of drug use were attitudes of activism, free love, love as the ultimate value and/or as equivalent to God, pacifism in regards to the war, the valuing of openness, authenticity, ‘real’ communication, and passion and/or feelingness, including sensory awareness or heightened perception of the physical world.”

“Once the pot experience opens to the second level of awareness — the recollective-analytic, which is deeper and more real than the initial enhanced sensory awareness — there is no going back.”

“Regardless the cost, the one thing the Sixties Generation did not want to do was to end up like their parents; thus, the disdain for the use of alcohol.”

“By the time of Altamont — another huge musical event held in California after Woodstock — the change was apparent. Alcohol was now being used, with the other drugs, in abundance; there was no disdain for its use; and violence and death at the event coincided with this change.”

“Gen X were raised and educated to be a corrective to Sixties youth and their values. They would not be influenced to be critical thinkers, to be generalists — free thinking and open-minded, which would make them liberal thinkers, politically. Rather, they were taught that open-heartedness and free thinking were silly and impractical in a ‘real world’ of greed, gamesmanship, status climbing, and struggle. They would not be introduced to heroic or idealistic notions of possibilities for world renewal or evolution but would be shunted onto the traditional paths of job/career, family, competition, wealth acquisition, and consumerism.”

“Generation X would swallow whatever untruths they had been fed. For they had been led, by the WWII-Gen media, to scapegoat the Sixties Generation for any problems they saw around them. This use of fake news and misrepresentation beginning in the 1970s and 1980s to deflect attention away from the actual filthy-rich perpetrators is important. This tactic of the wealthy elite targeting a scapegoat to create a Culture War, which would keep their larceny in the shadows, is indeed the premise of this book.

“I need to make clear just how long has been going on this ploy of the wealthy using Culture War to hide their secretive and ongoing Class War. It makes it easier to see why it is so pervasive today, as we observe in the media’s use of Lefties as target practice for the irritations of grumbly MAGAts.”

“Rather than the Superman/Mighty-Mouse influences on the childhoods of the previous Boomer generation — which had Sixties youth thinking they could and should change the world for high ideals of peace, love, and utopian betterment — Gen X would ape being rascally Bugs-Bunny–like figures: Not giving a damn, laughing at the ‘kumbaya,’ spitting on the environment, and ridiculing the airy-fairy. Because of the propaganda put upon them to turn them away from Sixties values, Gen X would end up despising the actual revolutionaries of the cohort of Sixties youth preceding them. They would pride themselves on tossing a monkey wrench into any utopian works, generally being a nuisance or obstructionist to any attempts at a better, or simply survivable, world.”

“Gen Xers would conveniently deem their abject submission to monetary and traditional values as some kind of grand rebellion against what they had been taught were ludicrous values of peaceniks, tree-huggers, dirty hippies, and ‘Berkeley’ radicals. For their generation had been taught, by the establishment, in typical Culture War fashion, that it was the political correctness of the generation prior to them that was the actual danger, the actual ‘established’ order, the actual establishment.”

“Gen X correspondingly would not be influenced to drugs of mind expansion but to ones of this-worldly practicality, especially ones that aided their WWII-Gen inculcated values of greed, acquisition, and power. To that, the 13th Generation’s more privileged upbringing would have them add indifference to the plights of others and reckless defiance of social niceties. These values would later be highlighted in the MAGA movement, whose greatest numbers are those of the 13th Generation/ Gen X.”

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[Chapter 7 text begins:] The preeminent researcher on the effects of LSD on consciousness is, without question, Stanislav Grof. However, Robert E. L. Masters and Jean Houston’s research with LSD led to their seminal work, The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience. This book came out in 1967 and had a significant impact on the drug culture of the time.

Most influential on the counterculture at the time, however, was Timothy Leary’s work, The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It was a work that sought to be a guide for journeyers in mind-expanding experiences, which was based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, as its title informs. That work came out in 1966 and was coauthored by two other notables in consciousness research, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner. Richard Alpert is he who later became Ram Dass. As Ram Dass, Alpert authored another influential work in the Sixties consciousness culture, Be Here Now (1971).

Drug Effects — LSD

In Stanislav Grof’s many works (for example, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, and so on), he concurs with Masters and Houston’s earlier work (1967) that the initial phases of psychedelic experience are predominantly enhanced sensory awareness. It is this type of experience that is usually related to the use of LSD as when the experience is expressed in colorful and swirling images, which has been called psychedelic art. And for many people who used LSD, the experience remained on this level of surface, enhanced sensory awareness. Thus, they could use it for “recreational” purposes.

Yet more often with LSD than with pot, people accessed deeper levels of the mind, so that the recollective-analytic — Grof calls it the biographical or psychodynamic level — is reached, as well as levels of consciousness beyond it. These levels were experienced even when the drug was used “recreationally,” because of the relative potency of the drug as compared with marijuana.

So it was that while Grof and other researchers like Masters and Houston were studying LSD’s effects in controlled settings and with sessions guided by researchers who had experience with accessing deeper levels of the experience — as, for example, Grof himself — there was some degree of access of the deeper levels of the experience even by people using it in uncontrolled situations and with no guidance. It is for this reason that there were some calamities that occurred under the influence of the drug. These rare instances were seized upon by counterculture opponents to spread falsities about the drug’s safety. This, in turn, led to LSD being outlawed.

These portrayals of LSD are clearly seen to be outlandish and paranoid, when you consider that the effect of LSD on DNA, which is one of the charges against it, are about as powerful on affecting DNA as an ordinary cup of tea would be. This was pointed out by Stanislav Grof in his book LSD Psychotherapy (1978). So we see how much lying and propaganda were brought to bear by the WWII Gen around this cultural phenomenon, LSD. Indeed, as it turns out, for every LSD experience gone wrong, there were hundreds or thousands other LSD experiences that were powerfully transformative. This, simply, is due to the fact that, even without a guide, the psyche’s normal tendency is toward growth and resolution. Hence, many people were able to flow with and be taken to deeper, more transformative levels of the experience with little or no direction.

These deeper levels include, for example, what Stanislav Grof terms the third level of psychedelic experience the perinatal, meaning “surrounding birth.” It is equivalent to that which Masters and Houston termed the symbolic level — the difference being due to the fact that perinatal material is initially experienced in highly symbolic ways, and it is only in later sessions with the drug that the birth material becomes more apparent. Since Masters and Houston’s research method was to study the effects of one session of the drug on over two hundred subjects and Grof’s method included its use with some hundreds or thousands of individuals over a number of sessions, it is understandable why Masters and Houston did not recognize the birth material laced through the encounters with their “symbolic” level. On the other hand, Grof subjects experiencing multiple sessions would find — later, if not sooner — the birth-related aspects of their experiences too obvious to be able to ignore.

Yet beyond the symbolic/perinatal level the researchers concur once again, with Masters and Houston calling the deepest level integral, and describing a number and variety of spiritual experiences that can happen at that level, and Grof terming the same level the transpersonal, and presenting in exquisite detail in his works a vast array of “spiritual” type experiences at that level.

With this in mind, I wish to point out that most of the Sixties Generation did not know of these levels and, for the most part, were totally unaware of the research that was coming up with these typographies or architectures of the psyche, or of at least of the drug experience. Nevertheless, those of us who lived through that period and either participated in LSD use or heard the stories of psychedelic experiencers can attest that transformative spiritual experiences were quite common, even when the drug was used just for the “fun” sensory part; and people also described experiences of curling up in fetal position and reliving their births, long before anyone even heard the term perinatal. As concerns the spiritual level, it was not uncommon to hear of people who met with someone who would be comparable to a Jesus, or who went to a place they could only describe as “heaven,” and this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the varieties of spiritual experiences that were had.

For our purposes here, however, it is important to keep in mind that LSD had the capacity to take one to deeper realities than the horrifying recollective-analytic one. One might say that the recollective-analytic perception is a cognitive view, an intellectual view, or an existential view, and it is certainly an alienated one; but that most of all it lacks the aspect of “the heart.”

In other words, it is only when one goes deeper into the psyche and “feels” the Pain of that estrangement, or in psychedelic terms goes deeper into the actual reliving of the traumas that caused the creation of those alienating scripts, that one can go beyond the horrifying reality of cognitive estrangement. This happens on LSD when the biographical or psychodynamic level is reached; and even more so when the perinatal/symbolic level is worked through, relived. For in doing that processing, one arrives at a reality in which one’s ‘heart’ is opened and one can catch a glimpse of a reality beyond the normal one — one in which we are all spiritually connected, in Love.

It is significant to point out that LSD has this capacity beyond the use of pot so we might understand the differences between the Beat Generation’s reaction to their perception of the unreality of existence, obtained in their use of marijuana, and the Sixties Generation’s quite different reaction to that perception of social phoniness, who were influenced by the use of both marijuana and LSD.

Vietnam-Era Generation — “Wow, Man!” “Just Do It” “Go With the Flow”

The Vietnam-War, or Baby-Boomer, Generation was noted for their use of a number of drugs. Marijuana; wine; “speed,” i.e., amphetamines; “downers,” for example, “ludes” or qualudes, also “reds” — that is to say, barbiturates; LSD; and other hallucinogens such as mescaline, “magic mushrooms,” psilocybin, and peyote — all were in use. The Sixties subculture was one of experimentation in all areas, including drugs, which grew out of beliefs — following in the footsteps of the Beat Generation — that normal life/people were characterized by phoniness, alienation, conformism, robotism, and lack of feelingness … and hypocrisy. Plastic became the pejorative the Vietnam-era Generation would use to describe the phony people they saw around them, as revealed, often, by the mind-expanding drugs.

Though the Sixties Generation — another term used for this generation — experimented widely with drugs, their predominant drugs of choice were “pot” (marijuana) and LSD. Alongside this sort of drug use were attitudes of activism, free love, love as the ultimate value and/or as equivalent to God, pacifism in regards to the war, the valuing of openness, authenticity, “real” communication, and passion and/or feelingness, including sensory awareness or heightened perception of the physical world.

It is easy to make the connection between the spiritual access capable with LSD and the emphasis on feeling, community, communication — “rapping,” for example — transcendence, and sensory enhancement that characterized the Sixties Generation. On the negative side, there was sometimes apathy and defeatism, like the Beat Generation, associated with marijuana use.

Marijuana “Cocktails,” History, and Culture

Once the pot experience opens to the second level of awareness — the recollective-analytic, which is deeper and more real than the initial enhanced sensory awareness — there is no going back. That does not mean that people will not try to recapture the earlier type of experience. Very often it is at this point that the person will begin mixing the pot with other drugs, in particular, alcohol, because they will try to block out the deeper awareness of the mind-expanding substances with these other drugs that diminish awareness.

Indeed, we saw this happen on a massive scale in the Sixties. Initially, pot users were disdainful of people who used alcohol, calling them “juiceheads.” They were disdainful of alcohol use because they were aware that it reduced awareness and that it had served that purpose for their World-War-Two-Generation parents. And the Sixties Generation saw their parents as in great denial of obvious realities — about themselves and the world — as people who did not “walk their talk,” and were … a charge leveled like an arrow at the heart of the WWII Generation’s values and world … “hypocrites”! Regardless the cost, the one thing the Sixties Generation did not want to do was to end up like their parents; thus, the disdain for the use of alcohol.

Booze Was the “Apple” in the Psychedelic Eden

However, it is said that the movement changed, exemplified by the differences between the rock festivals at Woodstock and Altamont, both of them occurring in 1969. Woodstock epitomized the height of euphoric use of mind-expanding substances like LSD and marijuana, undiminished by awareness-diminishing drugs like alcohol. And Woodstock was, of course, noted for the fact that it brought together a million people for three days of peace and harmony. It was a model of nonviolent behavior under adverse conditions that, it was said, was never before exemplified by the alcohol or “juicehead” celebrations or gatherings of the past.

By the time of Altamont — another huge musical event held in California after Woodstock — the change was apparent. Alcohol was now being used, with the other drugs, in abundance; there was no disdain for its use; and violence and death at the event coincided with this change. It might be concluded that the “honeymoon phase,” let us call it, of marijuana use had passed for many who were using it, that the heightened sensory awareness was now opening more and more people to the deeper awareness of traumatic psychological realities which needed to be blocked from awareness by mind-diminishing drugs.

At any rate, the other response to the deeper awareness of horrifying inauthenticity that pot was revealing was for people to stop using marijuana. Indeed, a great many “potheads” abruptly discontinued its use.

And they dealt with the horrifying reality that it had revealed to them in a number of ways. Oftentimes it turned them into activists to change the social reality or into psychologists or personal growth facilitators to change it on the individual level. However sometimes they tried to retreat into traditional values and culture, only doing it one better — becoming “Jesus freaks,” for example. Or they hid away in career and family; or they attempted to build utopian and “authentic” communities of relationship, sans pot.

Some took up the use of cocaine or amphetamine, finding that the reality that “speed” revealed hid the horrifying reality of pot, replacing it with an avid and manic identification with one’s roles and scripts. In fact, some used “uppers” with alcohol, then added pot, for a “twist,” and in this way sought to regain the initial innocent sensory euphoria. As the popular song described it at the time, “Just give me weed, whites, and wine….”

Nevertheless, some people simply never had the experience of the horrifying inner inauthenticity of normal existence. Being very defended, they were able to continue to use pot for pleasure, and some of them are able to continue to use it this way to this day. Older folks — middle-aged and up — are especially well-defended and repressed in general. As Janov has pointed out, such persistent and long use of defenses against reality reinforces and strengthens them to such a point as to make them inaccessible to change. Their defenses against painful perceptions cannot be brought down by primal therapy or pot. In common parlance, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and older people are more “set in their ways.” So it is that when some of these, having missed the “party” during the Sixties, use pot hoping to get a taste of what they missed, they almost never experience anything but the initial sensory awareness and relaxation, that is, if they are able to experience the drug’s effects at all.

A Concocted Generation, Gen X

These things in mind — the unpredictability of the psychedelic experience and its tendency to sooner or later bring up buried feelings of Pain and trauma — it is clear that for practical purposes, psychedelics were anything but helpful. And Gen X, following their Fifties Generation conforming parents, were suddenly practical, were suddenly “real world”–oriented.

Taught to Ridicule the Sixties and Hate Goodness

This confrontation with a harsher practical reality than their Boomer/Sixties predecessors was what was put upon Generation X in their formative years by the powers-that-be. For such wealthy Controllers had attacked the counterculture with the educational and media changes I have been describing as having occurred beginning in the Seventies. Together with that control of information and the narrative of common opinion toward more conservatism, Gen X would be influenced to ridicule the values of the prior generation’s counterculture and its members.

It was repeatedly impressed upon Gen X by the WWII Gen–owned media that the previous generation of Sixties youth were a bunch of “flaky,” “kumbaya-singing,” “tree-hugging,” moronic, “airy-fairy,” “dirty,” drug-addicted, long-haired losers, radicals, and “hippies.” Sacrificing for the common good and wanting to build a better world — which had been the hallmark of the Sixties youth — were seen as soft-headed, effeminate, and silly by these later youth. In time, these harder-edged Gen X youth would refer to the more idealistic, non-conforming, anti-establishment, liberal-thinking revolutionaries and hippies as “pukes.”

Gen X were raised and educated to be a corrective to Sixties youth and their values. They would not be influenced to be critical thinkers, to be generalists — free thinking and open-minded, which would make them liberal thinkers, politically. Rather, they were taught that open-heartedness and free thinking were silly and impractical in a “real world” of greed, gamesmanship, status climbing, and struggle. They would not be introduced to heroic or idealistic notions of possibilities for world renewal or evolution but would be shunted onto the traditional paths of job/career, family, competition, wealth acquisition, and consumerism. Gen X would not wish to “drop out”; they would think it wise to hunker down in the remaining cultural trappings of a WWII-Generation materialism and focus on family pleasures and either unquestioning religiosity or unbending atheism. In either case, they would close their minds to the psychological mindedness and philosophical yearnings of the Sixties youth. They would sing, following Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, “Choke me in the shallow water, before I get too deep”; adding, “Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box; religion is the smile on a dog.” Which song, “What I Am,” (1988) was played repeatedly on radio and other media outlets in the late Eighties, early Nineties.

Sixties Gen/ Gen X Opposition Amplified Cultural Division

Rather, Generation X would swallow whatever untruths they had been fed. For they had been led, by the WWII-Gen media, to scapegoat the Sixties Generation for any problems they saw around them. This use of fake news and misrepresentation beginning in the 1970s and 1980s to deflect attention away from the actual filthy-rich perpetrators is important. This tactic of the wealthy elite targeting a scapegoat to create a Culture War, which would keep their larceny in the shadows, is indeed the premise of this book.

I need to make clear just how long has been going on this ploy of the wealthy using Culture War to hide their secretive and ongoing Class War. It makes it easier to see why it is so pervasive today, as we observe in the media’s use of Lefties as target practice for the irritations of grumbly MAGAts. I repeat, these MAGAts, these Trumpers and those who would wish to overthrow American democracy largely comprise Gen Xers.

Yes, I’m saying, the liberal WWII Generation, in reaction to their radical children, Sixties youth, set about the creation of an opposite generation, Gen X. Being opposite, they would be conservative, superficial, and encouraged to be hateful. Their attitude was expressed in the term, snarky, which has been tossed around a lot since Gen Xers have come on the scene. The definition for snarky, according to Meriam-Webster, includes “critical or mocking in an indirect or sarcastic way.” So this generation, Gen X, was created, then used by the WWII Gen as a weapon against their Sixties-Gen sisters and brothers.

Nonetheless, for their complicity in bending themselves along lines pleasing to higher ups, for their overall conformity, Gen X would be allowed a veneer of smart-alecky rebelliousness. Notice the sarcastic/snarky tone in “What I Am,” for example. This allowance for being irreverent placated Gen X for their conformity by letting them cover it up with a self-obsessed bravado. “Who needs philosophy? Who needs religion? Haha.” Not Gen X, told they were better than the philosophical-spiritual generation prior to them.

In this way, Generation X were somewhat like their Fifties Generation parents in being allowed to “ape” rebelliousness — examples, Elvis Presley, born 1935; Johnny Cash, born 1932; James Dean, born 1931; and the movie, Rebel Without a Cause (1955) — while actually being very conforming. Witness Presley’s willingness to be drafted into the Vietnam War; whereas a latter-born generation member, Muhammad Ali — born 1942, thus on a Fifties-Sixties Gen cusp — defied the draft and, like his activist cohorts of the Sixties Generation — paid a price for his idealism, for his refusal to submit. Ali was arrested for his “draft dodging” and was found guilty in 1967 — after only twenty-one minutes of jury deliberation, mind you — of violating the Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. He would have his boxing license suspended and would suffer having his World Heavyweight Champion title stripped from him.

Hence, Gen X would be like their Fifties Generation parents in their getting to mimic iconoclasm and unconventionality, in their case, of the previous Sixties Generation, while at the same time they were being molded into WWII-Generation conforming clones. This manifests today as the difference in their modes of protest: With nonviolent Sixties types putting themselves in front of charging and tear-gas throwing officers … and getting gassed, shot, and arrested; whereas violent, arrogant Gen X types would be using guns, murder, destruction, and any means possible against the targets of their scapegoating … and would get treated with kid gloves by authorities, in response. These means would include the stealing of elections, the overthrowing of democracy, and the violent bloody storming of the Capitol, as we found out.

In general, Gen X rebelliousness would come out in recklessness and rudeness, and as arrogance; for they had been brought up to think they were deprived and deserved better than they got. They had been told they were smarter and not delusional — as the older Sixties Generation had been portrayed — and that the generation prior to them had been spoiled, privileged, immoral, and soft. Gen Xers had been led to feel they were second-fiddle to a much more numerous and influential older generation and that they had been robbed of their proper entitlement. This set them up for hate and violence.

Rather than the Superman/Mighty-Mouse influences on the childhoods of the previous Boomer generation — which had Sixties youth thinking they could and should change the world for high ideals of peace, love, and utopian betterment — Gen X would ape being rascally Bugs-Bunny–like figures: Not giving a damn, laughing at the “kumbaya,” spitting on the environment, and ridiculing the airy-fairy. Because of the propaganda put upon them to turn them away from Sixties values, Gen X would end up despising the actual revolutionaries of the cohort of Sixties youth preceding them. They would pride themselves on tossing a monkey wrench into any utopian works, generally being a nuisance or obstructionist to any attempts at a better, or simply survivable, world.

And whereas the Sixties Generation and Boomers would be ridiculed through television’s depictions of them along the lines of “Reverend” Jim Ignatowski — the brain-fried, albeit likable cab driver in Taxi — these “wacky wabbits” of Gen X would be depicted as the likable albeit annoyingly materialistic and arrogantly self-centered Alex Keaton character in Family Ties, the television show of the Eighties.

Gen Xers would conveniently deem their abject submission to monetary and traditional values as some kind of grand rebellion against what they had been taught were ludicrous values of peaceniks, tree-huggers, dirty hippies, and “Berkeley” radicals. For their generation had been taught, by the establishment, in typical Culture War fashion, that it was the political correctness of the generation prior to them that was the actual danger, the actual “established” order, the actual establishment.

This would be later reflected as their misconstruing the gains of the Sixties as an oppressive “political correctness,” when in actuality they were merely the minor corrections to a traditional patriarchy. And that patriarchy was convincing them that things had been just great, in the Fifties, notice, before the emergence of these pesky “elites” — c’mon, seriously, hippies as elites? Yet that is what they were being fed — these pesky elites had brought in these unnecessary ideas: Care for the environment, abortion rights, equality of all races and religions, humane child-caring, protection of other species, and so on. And Gen X was led to believe it was these inconvenient yet necessary changes in our evolution that were oppressing them, not the Filthy Rich orchestrating these events, who could be seen removing the foundations of our democracy and thieving from the Treasury, once they had these sorts distracted with hatred toward others

Further, these Gen X would be led to think their conformity was actually some kind of cool and to be admired rebellious patriotism which was set against the norms of society in general, which they would end up calling the Deep State.

Whereas Sixties youth confronted a conservative “establishment” — rooted in the ways of a bygone patriarchal era; Gen X were set against and taught to hate the evolution that had already occurred and been enshrined in the Constitution — the 13th Amendment which freed the slaves, the cherished principles of separation of church and state, the Civil Rights Act, the right for a woman to control her body won through Roe Versus Wade, and the Bill of Rights with its free speech, freedom of religion, and such. Those enshrined and traditional institutions protecting our democracy would be cast as forces undermining our way of life — a “Deep State” — and that is what Gen X MAGAts had been allowed to rail against in exchange for their overall conformity and their pathetic submission to authoritarian leaders … Trump, DeSantis, and so on.

White-Washing Fascism … and Gen X’s Cocaine Use

Gen X correspondingly would not be influenced to drugs of mind expansion but to ones of this-worldly practicality, especially ones that aided their WWII-Gen inculcated values of greed, acquisition, and power. To that, the 13th Generation’s more privileged upbringing would have them add indifference to the plights of others and reckless defiance of social niceties. These values would later be highlighted in the MAGA movement, whose greatest numbers are those of the 13th Generation/ Gen X.

Regardless, it is no coincidence that drug usage beginning in the Eighties, when these folks were coming into college and the work world, turned away from psychedelics in the direction of stimulants. Stimulants such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and such washed over America at that time. The effects of these stimulant drugs were not coincidentally fitting with a manic reversal of focus away from mind-expanding compounds of the Sixties toward ones aiding acquisition, social advance, and power.

This reversal of focus, coincident with a societal turn toward traditionalism engineered by the Controllers, characterized the 13th Generation/Gen X. This back-and-forth swinging of values between the conservative ones of the WWII Generation and the more liberal, freeing ones of the Sixties/Boomer Generation and then back to the more repressed, acquisitive ones of the 13th Generation/Gen X sets the dynamic for what we experience today. The polar world views of Right and Left in our society establishes conflict as the center of all social and political happenings. We need look more deeply into this.

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Castles in the Sky … Cocaine and Booze:

Gen X/ 13th Generation is a Concocted Generation, born 1961 through 1980

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…this swinging back and forth of attitudes is mirrored also in the drug usage of these generations: We go from repressive drugs such as alcohol and tobacco with the WWII Generation; to mind-expanding substances like marijuana and LSD for Sixties youth; back to suppressive drugs again with Gen X. For with this generation born 1961 to 1980, white was king, cocaine snowed down on all levels of society.”

“[Amphetamines, ‘speed,’] are euphoriants and cause one to have the feeling that one’s mental capacities are expanded. One feels that one can envision projects and outcomes precisely. So, one expends oneself in organizing and preparing for great achievements, which rarely are embarked upon.”

“One does not feel constrained by normal fears or apprehensions, so one throws oneself into new activities with reckless abandon. One feels overly confident in one’s abilities and engages in all kinds of risk-taking — financially, sexually, interpersonally, legally. Later, we would find out, politically. These activities have one embarking on dubious schemes which rarely pan out.”

“The less idealistic, more materialistic ones, the Yuppies, came in at the same time as Ronald Reagan into the White House and, indeed, exemplified much of what Reagan stood for. They were seen as greedy, over-achieving, materialistic, narcissistic, and societally and environmentally insensitive careerists.”

“[Yuppies] are driven solely by a value that ‘Greed is good!’ This was later expressed on television as ‘Greed is good; money is everything.’ This slogan is completely the opposite of the previous generation — the Sixties Generation — whose attitudes were expressed in lyrics like ‘I don’t care too much for money; money can’t buy me love’ and ‘Love is all you need’; who bought and lived by books with titles such as How to Live on Nothing, The Greening of America, and Back to Eden; and whose most famous slogan was ‘Tune in, Turn on, Drop out.’”

“…the Yuppies were the creation of the WWII Generation in their attempt to reverse the course of society that their own daughters and sons, as ‘Sixties Youth,’ had put it on.”

“…the Vietnam-era or Sixties Generation began being denigrated in the press with the accusation, ‘The ‘Me’ Generation,’ and Sixties values were also denigrated — the scapegoating of the Sixties Generation continuing — despite the fact that it was a different age group in society, the younger Yuppies, who were actually the ones triggering the attack.”

“The hypocrisy of the charge of the Sixties Generation being Yuppies becomes even more blatant when considering their values. Sixties values included such selfless acts as risking, sometimes incurring, violence and personal harm, jail time, and a lower standard of living for the sake of their idealistic beliefs in peace, environmental restoration and preservation, and selfless communitarian living, among others. None of that has any overlap with Yuppie careerism, consumerism, materialism, or their individualistic greedy selfishness.”

“Post–high-school education was being turned into career-factories dedicated to producing compliant businesspersons, engineers, physicians, and scientists — folks who were not being educated to think for themselves, rather, how to achieve and make money in a culture with which the World-War-Two Generation was comfortable.”

“The Fifties Generation have kept themselves as invisible as possible but running things from behind the screen, since they took over conservatism and greed from the WWII Generation and upped the ante. Witness the Koch Brothers — Charles and David Koch, born 1935 and 1940 respectively — both of whom are Fifties Gen members. Indeed, Fifties Generation members values manifest today in the difference between traditional Republicans — those called RINOs (Republicans in name only) by MAGAts — and the MAGAts or Trumpers themselves. These RINOs are folks like the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Mitch McConnell, Ron Paul, and John McCain. They have been the ones behind the curtain — old-school Republicans, who have more of a World-War II Gen mindset.

“Whereas nearly all the folks fighting them and wanting to be even more reactionary and fascistic are the MAGAts/Trumpers, the reckless ‘wacky wabbits’ of the Gen X/Yuppie/13th Generation. These include Trumpian MAGAts like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, and Josh Hawley. These latter have more of a Yuppie/Gen X mindset in being irrational, reactionary, and sarcastically obstructionist.”

“…the materialism the Fifties Generation members were nurtured in after World War II — as a reaction to the fear and uncertainties their parents had because of the Depression, the war, and The Bomb — would be replicated in their children.”

“There are two aspects of trickle-down economics and the recession that followed Reagan’s implementation of it that are especially relevant here for a discussion of drugs and generational cultures. Those factors are the manic quality of the times — the go, go, go, buy, buy, buy mentality of the investing — and the other is the obvious proof it gave to marginal returns theory: In other words, the money, given to the rich, was valued little and was mindlessly blown on trivialities; it was said that the Eighties was a huge party for the rich.”

“…this shift of wealth upward at Reagan’s time would only be the first of many of such Republican larcenies to come, as we saw with the financial policies of Republicans George W. Bush and Donald Trump. The fact that such trickle-down and such an upward shift of wealth leads to recessions, inevitably, would become an inconvenient truth that would be suppressed in the media’s narrative.”

“Republicans will then blame the mess they left behind on the Democrats who regain power, each time, after the economy has been trashed. For the electorate will put Democrats in office after every Republican financial calamity — Hoover’s Great Depression, cleaned up by Roosevelt; Reagan’s late Eighties, early Nineties recession, fixed by Bill Clinton; W. Bush’s Great Recession of 2008, corrected by Barrack Obama. Currently Joe Biden is tending successfully to the mess left us by Donald Trump. American’s financial house in order once again, the American electorate will be ripe to have their racism and hate stoked once again, directed at scapegoats, creating another Republican ascension. So the GOP can pick up on their thieving, again.”

“[Yuppies] primarily comprised youth in their twenties and early thirties who followed behind the Vietnam-era Generation. Their mantram was to get rich, get powerful, erect and maintain ‘family islands’ which they saw as competitive with the rest of society — quite unlike the communitarianism of the Sixties Generation — and to retire early … social and environmental problems be damned.”

“…beginning in the Eighties, it became fashionable to sneer at and blame — often scapegoating — the more unfortunate ones of society: The poor, helpless, mentally ill, children, the powerless. It was as if Reagan emptied the mental hospitals onto the streets so as to have a target to feed to his rabid Right followers. Honestly, it worked. Americans were encouraged by the media and propaganda systems to find some time for that kind of hatred, for the poor and homeless, alongside their ongoing and outright snickering and smugness as directed at the ‘hippie-dippie’ values and ‘kumbaya’ visions of the generation older than them.”

“…the drug use of Xers strayed back to the use of alcohol & cigarettes. These are the drugs used by their Fallow Generation parents.…”

“Alongside this ‘traditional’ drug use, Generation Xers are noted for their pessimism, defeatism, and fascination with death.…”

 .

[Chapter 8 text begins:] First off, this swinging back and forth of attitudes is mirrored also in the drug usage of these generations: We go from repressive drugs such as alcohol and tobacco with the WWII Generation; to mind-expanding substances like marijuana and LSD for Sixties youth; back to suppressive drugs again with Gen X. For with this generation born 1961 to 1980, white was king, cocaine snowed down on all levels of society.

Gen X, according to the Census Bureau, comprises those born 1965 to 1980. However, Strauss and Howe, in their book, Generations, points out that those born in those years do not constitute a true generation. A generation, for analytical or sociological purposes, is a group that shares the same formative experiences in their youth and childhood. If the group does not have much in common, how can it even be discussed as a “thing”? Compared to other “things”? With this in mind, Strauss and Howe — who represent the “gold standard” in generational theory — designate the 13th Generation, roughly comparable to the Census Bureau’s Gen X, as comprising those born between 1961 and 1980. The difference is the Census Bureau has Gen X beginning in 1965.

For the very same reasons, Strauss and Howe designate the Vietnam Generation — roughly comparable to the Census Bureau’s Baby-Boomer or Boomer Generation — as those born between 1943 and 1960. This contrasts with the Census Bureau’s designation of the Boomers as being those born 1945 to 1965. And I repeat, this is because that group — those born between 1943 and 1960 — can be seen to have been shaped by the same national and cultural events growing up; whereas those born 1945 to 1965 do not have a common set of formational experiences.

Generational theorists other than Strauss and Howe also see that period — born 1943 to 1965 — comprising different generational sets. Indeed, a special designation of Generation Jones has been suggested for those born between 1955 and 1965, because that period does have its unique set of cultural and historical markers, which lent themselves to creating the kind of personality that would develop. In either case — Gen X and Boomer — we see that the Census Bureau’s designations were arbitrary and were useless for any analytical purposes where such and such group could be said to share common characteristics. They didn’t. Generational theorists have had to alter the Census Bureau’s designation to make any sense of generational trends in our recent history.

I deal with this issue of differing designations for the generations depending on whether it is arbitrarily set by the Census Bureau or it represents a true generation in being folks who were shaped by the same events in much detail later in this work. For now, I wish to simply note that in this chapter we will, following Strauss and Howe, be talking about those born from the year 1961 through the year 1980.

Drugs and Generations

That said, let us look now at that ricocheting of cultural mores and minds between the poles of liberal/conservative, open-minded/closed-minded, idealism/conformity, democratic/authoritarian, and expressive/ repressive. Again, I contend that the changes in the drug usage between those used by Sixties youth and those used by Gen X youth, because of their effects, are not coincidental to those pendulum swings in national direction. I’ll explain…

Drug Effects — Cocaine, Speed

Drugs in the amphetamine class are stimulants. This includes cocaine, methamphetamine, “meth,” “crystal,” crack cocaine, “crack,” “speed,” amphetamine, uppers, “whites,” and so on. They repress Pain extraordinarily well.

Building castles in the sky

They are euphoriants and cause one to have the feeling that one’s mental capacities are expanded. One feels that one can envision projects and outcomes precisely. So, one expends oneself in organizing and preparing for great achievements, which rarely are embarked upon.

Free from fear, reckless, overconfident, risk-taking

Since these drugs repress Pain, creating an amped state of mind more than normally able to fend off unwanted emotional material, they repress the normally present residue of fear, with its attendant caution in the face of activities outside of one’s comfort zone requiring forethought and anticipation. One does not feel constrained by normal fears or apprehensions, so one throws oneself into new activities with reckless abandon. One feels overly confident in one’s abilities and engages in all kinds of risk-taking — financially, sexually, interpersonally, legally. Later, we would find out, politically. These activities have one embarking on dubious schemes which rarely pan out.

A land of light and darkness

Despite these negatives, the corollary of this mental activity is that one’s ability to think and see more clearly on some issues is enhanced, precisely because one’s fears can pollute one’s perception and apprehension of things.

It is enlightening to remember that Sigmund Freud, among other notables in history, experimented with cocaine. At one point, Freud was heartily endorsing its use to his colleagues; he was waxing expansively about its benefits for mental life and clarity of consciousness. “Waxing expansively” does happen to be one of the things one does on cocaine, incidentally. Of course, Freud changed his position on cocaine’s benefits later. No doubt his use led him to see its face of darkness as well.

Glimpses of clarity

Nonetheless, concerning the positive aspects of cocaine, it can be mentally enhancing partly because of its repression of fear. For fears, as mentioned, are both of the helpful-cautionary as well as the oppressive types. Being released from the oppressiveness of fears, being freed of the constraints of “fearful thinking,” can result in seeing one’s reality more clearly. Feeling fearless can lead one to acknowledging truths and realities normally defended against — thus being therapeutic even, getting a glimpse of reality outside one’s fears.

Reckless

Being freed from normal caution, however, can lead one into reckless activities with consequences far beyond one’s ability to handle in either a normal, or drugged, state. It is no coincidence that these stimulant drugs have seen heavy usage by wartime participants — notable are their use by fighter pilots and by American warriors in Vietnam.

A land of empathy and insensitivity

Lastly, since these stimulants repress feelings, they can lead to insensitivity toward others. Yet since they can repress fear which blocks truer perception of and appreciation of others they can, paradoxically, result in feelings of love toward others and a feeling of finally really seeing others and appreciating them for who they are, not simply in the way one has cast them … “pigeon-holed” them … to fit into one’s scripts, agendas, ego projects, or desires.

Matrix Manifesting

The Eighties

The Eighties saw an epidemic of cocaine use. This was commonly attributed to Yuppies, which is the popular term for the Young Upwardly-mobile Professional character of this era and is contrasted with the idealistic, activist, and anti–Vietnam-War Yippies. Yippies stands for Youth International Party, whose founders and most famous members were antiwar activists, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.

Reagan, Yuppy-Kay-Yo-Kay-Yay

The less idealistic, more materialistic ones, the Yuppies, came in at the same time as Ronald Reagan into the White House and, indeed, exemplified much of what Reagan stood for. They were seen as greedy, over-achieving, materialistic, narcissistic, and societally and environmentally insensitive careerists.

On the positive side, Yuppies had a keen appreciation for the finer things in life….

It’s okay to laugh here, that was meant to be snark.

“Love is all you need” turned into “Money is good!”

Yuppies were portrayed in film. One in particular that sought to delineate the attitudes of this character type was the movie, Wall Street, in which Charlie Sheen plays the role of the Yuppie, mentored by the Fifties Generation character, Gekko, played by Michael Douglas. Together they give a portrayal of complete self-centeredness and insensitivity to the ways their Machiavellian strategies harm others or the environment.

As expressed in Wall Street, they are driven solely by a value that “Greed is good!” This was later expressed on television as “Greed is good; money is everything.” This slogan is completely the opposite of the previous generation — the Sixties Generation — whose attitudes were expressed in lyrics like “I don’t care too much for money; money can’t buy me love” and “Love is all you need”; who bought and lived by books with titles such as How to Live on Nothing, The Greening of America, and Back to Eden; and whose most famous slogan was “Tune in, Turn on, Drop out.” Or, as it was sometimes said, “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out.” I’m not sure anyone in the generation knew which was the “proper” way to say it. Both apply, anyway.

“Me Generation”

Another term used for the Yuppie Generation was the “Me” Generation. Thus it was that from the height of Vietnam-Era youth’s influence on society and culture in the late Sixties, early Seventies to the late Seventies and most of the Eighties — within a period of a mere decade — the prevailing, media-amplified cultural values of our society swung, pendulum-like, a hundred-and-eighty degrees from where they had been.

Matrix Manifest and The Big Lie

This change had a great deal to do with the efforts of the World-War-Two Generation — in total horror at the way their sons and daughters seemed to be reversing the values for which they had lived, and fought — to “take back” society. The WWII Generation did this by putting pressure, as well-to-do alumni, on universities and colleges across America to turn their curricula away from liberal arts and toward job-oriented curricula, and by using their positions of power in the media to influence the flow and content of the information to be fed to the mainstream public. For example, in the early Seventies, specifically beginning in 1972 and just before the election of Nixon for a second term, the WWII Generation’s money and power directed the press to declare that a “conservative backlash” was occurring in America, when in fact the opposite was happening.

And yes, at that time, 1972, Nixon did defeat liberal George McGovern, which coincides with a conservative backlash; yet this only occurred after the well-known, the hugely popular Robert F. Kennedy, who had been surging toward the Democratic nomination, had been assassinated earlier in the year. Confounded with the fact that McGovern was a last-minute stand-in was McGovern’s debacle of casting Thomas Eagleton as his running mate. Eagleton was found to have been treated during his life for “mental illness,” depression. Which was a pretty common thing, even then, and should not really have been an issue.

Yet McGovern would be first of many Democratic politicians to shoot himself in the foot — in trying to come across as “nonpartisan” — by overly conforming to traditional prejudices and backing away from liberal principles. So he would drop his vice-presidential pick and, thinking to regain that Kennedy gleam, replace him with a supremely colorless, though credentialed, figure out of the Kennedy clan — Robert Sargent Shriver Jr., known popularly as Sargent Shriver. Only with all that confusion in the months leading up to the 1972 election did Nixon win. So it was unsurprising, to some, when two years later public outcry at Nixon’s criminality in government led to his being forced to resign. Public opinion had changed drastically after the Watergate hearings, so the recently reelected Nixon was left without support.

Yet eventually their “Big Lie” tactics, as exhibited in their promotion of a “conservative backlash,” won out so that people began to believe and then to create what they had been repeatedly told. Since the opposite or liberal view, as part of the strategy of creating a conservative backlash, had been censored in the media, people began to think that is what was going on. At that point even Hollywood unconsciously colluded with the Big Lie of a conservative backlash in putting out movies and television shows along those lines.1 We will discuss later on how the show Family Ties was an especially blatant example of their intention to misinform the populace about the actual direction of the country.

Thus, the Yuppies were the creation of the WWII Generation in their attempt to reverse the course of society that their own daughters and sons, as “Sixties Youth,” had put it on. And the propaganda against the Sixties Generation and its values, repeated endlessly over the decades, led to a media narrative that conservative ideas were winning and that, indeed, progressivism and idealism were silly impulses of a narcissistic generation. Whereas the opposite was what was actually true, such a narrative remains to this day, propped up by moneyed interests because it is convenient for their ends if the populace believes that.

And even Democrats have come to subscribe to it over the years, with moderate supporters of Hillary Clinton justifying the slanted playing field against Bernie Sanders in 2016. With all these years convincing themselves that progressives cannot win — often using McGovern’s loss as the example — Clintonites ignored the polls showing Bernie Sanders as another transformational figure. Surveys done during the campaign showed such popular support for Sanders — perhaps even more so than for Barrack Obama earlier — that Sanders would have won in a head-to-head against Donald Trump and been even stronger than Hillary Clinton ended up being. And by the way, if progressives cannot win according to moderate Democrats, and the example of McGovern in 1972 is given, how is it that Barrack Obama won in the greatest Democratic landslide in half a century? Barrack Obama … who campaigned as a fierce progressive, only eight years earlier, and won.

Scapegoating an Entire Generation

Coinciding with and supporting the strategy just described, and because the World-War-Two Generation during the Eighties were still in their triumphant phase — a psychohistorical term meaning they were at the stage of their life in late adulthood in which they had pretty much gained control of the reins of society — they furthered their cause by managing to plant a fantasy in the collective consciousness of American culture concerning the origins of Yuppies which persists to this day.

Designer generation

The WWII Generation was in obvious denial … again, it being their predominant defensive posture … of the fact that they had helped to “create” the Yuppies. They blocked out of their minds the obvious similarities between their own values and those of the Yuppies, as exemplified by the similarities between the World-War-Two-era Reagan-Bush political agenda and that of the Yuppies — who indeed helped elect Reagan and Bush. Yet aware of the criticism that their very own values, taken to the Yuppie extremes, was generating in the independent press, as well as the negative publicity there about the cocaine use of the Yuppies, the World-War-Two Generation saw an opportunity not only to defeat but also to “get back” at their opponents, the Sixties Generation, by ridiculing them. The Sixties Generation had of course incurred the wrath of the WWII Generation by opposing and confronting them on the Vietnam War in sometimes harsh and hostile ways.

As for the Yuppies who came on the scene after the Sixties Generation, in the predominant World-War-Two Generation fashion of scapegoating — which is the accompaniment of denial and ignoring the fact Yuppies expressed the values the WWII Gen had inculcated in them — the WWII Gen targeted their younger Yuppie clones from the outset. Especially the older generation directed their ire at the cocaine use of the time. The Yuppies, with their cocaine use, were portrayed in the WWII-Generation-paid-for media as former Sixties hippies who had simply grown older but — consistent with their alleged “narcissism” — were still selfish, only now, materially so. Thus the appellation, the “Me” Generation.

So the Vietnam-era or Sixties Generation began being denigrated in the press with the accusation, “The ‘Me’ Generation,” and Sixties values were also denigrated — the scapegoating of the Sixties Generation continuing — despite the fact that it was a different age group in society, the younger Yuppies, who were actually the ones triggering the attack.

Opposing Worlds

The hypocrisy of the charge of the Sixties Generation being Yuppies becomes even more blatant when considering their values. Sixties values included such selfless acts as risking, sometimes incurring, violence and personal harm, jail time, and a lower standard of living for the sake of their idealistic beliefs in peace, environmental restoration and preservation, and selfless communitarian living, among others. None of that has any overlap with Yuppie careerism, consumerism, materialism, or their individualistic greedy selfishness. But then truth was not their forte, the WWII and Fifties Generations. Later these same elderly generational types would tell us that an election in 2020 was stolen, and they would dare to say that some imaginary Antifa were who stormed the Capitol during the insurrection of January 6th, 2021. Daunting, these lies are, as they are indiscriminately piled, one upon the other down through the decades.

Despite the success in our society’s collective consciousness of the fantastical lie of Yuppies being former hippies — once it had been planted in the popular culture by the WWII Generation sitting comfortably in front of American society’s steering wheel — the truth is that these Yuppies were predominantly the generation that shadowed the Sixties generation, arising as youth in the aftermath of the Sixties cultural revolution.

Yuppies — Products of the WWII Generation’s Todo List

Yuppie values become understandable, then, in that many of these Gen Xers were in secondary schools and universities during the Seventies when the “conservative backlash” Big Lie was being promulgated. They would be those born 1961 on, the oldest of whom would be eleven to nineteen, during the Seventies, after 1972. This propaganda would be taken up in abundance as well during the 1980s, when the youngest of that cohort would be nine to nineteen, also.

Being thus for the most part in secondary schools and universities from 1972 through 1981, Gen X would be the generation most affected by those changes in society that accompanied the Big Lie involving the scapegoating of the Sixties Generation. For alongside the media’s promotion of a bogus conservative backlash we saw that, at that time, 1971 on, universities were cutting back funding from courses in liberal arts, philosophy, psychology, literature, politics and government, and the like. Post–high-school education was being turned into career-factories dedicated to producing compliant businesspersons, engineers, physicians, and scientists — folks who were not being educated to think for themselves, rather, how to achieve and make money in a culture with which the World-War-Two Generation was comfortable.

Yuppies — Children of Fifties Generation Parents

The values of the Yuppies are understandable, furthermore, in that they were the sons and daughters of a generation between the World-War-Two and Baby-Boomer Generations, who are rarely talked about. It is often said that the World War Two Generation — termed the G.I. Generation by Strauss and Howe and designating those born 1901 to 1924 — was followed by Boomers/Vietnam Gen, born 1943 to 1960, and that Generation X, the next generation, were the children of Boomers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The generation that followed the WWII Generation and the actual parents of Gen Xers were born 1925 to 1942 and came to adulthood during the somnolent Fifties, having most of their babies between 1961 and 1981.

We might call this overlooked generation the Fifties Generation, or the Eisenhower-McCarthy Generation, or the Elvis Generation, or the Happy Days Generation … a more cumbersome but more accurate term for them would be the War-Born Generation. They have been called the Silent Generation and the Beat Generation, and this does say something about them.

The Fifties Generation have kept themselves as invisible as possible but running things from behind the screen, since they took over conservatism and greed from the WWII Generation and upped the ante. Witness the Koch Brothers — Charles and David Koch, born 1935 and 1940 respectively — both of whom are Fifties Gen members. Indeed, Fifties Generation members values manifest today in the difference between traditional Republicans — those called RINOs (Republicans in name only) by MAGAts — and the MAGAts or Trumpers themselves. These RINOs are folks like the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Mitch McConnell, Ron Paul, and John McCain. They have been the ones behind the curtain — old-school Republicans, who have more of a World-War II Gen mindset.

Whereas nearly all the folks fighting them and wanting to be even more reactionary and fascistic are the MAGAts/Trumpers, the reckless “wacky wabbits” of the Gen X/Yuppie/13th Generation. These include Trumpian MAGAts like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, and Josh Hawley. These latter have more of a Yuppie/Gen X mindset in being irrational, reactionary, and sarcastically obstructionist.

Other major players in this drama are also Gen X/ 13th Gen, including Liz Cheney (born 1966) and Adam Kinzinger (born 1978). Lauren Boerbet, who is a Millennial, born 1986, and Matt Gaetz also a Millennial, barely, born 1982, are two, only, Millennials among the major Republican players.

Hence all these MAGAts — save Boebert and Gaetz,— are members of Gen X. Gen X/ the 13th Generation and are those born 1961 to 1981. Of the ones mentioned, they include Ted Cruz, born 1970; Jim Jordan, born 1964; Sarah Palin, born 1964; Marjorie Taylor Greene, born 1974; and Josh Hawley, born 1979. Other major reactionaries past and present are numbered among the ranks of 13th Generation/ Gen X, including Rand Paul, born 1963; Paul Ryan, born 1970; Ron DeSantis, born 1978; and Chris Christie, born 1962

Ron Paul, born 1935 and thus a member of the Fifties Generation, is a parent of Rand Paul, the Gen X Yuppie type, and this pairing demonstrates both the parentage of Gen X, as being the Fifties Gen, as well as the way that generation, Gen X, conformed to their Fifties Gen parents, not rebelling. Mostly, this pairing depicts the alliance we see predominantly on the Right — that between Fifties Gen and Gen Xers.

The Fifties Generation, Strauss and Howe’s Silent Generation, are those born 1925 to 1942. Keep in mind this alliance of Gen X and the Fifties Generation and that the Fifties Gen are predominantly the parents of and are those who inculcated values into the 13th Generation/ Gen-X, along with Gen X’s subcategory of Yuppies.

It is interesting to notice that the same pattern of the younger generation being more adamant and radical than their parents, but in the same direction, plays out here like it did with the Sixties Generation and their WWII Gen parents. As mentioned, previously Sixties radicals has liberal parents. Similarly, 13th Generation/ Gen X radical reactionaries had conservative ordinary Republican parents … and attempted to do them one better.

This dynamic of a Fifties Gen/ Gen X alliance has been represented by the Gekko character in the movie Wall Street, played by the Fifties Generation character, Michael Douglas, whose protege, correctly enough, was played the by the yuppie-Generation Xer, Charlie Sheen…. Accurately cast, in that he was born 1965.2

Not So “Happy Days”: The War-Born Generation — Fifties, Eisenhower Generation

The media tends to focus on the big trends and to ignore or miss the lesser ones. The way our recent history was portrayed, you would think that just because there was a huge number of babies born in the decade and a half after World-War-Two’s end — the much discussed Baby-Boomer Generation — that there were no babies born during the War … almost as if every man in America was overseas fighting or that, when home on leave or whatever, they simply would not or could not conceive!

Marinated in the Womb of War Fears

However, of course these ridiculous notions are not true, so there is a pre–Baby-boomer Generation who happened to be born during or in the decade leading up to WWII, that is to say, between about 1925 and 1942. And the Yuppies were predominantly the sons and daughters of this — let us call it — Fifties Generation. Marinated in the womb with Great Depression and war fears and born around the time of the war, the Yuppies’ parents then had their formative adolescence and young adulthood during the Fifties.

Abandoned, overlooked, fearful, resentful, rooted in conservatism

So their beliefs are rooted in the cultural soil of Fifties conservatism, the Cold War, Elvis Presley, McCarthyism, Eisenhower, traditional religion, belief in the economic primacy of capitalism and the evil of communism, and the early “schmaltzy” rock and roll … for example, “Crying In The Chapel,” “Leader of the Pack,” “Bye Bye Love,” “In The Still Of The Nite,” and such. These songs would often depict innocent love existing in a world of danger, in a world that misunderstands them. Witness “Teen Angel” by Mark Dinning (1960).

Their roots reaching deep into war fears — hot and cold wars — many would feel jealous and angry about the freedoms and openness of the generation immediately after them, Boomers. They would, as well, heartily resent all the attention being showered on the much larger cohort of Baby-Boomers.

Yuppies, Fifties Nostalgia, Materialism

And it is the worldview of this Fifties Generation that was passed on to their children, the Yuppies. It is no coincidence that when these Gen X Yuppies were teens and young adults (mid-Seventies through the Eighties) we saw also a lengthy period of Fifties nostalgia alongside the caricaturizing and ridiculing of Sixties lifestyles, values, and beliefs. It is easy to see that the materialism the Fifties Generation members were nurtured in after World War II — as a reaction to the fear and uncertainties their parents had because of the Depression, the war, and The Bomb — would be replicated in their children.

Only the fear and uncertainty their children would try to amass wealth against was the tumult, anomie, violence, and confusion of the decade of the Sixties — the era the Yuppies would experience swirling around their roots and upsetting the stability of their nurturant years.

The Eighties Began, Ominously, with Reagan’s Election and John Lennon’s Assassination

The Eighties began, significantly enough, with the death of John Lennon and the election of Ronald Reagan. Concurrent with the epidemic of cocaine use was a manic economy, massive military expenditures, and a tripling-plus of the National Debt. It is relevant to note that the huge increase in the National Debt was caused by a tax cut for the rich, which of course benefited those of the World-War-Two Generation who either inherited or earned, with a lifetime behind them, their wealth, as well as those upwardly mobile, materialistic Yuppies. The rationale for the tax cut — which was characterized by some commentators as “Robin Hood in reverse,” because it also coincided with cutbacks in social programs — was a “voodoo economics” … George H. W. Bush’s term … with a “trickle-down” theory of investment and economic growth.

That Voodoo That They Do So Well

This economics is based on a belief that a “dollar,” metaphorically speaking, given to a rich person will be more wisely invested, creating more jobs and wealth for everyone, than will that same “dollar” given to a middle-class or poor person.

This view, however, ignored human psychology, the standard economics of marginal returns, and the common observation that, simply put, for a person with a little or a moderate amount of money, that metaphorical dollar will have more value … because it will represent a much larger increase, percentage-wise, in their financial situation … than it will for a rich person, for whom its value is only marginally related to a rather large “purse,” so to speak.

Trickle-Down Ignores Human Psychology

Therefore, common sense tells us that “dollar” will be more conscientiously and thoughtfully spent or invested, creating more jobs and wealth for all, by the moderate-income person, who of course will attempt to maximize its benefit to him- or herself so that he or she can also rise to the ranks of the wealthy. To the moderate-income person that “dollar” represents an opportunity for a rise in economic status; hence it will be invested, sweated over, and monitored intensely. In general, he or she will attempt to squeeze every possible ounce of benefit out of it, very often starting businesses of their own and thereby creating new jobs, opportunity, and wealth in the process. Whereas for the already wealthy person, that “dollar” is only a dollar alongside many others, and is only marginally relevant, reaping only marginal, or minor, returns.

And of Course, It Didn’t Work, Still Didn’t Work, Still Didn’t Work.…

Voodoo economics did not work, of course, as indicated by the tripling of the National Debt during and after Reagan. Another important indication of the falsity of its premises was the huge expenditures of money, during the Eighties, on luxury items, like yachts, works of art, expensive cars, and so on. Art items and artifacts were being bid through the roof and the prices they were going for were making headlines in newspapers and stimulating commentaries on the tube. Along with this was the overinvestment in spurious business transactions, including “junk bonds,” soon-to-be-left-unrented commercial buildings, and unwanted real estate. Much has been said about how these manic and ill-considered business transactions led to the lengthy recession of the late Eighties and early Nineties. Along with this is the connection with the Savings and Loan scandal — the S & L Scandal — which was behind the plethora of boondoggles and ill-advised investment.

The Manic Mentality and Mindless Waste

There are two aspects of trickle-down economics and the recession that followed Reagan’s implementation of it that are especially relevant here for a discussion of drugs and generational cultures. Those factors are the manic quality of the times — the go, go, go, buy, buy, buy mentality of the investing — and the other is the obvious proof it gave to marginal returns theory: In other words, the money, given to the rich, was valued little and was mindlessly blown on trivialities; it was said the Eighties was a huge party for the rich.

So rather than creating wealth for the wealthy, which would “trickle down” to the less well off, Reaganomics, as it was also called, turned into an unparalleled failure. It was called the largest shift of wealth in America’s history, taking it from the poor and middle class and benefiting the richest, top two percent of Americans. More than that, it led to a debt that will be adversely affecting the well-being, lifestyles, and financial pictures of several generations to come.

Even worse than that, this shift of wealth upward at Reagan’s time would only be the first of many of such Republican larcenies to come, as we saw with the financial policies of Republicans George W. Bush and Donald Trump. The fact that such trickle-down and such an upward shift of wealth leads to recessions, inevitably, would become an inconvenient truth that would be suppressed in the media’s narrative. For that way the larceny could continue. And when the recession inevitably comes about, as they know it will, and the market crashes, the Filthy Rich you will find are the ones profiting on the downward trend as well. As they short the market. As they profit off the disaster of their financial mismanagement for the rest of us.

Meanwhile, as is their pattern, Republicans will then blame the mess they left behind on the Democrats who regain power, each time, after the economy has been trashed. For the electorate will put Democrats in office after every Republican financial calamity — Hoover’s Great Depression, cleaned up by Roosevelt; Reagan’s late Eighties, early Nineties recession, fixed by Bill Clinton; W. Bush’s Great Recession of 2008, corrected by Barrack Obama. Currently Joe Biden is tending successfully to the mess left us by Donald Trump. America’s financial house in order once again, the American electorate will be ripe to have their racism and hate stoked once again, directed at scapegoats, creating another Republican ascension. So the GOP can pick up on their thieving, again.

It is the challenge of this year, 2022, with everything on the line — democracy, women’s bodies, the environment — for Democrats to come out in numbers so huge as to buck the general trend of the governing party to lose seats in the midterms. Republicans must be kept from gaining power as they will bury any of Biden’s gains and will build a freeway to fascism, with Democrats and opponents being attacked, jailed, and murdered. Democrats need to gain seats, not lose them in this year’s midterms, and at this point, 22 August 2022, it really could go either way.

The Hypocrisy and Materialism

Going into such detail about the intricacies and results of the economic policy promulgated by the WWII Generation, in alliance with the Yuppies and their parents, the Fifties Generation, is important because of the hypocrisy it demonstrates in the charge leveled at the Baby-Boomer Generation of being a “Me” generation and of being narcissistic. Again, we see the WWII Generation’s same tendency to denial, projection, and scapegoating.

To continue, however, other elements in the Eighties cultural arena, existing alongside the epidemic of cocaine use, was the aforementioned careerism and materialism among the Yuppies. Remember, they primarily comprised youth in their twenties and early thirties who followed behind the Vietnam-era Generation. Their mantram was to get rich, get powerful, erect and maintain “family islands” which they saw as competitive with the rest of society — quite unlike the communitarianism of the Sixties Generation — and to retire early … social and environmental problems be damned.

The Necessary Mean-Spiritedness — Hating on the Kumbaya

Other standouts of the cultural scenery of the time included a rise of mean-spiritedness — for example, cutbacks in social programs and charities, which, as it was said, had one effect of emptying the mental hospitals into the streets. Partly as a consequence of that, and beginning in the Eighties, it became fashionable to sneer at and blame — often scapegoating — the more unfortunate ones of society: The poor, helpless, mentally ill, children, the powerless. It was as if Reagan emptied the mental hospitals onto the streets so as to have a target to feed to his rabid Right followers. Honestly, it worked. Americans were encouraged by the media and propaganda systems to find some time for that kind of hatred, for the poor and homeless, alongside their ongoing and outright snickering and smugness as directed at the “hippie-dippie” values and “kumbaya” visions of the generation older than them. Contrast that derision against the most needy of us with LBJ’s War on Poverty — a quite opposite stance — of the Sixties.

Generation “X”

The next generational set we can make out is the one of which the Yuppies were a subgroup. Yet this main core wandered into the cultural limelight during the latter half of that period and has been termed Generation X.

Was Disconnected from The Sixties

Whereas Yuppies came of age during the Eighties, the greater portion of Generation X came into adulthood in the Eighties and Nineties. As I have been saying, Yuppies were the earliest contingent of Gen X.

Predominantly these Gen X are not the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation as the values of the Vietnam-era Generation included marrying late and having children late so that their children are mostly younger than and not among Generation X.

This value concerning marrying or having children later in life tied in with the Sixties folks’ belief in personal freedom, but it is more closely related to the hypocrisy they perceived in the marriages of their parents, those of the WWII Generation. They not only perceived their parents’ marriages as being false and loveless, they perceived themselves as being the victims of poor parenting, wherein they felt they were not understood and were not accepted for who they were or supported in what they uniquely wanted to do with their lives.

Furthermore, these Sixties Gen saw the social and global context as a negative and highly dangerous one. For one thing, having been children during the “drop and roll” and bomb-shelter, nuclear-shadow era of the Fifties, and having seen the assassination of idealistic values in the deaths of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King during their teens and young adulthood, they had great doubts about the future of the world. Though of course the Sixties Generation is noted for its idealism and for its attempts to fight these perceived dangers and injustices, underneath there has always been for them an uncertainty that success is possible, so that bringing a child into this particular dangerous and unjust social context was seen as possibly not a good thing for the child.

Parented by a Fallow Generation

So it is that Generation Xers are predominantly the sons and daughters of the Fifties Generation as well as those less idealistic of the Vietnam-era Generation who had, more often than not, opted for the traditional route of career, home, and family and thus had started having children many years earlier than their more socially conscious counterparts.

This Fallow Generation, let us call it, would conceive the children who would be called Generation X — who are noted for their apathy and lack of distinctiveness.

Yet keep in mind that the Fallow Generation is not a true generation in the sense that it is composed of two age groups — the Fifties Generation and those of the Baby-Boomers who opted for a family instead of the social activism, college education, and establishing a career before raising a family decisions of their more heralded peers.

Hence Generation X’s lack of a unifying cause, value, or characteristic may have to do with their being children of parents from two different age groups and generations.

Drugs and Generations: Generation X Returned to Booze

At any rate, & understandably because they are mostly not children of the idealistic segment of Sixties youth, in addition to the aforementioned cocaine use, the drug use of Xers strayed back to the use of alcohol & cigarettes. These are the drugs used by their Fallow Generation parents, including the smaller number of them who were Boomers and who did not make either the cultural or drug changes of their peers. Alongside this “traditional” drug use, Generation Xers are noted for their pessimism, defeatism, and fascination with death — as, for example, in their selection of black clothes, their tendency to ripped jeans, tattoos, and the insertion of all sorts of pins and studs, as adornments, into virtually all parts of their bodies, and, in the extreme ones among them, a fascination with vampirism.

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9

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To Save the World:

Millennials … Psychedelics and Activism.

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[Quotes/highlights:] “Not coincidentally, Millennial Generation parents were predominantly of the Vietnam Generation/ Boomers and Millennials echoed their parent’s more liberal and mind-expanding drug use. The psychedelic that came on the scene at this time and enamored the youth of the Nineties was, however, Ecstasy.”

“Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, is very similar chemically to the amphetamines. Ecstasy has an hallucinogenic aspect, which distinguishes it, however. Yet it more reliably elicits the opening to love for others and the favorable perceptions of others and sense of unity with them….”

“Raves became an emerging phenomenon following somewhat upon the fading of the disco phase — a decline which occurred in the late Seventies, early Eighties. So raves were a phenomenon coincident with the rising use of Ecstasy and primarily affecting the generations following the Yuppie/Me-Generation…”

“…although during the Nineties the WWII Generation was in the process of leaving the scene, those elderly of them left were conducting a fierce rearguard battle to save what they could of the culture they knew and created. In their desperation, they risked any cost in terms of outlandish scandals, government costs, and loss of social progress and governmental effectiveness. They were helped by a Fifties Generation entering retirement with a lot of wealth …”

“Beginning in 1992, with the election of Bill Clinton, the youth vote swung back to going for the Democrats; the oldest of Millennials, at that time, were eleven years old. While Clinton’s victories were helped by a Boomer/ Gen X alliance; it was also helped by a general trend toward liberalism as there has been an increase in activism and idealism among the young in the last three decades.”

“…the issues that appeared to concern Millennials the most have to do with racism and the environment. It is no coincidence that in the peak of their influence as young adults, there was an astounding wave of participation in Obama’s campaign, largely by this cohort, that resulted in the first African American to attain the presidency. Following that, their anti-racism came to the fore during the massive and ongoing demonstrations of Black Lives Matter, following the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd in 2020.

“This group also has fears that the future might not be very bright or as good as it was in times before them, particularly in terms of a ruined ecology due to environmental assault and/or nuclear disaster, yet they, like their parents, also are more likely to activism and taking up causes in the face of such dire possibilities.”

“…alcohol and nicotine use could be correlated with a generation that could put a Hitler into power, create a holocaust, and carry out the most destructive war in this planet’s history. It should be obvious how marijuana use could be correlated with the alienation, pessimism, and defeatism … but also brilliance … of the Beats. It should be abundantly clear how the use of LSD and marijuana among Sixties youth could correlate with a disgust with normal society and culture and thus the creation, from scratch, of a counterculture, with a pacifism in regard to war, with a reemergence of a lived and individual spirituality, with an emphasis on real communication, with an attempt to create real community and relationships, and with much more that has been associated with them. and it should need no explanation how cocaine use could be correlated with a manic economy and irrational, overoptimistic schemes, and failed business ventures”

“…it is that distinctive minority of any generation that paints the face that generation presents to the world. It is the differences in generations and the new ideas and perceptions that make up the intellectual currency of a period and which rise above the familiar scenery to be spotlighted by the media and press.”

“It is the differences between generations that is worthy of discussion. and it is my point that those differences are unusually correlated with the distinctive drug use of that generation and the effects that those drugs have on one’s perceptions of reality…”

“…these drug-influenced perceptions create the worldviews of generations out of which they create their generational cultures — the stark differences of which can fuel culture wars.”

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[Chapter 9 text begins:] The Millennial Generation succeeded Gen X; they are those born 1982 to 2000. Once again, drug usage swung away from what it had been in a way that coincided with a different political and personality profile for Millennials. Not coincidentally, Millennial Generation parents were predominantly of the Vietnam Generation/ Boomers, and Millennials echoed their parent’s more liberal and mind-expanding drug use. The psychedelic that came on the scene at this time and enamored the youth of the Nineties was, however, Ecstasy. It had its own unique effects, which were reflected in the cultural happenings of their era.

Drug Effects — Ecstasy

Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, is very similar chemically to the amphetamines. Ecstasy has an hallucinogenic aspect, which distinguishes it, however. Yet it more reliably elicits the opening to love for others and the favorable perceptions of others and sense of unity with them as described above as occurring for amphetamines also, along with the drivenness of speed that is more characteristic of it. That, among other reasons, is why MDMA has been found helpful in counseling and mental health settings for personal growth.

Ecstasy came into use in the late Seventies and in the Eighties; and it has had continued appreciation of its effects through to the present. In fact, it is considered the drug of choice at raves — psychedelic and musical large-scale parties, which became a more recent generational phenomena, coming about in the Nineties. The growth in popularity of raves maps nearly exactly on the increasing appreciation for Ecstasy. It would be hard to view that as coincidental.

Disco Yupp

The free love and communalism of the Sixties was superseded by a disco phase in the late Seventies. The disco phase emerged and grew immediately upon the waning of use in the psychedelics, the increasing use of marijuana as a “cocktail,” mixed with alcohol, and the predominant use of cocaine by the Yuppies and Me Generation — the early contingent of Generation X.

Rave on, Millennials!

Raves became an emerging phenomenon following somewhat upon the fading of the disco phase — a decline which occurred in the late Seventies, early Eighties. So raves were a phenomenon coincident with the rising use of Ecstasy and primarily affecting the generations following the Yuppie/Me-Generation, that is to say, specifically, Generation X and the Millennial Generation.

Baby-Boomer Echo Generation

This generation is currently in their thirties and forties, though some are still in their twenties, some still in college, as a consequence of the tendency for some Baby-Boomer parents to postpone having children, often waiting till the very end of a woman’s reproductive years, just before the age of forty.

This generation has been called an “echo” of the Baby-Boomers in that just as the Baby-Boomers represented a significant population increase, conceived in the post-WWII euphoria and stability, these children of Boomers also represented an incoming population wave, due to the numbers of their parents. There was a wave of increased school attendance during the Nineties and post-millennial years. Universities not long after that were attending to their needs.

Just as in every other generation mentioned, this Echo Generation, also called Millennial Generation, shares many of the characteristics and values of their parents.

Similarly, they mirror the drug use of their parents. There was a great to-do in the press during the Nineties about the increase in drug use among the young, particularly in high school. Furthermore, in typical WWII-Generation style, the media and Republicans in Congress attempted, during the Nineties, to scapegoat Sixties-Generation President Bill Clinton on this issue of drug use.

For, although during the Nineties the WWII Generation was in the process of leaving the scene, those elderly of them left were conducting a fierce rearguard battle to save what they could of the culture they knew and created. In their desperation, they risked any cost in terms of outlandish scandals, government costs, and loss of social progress and governmental effectiveness. They were helped by a Fifties Generation entering retirement with a lot of wealth who, as I have said, were extremely jealous of the attention paid to the larger Boomer generation who came after them.

Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is that the increase in drug use among the young — which significantly enough involved predominantly an increase in the use of marijuana and, as they say: LSD … It’s b-a-a-a-a-ck! — had to do with the fact that the parents of these young people are indeed the people of the Sixties who themselves experimented with these substances.

Lest I be misunderstood, I am in no way saying that parents, in general, actively teach their children to take drugs — whether we are talking about the alcohol and cigarette use of the WWII Generation or marijuana and LSD use of Boomers — yet children are influenced by what their parents do or have done, even if just in the fact that the parents are more tolerant of such usage, having done it themselves. I say this because it could be countered that even the Sixties Generation, as parents, were engaged in the public antidrug campaign. Yet when they did so they were doing it out of a fear for their children’s physical welfare, not from a severe moral perspective that these drugs are the royal road to hell or from such other paranoid attitude, as was most often the case in the parents of the other generations discussed so far.1

Politics — Activism. Values — Idealism

To return to the point, though not as widely studied, yet, as Boomers and Gen X, these are some of what has been noted about this “echo” generation: Beginning in 1992, with the election of Bill Clinton, the youth vote swung back to going for the Democrats; the oldest of Millennials, at that time, were eleven years old. While Clinton’s victories were helped by a Boomer/ Gen X alliance; it was also helped by a general trend toward liberalism as there has been an increase in activism and idealism among the young in the last three decades. Surprisingly this increase was noticed as early as when this generation was in high school and grade school. Polls done on their attitudes as children and adults showed a strong increase in their concern about social and global issues.

In fact, the issues that appeared to concern Millennials the most have to do with racism and the environment. It is no coincidence that in the peak of their influence as young adults, there was an astounding wave of participation in Obama’s campaign, largely by this cohort, that resulted in the first African-American to attain the presidency. Following that, their anti-racism came to the fore during the massive and ongoing demonstrations of Black Lives Matter, following the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd in 2020.

This group also has fears that the future might not be very bright or as good as it was in times before them, particularly in terms of a ruined ecology due to environmental assault and/or nuclear disaster, yet they, like their parents, also are more likely to activism and taking up causes in the face of such dire possibilities.

These values of the Echo Generation are understandable, not only in that they reflect those of their parents, but also in that in the most recent decades the Sixties Generation — and indeed it would tend to be the more idealistic of them that would opt for the low pay that teachers currently get — predominated as the teachers and administrators in the primary and secondary schools that taught the Echo Generation.

The same, however, cannot as much be said of the universities, with Millennials attending, for reasons having to do with cutbacks in educational funds, the lingering success of the WWII Generation in turning universities into career factories as opposed to truly educational institutions, and, with the cutbacks in funding, the lack of job openings for Sixties Generation applicants and the resulting continued influence, bolstered by the institution of tenureship, of pre-Sixties professors — those of the Fifties and Fallow Generations, and a few remaining, very old, WWII folks.

Still, the Sixties Generation influence on these youth in college existed because of several contrary trends. The Echo Generation’s numbers swelled university attendance, requiring additional hiring somehow, whatever the funding constraints, and those of the generations preceding the Sixties Generation passed from the universities into retirement, or the beyond.

The candidates for the openings that did come about at the university level would be, not as much those of the Fallow Generation, the Yuppies, or Generation Xers, but instead members of a Sixties Generation who alone, among the generations mentioned, valued education over money and careerism. They had been waiting a long time, diplomas and experience in hand, for their chance to return to the universities — this time as the instructors and administrators — and eager to change its course back to true education, as it was when they were students in the liberal-minded Sixties.

We see the effects of this in Obama’s election and the phenomenal numbers of demonstrators coming out to fight back union attacks and budget squeezes in Wisconsin and throughout the US. Though these were not attracting media attention these outpourings continued unabated. We witnessed their activist inclinations as well in the worldwide Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 and the Black Lives Matter protests nine years later. My analysis provides insight into why these events are occurring now, as they are in the prime of their adulthood.

Different Drugs, Different Worlds

This has been a brief overview of salient characteristics of generational cultures of some past and current generations alongside a description of that generation’s predominant drug use. I simultaneously unveiled in some detail what we know about the effects of these particular substances on consciousness and attitudes. Finally, I discussed the behavior and beliefs that can coincide with the use of these drugs, as they affect consciousness in different ways, creating different kinds of consciousnesses, different perspectives, indeed entirely different and distinct ways of perceiving the self and the world.

This discussion of drug use and generational cultures might be complete enough at this point. Any of the many connections not specifically made should be readily apparent and the information being brought together this way is suggestive of much more.

What I do not think needs to be spelled out is the obvious: For example, alcohol and nicotine use could be correlated with a generation that could put a Hitler into power, create a holocaust, and carry out the most destructive war in this planet’s history. It should be obvious how marijuana use could be correlated with the alienation, pessimism, and defeatism … but also brilliance … of the Beats. It should be abundantly clear how the use of LSD and marijuana among Sixties youth could correlate with a disgust with normal society and culture and thus the creation, from scratch, of a counterculture, with a pacifism in regard to war, with a reemergence of a lived and individual spirituality, with an emphasis on real communication, with an attempt to create real community and relationships, and with much more that has been associated with them. and it should need no explanation how cocaine use could be correlated with a manic economy and irrational, overoptimistic schemes, and failed business ventures.

Painting the Faces of Generations

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I should point out that, except for the WWII Generation whose drugs were legal and easily available, the above is based on generalities and trends of a minority of the people in the generations mentioned. Yet it is that distinctive minority of any generation that paints the face that generation presents to the world. It is the differences in generations and the new ideas and perceptions that make up the intellectual currency of a period and which rise above the familiar scenery to be spotlighted by the media and press.

The “Beats” did not comprise the majority of their generation and not all of them took marijuana or even had the horrifying perception of our normal unreality that is possible on that drug, yet a number of them, larger than any previously in any other generation, did exactly that … and those who did were often compelled to express those perceptions and the accompanying ideas, in revelatory literature, poetry, theater, and the like, that would influence the reality constructions of the rest of their generation and would come to characterize the palpable ideas of the era.

So it is as well with the Sixties Generation, the Yuppies, and even Generation Xers and the Millennial Generation. It is the differences between generations that is worthy of discussion. and it is my point that those differences are unusually correlated with the distinctive drug use of that generation and the effects that those drugs have on one’s perceptions of reality — a point that I have not seen explored before.

Drugs and Culture War

Finally, I wish to emphasize that these drug-influenced perceptions create the worldviews of generations out of which they create their generational cultures — the stark differences of which can fuel culture wars.

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PART THREE

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Cultural Rebirth, Aborted

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10

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The King Won’t Die

Attack of the Body-Snatchers … an Aborted Changing of the Guard

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…[the Sixties Generation] were biding their time, waiting — sometimes hopeless that it would ever arrive — for a reversing of the pendulum and a return in society to the ideals and visions of a better world that had so inspired them in their earlier years.”

“…[the Sixties Generation] would wonder, as decades passed, why it took so long for the rest of society to catch on to what they felt was an inviting and appealing evolution — one both necessary and therefore inevitable as well.”

“Another reason these terms depicting cultural division, specifically, generation gap and counterculture, went into disuse was due to the mobilization of the World War Two Generation — after their initial phase of somnolent confusion over the events that were emerging in the Sixties which left them paralyzed and watching, growing in irritation and anger — into a comprehensive counterattack against the Sixties Generation, using all the Nixonian-like tactics in their arsenal….”

“In the early Seventies, the World War Two Generation used their power and wealth, being themselves in the triumphant phase of their lives, to put pressure on colleges and universities, nationwide, to discontinue the programs, courses, and the professors that they felt were responsible for the youth’s rebellion.”

“A transformation of colleges and universities into ‘career mills’ — whose primary function was to prepare the young for practical and skill-oriented jobs and professions — was called for … or else!”

“The youth produced by these institutions would hereafter be dissuaded from thinking for themselves and from ‘questioning authority’ — as the previous generation had been encouraged to do….”

“…the wave of youth that followed the Sixties Generation would be molded, in their college years, into distant replicas of World War Two Generation members. They would be termed the ‘Me Generation,’ since selfishness, greed, money-as-god, and upward mobility were characteristics of the WWII Generation that they were able to instill in their youthful clones.”

“…beginning in the early Seventies, institutions of higher learning turned away from their idealistic goals of “bringing out” from the students their inner truths and wisdom (which is the original meaning of the term educate), which is the avowed role of liberal arts programs, and instead turned hard, to the right, onto a path of churning out engineers, MBAs, hard scientists … even in the field of psychology, where humanistic psychology was shunned … medical professionals, lawyers, and the like.”

“…these frightened and wealthy WWII ‘conspirators’ … however unconscious their alliance … would use their leverage to ensure that books and the media — TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers — would expound their views predominantly, would present events through the particular psychological lenses and filters with which they were familiar, and would eschew viewpoints, and even coverage of events, that would in any way strengthen the stance of the, by this time, scapegoated Sixties Generation.”

“Controlling the media in this way and saying it long and loud enough, the ‘big lie’ of the ‘conservative backlash’ began to be accepted as truth. And even many in the counterculture and among the youth began to believe it.”

“…with Trump we see a division in the country corresponding roughly with generational lines, with both sides actively and passionately fighting back the gains of the other side.”

“Every generation, at some point, leaves or is removed from their seats of power when they are at or near the end of their arc of effectiveness and prowess by a younger generation that is coming into or — as in the unusual case of the Sixties Generation for the reasons unique to this time to be mentioned below — is fully in the prime of its life.”

“The triumphant phase of the Sixties Generation had been delayed, however, longer than any other generation in history because of the advances in modern medical science, which served to keep the World War Two Generation alive and kicking longer than any previous generation.”

“…the WWII Generation might be said to have been more threatened than any previous one by the generation to succeed them, because the ascendancy of the next generation appeared to overturn and oftentimes reverse so much of what they believed, valued, worked and sacrificed for.”

“…the World War Two Generation used their longevity for all their worth to block the ascendancy of their successors. They used their long lives to amass wealth and power — wealth greater than any previous generation before and, because of their actions, likely to come.”

“…the World War Two Generation used their unprecedented wealth and power to wage a war against the generation who would be taking over from them, keeping them and their values under attack and away from the centers of power and influence in society as long as they possibly could.”

“…your position on the abortion issue is the closest thing to a military uniform indicating on which side of the culture war you have enlisted. Specifically, I am saying that there are few of the Sixties Generation who would not classify themselves as ‘pro-choice.’ Meanwhile, the anti-abortionists are found to primarily comprise those of the WWII Generation, their Eighties Generation clones, and the Eisenhower-Presley-McCarthy — and now we might add ‘Pleasantville’ — Fifties Generation.”

“The World War Two Generation, especially after the elections of November 1998, learned that it was way off in some of its assumptions, that their analysis of what had been happening in this country was woefully miscalculated. They were like the deluded schizophrenic who believed passionately in the world he himself created coming up against some of the hard, harsh, and indisputable facts of existence which undermine his world.

“The World-War-Two-Generation–minded — whatever the individual’s age, and especially now, their underlings of the Fifties Generation — have been fighting back, since the Nineties, with all the firepower they can muster against realizing the harsh realities around them of their waning ideals. They have been in total and absolute denial of the direction of the American, indeed the world, consciousness; and they have been flinging all their wealth into the mix to try to repress the emerging truths.”

“But we shouldn’t be surprised if we see some of those in their ranks — wealthy and facing their inevitable demise — merely increasing the ferocity of their war waging … humiliating themselves and seeming ever more pitiful in the minds of the majority of observers, who increasingly, as time continues to decimate their WWII ranks, are younger than they and thus do not share their delusions.”

“…we have faced, since the change of the millennium, neo-con wars built on lies and confused tea-baggers railing against their own interests. All of which culminated in the installation of a Russian asset, Trump. Illegitimate president Donald Trump brought together in one person all the class-war waging ferocity; all the misogyny, racism, and idiocracy; all the pitiable gooberish nonsense pretending to be truth; and all the cruelty and insensitivity of the Filthy Rich, the Republicans, the White supremacists, and the greedy generations,  into one person.

“Yet this war is not over; we can still glimpse a world … for it has been growing everywhere outside the limelight … where peace, love, harmony, sexual freedom, intelligence and rationality, and kind-heartedness abound.”

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[Chapter 10 text begins:] What do these events have in common? The popularity of Democrats since the Nineties, with Obama’s favorability ratings high despite US entanglement in several wars; the astounding progress in race relations exemplified by ever increasing numbers of African-Americans elected and appointed to the highest posts in US government since the Nineties, highlighted by the election of the first ever black president in the most lopsided victory in decades;

America Getting Free, Breaking Out

… the wild success of the Occupy Wall Street and Wisconsin union movements; massive demonstrations around the U.S., attended by hundreds of thousands at times, in favor of liberal Democratic causes and opposing Republicans and showing people carrying signs displaying the peace symbol; outpourings of peaceful pro-freedom and democracy protesters throughout the Middle East and North Africa; the reborn popularity of the “peace sign” — two fingers extended in a V-like shape, for those who don’t know — including saying “peace” while extending it as a greeting (most often these days, when leaving); the phenomenal outpouring of support for Black Lives Matter in 2020;

… renewed interest in the book, Catcher in the Rye; the nostalgia for Sixties and Seventies cultural accouterments as exemplified by the TV show, That 70s Show ; the resurgence of fashion items like bell-bottoms and, on women, clunky high-heel shoes; the movies Pleasantville and The Truman Show; the popularity in the Nineties of shows like Ally McBeal and The X Files;

… one-time Sixties activist Bill Clinton’s sixty-some percent approval rating throughout almost the entirety of the White House Sex Scandal alongside the pundits’ complete and total befuddlement as to the causes for it; the strong presidential run by a woman, also with roots solidly in Sixties activism, Hillary Clinton, in the 2008 Presidential race … significantly only beat out, and barely, by an African-American;

… the passage of medical use of marijuana laws in a number of states and legalization of marijuana initiatives; the return to ballad-style, Dylan-esque music embracing and expressing social, philosophical, and extremely intimate personal views and experiences….

We’ve also seen, in California, the passage of Proposition 10 — the ballot measure that imposes a fifty-cents tax on cigarettes to fund programs for young children … which ballot measure, significantly enough, was begun by Sixties-Generation representative Rob Reiner — formerly Meathead from All in the Family! The passage of single payer health insurance in Vermont.… I could go on.

America in Chains, Breaking Down

On the other side of this we have seen, in the last three decades, several “Republican revolutions” taking the opposite side on women’s issues, union and worker’s rights, environmental policy, health care and education, budget and economic issues benefiting the poor and middle class, and all other “liberal” causes;

… the rise of a media-supported Tea Party movement, heavily funded by wealthy and corporate interests, espousing wildly reactionary and regressive measures like eliminating Social Security and Medicare, gutting environmental policies to give corporations a free hand in despoiling the environment, anti-union measures, deep budget cuts in social programs, and the showing in this movement of demonstrators hoisting signs with racist images and slogans and gleefully applauding the acting out of a slave auction depicting an African-American president, Obama, and his supporters in Congress and his administration as bloodied slaves in chains;

… the popularity of a news network promoting, in blatant and mostly dishonest form, reactionary issues and figures; the resurgence in the careers of Pat Buchanan, right wing propagandist out of the Nixon administration turned talk show pundit, and Newt Gingrich, reactionary culture warrior during the early Nineties; extreme pro-gun positions and actions, including openly carrying weapons to political rallies and events and proposing the allowance of children to bring guns to schools; thuggish attacks on left-leaning activists and demonstrators; the murder of physicians on the pro-choice side of the abortion/women’s rights issue; and attacks and threats against progressive politicians and legislators, including the nearly successful assassination attempt on Democratic Congresswoman, Gabriel Giffords…. I could go on.

Most folks would see nothing connecting these issues on either side. What I believe we are seeing is a resurgence of the underground “culture war” that has been going on in the US since the 1960s between the Sixties Generation — those whose adolescent and young adulthood, formative years were influenced by the events of the Sixties — and the World War Two Generation — those whose equivalent times of life were forged in the Forties, during and around the time of World War Two.

Generation Gap and Counterculture

The huge ravine separating the views of these two generations was most apparent when those of the Sixties Generation were in their youth, engaged in the process of discovering and exploring their values and therefore expressing them blatantly and with all the indiscretion, lack of subtlety, confrontation, and rebelliousness that characterizes the inexperienced. Thus, terms like generation gap and counterculture were bandied about, analyzed, and fervently discussed. The differences were “on the table,” in full view; and because the views and values of the youth were so “counter” or opposite to those of the WWII Generation, much debate and analysis was spawned in the media to try to explain — for the most part to the WWII Generation — how this could be so.

Nevertheless, these terms of generation gap and counterculture, which highlighted the great disparity of views, would fade mostly into disuse. This was because, later, the Sixties Generation would learn to keep their private views and values more hidden, for practical reasons having to do with making a living, advancing in their careers, being able to raise their children, and so on. Yet this did not mean their values had changed, regardless the propaganda being infused into the public mind so as to scapegoat this generation. They were biding their time, waiting — sometimes hopeless that it would ever arrive — for a reversing of the pendulum and a return in society to the ideals and visions of a better world that had so inspired them in their earlier years.

For the most part, these Sixties adherents did not know about the psychohistorical tendencies I will be describing here — as for example in the evolution of child-caring and the triumphant phase of generations. For most it was just an awareness that something so strong and so right could not simply have completely vanished from the Earth, that with time comes change, and therefore there had to be a time, again, when the mood of the country would swing in the direction they felt to be healthiest and more ideal. For some of these people their hopes were based on the simple rules of gambling: Eventually, at some time or other, with the passage of time, the dice just had to roll their number, if just out of pure chance or randomness.

Others had a slightly more reasoned view buttressing their hope for a return to idealism. These folks were those of the Sixties Generation who had applied themselves to implementing the values they learned in the Sixties in the jobs and careers they held, in whatever small or not-so-small way that they were allowed by their older generation superiors, bosses, managers, or supervisors. Never knowing that they had allies among their generation who were doing the same kind of thing in their separate fields, they followed through, the best they could, on simple conviction, born of experience, of the rightness of the more idealistic ways.

Lastly, there were those of the Sixties Generation who identified themselves completely with their youthful idealism. In putting themselves “out front” this way in their values and beliefs they found others who were doing the same. They would together become the “New Age” movement, actively engaged in bringing about the better world their generation had envisioned in the Sixties and early Seventies. They would wonder, as decades passed, why it took so long for the rest of society to catch on to what they felt was an inviting and appealing evolution — one both necessary and therefore inevitable as well.

But these last, the New Agers, would be marginalized and scapegoated by the mainstream of society — a mainstream whose outlines, of course, were determined and inscribed by the mainstream media, which was, in turn, controlled by the wealthy elite of the World War Two Generation (more about this to come). Examples include Jerry Brown labeled “Captain Moonbeam,” the family dynamics in the TV show Family Ties, the burnt-out hippie depiction of cabdriver, Jim, in the Taxi television series, and thousands of other instances where those holding New Age views were labeled “flakes.”

An Aborted Changing of the Guard — Attack of the Body-Snatchers

Another reason these terms depicting cultural division, specifically, generation gap and counterculture, went into disuse was due to the mobilization of the World War Two Generation — after their initial phase of somnolent confusion over the events that were emerging in the Sixties which left them paralyzed and watching, growing in irritation and anger — into a comprehensive counterattack against the Sixties Generation, using all the Nixonian-like tactics in their arsenal … understandably, since Nixon was of that generation and his tactics were typical of the defensive style of his contemporaries.

Lassoing the Universities

In the early Seventies, the World War Two Generation used their power and wealth, being themselves in the triumphant phase of their lives, to put pressure on colleges and universities, nationwide, to discontinue the programs, courses, and the professors that they felt were responsible for the youth’s rebellion. Their targets for destruction included such noteworthy “dangers” as liberal arts programs in general, and especially “highly revolutionary” philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, and humanistic psychology courses. A transformation of colleges and universities into “career mills” — whose primary function was to prepare the young for practical and skill-oriented jobs and professions — was called for … or else! Or else these World War Two alumni would discontinue their contributions to these educational institutions. The “bottom line” being threatened in this way, no university administration, to my knowledge, withstood their demands for very long, if at all.

Cloning Themselves … WWII Generation Creating an 80s Generation of “Mini-me’s”

The youth produced by these institutions would hereafter be dissuaded from thinking for themselves and from “questioning authority” — as the previous generation had been encouraged to do — so part of the lapse in the terms of division between the generations — counterculture and generation gap — had to do with the fact that the wave of youth that followed the Sixties Generation would be molded, in their college years, into distant replicas of World War Two Generation members. They would be termed the “Me Generation,” since selfishness, greed, money-as-god, and upward mobility were characteristics of the WWII Generation that they were able to instill in their youthful clones.

Thus, we saw the rise of Young Republicans on campus in the late Seventies, the return of ROTC to campuses, and the seeding of fertile young minds with the values that would later be verbalized — in the movie Wall Street — in the mantram “Greed is good!” At the height of this phase, periodicals were declaring how similar the “youth of today” — meaning those of the late Seventies and Eighties — were to their parents, how close they were to their parents in the beliefs and values they held, and how the generation gap had inexplicably closed. Such was the success of the WWII Generation in cloning themselves in producing Eighties youth.

In sum, beginning in the early Seventies, institutions of higher learning turned away from their idealistic goals of ‘bringing out’ from the students their inner truths and wisdom (which is the original meaning of the term educate), which is the avowed role of liberal arts programs, and instead turned hard, to the right, onto a path of churning out engineers, MBAs, hard scientists … even in the field of psychology, where humanistic psychology was shunned … medical professionals, lawyers, and the like. My liberal arts, semi–ivy-league college — founded, by half, by Benjamin Franklin — turned from the idealistic studies that typified Franklin and those of his time and swung from being a bastion of energetic inquiry into all controversial realms — political and spiritual and societal — a virtual “Plato’s Academy” of inquiry, into being a career mill centered around a “pre-med” program.

Harnessing the Media

Similarly, these frightened and wealthy WWII “conspirators” … however unconscious their alliance … would use their leverage to ensure that books and the media — TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers — would expound their views predominantly, would present events through the particular psychological lenses and filters with which they were familiar, and would eschew viewpoints, and even coverage of events, that would in any way strengthen the stance of the, by this time, scapegoated Sixties Generation.

The media declared, with much fanfare, in the early Seventies that a “conservative backlash” was occurring; and they published books documenting this event. Meanwhile they ignored the polls and the events — specifically the ongoing and growing antiwar and other counterculture “demonstrations” — that would show the lie to this idea; and they rejected and refused publication of the kind of books and articles, still being effusively churned out — that would support the counterculture movement. Controlling the media in this way and saying it long and loud enough, the “big lie” of the “conservative backlash” began to be accepted as truth. And even many in the counterculture and among the youth began to believe it.

Interestingly, those on the extreme right did not forget that the great divide in views was still with us. In the Nineties, Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich said a “culture war” was going on. More recently we see WWII- and Fifties-style Tea Partiers going up against huge rallies of Sixties style pro-union demonstrators and massive recall efforts. And, of course, with Trump we see a division in the country corresponding roughly with generational lines, with both sides actively and passionately fighting back the gains of the other side.

So those on the right decry such massive outpourings against them, but they are correct that it is a “culture war.” Obviously they can see that the world has changed from the Fifties-style “Pleasantville” they had imagined and wanted it to be.

Culture War — The King Must Die

Still, the World War Two Generation could not maintain control forever. For one thing, people die. And being older than the Sixties Generation, eventually their numbers had to dwindle. Their numbers dwindling, they had to be replaced by those younger — some of whom were of the Sixties Generation and were now in what psychohistorians call the triumphant phase of life — that is, the time of life when a generation is in its “prime,” when it is most influential, when it takes over the reins of society, when it gets behind the wheel of the cultural bus.

From this perspective, we can view a remarkable film, Pleasantville, released in the late Nineties at the peak of the Sixties Generation’s triumphant phase, and see that it is a metaphorical review of history from the early Fifties up to that time — one which shows the Sixties Generation, in the end, finally realizing their vision of a more colorful, alive, open-to-new-experience and to change, growthful, changeful, passionate, unregimented, truthful, sensual, feeling and emotionful, and less determined, ritualized, and preordained existence. More about this later.

The Generational Changing of the Guard

First let me point out that this change in power, evident by this movie and the other recent cultural items I’ve mentioned, is a change as old as our species. Every generation, at some point, leaves or is removed from their seats of power when they are at or near the end of their arc of effectiveness and prowess by a younger generation that is coming into or — as in the unusual case of the Sixties Generation for the reasons unique to this time to be mentioned below — is fully in the prime of its life.

Myths, fairy tales, stories, historical tales, and legends the world over depict this change of power. The myth that is most transparent in its depiction of this change is the one in which a monarch, despot, or ogre controls and rules the land, keeping the people miserable with oppressive and selfish decrees and policies. A young prince emerges and, after a period of trial … in the case of the Sixties Generation, an unusually long period of trial … in which the prince proves himself worthy, he takes up the cause of the people and overthrows the old king and takes his place. Thus the saying, “The king is dead. Long live the (new) king.”

The triumphant phase of the Sixties Generation had been delayed, however, longer than any other generation in history because of the advances in modern medical science, which served to keep the World War Two Generation alive and kicking longer than any previous generation. The average life expectancy in the last ninety years … since the time when the World War Two Generation were in their youth or young adulthood … has increased remarkably. Hence the Sixties Generation had to wait longer than the World War Two Generation to get a chance behind the wheel of society. It is strange and ironic that at a time when the speed of cultural change is greatest because of an ever increasing speed of technological change, at a time when the elder generation’s worldview becomes obsolete sooner and faster than ever before, at such a time when it would seem the younger generation’s view would attain relevancy and effectiveness faster and sooner than at any previous time, at such a time we had the reverse occurring, that is, the younger generation’s ascendancy was delayed and the older one’s stranglehold on power was extended.

However, this rapid change and increasing rate of obsolescence may just have had something to do with the WWII Generation’s desire to hang on and their vehement struggle against change. For, as mentioned before, there is a gap — greater than ever before — between the views of the younger and those of the older. This gap is wrought of the different technological worlds and the corresponding sociocultural worlds that each experienced. It is widened by different, more advanced on the one side, child-caring of children, as well as by different drugs used, and the contrasting world views they would elicit — as explained in Chapter Five and those following.

So the WWII Generation might be said to have been more threatened than any previous one by the generation to succeed them, because the ascendancy of the next generation appeared to overturn and oftentimes reverse so much of what they believed, valued, worked and sacrificed for.

Because of the unprecedented technological change and corresponding change in material culture, catalyzing in ways too numerous to mention a myriad of sociocultural and psychological changes in their successors, there was less overlap than ever before between the worldviews of the generation handing over power and the generation coming into power. It follows that it would seem to the generation in power, even as they approached the end of their mortality, that less of what they are and were would live on after them than has ever been the case in the history of generational succession.

This being so, such a generational succession represented a previously unheard of personal invalidation and undermining of the self-esteem of those of the World War Two Generation and a corresponding unprecedented attack on the usual delusions of immortality … themselves living on in some fashion in their successors … that older generations are allowed in exchange for their relinquishing power.

Culture War — The King Won’t Die

At any rate and whatever may be the reason, the fact remains that the World War Two Generation used their longevity for all their worth to block the ascendancy of their successors. They used their long lives to amass wealth and power — wealth greater than any previous generation before and, because of their actions, likely to come.

For example, their actions led to a situation, currently, wherein they were taken care of in their old age by a Social Security and Medicare system funded by the work of the Baby-Boomers, aka Sixties Generation, at the same time that predictions abound that that same Social Security and Medicare system will be depleted just as it is the Baby-Boomers’ time to belly-up to the bar. One might also note the WWII Generation’s environmental and ecological decisions making it that no generation after them woule enjoy anywhere near the benefits — health and quality of life among them — of clean environment, abundance of natural resources, and ecological balance that they enjoyed. Finally, their decisions regarding arms buildup and proliferation may deny life itself to the generations following them. Other unprecedented ogre-like — greedy, selfish, and uncaring-of-succeeding-generations — actions can be numbered against this generation.

Generational Changing of the Guard, Aborted

So, the World War Two Generation used their unprecedented wealth and power to wage a war against the generation who would be taking over from them, keeping them and their values under attack and away from the centers of power and influence in society as long as they possibly could.1

Desperate Stand: The Battle of the Bill (Clinton)

It is enlightening to consider in the Nineties the persistent attacks on Bill Clinton (similarly, on Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, continuing) — the first Sixties Generation U.S. president — ever since he took office. The Monica Lewinsky scandal is a typical example of the extent to which the World War Two Generation so effectively controlled the views and values expressed and subtly expounded in the media ever since it took conscious control of the society’s “collective consciousness” in this way in the early Seventies. By this I mean that in the entire time of the scandal, it was assumed that sex is bad, or at least that sex outside of marriage is bad. It was assumed that Hillary must be horribly pained and angered by the revelation of her husband’s affair(s).

Make Love, Not War

It is as if the slogan “Make Love, Not War” was never a generational outcry. I don’t believe you will ever find in the history books paid for/published by World War Two Generation owned publishing houses mention of the fact that slogan was ever used. Indeed, with all the talk by pundits, analysts, and commentators on literally hundreds of TV shows during the entire time of the Lewinsky scandal and impeachment drama, that slogan, “Make Love, Not War,” was practically never mentioned. I am aware of only one time — when I heard it slipped in unnoticed by a participant in the middle of a talkin’-all-at-once brouhaha on the TV show Politically Incorrect, whereupon it was totally ignored.

Even more astonishing, those same pundits discussed, ad nauseum, this scandal and all the myriad ramifications of it yet never, to my knowledge, made note of Clinton’s generational status and the views, exemplified by “Make Love, Not War,” which my generation espoused. It has simply been assumed that all of the Sixties Generation “grew out” of that kind of “nonsense” and had adopted the views of the WWII Generation … again, polls on values and viewpoints be damned.

Rewriting History

Most telling of all in the attacks on Clinton’s behavior is the assumption that such a stance on open marriage and uninhibited sexuality is a product of uncontrolled lewdness and the sexual license exhibited primarily by the young, which naturally everyone grows out of in order to adopt the constrained and secretive sexual views of the old. The sexual revolution’s parallel growth in the Sixties with expanding civil rights, women’s rights, and individual liberty is completely ignored. Its roots in an idealism about final and complete gender equality is totally vanquished as if it were never so.

In fact, I doubt you, the reader, know of this. Yet hordes of Sixties youth shared with each other, conspiratorial-like, the Sixties novel, The Harrad Experiment by Robert H. Rimmer, which portrayed — in poetic and highly intelligent fashion — an evolution to a radical equality between the genders, to an elimination of neurotic suffering around sexuality as, for example, in painful jealousy, to an ending of sexual violence as in spouse abuse, and a final and complete solution to a gender war existing for all time with incalculable casualties and near infinity of suffering on both sides. It was a story about non-monogamy and open relationships … “free love.”

Neither did the pundits point out that Bill Clinton is of a generation who made a book on “open marriage” a bestseller. The clinch on the media by that older generation has been so complete as to have, apparently, completely dismissed or erased from the minds of the pundits the facts that those ideas and books ever existed. Another thing erased from history since the Seventies: the “sexual revolution.” Remember that? When was the last time you heard that talked about? All of the energy that had surrounded these controversial ideas has, because of media manipulation and repression of these views, been channeled into and reduced to a fight over a woman’s right to choose, that is to say, the abortion issue, and more recently to fights over union rights and budget issues.

Abortion Wars

Incidentally, it is no coincidence that the issue of abortion has taken on such importance for so many in the electorate, for it is the last remaining battle of the “culture war” directly continuing from the Sixties. Prior to the Sixties, women’s bodies could not be considered their own, in many ways; a prominent way was the illegality of abortion, which made outcasts and corpses out of untold numbers of women. It was reversed by Roe v. Wade in the Sixties. But the battle never went away and is the major front in a Gender War that has been going on for millennia. Indeed, in 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned by a Supreme Court hand- and illegally picked to produce such a result.

And your position on the abortion issue is the closest thing to a military uniform indicating on which side of the Culture War you have enlisted. Specifically, I am saying that there are few of the Sixties Generation who would not classify themselves as “pro-choice.” Meanwhile, the anti-abortionists are found to primarily comprise those of the WWII Generation, their Eighties Generation clones, and the Eisenhower-Presley-McCarthy — and now we might add “Pleasantville” — Fifties Generation.

World War Two and Fifties Generations Just Don’t Get It … Never Have, and Never Will

Of course, I am saying that the War on Clinton was, in its essence, an unacknowledged but desperate battle in the Culture War that has been going on since the Sixties — despite these attacks not being framed or talked about this way — between the World War Two and the Sixties Generations. The World War Two Generation, especially after the elections of November 1998, learned that it was way off in some of its assumptions, that their analysis of what had been happening in this country was woefully miscalculated. They were like the deluded schizophrenic who believed passionately in the world he himself created coming up against some of the hard, harsh, and indisputable facts of existence which undermine his world.

The World-War-Two-Generation–minded — whatever the individual’s age, and especially now, their underlings of the Fifties Generation — have been fighting back, since the Nineties, with all the firepower they can muster against realizing the harsh realities around them of their waning ideals. They have been in total and absolute denial of the direction of the American, indeed the world, consciousness; and they have been flinging all their wealth into the mix to try to repress the emerging truths.

When I first published on this topic in 1998 I wrote, “But we shouldn’t be surprised if we see some of those in their ranks — wealthy and facing their inevitable demise — merely increasing the ferocity of their war waging … humiliating themselves and seeming ever more pitiful in the minds of the majority of observers, who increasingly, as time continues to decimate their WWII ranks, are younger than they and thus do not share their delusions.”

I am sorry to say I was more correct than I could ever have dreamed as we have faced, since the change of the millennium, neo-con wars built on lies and confused tea-baggers railing against their own interests. All of which culminated in the installation of a Russian asset, Trump. Illegitimate president Donald Trump brought together in one person all the class-war waging ferocity; all the misogyny, racism, and idiocracy; all the pitiable gooberish nonsense pretending to be truth; and all the cruelty and insensitivity of the Filthy Rich, the Republicans, the White supremacists, and the greedy generations, into one person.

Yet this war is not over; we can still glimpse a world … for it has been growing everywhere outside the limelight … where peace, love, harmony, sexual freedom, intelligence and rationality, and kind-heartedness abound. Let us look at one such vision.

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11

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Culture War Allegory:

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers … to Follow or Not to Follow the Script

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…we are beginning to see a metaphor for psychological realities and that ‘following the script’ has a broader meaning for a choice that everyone must make in life in growing up, specifically, to follow the script laid out for oneself by one’s parents and society in general or to follow one’s inner direction and inner guide in asserting one’s individuality and expressing one’s unique self.”

“These Blue Meanies, especially their leader, are depicted as powerful and cruel, yet sniveling, insecure, weak, and selfish underneath. Their angry and oppressive personas are shown to reveal poor little whining babies behind them. Their actions are shown to be those of ‘big babies,’ whose gruff exterior must remain intact at all costs, lest their hidden sniveling and hurt little selves be revealed. The analogy the Beatles are making to those of the WWII Generation — at that time the parental generation, those ‘over 30’ — is impossible not to make.”

“…in recent history, despite the increasing drum beating of the Religious Right in the last three decades, those of us who grew up in the Fifties know that the introduction of sex — in the Sixties, as in the ‘sexual revolution’ — was a step forward from the hypocritical sameness and plodding repression of the Fifties.”

“The underlying factor that was introduced into the movie causing color and that was also introduced into our society causing all the sociocultural changes that we, usually, complain about is the factor of choosing something different than what is expected by society, than what is expected by the outside. What is introduced in the movie — as it was introduced in our culture — is the preeminence of inner authority in making decisions, as opposed to outer authority.”

“The black-and-white Fifties Pleasantville is a representation of a mode of child-rearing — which characterized the Fifties — wherein the role of the parents is to ‘mold,’ model, and guide children along paths that the parents have deemed to be correct — called the socializing mode of child-rearing. The child is expected to be a clone of the parents, a mini-me….”

“By contrast, the colorized Pleasantville represents the mode of child-caring that came out, big time, beginning in the Sixties, wherein the parents’ role is that of ‘bringing out’ from and supporting, encouraging, and helping the child to discover what the child’s talents and inherent abilities, feelings, and proclivities are, and then encouraging the child to ‘believe in him/herself’ in the expression of those inherent and inborn good qualities and values — termed the helping mode of child-caring.

“This mode contains a radically new view of basic human nature. Humans are seen to be essentially good (even ‘divine’). It is evil and painful events impinging upon the child from the outside — family and society — that are deemed causative in taking the child from its natural state of innocence and goodness and inherent unique talents to one wherein the child is corrupted and thus becomes bestial and lacking in inherent good qualities and talents.

“Therefore the solution is to protect the child from traumas coming from the outside, especially the huge one of feeling unloved through not being seen or respected as a unique individual … as opposed to being seen as a mere outgrowth or mini-me of a parental entity. And in so doing the parents’ role includes helping the child to discover his or her uniqueness and dispensing unconditional love, that is, love that is given freely, without the requirement, as in the socializing mode, that the child do and be what the parents want before the child is accepted or shown approval or any emotional warmth.

“In representing this advanced mode of being (and child-caring) the ‘colorized’ people in Pleasantville open themselves to possibilities that were never before considered; they stray from the earlier mode requiring strict conformity to parental scripts. Robert Kennedy’s Sixties quote comes to mind as expressing this: ‘Some people look at things as they are and ask, why? I think of things that never were and ask, why not?’ This means, then, a capacity to experiment and adventure in one’s life, which, at bottom, involve a belief in questioning authority and thinking for oneself in Sixties terms or, in Carl Jung’s words, a belief that we are, each of us, ‘experiments in truth’ in our sojourns on Earth.”

“The whole point of change is that it is always something one does not expect. Likewise, when people act out of inner rather than outer authority, one can only expect that what happens will be unique, like people are when they are not conforming to external expectations.”

“…this ending expresses the spiritual razor’s edge each of us must cross during our life’s sojourn. Whenever we try to put life, or love, into a box, package, or a gilded cage, it dies or stagnates — just like a boring black-and-white sitcom world. Real change and spiritual growth means letting go and opening oneself to the unexpected and the unknown.”

“One of the reasons the movie, Pleasantville, so appealed to me is that its view of current events is so akin to that which I have been expressing in other of my more recent writings … wherein I make the argument that recent events are not evidence of a downfall of civilization, as conservatives as Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan would have us believe, but are the necessary ‘birth pains’ of a new age being born.”

“Those of us who lived through the Fifties know that the lack of color is an apt metaphor for exactly the way it was at that time. It was a back-and-white world — a world that covered up its underlying nastiness and evil by repression and denial — psychological defense mechanisms that characterized the World-War-Two Generation especially.

“The point in the movie, which is so appealing, is that it causes us to look again at the changes in our society that have occurred because of the various ‘revolutions’ of postmodern times — civil rights, student antiwar, women’s rights, sexual, and so on — and to stop bemoaning the ‘messiness’ that comes with freedom. We have more choice, more freedom now than ever. And this freedom allows us the opportunity for a higher spirituality — some would say the only true spirituality — which involves the harrowing path of deciding for oneself, based upon one’s ability to intuit or “feel” the correct path, and experiencing the consequences of one’s choices, as opposed to the preordained religiosity of following a script.”

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[Chapter 11 text begins:] The film, Pleasantville, is a postmodern sociological allegory or fable released in 1998.

Not So Pleasantville

It begins in then-current time against a backdrop of the usual violence, chaos, and turbulence that we are conditioned by the media to believe characterized the Nineties in America. Two high school teenagers, David and Jennifer, played by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon, are planning their evening.

A Tale of Two Siblings

David is planning to watch the Pleasantville marathon on television and to participate in the trivia contest that will be part of it. Pleasantville is an old sitcom from the 1950s in the Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons style which has attained a cult-like following and is shown regularly on a cable channel similar to the “Nick at Nite” one that we know of which specialized in reruns of old sitcoms.

It becomes clear that David is an ardent devotee of the show in part because it compensates for the lameness of his real life. Unlike his sister, who is portrayed as a real “firecracker” of a young woman, he doesn’t date or participate in the school scene. It is implied that he may be using the sitcom as an escape from not only a boring life but a threatening one and that he longs to live in the kind of ordered, safe, and unchallenging reality that the sitcom depicts. David is such an avid follower of the show that he is shown to be a master of Pleasantville trivia and is primed and eager for the contest on Pleasantville trivia.

However his sister, Jennifer, is planning for a hot date at home … their parents being away for the weekend providing an opportunity for her to be unchaperoned with her guy … which she eagerly anticipates. At odds over what will be played on the TV — Jennifer wanting to watch instead an MTV concert with her date — they wrestle over the TV remote and end up breaking it. Nevertheless, all is not lost as at just that moment and completely inexplicably a television repairman played by Don Knotts drives up in his truck, knocks on the door, and imposes his services on them in fixing the problem.

Don Knotts — perfectly cast, in a Hero’s Cycle sense, for it is often the impish or normally overlooked and unnoticed element that initiates sweeping changes in people’s lives — indeed does introduce the magical element into the film. He produces a different kind of remote control, which he claims has special effects saying, “You want something to put you right in the show!” Sure enough, in checking out the remote they hit a mysterious button and are transported into the TV and thus into the sitcom and the town that is called Pleasantville.

To Follow or Not to Follow “The Script”

After their initial confusion, they realize what has happened and try to return, but do not know how to. David — who it becomes apparent has been thrust into the role of Bud in the sitcom — advises his sister — Jennifer who has become Mary Sue in the TV series — to go along with events until they figure a way to get home. Since he knows all the plots of every show of the sitcom, his idea is that they act out the events as they are supposed to happen and that they do what the two characters — the teenage son and daughter of the parents in the sitcom, Betty and George Parker, played superbly by Joan Allen and William H. Macy — are known to do in the different episodes he has seen.

Essentially, then, David as Bud is advising his sister to “follow the script.” And of course it is not hard to discern at this point that we are beginning to see a metaphor for psychological realities and that “following the script” has a broader meaning for a choice that everyone must make in life in growing up, specifically, to follow the script laid out for oneself by one’s parents and society in general or to follow one’s inner direction and inner guide in asserting one’s individuality and expressing one’s unique self.

The remainder of the movie is the story of how these two characters — transported magically from the future as well as from the real world as opposed to a made-up TV world — introduce change into the town and thereby color. Mary Sue, formerly Jennifer, does it consciously. Rebelling against her brother’s admonishments to follow the script, she goes on a date with someone she is not supposed to according to the sitcom script and then — horror of horrors for a 1950s world — engages in sex with him at the local “lover’s lane” — where the farthest that anyone goes, according to “script,” is holding hands. We find later that her date describes this unheard of experience to his classmates, and, like ripples emanating from a pebble dropped in a pond, her action results in a number of the school youth engaging in sex and thereby becoming, to everyone’s amazement, colorized!

The brother also introduces change, and therefore color, but it is done unconsciously at first. As mentioned, he tries to get his sister to follow the script. Still, in a metaphorically powerful scene, when he is late for work at the local malt shop — this is unheard of as well because Pleasantville is a world where no one is ever late for work — he inadvertently introduces change himself. In fact, he introduces the most insidious element of change because he explicitly advises — without realizing what he has unleashed — that his boss think for himself!

In this scene Bud, formerly David, finds his boss and coworker, Mister Johnson, played by Jeff Daniels, stuck at the end of the counter, cleaning away with a washcloth, like a stuck record, at the same spot, even as the surface of the counter is rubbing away.

When the soda jerk, Mister Johnson, explains confusedly that the normal regimen would have required Bud to arrive at work before he, Mister Johnson, could go on to the rest of his chores, Bud simply suggests to Mister Johnson that in the future he continue with his next chore even if Bud is not there.

So simply in being himself, coming from a future in which people react to change by thinking out new responses and thereby adapting to them, Bud, aka David, introduces a totally new element into the soda jerk’s script. This has far reaching consequences as the movie progresses and Mister Johnson begins thinking for himself and having ideas about other things as well. In this way, the soda jerk, soon to be artist, too ends up “colored.”

Blue Meanies

The 1998 movie, Pleasantville, thematically, is remarkably akin to the 1968-released movie Yellow Submarine put out by the Sixties Generation rock group The Beatles.

In Yellow Submarine there is a region ruled by the Blue Meanies. These Blue Meanies, especially their leader, are depicted as powerful and cruel, yet sniveling, insecure, weak, and selfish underneath. Their angry and oppressive personas are shown to reveal poor little whining babies behind them. Their actions are shown to be those of “big babies,” whose gruff exterior must remain intact at all costs, lest their hidden sniveling and hurt little selves be revealed. The analogy the Beatles are making to those of the WWII Generation — at that time the parental generation, those “over 30” — is impossible not to make.

“Nowhere Man”

The movies are so similar in theme that the only major thematic difference between Pleasantville and Yellow Submarine is that it is music that is not allowed in Yellow Submarine whereas in Pleasantville it is color. Yet the idea behind them both is the same: Music and color both represent deep feeling, aliveness, thinking for oneself, and change. In Yellow Submarine, the man without music is Nowhere Man, who “knows not where he’s going to, doesn’t have a point of view.” In Pleasantville, the men without color act in the same ways, performing the same actions, day in, day out, without change, zombie- or robot-like — like characters in a 1950s-style sitcom in which nothing unpleasant, different, new, or too emotional is allowed to occur.

And above all, the black-and-white men do not think for themselves. This is graphically portrayed in the scene mentioned where the owner of the town malt shop, Mister Johnson, portrayed by Jeff Daniels, is left cleaning the same spot of the counter for hours so that its top is rubbed away because his coworker is late and the routine they use to close up cannot be completed in the way it is done, every day, in exactly the same way. Confronted with this small change, he shows himself to be the “Nowhere Man” and like a needle stuck on a record, he is rigidly stuck repeating the same action, not having the power to think of an alternative action in response to a change in the usual routine.

“The Awakening” — No Longer a Distant Vision

The differences in the years of the release and the different artistic modes used to express the themes of these two movies have something to say as well. In 1968 the changes in culture of the New Age were a vision and a hope. It is appropriate and telling that Yellow Submarine was expressed in animated form. Like a dream that would take a long time to realize, it needed to be expressed in cartoon-like fashion, for the time of its emergence in reality was too far off.

By contrast, Pleasantville blends a fantasy world — appropriately it is a TV sitcom, which has more similarities with reality than an animation — with the actual reality of postmodern times. The advance toward reality is patent in the evolution from an animated form — indicating the change is far off, a fantasy, a wish, a hope — in the 1968 movie; to a black-and-white form involving real actors, real people; and then to a colorized version involving real people in what is supposed to be real time and real cultural reality, in the movie released thirty years later. One might say that what was a fantasy over fifty years ago is, however unconsciously, being heralded as, hopefully, emerging and coming into being now — in actual, black-and-white or colored, real time and place.

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Concerning the movie, Pleasantville, noted movie critic Roger Ebert quite astutely pointed out that it was “like the defeat of the body snatchers” (from his excellent review, “Pleasantville”). One might also say that it is one in which Holden Caulfield, the character in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, wins out and children do not grow up to be adult “phonies.” Another analogy would be that it is a depiction in which Peter Pan stays young, when he succeeds in keeping the children from ever growing up and thereby losing their capacity to “fly” — representing the capacity to dream, to envision, to be open to new possibilities, to adventure.

What It Is That Makes One Alive

Against this backdrop of lack of real aliveness, the introduction of color into the town of Pleasantville through the introduction of sex is not seen as something bad at all. Similarly, in recent history, despite the increasing drum beating of the Religious Right in the last three decades, those of us who grew up in the Fifties know that the introduction of sex — in the Sixties, as in the “sexual revolution” — was a step forward from the hypocritical sameness and plodding repression of the Fifties.

Other elements introduced into Pleasantville that produce colorization in the participants include thinking for oneself (Jeff Daniels in his role as the soda jerk), intellectual passion (the sister), questioning the way things are supposed to be or, in Sixties terms, questioning authority (when the brother finally becomes colored), artistic and creative passion (Jeff Daniels again), and even the passion of honest rage (the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce). These elements arise in Pleasantville just as they arose into the collective consciousness of those of us living in the Fifties and Sixties.

Of course, I am not naively saying that these elements never existed before the Sixties. The underlying factor that was introduced into the movie causing color and that was also introduced into our society causing all the sociocultural changes that we, usually, complain about is the factor of choosing something different than what is expected by society, than what is expected by the outside. What is introduced in the movie — as it was introduced in our culture — is the preeminence of inner authority in making decisions, as opposed to outer authority.

A New Psychohistorical Era!

In psychohistorical terms this difference is marked by Lloyd deMause as a difference in a mode of child-rearing. The black-and-white Fifties Pleasantville is a representation of a mode of child-rearing — which characterized the Fifties — wherein the role of the parents is to “mold,” model, and guide children along paths that the parents have deemed to be correct — called the socializing mode of child-rearing. The child is expected to be a clone of the parents, a mini-me, or at least to represent the parents’ ideas of proper behavior, ideals, and mode of living, regardless of whether the parent models them or not. And when not, the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” and the term hypocrite as applied to the parents are apropos.

The basic nature of the child is considered to be sinful and evil or at least bestial; the classic novel Lord of the Flies depicts this view of human nature. Therefore, the child needs to become other than itself and conform itself to something outside of itself in order for she or he to be considered “good” and to receive good responses in turn from parents and society.

By contrast, the colorized Pleasantville represents the mode of child-caring that came out, big time, beginning in the Sixties, wherein the parents’ role is that of “bringing out” from and supporting, encouraging, and helping the child to discover what the child’s talents and inherent abilities, feelings, and proclivities are, and then encouraging the child to “believe in him/herself” in the expression of those inherent and inborn good qualities and values — termed the helping mode of child-caring.1

This mode contains a radically new view of basic human nature. Humans are seen to be essentially good (even “divine”). It is evil and painful events impinging upon the child from the outside — family and society — that are deemed causative in taking the child from its natural state of innocence and goodness and inherent unique talents to one wherein the child is corrupted and thus becomes bestial and lacking in inherent good qualities and talents.

Therefore the solution is to protect the child from traumas coming from the outside, especially the huge one of feeling unloved through not being seen or respected as a unique individual … as opposed to being seen as a mere outgrowth or mini-me of a parental entity. And in so doing the parents’ role includes helping the child to discover his or her uniqueness and dispensing unconditional love, that is, love that is given freely, without the requirement, as in the socializing mode, that the child do and be what the parents want before the child is accepted or shown approval or any emotional warmth.

In representing this advanced mode of being (and child-caring) the “colorized” people in Pleasantville open themselves to possibilities that were never before considered; they stray from the earlier mode requiring strict conformity to parental scripts. Robert Kennedy’s Sixties quote comes to mind as expressing this: “Some people look at things as they are and ask, why? I think of things that never were and ask, why not?” This means, then, a capacity to experiment and adventure in one’s life, which, at bottom, involve a belief in questioning authority and thinking for oneself in Sixties terms or, in Carl Jung’s words, a belief that we are, each of us, “experiments in truth” in our sojourns on Earth. And just as these elements and beliefs became more and more a part of America’s collective consciousness in the Sixties and Seventies and ever since then, they also gradually develop in Pleasantville.

“Love My Uncertainty”

One reviewer described the ending of the movie as “not at all easy and tidy, but rather very, very messy” (“Pleasantville” by Chris A. Bolton). Ebert — more astutely but not quite correctly — wrote that the determining factor in whether someone became colored was the factor of change. The first reviewer, like someone with one foot still in Pleasantville or one who is still not fully colored, does not understand that the ending, wherein the characters proclaim that they do not know what is going to happen next, contains exactly the essential message of the movie. The ending can only be “messy” if one expects a particular ending.

The reviewer is very much like the critics of Occupy Wall Street who claimed the protesters do not have a message, or a leader … essentially do not know where they are going. He is wrong for the same reasons those critics are.

The whole point of change is that it is always something one does not expect. Likewise, when people act out of inner rather than outer authority, one can only expect that what happens will be unique, like people are when they are not conforming to external expectations. So there could be no pat or predicted ending. The moviegoer could not leave knowing whether Betty Parker, the Stepford housewife turned liberated woman, returns to her husband, George, or takes off with the soda jerk turned artist, Mister Johnson, because that would destroy the uncertainty inherent in change, growth, aliveness, and so on. So the ending is exactly what it has to be.

And this ending expresses the spiritual razor’s edge each of us must cross during our life’s sojourn. Whenever we try to put life, or love, into a box, package, or a gilded cage, it dies or stagnates — just like a boring black-and-white sitcom world. Real change and spiritual growth means letting go and opening oneself to the unexpected and the unknown. So it is in this vein that the spiritual teacher Sathya Sai Baba tells his followers, “Love my uncertainty,” in helping them to deal — after the usual “honeymoon phase” at the beginning of their spiritual path — with the trials, changes, tribulations, and suffering that his devotees experience later on, along their path to greater purity of heart and compassion, and eventually spiritual liberation.

The Scenery of Healing

One of the reasons the movie, Pleasantville, so appealed to me is that its view of current events is so akin to that which I have been expressing in other of my more recent writings — for example, the books Apocalypse NO, Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious and Apocalypse Emergency, Love’s Wake-Up Call — wherein I make the argument that recent events are not evidence of a downfall of civilization, as conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan would have us believe, but are the necessary “birth pains” of a new age being born.

In Pleasantville, indeed, though everyone smiles and there is no crime or unpleasantness — which is supposed to reflect the view of reality presented in Fifties sitcoms like Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver — it is inherently flawed in that it is lacking in “color.” Those of us who lived through the Fifties know that the lack of color is an apt metaphor for exactly the way it was at that time. It was a back-and-white world — a world that covered up its underlying nastiness and evil by repression and denial — psychological defense mechanisms that characterized the World-War-Two Generation especially.

New Mantram: “Thinking for Oneself Is Good!”

The point in the movie, which is so appealing, is that it causes us to look again at the changes in our society that have occurred because of the various “revolutions” of postmodern times — civil rights, student antiwar, women’s rights, sexual, and so on — and to stop bemoaning the “messiness” that comes with freedom. We have more choice, more freedom now than ever. And this freedom allows us the opportunity for a higher spirituality — some would say the only true spirituality — which involves the harrowing path of deciding for oneself, based upon one’s ability to intuit or “feel” the correct path, and experiencing the consequences of one’s choices, as opposed to the preordained religiosity of following a script.

Though many would argue this, one has only to look, as this movie forces us to do, back at where we started. and from that perspective, with that stultifying, hypocritical, dishonest, and phony kind of supposed “living” in mind, we can easily see the changes and progress made in individual freedom and, dare I say, genuine spirituality, and accept the uncertainty, emotional pain, apparent evil, “messiness,” social and political turbulence, and all the rest that comes with it.

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12

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Cultural Rebirth, Aborted:

It’s a Not so Wonderful Life for the WWII Generation … yet the King Refuses to Die

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“…the Sixties was such a time of turmoil because the values of individual freedom, personal passion, feeling and experience, questioning authority, and thinking for oneself were shared by so many Baby-Boomers and were so contrary to the values of the generation in power.”

It’s a Wonderful Life is beloved and timeless, no doubt, because it reassures an entire generation and all those who have had to give up their dreams for whatever reason that their sacrifices were for a higher good and that it is a wonderful life after all.”

“In one way or another, the situation in the Forties, with the war effort and afterwards, created a generation who, except for the rare individual or one of unusual circumstances, was called upon to step up into mature responsible tasks long before the idealism of their youth would have preferred that they do so. Their generation is scarred for having missed this opportunity. They are individuals deserving of our sympathy; yet crippled they were, nonetheless.”

“Pearl Harbor Day, when their fate was inevitably forged, when it became clear that for the second time the light of individual freedom would be extinguished, would become an important marker in their lifetimes — a day almost as much to be memorialized as their birthdays.”

“…we can pity the World War Two Generation. As in John Updike’s The Centaur, the World War Two Generation is depicted as a generation that was required to give up its dreams and do its “duty,” above all. It was required to carry out a script given to them by their society, not allowing them to follow their natural youthful ideals. And as in Updike’s novel, they are beaten down in a life that is regimented and has no “color,” spark, life, idealism, or dreams. They have become the robot-like residents of Pleasantville. But Updike points out in his novel that their sacrifice, despite the personal tragedy of it on the individual scale, is both necessary and noble in that it makes possible the realization of dreams by the generation to which they gave birth.”

“…it is women who are the real instigators, the least threatened by change.”

“As in the hundredth monkey phenomenon, it is first the young, especially females, who are open to new experiences, ways, and ideas. Then it is adult females — in this movie exemplified by Betty Parker, the mother of Bud and Mary Sue — who are next to consider alternatives and new ways. Adult males are the last to turn to color, but among them it is the sensitive of heart….”

“Big Bob’s Chamber of Commerce represents MAGAts, Trumpers, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and those in general in our society who have succumbed to the rewards and threats of the World War Two Generation, and their Fifties Gen/ Gen X clones, to live a regimented, robot-like, unfeeling, passionless life; to become one of J.D. Salinger’s “phonies,” to abide by their misconstrued idea of “family values,” and above all to “behave” and not do anything to rock the boat of the status quo which might threaten the privileges of those currently enjoying power and wealth handed down, mostly, by heredity.”

“The events in China’s Tiananmen Square more than thirty years ago so affected and still affects some of us here in America because we know at some level that we have experienced it before. What happened in China three decades ago is so much like what happened in the U.S. five decades ago, somewhat less graphically, around the Vietnam War demonstrations.”

“…the result of both was the same: In both cases the opposition, the youth movement, crushed — violently in China, subtly and behind the scenes in the US — at the command of an octogenarian generation, clinging desperately to power as much as to their waning physical frames.”

“…we no longer assassinate our president as we did with JFK, we character assassinate instead, as we did with Bill Clinton.”

“The Filthy Rich, in collusion with Russia, aimed their weapons, as well, against Hillary Clinton who received all the ridicule and vicious slander imaginable … and oh, let us not forget those emails *guffaw*. And currently the lie-making machine on the Right is pumping out propaganda against Joe Biden who also — though he had been the poorest person in the Senate and who famously took the train to and from Washington every day — has been charged with making money hand over fist, somehow. In some imaginary world. We see in this Trump era, with Russian misinformation and slander allowed to be flooding our social media, there is not a second thought given about making up the most outrageous charges — pedophilia in pizza store basements that don’t exist, for example.”

“…the results in both countries are the same. They involve the ultimate victory of sociocultural change in both instances being delayed until the dying off of an elderly generation in power — a generation refusing to die or hand over the controls at the proper time like the generations before them. Simply, the king won’t die!”

“Time is running out for the octogenarians and ninety-somethings on either side of the Pacific.”

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The paramount theme in Pleasantville — which is that thinking for oneself and following one’s own unique path and being open to the change that comes with that brings “color,” truth, and aliveness to one’s life — is truly a Sixties Generation idea. Again, it is not that it has never been thought before. All great ideas have been thought before, but that does not mean they have been implemented on a sociocultural, macrocosmic level. Many ideas have remained in the realm of the solitary pursuits of philosophers and mystics and been exemplified only in individual lives. Yet, the Sixties was such a time of turmoil because the values of individual freedom, personal passion, feeling and experience, questioning authority, and thinking for oneself were shared by so many Baby-Boomers and were so contrary to the values of the generation in power.

It’s a (Not So) Wonderful Life — WWII Generation

An excellent example of how opposed the Sixties values are to those of the WWII Generation is found in that beloved movie of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart. In that film, the main character is prevented by circumstances from following his dreams. One event after another keeps him from leaving his hometown. His story might be called The Truman Show in reverse for he comes to accept the loss of his dreams. He is rewarded for giving up his yearning for adventure with the warmth of a loving family and friends.

Nonetheless, he has been reduced to someone who simply follows a script or role and when it appears that he might fail in that role he considers killing himself.

Reassures a Generation

It’s a Wonderful Life is beloved and timeless, no doubt, because it reassures an entire generation and all those who have had to give up their dreams for whatever reason that their sacrifices were for a higher good and that it is a wonderful life after all.

Will never know what might have been

It provides a rationalization against the painful feelings of knowing that one will never know “what might have been” by pointing out the truth that one’s life affects others and has meaning regardless of whether or not one has been fortunate enough to actualize one’s deepest desires, talents, aspirations, and dreams.

War Compels Dashing of Dreams

As mentioned, It’s a Wonderful Life calls out to and epitomizes the experiences and attitudes of the World War Two Generation in particular. They were called upon to fight a war, after all, which no doubt would derail many a young man’s and woman’s dreams. As in It’s a Wonderful Life, the circumstances that arise to prevent their following through on their dreams are imposed from the outside — the state of being at war and being called upon by a draft to enlist or else be enlisted. For the women, as well as the men who stayed behind, the war’s influence on their lives and the carrying out of idealistic schemes and dreams are only a little less pronounced. For, as in It’s a Wonderful Life, the war created a society heaving with needs and pain, which only the truly heartless … who would not have any dreams anyway … could not help but feel compelled to respond to.

Growing up too fast

In one way or another, the situation in the Forties, with the war effort and afterwards, created a generation who, except for the rare individual or one of unusual circumstances, was called upon to step up into mature responsible tasks long before the idealism of their youth would have preferred that they do so. Their generation is scarred for having missed this opportunity. They are individuals deserving of our sympathy; yet crippled they were, nonetheless.

Mashing Butterflies and Drowning Kittens

This is not to say, however, that the generations before the WWII Generation were allowed their dreams and that the WWII Generation was unique in being crippled in its development. For we know that earlier child-rearing modes required the submission of children and youth to parental wishes.

Therefore, dreaming or envisioning an adventurous life was not the norm. For much of the history of the world and in most cultures, indeed, even the selection of one’s spouse was decided by the parents. So much has our history — in both Eastern and Western cultures — been marked by the assassination of youthful dreaming, idealism, and choice that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet can be said to be a revolutionary work in even depicting that this assassination of dreams is a tragedy!

Roaring Into Life

Still, the WWII Generation can be said to have been especially affected by this slaying of self, for they did, after all, experience the heady freedom of the “Roaring Twenties” and the dreaming that preceded the Great Depression. In the Twenties, victorious in World War I and with it now put behind, America was coming into its youthfulness and was heady with its achievements. Unbelievable accomplishments and inventions in all areas of life were speeding up sociocultural change causing some to believe that a new era was around the corner, just within reach, an era unlike anything the world had ever known. This was the atmosphere in the Twenties when the WWII Generation were in their childhood or adolescence. It could not help making a very strong, because of its being early, imprint on their expectations.

Suddenly Depressed

However, these dreams would be dashed in the Great Depression, during which time they would be adolescents and young adults, and they would be harnessed into struggling like their parents had to earlier and were now again struggling.

Getting a New Deal … Light at the End of a Tunnel

Still, as time wore on the dreams of a new world would be reignited with the idealistic union movement and the Franklin Roosevelt changes in the social contract that rescripted the relation between the society and the individual, creating a symbiotic one which enhanced them both as champions of each other. Folks would magnify the power of the person when united with others. They would dream of a fairer world in which the rich did not dominate with their wealth because the poor could balance the scales with their strength in numbers, adding to their individual power by joining in unions and by combining their votes in elections. They could begin to envision the light at the end of the tunnel of the Great Depression in which they might realize the freedom and adventure they’d glimpsed around them as children in the Twenties.

War. Shot Down Again

So it is understandable that they would not wish to enter World War II when it began. Pearl Harbor Day, when their fate was inevitably forged, when it became clear that for the second time the light of individual freedom would be extinguished, would become an important marker in their lifetimes — a day almost as much to be memorialized as their birthdays.

We Are the Centaurs (My Friends) — Sixties Generation

Sitting on the Shoulders of One’s Ancestors

For this we can pity the World War Two Generation. As in John Updike’s The Centaur, the World War Two Generation is depicted as a generation that was required to give up its dreams and do its “duty,” above all. It was required to carry out a script given to them by their society, not allowing them to follow their natural youthful ideals. And as in Updike’s novel, they are beaten down in a life that is regimented and has no “color,” spark, life, idealism, or dreams. They have become the robot-like residents of Pleasantville. But Updike points out in his novel that their sacrifice, despite the personal tragedy of it on the individual scale, is both necessary and noble in that it makes possible the realization of dreams by the generation to which they gave birth.

The Sixties Generation Arrived

It is significant that the protagonist of change in the movie Pleasantville would be a young male, Bud (David). This is in keeping with legends of old where a young prince comes bearing the new knowledge. Yet in postmodern style, wonderfully so, he is drawn only reluctantly into this role, and we see that it is women who are the real instigators, the least threatened by change. At first, David/Bud opposes his sister and argues for the status quo, maintaining that his sister, who is actually the first one to “break the rules” And thereby to bring color to the town, must abide by the script.

The Prince in Exile

The Prince is schooled in tradition

The “young prince” knows the rules well. This fits with legend, where the new ways are brought by a prince who is not ignorant of tradition; in fact the prince is the one who has excelled in training in traditional ways.1

In the movie, David is in fact a Pleasantville trivia whiz. He knows exactly the way things are supposed to unravel, the way events are supposed to go.

The Prince is reluctant to break with tradition

So when his sister first introduces color by introducing sex, he admonishes her. And when he also is tempted to a change in the “script,” he refuses at first. This is when Bud is offered homemade cookies by the young woman who would be his romantic partner. He refuses because he knows that, according to script, it is another young man who is supposed to get the cookies and end up with that particular girl. Despite his attraction for the young woman, his strong sense of maintaining the status quo, not rocking the boat, causes him to try to refuse the cookies. It takes a great deal of forcefulness on the young woman’s part to get him, reluctantly, to accept the cookies that he actually does want. So, again, it is a young, significantly “colorized,” woman who tempts him into a change in the script.

The Prince brings change, without realizing it, just being himself

It is not that the young man does not have the makeup for accepting change. In fact, even before his sister blatantly brings about change, and therefore color, by rebelliously introducing sex, he has already sown the seeds of change, although unconsciously, when he suggests to his boss, Mister Johnson, that he think for himself, instead of following a rigid script. This he does unconsciously and out of selfish motives in that he by nature is different from the character he is supposed to portray and so he does not play his role exactly as it is “supposed” to be played. Specifically, because he is not really the robot character he has replaced, he ends up being late for his job — which heretofore was a totally unheard of event.

Cultural Rebirth

It is also significant that it is the young that are the first ones in the town to become “colored.”

The Hundredth Monkey

As in the hundredth monkey phenomenon, it is first the young, especially females, who are open to new experiences, ways, and ideas. Then it is adult females — in this movie exemplified by Betty Parker, the mother of Bud and Mary Sue — who are next to consider alternatives and new ways. Adult males are the last to turn to color, but among them it is the sensitive of heart, exemplified by the artist/soda-jerk character, Mister Johnson, who “turn on” initially.

Good Old Boys, the Last to Learn

Last to become colorized — that is to say, to be open to change and thinking for oneself — are the “authorities” of the town, in this instance, those on the Chamber of Commerce. and among these the most recalcitrant of all is their leader, Big Bob, played by J. T. Walsh, in his final film role before his passing away. Though Big Bob displays a pleasing and affable persona on the surface (for this read “good old boy”), there is an insidious Hitleresque quality to him which provides the suspense at the climax of the movie where he presides over the fate of the artist, Mister Johnson, and the “young prince,” David/Bud.

“You Can’t Legislate Morals

With the support of the Chamber of Commerce, we know Big Bob has the power to do whatever he will with the two on trial. And since the events preceding the trial have included mob actions, as in a book burning, the attack and destruction of the malt shop, and the cornering, physical intimidation, and physical attack of “coloreds” by gangs — images common to modern times which has seen these sorts of events in actuality occurring in the civil rights and anti–Vietnam-War movements, and in recent decades in democracy and freedom uprisings in the Middle East, America, Turkey, Brazil, and throughout the world in Occupy movements — the fate of the prisoners is imagined to include the ultimate penalty of death.

“Conservative Backlash”

Indeed, this ominous possibility is promoted by the actions of the soda-jerk artist who, at the trial, pitifully pleads for a compromise. This is pitiful since we know that his art is his life, that it is the one thing that has truly enriched his life and made it worth living.

Sitting at the Lunch Counter

We know of its importance in that, even after the attack on his malt shop, he defied the “rules” laid down by the town’s authorities, which outlawed art and color, by working with the Prince through the night to produce a colorful mural on the outside wall of his shop depicting the current events of the town and the feelings swirling about inside its residents.

This defiant act by the artist is reminiscent of antiwar demonstrators, who got fired upon at Kent State, of civil rights demonstrators, who police attacked with dogs, and of Tiananmen Square demonstrators, who were rolled over by tanks, shot, and killed, and most recently of all the courageous men and women of the Middle East risking their lives for freedom and of the Occupy heroes throughout the world putting their bodies in front of, arguably, the most dire, widespread fascism ever to exist.

Since this character, recently so courageously defiant, is intimidated into pleading for a compromise in which he would be willing to use only certain colors or where he would submit for approval by the Chamber’s leader his ideas for painting beforehand — a compromise which his body language and facial expressions show, wonderfully acted by Jeff Daniels, is one near up against the very death of his soul — we know he fears for the loss of his physical life.

“Just Sign This Confession”

The compromise is too much like the compromises we have witnessed being offered and come to expect being offered to some of the Tiananmen Square and other political prisoners of recent times wherein they are required to do something along the lines of admitting their guilt, apologizing to the State for the trouble they have caused it, and promising to never again to engage in such activities … and only in the most benevolent of circumstances being allowed to continue anything like their former activities; but, if so, only under the supervision and with the approval of authorities with veto power over their proposed actions.

The Religious Wrong

So Big Bob and the Chamber of Commerce represent in the current social framework the Religious Right — sometimes referred to as the “religious wrong” and sometimes about which it is noted that the Religious Right is neither. Big Bob’s Chamber of Commerce represents MAGAts, Trumpers, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and those in general in our society who have succumbed to the rewards and threats of the World War Two Generation, and their Fifties Gen/ Gen X clones, to live a regimented, robot-like, unfeeling, passionless life; to become one of J.D. Salinger’s “phonies,” to abide by their misconstrued idea of “family values,” and above all to “behave” and not do anything to rock the boat of the status quo which might threaten the privileges of those currently enjoying power and wealth handed down, mostly, by heredity.

Civil Rights Movement

It is highly significant that in the courtroom scene the “colored” townsfolk would be sitting in the balcony, above the black-and-white men. One might say this represents their status as being an elevated state, something to aspire to, and yet not on the level where matters are decided. But even more so, this scene is important in that it is a near exact replication of the courtroom scene in To Kill a Mockingbird, wherein the balcony of the courtroom is filled with African Americans — another kind of “colored.” This makes it clear that when the movie is dealing with the conflict between the adult males of the town and the “colored” it is referring to the Civil Rights movement.

Cultural Rebirth Aborted

The events in China’s Tiananmen Square more than thirty years ago so affected and still affects some of us here in America because we know at some level that we have experienced it before.

The American Tiananmen Square

What happened in China three decades ago is so much like what happened in the U.S. five decades ago, somewhat less graphically, around the Vietnam War demonstrations. Let me explain.

Standing before tanks, flowers in barrels

For one thing, the images of the demonstrations in China, for example, the lone man standing in front of the tank, were so like those of Sixties demonstrations, as in Sixties youth blocking the paths of soldiers and placing flowers in their gun barrels.

Revenge of the octogenarians

And the result of both was the same: In both cases the opposition, the youth movement, crushed — violently in China, subtly and behind the scenes in the US — at the command of an octogenarian generation, clinging desperately to power as much as to their waning physical frames.

The King Won’t Die

Assassinations — character and otherwise

We see the same pattern of violent versus subtle played out in the US as well where we no longer assassinate our president as we did with JFK, we character assassinate instead, as we did with Bill Clinton. Which the Tea Party and the wealthy Right tried to manufacture against Obama; he was called rich and elitist. The Filthy Rich, in collusion with Russia, aimed their weapons, as well, against Hillary Clinton who received all the ridicule and vicious slander imaginable … and oh, let us not forget those emails *guffaw*.

And currently the lie-making machine on the Right is pumping out propaganda against Joe Biden who also — though he had been the poorest person in the Senate and who famously took the train to and from Washington every day — has been charged with making money hand over fist, somehow. In some imaginary world. We see in this Trump era, with Russian misinformation and slander allowed to be flooding our social media, there is not a second thought given about making up the most outrageous charges — pedophilia in pizza store basements that don’t exist, for example.”

One might say that, in America, the WWII generation and its protégés have gotten more finesse, with practice, in its beating back sociocultural change not to their liking and that the Chinese geriatric set didn’t have as much practice with it.

The King refuses to die

Nevertheless, the results in both countries are the same. They involve the ultimate victory of sociocultural change in both instances being delayed until the dying off of an elderly generation in power — a generation refusing to die or hand over the controls at the proper time like the generations before them. Simply, the king won’t die!

Time is running out

Time is running out for the octogenarians and ninety-somethings on either side of the Pacific.

The expected, supposedly inevitable defeat of the WWII Generation — their dying off — is portrayed in Pleasantville by Big Bob, head of the Chamber of Commerce, ending up fleeing the scene in the courtroom. Strange coincidence, the actor actually died after making this film. There are many ways his defeat could have been played out in the movie. I think it is highly significant that he runs away, never to be seen again, just as in the current context the dying off of the WWII and Fifties Generations is a l iteral leaving of the scene, not an outright defeat or some other means of change of power.

Yet has the WWII Generation actually left the scene? In the next chapter we will look at how the WWII Gen kept themselves alive longer than any other generation and how they used that longevity to buy and clone their ideas into the generations following them. In fact, the way the media portrays it, the world that the WWII Generation created, as manifested in the Fifties, the Fifties style of culture, is the one against which all happenings are to be measured. The Fifties, we are led to believe through incessant repetition, is what is “normal.” This is the narrative the money of the Fifties and WWII Gens has managed to embed in media minds, as networks continue to broadcast the same naïve and silly sitcoms from the Fifties and early Sixties to new generations.

So this looking to a former time for values is a repudiation of all generations after who grew up in different times and who have evolved along with an evolving cultural and global environment. This refusal to “die,” to turn over the reins of society to younger generations, is indeed an abomination. It represents the WWII and Fifties Gens worldviews being propped up mechanically, though the sand beneath their beliefs is continually washed away. This tension between obsolete old ideas that refuse to die and new ones needed for progress and survival is what we look at next. A Culture War rages.

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[2022 Revised version updated to here.]

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PART THREE

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Cultural Rebirth, Aborted

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10

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The King Won’t Die

Attack of the Body-Snatchers … an Aborted Changing of the Guard

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“…[the Sixties Generation] were biding their time, waiting — sometimes hopeless that it would ever arrive — for a reversing of the pendulum and a return in society to the ideals and visions of a better world that had so inspired them in their earlier years.”

“…[the Sixties Generation] would wonder, as decades passed, why it took so long for the rest of society to catch on to what they felt was an inviting and appealing evolution — one both necessary and therefore inevitable as well.”

“Another reason these terms depicting cultural division, specifically, generation gap and counterculture, went into disuse was due to the mobilization of the World War Two Generation — after their initial phase of somnolent confusion over the events that were emerging in the Sixties which left them paralyzed and watching, growing in irritation and anger — into a comprehensive counterattack against the Sixties Generation, using all the Nixonian-like tactics in their arsenal….”

“In the early Seventies, the World War Two Generation used their power and wealth, being themselves in the triumphant phase of their lives, to put pressure on colleges and universities, nationwide, to discontinue the programs, courses, and the professors that they felt were responsible for the youth’s rebellion.”

“A transformation of colleges and universities into “career mills” — whose primary function was to prepare the young for practical and skill-oriented jobs and professions — was called for … or else!”

“The youth produced by these institutions would hereafter be dissuaded from thinking for themselves and from “questioning authority” — as the previous generation had been encouraged to do….”

“…the wave of youth that followed the Sixties Generation would be molded, in their college years, into distant replicas of World War Two Generation members. They would be termed the “Me Generation,” since selfishness, greed, money-as-god, and upward mobility were characteristics of the WWII Generation that they were able to instill in their youthful clones.”

“…beginning in the early Seventies, institutions of higher learning turned away from their idealistic goals of “bringing out” from the students their inner truths and wisdom (which is the original meaning of the term educate), which is the avowed role of liberal arts programs, and instead turned hard, to the right, onto a path of churning out engineers, MBAs, hard scientists (even in the field of psychology, where humanistic psychology was shunned), medical professionals, lawyers, and the like.”

“…these frightened and wealthy WWII “conspirators” (however unconscious their alliance) would use their leverage to ensure that books and the media … would expound their views predominantly, would present events through the particular psychological lenses and filters with which they were familiar, and would eschew viewpoints, and even coverage of events, that would in any way strengthen the stance of the, by this time, scapegoated Sixties Generation.”

“Controlling the media in this way and saying it long and loud enough, the “big lie” of the “conservative backlash” began to be accepted as truth. and even many in the counterculture and among the youth began to believe it.”

“…with Trump we see a division in the country corresponding roughly with generational lines, with both sides actively and passionately fighting back the gains of the other side.”

“Every generation, at some point, leaves or is removed from their seats of power when they are at or near the end of their arc of effectiveness and prowess by a younger generation that is coming into or — as in the unusual case of the Sixties Generation for the reasons unique to this time to be mentioned below — is fully in the prime of its life.”

“The triumphant phase of the Sixties Generation had been delayed, however, longer than any other generation in history because of the advances in modern medical science, which served to keep the World War Two Generation alive and kicking longer than any previous generation.”

“…the WWII Generation might be said to have been more threatened than any previous one by the generation to succeed them, because the ascendancy of the next generation appeared to overturn and oftentimes reverse so much of what they believed, valued, worked and sacrificed for.”

“…the World War Two Generation used their longevity for all their worth to block the ascendancy of their successors. They used their longevity to amass wealth and power — wealth greater than any previous generation before and, because of their actions, likely to come.”

“…the World War Two Generation used their unprecedented wealth and power to wage a war against the generation who would be taking over from them, keeping them and their values under attack and away from the centers of power and influence in society as long as they possibly could.”

“…your position on the abortion issue is the closest thing to a military uniform indicating on which side of the culture war you have enlisted. Specifically, I am saying that there are few of the Sixties Generation who would not classify themselves as “pro-choice.” Meanwhile, the anti-abortionists are found to be primarily comprise those of the WWII Generation, their Eighties Generation clones, and the Eisenhower-Presley-McCarthy — and now we might add “Pleasantville” — Fifties Generation.”

“The World War Two Generation, especially after the elections of November 1998, learned that it was way off in some of its assumptions, that their analysis of what had been happening in this country was woefully miscalculated. They were like the deluded schizophrenic who believed passionately in the world he himself created coming up against some of the hard, harsh, and indisputable facts of existence which undermine his world. The World-War-Two-Generation–minded — whatever the individual’s age, and especially now, their underlings of the Fifties Generation — have been fighting back, since the Nineties, with all the firepower they can muster against realizing the harsh realities around them of their waning ideals. They have been in total and absolute denial of the direction of the American, indeed the world, consciousness; and they have been flinging all their wealth into the mix to try to repress the emerging truths.”

“But we shouldn’t be surprised if we see some of those in their ranks — wealthy and facing their inevitable demise — merely increasing the ferocity of their war waging … humiliating themselves and seeming ever more pitiful in the minds of the majority of observers, who increasingly, as time continues to decimate their WWII ranks, are younger than they and thus do not share their delusions.”

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What do these events have in common? The popularity of Democrats since the Nineties, with Obama’s favorability ratings high despite US entanglement in several wars; the astounding progress in race relations exemplified by ever increasing numbers of African-Americans elected and appointed to the highest posts in US government since the Nineties, highlighted by the election of the first ever black president in the most lopsided victory in decades;

America Getting Free, Breaking Out

… the wild success of the Occupy Wall Street and Wisconsin union movements; massive demonstrations around the U.S., attended by hundreds of thousands at times, in favor of liberal Democratic causes and opposing Republicans and showing people carrying signs displaying the peace symbol; outpourings of peaceful pro-freedom and democracy protesters throughout the Middle East and North Africa; the reborn popularity of the “peace sign” — two fingers extended in a V-like shape, for those who don’t know — including saying “peace” while extending it as a greeting (most often these days, when leaving); the phenomenal outpouring of support for Black Lives Matter in 2020;

… renewed interest in the book, Catcher in the Rye; the nostalgia for Sixties and Seventies cultural accouterments as exemplified by the TV show, That 70s Show ; the resurgence of fashion items like bell-bottoms and, on women, clunky high-heel shoes; the movies Pleasantville and The Truman Show; the popularity in the Nineties of shows like Ally McBeal and The X Files;

… one-time Sixties activist Bill Clinton’s sixty-some percent approval rating throughout almost the entirety of the White House Sex Scandal alongside the pundits’ complete and total befuddlement as to the causes for it; the strong presidential run by a woman, also with roots solidly in Sixties activism, Hillary Clinton, in the 2008 Presidential race … significantly only beat out, and barely, by an African-American;

… the passage of medical use of marijuana laws in a number of states and legalization of marijuana initiatives; the return to ballad-style, Dylan-esque music embracing and expressing social, philosophical, and extremely intimate personal views and experiences….

We’ve also seen, in California, the passage of Proposition 10 — the ballot measure that imposes a fifty-cents tax on cigarettes to fund programs for young children … which ballot measure, significantly enough, was begun by Sixties-Generation representative Rob Reiner — formerly Meathead from All in the Family! The passage of single payer health insurance in Vermont.…  I could go on.

America in Chains, Breaking Down

On the other side of this we have seen, in the last two decades, several “Republican revolutions” taking the opposite side on women’s issues, union and worker’s rights, environmental policy, health care and education, budget and economic issues benefiting the poor and middle class, and all other “liberal” causes;

… the rise of a media-supported Tea Party movement, heavily funded by wealthy and corporate interests, espousing wildly reactionary and regressive measures like eliminating Social Security and Medicare, gutting environmental policies to give corporations a free hand in despoiling the environment, anti-union measures, deep budget cuts in social programs, and the showing in this movement of demonstrators hoisting signs with racist images and slogans and gleefully applauding the acting out of a slave auction depicting an African-American president, Obama, and his supporters in Congress and his administration as bloodied slaves in chains;

… the popularity of a news network promoting, in blatant and mostly dishonest form, reactionary issues and figures; the resurgence in the careers of Pat Buchanan, right wing propagandist out of the Nixon administration turned talk show pundit, and Newt Gingrich, reactionary culture warrior during the early Nineties; extreme pro-gun positions and actions, including openly carrying weapons to political rallies and events and proposing the allowance of children to bring guns to schools; thuggish attacks on left-leaning activists and demonstrators; the murder of physicians on the pro-choice side of the abortion/women’s rights issue; and attacks and threats against progressive politicians and legislators, including the nearly successful assassination attempt on Democratic Congresswoman, Gabriel Giffords…. I could go on.

Most folks would see nothing connecting these issues on either side. What I believe we are seeing is a resurgence of the underground “culture war” that has been going on in the US since the 1960s between the Sixties Generation — those whose adolescent and young adulthood, formative years were influenced by the events of the Sixties — and the World War Two Generation — those whose equivalent times of life were forged in the Forties, during and around the time of World War Two.

Generation Gap and Counterculture

The huge ravine separating the views of these two generations was most apparent when those of the Sixties Generation were in their youth, engaged in the process of discovering and exploring their values and therefore expressing them blatantly and with all the indiscretion, lack of subtlety, confrontation, and rebelliousness that characterizes the inexperienced. Thus, terms like generation gap and counterculture were bandied about, analyzed, and fervently discussed. The differences were “on the table,” in full view; and because the views and values of the youth were so “counter” or opposite to those of the WWII Generation, much debate and analysis was spawned in the media to try to explain — for the most part to the WWII Generation — how this could be so.

Nevertheless, these terms of generation gap and counterculture, which highlighted the great disparity of views, would fade mostly into disuse. This was because, later, the Sixties Generation would learn to keep their private views and values more hidden, for practical reasons having to do with making a living, advancing in their careers, being able to raise their children, and so on; but this did not mean their values had changed. They were biding their time, waiting — sometimes hopeless that it would ever arrive — for a reversing of the pendulum and a return in society to the ideals and visions of a better world that had so inspired them in their earlier years.

For the most part, these Sixties adherents did not know about the psychohistorical tendencies I will be describing here — as for example in the evolution of child-caring and the triumphant phase of generations. For most it was just an awareness that something so strong and so right could not simply have completely vanished from the Earth, that with time comes change, and therefore there had to be a time, again, when the mood of the country would swing in the direction they felt to be healthiest and more ideal. For some of these people their hopes were based on the simple rules of gambling: Eventually, at some time or other, with the passage of time, the dice just had to roll their number, if just out of pure chance or randomness.

Others had a slightly more reasoned view buttressing their hope for a return to idealism. These folks were those of the Sixties Generation who had applied themselves to implementing the values they learned in the Sixties in the jobs and careers they held, in whatever small or not-so-small way that they were allowed by their older generation superiors, bosses, managers, or supervisors. Never knowing that they had allies among their generation who were doing the same kind of thing in their separate fields, they followed through, the best they could, on simple conviction, born of experience, of the rightness of the more idealistic ways.

Lastly, there were those of the Sixties Generation who identified themselves completely with their youthful idealism. In putting themselves “out front” this way in their values and beliefs they found others who were doing the same. They would together become the “New Age” movement, actively engaged in bringing about the better world their generation had envisioned in the Sixties and early Seventies. They would wonder, as decades passed, why it took so long for the rest of society to catch on to what they felt was an inviting and appealing evolution — one both necessary and therefore inevitable as well.

But these last, the New Agers, would be marginalized and scapegoated by the mainstream of society — a mainstream whose outlines, of course, were determined and inscribed by the mainstream media, which was, in turn, controlled by the wealthy elite of the World War Two Generation (more about this to come). Examples included Jerry Brown labeled “Captain Moonbeam,” the family dynamics in the TV show Family Ties, the burnt-out hippie depiction of cabdriver, Jim, in the Taxi television series, and thousands of other instances where those holding New Age views were labeled “flakes.”

An Aborted Changing of the Guard — Attack of the Body-Snatchers

Another reason these terms depicting cultural division, specifically, generation gap and counterculture, went into disuse was due to the mobilization of the World War Two Generation — after their initial phase of somnolent confusion over the events that were emerging in the Sixties which left them paralyzed and watching, growing in irritation and anger — into a comprehensive counterattack against the Sixties Generation, using all the Nixonian-like tactics in their arsenal … understandably, since Nixon was of that generation and his tactics were typical of the defensive style of his contemporaries.

Lassoing the Universities

In the early Seventies, the World War Two Generation used their power and wealth, being themselves in the triumphant phase of their lives, to put pressure on colleges and universities, nationwide, to discontinue the programs, courses, and the professors that they felt were responsible for the youth’s rebellion. Their targets for destruction included such noteworthy “dangers” as liberal arts programs in general, and especially “highly revolutionary” philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, and humanistic psychology courses. A transformation of colleges and universities into “career mills” — whose primary function was to prepare the young for practical and skill-oriented jobs and professions — was called for … or else! Or else these World War Two alumni would discontinue their contributions to these educational institutions. The “bottom line” being threatened in this way, no university administration, to my knowledge, withstood their demands for very long, if at all.

Cloning Themselves … WWII Generation Creating an 80s Generation of “Mini-me’s”

The youth produced by these institutions would hereafter be dissuaded from thinking for themselves and from “questioning authority” — as the previous generation had been encouraged to do — so part of the lapse in the terms of division between the generations — counterculture and generation gap — had to do with the fact that the wave of youth that followed the Sixties Generation would be molded, in their college years, into distant replicas of World War Two Generation members. They would be termed the “Me Generation,” since selfishness, greed, money-as-god, and upward mobility were characteristics of the WWII Generation that they were able to instill in their youthful clones.

Thus, we saw the rise of Young Republicans on campus in the late Seventies, the return of ROTC to campuses, and the seeding of fertile young minds with the values that would later be verbalized — in the movie Wall Street — in the mantram “Greed is good!” At the height of this phase, periodicals were declaring how similar the “youth of today” — meaning those of the late Seventies and Eighties — were to their parents, how close they were to their parents in the beliefs and values they held, and how the generation gap had inexplicably closed. Such was the success of the WWII Generation in cloning themselves in producing Eighties youth.

In sum, beginning in the early Seventies, institutions of higher learning turned away from their idealistic goals of “bringing out” from the students their inner truths and wisdom (which is the original meaning of the term educate), which is the avowed role of liberal arts programs, and instead turned hard, to the right, onto a path of churning out engineers, MBAs, hard scientists (even in the field of psychology, where humanistic psychology was shunned), medical professionals, lawyers, and the like. My liberal arts, semi–ivy-league college — founded, by half, by Benjamin Franklin — turned from the idealistic studies that typified Franklin and those of his time and swung from being a bastion of energetic inquiry into all controversial realms — political and spiritual and societal — a virtual “Plato’s Academy” of inquiry, into being a career mill centered around a “pre-med” program.

Harnessing the Media

Similarly, these frightened and wealthy WWII “conspirators” (however unconscious their alliance) would use their leverage to ensure that books and the media — TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers — would expound their views predominantly, would present events through the particular psychological lenses and filters with which they were familiar, and would eschew viewpoints, and even coverage of events, that would in any way strengthen the stance of the, by this time, scapegoated Sixties Generation.

The media declared, with much fanfare, in the early Seventies that a “conservative backlash” was occurring; and they published books documenting this event. Meanwhile they ignored the polls and the events — specifically the ongoing and growing antiwar and other counterculture “demonstrations” — that would show the lie to this idea, and they rejected and refused publication of the kind of books and articles, still being effusively churned out — that would support the counterculture movement. Controlling the media in this way and saying it long and loud enough, the “big lie” of the “conservative backlash” began to be accepted as truth. and even many in the counterculture and among the youth began to believe it.

Interestingly, those on the extreme right did not forget that the great divide in views was still with us. In the Nineties, Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich said a “culture war” was going on. More recently we see WWII- and Fifties-style Tea Partiers going up against huge rallies of Sixties style pro-union demonstrators and massive recall efforts. And, of course, with Trump we see a division in the country corresponding roughly with generational lines, with both sides actively and passionately fighting back the gains of the other side.

So those on the right decry such massive outpourings against them, but they are correct that it is a “culture war.” Obviously they can see that the world has changed from the Fifties-style “Pleasantville” that they had imagined and wanted it to be.

Culture War — The King Must Die

Still, the World War Two Generation could not maintain control forever. For one thing, people die. and being older than the Sixties Generation, eventually their numbers had to dwindle. Their numbers dwindling, they had to be replaced by those younger — some of whom were of the Sixties Generation and were now in what psychohistorians call the triumphant phase of life — that is, the time of life when a generation is in its “prime,” when it is most influential, when it takes over the reins of society, when it gets behind the wheel of the cultural bus.

From this perspective, we can view a remarkable film, Pleasantville, released in the late Nineties at the peak of the Sixties Generation’s triumphant phase, and see that it is a metaphorical review of history from the early Fifties up to that time — one which shows the Sixties Generation, in the end, finally realizing their vision of a more colorful, alive, open-to-new-experience and to change, growthful, changeful, passionate, unregimented, truthful, sensual, feeling and emotionful, and less determined, ritualized, and preordained existence. More about this later.

The Generational Changing of the Guard

First let me point out that this change in power, evident by this movie and the other recent cultural items I’ve mentioned, is a change as old as our species. Every generation, at some point, leaves or is removed from their seats of power when they are at or near the end of their arc of effectiveness and prowess by a younger generation that is coming into or — as in the unusual case of the Sixties Generation for the reasons unique to this time to be mentioned below — is fully in the prime of its life.

Myths, fairy tales, stories, historical tales, and legends the world over depict this change of power. The myth that is most transparent in its depiction of this change is the one in which a monarch, despot, or ogre controls and rules the land, keeping the people miserable with oppressive and selfish decrees and policies. A young prince emerges and, after a period of trial … in the case of the Sixties Generation, an unusually long period of trial … in which the prince proves himself worthy, he takes up the cause of the people and overthrows the old king and takes his place. Thus the saying “The king is dead. Long live the (new) king.”

The triumphant phase of the Sixties Generation had been delayed, however, longer than any other generation in history because of the advances in modern medical science, which served to keep the World War Two Generation alive and kicking longer than any previous generation. The average life expectancy in the last seventy years (since the time when the World War Two Generation were in their youth or young adulthood) has increased remarkably. Hence the Sixties Generation had to wait longer than the World War Two Generation to get a chance behind the wheel of society. It is strange and ironic that at a time when the speed of cultural change is greatest because of an ever increasing speed of technological change, at a time when the elder generation’s worldview becomes obsolete sooner and faster than ever before, at such a time when it would seem the younger generation’s view would attain relevancy and effectiveness faster and sooner than at any previous time, at such a time we had the reverse occurring, that is, the younger generation’s ascendancy was delayed and the older one’s stranglehold on power was extended.

However, this rapid change and increasing rate of obsolescence may just have had something to do with the WWII Generation’s desire to hang on and their vehement struggle against change. For, as mentioned before, there is a gap — greater than ever before — between the views of the younger and those of the older. This gap is wrought of the different technological worlds and the corresponding sociocultural worlds that each experienced. It is widened by different, more advanced on the one side, child-caring of children as well as by different drugs used and the contrasting world views they would elicit — as explained in Chapter Five and those following.

So the WWII Generation might be said to have been more threatened than any previous one by the generation to succeed them, because the ascendancy of the next generation appeared to overturn and oftentimes reverse so much of what they believed, valued, worked and sacrificed for.

Because of the unprecedented technological change and corresponding change in material culture, catalyzing in ways too numerous to mention a myriad of sociocultural and psychological changes in their successors, there is less overlap than ever before between the worldviews of the generation handing over power and the generation coming into power. It follows that it would seem to the generation in power, even as they approach the end of their mortality, that less of what they are and were will live on after them than has ever been the case in the history of generational succession.

This being so, such a generational succession represented a previously unheard of personal invalidation and undermining of the self-esteem of those of the World War Two Generation and a corresponding unprecedented attack on the usual delusions of immortality (themselves living on in some fashion in their successors) that older generations are allowed in exchange for their relinquishing power.

Culture War — The King Won’t Die

At any rate and whatever may be the reason, the fact remains that the World War Two Generation used their longevity for all their worth to block the ascendancy of their successors. They used their longevity to amass wealth and power — wealth greater than any previous generation before and, because of their actions, likely to come.

For example, their actions led to a situation, currently, wherein they were taken care of in their old age by a Social Security and Medicare system funded by the work of the Baby-Boomers, aka Sixties Generation, at the same time that predictions abound that that same Social Security and Medicare system will be depleted just as it is the Baby-Boomers’ time to belly-up to the bar. One might also note the WWII Generation’s environmental and ecological decisions making it that no generation after them will enjoy anywhere near the benefits — health and quality of life among them — of clean environment, abundance of natural resources, and ecological balance that they enjoyed. Finally, their decisions regarding arms buildup and proliferation may deny life itself to the generations following them. Other unprecedented ogre-like — greedy, selfish, and uncaring-of-succeeding-generations — actions can be numbered against this generation.

Generational Changing of the Guard, Aborted

So the World War Two Generation used their unprecedented wealth and power to wage a war against the generation who would be taking over from them, keeping them and their values under attack and away from the centers of power and influence in society as long as they possibly could.1

Desperate Stand: The Battle of the Bill (Clinton)

It is enlightening to consider in the Nineties the persistent attacks on Bill Clinton (similarly, on Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, continuing) — the first Sixties Generation U.S. president — ever since he took office. The Monica Lewinsky scandal is a typical example of the extent to which the World War Two Generation so effectively controlled the views and values expressed and subtly expounded in the media ever since it took conscious control of the society’s “collective consciousness” in this way in the early Seventies. By this I mean that in the entire time of the scandal, it was assumed that sex is bad, or at least that sex outside of marriage is bad. It was assumed that Hillary must be horribly pained and angered by the revelation of her husband’s affair(s).

Make Love, Not War

It is as if the slogan “Make Love, Not War” was never a generational outcry. I don’t believe you will ever find in the history books paid for/published by World War Two Generation owned publishing houses mention of the fact that slogan was ever used. Indeed, with all the talk by pundits, analysts, and commentators on literally hundreds of TV shows during the entire time of the Lewinsky scandal and impeachment drama, that slogan, “Make Love, Not War,” was practically never mentioned. I am aware of only one time — when I heard it slipped in unnoticed by a participant in the middle of a talkin’-all-at-once brouhaha on the TV show Politically Incorrect, whereupon it was totally ignored.

Even more astonishing, those same pundits discussed, ad nauseum, this scandal and all the myriad ramifications of it yet never, to my knowledge, made note of Clinton’s generational status and the views, exemplified by “Make Love, Not War,” which my generation espoused. It has simply been assumed that all of the Sixties Generation “grew out” of that kind of “nonsense” and had adopted the views of the WWII Generation … again, polls on values and viewpoints be damned.

Rewriting History

Most telling of all in the attacks on Clinton’s behavior is the assumption that such a stance on open marriage and uninhibited sexuality is a product of uncontrolled lewdness and the sexual license exhibited primarily by the young, which naturally everyone grows out of in order to adopt the constrained and secretive sexual views of the old. The sexual revolution’s parallel growth in the Sixties with expanding civil rights, women’s rights, and individual liberty is completely ignored. Its roots in an idealism about final and complete gender equality is totally vanquished as if it were never so.

In fact, I doubt you, the reader, know of this. Yet hordes of Sixties youth shared with each other, conspiratorial-like, the Sixties novel, The Harrad Experiment by Robert H. Rimmer, which portrayed — in poetic and highly intelligent fashion — an evolution to a radical equality between the genders, to an elimination of neurotic suffering around sexuality as, for example, in painful jealousy, to an ending of sexual violence as in spouse abuse, and a final and complete solution to a gender war existing for all time with incalculable casualties and near infinity of suffering on both sides. It was a story about non-monogamy and open relationships … “free love.”

Neither did the pundits point out that Bill Clinton is of a generation who made a book on “open marriage” a bestseller. The clinch on the media by that older generation has been so complete as to have, apparently, completely dismissed or erased from the minds of the pundits the facts that those ideas and books ever existed. Another thing erased from history since the Seventies: the “sexual revolution.” Remember that? When was the last time you heard that talked about? All of the energy that had surrounded these controversial ideas has, because of media manipulation and repression of these views, been channeled into and reduced to a fight over a woman’s right to choose, that is to say, the abortion issue, and more recently to fights over union rights and budget issues.

Abortion Wars

Incidentally, it is no coincidence that the issue of abortion has taken on such importance for so many in the electorate, for it is the last remaining battle of the “culture war” directly continuing from the Sixties. Prior to the Sixties, women’s bodies could not be considered their own, in many ways; a prominent way was the illegality of abortion, which made outcasts and corpses out of untold numbers of women. It was reversed by Roe v. Wade in the Sixties. But the battle never went away and is the major front in a Gender War that has been going on for millennia.

And your position on the abortion issue is the closest thing to a military uniform indicating on which side of the culture war you have enlisted. Specifically, I am saying that there are few of the Sixties Generation who would not classify themselves as “pro-choice.” Meanwhile, the anti-abortionists are found to be primarily comprise those of the WWII Generation, their Eighties Generation clones, and the Eisenhower-Presley-McCarthy — and now we might add “Pleasantville” — Fifties Generation. (For a definition and explanation of Fifties Generation see Chapter Five, “Drugs and Generations — Concocted Worlds”)

World War Two and Fifties Generations Just Don’t Get It … Never Have, and Never Will

Of course, I am saying that the War on Clinton was, in its essence, an unacknowledged but desperate battle in the Culture War that has been going on since the Sixties — despite these attacks not being framed or talked about this way — between the World War Two and the Sixties Generations. The World War Two Generation, especially after the elections of November 1998, learned that it was way off in some of its assumptions, that their analysis of what had been happening in this country was woefully miscalculated. They were like the deluded schizophrenic who believed passionately in the world he himself created coming up against some of the hard, harsh, and indisputable facts of existence which undermine his world. The World-War-Two-Generation–minded — whatever the individual’s age, and especially now, their underlings of the Fifties Generation — have been fighting back, since the Nineties, with all the firepower they can muster against realizing the harsh realities around them of their waning ideals. They have been in total and absolute denial of the direction of the American, indeed the world, consciousness; and they have been flinging all their wealth into the mix to try to repress the emerging truths.

When I first published on this topic in 1998 I wrote, “But we shouldn’t be surprised if we see some of those in their ranks — wealthy and facing their inevitable demise — merely increasing the ferocity of their war waging … humiliating themselves and seeming ever more pitiful in the minds of the majority of observers, who increasingly, as time continues to decimate their WWII ranks, are younger than they and thus do not share their delusions.”

I am sorry to say I was more correct than I could ever have dreamed as we have faced, since the change of the millennium, neo-con wars built on lies and confused tea-baggers railing against their own interests.

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11

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Culture War Allegory:

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers … to Follow or Not to Follow the Script

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“…we are beginning to see a metaphor for psychological realities and that “following the script” has a broader meaning for a choice that everyone must make in life in growing up, specifically, to follow the script laid out for oneself by one’s parents and society in general or to follow one’s inner direction and inner guide in asserting one’s individuality and expressing one’s unique self.”

“These Blue Meanies, especially their leader, are depicted as powerful and cruel, yet sniveling, insecure, weak, and selfish underneath. Their angry and oppressive personas are shown to reveal poor little whining babies behind them. Their actions are shown to be those of “big babies,” whose gruff exterior must remain intact at all costs, lest their hidden sniveling and hurt little selves be revealed. The analogy the Beatles are making to those of the WWII Generation — at that time the parental generation, those “over 30” — is impossible not to make.”

“…in recent history, despite the increasing drum beating of the Religious Right in the last three decades, those of us who grew up in the Fifties know that the introduction of sex — in the Sixties, as in the “sexual revolution” — was a step forward from the hypocritical sameness and plodding repression of the Fifties.”

“The underlying factor that was introduced into the movie causing color and that was also introduced into our society causing all the sociocultural changes that we, usually, complain about is the factor of choosing something different than what is expected by society, than what is expected by the outside. What is introduced in the movie — as it was introduced in our culture — is the preeminence of inner authority in making decisions, as opposed to outer authority.”

“The black-and-white Fifties Pleasantville is a representation of a mode of child-rearing — which characterized the Fifties — wherein the role of the parents is to “mold,” model, and guide children along paths that the parents have deemed to be correct — called the socializing mode of child-rearing. The child is expected to be a clone of the parents, a mini-me….”

“By contrast, the colorized Pleasantville represents the mode of child-caring that came out, big time, beginning in the Sixties, wherein the parents’ role is that of “bringing out” from and supporting, encouraging, and helping the child to discover what the child’s talents and inherent abilities, feelings, and proclivities are, and then encouraging the child to “believe in him/herself” in the expression of those inherent and inborn good qualities and values — termed the helping mode of child-caring.”

“This mode contains a radically new view of basic human nature. Humans are seen to be essentially good (even “divine”). It is evil and painful events impinging upon the child from the outside — family and society — that are deemed causative in taking the child from its natural state of innocence and goodness and inherent unique talents to one wherein the child is corrupted and thus becomes bestial and lacking in inherent good qualities and talents.”

“Therefore the solution is to protect the child from traumas coming from the outside, especially the huge one of feeling unloved through not being seen or respected as a unique individual … as opposed to being seen as a mere outgrowth or mini-me of a parental entity. And in so doing the parents’ role includes helping the child to discover his or her uniqueness and dispensing unconditional love, that is, love that is given freely, without the requirement, as in the socializing mode, that the child do and be what the parents want before the child is accepted or shown approval or any emotional warmth.”

“In representing this advanced mode of being (and child-caring) the “colorized” people in Pleasantville open themselves to possibilities that were never before considered; they stray from the earlier mode requiring strict conformity to parental scripts. Robert Kennedy’s Sixties quote comes to mind as expressing this: “Some people look at things as they are and ask, why? I think of things that never were and ask, why not?” This means, then, a capacity to experiment and adventure in one’s life, which, at bottom, involve a belief in questioning authority and thinking for oneself in Sixties terms or, in Carl Jung’s words, a belief that we are, each of us, “experiments in truth” in our sojourns on Earth.”

“The whole point of change is that it is always something one does not expect. Likewise, when people act out of inner rather than outer authority, one can only expect that what happens will be unique, like people are when they are not conforming to external expectations.”

“…this ending expresses the spiritual razor’s edge each of us must cross during our life’s sojourn. Whenever we try to put life, or love, into a box, package, or a gilded cage, it dies or stagnates — just like a boring black-and-white sitcom world. Real change and spiritual growth means letting go and opening oneself to the unexpected and the unknown.”

“One of the reasons the movie, Pleasantville, so appealed to me is that its view of current events is so akin to that which I have been expressing in other of my more recent writings … wherein I make the argument that recent events are not evidence of a downfall of civilization, as conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan would have us believe, but are the necessary “birth pains” of a new age being born.”

“Those of us who lived through the Fifties know that the lack of color is an apt metaphor for exactly the way it was at that time. It was a back-and-white world — a world that covered up its underlying nastiness and evil by repression and denial — psychological defense mechanisms that characterized the World-War-Two Generation especially.”

“The point in the movie, which is so appealing, is that it causes us to look again at the changes in our society that have occurred because of the various “revolutions” of postmodern times — civil rights, student antiwar, women’s rights, sexual, and so on — and to stop bemoaning the “messiness” that comes with freedom. We have more choice, more freedom now than ever. And this freedom allows us the opportunity for a higher spirituality — some would say the only true spirituality — which involves the harrowing path of deciding for oneself, based upon one’s ability to intuit or “feel” the correct path, and experiencing the consequences of one’s choices, as opposed to the preordained religiosity of following a script.”

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The film, Pleasantville, is a postmodern sociological allegory or fable released in 1998.

Not So Pleasantville

It begins in then-current time against a backdrop of the usual violence, chaos, and turbulence that we are conditioned by the media to believe characterized the Nineties in America. Two high school teenagers, David and Jennifer, played by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon, are planning their evening.

A Tale of Two Siblings

David is planning to watch the Pleasantville marathon on television and to participate in the trivia contest that will be part of it. Pleasantville is an old sitcom from the 1950s in the Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons style which has attained a cult-like following and is shown regularly on a cable channel similar to the “Nick at Nite” one that we know of which specialized in reruns of old sitcoms.

It becomes clear that David is an ardent devotee of the show in part because it compensates for the lameness of his real life. Unlike his sister, who is portrayed as a real “firecracker” of a young woman, he doesn’t date or participate in the school scene. It is implied that he may be using the sitcom as an escape from not only a boring life but a threatening one and that he longs to live in the kind of ordered, safe, and unchallenging reality that the sitcom depicts. David is such an avid follower of the show that he is shown to be a master of Pleasantville trivia and is primed and eager for the contest on Pleasantville trivia.

But his sister, Jennifer, is planning for a hot date at home … their parents being away for the weekend providing an opportunity for her to be unchaperoned with her guy … which she eagerly anticipates. At odds over what will be played on the TV — Jennifer wanting to watch instead an MTV concert with her date — they wrestle over the TV remote and end up breaking it. However all is not lost as at just that moment and completely inexplicably a television repairman played by Don Knotts drives up in his truck, knocks on the door, and imposes his services on them in fixing the problem.

Don Knotts — perfectly cast, in a Hero’s Cycle sense, for it is often the impish or normally overlooked and unnoticed element that initiates sweeping changes in people’s lives — indeed does introduce the magical element into the film. He produces a different kind of remote control, which he claims has special effects saying, “You want something to put you right in the show!” Sure enough, in checking out the remote they hit a mysterious button and are transported into the TV and thus into the sitcom and the town that is called Pleasantville.

To Follow or Not to Follow “The Script”

After their initial confusion, they realize what has happened and try to return, but do not know how to. David — who it becomes apparent has been thrust into the role of Bud in the sitcom — advises his sister — Jennifer who has become Mary Sue in the TV series — to go along with events until they figure a way to get home. Since he knows all the plots of every show of the sitcom, his idea is that they act out the events as they are supposed to happen and that they do what the two characters — the teenage son and daughter of the parents in the sitcom, Betty and George Parker, played superbly by Joan Allen and William H. Macy — are known to do in the different episodes he has seen.

Essentially, then, David as Bud is advising his sister to “follow the script.” and of course it is not hard to discern at this point that we are beginning to see a metaphor for psychological realities and that “following the script” has a broader meaning for a choice that everyone must make in life in growing up, specifically, to follow the script laid out for oneself by one’s parents and society in general or to follow one’s inner direction and inner guide in asserting one’s individuality and expressing one’s unique self.

The rest of the movie is the story of how these two characters — transported magically from the future as well as from the real world as opposed to a made-up TV world — introduce change into the town and thereby color. Mary Sue, formerly Jennifer, does it consciously. Rebelling against her brother’s admonishments to follow the script, she goes on a date with someone she is not supposed to according to the sitcom script and then — horror of horrors for a 1950s world — engages in sex with him at the local “lover’s lane” — where the farthest that anyone goes, according to “script,” is holding hands. We find later that her date describes this unheard of experience to his classmates, and, like ripples emanating from a pebble dropped in a pond, her action results in a number of the school youth engaging in sex and thereby becoming, to everyone’s amazement, colorized!

The brother also introduces change, and therefore color, but it is done unconsciously at first. As mentioned, he tries to get his sister to follow the script. Still, in a metaphorically powerful scene, when he is late for work at the local malt shop — this is unheard of as well because Pleasantville is a world where no one is ever late for work — he inadvertently introduces change himself. In fact, he introduces the most insidious element of change because he explicitly advises — without realizing what he has unleashed — that his boss think for himself!

In this scene Bud, formerly David, finds his boss and coworker, Mister Johnson, played by Jeff Daniels, stuck at the end of the counter, cleaning away with a washcloth, like a stuck record, at the same spot, even as the surface of the counter is rubbing away.

When the soda jerk, Mister Johnson, explains confusedly that the normal regimen would have required Bud to arrive at work before he, Mister Johnson, could go on to the rest of his chores, Bud simply suggests to Mister Johnson that in the future he continue with his next chore even if Bud is not there.

So simply in being himself, coming from a future in which people react to change by thinking out new responses and thereby adapting to them, Bud, aka David, introduces a totally new element into the soda jerk’s script. This has far reaching consequences as the movie progresses and Mister Johnson begins thinking for himself and having ideas about other things as well. In this way, the soda jerk, soon to be artist, too ends up “colored.”

Blue Meanies

The 1998 movie, Pleasantville, thematically, is remarkably akin to the 1968-released movie Yellow Submarine put out by the Sixties Generation rock group The Beatles.

In Yellow Submarine there is a region ruled by the Blue Meanies. These Blue Meanies, especially their leader, are depicted as powerful and cruel, yet sniveling, insecure, weak, and selfish underneath. Their angry and oppressive personas are shown to reveal poor little whining babies behind them. Their actions are shown to be those of “big babies,” whose gruff exterior must remain intact at all costs, lest their hidden sniveling and hurt little selves be revealed. The analogy the Beatles are making to those of the WWII Generation — at that time the parental generation, those “over 30” — is impossible not to make.

“Nowhere Man”

The movies are so similar in theme that the only major thematic difference between Pleasantville and Yellow Submarine is that it is music that is not allowed in Yellow Submarine whereas in Pleasantville it is color. Yet the idea behind them both is the same: Music and color both represent deep feeling, aliveness, thinking for oneself, and change. In Yellow Submarine, the man without music is Nowhere Man, who “knows not where he’s going to, doesn’t have a point of view.” In Pleasantville, the men without color act in the same ways, performing the same actions, day in, day out, without change, zombie- or robot-like — like characters in a 1950s-style sitcom in which nothing unpleasant, different, new, or too emotional is allowed to occur.

And above all, the black-and-white men do not think for themselves. This is graphically portrayed in the scene mentioned where the owner of the town malt shop, Mister Johnson, portrayed by Jeff Daniels, is left cleaning the same spot of the counter for hours so that its top is rubbed away because his coworker is late and the routine they use to close up cannot be completed in the way it is done, every day, in exactly the same way. Confronted with this small change, he shows himself to be the “Nowhere Man” and like a needle stuck on a record, he is rigidly stuck repeating the same action, not having the power to think of an alternative action in response to a change in the usual routine.

“The Awakening” — No Longer a Distant Vision

The differences in the years of the release and the different artistic modes used to express the themes of these two movies have something to say as well. In 1968 the changes in culture of the New Age were a vision and a hope. It is appropriate and telling that Yellow Submarine was expressed in animated form. Like a dream that would take a long time to realize, it needed to be expressed in cartoon-like fashion, for the time of its emergence in reality was too far off.

By contrast, Pleasantville blends a fantasy world — appropriately it is a TV sitcom, which has more similarities with reality than an animation — with the actual reality of postmodern times. The advance toward reality is patent in the evolution from an animated form — indicating the change is far off, a fantasy, a wish, a hope — in the 1968 movie; to a black-and-white form involving real actors, real people; and then to a colorized version involving real people in what is supposed to be real time and real cultural reality, in the movie released thirty years later. One might say that what was a fantasy over forty years ago is, however unconsciously, being heralded as, hopefully, emerging and coming into being now — in actual, black-and-white or colored, real time and place.

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Concerning the movie, Pleasantville, noted movie critic Roger Ebert quite astutely pointed out that it was “like the defeat of the body snatchers” (from his excellent review, “Pleasantville”). One might also say that it is one in which Holden Caulfield, the character in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, wins out and children do not grow up to be adult “phonies.” Another analogy would be that it is a depiction in which Peter Pan stays young, when he succeeds in keeping the children from ever growing up and thereby losing their capacity to “fly” — representing the capacity to dream, to envision, to be open to new possibilities, to adventure.

What It Is That Makes One Alive

Against this backdrop of lack of real aliveness, the introduction of color into the town of Pleasantville through the introduction of sex is not seen as something bad at all. Similarly, in recent history, despite the increasing drum beating of the Religious Right in the last three decades, those of us who grew up in the Fifties know that the introduction of sex — in the Sixties, as in the “sexual revolution” — was a step forward from the hypocritical sameness and plodding repression of the Fifties.

Other elements introduced into Pleasantville that produce colorization in the participants include thinking for oneself (Jeff Daniels in his role as the soda jerk), intellectual passion (the sister), questioning the way things are supposed to be or, in Sixties terms, questioning authority (when the brother finally becomes colored), artistic and creative passion (Jeff Daniels again), and even the passion of honest rage (the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce). These elements arise in Pleasantville just as they arose into the collective consciousness of those of us living in the Fifties and Sixties.

Of course I am not naively saying that these elements never existed before the Sixties. The underlying factor that was introduced into the movie causing color and that was also introduced into our society causing all the sociocultural changes that we, usually, complain about is the factor of choosing something different than what is expected by society, than what is expected by the outside. What is introduced in the movie — as it was introduced in our culture — is the preeminence of inner authority in making decisions, as opposed to outer authority.

A New Psychohistorical Era!

In psychohistorical terms this difference is marked by Lloyd deMause as a difference in a mode of child-rearing. The black-and-white Fifties Pleasantville is a representation of a mode of child-rearing — which characterized the Fifties — wherein the role of the parents is to “mold,” model, and guide children along paths that the parents have deemed to be correct — called the socializing mode of child-rearing. The child is expected to be a clone of the parents, a mini-me, or at least to represent the parents’ ideas of proper behavior, ideals, and mode of living, regardless of whether the parent models them or not. and when not, the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” and the term hypocrite as applied to the parents are apropos.

The basic nature of the child is considered to be sinful and evil or at least bestial; the classic novel Lord of the Flies depicts this view of human nature. Therefore the child needs to become other than itself and conform itself to something outside of itself in order for she or he to be considered “good” and to receive good responses in turn from parents and society.

By contrast, the colorized Pleasantville represents the mode of child-caring that came out, big time, beginning in the Sixties, wherein the parents’ role is that of “bringing out” from and supporting, encouraging, and helping the child to discover what the child’s talents and inherent abilities, feelings, and proclivities are, and then encouraging the child to “believe in him/herself” in the expression of those inherent and inborn good qualities and values — termed the helping mode of child-caring.1

This mode contains a radically new view of basic human nature. Humans are seen to be essentially good (even “divine”). It is evil and painful events impinging upon the child from the outside — family and society — that are deemed causative in taking the child from its natural state of innocence and goodness and inherent unique talents to one wherein the child is corrupted and thus becomes bestial and lacking in inherent good qualities and talents.

Therefore the solution is to protect the child from traumas coming from the outside, especially the huge one of feeling unloved through not being seen or respected as a unique individual … as opposed to being seen as a mere outgrowth or mini-me of a parental entity. And in so doing the parents’ role includes helping the child to discover his or her uniqueness and dispensing unconditional love, that is, love that is given freely, without the requirement, as in the socializing mode, that the child do and be what the parents want before the child is accepted or shown approval or any emotional warmth.

In representing this advanced mode of being (and child-caring) the “colorized” people in Pleasantville open themselves to possibilities that were never before considered; they stray from the earlier mode requiring strict conformity to parental scripts. Robert Kennedy’s Sixties quote comes to mind as expressing this: “Some people look at things as they are and ask, why? I think of things that never were and ask, why not?” This means, then, a capacity to experiment and adventure in one’s life, which, at bottom, involve a belief in questioning authority and thinking for oneself in Sixties terms or, in Carl Jung’s words, a belief that we are, each of us, “experiments in truth” in our sojourns on Earth. and just as these elements and beliefs became more and more a part of America’s collective consciousness in the Sixties and Seventies and ever since then, they also gradually develop in Pleasantville.

“Love My Uncertainty”

One reviewer described the ending of the movie as “not at all easy and tidy, but rather very, very messy” (“Pleasantville” by Chris A. Bolton). Ebert — more astutely but not quite correctly — wrote that the determining factor in whether someone became colored was the factor of change. The first reviewer, like someone with one foot still in Pleasantville or one who is still not fully colored, does not understand that the ending, wherein the characters proclaim that they do not know what is going to happen next, contains exactly the essential message of the movie. The ending can only be “messy” if one expects a particular ending.

The reviewer is very much like the critics of Occupy Wall Street who claimed the protesters do not have a message, or a leader … essentially do not know where they are going. He is wrong for the same reasons those critics are.

The whole point of change is that it is always something one does not expect. Likewise, when people act out of inner rather than outer authority, one can only expect that what happens will be unique, like people are when they are not conforming to external expectations. So there could be no pat or predicted ending. The moviegoer could not leave knowing whether Betty Parker, the Stepford housewife turned liberated woman, returns to her husband, George, or takes off with the soda jerk turned artist, Mister Johnson, because that would destroy the uncertainty inherent in change, growth, aliveness, and so on. So the ending is exactly what it has to be.

And this ending expresses the spiritual razor’s edge each of us must cross during our life’s sojourn. Whenever we try to put life, or love, into a box, package, or a gilded cage, it dies or stagnates — just like a boring black-and-white sitcom world. Real change and spiritual growth means letting go and opening oneself to the unexpected and the unknown. So it is in this vein that the spiritual teacher Sathya Sai Baba tells his followers, “Love my uncertainty,” in helping them to deal — after the usual “honeymoon phase” at the beginning of their spiritual path — with the trials, changes, tribulations, and suffering that his devotees experience later on, along their path to greater purity of heart and compassion, and eventually spiritual liberation.

The Scenery of Healing

One of the reasons the movie, Pleasantville, so appealed to me is that its view of current events is so akin to that which I have been expressing in other of my more recent writings — for example, the books Apocalypse NO, Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious and Apocalypse Emergency, Love’s Wake-Up Call — wherein I make the argument that recent events are not evidence of a downfall of civilization, as conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan would have us believe, but are the necessary “birth pains” of a new age being born.

In Pleasantville, indeed, though everyone smiles and there is no crime or unpleasantness — which is supposed to reflect the view of reality presented in Fifties sitcoms like Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver — it is inherently flawed in that it is lacking in “color.” Those of us who lived through the Fifties know that the lack of color is an apt metaphor for exactly the way it was at that time. It was a back-and-white world — a world that covered up its underlying nastiness and evil by repression and denial — psychological defense mechanisms that characterized the World-War-Two Generation especially.

New Mantram: “Thinking for Oneself Is Good!”

The point in the movie, which is so appealing, is that it causes us to look again at the changes in our society that have occurred because of the various “revolutions” of postmodern times — civil rights, student antiwar, women’s rights, sexual, and so on — and to stop bemoaning the “messiness” that comes with freedom. We have more choice, more freedom now than ever. And this freedom allows us the opportunity for a higher spirituality — some would say the only true spirituality — which involves the harrowing path of deciding for oneself, based upon one’s ability to intuit or “feel” the correct path, and experiencing the consequences of one’s choices, as opposed to the preordained religiosity of following a script.

Though many would argue this, one has only to look, as this movie forces us to do, back at where we started. and from that perspective, with that stultifying, hypocritical, dishonest, and phony kind of supposed “living” in mind, we can easily see the changes and progress made in individual freedom and, dare I say, genuine spirituality, and accept the uncertainty, emotional pain, apparent evil, “messiness,” social and political turbulence, and all the rest that comes with it.

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12

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Cultural Rebirth, Aborted:

It’s a Not so Wonderful Life for the WWII Generation … yet the King Refuses to Die

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[Quotes/highlights:] “It’s a Wonderful Life is beloved and timeless, no doubt, because it reassures an entire generation and all those who have had to give up their dreams for whatever reason that their sacrifices were for a higher good and that it is a wonderful life after all.”

“In one way or another, the situation in the Forties, with the war effort and afterwards, created a generation who, except for the rare individual or one of unusual circumstances, was called upon to step up into mature responsible tasks long before the idealism of their youth would have preferred that they do so. Their generation is scarred for having missed this opportunity. They are individuals deserving of our sympathy; yet crippled they were, nonetheless.”

“Pearl Harbor Day, when their fate was inevitably forged, when it became clear that for the second time the light of individual freedom would be extinguished, would become an important marker in their lifetimes — a day almost as much to be memorialized as their birthdays.”

“…we can pity the World War Two Generation. As in John Updike’s The Centaur, the World War Two Generation is depicted as a generation that was required to give up its dreams and do its ‘duty,’ above all. It was required to carry out a script given to them by their society, not allowing them to follow their natural youthful ideals. And as in Updike’s novel, they are beaten down in a life that is regimented and has no ‘color,’ spark, life, idealism, or dreams. They have become the robot-like residents of Pleasantville. But Updike points out in his novel that their sacrifice, despite the personal tragedy of it on the individual scale, is both necessary and noble in that it makes possible the realization of dreams by the generation to which they gave birth.”

“…it is women who are the real instigators, the least threatened by change.”

“As in the hundredth monkey phenomenon, it is first the young, especially females, who are open to new experiences, ways, and ideas. Then it is adult females — in this movie exemplified by Betty Parker, the mother of Bud and Mary Sue — who are next to consider alternatives and new ways. Adult males are the last to turn to color, but among them it is the sensitive of heart….”

“This rebellious act by the artist is reminiscent of antiwar demonstrators, who got fired upon at Kent State; of civil rights demonstrators, who police attacked with dogs; of Tiananmen Square demonstrators, who were rolled over by tanks, shot, and killed; of Black Lives Matters protesters, who were tear gassed, pepper sprayed, and plowed into with cars; and most defiant of all the courageous men and women of the Middle East risking their lives for freedom, and the Occupy and Antifa heroes throughout the world putting their bodies in front of, arguably, the most dire, widespread fascism ever to exist.”

“Big Bob’s Chamber of Commerce represents MAGAts, Trumpers, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and those in general in our society who have succumbed to the rewards and threats of the World War Two Generation, and their Fifties Gen/ Gen X clones. They are the ones induced to live a regimented, robot-like, unfeeling, passionless life; to become one of J. D. Salinger’s ‘phonies’; to abide by outdated and misconstrued idea of ‘family values’; and above all to ‘behave’ and not do anything to rock the boat of the status quo which might threaten the privileges of those currently enjoying power and wealth handed down, mostly, by heredity.”

“The events in China’s Tiananmen Square more than thirty years ago so affected and still affects some of us here in America because we know at some level we have experienced it before.

“What happened in China three decades ago is so much like what happened in the U.S. five decades ago, somewhat less graphically, around the Vietnam War demonstrations.”

“…the result of both was the same: In both cases the opposition, the youth movement, crushed — violently in China, subtly and behind the scenes in the US — at the command of an octogenarian generation, clinging desperately to power as much as to their waning physical frames.”

“…we no longer assassinate our president as we did with JFK, we character assassinate instead, as we did with Bill Clinton.”

“The Filthy Rich, in collusion with Russia, aimed their weapons, as well, against Hillary Clinton who received all the ridicule and vicious slander imaginable … and oh, let us not forget those emails *guffaw*.”

“And currently the lie-making machine on the Right is pumping out propaganda against Joe Biden who also — though he had been the poorest person in the Senate and who famously took the train to and from Washington every day — has been charged with making money hand over fist, somehow. In some imaginary world. We see in this Trump era, with Russian misinformation and slander allowed to be flooding our social media, there is not a second thought given about making up the most outrageous charges — pedophilia in pizza store basements that don’t exist, for example.”

“…the results in both countries are the same. They involve the ultimate victory of sociocultural change in both instances being delayed until the dying off of an elderly generation in power — a generation refusing to die or hand over the controls at the proper time like the generations before them. Simply, the king won’t die!”

“Time is running out for the octogenarians and ninety-somethings on either side of the Pacific.”

“…we will look at how the WWII Gen kept themselves alive longer than any other generation and how they used that longevity to buy and clone their ideas into the generations following them. In fact, the way the media portrays it, the world that the WWII Generation created, as manifested in the Fifties — the Fifties style of culture — is the one against which all happenings are to be measured. The Fifties, we are led to believe through incessant repetition, is what is ‘normal.’ This is the narrative the money of the Fifties and WWII Gens has managed to embed in media minds, as networks continue to broadcast the same naïve and silly sitcoms from the Fifties and early Sixties to new generations.”

“…this looking to a former time for values is a repudiation of all generations after who grew up in different times and who have evolved along with an evolving cultural and global environment. This refusal to ‘die,’ to turn over the reins of society to younger generations, is indeed an abomination. It represents the WWII and Fifties Gens worldviews being propped up mechanically, though the sand beneath their beliefs is continually washed away. This tension between obsolete old ideas that refuse to die and new ones needed for progress and survival is what we look at next. A Culture War rages.”

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[Chapter 12 text begins:] The paramount theme in Pleasantville — which is that thinking for oneself and following one’s own unique path and being open to the change that comes with that brings “color,” truth, and aliveness to one’s life — is truly a Sixties Generation idea. Again, it is not that it has never been thought before. All great ideas have been thought before, but that does not mean they have been implemented on a sociocultural, macrocosmic level. Many ideas have remained in the realm of the solitary pursuits of philosophers and mystics and been exemplified only in individual lives. Yet, the Sixties was such a time of turmoil because the values of individual freedom, personal passion, feeling and experience, questioning authority, and thinking for oneself were shared by so many Baby-Boomers and were so contrary to the values of the generation in power.

It’s a (Not So) Wonderful Life — WWII Generation

An excellent example of how opposed the Sixties values are to those of the WWII Generation is found in that beloved movie of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart. In that film, the main character is prevented by circumstances from following his dreams. One event after another keeps him from leaving his hometown. His story might be called The Truman Show in reverse for he comes to accept the loss of his dreams. He is rewarded for giving up his yearning for adventure with the warmth of a loving family and friends.

Nonetheless, he has been reduced to someone who simply follows a script or role and when it appears that he might fail in that role he considers killing himself.

Reassures a Generation

It’s a Wonderful Life is beloved and timeless, no doubt, because it reassures an entire generation and all those who have had to give up their dreams for whatever reason that their sacrifices were for a higher good and that it is a wonderful life after all.

Will never know what might have been

It provides a rationalization against the painful feelings of knowing that one will never know “what might have been” by pointing out the truth that one’s life affects others and has meaning regardless of whether or not one has been fortunate enough to actualize one’s deepest desires, talents, aspirations, and dreams.

War Compels Dashing of Dreams

As mentioned, It’s a Wonderful Life calls out to and epitomizes the experiences and attitudes of the World War Two Generation in particular. They were called upon to fight a war, after all, which no doubt would derail many a young man’s and woman’s dreams. As in It’s a Wonderful Life, the circumstances that arise to prevent their following through on their dreams are imposed from the outside — the state of being at war and being called upon by a draft to enlist or else be enlisted. For the women, as well as the men who stayed behind, the war’s influence on their lives and the carrying out of idealistic schemes and dreams are only a little less pronounced. For, as in It’s a Wonderful Life, the war created a society heaving with needs and pain, which only the truly heartless … who would not have any dreams anyway … could not help but feel compelled to respond to.

Growing up too fast

In one way or another, the situation in the Forties, with the war effort and afterwards, created a generation who, except for the rare individual or one of unusual circumstances, was called upon to step up into mature responsible tasks long before the idealism of their youth would have preferred that they do so. Their generation is scarred for having missed this opportunity. They are individuals deserving of our sympathy; yet crippled they were, nonetheless.

Mashing Butterflies and Drowning Kittens

This is not to say, however, that the generations before the WWII Generation were allowed their dreams and that the WWII Generation was unique in being crippled in its development. For we know that earlier child-rearing modes required the submission of children and youth to parental wishes.

Therefore, dreaming or envisioning an adventurous life was not the norm. For much of the history of the world and in most cultures, indeed, even the selection of one’s spouse was decided by the parents. So much has our history — in both Eastern and Western cultures — been marked by the assassination of youthful dreaming, idealism, and choice that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet can be said to be a revolutionary work in even depicting that this assassination of dreams is a tragedy!

Roaring Into Life

Still, the WWII Generation can be said to have been especially affected by this slaying of self, for they did, after all, experience the heady freedom of the “Roaring Twenties” and the dreaming that preceded the Great Depression. In the Twenties, victorious in World War I and with it now put behind, America was coming into its youthfulness and was heady with its achievements. Unbelievable accomplishments and inventions in all areas of life were speeding up sociocultural change causing some to believe that a new era was around the corner, just within reach, an era unlike anything the world had ever known. This was the atmosphere in the Twenties when the WWII Generation were in their childhood or adolescence. It could not help making a very strong, because of its being early, imprint on their expectations.

Suddenly Depressed

However, these dreams would be dashed in the Great Depression, during which time they would be adolescents and young adults, and they would be harnessed into struggling like their parents had to earlier and were now again struggling.

Getting a New Deal … Light at the End of a Tunnel

Still, as time wore on the dreams of a new world would be reignited with the idealistic union movement and the Franklin Roosevelt changes in the social contract that rescripted the relation between the society and the individual, creating a symbiotic one which enhanced them both as champions of each other. Folks would magnify the power of the person when united with others. They would dream of a fairer world in which the rich did not dominate with their wealth because the poor could balance the scales with their strength in numbers, adding to their individual power by joining in unions and by combining their votes in elections. They could begin to envision the light at the end of the tunnel of the Great Depression in which they might realize the freedom and adventure they’d glimpsed around them as children in the Twenties.

War. Shot Down Again

So it is understandable that they would not wish to enter World War II when it began. Pearl Harbor Day, when their fate was inevitably forged, when it became clear that for the second time the light of individual freedom would be extinguished, would become an important marker in their lifetimes — a day almost as much to be memorialized as their birthdays.

We Are the Centaurs (My Friends) — Sixties Generation

Sitting on the Shoulders of One’s Ancestors

For this we can pity the World War Two Generation. As in John Updike’s The Centaur, the World War Two Generation is depicted as a generation that was required to give up its dreams and do its “duty,” above all. It was required to carry out a script given to them by their society, not allowing them to follow their natural youthful ideals. And as in Updike’s novel, they are beaten down in a life that is regimented and has no “color,” spark, life, idealism, or dreams. They have become the robot-like residents of Pleasantville. But Updike points out in his novel that their sacrifice, despite the personal tragedy of it on the individual scale, is both necessary and noble in that it makes possible the realization of dreams by the generation to which they gave birth.

The Sixties Generation Arrived

It is significant that the protagonist of change in the movie Pleasantville would be a young male, Bud (David). This is in keeping with legends of old where a young prince comes bearing the new knowledge. Yet in postmodern style, wonderfully so, he is drawn only reluctantly into this role, and we see that it is women who are the real instigators, the least threatened by change. At first, David/Bud opposes his sister and argues for the status quo, maintaining that his sister, who is actually the first one to “break the rules” And thereby to bring color to the town, must abide by the script.

The Prince in Exile

The Prince is schooled in tradition

The “young prince” knows the rules well. This fits with legend, where the new ways are brought by a prince who is not ignorant of tradition; in fact the prince is the one who has excelled in training in traditional ways.1

In the movie, David is in fact a Pleasantville trivia whiz. He knows exactly the way things are supposed to unravel, the way events are supposed to go.

The Prince is reluctant to break with tradition

So when his sister first introduces color by introducing sex, he admonishes her. And when he also is tempted to a change in the “script,” he refuses at first. This is when Bud is offered homemade cookies by the young woman who would be his romantic partner. He refuses because he knows that, according to script, it is another young man who is supposed to get the cookies and end up with that particular girl. Despite his attraction for the young woman, his strong sense of maintaining the status quo, not rocking the boat, causes him to try to refuse the cookies. It takes a great deal of forcefulness on the young woman’s part to get him, reluctantly, to accept the cookies that he actually does want. So, again, it is a young, significantly “colorized,” woman who tempts him into a change in the script.

The Prince brings change, without realizing it, just being himself

It is not that the young man does not have the makeup for accepting change. In fact, even before his sister blatantly brings about change, and therefore color, by rebelliously introducing sex, he has already sown the seeds of change, although unconsciously, when he suggests to his boss, Mister Johnson, that he think for himself, instead of following a rigid script. This he does unconsciously and out of selfish motives in that he by nature is different from the character he is supposed to portray and so he does not play his role exactly as it is “supposed” to be played. Specifically, because he is not really the robot character he has replaced, he ends up being late for his job — which heretofore was a totally unheard of event.

Cultural Rebirth

It is also significant that it is the young that are the first ones in the town to become “colored.”

The Hundredth Monkey

As in the hundredth monkey phenomenon, it is first the young, especially females, who are open to new experiences, ways, and ideas. Then it is adult females — in this movie exemplified by Betty Parker, the mother of Bud and Mary Sue — who are next to consider alternatives and new ways. Adult males are the last to turn to color, but among them it is the sensitive of heart, exemplified by the artist/soda-jerk character, Mister Johnson, who “turn on” initially.

Good Old Boys, the Last to Learn

Last to become colorized — that is to say, to be open to change and thinking for oneself — are the “authorities” of the town, in this instance, those on the Chamber of Commerce. And among these the most recalcitrant of all is their leader, Big Bob, played by J. T. Walsh, in his final film role before his passing away. Though Big Bob displays a pleasing and affable persona on the surface — for this read “good old boy” — there is an insidious Hitleresque quality to him which provides the suspense at the climax of the movie where he presides over the fate of the artist, Mister Johnson, and the “young prince,” David/Bud.

“Conservative Backlash”

The events preceding the trial included mob actions, as in a book burning, the attack and destruction of the malt shop, and the cornering, physical intimidation, and physical attack of “coloreds” by gangs. These are images common to modern times which has seen these sorts of events in actuality occurring in the Civil Rights and anti–Vietnam-War movements, and in recent decades in democracy and freedom uprisings in the Middle East, America, Turkey, Brazil, and throughout the world in Occupy and BLM movements.

With the support of the Chamber of Commerce, we know Big Bob has the power to do whatever he will with the two on trial. Hence, the fate of the prisoners is imagined to include the ultimate penalty of death. Indeed, this ominous possibility is promoted by the actions of the soda-jerk artist who, at the trial, pitifully pleads for a compromise. This is pitiful since we know that his art is his life, that it is the one thing that has truly enriched his life and made it worth living.

Sitting at the Lunch Counter

We know of its importance in that, even after the attack on his malt shop, the artist defied the “rules” laid down by the town’s authorities, which outlawed art and color, by working with the Prince throughout the night to produce a colorful mural on the outside wall of his shop depicting the current events of the town and the feelings swirling about inside its residents.

This rebellious act by the artist is reminiscent of antiwar demonstrators, who got fired upon at Kent State; of civil rights demonstrators, who police attacked with dogs; of Tiananmen Square demonstrators, who were rolled over by tanks, shot, and killed; of Black Lives Matters protesters, who were tear gassed, pepper sprayed, and plowed into with cars; and most defiant of all the courageous men and women of the Middle East risking their lives for freedom, and the Occupy and Antifa heroes throughout the world putting their bodies in front of, arguably, the most dire, widespread fascism ever to exist.

Since this character, recently so courageously defiant, is intimidated into pleading for a compromise in which he would be willing to use only certain colors or where he would submit for approval by the Chamber’s leader his ideas for painting beforehand — a compromise which his body language and facial expressions show, wonderfully acted by Jeff Daniels, is one near up against the very death of his soul — we know he fears for the loss of his physical life.

“Just Sign This Confession”

The compromise is too much like the compromises we have witnessed being offered and come to expect being offered to some of the Tiananmen Square and other political prisoners of recent times wherein they are required to do something along the lines of admitting their guilt, apologizing to the State for the trouble they have caused it, and promising to never again to engage in such activities … and only in the most benevolent of circumstances being allowed to continue anything like their former activities; yet, if so, only under the supervision and with the approval of authorities with veto power over their proposed actions.

The Religious Wrong

So Big Bob and the Chamber of Commerce represent in the current social framework the Religious Right — sometimes referred to as the “religious wrong” and sometimes about which it is noted that the Religious Right is neither. Big Bob’s Chamber of Commerce represents MAGAts, Trumpers, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and those in general in our society who have succumbed to the rewards and threats of the World War Two Generation, and their Fifties Gen/ Gen X clones. They are the ones induced to live a regimented, robot-like, unfeeling, passionless life; to become one of J. D. Salinger’s “phonies”; to abide by outdated and misconstrued idea of “family values”; and above all to “behave” and not do anything to rock the boat of the status quo which might threaten the privileges of those currently enjoying power and wealth handed down, mostly, by heredity.

Civil Rights Movement

It is highly significant that in the courtroom scene the “colored” townsfolk would be sitting in the balcony, above the black-and-white men. One might say this represents their status as being an elevated state, something to aspire to, and yet not on the level where matters are decided. But even more so, this scene is important in that it is a near exact replication of the courtroom scene in To Kill a Mockingbird, wherein the balcony of the courtroom is filled with African Americans — another kind of “colored.” This makes it clear that when the movie is dealing with the conflict between the adult males of the town and the “colored” it is referring to the Civil Rights movement.

Cultural Rebirth Aborted

The events in China’s Tiananmen Square more than thirty years ago so affected and still affects some of us here in America because we know at some level we have experienced it before.

The American Tiananmen Square

What happened in China three decades ago is so much like what happened in the U.S. five decades ago, somewhat less graphically, around the Vietnam War demonstrations. Let me explain.

Standing before tanks, flowers in barrels

For one thing, the images of the demonstrations in China, for example, the lone man standing in front of the tank, were so like those of Sixties demonstrations, as in Sixties youth blocking the paths of soldiers and placing flowers in their gun barrels.

Revenge of the octogenarians

And the result of both was the same: In both cases the opposition, the youth movement, crushed — violently in China, subtly and behind the scenes in the US — at the command of an octogenarian generation, clinging desperately to power as much as to their waning physical frames.

The King Won’t Die

Assassinations — character and otherwise

We see the same pattern of violent versus subtle played out in the US as well where we no longer assassinate our president as we did with JFK, we character assassinate instead, as we did with Bill Clinton. Which the Tea Party and the wealthy Right tried to manufacture against Obama; he was called rich and elitist. The Filthy Rich, in collusion with Russia, aimed their weapons, as well, against Hillary Clinton who received all the ridicule and vicious slander imaginable … and oh, let us not forget those emails *guffaw*.

And currently the lie-making machine on the Right is pumping out propaganda against Joe Biden who also — though he had been the poorest person in the Senate and who famously took the train to and from Washington every day — has been charged with making money hand over fist, somehow. In some imaginary world. We see in this Trump era, with Russian misinformation and slander allowed to be flooding our social media, there is not a second thought given about making up the most outrageous charges — pedophilia in pizza store basements that don’t exist, for example.2

One might say that, in America, the WWII generation and its protégés have gotten more finesse, with practice, in its beating back sociocultural change not to their liking using lies and manufactured untruths and that the Chinese geriatric set didn’t have as much practice with it.

The King refuses to die

Nevertheless, the results in both countries are the same. They involve the ultimate victory of sociocultural change in both instances being delayed until the dying off of an elderly generation in power — a generation refusing to die or hand over the controls at the proper time like the generations before them. Simply, the king won’t die!

Time is running out

Time is running out for the octogenarians and ninety-somethings on either side of the Pacific.

The expected, supposedly inevitable defeat of the WWII Generation — their dying off — is portrayed in Pleasantville by Big Bob, head of the Chamber of Commerce, ending up fleeing the scene in the courtroom. Strange coincidence, the actor actually died after making this film. There are many ways his defeat could have been played out in the movie. I think it is highly significant that he runs away, never to be seen again, just as in the current context the dying off of the WWII and Fifties Generations is a literal leaving of the scene, not an outright defeat or some other means of change of power.

Yet has the WWII Generation actually left the scene? In the next chapter we will look at how the WWII Gen kept themselves alive longer than any other generation and how they used that longevity to buy and clone their ideas into the generations following them. In fact, the way the media portrays it, the world that the WWII Generation created, as manifested in the Fifties — the Fifties style of culture — is the one against which all happenings are to be measured. The Fifties, we are led to believe through incessant repetition, is what is “normal.” This is the narrative the money of the Fifties and WWII Gens has managed to embed in media minds, as networks continue to broadcast the same naïve and silly sitcoms from the Fifties and early Sixties to new generations.

So this looking to a former time for values is a repudiation of all generations after who grew up in different times and who have evolved along with an evolving cultural and global environment. This refusal to “die,” to turn over the reins of society to younger generations, is indeed an abomination. It represents the WWII and Fifties Gens worldviews being propped up mechanically, though the sand beneath their beliefs is continually washed away. This tension between obsolete old ideas that refuse to die and new ones needed for progress and survival is what we look at next. A Culture War rages.

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13 .

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A Culture War Rages:

Monsters Never Really Die in Horror Flicks … The King on Life Support and The Consequences of an Abomination

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[Quotes/highlights:] “We saw the beginnings of cultural enlightening and progress during Clinton’s term in the Nineties. In retrospect it was a colorful time; it was an enthusiastic time.”

“…the installment of the W represented a resurgence, in typical Culture War style, of the dominance of WWII-type oppression and manipulation of the masses.”

“It was the abortion of the changing of the cultural guard that was naturally occurring. It was the King propped up mechanically, robot-like carrying out the dictums of those who once lived but were no more. It was an abomination of the natural order.”

“Like the endings of horror flicks, which leave always a hint or part of the monster living on somehow, thus setting up a possible sequel, the WWII Generation left behind part of itself in the form of the Eighties Generation clones and the Fifties Generation. And these folks aren’t going away any time soon! They are here in Trump and his MAGAts; they are here in Republicans; they are here in the Tea Party; they are here in the wealthy Right; they are here in the ownership and guiding principles of the mainstream media, now become principal propagandists of the American patriarchy — the ‘filthy rich.’”

“…we saw the rise of the Donald, pushed by his collusion with Russia. This set up a four-year struggle in America, as Trump went about dismantling the democratic norms of our society and the simple rules of fairness in his subjugation to the will of Russia’s Putin. He went so far as to steal nuclear codes and documents, and lists of our spies working in other countries, which for all we know, went into foreign hands, in exchange for some kind of financial or other benefit”

“In the second and third decades of the Twenty-First Century, it is the same old Culture War/Class War begun in the Sixties, brought to furious and fiery life. This is what one could expect of a struggle suppressed by decades of domination by untruths would be, as it emerges even angrier for having to wait”

“…after everyone has experienced color there is no semblance among them of a wish to return to a black-and-white world.

“In the same way, we might hope that as our society turns more and more away from war-making, selfishness, race- and sexism, ecological destruction, misogyny — and all the other WWII Generation evils left behind — it will resist that much more strongly their reinstatement by reactionary forces. We can hope that as we move more and more toward economic prosperity, peacekeeping, loving our children and having honest relationships, and the reclaiming of our natural environment and ecological balance, there will be fewer and fewer who will wish to turn back the times to the unreal black-and-white world of the ‘Blue Meanies.’”

“We witnessed such progressive fervor in the phenomenal outpouring of support for Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020. Indeed, polls at the time, in 2016, had Sanders winning in a hypothetical matchup with Trump. We have witnessed ‘blue waves’ in both the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. Which 2020 election, incidentally, saw the most votes ever for a Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.

Currently, the overturning of Roe V. Wade has stimulated torrents of support for Democrats in primaries and other bellwether elections. The results of the referendum on abortion rights, which was won handily — by a whopping twenty percentage points — in red state Kansas by pro-choice forces, comes to mind. We can conclude that the majority of Americans want to go forward into a better future, not regress into a sugar-coated version of a dismal 1950s past.”

“Sixties Generation values are infectious because they offer so much hope.”

“Black political power is what got Biden the nomination and sealed his win over Trump in 2020. We witness Blacks continuing to flex their muscles in a phenomenal surge of African-American candidates in 2022 for the highest positions in Congress and government in general.”

“…the young will always be idealistic if they are shown any ideals, which is what we can expect the Sixties Generation to be doing for them, as Boomers continue taking their seats in the Wise Elders section of the parliament of sociocultural creation. “

“…the current frenzied attack from the Right — beginning with the Tea Party rebellion and continuing in the MAGAt support for treasonous Trump — can be seen as a desperate last-ditch battle in a war they will, depending on the results of the 2022 midterms this year, likely and inevitably lose.”

“The bad news is that, similar to the way the Republicans cleaned out the Treasury and left huge deficits and several wars on the desk of the incoming Democratic administration in 2009, thus hobbling it before it began, we have no idea how great will be the destruction left behind from these Culture-War waging, albeit waning, authoritarians in the current context.”

“With their gains in stealing from all classes of society below them in their last dying clingings of a dying old guard, a king who simply won’t die, the abominably wealthy are heavy with gold.”

“ These disgustingly greedy Controllers of our culture have the means to buy much more influence than their numbers.“

“The multitudes are growing in size against these filthy rich regressives. Yet, with their wealth and with the technology and science available now multiplying further their abilities, their capacity to control the minds of much of the population is magnified beyond anything previously and beyond anyone’s abilities to calculate or foresee.”

“…despite the trends toward a natural evolution like we have seen in the past, we might witness a strange aberration — a ‘zombie apocalypse’ created out of the thinking of a time long gone comprised of sick ghostly fantasies of a black-and-white golden age that never was.”

“…despite the scientific and technological monkey wrenches that might permanently upset a natural order of progression, it is more likely that things will work out as they have most of the time than that we will see an aberrant development. There is, after all, at least as much technology and science catalyzing progressive change as that being wielded by the Controllers to mesmerize and better control us.

“With so much change needed, it is easy to forget how much has changed for the positive since the Sixties.”

“…with color and, by inference, imagination and thinking for oneself, Pleasantville has become part of a larger world, one in which Pleasantville citizens can participate and in which they can travel and take up residence. This represents the global village, the coming together of the interests of all nations in a multicultural world, and the connection of all minds and hearts by means of the Internet and intercultural travel and tourism. The global economy will play a positive role, too. Though on its downside, such international trade contributes to the exploitation of resource-providing nations and the decimation of the environment, we see, as for example in the worldwide economic sanctions against Russia after its invasion of the Ukraine in 2022, that the global economy can also be used as a lever for good, for peace, and as a guard rail for wayward nations.

“Perhaps most of all, this connection to a larger world represents those factors of modern telecommunications and travel that have made the world open to the eyes of all, which is the real reason the Iron Curtain fell, the real reason apartheid was overthrown, the real reason democratic revolution arose to the Middle East and may yet be causative in bringing democracy to places like China and Iran. This, despite their oppressive propped-up elder-archies, their kings who will not die, their frozen non-renewing social processes.”

“…the most potent analogy of all: the World Wide Web, bringing together all peoples of the world into a collective consciousness sharing ideas and together shaping a world, not just a neighborhood, with true democratization of information. While there are attempts by the wealthy — Elon Musk’s current bid to take over Twitter, for example — to control even the information flow on the internet, it is largely uncontrollable by any wealthy elite of any country or any generation.”

“…it is a complete unknown what happens if Musk’s plan to allow paid trolls undeterredly to overwhelm the Internet with misinformation and conspiracy theories. With the wealth on their side pushing such a flood of dark and hateful ‘journalism,’ it is debatable what happens to the truth under those conditions. I confess this is one corner of it all into which I am completely unable to see.”

“…what we might next expect: The only thing we know for sure is that what is coming will be different from anything we have known.”

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[Chapter 13 text begins:] With these factors in mind, what have we experienced in the last two decades, as the Sixties Generation finally got its turn at the wheel?

America Since Its “Pleasantville”

As expected, it was at first quite different from what the WWII Generation had been serving up during its forty-plus years’ reign.

The Nineties and Clinton

We saw the beginnings of cultural enlightening and progress during Clinton’s term in the Nineties. In retrospect it was a colorful time; it was an enthusiastic time. In comparison to today, it could even be considered peaceful. It was certainly naïve and childlike in many ways, as evidenced by the sitcoms, as, for example, Seinfeld.

The Nineties were bookmarked between the economic wreckage left by World War II Gen members, Reagan and G. H. W. Bush, and their voodoo economics throwing money at the rich leading to a huge recession and a financial scandal — the S & L Scandal — that involved, for that time, an extraordinary price tag for the country. The other end was the assignment by the Supreme Court of the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush over Al Gore — a battle of a Sixties Generation member against a WWII Generation paid-for concoction, the W.

A culture war raged

In between those two markers a war was waged, a culture war, whose battles — economics, abortion, sexuality, cultural expression, war/peace, child abuse, spouse abuse; and whose personalities — Clinton, Gingrich, Lewinsky, OJ Simpson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Brown, Ross Perot — were detailed and rehashed endlessly via the daily news mills.

The 2000s and the W

At the end, the installment of the W represented a resurgence, in typical Culture War style, of the dominance of WWII-type oppression and manipulation of the masses.

The King Propped Up Mechanically

It was the abortion of the changing of the cultural guard that was naturally occurring. It was the King propped up mechanically, robot-like carrying out the dictums of those who once lived but were no more. It was an abomination of the natural order.

The consequences of an abomination

And its consequences during the first decade of the Twenty-First Century were exactly what would be expected from an abomination like that.

Monsters don’t really die in horror flicks

Like the endings of horror flicks, which leave always a hint or part of the monster living on somehow, thus setting up a possible sequel, the WWII Generation left behind part of itself in the form of the Eighties Generation clones and the Fifties Generation. And these folks aren’t going away any time soon! They are here in Trump and his MAGAts; they are here in Republicans; they are here in the Tea Party; they are here in the wealthy Right; they are here in the ownership and guiding principles of the mainstream media, now become principal propagandists of the American patriarchy — the “filthy rich”.

Millennium’s Second and Third Decades — Good News, Bad News, and Hope

During the second decade of the new millennium, the Culture War erupted in Nineties fashion.

Same Old Culture War

The entire arsenal of lies and defamation used by our cultural regressives against Bill Clinton were targeted this time at Barrack Obama. Additionally, the Wisconsin-style anti-cutback, pro-union uprisings and the worldwide Occupy phenomenon brought the lingering issues into the open in a style not much different from the rebellious Sixties.

Later in that decade we saw the rise of the Donald, pushed by his collusion with Russia. This set up a four-year struggle in America, as Trump went about dismantling the democratic norms of our society and the simple rules of fairness in his subjugation to the will of Russia’s Putin. He went so far as to steal nuclear codes and documents, and lists of our spies working in other countries, which for all we know, went into foreign hands, in exchange for some kind of financial or other benefit. For acts that in the past would have gotten him executed — treason, the stealing and selling of nuclear codes and documents, the stealing and selling of lists of U.S. intelligence operatives to our enemies1 — Donald Trump, with the assistance of a truly “Deep State,” continues to walk free.

I thought I woke up to the corruption of our information systems back in 1969, when I saw how the antiwar movement was lied about and defamed. Yet this incidence of a former president getting away with the highest crimes imaginable — one that could lead to worldwide nuclear destruction and to the murder of American spies1 — has me clear-eyed at how pervasive is the control of the system … how ludicrous is the notion we are a nation of laws, not “men” … how silly is the statement that in the U.S. no one is above the law.

This overwhelming and entrenched hegemony by the wealthy of the world over all cultural systems we in the Sixties termed the establishment. Though Deep State is a term used by Righties and directed at the normal institutions of our government — in the typical style of MAGAts calling out that others are doing what indeed they are doing — we see without question how some kind of establishment or Deep State, with a conservative-reactionary agenda benefiting the super-rich, is in place. I prefer we use the term “vast right-wing conspiracy” — a term made famous by Hillary Clinton in the Nineties — for it accurately indicates the perpetrators and methods of our continuing Twenty-First Century unease.

In the second and third decades of the Twenty-First Century, it is the same old Culture War/Class War begun in the Sixties, brought to furious and fiery life. This is what one could expect of a struggle suppressed by decades of domination by untruths would be, as it emerges even angrier for having to wait.

Hopeful News

However much we cannot know the future, and despite the seeds of WWII Generation values left incubating in the minds of Eighties and Fifties Generation members and emerging under red MAGA and tea-bag hats, we can hope that the progressive vision of Pleasantville will eventually hold out.

People fight harder to keep what they have … for good things they’ve experienced.

In the movie, Pleasantville, after everyone has experienced color there is no semblance among them of a wish to return to a black-and-white world.

In the same way, we might hope that as our society turns more and more away from war-making, selfishness, race- and sexism, ecological destruction, misogyny — and all the other WWII Generation evils left behind — it will resist that much more strongly their reinstatement by reactionary forces. We can hope that as we move more and more toward economic prosperity, peacekeeping, loving our children and having honest relationships, and the reclaiming of our natural environment and ecological balance, there will be fewer and fewer who will wish to turn back the times to the unreal black-and-white world of the “Blue Meanies.

Reason for hope

We see evidence of this progressive evolution in both the elections of Obama and the high popular ratings for him while he was in office.

Earlier we observed it in the strong support for Bill Clinton even during the assassination attempts on his character throughout his terms. I might mention again that though the media lambasted Clinton endlessly over a mere sexual act — note the difference between the two parties’ crimes, Republican treason on a massive scale versus a Democratic blowjob — still Clinton maintained his popularity. In fact, polls at the time showed him increasing his job approval rating during the time of the impeachment and that two-thirds of the population did not want him impeached. It was clear that the entire brouhaha was another example of the Republican “Deep State” … “establishment” … “vast right-wing conspiracy” … punishing its liberal opponents for political reasons, thereby strengthening their hegemony over all major societal institutions. Yet, again, doing it against the will of the people.

Forward-leaning views continued to gain ground within the American collective consciousness into the second decade of the Millennium. We witnessed such progressive fervor in the phenomenal outpouring of support for Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020. Indeed, polls at the time, in 2016, had Sanders winning in a hypothetical matchup with Trump. We have witnessed “blue waves” in both the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. Which 2020 election, incidentally, saw the most votes ever for a Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.

Currently, the overturning of Roe V. Wade has stimulated torrents of support for Democrats in primaries and other bellwether elections. The results of the referendum on abortion rights, which was won handily — by a whopping twenty percentage points — in red state Kansas by pro-choice forces, comes to mind. We can conclude that the majority of Americans want to go forward into a better future, not regress into a sugar-coated version of a dismal 1950s past.

People of hope

The approval ratings of these Sixties-side-of-the-Culture-War Presidents — Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, and Joe Biden — certainly is not composed only of Baby-Boomers. Sixties Generation values are infectious because they offer so much hope. African-Americans of all ages supported Clinton overwhelmingly; of course they support Obama; and we have witnessed that Black political power is what got Biden the nomination and sealed his win over Trump in 2020. We witness Blacks continuing to flex their muscles in a phenomenal surge of African-American candidates in 2022 for the highest positions in Congress and government in general. We can certainly deduce that African Americans and people of color in general would not wish a return to the black-and-white world that included discrimination and violence against them.

Women of all ages, for the same reasons, would not be expected to wish a return to a less individualistic status, to a subservient state. We can expect their opposition to the Supreme Court decision allowing the banning of abortion — the overturning of Roe V. Wade in July 2022 — to continue undiminished. Especially so, since the media will continue to report on abominations involving pregnant women being forced to carry to term babies resulting from rape and incest; involving murder charges being brought against abortion seekers, even if they do it in a state where it is legal; involving vigilantes being handsomely rewarded for turning in the names of women who have received abortions, who are then prosecuted as murderers; and involving medical complications and possibly the death of women who are denied medical care for nonviable pregnancies, which are then forced to continue.

Finally, the young will always be idealistic if they are shown any ideals, which is what we can expect the Sixties Generation to be doing for them, as Boomers continue taking their seats in the Wise Elders section of the parliament of sociocultural creation.

Last ditch battle

We have seen examples of this change all around us. In fact the current frenzied attack from the Right — beginning with the Tea Party rebellion and continuing in the MAGAt support for treasonous Trump — can be seen as a desperate last-ditch battle in a war they will, depending on the results of the 2022 midterms this year, likely and inevitably lose. That is the good news.

Bad News

How bad the aftermath, the devastation left behind

The bad news is that, similar to the way the Republicans cleaned out the Treasury and left huge deficits and several wars on the desk of the incoming Democratic administration in 2009, thus hobbling it before it began, we have no idea how great will be the destruction left behind from these Culture-War waging, albeit waning, authoritarians in the current context.

Heavy with gold

With gains by the Filthy Rich in stealing from all classes of society below them in their last dying clingings of a dying old guard, a king who simply won’t die, the abominably wealthy are heavy with gold. They received trillion-dollar bailouts and subsidies under George W. Bush; under Barrack Obama, despite his opposition; and massively through the criminal largess of Donald Trump. These disgustingly greedy Controllers of our culture have the means to buy much more influence than their numbers.

Their power is magnified

The multitudes are growing in size against these filthy rich regressives. Yet, with their wealth and with the technology and science available now multiplying further their abilities, their capacity to control the minds of much of the population is magnified beyond anything previously and beyond anyone’s abilities to calculate or foresee.

Zombie apocalypse?

So despite the trends toward a natural evolution like we have seen in the past, we might witness a strange aberration — a “zombie apocalypse” created out of the thinking of a time long gone comprised of sick ghostly fantasies of a black-and-white golden age that never was. Such things have happened before; cultures have indeed stagnated for hundreds and even thousands of years. The Middle Ages is one such example of stagnation beneath an oppressive deathly authority that would never renew, which lasted for hundreds of years.

Still, despite the scientific and technological monkey wrenches that might permanently upset a natural order of progression, it is more likely that things will work out as they have most of the time than that we will see an aberrant development. There is, after all, at least as much technology and science catalyzing progressive change as that being wielded by the Controllers to mesmerize and better control us.

The Positive … Good News?

The evidence for a natural development is there for all with eyes to see. With so much change needed, it is easy to forget how much has changed for the positive since the Sixties. Still, with no inclination to see it, no amount of listing of the evidence will bring them into view.

What might be helpful, though, is to note some other analogies from the movie Pleasantville which can provide insight as to what may be on the horizon or at least be considered food for speculation:

It takes a village; we are a global village

Whereas the black-and-white Pleasantville ends at the town’s borders and turns round again to the center of town, the post-color Pleasantville roads continue going, connecting Pleasantville with the rest of the world. Thus, with color and, by inference, imagination and thinking for oneself, Pleasantville has become part of a larger world, one in which Pleasantville citizens can participate and in which they can travel and take up residence. This represents the global village, the coming together of the interests of all nations in a multicultural world, and the connection of all minds and hearts by means of the Internet and intercultural travel and tourism. The global economy will play a positive role, too. Though on its downside, such international trade contributes to the exploitation of resource-providing nations and the decimation of the environment, we see, as for example in the worldwide economic sanctions against Russia after its invasion of the Ukraine in 2022, that the global economy can also be used as a lever for good, for peace, and as a guard rail for wayward nations.

We have what really brings down tyrants — the power of individuals is also magnified by technology

Perhaps most of all, this connection to a larger world represents those factors of modern telecommunications and travel that have made the world open to the eyes of all, which is the real reason the Iron Curtain fell, the real reason apartheid was overthrown, the real reason democratic revolution arose to the Middle East and may yet be causative in bringing democracy to places like China and Iran. This, despite their oppressive propped-up elder-archies, their kings who will not die, their frozen non-renewing social processes.

The W’s legacy finally overthrown by the WWW?

And the most potent analogy of all: the World Wide Web, bringing together all peoples of the world into a collective consciousness sharing ideas and together shaping a world, not just a neighborhood, with true democratization of information. While there are attempts by the wealthy — Elon Musk’s current bid to take over Twitter, for example — to control even the information flow on the internet, it is largely uncontrollable by any wealthy elite of any country or any generation.

It would require quite a change of our established electronic infrastructure to take away that free exchange of information, worldwide. Although it is a complete unknown what happens if Musk’s plan to allow paid trolls undeterredly to overwhelm the Internet with misinformation and conspiracy theories. With the wealth on their side pushing such a flood of dark and hateful “journalism,” it is debatable what happens to the truth under those conditions. I confess this is one corner of it all into which I am completely unable to see.

Stay Tuned

Finally, the image at the end of Pleasantville is the most apt for what we might next expect: The only thing we know for sure is that what is coming will be different from anything we have known.

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PART FOUR

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Class War — The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths”

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14

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Truth and Liars:

“Obvious Truths” (Actual Untruths) Were Employed Together with an Exact and Strategic Use of Misinformation

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[Quotes/highlights:] “We see the fifty-year invisible ‘family’ revealed — the ‘community’ that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality and the erosion of reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.”

“These ‘obvious truths’ were employed together with an exact and strategic use of misinformation….”

“The intended goal was the castration of the power of all Americans….”

“What was desired was an American personality splintered and disintegrated and desperate for something however irrational to which to cling.”

“In contrast to the former American personality, this campaign by an American, and increasingly global, elite worked to create an apathetic, neutered American easily manipulated to the ends of wealthy overseers.”

“…only because of increasingly cocky and greedy acts and extreme over-reaching ‘in broad daylight,’ before the entire world, did this malevolent surround become visible.”

“…the Filthy Rich had an absolute certainty of their success because of their unmitigated power. What is also evident is the absolute inability of the Filthy Rich … which was the shocking thing they’d carelessly let out and therefore displayed to the World … the absolute inability of the Republicans and the Filthy Rich to actually notice — let alone view or act towards — Americans as anything even living or having sentient ability, let alone as humans, people, or individuals.”

[Chapter 14 text begins:] In Part Four of Culture War, Class War (2022) we look at how the Big Lie continued in the past five decades of America. We delve more deeply into the Class War that has been behind the Culture War as laid out in Parts One, Two, and Three. We see the fifty-year invisible “family” revealed — the “community” that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality and the erosion of reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.

“Obvious Truths”

Part Four of Culture War, Class War, this part on “Obvious Truths,” delineates the history of the American Republican Party’s incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive — seemingly coordinated — fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the Filthy Rich, through totally concocted untruths. These falsehoods were introduced carefully, slowly, and therefore invisibly, over time, one-by-one with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion; along with a coordinated campaign whose goal was the creation of an American Mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths.

These “obvious truths” were employed together with an exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. These were combined with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public through the simultaneous, and equally slow, meticulous, and perfectly coordinated introduction of policies, which though not invisible were cleverly packaged and perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step and year-by-year connections of these policies with their cumulative, increasingly successful results.

The intended goal was the castration of the power of all Americans except for the Filthy Rich and the Republicans in government, their lackeyed public faces. Coincident with this goal, what was sought were the lessening of Americans’ power to act constructively to alleviate even their clearly felt and increasing suffering; the slow but comprehensive elimination of rational thought and ability to reason in the American Mind; and the creation of an American consciousness clouded and afog in confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison.

What was desired was an American personality splintered and disintegrated and desperate for something however irrational to which to cling. Along with such a fractured and weakened psyche, the campaign sought the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. They reasoned this disunity of purpose would be the natural consequence of the average person’s confused state and its inability to discern indisputable aspects of reality which, otherwise and in times prior to the campaign, would have been obvious organizing principles giving rise to passionate resistance.

In the past, passionate engagement in action to change one’s circumstances could occur because of the former unconfused clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant, and universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. This clarity created conviction in one’s beliefs, rooted in first-hand observation. and in the past these convictions were reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans, who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.

In contrast to the former American personality, this campaign by an American, and increasingly global, elite worked to create an apathetic, neutered American easily manipulated to the ends of wealthy overseers.

Our Invisible “Family”

This Part of Culture War, Class War reveals the fifty-year invisible family and community that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality through the unrelenting batterings upon reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.

I explain how only because of increasingly cocky and greedy acts and extreme over-reaching “in broad daylight,” before the entire world, did this malevolent surround become visible. These brutish and thievish over-reaches displayed an incredible disregard for, disrespect of, indeed, an actual literal inability of the Filthy Rich and their Republican puppets to see American People, who were the recipients of these attacks.

Together these reveals — displayed unintentionally however blatantly and unknowingly by the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich” … and before the entire world — disclosed to the masses of Americans some “cracks,” “stains,” or textures in the “dome” of unreality they’d existed in, which had made them blind to Reality itself, and had kept them in a near zombie-like dream reality.

As this awakening continued, some began remembering events, the memories of which had been “bleached” out of awareness until just then, and then with remembering they realized how they had been trained like animals their entire lives for the uses, whatever they would be, of the “Filthy Rich,” and been trained then to forget that.

It is clear that the Filthy Rich had an absolute certainty of their success because of their unmitigated power. What is also evident is the absolute inability of the Filthy Rich … which was the shocking thing they’d carelessly let out and therefore displayed to the World … the absolute inability of the Republicans and the Filthy Rich to actually notice — let alone view or act towards — Americans as anything even living or having sentient ability, let alone as humans, people, or individuals.

And as for the term “fellow Americans” often employed by Rich-publican politicos in addressing the masses — to make it seem as if you are one of them, or they are one of you — if that thought even crossed your mind for a second as being anything but a device, you are not fully appreciating just how literally I mean for my words to be taken. You may very well, in fact, be deeply dreaming and have missed the crack in the dream state that had shone the light in the eyes of a sufficiently large segment of the world population as to cause them to come out of trance and begin to untie their formerly invisible bonds, so that they could try looking around.

Which led to the realization of the reality that had been blocked from view and to the beginnings of investigations into the real truths of their existence. Which led to this series of expositions, among others, delineating the actual, formerly invisible profile of the actual actors in Americans’ lives and their processes of control. Which investigations revealed as well the things in ordinary people’s lives that were determined for them by the “Filthies,” though ordinary folks thought they had been making decisions for themselves.

And the last aspect of this series delineates the real factors in our lives and the outlines of the real intentions for us these puppet masters have had, and have even now in mind.

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15

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Creating a Totalitarian Mind:

Recipe for The Matrix: Misinformation, Repetition, Impoverishment

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[Quotes/highlights:] “Money — as arrayed against music, passion, and social movements — is especially more powerful in a situation where the people have been put in financial jeopardy because of the prosperity of the rich. As an aside, I remember a time in America’s past when people were more prosperous and confident about their abilities to manage their lives. I do not believe it is a coincidence that in those days money wielded by the wealthy had less power to persuade and people were less easily bought than today.”

“I was drawn to looking into those commonly accepted truisms — truth-sounding but not true; let us call them ‘obvious truths.’ Not true but sounding true: Think of how correct it must have sounded at one time to hear that the Earth is flat. So, an ‘obvious truth’ is something unthinkingly accepted as true but is not actually true when thought about or looked into.”

“These untruthy truisms arise out of the American Republicans’ disciplined, relentless, persistent, cohesive fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the ‘filthy rich’ through totally concocted untruths, which are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time….”

“These untruths are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time, one by one, with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion, as part of a coordinated comprehensive campaign whose goal is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications of the Republicans seamlessly portrayed as truths.”

“The Republicans’ goal, to be precisely and inexorably attained, is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused. And this mind is to be shepherded by the exact and strategic use of misinformation specifically targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. This seeding of minds is to work dialectically with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public with the simultaneous and equally slow and meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policies….”

“This introduction of policies, which though not invisible are cleverly packaged, is to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative increasingly successful results.”

“These results are the castration of the American … of Americans in general — except for the Filthy Rich and the Republican leadership which are their lackey public faces. So, the intent of this long campaign, employing ‘obvious truths’ as munitions, is the crippling of Americans’ power in particular to resist even the inexorable increase in the clearly felt suffering heaped upon them as these years went by.”

“…what we have is Americans’ power monkey wrenched through policies directed at them and sustained by ‘obvious truths’ pushed by Republicans whose purpose is to diminish people, to reduce their power, and ultimately to bring them down financially while raising the wealthies higher.”

“These specific objectives are also to be brought to fruition through a massively funded, all inclusive, and strategically targeted campaign to financially weaken the American public through incremental changes in national fiscal policy as well as — note this — in national culture. National policy changes are to be achieved through the simultaneous and equally slow, meticulous, and precisely timed introduction of policy initiatives. Though these national initiatives could not be invisible, they are to be cleverly packaged as well as sneakily introduced and are to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative, increasingly successful results.”

“…those sought for results include the emasculation of the average American through sabotage of her or his powers to act in an effective way in any and all aspects of their lives. To be achieved at the same time is the fortification of the power and wealth of the Filthy Rich puppeteers and their lackey public faces in the Republican Party.”

“Instrumental in strengthening the wealthy class of insidious directors is the weakening of the remainder of the population’s abilities. And in particular and ultimately the intention is to cobble the ordinary person’s power to get out from under or to alleviate for very long the inexorable increase in their clearly felt suffering as the years go by. For this suffering and the helplessness about it is crucial to the directors’ success.”

“…the key to all this being brought about is the creation of an American consciousness clouded in fog and confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison. In this way splintered … we’re talking about the American mind … splintered, and disintegrated, it is desperate for something however irrational to which to cling.”

“I went through a time where people would go into the streets and there were people who complained. I also went through a time, during Nixon, when there were nationally broadcast investigations of the corruption of an administration and when folks involved in conspiracies went to jail. Among other high-ranking corrupters and criminals who were imprisoned, we actually had the Attorney General of the United States under Nixon, John Mitchell, indicted for his crimes during Watergate and forced to serve nineteen months in jail.

“Yet in more recent times, we had the installation of W. Bush over Al Gore in the presidential election of 2000 when, as it was soon determined, it was Gore who had won — both the popular and electoral counts. Despite this, there was no pushback by Democrats, no investigations, no lawsuits, no marching in the streets or ‘storming’ something or other. America slept. Its media encouraged it; its Democrats let it slumber.”

“…the corruption [under W. Bush] was so rampant it was like on a daily basis we were hearing things that in a former time — the Sixties, the Fifties, anytime — would have caused the W to be tossed out on his ear. This time, somehow, it was like there was nobody in the streets. People went about their lives as if ignoring what was going on….

“And we see the unfortunate outcome of that in the installation of Donald Trump in the presidency only eight years later.”

” Around that same time, 2015, we saw Republicans take over the Supreme Court by refusing to do their Constitutional obligation in approving a Supreme Court Justice, when Antonin Scalia died. Any other time, we would have had mass uprisings at this mini–coup d’état.”

“Subsequently we watched a goober president, beholden to a Russian oligarchy, as he not only benefited himself and his cronies financially through his (stolen) office but he slowly unraveled the fabric of the largest and most long-lasting democracy on Earth, before our very eyes. While Trump tightened the screws on people’s ability to complain, attacking the press and removing freedom of speech in all kinds of ways, including removing net neutrality, folks stood by in fascinated and terrified awe at this train wreck gradually flying apart in all directions before us. For years this went on, with only a handful of Democrats calling for impeachment, while the rest of them, along with society, put their heads under their pillows hoping it would all somehow, please, just go away.

“Until the very end, the Democrats, media, and Speaker Pelosi dallied. By then it was too late to stop the institutional carnage. Around the time of Trump’s first impeachment, as it was reported, one could make a case for eighty-two grounds for impeachment. The Democrats under Speaker Pelosi only went forward with two articles of impeachment, in December, 2019, after three years of Trumpian destruction. Pelosi, with Obama, held back from investigating W. Bush after Obama attained the presidency in 2009. That kid-glove approach to Republican corruption she continued with Trump by waiting so long and then holding her fire with only two out of eighty-two violations. The country was saved the turmoil that would have resulted from thorough and broadcasted investigations in each case — of W. Bush and Trump. Nevertheless, each time of hesitation and lack of boldness by Democrats has had dire consequences … with even more of that on the horizon. (Note to Merrick Garland.)”

“…we have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse.”

“…in former times, people came together in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right obvious wrongs, or the like. Morality and personality might affect how one viewed those wrongs and events, yet the facts about them were held in common. Folks had clearly identifiable rallying points visible to the great masses of Americans. These things were talked about in the newspapers, on TV, there was no denying what was obvious.

“Notice the stark contrast with the media today, which is rife with outright lies — Trump’s ‘stolen election’ lies; Bill Barr’s lies to cover up the Mueller report; the insanity around a Hillary pizzagate pedophilia ring and emails; Obama’s citizenship; Hunter Biden’s laptop; and anything said by or associated with Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, Breitbart, or QAnon.”

“We have virtually all of Fox News spewing lies, hatred, and discontent. We have right-wing social media in the form of Truth Social, and right-wing news outlets, Newsmax and OANN, doing Fox one better in calling for civil war and violence — all of it based on abject bald-faced lying and intentional distortion of facts. Witness House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, especially, on this last point. She and others are still claiming the storming of the Capitol was done by Antifa, even as she seeks to support the insurrectionists in prison — who she acknowledges are all Trump supporters.

“And they know they are lying, too. Sidney Powell, a lawyer who headed Trump’s stolen election fraud, was sued for defamation by Dominion Corporation, who manufactures the voting machines she claimed were involved in the conspiracy. She had conducted a weekslong campaign to invalidate the results of the 2020 election based on spurious accusations and wild conspiracy theories. In her lawyer’s statement defending her, however, it is acknowledged none of that was true and — excuse anyone for daring to believe any of these charlatans — in their filing, they claim, ‘No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact….’”

“Tucker Carlson had the same defense when he was called out on his lies as well. He along with Fox News were sued for slander by Dominion Corporation, and what was his defense? His lawyers shamelessly put out that, you can’t expect to literally believe the words that come out of Carlson’s mouth. You can’t make this stuff up.

“Seriously, we are supposed to know that Carlson and folks like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham — who are believed by millions of Fox followers, some of whom subsequently participated in an insurrection to overthrow the U.S. government — are merely making stuff up; that it is all for ‘entertainment’ value … just for ‘fun,’ you see. Yet if so, why is there not a disclaimer on their shows and on that ‘news’ network to that effect. And how much ‘fun’ was it for people to die in the insurrection and for children to be slaughtered wantonly in schools as a consequence of Fox News lying on behalf of Trump and the NRA.”

“How is progress possible if even the courts will allow slander, lies, defamation and major misinformation to flood American minds, with the mere caveat, ‘Let the viewer beware’?”

“…it was determined that what was to be allowed into one’s body should not infect or poison one, and the [Food and Drug Administration] was created. Yet, when it comes to what is allowed into America’s minds, all license is allowed for its poisoning with hateful and vile untruths from major media and its figures.”

“When did outright liars begin getting to speak at the highest levels of society, infecting the minds of the vulnerable and gullible? When did such diabolical deceivers start getting to bellow, undeterred, into the loudest bullhorns of broadcast and electronic media?

“We can easily trace such wide-scale deception to the lies being told about Vietnam by Democrats under Johnson, but especially by Republican Nixon and his administration. We see it progressing during the W. Bush years where intentional misrepresentation of facts — lies, the one especially about wmd’s in Iraq — led to a war and over a million casualties.

“It is doubtful we ever got the truth of 9/11, which saw Building 7 inexplicably falling down ‘in sympathy’ with the other towers.”

“And how can we do something about the epidemic of mass shootings — many of which are having our children slaughtered even as we watch, helplessly — when lies like those of Alex Jones, saying Sandy Hook was staged, are allowed to infect the minds of Americans, weakened by years of Fox News and NRA influence.

“If those consequences of intentional dishonesty are not severe enough for you, consider over one million Americans dead from Covid. It was allowed to get that high as a result of the lying Trump and the Republicans did about the vaccine and about mask use. Put that in perspective, almost one of every one hundred Americans died — are gone forever — because of Donald Trump’s reckless negligence and continual deception around this pandemic. During his presidential campaign in 2016, Trump famously said, ‘I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?’ He said that while mimicking firing a gun with his fingers. Little did we know he’d still be walking free after pulling the trigger on one million faces.”

“…look what it took to get Obama elected: eight long years of Bush! Look what it took to get Biden and the Democrats back behind the wheel again in 2020: four years of comprehensive trashing of American institutions and rights by an out-of-control baby of a man, operating out of instructions from a foreign power … and doing it in open and clear view of the world. Wow.”

“…solidarity of purpose gives ordinary people combined strength equal or greater to that of the ‘filthy rich.’ The ‘filthy rich’ are the would-be puppet-masters, the deciders and initiators of the events that have been witnessed so widely, including by the masses. These egregious acts, happenings, or developments brought the masses together in singleness of purpose to decry the source of the wrongs. Crucially, they needed to know the perpetrators of unhappy happenings; it needed to be clearly pointed out who were those responsible for the wrongs universally observed and condemned.

“These things known, the result could be the massive gathering of intentions, a movement, perhaps a great social movement, united in purpose, against the observed wrong, seeking justice on the perpetrators and some sort of social or cultural change that might possibly or would definitely prevent future events of the same or similar sort of wrongness.”

“But when things aren’t obvious and you have massive lies being told and you have comprehensive, pervasive media exposure to those lies — those untruths in direct conflict with people’s own observations — people can get confused. Confused, people’s power gets dissipated.”

“…as a consequence of this massive orchestration of the media, education, and all information systems in America by a mean-spirited, greedy, and murderous conservative elite — the minute daily elements of our American way of life were orchestrated for ends not our own.”

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[Chapter 15 text begins:] “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’” discusses the history of the American Republicans’ incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive, seemingly coordinated fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths.

Creating an American Mind and Personality: The Power of Money to Persuade … When You Happen to Be Poor

This started when I was reading over a post I had written. The title was relevant, and it triggered this whole thing. The title was “On Cultural Change, Consciousness, and Music.” and I described it as so: “The perfect confluence of context, moment, and person makes history … Obama’s astonishing rise to the Presidency, for example.”

Changing the World?

“Yet the perfect alignment of a nation’s or world’s deep mood, the moment, and a musician or artist can change the world forever. For example, The Beatles.”

Times weren’t always like this

After reading that, I imagined someone else viewing it, and I considered how chances are it would be someone younger than me — for I am old enough. That is part of what this is about. I am old enough to have seen some things, and I remember some things that people growing up in this day and age would have no conception of. Those more recently coming of age are used to a particular American setting somewhat different than the one I knew. Growing up in a particular context, naturally they would think that is the way things are and how they have to be; they could not know any differently.

“Obvious truths” is about how I saw things change

I was born in 1950, so I am aware of other ways that America has been. This part of the book, on “Obvious Truths,” is a lot about how I saw things change. Specifically, I look at the changes in the way we view ourselves, our lives, and authority; I have yet to hear anyone else mention these kinds of changes.

But, really, change the world we did

Getting back to that younger person reading that description, I imagined this other person seeing what I wrote about the Beatles and all that, about changing the world … changing the world! In the harsh light of their cold-hearted reality and the comfortable assuredness of their beliefs, I figured they would consider me naive, if not more. How could that person understand? But, really, change the world we did.

Music’s Power to Persuade

Addressing that younger person, I started writing, “If the title’s claim sounds silly or trite to you then you are operating out of a social prejudice we carry from childhood, particularly around status. and you haven’t stopped to evaluate and compare.” Now, I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it comes together, you’ll see.

For one thing, leaders and politicians, even great ones, can only alter the course of events slowly and meticulously. Sweeping changes cannot happen by fiat as they depend on the people’s passionate involvement, which you cannot create. In the case of a dictatorship — for example, Hitler’s Germany, or Kim Jung Un’s North Korea — that passion might be faked, probably it would need to be faked. Still, even in a free society, politicians can only use words; and no matter how stirring those words, they can reach only so deep inside. It is with great difficulty that political leaders try to move the soul of a nation; most of that mood is untouchable to them.

Sergeant Pepper

Meanwhile music, in particular, more potently than any other art form, has the capacity to alter consciousness. I will explain that later; it is an area I have done a lot of study in. It is a part of my profession.

Anyway, music affects your feelings and so it affects your consciousness. So its effects will really stay with you more than words will. Music is a more powerful thing, and it has been used consciously to try to sway the spirits of humans ever since the times of shamans.

Yet music is a much more powerful thing when the perfect combination of mood, context, and music come together. If you think music is not so powerful then explain why music is required at virtually any social gathering … particularly, when there is involved any attempt to persuade the feelings of the attendees. Have you ever noticed that? What is truly shocking is how music can even be more powerful than vast piles of money put against it.

I said, can be. In talking about music’s power to persuade I am reminded of political rallies and such.

The Persuasive Power of Money … When You Happen to Be Poor

On the other side from the power of leaders’ words of inspiration, which is limited, of music’s more effective persuasions, and of the potency of passion and heartfelt feeling naturally arising in people; consider the power of money. Money in the hands of the “filthy rich” is used in a variety of ways and obviously has tremendous persuasive powers of its own.

And here is what I am getting at: Money — as arrayed against music, passion, and social movements — is especially more powerful in a situation where the people have been put in financial jeopardy because of the prosperity of the rich. As an aside, I remember a time in America’s past when people were more prosperous and confident about their abilities to manage their lives. I do not believe it is a coincidence that in those days money wielded by the wealthy had less power to persuade and people were less easily bought than today. It was said that people then were wont to question authority more than they were likely to bow down to it. I will get back to this later.

Anyway, these are the things I was thinking about when this started.

“Obvious Truths” — The True Sounding Untruths — in the Creation of the American Mind

Then I started thinking about that: the “filthy rich,” specifically, the power of the Filthy Rich and their money. I began to consider it more deeply.

The True Sounding Untruths. (Hell! It’s Obvious the Earth is Flat!)

Remember this is called the rise and fall of “obvious truths.” I was drawn to looking into those commonly accepted truisms — truth-sounding but not true; let us call them “obvious truths.” Not true but sounding true: Think of how correct it must have sounded at one time to hear that the Earth is flat. So, an “obvious truth” is something unthinkingly accepted as true but is not actually true when thought about or looked into. I considered some of these errant habits of thinking and looked at where and why they arose and why they would take hold and have power despite having no foundation in reality.

Doing so, I came up with this description of “obvious truths” and the context birthing them:

These untruthy truisms arise out of the American Republicans’ disciplined, relentless, persistent, cohesive fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths, which are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time….

Just accept my word for it for now; I will explain….

These untruths are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time, one by one, with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion, as part of a coordinated comprehensive campaign whose goal is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications of the Republicans seamlessly portrayed as truths.

Precise and Strategic Use of “Obvious Truths” in the Creation of the American Mind

I know this is sounding pretty wild. But, you’ll see. Hang in there and see if I can support it. As I was explaining,

Their goal

The Republicans’ goal, to be precisely and inexorably attained, is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused. And this mind is to be shepherded by the exact and strategic use of misinformation specifically targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. This seeding of minds is to work dialectically with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public with the simultaneous and equally slow and meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policies….

I said, I can support this….

Their means

This introduction of policies, which though not invisible are cleverly packaged, is to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative increasingly successful results.

Now, again, bear with me….

Their intended results

These results are the castration of the American … of Americans in general — except for the Filthy Rich and the Republican leadership which are their lackey public faces. So, the intent of this long campaign, employing “obvious truths” as munitions, is the crippling of Americans’ power in particular to resist even the inexorable increase in the clearly felt suffering heaped upon them as these years went by.

I’ll give you a hint, alright? I remember living in a time that was not so economically depressed. I watched it slowly get worse, and worse, and worse; and I saw people suffering more, and more, and more, okay? But I did not hear people complaining more, and more, and more. That’s a hint.

Their vision

Okay, so what we have is Americans’ power monkey wrenched through policies directed at them and sustained by “obvious truths” — actual lies — pushed by Republicans whose purpose is to diminish people, to reduce their power, and ultimately to bring them down financially while raising the wealthies higher.

Recipe for The Matrix: Misinformation, Repetition, Impoverishment

Getting back to the truisms themselves, remember, as I said, these totally concocted untruths are designed to be surreptitiously introduced — carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly over time — one-by-one. They are to be planted through persistent relentless repetition, not by rational persuasion, and are intended to replace reason and independent thought.

Weaving the Matrix

They are meant to do their work within an invisible matrix as part of a coordinated campaign whose purpose is the construction of an American mind lacking in its ability to reason and confused. Lastly, this mind is to be made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths through the exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends.

Alright? I said bear with me, I’ll be able to give you some examples of this … or I’ll make a fool out of myself, that’ll be your choice …

These specific objectives are also to be brought to fruition through a massively funded, all inclusive, and strategically targeted campaign to financially weaken the American public through incremental changes in national fiscal policy as well as — note this — in national culture. National policy changes are to be achieved through the simultaneous and equally slow, meticulous, and precisely timed introduction of policy initiatives. Though these national initiatives could not be invisible, they are to be cleverly packaged as well as sneakily introduced and are to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative, increasingly successful results.

Okay? I’ll get into the policies, soon. But I am starting with a conclusive statement, and it might seem over the top. You may think it too bold, but I think I can back it up.

Again, those sought for results include the emasculation of the average American through sabotage of her or his powers to act in an effective way in any and all aspects of their lives. To be achieved at the same time is the fortification of the power and wealth of the Filthy Rich puppeteers and their lackey public faces in the Republican Party.

Instrumental in strengthening the wealthy class of insidious directors is the weakening of the remainder of the population’s abilities. And in particular and ultimately the intention is to cobble the ordinary person’s power to get out from under or to alleviate for very long the inexorable increase in their clearly felt suffering as the years go by. For this suffering and the helplessness about it is crucial to the directors’ success.

Bear with me….

The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion

Now, the key to all this being brought about is the creation of an American consciousness clouded in fog and confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison. In this way splintered … we’re talking about the American mind … splintered, and disintegrated, it is desperate for something however irrational to which to cling.

Along with or coincident with the orchestration of the American mind was the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. This follows, because of the confused state that the average American would normally have and its inability — the person’s inability or the American mind’s inability — to discern obvious aspects of reality and distortions of it (lies) which in times prior would have provided obvious organizing standards around which would be passionate resistance. This is what could and would happen in times previous to the Republicans’ campaign.

For example, I went through a time where people would go into the streets and there were people who complained. I also went through a time, during Nixon, when there were nationally broadcast investigations of the corruption of an administration and when folks involved in conspiracies went to jail. Among other high-ranking corrupters and criminals who were imprisoned, we actually had the Attorney General of the United States under Nixon, John Mitchell, indicted for his crimes during Watergate and forced to serve nineteen months in jail.

Yet in more recent times, we had the installation of W. Bush over Al Gore in the presidential election of 2000 when, as it was soon determined, it was Gore who had won — both the popular and electoral counts. Despite this, there was no pushback by Democrats, no investigations, no lawsuits, no marching in the streets or “storming” something or other. America slept. Its media encouraged it; its Democrats let it slumber.

Let’s talk about what happened then. There is a book out about how George W. Bush actually created a dictatorship during his eight years. It’s amazing to me we all knew that; the corruption was so rampant it was like on a daily basis we were hearing things that in a former time — the Sixties, the Fifties, anytime — would have caused the W to be tossed out on his ear. This time, somehow, it was like there was nobody in the streets. People went about their lives as if ignoring what was going on….

And we see the unfortunate outcome of that in the installation of Donald Trump in the presidency only eight years later.

Around that same time, 2015, we saw Republicans take over the Supreme Court by refusing to do their Constitutional obligation in approving a Supreme Court Justice, when Antonin Scalia died. Any other time, we would have had mass uprisings at this mini–coup d’état.

Subsequently we watched a goober president, beholden to a Russian oligarchy, as he not only benefited himself and his cronies financially through his (stolen) office but he slowly unraveled the fabric of the largest and most long-lasting democracy on Earth, before our very eyes. While Trump tightened the screws on people’s ability to complain, attacking the press and removing freedom of speech in all kinds of ways, including removing net neutrality, folks stood by in fascinated and terrified awe at this train wreck gradually flying apart in all directions before us. For years this went on, with only a handful of Democrats calling for impeachment, while the rest of them, along with society, put their heads under their pillows hoping it would all somehow, please, just go away.

Until the very end, the Democrats, media, and Speaker Pelosi dallied. By then it was too late to stop the institutional carnage. Around the time of Trump’s first impeachment, as it was reported, one could make a case for eighty-two grounds for impeachment. The Democrats under Speaker Pelosi only went forward with two articles of impeachment, in December, 2019, after three years of Trumpian destruction. Pelosi, with Obama, held back from investigating W. Bush after Obama attained the presidency in 2009. That kid-glove approach to Republican corruption she continued with Trump by waiting so long and then holding her fire with only two out of eighty-two violations. The country was saved the turmoil that would have resulted from thorough and broadcasted investigations in each case — of W. Bush and Trump. Nevertheless, each time of hesitation and lack of boldness by Democrats has had dire consequences … with even more of that on the horizon. (Note to Merrick Garland.)

Okay, so there I’m giving you a taste, alright? Anyway.…

So, I said that in a previous time there would have been passionate, a passionate response. Now I say it’s passionate because of the former unconfused minds’ clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. What I’m saying is clarity of thought creates sureness of action and sureness of one’s feelings, whereas confused minds lends itself to apathy or misguided self-destructive acts. In just a bit I’ll get into how these minds get confused and I think you’ll begin to see some of those things inside of yourself, because I think we’re all feeling some of it.

Anyway, so this clarity, of seeing these things happening, created conviction in one’s belief which was rooted in first-hand observation. I have in Part One shared some of my first-hand observations of events, especially those happening in my formative years. The conviction of my thinking is rooted in such events.

At the time, I also experienced much confirmation and affirmation of my views on these events. So, in general, in times previous to the one we’re in, this clarity and conviction born of first-hand observation was reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans around them who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.

An example, okay? America once had a president who was much despised, though he was actually not as bad as W. Bush. And compared to Trump, he comes across as reasonable. Yet the American people were unfettered in their feelings about this president’s actions, and their refusal to put up with his despicable acts caused Nixon to resign.

So, first off, we have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse. In our example, this might be the suffering and/or death of innocent young men or the unspeakable horror being inflicted on the bystanding innocents in the conflict they are engaged in — the Vietnam War is one such example.

Once, with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction — undoubting and unconfused conviction — and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like.

It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however.

Too many people are unaware or forget that there was a great union movement in America, there was a great antiwar movement in the country … okay? You don’t see much of that action these days. So, this is what I’m getting to, there’s been a change.

So when these great masses of Americans were clearly in solidarity about things they saw were obviously wrong they effected change. Think about it. Go back to the Depression. People knew they were poor and they put Roosevelt in power. Okay? They did something about it.

Anyway, so in times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. and the people around you, they see it as well. and they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing.1

The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny … Any Wonder Why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?

We have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse: Once with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction — undoubting and unconfused conviction — and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like. The examples I gave were the union, antiwar, suffragette, and civil rights movements; we could add the Revolutionary War itself and the abolitionist movement. And I mentioned how people rose up for a New Deal and elected Roosevelt during the Great Depression and how Nixon was hounded out of office, yet Bush the Dubya’s crimes — far worse, including “dictatorship” — were not enough even to bring people out into the streets.

It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however. In times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. And the people around you, they see it as well. And they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing.

The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny

But what if the media is saying that it ain’t happening? Does that sound familiar? At all? It ain’t happening? How about an economic collapse — the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, which was the most severe downturn in the economy since the Great Depression — that began years before anybody publicly mentioned it. I remember at the time, just before the collapse, W. Bush’s economy was being called a “goldilocks” one. Yep. This, from the guy, Larry Kudlow, who later would be the top financial advisor to Trump as Director of the National Economic Council for three years. Figures, eh? As for any collapse, not happening. Right now I’m not going to say a lot about this as it will appear in a big way beginning with Volume 2 in the Return to Grace series of books, titled The Necessary Revolution.2

So anyway, in former times, people came together in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right obvious wrongs, or the like. Morality and personality might affect how one viewed those wrongs and events, yet the facts about them were held in common. Folks had clearly identifiable rallying points visible to the great masses of Americans. These things were talked about in the newspapers, on TV, there was no denying what was obvious.

The Media’s License to Lie

Notice the stark contrast with the media today, which is rife with outright lies — Trump’s “stolen election” lies; Bill Barr’s lies to cover up the Mueller report; the insanity around a Hillary pizzagate pedophilia ring and emails; Obama’s citizenship; Hunter Biden’s laptop; and anything said by or associated with Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, Breitbart, or QAnon. These are only a few among many more sources I could cite.

We have virtually all of Fox News spewing lies, hatred, and discontent. We have right-wing social media in the form of Truth Social, and right-wing news outlets, Newsmax and OANN, doing Fox one better in calling for civil war and violence — all of it based on abject bald-faced lying and intentional distortion of facts. Witness House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, especially, on this last point. She and others are still claiming the storming of the Capitol was done by Antifa, even as she seeks to support the insurrectionists in prison — who she acknowledges are all Trump supporters.

And they know they are lying, too. Sidney Powell, a lawyer who headed Trump’s stolen election fraud, was sued for defamation by Dominion Corporation, who manufactures the voting machines she claimed were involved in the conspiracy. She had conducted a weekslong campaign to invalidate the results of the 2020 election based on spurious accusations and wild conspiracy theories. In her lawyer’s statement defending her, however, it is acknowledged none of that was true and — excuse anyone for daring to believe any of these charlatans — in their filing, they claim, “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact….”

Tucker Carlson had the same defense when he was called out on his lies as well. He along with Fox News were sued for slander by Dominion Corporation, and what was his defense? His lawyers shamelessly put out that, you can’t expect to literally believe the words that come out of Carlson’s mouth. You can’t make this stuff up.

Seriously, we are supposed to know that Carlson and folks like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham — who are believed by millions of Fox followers, some of whom subsequently participated in an insurrection to overthrow the U.S. government — are merely making stuff up; that it is all for “entertainment” value … just for “fun,” you see. Yet if so, why is there not a disclaimer on their shows and on that “news” network to that effect. And how much “fun” was it for people to die in the insurrection and for children to be slaughtered wantonly in schools as a consequence of Fox News lying on behalf of Trump and the NRA.

The fact that this defense by Fox News and Tucker Carlson was successful says a lot about the long road ahead of us in this country. How is progress possible if even the courts will allow slander, lies, defamation and major misinformation to flood American minds, with the mere caveat, “Let the viewer beware”? Or actually, with no warning at all. This is analogous to the way consumers were poisoned in their food and drinks by corporations, prior to the pushback from the people in the form of the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA). Prior to the formulation of that governmental agency, American consumers were left at the mercy of corporations who would allow contaminated or otherwise bad food onto the market. In response, it was determined that what was to be allowed into one’s body should not infect or poison one, and the agency was created. Yet, when it comes to what is allowed into America’s minds, all license is allowed for its poisoning with hateful and vile untruths from major media and its figures.

When did this all change? When did outright liars begin getting to speak at the highest levels of society, infecting the minds of the vulnerable and gullible? When did such diabolical deceivers start getting to bellow, undeterred, into the loudest bullhorns of broadcast and electronic media?

The Establishment’s Habit of Lying

We can easily trace such wide-scale deception to the lies being told about Vietnam by Democrats under Johnson, but especially by Republican Nixon and his administration. We see it progressing during the W. Bush years where intentional misrepresentation of facts — lies, the one especially about wmd’s in Iraq — led to a war and over a million casualties.

It is doubtful we ever got the truth of 9/11, which saw Building 7 inexplicably falling down “in sympathy” with the other towers. Untouched it was by any plane or anything, save a controlled demolition. Which controlled demolition would have the building falling down, like both of the Twin Towers did, incidentally, in free fall. Which Building 7 did.

And how can we do something about the epidemic of mass shootings — many of which are having our children slaughtered even as we watch, helplessly — when lies like those of Alex Jones, saying Sandy Hook was staged, are allowed to infect the minds of Americans, weakened by years of Fox News and NRA influence.

The consequences of lying

If those consequences of intentional dishonesty are not severe enough for you, consider over one million Americans dead from Covid. It was allowed to get that high as a result of the lying Trump and the Republicans did about the vaccine and about mask use. Put that in perspective, almost one of every one hundred Americans died — are gone forever — because of Donald Trump’s reckless negligence and continual deception around this pandemic. During his presidential campaign in 2016, Trump famously said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?” He said that while mimicking firing a gun with his fingers. Little did we know he’d still be walking free after pulling the trigger on one million faces.

People Power — the Only Corrective to Mass Deception

However prior to this, with facts in common, not in dispute, we could have solidarity of purpose … And this is the important part … With solidarity of purpose, with Americans united, feeling the same way, wanting change, their feelings were powerful and so significantly altered major events. World War II was won; we had a union movement, a suffragette movement, a civil rights movement, a War on Poverty, a Great Society, and a New Deal, to name some.

You even see that going on after the Millennium. We had a Democrat, Obama, elected to the presidency of the United States. The first African-American and only one of many who would grace the administrations and high institutions of our government afterward, as we see with the vice-presidency of Kamala Harris and the appointments being made by Joe Biden. And Obama had a major accomplishment in creating the largest expansion in health care in the U.S. with the Affordable Care Act.

Nonetheless, look what it took to get Obama elected: eight long years of Bush! Look what it took to get Biden and the Democrats back behind the wheel again in 2020: four years of comprehensive trashing of American institutions and rights by an out-of-control baby of a man, operating out of instructions from a foreign power … and doing it in open and clear view of the world. Wow.

So anyway, solidarity of purpose gives ordinary people combined strength equal or greater to that of the “filthy rich.” The “filthy rich” are the would-be puppet-masters, the deciders and initiators of the events that have been witnessed so widely, including by the masses. These egregious acts, happenings, or developments brought the masses together in singleness of purpose to decry the source of the wrongs. Crucially, they needed to know the perpetrators of unhappy happenings; it needed to be clearly pointed out who were those responsible for the wrongs universally observed and condemned.

These things known, the result could be the massive gathering of intentions, a movement, perhaps a great social movement, united in purpose, against the observed wrong, seeking justice on the perpetrators and some sort of social or cultural change that might possibly or would definitely prevent future events of the same or similar sort of wrongness.

Now, these things did happen in America, folks. Not long ago in historical time but before our day in America, food used to come out from corporations and got people sick or dead. So Americans created a Food and Drug Administration to remedy that. People created a governmental entity to represent them as a counterweight against the power of the corporations.

Why did this happen? It was because people were pissed, and it was because it was obvious what was going on.

But when things aren’t obvious and you have massive lies being told and you have comprehensive, pervasive media exposure to those lies — those untruths in direct conflict with people’s own observations — people can get confused. Confused, people’s power gets dissipated.

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So I’ve kind of told you part of it, haven’t I? I just felt I was giving you too much and without any grounding.

Now let’s take a look at how — as a consequence of this massive orchestration of the media, education, and all information systems in America by a mean-spirited, greedy, and murderous conservative elite — the minute daily elements of our American way of life were orchestrated for ends not our own.

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16

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Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies:

Power Versus Passion, Money Versus Authenticity — Opposing Ways of Changing America

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as ‘real’ and ‘real world’ versus what is considered silly or superfluous … ‘flaky’ … ‘kumbaya.”’”

“[With Obama’s election,] people could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the Filthy Rich. Unbelievable.”

““We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise, we’re not going to make it.” — Helen Caldicott

“Only people know just how to change the world.” — John Lennon

“The public’s power could be stirred only by these facts coming out and becoming widely known.”

“”…we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience, ever fending off inner and outer information — clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.”

“I have never seen Americans so busy … so busy and so preoccupied.”

“Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated … you’d see people that were really striving … trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

“There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed ‘free time’ of the average American.”

“…with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We got a lot of red tape, we got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress…. “

“…over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.”

“…the tax code is hopelessly brain dead, and everyone knows it. Any former link to fairness, reasonableness, or coherency has been severed; it has become a coffin into which anything can be thrown and in which any corporate wish can be granted. The country has now turned completely into the hands of the corporations….”

 .

[Chapter 16 text begins:] In the last sixty years, Americans have experienced unprecedented changes in their lives, their lifestyles, in what it means to be alive and human in America in these times. Rarely have societies experienced this kind of change. What is even more astounding is the way the changes send us shooting dramatically in one way and then in the other direction.

Of course, it is amazing that people are able to manage these kinds of change. But we don’t do this easily.

Let us look at the side-to-side careening of American life in that time and where we are today in that.

Creating an America Worthy of its Name

In introducing “Obvious Truths,” I talked about how politicians and leaders can only do so much and that the effects of their words are often fleeting. I said that social change that’s either reinforced or carried forward, or even initiated, by something like music or something that affects your feelings, can be greater and longer lasting. The powerful feelings that are stirred this way can affect people for their whole lives and even have influence for generations. I mentioned that these emotional influences reach more deeply into people because feelings exist at a deeper level of the brain undergirding words, thought, or even reason.

Finally, keep in mind that this is titled the rise and fall of “obvious truths.”

Obvious “Truth” — “Money Changes Everything”…. Really? … Only?

So I’m gonna start looking over what has transpired so far. I said at the beginning there was a title, one that pointed to the power and grandeur of these social movements. I wrote at the time that if the title’s claim — casting ordinary folks, along with revolutionary art, as the instigators of grand movements … the people of the Sixties and the music of bands like the Beatles, for example — sounds silly or trite to you that you are operating out of social prejudices we all carry from childhood, like most people do, particularly around status.

And by that I meant we have a tendency to assume that it is money that changes everything and that ordinary folks have little power without it.

For example, we assume that artists and musicians can’t affect anything. They more often arise from non-affluent beginnings; we have the term, starving artist, for example. Their power in society is considered to be as minimal as their finances.

“Real World” Versus “Flaky”

Yet, this is not true — that is what I’m getting at. For, has the power of people been created with money, solely? Well, I think there’s a tendency to think it has.

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Yet not long ago, America and I went through such a change arising artistically from the masses. The Beatles affected us in such a great way that we were changed forever, and society’s traditional momentum in a direction benefiting its moneyed royalty was stopped and even reversed. Their music and that of those like them changed the world in terms of the way we saw peace. The way we saw love. The way we saw drugs. The way we saw tolerance of other people … the way we looked at other people.

Status and money, more than ever, determining what is “real”

But I’m not going to go too far there, because that’s all coming up, too. I’m just saying that we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as “real” and “real world” versus what is considered silly or superfluous … “flaky” … “kumbaya.”

I was talking earlier about how, these days, it seems like only people with money have power. Everybody knows that and assumes it can only be that way. This is so because many people today have not had the experience of seeing it being different from that.

The Exception That Reveals the Rule

There is one exception and as it happens this exception does reveal the rule.

The Blue Meanies dissed, dismissed

For Obama’s rise to the presidency was startling, shocking even, because it was a unique phenomenon for this time. It was a grand and sweeping movement because people got a chance, for the first time in a long time, to see that ordinary folks getting together could effect massive change … without the power of gobs of money. We can recall how his campaign was largely done over the Iinternet and with small contributions. People could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the Filthy Rich. Unbelievable.

Creating an America That Is Not: Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate

Obama’s success was astounding, yet look what it took! Remember what had to happen before a Democrat, Obama, and the first African-American ever, could win the presidency. It only came about after a long time of national suffering, disgrace, war, loss of life, incompetence, cronyism, scandal, atrocity, erosion of rights, squandering of money, tragedy, and more.

All that, and much more, treason, was repeated when Trump got into office and was allowed his time as the bull in the china shop during the four years before Biden was put into the presidency to fix his mess.

Unlike Trump, George W. Bush was in the presidency for a full eight years; he actually got to steal a second election.

The Blue Meanies — Stolen Election

It is clear that Bush’s first term was not won fairly. Even putting aside the intimidation of Black voters in Florida and similar unfair and illegal practices perpetrated by Republicans, we still have the fact that Bush was given the presidency by a decision of the Supreme Court. Our history records how vote counting was stopped before the outcome could be determined; the Supreme Court decided on a winner, Bush; and subsequently the vote tally came out that Gore had actually won the presidency! These are simply the facts, the things not in dispute.

The Rule Itself — Money Changes Everything.

The facts of Bush’s second election are less well known; in fact they are more assiduously covered up. Still, in the vote tally against John Kerry in the presidential election of 2004 it should not have even been close … but for more obscure reasons.

There is plenty of documented public evidence that the electronic voting machines were fixed, making the outcome fraudulent. The machines were owned by Diebold Corporation, a firm solidly in the Republican camp. The head of the company actually promised the Republicans, before the election, that he was going to get Bush elected. I mean, seriously. Isn’t that pretty much an admission that the voting machines were going to be fixed?

And in fact this is what they discovered to have taken place. It was confirmed, to some extent even prior to the election, that even a person walking by with an iPhone or something similar could hack into these electronic voting machines and change the votes. That is, if they had the correct access information. And the only ones who had that and therefore could decide the vote tally were the Diebold Corporation in league with the Republicans. Is it any wonder Bush “won”?

Now, is this not the kind of thing that in the past would have brought people out into the streets? The complacency of Americans around that time — the first decade of the Millennium — was noted by Helen Caldicott, famed nuclear activist and physician. In 2011, she compared our apathy in the face of dire happenings — such as Fukushima — to the parents who respond emotionless when she has to tell them their child has leukemia. She says, “Get mad. Get emotional.” She urges us to take back our governments from these mad perpetrators of the darkest doom imaginable. And, in the least, occupy! She proclaimed,

“It’s time you took your country back…. Use your bodies like they did in Wisconsin. Do a Tahrir Square here. Take back New York. Take back the Congress. Invade the Congress! Those people belong to you. They are your representatives, and you are their leaders. But you’ve got to have some guts! And stop being so goddamn polite all the time! And don’t need approval. Step up to the plate….

“We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise, we’re not going to make it.”1

The Battleground for America

“Only people know just how to change the world.” — John Lennon

So the two things of relevance in this example of the stolen 2004 election are that in previous times this would have brought people out into the streets, would have caused people to rise up in outrage against authority when it was found out.

The Duty, and Failure, of the Press

Which brings out the second relevant point: The public’s power could be stirred only by these facts coming out and becoming widely known. This information on the 2004 stolen presidential election did come out; entire popular books were written describing how and that it was done. It came out in the broadcast media as well.

It is unlikely that you know that, however. That can only be because it wasn’t told enough in the media, that it was downplayed in the media, covered up, or the media directed your attention away from it. And that is the problem I’m getting at.

Changing America by Changing its People

But you see there’s another thing that happened. Even with a responsible media you have to have a citizenry that is open to this kind of information and able and willing to process it and draw conclusions from it. That is what I will be addressing now.

Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies

Going back, I was saying we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience, ever fending off inner and outer information — clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.

Thinking About There Not Being Enough Time to Think

But you know sometimes you have a chance to kick back and not be caught up in the struggle to survive. You have a chance to reflect on your circumstances, your prejudices, and to re-evaluate matters. You have leisure time in which to do more than survive, to actually re-create, re-new yourself, and to grow in wisdom so you are not so blinkered by the blinders of the comfortable ignorance of grade-school propaganda and other early conditionings, prejudices. So society benefits both through your productivity but also through the fact that you have leisure time to become a wiser social actor. You have this leisure time….

Or, do you?

Well, not too long ago we had more leisure time, let’s put it that way. We had more leisure time; we had more time to pause and reflect. So some things might occur to us that were different than what we originally thought … than our preconceived notions; we might actually change our mind about things if we thought about them. I am not saying that was what everybody did all the time or anything like that. I am saying it could happen, and it happened more. So I’m saying a lot has changed.

Well, you don’t think we have less leisure time? If you are much younger than me, you probably don’t know. But I am old enough to know that I have never seen Americans so busy … so busy and so preoccupied.

Climbing Down the Ladder of Your Todo List

Backing up, so imagine you or somebody like you is saying, “Ah, naw naw naw, naw, y’know, musicians, ordinary folks, they can’t do anything; they’re not politicians, they’re not powerful, they’re not rich!” Okay? But this person or you may not have had occasion to actually pause your life … to step back from the twenty-four hour climbing down the ladder of your todo list to success. Y’know?

How long is your todo list by the way? Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated … you’d see people that were really striving … trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

Forms Fill Up Free Time … “Fax It Over, I’ll Look at It”

There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed “free time” of the average American. Man! What the hell is with that!?

Now they can blame it on computers; they can say it’s because we have more information and they can store larger amounts of it electronically, and they can put more…. Aw, c’mon; it’s people deciding that you have to fill things out and that you have to get and give more and more and more and more information, this is a lot of time!

Did you ever buy a house? You sign that Sisyphean hill of documents? I can only just imagine the day when there was just a deed, signed over. I’m not that old.

So, with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We’ve got a lot of red tape, we’ve got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress….

Taxes to Twist You With

And part of that paperwork … probably the worst part, if you’re like me, is due to the complex and contradictory tax codes. Part of the leisure time lost disappears into the black hole around tax forms. Seriously, I am old enough to have seen taxes get more contradictory and complex over the years. In fact the tax codes are rather convoluted abominations twisting themselves to benefit corporate special interest, with little or no rationale even presented to explain why these special interests should be benefited. And this sort of corporate special interest input into tax codes has just exploded over the years.

In previous times, such things as benefits to any special interest were usually presented to the legislature, and the public, in a particular way to justify them. You can just imagine like, in some kind of bargaining session in Congress, they would say, “Well, if we provide a break here, that’ll result in benefits over in this sector….” Or they might say, “… and it benefits our economy as a whole, which will….” And they might add a few elements into the equation before the inevitable, “It’ll benefit the average American or be a boon to our society as a whole.” And the reaction, we imagine, would be like, “Aw, yeah, yeah … okay.” Then it’s good; it’s approved.

Crazy-Making Social Processes Aid Manipulation

Yet over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.

You have probably all heard the story. You call up the tax adviser, you have a question about how to fill something out … how to do something. And you’ll ask one person and they’ll tell you one thing; and then you call back and you get a different person and they’ll tell you something entirely different; then if you call again, somebody else will tell you something again … all different. Well, this is crazy-making.

And that crazy-making takes up your time; and it makes you worry more … and, well, it works itself into your time to ponder things, especially important things.

So, the tax code is hopelessly brain dead, and everyone knows it. Any former link to fairness, reasonableness, or coherency has been severed; it has become a coffin into which anything can be thrown and in which any corporate wish can be granted. The country has now turned completely into the hands of the corporations, okay?

So, what now?

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16

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Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies:

Power Versus Passion, Money Versus Authenticity — Opposing Ways of Changing America

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[Quotes/highlights:]  “…we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as ‘real’ and ‘real world’ versus what is considered silly or superfluous … ‘flaky’ … ‘kumbaya.”’”

“[With Obama’s election,] people could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the Filthy Rich. Unbelievable.”

““We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise, we’re not going to make it.” — Helen Caldicott

“Only people know just how to change the world.” — John Lennon

“The public’s power could be stirred only by these facts coming out and becoming widely known.”

“”…we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience, ever fending off inner and outer information — clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.”

“I have never seen Americans so busy … so busy and so preoccupied.”

“Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated … you’d see people that were really striving … trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

“There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed ‘free time’ of the average American.”

“…with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We got a lot of red tape, we got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress…. “

“…over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.”

“…the tax code is hopelessly brain dead, and everyone knows it. Any former link to fairness, reasonableness, or coherency has been severed; it has become a coffin into which anything can be thrown and in which any corporate wish can be granted. The country has now turned completely into the hands of the corporations….”

.

[Chapter 16 text begins:]  In the last sixty years, Americans have experienced unprecedented changes in their lives, their lifestyles, in what it means to be alive and human in America in these times. Rarely have societies experienced this kind of change. What is even more astounding is the way the changes send us shooting dramatically in one way and then in the other direction.

Of course, it is amazing that people are able to manage these kinds of change. But we don’t do this easily.

Let us look at the side-to-side careening of American life in that time and where we are today in that.

Creating an America Worthy of its Name

In introducing “Obvious Truths,” I talked about how politicians and leaders can only do so much and that the effects of their words are often fleeting. I said that social change that’s either reinforced or carried forward, or even initiated, by something like music or something that affects your feelings, can be greater and longer lasting. The powerful feelings that are stirred this way can affect people for their whole lives and even have influence for generations. I mentioned that these emotional influences reach more deeply into people because feelings exist at a deeper level of the brain undergirding words, thought, or even reason.

Finally, keep in mind that this is titled the rise and fall of “obvious truths.”

Obvious “Truth” — “Money Changes Everything”…. Really? … Only?

So I’m gonna start looking over what has transpired so far. I said at the beginning there was a title, one that pointed to the power and grandeur of these social movements. I wrote at the time that if the title’s claim — casting ordinary folks, along with revolutionary art, as the instigators of grand movements … the people of the Sixties and the music of bands like the Beatles, for example — sounds silly or trite to you that you are operating out of social prejudices we all carry from childhood, like most people do, particularly around status.

And by that I meant we have a tendency to assume that it is money that changes everything and that ordinary folks have little power without it.

For example, we assume that artists and musicians can’t affect anything. They more often arise from non-affluent beginnings; we have the term, starving artist, for example. Their power in society is considered to be as minimal as their finances.

“Real World” Versus “Flaky”

Yet, this is not true — that is what I’m getting at. For, has the power of people been created with money, solely? Well, I think there’s a tendency to think it has.

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Yet not long ago, America and I went through such a change arising artistically from the masses. The Beatles affected us in such a great way that we were changed forever, and society’s traditional momentum in a direction benefiting its moneyed royalty was stopped and even reversed. Their music and that of those like them changed the world in terms of the way we saw peace. The way we saw love. The way we saw drugs. The way we saw tolerance of other people … the way we looked at other people.

Status and money, more than ever, determining what is “real”

But I’m not going to go too far there, because that’s all coming up, too. I’m just saying that we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as “real” and “real world” versus what is considered silly or superfluous … “flaky” … “kumbaya.”

I was talking earlier about how, these days, it seems like only people with money have power. Everybody knows that and assumes it can only be that way. This is so because many people today have not had the experience of seeing it being different from that.

The Exception That Reveals the Rule

There is one exception and as it happens this exception does reveal the rule.

The Blue Meanies dissed, dismissed

For Obama’s rise to the presidency was startling, shocking even, because it was a unique phenomenon for this time. It was a grand and sweeping movement because people got a chance, for the first time in a long time, to see that ordinary folks getting together could effect massive change … without the power of gobs of money. We can recall how his campaign was largely done over the Iinternet and with small contributions. People could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the Filthy Rich. Unbelievable.

Creating an America That Is Not: Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate

Obama’s success was astounding, yet look what it took! Remember what had to happen before a Democrat, Obama, and the first African-American ever, could win the presidency. It only came about after a long time of national suffering, disgrace, war, loss of life, incompetence, cronyism, scandal, atrocity, erosion of rights, squandering of money, tragedy, and more.

All that, and much more, treason, was repeated when Trump got into office and was allowed his time as the bull in the china shop during the four years before Biden was put into the presidency to fix his mess.

Unlike Trump, George W. Bush was in the presidency for a full eight years; he actually got to steal a second election.

The Blue Meanies — Stolen Election

It is clear that Bush’s first term was not won fairly. Even putting aside the intimidation of Black voters in Florida and similar unfair and illegal practices perpetrated by Republicans, we still have the fact that Bush was given the presidency by a decision of the Supreme Court. Our history records how vote counting was stopped before the outcome could be determined; the Supreme Court decided on a winner, Bush; and subsequently the vote tally came out that Gore had actually won the presidency! These are simply the facts, the things not in dispute.

The Rule Itself — Money Changes Everything.

The facts of Bush’s second election are less well known; in fact they are more assiduously covered up. Still, in the vote tally against John Kerry in the presidential election of 2004 it should not have even been close … but for more obscure reasons.

There is plenty of documented public evidence that the electronic voting machines were fixed, making the outcome fraudulent. The machines were owned by Diebold Corporation, a firm solidly in the Republican camp. The head of the company actually promised the Republicans, before the election, that he was going to get Bush elected. I mean, seriously. Isn’t that pretty much an admission that the voting machines were going to be fixed?

And in fact this is what they discovered to have taken place. It was confirmed, to some extent even prior to the election, that even a person walking by with an iPhone or something similar could hack into these electronic voting machines and change the votes. That is, if they had the correct access information. And the only ones who had that and therefore could decide the vote tally were the Diebold Corporation in league with the Republicans. Is it any wonder Bush “won”?

Now, is this not the kind of thing that in the past would have brought people out into the streets? The complacency of Americans around that time — the first decade of the Millennium — was noted by Helen Caldicott, famed nuclear activist and physician. In 2011, she compared our apathy in the face of dire happenings — such as Fukushima — to the parents who respond emotionless when she has to tell them their child has leukemia. She says, “Get mad. Get emotional.” She urges us to take back our governments from these mad perpetrators of the darkest doom imaginable. And, in the least, occupy! She proclaimed,

“It’s time you took your country back…. Use your bodies like they did in Wisconsin. Do a Tahrir Square here. Take back New York. Take back the Congress. Invade the Congress! Those people belong to you. They are your representatives, and you are their leaders. But you’ve got to have some guts! And stop being so goddamn polite all the time! And don’t need approval. Step up to the plate….

“We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise, we’re not going to make it.”1

The Battleground for America

“Only people know just how to change the world.” — John Lennon

So the two things of relevance in this example of the stolen 2004 election are that in previous times this would have brought people out into the streets, would have caused people to rise up in outrage against authority when it was found out.

The Duty, and Failure, of the Press

Which brings out the second relevant point: The public’s power could be stirred only by these facts coming out and becoming widely known. This information on the 2004 stolen presidential election did come out; entire popular books were written describing how and that it was done. It came out in the broadcast media as well.

It is unlikely that you know that, however. That can only be because it wasn’t told enough in the media, that it was downplayed in the media, covered up, or the media directed your attention away from it. And that is the problem I’m getting at.

Changing America by Changing its People

But you see there’s another thing that happened. Even with a responsible media you have to have a citizenry that is open to this kind of information and able and willing to process it and draw conclusions from it. That is what I will be addressing now.

Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies

Going back, I was saying we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience, ever fending off inner and outer information — clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.

Thinking About There Not Being Enough Time to Think

But you know sometimes you have a chance to kick back and not be caught up in the struggle to survive. You have a chance to reflect on your circumstances, your prejudices, and to re-evaluate matters. You have leisure time in which to do more than survive, to actually re-create, re-new yourself, and to grow in wisdom so you are not so blinkered by the blinders of the comfortable ignorance of grade-school propaganda and other early conditionings, prejudices.  So society benefits both through your productivity but also through the fact that you have leisure time to become a wiser social actor. You have this leisure time….

Or, do you?

Well, not too long ago we had more leisure time, let’s put it that way. We had more leisure time; we had more time to pause and reflect. So some things might occur to us that were different than what we originally thought … than our preconceived notions; we might actually change our mind about things if we thought about them. I am not saying that was what everybody did all the time or anything like that. I am saying it could happen, and it happened more. So I’m saying a lot has changed.

Well, you don’t think we have less leisure time? If you are much younger than me, you probably don’t know. But I am old enough to know that I have never seen Americans so busy … so busy and so preoccupied.

Climbing Down the Ladder of Your Todo List

Backing up, so imagine you or somebody like you is saying, “Ah, naw naw naw, naw, y’know, musicians, ordinary folks, they can’t do anything; they’re not politicians, they’re not powerful, they’re not rich!” Okay? But this person or you may not have had occasion to actually pause your life … to step back from the twenty-four hour climbing down the ladder of your todo list to success. Y’know?

How long is your todo list by the way? Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated … you’d see people that were really striving … trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

Forms Fill Up Free Time … “Fax It Over, I’ll Look at It”

There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed “free time” of the average American. Man! What the hell is with that!?

Now they can blame it on computers; they can say it’s because we have more information and they can store larger amounts of it electronically, and they can put more….  Aw, c’mon; it’s people deciding that you have to fill things out and that you have to get and give more and more and more and more information, this is a lot of time!

Did you ever buy a house? You sign that Sisyphean hill of documents? I can only just imagine the day when there was just a deed, signed over. I’m not that old.

So, with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We’ve got a lot of red tape, we’ve got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress…. 

Taxes to Twist You With

And part of that paperwork … probably the worst part, if you’re like me, is due to the complex and contradictory tax codes. Part of the leisure time lost disappears into the black hole around tax forms. Seriously, I am old enough to have seen taxes get more contradictory and complex over the years. In fact the tax codes are rather convoluted abominations twisting themselves to benefit corporate special interest, with little or no rationale even presented to explain why these special interests should be benefited. And this sort of corporate special interest input into tax codes has just exploded over the years.

In previous times, such things as benefits to any special interest were usually presented to the legislature, and the public, in a particular way to justify them. You can just imagine like, in some kind of bargaining session in Congress, they would say, “Well, if we provide a break here, that’ll result in benefits over in this sector….” Or they might say, “… and it benefits our economy as a whole, which will….” And they might add a few elements into the equation before the inevitable, “It’ll benefit the average American or be a boon to our society as a whole.” And the reaction, we imagine, would be like, “Aw, yeah, yeah … okay.” Then it’s good; it’s approved.

Crazy-Making Social Processes Aid Manipulation

Yet over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.

You have probably all heard the story. You call up the tax adviser, you have a question about how to fill something out … how to do something. And you’ll ask one person and they’ll tell you one thing; and then you call back and you get a different person and they’ll tell you something entirely different; then if you call again, somebody else will tell you something again … all different. Well, this is crazy-making.

And that crazy-making takes up your time; and it makes you worry more … and, well, it works itself into your time to ponder things, especially important things.

So, the tax code is hopelessly brain dead, and everyone knows it. Any former link to fairness, reasonableness, or coherency has been severed; it has become a coffin into which anything can be thrown and in which any corporate wish can be granted. The country has now turned completely into the hands of the corporations, okay?

So, what now?

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17

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A Matrix of Misinformation:

The Lies Themselves … When Did the People Themselves Become a “Special” Interest?

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…the GOP is consistently overfunded because the Rich-publicans are carrying the wishes of those corporations into the board rooms of Congress along with their huge amounts of money.

“Yet these payoffs were small investments to corporations, relative to the benefits they would get in the changes in government policy which affected them.”

“…it remained true that for the most part Democrats were funded by unions and organizations dealing with issues, like education, health care, seniors, jobs, and so on that affect the average American.”

“…the tax system in America became a tool of larceny for the Filthy Rich. The tax codes were molded to the greedy desires of various industries and corporations; this was allowed as a tradeoff for legislative and other benefits to the common good.”

“…eventually it was getting to where a huge increase in that problem could be attributed to corporations not even having to justify that the paybacks they wanted were good for America anymore. No tradeoffs to the common good even necessary.”

“Republicans are excused of all wrong-doing, at the behest of the wealthy with a beam in their eye, on the basis that it is equal to the mote that is in the eye of the Democrats.”

“Is Hillary Clinton’s deletion of emails — many of which were probably the spam mails and niceties between friends that fill up all our inboxes — equal to a treasonous insurrection? Some people would have it so. Hard core MAGAts would have it that it is somehow far worse; go figure.”

“…these ‘lesser of two evils’ arguments are ones where the factor of proportion is left out. These things are not seen as amounts, which can be compared, which are relative; but as absolutes. MAGAts are gullible innocents when it comes to slogans that require a little thinking to make out their absurdity, especially if it includes any arithmetic.”

“…forget about trying to get them to understand anything that involves percentages. You just get that blank look, before they change the subject or throw up one more ‘whatabouts’ they’ve heard from Fox News.”

“…the slogan — ‘the lesser of two evils is still evil’ — sounds really cool and clever. Perhaps even profound. Still, this kind of ploy, which is one version of what is called a false equivalency, is bullshit. For there is nothing in life that is totally good and nothing totally evil. It asserts an absolutism that emanates out of the thinking of religiophiles who seek to maintain such categories of white and black, goodness and sinners, for dogmatic reasons. And as a way to make oneself better than others with an allowance to be judgmental … and punishing … of them.”

“…outside of dogma and with neutral analysis, we see such a thing — ‘the lesser of two evils is still evil’ — could be said about virtually anything. Being said about everything, it would have it that nothing could ever be done, no progress could ever occur, for one could find a negative consequence, however small or relatively small, for virtually everything.

‘The lesser-of-two-evils-is-still-evil argument is so obviously stupid, yet it is tossed around as truth, infecting the minds of erstwhile activists or progressives.’

“The lesser-of-two-evils argument derails any positive change, any benefit to the people — save imaginary ones that are somehow not in any way possible seen as negative — for it sets up a ‘purity’ standard for all decisions that is impossible to find.”

“Republicans were always seen, rightfully so, as the ones who were representing various corporations and what were called the special interests — defense, big agriculture, big oil, the Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, big pharma, and so on.”

“…this Big Lie, firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix as to be both invisible and therefore unchallengeable even by rational arguments … this lie, and I’m sure you’ve heard it is that: Well, both parties are funded by special interests!”

“Education’s a special interest? Does that mean that there are like only a few people that have kids that need education?”

“…we have an idea of what a big difference intelligence makes … what a big difference it is when you have intelligent people running things versus when you don’t.”

“…after eight years of intelligent guidance from America’s cockpit with Obama, we got Trump. This is a guy who has been called ‘the dumbest student I ever had,’ by one of his professors.”

“…this is a man, Trump, who hides his college grades from public scrutiny, yet claims to be the smartest of his class. This is a man who pathetically bragged, as some kind of intellectual feat, about his ability to pass a simple test for dementia. And we saw the result of having this goober dimwit at the helm: millions dead from Covid alone, the slaughter of our allies the Kurds and Afghans in the Middle East, a Russian invasion of Ukraine with many more tens of thousands murdered … and a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award for, of all people, Rush Limbaugh.

“Such things that occurred under Bush and Trump are incompetencies that never happened before. Never! Not even under Republicans.”

“…contrast that with Harvard Law Review editor Obama. How many press conferences did he have after taking office? How frequently did you see him on the job? He handled some of the biggest problems this country has ever had. People were impressed he could do it. And there was so much of it to do after Bush’s mishandling.

“In an almost identical way, Biden is masterfully handling the problems left over from Trump — Covid, infrastructure, the credibility and reliability of our governmental institutions, the economy. So, isn’t intelligence kind of a good thing for us all?”

“If the Filthy Rich and their corporations can convince people that the government’s job of serving the people is a special interest among all the rest, then corporations and the Filthy Rich can advance the proposition they are due some special consideration and financial bonuses whenever the government does anything for the society it is supposed to serve. If you think about it, this narrative sets them up as an insatiable entity needing to be appeased for any largesse going to ordinary folks.

“Yet where do corporations and the Filthy Rich get the right, or the gall, to claim some special status equal to that of the people themselves, allowing them to increase their already heavy-with-gold coffers as an offset of something benefiting the common good. They are like the voracious monster of the forest, feared by the villagers, who sets itself up as deserving of human sacrifice, just so it doesn’t release its terrible power on the townsfolk.”

“Corporations and the Filthy Rich were able to demand compensation from the government—in all kinds of ways, both sneaky and obvious — simply for allowing the government to function also for the benefit of the people at other times.”

“It used to be that the Republican narrative that was pushed was that benefits to corporations and the wealthy are appropriately balanced by attention to the people’s needs and wants. That is akin to ‘sacrificing of the village’s youth to the forest monster.’ A tax cut here could be rationalized as justified by a social program there.”

“It was the same old ‘bread and circuses’ being given to the masses in exchange for their enslavement and money. It was an appeasement of the masses to serve as a distraction from the larceny and creeping fascism the Controllers would be perpetrating.”

“… [this earlier appeasement through ‘bread and circuses’] was superseded by an acceptance of the notion that the wealthy could simply claim/steal tax and other benefits from the government without any requirement of allowing the government to function otherwise for the people. In this scenario — exemplified perfectly by the huge tax cuts and the bailouts we saw the Filthy Rich were able to extricate from the Treasury under the American presidents of the last two decades — the monster of the forest simply ravages the village, no tradeoff necessary, no benefit allowed.”

“…we will look more into the disaster that accrues to a society — like ours and indeed that of most of the world — that exists mostly to fund the extravagances and egos of the rich, with little or no largesse allowed its citizens.”

“…this socialism for the rich has immediate consequences. Every major tax benefit for the rich, going back to Hoover — all of them provided by Republicans — has led in a few years to a recession or depression. They take the money, then they leave the scene and leave the Democrats holding the bag: Not only do Democrats then need to fix the economy all over again, but the recession that the tax cuts caused will be attributed, in the Republican narrative, to the spending the Democrats necessarily must do to right the financial ship again. Thus, the wealthy Controllers will even frame any benefit to the people as being some affront to their intentions to suck even more money from the masses to add to their obscene wealth.”

“…many of the conservative Republicans who attacked the student loan forgiveness plan as being ‘socialism’ … as per their usual … were beneficiaries of the PPP program, and … get this … had their PPP loans, sizable loans, forgiven.”

“We have the best recent example of this pattern of a recession following tax cuts for the rich in the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts given by W. Bush to his wealthy donors and friends. That corporate socialism led to the Great Recession only four years later.”

“’Despite promises from proponents of the tax cuts, evidence suggests that they did not improve economic growth or pay for themselves, but instead ballooned deficits and debt and contributed to a rise in income inequality.’”

“…the financial ‘meltdown’ of 2007-2008, the Great Recession, came from the people who are supposed to know so much about economics. They claim they are fiscally responsible conservatives. That is yet another lie. As McCain said in 2008, ‘I don’t know too much about economics.’”

“It’s true Republicans can’t handle government. It’s true that they will claim to be fiscally responsible and yet … what happened? Well, the largest economic collapse in American history second to the Depression … and it was the largest collapse in the economy of the world.”

“…the Internet kind of brought folks together in solidarity of purpose the same way maybe a rally or demonstration in the past would have brought people together.”

“There’s a pattern I’ll be talking about where … it’s like black is made white, white made black, where things are turned around.”

“Republican proposals end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they say they will. And they know their proposals are fraudulently presented, even when they propose them.”

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[Chapter 17 text begins:] With corporations firmly backing Republicans, the Democrats in every election that I can recall — especially in the presidential elections — always were way underfunded.

The Money Changing Everything — The Planting of Lies

Meanwhile the GOP is consistently overfunded because the Rich-publicans are carrying the wishes of those corporations into the board rooms of Congress along with their huge amounts of money.

Corporations Invest in America (Government)

Yet these payoffs were small investments to corporations, relative to the benefits they would get in the changes in government policy which affected them. Republicans were — It was obvious … it was all on public record — Republicans were getting huge amounts of money going into their campaign coffers and were way overfunded. One hell of a lot of money was put toward putting and keeping Republicans in office. It was not even a fair fight.

Democrats Not Wanting to Be Totally Disarmed

So with no hope then … and this is what I saw happen … Democrats, who were still wanting to work for a better America and therefore better government, were forced into a choice of either continuing to rely only on contributions from the American people … as for example unions, keeping them woefully underfunded, and therefore losing … or to accept what was being offered them also by corporations.

So you began to have some Democrats making compromises with their principles and accepting some corporate money. Though even then it remained true that for the most part Democrats were funded by unions and organizations dealing with issues, like education, health care, seniors, jobs, and so on that affect the average American.

Now, this is where I get to those Big Lies, those concocted untruths that end up everyone just knowing to be true.

The Lies

To make this point, I need to back up to that thing related to convoluted tax codes and corporations and how the tax system in America became a tool of larceny for the Filthy Rich. The tax codes were molded to the greedy desires of various industries and corporations; this was allowed as a tradeoff for legislative and other benefits to the common good.

Yet I was saying that eventually it was getting to where a huge increase in that problem could be attributed to corporations not even having to justify that the paybacks they wanted were good for America anymore. No tradeoffs to the common good even necessary. How did this happen?

Well, we have the situation mentioned where eventually Democrats were virtually required to accept corporate money or else they had no chance to win elections. Naturally then, they had to produce at least a little for their benefactor corporations as well. Then they would be painted with the same brush as the corrupt Republicans.

Obvious “Truth” — The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still Evil

Folks would apply an absolute standard to these considerations. They would conveniently forget their own fallibilities when targeting Democrats, as they were instructed to by Republicans. They would pretend that folks in government are capable of a standard they would not themselves be able to meet.

Breaking news — politicians are human

Let me put it this way: We expect politicians to be like the people we maintain we are like, what we would like others to think we are like … but aren’t. What this ends up looking like: Republicans are excused of all wrong-doing, at the behest of the wealthy with a beam in their eye, on the basis that it is equal to the mote that is in the eye of the Democrats. Basically, while Republicans are allowed much leeway, Democrats are punished for not being like the people we are ourselves pretending to be. Ultimately this tarring of Democrats in the same vat as Republicans gets Republicans off the hook.

People can still be good, even if not Mother-Theresa good

It is crucial to keep in mind the fact that Democrats, over the sixty-year period under review, were not getting near as much money from corporations as Republicans, by and large, and they remained afloat mostly through contributions from unions and from organizations of masses of people pushing issues of overall social benefit. So Democrats were backed for the most part by actual people not corporations; still they had to produce something for the overlords.

To misinform about this, the Republicans would encourage a narrative in the country and in the social media that goes like this: “The lesser of two evils is still evil.” Which has it that all evil things are equally bad.

Say, you had to decide between one person on a hill being bombed out of existence versus one hundred people on a nearby hill getting killed. This thinking on lesser evils being evil would have it that both instances — one hundred dead versus one death — are equally evil. It is saying your decision to allow one hundred to die is not a hundred times more evil than one death, but equivalent. Now, there are ninety-nine people who would vehemently disagree with that, aren’t there? If they were allowed to live, that is.

Let us take a real-world example. Is Hillary Clinton’s deletion of emails — many of which were probably the spam mails and niceties between friends that fill up all our inboxes — equal to a treasonous insurrection? Some people would have it so. Hard core MAGAts would have it that it is somehow far worse; go figure.

Is a risk ratio for a possible adverse reaction to vaccines of five cases in one million shots, 0.000005 percent1 — which would get you anaphylaxis, not death, by the way — equal to a one in one hundred chance of death ratio, 1 percent, for not getting the vaccine? Again, some people would have it so. Lesser of two evils is still evil, right?

“Don’t know much about” arithmetic….

So these “lesser of two evils” arguments are ones where the factor of proportion is left out. These things are not seen as amounts, which can be compared, which are relative; but as absolutes. MAGAts are gullible innocents when it comes to slogans that require a little thinking to make out their absurdity, especially if it includes any arithmetic. I swear, these folks, who apparently slept through third-grade numbers class, go into a brain fog and are unable to fathom the differences between amounts: Everything over a thousand is equally “a lot”; everything under one and especially if there are zeros involved is equally “a little”; millions and billions are imagined the same way, let alone are they able to imagine the meaning of “trillions”; and forget about trying to get them to understand anything that involves percentages. You just get that blank look, before they change the subject or throw up one more “whatabouts” they’ve heard from Fox News.

I know, the slogan — “the lesser of two evils is still evil” — sounds really cool and clever. Perhaps even profound. Still, this kind of ploy, which is one version of what is called a false equivalency, is bullshit. For there is nothing in life that is totally good and nothing totally evil. It asserts an absolutism that emanates out of the thinking of religiophiles who seek to maintain such categories of white and black, goodness and sinners, for dogmatic reasons. And as a way to make oneself better than others with an allowance to be judgmental … and punishing … of them.

Yet, outside of dogma and with neutral analysis, we see such a thing — “the lesser of two evils is still evil” — could be said about virtually anything. Being said about everything, it would have it that nothing could ever be done, no progress could ever occur, for one could find a negative consequence, however small or relatively small, for virtually everything.

The lesser-of-two-evils-is-still-evil argument is so obviously stupid, yet it is tossed around as truth, infecting the minds of erstwhile activists or progressives.

Put it this way: If the lesser-of-two-evils rationale is, as ostensibly it is, something meant to make folks think, to stop & consider…. Then quite frankly it only works if the person is dim-witted. For any thinking would cause one to reject it.

So, no, it does not promote thinking; it shuts it down. It provides a convenient cover that allows people to continue in their comfortable and lazy ignorance. That’s its actual purpose, when used, actually. It is to shut down any further thought on the matter.

The lesser-of-two-evils argument derails any positive change, any benefit to the people — save imaginary ones that are somehow not in any way possible seen as negative — for it sets up a “purity” standard for all decisions that is impossible to find. It prevents all progress, because there is always some way in which any particular thing can be seen by somebody — even if they have to distort it, which they will — by somebody as evil or simply not good.

The twisted thinking required to do that is amplified when the argument involves percentages or numbers; for the comparison of them requires that ability to do arithmetic and to understand and be able to imagine numbers. That is totally lost on those whose ideas of science are found in the Bible, who have been taught to believe the insane propositions of the “religious,” who have been indoctrinated to unthinkingly conform to the worldviews and conclusions of patriarchal strong-man authorities; and who — Herman’s fucking Hermits2 again — “don’t know much about” arithmetic. These, together, allow folks to criticize everything they want, indiscriminately, which maintains the status quo, which ultimately most benefits the wealthy overseers, the ones who have it good in the current system.

Obvious “Truth” — Both Parties Funded by Special Interests

Alright, so it happened that Democrats would seek to strengthen their overall hand to accomplish beneficial things for society by tossing occasional bones of tax concessions to their corporate backers. They would go to their GOP counterparts and would want something in the tax code, for example. And the Republicans would say, “Well you want that? Well, I’ll give you that, you give me this.” So it could not help but happen that taxes and public policy got more and more convoluted in conforming to these complications and outright contradictions. We saw this increasingly over the second half of the Twentieth Century.

Nevertheless, Republicans were always seen, rightfully so, as the ones who were representing various corporations and what were called the special interests — defense, big agriculture, big oil, the Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, big pharma, and so on.

Then this is what also happened: This huge lie was created, becoming a big part of the Matrix, the Matrix of misinformation and confusion that was being put out to cover up truth. This lie was impossible to make out, blocked out by an omnipresent media saying all the same thing, in rather like this monotone voice almost like Pravda in the old days of the Soviet Union. I saw this happen too. You no longer had differences of opinion you just had the same thing being said.

Anyway, this Big Lie, firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix as to be both invisible and therefore unchallengeable even by rational arguments … this lie, and I’m sure you’ve heard it is that: Well, both parties are funded by special interests!

Real truth: Democrats funded by a special interest — people

Now, of course, you know you’ve got Big Oil and Big Coal, and you’ve got the Pharmaceuticals and the Defense Industry and they’re funding the Republicans, and they would come back and say, “Special interests?! Well you Democrats have them too. What about your unions? You’re being funded by them!”

Well let’s just take the unions for starters, okay? Seriously, the unions as special interests? The unions?

Real truth: Republicans funded by non-people — corporations

Okay, let me step back. We’ve got corporations, which are a few people getting rich and it’s not even benefiting people. They’re not even including the people who work at the corporations, because they’re union people, maybe, or else they’re non-union people but they’re certainly not making any money off of what the corporations are getting in laws and benefits from their paid-for Republican representatives.

Obvious “Truth” — Unions Are a “Special” Interest

So, what is a special interest now? Okay, so, is the American public a special interest? Wait, I thought the government was supposed to be for the people. Now if the people are workers, primarily; and at one time there was a lot of them that were union workers, okay? But even if they’re not union workers, aren’t the unions aiming for benefits for their membership that also carries over to the non-union workers? If the unions are able to get medical benefits, for example, which is one big thing that they pushed for, well then it became common for all workers to get medical benefits.

Is it a “special” interest if it benefits virtually everyone?

Okay … that’s a special interest? I thought special interest was something that was against the interests of the American people and it was only going to benefit a certain small segment, a certain handful of people. That’s why it’s called special, isn’t it? Yet there’s the Republicans saying, “Oh, they’re unions, workers benefits are for unions.” And I just wonder if the unions are just a handful of people, who the hell is making all the stuff in America, who’s building the buildings, who’s…? Geez! I think you’ve got the point.

For, I’m sure you’ve all heard it, and I’m sure you’ve all accepted it that “unions are special interests.” But I just don’t get it how … well maybe I didn’t have a high paying job, or anything like that. But before retirement, I worked … doesn’t everybody? … I’m a working person and unions weren’t against me. I just wished there were more unions, so that whenever I would have a job or something like that I could have had one to represent me against the powerful corporate owners.

Put out to cover up and confuse

So here, quite clearly, we have one of those obvious “truths” put out to cover up and confuse clear thinking: “Unions are a special interest.”

Obvious “Truth” — Education Is a “Special” Interest

What else is a “special interest” for Democrats? Oh, it’s the teacher’s union or stuff like that. Or, education.

Oh, great! So, what is that again? So education is for who now? Okay, now that’s a special interest. Mmmm hm. Education’s a special interest? Does that mean that there are like only a few people that have kids that need education?

Education is a “special” interest … it is only for those who own brains

I’m starting to get sick here. I don’t quite get it. I mean I’ m getting confused, you know what I mean. This is what I’m talking about, this is that irrationality: Special interest, education? Aw, c’mon, c’mon, I want to say.

An America without people is an America that doesn’t need education

I mean, c’mon, aw, c’mon, somebody, somebody point out that education is not a special interest. It’s … Jesus! We won’t have an America in the future unless we have kids!

Don’t need education … it doesn’t matter if stupid people make our corporate and governmental decisions. *sarcasm*

Not to mention how can it be a special interest if we were to give more money to education, we would have better educated people growing up … these people would even benefit the corporations by being better corporate employees. They would, in fact, benefit all of society by making better decisions.

I kind of think we have an idea of what a big difference intelligence makes … what a big difference it is when you have intelligent people running things versus when you don’t.

We kind of know how that works (stupid people running things)

For didn’t we have a kind of a little contrast there; didn’t we have plenty of experience of that in this century? I believe it had to do, firstly, with C-student Bush … if you remember some things like Katrina and things like that. Or maybe what hits you is something about a huge costly war that … well, it was gotten into on false grounds, illegally, we were lied to … but the whole matter and even the conduct of it, wasn’t it all rather … stupid what happened?

Then after eight years of intelligent guidance from America’s cockpit with Obama, we got Trump. This is a guy who has been called “the dumbest student I ever had,” by one of his professors. While Trump — doing that lying thing he does — claimed to have graduated at the top of his class at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school, his former college professor, William T. Kelley, felt that he was a fool. A close friend of Kelley’s revealed in the Daily Kos, after Kelley’s death, “Professor Kelley told me a hundred times over three decades that ‘Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.’”

So this is a man, Trump, who hides his college grades from public scrutiny, yet claims to be the smartest of his class. This is a man who pathetically bragged, as some kind of intellectual feat, about his ability to pass a simple test for dementia. And we saw the result of having this goober dimwit at the helm: millions dead from Covid alone, the slaughter of our allies the Kurds and Afghans in the Middle East, a Russian invasion of Ukraine with many more tens of thousands murdered … and a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award for, of all people, Rush Limbaugh.

Bush gets presidency — kind of like he won the lottery

Such things that occurred under Bush and Trump are incompetencies that never happened before. Never! Not even under Republicans. We had W. Bush taking more time off from the presidency than any president in history … it was kind of like he thought he won the lottery or something. Didn’t even bother to look like he had a job to do. Wasn’t his first press conference something like ten months after he was sworn in?

Trump did far worse, of course, he even stopped having press conferences completely. He also spent much of his time, like W. Bush, golfing and vacationing.

Obama gets presidency — kind of like he got a job!

Now, contrast that with Harvard Law Review editor Obama. How many press conferences did he have after taking office? How frequently did you see him on the job? He handled some of the biggest problems this country has ever had. People were impressed he could do it. And there was so much of it to do after Bush’s mishandling.

In an almost identical way, Biden is masterfully handling the problems left over from Trump — Covid, infrastructure, the credibility and reliability of our governmental institutions, the economy. So, isn’t intelligence kind of a good thing for us all?

Anyway. You get the point. Education a special interest? Seriously now.

Obvious “Truth” — The Sick and the Elderly Are “Special” Interests

How about medical care? Health and life are not for the common good. God, no, we don’t need medical care, that’s a special interest, that’s just for them people who get sick … And you know, as Nixon said, “Some people are just wanting to get sick all the time.” And I’m starting to get sick here. I mean, y’know, a special interest only for people who get sick? C’mon!

Okay, then health care is a special interest … it’s only for people who have bodies

And, it’s like, “Oh, no, no, it’s not just for those people who get sick, it’s those people who have to pay medical bills.” Oh, I see, then that must be just for…. Who’s gotta pay medical bills, again? Well none of us have to pay medical bills, it’s all free, right? Nooo, it’s not.

The elderly are a special interest … it only benefits those who are affected by time

And is it really necessary to point out that seniors and the retired are not a special interest? I suppose if you’re thinking the current group of the elderly are the last humans ever to reach an advanced age it would limit their numbers some.

So unless we all suddenly stop getting older, help to the elderly and the retired is help to us all; it is not special. Am I not right?

Obvious “Truth” — Democrats and Republicans Are Equal

So, where do you hear anybody pointing this out? I don’t know but if you’re hearing the same media and TV coverage that I am, you’re hearing that the two major parties in America are equal. The Democrats and Republicans are equal because they’re equally funded by special interests, and the special interests…. What are these special interests again? Well, sometimes it’s like, “What are those special interests?” “Well, it’s the union, and the education, and it’s the medical care.” Oh, geez, just listen sometimes.

What is the rationale behind this strategy of calling the government’s function of serving the people a special interest? I’ll tell you, and you’ll notice this is exactly how it has played out: If the Filthy Rich and their corporations can convince people that the government’s job of serving the people is a special interest among all the rest, then corporations and the Filthy Rich can advance the proposition they are due some special consideration and financial bonuses whenever the government does anything for the society it is supposed to serve. If you think about it, this narrative sets them up as an insatiable entity needing to be appeased for any largesse going to ordinary folks.

Yet where do corporations and the Filthy Rich get the right, or the gall, to claim some special status equal to that of the people themselves, allowing them to increase their already heavy-with-gold coffers as an offset of something benefiting the common good. They are like the voracious monster of the forest, feared by the villagers, who sets itself up as deserving of human sacrifice, just so it doesn’t release its terrible power on the townsfolk.

And that is actually what it came down to: Corporations and the Filthy Rich were able to demand compensation from the government—in all kinds of ways, both sneaky and obvious — simply for allowing the government to function also for the benefit of the people at other times.

Yet it has gotten worse. If you can believe that. It has gotten worse than simply the Filthy Rich demanding ransom for any assistance it might allow the people to grant to themselves.

It used to be that the Republican narrative that was pushed was that benefits to corporations and the wealthy are appropriately balanced by attention to the people’s needs and wants. That is akin to “sacrificing of the village’s youth to the forest monster.” A tax cut here could be rationalized as justified by a social program there. There wasn’t this tradeoff ostensibly in the Congress, of course. It is just that this offsetting of gains could mollify the gains of the Filthy Rich (the losses of everyone else) — in the minds of Americans. It was the same old “bread and circuses” being given to the masses in exchange for their enslavement and money. It was an appeasement of the masses to serve as a distraction from the larceny and creeping fascism the Controllers would be perpetrating.

We will soon see how even that — as the Controllers increased their power and money over this period since the Sixties and till today — was superseded by an acceptance of the notion that the wealthy could simply claim/steal tax and other benefits from the government without any requirement of allowing the government to function otherwise for the people. In this scenario — exemplified perfectly by the huge tax cuts and the bailouts we saw the Filthy Rich were able to extricate from the Treasury under the American presidents of the last two decades — the monster of the forest simply ravages the village, no tradeoff necessary, no benefit allowed.

This is a danger in itself, for many reasons increasingly obvious as we continue.

Obvious “Truth” — Republicans/ Conservatives Are Fiscally Responsible

As we go along, we will look more into the disaster that accrues to a society — like ours and indeed that of most of the world — that exists mostly to fund the extravagances and egos of the rich, with little or no largesse allowed its citizens.

Benefits for Republicans are expected, for the people, are socialism

For now, though, I wish simply to point out that this socialism for the rich has immediate consequences. Every major tax benefit for the rich, going back to Hoover — all of them provided by Republicans — has led in a few years to a recession or depression. They take the money, then they leave the scene and leave the Democrats holding the bag: Not only do Democrats then need to fix the economy all over again, but the recession that the tax cuts caused will be attributed, in the Republican narrative, to the spending the Democrats necessarily must do to right the financial ship again. Thus, the wealthy Controllers will even frame any benefit to the people as being some affront to their intentions to suck even more money from the masses to add to their obscene wealth. I feel so sorry for them, don’t you?

We witnessed that obscene greediness recently — August 2022 — when President Joe Biden came up with a plan to relieve ten thousand dollars of student loan for strapped students. That’s a measly amount, compared to what students might have to owe; it’s an infinitesimal amount compared to what is given corporations and wealthy Republicans in tax breaks, bailouts, subsidies, and PPP loans.

Incidentally, that last was loans out of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was set up to distribute funds to hard-strapped businesses and corporation to buffer the economy from the effects Covid was having on it. And we found out most recently that many of the conservative Republicans who attacked the student loan forgiveness plan as being “socialism” … as per their usual … were beneficiaries of the PPP program, and … get this … had their PPP loans, sizable loans, forgiven. These same folks are in August 2022 calling student loan forgiveness “socialism,” while they have not had to pay back their sizable government financial payments.3

Recessions, affecting everyone, follow tax cuts for the wealthy

We have the best recent example of this pattern of a recession following tax cuts for the rich in the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts given by W. Bush to his wealthy donors and friends. That corporate socialism led to the Great Recession only four years later. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put it this way, “The biggest tax policy changes enacted under President George W. Bush were the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts…. High-income taxpayers benefited most from these tax cuts, with the top one percent of households receiving an average tax cut of over $570,000 between 2004-2012 (increasing their after-tax income by more than 5 percent each year).  Despite promises from proponents of the tax cuts, evidence suggests that they did not improve economic growth or pay for themselves, but instead ballooned deficits and debt and contributed to a rise in income inequality.”4

So the financial “meltdown” of 2007-2008, the Great Recession, came from the people who are supposed to know so much about economics. They claim they are fiscally responsible conservatives. That is yet another lie. As McCain said in 2008, “I don’t know too much about economics.” He don’t know too much about economics! Who does McCain think he is, the Herman’s fucking Hermits!? Anyway, McCain kind of spilled the beans there. Some of the actual truth came out: About conservatives and fiscal matters … Republicans “don’t know too much” about it. What they know a lot about, clearly, is larceny.

Bush brought us all together….

Well, that’s one thing that Bush gave back to America. He united us. He united us around at least one obvious rallying standard. He made our minds finally clear that … it’s true he’s an idiot! It’s true Republicans can’t handle government. It’s true that they will claim to be fiscally responsible and yet … what happened? Well, the largest economic collapse in American history second to the Depression … and it was the largest collapse in the economy of the world. So, thank you, C-student, George W. Bush!5

Obvious “Truth” — Corporations Fund the Elections of both Republicans and Democrats

And by the way, I said this was the rise and fall of Obvious “Truths.” The idea that both parties are funded by huge corporations, what they call large donor contributors, was blatantly revealed as the lie it is during the 2008 presidential election.

Remember, in the 2008 presidential election. Contrasted with Republican McCain’s funding from those real special interests — those related to Big Business and Defense … what Eisenhower termed the military-industrial complex — Democrat Obama ran a campaign where the donations were voluntarily capped at an unusually low level. The upper limit was set at $1,000, which meant that his backing would have to come from numerous small contributors, not special interests benefiting only a group. Amazingly, he received a record amount of money to support him. It was said he had all kinds of money more than McCain, even though McCain was backed by corporations.

Then I must be a corporation, because I gave to Obama

Now, how did that happen? Well, it could only have happened because the masses of Americans wanted to give, even if it was $5, $10, or whatever … whatever they had. It required that donations come from a huge number more of people than contributed to McCain. I gave. My wife gave … several times. Didn’t you give, too?

For a change, in recent memory, Obama’s fund-raising and election demonstrated that strength I was talking about before — that strength that’s of so many people feeling the same way, therefore acting in solidarity with each other. Surprisingly this happened despite those folks not being in face-to-face contact with each other, in general. This was one of the interesting things about this development: that it was largely accomplished just through the power of the Internet.

It’s the Internet Versus the Matrix

So the Internet kind of brought folks together in solidarity of purpose the same way maybe a rally or demonstration in the past would have brought people together.

It was significant that most of this happened from the actions of people sitting alone in front of computers, not buoyed up by the effusiveness of a demonstration. It showed an unexpected power of social media.

In the past, face-to-face, like demonstrations, were where people connected with people like themselves

Remember, in demonstrations in the past … and I’ve been to them … you would go and you would share your feelings of outrage and hurt. You would be affirmed in the importance of your concerns and be instilled with hope of a change in them. Most of all you would have your sense of what was going on expressed out loud. Previous to that, you may have been reading the newspapers, say, and feeling, this is wrong, this is an outrage. This would have motivated you to attend a demonstration, and there you would have found other people who were feeling the same things. So you would be confirmed in your beliefs that it was wrong.

In the past, face-to-face, like demonstrations, were where people learned and grew in understanding

Nowadays, social media and the Internet have provided a similar thing where you can express your concern and rage and find others who feel the same way you do and so confirm your beliefs, and even expand on them with more information. So you can grow in your understanding of events and in your knowledge of what you can do about them.

This function of developing your insight and your effectiveness was provided by the rallies and demonstrations in the pre-electronic eras. The point is that over the election of Obama people connected again; and it was people not loads of military-industrial money that got him elected.

Coming Up — Watch Black Be Made White, White Be Made Black! Oh, Those Rascally Magical Republicans!

Okay, that’s it for the first section of “Class War — The Matrix,” which is Chapters Fourteen through Seventeen in this book.

The next section is coming up — Chapters Eighteen, Nineteen, and Twenty — in which I go more deeply into how they were able to get American people — including the media and the pundits and everybody — to accept this obvious unreality which is that both parties are funded by “special interests”; and you probably believe that yourself.

Oh, The Things They Do

But I think if you hear what I have to say, I think I’ll convince you of how amazing it was that they were able to pull that off. I think it will shock you to see how they could get so many people thinking irrationally about something that is so obviously not true. And there’ll be other things like that too.

Watch ‘em Turn Black into White!

There’s a pattern I’ll be talking about where … it’s like black is made white, white made black, where things are turned around. For example, Republicans might have a proposal to help with the health care problem, for as they say, and we all knew, the costs of health care were high and people, prior to Obamacare, were not getting covered. Yet Republican proposals end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they say they will. And they know their proposals are fraudulently presented, even when they propose them.

It is a matter of record that these sorts of swindles have been proposed and pushed by Republicans fully knowledgeable of what they were accomplishing. These things happened; we see they continue to happen. Taking health care again: Obviously in 2009, after Republican control, we were left a very, very bad health care problem. The point is that right from the beginning — you can go back to Nixon on this — they knew what they were doing in creating the health-care system that collapsed. They knew how it would turn out, and there’s proof of this. We have their very words.…

A Glimpse Ahead

The last thing to be disclosed in this series: the Why. The actual events that led these people to decide on this path toward us all, and moved them to increase and add and elaborate those initial moves to the levels of the most comprehensive totalitarian controls over a people ever attempted, let alone succeeding, as far as we know right now.

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Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence:

Repetition Makes It Possible to Control and Equal Time for Idiots

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[Quotes/highlights:] “This section continues the exposition of this incredible phenomenon of decades-long and increasing intentional misrepresentations used by one party representing a tiny segment of the electorate to weave a fabric of falsity over the eyes of the American public.

“ Similar to a kind of hypnotic trance, it is a widely accepted but unreal and mostly opposite mental state acting like a filter to reality, blocking out the truth and substituting a fantasy quilt woven of verbal constructions.”

“These constructions — the ‘obvious truths’ — are designed to please the ear, rationalize the urges, and comfort the ego, so that they will become acceptable substitutes for reason and honest perception in a population which has also been intentionally burdened, stressed, and busied through policies intended to keep them submissive and fearful.

“This coordination of policy and mantra is a strategic effort, emanating essentially from a sliver of the population, as a terrified reaction initially to a rapid series of popular developments and mass movements with global reach, with the apparent power and possibility of overthrowing a multigenerational structure of power, wealth, privilege, and dominance.

“The acceptability of this substitute narrative was shaken only in recent decades as it collided dramatically with the system that it had spawned, exposing its roots in the minds of a class — the wealthy among us, only — and its utter lack of foundation in reality.”

“I talked about the fifty-year Republican campaign to convince the media and the American people of certain truisms that had nothing to do with the truth, in fact were almost one-hundred percent of the time the opposite of the truth. It’s pretty amazing what they were able to do.

“It’s quite a story what a campaign it was, involving such things as getting people poorer and poorer, requiring them to work longer hours and so on so that they would have less time to think about things. It included other elements such as the way in which people’s minds were either stressed or made busy, and also the way they wore down the American people’s resolve to fight back against injustice.”

“The Republican untruth, no matter how contradicted by observable reality, was endlessly repeated in the exact same way, by each and every Republican. Always and everywhere when reason would be called on, instead the hypnotic truism would be brought out. Pounded home in this manner, the ‘obvious truth’ would eventually take root, sadly, without fail, for lack of anything else countering it able to be remembered.

“The Democrats, meanwhile, were of course on the opposite side of this seamless coordination of Republican effort. Since their motives were not to enslave, their instinct was to respond, for their part, with reason and explanations that step by step delineated the causes of things. However, all those words could not be remembered or take root in the minds of the befuddled masses, surrounded by such a barrage of an organized, disciplined ongoing assault of ‘talking points’ against them.

“This mesmerism was combined with carefully crafted and timed Republican policies which succeeded beyond all expectation in eroding leisure (and importantly, pondering) time, financial power, physical strength, and sleep and pleasure time.

“Together they created increasing worry and stress time, overwhelmed and busy moments, and mindless paperwork time. It brought in confusional realities and mental ‘supports.’ This precarious mental state left people defenseless against the major thrust of verbal repetition, comprised of simplistic, simple-minded, irrational, then increasingly irrational, but perfectly concocted verbal phrasings that elicited the precise proportions of fear, apprehension, uncertainty, feelings of paternal comfort and of being approved of, unimpeachable direction, comprehensive reinforcement and support, pleasing reward, and congratulation so as to manage, direct, and control the populace.”

“There’s something really wrong when you have a media that doesn’t have the ability to reason enough to point out the irrationality of these concocted untruths. For they are broadcast endlessly, repetitively, over and over again, by one after another of Republicans, whenever they get on TV, whenever they get on the radio. Then they are repeated by their lackeys in the media, like Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, or whatever”

“…without clarity on events and in particular who’s at fault, and when the waters are muddied and any talk of specific people responsible is covered in social niceties and generalities with relevant details only in the fine print, well, people are hamstrung in their ability to do anything to right any wrongs.’

“…can’t we make a comparison as to who a better party is, what group is more trustworthy based upon twelve percent of the most corrupt being Democrats and almost ninety percent being Republicans? Does that not sound like the one party made out like bandits and this other guy, a Democrat, was in the room at the time? Or do you still believe that the lesser of two evils is equally evil? Pshaw.”

“…do we just, as media, cavalierly toss out clichéd thoughtless truisms as if the masses don’t matter … as if they are not real and thoughtful deciders in our collective drama but merely pawns to be placated or riff-raff to be kept down. If we find something wrong with one party, why must we paint both parties with the same brush? Isn’t that what is done?”

“There’s been an erosion of rationality, and it’s not just of regular Americans. It’s also of those Americans who are in front of us on TV, soothing us with comfortable truisms, which I think many of them half believe.”

“The result is a situation where it is doubtful there is much reason involved in what is told. Hardly any common sense or thought into it, it is as if the scripts are cobbled together by computers from random clichés that are currently about…. In the example of bribes paid to politicians, and the Abramoff one is typical, isn’t the media’s take on it slanted? No doubt they would want to derail public anger toward the masters of the troughs at which they feed.’”

“…the far bigger ‘bosses,’ if we can call it that, of Democrats is the ordinary folks, often, as in the issue-oriented organizations … those ‘special’ Americans seeking to be heard through unions and groups whose concerns are education, the environment, the elderly, public health, liberty, justice, civil rights, consumer protection, world peace, integrity of government, media accountability, the welfare of the helpless and the poor, and so on.”

“…whereas the media insinuates that Democrats are enslaved by the relatively meager amounts of corporate money directed to them, for the Republicans, who are receiving the tenfold amounts and are virtually exclusively funded by corporations … their entire paycheck paid by the rich folks … the media implies that these folks, miraculously defying human nature, are actually going to go out there and day after day point out the corruption in America that is ever the product of this bloated elite, their sole benefactors.”

“…however inconsistent with common sense these insinuations and outright assertions from the media, when you have something that’s repeated over and over again, mantram-like … man! Especially if you’re in a confused state, or a stressed state … it’s gonna be the only thing you can think of when you’re coming up with opinions.”

“These untruths are so firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix….”

“And these nonsensicals are so perfectly knitted into the blanket of that matrix that they’re both mesmerizing and invisible, therefore unchallenged, even by the pundits. They are even, by rational argument, unchallenge-able.”

“Bush would never give an answer to the question. It would be used like a jumping off point to say what he really wanted to say. It had the intended effect of distracting the viewers from any clear thought on the issue or subject.

“It also freed up that time to be used, once viewers were led off track, for the seeding of those now assailable minds.”

“Attacks on our reason … i.e., Republicans to public — ‘You’re a dumb shit, I’m not going to answer your questions!’”

“Here we have politicians, who are always telling us what the truth is, but who will not answer our questions so that we can add our own thinking to the matter. We are prevented from coming to our own conclusions, so also making our own decisions.”

“…it is sort of like a coordinated chanting. It doesn’t matter what the issue or topic is, from the GOP side you just keep hearing the same phrases about it — phrases intended to replace reason.”

“…Republicans are using any question, as in a television interview, as a launch point into a rehearsed nicely knit together, truth-sounding, package of untruths.”

“…there’s a certain power in something that’s said over and over again in the exact same words.”

“There’s a certain kind of comfort in not having to think, all you have to do is chant.”

“…this omnipresent repetition of phrases in response to questions … This chanting of untruths instead of having rational discourse, when people are hearing this year after year and even decade after decade, what does it do?

“Well, it adds to the smokescreen of confusion and misinformation that was effectively castrating and making Americans easily manipulated to whatever end the Republicans wanted.”

“…after all you’re not getting reasoned answers, you’re just getting slogans, and that leaves you confused, especially if it’s combined with a lot of misinformation which challenges the facts on everything, when everything is turned backward and they’re lying about everything.”

“I remember a time when the facts were not so much in dispute so there wasn’t such a huge divide between the Democrats and the Republicans about what the issues were. What was debated could then be what you do about those commonly acknowledged problems.”

“…this confusion over the issues has birthed an increasing polarization of opinions over the years about what the issues are. You see, we’re being told by some Republicans that there’s no global warming going on.”

“Recipe for ‘accurate’ reporting — start by mixing equal amounts of truth and lies…. (It’ll be fun seeing if the public can figure it out!)”

“Giving stupidity a chance … the only thing about which we’re compassionate these days.”

“…this method of reporting was actually debated when it started to happen. There were more seasoned journalists who were pointing out, ‘Hey, this is not giving equal time! We don’t give equal time to an idiotic argument just because it challenges, just because it is the opposite of the truth.’”

“…you’re easily manipulated. You’re standing there. Now if you’re just standing there not knowing what to do, and somebody starts pushing you in a particular direction, you’ve got no reason not to go in that direction … if you don’t have any ideas about what the truth is, you can be told anything.”

“The American public believed this truism that managed care would lower overall costs. They missed the part that they would not benefit from lowered costs, that lowered costs meant profits that would go into unseen hands, who would then go even further in denying medical care and increasing overall suffering and tragedy so that they could gather even more booty.”

“…when the Republicans need a change of public opinion or want people to believe a particular thing, the Big Lie is employed; in its repetition it makes it possible to control.”

“Republicans can keep it simple and be that much more persuasive. There can be no disagreement or confusion about an aim so singular, so clear — to benefit themselves and the people that are paying to get them elected. That keeps them pretty consistent and gives them a lot of solidarity.

“Good examples of this acting in lockstep abound in the last couple decades. We currently see Trump’s hold on the Republican Party, even when out of office. We see their solidarity again and again, even in standing firm against the truth. We might recollect how few Republicans accepted Biden’s win/ Trump’s loss in the 2020 election in the time between the voting and Biden’s inauguration. Some still maintain that lie. With Trump beating the election-fraud drum, very few would even acknowledge the election’s actual outcome. They attained solidarity in the Big Lie. That is what gives them their gains despite their corruption.”

“I saw this increasing corruption of Republicans to the point of it becoming overt and blatant in the last twenty, thirty years … the fall of “obvious truths.” By this I mean they’ve become so arrogant and callous in their lying and corruption they have become careless in hiding it. And now it’s as plain as day.”

“…this viewpoint that Republicans are an owned and paid for subsidiary of corporate behemoths over that time became a more frequently expressed perspective … especially since Bush’s ignoble slide and abject economic and diplomatic failures.

“For anyone who has a memory, though, we see that Trump was a continuation — a treasonous, lying, larcenous, incredibly costly one — of the corruption and mismanagement of government we got with W. Bush. Because of Trump’s treason and attempted coup, some folks are saying it is the end of the Republican Party. In truth, that is one possible outcome. Yet if not that, their influence is on the decline as a consequence of the Bush and Trump travesties and the ways Republican’s secretive corrupt activities were revealed in broad daylight, as a result of those two.”

“Around the end of Bush’s ‘regime,’ Republicans had declined twenty percent in numbers, and there was talk of them becoming extinct. They had been showed to be who they are. Finally, people were starting to realize that, yeah, yeah, you can be lied to … there was a decline of “obvious truths” — a crack in the Matrix — corresponding to the light that was dawning and the naked Republicans that could be seen scurrying for the doors.”

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[Chapter 18 text begins:] This is the second of three sections detailing the history of the Republican Party’s incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactors, the corporations and the Filthy Rich, through totally concocted untruths.

Reprise … The Campaign

This section continues the exposition of this incredible phenomenon of decades-long and increasing intentional misrepresentations used by one party representing a tiny segment of the electorate to weave a fabric of falsity over the eyes of the American public.

The Matrix

Similar to a kind of hypnotic trance, it is a widely accepted but unreal and mostly opposite mental state acting like a filter to reality, blocking out the truth and substituting a fantasy quilt woven of verbal constructions.

The “Obvious Truths”

These constructions — the “obvious truths” — are designed to please the ear, rationalize the urges, and comfort the ego, so that they will become acceptable substitutes for reason and honest perception in a population which has also been intentionally burdened, stressed, and busied through policies intended to keep them submissive and fearful.

The Perpetrators and Their Motive of Fear

This coordination of policy and mantra is a strategic effort, emanating essentially from a sliver of the population, as a terrified reaction initially to a rapid series of popular developments and mass movements with global reach, with the apparent power and possibility of overthrowing a multigenerational structure of power, wealth, privilege, and dominance.

The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

The acceptability of this substitute narrative was shaken only in recent decades as it collided dramatically with the system that it had spawned, exposing its roots in the minds of a class — the wealthy among us, only — and its utter lack of foundation in reality. The story of this lengthy and comprehensive intentional deception, its dramatic collision, and the gradual awakening of the population to the real forces behind the events of their lives and times, revealed in the shock of the disruption, continues.

The Campaign

In the first section of Part Four, about “Obvious Truths” and the Matrix — which is Chapters Fourteen through Seventeen — I talked about the fifty-year Republican campaign to convince the media and the American people of certain truisms that had nothing to do with the truth, in fact were almost one-hundred percent of the time the opposite of the truth. It’s pretty amazing what they were able to do.

It’s quite a story what a campaign it was, involving such things as getting people poorer and poorer, requiring them to work longer hours and so on so that they would have less time to think about things. It included other elements such as the way in which people’s minds were either stressed or made busy, and also the way they wore down the American people’s resolve to fight back against injustice.

Repetition Makes It Possible to Control

The Republican untruth, no matter how contradicted by observable reality, was endlessly repeated in the exact same way, by each and every Republican. Always and everywhere when reason would be called on, instead the hypnotic truism would be brought out. Pounded home in this manner, the “obvious truth” would eventually take root, sadly, without fail, for lack of anything else countering it able to be remembered.

Democratic Efforts on Deaf Ears

The Democrats, meanwhile, were of course on the opposite side of this seamless coordination of Republican effort. Since their motives were not to enslave, their instinct was to respond, for their part, with reason and explanations that step by step delineated the causes of things. However, all those words could not be remembered or take root in the minds of the befuddled masses, surrounded by such a barrage of an organized, disciplined ongoing assault of “talking points” against them.

Policy Was Added to Words to Bring into Unconscious Complicity the New Mental Territories Invaded

This mesmerism was combined with carefully crafted and timed Republican policies which succeeded beyond all expectation in eroding leisure (and importantly, pondering) time, financial power, physical strength, and sleep and pleasure time.

The Result

Together they created increasing worry and stress time, overwhelmed and busy moments, and mindless paperwork time. It brought in confusional realities and mental “supports.” This precarious mental state left people defenseless against the major thrust of verbal repetition, comprised of simplistic, simple-minded, irrational, then increasingly irrational, but perfectly concocted verbal phrasings that elicited the precise proportions of fear, apprehension, uncertainty, feelings of paternal comfort and of being approved of, unimpeachable direction, comprehensive reinforcement and support, pleasing reward, and congratulation so as to manage, direct, and control the populace.

That’s all I’m going to say now, but, if you didn’t read the previous three chapters, that will give you a little jumpstart on this. This second section of “Part Four, Class War — The Matrix,” picks up from the end of the first section, and continues now.

Erosion of Reason

A Herman’s Hermit of Economics

So, like John McCain said, “I don’t know too much about economics.” So he kind of spilled the beans there. Some of the truth actually came out.

Smear Campaign

So how did that happen? This idea of a special interest, and it being equal for both? It’s basically a smear campaign against Democrats who were trying to do things for Americans. And Americans were being told something different. By who? Well on the TV, on the news media.

So who talks on the news media. Well, it’s the supposed journalists, the pundits, and so on. And they’ve been saying that for decades now, I’ve heard them … “special interests” … that the Democrats have their special interests. So therefore how does anybody know the truth? and you’ve heard it, I’m sure. They say, “Well, the Democrats and Republicans are the same; there isn’t any difference between those parties.”

How is it that working to benefit people and working to benefit corporations are the same?

Now, how did that happen? How did it happen that Democrats who were trying to do things for the average American, for Americans in general, how did it become that they were the same as the Republicans, basically who were doing things for a handful of people in one corporation or a handful of people in the other corporation … or on behalf of some industry … all at the expense of the American people? And I’ll get to that last part later.

Answer: Start with an unthinking media

There’s something really wrong when you have a media that doesn’t have the ability to reason enough to point out the irrationality of these concocted untruths. For they are broadcast endlessly, repetitively, over and over again, by one after another of Republicans, whenever they get on TV, whenever they get on the radio. Then they are repeated by their lackeys in the media, like Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, or whatever. I wonder how many of you out there are actually thinking: “Yeah, that’s what that is … yeah, unions, environment … those are special interests.”

Then paint everyone with the same brush

I pointed out that Democrats have taken money, much smaller amounts than Republicans, from this or that corporation. Yet every time there’s a scandal, every time some of this practice leaks out, that is not what we hear.

There was a clear example of this around the time of W. Bush’s mismanagement of the economy with the Abramoff scandal. Abramoff was a lobbyist funneling huge amounts of cash into Congress for favors. It was largely Republicans that were involved. Only one of the top eight recipients was a Democrat; the rest were Republicans.

Cover up the culpable

However, was that detail important to the media? No, no, they couldn’t have it sound that way, like we have one particularly despicable political party. It might upset people. So Abramoff gave to both parties we were told — technically true, but deceptive, certainly not informative.

Cobble people’s ability to discriminate, think, act.

And as I discuss later, without clarity on events and in particular who’s at fault, and when the waters are muddied and any talk of specific people responsible is covered in social niceties and generalities with relevant details only in the fine print, well, people are hamstrung in their ability to do anything to right any wrongs.

You’d Have to Be Abraham-Lincoln Noble

Back to the scandal, so we have one Democrat out of the eight politicians who made off with the most loot. One Democrat and seven Republicans in the top bunch. Do you see that picture? I doubt the percentage of ordinary folks cheating on taxes is that small — one out of eight.

Can we not discriminate differences? Is that too much hard work?

So can’t we make a comparison as to who a better party is, what group is more trustworthy based upon twelve percent of the most corrupt being Democrats and almost ninety percent being Republicans? Does that not sound like the one party made out like bandits and this other guy, a Democrat, was in the room at the time? Or do you still believe that the lesser of two evils is equally evil? Pshaw.

“Free computers time!”

I mean, Jesus, if I see a truck fall over in the street and it’s got all these goodies, and they come rolling out … I don’t know, maybe it’s typewriters …. I told you I was old. Let me change that, maybe it’s computers or something. Everyone around me is taking some, taking free computers, and I’m thinking, “Hey, it’s free computers time!”

I mean, c’mon. How noble do you have to be to resist almost nine out of ten people around you? You gotta be pretty damn noble. I’m talking Abraham-Lincoln noble, right?

Dumb and Dumber

So anyway, can we have a little rational thought, or comparison?

Treating people like they’re dumber

Or do we just, as media, cavalierly toss out clichéd thoughtless truisms as if the masses don’t matter … as if they are not real and thoughtful deciders in our collective drama but merely pawns to be placated or riff-raff to be kept down. If we find something wrong with one party, why must we paint both parties with the same brush? Isn’t that what is done?

Is it any wonder then there is apathy? Any wonder there is confusion and self-sabotage among so many?

Doesn’t the media have any way of discerning any differences? … and that’s what I was setting up at the beginning, wasn’t I?

The dummies in front of us

There’s been an erosion of rationality, and it’s not just of regular Americans. It’s also of those Americans who are in front of us on TV, soothing us with comfortable truisms, which I think many of them half believe.

And by the way who arranges for the televising of these pundits and the news shows and programming like that? Geez, isn’t it like really, really big corporations and rich people who own them … General Electric, Rupert Murdoch, and folks like that?

This new app for creating the news

The result is a situation where it is doubtful there is much reason involved in what is told. Hardly any common sense or thought into it, it is as if the scripts are cobbled together by computers from random clichés that are currently about and, of course, the always handy “obvious truths.” In the example of bribes paid to politicians, and the Abramoff one is typical, isn’t the media’s take on it slanted? No doubt they would want to derail public anger toward the masters of the troughs at which they feed.

The Result

So lacking in the most minimal analysis, the insinuation that goes out is that the Democrats, well, they get a little bit of money from a corporation and much more from the American people but that little bit is going to corrupt them equally as much as the tenfold amounts that the Republicans take in.

Democratic “bosses”

This also in disregard of the fact that the far bigger “bosses,” if we can call it that, of Democrats is the ordinary folks, often, as in the issue-oriented organizations as mentioned in Chapters Fifteen through Seventeen — those “special” Americans seeking to be heard through unions and groups whose concerns are education, the environment, the elderly, public health, liberty, justice, civil rights, consumer protection, world peace, integrity of government, media accountability, the welfare of the helpless and the poor, and so on.

Democratic “special” interests

Here are some examples of what I mean about Democratic “special” interests. I list the special interest followed by the “small” group benefited by it:

  • workers — only people who work
  • education — only people who think
  • environment — only people who breathe, drink, eat … who don’t want to die
  • elderly — only people who get older
  • public health — only people who get sick
  • consumer protection — only people who buy anything
  • liberty — only people who want to decide things for themselves
  • justice — only people who would not like to spend their lives in jail for no reason and with no recourse
  • free speech and free press — only people who have anything to say to others at any time
  • civil rights — only people who are not part of any group whatsoever and also do not have a conscience
  • world peace — only people who do not want their families, themselves, to die and who don’t have a conscience
  • integrity of government — only people who would like things to go well and to avoid unnecessary misery
  • truth in the media — only people who would like to avoid living in confusion
  • media accountability — only people who want truth in the media, who would like to avoid living in confusion
  • social security — only people who want to avoid being beaten to death by poverty
  • welfare of the helpless — only people who know for sure they are never going to have bad luck and who don’t have a conscience
  • welfare of the poor — only people who know they will never, ever lack money and who don’t have a conscience
    [Hint: Consider the ones who actually fit this last category to find the ones who would be a Republican “boss,” would never favor Democrats, and would want to confuse you on all the above. This is a point that will elaborated even further as we continue.]

Media mollifying us that Republicans would actually bite the hand that feeds them

On the flip side, whereas the media insinuates that Democrats are enslaved by the relatively meager amounts of corporate money directed to them, for the Republicans, who are receiving the tenfold amounts and are virtually exclusively funded by corporations … their entire paycheck paid by the rich folks … the media implies that these folks, miraculously defying human nature, are actually going to go out there and day after day point out the corruption in America that is ever the product of this bloated elite, their sole benefactors.

Talking Points and Chanted Misinformation

C’mon, c’mon, a little bit of rationality, folks! Yet however inconsistent with common sense these insinuations and outright assertions from the media, when you have something that’s repeated over and over again, mantram-like … man! Especially if you’re in a confused state, or a stressed state … it’s gonna be the only thing you can think of when you’re coming up with opinions.

“To … Catapult the Propaganda” — G. W. Bush

These untruths are so firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix — you’ll see there are others you’ll recognize — that when hearing them you’ll probably say, “Oh, yeah, that’s true.”

That’s what they’ve accomplished. And these nonsensicals are so perfectly knitted into the blanket of that matrix that they’re both mesmerizing and invisible, therefore unchallenged, even by the pundits. They are even, by rational argument, unchallenge-able.

Talking Points = “Obvious Truths”

Now, what do I mean by that … “unchallenge-able”? Republicans at a point in my lifetime included in their coordinated daily attacks on clarity a kind of chanting in coordinated fashion. By that I mean they were repeating the same, as they call them now, talking points.

“You got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the [un’]truth to sink in” — G.W. Bush

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but remember, if you did tune in for any of the W’s debates, when he was running for president either time. He’d be asked a question.

And Bush would never give an answer to the question. It would be used like a jumping off point to say what he really wanted to say. It had the intended effect of distracting the viewers from any clear thought on the issue or subject.

It also freed up that time to be used, once viewers were led off track, for the seeding of those now assailable minds. Specifically, Bush was able to use the time allotted for answering questions instead to pound home the talking points Rich-publicans were trying to turn into some new (untrue) “obvious truths” (of course also to reinforce the old ones).

Palin: I’m not going to let the media set me up to answering your questions, I’m going to brainwash you instead!

Oh by the way, we had a really good example of that with the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008. I don’t know how many of you saw it, but Sarah Palin, in the vice-presidential debate, she was so … incredible … in a way … in her brazenness. She’s up there alongside Biden who’s answering questions. And at her turn, she’s saying (paraphrasing) “I’m not going to let you media folk set me up here, so I’m going to talk to the people directly.”

And that’s how it went the whole hour, hour and a half, whatever it was. Whatever the question was, she’d totally ignore it and recite a monologue instead. Well, basically she’s repeating again and again her favorite, most lucrative mantra, her most delicious untruths.

Attacks on our reason … i.e., Republicans to public — “You’re a dumb shit, I’m not going to answer your questions!”

But what if you really wanted to know something? She wouldn’t answer you. So it was also like a one-way conversation.

Here we have politicians, who are always telling us what the truth is, but who will not answer our questions so that we can add our own thinking to the matter. We are prevented from coming to our own conclusions, so also making our own decisions.

Well that’s really an attack on our reason, isn’t it? I mean we can’t ask questions, but you can just tell us what the truth is? And that’s basically what was going on.

Chanted Misinformation

So it is sort of like a coordinated chanting. It doesn’t matter what the issue or topic is, from the GOP side you just keep hearing the same phrases about it — phrases intended to replace reason.

It doesn’t either matter which Republican is talking or what TV show they are on, they are repeating the same phrases. Like Sarah Palin, Republicans are using any question, as in a television interview, as a launch point into a rehearsed nicely knit together, truth-sounding, package of untruths. You see this one Republican saying something here, say, then there’s another Republican over there, and if you compare you notice she or he is repeating basically the same thing almost in the exact same words.

Postmodern Mesmerism

And there’s a certain power in something that’s said over and over again in the exact same words. We know this. We’ve seen that power conspicuously in recent times. We can hear Hitler, in Nazi Germany, repeating the same thing over and over again … and using this rhetorical device in targeting Jews, getting people all riled up and such. On recordings from this era we hear their … “Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” There’s a certain kind of comfort in not having to think, all you have to do is chant. And you can rely on these chants because everybody’s saying them, so they have the power, of like, wow, they must be true, because, well, everybody’s saying them, everybody around you. Well that’s a sad state of affairs.

This is your brain. Now, this is your brain on deception….

So what does this do, this omnipresent repetition of phrases in response to questions? This chanting of untruths instead of having rational discourse, when people are hearing this year after year and even decade after decade, what does it do?

Well, it adds to the smokescreen of confusion and misinformation that was effectively castrating and making Americans easily manipulated to whatever end the Republicans wanted. I mean after all you’re not getting reasoned answers, you’re just getting slogans, and that leaves you confused, especially if it’s combined with a lot of misinformation which challenges the facts on everything, when everything is turned backward and they’re lying about everything.

I’m sure you haven’t forgotten how flagrant that intentional deception was over Bush’s eight years. You can hardly not notice the lying on a daily basis done by Donald Trump both during and after his term. And isn’t that gonna make you confused? I remember a time when the facts were not so much in dispute so there wasn’t such a huge divide between the Democrats and the Republicans about what the issues were. What was debated could then be what you do about those commonly acknowledged problems.

Equal Time For Idiots

Denial of a Problem … Yeah, That’s Gonna Solve It

So this confusion over the issues has birthed an increasing polarization of opinions over the years about what the issues are. You see, we’re being told by some Republicans that there’s no global warming going on. Nooo. Wow. They are saying that issue, and for that matter virtually every environmental issue, does not exist! Certainly we’d all like to believe that, so even at their own peril adherents will be found for this obvious denial.

A convenient “truth”

And who do they have to back up that refusal to look at the problem? Well keep in mind, first, it is virtually one hundred percent of the reputable scientists studying global warming that are in agreement on the dire reality of it, regardless of the “inconvenience” of that view. Meanwhile, to oppose that position, from the Right they get, say, someone who’s got a degree from a Bible institute, and he says, “Aaaah, there’s no global warming.” And his opinion is given by media as equal to that of all those scientists, in the world?

Would you really think it’s debatable if…?

So this misinformation I’m talking about is put out there. And you don’t have the media telling you, “Well these are one hundred scientists saying this, all writing statements, and studying these issues. And on the other side of this issue, we have this person who’s studying theology and he got his information from the Bible. And the Bible says there’s no global warming.” Now, if they were to put it to you that way, would you really think there was a debate? Would you really think that it’s like “Ah, maybe there is global warming, maybe there isn’t?” Naw, I don’t think you would. But that’s not the way it’s presented.

“Fair and Balanced”?

At a certain point in my life I saw how the media changed its way of presenting topics. They would say they are just providing “equal time” … or that they are “fair and balanced”? … but this was not about candidates at all.

Recipe for “accurate” reporting — start by mixing equal amounts of truth and lies…. (It’ll be fun seeing if the public can figure it out!)

The media claim that their position on reporting is rooted in the equal time restrictions we have for elections. This appears to be a convenient rationalization for a more insidious intent.

What they began doing is, okay, let’s say that the Democrats basically thought the sky looked blue. But there were some Republicans that were in the camp of the yellow sky movement, the pink sky movement, whatever. And what reason do those Republicans give for saying that? Well maybe it’s because the Bible says it or something. An aside: that might be the reason they’d give, but typically their real reason would be that an industry that is supporting them is spewing something into the atmosphere making the sky more and more yellow or pink.

Giving stupidity a chance … the only thing about which we’re compassionate these days

Now, what do the journalists do here? Well, they figure there’s two opinions on this thing. Honest to God, that’s what happened.

And this method of reporting was actually debated when it started to happen. There were more seasoned journalists who were pointing out, “Hey, this is not giving equal time! We don’t give equal time to an idiotic argument just because it challenges, just because it is the opposite of the truth.”

Erosion of Action

But if they do follow this Recipe for the Advancement of Idiot Persons (RAIP), it’s because of what? It happens for the reason that you have journalists thinking that’s what they’re supposed to do, or maybe they are being told to do that, or maybe they’re being paid to do that, or maybe they’re getting benefits to do that, or maybe they’re being liked if they do that.… By you know who? By people up above them. And people above them happen to want to be liked by people above them. And people above them want to be liked by people above them. And people at the top are, y’know, the Filthy Rich. So … confusion.

So what happens? When you’ve got this kind of smoke screen and this misinformation, it’s debilitating. I mean I felt it.

Doubting the Obvious, You’re Paralyzed

And what does it do? It makes you doubt the truth about obvious things. And if you doubt the truth about obvious things, then are you gonna take any action? No! You’re powerless, you’re gonna stand still and you’re gonna go, “What am I supposed to do?” It’s kind of like a castration.

Surrounded by Untruth, You’re Easily Swayed

Powerless against the tides

Also, you’re easily manipulated. You’re standing there. Now if you’re just standing there not knowing what to do, and somebody starts pushing you in a particular direction, you’ve got no reason not to go in that direction. Basically, that’s putting it in physical terms, but if you don’t have any ideas about what the truth is, you can be told anything. Well, that’s been pretty dangerous in the past.

We’ve had many, many people killed … whether it’s in Nazi Germany or Cambodia or whatever. They were easily manipulated, and they were not fighting back. And they were confused about the truth. That’s what Hitler did.

Why wouldn’t you want a Brooklyn Bridge?

So that you’re easily manipulated to whatever end the Republicans want. And, we’ll get more into what they want, if you haven’t already figured it out. You’re also easily persuaded into firmly believing any untruth the Republicans would contrive. When at any turn they will see an advantage or benefit worth pursuing that requires a change of public opinion, then Americans would be more easily convinced.

Those Magical Republicans Turning Darkness into Light

I’ve even got an example of this from Nixon … I said it’s been going on for fifty years. Nixon was horrid even compared to the Republicans at the time. It’s only when he’s compared to Bush and the even more larcenous Republicans currently that he is seen to have any positive qualities.

The example I wish to give, however, pertains to the establishment of HMOs — Health Maintenance Organizations — as a solution to the health care problem. He is the one who brought the profit motive into health care, jumping onto the HMO bandwagon after learning, through Ehrlichman, from Kaiser Permanente’s CEO, Edgar Kaiser, that “All the incentives are toward less medical care, because … the less care [we] give them, the more money [we] make … and the incentives run the right way.” Explained this way Nixon was sold on the idea; we hear him saying on the recording tape, “Not bad” and “Well, that appeals to me.”

Nice trick, Dick!

So, is that the way Nixon presented it to the American public — “I’ve got this great way that will insure you will suffer more when you’re sick so that my filthy rich friends can wallow deeper in dough”? Hardly.

A few days later Nixon rolled out his health care “solution.” In his speech he stressed how this managed care would expand medical care and coverage and be a tremendous boon to the overall health and longevity of Americans.

Giving a helping hand … to your assailants

And Nixon’s minions in his Republican party and the media took it from there: They turned his deception into talking points and ultimately into “obvious truths.” The American public believed this truism that managed care would lower overall costs. They missed the part that they would not benefit from lowered costs, that lowered costs meant profits that would go into unseen hands, who would then go even further in denying medical care and increasing overall suffering and tragedy so that they could gather even more booty.

From today’s perspective of accelerating medical costs and the recent widespread denial of coverage and benefits as to require massive corrective legislation in the Affordable Care Act, brought by Democrats under Obama, we can see just how well Nixon’s plan to lower the cost of health care and expand coverage worked out for us.

So we see how one Republican molded the American mind to make it complicit in its own abuse, to cause average folks to participate in the very assaults on them.

I will return to this example of Nixon and what actually happened with him later on, because there’s more to be said about it.

Mind-Gaming

I just want to finish the thoughts about how this process works, this confusion, making people more manipulated, keeping them stressed and so on so that they will be more receptive to their own abuse.

Repetition makes it possible to control

As I was pointing out, when the Republicans need a change of public opinion or want people to believe a particular thing, the Big Lie is employed; in its repetition it makes it possible to control.

Anyone remember the wmd’s in Iraq? The supposed weapons of mass destruction? Okay. So the persistence in selling an invasion into Iraq was so effective … that persistence of repeating the same thing by all the Republicans was an unqualified success due to its masterful coordination. Republicans are known for this cohesion of action.

Having the sole aim of making money keeps a party focused

By contrast, the joke that goes around is the statement by an opponent, “I don’t belong to any organized party, I belong to the Democratic Party.” There is this feeling among those up against Republicans because of the radical individualism, the radical differences of opinion that Democrats have.

Whereas Republicans can keep it simple and be that much more persuasive. There can be no disagreement or confusion about an aim so singular, so clear — to benefit themselves and the people that are paying to get them elected. That keeps them pretty consistent and gives them a lot of solidarity.

Getting a kick out of those rascally Republicans

Good examples of this acting in lockstep abound in the last couple decades. We currently see Trump’s hold on the Republican Party, even when out of office. We see their solidarity again and again, even in standing firm against the truth. We might recollect how few Republicans accepted Biden’s win/ Trump’s loss in the 2020 election in the time between the voting and Biden’s inauguration. Some still maintain that lie. With Trump beating the election-fraud drum, very few would even acknowledge the election’s actual outcome. They attained solidarity in the Big Lie. That is what gives them their gains despite their corruption.

We saw that when Obama was president as well. How many times did we see Republicans in perfect array going up against Obama, Pelosi, Reid, the Democrats? Those rascally conservatives were so pleased with themselves in 2009. They couldn’t be more proud when not a single one of their hundreds in the House voted for either the Democratic stimulus or budget in Obama’s first year.

They continued that solid front in blocking any and all benefits to the people under Trump, as well. And they are doing all they can of that with Biden as president, now.

“Wtf! Are you in grade school?”

In 2009, the Republicans were so proud of that: They “stared down” Obama (What the fuck are they in grade school?). We had Arlen Specter, only at the end of his career become a Democrat, who voted in the Senate for the stimulus plan along with the lone two Republican senators — two women, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine.

Now that I think about it … they’re being so cohesive and so disciplined … you just got to wonder if some of them tried to take ol’ Arlen Specter out to the woodshed and that’s why he ran to the Democrats.

The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

How do they get Republicans to be so disciplined? Well, one of the things is, they’ve all got the same aim.

Whereas if you’re a Democrat, you’re going to have all kinds of concerns; the party allows you to have them. Some Dems might be more interested in health care, and some might be thinking education is the answer….

But with Republicans it’s all the same — corporations, you must help the corporations out … “I’ll help you help your big corporation and you’ll help me help my big corporation, and we’ll all continue to get reelected and get plenty of money.”

Republicans in plain sight hidden

So that’s a good way of viewing their differences. But most folks would hardly know that, because Republicans are very effective in avoiding any talk about anything that might give them away. I mean none of the Republicans want to be showed up for what they are really in office for.

But it’s no longer crazy talk

Of course, this abject distinction between the major parties has become most pronounced over the course of the last fifty years. What I’m saying now doesn’t sound as crazy as when I learned it, when I saw it happening and first spoke of it. I saw this increasing corruption of Republicans to the point of it becoming overt and blatant in the last twenty, thirty years … the fall of “obvious truths.” By this I mean they’ve become so arrogant and callous in their lying and corruption they have become careless in hiding it. And now it’s as plain as day.

Naked Republicans

So this viewpoint that Republicans are an owned and paid for subsidiary of corporate behemoths over that time became a more frequently expressed perspective … especially since Bush’s ignoble slide and abject economic and diplomatic failures.

For anyone who has a memory, though, we see that Trump was a continuation — a treasonous, lying, larcenous, incredibly costly one — of the corruption and mismanagement of government we got with W. Bush. Because of Trump’s treason and attempted coup, some folks are saying it is the end of the Republican Party. In truth, that is one possible outcome. Yet if not that, their influence is on the decline as a consequence of the Bush and Trump travesties and the ways Republican’s secretive corrupt activities were revealed in broad daylight, as a result of those two.

Around the end of Bush’s “regime,” Republicans had declined twenty percent in numbers, and there was talk of them becoming extinct. They had been showed to be who they are. Finally, people were starting to realize that, yeah, yeah, you can be lied to … there was a decline of “obvious truths” — a crack in the Matrix — corresponding to the light that was dawning and the naked Republicans that could be seen scurrying for the doors.

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19

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Reality Transplant, the Media:

The Ladder of Status, the Great Suck Upward, and What They’ve Succeeded in Getting Us to Forget

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[Quotes/highlights:] “Perhaps we can understand news commentator’s and reporters complacency and complicity by considering their situation. They are immersed in this barrage of irrationalities that is coming out constantly from the Republicans over all kinds of airways, radio, TV, what have you.”

“…these reporters, pundits, and news anchors are working for huge corporations, virtually all of them these days. Only on the Internet is there the possibility of unbiased thought. And we know who owns the corporations … it ain’t me or you or the average Jane. So I don’t think it accidental pundits are unlikely to speak for us. For the people.”

“The wishes of the upper echelons are sycophantically served by those just below them. For those a step down are terrified by the idea of losing their lives of moneyed comfort and becoming, god forbid, like the ‘unwashed’ below. They also, like everyone, have a craving to be ‘liked’ and approved of by someone above.”

“…this jonesing is something in each of us, even those of very high status. It is an urge we all carry forward from our earliest experiences of life. So even those sitting smugly above us are cravingly desirous of the approval of those above them. And so it goes right down the ladder of status. Those of each level sucking up pathetically to those above them while patronizing those just below.”

“…news reporters, also, from a certain perspective, can be seen as the pathetic little boys and girls they are, still wanting daddy’s approval. They don’t have a clue that they are coming across as smiling tail-wagging pets eager to please in the foppish performance of their cultivated tricks.”

“Maybe pundits can’t see the Republican lies as much because they are become one with it, not seeing the forest for the trees. Maybe it’s that they’re dancing to a long ago tune, accepting approving smiles as payment for their jig.”

“I saw over time this slow, steady stream of pundits and journalists adopting Republican mantra as obvious facts. And that was very sad. “

““When you’re feeling pissed on, they’d like you thinking it’s really money coming down.”

“…you can try to make a case that somehow money to corporations will benefit ordinary people, but it’s easier and more honest to show how corporate ‘socialism’ is actually at people’s expense. So the payoffs to the corporate hogs are hardly indirect contributions to the common weal.”

“…the pundits and journalists are seen adopting the Republican mantra as obvious facts and as unnecessary to ponder or question … it is clear they rolled over.”

“It was as if these pundits hearing so many GOP lies — tax-and-spend Democrats and such — had undergone a reality transplant. Somehow they disposed of their knowing that it was the Republicans who tripled, nearly quadrupled the National Debt under Reagan-Bush.”

“How did people become so dumb all of a sudden? Anyway, I think a lot of it has to do with these things being repeated over and over again until people think they’re true. And it’s unnecessary to ponder or question them.”

“It is the American worker who is represented by unions, for they carry their voices.

“The Republican line, the lie, that unions are entities equally as small and distinct from our society of people as are corporations, and are therefore ‘special,’ and that what is good for unions is bad for people, for ordinary citizens, somehow given Frankensteinian life, jolted large and menacing by incessant repetition into zombified minds, blotting out the truth like a monster would the sun, and terrorizing, so they run away and fight, the very folks that now muddied truth would lift up.”

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[Chapter 19 text begins:] The Republicans had their help, though; believe me they had their help.

The Puppet Strings (The Media)

Okay, so who helped them? Well, like I was saying.… The first thing is you have politicians with the Big Lie, and they’re repeating it endlessly. and that persistence is so extremely effective and comprehensive.

Lying Down on the Thinking Job … or … Thinking Is Down on the Lying Job

The next thing is the paid pundits. You would think a pundit’s job would require more than the exposure to facts and the time allotted for that, but also some time for thoughtful consideration and analysis of those facts. Isn’t part of their job to think? Don’t they have that duty, and get that privilege, unlike a lot of people, who might be working two jobs and taking care of the kids and such and so don’t have time to ponder anything? But these are pundits who are supposed to give opinions. And you would think that their salaries include time both to be on TV as well as to study issues and to think about them. But why is it then that they are so complicit, even cooperative?

Everybody Has One … Except Those Paid To

Backing up, being handsomely paid to do so, you’d think TV commentators and pundits would bring some thoughtful consideration and analysis to the issues. You would think they would have some understanding and therefore conclusions and therefore opinion on these issues, for isn’t that what they as pundits are required to have? They’re called pundits, they are opinion-makers, they are opinion havers.

Everybody Needs a Little Understanding.…

Perhaps we can understand news commentators’ and reporters’ complacency and complicity by considering their situation. They are immersed in this barrage of irrationalities that is coming out constantly from the Republicans over all kinds of airways, radio, TV, what have you.

And don’t forget a pundit’s job requires they take it in; they can’t just tune out; they have to be on top of these things. They have to be on top of what people are saying, including and perhaps especially the Republicans.

How Long Could You Maintain Your Sanity If…?

So perhaps pundits and reporters are more brainwashed than others. Perhaps they are since they hear the lies more than the rest of us. I don’t know. That’s a kind way of saying that they didn’t do their job, too, though … the one about seeking out the truth behind the barrage of lies, if they still remember it.

I need also point out that these reporters, pundits, and news anchors are working for huge corporations, virtually all of them these days. Only on the Internet is there the possibility of unbiased thought. And we know who owns the corporations … it ain’t me or you or the average Jane. So I don’t think it accidental pundits are unlikely to speak for us. For the people.

The Ladder of Status

So whose view is being rained upon us by these storm-clouds of “obvious truths”? These pundits?

The Great Suck UPward

Well, there’s a tendency, like I said, going right down the line: The wishes of the upper echelons are sycophantically served by those just below them. For those a step down are terrified by the idea of losing their lives of moneyed comfort and becoming, god forbid, like the “unwashed” below. They also, like everyone, have a craving to be “liked” and approved of by someone above.

Take my word for it, this jonesing is something in each of us, even those of very high status. It is an urge we all carry forward from our earliest experiences of life. So even those sitting smugly above us are cravingly desirous of the approval of those above them. And so it goes right down the ladder of status. Those of each level sucking up pathetically to those above them while patronizing those just below.

Dandified Little Pups

At one of those levels are the pundits and journalists. You have to remember that news reporters, also, from a certain perspective, can be seen as the pathetic little boys and girls they are, still wanting daddy’s approval. They don’t have a clue that they are coming across as smiling tail-wagging pets eager to please in the foppish performance of their cultivated tricks.

If the face of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy, Chuck Todd, or Brian Kilmeade pops into your mind right now, you’re on the right track.

Dancing to a Long Ago Tune

So I’m not sure, but maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s why the pundits shy from the cool light of truth. Maybe it’s part of it. Maybe pundits can’t see the Republican lies as much because they are become one with it, not seeing the forest for the trees. Maybe it’s that they’re dancing to a long ago tune, accepting approving smiles as payment for their jig.

Or maybe it’s some of both … and perhaps something more? Who knows? What matters is they were not doing their job, as we see now.

The Corporate Feast

So I saw over time this slow, steady stream of pundits and journalists adopting Republican mantra as obvious facts. And that was very sad. Like I was saying before about the special interests … Democrats are accused of having special interests of their own. It is often heard that unions are a special interest, that education is a special interest.

“Persons R Us. Corporations R Not”

And even though Democrats would say, “But, you know, doesn’t everybody get the benefit from education?” I never heard the pundits or the moderator say, “Well, that’s true, and, Mister Republican, what do you have to say to that? What do you mean, ‘special interest’? You’re promoting the coal companies. Are the coal companies benefiting everybody? By your trying to get them profits, trying to create tax breaks for them, is that going to benefit the people … in any way?”

When You’re Feeling Pissed On, They’d Like You Thinking It’s Really Money Coming Down

I’ll get to that later, but obviously, you can try to make a case that somehow money to corporations will benefit ordinary people, yet it’s easier and more honest to show how corporate “socialism” is actually at people’s expense. So the payoffs to the corporate hogs are hardly indirect contributions to the common weal.

Shall we review recent events and remember the gluttonous corporate profits, with their CEOs sitting down to enjoy hundred million dollar banquets? Bonuses, paychecks, jets and yachts to feast on. Even the stockholders only receive crumbs from that table.

CEO with Fifty Cookies to Tea Party Bloke with One: “That Union Guy Wants Some of Your Cookie”

And with all their girth, getting hundred-million-dollar “at-a-boys,” you see them giving money away? With all these people having problems, and having foreclosures and everything, do you see them giving money away? I mean … no.

So anyway, the pundits and journalists are seen adopting the Republican mantra as obvious facts and as unnecessary to ponder or question as if … well, probably they couldn’t help it after a while of continual, coordinated, and irritating repetition, I don’t know … so not “as if,” it is clear they rolled over.

Disposable Truth, Reality Transplants

It was as if these pundits hearing so many GOP lies — tax-and-spend Democrats and such — had undergone a reality transplant. Somehow they disposed of their knowing that it was the Republicans who tripled, nearly quadrupled the National Debt under Reagan-Bush.

GeorgeOrwell-land — Fun New Capitalist Theme Park!

The truth that it was Bush the W who doubled the Debt again after that mysteriously ended up in the trash, as well.

Smoke and lies around tax and spend

We were in such bad economic shape during Bush’s Great Recession because of these Republican spendthrifts. Yet there would be the pundits repeating, even after Reagan-Bush and the recession they caused, “it’s the tax-and-spend Democrats.” America’s “thinkers” would forget that Bill Clinton had balanced the budget for the first time in decades during his terms. They would not remember that those supposed “tax and spend” Democrats left to the Republicans who stole back the presidency in 2000 a surplus, which they promptly handed over to the rich.

I recall how during the Nineties, tax and fiscal policy was so carefully managed by Bill Clinton’s administration. It was touch-and-go maneuvering out of the fiscal ditch; few people thought they could do it. How could anyone, let alone Democrats, balance a budget, let alone reverse the huge National Debt at that time? But with Robert Reich at the wheel, they did.

So what happened? Just as soon as the Republicans enter the White House, they issue a tax cut for the rich. The surplus was no more. Wow! And, still, pundits didn’t saying anything. People didn’t say anything.

Disposable Truths

How do you explain this barrage of historical malfeasance? How do you explain this lack of reaction to obvious wrongness, unfairness? It’s supposed to be a country of, by, and for the people. And most folks still think it is, even despite all the evidence of their eyes.

Maybe Americans cannot learn from, even remember, recent history because their perceptions and memories are not validated around them. If on the media their feelings are not confirmed, folks are going to doubt themselves; they’re going to be confused.

Reality Transplant, The Media

Are They So Immersed in Republican Culture?

Why commentators would be so easily forgetful and then complicit is the question. We were wondering if perhaps it is the continual bombardment of untruth they are under. In such a setting, required to stay immersed in Republican culture so much more than the rest of us, maybe they would find it nearly impossible to be as questioning and confrontational as would be required if they were to truly do their job in helping to clarify events.

Besides, they know these Republican mouthpieces socially; they play golf, have drinks with them, and more in their off hours. Of course these media types want to be seen as civil people, too. So they don’t want to say, on their TV program, “Aw, c’mon. That’s bullshit, man!” They’re not going to say that. They might think it’s bullshit, but they’re not going to tell us!

Are You Reeling in the Years?

And it’s going to keep the American people confused. If the obvious lies of the right-wing politicians and propagandists are not pointed out by the reporters who are questioning them, well then you only have the Democrats to counter these untruths.

And if these pundits are also saying that the Democrats and the Republicans are equally the same and that all politicos are corrupt and such, well, after a while, when you hear that enough, you’re not going to have really any basis for discerning the truth. You’re not going to be seeing what’s actually been going on over the years.

What They’ve Succeeded in Getting Us to Forget

In the last century, Democrats were responsible for the most influential and most popular public policy developments: They brought in Social Security, Medicare; they supported the unions and minimum wage measures that boosted the lifestyles of the American worker. So consider the right wing and media achievement in getting Americans to forget all that? Wow.

Narrative for the New History … Why That’s One Dumb Republican!

We even had one Republican, Steve Austria, during Obama’s term found himself in the spotlight. He was an elected Congressional representative … god only knows how that happened. He was talking on economic policy. He was changing history to fit his argument … which Republicans do, you know.

But this guy really believed it! He was saying how it was Roosevelt who caused the Great Depression! He actually maintained it was Roosevelt who was in power when the Great Depression hit. He said the Depression was caused by tax and spend.1

No, it was Hoover. Monetary policy favoring the rich caused and kept the Great Depression going; tax and spend, for example, Social Security, is what got us out of, not into, the ditch. Roosevelt was not even in office when the Great Depression hit, or before it. He was voted into the Presidency many years later and so as to fix it. All this is part of history that is practically — except for you, Steve — common knowledge. There were what were called Hoover, not Roosevelt, camps full of the poor unemployed. Wow.

Dogma for the New Religion. “Obvious Truths” from On High

How did people become so dumb all of a sudden? Anyway, I think a lot of it has to do with these things being repeated over and over again until people think they’re true. And it’s unnecessary to ponder or question them.

It seems as if the pundits felt this way after a while, to the point that when the Republican or conservative would say her or his talking point, it was almost as if that frequently heard statement was gospel. Seeing the media’s response, you would think that drivel had been carried down from Mount Sinai, engraved on a stone tablet. It didn’t have to be reasoned about; it was given down from “on high.” Over and over and over again.

Smoke and Lies Around Unions. Truth Taken Out at the Knees — Unions Are the New Rich Fat Cats

So the lie, the mantram, the notion at one time in my life, was nonexistent. At another time, quite the opposite, it was all pervasive.

At one time folks believed that unions represented working people like themselves, more than anything else. At the later time and now, the exact opposite of the truth — that union workers are the wealthy and their leaders are now the fat cats, to hear people tell it.

The truth — unions represent otherwise powerless workers

But well, of course it was the original view that was true: It is the American worker who is represented by unions, for they carry their voices.

The Republican line, the lie, that unions are entities equally as small and distinct from our society of people as are corporations, and are therefore “special,” and that what is good for unions is bad for people, for ordinary citizens, somehow given Frankensteinian life, jolted large and menacing by incessant repetition into zombified minds, blotting out the truth like a monster would the sun, and terrorizing, so they run away and fight, the very folks that now muddied truth would lift up.

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20

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Only the Game Remains:

Religion of Capitalism — The Game Is the One Truth Faith; The Game Is to Lie and Manipulate Without Consequence

 

[Quotes/highlights:] “…the Republicans were at one point cornered by justifiable attacks about being backed by special interests, so they concocted this idea that the Democrats were too.”

“An added benefit for Republicans and the Filthy Rich in ‘democratizing’ the guilt this way is that folks thinking all politicians are the same, that they’re all taking money, means they would be unlikely to vote.”

“And keeping the masses, who are helped by Democrats, away from the polls can only help Republicans engaged in swindling them.”

“…when the term was coined, the special interests were thought of as the interests of the very small numbers of wealthy people and their financial arms, big businesses, who sought favors from government that were at odds with the welfare of the masses of less moneyed Americans.”

“…the common good would be reduced for the temporary financial benefit of a relatively small group of individuals, in this case, coal barons. Keep in mind also it would only be the rich capitalist owners in these industries who would see the benefits. That is the real meaning of special.”

“The threat of workers losing their jobs is always, always, the gauntlet thrown down to jimmy profits into the hands of a few.

“And saving workers’ jobs is always, always thrown out to the public as the justification for granting these singular boons.”

“What is recklessly ignored is that when this regulation easing, as in our example, goes into effect, it will actually kill some people; it will diminish people’s lives….”

“…that’s the magical meaningless mantram — ‘American workers will suffer’ — which is another one of those lies again added to create fog, to create confusion, in this case a smog of misinformation, stifling the reasoned understanding of what is actually at stake.”

“The Filthy Rich, in the guise of investors, pulled off one of the biggest extortions in American history and got away scot free.”

“…with George W. Bush at the helm, these bankers were rewarded for the harm done the rest of America and the world.”

“…small groups with higher rates of crime, when there is smaller mounds of money to protect them, are labeled as ‘criminal gangs,’ ‘hoodlums,’ ‘organized crime,’ ‘gang-bangers’ and the like. Not so, when the perpetrators dress in such fine suits and stink with money.”

“…the immeasurably larger crime of the super wealthy is let go … and this in spite of the fact mentioned that the future threat is larger and considerably more likely if the current wrong is not addressed.”

“One way or another the idea is to obscure the reality that help to the banks will help primarily this small group, in this case, of bankers, and to make it that their problem is seen as our problem, the public’s problem. This increases the pressure on politicians to grant the favor. For it is spun that it is not the wealthy investors whose welfare is at stake but the public at large”

“…in retrospect that money would have been much more wisely spent going somehow directly into the people’s hands who needed it, not by funneling it through the hands of gluttonous banking institutions.”

“…society did pay dearly, did suffer, even though the banks were paid their extortion money, handsomely too. And since so much of that loot went to the folks who didn’t need it, overall the economy ended up worse off.”

“…in borrowing from the future to help rich people today it guaranteed the problem would get a permanent installation in America’s economy.”

“…the game is to claim that the pain of those with wealth is really the American people’s pain, so as to make it seem a large number of people would be helped when they get the bailout, when they succeed at their larceny against the American people.”

“…the Filthy Rich would always package any benefit to them as being not for them, really, at all but for a great number of people. and if they could pull that off, if they could make that magical equivalency, then it was like they had a home run.”

“That’s a lot of what the difference is. It is that some people will wager with any amount of harm to others; they will say anything, will make up anything. They don’t have to have any facts; they don’t have to know if that’s the way it works.”

“…their game — that of the Filthy Rich — involves winning at any cost to others, being willing to assert anything, with no thought that truth should even come into a bargaining situation.”

“It’s like, we can make a good argument; we can convince people; we can persuade people; we can fool enough people into thinking it’s true … and that’s all that matters.”

“…they don’t bother even to come with any evidence to be laid out on the table; it becomes the most elegant spectacle in sophistry imaginable.”

“The Filthy Rich are seeing these matters, which are of dire importance to most of society, about the way we do when playing a game of Monopoly, in which we compete without consequences and try to win without remorse.”

“The consequences of their cavalier play are being felt somewhere. Yet the Filthy Rich cover up their unconcern through the pretense of acting on interests not of their own, but of that reliable home base of the society at large.”

“No longer were phrases like ‘society-at-large,’ the common good, government of and by the people, the welfare of the majority, government ‘caring’ for people, anyone’s suffering being eased, and such even brought in.”

“Words like suffering, compassion, ease, good, benefit, the people, were not uttered anymore. In fact they were felt to be counterproductive. They were considered deal breakers if let into the conversation on matters that were deemed, well … ‘real.’”

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[Chapter 20 text begins:] ”Well since they believe a loving God would condemn them to endless suffering, don’t see why we can’t convince them their own biggest enemy is to be found in a mirror.” [What Republicans Wealthies must think about their “deplorable” followers.]

Reason and Action Eroded, The Game Is All That Remains

Note to Ordinary Folks: Ordinary Folks Are Out to Get You

However, the Republicans were at one point cornered by justifiable attacks about being backed by special interests, so they concocted this idea that the Democrats were too.

Everybody’s Doing It

They couldn’t deny it was true about them, so they just made it like, well, it was everybody. That way they avoided being revealed as bad people. For what they did wouldn’t make them bad. It would just make them politicians.

An added benefit for Republicans and the Filthy Rich in “democratizing” the guilt this way is that folks thinking all politicians are the same, that they’re all taking money, means they would be unlikely to vote. They would say, “Ah, they’re all crooks.” Is not that what we’re hearing? Isn’t what we’re hearing that there is no such thing as an honest politician? And keeping the masses, who are helped by Democrats, away from the polls can only help Republicans engaged in swindling them.

The Really Special Interests: What They Want Is at Our Expense

Yet at one time, the term special interest meant something very specific, and it was hardly confusing. We need to go back to the time before the whole subject became so muddled and full of misinformation that even the pundits didn’t know what they were talking about anymore. Back when the term was coined, the special interests were thought of as the interests of the very small numbers of wealthy people and their financial arms, big businesses, who sought favors from government that were at odds with the welfare of the masses of less moneyed Americans.

For example there might be a group from, say, the coal industry, whose interests would be higher profits for being allowed to spew extra amounts of toxic fumes into the atmosphere. That would be the kinds of things they would want: something that benefited them at the expense of the majority of folks. Consider: If what was sought would benefit most other people as well, it would not need to be lobbied for solely by this small group, this business concern. Such a change would be advanced on behalf of the greater number of people and would succeed that way.

So a really special interest would push for something that would bring them greater profits in spite of the fact that it would hurt the majority of Americans. In this example of air pollution, it would be felt negatively by all Americans, eventually the whole planet, including people of other countries, and even the plant and animal life, in which species in existence thousands of times longer than us would be gone forever. This is why an interest might be “special.” It would be special in that its benefits would be singular, not shared.

To the contrary, the common good would be reduced for the temporary financial benefit of a relatively small group of individuals, in this case, coal barons. Keep in mind also it would only be the rich capitalist owners in these industries who would see the benefits. That is the real meaning of special.

Religion of Capitalism — The Game Is the One Truth Faith

And Then the Great Threat

In a clear-headed sense, a boon to a special interest would involve some sort of legislative help to the profits of, basically, these special rich capitalist owners; and it would be given, very often, at great cost to all those others I have been mentioning who were not in the Congressional bargaining room. So how could such a thing be justified? Well, here is how it works, beginning with another great lie, delivered as a threat.

The threat would amount to this: That unless these favors are granted, say, as in the example, if you didn’t let us put that stuff in the air, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. The threat of workers losing their jobs is always, always, the gauntlet thrown down to jimmy profits into the hands of a few.

And saving workers’ jobs is always, always thrown out to the public as the justification for granting these singular boons. So the American worker is indirectly threatened with the loss of a job and a paycheck.

The part that will rarely be spoke is the cost of this legislative largess to the general population. In our example, what will not be mentioned is that some people’s lives will actually be ended — there is always some of this, though this is the biggest unspoken — for the granting of this wish. What is recklessly ignored is that when this regulation easing, as in our example, goes into effect, it will actually kill some people; it will diminish people’s lives; it will increase diseases, cancer and emphysema for example; and overall it will result in more suffering for thousands or millions of times more people than the few that will benefit. Do you begin to see how really special a real special interest is?

But as for these costs to us ordinary, non-special, people, they will not be mentioned by either side of the bargaining. This will hardly even be a chip in the negotiations. What will be put on the table is workers’ jobs. That threat is that unless these favors are granted, well, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. and then they would say, “Well, American workers will suffer.”

And that’s the magical meaningless mantram — “American workers will suffer” — which is another one of those lies again added to create fog, to create confusion, in this case a smog of misinformation, stifling the reasoned understanding of what is actually at stake.

And Then Outright Extortion

In fact we had a conspicuous example of this, the way … let’s call it what it is … extortion was employed by the banks not many years ago. The Filthy Rich, in the guise of investors, pulled off one of the biggest extortions in American history and got away scot free. Even the Democrats could not see through it (still don’t). I am talking, of course, about the TARP bailout … the Troubled Asset Relief Program … that was put in place under George W. Bush in October of 2008 to protect the very entities responsible for the Great Recession from suffering any consequences from their malfeasance.

Remember that I related in Chapter 2 how my experience with Oregon Fair Share and the WPPSS plants taught me the benefits of letting corporations pay for their own mistakes? How the economy would be better off if the ones gambling huge amounts of our money — the banks — would be forced to suffer the consequences of their actions? How that might lend itself to them making better decisions in the future? Well, with George W. Bush at the helm, these bankers were rewarded for the harm done the rest of America and the world.

Whereas, in any other instance of such a tactic, in any other instance by anybody in America doing what was done — extorting billions from the government to bail out the perpetrators of their unwise, often criminal, business decisions — it would have been criminally prosecuted. But not so in the case of these special rich people, represented by these bank executives.

How spectacular this oversight in singling out the guilty is rarely brought out. But truly massive is this miscarriage of justice. Consider that there are vastly more ordinary Americans than there are in the tiny group of filthy rich. So there will, of course, be far more instances in the general population of any crime you would think of. In this case we are looking at extortion, and virtually every instance of such a crime committed among the general population would attract the intense attention and the full wrath of justice there. Naturally, the harm to the victim or even victims would be constrained to the tiny number of people affected, and the limited amounts of money involved, in any particular case.

On the other hand here, with TARP, we had a much tinier group of people — the Filthy Rich and the heads of the banks that represent them. And the percentage of that group involved in such an extortion is far greater than the incidence of that crime in the greater population, another way of putting it, they represent a high crime zone for such malfeasance and a much bigger danger when their crimes go unpunished and can continue unfettered. Such small groups with higher rates of crime, when there are smaller mounds of money to protect them, are labeled as “criminal gangs,” “hoodlums,” “organized crime,” “gang-bangers” and the like. Not so, when the perpetrators dress in such fine suits and stink with money.

Further, the scale on which these crimes are perpetrated is that of the entire population of the United States and expands itself to include harm to those in other nations and even among the unborn — future generations. So the magnitude of the crime is infinitely larger than could ever be pulled off by an average American. Still, the smaller scale, less harmful instances of this crime are ruthlessly sought out and punished. Whereas the immeasurably larger crime of the super wealthy is let go … and this in spite of the fact mentioned that the future threat is larger and considerably more likely if the current wrong is not addressed.

With these things known, how mind-boggling is it to notice this blatant extortion not pointed out, not labeled as such, hardly addressed?

Their Kind of “Sharing the Pain” — My Problems Will Be Your Problems, They Say

Well here we have, in this case, the banks, the preeminent fronts for the organized Filthy Rich, demanding extortion money, which if not received … here we go again … eventually would result in their inability to do business and would affect people. This threat is one of their ploys.

Just like the coal barons in the example above who would ask for concessions saying if they did not get them they would be forced to lay off American workers, the banks would have their way of trying to convince that they should be helped or it will affect great numbers of people. In their case, they would say it would affect their ability to do business and to serve the American people.

One way or another the idea is to obscure the reality that help to the banks will help primarily this small group, in this case, of bankers, and to make it that their problem is seen as our problem, the public’s problem. This increases the pressure on politicians to grant the favor. For it is spun that it is not the wealthy investors whose welfare is at stake but the public at large.

So there is the extortion, you see. Unlike coal barons threatening to fire workers, essentially bankers threatened to stop providing loans. They would hold them back if not paid. The degree to which this was untrue is shown by the fact that after they did get the bailout, they used it to feather their nests and to expand their bank’s market share. Chase Bank, for example, sat on the bailout cash they received, with the intention of using it to buy out other banks that would fail, which is exactly what they did with the money. Banks also gave out those high bonuses like I’ve discussed.

Meanwhile the public was not served. Money remained tight. There arose a big hue and cry over the fact that the money from TARP was covering bankers’ losses … in other words, going into their pockets … and the public was not getting the loans they needed. So in retrospect that money would have been much more wisely spent going somehow directly into the people’s hands who needed it, not by funneling it through the hands of gluttonous banking institutions.

And what about their threat of it affecting society at large if they were not placated? Well, society did pay dearly, did suffer, even though the banks were paid their extortion money, handsomely too. And since so much of that loot went to the folks who didn’t need it, overall the economy ended up worse off. Short term the problem was swept under the rug, but in borrowing from the future to help rich people today it guaranteed the problem would get a permanent installation in America’s economy. Seriously, this problem cannot be calculated or even imagined away, so Americans will suffer its results forever as far as we know.

So this is the extortion and the lie that sits in the middle of the threat that it is the American workers who will suffer if the wealthy don’t receive their payola.

For it is never the workers or, in this case, those needing loans who would suffer if the extortion is not given in to, it is the fat cats, coal barons, filthy rich, 1% who would suffer, and for that matter, not even all that much compared to the suffering inflicted on the public by their greedy practices, whether or not the extortion money or concession is provided.

The Game Is to Lie

Anyway, the game is to claim that the pain of those with wealth is really the American people’s pain, so as to make it seem a large number of people would be helped when they get the bailout, when they succeed at their larceny against the American people. That’s one of their lies that gets by; this is how they seek to “share the pain” … “spread their burden.” It is a banking problem, in this instance, something that has had disastrous effects on the economy and on people’s lives, but it would be better handled by society if the problem of the people involved would be addressed, not the problems — money lost, investments gone under — of the Filthy Rich.

The upshot is that over and over we hear these big lies of how “the American people” … one of those huge buzz words … “the American people are going to be hurt.” Or, it became, “the working people of this country,” or in the example of the coal barons, above, that a huge group of coal miners would see massive layoffs. In light of what has been said, I hope it is clear what b.s. that is.

How They Try to Convince That Their Problems Are Ours

We see the threat; we see the extortion; we see the crime and its magnitude, and we see the lie that gives life to it all. Let us look more closely at the manner of the making of this spectacular ruse.

First … some of this has been said, yet watch how it unfolds … you’re starting out with a group that is a minute segment of the population as a whole. But they maintain they are identical with or equivalent to society as a whole, making it that it is not the magnitude of their money but of their numbers which raises their voice above all, which is not true of course. I was talking earlier about how they would do that in making up the tax codes. Recall, they would say, “Well, society as a whole will suffer if you don’t.…”

So the Filthy Rich would always package any benefit to them as being not for them, really, at all but for a great number of people. And if they could pull that off, if they could make that magical equivalency, then it was like they had a home run. They would say the working people of this country would be affected, that a huge group of coal miners would see massive layoffs, for example.

Then here is how they make that number bigger: These people, in this example the coal barons, not to be underestimated, would assert that because of their layoffs naturally there would be more of these layoffs by other coal companies. and then, they’d say, these layoffs would affect all the shopkeepers, retail merchants and so on who service the impacted regions; which in turn … gotta keep making it bigger and bigger, more and more and more people … which in turn would affect all the industries making the products that won’t be sold because of the layoffs; and of course a pullback in demand for products means fewer workers needed to make what is needed, thus an increase of unemployment in all other sectors would ensue; which unemployed workers on a grander scale would have them unable to buy from their local merchants; which equals the losses to the manufacturers in an ever more expanding array of products and industries; requiring they let people go; thus even more, ever accelerating rates of layoffs and widening unemployment; and, they would claim, those laid off would not be buying the products in their local shops; which leads to … well, armageddon, the way they would have it.

So it just gets bigger and bigger; it goes around and around and around.

To Win at All Costs

But They Will Say Anything to Win

Just a hint though, this is one of those seemingly rational analyses that although appearing to make sense is not grounded in the real world; it is speculative and made up. Its roots are solely in the dark hearts and motivations of those attempting to push through their argument, to give it added weight, to basically win at any cost.

That’s a lot of what the difference is. It is that some people will wager with any amount of harm to others; they will say anything, will make up anything. They don’t have to have any facts; they don’t have to know if that’s the way it works. As McCain said, “I don’t know much about economics.” This is the guy who was popular among the corporate crowd of the country, the same group making that simplistic argument above.

What’s Truth Got to Do with It?

So basically their game — that of the Filthy Rich — involves winning at any cost to others, being willing to assert anything, with no thought that truth should even come into a bargaining situation. I mean, really, the attitude is that, what the hell does truth have to do with it? It’s like, we can make a good argument; we can convince people; we can persuade people; we can fool enough people into thinking it’s true … and that’s all that matters.

So you see they’re getting kind of cocky; they don’t even think they have to have truth … any actual facts or evidence backing up their arguments. Then you have your whole attitude of, “What the hell, why is anybody bothering to bring any truth to this?”

So they don’t bother even to come with any evidence to be laid out on the table; it becomes the most elegant spectacle in sophistry imaginable.

Unlike Monopoly These Results Are Real

What it becomes then for these special interests and their Republican representatives is something with about as much gravity as a board game. The Filthy Rich are seeing these matters, which are of dire importance to most of society, about the way we do when playing a game of Monopoly, in which we compete without consequences and try to win without remorse.

Though the differences should be noted. There’s nothing at stake in a game of Monopoly among friends; it is just simple play with light-hearted risks. There are no real families having to move out if one player buys up all the land and houses of another; there’s nobody even paying rent of $40 if they land on Boardwalk, nobody suffering when you’re told to pay a doctor bill … or to go to jail.

Going Directly to Jail, Not Passing Go — The Only Part That’s Really Like Monopoly, for the 99%

This point, however, keep in mind as increased perspective on the real-world actions of these wealthy folk. In Monopoly you try to win. and you would consider deception. You might hide how much money or property you have … if you’re asked, for example, you might not tell the truth. and this dissembling would be considered a good ploy and harmless. Even the other players might admire such a deception.

Yet is this the way it is in the bargaining of the special interests through their lackey paid-for Republican representatives? No. The consequences of their cavalier play are being felt somewhere. Yet the Filthy Rich cover up their unconcern through the pretense of acting on interests not of their own, but of that reliable home base of the society at large.

We’re Not Supposed To Be Monopoly … Or the Wild West

So, there’s Monopoly, then there’s the real world, where things like deception, or whatever, for the purpose of winning have real world effects on people. Yet we’re supposedly living in an era that is not like the old Wild West. We purportedly have a democracy with the aim of benefiting the majority of people, or at least as many people as possible. And we claim our intention is to do this without unduly punishing any particular group or having any persons inflicted with unnecessary grief. It’s supposed to be fair; government is supposed to serve people.

This Game’s Not For You

So that’s why I was saying, in the early days when there was bargaining in Congress by the special interests, they maintained a pretense of caring about people. After all, we maintain that government is supposed to be representing the American people.

Getting to Home Base, in Their Baseball Game

So moneyed interests would garner these special breaks, in the tax codes or wherever, because basically they would get to the point where they would convince enough deciders, even if it wasn’t true, that such a change, in the tax code or policy, or whatever, would benefit society at large. As I said, that is kind of like reaching home base for them. You got it then; you’re home free if you can make that link. For that is the touted purpose of our elected deciders; it is to benefit the society at large.

Now, nobody can benefit all the people all the time, so that’s as close as you can get … society at large … it’s as near to a home base as you can get.

Anyway, that was the thought involved on both sides of this whole game for a long time. And I stress — if you haven’t gotten the point already … I’ve been leading up to it — that this was the thinking on both sides of this game. It’s like a game for the Republicans, just like Monopoly for us.

And, how was it played? Well the thoughts were, if you were able to get to home base — which is equal to proving a benefit for average Americans, society at large or as a whole, or the electorate — then you score.

But Supported by “Obvious Truths” — Those Untrue Truisms — It Is Now Easier for Them to “Score”

Nonetheless, that thinking has changed over time. This difference in particular shows the effectiveness of the brainwashing resulting from the repetition of Republican lies over time … the enshrinement of “obvious truths.”

I noticed that over the course of the decades … and this is a development folks younger than me don’t know about … that the terms formerly used in the game were no longer used. No longer were phrases like “society-at-large,” the common good, government of and by the people, the welfare of the majority, government “caring” for people, anyone’s suffering being eased, and such even brought in.

“It’ll Benefit Society-at-Large? What Are You, a Wuss?”

Words like suffering, compassion, ease, good, benefit, the people, were not uttered anymore. In fact they were felt to be counterproductive. They were considered deal breakers if let into the conversation on matters that were deemed, well … “real.”

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21

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The Great American About Face:

There Was a Time When Kindness Was a Noble Thing; Nightmare Apparent

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[Quotes/highlights:] “You don’t know what I’m getting at. Yet this is the indicator of the gradual change in our country that would be missed by those younger than myself. I only see this glaring discrepancy because of having lived many years in an America whose values were different, and who thought differently, more compassionately than today. I know of an America where even that last big word that I used, compassionately, wasn’t the dirty word that it is today … or the certain game loser, deal breaker if uttered.”

“…what’s happened today is that it’s not even society at large that is supposed to benefit. Compassion is not a goal, or even a value, when negotiating. The scornful repetition of those words, ‘bleeding heart liberal,’ has had its intended effect.”

“…in those days, the easing of suffering was a value, compassion was a noble thing, not indicative of weakness like today.”

“Yet starting with Reagan and slowly since then it has become that.”

“…why has it gotten to that again, even to where it’s back to where it was … again … at the beginning of the Great Depression: No compassion allowed.”

“…over the course of all these years we’ve seen the marginal tax rate for the very wealthy go from ninety-one percent in the Fifties and Sixties, when the American economy was booming, to where the top tax rate is down to thirty-seven percent now? Not to mention that the average tax rate for the wealthy is lower than any in the country, averaging out at 8.2 percent. Even the lowest tax bracket, for those making between $0 and $9,950 is set at 10 percent. Worse than that, the average tax payment for the wealthiest twenty-five Americans was 3.4 percent, as reported 13 April 2022.”

“Did those increasing cuts in taxes for the wealthy increasingly stimulate the economy, as we were told they would? … No…. We’re a lot worse off.”

“…what happens when something is repeated over and over and over again … self-benefiting mean-spiritedness like this can be spoken of as being, somehow, reasonable.”

“…these days, if you are one of those who uses words like compassionate … you’re a hippie!

“And on the other side of this, the side that is presented to all, promulgated to everyone, and the only one considered ‘real,’ we’ve got these mean-spirited feelings. They are at war with the idea that we have government that’s there to at all benefit, be on the side of, or even be for its citizens.

“…that is based on this old-fashioned notion that it is a good thing to save people from dying or from suffering in situations where a single individual is helpless against a cultural or societal wrong.

“Government could be seen this way because one preeminent value was that life was precious and good, that people dying was not good, that it was important to prevent that to the extent one could … more important than money or profits or the comfort and pleasure of people with riches.”

“These brutish and thievish over-reaches displayed an incredible disregard for, disrespect of, indeed, an actual literal inability of the Filthy Rich — the 1% — and their Republican puppets to see American People, who were the recipients of these attacks. Together these reveals, displayed unintentionally however blatantly and unknowingly by the Republicans and the Filthy Rich … and before the entire world … disclosed to the masses of Americans some ‘cracks,’ ‘stains,’ or textures in the ‘dome’ of unreality they’d existed in, which had made them blind to Reality itself, and had kept them in a near zombie-like dream reality.

“As this Awakening continued, some began remembering events, the memories of which had been ‘bleached’ out of awareness until just then, and then with remembering they realized how they’d been trained like animals their entire lives for the uses, whatever they’d be, of the Filthy Rich, and been trained then to forget that.”

“I discussed how this erosion of reason resulted in an erosion of action as well and why this would be desirable by the societal puppet-masters. Next, I discussed the means of the manipulation — the media, the puppet strings employed by the masters.”

“I talked about the way our lives were focused away from human concerns and reduced to the level of a game, contrived by the elite and which was geared toward their ends, suited to their abilities, and in which they dominated. This game was most of the time camouflaged in positive, civic sounding phrases and terminology that made it seem that it was an endeavor for the betterment of all, but I explained how it actually was played and what the motives and ends really were.”

“…even this ruse of societal welfare was ever more let go of, as the puppet-kings gained in strength and in success in converting mass minds to a belief in the dogma of the game that they controlled.”

“The Filthy Rich Controllers channeled people’s inclinations away from their own priorities and from human concerns to be in alignment with the overseer’s non-humanistic, alien ones. Human concerns such as life, easing of suffering and the like were seen as silly and laughable.”

“As the super wealthy gathered power, they became more blatant and reckless in their machinations. The game was successfully installed as the focus and preeminent value of life itself; but in this headiness of accomplishment, they became complacent about their subterfuge. Reckless in their maneuvers and ever more careless in concealing it, they risked being exposed.”

“We see how this creates a condition of such extreme suffering in the populace that stimulates them into awakening from the dream. The Matrix is glimpsed.”

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[Chapter 21 text begins:] You don’t know what I’m getting at. But this is the indicator of the gradual change in our country that would be missed by those younger than myself. I only see this glaring discrepancy because of having lived many years in an America whose values were different, and who thought differently, more compassionately than today. I know of an America where even that last big word that I used, compassionately, wasn’t the dirty word that it is today … or the certain game loser, deal breaker if uttered.

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

No. See, what’s happened today is that it’s not even society at large that is supposed to benefit. Compassion is not a goal, or even a value, when negotiating. The scornful repetition of those words, “bleeding heart liberal,” has had its intended effect. No, no, it’s not the function of government to care about anybody anymore.

It may be hard for you to realize what a huge change this is from, like, Roosevelt days. The Great Depression went on for a long time, crushing hopes and aspirations, shortening lives, increasing suffering. People lived beneath this yoke for a time that must often have felt interminable. They came out of this darkness only slowly, and with great effort.

There Was a Time When Kindness Was a Noble Thing

So, yes, in those days, the easing of suffering was a value, compassion was a noble thing, not indicative of weakness like today. This is the way it was then and for most of the decades afterward, not much changing. Even Eisenhower, a Republican … he wasn’t, y’know, at war with the common good in the Fifties; he didn’t think government was not supposed to be compassionate, that it wasn’t their job or anything, that they couldn’t give anybody a helping hand or anything like that. Yet starting with Reagan and slowly since then it has become that.

People Suffering, People Dying … and This Guy Thinks It’s a Card Game!

Perhaps you’ve heard it too. At the time of it, you would see it discussed all over. There was Rick Santelli on CNBC. This was during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 when it first got out that Obama might just — with millions of foreclosures, people living in tent-cities and everything — might just present as part of his overall policy to deal with the problem something to help … okay, there’s one of those words (help), a certain game-loser; so you know what’s coming next … something that might “help” people who are heading into foreclosure, people losing their homes. The idea was to renegotiate deals with the bank, to recalculate the terms of their mortgage to make it workable to both sides again.

Don’t forget the banks had before that been given huge amounts of money by the American people. So in this plan, instead of proceeding with a foreclosure the banks were asked to be willing to accept slightly less money on the loan than the original terms called for.

It was thought, what would that hurt? After all the banks aren’t going to lose. At the expense of the American people they’ve made out like bandits … in fact, they’ve been bandits … they used extortion to get that money out. With this policy they would get some money out of the loan instead of none in the case of the foreclosure; they would even still make a profit. The only thing they wouldn’t be able to do is to add that note to the pile of losses they would be claiming as part of the government bailout. An aside, that last part — making less money than if they could claim it a loss — is the key to understanding the uproar about Obama’s plan to help financially strapped homeowners.

So we saw Rick Santelli, a highly visible financial commentator for CNBC, someone I saw every day for years. He stood in front of the camera on the floor of the stock exchange; CNBC broadcast it to the world. He was against Obama’s plan to “help” mortgage-holders … they should probably have used a different word than help. As he put it “In America, a card laid is a card played.” He said, “This does away with contract law!”

This was February 19th, 2009. It has been widely said that this “rant,” as it was called, was the beginning of the Tea Party movement in America. Steven Perlberg, writing for Business Insider, wrote, “‘A lot of people have been credited with starting the modern-day tea party but make no mistake, it was Rick Santelli,’ Glenn Beck told Business Insider in an email. ‘His off the cuff monologue spoke the words that millions of Americans felt but could not nor dare not speak….

“‘All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing,’ he screamed from the CME on February 19, 2009. It was time, Santelli said, for another Tea Party. His infamous segment — in response to a minor homeowner bailout — is now credited with helping launch the Tea Party tidal wave that began during the early years of the Obama administration and ended up ‘shellacking’ the Democrats in the 2010 midterms.”1

Yes, We’ve Made This Mistake Before

And what Santelli said, well, yeah, yeah, they used to say those things back in Hoover’s day too, alright? And then when everybody was hurting, and there was thirty to forty percent unemployment and nobody was making any money including the rich fat cats and they were losing their shirts in investments and no longer making money in the stock market, then … then … all of a sudden, okay, then it was okay to help out people who were starving.

But Why Do We Insist on Making It Again?

Well, why did it have to get to that? and why has it gotten to that again, even to where it’s back to where it was … again … at the beginning of the Great Depression: No compassion allowed.

What is that? It’s like “Oh, these people are all deadbeats here.” Oh, yeah, all those millions of people? Doesn’t have anything to do with all that money that went to the rich people? Nothing to do with the fact that over the course of all these years we’ve seen the marginal tax rate for the very wealthy go from ninety-one percent in the Fifties and Sixties, when the American economy was booming, to where the top tax rate is down to thirty-seven percent now?2 Not to mention that the average tax rate for the wealthy is lower than for any in the country, averaging out at 8.2 percent. Even the lowest tax bracket, for those making between $0 and $9,950 is set at 10 percent. Worse than that, the average tax payment for the wealthiest twenty-five Americans was 3.4 percent, as reported 13 April 2022.3

However, to offset those huge cuts in revenue — allowing the super wealthy such low taxes — did we get any more prosperous in that time? Did those increasing cuts in taxes for the wealthy increasingly stimulate the economy, as we were told they would? I repeat, did we get any more prosperous in that time? Did the tax cuts work the way the fat cats said they would?

Well, No.

Well, I was there. No, they didn’t … and we didn’t … didn’t get more prosperous. We’re a lot worse off. Y’know, when I was growing up in the Fifties and Sixties my father was poor. But only he had to work! He might bring home fifty dollars a week, with six kids. But my mother didn’t have to work. Believe me, fifty dollars in that day, it wasn’t like it was worth a thousand dollars or something today; there wasn’t that much difference.

Kumbaya. My Lord!

So there used to be this idea of benefiting society-at-large. There was this thing put out — even though it was a sham on the part of Republicans — that if you could somehow convince the Democrats that what you wanted was going to benefit the “society at large” they might come over to your side. Republicans still found it useful to promote the idea that they were representing the people.

What “Extra” Kitchen?

But no, no, no. If these days you say that something is going to benefit somebody …. Like Rick Santelli said, “Well, a card laid … contract law’s all important … blah, blah, blah…. Do any of you people out there…” He was talking to the stock exchange people; he said, “Do any of you want to pay your hard-earned money so that the guy next door can have that extra kitchen that he put in?”

Now, where the hell did that come from? I hardly think that many of the people losing their homes were out there spending all their money on “extra” kitchens. So what’s the implication? The implication is that we’ve got a bunch of losers, spendthrifts, who are throwing their money away and they don’t deserve a break.

More Likely It Was Your “Extra” Kitchen, Rick. And, Thank You Very Much but We’ve Already Paid, and Dearly, for It

Duh! Doesn’t that sound like the banks? “Extra kitchen” … Doesn’t that sound like the stockbroker people; doesn’t that sound like the people who are talking about the other people this way? Wow.

Anyway, it was played over and over again. There were even people, even some pundits and governmental folks in public who were saying, “Yes, he was expressing what a lot of people are thinking.” And, what the hell is that? That nobody can catch a break unless you’re rich? See, that’s what happens when something is repeated over and over and over again … self-benefiting mean-spiritedness like this can be spoken of as being, somehow, reasonable.

A Broken Person Is Preferable to a Broken Rule in This Game

And what is it that was repeated over and over and over again? Well, let me just put it this way … because I was there. You know the real issue here … when you say that it’ll benefit “society at large” or you say it’s going to help or benefit real people, or you indicate in some way that it’s gonna ease the suffering of a lot of people. The real thing insinuated has to do with that thoroughly maligned idea — “bleeding heart liberal” — and things like that.

Worse than that, these days, is when that human touch somehow gets in, it’s no more considered a game! “It’s supposed to be a game,” that’s what they’re thinking, now. And it’s like, “Aw come on, you’re trying to benefit people instead of playing a game.” That’s where that contract law comes in, it’s like, “No, that’s breaking the rules.” Well we’re supposed to be running a government for the people not for the rules, aren’t we?

You Value People Over Rules? You’re No Doubt a “Hippie”

So you don’t even hear goodness coming in anymore. Or if you do hear the word compassionate it’s at most the naive utterance of someone that’s wet behind the years … some newbie or hippie … some “soft-headed” person who might have used it in a question in a town meeting, or the like.

And that’s another thing. A hippie? What the hell’s a hippie? Well, this hippie can tell you. That is a definition I’ve watched change over the years. Its meaning in these strange days and among these current cold-hearted people is way different than originally.

In looking at this change in the meaning of hippie we bring into view another aspect of the overall argument I am making. I can tell you now that at the end you will see it all comes together neatly.

It all makes sense because of some basic human feelings, which are even present in large groups. Unfortunately those widely shared feelings are completely at odds with another set of commonly held basic human feelings that can be present and shared in another large group. That might sound complicated.

Compassion = “Hippie”

Mean-Spirited = The “Real” Reality of The Game

What I’m trying to say is, who might that hippie be? Basically, these days, if you are one of those who uses words like compassionate … you’re a hippie!

And on the other side of this, the side that is presented to all, promulgated to everyone, and the only one considered “real,” we’ve got these mean-spirited feelings. They are at war with the idea that we have government that’s there to at all benefit, be on the side of, or even be for its citizens.

Like earlier I brought up the example of the Food and Drug Administration as something that benefits everyone, actual people, though it puts constraints on businesses. Government seen this way exists to protect American people in situations where they would otherwise be powerless. And that is based on this old-fashioned notion that it is a good thing to save people from dying or from suffering in situations where a single individual is helpless against a cultural or societal wrong.

Government could be seen this way because one preeminent value was that life was precious and good, that people dying was not good, that it was important to prevent that to the extent one could … more important than money or profits or the comfort and pleasure of people with riches. Those turn-of-the-century “hippies” valued life over arbitrary rules, people over profits, the common good over the capitalist game.

But I guess nowadays they’d say, “No, no, no … those people paid for that food!” And, you know, let the buyer beware. A dollar laid is a dollar played, after all….

“Part Four: Class War — The Matrix” Sections One and Two Reprise

Coming up, is the third and final section in this series delineating the history of the American Republicans’ incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive … seemingly coordinated … fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the Filthy Rich through totally concocted untruths.

All in the Family

We are seeing here revealed the fifty-year invisible family and community that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality, and the erosion of reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.

American Awakening

I am showing how only because of increasingly cocky and greedy acts and extreme over-reaching “in broad daylight,” before the entire world, did this malevolent surround become visible. These brutish and thievish over-reaches displayed an incredible disregard for, disrespect of, indeed, an actual literal inability of the Filthy Rich — the 1% — and their Republican puppets to see American People, who were the recipients of these attacks. Together these reveals, displayed unintentionally however blatantly and unknowingly by the Republicans and the Filthy Rich … and before the entire world … disclosed to the masses of Americans some “cracks,” “stains,” or textures in the “dome” of unreality they’d existed in, which had made them blind to Reality itself, and had kept them in a near zombie-like dream reality.

“They’re so cute when they jump for their treat”

As this Awakening continued, some began remembering events, the memories of which had been “bleached” out of awareness until just then, and then with remembering they realized how they’d been trained like animals their entire lives for the uses, whatever they’d be, of the Filthy Rich, and been trained then to forget that.

”From here, they look just like ants”

It is clear that the Filthy Rich had an absolute certainty of their success because of their unmitigated power. What is also evident is the absolute inability of the Filthy Rich … which was the shocking thing they’d carelessly let out and therefore displayed to the world … absolute inability of the Republicans and the Filthy Rich to actually notice, let alone view or act towards, Americans as anything even living or having sentient ability, let alone as humans, people, or individuals.

All We Have to Do Is Dream

And as for the term “fellow Americans” often employed by Rich-publican politicos to make it seem as if you are one of them, or they are one of you, if that thought even crossed your mind for a second as being anything but a device, you are not fully appreciating just how literally I mean for my words to be taken. You may very well, in fact, be deeply dreaming and have missed the crack in the dream state that had shone the light in the eyes of a sufficiently large segment of the world population as to cause them to come out of trance and begin to untie their formerly invisible bonds, so that they could try looking around, which led to the realization of the reality that had been blocked from view, and the beginnings of investigations into the real truths of their existence, and to this series of expositions, which delineates the actual, formerly invisible profile of the actual actors in American’s lives, and the processes of control, and the things in their lives that were determined for them by the Filthies, though ordinary folks thought they had been making decisions for themselves.

What The 1% Want to Do with Us

And the last aspect of this series delineates the real factors in your life and the outlines of the real intentions for our lives these puppet masters have had … and have even now in mind.

Processing the Populace

In the first section of “Part Four: Class War — The Matrix,” which is Chapters Fourteen through Seventeen in this book. I talked about the fifty-year Republican campaign to convince the media and the American people of certain truisms that had nothing to do with the truth, in fact were almost one-hundred percent of the time, the opposite of the truth. It is a pretty amazing story of a campaign involving such things as getting people poorer and poorer, requiring them to work longer hours and so on so that they would have less time to think about things. It included other elements such as the way in which people’s minds were either stressed or made busy, and also the way they wore down the American people’s resolve to fight back against injustice.

The second section of “Part Four: Class War — The Matrix,” which is Chapters Eighteen through Twenty-One, elaborated on these parts of the campaign, which together resulted in an erosion of reason among Americans. I discussed how this erosion of reason resulted in an erosion of action as well and why this would be desirable by the societal puppet-masters. Next, I discussed the means of the manipulation — the media, the puppet strings employed by the masters.

The Great Hustle (Cool Hand Gipper)

After that I talked about the way our lives were focused away from human concerns and reduced to the level of a game, contrived by the elite and which was geared toward their ends, suited to their abilities, and in which they dominated. This game was most of the time camouflaged in positive, civic sounding phrases and terminology that made it seem that it was an endeavor for the betterment of all, but I explained how it actually was played and what the motives and ends really were.

$$$ 666 The Great Religion

Last, I bring out how even this ruse of societal welfare was ever more let go of, as the puppet-kings gained in strength and in success in converting mass minds to a belief in the dogma of the game that they controlled.

Dogma Keeping Out Pesky Saviors

The Filthy Rich Controllers channeled people’s inclinations away from their own priorities and from human concerns to be in alignment with the overseer’s non-humanistic, alien ones. Human concerns such as life, easing of suffering and the like were seen as silly and laughable.

And Then The Awakening

As the super wealthy gathered power, they became more blatant and reckless in their machinations. The game was successfully installed as the focus and preeminent value of life itself; but in this headiness of accomplishment, they became complacent about their subterfuge. Reckless in their maneuvers and ever more careless in concealing it, they risked being exposed.

Nightmare Apparent

Aspects of their self-benefiting game play and the cockiness with which they pursued them are further disclosed here in Section Three, which is Chapters Twenty-Two through Twenty-Seven. We see how this creates a condition of such extreme suffering in the populace that stimulates them into awakening from the dream. The Matrix is glimpsed. How the masses awaken and behold in horror the shackles and blinders upon them is described beginning here and in subsequent parts of Culture War, Class War 2022.

Sections One and Two of “Part Four: Class War — The Matrix” are intended to be read before this one, but if you haven’t done so this review will give you a platform from which to view what follows.

“Brother, I Do Not Know Thee”

Section Three continues from the end of section two where I was describing how the brouhaha around Rick Santelli’s callous comment revealed a wholesale and disturbing change in American’s sensitivities toward each other and in particular a callousness about each other’s suffering. Section Three continues from here.

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22

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Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago?

Rules Made to Benefit the Wealthy Are Now More Important Than Life

[Quotes/highlights:] “…these days you have the attitude, ‘A dollar laid is a dollar played’; people’s suffering is irrelevant to the game.”

“We have seen a lot of change over the last five decades. And many new thoughts have become truisms that are actually not true. In the real world they’re nonsensical.

“Unfortunately, they abound because of the cultural change initiated by Ronald Reagan that lowered the standard of living for everyone except for the rich who were the beneficiaries of that switch. It was the greatest shift of money upward, to the higher classes, in history, at that time. George W. Bush, after the millennium, outdid him though. Then Trump doubled down on what Bush arranged to be granted the wealthy.”

“Voodoo economics gradually brought the highest marginal rate of taxes down below thirty percent from the seventy percent it had been when Reagan took office. This should be compared with the ninety-some percent it was under Democratic and Republican presidents — Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy — in the 1940s through 1963. Reaganomics took corporate tax rates down to forty percent from the fifty percent that it had been previous to that beginning in the Forties.”

“…the last time, previous to Reagan, that marginal tax rates were below forty percent was in the Twenties, prior to the Great Depression. Not coincidentally at that same time, preceding the Depression, corporate tax rates were also at their lowest and were down in the teens. History records how well those low corporate and private marginal rates worked out. This did not stop the Reaganites from opting to repeat the previous debacle.”

“…this bonanza for the rich — along with union-busting and other anti-worker practices by Reagan — had the effect of gradually lowering the standard of living for the vast majority of Americans. The result could not have been more ironic. These pro-capitalist, fervid anti-communist Republicans like Reagan and his supporters began the process that would make us mirror images of Soviet Russia in several hugely important ways.

“Reaganomics brought in the two-salary family.”

“The anti-communist Reaganites also brought in institutional childcare, for now this was needed because both parents were working. Someone had to take care of the children, and they would begin that at earlier and earlier ages.”

“Reagan’s economic policies pushed Americans into a lower standard of living — fooling them in all kinds of ways that this was not the case — which was evident in major changes in American culture which mirrored that of the Soviets such as the virtual requirement of two-salary families and along with that the necessity of childcare outside the family at earlier and earlier years. Yet these Soviet-like changes did not also bring with them Communist benefits of job security, free child and medical care, guaranteed lifelong support, and so on.”

“…after Reagan instituted ‘voodoo economics,’ with prices on health care and pharmaceuticals going through the roof along with the sudden unexpected increases of other necessities of life, you had that lowered standard of living we have now become accustomed to for the great majority of Americans. You had a population that was poorer, in relative terms, and got increasingly poorer.”

“The records show that Americans achieved a peak of affluence in the Sixties and that since then, and rapidly accelerating since the Eighties, we have been on a downward slide.”

“…ever since Reagan determined that ketchup qualified as a vegetable serving, I have noticed this public stinginess about food.”

“I could hardly believe the happenings in this Oliver Twist world. My heart went out to those young boys who — in this once wealthy land and still surrounded by plenty in this post-millennial, rich suburban California — stood near the kitchen with plate in hand, their eyes pleading if they might ‘please have some more.’”

“The epidemics of obesity and diabetes in our country attest to how much worse is the nutrition for young folks today.”

“…we passed universal health care ‘coverage’ … not care. Everyone has to be insured does not mean everyone gets taken care of.”

“…health care that is delayed, rationed out, or cut back and denied for certain conditions can be just as much a death sentence as being turned away at a hospital door.”

“‘We can’t afford to keep you alive (we’ve got tax cuts for the rich to pay for).’ So they did. They died. Republicans clamored about ‘death panels’ in opposing health-care legislation; then promptly implemented one as soon as they could after it was passed.”

“I felt like I was in a scene from the movie Soylent Green, wondering where they were taking this one who had fallen by the wayside.”

“The unwritten rule is, ‘You’re asking for health care at a discount!? Well, we’ll make you pay … one way or the other, DAMN you!

“You don’t think this attitude trickles down to the masses from policy on high? Well, you tell me what the policy makers of the 1% are thinking when they say they are going to ‘starve the beast’ of government … continually cut back funds for government services … as a back-door way of making government smaller.

“Just who do they imagine is really that ‘beast’? And why use the word, ‘starve’? Yes, the ‘beast’ of the masses, the riff-raff, is being ‘starved’ — being made to suffer for lack of sufficient money for systems and workers so folks can be served faster. With money stretched thin for humane processing systems and employees to implement them, people are refuse … mere ‘beasts’ … having to stand and suffer.

“I wonder how this is not simply a more undetectable way of eliminating in America the handicapped, disabled, and/or mentally challenged than the way the Nazis did it to the same sort of ‘riff raff’ when they got to power during the time of the Third Reich.”

“…what is the upshot of all this? It is that many folks have to weigh getting health care in America — which is claimed to be ‘available’ — against the complications and time of getting it.”

“The upshot is that many folks are weighing these costs of health care when choosing whether or not to seek help. And their decision is leaving many of these folks dead.”

“’Money changes everything,’ crooned Cyndi Lauper in 1983. Yet first you had Ronald Reagan who redistributed America’s money to benefit the already super rich. This affected the values of America’s citizens. Where once we believed in brotherly love, ‘kumbaya,’ helping the poor, lifting up the needy … ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore’.… Where once we worked and longed for a world of peace and love, now there was a compassion gap. For, with the excuse of ‘The Game,’ America’s ‘deplorables’ could flaunt their mean-spiritedness. Indeed, Reagan changes everything.”

[Chapter 22 text begins:] So these days you have the attitude, “A dollar laid is a dollar played”; people’s suffering is irrelevant to the game.

Foolin’ the People About History

Obvious “Truths”:

  • Reagan “saved” America.
  • Reagan rescued Americans from an oppressive tax burden.
  • Reagan brought down the Iron Curtain, the Soviets, Berlin Wall.
  • In America we were far better off than the Soviets were because…

o    We are the richest country in the world. In America we only get better.

o    wealthier.

o    don’t have to work as hard.

o    can take better care of our children.

Reagan’s Great Ruse

Need I say the above are all accepted as truth, though not true? We have seen a lot of change over the last five decades. And many new thoughts have become truisms that are actually not true. In the real world they’re nonsensical.

The Eighties Changed Everything … The Great Swindle

Unfortunately, they abound because of the cultural change initiated by Ronald Reagan that lowered the standard of living for everyone except for the rich who were the beneficiaries of that switch. It was the greatest shift of money upward, to the higher classes, in history, at that time. George W. Bush, after the millennium, outdid him though. Then Trump doubled down on what Bush arranged to be granted the wealthy. The Republicans pulled off this transfer of wealth under the banner of capitalism. The huge tax cuts for the seriously rich, which was how this relocation of money was accomplished, began with Reagan. When it was proposed during the 1980 presidential race Bush the Elder called it “voodoo economics.” This was before he was invited on the ticket with Reagan.

Voodoo economics gradually brought the highest marginal rate of taxes down below thirty percent from the seventy percent it had been when Reagan took office. This should be compared with the ninety-some percent it was under Democratic and Republican presidents — Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy — in the 1940s through 1963. Reaganomics took corporate tax rates down to forty percent from the fifty percent that it had been previous to that, beginning in the Forties.

Keep in mind that these were times — Forties through Sixties — when America’s economy boomed, turning the U.S. into the wealthiest country in the world. Remember also that the last time, previous to Reagan, that marginal tax rates were below forty percent was in the Twenties, prior to the Great Depression. Not coincidentally at that same time, preceding the Depression, corporate tax rates were also at their lowest and were down in the teens. History records how well those low corporate and private marginal rates worked out. This did not stop the Reaganites from opting to repeat the previous debacle.

The Face of the Enemy, Ours

Overall, this bonanza for the rich — along with union-busting and other anti-worker practices by Reagan — had the effect of gradually lowering the standard of living for the vast majority of Americans. The result could not have been more ironic. These pro-capitalist, fervid anti-Communist Republicans like Reagan and his supporters began the process that would make us mirror images of Soviet Russia in several hugely important ways.

At One Time, “Women Don’t Have to Work”; At Another, “Women Are Free to Work”

Reaganomics brought in the two-salary family. This had been one of those major propaganda points for the anti-communists in the Fifties: We were horrified finding out that behind the Iron Curtain both parents had to have jobs to support their family. It was thrown out as one of the ways we were superior in our capitalist way of life — American wives and mothers did not have to work and were able to spend their time instead raising the children.

The anti-Communist Reaganites also brought in institutional childcare, for now this was needed because both parents were working. Someone had to take care of the children, and they would begin that at earlier and earlier ages.

At One Time, “Strangers Take Care of Their Kids”; At Another, “Child Care Teaches Social Skills and Enhances Multicultural Awareness”

Again, extramural child care was one of those elements of Soviet life that in the Fifties was pointed out to us disdainfully and which we were grateful not to be subject to. It would be thought inhuman, if not barbaric, for children to be cared for by strangers, while the mother was working. There was something dangerous, if not lascivious, insinuated to us by propagandists, about pre-school children not being with their mothers, not receiving her protection and love during that vulnerable and needy time, but being instead “in the hands of strangers” … (god forbid!)

Nevertheless, after Reagan this dreaded feature of Soviet culture became the norm in American culture as well.

So Reagan’s economic policies pushed Americans into a lower standard of living — fooling them in all kinds of ways that this was not the case — which was evident in major changes in American culture which mirrored that of the Soviets, such as the virtual requirement of two-salary families and along with that the necessity of childcare outside the family at earlier and earlier years. Yet these Soviet-like changes did not also bring with them Communist benefits of job security, free child and medical care, guaranteed lifelong support, and so on.

Obvious “Truths”:

  • Americans are innovators and problem-solvers.
  • There’s nothing Americans can’t do, no problem we can’t solve, once we put our minds to it.
  • Things just keep getting better in America
  • Republicans are for small business.

So unfortunately, after Reagan instituted “voodoo economics,” with prices on health care and pharmaceuticals going through the roof along with the sudden unexpected increases of other necessities of life, you had that lowered standard of living we have now become accustomed to for the great majority of Americans. You had a population that was poorer, in relative terms, and got increasingly poorer.

Over time, over the course of my lifetime, though we might ostensibly have appeared to prosper we did not. The apparent rise in standard of living was a result of the glut of new consumer items produced in an increasingly technological and complex culture. You might be able to afford plenty of cheap trinkets and toys; but for things that pertained to your well-being and quality of life, such as health and medical care, good schools, wholesome food, higher educational opportunities, a clean environment, recreational opportunities, fuel and energy, leisure, family, and quality time, and so on, we were ever more wanting.

Peaking in the Sixties

In retrospect I can see we prospered in the Fifties and Sixties. The records show that Americans achieved a peak of affluence in the Sixties and that since then, and rapidly accelerating since the Eighties, we have been on a downward slide.

Poor Mothers Could Afford to Stay Home and Take Care of the Kids

I can see the ways we, living in the Fifties and Sixties, were as a culture fairly well off, though personally my circumstances were anything but that. My father made only fifty dollars a week for a time. However, my mother never had to go to work. She actually did get a part-time job much later in life for the enjoyment of it. Can anyone today imagine that?

How Much for That House? Okay, Let Me Get My Wallet

My father never made over a hundred dollars a week until later in his life when he actually started his own small trucking outfit … that’s another story about who are the real job creators in America that I get into elsewhere. Yet he bought his home with cash he had saved up. Eight thousand dollars smack on the barrelhead in 1953. He never had to work three jobs to get by either, like some folks have to today. No mortgage on his house and he bought every car he owned — roughly once every five years — also with cash he had saved.

College Educations for Free in the Sixties and Seventies. #occupycollege Today

No loans, never in debt and yet five of his six children attended at least some college and two attained at least Master’s degrees. I was talking with my older brother about his college education, which mirrored my own, and we both remember getting by with very little or no debt afterward. We both received enough to cover all college plus living expenses most years just on scholarships and grants — mostly state and federally funded — yet we both attended private, somewhat prestigious, colleges.

I know, Millennial Generation, but don’t blame us, we’re on your side. #occupycollege.

What’s Health Insurance?

My family didn’t have any health insurance, had never even heard of it. We were not well off, but we like most people could afford to go to the doctor. Similar to others we could even normally pay hospital bills, for maternity and so on. If anything very serious developed that required more money no one ever imagined they would be turned away at a hospital. The Mercy Hospital in my city, run by a religious order of Catholic nuns and funded by contributions, was a place one could always go regardless of one’s means. Sounds unbelievably quaint, doesn’t it? I know. I can hardly believe it was once that way myself.

Foolin’ the People About America

Obvious “Truths”

  • There is an abundance of food in America
  • There is a huge problem with obesity in America because folks actually have too much to eat.
  • People are overweight because they eat too much.

Starving for Prosperity

“Have Some More, There’s Plenty!”

And my family never starved back in the Fifties and Sixties. The dinner refrain was “Have some more, there’s plenty.” Though we were fairly poor by the standards of that time, I never, ever, ever imagined there being a lack of or limitation on food. There were big restrictions on sweet treats and goodies, but not on wholesome food. So it shocks me to see how much more concerned parents are today about how much their children will eat, as well as how precisely they mete out their gustatory offerings when entertaining.

“You’re Not Leaving This Table till You’ve Eaten All Your … Ketchup”

When not that long ago I worked in a group home for troubled boys I was shocked and distressed to see the controversies over the food portions given and the restrictions on when they could eat. This was a government-funded group home and had to abide by all kinds of minimal standards in nutrition. Still, ever since Reagan determined that ketchup qualified as a vegetable serving, I have noticed this public stinginess about food.

Where I worked, sugared-water drinks qualified as juice, and peanut butter consumption was limited to a thin layer like that of butter that’s spread on bread. Cheap sugar this and thats and nutrient-low, colon-clogging baked goods, noodle dishes, and pizza were the at-hand substitutes for wholesome, more substantial offerings. The resulting blood-sugar swings and erratic, aggressive behavior were handled with drugs and listed within their case histories.

“Please, Sir, Some More?”

There was much more like this but suffice it to say that I could hardly believe the happenings in this Oliver Twist world. My heart went out to those young boys who — in this once wealthy land and still surrounded by plenty in this post-millennial, rich suburban California — stood near the kitchen with plate in hand, their eyes pleading if they might “please have some more.”

This miserliness about food seems a prevalent thing throughout the culture as it is evident in school lunch programs also. Whereas at the grammar and secondary schools I attended while growing up I enjoyed complete wholesome meals on a par with and sometimes surpassing the enjoyable repasts at home and even seconds were allowed, what is considered a decent school lunch today is shocking. Corporations have taken over as suppliers. Can you believe we had a Joe the Cook in grade school who concocted home-style offerings, which were ladled out by those of our mothers, including my own, who had volunteered?

The Beloved School Cook — Pepsico

Today the school meals are akin to that in fast food restaurants and just as monotonous … pizza, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, greasy burgers, hot dogs, fries. They are not “cooked.” From what I understand, they are taken from freezers, popped in microwaves, and dealt out to pupils like one would cards. The epidemics of obesity and diabetes in our country attest to how much worse is the nutrition for young folks today.

Your Medical Payment or Your Life

What else is different now than fifty years ago? Well, there’s people who can’t pay for health care … can’t get health care? … Now that’s something new for me too. Can’t get health care. Wow. You mean you’re sick, you’re gonna die, but you can’t get help in the medical system? Unbelievable. That used to be unheard of.

I know. You’re thinking, “But we passed universal health care under Obama.” Remember though, we passed universal health care “coverage” … not care. Everyone has to be insured does not mean everyone gets taken care of.

Now, I don’t know if folks are being turned away from hospitals like they were before the Affordable Care Act was passed. Folks got refused care for lack of coverage in recent decades. And sometimes they died. I wonder how many others died while struggling to fill out the forms to apply for health care for the needy? *sarcasm*

Regardless, health care that is delayed, rationed out, or cut back and denied for certain conditions can be just as much a death sentence as being turned away at a hospital door. Example? After we passed “universal” coverage Governor Jane Brewer of Arizona allowed a change in policy in their state-funded health care to deny organ transplants to those folks who could not afford it otherwise. These were organ transplants needed to save their lives. These people would have received them under some other coverage, but falling through the cracks and being poor — some of them born too disabled to be able to work at a job — they were essentially told, “We can’t afford to keep you alive (we’ve got tax cuts for the rich to pay for).” So they did. They died. Republicans clamored about “death panels” in opposing health-care legislation; then promptly implemented one as soon as they could after it was passed.

Isn’t this the kind of health care the opponents of “socialized medicine” say we would get if we went to single-payer? Well, we’ve got it folks — delays, rationing, denials, complications … and stress! — without any of the benefits of “socialized medicine.” I’ve watched it take two weeks to get a prescription in Riverside County, California, when it should have taken forty-five minutes or less. The folks there handling health care for people who include poor folks on Medi-Cal are so overworked and stretched thin that you need to stand in line, literally stand in line for sometimes four hours or more to get a prescription filled. Think I’m exaggerating? I’m aware of at least one elderly gentleman who collapsed while waiting and was removed on a stretcher. I felt like I was in a scene from the movie Soylent Green, wondering where they were taking this one who had fallen by the wayside.

And the answer is no. No to the other question in your mind: “Don’t they have places you can sit down?” I know of no other place where you have to stand to get your prescription, you’re required to stand. But then this is a huge county hospital catering to the poor. It handles many poor people … and it does it poorly. The unwritten rule is, “You’re asking for health care at a discount!? Well, we’ll make you pay … one way or the other, DAMN you!”

Starve the “Beast”

You don’t think this attitude trickles down to the masses from policy on high? Well, you tell me what the policy makers of the 1% are thinking when they say they are going to “starve the beast” of government … continually cut back funds for government services … as a back-door way of making government smaller. This is the exact wording they have used, since Reagan, for their policies of tax cuts for the rich that require massive spending cuts on services for poor and middle-income folks.

Yet think now: Just who do they imagine is really that “beast”? And why use the word, “starve”? Yes, the “beast” of the masses, the riff-raff, is being “starved” — being made to suffer for lack of sufficient money for systems and workers so folks can be served faster. With money stretched thin for humane processing systems and employees to implement them, people are trash … mere “beasts” … having to stand and suffer.

I wonder how this is not simply a more undetectable way of eliminating in America the handicapped, disabled, and/or mentally challenged than the way the Nazis did it to the same sort of “riff raff” when they got to power during the time of the Third Reich.

And Do You Get a Doctor?

Do you get a doctor, though? Not in this decade you don’t. When I was a child we went to the doctor’s office and paid $7 for a doctor’s visit. Even on my Dad’s $50 a week, that was affordable; and that was the least he made. When you now have doctor’s visits that cost a hundred to three hundred dollars if you pay out of pocket (or more), do you realize how much you’d have to make for it to be as affordable as it was for my Dad? Figure $700 to two to three thousand a week. Some people make that nowadays, but not the poor. Remember, my father was dirt poor, getting by on $50 a week with six kids.

House Calls in the Past; “Pretend” Doctors Today

Yet we got to see a real doctor. We even got a doctor who made house calls. Today? Well you get a pretend doctor who confers, along with a gaggle of other pretend doctors, with an actual physician, then gets back to you as you wait … and wait some more.

And You Wait

One time, it took four hours for the visit and another four hours to get the prescriptions in another place at the same hospital … and the prescriptions didn’t all come through until after two weeks and a number of phone calls, as at one point they had to order a common prescription and then lost the order … they had no record that it had ever been made; though on several phone calls they referred to it … and had to make it again. And this experience has been common. I’ve experienced it a number of times. I’ve since got health care elsewhere, believe me.

You Get an “Assumed” Doctor

Did I get a doctor? No. Oh, they call themselves doctors. The last one was more honest and announced when he came in that he was so and so who was a “student doctor.” I didn’t hear him correctly. My mind scanned thousands of files in an instant and what it came up with I just had to ask. I said, “Did you say you are an ‘assumed doctor’”?

And You Like It

And being “processed” like a piece of meat this way, you get a different “assumed doctor” every time. There is no continuity. You don’t bother to keep track of their names, for it doesn’t matter. You start all over on every visit. The only thing they know of you is what has been electronically recorded from previous visits; nothing human or relational is carried forward. They will tell you it is because all the “assumed doctors” are equally competent and qualified, so it doesn’t matter. Of course, that is a rationalization for a system so “starved” of funding the personal touch has long ago been squeezed out in favor of assembly-line processing.

Or You Choose to Die

So what is the upshot of all this? It is that many folks have to weigh getting health care in America — which is claimed to be “available” — against the complications and time of getting it. I didn’t have a job, so I was able to persevere. What of folks who have to work full time or more? I was well enough to stand around and coherent enough to make notes and make phone calls. What of folks who are sicker than that?

The Unspoken Costs of Health Care

The upshot is that many folks are weighing these costs of health care when choosing whether or not to seek help. And their decision is leaving many of these folks dead. I know of a number of people who have made such a decision; many of you also do.

Some are choosing a “soylent green” escape

I know of one instance where it was even done consciously, for the person did not want to spend what might be her last time on Earth struggling with an insensitive and mean-spirited medical system, so she just opted to let her cancer take her in the serenity of her home and surrounded by loved ones.

Why am I now thinking of that movie Soylent Green again? Well, maybe you remember that scene as well.

Others are risking it

I know I myself weigh these costs in time and suffering and inconvenience whenever I feel I might need to be looked at for something. and very often … most of the time actually … I put off being looked at. I postpone doing tests that are made more time consuming and painful for poor folks (don’t get me started on that); and I often give up in pursuing the treatments and medications that I am prescribed … figuring that putting up with the suffering of the ailment is better than the suffering incurred in its cure. and I am not alone. Will it cost me my life? Perhaps.

Universal health care in America? Don’t make me laugh..

America — Best Health Care in the World

… Before Them

Now, compare all this with the way it was fifty years ago. A friend of mine on Facebook shared how her brother was treated when he had a life-threatening injury. This was that long ago, and she relates they were poor. She says, they flew in a specialist from Australia to perform the delicate operation. I repeat, they were poor. But then this was all before Reagan … and Nixon. I’m getting to that.

“Money changes everything,” crooned Cyndi Lauper in 1983. Yet first you had Ronald Reagan who redistributed America’s money to benefit the already super rich. This affected the values of America’s citizens. Where once we believed in brotherly love, “kumbaya,” helping the poor, lifting up the needy … “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”.… Where once we worked and longed for a world of peace and love, now there was a compassion gap. For, with the excuse of “The Game,” America’s “deplorables” could flaunt their mean-spiritedness. Indeed, Reagan changes everything.

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23

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The Compassion Gap:

With the Excuse of “The Game,” Small-Hearted Folks Can Now Flaunt Their Mean-Spiritedness

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[Quotes/highlights:] “…what happened to our country? We were supposed to be a country that valued human life, for example, but is now valuing contract law over that.”

“…the word has become more important than the person, and better that people sleep in the gutters or lie out in the park than to lend them a hand.”

“Rules (Made Up to Benefit the Wealthy) Are Now More Important Than Life”

“…this is the kind of thing that was brought up year after year over the decades to the point where it became that the things that I heard being valued growing up were laughable: compassion, if you were caring about people, or not wanting people to die.”

“…by the time of Nixon.… You couldn’t say you were actually going to help out the poor anymore.”

“…isn’t it kind of like that racism has become classism? It’s kind of like a hatred that’s not been eliminated because they’re still saying that about people of color, but it’s been expanded. It includes more people — Whites and Blacks … and all other kinds of colors. All the poor, they’re all now lazy, deserving what they get … if you listen to our society’s wealthy Controllers. And by the way, with their voices broadcast everywhere, with even CNN going the way of fascism as of September 2022, it is virtually all you will hear.”

“Nixon’s answer to health care, to help the middle class, he started the move toward HMOs.”

“[Nixon] is told that Edgar Kaiser is proposing a ‘for profit’ system of health care.

“Now here we have people who can’t afford health care and now you want to have a system that’s going to add to the costs of it.”

“…to all necessary costs that are already there, HMOs add the cost of profits to go to the owners of that health care system.”

“…by this point, because of the Culture War and mean-spiritedness being stirred up in the country by Republicans, it had become necessary to single out the middle class as the only ones receiving the benefit….”

“…an HMO employee received bonuses upwards of twenty-thousand dollars for cancelling coverage on people who were costing the insurer a lot of money. She cancelled hundreds of policies, including for those who were scheduled for life-saving procedures. In one ‘particularly good’ year for this person, she saved her employer six million dollars.”

“…these HMO-persons were rewarded for taking people’s lives….”

“…[Linda Peeno] admitted her action amounted to a murder, for which she should have been charged but wasn’t. She pointed out how perverse it was that instead the system rained rewards upon her.”

“And it’s contract law that is stretched to benefit the people with the most money and who have the better lawyers and who can, y’know, twist things better in their favor.”

“…at the time of his health-care proposal, [Nixon] said huge managed-care systems, which he touted as being one-stop medical systems, were going to lower health care costs.”

“[Nixon] said these lower expenses would benefit the whole system.

“Apparently, he forgot to mention the for-profit part, which ended up funneling all those benefits, those lower expenses, into the pockets of the owners and shareholders. That is what happens when you put profit-hungry businessmen in charge of care. Gradually, America’s medical needs were primarily the purview of business, big business. Just as with school lunches in America, American corporations were making huge profits taking over, and reducing the quality of, essential needs — food, health care, prisons, and so on. You will see this as a pattern of Republicans always..”

“…the health care law that went into effect under Obama was to make sure everyone would receive coverage, not health care. We are still finding out how effective this health care reform will be in reducing these sorts of abuses by insurers. No doubt it is better than what existed before. Much better. Yet, sadly, Obamacare leaves intact the profit motive in American health care. Hence, any regulation and prohibitions of abuses are likely to amount to tying down a ravenous beast with bungee cords. It is hard to believe this monster created by Nixon will not break free whenever it can and wreak much havoc before being stopped again … but again with piles of dead Americans in its wake.”

“…my own story about my wife is similar to Obama’s but different, because it has to do, not with money payments, but the quality of care that comes about when profit-seekers control the health care of a country. My own story is about how my wife physically suffered during her last days, although it was most definitely covered by her insurance.”

“…her agony put money in the hands of corporate fat cats’ hands who owned that HMO as well as some of the doctors making out handsomely getting paid for each operation and procedure, even if it is an unnecessary one….”

“My wife didn’t benefit by the HMO’s cutting services to increase their profits. She didn’t make out very well with these doctors performing these unnecessary procedures, which put money in their pocket. She wasn’t helped at all by the physician who insisted that her writhing around on the bed was not from a hip joint out of place — the doctor could have just checked, the CNA was able to see it — but was from an advanced dementia. Yet that kind of poor care is what can be expected from doctors and nurses who are overworked to benefit the corporation and who themselves are operating out of a profit motive in the health-care decisions they make for you and me.”

“…to the costs in suffering of healthcare provided poorly, with the only remedy being litigation, add the costs of time taken away from other pursuits, better pursuits, pursuits that would benefit society … none of which gets done when people are forced into The Game as their only option for redress. When corporate-benefiting policies result in cruelty, and death.”

“Much of health care, you see, had been in the hands of charitable entities and people dedicated to the idea of service, caring for the sick, getting them well, caring for your fellow person, your fellow man or woman, and so on; naturally the type of care you received was infused with such ideals.

“Yet with Nixon all that changed. and Nixon loved it.”

“Now you not only have to pay more for private care but also compared to not so long ago it is being increasingly performed by angry, stressed, tense, overworked, underslept professionals. Well, what happens when you’ve got those kind of people providing you medical care on the private side? One example of what happens we saw with my wife’s final days.”

“This story of HMOs taking over from private practitioners is the same pattern we know so well of the big guys gobbling up the little ones. It’s the story of creeping corporate insertion into every aspect of your life that you keep seeing over and over again in America. And it’s changed America.”

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[Chapter 23 text begins:] So what happened to our country? We were supposed to be a country that valued human life, for example, but is now valuing contract law over that.

The Word’s More Important Than The Life

So the word has become more important than the person, and better that people sleep in the gutters or lie out in the park than to lend them a hand. And god forbid when you have children, that one of them get sick, someone have an accident, or someone get killed….

Rules (Made Up to Benefit the Wealthy) Are Now More Important Than Life

Goddamn it. Y’know, here you’ve got Rick Santelli saying, well they must have put in a kitchen or else they wouldn’t have gotten foreclosed on. Where does he get that? That’s not a fact. That’s a made-up thing, just to get people angry.

And that’s the game. A game that’s not founded on any facts, only played to be won, and it’s won by making the best argument to arouse the most passions, the most negative passions in people, and to find scapegoats.

Stop War? Don’t Be Silly

And this is the kind of thing that was brought up year after year over the decades to the point where it became that the things that I heard being valued growing up were laughable: compassion, if you were caring about people, or not wanting people to die. Life, increasingly, was becoming as cheap as in Third World countries. This was no longer America.

Say, there was a war or something and there was agony over the loss of life. and all these people would gather together out of their concern. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. People anguished and horrified by other people’s deaths and sufferings … reaching out to help them, help each other, comfort each other, pray together … hope … weep.

Oh My Lord, Kumbaya

Yeah, a great big kumbaya moment! Wow. and I’m sure that’s what you heard, too. So I get it. Okay, so you shouldn’t have any feelings toward your fellow suffering brother or sister. Is it, what, silly? Uncool? Weak? Wussy? Sappy? What?

What is it you’re trying to prove to others with that?

What is it you’re hiding about yourself?

… What would Jesus have said to that …

It seems more than the standard of living was lowered since those days. and I’m sure they are in many ways connected…. I’ll get into that later.

Health Not-Care

Getting back to the change in the physical standard of living that Reagan wrought, though, let’s take for example the increase in health care costs. This is one of the necessities of life, and it’s been climbing out of reach, putting a burden on people, okay?…

Humbug for the Poor

As I explained in section two of “Part Four: Class War — The Matrix,” Chapters Eighteen through Twenty-One, Nixon addressed that problem in the Seventies. He was supposedly helping out the people, the poor…. Uh. But, no, he would never say that. He would never say he wanted to help the poor! Previous to him, in Johnson’s time … The Great Society and all that, yes. That was surely a time when you would hear talk like that. There was actually a War on Poverty then.

But by the time of Nixon….

So, I guess that’s when it started happening.

You couldn’t say you were actually going to help out the poor anymore. Because the truism, which I’m sure you all agree with, whether you admit it to yourself or not, is that the poor people deserve to be punished because obviously they’re lazy. Think about that; isn’t that the same stuff that, back in the day, they were saying about African Americans?…

Democratizing the Hate

So isn’t it kind of like that racism has become classism? It’s kind of like a hatred that’s not been eliminated because they’re still saying that about people of color, but it’s been expanded. It includes more people — Whites and Blacks … and all other kinds of colors. All the poor, they’re all now lazy, deserving what they get … if you listen to our society’s wealthy Controllers. And by the way, with their voices broadcast everywhere, with even CNN going the way of fascism as of September 2022, it is virtually all you will hear.

The Middle Class — The Last Bastion of Who You Can Give a Damn About

So instead what you hear today is like the “middle class”! Well, supposedly the middle class are okay people. They’re not deadbeats; they didn’t put in that kitchen they can’t afford…. Actually they’re the ones who are owning homes, so some of them actually are the ones getting those new kitchens. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good argument to make in “The Game.”

 Nixon Cared About Health … Healthy Profits

So Nixon’s answer to health care, to help the middle class, he started the move toward HMOs. And remember how it came about. There were actual White House tapes, an actual taped phone conversation of it. You hear Nixon talking to Ehrlichmann. and they are discussing the matter, health care. Nixon is told that Kaiser, and this is the guy who started Kaiser Permanente, one of the top HMOs. He is told that Edgar Kaiser is proposing a “for profit” system of health care.

Now here we have people who can’t afford health care and now you want to have a system that’s going to add to the costs of it. How’s that you say?

Some People Just Wanting to Get Sick Again and Again!

You say HMOs lower health care costs by reducing overhead? Maybe, but to all necessary costs that are already there, HMOs add the cost of profits to go to the owners of that health care system. Okay?

Also, Kaiser pointed out it would discourage “overuse” of medical treatment. Wow! So, here we go again.

So now we see that people who need medical treatment are just like those deadbeats, they’re like poor people, they’re overusing medical care. My god! They’re getting sick too much. and if you had a for-profit system, well, they could deny people coverage. And they could deny people medical treatment, no doubt, because they would naturally want to increase their profits.

GOP-Think. GOP, Think! GOP … Think?

So guess what? So, Nixon replied, “Well, now that I like.” This is a true story. So this is a look into how Republicans think.

Well not long afterwards, Nixon gives a speech to present his sweeping new health care proposal. What does he say?

Remember, there is this obvious racist and classist disdain for certain groups of people who might be getting too much health care. On the other hand, Nixon is wanting to see that certain other groups of people — White and wealthy — will make out big time from profits that will be involved.