Posts Tagged nation

Where There Is Hope and What Did You Expect Awakening to Look Like? Look Hard Enough, You Just Might See the Seeds of Light Amidst the Darkness Surrounding.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARebirthing Rituals, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and the Value of Popular Culture in Awakening: The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight … Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits

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Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing

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Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows.

The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight: Societal Self-Analysis, an Internet Reformation, and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace

Societal Self-Analysis

Culture War Replaced Cold War

We see the workings of these opposing tendencies to look away from problems or to embrace them by examining the reactions in America to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The disappearance of this huge object for distraction from inner unhappiness, about which one could rationalize the use of defensiveness and scapegoating, led to continued turning away through the emergence, in America, of a search for other societal scapegoats and therefore the “Republican revolution.” Culture War replaced the Cold War as the way one could be comfortably ignorant of one’s insides and self-assuredly distracted, self-righteously engaged.

This removal of a collective punching bag or scapegoat also resulted in a healthy turning toward the darkness within and a collective self-analysis in America. This reaction has brought to the fore many of our social and political shortcomings.

Talk Show Soul-Searching

For evidence of this latter response we notice beginning in the Nineties the rise of the talk show; the rituals of nationwide self-examination over issues of sexual harassment, spouse abuse, and race relations played out in the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings and the O. J. Simpson trial; the hashing out of controversial and formerly hidden personal issues around sex, lies, and marital fidelity, played out in the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal; the reevaluation of matters of faith precipitated by priestly sexual abuse; and many other such national psychodramas staged on cable news networks and the magazine-style, documentary-type TV shows like Frontline, Nightline and the like.

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We also witnessed the rise of reality shows as part of this societal pull to see beneath the covers of what is thought to be real. Now, progressives and intellectuals have lots of fun vamping about how superior they themselves are to such interests, as exemplified in reality shows. This can only be the position of elitists out of touch with the ways ordinary folks live their lives.

Sitcom Socialization

To make my point, let me back up a bit. The swagger that the Left, and intellectuals in general, display around reality shows is the same superiority they have expressed for decades concerning sitcoms. First, let me say that I consider most sitcoms and reality shows to be rather boring and a bit inane with their laugh and soundtrack framing. father-knows-bestYet, when I was a child, growing up in a medium-sized city in the coal country of Pennsylvania and coming from a very traditional family, it was only through such sitcoms that I had a chance to find out what a different style of family and parenting would be. Today, I would laugh at a “Father Knows Best.” But it was a step up and into socialization from the “Father Knows Little” or “Father Not Around” of many in my social stratum when I was a kid. This exposure allowed me, and many of my generation, to seek for more in our life and for better interpersonal family relationships…and eventually better parenting.

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This presentation of better alternatives—middle-class, liberal, “hollywood” ones—to everyone in America has a lot to do with the fact that the Sixties were so explosive. It was the first decade after the introduction of a national culture through the medium of television. Much has been made of the fact that newscasts brought information into living rooms for the first time in that era—which is the thing that intellectual elitists will focus on, blinded by their quaint beliefs that humans are rational actors. It takes an experiential psychologist and social scientist like myself to notice that most folks act out of ideas and attitudes that are rooted in experiences and information that are hardly rational. So, the modeling of a more “advanced” way of family life—not perfect but for many better than the traditional ways they had known, which included things like spanking and attitudes like “children are better seen not heard” and “spare the rod, spoil the child”—through the TVs and cinemas of America was vastly more influential in changing society than newscasts, whose information could just as easily have been shared through the print media. The sitcoms brought liberal middle-class values to everyone in America who owned a tv set; and this was a huge step forward at the time.

A Modern “Priesthood”

This is where righties have it right when targeting “hollywood” for many of the changes in our culture over the last half century…though they see that as a negative influence. But intellectuals and lefties blow an opportunity and lose support among ordinary folks through an unconscious haughtiness and a cultural snobbery they are blind to but display in their turning up their noses at popular culture. Luckily, as an anthropological social scientist, I can study popular culture and get away with it, though not without some snide commentary coming my way from progressive and professional circles. They simply will never understand an intellectual who can speak to working folks because he’s one of them. They simply don’t get my attempts to package the crucial understandings of modern science and social sciences, on which the existence of our very world depends, in words that are not primarily directed to and meant to appease the gods of academia. They consider themselves important within their tiny professional circles, thinking they are changing the world when no one even knows what they are doing beyond that constrained perimeter.

Keeping the People Down

Indeed the attitude of academics and progressives about popular culture, especially talk and reality show tv programming and although they would be appalled to ever think it, is no different from the attitudes of the Catholic church and the clergy about matters of faith during medieval times. There, too, we had an elite wanting to “keep out the unwashed.” There, too, we had a distinction between people in the know and the rabble, with the anointed ones requiring ordinary folks to go through them for matters of truth and faith. We had then also this sharp distinction between the “high culture” of the Church and aristocracy—exemplified in the chamber music of the time—and the “low culture” of the masses—exemplified by the folk music of the troubadours of that day.

Nowadays this poo-pooing of tv culture by intellectuals is the same kind of attempt to funnel reality to the masses through the filters of a new “priesthood.” The cultural purists and intellectual elites would prefer that for truth you go through them in academia, where you ‘d have to pay a toll of course, just as the priests of the Middle Ages required you to pass their way on the road to the divine.

Therapy for the Masses

At any rate throwing off the snootiness of intellectualism, I contend, allows us to notice that sitcoms, reality shows, and talk shows serve functions in society that are, overall, beneficial in advancing our culture and catalyzing increased growth. They may not reflect, yet, where intellectuals and progressives think we should be, but for many they show something beyond where they are.

We should know that they are overall helpful in our cause from the fact that conservatives want to attack hollywood and limit freedom of expression on any airwave. The fact that many reactionaries want to keep their children out of schools, home-schooled, and away from tv sets should be telling progressives something about the value of popular culture.

Rebirth Denied

My point is that the rise in reality and talk shows are coincident with a need for a kind of societal “therapy” that came about when we took back our projections from the Soviets and were forced to look at ourselves. I’m saying this was a healthy way of doing it, and this was helping us, though it was tumultuous and difficult, in the Nineties. It is unfortunate, but it suited the forces of war and fascism, for the 1% to bring forth in the millennium the bugaboo of terrorism…perfectly bringing about another endless feud with another concocted enemy to project our own darknesses onto so we can escape from having to notice them ourselves and bring about actual personal growth and cultural advance…let alone the cultural rebirth that has been trying to happen for decades.

American Rehab

Reality shows are like watching group therapy happening. It is not surprising that there was even one reality program that was about therapy—Celebrity Rehab. Reality shows also expose ordinary folks to what amounts to crude but informative sociological experiments. If academics could see beyond their pretensions they would applaud this sort of, however haphazard and imprecise, understanding of group processes and individual psychology arising in the masses.

If there weren’t reality shows, folks would have a harder time knowing appropriate ways for men and women to act with each other. The gains of feminism would not have spread so widely or as fast if they were not being modeled and reinforced repeatedly on talk and reality shows. They demonstrate parenting and social skills—“politically correct” ones, in the good sense—to folks who would otherwise not know any better than to behave crudely and abusively. They bring the world, geography, travel, and history to the masses.

Intellectuals quibble about the quality of that, which comes across as quite childish, for it arises as if out of a jealousy of others getting the attention they want and out of a fear of competition for informational matters around science, culture, and humanities. It strikes me as more than ironic that those on the Left who would wish people to wake up from their zombie slumber would want to push programs of literature or drama where truths are filtered through the consciousness, and unconscious, of the artist, while wishing to deprive folks of a direct look—however contrived, it is actual reality and not scripted—at the world around them and people’s actual unplanned behavior and spontaneous reactions to unusual events.

Seeing people’s behavior in some of these shows does often remind me of the dynamics I’ve seen in therapy groups, and some of the personal changes in the participants mirror some of the evolutions I’ve seen in folks undergoing deep experiential psychotherapy. The audience participation part often sounds like group therapy or an intervention. I’ve been struck by how some of the group processes in the show remind me of family day in rehab, with folks reflecting back what they see in each other and how others’ behavior has affected them. These are all things that conservatives cringe at…actually hate. Yet liberals, except for notable exceptions like Jerry Springer, are not seeing the opening they have here. Lefties are fighting rather than using these forces, which are in the direction of personal growth and, cumulatively, much needed societal change.

As a psychologist and simply someone who loves people, I am fascinated by some of the things I see in these shows. They can be heart-wrenchingly real at times. So it occurs to me that folks who disparage these shows, comparing them with literature and dramatic productions, is another thing where some are wanting to have their reality filtered, managed, and packaged for them, lest it be too “disruptive” to their prejudices of things.

The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight

The upshot of all this is to say that just as a lack of a Cold War caused both collective acting out—another war, a Culture War—and collective inner searching via television talk shows, documentaries, and such. So also the prevention of “hot” wars on an international, not just intercultural, scale and the cause of peace in general require such inner soul-searching and such confrontation with one’s darker sides. And if we must, it is better to endure the psychotic acting out of a culture war—with its battles played out on the airwaves—than an actual war.

For is there any doubt that either of these or any combinations of these alternatives, however uncomfortable and even violent…on a smaller scale…at times, is a small price to pay compared to the price of outright war and violence which, by any measurement, is a cost horrifyingly huge and unacceptable?

America Currently Refusing to Pay Such Price

The converse of this is also true: When the dramas wanting to be discussed are suppressed in the mainstream media, it is as stifling of the growth of a nation as an individual’s growth. Unfortunately we have seen this as well recently. There have been massive worldwide and nationwide Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, massive Wisconsin union outpourings, and events in Japan and about Fukushima that the American people really want to and need to know and discuss, but they are being blacklisted from being broadcasted on. There has been a change in government in Iceland, with banksters being jailed, that Americans are not hearing about; there have been demonstrations in Japan about their insane response to their tragedy, which Americans won’t be told about; there have been massive demonstrations in Israel against the colonial policies of their own government that curiously do not make it into the offerings of news programs. These are things that in the Nineties would have fed the talk on tv and stimulated the necessary societal hashing out for there to be a chance of going beyond them.

What Is the Cost of Denial? Of Complacency?

It is hard to know, though, what happens when the natural urges of a nation to grow and change are thwarted. While I discussed this abortion of cultural renewal and the abomination that results from it at length in Chapter Seven of a companion book to this one, Culture War, Class War, under the title Cultural Rebirth, Aborted, the question remains what happens when this societal “rebirthing” is more urgent than ever. What happens when—for the sake of the survival of the human race and of the planet—it is necessary that this growth happen and instead it is continuously derailed and snuffed out of the light of collective consciousness?

Internet Revolution Is Another Reformation

Luckily all this is changing as the internet and social networking have upended the academic elitists, swarming around and over their petty barriers of intellectual privilege. The blogsters and “rabble” of the net have taken over the cultural dialogue of the time as assuredly as Martin Luther and the Reformation changed religion forever and helped to bring to an end the cultural stagnation of the Middle Ages and to ignite an Age of Reason and of Enlightenment.

We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations: Know Thyself … Let the Buck Stop Here!

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Moratorium … Let the Buck Stop Here! We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations

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“Know Thyself” ~ “Narcissistic”?

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Self-Discovery, Soul-Searching, Psychological-Mindedness, Self-Analysis – Sixties Generation

clip_image0033So, we have taken a look at the need for societies to “do therapy” on themselves, to hash out and process, however messy that might seem to be, the perinatal projections from the unconscious, as they manifest in the tribulations of the times—both profound and mundane. It must be kept in mind that it is the products of nearly the most Painted Glass Ball Illusion“advanced” mode of butterfly-transformationchild-caring—the delegated-release subclass of the socializing psychoclass — who have proved most willing to pay such prices for peace, as for example, in increased soul-searching. In fact they would be later stigmatized for just this quality of introspection, this supposed fault of looking into themselves, through the derogatory appellation, narcissistic.

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Grof_AdventureSelf-Discoveryiconclip_image0053Indeed, Keniston foresaw this when he studied the Sixties generation as college students. Observing the amount of inner exploration they engaged in during their quests for self-discovery, he would describe this attribute in a biased way as “the overexamined life,” and more fairly, for the activist youth, as a “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis.” [Footnote 1]

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“Let It All Out? No, Leave Some of It In!” – Pat Buchanan, Fifties Generation

clip_image007_thumbNo doubt those who criticized these youth in the past are some of the same ones or their surrogates who, now older, are wrongly castigating the self-analyzing characteristics of contemporary society as the Sixties generation is now in its “triumphant” phase—the time when as adults a psychoclass takes over the reins of society and most strongly influences it. I have already taken note of the tendencies of the right to rile against the collective processing that is happening in their attacks on popular culture and in particular what they call “hollywood.” They express their desire that “such matters” not come to public light, for they deem them “offensive” or an affront to their (oh so delicate) sensibilities. 181264_233235313453542_936852846_nThey sense a threat to the precious untruths that prop up their self-destructive way of life, woven through as it is with war, fascism, planetary and planetmate annihilation, and the other horrors mushrooming about them in the postmodern era. [Footnote 2]

These highly defended and fear-minded conservatives, prone to projection, are incapable of appreciating the integrity of an inner-thinking generation like the Boomers are. These outer-minded authoritarians would not get, would outright hate those who “questioned authority” in the Sixties.

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clip_image0091These defended entrenched egos would be secretly jealous of and overtly aggressive to a generational emergence that since the Sixties has been psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually working on themselves to be free of inner tyranny. As one of their exemplars, Pat Buchanan, long ago phrased it, “Let it all out? No, leave some of it in!”

Let the Buck Stop Here!

CD_0094MillionProtestersDisappearNonetheless this cadre of kindred Sixties spirits would in their actions declare for the first time in history as a generation, “Let the buck stop here!” And they would seek to turn themselves, and by extension their children and society-at-large, into a more loving, wise, and less acting-out humanity…most importantly, one willing to cooperate rather than war with Nature, or other nations.

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If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

baker_conceptioniconwe.said.let.the.buck.stop.hereWhat virtually all the folks outside “my generation” never get is the unimpeachable vision we had of the complete and utter wrongness of the path and tendencies of modern times and the abyss toward which civilization was heading. We were proven right, of course, as especially in the last decade we have seen the disintegration wrought of those tendencies on all fronts—political, environmental, personal. The Sixties generation saw modern civilization as being unreformable and needing complete remaking, so that everything we did was an attempt to create reality and culture from scratch, sans tradition.

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We had seen normal ways of doing things to be impotent and often dangerous and most importantly leading to apocalyptic endings in our near future. This understanding is what was responsible for all the “non-normal” behaviors my generation displayed—communes, confrontations, clothes, relationships, organics, alternative ways of everything…an entire counterculture. We have been laughed at for essentially being ahead of the curve on the messages of modern events. We have been called crazy for our inconvenient prophecies, virtually all of which are now coming to pass.

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While I and my cohorts, to use just one example, spoke out on the dangers of nuclear energy and in particular the insanity of building plants on fault lines, the professional pundits scoffed and boasted they lived near nuclear plants. This was thirty years and more before the world ever heard the word, Fukushima. The examples like this are endless. We saw all these unworkable endings and asked ourselves, “What would be a real way of doing that?” “What would be a workable, sustainable way?” “What would be a sane and happy life, ethic, and lifestyle.” “What would be a loving, peaceful mode of being?”

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While we sought to redo culture from scratch, building it on perennial and unimpeachable principles, the threatened elders and the jealous youngers, who would soon enough come behind, poked fun from within the confines of their assured and comfortable wrongness. rainbowThey called us narcissistic for thinking we could look at ourselves and the world and dare to think we could change it from ancient ways. They thought we were making ourselves important that way, putting on airs, even. Actually we were shouldering responsibility we did not want—yearning for a simpler, less serious time—but which we accepted for the sake of all those who would come after, knowing their very existence depended on our actions. We took faith in the touchstone of love itself—the only thing that did not crumble under examination—and sought to bend all emerging along its outlines.

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candle.666655jpgSo our seeming impertinence was born of an inconvenient prompting, an unwanted vision now proving prophetic. It was hardly selfish, as many of the best of my generation paid the ultimate price and are no longer with us or they are imprisoned. It was hardly narcissistic as it was done out of love…for each other, for the peoples of all the world and of all the religions, for our children, for the planetmates and for the Nature of which we learned we were a part, and for the generations unborn.

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What others will never get is that our “overexamined life,” our “psychological-mindedness,” our perinatal propensities, and our soul-searching and self-analysis were not about being narcissistic. It was about needing to start everything anew as a rational response to the horrors we saw about us in our culture and in the world… horrors which we were correct in trying to address at the time. For their existence today, because of our inability to be completely successful in remedying them, are bringing about all the political, economic, and environmental armageddons I’ve been discussing in this, and its related, books. And we knew, and still know, that only some change huge and radical will help us, and for that we need to find and stand upon the deepest and firmest of ground within us. That is what we’ve been looking for, are still looking for…only now we have lots of company .

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Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits: A Drive to Healing, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and Millennial Promise

A Drive to Healing and What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like? Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits

A Drive to Healing

We cannot expect that everyone will heal their birth traumas when they arise into consciousness during periods of peace. However, we can expect—especially now that there is understanding of these dynamics and there are techniques and modalities available for healing them—that some people will!

Furthermore, even the more ritualistic and superficial yet blatant regressions to infancy, birth, prenatal, or even prior to that—for example, as Mayr and Boelderl describe in Europe—are not the indication of a “death drive” or “death instinct” as these researchers claimed. [Footnote 3]

clip_image002These highly symbolic collective rituals are instead the manifestations of a drive to healing—a drive to regressing to early traumas and to reexperiencing the events clip_image004that occurred then and thus recapturing an integrity of self that existed prior to the dissociation that happened as a result of those traumas. This drive to regression is no more a “death wish” than the mystical or spiritual quest is a “death wish,” and for the same reasons, as Jung correctly admonished Freud a long time ago. And we can expect that more good than bad can come, eventually, from engaging in them.

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What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like?

Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits

clip_image008In conclusion, when we see blatant collective regressions, by the sorts of people mentioned, to these perinatal dynamics in undisguised, and relatively harmless, social rituals—as described by Mayr and Boelderl, and Lawson—we can expect that, because of their closeness to their unconscious pain, they are likely—even if only a little more likely because of their more advanced mode of child-caring—to have insight into these dynamics and to resist acting them out in a more extreme form, like war, global pollution, and overpopulation.

clip_image009To put it another way, I would have preferred that Hitler had acted out his craziness by jumping into mosh pits, humming baby tunes, wearing a pacifier…or even engaging in sexual orgies…than the way he did.

So these current signs of blatant regression by youth and others in Europe or the US, or in fact anywhere in the world as in rock concerts, are not signs of an impending war. What did you expect peace to look like? You might call it messy, but it is the scenery of human healing, we should expect to be seeing, on the pathway to an Earth rebirth.

What Might We Expect?

Millennial Promise

clip_image011What might we expect from the future? Well if ecological/environmental consciousness and refusal to use projection onto others is accepted as evidence of perinatal access, as I have been asserting, then the current generation of youth and young adults—the Baby-Boomer Echo Generation, also called the Millennial Generation, whose two main concerns, as I have mentioned, have been polled as being the environment and racism—may also be expected to be more open to their perinatal trauma, and hence more likely to resolve it and further the gains of their parents against war and global apocalypse.

“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”

clip_image012For, as Janov has pointed out, closer to one’s Pain—one’s unconscious—is closer to being real. And this closeness holds out the possibility both of healing…and of self-destruction.

From the roads and TV screens of America the scenery can often appear bleak. Sure, heavy changes are coming down…but what should we expect? “A hard rain’s gonna fall,” sang Bob Dylan. And that’s what it takes to blossom the spring. Look hard enough, you just might see the seeds of Light amidst the darkness surrounding.

Evidence in Our Collective Dreaming

Next we will take a look at one of the projective systems of our society, specifically, our cinema, to see if it shows evidence of the change of consciousness that we have here been describing as necessary to derail the cycles of war and violence that have plagued our species for millennia uncountable and have led us to the brink of extinction.

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Films are both the collective dreams of our society as well as the only truly clip_image016widely shared method of collectively experiencing a nonordinary state of consciousness. Thus they are telling, in the messages they contain, as well as powerful in their impact on the audience, who in this mild nonordinary state of consciousness are more open to suggestion and to receiving mental impressions and information.

We will look to examples from films of the last few decades for indications that our collective consciousness is actually changing and that there are grounds for hoping that we will be able to stave off apocalypse…creating instead the quantum leap to an Earth rebirth.

Footnote

1. For “overexamined life”see Keniston, op. cit., 1965; for “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis” see Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81.

2. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and The Youth Revolt.”

3. Mayr and Boelderl, op. cit., p. 149.

Continue with Apocalypse – No! Chapter Eleven: Control Versus Surrender … Heaven Leads Through Hell

Return to Apocalypse No! Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing

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Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence: What Say We Leave a Planet For Our Offspring? And Can You Handle Happiness?

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Cycles of War, Cycles of Birth … What Can Be Done: Changing the Patterns of Millennia Requires Learning That Feeling Good Is Not Bad

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Apocalypse No! Chapter Eight:
Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence

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Men Would Rather Be Manly Than Alive and What Say We Leave a Planet for Our Offspring?

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Why We Invite War, Allow Fascism, and Pollute: Our Coming Into the World Makes Us Want to Leave It

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The question posed at the end of the last chapter was whether we had opened the door to an unimaginable armageddon or were experiencing the birth pangs of a massive consciousness transformation and subsequent Earth rebirth. Are we going to self-destruct, bringing death to the entire planet along with us, or will we become good citizens of this planet and our species continue on?

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What Say We Leave a Planet For Our Offspring?

Most folks would think there would be only one answer to that question desired by virtually all humans. But in previous chapters, especially Apocalypse Emergency, Chapter Five: Death Wish – Thanatos Walking, I showed how, and why, that common-sense notion would, amazingly, be wrong: We saw how there is a huge percentage of our human Earth citizens, and a part of all of us, that wants to “throw in the towel.” This has always been true of humans, but it is of critical importance only now.

But I will assume anyone reading this will at least consciously be wanting our vital question to be answered in the affirmative. You know as well as I that the folks on the other side of this question are doing vastly different things right now than us and are nowhere to be found around here.

How Do We “Like” Life?

So the next thing to be addressed is how we might change our fortunes and live. Since continuing on is not just of matter of deciding it—voting “like” on it or checking its box—as we saw in Chapter Five: Death Wish, how can we get around this part of ourselves and our population that wants to do us all in? We need to know how to derail our perpetual cycles of war and violence. We need know how to quit bringing pollution and suffering on us. We have to know how we can stop our secret desire to take comfort in failure, how to “unlike” self-sabotage on our inner “profile.”

How Do We “Unlike” Fascism?

I have written a great deal on this question, including an entire book in 2011 on the way we act out this masochistic tendency politically and culturally by taking comfort in totalitarianism and embracing fascism. [Footnote 1]

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For our purposes presently I will focus on the element of it all that is critical to answering our question. So we first need to look into the place from which emanates our dilemma. I showed that this bugaboo is our Will to Death.

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Our Coming Into This World Makes Us Want to Leave It

Now we need to get more specific on this negative inclination of ours. As we have seen this Will to Death arises from human’s unique-among-all-species primal pain rooted in our singular way of coming into the world, our unique human birth.

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We Need Look Deeper

We need to look deeper into the elements of that part of ourselves that would have us take us all down. We need inquire into that tendency of ours to choose pollution over health, tyranny over freedom, war over peace, enslavement over autonomy, violence over pacifism, oppression over liberty, misery over happiness. We must derail the cycles of war, violence, and fascism. We must know how to “like” happiness.

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We Need Know Where Exactly to Focus Our Efforts to Be Successful

To do so, we must separate the skeins of this inner entanglement and shed light into this darkness within. We need to know specifically, precisely where to place the lever of effort we will apply to truly move the world, to derail it from its current acceleration into oblivion.

So we look now into the elements of that perinatal unconscious manifesting currently as a will to die on the grandest scale imaginable.

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Cycles of War, Cycles of Birth

We find there are two researchers who are particularly relevant to our understanding of the elements of the perinatal unconscious in a way as to avert collective, worldwide disaster. These are Stanislav Grof and Lloyd DeMause. [Footnote 2]

Men Would Rather Be “Manly” Than…Alive…

DeMause writes,

[T]he group-fantasy shared prior to wars expresses the nation’s deep feeling that the increase in pleasure brought about by the prosperity and progress that usually precede wars “pollutes” the national blood-stream with sinful excess, making men “soft” and feminine”—a frightful condition that can only be cleansed by a blood-shedding purification. [Footnote 2]

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Men are more terrified of appearing “feminine” than of losing their lives. Why we invite war.

DeMause is saying we go forever into war because after a while peace makes men feel guilty, “sinful.” Men have uncomfortable, even shameful…homophobic…feelings of being “soft” or “feminine” when their lives are good. So men choose the “purifying,” masculinizing ritual of war to fight off these feelings. Nothing distracts one from looking inward better than a “good, old-fashioned” life-or-death struggle, and war is the most all-encompassing of them.

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Men are more terrified of appearing “soft” than having the boot of totalitarianism on their neck. Why we allow fascism.

What DeMause says about bringing war upon us can be said also about allowing fascism, inviting totalitarianism. For whether we are fighting enemies of another nation or struggling to survive against oppression at home, we are involved in a daily struggle. Secret to us, we feel better being engaged in a dramatic battle, though it brings us suffering and misery.

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We simply can’t hack peace for very long. We feel guilty, for some reason, lolling on the beach. You ever notice how at the end of your vacation time, you are anxious for it to be over and to get back to work? That feeling—that one where we feel…guilty?…uncomfortable…tense?…unfulfilled?…(you tell me)—that’s it. That’s the one I’m talking about.

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It happens the same way collectively after we have experienced a “vacation” of national peace—for example, in the Nineties when we were prosperous and mostly peaceful under Clinton. At the end of it, with Bush, we ended up getting the misery and struggle many in America were driven to want, though no one would ever admit that.

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A quick aside. The fact that the majority of Americans actually didn’t vote for Bush and so tried to choose happiness over struggle is a source of hope for us in all this. That’s a hint of what’s coming.

Cycles of Birth, Cycles of War … The Four “Colors” of the Perinatal Veils and Why Women Fear Fatness and Men Fear Femininity

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Four Kinds of Early Experience Color Our Adult Experience in Four Distinct Ways … Cycles of Birth and War

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Four Kinds of Experiences in Our First Nine Months Imprint Us for Four Feeling “Flavors” as Adults

Images_Gallery_05_14But for now, let us get back to this opening provided us. We can make better use of deMause’s insight on the birth feelings that take us into war using Stanislav Grof’s delineation of this birth unconscious of ours. Let us review as described earlier and further stipulate on them: Grof explains we are moved as adults by four specific kinds of drives emanating from our earliest experiences. These specific tendencies in us relate to four different times in the birth process which involve four radically different kinds of experiences.

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Grof uses the term, basic perinatal matrices (BPMs), to refer to these four aspects of our inner urges. I will describe them here and refer to them along with DeMause’s cycles of social-historical violence and war to pull apart the roots of our current apocalyptic dilemma. [Footnote 3]

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Our Tendency to Always Screw Up a Good Thing, BPM I

The first of Grof’s aspects of our unconscious he terms Basic Perinatal Matrix I, BPM I for short.

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Prosperity and Progress Equal Feeling “Soft” and “Feminine”

clip_image002reunionGrof’s BPM I is sometimes described as “oceanic bliss” and involves the experiences and feelings related to the relatively undisturbed prenatal period. On the social, macrocosmic level, it is the period described in the quote by deMause above in which there is a period of “prosperity and progress” and feelings of being “soft” and “feminine.”

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522936_184846674968481_100003294484517_288967_526358242_nkumbayaThe strong connection between individual experience (personal psychology) and collective realities (social-historical events and elements) is patent here since in BPM I experience the individual is still in the mother’s womb and to some extent shares her identity, which is of course feminine. Being unborn and not having gone through the “toughening” experiences of birth and later trauma, which predominantly create one’s defenses, the individual is also “soft,” in other words, undefended.

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“No Pain, No Gain,” Hell, Satan, and Poisonous Placenta; BPM II

“No-Exit” Claustrophobia

placenta-22005-RachelStone-PrometheusTo further review Grof’s schema and its relation to deMause’s cycles of war, I want to remind you that BPM II is related on the individual level to the time near the end of pregnancy when the fetus is no longer rocking blissfully on the waves of oceanic bliss but is trapped in an ever more confining womb. As the fetus grows in size, the suffering becomes greater; no doubt this is the source of the common-sense belief that growing has to involve suffering, for example, “No pain, no gain.” At any rate, the feelings are those of claustrophobia and “no exit.”

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more-suffering-less-dyingdesertheartThere is heavy non-agitated depression here, since there appears to be no hope, no change in the situation that would indicate a way out of the suffering. Indeed, this period continues practically right up to the time of birth, ending only when the cervix becomes dilated and, experientially speaking, there appears suddenly to be a “light at the end of the tunnel” and therefore hope.

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Where the Hell We Get the Idea of Hell

bpm2411862143_smallHowever, up until that time there are feelings of being totally unempowered, completely in the hands of an entity—the womb—that imposes a horrifying reality that appears to be unending and eternal. Herein we have the psychological roots of notions of hell and Satan. Feelings associated with this state include despair, victimization, blame, and guilt.

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“You’ll Wallow in Your Shit, and You’ll Think You’re Happy.” – Kurt Cobain, from the Song, “Sad”

peoplearealreadydyingclip_image005As birth comes nearer, “fetal malnutrition” increases, since the neonate’s increasing size and weight press down on and constrict the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the placenta, when the mother is standing. The decreased blood supply means a reduction of life-giving oxygen as well as the buildup of toxins that would otherwise be taken away by a normal blood flow. So feelings of suffocation as well as skin irritation and other feelings of wallowing in waste matter—deemed poisonous placenta by deMause—increase. [Footnote 4]

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“You’re Really in a Laundry Room.” – Kurt Cobain, from the Song, “Sad”

As I have said previously, deMause has found that these feelings exist to an extraordinary degree in a society and its leaders prior to its engaging in a war. Similarly, they precede, and obviously can be held to be accountable for, individual acts of violence—including everything from murder and rape to unfortunately all-too-common and ordinary spousal and child abuse in the household, and of course everything in between.

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Bloody War, Bloody Birth — BPM III

Crusades181264_233235313453542_936852846_nBPM III is birth. Its social analogue is war or violent assault. Feelings that accompany this state on both the individual and societal level include rage and intense aggressiveness, all-encompassing struggle, and sexual excess.

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Nothing’s Ever Good Enough, BPM IV

BPM IV relates to the time of actually coming out of the womb and the post-natal period. On the societal level it is the ending of a war.

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“Busting Out All Over”

clip_image006imagjuyhgioloiues (2)Feelings of expansiveness, release, exultation, coming finally out into the light and/or being “on top” of things, and victory are feelings associated with this matrix, whether in the individual birth or the collective war cycle.

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Peace Sign V-Fingers dreamstime_3940931s0073As I said the societal analogue to BPM IV, or actually being born, is a war’s end. It is no coincidence that in triumph or peace, the two-finger peace symbol is used. What better way to signal we have come from constriction into openness, specifically through the vise of a mother’s cervix, out from between two legs. As John Lennon so aptly put it, using the peace sign frequently, “War is over (if we want it).”

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Mission Accomplished … Not!

clip_image008533225_1976819996975_1737376259_944265_47690847_nInterestingly, just as in recent times harsh modern obstetrical practices and the removal of the baby from the mother can leave lifetime feelings of success not bringing with it the expected rewards and thus a post-accomplishment sort of depression, so also the ending of successful wars sometimes also leaves a society with a sort of letdown. For example, the euphoria following George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War—which catapulted his approval ratings into the ninety percent range in 1991—was followed, only a year later, by the increasing agony of a recession and Bush’s defeat at the polls.

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Cycles of Birth, Cycles of War

6207242_f260snowwhitelamentof7wpAll of this is to say that in society, as in the womb, a period of uninterrupted and relatively undisturbed feelings of growth leads to feelings of depression—being too “soft” and “feminine,” but also “too fat” in the womb and, therefore, extremely constricted and compressed.

Why Women Fear Becoming Fat and Men Fear Appearing “Feminine”

bizarre-beauty-placentaclip_image009Another way of saying this: feelings of expansion are followed by a fear of entrapment. And I agree wholeheartedly with deMause in saying that it happens this way in a nation’s cycle of feelings because it happened that way to us prior to and during our births. We have these patterns of feelings as collective groups of individuals because our first experience of expansion was followed by extreme depression, guilt, despair, and then struggle and something bloodily akin to war—our actual births.

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What to Do to Stop War and Violence: Changing the Patterns of Millennia Requires Learning That Feeling Good Is Not Bad

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To Derail War and Violence, Replace Self-Sabotaging With Self-Actualizing … We Can No Longer Afford Our Delusional Ways

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What Can Be Done?

Accession480px6a00d8341bf7f753ef010536d1eee6970c-800wiSo knowing this, how can we use it? In previous chapters, I explained how and why we see the dynamics of this perinatal unconscious, not coincidentally right now, on the ascendance, just at the time when it is crucial we deal with it to survive. I called this an emerging perinatal unconscious, and I went into detail about why it is happening now, what it means, and how we should take advantage of the opportunity it brings that could aid us in our current dilemma.

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For now, I need only remind that is imperative we face these unconscious forces instead of turning away from and thereby insuring our continued ignorance of them and helpless acting out of them.

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So, how do we consciously participate in these drives, not merely be driven by them?

IG_MotherBabyPack1-bigLloyd DeMause, in his article, “Restaging of Early Traumas in War and Social Violence,” printed in the spring 1996 issue of The Journal of Psychohistory, called for kinder and gentler birthing and child-caring practices to mitigate the ferocity of these forces within humans and help us avoid an otherwise inevitable planetary disaster. He was restating what other pre- and perinatal psychologists…I am clip_image003one, by the way…including Thomas Verny and Stanislav Grof assert. [Footnote 5]

However, I believe we need to go further than that. I, along with Grof, call for a larger awareness of and efforts in the direction of healing these perinatal elements in the consciousness and unconscious of those already alive right now. For unless we act to heal the people currently inhabiting this planet, we might not leave a planet that babies can be born into!…let alone people to conceive and give birth to them. Healing the perinatal traumas can be accomplished through, at this point, thoroughly tested and effective techniques of experiential regression and emotional release.

But it is impossible for everyone to take advantage of these techniques, especially in the short time we have to make the changes. But something short of that ideal may be sufficient to stave off otherwise inevitable doom.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

Finding the Weakest Spot

Of course only time will tell what will be the result of this emerging perinatal unconscious for our species.

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Real, not blindly delusional, action is required.

But to get an idea of what we might hope for, given a readiness to actually do something about this, I offer a perspective. This understanding requires we remember some critical aspects of the cartography of the psyche described above. Looking into them we might begin to see where are the openings allowing for realistic action to be taken to bring about true, not just blindly delusional, change for our species.

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We can no longer afford otherwise.

Obama Health Caredc05bFor our purposes here, the most important part of the cycle is BPM I. Societies, according to deMause, go through these cycles of war and peace and have been doing so for as long as we know. But we can no longer afford these wars, as World War I and World War II have shown—with each one being an increase in our ability to destroy and to commit atrocities. We cannot afford to have a World War III as that most likely would end life on our planet.

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Indeed, as I’ve been pointing out, we cannot even afford the less extreme forms of acting out of perinatal trauma that we have been doing in our poisoning of the earth and air, global overpopulation, and the ongoing regional wars to give just a few of many examples I could have used. These things, along with many other current quite insane tendencies of ours, have the capacity to end our species and possibly all life on this planet.

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Feeling Good Is Not Bad

reunionkumbayaSo the cycle of societal perinatal acting out must be stopped. And the most obvious place to derail the insidious cycle is at the point of societal prosperity and progress. Feeling soft, undefended, and feminine are, rationally speaking, not things to be alarmed about.

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Kid Centaurs Playing dreamstime_12338563kittenboot.compassion.stray-kitten (2)Quite to the contrary, it is rational that prosperity should make people feel good. It is rational that feeling soft should be a source of contentment, sensitivity, and intimacy with others. It makes sense that men should have no shame about feeling feminine because that only means that they have access to sensitive and nurturing feelings that are a source of joy, “color,” and fulfillment in life.

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Changing the Patterns of Millennia

Male-doctor-spanking-a-newborn-baby-12383229-0imagkyghljlbesBut how do we do this? How do we convince people that feeling good is not bad? For these unconscious forces, these cycles of violence, have been pulling our strings for at least tens of thousands of years. How can we change such an engrained pattern?

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Chasing the Mirages of the Future

Well, again, we get our leads from the experiences of individuals undergoing experiential psychotherapy.

“It’s never enough.”

For individuals also, if they are to heal themselves, have to learn how to appreciate success and to stop sabotaging themselves in the myriad of ways they do. Individuals act out their mini-cycles of “war” in their struggles to achieve. And people are driven to struggle to achieve because they cannot be pleased with what they have.

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first_peopleclip_image007Relating back to deMause’s societal schema, people cannot simply enjoy their “prosperity.” People cannot stop to smell the roses occasionally. We cannot count our blessings and feel contented with what we have. Nor can we enjoy the natural pleasure of being alive in the moment.

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“Wrong…It IS enough.”

No, instead what characterizes we humans—for the most part because of our having birth trauma—is a persistent drive to always have more than we do. We find that every accomplishment or success is short lived, with inexplicable depression following it. For each new attainment does not bring the expected (unconscious) rewards and leads us almost immediately to a new struggle, a new accomplishment to be sought.

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Humans are driven to chasing mirages of better times somewhere off in the future, and we fail to live in the present. We feel unsatisfied with what we have and are continually deluded that some new possession, accomplishment, or love “conquest” will bring with it the missing happiness.

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Becoming Self-Actualizing Instead of Self-Sabotaging

clip_image008When people are aware of the way they unconsciously sabotage their happiness, they sometimes seek help. And if they seek help in the experiential psychotherapies, they are enabled to work through their birth trauma so that they are no longer driven out of the moment, with its pleasure and pain, into an imagined but never attainable pleasureful and happy future.

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Learning that it is enough

Enjoying the sunSo people derail their cycles of drivenness and their tendencies to sabotage their successes by learning to enjoy their “prosperity,” even if it is the simple pleasure of being alive. And when they act to add to that pleasantness, they do so, not out of drivenness, but out of feelings of flow and the simple joys of acting and actualizing one’s tendencies, talents, and desires. They become self-actualizing instead of self-sabotaging.

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Can You Handle Happiness? What to Do – We Get By With a Little Help, from Our Nature … Stand in the Place Where You Are

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A Hierarchy of Healing … Becoming Human Beings (Not Doings): Removing the Hood from Homophobes, A Hard Rain, and Stand

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OK, knowing this, one might ask if I am suggesting that to save our species everyone needs to get into experiential therapy. While that would be nice, it is not practical.

But I believe it is not necessary either. There is an element of that societal period of prosperity that can be used and focused on in order to make the societal change of pattern, the societal derailing of the tendency to self-sabotage through war-making.

Getting By, With a Little Help From Our Nature

clip_image002Fairy_Tree_by_NiroloAnd that element is this: During times of prosperity, when one is less engaged in a struggle to survive, we find that one’s body will naturally try to heal itself of unresolved and somatically imprinted trauma by bringing into consciousness the repressed traumatic memories needing resolution.

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Hierarchy of Healing

This occurs in a manner similar to that of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Basically, one’s needs to “grow emotionally”…i.e., clear away the unresolved trauma…can only come to the fore when one’s physical survival needs are relatively taken care of. And arise they unerringly do, given any opportunity to do so.

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“Don’t just do something, STAND there!”

541041_4115243720203_1028962858_n167117_145303942191698_100001362782419_222213_3793925_nHowever, when these traumatic memories come up seeking resolution, they, also unerringly, bring with them the associated feelings of depression, unease, and pain. But because these feelings are anything but pleasant, to their detriment most people seek to avoid these feelings through addictions and other forms of “acting-out” behavior. So addictions and acting-out behavior emerge after periods of relative stability precisely because that stability allows unresolved feelings an opening for emergence and a possibility of resolution and healing.

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Allowing Our Society to Be Honestly, Blatantly “Sick”

absinthedrinkericarus-dota-dotaSo there you have it; that is the crux. The period of societal prosperity can be maintained and added to if that society refuses to run away from the negative feelings that come up with success. As I have said, one needs to get “sicker” in order to get really well.

“Stand in the Place Where You Are … Just Stand.”

clip_image003 422701_410548268971538_166854740007560_88147643_830390629_nSocietally, we need to allow the social, formerly repressed, “sicknesses,” negativities, and the pain that comes with them to arise and be socially worked out, to be hashed out, rather than to escape them by resorting to scapegoating enemies and waging war against them. [Footnote 6]

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Are We Doing This?

But can societies do this? Are they doing this?

Apparently Not

It does not seem so at the moment. For we have extreme acting out going on from Tea Party type elements. The homophobia that characterizes them is an indicator of the degree to which they are fearful of that feeling of being “soft” and “feminine,” I mentioned.

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But Then Again…

Tea-Party-coming-look-out-kid-feel-the-HATEMoveOn_candlelightHowever there is a pattern in change that things can not really change until the negative slide has “hit bottom.” These negative forces cannot be gone beyond until they have wasted themselves in desperate acts. At this time also, positive forces are strengthening in the wings, burnishing their skills, tempering their character and nobility, fully capable when the time comes to take over. There are so many examples of this in social and individual histories, but not to get bogged down, I will mention one powerful one—Nelson Mandela. You can take it from there.

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The more common thing to mention about change is that prior to a major paradigm shift, the forces on the decline always wage a fierce, desperate battle…a bloody retreat, a burning of the fields, near suicidal and totally reckless forays.

The 99% of the 1%

We see people do this, too, just before they are about to change. We see people who self-destruct being the ones whose last desperate battle before awareness can dawn being something that takes their life and perhaps others with them.

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gaddafi02We currently can point to Gaddafi, Assad, and other tyrants. We can observe reckless tea-baggers willing, as in the debt ceiling clash, to bring down the country for ideals that, however rationalized and spun, are at their roots as simple and crude as jealousy—of those smarter and more capable; hatred—of minorities, the poor, the “dirty,” the “slobs,” the “lazy”…basically all the scapegoats society allows them to vent the rage of their inner fears and hurt on; and homophobia—that fear of being “soft,” feminine, unmasculine, and being willing to kill or be killed rather than to let oneself be seen that way.

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Homophobes Don’t Fear Homosexuals … They Fear What’s Inside Themselves

clip_image004Before continuing, one big misconception around that last point needs clearing up: homophobia is at base not fear/hatred of homosexuals, it is terror/hatred of the “feminine” and “softness” inside of the man himself who is homophobic. And this is the result of tens of thousands of years of “civilization,” still continuing, in which men are threatened with disapproval, ostracism, ridicule, attack, or worse for not repressing their softer sides down to the level of the norm of their group.

Boys Learn They Must Be Less Alive to Survive

Boys learn they must constrict their potentials and diminish themselves to that which coincides with—and does not threaten—the older males in their group or face severe punishment. Boys learn the consequences for not becoming less than they could be are severe, often from their own fathers.

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Girls Learn They Must Feel Less Pleasure to Be Liked

And by the way, something similar goes on with young girls and the reduction of their potentials. We see a blatant example of this in the practice of cliterectomy—also called female genital mutilation—in some cultures. In this practice the older women—mother and aunts usually—are responsible for this brutal and extremely painful and bloody attack. It tells little girls they will have no pleasure more than that which was allowed the older women, themselves, in that patriarchal world. So girls must diminish themselves in order to not be hated and ostracized by the women of the group, who, already having been diminished, would be jealous of someone being allowed to have what they have not. This is an exact mirror image of the process that goes on in the diminution of the personalities—the potentials—of young boys.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

Now to continue: So seeing so much of this pathos, hate, and bitter fear and anger is hopeful for us to be near the end of the cycle. Certainly it could get worse. But I personally don’t see how we could go much further on this path to oblivion without going past the point of no return. Perhaps we are not meant to succeed. Perhaps we are doomed. But I know in my own life, and that is the only true basis anyone can have for knowing how things really work, that, without fail, every seeming “loss of ground” was a prelude to an even bigger “advance.”

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As Jung said, we need to take two steps backward to make a big leap forward. That is the way individuals are. And societies and populations are just collections of individuals. As the Tao symbol depicts, the seed of light is in the depths of darkness. So we can hold on to that, for one thing.

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So Let Us See. A Scenery of Healing?

With these considerations in mind, the next chapter will evaluate our current social-cultural scenery for our prospects. In Rebirthing Rituals – The Sometimes Messy Scenery of Healingwe will look for any indications that this standing firm in the face of the rising up of the repressed social Shadow—allowing the pain of it and facing it foursquare, hashing it out—is to be found in the current social arena.

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If we can find this being done, we may allow ourselves at least the hope for a change in consciousness radical enough to save us from extinction. On the contrary, if we find little or no evidence for this kind of auspicious, fruitful healing activity, we might as well consider ourselves doomed.

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Continue with Apocalypse No! Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing

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Return to Apocalypse No, Chapter Seven: Through Gaia’s Eyes – Nature Balances HerSelf

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Footnotes

1. The book mentioned was posted online in two places in August, 2011: Culture War and Culture War, Class War.

2. Lloyd deMause, “Restaging of Early Traumas in War and Social Violence.” The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1995): 2. Reprinted with permission on the Primal Spirit site.

Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House, 1980; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988; The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

3. I explain this in more detail in Chapter Seven: We Ain’t Born Typical under the heading “Elements of Birth Experience.”

4. “You’ll wallow in the shit and you’ll think you’re happy” and “You’re really in a laundry room” from, and with appreciation to, Kurt Cobain. These are lyrics in his song, “Sad.” The video and lyrics are reproduced again here for your convenience:

Nirvana – “Sad” (also “Sappy” and “Verse Chorus Verse”) – Lyrics

And if you save yourself You will make him happy He’ll keep you in a jar And you’ll think you’re happy He’ll give you breathing holes Then you’ll think you’re happy He’ll cover you with grass And you’ll think you’re happy Now You’re really in a laundry room, You’re really in a laundry room Conclusion came to you, oh And if you cut yourself You will think you’re happy He’ll keep you in a jar Then you’ll make him happy He’ll give you breathing holes Then you’ll think you’re happy He’ll cover you with grass Then you’ll think you’re happy Now You’re really in a laundry room, You’re really in a laundry room Conclusion came to you, oh (x2) And if you fool yourself You will make him happy He’ll keep you in a jar And you’ll think you’re happy He’ll give you breathing holes Then you will seem happy You’ll wallow in your shit Then you’ll think you’re happy Now You’re really in a laundry room (x3) Conclusion came to you, oh Alternate lyrics: And if you kill yourself You will make him happy

5. Lloyd deMause, “Restaging of Early Traumas in War and Social Violence.” The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1995): 2. Reprinted with permission on the Primal Spirit site.

Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House, 1980; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988; The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

6. “Stand in the place where you are…just stand” from and with appreciation to R.E.M. While it seems no one understood the group’s huge initial release, “Stand,” it is quite meaningful in the current context. A video and lyrics are included here for your consideration:

R.E.M. – “Stand” … lyrics

Stand in the place where you live
Now face North
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face West
Think about the place where you live
Wonder why you haven’t before
If you are confused check with the sun
Carry a compass to help you along
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
[repeat 1st verse]
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
If wishes were trees the trees would be falling
Listen to reason
Season is calling
[repeat 1st verse]
If wishes were trees the trees would be falling
Listen to reason
Reason is calling
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
So Stand (stand)
Now face North
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand (stand)
Now face West
Think about the place where you live
Wonder why you haven’t
[repeat 1st verse]
Stand in the place where you are (Now face North)
Stand in the place where you are (Now face West)
Your feet are going to be on the ground (Stand in the place where you are)
Your head is there to move you around, so stand.

Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence – Audiocasts

“Part 1; What Say We Leave a Planet for Our Offspring?” – the audio by SillyMickel Adzema

For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this part, click on the link to the audio site above or click the audio player here:

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=pffbztrfkv

“Part 2; Can You Handle Happiness (And the Pain That Comes With It)?” – the audio by SillyMickel Adzema

For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this part, click on the link to the audio site above or click the audio player here:

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=syglfhsvld

Continue with Apocalypse No! Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing

Return to Apocalypse No, Chapter Seven: Through Gaia’s Eyes – Nature Balances HerSelf

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Forgetting the Past, We Were Doomed to Repeat It … The Revolution That Wasn’t Televised: Before Voting Romney, Remember, We Knew This Before

If Freedom of the Press Was Repealed, How Would You Know? Dire Vision, Revelation … Words a Decade Old Come Back to Haunt

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seventeen:
Freedom Repealed

Dire Prediction: Before Voting for Romney, Remember, We Knew This Before. Will We Continue Shooting Ourselves in the Foot?

Forgetting the Past, We Were Doomed to Repeat It … A Message Arrives from Twelve Years in the Past Predicting Today’s Events

A Message Arrives from Twelve Years in the Past Predicting Today’s Events

We are disturbed reading that twelve years ago our present national situation was foreseen. Worse, we are reminded of what we lost; what could have been; how we’ve managed to block that from our memory in accepting the much diminished prospects now; but also how we should not forget; how we should remember how it happened; who was to blame; who helped and colluded in bringing it about, and why; so that, remembering, we might never let it happen again.

Forgetting the Past, We Were Doomed to Repeat It

For we learn, worst of all, that our chance to progress, rather, just to survive, now depends on remembering. Because twelve years ago, in the year 2000, all that’s happened since could easily have been prevented if only we had not allowed ourselves to be talked into forgetting the history of only eight years prior to that.

This is a serious and thoughtful piece, which everyone would do well to know if we are to survive another fifty years, not to mention a century or longer. Still, I am not the sort to feel that facing harsh realities means we need go around glumly, martyr-like, in sack-cloth and ashes. Rather, I feel we might as well enjoy and make use of all the God-given abilities we have whatever the outcome of our efforts.

So don’t be surprised that this exposition is aided by guest appearances making their points in hilarious fashion.

If you’ve never heard George Bush as Bluto from Animal House, you’ve got to.

Wolf Blitzer is not recognized for being a comic, but when he goes on to explain to his faithful viewers how they’ve been lied to and manipulated for years, because of pressure from the powers-that-be, and how grateful he is for their gullibility as he is receiving promotions and honors because his viewership is polling the highest in mindlessly accepting the concocted view, well we see many new sides of Wolf.

Thought-provoking but funny, another thing he explains is that their incredible success over the years in getting people to believe and or to forget whatever they want, has resulted in their having a little celebration consisting of an experiment as well…which they hope will bring them in even tighter with the now all-powerful filthy rich and their Republican water boys.

The celebration-experiment consists of a documentary in which the entire truth of the multiyear campaign to lie, deceive, and to control minds is laid out. And the experiment part is that they are certain that the next day and ever afterwards when such thing ever being aired is denied, the people will completely forget it and believe they must have been mistaken. Wolf signs off: “One last reminder on our special tonight, the documentary, “Freedom of the Press, Repealed. The Story and How, this Repeal Now Thoroughly Institutionalized Over Twelve Years, We Can Now Reveal How We’ve Duped You and Will Continue To.” Tune in, don’t miss it; You’re sure to forget it.”

Ok, I’m gettin myself off the floor I was laughin so hard I couldn’t help myself. Ok, now to a more serious part.

Time Capsule Discovered

Not long after Bush left office, I unearthed, March 9, 2009, 9:49am, three never finished drafts of an article I intended to publish on my website prior to the 2000 Presidential election involving Bush v Gore. Stuffed and interwoven among the electrons of the backups of old computers, I had completely forgotten ever having written any of it.

Engulfed, indeed, pushed around and battered within the intensity and sharpness of recent political, geopolitical, and economic and financial forces of late, I was shocked to see the words, written a decade earlier, which, desperately intoning, warned of specific dire happenings should George W. Bush be elected. For it seemed those exact words, of so long ago, had just been lifted from the headlines and front pages of today’s daily news.

At any rate, I certainly thought at first that I was reading something about the recent collapse when I read what I had written in early 2000. I think I’ve said way too much without providing some meat—what kinds of things did I find? OK, in mid-2000, long before Bush was put in power and had a chance to show anything at all of what kind of president he would be, I wrote these words concerning what I thought would be the result of a George W. Bush getting elected:

[If Bush gets elected in 2000,] “I believe we are in grave danger of losing, not just an election, not just a Supreme Court, not just our environment, not just our good economy, not just our recent relative peace in the world but things far worse than those horrors. I believe we are in danger of losing all hope of maintaining, let alone progressing, in the freedoms and privileges that we take for granted.

Prophetic? Eerie? I don’t know quite what to make of it.

Reading more, this popped to my attention:

So is this election important? I believe it is. For me it is especially important, for I feel that if the Republicans take over, they will do so much to damage the dreams of my generation that even if the Democrats were to be reelected to all branches of government in 4 or 8 years, they will do so much damage (the example of Reagan-Bush nearly QUADRUPLING the National Debt in their mere 12 years being the perfect example) that My Generation will have to clean up their mess afterward, taking more years. And only then will we be in a position to progress in this country and world and bring it more in line with the ideals of peace, love, community, and harmony we envisioned in the Sixties.

Now back to 2012.

The Obvious but Hidden Becomes Visible by Contrast.

Though I had foreseen it, I couldn’t have felt more helpless. I was made to face the fact that America’s, indeed the world’s, prospects for regaining a financial footing, whereas a mere twelve years ago looked like lift off, now was predicted as decades off. And that just to regain an ordinariness of life, with some saying that Americans will never again, ever, enjoy the standard of living they once took for granted.

It certainly disturbed me and got me to wondering and then to writing.

It saddens me what could have been. Reading it, I am stunned by how we’ve managed to vanquish from our minds and our media the insane, chaotic, and truly awful outlines of our times, as the events of the last decade crept daily into our lives and world and shaped them and it in drastic ways that we can discern only by the contrast. It was such a slow and gradual change, you see.

These unpolished catscans of a mind and time provide such a contrast, stark and shocking.

Concerning Time Capsule, I have much to say, much have I remembered, and much have I reviewed in my mind observing the timeline of these events and the changes in the social and cultural scenery, and in people themselves as these events happened over the last decade, one following another changing us all. I will make myself clearer following the text of the former piece to follow.

If Freedom of the Press Was Repealed, How Would You Know? Dire Vision, Revelation … Words a Decade Old Come Back to Haunt

A Revolution That Would Not Be Televised: If We’d Lost Freedom of Speech and of the Press, Would You Find Out About It on the News?

Dire Vision, Revelation

But before going into either my writing from 2000 or the recent events that it shows more clearly by contrast, I wish for you to consider how I felt coming across this piece that so clearly laid out the future and revealed the fact that those ideas were not brought out into the media. I wish for you to get a notion of what went through me as I mused upon the abject failure of our media to remember history so as to keep from repeating it.

Words from a Decade Ago Come Back to Haunt, Sadden, Provoke, Enlighten, Motivate

How would you feel if you found out for sure that you foresaw in an eerily accurate way the events over the last decade before they happened? Sometimes we all have a sense of what the future is likely to bring forth. Everyone, in fact, has some working model of the future.

But be honest, you’ll probably acknowledge those models of the future are almost always some kind of continuation of the present and of the recent past, perhaps with a few technological advances thrown in. And usually, being the hopeful optimists we must be in order to continue our daily efforts, we envision something that is at least somewhat a progression. Something a little better at least.

What if you foresaw an exact reversal of the current trends, including an economic debacle, recession, market crash nine years before it happened? And even that it would happen about the time it did? You could think yourself prophetic; it could pump up your ego.

However if you also knew that you did not pick those predictions out of the air but that you had lived through a similar period in the past, well then you might consider the prophecy to be an astute but quite expected conclusion arising from the visible evidence of the times … and nothing unusual. After all, you are no important person, pundit, or professional prognosticator. The masses have not come scrambling to your door. You expect that you are not unusual in your perceptions. You feel that other people have similar predictions inside themselves. Isn’t that what you would think?

But then these events unfold over the years, as you predicted, and … and this is surprising … without exception the experts, the paid prognosticators and pundits all of them, to a person, bemoan wearily the complete inability of anyone to have foreseen any of what transpired on each of these things, as the years go on.

And to a person they talk as if these things came completely out of nowhere, like a freakish weather pattern or an act of God; or as if they came falling to Earth like the frozen chemicalized ice bombs of jetliner rest room waste or appeared like the lightning bolt out of some dark mysterium tremendum hovering high in the sky above us, but in no way having any roots in any previous events.

No, these people, these commentators on events who you see nightly and whose every word is broadcast into the minds of multimillions, who knows, billions? … and whose words are often repeated … they may have another show … or they are offered up more than once … as their very words are echoed by other commentators around the world. In the United States, their words are echoed far and wide by people at all levels and in all countries afterward.

These people with such immeasurable power to reach and influence the minds of a global populace. Well they also went through the same events as you, as proven by their age. Yet they never mention the times previous that were so similar as to cause you earlier to make the obvious conclusions you made. And, now, even after the fact, in retrospect, those obvious near exact patterns of events of the not so long ago are not mentioned by them … they are overlooked, ignored.

Specifically, I remembered what happened with the Reagan-Bush tax cuts and how we went into a great recession because of them that resulted in Clinton getting elected in 1992. Eight years later, with Clintonomics, and Clinton creates a budget surplus and has balanced the budget for the first time in decades.

But then W. Bush, the Republican, gets in, and nobody’s mentioning even as he’s doing his first tax cut and blowing the surplus that this didn’t work last time only a decade earlier with Reagan and his own father, H.W. Bush. And then through the years of Bush’s terms, with more ballooning debt and budget deficits, did any of those events of the not so long ago and up till 1992, with Reagan and Bush, Senior, get mentioned? No. Instead when all the expected results … well, expected by informed liberal nobodies like me, anyway … when all the expected results of trickle-down, voodoo economics begin manifesting, well, an attitude of “we’re only human” and “nobody could have known ahead of time” predominates among the Republicans responsible.

And these representatives of the filthy rich, the 1%–these Republicans–they get away with that excuse because the media was not pointing out past history to them when they were implementing those foolish policies. It is as if those earlier events hadn’t been brought up in such a long time, so those past events, which should have been instructive, are as if they never happened. Mistakes get repeated endlessly as the media cooperates with the powerful in covering up awareness of earlier mistakes of the same kind.

Well this would cause you to ponder, would it not? How could so many people, people whose job it is to do so, not connect the obvious thoughts you and others did a decade ago? And now even in retrospect they are unable to.

Some of the possibilities for that occurring are that the people who are speaking for everyone–these pundits and commentators–have not risen to their levels of influence on their abilities and that something else is behind their rise to positions to speak and shape the thoughts of the multimillions. Yes. That could be it.

You might also ponder then if better more astute prognosticators and analysts were being kept out of the positions of influence intentionally. Yes. That would follow of necessity. And so on. How else do you explain it?

What it would come down to is you have to ask yourself, are you somehow the only one who is capable of making predictions from the recent past? And believing that might make you feel good if you have some problem in your life which makes you doubt your abilities, that is, if you are so lacking in real self esteem. But if you continue to think that way, such narcissistic attitudes would have you living in a world of your own that did not have any ties to reality eventually. You know what I mean.

Or, if humble and astute enough and not so desperately needy for a pleasant thought about oneself, you would have to ask yourself to consider more seriously the prospect that the media reaction may very well be an unexpected part of the original prediction. If you were sane enough, you would be driven to an unwanted and dire conclusion: Something had gradually and so unnoticeably gone very, very wrong with the media and the public discourse of your society.

If We’d Lost Freedom of Speech and of the Press, Would You Find Out About it on the News?

You might be led to reason: If you had predicted an erosion of basic rights if Bush were to get elected, and you had seen that had come to pass … I mean basic human rights, like given us from the Bill of Rights … why would not freedom of speech and of the press be part of that erosion? Thinking more deeply would it not have been a necessary part of the erosion of the rest?

For if the press had been doing its job, would it not have been acting as protectors of our rights in decrying any assaults, proclaiming any intrusions, documenting any erosions, and so on, in the uncountable ways it has done in the past? Would that not have been a second “2″ which added to the other “2″ makes sense out of the “4″ you are observing and trying to understand? (two plus two equals four.)

But as usually happens when stumbling on the hidden but obvious things, other, sometimes laughably obvious, correlates come to mind:

If Freedom of Speech and of the Press had been part of the erosion in human rights—the rights laid out by our Bill of Rights—well, who would be researching, detailing, proclaiming, or making documentaries about it? The Press? HA!

In order to give you a sense of the way I began viewing things, after the Time Capsule’s revelations, I’d like to take you on a little journey, a little reverie that may provide a glimpse ahead, perhaps an understanding of the unbelievable, as a journey through the looking glass can often do.

So in answering the question above: If freedom of speech and the press were rescinded who would tell you? I would say that it would be one “revolution” that would not be televised, for starters.

“Well, of course,” you think, cynically, “surely they would have done lots of things.”

Yes, I respond dryly, one of them might have gone like this:

“Freedom of the Press, Repealed — The Story of How We’ve Duped You and Will Continue To. Tune In, Don’t Miss It; We’ll Make Sure You Forget It.”

A Satire on the Mainstream Media Control by the 1% Begun with Installing George W. Bush into the Presidency … Featuring “Wolf Blitzer”

Wolf Blitzer – Freedom of the Press, Repealed

“This is Wolf Blitzer. Tonight, tune in as CLN details the way we, and the rest of the mass media, have been slowly but relentlessly pressured and bullied into presenting the views of the party in power, the Republicans; how we have learned it to be in our interests, if we were to continue unobstructed, to eliminate more and more of the voices contrary to those in power. You will hear how we learned techniques of deception of our own so that we could seem to be presenting a range of views but how we could easily get the viewer to conclude that the party pressuring us was the most credible. How?

“Tune in and learn how we matched the words of sophisticated and savvy talking heads from the right wing against the least informed and least polished of those on the opposition, and how we managed a game…which we termed, keep-out-the-insightful…of politely putting off, through excuses of saying we were focusing on areas not in their realm at the present. And how we used a multitude of such ploys on lefties until, as years went by, they began to doubt their own currency and thus doubted themselves and no longer sought to air their views in any but much smaller venues.

“So that’s how we managed to get the intelligent opposition away.

“Or even letting people know that they were still around or alive. In fact we were able to get people to think that those people had simply changed their minds and were believing what everybody else was believing, or something.

“But, anyway: Tune in to see how mass media like ourselves were able, because of our collectively acting in the same way, having been pressured toward the exact same ends by the one power in America currently, the Republicans and the “filthy rich” owners of our corporations—being essentially one and the same with one being the public and the other the private faces of the same group—were able to cast doubt…the newscasters were able to cast doubt…into the minds of seasoned intelligent and astute analysts as to their worth and currency and that of their ideas in the current era, making them feel that their time had come and gone and that personally they were has-beens, as at the same time we were recruiting the least able and the most naïve to take their places.

“Other ploys: See how we kept media favorites who opposed conservatives and who were astute observers and witty, articulate communicators for their side, how we kept them on the dole and were even able to reap the profits of their appearances but how we slyly undermined their positions in myriad sly ways, using known effects of time of day scheduling, competition in particular time slots, sequencing of segments within shows, and of the shows themselves in the lineup—you know, placement of shows and so on—all in ways to discredit them and garner the least audience for these voices.

“But still, we reap the benefits of having them on the show and collecting the advertising money. Additionally, we just look better in seeming to be more balanced.

“So, in our documentary, see how we maintained our position and survived an assault on the Press, by caving in to the dictatorial demands of a Party that also essentially owned us, surreptitiously of course, but how we managed to fool the public that we had in any way done so; how we managed at times to fool the public that we were their adversaries for truth and a counterbalance, as the Fourth Estate traditionally had been, to the powers of government and wealth, while in fact we were totally their tools in concocting the realities we were told to and muddying or ignoring the truths that came our way that would have been illuminating to the public presented fairly, but would have undermined the position we were pressured to present.

“So, tonight, our special documentary, “Freedom of the Press, Repealed. The Story, and How—This Repeal Now Thoroughly Institutionalized Over Twelve Years—We Can Reveal How We’ve Duped You and Will Continue To.”

“Be sure to tune in or TiVo it. For it is just a little fun we are allowing ourselves—that of spilling the beans about what is really behind the things we bring to you as actual events and true analysis—as a kind of celebration of the thoroughness of our success, and as a proof to the administration at how thoroughly we have manipulated your thinking that we can dare to lay it all out and feel certain that it will fail to enlighten a single one of you, in fact we feel it will aid us in an aspect of our campaign—that of keeping you confused so that you will be dependent on us for your conclusions.

“Especially when tomorrow evening and from now on, there will be no mention that this documentary ever existed, it will be expunged from all lists and archives and thoroughly be extracted and destroyed, as if it never existed.

“At that time we will begin…we’re already assuming our success here…and we’re planning a comprehensive campaign to add to our success so far in confusing and then convincing the public of the one-percent’s version of events, and to add to our favor with the now sole power in America…basically to suck up to them…we will have begun a calculated effort that we have designed that we think will be very successful and that you will enjoy, of the slow elimination, first, of American’s, of your collective memory of your past, beginning with the most recent and then, hopefully if successful and of course with your help, will continue further into the past; and following right behind the elimination of memory—no, we’re not going to tell you exactly how, now that wouldn’t be very game-spirited of us would it? Naw.

“Although, no one but you and I here now, I’ll give you a hint—confusion, for one, has been found to be extremely powerful in clouding out the details of memory—now, that’s all I’m gonna say, and believe me, if I wasn’t so totally convinced that we have been so successful that we can tell you just about anything and get away with it, then I wouldn’t have even said that.

“But of course, I am. That’s why people like me still have these jobs, while—gad, for a second there I almost said, my god just like it were the old days, I almost said, while “you may have noticed the losses and demotions of many formerly household names here at CLN who haven’t been as cooperative, supportive, committed, or as convinced, as I certainly am, of our ability to totally manipulate your thinking, as we wish.”

“Yea, I almost said that. But then that would have assumed that you had remembered any of them. Oh. Old habits are hard to drop.

“And anyway, I have to say I have my viewership to thank for that…for my success. Sincerely, I owe a great debt of gratitude to you folks who regularly tune in to my show in particular.

“Why, the absolute malarkey that I was putting out to you, slowly at first, not feeling totally convinced of your gullibility, I mean, still in those days it was pretty irrational and unbelievable bull droppings, completely concocted out of only the hot air emanating from egotistical rants of those whose sole desire is only to comfort and enslave you.

“Yet, the pollings that came in showed that I could practically fart out these concoctions and you would swallow them whole like tasty confections! I truly began to feel that I was like Moses bringing nightly the stone tablets; such was the utter inability among the masses of you to evaluate in any way what you were being fed.

“My colleagues say that my success is my beard and frizzy hair—part patriarchal, paternal, Moses-like, as well as appealing to My Generation base of long hairs and facial hair valuing; to which we added my supposed background as a member of a Sixties band and interest in current rock music—we felt we needed to do more to convince them, with their tradition of question authority and all—and, well, we must’ve got some of them at least because the polls were overwhelming in their insistence on my staunch credibility.

“So, I just want to say again that my success is owed completely to you, my viewers, and your unbelievably vapid minds, inane gullibility, or busied, stressed, overworked, or threatened existences as to make you grasp at anything outside as being of more substance than what you feel inside, and perhaps more pleasant.

“But whatever it is, thank you, and keep it up. In this next experiment, I’m sure you’ll show up, among all the segments of our viewership, as being the least able to remember and the easiest to forget what we will tell you later tonight. I’m sure you can do it. I’m counting on you.

“Oh, but now I’m forgetting. Sorry, I just got caught up in a wave of heartfelt gratitude to you all. The high ratings you give me and the solid staunch belief in my credibility that comes so high in the pollings, well they just … just that I get choked up … sorry, folks … this part is between me and you and … well, you’ll forget it anyway, if it’s decided by the Deciders later, that you can’t have it … so between us, well, how do you thank someone who has taken you from the ratings floor to the moon? How do you thank someone who has given up their reason, their very reason and rationality, for your success? You see, I take it as a kind of personal affection you must have towards me….

“And that wasn’t me trying intentionally to sound like Bill Clinton at all. No it wasn’t….

“How do you thank someone who has given up their reason and rationality…their individuality for your success?

“You see? I take it as a kind of personal affection you must have towards me when…who you don’t even know, to be so willing to be the greatest mass of idiot viewers on TV, getting the prize certainly.

“Because, you know, I simply can’t imagine that people exist who could be so unbelievably lacking in reason, intelligence, or simply the ability to remember what we say from one night to the next, as to swallow so hungrily the pig slop that I’ve been out here portraying as accurate, unbiased, etc. HA. Ha. Oh, the drivel we won’t say.

“So, unless somehow they’ve managed to create people with air balloons for brains… ha, ha……

“No, No, no! Sorry, my friends, my bad on that. Let me assure you that has not happened. No, there are no people who’s heads are actually balloons. Believe me, OK?

“Ok, then, what I’m saying is that unless the greatest percentage of you is vapid minded or brain dead—and that I don’t believe folks—then the only thing could be that you folks really care about me and making me a success as to sacrifice your own thought, reason, and individuality.

“Well, yeah, I’m sure you’re getting something out of it too, Y’know. I’m sure it helps having not to think and being able to just tune in nightly to be told what’s true and what to believe and never to be given anything unsettling or contrary as to cause you to be upset and have those horrible feelings of uncertainty.

“So, anyway, we get it, we get each other, and together let’s go make newscasting history—if they’ll ever keep an accurate one… hmmm… oh well.

“But at least for now, going back to what I was telling you about our next big wave of … well, some on our side might call it mind control or even enslavement … but you and I know that you’re better off with us giving you your reality, your memories, your beliefs. I’m sure you’ve all realized by now that we’re doing a whole lot better than the crappy reality you all had before we started helping you out.

“So the exciting next phase, as I was saying, begins with the slow elimination of recent memory, then memory further back. And to put it in a nutshell: We’re going to give you new happier memories, and interpretations of those memories that you’ll just relish. Just like we’ve recreated your present by substituting confusing reality with simple heart-warming, however untrue, views and perceptions.

“Well, together we’ve been so successful that we’re going to show our gratitude by doing the same for your past. Of course, in pleasing our Deciders, it will be the grand events of the past, the ones that are in their interest to change, that will be conveniently removed and replaced by versions to suit them, but you can trust us, you’ll much prefer, in fact we guarantee, you’ll enjoy what we give you.

“And, be patient, once we’ve been able to do that; you’re going to have to help of course… of course you will; with that accomplished, we’ll be able to help more and more with your personal memories. Not too long now, and you’ll have wonderful happy memories—we’ll have taken your miserable real ones and instead we will give you these happy memories, splendid memories that will completely buttress the views that we’ve been feeding you, giving you personal, unreal, memories of personal experiences that prove the validity of the beliefs that we’ve caused you to have.

“And believe you me, we’re going to load it up with goodies of all kinds—ice cream dates, Christmases perfect and loving, Fourth of July celebrations and innocent love under the fireworks—but that’s enough. Just you be assured, your gonna have your very own “Happy Days” for a personal past. Our guarantee at CLN – the Central Lying News.

“Now, back to regular programming, save one last reminder on our special tonight, the documentary, ‘Freedom of the Press, Repealed. The Story, and How—This Repeal Now Thoroughly Institutionalized Over Twelve Years—We Can Reveal How We’ve Duped You and Will Continue To.” Tune in, don’t miss it; You’re sure to forget it.’”

***

Well, thanks, Wolf. You’re a real trip, man. But anyway, back to reality, er, some version of it. After that little trip into a parallel, bizarre universe that might actually be closer to the truth than we would like to realize…I think a lot of us would like to know how true it is…

Anyway, let’s take a look at that catscan from the past that I was talking about.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eighteen: Dire Prediction

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Sixteen: The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

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If Freedom of the Press Was Repealed, How Would You Know? Freedom Repealed, Part Two—Dire Vision, Revelation … Words a Decade Old Come Back to Haunt

 

A Revolution That Would Not Be Televised: If We’d Lost Freedom of Speech and of the Press, Would You Find Out About It on the News?

Dire Vision, Revelation

But before going into either my writing from 2000 or the recent events that it shows more clearly by contrast, I wish for you to consider how I felt coming across this piece that so clearly laid out the future and revealed the fact that those ideas were not brought out into the media. I wish for you to get a notion of what went through me as I mused upon the abject failure of our media to remember history so as to keep from repeating it.

Words from a Decade Ago Come Back to Haunt, Sadden, Provoke, Enlighten, Motivate

How would you feel if you found out for sure that you foresaw in an eerily accurate way the events over the last decade before they happened? Sometimes we all have a sense of what the future is likely to bring forth. Everyone, in fact, has some working model of the future.

But be honest, you’ll probably acknowledge those models of the future are almost always some kind of continuation of the present and of the recent past, perhaps with a few technological advances thrown in. And usually, being the hopeful optimists we must be in order to continue our daily efforts, we envision something that is at least somewhat a progression. Something a little better at least.

What if you foresaw an exact reversal of the current trends, including an economic debacle, recession, market crash nine years before it happened? And even that it would happen about the time it did? You could think yourself prophetic; it could pump up your ego.

However if you also knew that you did not pick those predictions out of the air but that you had lived through a similar period in the past, well then you might consider the prophecy to be an astute but quite expected conclusion arising from the visible evidence of the times … and nothing unusual. After all, you are no important person, pundit, or professional prognosticator. The masses have not come scrambling to your door. You expect that you are not unusual in your perceptions. You feel that other people have similar predictions inside themselves. Isn’t that what you would think?

But then these events unfold over the years, as you predicted, and … and this is surprising … without exception the experts, the paid prognosticators and pundits all of them, to a person, bemoan wearily the complete inability of anyone to have foreseen any of what transpired on each of these things, as the years go on.

And to a person they talk as if these things came completely out of nowhere, like a freakish weather pattern or an act of God; or as if they came falling to Earth like the frozen chemicalized ice bombs of jetliner rest room waste or appeared like the lightning bolt out of some dark mysterium tremendum hovering high in the sky above us, but in no way having any roots in any previous events.

No, these people, these commentators on events who you see nightly and whose every word is broadcast into the minds of multimillions, who knows, billions? … and whose words are often repeated … they may have another show … or they are offered up more than once … as their very words are echoed by other commentators around the world. In the United States, their words are echoed far and wide by people at all levels and in all countries afterward.

These people with such immeasurable power to reach and influence the minds of a global populace. Well they also went through the same events as you, as proven by their age. Yet they never mention the times previous that were so similar as to cause you earlier to make the obvious conclusions you made. And, now, even after the fact, in retrospect, those obvious near exact patterns of events of the not so long ago are not mentioned by them … they are overlooked, ignored.

Specifically, I remembered what happened with the Reagan-Bush tax cuts and how we went into a great recession because of them that resulted in Clinton getting elected in 1992. Eight years later, with Clintonomics, and Clinton creates a budget surplus and has balanced the budget for the first time in decades.

But then W. Bush, the Republican, gets in, and nobody’s mentioning even as he’s doing his first tax cut and blowing the surplus that this didn’t work last time only a decade earlier with Reagan and his own father, H.W. Bush. And then through the years of Bush’s terms, with more ballooning debt and budget deficits, did any of those events of the not so long ago and up till 1992, with Reagan and Bush, Senior, get mentioned? No. Instead when all the expected results … well, expected by informed liberal nobodies like me, anyway … when all the expected results of trickle-down, voodoo economics begin manifesting, well, an attitude of “we’re only human” and “nobody could have known ahead of time” predominates among the Republicans responsible.

And these representatives of the filthy rich, the 1%–these Republicans–they get away with that excuse because the media was not pointing out past history to them when they were implementing those foolish policies. It is as if those earlier events hadn’t been brought up in such a long time, so those past events, which should have been instructive, are as if they never happened. Mistakes get repeated endlessly as the media cooperates with the powerful in covering up awareness of earlier mistakes of the same kind.

Well this would cause you to ponder, would it not? How could so many people, people whose job it is to do so, not connect the obvious thoughts you and others did a decade ago? And now even in retrospect they are unable to.

Some of the possibilities for that occurring are that the people who are speaking for everyone–these pundits and commentators–have not risen to their levels of influence on their abilities and that something else is behind their rise to positions to speak and shape the thoughts of the multimillions. Yes. That could be it.

You might also ponder then if better more astute prognosticators and analysts were being kept out of the positions of influence intentionally. Yes. That would follow of necessity. And so on. How else do you explain it? 

What it would come down to is you have to ask yourself, are you somehow the only one who is capable of making predictions from the recent past? And believing that might make you feel good if you have some problem in your life which makes you doubt your abilities, that is, if you are so lacking in real self esteem. But if you continue to think that way, such narcissistic attitudes would have you living in a world of your own that did not have any ties to reality eventually. You know what I mean.

Or, if humble and astute enough and not so desperately needy for a pleasant thought about oneself, you would have to ask yourself to consider more seriously the prospect that the media reaction may very well be an unexpected part of the original prediction. If you were sane enough, you would be driven to an unwanted and dire conclusion: Something had gradually and so unnoticeably gone very, very wrong with the media and the public discourse of your society.

If We’d Lost Freedom of Speech and of the Press, Would You Find Out About it on the News?

You might be led to reason: If you had predicted an erosion of basic rights if Bush were to get elected, and you had seen that had come to pass … I mean basic human rights, like given us from the Bill of Rights … why would not freedom of speech and of the press be part of that erosion? Thinking more deeply would it not have been a necessary part of the erosion of the rest?

For if the press had been doing its job, would it not have been acting as protectors of our rights in decrying any assaults, proclaiming any intrusions, documenting any erosions, and so on, in the uncountable ways it has done in the past? Would that not have been a second “2″ which added to the other “2″ makes sense out of the “4″ you are observing and trying to understand? (two plus two equals four.)

But as usually happens when stumbling on the hidden but obvious things, other, sometimes laughably obvious, correlates come to mind:

If Freedom of Speech and of the Press had been part of the erosion in human rights—the rights laid out by our Bill of Rights—well, who would be researching, detailing, proclaiming, or making documentaries about it? The Press? HA!

In order to give you a sense of the way I began viewing things, after the Time Capsule’s revelations, I’d like to take you on a little journey, a little reverie that may provide a glimpse ahead, perhaps an understanding of the unbelievable, as a journey through the looking glass can often do.

So in answering the question above: If freedom of speech and the press were rescinded who would tell you? I would say that it would be one “revolution” that would not be televised, for starters.

“Well, of course,” you think, cynically, “surely they would have done lots of things.”

Yes, I respond dryly, one of them might have gone like this:

Continue with “Freedom of the Press, Repealed — The Story of How We’ve Duped You and Will Continue To. Tune In, Don’t Miss It; We’ll Make Sure You Forget It.”

Return to Dire Prediction: Before Voting for Romney, Remember, We Knew This Before. Will We Continue Shooting Ourselves in the Foot?

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Dire Prediction: Before Voting for Romney, Remember, We Knew This Before. Will We Continue Shooting Ourselves in the Foot?

 

Forgetting the Past, We Were Doomed to Repeat It … A Message Arrives from Twelve Years in the Past Predicting Today’s Events: Freedom Repealed, Part One

A Message Arrives from Twelve Years in the Past Predicting Today’s Events

We are disturbed reading that Twelve years ago our present national situation was foreseen. Worse, we are reminded of what we lost; what could have been; how we’ve managed to block that from our memory in accepting the much diminished prospects now; but also how we should not forget; how we should remember how it happened; who was to blame; who helped and colluded in bringing it about, and why; so that, remembering, we might never let it happen again.

Forgetting the Past, We Were Doomed to Repeat It

For we learn, worst of all, that our chance to progress, rather, just to survive, now depends on remembering. Because twelve years ago, in the year 2000, all that’s happened since could easily have been prevented if only we had not allowed ourselves to be talked into forgetting the history of only eight years prior to that.

This is a serious and thoughtful piece, which everyone would do well to know if we are to survive another fifty years, not to mention a century or longer. Still, I am not the sort to feel that facing harsh realities means we need go around glumly, martyr-like, in sack-cloth and ashes. Rather, I feel we might as well enjoy and make use of all the God-given abilities we have whatever the outcome of our efforts.

So don’t be surprised that this exposition is aided by guest appearances making their points in hilarious fashion.

If you’ve never heard George Bush as Bluto from Animal House, you’ve got to.

Wolf Blitzer is not recognized for being a comic, but when he goes on to explain to his faithful viewers how they’ve been lied to and manipulated for years, because of pressure from the Administration, and how grateful he is for their gullibility as he is receiving promotions and honors because his viewership is polling the highest in mindlessly accepting the concocted view, well we see many new sides of Wolf.

Thought-provoking but funny, another thing he explains is that their incredible success over the years in getting people to believe and or to forget whatever they want, has resulted in their having a little celebration consisting of an experiment as well…which they hope will bring them in even tighter with the now all-powerful Administration.

The celebration-experiment consists of a documentary in which the entire truth of the multiyear campaign to lie, deceive, and to control minds is laid out. And the experiment part is that they are certain that the next day and ever afterwards when such thing ever being aired is denied, the people will completely forget it and believe they must have been mistaken. Wolf signs off: “One last reminder on our special tonight, the documentary, “Freedom of the Press, Repealed. The Story and How, this Repeal Now Thoroughly Institutionalized Over Twelve Years, We Can Now Reveal How We’ve Duped You and Will Continue To.” Tune in, don’t miss it; You’re sure to forget it.”

Ok, I’m gettin myself off the floor I was laughin so hard I couldn’t help myself. Ok, now to a more serious part.

Time Capsule Discovered

Not long after Bush left office, I unearthed, March 9, 2009, 9:49am, three never finished drafts of an article I intended to publish on my website prior to the 2000 Presidential election involving Bush v Gore. Stuffed and interwoven among the electrons of the backups of old computers, I had completely forgotten ever having written any of it.

Engulfed, indeed, pushed around and battered within the intensity and sharpness of recent political, geopolitical, and economic and financial forces of late, I was shocked to see the words, written a decade earlier, which, desperately intoning, warned of specific dire happenings should George W. Bush be elected. For it seemed those exact words, of so long ago, had just been lifted from the headlines and front pages of today’s daily news.

At any rate, I certainly thought at first that I was reading something about the recent collapse when I read what I had written in early 2000. I think I’ve said way too much without providing some meat—what kinds of things did I find? OK, in mid-2000, long before Bush was put in power and had a chance to show anything at all of what kind of president he would be, I wrote these words concerning what I thought would be the result of a George W. Bush getting elected:

[If Bush gets elected in 2000,] “I believe we are in grave danger of losing, not just an election, not just a Supreme Court, not just our environment, not just our good economy, not just our recent relative peace in the world but things far worse than those horrors. I believe we are in danger of losing all hope of maintaining, let alone progressing, in the freedoms and privileges that we take for granted.

Prophetic? Eerie? I don’t know quite what to make of it.

Reading more, this popped to my attention:

So is this election important? I believe it is. For me it is especially important, for I feel that if the Republicans take over, they will do so much to damage the dreams of my generation that even if the Democrats were to be reelected to all branches of government in 4 or 8 years, they will do so much damage (the example of Reagan-Bush nearly QUADRUPLING the National Debt in their mere 12 years being the perfect example) that My Generation will have to clean up their mess afterward, taking more years. And only then will we be in a position to progress in this country and world and bring it more in line with the ideals of peace, love, community, and harmony we envisioned in the Sixties.

Now back to 2012.

The Obvious but Hidden Becomes Visible by Contrast.

Though I had foreseen it, I couldn’t have felt more helpless. I was made to face the fact that America’s, indeed the world’s, prospects for regaining a financial footing, whereas a mere twelve years ago looked like lift off, now was predicted as decades off. And that just to regain an ordinariness of life, with some saying that Americans will never again, ever, enjoy the standard of living they once took for granted.

It certainly disturbed me and got me to wondering and then to writing.

It saddens me what could have been. Reading it, I am stunned by how we’ve managed to vanquish from our minds and our media the insane, chaotic, and truly awful outlines of our times, as the events of the last decade crept daily into our lives and world and shaped them and it in drastic ways that we can discern only by the contrast. It was such a slow and gradual change, you see.

These unpolished catscans of a mind and time provide such a contrast, stark and shocking. 

Concerning Time Capsule, I have much to say, much have I remembered, and much have I reviewed in my mind observing the timeline of these events and the changes in the social and cultural scenery, and in people themselves as these events happened over the last decade, one following another changing us all. I will make myself clearer following the text of the former piece to follow.

Continue with If Freedom of the Press Was Repealed, How Would You Know? Freedom Repealed, Part Two—Dire Vision, Revelation … Words a Decade Old Come Back to Haunt

Return to The American Awakening – 99% Rising … in a Plundered Land: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two

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Rebirthing Rituals, Part – 6: Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows.

Rebirthing Rituals, Part – 6: Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows

Societal Self-Analysis

Culture War Replaced Cold War

We see the workings of these opposing tendencies to look away from problems or to embrace them by examining the reactions in America to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The disappearance of this huge object for distraction from inner unhappiness, about which one could rationalize the use of defensiveness and scapegoating, led to continued turning away through the emergence, in America, of a search for other societal scapegoats and therefore the “Republican revolution.” Culture War replaced the Cold War as the way one could be comfortably ignorant of one’s insides and self-assuredly distracted, self-righteously engaged.

This removal of a collective punching bag or scapegoat also resulted in a healthy turning toward the darkness within and a collective self-analysis in America. This reaction has brought to the fore many of our social and political shortcomings.

Talk Show Soul-Searching

For evidence of this latter response we notice beginning in the Nineties the rise of the talk show; the rituals of nationwide self-examination over issues of sexual harassment, spouse abuse, and race relations played out in the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings and the O. J. Simpson trial; the hashing out of controversial and formerly hidden personal issues around sex, lies, and marital fidelity, played out in the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal; the reevaluation of matters of faith precipitated by priestly sexual abuse; and many other such national psychodramas staged on cable news networks and the magazine-style, documentary-type TV shows like Frontline, Nightline and the like.

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We also witnessed the rise of reality shows as part of this societal pull to see beneath the covers of what is thought to be real. Now, progressives and intellectuals have lots of fun vamping about how superior they themselves are to such interests, as exemplified in reality shows. This can only be the position of elitists out of touch with the ways ordinary folks live their lives.

Sitcom Socialization

To make my point, let me back up a bit. The swagger that the Left, and intellectuals in general, display around reality shows is the same superiority they have expressed for decades concerning sitcoms. First, let me say that I consider most sitcoms and reality shows to be rather boring and a bit inane with their laugh and soundtrack framing. father-knows-bestYet, when I was a child, growing up in a medium-sized city in the coal country of Pennsylvania and coming from a very traditional family, it was only through such sitcoms that I had a chance to find out what a different style of family and parenting would be. Today, I would laugh at a “Father Knows Best.” But it was a step up and into socialization from the “Father Knows Little” or “Father Not Around” of many in my social stratum when I was a kid. This exposure allowed me, and many of my generation, to seek for more in our life and for better interpersonal family relationships…and eventually better parenting.

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This presentation of better alternatives—middle-class, liberal, “hollywood” ones—to everyone in America has a lot to do with the fact that the Sixties were so explosive. It was the first decade after the introduction of a national culture through the medium of television. Much has been made of the fact that newscasts brought information into living rooms for the first time in that era—which is the thing that intellectual elitists will focus on, blinded by their quaint beliefs that humans are rational actors. It takes an experiential psychologist and social scientist like myself to notice that most folks act out of ideas and attitudes that are rooted in experiences and information that are hardly rational. So, the modeling of a more “advanced” way of family life—not perfect but for many better than the traditional ways they had known, which included things like spanking and attitudes like “children are better seen not heard” and “spare the rod, spoil the child”—through the TVs and cinemas of America was vastly more influential in changing society than newscasts, whose information could just as easily have been shared through the print media. The sitcoms brought liberal middle-class values to everyone in America who owned a tv set; and this was a huge step forward at the time.

A Modern “Priesthood”

This is where righties have it right when targeting “hollywood” for many of the changes in our culture over the last half century…though they see that as a negative influence. But intellectuals and lefties blow an opportunity and lose support among ordinary folks through an unconscious haughtiness and a cultural snobbery they are blind to but display in their turning up their noses at popular culture. Luckily, as an anthropological social scientist, I can study popular culture and get away with it, though not without some snide commentary coming my way from progressive and professional circles. They simply will never understand an intellectual who can speak to working folks because he’s one of them. They simply don’t get my attempts to package the crucial understandings of modern science and social sciences, on which the existence of our very world depends, in words that are not primarily directed to and meant to appease the gods of academia. They consider themselves important within their tiny professional circles, thinking they are changing the world when no one even knows what they are doing beyond that constrained perimeter.

Keeping the People Down

Indeed the attitude of academics and progressives about popular culture, especially talk and reality show tv programming and although they would be appalled to ever think it, is no different from the attitudes of the Catholic church and the clergy about matters of faith during medieval times. There, too, we had an elite wanting to “keep out the unwashed.” There, too, we had a distinction between people in the know and the rabble, with the anointed ones requiring ordinary folks to go through them for matters of truth and faith. We had then also this sharp distinction between the “high culture” of the Church and aristocracy—exemplified in the chamber music of the time—and the “low culture” of the masses—exemplified by the folk music of the troubadours of that day.

Nowadays this poo-pooing of tv culture by intellectuals is the same kind of attempt to funnel reality to the masses through the filters of a new “priesthood.” The cultural purists and intellectual elites would prefer that for truth you go through them in academia, where you ‘d have to pay a toll of course, just as the priests of the Middle Ages required you to pass their way on the road to the divine.

Therapy for the Masses

At any rate throwing off the snootiness of intellectualism, I contend, allows us to notice that sitcoms, reality shows, and talk shows serve functions in society that are, overall, beneficial in advancing our culture and catalyzing increased growth. They may not reflect, yet, where intellectuals and progressives think we should be, but for many they show something beyond where they are.

We should know that they are overall helpful in our cause from the fact that conservatives want to attack hollywood and limit freedom of expression on any airwave. The fact that many reactionaries want to keep their children out of schools, home-schooled, and away from tv sets should be telling progressives something about the value of popular culture.

Rebirth Denied

My point is that the rise in reality and talk shows are coincident with a need for a kind of societal “therapy” that came about when we took back our projections from the Soviets and were forced to look at ourselves. I’m saying this was a healthy way of doing it, and this was helping us, though it was tumultuous and difficult, in the Nineties. It is unfortunate, but it suited the forces of war and fascism, for the 1% to bring forth in the millennium the bugaboo of terrorism…perfectly bringing about another endless feud with another concocted enemy to project our own darknesses onto so we can escape from having to notice them ourselves and bring about actual personal growth and cultural advance…let alone the cultural rebirth that has been trying to happen for decades.

American Rehab

Reality shows are like watching group therapy happening. It is not surprising that there was even one reality program that was about therapy—Celebrity Rehab. Reality shows also expose ordinary folks to what amounts to crude but informative sociological experiments. If academics could see beyond their pretensions they would applaud this sort of, however haphazard and imprecise, understanding of group processes and individual psychology arising in the masses.

If there weren’t reality shows, folks would have a harder time knowing appropriate ways for men and women to act with each other. The gains of feminism would not have spread so widely or as fast if they were not being modeled and reinforced repeatedly on talk and reality shows. They demonstrate parenting and social skills—“politically correct” ones, in the good sense—to folks who would otherwise not know any better than to behave crudely and abusively. They bring the world, geography, travel, and history to the masses.

Intellectuals quibble about the quality of that, which comes across as quite childish, for it arises as if out of a jealousy of others getting the attention they want and out of a fear of competition for informational matters around science, culture, and humanities. It strikes me as more than ironic that those on the Left who would wish people to wake up from their zombie slumber would want to push programs of literature or drama where truths are filtered through the consciousness, and unconscious, of the artist, while wishing to deprive folks of a direct look—however contrived, it is actual reality and not scripted—at the world around them and people’s actual unplanned behavior and spontaneous reactions to unusual events.

Seeing people’s behavior in some of these shows does often remind me of the dynamics I’ve seen in therapy groups, and some of the personal changes in the participants mirror some of the evolutions I’ve seen in folks undergoing deep experiential psychotherapy. The audience participation part often sounds like group therapy or an intervention. I’ve been struck by how some of the group processes in the show remind me of family day in rehab, with folks reflecting back what they see in each other and how others’ behavior has affected them. These are all things that conservatives cringe at…actually hate. Yet liberals, except for notable exceptions like Jerry Springer, are not seeing the opening they have here. Lefties are fighting rather than using these forces, which are in the direction of personal growth and, cumulatively, much needed societal change.

As a psychologist and simply someone who loves people, I am fascinated by some of the things I see in these shows. They can be heart-wrenchingly real at times. So it occurs to me that folks who disparage these shows, comparing them with literature and dramatic productions, is another thing where some are wanting to have their reality filtered, managed, and packaged for them, lest it be too “disruptive” to their prejudices of things.

The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight

The upshot of all this is to say that just as a lack of a Cold War caused both collective acting out—another war, a Culture War—and collective inner searching via television talk shows, documentaries, and such. So also the prevention of “hot” wars on an international, not just intercultural, scale and the cause of peace in general require such inner soul-searching and such confrontation with one’s darker sides. And if we must, it is better to endure the psychotic acting out of a culture war—with its battles played out on the airwaves—than an actual war.

For is there any doubt that either of these or any combinations of these alternatives, however uncomfortable and even violent…on a smaller scale…at times, is a small price to pay compared to the price of outright war and violence which, by any measurement, is a cost horrifyingly huge and unacceptable?

America Currently Refusing to Pay Such Price

The converse of this is also true: When the dramas wanting to be discussed are suppressed in the mainstream media, it is as stifling of the growth of a nation as an individual’s growth. Unfortunately we have seen this as well recently. There have been massive worldwide and nationwide Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, massive Wisconsin union outpourings, and events in Japan and about Fukushima that the American people really want to and need to know and discuss, but they are being blacklisted from being broadcasted on. There has been a change in government in Iceland, with banksters being jailed, that Americans are not hearing about; there have been demonstrations in Japan about their insane response to their tragedy, which Americans won’t be told about; there have been massive demonstrations in Israel against the colonial policies of their own government that curiously do not make it into the offerings of news programs. These are things that in the Nineties would have fed the talk on tv and stimulated the necessary societal hashing out for there to be a chance of going beyond them.

What Is the Cost of Denial? Of Complacency?

It is hard to know, though, what happens when the natural urges of a nation to grow and change are thwarted. While I discussed this abortion of cultural renewal and the abomination that results from it at length in Chapter Seven of a companion book to this one, Culture War, Class War, under the title Cultural Rebirth, Aborted, the question remains what happens when this societal “rebirthing” is more urgent than ever. What happens when—for the sake of the survival of the human race and of the planet—it is necessary that this growth happen and instead it is continuously derailed and snuffed out of the light of collective consciousness?

Internet Revolution Is Another Reformation

Luckily all this is changing as the internet and social networking have upended the academic elitists, swarming around and over their petty barriers of intellectual privilege. The blogsters and “rabble” of the net have taken over the cultural dialogue of the time as assuredly as Martin Luther and the Reformation changed religion forever and helped to bring to an end the cultural stagnation of the Middle Ages and to ignite an Age of Reason and of Enlightenment.

Continue with We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations. Rebirthing Rituals, Part 7: Know Thyself … Let the Buck Stop Here!

Return to What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide – Peace Is Painful: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Five – But Better Psychotic Than Warring

Footnotes

22. For “overexamined life”see Keniston, op. cit., 1965; for “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis” see Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81.

23. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and The Youth Revolt.”

Continue with We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations. Rebirthing Rituals, Part 7: Know Thyself … Let the Buck Stop Here!

Return to What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide – Peace Is Painful: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Five – But Better Psychotic Than Warring

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Men Would Rather Be Manly Than Alive and What Say We Leave a Planet for Our Offspring? Derailing War and Violence, Part 1

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Why We Invite War, Allow Fascism, and Pollute: Our Coming Into the World Makes Us Want to Leave It

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The question posed at the end of the last chapter was whether we had opened the door to an unimaginable armageddon or were experiencing the birth pangs of a massive consciousness transformation and subsequent Earth rebirth. Are we going to self-destruct, bringing death to the entire planet along with us, or will we become good citizens of this planet and our species continue on?

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What Say We Leave a Planet For Our Offspring?

Most folks would think there would be only one answer to that question desired by virtually all humans. But in previous chapters, especially Chapter Five: Death Wish – Thanatos Walking, I showed how, and why, that common-sense notion would, amazingly, be wrong: We saw how there is a huge percentage of our human Earth citizens, and a part of all of us, that wants to “throw in the towel.” This has always been true of humans, but it is of critical importance only now.

But I will assume anyone reading this will at least consciously be wanting our vital question to be answered in the affirmative. You know as well as I that the folks on the other side of this question are doing vastly different things right now than us and are nowhere to be found around here.

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How Do We “Like” Life?

So the next thing to be addressed is how we might change our fortunes and live. Since continuing on is not just of matter of deciding it—voting “like” on it or checking its box—as we saw in Chapter Five: Death Wish, how can we get around this part of ourselves and our population that wants to do us all in? We need to know how to derail our perpetual cycles of war and violence. We need know how to quit bringing pollution and suffering on us. We have to know how we can stop our secret desire to take comfort in failure, how to “unlike” self-sabotage on our inner “profile.”

How Do We “Unlike” Fascism?

I have written a great deal on this question, including an entire book in 2011 on the way we act out this masochistic tendency politically and culturally by taking comfort in totalitarianism and embracing fascism. [Footnote 1]

robots

For our purposes presently I will focus on the element of it all that is critical to answering our question. So we first need to look into the place from which emanates our dilemma. I showed that this bugaboo is our Will to Death.

cowboys2011111

Our Coming Into This World Makes Us Want to Leave It

Now we need to get more specific on this negative inclination of ours. As we have seen this Will to Death arises from human’s unique-among-all-species primal pain rooted in our singular way of coming into the world, our unique human birth.

SKRA040_XS035

We Need Look Deeper

We need to look deeper into the elements of that part of ourselves that would have us take us all down. We need inquire into that tendency of ours to choose pollution over health, tyranny over freedom, war over peace, enslavement over autonomy, violence over pacifism, oppression over liberty, misery over happiness. We must derail the cycles of war and violence. We must know how to “like” happiness.

534196_401456473200431_152032768142804_1576605_417327672_n

We Need Know Where Exactly to Focus Our Efforts to Be Successful

To do so, we must separate the skeins of this inner entanglement and shed light into this darkness within. We need to know specifically, precisely where to place the lever of effort we will apply to truly move the world, to derail it from its current acceleration into oblivion.

So we look now into the elements of that perinatal unconscious manifesting currently as a will to die on the grandest scale imaginable.

hiroshima atomic bomb video1

Cycles of War, Cycles of Birth

We find there are two researchers who are particularly relevant to our understanding of the elements of the perinatal unconscious in a way as to avert collective, worldwide disaster. These are Stanislav Grof and Lloyd DeMause. [Footnote 2]

Men Would Rather Be “Manly” Than…Alive…

DeMause writes,

[T]he group-fantasy shared prior to wars expresses the nation’s deep feeling that the increase in pleasure brought about by the prosperity and progress that usually precede wars “pollutes” the national blood-stream with sinful excess, making men “soft” and feminine”—a frightful condition that can only be cleansed by a blood-shedding purification. [Footnote 2]

crusakhkhdes

Men are more terrified of appearing “feminine” than of losing their lives. Why we invite war.

DeMause is saying we go forever into war because after a while peace makes men feel guilty, “sinful.” Men have uncomfortable, even shameful…homophobic…feelings of being “soft” or “feminine” when their lives are good. So men choose the “purifying,” masculinizing ritual of war to fight off these feelings. Nothing distracts one from looking inward better than a “good, old-fashioned” life-or-death struggle, and war is the most all-encompassing of them.

vietnamnapalm1966

Men are more terrified of appearing “soft” than having the boot of totalitarianism on their neck. Why we allow fascism.

What DeMause says about bringing war upon us can be said also about allowing fascism, inviting totalitarianism. For whether we are fighting enemies of another nation or struggling to survive against oppression at home, we are involved in a daily struggle. Secret to us, we feel better being engaged in a dramatic battle, though it brings us suffering and misery.

How-Did-the-Islam-Conquer-the-World-2

We simply can’t hack peace for very long. We feel guilty, for some reason, lolling on the beach. You ever notice how at the end of your vacation time, you are anxious for it to be over and to get back to work? That feeling—that one where we feel…guilty?…uncomfortable…tense?…unfulfilled?…(you tell me)—that’s it. That’s the one I’m talking about.

the-golden-agadfae

It happens the same way collectively after we have experienced a “vacation” of national peace—for example, in the Nineties when we were prosperous and mostly peaceful under Clinton. At the end of it, with Bush, we ended up getting the misery and struggle many in America were driven to want, though no one would ever admit that.

giuliani-finger

A quick aside. The fact that the majority of Americans actually didn’t vote for Bush and so tried to choose happiness over struggle is a source of hope for us in all this. That’s a hint of what’s coming.

Continue with Cycles of Birth, Cycles of War … The Four “Colors” of the Perinatal Veils and Why Women Fear Fatness and Men Fear Femininity

Return to Through Gaia’s Eyes – Nature Balances Herself: Eve of Destruction or Global Healing Crisis

Footnote

1. The book mentioned was posted online in two places in August, 2011: Culture War and Culture War, Class War.

2. Lloyd deMause, “Restaging of Early Traumas in War and Social Violence.” The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1995): 2. Reprinted with permission on the Primal Spirit site.

Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House, 1980; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988; The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence – Audiocasts

“Part 1; What Say We Leave a Planet for Our Offspring?” – the audio by SillyMickel Adzema

For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this part, click on the link to the audio site above or click the audio player here:

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=pffbztrfkv

“Part 2; Can You Handle Happiness (And the Pain That Comes With It)?” – the audio by SillyMickel Adzema

For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this part, click on the link to the audio site above or click the audio player here:

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=syglfhsvld

Continue with Cycles of Birth, Cycles of War … The Four “Colors” of the Perinatal Veils and Why Women Fear Fatness and Men Fear Femininity

Return to Through Gaia’s Eyes – Nature Balances Herself: Eve of Destruction or Global Healing Crisis

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The Smoke and Lies of the “Good” Ronald Reagan Presidency; The Origins of Today’s Biggest Woes and Who Benefits from this Ignorance

The Origins of Today’s Biggest Woes in the Reagan Presidency (and why and how the moneyed interests would do all they could to present an opposite, untrue story of Reagan, fabricate a good Ronald Reagan presidency mythology, smoke and lies) The Truth Behind the Good Ronald Reagan; The Myth of the Good Reagan Presidency.

Peter Dreier’s illuminating article debunks the mythology swirling around Ronald Reagan. We see how Reagan is the the father of America’s slide into the financial ruin, cultural mediocrity, fascist government policy, and social distress that we are immersed in at the moment. Some highlights of his article include:

let us not forget that many of the serious problems facing America today began or worsened during Reagan’s presidency.

a growing chorus of journalists, politicians, and pundits are using this hundredth-birthday milestone to rewrite history and bestow on Reagan a Mount Rushmore–like status as one of our greatest presidents. That’s hogwash.

During his two terms in the White House (1981–89), Reagan presided over:

  • a widening gap between the rich and everyone else
  • declining wages and living standards for working families
  • an assault on labor unions as a vehicle to lift Americans into the middle class
  • a dramatic increase in poverty and homelessness
  • and the consolidation and deregulation of the financial industry that led to the current mortgage meltdown, foreclosure epidemic and lingering recession
Reagan’s policy and political choices based on an underlying “you’re on your own” ideology.

Reagan is often lauded as “the great communicator,” but what he often communicated were lies and distortions

Reagan’s most famous statement—“Government is not a solution to our problem. Government is the problem”—has become the unofficial slogan for the recent resurgence of right-wing extremism. The rants of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the lunacy of Tea Party, the policy ideas promulgated by propaganda outfits like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation masquerading as think tanks and the takeover of the Republican Party by its most conservative wing were all incubated during the Reagan years. Indeed, they all claim to be carrying out the Reagan Revolution

Many Americans credit Reagan with reducing the size of government. In reality, he increased government spending, cut taxes and turned the United States from a creditor to a debtor nation. During his presidency, Reagan escalated the military budget while slashing funds for domestic programs that assisted working-class Americans and protected consumers and the environment. Not surprisingly, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush followed in Reagan’s footsteps.

But, unfortunately, so did Bill Clinton. During his first campaign for the presidency, Clinton correctly observed that “the Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.” But a few years later, as president, Clinton proclaimed, echoing Reagan, that “the era of big government is over,” which he carried out by slashing welfare benefits for poor children.

Reagan—with his avuncular style, optimism and just-plain-folks demeanor—turned government-bashing into an art form.

Accompanying the Reagan era was the rise of a well-oiled corporate-funded conservative propaganda machine—including think tanks and lobby groups, endowed professorships at universities, legal advocacy organizations, magazines, and college student internships to train the next generation—designed to demonize activist government and glorify unregulated markets.

Reagan’s fans give him credit for restoring the nation’s prosperity. But whatever economic growth occurred during the Reagan years mostly benefitted those already well off. The income gap between the rich and everyone else in America widened. Wages for the average worker declined

Meanwhile, the rich got much richer. By the end of the decade, the richest 1 percent of Americans had 39 percent of the nation’s wealth.

When the dust settled in the late 1980s, hundreds of S&Ls and banks had gone under, billions of dollars of commercial loans were useless and the federal government was left to bail out the depositors whose money the speculators had looted to the tune of over $130 billion.

Under Reagan, government’s role shifted from policing Wall Street and protecting consumers to a see-no-evil enabler, encouraging banks to engage in irresponsible practices. This was just the first chapter in the slide towards today’s financial crisis.

Another of Reagan’s enduring legacies is the steep increase in the number of homeless people, which by the late 1980s had swollen to 600,000 on any given night—and 1.2 million over the course of a year. Many were Vietnam veterans, children and laid-off workers.

In early 1984 on “Good Morning America,” Reagan defended himself against charges of callousness toward the poor in a classic blaming-the-victim statement. He said that “people who are sleeping on the grates…the homeless…are homeless, you might say, by choice.”

Since his death, we’ve named a major airport, many schools and lots of streets after Ronald Reagan. Perhaps now, as we celebrate the centennial of his birth, a more fitting tribute to his legacy would be for each American city to name a park bench—where at least one homeless person sleeps every night—in honor of our fortieth president.

7. posted by: ljsopjes at 02/06/2011 @ 1:33pm

We also need a piece which clearly dispels the myth that Reagan was responsible for ending the Cold War.

8. posted by: darthchris67 at 02/06/2011 @ 4:20pm

Without the Gipper, where would W have been able to come up with what Stephen Colbert called “truthiness”:

“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.” March 4, 1987

Amplify’d from www.thenation.com

Media_httpcontent6cli_aecjr

Reagan’s Real Legacy

As the nation embarks on a celebration this Sunday of the hundredth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth—with conferences, museum exhibits and lots of speeches—let us not forget that many of the serious problems facing America today began or worsened during Reagan’s presidency.
Why not let Reagan, who died in 2004, rest in peace? Because a growing chorus of journalists, politicians, and pundits are using this hundredth-birthday milestone to rewrite history and bestow on Reagan a Mount Rushmore–like status as one of our greatest presidents.
That’s hogwash.
During his two terms in the White House (1981–89), Reagan presided over a widening gap between the rich and everyone else, declining wages and living standards for working families, an assault on labor unions as a vehicle to lift Americans into the middle class, a dramatic increase in poverty and homelessness, and the consolidation and deregulation of the financial industry that led to the current mortgage meltdown, foreclosure epidemic and lingering recession.
These trends were not caused by inevitable social and economic forces. They resulted from Reagan’s policy and political choices based on an underlying “you’re on your own” ideology.
Reagan is often lauded as “the great communicator,” but what he often communicated were lies and distortions. For example, during his stump speeches, while dutifully promising to roll back welfare, Reagan often told the story of a so-called “welfare queen” in Chicago who drove a Cadillac and had ripped off $150,000 from the government using eighty aliases, thirty addresses, a dozen Social Security cards and four fictional dead husbands. Journalists searched for this “welfare cheat” in the hopes of interviewing her and discovered that she didn’t exist. But this phony imagery of “welfare cheats” persisted and helped lay the groundwork for cuts to programs that help the poor, including children.
Reagan’s most famous statement—“Government is not a solution to our problem. Government is the problem”—has become the unofficial slogan for the recent resurgence of right-wing extremism. The rants of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the lunacy of Tea Party, the policy ideas promulgated by propaganda outfits like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation masquerading as think tanks and the takeover of the Republican Party by its most conservative wing were all incubated during the Reagan years. Indeed, they all claim to be carrying out the Reagan Revolution.
What did that revolution bring us?
Many Americans credit Reagan with reducing the size of government. In reality, he increased government spending, cut taxes and turned the United States from a creditor to a debtor nation. During his presidency, Reagan escalated the military budget while slashing funds for domestic programs that assisted working-class Americans and protected consumers and the environment. Not surprisingly, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush followed in Reagan’s footsteps.
But, unfortunately, so did Bill Clinton. During his first campaign for the presidency, Clinton correctly observed that “the Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.” But a few years later, as president, Clinton proclaimed, echoing Reagan, that “the era of big government is over,” which he carried out by slashing welfare benefits for poor children.
Indeed, Reagan’s most important domestic legacy is our government’s weakened ability to do its job protecting families, consumers, workers and the environment.
How did Reagan revise America’s thinking about the role of government? Before Reagan took office, the American public was already growing more skeptical about government and politicians, exacerbated by the lies told by Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon about the Vietnam war, Nixon’s Watergate scandal and President Jimmy Carter’s inability to deal with the twin problems of rising prices and unemployment, often called “stagflation.” But Reagan—with his avuncular style, optimism and just-plain-folks demeanor—turned government-bashing into an art form.
And he had a lot of help. Accompanying the Reagan era was the rise of a well-oiled corporate-funded conservative propaganda machine—including think tanks and lobby groups, endowed professorships at universities, legal advocacy organizations, magazines, and college student internships to train the next generation—designed to demonize activist government and glorify unregulated markets. Years before Rush Limbaugh began his radio ministry to his conservative congregation of ditto-heads, Reagan and this right-wing echo chamber were on the job.
Reagan’s fans give him credit for restoring the nation’s prosperity. But whatever economic growth occurred during the Reagan years mostly benefitted those already well off. The income gap between the rich and everyone else in America widened. Wages for the average worker declined and the nation’s homeownership rate fell. During Reagan’s two terms in the White House, the minimum wage was frozen at $3.35 an hour, while prices rose, thus eroding the standard of living of millions of low-wage workers. The number of people living beneath the federal poverty line rose from 26.1 million in 1979 to 32.7 million in 1988. Meanwhile, the rich got much richer. By the end of the decade, the richest 1 percent of Americans had 39 percent of the nation’s wealth.
After signing the Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act in 1982, Reagan presided over the dramatic deregulation of the nation’s savings-and-loan industry. The law allowed S&Ls to end their reliance on home mortgages and permitted banks to provide adjustable-rate mortgage loans. The S&Ls began a decade-long orgy of real estate speculation, mismanagement and fraud. The industry indulged in a wild ride of merger mania, with banks and S&Ls gobbling each other up and making loans to finance shopping malls, golf courses, office buildings and condo projects that had no financial logic other than a quick-buck profit.
When the dust settled in the late 1980s, hundreds of S&Ls and banks had gone under, billions of dollars of commercial loans were useless and the federal government was left to bail out the depositors whose money the speculators had looted to the tune of over $130 billion.
Under Reagan, government’s role shifted from policing Wall Street and protecting consumers to a see-no-evil enabler, encouraging banks to engage in irresponsible practices. This was just the first chapter in the slide towards today’s financial crisis. Things got even worse—much worse—in the decades after Reagan left office. Both Bushes, as well as Clinton, took up where Reagan left off in granting banks and insurance companies permission to wreak havoc on consumers and the economy. This lead to the epidemic of subprime loans and foreclosures of the past three years and the costly federal bail-out of “too big to fail” Wall Street banks.
Reagan’s indifference to urban problems was legendary. Early in his presidency, at a White House reception, Reagan greeted the only black member of his Cabinet, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Samuel Pierce, saying: “How are you, Mr. Mayor? I’m glad to meet you. How are things in your city?”
Reagan not only failed to recognize his own HUD Secretary, he failed to deal with the growing corruption scandal at the agency that resulted in the indictment and conviction of top Reagan administration officials for illegally targeting housing subsidies to politically connected developers. Pierce and others rigged the allocation of subsidies for housing projects to favor Reagan’s campaign contributors and GOP lobbyists, such as former Interior Secretary James Watt. Fortunately for Reagan, the “HUD Scandal” wasn’t uncovered until he’d left office.
Reagan didn’t invent the pay-to-play game or the revolving door of top government officials becoming well-paid lobbyists and government contractors. But his hands-off attitude toward government oversight contributed to the deepening culture of corruption in our nation’s capital.
The 1980s saw pervasive racial discrimination by banks, real estate agents and landlords, unmonitored by the Reagan administration. Community groups uncovered blatant redlining by banks. But Reagan’s HUD and Department of Justice failed to prosecute or sanction banks that violated the Community Reinvestment Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in lending. During that time, of the 40,000 applications from banks requesting permission to expand their operations, Reagan’s bank regulators denied only eight of them on grounds of violating CRA regulations.
The declining fiscal fortunes of America’s cities began during the Reagan years. By the end of his second term, federal assistance to local governments had been slashed by 60 percent. Reagan eliminated general revenue sharing to cities, cut funding for public service jobs and job training, almost dismantled federally funded legal services for the poor, cut the antipoverty Community Development Block Grant program and reduced funds for public transit.
These cutbacks had a disastrous effect on cities with high levels of poverty and limited property tax bases, many of which depended on federal aid to provide basic services. In 1980 federal dollars accounted for 22 percent of big city budgets. By the end of Reagan’s second term, federal aid was only 6 percent. The consequences were devastating to urban schools and libraries, municipal hospitals and clinics, and sanitation, police and fire departments—many of which had to shut their doors. Many cities still haven’t recovered from the downward spiral started during the Gipper’s presidency.
The most dramatic cut in domestic spending during the Reagan years was for low-income housing subsidies. In his first year in office, Reagan cut the budget for public housing and Section 8 rent subsidies in half. Congress thwarted his plan to wide out federal housing assistance to the poor altogether, but he got much of what he sought. In the 1980s the proportion of the eligible poor who received federal housing subsidies declined substantially.
Another of Reagan’s enduring legacies is the steep increase in the number of homeless people, which by the late 1980s had swollen to 600,000 on any given night—and 1.2 million over the course of a year. Many were Vietnam veterans, children and laid-off workers.
In early 1984 on “Good Morning America,” Reagan defended himself against charges of callousness toward the poor in a classic blaming-the-victim statement. He said that “people who are sleeping on the grates…the homeless…are homeless, you might say, by choice.”
Since his death, we’ve named a major airport, many schools and lots of streets after Ronald Reagan. Perhaps now, as we celebrate the centennial of his birth, a more fitting tribute to his legacy would be for each American city to name a park bench—where at least one homeless person sleeps every night—in honor of our fortieth president.

2. posted by: aznative at 02/06/2011 @ 10:18am



Ugh, the beginning of the end, I remember it well, the 80’s, the time when everything went to sh*t. Reagan cared for nothing along with his cabinet. I will not forget.

7. posted by: ljsopjes at 02/06/2011 @ 1:33pm
We also need a piece which clearly dispels the myth that Reagan was responsible for ending the Cold War.

8. posted by: darthchris67 at 02/06/2011 @ 4:20pm



Without the Gipper, where would W have been able to come up with what Stephen Colbert called “truthiness”:



“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.” March 4, 1987


Read more at www.thenation.com

 See this Amp at http://amplify.com/u/bt98q

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

The Smoke and Lies of the “Good” Ronald Reagan Presidency

The Origins of Today’s Biggest Woes and Who Benefits from this Ignorance. The Truth Behind the Good Ronald Reagan; The Myth of the Good Reagan Presidency. The Origin’s of Today’s Biggest Woes in the Reagan Presidency (and why and how the moneyed interests would do all they could to present an opposite, untrue story of Reagan, fabricate a good Ronald Reagan presidency mythology, smoke and lies)

Peter Dreier’s illuminating article debunks the mythology swirling around Ronald Reagan. We see how Reagan is the the father of America’s slide into the financial ruin, cultural mediocrity, fascist government policy, and social distress that we are immersed in at the moment. Some highlights of his article include:

let us not forget that many of the serious problems facing America today began or worsened during Reagan’s presidency.

a growing chorus of journalists, politicians, and pundits are using this hundredth-birthday milestone to rewrite history and bestow on Reagan a Mount Rushmore–like status as one of our greatest presidents. That’s hogwash.

During his two terms in the White House (1981–89), Reagan presided over

  • a widening gap between the rich and everyone else
  • declining wages and living standards for working families
  • an assault on labor unions as a vehicle to lift Americans into the middle class
  • a dramatic increase in poverty and homelessness
  • and the consolidation and deregulation of the financial industry that led to the current mortgage meltdown, foreclosure epidemic and lingering recession

Reagan’s policy and political choices based on an underlying “you’re on your own” ideology.

Reagan is often lauded as “the great communicator,” but what he often communicated were lies and distortions

Reagan’s most famous statement—“Government is not a solution to our problem. Government is the problem”—has become the unofficial slogan for the recent resurgence of right-wing extremism. The rants of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the lunacy of Tea Party, the policy ideas promulgated by propaganda outfits like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation masquerading as think tanks and the takeover of the Republican Party by its most conservative wing were all incubated during the Reagan years. Indeed, they all claim to be carrying out the Reagan Revolution

Many Americans credit Reagan with reducing the size of government. In reality, he increased government spending, cut taxes and turned the United States from a creditor to a debtor nation. During his presidency, Reagan escalated the military budget while slashing funds for domestic programs that assisted working-class Americans and protected consumers and the environment. Not surprisingly, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush followed in Reagan’s footsteps.

But, unfortunately, so did Bill Clinton. During his first campaign for the presidency, Clinton correctly observed that “the Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.” But a few years later, as president, Clinton proclaimed, echoing Reagan, that “the era of big government is over,” which he carried out by slashing welfare benefits for poor children.

Reagan—with his avuncular style, optimism and just-plain-folks demeanor—turned government-bashing into an art form.

Accompanying the Reagan era was the rise of a well-oiled corporate-funded conservative propaganda machine—including think tanks and lobby groups, endowed professorships at universities, legal advocacy organizations, magazines, and college student internships to train the next generation—designed to demonize activist government and glorify unregulated markets.

Reagan’s fans give him credit for restoring the nation’s prosperity. But whatever economic growth occurred during the Reagan years mostly benefitted those already well off. The income gap between the rich and everyone else in America widened. Wages for the average worker declined
Meanwhile, the rich got much richer. By the end of the decade, the richest 1 percent of Americans had 39 percent of the nation’s wealth.

When the dust settled in the late 1980s, hundreds of S&Ls and banks had gone under, billions of dollars of commercial loans were useless and the federal government was left to bail out the depositors whose money the speculators had looted to the tune of over $130 billion.

Under Reagan, government’s role shifted from policing Wall Street and protecting consumers to a see-no-evil enabler, encouraging banks to engage in irresponsible practices. This was just the first chapter in the slide towards today’s financial crisis.

Another of Reagan’s enduring legacies is the steep increase in the number of homeless people, which by the late 1980s had swollen to 600,000 on any given night—and 1.2 million over the course of a year. Many were Vietnam veterans, children and laid-off workers.

In early 1984 on “Good Morning America,” Reagan defended himself against charges of callousness toward the poor in a classic blaming-the-victim statement. He said that “people who are sleeping on the grates…the homeless…are homeless, you might say, by choice.”

Since his death, we’ve named a major airport, many schools and lots of streets after Ronald Reagan. Perhaps now, as we celebrate the centennial of his birth, a more fitting tribute to his legacy would be for each American city to name a park bench—where at least one homeless person sleeps every night—in honor of our fortieth president.

7. posted by: ljsopjes at 02/06/2011 @ 1:33pm
We also need a piece which clearly dispels the myth that Reagan was responsible for ending the Cold War.

8. posted by: darthchris67 at 02/06/2011 @ 4:20pm
Without the Gipper, where would W have been able to come up with what Stephen Colbert called “truthiness”:
“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.” March 4, 1987


Amplify’d from www.thenation.com

Media_httpcontent6cli_jkqul

Reagan’s Real Legacy

As the nation embarks on a celebration this Sunday of the hundredth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth—with conferences, museum exhibits and lots of speeches—let us not forget that many of the serious problems facing America today began or worsened during Reagan’s presidency.

Why not let Reagan, who died in 2004, rest in peace? Because a growing chorus of journalists, politicians, and pundits are using this hundredth-birthday milestone to rewrite history and bestow on Reagan a Mount Rushmore–like status as one of our greatest presidents.

That’s hogwash.

During his two terms in the White House (1981–89), Reagan presided over a widening gap between the rich and everyone else, declining wages and living standards for working families, an assault on labor unions as a vehicle to lift Americans into the middle class, a dramatic increase in poverty and homelessness, and the consolidation and deregulation of the financial industry that led to the current mortgage meltdown, foreclosure epidemic and lingering recession.

These trends were not caused by inevitable social and economic forces. They resulted from Reagan’s policy and political choices based on an underlying “you’re on your own” ideology.

Reagan is often lauded as “the great communicator,” but what he often communicated were lies and distortions. For example, during his stump speeches, while dutifully promising to roll back welfare, Reagan often told the story of a so-called “welfare queen” in Chicago who drove a Cadillac and had ripped off $150,000 from the government using eighty aliases, thirty addresses, a dozen Social Security cards and four fictional dead husbands. Journalists searched for this “welfare cheat” in the hopes of interviewing her and discovered that she didn’t exist. But this phony imagery of “welfare cheats” persisted and helped lay the groundwork for cuts to programs that help the poor, including children.

Reagan’s most famous statement—“Government is not a solution to our problem. Government is the problem”—has become the unofficial slogan for the recent resurgence of right-wing extremism. The rants of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the lunacy of Tea Party, the policy ideas promulgated by propaganda outfits like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation masquerading as think tanks and the takeover of the Republican Party by its most conservative wing were all incubated during the Reagan years. Indeed, they all claim to be carrying out the Reagan Revolution.

What did that revolution bring us?

Many Americans credit Reagan with reducing the size of government. In reality, he increased government spending, cut taxes and turned the United States from a creditor to a debtor nation. During his presidency, Reagan escalated the military budget while slashing funds for domestic programs that assisted working-class Americans and protected consumers and the environment. Not surprisingly, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush followed in Reagan’s footsteps.

But, unfortunately, so did Bill Clinton. During his first campaign for the presidency, Clinton correctly observed that “the Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.” But a few years later, as president, Clinton proclaimed, echoing Reagan, that “the era of big government is over,” which he carried out by slashing welfare benefits for poor children.

Indeed, Reagan’s most important domestic legacy is our government’s weakened ability to do its job protecting families, consumers, workers and the environment.

How did Reagan revise America’s thinking about the role of government? Before Reagan took office, the American public was already growing more skeptical about government and politicians, exacerbated by the lies told by Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon about the Vietnam war, Nixon’s Watergate scandal and President Jimmy Carter’s inability to deal with the twin problems of rising prices and unemployment, often called “stagflation.” But Reagan—with his avuncular style, optimism and just-plain-folks demeanor—turned government-bashing into an art form.

And he had a lot of help. Accompanying the Reagan era was the rise of a well-oiled corporate-funded conservative propaganda machine—including think tanks and lobby groups, endowed professorships at universities, legal advocacy organizations, magazines, and college student internships to train the next generation—designed to demonize activist government and glorify unregulated markets. Years before Rush Limbaugh began his radio ministry to his conservative congregation of ditto-heads, Reagan and this right-wing echo chamber were on the job.

Reagan’s fans give him credit for restoring the nation’s prosperity. But whatever economic growth occurred during the Reagan years mostly benefitted those already well off. The income gap between the rich and everyone else in America widened. Wages for the average worker declined and the nation’s homeownership rate fell. During Reagan’s two terms in the White House, the minimum wage was frozen at $3.35 an hour, while prices rose, thus eroding the standard of living of millions of low-wage workers. The number of people living beneath the federal poverty line rose from 26.1 million in 1979 to 32.7 million in 1988. Meanwhile, the rich got much richer. By the end of the decade, the richest 1 percent of Americans had 39 percent of the nation’s wealth.

After signing the Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act in 1982, Reagan presided over the dramatic deregulation of the nation’s savings-and-loan industry. The law allowed S&Ls to end their reliance on home mortgages and permitted banks to provide adjustable-rate mortgage loans. The S&Ls began a decade-long orgy of real estate speculation, mismanagement and fraud. The industry indulged in a wild ride of merger mania, with banks and S&Ls gobbling each other up and making loans to finance shopping malls, golf courses, office buildings and condo projects that had no financial logic other than a quick-buck profit.

When the dust settled in the late 1980s, hundreds of S&Ls and banks had gone under, billions of dollars of commercial loans were useless and the federal government was left to bail out the depositors whose money the speculators had looted to the tune of over $130 billion.

Under Reagan, government’s role shifted from policing Wall Street and protecting consumers to a see-no-evil enabler, encouraging banks to engage in irresponsible practices. This was just the first chapter in the slide towards today’s financial crisis. Things got even worse—much worse—in the decades after Reagan left office. Both Bushes, as well as Clinton, took up where Reagan left off in granting banks and insurance companies permission to wreak havoc on consumers and the economy. This lead to the epidemic of subprime loans and foreclosures of the past three years and the costly federal bail-out of “too big to fail” Wall Street banks.

Reagan’s indifference to urban problems was legendary. Early in his presidency, at a White House reception, Reagan greeted the only black member of his Cabinet, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Samuel Pierce, saying: “How are you, Mr. Mayor? I’m glad to meet you. How are things in your city?”

Reagan not only failed to recognize his own HUD Secretary, he failed to deal with the growing corruption scandal at the agency that resulted in the indictment and conviction of top Reagan administration officials for illegally targeting housing subsidies to politically connected developers. Pierce and others rigged the allocation of subsidies for housing projects to favor Reagan’s campaign contributors and GOP lobbyists, such as former Interior Secretary James Watt. Fortunately for Reagan, the “HUD Scandal” wasn’t uncovered until he’d left office.

Reagan didn’t invent the pay-to-play game or the revolving door of top government officials becoming well-paid lobbyists and government contractors. But his hands-off attitude toward government oversight contributed to the deepening culture of corruption in our nation’s capital.

The 1980s saw pervasive racial discrimination by banks, real estate agents and landlords, unmonitored by the Reagan administration. Community groups uncovered blatant redlining by banks. But Reagan’s HUD and Department of Justice failed to prosecute or sanction banks that violated the Community Reinvestment Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in lending. During that time, of the 40,000 applications from banks requesting permission to expand their operations, Reagan’s bank regulators denied only eight of them on grounds of violating CRA regulations.

The declining fiscal fortunes of America’s cities began during the Reagan years. By the end of his second term, federal assistance to local governments had been slashed by 60 percent. Reagan eliminated general revenue sharing to cities, cut funding for public service jobs and job training, almost dismantled federally funded legal services for the poor, cut the antipoverty Community Development Block Grant program and reduced funds for public transit.

These cutbacks had a disastrous effect on cities with high levels of poverty and limited property tax bases, many of which depended on federal aid to provide basic services. In 1980 federal dollars accounted for 22 percent of big city budgets. By the end of Reagan’s second term, federal aid was only 6 percent. The consequences were devastating to urban schools and libraries, municipal hospitals and clinics, and sanitation, police and fire departments—many of which had to shut their doors. Many cities still haven’t recovered from the downward spiral started during the Gipper’s presidency.

The most dramatic cut in domestic spending during the Reagan years was for low-income housing subsidies. In his first year in office, Reagan cut the budget for public housing and Section 8 rent subsidies in half. Congress thwarted his plan to wide out federal housing assistance to the poor altogether, but he got much of what he sought. In the 1980s the proportion of the eligible poor who received federal housing subsidies declined substantially.

Another of Reagan’s enduring legacies is the steep increase in the number of homeless people, which by the late 1980s had swollen to 600,000 on any given night—and 1.2 million over the course of a year. Many were Vietnam veterans, children and laid-off workers.

In early 1984 on “Good Morning America,” Reagan defended himself against charges of callousness toward the poor in a classic blaming-the-victim statement. He said that “people who are sleeping on the grates…the homeless…are homeless, you might say, by choice.”

Since his death, we’ve named a major airport, many schools and lots of streets after Ronald Reagan. Perhaps now, as we celebrate the centennial of his birth, a more fitting tribute to his legacy would be for each American city to name a park bench—where at least one homeless person sleeps every night—in honor of our fortieth president.

2. posted by: aznative at 02/06/2011 @ 10:18am

Ugh, the beginning of the end, I remember it well, the 80’s, the time when everything went to sh*t. Reagan cared for nothing along with his cabinet. I will not forget.

7. posted by: ljsopjes at 02/06/2011 @ 1:33pm

We also need a piece which clearly dispels the myth that Reagan was responsible for ending the Cold War.

8. posted by: darthchris67 at 02/06/2011 @ 4:20pm

Without the Gipper, where would W have been able to come up with what Stephen Colbert called “truthiness”:

“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.” March 4, 1987

Read more at www.thenation.com

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