Sunday morning thoughts on that which we call God and the formation of hell on earth

A thought keeps returning to me lately. When in the Christian bible it is said that the meek shall inherit the earth, perhaps what that really means is that lower lifeforms will inherit the earth. Think plants, protozoans, and prokaryotes. (Or, thanks to human ingenuity, perhaps even nanotechnology.) The smallest of the organisms. That would make sense, when you really stop and think about it, considering how the cellular level always adapts and eventually triumphs over whatever we attempt. The microscopic evolve much faster than we do, putting us and other higher life forms at an ongoing disadvantage, with no end in sight.

Also, consider the scripture where it was said that lions will someday lay down with the lambs. Maybe by that what is really meant is that lions and lambs (e.g., higher-level lifeforms) will both succumb to death, as in going extinct as species. Just a thought…

Seems to me life is crazier than we can imagine and that it’s so obviously not constructed to cater to our human whims and wishes.

Was just listening to a youtuber Christian that I turn to from time to time to hear his commentary on current events. Today he was complaining bitterly about how stupid we human beings have become, how our civilization project has led us to become weak and incompetent, comparing us to modern farmed chickens and how far from natural they’ve strayed. What he’s pointing at there is domestication, and yes, we humans are subject to this as well, as should be apparent by now. Does it make us lazy and stupid? Yes. We too are far from natural in nearly every sense, having forgotten in a few generation’s time how to provide even the basics for our own survival. I’ve bitched about this plenty over time as well, noting how most of us nowadays only know how to wave around money, not create things of actual productive value. Sure, modern economics is largely to blame for bringing us to this point, and overpopulation, popular socialization, and increasing technological dependence will keep us here. Is this trend going to lead to human extinction? Perhaps. But such concerns no longer bother me much anymore. C’est la vie. Special as we are, we’re not above Nature. Though undoubtedly a few of us will brave the storm and survive on in the future dark ages. Maybe. Or maybe not, depending on the disaster(s) that befalls us.

I can understand people getting riled up over these topics, angry that we humans can’t seem to change course. But at the same time I also try to accept that we’re not as smart as we like to think, or at least we’re not as quickly adaptive due to our mega social/cultural/political/economic systems currently in place. The individual maintains more flexibility than the collective, yet we’re all absorbed in a major collective scheme at this point in time, whether we like it or not. Indeed, we will go down with this ship when the time comes because there is no alternative for most of us. I accept this and reckon I would be one of the first to go down when that day comes, assuming it’s a big catastrophic event rather than a lengthy decline (the latter seeming more plausible). Is what it is. I, for one, am thoroughly dependent on modern conveniences and technologies and can’t barely imagine life outside of them. Being subject to the elements directly and learning to hunt and gather when modern weaponry have run out of available ammunition strikes me as entirely daunting and best left to the survivalist types who train for such scenarios.

This is the downside of domestication. We grow increasingly dependent on the Systems humans have constructed. We know this, and yet some become very depressed when contemplating this reality. I used to as well, but then I came to see that that’s my expectations acting up. Rose gardens were never in the trajectory, much as we love to envision a utopian future. It’s just not realistic. Especially when you consider who are attracted to wielding such power over and within these Systems and how they tend to get there (hint: not through truly democratic voting into office).

Personally, I don’t wish to see the future past a certain point. Wouldn’t know what to do with it. Continually reconfirms my decision to not have children, having no way to prepare them for what’s to come. Just trying to imagine what 20-30 years into the future will hold is mind-boggling enough, based on my readings of where technologies are heading. Where others see possibilities and easier living, I see enhanced domestication and surveillance. That in no way warms my heart or makes me hopeful for my species, though I do aim to maintain an open mind since I have no way of truly knowing how it will all shake out in the end. Maybe we will get lucky and knock ourselves back into a stone age, that seeming to me to be a better alternative than winding up within intensely technologically-advanced totalitarian societies. The future looks very dystopian to me and has for a lot of years now, try as I might to imagine things working out more in the people’s favor.

Hence why I can’t stand these gender-bent movements and racial movements and other ideological oddities intent on separating us from one another. Just creates more suffering in the meantime, and very little of what they have to say is actually relevant in the big picture. Not really. Just keeps us blaming one another while our ship rocks and threatens to sink, as if that will change a thing for the better. Even our stupid political divides have come to look like nonsense to me over time. Corporate-backed teams with more in common than not, parading as if competing in our media circus. Just another smokescreen, another illusion that we all-too-willingly buy into.

So I guess when I think about these things nowadays, I’m overcome with the thought that we should probably make life easier on one another in the interim. Maybe quit paving the way to hell in our own individual fashions so far as we’re able. Cease blaming others who weren’t alive when the ball first began rolling and who individually have no more power than we do to stop it. Guess I’m taking more of a hospice outlook on life at this point, though I understand that simply making ourselves more comfortable isn’t necessarily the best idea either. But screaming profanities at one another constantly and casting blame wholesale and telling others to get off the planet certainly isn’t helping anything. Much as I don’t like the notion of coddling our illusions, I also take issue with the idea of stripping them from people and leaving them with nothing to believe in. Seems the latter will prove to be a more dangerous tactic, leading more into nihilism and a sense of despair and futility, which will only further paralyze people. That doesn’t sound like the right thing to do.

As I was talking about with a couple friends lately, everywhere I’ve explored has eventually wound me up at the same place, which is to go to God. And by that I do not mean religion, though I’m not exactly sure what it does mean. That’s just the feeling inside my heart and head more and more these days. Like this is too big for any one of us to comprehend and to take on, and perhaps we’d be better off giving one another reasons to maintain faith in humanity and that which is good and proper and reliable, rather than tearing it all down and leaving people with nothing to believe in. This is an intensely personal and emotional topic for me and not one that I typically care to speak about with others outside of my closest people, so I won’t run on much about it here. It’s just a recurring thought, a pull in a direction that I’m not yet able to fully grasp the meaning of but recognize it as significant. That which I call God isn’t what religions have taught about, though past people tried to point toward it to the best of their limited abilities. It’s incomprehensible in a way, yet very meaningful in Its reminder that life follows a “plan” we can’t control and dominate, try as we might. Perhaps referring to it as life’s “flow” is more accurate, though we tend to conceive of it as if it is a plan since we can note that its workings indeed do appear to have some sort of rhyme or reason. Just not in line with our human melodrama, which then perplexes us. I won’t pretend to understand It, and I certainly won’t attempt to articulate my thoughts about It beyond what I’ve said already since I’m not the one to attempt to do so. And that’s fine. Striving for a personal understanding is all one really can ever hope for, considering we can’t help but experience this life through our own subjective lenses.

As someone who hasn’t been religiously affiliated in over 20 years now, I admit that it feels a little weird to keep feeling this pull toward that which is greater than us, not knowing how to describe it or what it all may mean. Atheists and skeptics would look upon someone like me and say that I’ve grown scared enough that I’m just grasping for straws at this point, when in reality I’ve actually grown calmer through this process of exploration. I was far more scared in years past, back before I began to release my expectations and try to accept life simply for what it is, good, bad and ugly alike. That transition maybe was brought about originally through fear and fatigue from fretting, but I didn’t go searching for it so much as it just crept up on me over time. And I don’t know why or how or what any of it means, but I’m willing to listen to It and accept not having answers. Because there’s nowhere else to go, quite literally. So maybe it is some sort of figment of my imagination — that’s always possible. But perhaps it’s a useful one, far more so than all this bickering and team-joining and politicking and expecting humanity to find its way out of our myriad conundrums. I don’t think we can, not in the foreseeable future. And I do believe there are people poised and ready to take full advantage of whatever power grabs become available, because that’s part of human nature to do so. We’re not a good species, but we’re not entirely a bad species either. We just are what we are, complicated as that can’t help but be. Shortsighted and tribal, power-hungry and nepotistic, sometimes charitable but also unavoidably naive…and on and on it goes.

Seems to me there’s no good reason to loathe one’s own species, especially considering none of us are immune to its foibles and fallibility. This is who we are, right and wrong, and it’s what we have to work with. So many seek power over others, believing that to be supremely meaningful, but really it’s learning to exercise power over oneself that’s especially tricky. We’re not too good at that. Domestication may be partly to blame today, but this problem follows us back to the very beginning of human origins. It’s the perennial conundrum that most of us don’t even begin recognizing the importance of until we’re more than a couple decades into living and will struggle with for the rest of our lives. It’s certainly easier to deflect outward, to blame those over there for our problems, even those at the top, but really we’ve all been complicit in the games we play in this life. Whether we initially meant to be or not, we became so and remain so even after we start becoming aware of what’s going on. No political party or laws on the book can rectify this matter for us. It’s an innate flaw within us — just part of living as sentient life who are always growing and exploring and learning. Can’t be helped and can’t be altogether changed. So no, there is no utopian on the horizon, just more human errors in judgment and striving for power and popularity and playing of the games as have been set before us by previous generations. Plus more technological prowess that many of us don’t fully understand and that most of us will not be able to control.

And on and on it goes. Sometimes it feels very daunting to take in, but other times I feel relatively at peace about it, sad as it can’t help but make me. Am I still scared of the future? Sure. How could you not be if you’re really looking into what’s being developed and what ideologies are growing in strength and numbers? I worry a lot for my loved ones, but I take some solace in the fact that our lives will only last so long. Some say that’s pessimistic thinking on my part, but what really strikes me as pessimistic would be if we were designed to live 150 years or more. That sounds like hell on earth. Which gets me thinking about the reason why I lost my religion in the first place as a young teen: I couldn’t believe in infinite suffering in hell. That’s what broke me out of that faith originally, finding no answers to that question. And since then I’ve come to understand at least that hell is something we humans can create on earth, and I can’t help but believe that in the future we will construct a greater hell than has ever been known before. That’s not what I’d like to believe, but all signs keep pointing in that direction. Why? Because our good intentions don’t tend to jibe with reality, as has been proven time and time again, yet technologies can and will allow for the formation of far more invasive ways of life. And many people will embrace them, believing the hype and accepting the rhetoric claiming that these technologies will aid us in reducing waste and saving the planet/climate and becoming evermore efficient as societies and within corporations. People will believe it because they wish to, going back to that naivete mentioned earlier. And people will gnash their teeth and people like myself, calling us fear-mongerers and luddites and pessimists for not gleefully being on board. To which I say: we’ll inherit the life we deserve. So be it. We do not understand freedom and have shown nearly a fearfulness of it and the responsibilities it requires of us to maintain it. That much is clear by now. So we will get what we help bring about. Right or wrong.

I’m just grateful that life isn’t too long. Allows us to appreciate what time we do have and what people we’re lucky to know while alive. I can grieve for my country and my species in general, but it will change nothing. We’re an interesting lot, if nothing else. Life is indeed fascinating and mysterious, and I look forward to observing it continuing to unfold during my lifetime. I try to tell myself not to be afraid, that it’s just life and this is how it can go. That no suffering can go on indefinitely (though some torturers have demonstrated to the public that it certainly can go on far longer than one can sanely endure — hence our capacity for evil). Feels like a game of whack-a-mole sometimes where the objective for the average layperson is to not get shut up in a box somewhere, whether by a government entity or a crazed stranger or even in an abstract, ideological sense whereby the box is fictitious yet we treat it as if it’s real and keep ourselves within its parameters out of fear and/or obedience.

Life is crazy, life is mad. And it always will be, that much is guaranteed. But with the notion of God comes Love, and I think that’s of infinite importance right about now. Others in the distant past have said it’s true, but reality keeps demonstrating just how true it really is. But then again, that topic perplexes me too, so I continue to grapple with it, not comprehending what it’s even asking of me. Not known for being a very forgiving person myself, so I’m likely very limited in my understanding of what that all may mean. But I will continue to explore it, feeling that it’s very important and deserving of our dedicated attention and contemplation.

Makes me feel very humble reckoning with all this stuff, feeling like a little animal who’s just not competent to make sense of so much in this life. It can be very overwhelming, undeniably so. But I’m trying not to be paralyzed by reality so that I may participate in a more meaningful and productive fashion. However successful I prove to be at that is yet to be seen. My prayer today for all of us is that we be willing to reckon with all sorts of unknowns, particularly those which contemporary “wisdom” deems as off-limits, irrational, or otherwise heretical. I believe it will be good for us to do so, albeit difficult as well.

Racism certainly is NOT exclusive to white people

It’s one of those claims we’ve all heard for years: black people can’t be racist, only whites can. That frankly is untrue, and it doesn’t take the media to teach you this.

Despite such rhetoric becoming popular, I think we all realize the falsehood in its intent. When people claim black folks have no power, only whites do, that too is blatantly incorrect. Power overall isn’t limited to institutionalized power, not that black folks entirely lack that either in this day and age in the U.S.

For many years I’ve aimed to maintain a more open mind on this and related subjects, having in the past been exposed to arguments from feminists of color very critical of “white culture.” Some of what they had to say I, at the time, sympathized with, and therefore I decided to suspend judgment so as to wait and see how race and gender relations might shake out over time. Well, more than a decade went by and now what do we see? More footage of riots in the street, more evidence of black-instigated crime, and the rising popularity in categorically vilifying white people, particularly white males, despite so many Caucasian citizens becoming more careful about what they say and do around people of color and supporting “hate crime” legislation and even the election of the first black president in the U.S. But have efforts toward appeasement and broadening understanding turned out to help or hinder race relations in our country?

When was the last time you saw a group of white folks standing around laughing and videotaping while one of them drags a black person around by the hair and beating him or her? How often do we hear of entire groups of white people invading homes to rob, rape, torture and kill people of color? How often do large mobs of white men take to the streets to riot and destroy businesses and harass others? How commonly are racial epithets spewed by white people toward people of color actively tolerated by onlookers? And when was the last time you heard of numerous white folks attacking black people and, once caught, directly stating they were motivated by hate toward the black race?

Realistically, how often is this actually happening?

I think we know the answers, yet we’re not supposed to talk about it. I talk about it sometimes among friends, but out in public it would be seen as looking for a fight to state the data plainly. That’s what political correctness has brought us — an inability to address issues matter-of-factly for fear of retaliation and being labeled as racists. How do people openly reckon with such trends if they can’t even discuss it?

Very strange times we live in…

“Race, Gender, Identity Politics, and Bad Faith (For Sartre)”

Professor Corey Anton came out with a new video on “Race, Gender, Identity Politics, and Bad Faith (For Sartre)”:

Been a fan of his channel since first coming across it in 2011.

Yes, he is a human being. And so am I. And so are you.

Happened to stumble across this video clip this morning:

He is a human being. Very humbling to listen to his words and to take time to consider how close any one of us is to experiencing that same fate. Many are only a couple paychecks away from possibly losing everything…

Homeless persons have always pulled at my heartstrings, as I’m sure is true for many others out here. They remind us of our shared humanity as well as how rapidly luck can turn, how bad circumstances can spiral and snowball into desperate situations. Puts into clearer perspective one’s own pains and problems.

Might sound cliche, but I’m going somewhere with this.

Ya know, one thing that always comes to mind when I’m confronted with a homeless person, as occurred again yesterday, is what tools are at my disposal to ward off such a fate. Not all have access to the same tools though. It might displease some people to hear it, but I’m going to be blunt here. I got lucky by being born a reasonably attractive female in this day and time. Why? Because I could always trade my sexuality in order to access what I needed, primarily money. Hence why I worked as an escort throughout much of my 20s. Does that come with its own downside and psychological baggage? Of course it does, but I never went homeless for more than a night. Been mistreated and put up with more than I cared to, but I was luckily savvy enough to steer clear of most druggies and dangerous individuals, and there I’m referring to my teenage years, prior to becoming an escort, which I believe the education provided during those years conditioned me to handle. It’s tough out here for young people who don’t have protective families to provide for their needs and to keep them safe, and some of us had to learn many things the hard way. Some of us got luckier than others, if we’re to make that crude comparison.

But that realization can’t help but humble me, knowing I possessed something naturally bestowed that could be honed and used to attract what I needed to get by. And not just tens of dollars but hundreds of dollars per client. And like a lot of inexperienced youths, I took that for granted at the time, not realizing yet how time would take its toll eventually. Though, luckily, another business opportunity presented itself to my imagination and so I transitioned that direction and have remained there ever since, leaving behind that old lifestyle, though carrying forward its lessons, as well as its psychic scars.

Those scars came primarily as a result of how people label you, the words they call you, how they look at and judge you…how some come to see you as less than human (“lower than a dog” is one insult that stayed in my mind over the years). In that respect, I can relate to that man in the video and others like him, though our paths were very different. Words do hurt, absolutely they do. They have power. We can pretend they don’t, but when one’s humanity is denied and you realize some people see you as completely disposable, as irrelevant, as something different from themselves to either be used or avoided, it can’t help but mess with a person’s mind and damage the soul. Thankfully better people exist who do not view others in that narrow of a way, and I was fortunate to have known plenty who treated me fairly decently and noted the potential within me. Not everybody receives such a fair shake as that though, particularly when they’ve grown old and appear physically worn out or belong to a race that some others choose to disdain.

That’s a sad truth in this life. Everybody needs a helping hand from time to time. Every single one of us. And everybody deserves to have their humanity recognized, setting aside all the labeling garbage.

I can be in my worst hours, feeling like I don’t know where to go from here, feeling that rock bottom isn’t terribly far off, and then I come across someone in a worse situation who’s humbled and sad and in need. A look in my wallet tells me I have something that they could benefit from more than I likely will. In my life, money has generally been easy come, easy go. So I share it with others who might hopefully be able to put it to better use. Figure I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to attract enough to cover what I need, so the rest is just a gift, an extraneous offering intended to be shared when paths cross and needs are going unmet. Feels like the right thing to do, ever since I was a young teenager and first confronted on the streets by a homeless elderly woman in Gulfport, Mississippi. We share, because we are human. What else is money for than to provide what we need to survive?

Material desires feel trifling as time moves on. Don’t need so many fancy gadgets or designer brands or decorative furnishings. They don’t bring much pleasure, not usually, not unless received as gifts from people who cared. My life has simplified tremendously since around 2007. I am largely content wearing the same garments until they become too tattered to restore. Have shoes I haven’t tried on in years. Appreciate the jewelry received as gifts along the way, but there’s no real desire for more. All of the art on my walls was either painted by me or received as gifts. Most books I purchase used for cheap, and some of them belong among my prized possessions. Clothing and lingerie hang in my closets that haven’t been worn in years, awaiting the day I might fit into them again. Sometimes I go through phases of buying makeup, but mostly it sits unused, causing me to feel guilty for wasting money on petty indulgences. During daytime hours I ceased wearing makeup anyway.

Most flowers I receive these days are clipped out of people’s gardens, and it really brightens my day when someone makes the offer and asks me to bring by a vase for them to fill. The homegrown peonies on my counter currently mean more than store-bought roses ever could. Because it came from their own garden, which is a product of their own skills and effort and time spent. Same for when people offer to share with me vegetables they’ve grown.

Very thankful that my vehicle is paid off, though it requires repairs soon. Still sad that someone who knew how to fix it led me on and never did so, but that’s on him now, considering I did try to do right by him by buying him nice things and making sure he had some of what he needed to get by, like snow tires for his car this past winter. But we shouldn’t think about that right now. A friend has offered to help me with that instead. And that’s been a harsh lesson right there — expending energy on someone who didn’t truly appreciate it while depriving myself in the process. But whatever. We live and we learn…

And now, lately, I’ve been frequenting bars more often than I probably ought to, wasting money on drinks that only contribute empty calories, in an effort to numb some of the feelings I have inside. Pacing the cage, yes. Using these outings as opportunities to meet and converse with new people, some of whom are in more troubled spaces themselves, others who have wisdom to offer up, while keeping an eye out for those who just wish to exploit and take advantage since those types are everywhere. But it beats sitting at home drinking alone as I have been doing too much of these last two years. Can’t bear doing that anymore. Not even allowing myself to purchase alcohol for home consumption anymore. Because it got to feeling like a slow death. The opposite of living. Isolating myself away from others and our shared human concerns and the ways in which we might help one another. When I’m out I see people, including those in unfortunate circumstances, and a part of me feels guilty for wasting as much as I do and not contributing more. Though I suppose it’s impossible to live within a consumption-based economy without participating to whatever extent as a consumer. Either way, I choose to share. I’d probably just drink that money away anyway. And if that individual chooses to do so, maybe it was their turn. What do I care? If it brings them a little peace for the evening, then isn’t that worthwhile?

We all hurt and we all go through rough times in whatever form it may take. Pain is pain. Sometimes just sitting with a person and listening to them is more valuable than anything else you can provide. Sharing meals is the simplest and most meaningful form of communion. The more greedy I behave as, the more miserable I become…that’s something life’s been teaching me over time as well. My things don’t bring me as much pleasure as interaction with good people does. My day feels purposeful when I am able to offer useful assistance of some kind. And I think that points to what it truly means to be human.

Some say that I am selfish woman. They are correct, but that’s not all I am. Never claimed to be a good person, though I’d like to think I’m not the worst, troubled as I obviously am. But when I share what I do have, my burdens feel a little lighter and my outlook appears a little less gloomy. Because I’m reminded that we’re all in this together, and it can be no other way.

“Terence Mckenna – The 1000 year binge on materialism and primate dominance hierarchies”

Some interesting food for thought…

“There is NO HONOR in this shit!” . . .

“Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine”:

A very worthwhile video I recommend to all, most especially my fellow Americans.

A comment was left on the video’s comment section if anyone cares for my elaboration on the topic.

Thanks to Janet (known on YT as Janet OntheSpot) for bringing this channel to my attention through her feed.

Thoughts on why I’m not expressly anti-“socialist” or anti-“collectivist” (as one individualist in the bunch)

That was Larken Rose discussing socialism, communism, and collectivist authoritarian regimes.

Hmmm…honestly, I do get a bit tripped up on this topic. I’m probably 80-90% in agreement with him, but I wouldn’t go so far as to claim to be anti-socialism or anti-collectivist, and here’s why.

As I’ve been studying history, the entire civilization project has resulted in the rise of despotic rulers again and again and again and again. Yet, when we look back to pre-civilized history, humans most definitely did live within tight collectives, and that was the original setting for us as a social species. This notion of individualism, much as I adore it, is a relatively new advent in the ways we understand it to be today. Why? Because people have always relied on one another for our very survival, so interdependence has always been and remains the norm. I don’t see a way around that.

My readings tell me that tribal “primitive” peoples engaged in open exchanges and gift-giving as their means of keeping harmony and promoting bonds, as well as trying to sway the spirits of their ancestors through ritual ceremonies and offerings. Then with the rise of chiefdoms and later kingdoms, a good measure of power wound up being centralized in those figures’ hands so it became their task to collect and redistribute goods among their people. Then came the rise of the city-state, then the nation-state, and there again we see even more power being centralized in the hands of rulers and them being tasked with the job of redistribution among the people. Though plenty of kings kept more for themselves, this was deemed acceptable because common people were attracted to the notion of treating select individuals as gods among man. Why? I don’t think anyone’s really clear on that yet. But we seem to see this whole process ramp up more and more as humans have moved into the future, until we reached fairly modern times where weaponry and technology has allowed governments to claim a monopoly on force and to centralize so much power into its own hands to do with as it wishes, regardless of whether the citizenry is actually on board with the scheme.

It’s a real dilemma, because on one hand the collective interests do indeed matter. A completely individualistic society where no government or ruling body forcefully dictates and enforces laws would leave people to fend entirely for themselves, resulting in a new struggle for “survival of the fittest” where the few who wielded the most power could afford to receive protection and the rest would be left to go without or to turn toward their own brands of vigilante justice. In fact, in this capitalist setup we’re already seeing some of that play out, where the most powerful are at liberty to coerce and exploit the many, backed oftentimes by the power of the State since major corporations have essentially become infused with our government (through campaign financing, massive lobbying efforts, and overlap where key people move between political positions and corporate careers). THAT is fascism, by definition. And though it tends to use the language of collectivism to promote its agendas and to get citizens on board, what it winds up doing is catering to its own special class of rich folks while quashing dissent and creating a very non-competitive environment among the people. Not only is that fascist, but it winds up becoming anti-capitalist in the end as well.

My individual rights don’t matter if your individual rights don’t matter. That’s a collective interest we all hold as freedom-loving individuals. The individual doesn’t truly have much power, not in a country of roughly 300 million or in a world of 7 billion. Hence why we do continue to form collectives, like political parties and activist movements in an effort to come together so as to fight for what we believe is right using our united strength and ingenuity. To be united is indeed to be a collective. So the problem here isn’t with collectivism, per se, nor with individualism, per se. It seems to be with what we do with that or under that guise.

How much power should each individual possess? Limitless? Well, that won’t allow us to have a functioning society. And here again is where I run into trouble with anarchists, because they aim to abolish the State without explaining satisfactorily how these people will remain free if they themselves cannot defend their rights, property and person. Hence why we do have police and militaries — theoretically that is indeed their job to look out for us, most especially those among us who are too weak, too young, or too old to protect themselves sufficiently. While I agree that more power needs to be dispersed back into the hands of the average people, will we use it to defend ourselves and others when wronged? Will we use our power to produce what we need to survive? Or will we abuse power, as our rulers typically do, and aim to exploit others who can’t protect themselves from us? Because that seems to go to the core of all of this: corrupted intentions and drive. And that appears to be quite human and a very dangerous aspect of our natures.

Is it any wonder that destructive human potential shows itself not only in corrupted individuals out here among the masses but also most especially among those who’ve risen in power? To me, it’s more of a question of corruption and how to safeguard against it, because it appears the 20th century has taught us that any kind of government, claiming any kind of ambitions, can and nearly always does wind up proving despotic in the end. How do we change or control for this? I don’t rightly know.

If we as people follow our base desires and wind up corrupted, is it any wonder that our leaders in government do the same, seeing as how we vote for them, arguing that we’re forced to select between the “lesser of two evils”? Evil is evil, that should be plain to us by now. But how do we vote for better candidates when they all lie or wind up corrupted soon after being elected, due in part to the system currently in place that they’re expected to navigate? I don’t know. Seems like we do need a major overhaul here, but in order for that to be an improvement on what we have already we’d all need to be in a better mind-space so as to make more responsible decisions and so as to self-govern to the utmost that we’re able. But that’s not where the majority currently stand. We’ve grown spoiled on the goods and services provided by society, and we’ve lost touch with providing for our own basic needs. So we don’t have much negotiation power at present. A violent revolt will just result in a lot of us dead, injured and imprisoned since the State possesses more firepower. Yet it doesn’t appear we can democratically rectify this situation as it stands today, at a time when it’s anyone’s guess if our votes even count anymore.

There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors obstructing our view on all of this. But the issue at the core is POWER. This is why I keep bringing up the folly of allowing too much power to centralize in the hands of a few. Because human nature is what it is, and people can quite easily get corrupted, even without them realizing it and even while sincerely meaning well. We’re encouraged to drink the kool-aid beginning at such young ages to where we take so much propaganda for granted, never realizing we’ve been molded (culturally, psychologically, socially) to sell ourselves down the river. The wider culture itself has been selling distorted narratives for decades, generations. We can’t even clearly see outside of this programming, so our own good intentions wind up being turned back and used against us, even without us realizing it.

That’s the conundrum, in a nutshell.

I like this man’s videos, but I do think he treated this matter too simplistically. Anarchists have a tendency to want to frame everything in political terms, when really it seems to me what they’re vying for down deep is a return to primitive and/or agrarian living arrangements. And when that’s the case, I do not begrudge them that. I share a similar vision and refer to my own as being “libertarian-leaning,” since we’re all expected to use political jargon or else be dismissed outright as Luddite fools. BUT, I recognize it as a dream that’s many generations off into the future, if ever it does come to be. We lost our independent agrarian infrastructure due to the changing economic climate pressing people toward cities and corporate employment, and I’m not sure how we’d regain that now as a bunch of city-dwellers and property tax-payers limited by zoning laws and countless other regulations. And if we strip those from the books, we’d be mostly enabling major corporations more than anything else since they already claim a ton of land and have enough money to where they’re poised to acquire more before the rest of us even get our pants on. (Not to mention foreign purchasers of U.S. land…)  So we’re kinda in a catch-22 here.

We need the power of the government to harness the power of major transnational corporations. Yet these corporations are already several decades into dominating our government (and many others across the globe), so they are already playing puppet master at this stage in the game. We cannot negotiate with them directly because we, in a very few decades, have been rendered nearly entirely dependent on them for our sustenance and jobs. We common folks are just the last ones to wake up to this reality.

And how much power do you figure any on of us alone has to reckon with the reality? The answer is virtually none. Even when we as individuals take initiative, it is books and articles written by others that we read, courses taught by others that inform us, documentaries and music and art created by others that draw our attention and expand our imaginations. We call ourselves individuals and take much pride in that, but no human is an island, nor can we be. We are a social species. Period. That will never change. We need each other because we can’t help but rely heavily on one another. We eat the foods grown and harvested and processed by others. Our homes are full of goods designed and assembled by others — including the homes themselves. We live in a society with laws concocted by others, reinterpreted by others, enforced by others. Is that not collectivism? Sure it is, and there’s no getting around that whether we live in a modern society or a tribe off in the desert.

Perhaps part of the disconnect here is that we Americans don’t seem to have a realistic grasp on our individual power. We speak as though it is so grand, when really everything we do, all successes that we have are at least partly determined by others. If we go into business for ourselves, it is others who choose to buy our wares or services. If we’re aiming to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, we still depend on others who employ us and work alongside us and who willingly engage in reciprocity with us. No individual stands alone, not really. We wouldn’t even be grown adults today if it weren’t for others who nurtured us as babies and as dependent children, providing the opportunity for us to live to reach an age where we might direct our lives for our own selves. So how individualistic can we really claim to be here? How can one claim to be anti-collectivist and anti-socialism? What the hell is socialism other than a buzzword that can mean damn-near anything depending on who you ask?

We are social beings, and our species developed in communal setups. It seems more of a question of how we direct that, what kind of social systems can we maintain, and how would we bring them into being?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming that individual humans are powerless. I just think that we don’t have a good grip on what power we do possess and realistically grasp how much it is in respect to the whole of power in existence. We can’t seem to put this in proper perspective. We naturally gravitate toward one another and group up because somewhere inside we do sense a lack of power in working at something all unto ourselves. We know we need help from others, yet we like to speak as though this isn’t the case. One reason authoritarian systems are able to rise in power is because we common people are horribly divided. In such massive societies it’s probably unavoidable that people learn to compete more than to cooperate, seeing as how there are so many opposing movements and so many opportunists.

Yet when people do cooperate under a political ideology, very often they check their critical thinking at the door and throw their efforts behind the movement or agenda in question, believing that bringing it into being is what’s most essential. From there follows the push toward their collective’s agenda by whatever means deemed necessary. But the means determine the ends, and people don’t seem to understand that well enough either. We get caught up in abstract concepts and fail to take into account the fallout resulting from where and how we’re pushing. Often enough, what we’re pushing toward is just another unsustainable pipe dream. In fact, I’m very interested to learn of stances that aren’t just that since they appear to be in the definite minority anymore.

That’s why I’m most interested in us growing food again and figuring out ways to do for ourselves and in conjunction with those we willfully create communities with. Back to basics. But at this stage in the game that too may prove to only be a pipe dream as well. We live in a new Economic Era with strange new concrete jungles and more laws than any one person can possibly keep up with. This infrastructure is so expensive to where of course we’re collectively taxed like crazy. All except preferred corporate sweethearts, that is (see: loopholes). We’re being rendered into automatons (i.e., economic slaves) to suit this new way of ordering life and societies. I’m certainly not endorsing it, just stating what I see.

So we’re not going to escape this emerging setup as individuals alone. Yet so few of us apparently can get along well enough to form collectives powerful enough to rival the current status quo. Plus the majority of us are in a poor bargaining position, what with corporations being free to pick up and move elsewhere on the globe, and with other nations working hard toward becoming more economically competitive to where eventually this will allow for the formation of a new consumer base that eclipses America’s. It’s actively underway already. So we either figure out an internal (intranational) solution so as to maintain ourselves or else this will undoubtedly prove to be the twilight hour of our empire.

This is also calling for a major paradigm shift, which can’t help but ultimately be an individual undertaking. And that’s where we individuals do possess a great deal of power. Because we’ve been lied to and misled doesn’t mean we must keep buying into the hype. But the bullshit is acres deep by this point, so no individual alone can analyze and make sense of it all. Concerted efforts do need to be made — yet there we run into trouble as well since nearly all efforts are tied in with seeking profit and/or self-aggrandizement, which can corrupt even the best of intentions eventually.

And around and around we go. THIS is human nature-in-action. THIS is where the search for power has wound us all up at. Not sure how you get around that.

So that’s why I try to sit back and ponder it all, roll it over in my mind since there’s no collective outside of my closest friends and loved ones that I’m comfortable throwing most of my eggs in with, seeing as how most movements are showing themselves as corrupt little microcosms that surely will misbehave (or prove ineffectual) if ever they rose to power. Quite the dilemma. Don’t like watching the world burn and people suffering, but can’t trust most (if any) of the biggest contenders and political parties claiming to be trying to go up against this. So what then? I don’t rightly know.

But I do know I stand up for the rights of individuals to do as they see fit with their own bodies, and I support our natural rights to live in peace, unhindered, so long as we’re not seriously transgressing on others. Our political/economic system at present is doing everything it can to undermine our choices and options and to insert itself more and more into our private lives. This is I do see clearly and take grave issue with. I’m just stumped on what can realistically be done about it.