Middle of the night thoughts on power, enslavement, domestication, and what isn’t working

I created this blog project as a space to share info and ideas I’m picking up along the way. Here’s one such video deserving to be promoted:

There’s tons of stuff I’d like to share, from videos to documentaries to book excerpts to links of interest. For several years I kept another blog to store stuff like that, and the goal was (and occasionally still is) to mine through that and pull what strikes me as particularly relevant or interesting out and drag it here. Little by little I am doing so.

But … part of me just isn’t sure how much it gives a damn anymore. Rather, let me say this. It’s not that I don’t care tremendously about what’s happening to my country and also around the world, what’s going on with us socially and psychologically, how laws are being turned against us as instruments of oppression, how the habitats we’ve created are proving toxic and our species is completely out of balance with the rest of nature. All of that matters to me. But I don’t know what to do.

Arguing for the sake of arguing winds up sounding like chatter piled on chatter. So I’m taking time to look within and see if I can gel these things together into a more cohesive and coherent narrative for my own self. Because these aren’t matters that can be tackled purely through legal means. The problem appears to boil down to slavery and humans’ propensity for winding up in it ever since the dawn of civilizations. We as a species can’t seem to maintain the reins for directing our own lives. We’re prone to follow leaders claiming to know the best way forward. We’re prone to get into frenzies and lose sight of what we’re actually aiming for and what we’re trying to support. We fall in the same traps again and again, highly predictably, hence how a few have risen to power — they study us and then exploit our weaknesses and proclivities.

What’s worse is we like to help them, particularly when it comes to policing one another in accordance with standards handed down by the few. We utilize the laws already working against us all to compete with and attempt to dominate one another. We allow fear-mongerers to pander to our insecurities without questioning what underlying motives may be at work.

We, aggregately, are not critical or skeptical enough toward the reality human beings have helped construct. We speak as though the laws of man are no more malleable than the laws of nature, as if taxation is as unavoidable as death. But what are we being taxed for? Who or what ultimately benefits the most from collecting portions of our income? Us? No. We know this, and yet we act as if it’s impolite to bring it up. Might unsettle someone. Might stimulate an argument. Might disrupt our antidepressant-riddled lives.

And that’s about the point where I started giving less of a damn. Because most folks don’t seem to care all that much. So long as they have clean stores and restaurants to frequent and relatively reliable cars to drive and comfortable homes to retreat to, whadda they care? See, it appears most folks are content with being domesticated to the point of resembling housepets — well-groomed, well-fed, worried with getting enough physical exercise, settled into daily routines. That’s what a lot of people want. And I’ve been thinking on this long and hard.

Who am I to obstruct people from doing what it is they want? Even if their idealized paradise looks to me like hell on earth, what could I do to change their minds? Work to shove another law down their throats (which they’ll only attempt to counter)? Arguing with them incessantly and getting tripped up continuously on what amounts to trivial details has grown old with me. Been there and done that. What now? Stand around holding up signs that get ignored? Keep sending letters to congresspeople who aren’t responsive, especially when you represent what appears to them a tiny minority interest? Keep voting and praying?

I don’t know. Seems like we need a better strategy, and that likely involves learning to live without expecting a whole lot of positive change in the foreseeable future. Because, as a nation-state,we’re in big trouble, and that’s not going to turn around anytime soon. And as a people, we are lost. What some see as order, I experience as chaos. The whole deal looks topsy-turvy from where I sit. And for many years I’ve been angry and seriously unhappy with the developments.

So what can we do? What power does any one of us possess? We have the power to resist through our lifestyles and choices. We have the right to fight back where able. We have the power to continue trying to engage with one another in an effort to relate and hopefully establish more common ground. We can vote, however much that matters anymore. We can study and read and turn off our televisions and learn to think more for our own selves. We can work toward providing incentives for others to want to work with us, namely by not unfairly attacking and insulting one another (difficult as that sometimes is). We can work to become better than this modern-day slavery is trying to twist us into.

But can we resist following our own base natures? I ask this as someone who struggles with my own. And I don’t yet know the answer. It’s an ongoing ‘spiritual’ conundrum and crisis in will, and none of us are alone in confronting this. Age-old problem of living as a human being. Because unlike the housepets, we comprehend far more about our world and exert great influence in altering it. We are not trapped indoors, thwarted by our lack of opposable thumbs, rendered at the mercy of someone else to provide for our needs, dependent on appeals to emotion in an effort to manipulate to get what we want — we are men and women, and as such we are co-creators of shared realities. We are not powerless, though so many of us feel that we are. We’re currently trapped in a cage of illusions.

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