By Robert De Filippis
While most of us have been taking our kids to Little League games, betting on the Super Bowl, taking an occasional vacation and waiting for the American Dream to become a reality, we haven’t noticed something important happening all around us. Society has been crumbling at the edges for the last several decades.
This is not to say that lots of human beings haven’t already experienced the early stages of this societal disintegration. But they tend to be the people at the margins. People without a voice. People whose interests are not understood, let alone represented in the great debates of our times.
Think of the Mideast. Think ISIS here. Think of terrorism. Terrorists don’t attack us because of our freedoms. They attack out of desperation. Out of a frustration that comes with no future, and a feeling of impotence in the face of the continued economic violence committed in the name of corporate profits and greed. Corporations protected by the most powerful military in the history of the world. Ours!
Is it any mystery why we have over six hundred military installations in other countries around the world? We’re not under threat from anyone, but our corporation’s interests in those countries must be protected while they rape them of their labor and natural resources.
History is written by the victors and the popular public narratives are circumscribed by those whose interests they serve and not those who suffer. At the core of this phenomenon is complicity. A subconscious complicity made up of an ultra-resistant trifecta of human thinking — greed, ignorance, and certainty.
Greed now normalized has made the great American dream indistinguishable from having basic financial security to making everyone a billionaire-in-waiting. An inability to distinguish fact from opinion leads the wave of ignorance that engulfs us. Our arrogance disguised as fervent patriotism defends our ignorance and allows us to reject the knowledge we need to save ourselves.
Our generalized confusion of what constitutes a fact allows an individual’s certainty to form a resistance similar to the bacterial infections that threaten to make modern antibiotics useless. It continues to evolve. “If I can’t figure out who’s lying, I’ll believe the one who confirms my point of view. Of that I’m certain.”
Until we learn that having our beliefs validated by a media being paid to manipulate us for political gain, society will continue to disintegrate for larger and larger groups of people.
Seems like a stretch, I know. But think about how we’ve become polarized. How we are so sure of our positions that we just can’t have a conversation with those from the other side. The very conversation we need to have to figure out how we’re being duped. Then think about how our politicians use the greed, ignorance and certainty on both sides to work us up into an emotional lather. And finally, how they ignore our interests while they do the bidding of their owners keeping us distracted with our petty differences with each other.
This will come to an end. There will either be a major social revolution at the least or outright raw violence at the worst. As the authority structures lose the willing conformance of the masses, all that’s left to police them is force. And at some point – like is beginning now — the response will be violence in return. Think of the proliferation of guns in America. Think of people shooting police.
It doesn’t take much discernment to see that corporate structures are highly sophisticated mechanisms for funneling money upwards. That government collusion protects the interests of the owners of capital at the expense of the employees, customers, the general public. And the military protects their international interests.
The largest wealth producer in the world is the financial industry that simply makes money from money and produces nothing. It serves no interests but its own. Yes, some of us fortunate to have salvaged what’s left of our life savings after repeated financial crashes still enjoy the crumbs from the tables of the elite. I do mean crumbs.
Do the math. At the current rate of the upward movement of wealth, there is no other outcome but final disaster. The top 1/10th of 1 percent — not 1 percent — but 1/10th of 1 percent in America owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent in America, and it gets worse as you leave our shores.
At this rate, the world will eventually consist of gated enclaves of the mega-wealthy guarded by elite corps of paid mercenaries surrounded by billions of impoverished people.
This trajectory has increased dramatically for the last several decades. More and more of the world’s wealth is pouring into the coffers of the mega-rich. This is a zero sum game. When the masses have no wealth left, the game will be over. No matter how powerful the wealthy are, no matter how much wealth they possess, the game will be over.