History, if it continues to exist beyond the mid 21st century, will record the society of the United States of America as the most idiotic that ever existed on the face of the Earth. Having achieved the pinnacle of wealth, physical power, knowledge and technological advancement of any society during the entire course of humanity’s existence, it nevertheless managed to miserably and abysmally fail to use its unparalleled capabilities to ensure lives of physical, economic and medical security for all its people, as well as liberation for them from unnecessary work – and most work today is unnecessary.
Also, the society of the United States of America has failed miserably and abysmally to use its unparalleled capabilities to effectively and unselfishly assist the other 95% of humanity to eliminate poverty, eradicate curable diseases, dampen conflicts and quell wars, and in partnership with that “rest of humanity” to expeditiously raise the standard of living of the least advantaged and most vulnerable of this world’s people.
The incredible stupidity of myopic ultra-capitalist greed, and the obdurate stupidity of the ultra-egotistical, navel-gazing, bigoted, racist, willfully ignorant self-absorption of too many (I think most) of the American people will ultimately spell out the epitaph of what we now call the American Civilization.
It is true that much of humanity outside the United States of America shares these failings, but all of their societies, even in combination, lack the magnitude of capabilities that the United States possesses, and which could be put to authentically good uses.
If archeologists from alien worlds or future Earthly life-forms ever decipher the history of the United States and of humanity from their dead remains, they will no doubt conclude that the extinction of the United States was inevitable and well-deserved on the basis of its behavior. Those archeologists might also conclude the same about humanity as a whole if it had escaped destruction as a result of the American collapse, and yet had not overcome the same failings that doomed American Civilization.
What is most infuriating about all this is that such a sad degeneration and painful extinction need not happen at all. It is entirely in our power right now to think right and act right to literally make an Earthly Paradise of both the United States of America, and even the World.
What I have learned about people is that there is always an infinite reservoir of excuses for insuring inaction, and for continuing with conditions of abject stupidity and unconscionable cruelty.
My Biggest Mistake.
My biggest mistake is to place what turn out to be too high and unrealistic expectations on other people, and then being disappointed when they fail to meet them.
When I try to compensate for this error by assuming the worst about people I don’t know, and interacting as little as possible with others, I am accused of being negative, unsociable, grouchy, and unfair. If I respond to this criticism by being more positive, sociable, not grouchy, and fair, then I find that I fall back into my original and most frustrating error. In an effort to avoid this nauseating oscillation, I try to dampen my enthusiasm (which kills the spirit) and moderate my disgust (which insults intelligence), by being reserved – not extroverted – and saying as little as possible to others, especially when it comes to being truthful about them and their preoccupations.
People believe what they want to believe, and it is nothing but trouble to contradict them. Almost always it is an illusion to think you can help others by contradicting what you know are their mistaken ideas. What is frustrating about keeping your unwanted counsel is watching the everything all around you needlessly degenerate.
Even knowing that you yourself have your own preferred illusions, it remains disheartening to feel you are living as the sole sane individual in an insane asylum – The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari – or the sole hairless speaking ape on the Planet of the Apes.
As I sit here, looking out onto a beautiful scene of glorious early fall sunshine illuminating crystal clear air, and the radiant greenery of forested hillsides, with Stellar Jays squawking as they scavenge for Hummingbird eggs, remnants of fresh cat kills, and other morsels of protein; and of the many Hummingbirds clicking and twittering around my head as they drill through the air and swoop in to lap up the sugar water I put into feeders for them, I think of how slowly the elegant and amoral natural world and its animal life-forms evolves, and of how far these animals are from developing a civilization. And yet, compared to us humans, these animals are incapable of degenerating as precipitously as we have so abundantly shown we are prepared to do.
Bleed Patriotically For America’s Gun Masturbation.
The NRA is lobbying Congress for a state funeral for Stephen Paddock (look him up if you don’t know) as a patriotic ritual of celebrating the 2nd Amendment, which is the Holy Sacrament of the United States of America.
Gun Clutchers are obsessive-compulsive sociopaths whose sacred right to kill must be protected by whatever degree of human and animal sacrifice is required. It is the patriotic duty of all Americans (humans and animals) to accept being personally sacrificed (or have their children and family members sacrificed) to uphold the sacrament of the 2nd Amendment. Don’t cry, instead bleed patriotically for the freedom of American gun masturbation.
Mariah in Maine e-mailed the following response to the article, on 6 October 2017.
My Biggest Mistake:
“…People believe what they want to believe, and it is nothing but trouble to contradict them. Almost always it is an illusion to think you can help others by contradicting what you know are their mistaken ideas. What is frustrating about keeping your unwanted counsel is watching the everything all around you needlessly degenerate…”
Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
27 February 2017
“…In ‘Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us’ (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves…
“The Gormans, too, argue that ways of thinking that now seem self-destructive must at some point have been adaptive. And they, too, dedicate many pages to confirmation bias, which, they claim, has a physiological component. They cite research suggesting that people experience genuine pleasure—a rush of dopamine—when processing information that supports their beliefs. It feels good to ‘stick to our guns’ even if we are wrong, they observe.
“The Gormans don’t just want to catalogue the ways we go wrong; they want to correct for them. There must be some way, they maintain, to convince people that vaccines are good for kids, and handguns are dangerous. (Another widespread but statistically insupportable belief they’d like to discredit is that owning a gun makes you safer.) But here they encounter the very problems they have enumerated. Providing people with accurate information doesn’t seem to help; they simply discount it. Appealing to their emotions may work better, but doing so is obviously antithetical to the goal of promoting sound science. ‘The challenge that remains,’ they write toward the end of their book, ‘is to figure out how to address the tendencies that lead to false scientific belief.’”
Manuel, “to figure out how to address the tendencies that lead to false scientific [or other] belief” seems to be the crux here.
The deck is stacked by the puppeteers: control and destruction of real education and repeating and indoctrinating with lies and deceit; destructive scientific, sociological, psychological and philosophical media messages; denigration and destruction of community and family life and values; turning people against each other and creating “enemies;” stealing and diverting public funds to profit the few; on and on.
Until and unless the puppeteers’s strings are cut and we reclaim and support healthy and effective education and environments for people, we’ll be caught in this web of lies and destruction. Unfortunately, I don’t yet see this happening in our lifetimes.
We’re all on our individual and collective paths. Unfortunately, the negative effects of collective paths seriously affect our individual paths. No control over that that I can imagine unless/until Gandhi and King reincarnate with bodies that are impervious to being assassinated.
My alternative is to gently embody what I value. Others will want to know more or they won’t. Trying to make them get it, as you say, is ineffective and drains me even more than viewing the world in its demise (knowing humans could be and act differently). Speaking my truth without trying to teach or convince seems to be a little more effective. I also must release my expectation or even desire for my preferred outcome.
When I withdraw or pretend to be sociable, my enthusiasm and spirit are also dampened. I need to Be who I am. Whether I am liked or believed is irrelevant.
With empathy and compassion,
Awareness is vitally important in the work of transformation because the habits of our personality let go most completely when we see them in the moment as they are occurring. (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 37)