This is the question that has been roiling in the back of my mind for the past few days as I have watched events un-fold around the world. “Where are we now as a species?”
Things aren’t all smiles-and-sunshine like many of the “polly-anna” positivity types would like many of us to believe; in fact, quite the contrary. There are serious problems occurring everywhere, and there appear to be a dearth of solutions in the popular consciousness. War, starvation, disease, greed, and just plain-old violence… we haven’t learned much as a species, all things considered. We still slay each other for power, prestige, land, and wealth; yet all the while we claim to extol the virtues of our “enlightened” society. “We are better than our predecessors”, we exuberantly proclaim from every rooftop, every printed surface, every single digital display; all the while falling-silent when confronted with the evidence that runs counter to our claims. We claim that we are safer, that we are more secure than we were before surrendering our freedom of speech, our security in the ability to collectively bargain with employment-providers, our personal privacy both physically and digitally to un-elected bodies and individuals who pass-down judgement from on-high; yet we can’t see the situation for what it is. We have become blind, deaf, and dumb to anything that we do not wish to engage, that we do not wish to see. We have crammed ourselves so far down into our own minds that we deny anything that doesn’t mesh with our worldview.
We refuse to see that we have surrendered our freedoms to employers, who have effectively ensnared us with promises of material wealth, personal security, and upward mobility in a system that is firmly slanted against such mobility (and is becoming more slanted by the day). We refuse to see or hear that we continue to do harm to our planet, our neighbors, our friends, our families, or even complete strangers that remain out-of-sight in favor of easily-obtained material commodities that do not truly enhance our lives; but merely provides “convenience”. We hold the dearest and most burning hatred for those who attack our way of life as if they were an enemy at the gates to one’s sleepy little dream-world.
A question arises here: “Who’s really outside the gates?”
This question truly scares people. They don’t want to believe that they lie beyond the safety of the gates’ confines, hidden from sight of their beloved overseers. They want to believe that based on their place of birth, their god-given rights, and their efforts to make themselves more like the overseers, that they have been granted passage and that they will be welcomed with open arms. What they discover once they have found themselves at the edge of the cliff, is that the ivory tower’s battlements that they were to ascend or bypass were merely figments of an illusion, cast upon them by thousands of years of social and political programming. As Henry Rollins so eloquently put it in his “Live In London” skit Inspiration:
Get the job, get in line, go to work, earn the money to make food, so you can go back to work to make more money and eat more food… and in the middle you (might) get laid.
Or, my chosen favorite:
Learn to drive, get a job, go to work, get a girlfriend, have children, follow fashion, act normal, walk on the pavement, watch tv, save for old age, obey the law.
Now, repeat after me: I AM FREE.
That is not “life”, nor is it “freedom”. That is nothing short of robotic programming. Throw in the fear and loathing of the deity of your choice on specific calendar days or seasons of the year, and you have a perfect cookie-cutter example of the average life of the middle-class American… or anyone on this planet, really. We were meant for more than this, and we not only desire it… we deserve it. In this age of abundance, of scientific exploration and supposed “wisdom”, why can’t we move beyond any of the failings of the species mentioned previously?
We have the ability in this day and age to do utterly amazing things as both individuals and as a collective, and yet we continue the murderous and traitorous slog through everyday life toward the imagined goal of material wealth and prosperity that enriches no-one and solves nothing. But, as stated prior, the overseers of this world do not share power.
Here’s the first step in becoming truly free: stop playing their game. Material wealth at the end of the day means fuck-all. Doesn’t matter if you have a dollar to your name or a million, when things get violent, everyone bleeds the same and requires the same medical attention. When food is scarce, everyone has to sacrifice or find other ways to cope. When rights are threatened, everyone is affected. When war descends, everyone has to step-up to defend against it. Or at least, that’s the premise. In most instances, they expect you to play their game with the carrot on the stick, but when you stop playing their game, they have to find someone else whom they can saddle with their burden.
When we, both as a society and a species, realize that money is effectively worthless and that the only real way to evolve as a species and a society is to work together collectively to help as many people as possible achieve their highest potential and their goals, the overseers will never lose their power. They will continue to do what they have done since commerce first came into the consciousness of humanity: they will kill, rape, pillage, plunder, and destroy everything.
Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.