How do you know if you’re being lied to? What would you do if someone knocked on your door and said, ma’am, sir, come with me, and they led you to what looked like a prison camp. Inside, you saw a huge pile of emaciated corpses. They tell you that your beloved Fuhrer Hitler ordered the murder of millions of Jewish civilians. I don’t believe for a second that the Germans cried and regretted ever supporting Hitler. I think their minds tried to protect themselves, and they started to deny it all. This was all Allied propaganda. Later on, as evidence mounted, they may have told themselves that there was nothing they could have done. Hitler had disbanded the legislature and consolidated his power. If they spoke out, they may have wound up in a concentration camp.
So what do you think would happen if someone were to tell the ordinary American citizen that by voting for either Democrat or Republican, by paying taxes, they are supporting an evil empire that foments global conflict, steals global resources, and outright murders hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of national security and the war on terror? Not as bad as Nazi Germany, but still, pretty evil. I don’t imagine any American crying and vowing to do anything differently. I imagine at first, they think up some label to call that person, a malcontent, a tinfoil conspiracy theorist, a nut job socialist, adolescent anarchist, or frat boy libertarian, etc. As evidence mounts, they tell themselves that there was nothing they could have done. If they had refused to pay taxes, they would have been imprisoned. They thought about voting third party, but why throw away their vote? At least they can pick the lesser of two evils.
But let’s get even deeper. America has only been around for a few centuries. What if someone told you that since the dawn of civilization, you have been lied to, that tens of thousands of years of human knowledge and culture had been completely wiped out and replaced by a rather bizarre fable about Adam and Eve and a single line of Jewish-Arab humans going back to Abraham. Before that, there were humans, no primitive cultures, no two hundred thousand years of human evolution and culture, no millions of years of intelligent primate evolution and culture? Whenever a ruler takes over a group of people or a nation, they wipe out their past culture. It happened to the African slaves. It happened to the Koreans under Japanese occupation. If your people have no past, no culture, then they have no culture except the culture of their new rulers. Likewise, the vast majority of human history and culture has been systematically wiped out. You have to ask why. The answer is simple. New rulers, new culture.
A lot of people think that if they work hard, take care of their family and friends, don’t rock the boat, and on the side find time or money to give to those in need, they are doing enough. They are upstanding, moral people who deserve the good life and for some, a good afterlife. One of my favorite analogies is German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel who was a beloved, kind, humane military genius respected both by his own men and the enemy. He was the epitome of the upstanding gentleman and soldier, kind, gentle, brilliant. Now, I’ll invoke the Bridge over River Kwai analogy. At the very end, the British officer who helps the Japanese build a bridge, sees Allied soldiers planting bombs under it, and he alerts the Japanese. Do you get where I’m going? It’s not good enough to be an obedient, kind, gentle, moral, upstanding person. A truly moral, good person is obligated, I repeat, obligated to look beyond his own little circle and seek the bigger picture. Are you, in any way, contributing to an evil enterprise? A lot of Americans are becoming conscientious consumers and eaters. Not only do they go to local, independent restaurants, because the food is healthier and their money is going to their neighbors, but just as importantly, their money is not going to some evil corporation that poisons people and buys corrupt politicians to provide them with unfair market advantages. It is important to note the connection between conscientious and healthy ideology and body, because there’s a reason they’re connected.
Now, I’ll invoke another movie I like, The Machinist. Spoiler alert, the movie is about a machine shop worker who confoundingly stops eating and starts to waste away and suffer delusions. I look at this movie as an allegory for the modern human. The modern human doesn’t know why he is suffering. Why his health is deteriorating, why he suffers depression and anxiety, why his doctor prescribes him a dozen pills, why his earning power seems to be diminishing, why his world seems to be crumbling, why his country is divided, why strangers are becoming meaner, why he’s gaining weight, why he’s losing sleep, why, like the machinist, he’s slowly going mad. The answer is that his memory has been wiped clean, and by that, I mean, the modern human’s memory of his true culture and origin has been wiped clean. In its place is this big, fat lie, the big, fat lie called civilization. From infancy, he has been told this lie that before civilization, humans were no different than wild animals. There was no culture before civilization. Civilization saved humanity. All humans are born evil, selfish reptiles, and it is civilization that has given us love, peace, harmony, morality, intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, art, music, all that is great about humans. Well, that’s all a bunch of bullshit. Anthropologists are learning that pre-civilization, we had all that. What we seem to forget is our own short history of civilization, the genocide, greed, famines, wars, pandemics, pollution, persecution, discrimination, oppression, murders, rapes, sexism, racism, slavery, incarceration, torture, the list is endless. Oh, but we sent a man to the moon, we created vaccines and antibiotics, we created an electronic network to share videos of cats. This is like saying that Nazi Germany wasn’t all that bad since they pulled themselves out of a Great Depression and built the Autobahn.
In the end of the Machinist, he remembers. He comes clean. He turns himself in for his crime, and he finally falls asleep. The hard question is this. Do you want to remember? Do you want to admit that civilization has been a sham, that your country, America, is now an evil empire that spreads more pain and suffering to the world than good? Do you want to accept responsibility for your part in what can only be described as a monumental pile of flaming shit? I don’t believe for a second that you will. I know for a fact, that you will at first call me a malcontent nut job with a negative point-of-view and alternative agenda. Perhaps later, you will tell yourself, there was nothing you could have done.
By the way, the book is about a civilized woman who is brought on a long walkabout with Aborigines across Australia. She learns their ways. They have few material possessions. They are all healthy and happy. They all sleep well at night. Of course, herein lies the ultimate conundrum. A tiny voice inside me, the civilized, cynical voice says, “Well, if they’re so f*cking brilliant, why did they get all their land stolen and their people oppressed and killed? Why didn’t they at least try to fight back?” My answer is that two evils don’t make a good. Yes, they could have chosen to become evil to triumph over evil. Fact is, they were so behind technologically that they would have just been wiped out completely. The Maori of New Zealand did fight back as did the Hawaiians and many Native American tribes, but they were ultimately overcome and forced to sign phony treaties. There is a story of one nation that fought back against evil imperialism, and that is the story of America. In order to overcome the twin evils of Nazism and Imperial Japan, we actually became evil. Likewise, East Asia has fought off Western dominance through imitation and perfection of Western culture. It’s a hard choice. Succumb to Western hegemony and let your daughters become cheap prostitutes of Western nerds who can’t get laid in their home countries or adopt Western culture and compete against them?
There is a little voice in me that asks, “If every American boycotted corporations and went debt-free, the US economy would collapse and China or the EU would rise above us. Fueled by greed and wealth, they would eventually steal our resources, depress our currency, exploit our weakness, and then impoverish us like we do with the rest of the world.” The absurdly optimistic voice inside me tells me that first of all, this will never happen. Secondly, are you really willing to jeopardize your health and soul just to ensure that America remains a global empire so that other countries can’t exploit and destroy us? What if a large enough group of people across the globe, identifying more with humanity than any nation, collaborates to form an alliance and support network? In addition to this, let us not forget that the Information Age is changing everything. Just as the Industrial Age rewarded inhumane mechanization and machinery, the Information Age is increasingly rewarding intelligence, informed minds, social networking, and imagination. There is a reason, more and more people like myself, are spreading more and more information about the big, fat lie of civilization. My voice is not singular. My opinions were formed by the books I’ve read and those author’s opinions were formed by the books they read and people they met. As shocking and startling you may find my views, and as original as I may think I am, I am not alone. The gig is up, but the question is, is it too late to really do anything about before the evil rulers consolidate all their power and wealth?
Often times, we would rather have the misery we know than the freedom or change that is unknown. The question is, how miserable do you need to get? We are like boiling frogs. Ever notice how many times you see a ballot question ask for 1/8th of 1 percent increase in taxes? Ever notice how many times the price of a stamp goes up by a cent instead of five cents? Ever notice how many times interest rates go up or down by a tenth or half-a-percent? Ever notice how can or bag sizes go down by an ounce or a few grams? Or on the astronomic scale, ever notice how many billions of dollars are printed to fund a government expense instead of raised through taxes? Ever notice how many billions of dollars in interest is paid on our national debt to private banks? Ever notice how many billions are lost or not accounted for by our government? Our minds cannot comprehend the quantum or the astronomic. That is how we get boiled to death, by fractions or billions. Likewise, we didn’t wake up one day overweight, sick, sore, unhealthy, angry, depressed, suicidal, anti-social, anxious, addicted, or stressed. It happened to us a little each day. We love those ads that tell us miracle cures for what ails us, but ironically, the best miracle cure of all is free and actually saves you money.
Unlike the phony Presidential vote, you do have one powerful voting mechanism that they can’t take away from you, and that is your ability to vote with your dollars. You can simply spend less and by fault, owe less. Many of you are already conscientious eaters and consumers. You already know that every dollar you spend either goes to a neighbor or do-good independent, natural, whole food company or to a greedy evil corporation (or large greedy private company, don’t forget about them). So you’re already on the right step. The next step is living debt-free and within your means. Every dollar you borrow, ten to twenty cents each year goes to a big bank. In turn, that big bank multiplies that ten to twenty cents through the miracle of fractional reserve banking and multiplies its evil hegemonic global endeavors, most likely resulting in exploitation, oppression, and conflict. Solution? Pay off all your debts and quit borrowing for needless material goods or luxury services. When you eat better, your body feels better, and when you start to live debt-free, you will also feel less stress in your life.
The endless pursuit of pleasure, material wealth, and luxury is also an empty, stressful, self-destructive addiction. Whenever I find myself in a nice, luxury hotel or restaurant, the smallest, stupidest annoyances can destroy the experience. Whenever you find yourself in a modest, Spartan hotel or restaurant, your mind does the reverse. It says, you’re not an idiot for being here, find a hidden gem to share on social media, and you will protect your ego. So in squalor, or I should say, modest environments, your mind is more on the search for value, meaning, and treasures. In luxury, your mind is more on the search for mistakes, annoyances, and trivial nonsense. In a luxury hotel, I obsess about being able to hear my neighbors. This should not be happening I cry out! In a two-star hotel, I expect to hear my neighbors and I fall asleep or listen to their conversation and find something meaningful to take away from it, like, boy, I’m happy I’m not in a relationship. The same thing with material wealth. Declutter your life, get rid of shit, quit hoarding, and you’ll start to realize you can breathe. You will have more energy. You will be more welcoming of strangers into your life. You will be able to sleep better at night not worrying about losing all your expensive, meaningless shit or desiring more shit.
But that brainwashed voice inside your head says, people who spend less and are debt-free don’t have new clothes, new cars, fancy things, cool gadgets, vacation in luxury hotels, travel much, or look cool. But they’re also less likely to be sick, sore, unhealthy, angry, depressed, suicidal, anti-social, anxious, addicted, and stressed. So basically, you’re willing to say, I’m sick, sore, unhealthy, angry, depressed, suicidal, anti-social, anxious, addicted, and stressed, but I just had the most fabulous shopping day and came back to my luxury hotel I can’t afford. You’re like Alec Guinness saying, “I worked hard, I stayed out of trouble, I’m usually nice and kind, I obeyed, I followed the rules, I did what I was told, why aren’t I happy, and why the hell are they trying to blow up my goddamn bridge?!!!”