|Good looking psychopath?|
I began this series, on April 28, 2014.
Like you of course, at that time I had no idea that the Ferguson phenomenon would begin some months later on August 9, 2014.
In fact, by the time of the Ferguson phenomenon, I had already posted about half of the posts now contained in this series (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
This post today will be an attempt to hold to the concepts I set out to present as stated in the first sentence of the first post of this series: "The subtitle for this post might be 'Symbolic Racism: One Result of Cultural Toxins of Power'."
In other words, to discuss at least some of the cultural dynamics at work, rather than personal individual dynamics, which die with the individual racist.
II. The Purpose of This Series
What this series was designed to get at is that racism is perpetuated by something beyond and/or other than individual racists, as indicated by another sentence in that first post:
Subconscious social dynamics are always at work in cultures, tugging, pushing, and pulling this way or that way, subtly shaping and forming cultural activity and cultural evolution.(Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science). Often times we hear about individuals who, during their lifetime, want to perpetuate themselves by various treatments.
They do fantasy, hoping in vain to attain some form of perpetual existence, or at the very least to live a lot longer.
This is not a problem for the culture of a nation or civilization, because societies tend to be naturally perpetuated:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."(A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee). Toynbee was not saying that there are no predators on society, rather, he was saying that the main predator is the culture itself, the society itself, yes, the civilization itself.
The difference we are envisioning, then, was bolstered by the second post, which pointed out that “[t]here is no genetic basis for race” (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 2), i.e., no scientific basis in terms of genetics.
Race is not what it is
III. The Overwhelming Scientific/Historical Evidence
In the third post, I enhanced the notion that racism is a cultural phenomenon (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 3), much like a meme complex (Comparing a Meme Complex to a Cultural Amygdala).
Racism, like anything else, can become an addiction because the addiction is not a phenomenon generated by a substance, a material, or a thing, rather, it is a mental dynamic, a problem within the thinking (The "It's In Your Genes" Myth).
But, as individuals, we do not tend to know how the culture became so addicted, or how its addiction is tied into cultural racism.
So, let's get some background, beginning with the seed and finishing with the monster:
"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this?" [Thomas Paine, 1794](A History of Oil Addiction - 4). With all the illustrious liars who sit in the pilot's seat like Andreas Lubitz, guiding the culture we fly in, it is no wonder we did not end up on planet Earth as planned (You Are Here).
"Now comes “The Barbarous Years,” the next installment. It circles back to a period that most Americans don’t hear much about in school: the chaotic decades from the establishment of Jamestown (England’s first permanent colony in the Americas) in 1607 up to King Philip’s War (the vicious conflict that effectively expelled Indians from New England) in 1675-76. Bailyn’s goal is to show how a jumble of migrants, “low and high born,” sought “to recreate, if not to improve, in this remote and, to them, barbarous environment, the life they had known before.” As the title indicates, the story is as grim as it is fascinating: a group portrait in tones of greed, desperation and brutality. In recent years conservative writers dismayed by historical revisionism have flooded stores with books extolling the character and sagacity of America’s founders. “The Barbarous Years” is not one of them.
“Death was everywhere,” Bailyn writes of Jamestown. The colony was a commercial enterprise, started by the Virginia Company with the sort of careful financial evaluation that in the more recent past was the hallmark of the dot-com boom.
English people kept coming anyway, lured by a discovery that the Crown and company hated: tobacco. Hip, fun, disdained by stuffy authorities and wildly addictive, the smoking weed was an ideal consumer product. Thousands of migrants were willing to risk death for the chance to cash in on England’s squadrons of new nicotine junkies. The Chesapeake Bay became a barely governed swarm of semi-independent tobacco fiefs, owned by families, operated by squads of indentured servants, all squabbling with one another, Protestants against Catholics, English against other Europeans, everyone against Indians." [The Barbarous Years]
"The addiction to oil ... at least to the wealth and to the products made accessible to us by oil ... look at the negative consequences on the environment we are destroying the very Earth that we inhabit for the sake of that addiction. Now these addictions are far more devastating in the social consequences than the cocaine or heroin habits of my ... patients. Yet they are rewarded and considered to be respectable. The tobacco company executive that shows a higher profit will get a much bigger reward ... doesn't face any negative consequences legally or otherwise ... in fact is a respected member of the board of several other corporations ... but tobacco smoke related diseases kill 5.5 million people around the world every year. In the United States they kill 400,000 people a year".
"And these people are addicted to what? To profit, to such a degree are they addicted that they are actually in denial about the impact of their activities, which is typical for addicts, is denial. And that is the respectable one. It is respectable to be addicted to profit no matter what the cost. So what is acceptable and what is respectable is a highly arbitrary phenomenon in our society. And it seems like the greater the harm the more respectable the addiction" (Dr. Maté).
"One of the most important comments on deceit, I think, was made by Adam Smith. He pointed out that a major goal of business is to deceive and oppress the public.
And one of the striking features of the modern period is the institutionalization of that process, so that we now have huge industries deceiving the public — and they're very conscious about it, the public relations industry. Interestingly, this developed in the freest countries—in Britain and the US — roughly around time of WWI, when it was recognized that enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force. So modes of deception and manipulation had to be developed in order to keep them under control ..." [Chomsky]
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.
They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world ... It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice." [Bernays]
Not only that, we didn't even end up in the United States, rather, we ended up in the U.S.eh? as it were:
1) Slavery was a key driver of the formation of American wealth.(Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 7). Another cultural addiction followed in the footsteps of tobacco and cotton, which eventually grew up to become the Big Brother of all such addictions.
2) In its heyday, slavery was more efficient than free labor, contrary to the arguments made by some northerners at the time.
3) Slavery didn't just enrich the South, but also drove the industrial boom in the North.
4) Slavery wasn't showing any signs of slowing down economically by the time the Civil War came around.
5) The South seceded to guarantee the expansion of slavery.
IV. A Lying Racist Petroleum Civilization Evolved
We have seen that, from the machinations and imaginings of the tobacco plantations of the 1600's, slavery addiction eventually took hold on our society.
It became a cultural addiction to the point that slaves were basic assets of the society (some of our presidents just had to have them).
The reality relating racism and oil addiction is that they are twin cultural addictions, born of the same parental culture, even having similar DNA.
Thomas Paine in 1794, as quoted above, spoke of the seed in a lying culture, which by now has grown into a basic, fundamental, American right:
Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying. We lie to protect our privacy (“No, I don’t live around here”); to avoid hurt feelings (“Friday is my study night”); to make others feel better (“Gee you’ve gotten skinny”); to avoid recriminations (“I only lost $10 at poker”); to prevent grief (“The doc says you’re getting better”); to maintain domestic tranquility (“She’s just a friend”); to avoid social stigma (“I just haven’t met the right woman”); for career advancement (“I’m sooo lucky to have a smart boss like you”); to avoid being lonely (“I love opera”); to eliminate a rival (“He has a boyfriend”); to achieve an objective (“But I love you so much”); to defeat an objective (“I’m allergic to latex”); to make an exit (“It’s not you, it’s me”); to delay the inevitable (“The check is in the mail”); to communicate displeasure (“There’s nothing wrong”); to get someone off your back (“I’ll call you about lunch”); to escape a nudnik (“My mother’s on the other line”); to namedrop (“We go way back”); to set up a surprise party (“I need help moving the piano”); to buy time (“I’m on my way”); to keep up appearances (“We’re not talking divorce”); to avoid taking out the trash (“My back hurts”); to duck an obligation (“I’ve got a headache”); to maintain a public image (“I go to church every Sunday”); to make a point (“Ich bin ein Berliner”); to save face (“I had too much to drink”); to humor (“Correct as usual, King Friday”); to avoid embarrassment (“That wasn’t me”); to curry favor (“I’ve read all your books”); to get a clerkship (“You’re the greatest living jurist”); to save a dollar (“I gave at the office”); or to maintain innocence (“There are eight tiny reindeer on the rooftop”).(US v Alvarez). That little cultural seed grew up to outlast all of us, all individual humans.
And we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk, as reflected by the popularity of plastic surgery, elevator shoes, wood veneer paneling, cubic zirconia, toupees, artificial turf and cross-dressing. Last year, Americans spent $40 billion on cosmetics — an industry devoted almost entirely to helping people deceive each other about their appearance. It doesn’t matter whether we think that such lies are despicable or cause more harm than good. An important aspect of personal autonomy is the right to shape one’s public and private persona by choosing when to tell the truth about oneself, when to conceal and when to deceive. Of course, lies are often disbelieved or discovered, and that too is part of the pull and tug of social intercourse. But it’s critical to leave such interactions in private hands, so that we can make choices about who we are. How can you develop a reputation as a straight shooter if lying is not an option?
It is still living on long after we mere mortals die, long after the originators of the society have returned to dust.
Like slavery, propaganda (the art/science of lying) got hold of the culture, from the top officials down to the dog catchers like Alvarez, who faked being what he thought was a hero.
Like I said, from the top down:
Of the first five presidents, four owned slaves. All four of these owned slaves while they were president.(The Germ Theory - of Government - 7). Recapping, the 1600 A.D. tobacco industry ideology eventually infected cotton and other plantations, and thereby spread the cultural lie that "slavery is good for the national economy."
Of the next five presidents (#6-10), four owned slaves. Only two of them
owned slaves while they were president.
Good looking psychopath?
Of the next five presidents (#11-15), two owned slaves. Both of these two owned slaves while they were president.
Of the next three presidents (#16-18) two owned slaves. neither of them owned slaves while serving as president.
The last president to own slaves while in office was the twelfth president, Zachary Taylor (1849-1850).
The last president to own slaves at all was the eighteenth president, Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877).
So twelve of our presidents owned slaves and eight of them owned slaves while serving as president.
But, Big Tobacco (BT) did not die out like Big Cotton did, no, BT is still around and still lying about life and death.
BT developed insidious and warped ways of telling people that BT poison is good for all, and that there is no proof that cigarette smoking is bad for anyone.
BT then passed the baton of using deceiving propaganda on to the oil industry, to Oil-Qaeda (The Exceptional American Denial).
V. A Danger To Many Is Weak Compared To A Danger To All
Today, then, in preparing for a conclusion, I want to go on to show that this cultural racism, i.e. racism built into the public thinking, was built firmly into the original constitution.
It is now perpetuated by cultural dynamics lasting decades and centuries, and thus it is more dangerous by far than individual racism is.
The way I want to do that is to show how the leader of Petroleum Civilization, Oil-Qaeda, evolved from and within cultural trances.
Trances that eventually led, not only to one addiction after the other, but also led to our current predicament.
The deadly addiction that is still with us is far more deadly than those addictions from once-upon-a-time were (Keeping Up With The Jones Addiction).
Now, our culture is addicted to fossil fuels such as dirty oil, lethal gas, and toxic coal, in a way that makes it the worst addiction ever experienced.
But, it sprang from our first cultural addiction (exceptionalism on steroids), which molded cultural thinking both then and now (The Universal Smedley - 2, Viva Egypt - 2).
VI. The Infections Must Die
In a healthy society people ought to innately or naturally know that saying "The Common Good" is also the common way of saying "I've got your back" (The Common Good, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
Suicidal societies, which according to historian Toynbee, means most civilizations on this planet so far, have another way of expressing that sentiment (Petroleum Civilization: The Final Chapter (Confusing Life with Death), 2, 3).
VII. Conclusion (The Video)
The devolution, now taking place in our civilization, gives new meaning to "I've got your back."
Officer Michael Slager was indicted for murder (Guardian).
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.