Reason and Action Eroded, Only The Game Remains: How the Game Works – People’s Lives Not Even a Chip in the Negotiations Anymore
How the Game Works and The Religion of Capitalism: The Game Is the One True Faith with Winning All Important, Integrity Laughable, and Kindness a Sign of Weakness
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twelve:
Only The Game Remains
The Really Special Interests…What They Want Is At Our Expense
Reason and Action Eroded, The Game Is All That Remains
Note to Ordinary Folks: Ordinary Folks Are Out to Get You.
Well since they believe a loving God would condemn them to endless suffering, don’t see why we can’t convince them their own biggest enemy is to be found in a mirror.
But the Republicans were at one point cornered by justifiable attacks about being backed by special interests, so they concocted this idea that the Democrats were too.
Everybody’s Doing It.
They couldn’t deny it was true about them, so they just made it like, well, it was everybody. That way they avoided being revealed as bad people. For what they did wouldn’t make them bad. It would just make them politicians.
An added benefit for them in “democratizing” the guilt this way is that folks thinking all politicians are the same, that they’re all taking money, means they would be unlikely to vote. They would say, “Ah, they’re all crooks.” Is not that what we’re hearing? Isn’t what we’re hearing that there is no such thing as an honest politician? And keeping the masses, who are helped by Democrats, away from the polls can only help Republicans engaged in swindling them.
The Really Special Interests: What They Want Is at Our Expense.
But once the term special interest meant something very specific, and it was hardly confusing. We need to go back to the time before the whole subject became so muddled and full of misinformation that even the pundits didn’t know what they were talking about anymore. Back when the term was coined, the special interests were thought of as the interests of the very small numbers of wealthy people and their financial arms, big businesses, who sought favors from government that were at odds with the welfare of the masses of less moneyed Americans.
For example there might be a group from, say, the coal industry, whose interests would be higher profits for being allowed to spew extra amounts of toxic fumes into the atmosphere. That would be the kinds of things they would want: something that benefited them at the expense of the majority of folks. Consider: If what was sought would benefit most other people as well, it would not need to be lobbied for solely by this small group, this business concern. Such a change would be advanced on behalf of the greater number of people and would succeed that way.
So a really special interest would push for something that would bring them greater profits in spite of the fact that it would hurt the majority of Americans. In this example of air pollution, it would be felt negatively by all Americans, eventually the whole planet, including people of other countries, and even the plant and animal life, in which species in existence thousands of times longer than us would be gone forever. This is why an interest might be “special.” It would be special in that its benefits would be singular, not shared.
To the contrary, the common good would be reduced for the temporary financial benefit of a relatively small group of individuals, in this case, coal barons. Keep in mind also it would only be the rich capitalist owners in these industries who would see the benefits. That is the real meaning of special.
Religion of Capitalism – The Game Is the One Truth Faith
And Then the Great Threat
In a clear-headed sense, a boon to a special interest would involve some sort of legislative help to the profits of, basically, these special rich capitalist owners; and it would be given, very often, at great cost to all those others I have been mentioning who were not in the Congressional bargaining room. So how could such a thing be justified? Well, here is how it works, beginning with another great lie, delivered as a threat.
The threat would amount to this: That unless these favors are granted, say, as in the example, if you didn’t let us put that stuff in the air, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. The threat of workers losing their jobs is always, always, the gauntlet thrown down to jimmy profits into the hands of a few.
And saving worker’s jobs is always, always thrown out to the public as the justification for granting these singular boons. So the American worker is indirectly threatened with the loss of a job and a paycheck.
The part that will rarely be spoke is the cost of this legislative largess to the general population. In our example, what will not be mentioned is that some people’s lives will actually be ended—there is always some of this, though this is the biggest unspoken—for the granting of this wish. What is recklessly ignored is that when this regulation easing, as in our example, goes into effect, it will actually kill some people; it will diminish people’s lives; it will increase diseases, cancer and emphysema for example; and overall it will result in more suffering for thousands or millions of times more people than the few that will benefit. Do you begin to see how really special a real special interest is?
But as for these costs to us ordinary, non-special, people, they will not be mentioned by either side of the bargaining. This will hardly even be a chip in the negotiations. What will be put on the table is worker’s jobs. That threat is that unless these favors are granted, well, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. And then they would say, “Well, American workers will suffer.”
And that’s the magical meaningless mantram—”American workers will suffer” which is another one of those lies again added to create fog, to create confusion, in this case a smog of misinformation, stifling the reasoned understanding of what is actually at stake.
Their Kind of “Sharing the Pain” – My Problems Will Be Your Problems, They Say.
And Then Outright Extortion
In fact we had a conspicuous example of this, the way…let’s call it what it is…extortion was employed by the banks not many years ago. The filthy rich, in the guise of investors, pulled off one of the biggest extortions in American history and got away scot free. Even the Democrats could not see through it (still don’t).
Well, in any other instance of such a tactic, in any other instance by anybody in America doing what was done, it would have been criminally prosecuted. But not so in the case of these special rich people, represented by these bank executives.
How spectacular this oversight in singling out the guilty is rarely brought out. But truly massive is this miscarriage of justice. Consider that there are vastly more ordinary Americans than there are in the tiny group of filthy rich. So there will of course be far more instances in the general population of any crime you would think of. In this case we are looking at extortion, and virtually every instance of such a crime committed among the general population would attract the intense attention and the full wrath of justice there. Naturally, the harm to the victim or even victims would be constrained to the tiny number of people affected, and the limited amounts of money involved, in any particular case.
On the other hand here we had a much tinier group of people—the filthy rich and the heads of the banks that represent them. And the percentage of that group involved in such an extortion is far greater than the incidence of that crime in the greater population, i.e., they represent a high crime zone for such malfeasance and a much bigger danger when their crimes go unpunished and can continue unfettered. Such small groups with higher rates of crime, when there is smaller mounds of money to protect them, are labeled as “criminal gangs,” “hoodlums,” “organized crime,” “gang-bangers” and the like. But not so when the perpetrators dress in such fine suits and stink with money.
Further the scale on which these crimes are perpetrated are that of the entire population of the United States and expands itself to include harm to those in other nations and even among the unborn—future generations. So the the magnitude of the crime is infinitely larger than could ever be pulled off by an average American. Still, the smaller scale, less harmful instances of this crime are ruthlessly sought out and punished. Whereas the immeasurably larger crime of the super wealthy is let go…and this in spite of the fact mentioned that the future threat is larger and considerably more likely if the current wrong is not addressed.
With these things known, how mind-boggling is it to notice this blatant extortion not pointed out, not labeled as such, hardly addressed?
Their Kind of “Sharing the Pain” – My Problems Will Be Your Problems, They Say.
Well here we have, in this case, the banks, the preeminent fronts for the organized filthy rich, demanding extortion money, which if not received…here we go again…eventually would result in their inability to do business and would affect people. This threat is one of their ploys.
Just like the coal barons in the example above who would ask for concessions saying if they did not get them they would be forced to lay off American workers, the banks would have their way of trying to convince that they should be helped or it will affect great numbers of people. In their case, they would say it would affect their ability to do business and to serve the American people.
One way or another the idea is to obscure the reality that help to the banks will help primarily this small group, in this case, of bankers, and to make it that their problem is seen as our problem, the public’s problem. This increases the pressure on politicians to grant the favor. For it is spun that it is not the wealthy investors whose welfare is at stake but the public at large.
So there is the extortion, you see. Unlike coal barons threatening to fire workers, essentially bankers threatened to stop providing loans. They would hold them back if not paid. The degree to which this was untrue is shown by the fact that after they did get the bailout, they used it to feather their nests and to expand their bank’s market share. Chase Bank, for example, sat on the bailout cash they received, with the intention of using it to buy out other banks that would fail, which is exactly what they did with the money. Banks also gave out those high bonuses like I’ve discussed.
Meanwhile the public was not served. Money remained tight. There arose a big hue and cry over the fact that the money was covering bankers’ losses (i.e., going into their pockets) but the public was not getting the loans they needed. So in retrospect that money would have been much more wisely spent going somehow directly into the people’s hands who needed it, not by funneling it through the hands of gluttonous banking institutions.
And what about their threat of it affecting society at large if they were not placated? Well, society did pay dearly, did suffer, even though the banks were paid their extortion money, handsomely too. And since so much of that loot went to the folks who didn’t need it, overall the economy ended up worse off. Short term the problem was swept under the rug, but in borrowing from the future to help rich people today it guaranteed the problem would get a permanent installation in America’s economy. Seriously, this problem can not be calculated or even imagined away, so Americans will suffer its results forever as far as we know.
So this is the extortion and the lie that sits in the middle of the threat that it is the American workers who will suffer if the wealthy don’t receive their payola.
For it is never the workers or, in this case, those needing loans who would suffer if the extortion is not given in to, it is the fat cats, coal barons, filthy rich, 1% who would suffer, and for that matter, not even all that much compared to the suffering inflicted on the public by their greedy practices, whether or not the extortion money or concession is provided.
To Win at Any Cost – How They Convince That Their Problems Are Ours
Anyway, the game is to claim that the pain of those with wealth is really the American people’s pain, so as to make it seem a large number of people would be helped. That’s one of their lies that gets by; this is how they seek to “share the pain”…”spread their burden.” It is a banking problem, in this instance, something that has had disastrous effects on the economy and on people’s lives, but it would be better handled by society if the problem of the people involved would be addressed, not the problems—money lost, investments gone under—of the filthy rich.
The upshot is that over and over we hear these big lies of how “the American people”…one of those huge buzz words… “the American people are going to be hurt.” Or, it became, “the working people of this country,” or in the example of the coal barons, above, that a huge group of coal miners would see massive layoffs. In light of what has been said, I hope it is clear what b.s. that is.
How They Try to Convince That Their Problems Are Ours
We see the threat; we see the extortion; we see the crime and its magnitude, and we see the lie that gives life to it all. Let us look more closely at the manner of the making of this spectacular ruse.
First…some of this has been said, but watch how it unfolds…you’re starting out with a group that is a minute segment of the population as a whole. But they maintain they are identical with or equivalent to society as a whole, making it that it is not the magnitude of their money but of their numbers which raises their voice above all, which is not true of course. I was talking earlier about how they would do that in making up the tax codes. Recall, they would say, “Well, society as a whole will suffer if you don’t…”
So they would always package any benefit to them as being not for them, really, at all but for a great number of people. And if they could pull that off, if they could make that magical equivalency then it was like they had a home run. They would say the working people of this country would be affected, that a huge group of coal miners would see massive layoffs, for example.
Then here is how they make that number bigger: These people, in this example the coal barons, not to be underestimated, would assert that because of their layoffs naturally there would be more of these layoffs by other coal companies. And then, they’d say, these layoffs would affect all the shopkeepers, retail merchants and so on who service the impacted regions; which in turn…gotta keep making it bigger and bigger, more and more and more people…which in turn would affect all the industries making the products that won’t be sold because of the layoffs; and of course a pull back in demand for products means fewer workers needed to make what is needed, thus an increase of unemployment in all other sectors would ensue; which unemployed workers on a grander scale would have them unable to buy from their local merchants; which equals the losses to the manufacturers in an ever more expanding array of products and industries; requiring they let people go; thus even more, ever accelerating rates of layoffs and widening unemployment; well , those laid off would not be buying the products in their local shops; which leads to…well armageddon the way they would have it.
So it just gets bigger and bigger; it goes around and around and around.
To Win at All Costs
But They Will Say Anything to Win
Just a hint though, this is one of those seemingly rational analyses that although seeming to make sense is not grounded in the real world; it is speculative and made up. It’s roots are solely in the dark hearts and motivations of those attempting to push through their argument, to give it added weight, to basically win at any cost.
That’s a lot of what the difference is. It is that some people will wager with any amount of harm to others; they will say anything, will make up anything. They don’t have to have any facts; they don’t have to know if that’s the way it works. As McCain said, “I don’t know much about economics.” This is the guy who was popular among the corporate crowd of the country, the same group making that simplistic argument above.
What’s Truth Got to Do With It?
So basically their game involves winning at any cost to others, being willing to assert anything, with no thought that truth should even come into a bargaining situation. I mean, really, the attitude is that, what the hell does truth have to do with it? It’s like, we can make a good argument; we can convince people; we can persuade people; we can fool enough people into thinking it’s true…and that’s all that matters. [Footnote 1]
So you see they’re getting kind of cocky; they don’t even think they have to have truth…any actual facts or evidence backing up their arguments. Then you have your whole attitude of, “What the hell, why is anybody bothering to bring any truth to this?”
So they don’t bother even to come with any evidence to be laid out on the table; it becomes the most elegant spectacle in sophistry imaginable.
Kindness Means Weakness in The Game – But Unlike Monopoly These Results Are Real
Unlike Monopoly These Results Are Real
What it becomes then for these special interests and their Republican representatives is something with about as much gravity as a board game. They’re seeing these matters, which are of dire importance to most of society, about the way we do when playing a game of Monopoly, in which we compete without consequences and try to win without remorse.
Though the differences should be noted. There’s nothing at stake in a game of Monopoly among friends; it is just simple play with light-hearted risks. There are no real families having to move out if one player buys up all the land and houses of another; there’s nobody even paying rent of $40 if they land on Boardwalk, nobody suffering when you’re told to pay a doctor bill…or to go to jail.
Going Directly to Jail, Not Passing Go – The Only Part That’s Really Like Monopoly, for the 99%
This point, however, keep in mind as increased perspective on the real world actions of these wealthy folk. In Monopoly you try to win. And you would consider deception. You might hide how much money or property you have…if you’re asked, for example, you might not tell the truth. And this dissembling would be considered a good ploy and harmless. Even the other players might admire such a deception .
But is this the way it is in the bargaining of the special interests through their lackey paid-for Republican representatives? No. The consequences of their cavalier play are being felt somewhere. But they cover up their unconcern through the pretense of acting on interests not of their own, but of that reliable home base of the society at large.
We’re Not Supposed To Be Monopoly … Or the Wild West.
So, there’s Monopoly, then there’s the real world, where things like deception or whatever for the purpose of winning have real world effects on people. But we’re supposedly living in an era or time that is not like the old Wild West. We purportedly have a democracy with the aim of benefiting the majority of people, or at least as many people as possible. And we claim our intention is to do this without unduly punishing any particular group or having any persons inflicted with unnecessary grief. It’s supposed to be fair; government is supposed to serve people.
This Game’s Not For You
So that’s why I was saying, in the early days when there was bargaining in Congress by the special interests they maintained a pretense of caring about people. After all, we maintain that government is supposed to be representing the American people.
Getting to Home Base, in Their Baseball Game
So moneyed interests would garner these special breaks, in the tax codes or wherever, because basically they would get to the point where they would convince enough deciders, even if it wasn’t true, that such a change, in the tax code or policy, or whatever, would benefit society at large. As I said, that is kind of like reaching home base for them. You got it then; you’re home free if you can make that link. For that is the touted purpose of our elected deciders, it is to benefit the society at large.
Now, nobody can benefit all the people all the time, so that’s as close as you can get…society at large…it’s as near to a home base as you can get.
Anyway, that was the thought involved on both sides of this whole game for a long time. And I stress—if you haven’t gotten the point already…I’ve been leading up to it—that this was the thinking on both sides of this game. It’s like a game for the Republicans, just like Monopoly for us.
And, how was it played? Well the thoughts were, if you were able to get to home base—which is equal to proving a benefit for average Americans, society at large or as a whole, or the electorate—then you score.
But Supported by “Obvious Truths”—Those Untrue Truisms—It Is Now Easier for Them to “Score.”
But that thinking has changed over time. This difference in particular shows the effectiveness of the brainwashing resulting from the repetition of Republican lies over time…the enshrinement of “obvious truths.”
I noticed that over time…and this is a development folks younger than me don’t know about…that the terms formerly used in the game were no longer used. No longer were phrases like “society-at-large,” the common good, government of and by the people, the welfare of the majority, government “caring” for people, anyone’s suffering being eased, and such even brought in.
“It’ll Benefit Society-at-Large? What Are You, a Wuss?”
Words like suffering, compassion, ease, good, benefit, the people, were not uttered anymore. In fact they were felt to be counterproductive. They were considered deal breakers if let into the conversation on matters that were deemed, well…”real.”
1.For a humorous aside on this attitude of the truth not mattering when it comes to the game, check out this “Auto Salesman Tells All on Sillymickel” below.
Auto Salesman has the clips from “Anatomy” titled “Auto Salesman Does Perry Como does The Doors” (http://bit.ly/ComoDoors) and “The Snorter, Mr. Boehner, and the Auto Salesman” (http://bit.ly/snorter).
There is a spinoff, as well, at http://bit.ly/ComoDoors2, titled “AutoSalesman Does Como Doing Doors, Update – Aftermath, post-Gig.”
This one, just below, is not clipped from the long monologue and is another spinoff from “Anatomy of Class Consciousness.” In this one, Auto Salesman tears into SillyMickel, talking kind of like his alter-ego:
“Auto Salesman Speaks His Mind on SillyMickel” – comedy monologue, video by SillyMickel Adzema
Category: comedy, environment, politics, psychology, Tea Party, satire
What follows is the full text of the video.
About SillyMickel (me), Auto Salesman (my “evil twin”) says:
“Ok. Enough about that. I’m gonna get back to being this erudite mother-fucker, wherever he is. I guess I got to bring him out.
“I try to keep him in that jar, but he keeps going on about
‘It’s just a laundry room.’
“Aaah, shut up.
“I try to keep him in there. I cover it with grass. Which I give him breathing holes; I don’t know what he’s complaining….
‘Why, George W. Bush, he’s behind the Trade Center bombing and it was like a government job, and it was all for the purpose of doing this and that, and that it killed thousands of people….
‘And not only that, but the scientists are saying that we’ve only got 20 to 50 years to save the planet, and that we’re all gonna die.’
“And I say, “You call them reasons? ….
“You call THEM reasons?” I mean…..
“I’ll be dead by then, probably…so what the hell do I care? I don’t think anybody should be caring if it’s not going to affect them!
“Now, as far as, you know, the children and the grandchildren … are gonna die in a fiery inferno and whatever in the next 20, 30 years and all the planet’s gonna be wiped out, now, I think: THEY should be worried! It’s THEIR problem, right? Ain’t my problem…why should I care? See?
“So, I said to that erudite little fuck, you know, ‘You stay in your fuckin’ jar…well, stop BOTHERIN’ me with this stuff about how we’re all gonna die and everything like that because, you know, it’s like, NOBODY cares…If it’s not them, you know, they don’t even care about their children so…what does it MAT-ter!?….”
“Besides, everybody’s so fucking stupid, they think God’s gonna come down and save them anyway, because, you know, they all think they’re so special and everything. And so do I, you know. But not him, he says… He’s kinda wierd because he kinda thinks… that…you know… He’s moved by God, but he doesn’t expect God to come down and save him! I don’t understand it.
“He expects…. He wants God to save everybody. And he wants to help. Well, we don’t think like that around here! Do we?
“Naaa. That’s just…we ain’t…that’s just a little bit too goddamn complex for our thinking processes. I mean, it’s like, ‘Am I gonna die?’… you know… ‘Am I gonna be able to eat?’
“And if it’s anything beyond that, what does it matter?
“I think I understand. Yeah. I understand… I don’t know why that erudite puke doesn’t understand it. You know? Maybe I’ll go and tell. Maybe I will, behind his back, you know. This recording here…maybe I’ll send it to them. Just so that they know…that I understand.
“That he’s got a part of himself that’s sane, you know. Keeps him on track, you know? He’s got a part…
“But then maybe they’d like to hear some of my other stuff, too, you know? Like ‘Perry Como Does The Doors’ and my class consciousness stuff, you know…Mr. Boehner and all that. Maybe they would like that because maybe they would understand that I’m like them, you know? It’s just that, you know, that erudite guy, you know…is the one that they don’t like. Think I should? Yea, I know that.
“Because, you know? They should at least know that there’s part of him that’s like that….
“Oh, he’s…. He wants to come out now. He wants to come out.
“What, you don’t like me? Ain’t I better lookin? Ain’t I better lookin than him?
“Well, you’re an insultin’ little prick, aren’t you? Well, you’re snortin’ and you’re insultin’…snortin’…insultin’
“Man! Ok, alright, alright, alright!
“What’s your name? Katie? Anyway?
“It would be Katie, I figured it. Boy, man, that Katie, she’s a bad aaaassss! I seen her on TV, she’s a BAD ASS!
“Anyway. I see, underneath all that sweetness….
“Ok! Alright, I’ll go, I’ll go!
“Ya don’t have to PUSH!
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,”Part Two
– an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Two,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.
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Creating an American Mind: The Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth and Advantage Through Totally Concocted Untruths … Why Americans Are Confused, Passionless, Dumb
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight:
Creating an American Mind
Creating an American Mind – The Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth and Advantage Through Totally Concocted Untruths
“Obvious Truths” — The History of the Republican’s Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth for Their Benefactors Through Totally Concocted Untruths
This series—“Obvious Truths”—delineates the history of the American Republican’s incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive–seemingly coordinated–nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “Filthy Rich,” through totally concocted untruths. These falsehoods were introduced carefully, slowly, and therefore invisibly, over time, one-by-one with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion; along with a coordinated campaign whose goal was the creation of an American Mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths.
These “obvious truths” were employed together with an exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. These were combined with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public through the simultaneous, and equally slow, meticulous, and perfectly coordinated introduction of policies, which though not invisible were cleverly packaged and perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step and year-by-year connections of these policies with their cumulative, increasingly successful results.
The intended goal was the castration of the power of all Americans except for the “filthy rich” and the Republican leadership, their lackeyed public faces. Coincident with this goal what was sought were the lessening of Americans’ power to act constructively to alleviate even their clearly felt and increasing suffering; the slow but comprehensive elimination of rational thought and ability to reason in the American Mind; and the creation of an American consciousness clouded and afog in confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison.
What was desired was an American personality splintered and disintegrated and desperate for something however irrational to cling to. Along with such a fractured and weakened psyche, the campaign sought the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. They reasoned this disunity of purpose would be the natural consequence of the average person’s confused state and its inability to discern obvious aspects of reality which, otherwise and in times prior to the campaign, would have been obvious organizing principles giving rise to passionate resistance.
In the past, passionate engagement in action to change one’s circumstances could occur because of the former unconfused clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant, and universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. This clarity created conviction in one’s beliefs, rooted in first-hand observation. And in the past these convictions were reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans, who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.
In contrast to the former American personality, this campaign by an American, and increasingly global, elite worked to create an apathetic, neutered American easily manipulated to the ends of wealthy overseers.
Creating an American Mind – Our Invisible “Family” and, Finally, the Cracks in the Dome of Unreality
Our Invisible “Family”
This reveals the fifty-year invisible family and community that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality, and the erosion of reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.
I explain how only because of increasingly cocky and greedy acts and extreme over-reaching “in broad daylight,” before the entire world, did this malevolent surround become visible. These brutish and thievish over-reaches displayed an incredible disregard for, disrespect of, indeed, an actual literal inability of the “Filthy Rich” and their Republican puppets to SEE American People, who were the recipients of these attacks.
Together these reveals—displayed unintentionally however blatantly and unknowingly by the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich”… and before the entire world—disclosed to the masses of Americans some “cracks,” “stains,” or textures in the “dome” of unreality they’d existed in, which had made them blind to Reality itself, and had kept them in a near zombie-like dream reality.
As this awakening continued, some began remembering events, the memories of which had been “bleached” out of awareness until just then, and then with remembering they realized how they’d been trained like animals their entire lives for the uses, whatever they’d be, of the “Filthy Rich,” and been trained then to forget that.
It is clear that the “filthy rich” had an absolute certainty of their success because of their unmitigated power. What is also evident is the absolute inability of the “Filthy Rich”…which was the shocking thing they’d carelessly let out and therefore displayed to the World…the absolute inability of the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich” to actually notice—let alone view or act towards—Americans as any thing even living or having sentient ability, let alone as humans, people, or individuals.
And as for the term “fellow Americans” often employed by Rich-publican politicos in addressing the masses, if that thought even crossed your mind for a second as being anything but a device, you are not fully appreciating just how literally I mean for my words to be taken. You may very well, in fact, be deeply dreaming and have missed the crack in the dream state that had shone the light in the eyes of a sufficiently large segment of the world population as to cause them to come out of trance and begin to untie their formerly invisible bonds, so that they could try looking around, which led to the realization of the reality that had been blocked from view, and the beginnings of investigations into the real truths of their existence, and to this series of expositions, among others, delineating the actual, formerly invisible profile of the actual actors in Americans’ lives and their processes of control, as well as the things in their lives that were determined for them by the “Filthies,” though ordinary folks thought they had been making decisions for themselves.
And the last aspects of this series delineates the real factors in our lives and the outlines of the real intentions for us these puppet masters have had, and have even now in mind.
The Power of Money to Persuade…When You Happen to Be Poor – Creating an American Mind and Personality
We Were More Likely to Question Authority When We Lived in Prosperous Times – Creating an American Mind and Personality
“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’” discusses the history of the American Republicans’ incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive, seemingly coordinated nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths.
Changing the World?
This started when I was reading over another post I had made. The title was relevant, and it triggered this whole thing. The title was “On Cultural Change, Consciousness, and Music.” And I described it as so: “The perfect confluence of context, moment, and person makes history…Obama’s astonishing rise to the Presidency, for example. But the perfect alignment of a nation’s or world’s deep mood, the moment, and a musician or artist can change the world forever. For example, The Beatles.”
Times Weren’t Always Like This
After reading that, I imagined someone else viewing it, and I considered how chances are it would be someone younger than me-—for I am old enough. That is part of what this is about. I am old enough to have seen some things and I remember some things that people growing up in this day and age would have no conception of. Those more recently coming of age are used to a particular American setting somewhat different than the one I knew. Growing up in a particular context, naturally they would think that is the way things are and how they have to be; they could not know any differently.
“Obvious Truths” Is About How I Saw Things Change
I was born in 1950, so I am aware of other ways that America has been. This part of the book, on “Obvious Truths,” is a lot about how I saw things change. Specifically, I look at the changes in the way we view ourselves, our lives, and authority; I have yet to hear anyone else mention these kinds of changes.
But, Really, Change the World We Did
Getting back to that younger person reading that description, I imagined this other person seeing what I wrote about the Beatles and all that, about changing the world…changing the world! In the harsh light of their cold-hearted reality and the comfortable assuredness of their beliefs, I figured they would consider me naive, if not more. How could that person understand? But, really, change the world we did.
Music’s Power to Persuade
Addressing that younger person, I started writing, “If the title’s claim sounds silly or trite to you then you are operating out of a social prejudice we carry from childhood, particularly around status. And you haven’t stopped to evaluate and compare.” Now, I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it comes together you’ll see.
For one thing, leaders and politicians, even great ones, can only alter the course of events slowly and meticulously. Sweeping changes cannot happen by fiat as they depend on the people’s passionate involvement, which you cannot create. In the case of a dictatorship-—for example, Hitler’s Germany, or Kim “Big Little Man’s” North Korea of the present-—that passion might be faked, probably it would need to be faked. Still, even in a free society, politicians can only use words; and no matter how stirring those words, they can reach only so deep inside. It is with great difficulty that political leaders try to move the soul of a nation; most of that mood is untouchable to them.
Meanwhile music, in particular, more potently than any other art form, has the capacity to alter consciousness. I will explain that later; it is an area I have done a lot of study in. It is a part of my profession.
Anyway, music affects your feelings and so it affects your consciousness. So its effects will really stay with you more than words will. Music is a more powerful thing, and it has been used consciously to try to sway the spirits of humans ever since the times of shamans.
But music is a much more powerful thing when the perfect combination of mood, context, and music come together. If you think music is not so powerful then explain why music is required at virtually any social gathering…particularly, when there is involved any attempt to persuade the feelings of the attendees. Have you ever noticed that? What is truly shocking is how music can even be more powerful than vast piles of money put against it.
I said, can be. In talking about music’s power to persuade I am reminded of political rallies and such.
The Persuasive Power of Money … When You Happen to Be Poor
On the other side from the power of leaders’ words of inspiration, which is limited, of music’s more effective persuasions, and the potency of passion and heartfelt feeling naturally arising in people, consider the power of money. Money in the hands of the “filthy rich” is used in a variety of ways and obviously has tremendous persuasive powers of its own.
And here is what I am getting at: Money, as arrayed against music, passion, and social movements is especially more powerful in a situation where the people have been put in financial jeopardy because of the prosperity of the rich. As an aside, I remember a time in America’s past when people were more prosperous and confident about their abilities to manage their lives. I do not believe it is a coincidence that in those days money wielded by the wealthy had less power to persuade and people were less easily bought than today. It was said that people then were wont to question authority more than they were likely to bow down to it. I will get back to this later.
Anyway, these are the things I was thinking about when this started.
Related Post: Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy…
The True Sounding Untruths: Precise and Strategic Use of “Obvious Truths” in the Creation of the American Mind
The True Sounding Untruths. (Hell! It’s Obvious the Earth is Flat!)
Then I started thinking about that: the “filthy rich,” specifically, the power of the “filthy rich” and their money. I began to consider it more deeply. Remember this is called the rise and fall of “obvious truths.” I was drawn to looking into those commonly accepted truisms-—truth-sounding but not true; let us call them “obvious truths.” Not true but sounding true: Think of how correct it must have sounded at one time to hear that the Earth is flat. So, an “obvious truth” is something unthinkingly accepted as true but is not actually true when thought about or looked into. I considered some of these errant habits of thinking and looked at where and why they arose and why they would take hold and have power despite having no foundation in reality.
Doing so, I came up with this description of “obvious truths” and the context birthing them:
These untruthy truisms arise out of the American Republicans’ disciplined, relentless, persistent, cohesive fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths, which are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time….
Just accept my word for it for now; I will explain….
These untruths are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time, one by one, with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion, as part of a coordinated comprehensive campaign whose goal is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications of the Republicans seamlessly portrayed as truths.
Precise and Strategic Use of “Obvious Truths” in the Creation of the American Mind
I know this is sounding pretty wild. But, you’ll see. Hang in there and see if I can support it. As I was explaining,
The Republicans’ goal, to be precisely and inexorably attained, is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused. And this mind is to be shepherded by the exact and strategic use of misinformation specifically targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. This seeding of minds is to work dialectically with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public with the simultaneous and equally slow and meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policies….
I said, I can support this….
This introduction of policies, which though not invisible are cleverly packaged, is to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative increasingly successful results.
Now, again, bear with me….
Their Intended Results
These results are the castration of the American…of Americans in general–except for the “filthy rich” and the Republican leadership which are their lackey public faces. So, the intent of this long campaign, employing “obvious truths” as munitions, is the crippling of Americans’ power in particular to resist even the inexorable increase in the clearly felt suffering heaped upon them as these years went by.
I’ll give you a hint, alright? I remember living in a time that was not so economically depressed. I watched it slowly get worse, and worse, and worse; and I saw people suffering more, and more, and more, ok? But I did not hear people complaining more, and more, and more. That’s a hint.
Ok, so what we have is Americans’ power monkey wrenched through policies directed at them and sustained by “obvious truths” pushed by Republicans whose purpose is to diminish people, to reduce their power, and ultimately to bring them down financially while raising the wealthies higher.
Recipe for The Matrix: Reduce Financial Resources, Add Copious Amounts Misinformation, Repeat (Endlessly)
Weaving the Matrix
Getting back to the truisms themselves, remember, as I said, these totally concocted untruths are designed to be surreptitiously introduced-—carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly over time-—one-by-one. They are to be planted through persistent relentless repetition, not by rational persuasion, and are intended to replace reason and independent thought.
They are meant to do their work within an invisible matrix as part of a coordinated campaign whose purpose is the construction of an American mind lacking in its ability to reason and confused. Lastly, this mind is to be made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths through the exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends.
Alright? I said bear with me, I’ll be able to give you some examples of this…or I’ll make a fool out of myself, that’ll be your choice…
These specific objectives are also to be brought to fruition through a massively funded, all inclusive, and strategically targeted campaign to financially weaken the American public through incremental changes in national fiscal policy as well as-—note this-—in national culture. National policy changes are to be achieved through the simultaneous and equally slow meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policy initiatives. Though these national initiatives could not be invisible, they are to be cleverly packaged as well as sneakily introduced and are to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative, increasingly successful results.
Ok? I’ll get into the policies, soon. But I am starting with a conclusive statement, and it might seem over the top. You may think it too bold, but I think I can back it up.
Again, those sought for results include the emasculation of the average American through sabotage of her or his powers to act in an effective way in any and all aspects of their lives. To be achieved at the same time is the fortification of the power and wealth of the filthy rich puppeteers and their lackey public faces in the Republican Party.
Instrumental in strengthening the wealthy class of insidious directors is the weakening of the remainder of the population’s abilities. And in particular and ultimately the intention is to cobble the ordinary person’s power to get out from under or to alleviate for very long the inexorable increase in their clearly felt suffering as the years go by. For this suffering and the helplessness about it is crucial to the directors’ success.
Bear with me…
Making the Matrix in America: The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion
The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion
Now, the key to all this being brought about is the creation of an American consciousness clouded in fog and confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison. In this way splintered…we’re talking about the American mind…splintered, and disintegrated it is desperate for something however irrational to cling to.
Along with or coincident with the orchestration of the American mind was the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. This follows, because of the confused state that the average American would normally have and its inability—the person’s inability or the American mind’s inability—to discern obvious aspects of reality and distortions of it (lies) which in times prior would have provided obvious organizing standards around which would be passionate resistance. This is what could and would happen in times previous to the Republicans’ campaign.
For example, I went through a time where people would go into the streets and there were people who complained. Recently we’ve talked about Bush…there’s a book out about how Bush actually created a dictatorship during his eight years.
It’s amazing to me that we all knew that, the corruption was so rampant it was like on a daily basis we were hearing things that in a former time—the Sixties, the Fifties, anytime—would have caused Bush to be tossed out on his ear. This time, somehow, it’s like there was nobody in the streets. People went about their lives as if ignoring what was going on … Ok, so there I’m giving you a taste, alright? anyway…
So, I said that in a previous time there would have been passionate, a passionate response. Now I say it’s passionate because of the former unconfused minds’ clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. So what I’m saying is clarity of thought creates sureness of action and sureness of one’s feelings, whereas confused minds lends itself to apathy or misguided self-destructive acts. In just a bit I’ll get into how these minds get confused and I think you’ll begin to see some of those things inside of yourself because I think we’re all feeling some of it.
Anyway, so this clarity, of seeing these things happening, created conviction in one’s belief which was rooted in first-hand observation. I have in other parts shared some of my first-hand observations of events, especially those happening in my formative years. The conviction of my thinking is rooted in such events.
At the time, I also experienced much confirmation and affirmation of my views on these events. So, in general, in times previous to the one we’re in, this clarity and conviction born of first-hand observation was reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans around them who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.
An example, ok. America once had a president who was much despised, though he was actually not as bad as Bush. But the American people were unfettered in their feelings about this president’s actions, and their refusal to put up with his despicable acts caused Nixon to resign.
So, first off, we have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse. In our example, this might be the the suffering and/or death of innocent young men or the unspeakable horror being inflicted on the bystanding innocents in the conflict they are engaged in.
Once with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction—undoubting and unconfused conviction—and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like.
It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however.
Too many people are unaware or forget that there was a great union movement in America, there was a great antiwar movement in the country… ok? You don’t see much of that action these days. So, this is what I’m getting to, there’s been a change.
So when these great masses of American were clearly in solidarity about things they saw were obviously wrong they effected change. Think about it. Go back to the Depression. People knew they were poor and they put Roosevelt in power. Ok? They did something about it.
Anyway, so in times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. And the people around you, they see it as well. And they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing. [Footnote 1]
Wonder why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?
The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny…
We have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse: Once with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction—undoubting and unconfused conviction—and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like. The examples I gave were the union, antiwar, suffragette, and civil rights movements; we could add the Revolutionary War itself and the abolitionist movement. And I mentioned how people rose up for a New Deal and elected Roosevelt during the Great Depression and how Nixon was hounded out of office, yet Bush the Dubya’s crimes—far worse, including “dictatorship”—were not enough even to bring people out into the streets.
It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however. In times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. And the people around you, they see it as well. And they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing.
The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny
But what if the media is saying that it ain’t happening? Does that said familiar? At all? It ain’t happening? How about an economic collapse that began years before anybody publicly mentioned it. I remember at the time it was being called a “goldilocks” economy. Yep, not happening. Right now I’m not going to say a lot about this as it will appear in a big way beginning with Chapter Seventeen.
So anyway, in former times, though, people came together in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right obvious wrongs, or the like. They had clearly identifiable rallying points visible to the great masses of Americans. These things were talked about in the newspapers, on TV, there was no denying what was obvious.
Now, with solidarity of purpose… and this is the important part…solidarity of purpose, with Americans united, feeling the same way, wanting change, their feelings were powerful and so significantly altered major events.
So anyway, solidarity of purpose gives ordinary people combined strength equal or greater to that of the “filthy rich.” The “filthy rich” are the would-be puppet-masters, the deciders and initiators of the events that have been witnessed so widely, including by the masses. These egregious acts, happenings, or developments brought the masses together in singleness of purpose to decry the source of the wrongs. Crucially, they needed to know the perpetrators of unhappy happenings; it needed to be clearly pointed out who were those responsible for the wrongs universally observed and condemned.
These things known, the result could be the massive gathering of intentions, a movement, perhaps a great social movement, united in purpose, against the observed wrong, seeking justice on the perpetrators and some sort of social or cultural change that might possibly or would definitely prevent future events of the same or similar sort of wrongness.
Now, these things did happen in America, folks. Not long ago in historical time but before our day in America food used to come out from corporations and got people sick or dead. So Americans created a Food and Drug Administration to remedy that. People created a government entity to represent them as a counterweight against the power of the corporations.
Why did this happen? It was because people were pissed, and it was because it was obvious what was going on.
But when things aren’t obvious and you have massive lies being told and you have comprehensive, pervasive media exposure to those lies—those untruths in direct conflict with people’s own observations—people can get confused. Confused, people’s power gets dissipated.
So I’ve kind of told you part of it, haven’t I? I just felt I was giving you too much and without any grounding.
Now let’s take a look at how the minute daily elements of our American way of life were orchestrated for ends not our own.
1. On how people are made confused, intentionally, so they can be used for the profits of others, at EXTREME, dire cost to themselves.
This is a fantastic video. I encourage everyone to wait for it to get past the cigarette stuff at the beginning. That is only used to make a much bigger, more profound point a little further in..
This is actually about climate change…and what they are doing to confuse people about it, which will end up killing billions at least, if not all life on this planet, imo. (is that important enough for ya?)
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link below for and audio audio player.
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Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds: Fifties, Gen X, and Millennials and Drug Effects – Speed, Ecstacy
Culture War, Class War Chapter Four: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds
Drugs and Generations
Drug Effects—Cocaine, Speed
Drugs in the amphetamine class are stimulants. This includes cocaine, methamphetamine, “meth,” “crystal,” crack cocaine, “crack,” speed, amphetamine, uppers, “whites,” and so on. They repress Pain extraordinarily well.
Building castles in the sky
They are euphoriants and cause one to have the feeling that one’s mental capacities are expanded. One feels that one can envision projects and outcomes precisely. So one expends oneself in organizing and preparing for great achievements, which rarely are embarked on.
Free from fear, reckless, overconfident, risk-taking
Since these drugs repress Pain, creating an amped state of mind more than normally able to fend off unwanted emotional material, they repress the normally present residue of fear, with its attendant caution in the face of activities outside of one’s comfort zone requiring forethought and anticipation. One does not feel constrained by normal fears or apprehensions, so one throws oneself into new activities with reckless abandon. One feels overly confident in one’s abilities and engages in all kinds of risk-taking—financially, sexually, interpersonally, legally. These activities have one embarking on dubious schemes which rarely pan out.
A land of light and darkness
Despite these negatives the corollary of this mental activity is that one’s ability to think and see more clearly on some issues is enhanced, just because one’s fears can pollute one’s perception and apprehension of things.
It is enlightening to remember that Sigmund Freud, among other notables in history, experimented with cocaine. At one point, Freud was heartily endorsing its use to his colleagues; he was waxing expansively about its benefits for mental life and clarity of consciousness. Of course, he changed his position on this later. No doubt his use led him to see its face of darkness as well.
Glimpses of clarity
Nonetheless, concerning the positive aspects of cocaine, it can be mentally enhancing partly because of its repression of fear. For fears, as mentioned, are both of the helpful-cautionary as well as the oppressive types. Being released from the oppressiveness of fears, being freed of the constraints of “fearful thinking,” can result in seeing one’s reality more clearly. Feeling fearless can lead one to acknowledging truths and realities normally defended against—thus being therapeutic even, getting a glimpse of reality outside of one’s fears.
Being freed from normal caution, however, can lead one into reckless activities with consequences far beyond one’s ability to handle in either a normal, or drugged, state. It is no coincidence that these drugs have seen heavy usage by wartime participants—notable are their use by fighter pilots and by Vietnam warriors.
A land of empathy and insensitivity
Lastly, since these stimulants repress feelings, they can lead to insensitivity toward others. But since they can repress fear which blocks truer perception of and appreciation of others they can lead, paradoxically, to feelings of love toward others and a feeling of finally really seeing others and appreciating them for who they are, not simply in the way one has cast them (“pigeon-holed” them) to fit into one’s scripts, agendas, ego projects, or desires.
The Eighties saw an epidemic of use of cocaine. This was commonly attributed to Yuppies, which is the popular term for the Young Upwardly-mobile Professional character of this era and is contrasted with the idealistic, activist, and anti–Vietnam-War Yippies (Youth International Party, whose founder and most famous member was Abbie Hoffman).
Yuppies came in at the same time as Ronald Reagan into the White House and, indeed, exemplified much of what Reagan stood for. They were seen as greedy, over-achieving, materialistic, narcissistic, and societally and environmentally insensitive careerists.
“Love is all you need” turned into “Money is good!”
They were portrayed in film; one in particular that sought to delineate the attitudes of this character type was “Wall Street,” in which Charlie Sheen plays the role of the Yuppie, mentored by the Fifties Generation character, Gekko, played by Michael Douglas. Together they give a portrayal of complete self-centeredness and insensitivity to the ways their Machiavellian strategies harm others or the environment. They are driven solely by a value that “Money Is Good!”—a slogan completely the opposite of the previous generation — the Sixties Generation — whose attitudes were expressed in lyrics like “I don’t care too much for money; money can’t buy me love” and “Love is all you need”; who bought and lived by books with titles such as How to Live on Nothing, The Greening of America, and Back to Eden; and whose most famous slogan was “Tune in, Turn on, Drop out” (or it was sometimes said, “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out”—I’m not sure anyone in the generation knew which was the “proper” way to say it).
In any case, another term used for the Yuppie Generation was The “Me” Generation. Thus it was that from the late Sixties, early Seventies (the height of Vietnam-Era Youth’s influence on society and culture) to the late Seventies and most of the Eighties—within a period of a mere decade—the prevailing, media-amplified cultural values of our society swung, pendulum-like, a hundred-and-eighty degrees from where they had been.
History of the Movement: The Continued Slandering of a Generation, So an Activist One Would Never Again Arise
Matrix manifest and The Big Lie
This change had a great deal to do with the efforts of the World-War-Two Generation—in total horror at the way their sons and daughters seemed to be reversing the values they had lived, and fought, for—to “take back” society. The WWII Generation did this by putting pressure, as well-to-do alumni, on universities and colleges across America to turn their curricula away from liberal arts and toward job-oriented curricula, and by using their positions of power in the media to influence the flow and content of the information to be fed to the mainstream public. For example, in the early Seventies, the WWII Generation’s money and power directed the press to declare that a “conservative backlash” was occurring in America, when in fact the opposite was occurring.
But eventually their “Big Lie” tactics won out so that people began to believe and then to create what they had been repeatedly told…the opposite view having, as part of the strategy, been censored in the media. [Footnote 1]
Thus, the Yuppies were the creation of the WWII Generation in their attempt to reverse the course of society that their own daughters and sons, as “Sixties Youth,” had put it on.
Scapegoating an Entire Generation
Coinciding with and supporting the strategy just described, and because the World-War-Two Generation during the Eighties were still in their Triumphant Phase—a psychohistorical term meaning they were at the stage of their life in late adulthood in which they had pretty much gained control of the reins of society—they furthered their cause by managing to plant a fantasy in the collective consciousness of American culture concerning the origins of Yuppies which persists to this day.
In obvious denial (again, their predominant defensive posture) of the fact that they had helped to “create” the Yuppies and so of the similarities between their own values and those of the Yuppies, as exemplified by the similarities between the (World-War-Two-era) Reagan-Bush political agenda and that of the Yuppies—who indeed helped elect Reagan and Bush—yet aware of the criticism that their very own values, taken to the Yuppie extremes, was generating in the independent press as well as the negative publicity there about the cocaine use of the Yuppies, the World-War-Two Generation saw an opportunity not only to defeat but also to “get back” at their opponents, the Sixties Generation, by ridiculing them.
In the predominant World-War-Two Generation fashion of scapegoating (the accompaniment of denial), which they had been directing from the outset at the Sixties Generation (who had of course incurred the wrath of the WWII Generation by opposing and confronting them on the Vietnam War in sometimes harsh and hostile ways), the Yuppies, with their cocaine use, were portrayed in the WWII-Generation-paid-for media as former Sixties hippies who had simply grown older but—consistent with their alleged “narcissism”—were still selfish, only now, materially so, thus the appellation, The “Me” Generation.
So the Vietnam-era or Sixties Generation began being denigrated in the press with the accusation, “The ‘Me’ Generation,” and Sixties values were also denigrated—the scapegoating of the Sixties Generation continuing—despite the fact that it was a different age group in society, the younger Yuppies, who were actually the ones triggering the attack.
The hypocrisy of the charge becomes even more blatant when considering that the values of the Sixties Generation included such selfless acts as risking, sometimes incurring, violence and personal harm, jail time, and a lower standard of living for the sake of their idealistic beliefs in peace, environmental restoration and preservation, and selfless communitarian living, among others—none of which have any overlap with Yuppie careerism, consumerism, materialism, and individualistic greedy selfishness.
Despite the success in our society’s collective consciousness of the fantasy of Yuppies being former hippies—once it had been planted in the popular culture by the WWII Generation sitting comfortably in front of American society’s steering wheel—the truth is that these Yuppies were predominantly the generation that shadowed the Sixties generation, arising as youth in the aftermath of the Sixties cultural revolution.
Yuppies, Created by a Desperate WWII Generation, Had Fifties Generation Parents Marinated in War Fears
History of the Movement: The Truth and Lies About Yuppies and Their Fifties Generation Parents
Yuppies—Products of the WWII Generation’s Todo List
Their values become understandable, then, in that they were in secondary schools and universities during the Seventies when the “Conservative backlash” Big Lie was being promulgated. For as I’ve mentioned at that time universities were cutting back funding from courses in liberal arts, philosophy, psychology, literature, politics and government, and the like and were turning themselves into career-factories dedicated to producing compliant business persons, engineers, physicians, and scientists who were not being educated to think for themselves but how to achieve and make money in a culture the World-War-Two Generation was comfortable with.
Yuppies—Children of Fifties Generation Parents
The values of the Yuppies are understandable, furthermore, in that they were the sons and daughters of a generation between the World-War-Two and Baby-Boomer Generations, who are rarely talked about. It is often said that the World War Two Generation was followed by Boomers and that Generation X were the children of Boomers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The generation that followed the WWII Generation and the actual parents of Gen Xers were born 1925 t0 1945 and came to adulthood during the somnolent Fifties. So we might call this overlooked generation the Fifties Generation, or the Eisenhower-McCarthy Generation, or the Elvis Generation, or the Happy Days Generation…a more cumbersome but more accurate term for them would be the War-Born Generation. They have been called the Silent Generation, and this does say something about them.
They’ve been invisible but running things from behind the screen, since they took over conservatism and greed from the WWII Generation and upped the ante. They have been accurately represented by the Gekko character in the movie Wall Street, played by the Fifties Generation Michael Douglas (born 1944) whose protege, correctly enough, was played the by the yuppie-Generation Xer, Charlie Sheen (born 1965). [Footnote 2]
Not So “Happy Days”: The War-Born Generation—Fifties, Eisenhower Generation
The media tends to focus on the big trends and to ignore or miss the lesser ones. The way our recent history was portrayed, you would think that just because there was a huge number of babies born in the decade and a half after World-War-Two’s end—the much discussed Baby-Boomer Generation—that there were no babies born during the War…almost as if every man in America was overseas fighting or that, when home on leave or whatever, they simply would not or could not conceive!
Marinated in the Womb of War Fears
However, of course these ridiculous notions are not true, so there is a pre-Baby-boomer Generation who happened to be born during or shortly before WWII, i.e., between about 1925 and 1945. And the Yuppies were predominantly the sons and daughters of this—let us call it—Fifties Generation. Marinated in the womb with Great Depression and war fears and born around the time of the war, the Yuppies’ parents then had their formative adolescence and young adulthood during the Fifties.
Abandoned, overlooked, fearful, resentful, rooted in conservatism
So their beliefs are rooted in the cultural soil of Fifties conservatism, the Cold War, Elvis Presley, McCarthyism, Eisenhower, traditional religion, belief in the economic primacy of capitalism and the evil of communism, and the early “schmaltzy” rock and roll (e.g., “Teen Angel,” “Leader of the Pack,” etc.).
Their roots reaching deep into war fears–hot and cold, many would feel jealous and angry about the freedoms and openness of the generation immediately after them. They would, as well, heartily resent all the attention being showered on the much larger cohort of Baby-Boomers.
Yuppies, Fifties Nostalgia, Materialism
And it is the worldview of this Fifties Generation that was passed on to their children, the Yuppies. It is no coincidence that when these Gen X Yuppies were teens and young adults (mid-Seventies through the Eighties) we saw also a lengthy period of Fifties nostalgia alongside the caricaturizing and ridiculing of Sixties lifestyles, values, and beliefs. It is easy to see that the materialism the Fifties Generation members were nurtured in after World War II, as a reaction to the fear and uncertainties their parents had because of the Depression, the war, and The Bomb would be replicated in their children.
Only the fear and uncertainty their children would try to amass wealth against was the tumult, anomie, violence, and confusion of the decade of the Sixties, the era the Yuppies would experience swirling around their roots and upsetting the stability of their nurturant years.
Manic Irrationality, Voodoo Economics, Booming Debt and Mean-Spiritedness: The Eighties Began with Reagan Rising and Lennon Dying
Manic Irrationality, Voodoo Economics
The Eighties Began, Ominously, with Reagan’s Election and John Lennon’s Assassination
The Eighties began, significantly enough, with the death of John Lennon and the election of Ronald Reagan. Concurrent with the epidemic of cocaine use was a manic economy, massive military expenditures, and a tripling-plus of the National Debt. It is relevant to note that the huge increase in the National Debt was caused by a tax cut for the rich, which of course benefited those of the World-War-Two Generation who either inherited or earned, with a lifetime behind them, their wealth, as well as those upwardly mobile, materialistic Yuppies. The rationale for the tax cut—which was characterized by some commentators as “Robin Hood in reverse,” because it also coincided with cutbacks in social programs—was a “voodoo economics” (George H.W. Bush’s term) with a “trickle-down” theory of investment and economic growth.
That Voodoo That They Do So Well
This economics is based on a belief that a “dollar,” metaphorically speaking, given to a rich person will be more wisely invested, creating more jobs and wealth for everyone, than will that same “dollar” given to a middle-class or poor person.
This view, however, ignored human psychology, the standard economics of marginal returns, and the common observation that, simply put, for a person with a little or a moderate amount of money, that metaphorical dollar will have more value (because it will represent a much larger increase, percentage-wise, in their financial situation) than it will for a rich person, for whom its value is only marginally related to a rather large “purse,” so to speak.
Trickle-Down Ignores Human Psychology
Therefore, common sense tells us that “dollar” will be more conscientiously and thoughtfully spent or invested, creating more jobs and wealth for all, by the moderate-income person, who of course will attempt to maximize its benefit to him- or herself so that he or she can also rise to the ranks of the wealthy. To the moderate income person that “dollar” represents an opportunity for a rise in economic status; hence it will be invested, sweated over, and monitored intensely. In general, he or she will attempt to squeeze every possible ounce of benefit out of it, very often starting businesses of their own and thereby creating new jobs, opportunity, and wealth in the process. Whereas for the already wealthy person, that “dollar” is only a dollar alongside many others, and is only marginally relevant, reaping only marginal, or minor, returns.
And Of Course It Didn’t Work, Still Didn’t Work, Still Didn’t Work…
Voodoo economics did not work, of course, as indicated by the tripling of the National Debt. Another important indication of the falsity of its premises was the huge expenditures of money, during the Eighties, on luxury items, like yachts, works of art, expensive cars, and so on. Art items and artifacts were being bid through the roof and the prices they were going for were making headlines in newspapers and stimulating commentaries on the tube. Along with this was the overinvestment in spurious business transactions, including “junk bonds,” soon-to-be-left-unrented commercial buildings, and unwanted real estate. Much has been said about how these manic and ill-considered business transactions led to the lengthy recession of the late Eighties and early Nineties. Along with this is the connection with the S&L scandal which was behind the plethora of boondoggles and ill-advised investment.
The Manic Mentality and Mindless Waste
But there are two aspects of it that are especially relevant here for a discussion of drugs and generational cultures. They are the manic quality of the times—the go, go, go, buy, buy, buy mentality of the investing—and the obvious proof it gave to marginal returns theory, i.e., the money, given to the rich, was valued little and was mindlessly blown on trivialities—it was said that the Eighties was a huge party for the rich.
So rather than creating wealth for the wealthy, which would “trickle down” to the less well off, Reaganomics, as it was also called, turned into an unparalleled failure. It was called the largest shift of wealth in America’s history, taking it from the poor and middle class and benefiting the richest, top two percent of Americans.
More than that, it led to a debt that will be adversely affecting the well-being, lifestyles, and financial pictures of several generations to come.
The Hypocrisy and Materialism
Going into such detail about the intricacies and results of the economic policy promulgated by the WWII Generation, in alliance with the Yuppies and their parents, the Fifties Generation, is important because of the hypocrisy it demonstrates in the charge leveled at the Baby-Boomer Generation of being a “Me” generation and of being narcissistic. Again, we see the WWII Generation’s same tendency to denial, projection, and scapegoating.
To continue, however, other elements in the Eighties cultural arena, existing alongside the epidemic of cocaine use, was the aforementioned careerism and materialism among the Yuppies (comprised primarily of the youth in their twenties and early thirties who followed behind the Vietnam-era Generation), whose mantram was to get rich, get powerful, erect and maintain “family islands” which they saw as competitive with the rest of society (quite unlike the communitarianism of the Sixties Generation), and to retire early…social and environmental problems be damned.
The Necessary Mean-Spiritedness – Hating on the Kumbaya
Other standouts of the cultural scenery of the time included a rise of mean-spiritedness, e.g., cutbacks in social programs and charities, which, as it was said, had one effect of emptying the mental hospitals into the streets. It became fashionable to sneer at and blame (often scapegoating) the more unfortunate ones of society—the poor, helpless, mentally ill, children, the powerless–making some time for that alongside of outright snickering and smugness directed at the “hippie-dippie” values and “kumbaya” visions of the generation older than them.
Was Disconnected from The Sixties
The next generation to wander into the cultural limelight has been termed Generation X. Whereas Yuppies came of age during the Eighties, Generation X came into adulthood in the Eighties and Nineties. As I’ve been saying, Yuppies were the earliest contingent of Gen X.
Predominantly these are not the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation as the values of the Vietnam-era Generation included marrying late and having children late so that their children are mostly younger than and not among Generation X.
This value concerning marrying or having children later in life tied in with the Sixties folks’ belief in personal freedom, but is more closely related to the hypocrisy they perceived in the marriages of their parents, those of the WWII Generation. They not only perceived their parents’ marriages as being false and loveless, they perceived themselves as being the victims of poor parenting, wherein they felt they were not understood and were not accepted for who they were or supported in what they uniquely wanted to do with their lives.
Furthermore, they saw the social and global context as a negative and highly dangerous one. For one thing, having been children during the “drop and roll” and bomb-shelter, nuclear-shadow era of the Fifties, and having seen the assassination of idealistic values in the deaths of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King during their teens and young adulthood, they had great doubts about the future of the world. Though of course the Sixties Generation is noted for its idealism and for its attempts to fight these perceived dangers and injustices, underneath there has always been for them an uncertainty that success is possible, so that bringing a child into this particular dangerous and unjust social context was seen as possibly not a good thing for the child.
Parented by a Fallow Generation
So it is that Generation Xers are predominantly the sons and daughters of the Fifties Generation as well as those less idealistic of the Vietnam-era Generation that had, more often than not, opted for the traditional route of career, home, and family and thus had started having children many years earlier than their more socially conscious counterparts.
This Fallow Generation , let us call it, would conceive the children who would be called Generation X—who are noted for their apathy and lack of distinctiveness.
But keep in mind that the Fallow Generation is not a true generation in the sense that it is composed of two age groups—the Fifties Generation and those of the Baby-Boomers who opted for a family instead of the social activism, college education, and establishing a career before raising a family decisions of their more heralded peers. .
Hence Generation X’s lack of a unifying cause, value, or characteristic may have to do with their being children of parents from two different age groups and generations.
Drugs and Generations: Generation X Returned to Booze
At any rate, and understandably because they are mostly not children of the idealistic segment of Sixties youth, the drug use of Xers strayed back to the use of alcohol and cigarettes—the drugs used by their Fallow Generation parents, including the smaller number of them who were Boomers and who did not make either the cultural or drug changes of their peers. Alongside this “traditional” drug use, Generation Xers are noted for their pessimism, defeatism, and fascination with death—as, for example, in their selection of black clothes, their tendency to ripped jeans, tattoos, and the insertion of all sorts of pins and studs, as adornments, into virtually all parts of their bodies, and, in the extreme ones among them, a fascination with vampirism.
Drug Use — Ecstasy…
and The Movement — Activism… Again
This drug is very similar chemically to the amphetamines. Ecstasy has an hallucinogenic aspect, which distinguishes it, however. But it more reliably elicits the opening to love for others and the favorable perceptions of others and sense of unity with them as described above as occurring for amphetamines also along with the driveness of speed that is more characteristic of it.
Ecstasy came into use in the late Seventies and in the Eighties; and it has had continued appreciation of its effects through to the present. In fact, it is considered the drug of choice at raves—one of the more recent generational phenomena. The growth in popularity of raves maps near exactly on the increasing appreciation for Ecstasy. It would be hard to view that as coincidental.
So the free love and communalism of the Sixties was superseded by a disco phase in the late Seventies. The disco phase emerged and grew immediately upon the waning of use in the psychedelics, the increasing use of marijuana as a “cocktail,” mixed with alcohol, and the predominant use of cocaine by the Yuppies and Me Generation—the early contingent of Generation X.
Rave on, Millennials!
Raves became an emerging phenomenon following somewhat upon the fading of the disco phase—a decline which occurred in the late Seventies, early Eighties. So raves were a phenomenon coincident with the rising use of Ecstasy and primarily affecting the generations following the Yuppie/ Me Generation, i.e., Generation X and the Millennial Generation.
Baby-Boomer Echo Generation
For some reasons that may be obvious by now and until just recently, little had yet been said in the media about the daughters and sons of the Sixties Generation. This generation is currently in their twenties and thirties, though some are still in college and even junior and high school because of the tendency for some Baby-Boomer parents to postpone having children, often waiting till the very end of a woman’s reproductive years, just before the age of forty.
This generation has been called an “echo” of the Baby-Boomers in that just as the Baby-Boomers represented a significant population increase, conceived in the post-WWII euphoria and stability, these children of Boomers also represent an incoming population wave, due to the numbers of their parents. There was a wave of increased school attendance during the Nineties and post-millennial years. Universities more recently have been attending to their needs.
Just as in every other generation mentioned, this Echo Generation, also called Millennial Generation, shares many of the characteristics and values of their parents.
Similarly, they mirror the drug use of their parents. There was a great to-do in the press during the Nineties about the increase in drug use among the young, particularly in high school. Furthermore, in typical WWII-Generation style, the media and Republicans in Congress attempted, during the Nineties, to scapegoat Sixties-Generation President Bill Clinton on this issue of drug use.
For though during the Nineties the WWII Generation was in the process of leaving the scene, those elderly of them left were conducting a fierce rearguard battle to save what they could of the culture they knew and created. In their desperation, they risked any cost in terms of outlandish scandals, government costs, and loss of social progress and governmental effectiveness. They were helped by a Fifties Generation entering retirement with a lot of wealth who, as I’ve said, were extremely jealous of the attention paid to the larger Boomer generation who came after them.
Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is that the increase in drug use among the young—which significantly enough involves predominantly an increase in the use of marijuana and, as they say: LSD…It’s b-a-a-a-a-ck!—had to do with the fact that the parents of these young people are indeed the people of the Sixties who themselves experimented with these substances.
Lest I be misunderstood, I am in no way saying that parents, in general, actively teach their children to take drugs—whether we are talking about the alcohol and cigarette use of the WWII Generation or marijuana and LSD use of Boomers—yet children are influenced by what their parents do or have done, even if just in the fact that the parents are more tolerant of such usage, having done it themselves. I say this because it could be countered that even the Sixties Generation, as parents, were engaged in the public antidrug campaign. Yet when they did so they were doing it out of a fear for their children’s physical welfare, not from a severe moral perspective that these drugs are the royal road to hell or from such other paranoid attitude, as was most often the case in the parents of the other generations discussed so far. [Footnote 3].
Politics – Activism, Values – Idealism
To return to the point, though not enough has been said or written about this “echo” generation, these are some of what has been noted about them: Beginning in 1992, with the election of Bill Clinton, the youth vote has swung back to going for the Democrats. There has been an increase in activism and idealism among the young in the last two decades, surprisingly this increase was noticed as early as when this generation was in high school and grade school. Polls done on their attitudes as children and adults showed a strong increase in their concern about social and global issues.
In fact, the issues that appeared to concern them the most have to do with racism and the environment. It is no coincidence that in the peak of their influence as young adults, there was an astounding wave of participation in Obama’s campaign, largely by this cohort, that resulted in the first African-American to attain the presidency. [Footnote 2]
This group also has fears that the future may not be very bright or as good as it was in times before them, particularly in terms of a ruined ecology due to environmental assault and/or nuclear disaster, yet they, like their parents, also are more likely to activism and taking up causes in the face of such dire possibilities.
These values of the Echo Generation are understandable, not only in that they reflect those of their parents, but also in that in the most recent decades the Sixties Generation—and indeed it would tend to be the more idealistic of them that would opt for the low pay that teachers currently get—predominates as the teachers and administrators in the primary and secondary schools that taught the Echo Generation.
The same, however, cannot as much be said of the universities, with Millennials attending, for reasons having to do with cutbacks in educational funds, the lingering success of the WWII Generation in turning universities into career factories as opposed to truly educational institutions, and, with the cutbacks in funding, the lack of job openings for Sixties Generation applicants and the resulting continued influence, bolstered by the institution of tenureship, of pre-Sixties professors—those of the Fifties and Fallow Generations, and a few remaining, very old, WWII folks.
Still, the Sixties Generation influence on these youth in college existed because of several contrary trends. The Echo Generation’s numbers swelled university attendance, requiring additional hiring somehow, whatever the funding constraints, and those of the generations preceding the Sixties Generation passed from the universities into retirement, or the beyond.
The candidates for the openings that did come about at the university level not as much those of the Fallow Generation, the Yuppies, or Generation Xers, but were instead members of a Sixties Generation who alone, among the generations mentioned, valued education over money and careerism. They had been waiting a long time, diplomas and experience in hand, for their chance to return to the universities—this time as the instructors and administrators—and eager to change its course back to true education, as it was when they were students in the liberal-minded Sixties.
We see the effects of this in Obama’s election and the phenomenal numbers of demonstrators coming out to fight back union attacks and budget squeezes in Wisconsin and throughout the US. Though these are not attracting media attention these outpourings are continuing unabated. My analysis provides insight into why this is occurring now.
Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Different Drugs, Different Worlds
Different Drugs, Different Worlds
This has been a brief overview of salient characteristics of generational cultures of some past and current generations alongside a description of that generation’s predominant drug use. I simultaneously unveiled in some detail what we know about the effects of these particular substances on consciousness and attitudes. Finally, I discussed the behavior and beliefs that can coincide with the use of these drugs, as they affect consciousness in different ways, creating different kinds of consciousnesses, different perspectives, indeed entirely different and distinct ways of perceiving the self and the world.
This discussion of drug use and generational cultures might be complete enough at this point. Any of the many connections not specifically made should be readily apparent and the information being brought together this way is suggestive of much more. What I do not think needs to be spelled out is the obvious: For example, how alcohol and nicotine use could be correlated with a generation that could put a Hitler into power, create a holocaust, and carry out the most destructive war in this planet’s history. It should be obvious how marijuana use could be correlated with the alienation, pessimism, and defeatism of the Beats. It should be abundantly clear how the use of LSD and marijuana among Sixties youth could correlate with a disgust with normal society and culture and thus the creation, from scratch, of a counterculture, with a pacifism in regard to war, with a reemergence of a lived and individual spirituality, with an emphasis on real communication, with an attempt to create real community and relationships, and with much more that has been associated with them. And it should need no explanation how cocaine use could be correlated with a manic economy and irrational, overoptimistic schemes, and failed business ventures.
Painting the Faces of Generations
Lest there be any misunderstanding, I should point out that, except for the WWII Generation whose drugs were legal and easily available, the above is based on generalities and trends of a minority of the people in the generations mentioned. Yet it is that distinctive minority of any generation that paints the face that generation presents to the world. It is the differences in generations and the new ideas and perceptions that make up the intellectual currency of a period and which rise above the familiar scenery to be spotlighted by the media and press.
The “Beats” did not comprise the majority of their generation and not all of them took marijuana or even had the horrifying perception of our normal unreality that is possible on that drug, yet a number of them, larger than any previously in any other generation, did exactly that…and those who did were often compelled to express those perceptions and the accompanying ideas, in literature, poetry, theater, and the like, that would influence the reality constructions of the rest of their generation and would come to characterize the palpable ideas of the era.
So it is as well with the Sixties Generation, the Yuppies, and even Generation Xers and the Millennial Generation. It is the differences between generations that is worthy of discussion. And it is my point that those differences are unusually correlated with the distinctive drug use of that generation and the effects that those drugs have on one’s perceptions of reality—a point that I have not seen explored before.
Drugs and Culture War
Finally, I wish to emphasize that these drug-influenced perceptions create the worldviews of generations out of which they create their generational cultures–the stark differences of which can fuel culture wars.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Three: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Opposing Worlds
1. The events and statistics about this concerted effort are detailed in my book-in-progress titled The Once and Current Generation: Regression, Mysticism, and “My Generation”…stay tuned.
2. I’m not the only one to notice this generation or to see the swings in political leanings from one generation to the next. Kevin Drum, writing in The Political Animal, on January 5th, 2008 called this generation the Eisenhower generation. He places this generation in time between the World War II generation and the “counterculture generation of the sixties.”
He describes the swings from Democrat to Republican—World War II gen, Democrat; Eisenhower gen, Republican; Sixties gen, Democrat; Generation X, Republicans; Gen Y (boomer Echo generation, Millennial Generation), Democrats. And he predicts a political coming of age for Gen Y in that year’s presidential election (2008), which is exactly what happened.
What I add to that is the obvious point that these swings coincide with the parents of each generation of these youth. Specifically, counterculture generation members voted Democratic like their World War II generation parents; Gen X youth went Republican like their Eisenhower generation parents; Gen Y or Echo youth are solidly Democratic in line with their Sixties generation parents.
He describes it as follows:
Democrats and the Youth Vote
Voters, like other consumers, develop brand loyalties early in life. The World War II generation, which came of age during the New Deal and cast its first votes for FDR and Harry Truman, sustained a Democratic majority for decades. Likewise, the Eisenhower generation that entered the workforce during the fifties remains Republican to this day; the counterculture generation of the sixties and seventies remains a Democratic stronghold; and “Gen X,” the famously angst-ridden generation that started voting in the eighties, continues to vote Republican as it enters middle age.
And today’s youth? Surprise! It turns out it’s a Democratic powerhouse. In the early nineties young voters began shifting rapidly toward the Democratic Party and haven’t looked back since, even after a Republican won the White House in 2000. Today, twenty-somethings lean Democratic by 52%-37%, an astonishing advantage of 15 percentage points. It’s a bigger gap than any other generation currently alive, and it’s already showing up in the voting booth. Last year, not only was turnout was up, but young voters cast their ballots for Democratic congressional candidates by 60% to 38%.
All of this might be no more than a temporary blip if it were caused merely by a combination of George W. Bush’s historically dismal disapproval ratings and dissatisfaction over a grinding, unpopular war in Iraq — both of which will eventually come to an end one way or another. But that’s not what the evidence suggests. After all, the Gen Y movement toward the Democratic Party began in the early 90s, long before either Bush or the Iraq war had taken center stage. What’s more, in a recent New York Times/MTV poll of 17-29 year olds, young people were actually more optimistic about the war in Iraq than the rest of the population. It’s true that they don’t like President Bush much, but the war really isn’t the driving factor.
So what is? The most likely, and ironic, answer is a different war: the culture war that was originally stoked by the Christian Right and then taken up as electoral salvation by Republicans starting in the early nineties. Bush’s chief strategist, Karl Rove, famously believed the Christian Right to be the key to victory in 2000 and 2004, and recent Republican leaders from Newt Gingrich to Tom DeLay have embraced it with open arms.
But young people aren’t buying. Quite the contrary. For the most part, they’re turned off by the sex and gender fundamentalism that animates so much of the modern Republican Party’s social agenda. Polls show that most young voters are OK with abortion remaining legal. They have openly gay friends and are far more comfortable with gay marriage than their elders. They think that legalizing marijuana for personal consumption is common sense, not a sign of moral decay and the breakdown of western civilization.
So when Pat Buchanan declares that there’s “a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America” — as he did in prime time at the 1992 Republican convention — or when Jerry Falwell goes on national television and blames “the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians” for bringing on 9/11, young voters cringe. And when the Republican Party embraces their agenda, they go off to vote for Democrats.
Over the past 20 years Democrats have found themselves consistently on the wrong side of conservative campaigns based on social wedge issues like these. But although these campaigns have produced short-term gains for the GOP, they seem to have done so only at the expense of long-term ruin. A generation that’s more secular, more sexually at ease, and more tolerant is increasingly casting its lot with the Democratic Party and is increasingly showing up at the polls to prove it. And unlike changes in the voting patterns of independents or soccer moms or other favorites of the political sociologists, this change is likely to be permanent. If Gen Y acts like previous generations, keeping its political loyalties essentially for life, it means that the past 20 years have produced a time bomb: an enormous reservoir of new Democratic voters who are just beginning to flex their electoral muscles. 2008 will be their coming out party.
Related article: Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Gen….
3. For a look into this reality, check out this video of prototypic millennial, Jeffrey Lewis, performing his inspired “The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane.”
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Opposing Worlds – Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures: Drug Effects – Alcohol, Nicotine, LSD, Marijuana – and History
Culture War, Class War Chapter Three:
Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Opposing Worlds
Drugs and Generations
In continuing our exploration of cultural and generational conflict and the Matrix evolving out of that, it is instructive to focus on an aspect of that conflict that has burned with controversy—drug use. Since drugs affect consciousness and personality and different drugs have different effects, looking at the polar opposite views on consciousness altering substances is especially fruitful.
So for additional perspective on the topic of culture war and the processes of cultural change that have gone on since the 1950s between and because of the different generations involved, let us consider the relation between particular drugs, with each their own unique effects on consciousness, and the generation that uses them…or, one might say…between the prevailing drug use of a time and the generational culture that is created.
This chapter—”Opposing Worlds“—deals with the World War Two and the Sixties Generations and their drug use. The next chapter—”Concocted Worlds“—focuses on the generations since—Generation X and Millennial—and their preferences and cultural profiles.
To begin, I present some salient facts for your consideration:
Drugs and Consciousnesses
Drug Research, Public and Private
While it is common to state that drugs act differently on different people—especially, when referring to the less-mainstream, more esoteric ones, whose effects have not been experienced by the majority of people as yet—there are some obvious generalizations that can be made. For example, we would not say that we could not comment on the effects of alcohol. Its effects on the neurochemistry of the brain and on consciousness have been fully and scientifically explored, and of course its effects have been experienced by nearly everyone in our culture. Similarly, though research on the effects of the less-mainstream drugs have not been as thoroughly explored and documented, there is, in fact, quite an extensive body of scientific and popular literature on this, especially over the last half century.
Because of the widespread drug use of the Sixties Generation, massive amounts of money have been spent to try to determine how and in what way people are affected by the substances they used. Though this research has largely been driven by a World-War-Two-Generation desire to find fault with the drugs, so that the research is biased toward looking for and of course then coming up with findings that would be considered negative, still, the research has a good deal of useful information if you can read “between the lines,” so to speak.
Alongside mainstream research there is also a considerable body of privately funded research, which is therefore less biased, as well as a considerable body of anecdotal research on drug effects. By this last I mean that there is a good deal of literature detailing what people have said they have experienced while under the influence of the various substances.
What follows is based on study of both kinds of research described above, as well as from reports by experiencers related to the author. Last but not least, it is a result of the fact that this author is a member of the Sixties Generation, born smack in the middle, in 1950, and it may be concluded that I share some of the characteristics of my generation. Enough said, or, see below.
Alcohol numbs pain and creates a euphoric state by blotting out higher-order cerebral-cortical functioning. It reduces access to memory, diminishes physiomotor skills, blocks anxiety, depression, and nervousness.
These effects alone make it the perfect drug to create and sustain a defensive style centered on denial. Indeed, the drug can be said to “block out reality” in that one can be unaware of aspects of reality that could end up being dangerous and harmful while simultaneously enhancing the positive aspects of reality in an almost manic way. One can feel unafraid and unaware in the face of pain and danger, as well as one can feel confident and overoptimistic in terms of one’s evaluations of oneself, one’s capabilities, and the potential consequences of one’s actions.
We can say these are blocks to reality in that very often reality intervenes, through accidents, adverse social reactions, and the reevaluation of grandiose schemes afterwards “in the cold light of sobriety” in which they are seen to be unrealistic in that they did not take into account other aspects which would prevent their success.
There have historically been entire generations (see below) as well as individuals during any period who have kept themselves “under the influence” pretty much all the time, sometimes considering it to be the natural state. For these folks who rarely venture into that state where decisions and plans are evaluated in a sober “cold light,” we know that the effect is a blocking out of reality in that the effect of acting on the drug-influenced decisions and schemes is most often failure. It is actually disastrous, or way or the other, a good deal of the time more than would be the case following soberly decided acts. It can result in acts leading to harm to the person, to others, or to the physical or social environment.
There are three relevant effects of nicotine: It is a stimulant, it causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and can cause sweating from the speeding up of metabolism. This allows it to be used to aid in working situations, where continued or repetitive action is required, beyond what a person would normally wish to do. However, it is not useful in, say, sporting types of action in that another effect of nicotine is a diminished physio-motor capacity. For example, people will sometimes complain of feelings of “wooziness” and/or its affecting one’s sense of balance, particularly if they have taken enough of the drug or are unaccustomed to it.
Nicotine can paradoxically create a depressing effect. This effect on the body can be felt as a relaxation, and sometimes, but only at its onset, as a relatively short lasting feeling of a surrounding warm numbness, which is sometimes termed a buzz. Thus a person can feel relaxed, sometimes to the point of mental depression, but simultaneously be metabolically stimulated. These effects are related to certain psychological effects of taking the drug, if it is taken in the form of smoked tobacco, as in cigarette or pipe smoking.
Janov has pointed out how a cigarette is the perfect breast substitute. Not only does it engage the oral sensory gestalt, but the breathing in of a warm and full air simulates the taking in of warm mother’s milk. Indeed, people who smoke have often, in psychotherapy, discovered that they have severe deprivations around nursing during the neonatal and infancy periods. The appeal of cigarette smoking, then, for these people lies in its ability to both engage and to some degree temporarily satisfy the oral craving carried over from infancy as well as to re-create both the desired warm relaxation, which the neonate or infant would have experienced if he or she would have been tenderly held and breastfed, as well as the depression/sadness that actually was experienced in infancy because the need to nurse was not satisfied.
We will see again and again this interesting pattern in drug effects, which helps to explain their appeal, in that very often they both assuage an underlying Pain as well as re-create it, either simultaneously or at different times of the drug experience. Primal and other psychologists have learned, of course, that those are the two motivations that emanate from early Pain. That is, that a person is driven both to run away from and avoid her or his Pain, yet “the body” (as it is sometimes said) pushes the person to re-create the original situation, over and over again, in what may be considered the psyche’s way of trying to resolve it. Put simply, we are psychologically designed to be forever faced with our problems until we handle them…in the case of primal pain, we stay stuck in the patterns and sensations of our past traumas until we resolve them.
A final effect of cigarette use is its ability to repress anger. Considering the above, it can be seen why cigarette smoking would be related to an “oral rage,” which is how some psychologists have described one of the emotional reactions to nursing deprivation. Stated plainly, a baby would be extremely pissed-off to not get the comforting and nourishing experience of breastfeeding that a human is biologically designed to crave. This anger remains inside, like all primal emotions, and is easily and often brought to consciousness, triggered by the frustrations of normal life, if nothing else.
However, the physical and psychological effects of sucking in a “smoke” are those of (psychologically) sucking back, or inside, one’s feelings and anger or reversing the natural push of anger which is to lash outwardly; they are also that of a kind of holding or controlling of one’s breath, which is also related to the attempt to hold back or control one’s anger in that breathing and emotions are connected (let’s not get into that just here); of replacing the urge to anger with the soothing warm intake described above, the deprivation of which (in nursing) helped to cause the rage in the first place; and, last but not least, to create a state of consciousness altered from the one of anger—one in which feelings are hazily confused and not clear and in which thinking and memory are somewhat impaired.
Drugs, History, and Cultures
Medieval Times, Drunken Adolescents at War
The Hundred Years’ War between England and France during the Middle Ages was fought by adolescents whose primary beverage was wine. In fact, there was one campaign in which England was raiding and advancing into France which turned into a precipitous retreat back to England. Because the French turned them back, stopped them? No. There was little resistance to their advance. However, they did run out of wine! Unable to acquire the needed wine in France (for what reason, I do not know), they could not continue.
History also reports that The Hundred Years’ War was ordered and commanded, oftentimes, by royalty and kings in their teens, who considered a daylong, somewhat intoxicated state to be normal; and it was fought by drunken adolescents and teenagers for the most part.
911 and Phantom WMDs, Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, Sinking of The Maine…But at the Start There Was the Wyoming Valley “Massacre”
I have mentioned how The Hundred Years’ War was fought by intoxicated teenagers. It can be added that other wars, including America’s own War of Independence were fought by inebriated soldiers. For example, “in a severe battle, General Putnam, who was almost perforated with bullets, complained most of all, that a shot had passed through his canteen and spilt all his rum….”
Moreover, major events in colonial times were brought about by alcohol-saturated actors. The Wyoming Valley Massacre, in which a handful of colonists were killed by Native Americans, was precipitous in the American’s involvement in the extermination of established Native American cultures and nations—Mohawk, Seneca, especially the Iroquois. The reaction to the “massacre” was a crusade up and around the Hudson Valley in which the Iroquois, among others, was largely eliminated from the face of the Earth. “If they surrendered, they were killed…if they fled, they were killed,” it was said of the nature of this campaign.
What is not very well known is the nature of the precipitating event, the Wyoming Valley Massacre. The true story is that while a number of adult settlers in their prime were off fighting in the Revolutionary war, a group of older, elderly, and fringe citizens gathered one night. Under the heavy influence of spirits the group riled each other up with fiery rhetoric against the nearby Native Americans.
This resulted in a hastily put together, drunken assault against their native neighbors. Naturally these elderly inebriated attackers did not fare very well in their attempt, and the Native’s response had the colonists retreating to their fort. Not everyone made it. About four were captured by Natives. It is said the stragglers’ screams could be heard that night from inside the wall of the fort as they were killed by the Native American defenders.
This “massacre” was built up and slanted against Native Americans for propaganda reasons to garner the colonists’ full-handed participation in the war, with its extermination of Native peoples, as mentioned. It was quite successful in accomplishing that. Consequently, also, the true version of the events that led to such genocide would never be related in history books. And who would ever want to believe that the formative events of great nations…or the calamitous, genocidal events of other nations…could be instigated by a rash action from a small group of idiotic old men in a full-on state of intoxication?
World-War-Two Generation, Driving—Wars and Culture—“Under the Influence”
The World-War-Two Generation grew up in a time in which alcohol use was considered fashionable and elegant. It was common and acceptable for men to carry in their shirt or coat pockets flasks of potent whiskey or other hard liquor, from which they could publicly imbibe a swallow here and there throughout the day. When the World-War-Two Generation came of age, cigarette smoking also became fashionable.
We can see evidence of both of these in the movies that were produced in the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties. Any unpleasant occurrence or announcement could be followed by “I need a drink” or “Sounds like you could use a drink.” And offering a drink of hard liquor was considered the first rite in the normal ritual of hospitality. Also, offering someone a cigarette and/or offering to light another’s cigarette were considered a normal part of genteel behavior.
Elegant accouterments accompanied these rituals as well. Ornate, elegant, and often finely crafted metal flasks were purchased and used. In the same way, elegant crystal and glass containers for holding the liquors as well as elaborate and ritually designed glasses into which the alcoholic beverages were poured were commonly owned and used in genteel culture. It was considered fashionable to have a “bar” area in one’s living room containing these liquors, each in separate crystal containers, and the glasses for serving them.
Many a conversation in the movies of the era were shown to be conducted at or near these home bars, following upon the alcoholic bonding ritual of pouring and imbibing the drink. This ritual conversational imbibing of a beverage has its analogies in the water-cooler, coffee klatch, and coffee/espresso-house rituals of other eras and subcultures.
Pointing out the normality and ritualizing of alcohol use in this era is important because it is an indication of the pervasiveness, at any time of day, of the state of consciousness—i.e., intoxication—that this potent drug produces. Since this cultural behavior is still somewhat with us so that its anomalous quality may not be readily apparent, it may be helpful to keep in mind that current drunken driving laws of nearly all states would apply to everyone of that era involving themselves in only a modicum of that alcoholic ritual.
That is to say, those folks, imbibing only one drink, would be considered “drunk” by our standards today, and sufficiently into an altered state of consciousness as to warrant their receiving severe criminal penalties, including jail time, should they put themselves into the driver’s seat of a car.
Yet in that era, normal cultural, business, and social intercourse was often conducted in such a state. Heady decisions concerning war, peace, and everything else were influenced by this culturally accepted drug use.
World War Two, therefore, was conducted and fought by a generation who grew up to believe that alcohol and cigarettes (nicotine) were an acceptable answer to unpleasantness—whether inside or outside of themselves. Alongside this and supporting it were an attitude and beliefs that negative—i.e., unpleasant—emotions and feelings were harmful and should be kept out of consciousness.
Thus, denial was the predominant defense in use; and it is no coincidence that “positive thinking” (popularized by the late Norman Vincent Peale), which is the keeping out of negative thoughts and the striving to focus always on positive ones, became such a rage near the end of their era—the Fifties, early Sixties. [Footnote 1]
Drugs and Generations, Fifties Generation: Marijuana Effects, The Beats, Phoney Baloney, “YOU Do It!”
The Beats: Pot; Peripatetic, Apathetic Mind; Seeing “Plastic” People
The effects of marijuana are more diverse than those of alcohol and nicotine. Yet there are a number of things that can be said about its effects in general. The effects of marijuana are more subtle than the two drugs mentioned thus far. In fact, there are some people who cannot feel the effects of marijuana; and very often it takes several times of using it before one begins to realize its effects. Yet it is not an ineffectual or weak drug by any means.
The reasons why some people cannot feel marijuana’s effects appear to be related to their having very defended personality types, or, one might say they have a great deal of repression. The reason this would affect their ability to feel the drug’s effects are easy to understand when we consider the fact that repression of feelings of trauma would include repression of the ability to feel things in general. A repressed person is a more neurotic, more defended person; and more defended persons are basically defending against painful feelings. But feelings cannot be separated and to repress feelings of Pain means also to repress the ability to be sensitive to other feelings. Hence highly defended or repressed persons can smoke a great deal of marijuana and yet not “get off” or they may just feel feelings of relaxation.
Janov has said that marijuana acts to kind of “bend” defenses, which allows repressed feelings to surface, for those who are not in the category described above, which would include the majority of people. Since we all have some degree of primal pain, we all have defenses to being fully feeling, so the effect of marijuana for the majority of people is to open them to some of the pleasurable feelings that have gotten repressed along with the repression of Pain.
Therefore some widely noted effects of marijuana concern its enhancing sensory ability and therefore pleasure. Listening to music, being in Nature, watching a movie, or sex can all be quite enhanced and different while experienced under the influence of marijuana. Aspects of these experiences that were always there but were never noticed can be explored. One can seem to be experiencing something on many levels at once, or to be fully immersed in the experience so that aspects of it that formerly seemed more “walled off” from one can seem almost tangible in one’s ability to experience it; one can become so immersed in experience that complexities of it can be taken in and enjoyed, which one never even noticed before. [Footnote 2]
Part of the reason for this type of effect of “pot” is that it lowers blood sugar and thus causes the normal cortical defenses to be less effective in blocking out experience. Related to this is a feeling of timelessness—a feeling of being in the Now—which can also be related to the diminished cortical functioning which is goal-oriented and related to linear time. Which brings up another effect: It reduces one’s feelings of needs to achieve or to be goal- or achievement-oriented. The sensory world is what is initially enhanced in the course of one’s experience with this drug; and the experience of the sensory world in its own right does not engage more complex, more “inward,” and more individually unique goals, feelings, scripts, dramas, scenarios, or motivations.
Robert Masters and Jean Houston, in their book, The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience, provided an architecture of the psyche, derived from their study of the effects of LSD, that is useful in understanding what can happen eventually with continued use of marijuana. They conducted “depth soundings” of the LSD experience and discovered that there were four levels of the experience: the sensory, the recollective-analytic, the symbolic, and the integral. While marijuana is not as powerful in its effects as LSD, it has a similar effect on consciousness; one might say it acts in the same direction as LSD. In contrast to drugs like alcohol and nicotine, which serve to aid repression and to help to numb or reduce one’s perception of both inner and outer reality, both marijuana and LSD have the effect of opening or enhancing one’s awareness of inner and outer reality.
However, the effects of marijuana are complex because they do not as consistently open one to inner realities as does LSD. Pot opens or enhances one’s experience of the sensory world initially, and as long as it does just this it can be used as a drug of avoidance of painful (inner) reality just like alcohol and nicotine do. That is, one with sufficient repression and defenses can use marijuana to flee from inner pain, depression, or whatever, into an enhanced, pleasurable sensory world that does not trigger one’s pain. At this stage, only, pot can be used to defend against pain and can be psychologically addictive in providing a palliative to pain. Once again, it can do this because it serves only to “bend” not to bust one’s defenses against one’s pain.
Yet for some people this effect of marijuana changes with continued drug use. It is as if the continued “bending” of defenses can eventually lead to a “loosening” of them, and with that loosening comes the deeper level of experience described by Masters and Houston and termed the recollective-analytic. At this level, enhanced sensory experience opens the door, so to speak, to enhanced inner awareness. This enhanced inner awareness can include the awareness of the underlying motivations of oneself and others, and this is mostly not pretty.
Because the normal person is motivated mostly by past, or primal, pains or traumas and is acting out scripts or roles that are pathetic attempts to re-create or struggle with events that happened a long time ago, the normal person is not really IN the present. The person is, as the great religions have described it, in ignorance, in samsara , in dukha, and is basically unreal. The person, as humanistic psychologists have described, is inauthentic and is acting out games or scripts, which they are totally unconscious of. They have identified with these scripts, roles, goals, and motivations—the outgrowth of a completely unique set of past experiences of pain and trauma—and haven’t a clue as to their arbitrary character, let alone of the fact that other people are similarly acting out their own unique roles which are just as arbitrary and, well yes actually, pathetic.
However, pot, just like LSD, can eventually (sometimes even initially for persons who are, perhaps because they are young, or whatever, are unusually undefended, more sensitive, and more open to actual reality) open one to the horrifying perception of the inauthentic and unreal nature of ordinary social behavior. In this state of heightened awareness of the inner world of oneself and others, one perceives oneself and others as puppets or windup dolls, pathetically seeking to satisfy very old needs, which are totally irrelevant to the present context, with others who are similarly and robotlike also seeking to satisfy very different past deprivations. In common parlance, it is said that most actions of people are just “games.” So, part of the horrifying nature of this perception, on the recollective-analytic level of awareness, is that indeed people are not truly relating to each other at all, that they are like people trapped in spacesuits trying to communicate with each other through the layers of barriers between them. [Footnote 3]
What follows from this perception is the conclusion that people are basically phony, or plastic; that life is unreal; that normal motivations in pursuit of normal social values such as achievement, status/popularity, and pleasing appearance are meaningless rituals—games—that are totally irrelevant to the true nature of one’s being or reality; and that one is trapped in this prison of unconscious scripts, with no chance of release or true perception of reality.
The “Beats” – “Phoney Baloney,” So, “YOU do it!”
The “Beat Generation” of the Fifties used marijuana and caffeine, predominantly. Their culture included the rise of existential belief, the glorification and poetification of angst, and the belief that their contemporary society was characterized by alienation, conformism, inauthenticity, and, most tellingly, “phoniness.” The normal life of the World-War-Two Generation was seen as a “rat race,” motivated by such high ideals (sarcasm intended) as “keeping up with the Joneses,” and pervasive materialism and consumerism.
Yet activism was not the Beat Generation’s response to this perceived negative social context, as it would be only a generation later. Passivism, apathy, pessimism, and defeatism were the most common attitudes expressed. This is what one would expect as a result of marijuana use.
Nonetheless, art was deemed a weapon, however impotent, with which to rail against what seemed an overwhelming, huge mainstream ignorance or unconsciousness. So the only apparent activism of that time is found in rebellious poetry, folk music, and fine arts of all kinds, especially literature, theater, painting, and some film.
Drugs and Generations: Drug Effects, LSD and “My Generation”
Drugs and Generations
The preeminent researcher on the effects of LSD on consciousness is, without question, Stanislav Grof. In his many works, he concurs with Masters and Houston’s early work that the initial phases of psychedelic experience are predominantly enhanced sensory awareness. It is this type of experience that is usually related to the use of LSD as when the experience is expressed in colorful and swirling images, which has been called psychedelic art. And for many people who used LSD, the experience remained on this level of surface, enhanced sensory awareness. Thus they could use it for “recreational” purposes.
But more often with LSD people accessed deeper levels of the mind, so that the recollective-analytic (Grof calls it the biographical or psychodynamic level) is reached, as well as levels beyond it. These levels were accessed even when the drug was used “recreationally,” because of the relative potency of the drug as compared with marijuana.
So it was that while Grof and other researchers like Masters and Houston were studying the drugs effects in controlled settings and with sessions guided by researchers who had experience with accessing deeper levels of the experience (as, for example, Grof himself), there was some degree of access of the deeper levels of the experience even by people using it in uncontrolled situations and with no guidance. It if for this reason that there were some calamities that occurred under the influence of the drug, which gave it the bad reputation that caused it to be banned. Yet for every disaster, there were many more whose experience of LSD was transformative, simply due to the fact that, even without a guide, the psyche’s normal tendency is toward growth and resolution; so, many people were able to flow with and be taken to deeper, more transformative levels of the experience.
For example, Stanislav Grof terms the third level of psychedelic experience the perinatal, meaning “surrounding birth.” It is equivalent to what Masters and Houston termed the symbolic level—the difference being due to the fact that perinatal material is initially experienced in highly symbolic ways, and it is only in later sessions with the drug that the birth material becomes more apparent. Since Masters and Houston’s research method was to study the effects of one session of the drug on over two hundred subjects and Grof’s method included its use with some individuals over a number of sessions, it is understandable why Masters and Houston did not discover the birth material laced through the encounters with their “symbolic” level. But beyond the symbolic level the researchers concur once again, with Masters and Houston calling the deepest level integral, and describing a number and variety of spiritual experiences that can happen at that level, and Grof terming the same level the transpersonal , and presenting in exquisite detail in his works a vast array of “spiritual” type experiences at that level.
With this in mind, I wish to point out that the Sixties Generation did not know of these levels and, for the most part, were totally unaware of the research that was coming up with these typographies or architectures of the psyche, or of at least the drug experience. Nevertheless, those of us who lived through that period and either participated in LSD use or heard the stories of psychedelic experiencers can attest that transformative spiritual experiences were quite common, even when the drug was used just for the “fun” sensory part, and people also described experiences of curling up in fetal position and reliving their births, long before anyone even heard the term perinatal. As concerns the spiritual level, it was not uncommon to hear of people who saw Jesus, or who went to a place they could only describe as “heaven,” and this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the varieties of spiritual experiences that were had.
For our purposes here, however, it is important to keep in mind that LSD had the capacity to take one to deeper realities than the horrifying recollective-analytic one. One might say that the recollective-analytic perception is a cognitive view, an intellectual view, or an existential view, and it is certainly an alienated one; but that most of all it lacks the aspect of “the heart.” In other words, it is only when one goes deeper into the psyche and “feels” the Pain of that estrangement, or in psychedelic terms goes deeper into the actual reliving of the traumas that caused the creation of those alienating scripts (as happens on LSD when the biographical or psychodynamic level is reached; and even more so when the perinatal level is worked through, relived), that one can go beyond the horrifying reality of estrangement to a reality in which one’s “heart” is opened and one can catch a glimpse of a reality beyond the normal one—one in which we are all spiritually connected, in Love.
It is significant to point out that LSD has this capacity beyond the use of pot so we might understand the differences between the Beat Generation’s reaction to their perception of the unreality of existence, obtained in their use of marijuana, and the Sixties Generation’s quite different reaction to that perception of social phoniness, who were influenced by the use of both marijuana and LSD.
Vietnam-Era Generation–“Wow, Man!” “Just Do It” “Go With the Flow”
The Vietnam-War, or Baby-Boomer, Generation was noted for their use of a number of drugs. Marijuana, wine, “speed” (amphetamines), “downers” (e.g., “ludes” or qualudes, also “reds”—i.e., barbiturates), LSD, other hallucinogens such as mescaline, “magic mushrooms,” psilocybin, and peyote were all in use. It was a culture of experimentation in all areas, including drugs, which grew out of beliefs (following in the footsteps of the Beat Generation) that normal life/people were characterized by phoniness (plastic was the Vietnam-era Generation’s word for it), alienation, conformism, robotism, and lack of feelingness…and hypocrisy.
Though the Sixties Generation (another term used for this generation) experimented widely with drugs, their predominant drugs of choice were “pot” (marijuana) and LSD. Alongside this sort of drug use were attitudes of activism, free love, love as the ultimate value and/or as equivalent to God, pacifism in regards to the war, the valuing of openness, authenticity, “real” communication, and passion and/or feelingness, including sensory awareness or heightened perception of the physical world.
It is easy to make the connection between the spiritual access capable with LSD and the emphasis on feeling, community, communication (‘rapping”), transcendence, and sensory enhancement that characterized the Sixties Generation. On the negative side, there was sometimes apathy and defeatism, like the Beat Generation, associated with marijuana use.
Drugs and Generations
Marijuana “Cocktails,” History, and Culture
Once the pot experience opens to the second level of awareness—the recollective-analytic, which is deeper and more real than the initial enhanced sensory awareness—there is no going back. That does not mean that people will not try to recapture the earlier type of experience. Very often it is at this point that the person will begin mixing the pot with other drugs, in particular, alcohol, because they will try to block out the deeper awareness with these other drugs that diminish awareness.
Indeed, we saw this happen on a massive scale in the Sixties. Initially, pot users were disdainful of people who used alcohol, calling them “juiceheads.” They were disdainful of alcohol use because they were aware that it reduced awareness and that it had served that purpose for their World-War-Two-Generation parents, who they saw as in great denial of obvious realities—about themselves and the world—as people who did not “walk their talk,” and were…a charge leveled like an arrow at the heart of the WWII Generation’s values and world…”hypocrites”! Thus, regardless the cost the one thing the Sixties Generation did not want to do was to end up like their parents; thus, the disdain for the use of alcohol.
Booze Was the “Apple” in the Psychedelic Eden
However, it is said that the movement changed, exemplified by the differences between Woodstock and Altamont. Woodstock epitomized the height of euphoric use of mind-expanding substances like LSD and marijuana, undiminished by awareness-diminishing drugs like alcohol. And Woodstock was, of course, noted for the fact that it brought together a million people for three days of peace and harmony, a model of nonviolent behavior under adverse conditions that, it was said, was never before exemplified by the alcohol or “juicehead” celebrations or gatherings of the past.
By the time of Altamont—another huge musical event held in California after Woodstock—the change was apparent. Alcohol was now being used, with the other drugs, in abundance; there was no disdain for its use; and violence and death at the event coincided with this change. It might be concluded that the “honeymoon phase,” let us say, of marijuana use had passed for many who were using it, that the heightened sensory awareness was now opening more and more people to the deeper awareness of horrifying psychological realities, which needed to be blocked from awareness by mind-diminishing drugs.
At any rate, the other response to the deeper awareness of horrifying inauthenticity that pot was revealing was for people to stop using marijuana. Indeed, a great many “potheads” abruptly discontinued its use.
And they dealt with the horrifying reality that it had revealed to them in a number of ways, oftentimes turning them into activists to change the social reality, into psychologists or personal growth facilitators to change it on the individual level; but sometimes they tried to retreat into traditional values and culture, only doing it one better—becoming “Jesus freaks,” for example; or they hid away in career and family; or they attempted to build utopian and “authentic” communities of relationship, sans pot.
Some took up the the use of cocaine or amphetamine, finding that the reality that speed revealed hid the horrifying reality of pot, replacing it with an avid and manic identification with one’s roles and scripts. In fact, some used speed with alcohol, then added pot, for a “twist,” and in this way sought to regain the initial innocent sensory euphoria. As the popular song described it at the time, “Just give me weed, whites, and wine….”
Nevertheless, some people simply never had the experience of the horrifying inner inauthenticity of normal existence. Being very defended, they were able to continue to use pot for pleasure, and some of them are able to continue to use it this way to this day. Older folks—middle-aged and up—are especially well-defended and repressed in general. As Janov has pointed out, such persistent and long use of defenses against reality reinforces and strengthens them to such a point as to make them inaccessible to change. Their defenses against painful perceptions cannot be brought down by primal therapy OR pot. In common parlance, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and older people are more “set in their ways.” So it is that when some of these, having missed the “party” during the Sixties, use pot hoping to get a taste of what they missed, they almost never experience anything but the initial sensory awareness and relaxation, that is, if they are able to experience the drug’s effects at all.
Continue with “Culture War, Class War Chapter Four:
Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds”
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Two: Matrix Aroused, the Sixties: How We Became a Nation of Puppets, and the Hidden Puppeteers
1. Just as in the alcohol use, the “positive thinking” fad continues—both of them much abated, of course, since the World-War-Two Generation gradually leaves the scene. Astonishingly, even in this postmodern era, one World-War-Two Generation author admonishes, in huge text no less, in the title on the cover of his popular book: “You Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought”! (yipes!)
2. An extremely funny exposition of the effects of marijuana is contained in an album put out during the Sixties titled Child’s Garden of Grass. While its intent is completely comedic—at which it succeeds masterfully—it succeeds more than anything else I know of in depicting, to both the experienced and inexperienced, the most common effects of this trickster drug. Enjoy it below (seriously, only when you have the time to really “grok” it) as it has been reproduced for sharing on youtube.
There are a total of ten parts to “Child’s Garden of Grass.” The ones that follow part one above can be accessed by clicking the youtube link on the player.
3. “Like people trapped in spacesuits trying to communicate with each other through the layers of barriers between them” is the way one person described it, as reported in a book by Kenneth Keniston titled The Uncommitted, which delved into the psychology of one segment of Sixties Youth.
Continue with “Culture War, Class War Chapter Four:
Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds”
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Two: Matrix Aroused, the Sixties: How We Became a Nation of Puppets, and the Hidden Puppeteers
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America’s Lying Times, Beginnings – Matrix Aroused and The Hidden Puppeteers … It Started in the Sixties
Talkin’ Bout My Generation – The Fear We Engendered in the Privileged…the All-Out Campaign to Slander, Distort, and Scapegoat a Generation
Whatever Happened to the Sixties Generation?
There was a time, after all, when the influence of the “baby-boomer” youth generation was everywhere to be found. Their activities were broadcast daily on the TV news. They were making political events. They were setting trends in fashion and style which business did its worst to copy, package, and sell–attempting thereby to cash in on such powerful enthusiasms.
Suddenly, faster than their appearance, this generation of youth faded from significance in the early Seventies. At the time, commentators were falling over each other attempting to fit a rationale to the relative disappearance of youth influence and the comparative placidity of events.
A common explanation that surfaced in those days was that many youth leaders, particularly activists, had begun being disillusioned about the effectiveness and results of confrontational politics.
Some argued that activists were beginning to “look inward” for the roots of problems or were reevaluating and seeking to come up with better ways of eliciting change. As for the less activist sectors of the youth culture—those referred to by the originally pejorative terms “flower children” or “hippies”—many had moved out of the cities, often in disgust and equal disillusionment, to the countryside.
There they were reputed to be actively carrying out their “back to nature” values singly, in couples, and in communal groups. As far as the larger culture was concerned, they were invisible.
What happens to a revolution not televised:
Others have asserted that the media played a large and active part in the “disappearance” of this generation. It has been noted, for example, as simply one indicator, that 90% of youth protests were reported by the media in 1969, but only 20 to 25% were covered in 1970-71, and only 1% of such dissident activities could be found in the media coverage of 1972.
One could argue in response to this that demonstrations were becoming commonplace, so they qualified less as news as time went by. But this reasoning does not fully explain the precipitous nature of this decline, nor the resulting virtual elimination of coverage. In respect to comparable events of recent times, such a pattern has elicited the label “media cover-up.”
Killing “The Sixties”
It is therefore much more likely–and there has been evidence and published commentary to this effect—that this decline was part of a concerted effort by the media, in collusion with the threatened established sectors of society, to actively put a lid on student and youthful dissent and unrest.
Keeping the People Down
I myself have knowledge and personal experience of how a similar suppression at exactly this time was perpetrated on university campuses.
Specifically, at the college I was attending—Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania—and other colleges and universities around the country, wealthy alumni threatened to withdraw funding unless (1) certain faculty members, considered “threatening” to established interests, were fired, (2) certain programs—considered too innovative, “disruptive,” or “instigative”—were cut back or eliminated, and (3) certain “unorthodox,” “undisciplined,” or “publicly disrespectful” student behaviors were discouraged, suppressed, and/or harshly responded to and clamped down on.
The total remaking of society, so such a generation would never arise again
Indeed, such active “blacklisting” of counterculture figures, behavior, and values on university campuses seemed to be part of a general dictum across institutions—including publishing, films, TV, education at all levels, medicine and science, and the work place—to actively fight back at what was seen as dire threats to traditional mainstream values—values, incidentally, that were calculated to placate the masses and keep them, as for hundreds of years, feeling nervous, unworthy, inferior, and slavish in relation to the wealthy and powerful.
Culture War and Matrix Beginnings
The Fear We Engendered in the Privileged
Some commentators speculated that established societal powers had been caught off guard by the initial fervor and tenacity of counterculture energy and demonstrations, but that toward the end of the Sixties and early Seventies there had been time to regroup.
Declaration of Culture War
A massively funded attack by “the establishment.”
These established forces and economic interests began to implement a well-conceived, hugely funded, well-orchestrated, and highly cooperative counteroffensive against the new cultural values, which in their minds represented a dagger poised at the heart of their very existence.
From this perspective, then, the media’s active refusal to cover events could be seen as a small, albeit influential, aspect of a much larger effort—however unconsciously carried out—at suppression of the new values and reinforcement of traditional ones by the powerful interests that those values, if successful, either directly or indirectly put in jeopardy.
Creating a “conservative backlash.”
With these considerations, it is understandable that in 1971 and 1972—despite increasing unrest and demonstrations on college campuses, increasing liberalization of values among all age groups and growing liberal and counterculture political power—there would be a number of books published and widely reviewed which, closing their eyes on all this, instead presented dubious evidence and selectively chosen incidents to make a case for a so-called “conservative backlash,” which there is no doubt the authors earnestly hoped for and fervently sought to bring about in their proclamation of it.
The same tactics are being used today to create a conservative Tea Party “movement.”
This may be seen as the beginnings of the use of “The Big Lie” as a major, sometimes the only strategy, in conservatives’ attempts to fight back against this outpouring of sensitivity to injustice at all levels.
Strong man truth—Big lies!!…big ones
As background: The Big Lie basically amounts to the idea that you can say the most outlandish thing long enough, loud enough, and from the highest pulpit, and eventually it becomes accepted fact. No doubt, its use can be traced to the earliest times of civilized history and is certainly evident in this past century in the tactics of Hitler and Mussolini, where it played crucial and primary roles.
However, its more recent re-emergence in contemporary America and its rise to the heights of skillful political brandishment came in the hands, first, of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr.
Then later it had its most pervasive use, however awkward and skill-less, during the eight years of George W. Bush, where Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and others took it to such moronic lengths they eventually were seen to be what they were—big lies, with no attempt to educate the public at all; but simply to cover up and to manipulate, like common criminals would. [Footnote 1]
Nevertheless, these later major uses, in fact the evolution of The Big Lie into the ONLY strategy of Republican politics may find its beginnings in such publications as these books from the early 70s, as well as to its highly skilled, and much documented, use by Richard Nixon throughout his political career.
Creating Their Own Reality –
It’s Their World, We Only Just Live In It
The Success of The Big Lie, and Its Eventual Morphing into the The Big Web of Deceit, More Easily termed The Matrix
The hidden puppeteers.
Whereas Sixties youth had only their enthusiasm and their heartfelt passion to allow a world of freedom, and all the other values espoused in our Constitution, they were up against huge entrenched, and filthy with wealth, nameless puppeteers. The wealth of these puppet masters got them any support they wanted for anything.
These wealthy manipulators sensed a threat to the status quo, hearing about idealistic notions of equality, freedom, and such. But they also knew that their positions depended not on the actual enjoyment of the masses of their supposed “freedoms” but only of ordinary folks being convinced they had them.
Culture War, Beginnings: Trauma at the Top: “Our Youth Have Gone Crazy! They Actually Believe That Claptrap About Freedom That We Put in Schoolbooks To Keep the Masses Complacent! They’re Daring to Use Them!”
So it was a huge threat to see masses of people proclaiming their rights and actually daring to use them. They could be slowed down in using their rights by having them violently bludgeoned by police and riled up construction workers in Chicago; they could be taken off track perhaps, by having several of them killed at Kent State; and they could be continually arranged to be misreported in the media and maligned as well. But this seemed to make them only more determined.
Paying the piper, calling the tune.
Still, these puppeteers owned the media and therefore controlled what the public would be told; they were the main sources of income for universities across the country, so they controlled what would be rolled out as truth and knowledge. Ultimately they could fund politicians and speakers…and radio and TV show hosts who would speak their Big Lies. They really had all the weapons to roundly put down this band of idealists whose only weapons were truth, and righteous feeling, and passion of youth, and clarity of youthful mind.
It was no contest, especially as only one side was fully aware that they were at war. Indeed the other side—most of them—had no inkling of the powers behind the scenes. That reality would of course be left out of the history and sociology books they had read—funded by the puppeteers of course.
Many 60s youth even began to believe that they had lost and that most Americans were lashing back at them. This would be disheartening to many; especially to those who had seen the coming together of middle class, upper middle class, and working class to join in mass movements like the one million who showed up from all over the country to be at Moratorium Day on November 15, 1969. In this way the media had a big influence on taking the wind out of the sails of many of the youth.
Living Under the Big (Conservative) Lie
Others felt they must have been wrong because they had now, according to the media, become the enemy of those they hoped would see the wisdom of these values that basically came from them! That is to say that young radicals in general had come from middle class liberal family backgrounds. They always felt they were carrying out the values that their parents had taught them.
“First, We’ll Instill Doubt in the Masses, Thereby Creating Division”
These youth saw the country come awake to their values through massive movements like the antiwar movement and the cultural flowering, which older and middle class folks were increasingly taking on themselves. It was therefore disconcerting and confusing to be told they were actually at odds with a conservative majority, a “silent majority.” This wasn’t true, but that would not be obvious to them at the time. So thinking the country was at odds with the actual following through on the values of their parents and the liberal worlds they grew up in, doubt was palpable.
“Next, We’ll Push Them Into Poverty, Thereby Eliminating Alternatives.”
For these youth, their response, unfortunately, was to try to reintegrate with the society they had thrown behind them, but now saw as the only one possible.
“Last, We’ll Compel Obedience”
Still, this cadre of youth retained their values into later life. It became common to hear that these motivated youth decided on a strategy of playing the game to gain entrance to the positions of power and to change the structures of violence and hatred from within. To some extent they succeeded, as we see from the careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and Peter DeFazio, to give just three names of many that could have been used.
1. The results of this are discussed, with a fair amount of humor, in my article/audiocast “Naked Republicans.”
For the author’s reading of “Naked Republicans,” click on the link to the audio site above (36 minutes):
You might also be interested in the 4-minute clip taken from “Naked Republicans.” Click on the link to the audio site below:
“You’re Turning Down my Money for ME!…To Stare Down…Who?!!”:
Likely Constituent’s Response to Republican Governors
Who Turned Down Unemployment Money from Stimulus
to “Score Points” Against Obama”
Audio of Chapter Two: Matrix Aroused
For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this part, click on the link to the audio site below.
The Why of Obvious Truths, Culture War and Matrix Beginnings:
Pt. 1, “Whatever Happened to the Sixties Generation?”
The Fear they Engendered in the Privileged,
the All Out Campaign to Slander, Distort, and Scapegoat a Generation
Matrix Aroused – Topics
- Whatever Happened to the Sixties Generation?
- The Fear they Engendered in the Privileged
- The All Out Campaign to Slander Them, Distort their Actions, Activities, History, and to Scapegoat the Sixties Generation, their Values and Ideals
- The “Big Lie” of the “Conservative Backlash” That Never Was
- The Total Remaking of Education, Publishing, Media, Middle Class Prosperity, and Other Institutions so Such a Generation Would Never Rise Again
- The Beginnings of the Comprehensive Blanket of Untruth–Put Out by a No Longer Free Media, a Media Bought and Owned…
- Which Is Increasingly Being Termed “The Matrix”
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Culture War, Class War, Chapter One – 1950s through 1970s: Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies
I was born just before the collapse of certainty and traditional truths in America during the 1960s. Culture War, Class War is far more than my story, however. I can say I watched the developments that this book unveils and that I was an avid participant in many of its events . But this is America’s story, America’s untold story. I could not have witnessed all the things that are brought out here, nor could anyone. For much of this was hidden, and that is the first point.
But what is also here is much that many people have seen. But much of it is not remembered. It is discouraged from being thought about, because it is a reality inconvenient to those who orchestrate events. This book reminds us of truths we should not forget.
But when brought to mind, these truths lead to obvious conclusions. This book sheds light on these “inconvenient” but obvious realities of America’s past and present. We begin in the past, the 1950s in America.
“Smoke, Lies, and Revelations—
Struggle for Truth During America’s Lying Times,
Part 1: 50s thru early 70s—
Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies”
For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this chapter, click on the link to the audio site above or the audio player below. [Footnote 1]
Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies
For many the Fifties, with the Cold War as the backdrop, was a time of confusion. The traditional bellwethers for morality and behavior had been undermined from several fronts. Honesty and truth had been—since the McCarthy era of the early 50s—shaky, uncertain, and vulnerable. With the rise of the power of huge corporations during this period, and with competition and profit rapidly eroding all values and making truth the servant of the (always hidden) agenda, truth and honesty were the first of life’s pillars to be invaded and occupied. While it was gradual, secretive, and so went largely undetected, some astute observers were not fooled and even tried to warn the nation.
Dark Visions, Dire Warnings
Books were written in the 50s about the changing values influenced or directly the result of the amassing of power in these huge corporations. These exposes increased in number during the early 60s: Organization Man (1956) by William Whyte; David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd (1950); C. Wright Mill’s trilogy on power—The New Men of Power (1946), White Collar (1951), and The Power Elite (1956), along with his obviously relevant Character and Social Structure (1953). Books like Erich Fromm’s The Sane Society (1955) and Presthus’s The Organizational Society (1963) made arguably more serious criticisms that the psychological map of Americans were being negatively affected in important areas.
Prophetic, prescient presidential address
The most significant warning came from the President of the United States who had presided over this post World War Two rise of corporations. Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his final televised address to the nation before leaving office, warned against the power and influence of the military-industrial complex. [Footnote 2]
Prophetic and prescient, his words—often quoted over the decades since—included “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex….”
“Resistance is futile.”
With Americans caught between opposing evils of confusion and anomy, on one side, and being assimilated by corporate culture (“resistance is futile”), on the other, many suffered through, or clung to traditional ways, especially the elderly, and ignored the assaults on the credibility of these institutions over time.
There was an astounding era of unity and enthusiasm during the Kennedy years, where corporate culture was subsumed under lofty ideals, which included both technological advance—and thus harnessed corporate energy in a positive direction—and social and intercultural advance, as for example with the Peace Corps. Fragmentation and anomy were forgotten as America believed it was involved in higher causes emanating out of the times that seemed powerful enough to propel everyone into the future with all the fragmentation following and somehow working itself out eventually.
The dream is over.
When John F. Kennedy was murdered, arguably by the Mafia but either in collusion or under pressure from powers aligned with that military-industrial complex, of which Eisenhower spoke, the floor fell out from beneath aspiring Americans, leaving them empty, directionless, and therefore vulnerable.
Almost immediately after JFK’s murder, Johnson escalated the war and funding for it. America had its first coup; its first massive cover-up and Big Lie. Over the next forty-six years, with Republicans taking over soon enough and holding onto Executive Power for all but seventeen years, including Johnson’s five years, the tendencies that began in the Fifties involving the gathering of power into fewer and fewer hands, and the use of that power to influence the beliefs, ideals, and even psychology of the masses, increased and became more severe, pervasive, and threatening up to the point of the outright lunacy and obvious deceptions and manipulations that were evident under George W. Bush.
Only at that point, with year after year throwing up scandals, corruptions, misgovernment, several stolen Presidential elections, an unnecessary war, runaway deficits, and most significantly, right from the start, another massive transfer of wealth upward to benefit that small elite and increase their power, were Americans finally beginning to open their eyes to the ways they’d been lied to, used, and robbed by the rich and powerful. It took all that, which played out on the media nightly, year after year, with no recourse even for impeachment because of an ill-timed agreement between the parties about impeachment that had come out of the debacle of the impeachment attempt on Clinton, to create the cracks in the Matrix, or web of Big Lies built up over nearly 50 years. So that finally an authentic man, a man not of the powerful elite, could win the Presidency handily.
The Black Angels music vid: “You in Colour”
No better statement I know of the birth of modern era in 50s-70s
The face of mine enemy, 1984
However, before that last event and over the course of those decades Americans saw essentially the rise of a one-party government, a consolidation of the mass media and its subservience, along with the government’s, to that same small group of people and powers, aligned with the huge corporations and serving their interests for profits and for enrichment of the already filthy rich. With most powers and most institutions, including education and publishing, orchestrated to the ends of a mighty few, there existed a pervasive—however very slick and clever—propaganda and cover-up apparatus constantly at work to fill or bend the minds of Americans along lines not in their interests, but rather those of these hidden powers with their corporate and political fronts. So pervasive and overwhelming was this effort at mind control and misinformation that it mirrored that of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Since it provided no comfort, motivating people through the strategic use of terror and the incitement to hatred, it left that aspect wanting and many people—pushed to desperation and irrationality because of the continual terror and hatred campaigns—ran to traditional religions or clung feverishly to any one of the many alternatives offering easy one-stop full-service truth—whether evangelical, political, ideological, or traditional.
Enlightenment Overthrown: The Purposeful Undermining, by the Wealthy, of Higher Education in America to Prevent Sixties-style Free-Thinking
(No Smarts for YOU!)
In this context at no time was there an opening for the kind of rational or thoughtful, peaceful and considered pursuit of truth, insight, or enlightenment that had characterized the eras that had actually led to the birth of America and its system of democracy, freedoms, and rights. By this I mean that since 1973, there was little room in America for any of the elements that characterized the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Age of Reason or Rationalism, or the Age of Enlightenment—whose adherents and tenets spawned the American experiment.
Can’t have liberal arts, it’s got the word “liberal” in it.
Indeed, I personally observed the downfall of the ideal of education in the liberal arts. A liberal arts college education had been regarded, since the birth of America, as a preeminent basis for further education and for life and career in general for those who would be among the educated and eventually the leaders and decision-makers of society.
Its ideals came directly out of the Enlightenment and Renaissance ideals of a well-rounded, diversely educated, and broadly knowledgeable individual and citizen. It was wisely considered that such broadly knowledgeable and broadly thinking leaders would benefit society in the wisdom, social consciousness, and moral conscience, indeed, selflessness, and social service ideals that would be part of that kind of exposure to diverse views.
But the Vietnam War had seen increasingly larger degrees of complaint, criticism, resistance, and defiance to its pursuit from these liberal arts campuses. I was on campus and was part of it. I also saw how the campuses were purged of the liberal thinkers—professors were fired, departments of philosophy, religious studies, history, and the other liberal arts were cut back, often to be eliminated entirely. It had become clear to the people at the top that they could better manipulate the masses without free thinkers in the way. They did not want smart people noticing, that’s for sure.
We stormed the administration building & found the documents—the letters from wealthy benefactors & alumni.
The Vietnam War protests brought the suppression/repression out in the open. They actually fired professors on my campus, not because they were radical or speaking out against the war, but because they were cutting back departments that had anything to do with the Humanities—even the social sciences, religious studies!!!…anything that involved encouraging students to be independent thinkers or to learn anything different from the elementary and secondary school propaganda we’d been taught before.
We stormed the administration building and found the documents—the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni insisting on this change or they would stop their funding. This was a concerted effort by the wealthy elite that hit all the liberal arts institutions/universities in America. We demanded the Dean appear on the steps of the Administration building and answer to the charges and respond about the documents, as a condition of us leaving the building. He showed up, sheepishly, and mealy-mouthed his way through his responses to our evidence. He never denied it.
Some students chipped in (what little they could) to pay for some profs to continue teaching the next semester. We couldn’t use any facilities; we sat on the grass, outside. Of course, we could not afford to continue to do this; nor could the profs get by on the $1—$25 voluntary donations!
The result was that the Sixties Generation was the last educated generation. The result was that free-thinking generations would no longer be. They would not be encouraged; they would not be fostered; they would not be tolerated; they would not be allowed.
People like to dismiss efforts such as mine and those of my cohorts at this time as trying to dredge up the battles of the Sixties, to relive or redo the past. This ignores the fact that this battle is has not gone away at all but is simply being ignored…and consciously dismissed. It is as much here as 200,000 people were there in Wisconsin not long ago, though the media ignored and dismissed that in keeping with their insidious obedience. It is as much here as that we are currently surfing the tsunami of a WORLDWIDE OCCUPY movement addressing all the issues of this culture war, class war. Meanwhile the media exaggerates every Tea Party twitch involving handfuls or at the most hundreds of people and broadcasts far and wide every trivial pronouncement coming from their gang of cartoonish figures.
So yes, we are still fighting this culture war. For not only did it never go away, not only has our side not been heard, not only has the other side pounded our positions into rubble; and shouted down, ridiculed, slandered, and misconstrued our points to their own malevolent ends, but… We ain’t won yet!
Filthy Rich, Nobility, Peasants, Slaves
And before the corporations there were the rich of other economies—the filthy rich nobility that kept the peasants as virtual slaves.
The point, I guess, is that we are all taught something quite different about America, from kindergarten on up. So since it is all untrue, I wonder how different it is from the brainwashing and propaganda that we heard that totalitarian societies engage in, especially the Communists in the Soviet Union that were used as examples for most of my life.
But is it corporations that do these things, the enslaving? Let’s say it exactly so we can pinpoint who are really the actors. Is it not the people who own/run the corporations? So, that, in my opinion, makes it what one network (CNN, I think) who did a documentary a couple years ago on the obscenely increased wealth and power of this class (occurring during the Bush Administration) termed “the Filthy Rich.” I think it is high time we started being specific about who is running America into the dirt.
White-Collar Slavery and Rat Racing
So liberal arts ideals were bulldozed away to make room for the career tracks leading directly into positions in management, medicine, law, and many new and highly specialized niches—usually the kind of specialization that would not occur until the postgraduate years, or after graduation directly on the job. I’m talking about such tracks as international finance and the like.
Students were no longer taught the great ideas of the millennia, ideas that had stood the test of time and influenced numerous societies and nations and individuals. Rather, if corporations were seen or heard to be needing, say, people knowledgeable in inter-managerial, mid-corporate, communicative intercourse and response, well entire four year programs were built around that. Add that kind of narrowly focused citizenry with its ephemeral knowledge and you have the kind of population that will do the bidding of the overseers and be happy for their fat paychecks—until their narrow niche of “knowledge” becomes obsolete because of the development of a new way of approaching or handling things, equally as ephemeral, but more efficient or something, and itself to become outmoded eventually.
Slaughtering Smart Folks
They will be happy for their paychecks, not knowing of any higher ideals than greed and accumulation. They will not know of their manipulation, would not know of the historical predecessors to it or the like. They would not have training in original thought but rather in training in decided upon processes and procedures and the jargon accompanying it. So they would become rote learners of narrowly applicable and short-lived “knowledge.” This would remove the educated class as a barrier to any kind of totalitarian efforts.
So we can consider ourselves to be better in America. For totalitarianism—as, for example, under Stalin, Mao, or the Khmer Rouge—is usually accompanied by the slaughter of the educated. In my own lifetime, in Cambodia at least one million were killed wantonly, anyone with education was slated for death.
But in America, we are better because we just seduce folks away from higher aspirations of the soul to the lower base impulses that are satisfied with what money can buy. The corporations buy their talent and their potential for high achievement and all the rewards that come with rich lives of insight and personal growth. In exchange for their moneyed positions they receive an enlightenment lobotomy.
Should people feel dissatisfied—as we psychologists and liberal arts thinkers know they will sooner or later—others of their kind who took the medical or pharmaceutical tracks have conveniently produced the sedatives, palliatives, and opiates to keep them numb. I guess you could say these are the “breathing holes” that Kurt Cobain talked about. They may put you in a jar, but they’ll give you “breathing holes,” and you’ll think you’re happy, he sang. [Footnote 3]
American Dictatorship, My Quest, No Nukes Is Good Nukes
1984 Comes to America – Slick, Gradual, and Perfect
So this look into American history notices a decades-long and increasing suppression of truth.
Since Kennedy’s time and because of the Vietnam War protests, I have seen an increasing web of deceit cover this land. I have witnessed things with my own eyes that have been changed when reported to the country and written into history books. I have watched the 1984 of George Orwell creep into America unnoticed—slick and gradual and perfect—as only the best minds, paid handsomely by the people with the wealth, can concoct.
A well-regarded book about Bush’s America published shortly after George W. Bush left office, and tallying the actions and events of the W’s eight years, concludes without equivocation that America had become a dictatorship.
I believe that to be true. But even if it did not rise to that level, whatever it did rise to did not happen overnight and just because of one administration. Bush’s dictatorship was the end result of the slick suppression of truth and manipulation of the masses that had its roots in the 50s, took the helm after killing Kennedy, and went into all-out war stance when confronted by the backlash of the educated in the late 60s and very early 70s.
Truth’s Solitary Journey
As for what follows from here in this narrative: This is the story of one person’s informed take on those times. This is the perspective of one person intimately involved in those times. For, Forrest-Gump-like, I found himself caught up in all the major trends over the last sixty years either through first hand observation or through the fact that as a writer and avid follower of the events of the day—in an era that seemed my whole life to be peppered with national and international surprises and upheavals, some positive; others mostly not—I could not look away.
In particular, it is the story of my quest for truth during those times. Through a coincidence of birth, genetics, and upbringing, and because in general a quest for truth requires too much time involvement and is usually not a higher priority over things like family and community, my quest for truth, foregoing family, wealth, and community ties, was unusual for my times. I found few fellow travelers. In my quest for truth, I could feel, and was quite carried along with, the ebbs and flows of the tides of my times.
I had a life different from most—one which took me to live, to study, and to participate with groups and in places around and around the country for forty years. Many of these groups and places and the activities and thinking of them would be considered exotic or alien to most Americans. And when folks heard about these developments, for the average person it was something that was happening far away from them with people they did not know…and was on top of that reported to them in a way to distort and misinform.
I, For One, Can Tell You Why We Stopped Building Nuclear Plants in This Country…I Helped Make it Happen
So many of the events of my life would not be well known, although some of the things I was involved in had major influences on our country. For example, the cessation of the building of nuclear power plants in the early Eighties. Not many people could tell you why or how that happened. I was one of the people involved in bringing that about. I was not one of the major players up front. But I was involved full-time over a couple year period that led up to the events that stopped nuclear power construction to this day. I can tell you what happened.
What’s instructive is that at least one of the other persons involved once tried to get the story of what happened published. He wasn’t a writer and nobody cared to publish the story. It is one of those stories that you will only hear from our opponents and for most people it will have been chalked up to some confusing, mysterious, and random events. It was not.
No Nukes is Good Nukes
The cessation of nuclear plant construction was something that was desired, worked for, and hoped for by people who knew the dire consequences of nuclear energy and understood the motives of the people behind nuclear energy who had no concept of that, or conscience. Keep in mind this all happened long before Fukushima happened, just as we predicted something like that would.
To put one leg of this narrative on terra firma I can tell you this at this time: Peter DeFazio, Democratic congressman from Oregon, was one of the players. This happened just before he won his seat; and if memory serves me it was one of the reasons that he won. He was one of the people who came in at the conclusion to play a critical role.
He was my neighbor at this time, too, living in the house across the street from me, in Springfield, Oregon. I personally canvassed him at his house on this issue for the organization I was working for which was tackling this problem, Oregon Fair Share . We had a nice talk about the nuclear and other issues. He contributed and was a member of our organization. He is a very, very good man.
I rarely heard of him on TV in the twenty-five plus years since I left Oregon. He is one of the people who would tell you the truth, so obviously he would not be one of those speaking to you on TV. Interestingly, I have seen him on TV a number of times since Obama took office. I don’t consider it to be coincidence in either instance
Comfortable Ignorance of Grade-School Propaganda Gone Forever
As for my life and my quest, I can tell you that the pursuit of truth is a solitary journey. But, as I’ve alluded, I have an unusual and particular personal history in childhood that turned me a particular way. I also have a very common set of experiences in growing up that led me to the average American’s thorough belief in the transcendence of America, its superiority as a nation and a form of government, and as the leader of the free world, based on individual rights. I was brought up believing that freedom of the press and the other rights and institutions–such as shared powers in government, a balance of powers–gave our country a foundation to provide like no other the discovery and the reporting of events most closely in alignment with the facts, the actual truth. That is the way I was taught; I had no basis or evidence to believe otherwise.
So Much for Being Comfortably Dumb
However, when I had my first personal experience with a major national lie at the age of nineteen–one that involved an obvious collusion of State Department, Department of Defense, and all the major newspapers in America–I was shaken. When I saw that one day later all the local media followed up by headlining stories that further misinformed and that nowhere was the truth ever reported accurately of what one million people experienced on a day that would go down in history, anyway, but “censored,” I was further changed.
Indeed, I have checked the history books and they tell the story of what I saw with my own eyes inaccurately, following the newspaper reports, which followed the reports from unknown sources in the Department of Defense. Even the idea that anyone would take the Department of Defense’s version of the largest anti-war demonstration in history as the basis for the story of that day is telling.
Then I was to find out that the story of that day and its coverage was bigger in some arenas than it should have been. Howard K. Smith lost his job at ABC over the telling of the truth of that day. People remember him from the PBS channel. Some of us who are older remember that he was one of the major anchors at ABC.
What would cause such a precipitous event as his firing? Well, it had to do with the fact that ABC news was scheduled and fully prepared to do dawn to dusk coverage of Moratorium Day on November 15th, 1969. One million people flooded into Washington, D.C., the largest gathering for an event, save Woodstock, in American history, and for the purpose of stopping a war. Mom, Pop, and the kids and the students came from all fifty states. The buses were lined up and I personally saw buses that came from the West Coast, from Wisconsin, from Washington State, and so on. It was phenomenal. [Footnote 4]
If a Million Appeared in DC, and the Media Didn’t Cover It, Did It Really Happen?
Well, before coverage could begin over at ABC, as it turns out, word came down from “on high,” meaning outside of the news department. People like to say that it doesn’t matter who owns a media outlet, like, say Rupert Murdoch now owns the Wall Street Journal. They say editorial policy is not affected by who owns it.
Well that day whoever controlled and owned ABC decided that their personal interests were going to be hurt by showing a gathering of that many people amassing against the war–one out of every 200 people living in America managed to personally show up, how many more would have come if they could, how many more would be at home watching and would be stirred and influenced by such a sight?
When Woodstock saw such numbers it was talked about in the media and it became history.
But the people who pull the strings in this country pulled the strings at ABC that day and changed what would be reported as history. And it would be a lie.
As for the News Department at ABC having independence: Well, Howard K. Smith, veteran and senior news reporter at the time, was so incensed and so insistent on finding out who and how and why this coverage was changed from dusk to dawn to practically nothing that it led to his dismissal. If he was angry about it, angry enough to get fired over it, can you not imagine that the entire News Department was against the change?
Where’d Wisconsin go?
While this is history not news, it is current news as well…though we can’t call it “headline” news for reasons that have to do with the media. Something disturbingly similar happened more recently regarding media coverage of the Wisconsin pro-union rallies. While the largest rallies in Madison, Wisconsin history were going on–an estimated 100,000 showed up on one day, 200,000 people a week or so after that–hardly anything about them was mentioned in the mainstream media.
Tea Party Patsies
Keep in mind that this same media has covered and continues to promote and “tout” (even) rallies of (often paid) Tea Party proponents attended only by crowds in the HUNDREDS! These folks in the photo below have friends in high places, obviously.
Convenient (For the “Filthy Rich”) “Truth”
So who determined what would be the truth that day. Well, it certainly wasn’t news reporters.
The story is only that it came from “on high.” I guess from that you can discern that ownership made the decision that day; and we have no idea how many other times it has done that. We can only conclude that just the threat of interference will keep the media in line with the interests of ownership.
We Decide, You React.
We can only conclude that when senior people, household names, are fired on the spot, that it sends a message that only grows stronger with the years, especially as ownership will make the decisions behind the scenes as to the kind of reporters it will even have working for them.
Rather Hear from Dan?
By the way, a more recent example of such a thing happening has to do with the dismissal of Dan Rather. You’ve probably heard the ownership’s slant on that story. You should listen to Mister Rather tell the story some time. It’s quite different from the “official” version.
President Al Gore. Sorry, I Was Dreaming About a Democratic America.
Dan Rather’s version, if it had not been undermined, might have led to Al Gore, not George Bush, getting the Presidency in 2000 (even with “filthy rich” and Supreme Court support at that time to begin “installing” our presidents). That’s another thing to think about when you think that we have a free press in this country; or if you should think that any ownership involvement in the news has little or no consequences.
Back to my story, this incident has to do with my understanding of the truth, and of history as it relates to the media and their coverage. For on the days following what should have been one of the major events on American public record, and should have been influential in the course the war would take after that day, my belief in America’s premier role, because of its supposed rights, such as “freedom of the press,” in being the most reliable in getting to the real story and reporting events as close to actuality as humans are capable of was shattered forever. Never again would I look at a story out of the mainstream press, no matter how widely reported and/or held to be fact, without looking for the possible agendas and forces that would affect the veracity of what was being said.
Things Ain’t Bad Enough? This Leads Me to Uncover the Most Horrific, Hidden in Plain Sight, Truth of All Time
So, again, this perspective is rooted in my life experience. It rises up and out of my personal, passionate quest for truth; and it details a good deal of truth’s many aspects–personal, historical, social, cultural, political, especially spiritual, and so much more.
Unfortunately while this quest was and is personally gratifying, it led me to the most disturbing truth of all time, something widely known, something dire, something so big that most people–in keeping with the times of smoke and lies–are fearfully distracting themselves from, even at the cost of their lives and those of their children.
Continue with Culture War Part Two, Matrix Aroused, the Sixties:
How We Became a Nation of Puppets, and the Hidden Puppeteers
1. From the Collection of Audio Presentations by SillyMickel Adzema titled: History Unspun—the Smoke, Lies, and Revelations sound bites
2. Eisenhower gave this address only days before his term was to end. The significance of Eisenhower waiting till he was about to leave office to inform the American public just hit me.
We wonder what has happened to Obama since he took the presidency. We wonder what happened to his ideals, his promises, the change he promised. We suspect something dire, for we have watched as Democratic president after Democratic president—especially Clinton, to some extent Carter—changed once they assumed the presidency. Jesse Ventura, speaking on CNN recently, said Obama was no doubt “taken out to the woodshed.” It just never occurred to me till now that those unseen hands might have even been there in 1961, too.
Certainly the forces of the military-industrial complex weren’t as powerful, bloated with power, as they are now. Still, why else would Eisenhower not speak about this until his term was just about over? If he didn’t feel pressured (threatened?) previously, why would he not have been making this an important issue? It was, after all, the summary statement, culminating viewpoint, of his eight years.
Also, if he did feel pressured (threatened?) not to reveal or let some truth be known during his time in office, yet felt it was something of extreme, even dire, importance, might he not have “risked” it at the very end, for the good of the country?…feeling that his conscience needed to relieved as he saw the end of his influence and of his own life in sight (he had gone through several health crises during his term that could have been terminal), that his legacy would be completely blackened, his influence totally skewed in a way he did not wish if he did not “spill the beans” at some point…the end being his last chance to come clean and the only time, perhaps, that he could feel he could go through with it without immediate personal, or some other kind we don’t know of, repercussions? There may be much more to this warning to the nation than had previously been brought out.
3. These are the lyrics to “Sad” by Nirvana:
Rare song by nirvana titled “Sad” or “Verse Chorus Verse.” Also known as “Sappy.”
And if you kill yourself,
You will make him happy
And if you save yourself
Then you will make him happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
And you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll cover you with grass
And you’ll think you’re happy
You’re really in a laundry room,
You’re really in a laundry room
Conclusion came to you, oh….
And if you cut yourself
You will think you’re happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
Then you’ll make him happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll cover you with grass
Then you’ll think you’re happy
You’re really in a laundry room,
You’re really in a laundry room
The clues that came to you, oh….. (x2)
And if you fool yourself
You will make him happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
And you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you will seem happy
You’ll wallow in your shit
Then you’ll think you’re happy
You’re really in a laundry room (x3)
Conclusion came to you, oh……
4. While history records only 100,000 to 200,000 attended Moratorium Day in Washington, D.C., Wikipedia reports the preceding month’s nationwide actions and the D.C. event as follows, giving a figure of 500,000 for the November event. I explain in the text why I think even that figure is way low.
The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam was a large demonstrationUnited States involvement in the Vietnam War that took place across the United States on October 15, 1969. The Moratorium developed from Jerome Grossman‘s April 20 1969 call for a general strike if the war had not concluded by October. David Hawk and Sam Brown, who had previously worked on the unsuccessful 1968 presidential campaign of Eugene McCarthy, changed the concept to a less radical moratorium and began to organize the event as the Vietnam Moratorium Committee with David Mixner, Marge Sklenkar, John Gage, and others. against the
By the standards of previous anti-war demonstrations, the event was a clear success, with millions participating throughout the world. Boston was the site of the largest turnout; about 100,000 attended a speech by anti-war Senator George McGovern. Bill Clinton, while a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, organized and participated in the demonstration in England; this later became an issue in his Presidential campaign.
The first nationwide Moratorium was followed a month later, on November 15, 1969, by a second massive Moratorium march on Washington, D.C. which attracted over 500,000 demonstrators against the war, including many performers and activists on stage at a rally across from the White House. Most demonstrators were peaceful; however, late in the day conflict broke out at DuPont Circle, and the police sprayed the crowd with tear gas. Over 40,000 people gathered to parade silently down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, where protestors walked single file all evening, each calling out the name of a dead soldier as he or she reached the sidewalk directly in front of the White House. The people of Washington, D.C. generously opened schools, seminaries, and other places of shelter to the thousands of students and others who converged for this purpose. A daytime march before the White House was lined by uniformed police officers, some flashing peace symbols on the inside of their jackets in a show of support for the crowd.
President Richard Nixon said about the march, “Now, I understand that there has been, and continues to be, opposition to the war in Vietnam on the campuses and also in the nation. As far as this kind of activity is concerned, we expect it, however under no circumstances will I be affected whatever by it.”
Continue with Culture War Part Two, Matrix Aroused, the Sixties: How We Became a Nation of Puppets, and the Hidden Puppeteers
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