hearts and minds

July 15, 2014

Is Even the Truth Unsustainable?

Why do words fail us? Why is demonstrable truth so widely and persistently disdained and ignored? Effective communication with integrity is essential for the people – you and I – to become informed and to take action necessary to establish, maintain and strengthen a democratic republic. But effective communication with integrity, even on a personal, one-to-one level, is very, very difficult in modern times.

Human beings are, by nature, very social animals, and prior to these very recent times of industrial civilization, our nature was nurtured and developed for millennia in deep and intimate tribal and clan associations. The isolated nuclear family, and the loner, are very recent, unfortunate developments. The ancient clans and tribes, to which we all belonged and clung, have been exterminated and forgotten, with few rare and precious exceptions. The relationships that have replaced those deep roots are arbitrary and unnatural. The cultural forces that now most closely associate people are employers and landlords, and the propagandists who they direct. Discarded are the wisdom of elders and the traditions of tribes and clans that sustained us for hundreds, even thousands, of generations.

These modern associations are inherently brash, competitive, disorienting, ephemeral, fragmented, grasping, and crassly motivated. Move your residence, or lose your job, and you and your modern, insubstantial associations are separated forever – which may not be such a bad thing. The landlord and the employer do not embrace, and are not embraced by, its tenants and its “associates” with mutual generations-spanning care and commitment. We are disappeared without a second thought. We know it, and we both absorb and reflect the attitude. Institutions of religion and of education are vetted, and must be blessed – or else damned – by the terrible, invisible hand of the marketplace.

So we homo-sapiens have fashioned a culture and society and future, based on the primacy and the worship of individual property rights and profit, a disdain for human equality and solidarity, and disregard and disrespect for Mother Earth, in which we and our primal nature, which we cannot shed, are perpetually lost and wandering in virtual isolation.

Rigid religious dogma and unquestioning political ideology that defy and mock common sense, good judgment, and basic empathy, let alone facts, science, and history, provide so very many of us an illusory yet inescapable haven from this lonely uncertainty which we have constructed for ourselves, over the last few thousand years, with our opposable thumbs and our big brains and the seductive tools of our clever industry and technology. Like schools of sardines packed together, we twist and dodge, hoping to avoid being singled out and picked off for being different. Stupidity cannot be the reason that people resist and ignore and disdain the truth. It’s because we don’t think that the truth will help us survive.

Despite our induced delusions, our nation is not the USA. We are not even any longer regarded as a nation of willing and able workers. We are, for the time being, tasked with being a nation of consumers, living in a land whose destroyed and diminishing natural resources have not yet been fully extracted and exploited. That is our bottom-line “value”, and that is what is expected of us and of our homeland by the high priests of property and capital. If we allow it, we will be mined until our bones are plucked clean.

Powerful, simple truths such as, “We need government that is of, by, and for the people, rather than government that is by and for the corporations and the super-rich”; or “Only a person – not a corporation – has unalienable rights that are guaranteed by our Constitution”, have great difficulty even contending with the brutal reality of our new, temporary assignment, and that our tribe and clan is selected and fired or evicted at the whim of our employer, our landlord, our money lender; the tenets of our belief are inspected by all three; and our homeland, our air and water, is plundered and polluted while we watch, or look away and pretend that we don’t see.
We believe that we can’t afford to think about truth – much less speak it. Facing the truth in modern times is like facing a firing squad. And who today has the nerve to challenge the right of a corporate death squad or assassination team to keep and bear arms?

Declaration of Independence from Corporate Rule

Whose Government Is It?

Corporations v. Persons – the Struggle that will Define the 21st Century

The Right to Life vs. The Right to Kill

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for this, Clyde. It is a great piece of writing.
    I would add my 2 cents of truth about humans and living in imagined worlds, but it would just aggravate the religious believers and humanists to explain the technical realities of how our brains work without magical ‘souls’.
    I recommend this story highly, though:

    It does give another context: that the “highly civilized” nature of the wealthy consumers of the U.S. is not the nature of humanity itself, but a carefully scripted and cultured means of increased profits through marketing and market forces over wisdom and cooperative, useful behaviors.

    The bottom line is that the vast majority of things people are worried about in this country are things that are not needed or needed only because they are part of something else we didn’t need (cars to drive to jobs to buy cars to drive to the mall to buy TVs to tell us to buy bigger TVs and new cars), while things we really need (food, water, stable infrastructure) are cheapened and ignored or lost in the noise, as well as the skills to produce those things for ourselves among friends and neighbors.

    Comment by Dan C. — July 15, 2014 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

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