All Bets Are Off
My extremely simplified recap of how I think we get where we are
and why and how we need to change, continued.
As the world grew toward today, population spread through exploration and conquest. If you were on the winning side of these equations life became relatively safer, but still a struggle. Dominant groups had brief golden ages of peace and prosperity, though usually through the subjugation of and at the expense of some lesser unacknowledged or disregarded group. Nations became established. Room at the top shrank. With less room for shahs, potentates, kings, metropolitans, first counselors and leaders of all types, government functionaries, bureaucrats and sycophants were added or wedged themselves into places near the top.
Yet today we seem stuck.
Space near the top grew more limited, in turn, and smart people created businesses making clothing, providing fuel or food, or whatever else a creative mind could conjure. Big bruisers still joined armies, acted as guards and did heavy labor. Smart, ambitious people found other outlets for power, forming police forces, garbage collection services and other necessities of a burgeoning world, but also gangs, mercenaries, brigands and cutthroats. Another power group formed to mediate, interpret and manipulate the rules: lawyers. Clearly the world had changed again, though slowly and over a long period of time.
Yet today we seem stuck. Despite advances in science, education, medicine, manufacturing, labor laws (in first world nations) and social norms, we are still stuck with the rich and powerful running our world. Using armies, mercenaries, gangs of tough guys, whether strong arms or lawyers, stockpiling weapons, property and money, they manipulate financial, legal and governmental interaction on a global scale. Buying and selling arms, drugs, people, governments and probably more than any one person can imagine, they maintain and consolidate their control. Anyone who believes we do not already have “world government” hasn’t been paying enough attention. These shadow figures, drug lords, crime families, arms dealers, banks, financiers, world and religious leaders, and all they control mesh together to create a divided world.
I’m not talking about some secret conspiracy where a cabal decides our fate.
Meanwhile, the rest of us, the majority of the population, take it on the chin. We cooperate, follow the rules, attempt to live peacefully and keep our heads down. It’s time we remembered we are the majority. We don’t agree about everything. How could anyone imagine we could in a world and time where the haves dangle the carrot of joining their elite club while applying the stick through promoting ignorance, violence and fear? Thus, some otherwise rational people have been convinced the world is out to get them and theirs and the rich and powerful will protect them.
I’m not talking about some secret conspiracy where a cabal decides our fate. I’m talking about strategies that have proven effective and which have grown and been refined over time. These strategies, which favor the rich and powerful, say we must be vigilant. We must fear and hate the other, other races, creeds, lifestyles, orientations and nations. We must hold government suspect, including our own. Such strategies drive a wedge between groups. They are designed to drive a wedge between people who might be able to communicate and cooperate despite their differences. This calculated diversion, this marketing tool allows the rich and powerful to distract us from where our peril as a planet lies: the rich and powerful.
It is not the left, right or center view which sells paper dreams to homeowners so greedy people can grow richer. We, the majority, though perhaps culpable in our ignorance, do not cause economic collapse, start wars, sell arms, run drugs, hire mercenaries, rig the system, gut the schools, blind us to the cost of our lifestyle as deadly chemicals leak into air and water and buildings and institutions collapse at home and throughout the globe. You, me, and everyone we know do not keep us exposed to and afraid of what the world has become at the hands of the few. Our daily lives are fraught with challenge, but we do not teach ourselves to fear rather than help those who are less well off. We do not teach ourselves to hate, though we allow ourselves to narrow our minds and our vision with the blinders of ignorance.
It’s not too late.
We’ve come a long way down a dark road. It’s time we stopped and took stock. We may need to turn around and follow this road back to where it turned. Perhaps we’ll find a shorter route. Perhaps we’ll get lost, backtrack, and start again before we find our way. If so, then we must. If we continue down this road, it will grow darker and our unacknowledged masters more desperate to hold onto what they have. In prior times and even today this leads to uprisings, revolutions. I believe our shadow globalization brings us to a place few have imagined, world revolution .
When we, the people of Earth, are left with nothing, staring into the abyss, we’ll have nothing to lose. The powers that be, living in luxury behind their gates, guards, guns and walls with their sycophants and minions will have everything to lose. All bets are off. Neither side will be able to conceive of reasons not to take extreme measures to survive. Though the destruction of either leads to the destruction of all, it will be too late. Momentum will carry us over the precipice.
Now, right now, we have time to stop, to change course, to decide not who we are but who we want to become. For the first time the world, everyone alive can choose to change. I hope our engrained mindset of fear and paranoia does not run so deep we cannot see our way past it. I hope our poverty of spirit and mob mentality does not block us. I hope enough people will come to their senses and choose a different road, choose to decide to actively change our paradigm. How we move forward from here is our choice. Let us put away the toys of childhood, the guns and games. Let us choose to be people of peace, love, caring and generosity.
It’s not too late.
The Pen’s Might ~ Philip Brent Harris
The Extra Mile
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