Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Laws Don’t Exist To Prevent Wrongdoing

Sep 10, 2023

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

Humans have two adulthoods: the first is physical maturity, the second is intellectual maturity. The second adulthood is the process of learning that everything you were taught about the world in childhood is false, and discovering the truth of what’s really going on. The first adulthood is thrust upon us by nature and time, while the second is a conscious and deliberate process we choose for ourselves. All humans reach the first adulthood if they live long enough. Very few reach the second.

Part of growing up is learning that laws do not exist to prevent wrongdoing, they exist to keep society moving in an orderly way for the benefit of the world’s worst perpetrators of wrongdoing. None of the world’s worst people are in prison. Most of them are quite wealthy and respected, because they benefit from the abusive status quo that laws are set up to protect.

I still can’t believe the western political/media class spent a year and a half saying it’s Russian propaganda to claim NATO expansion provoked the Ukraine war, and then the NATO boss just blurted out Yeah Putin invaded because NATO expanded to Russia’s doorstep, he told us he would if we didn’t stop.

A two-party system would work fine if either of the parties disagreed with the most murderous and depraved agendas of the other instead of enthusiastically agreeing and collaborating with them.

So much dysfunction is facilitated by people’s Hollywood-induced tendency to divide every conflict up into Good Guys vs Bad Guys. Support the Good Guy Democrats, they’re fighting the Bad Guy Republicans! Support the Good Guy United States, it’s fighting the Bad Guy Russia!

In reality, the “Good Guys vs Bad Guys” dichotomy is a narrative construct which has no place outside of children’s cartoon shows. Real life has no heroes or villains, it only has human beings with their own respective interests. Mature analysis looks at those interests and how they conflict with and harm the interests of other groups, with the most common dynamic being a small group of powerful people harming the interests of a large group of disempowered people — a dynamic which the Democrats and the Republicans and the US empire generate constantly.

The easiest way to attract a massive following and make a lot of money doing indie media commentary that’s critical of US status quo politics is to align yourself with the phony populist wings of either the Democratic or Republican Party, because that’s where the numbers are. The closer you are to mainstream politics, the easier it is to get traction, because there are way more people aligned with mainstream politics than those outside it.

You learn this right away when you get started in indie media; you immediately notice that your content which finds its way into MAGA circles or Bernie/AOC circles gets many times the traction you get when you’re attacking both sides and not pandering to any audience. The difference is not subtle at all; there’s an immediate and completely obvious incentive to begin tailoring your content to appeal to one faction or the other, even if it means holding back on attacking one side or being less than honest about the real problems you’re seeing in the US political landscape.

And you see this happen with indie media commentators all the time; they sit where the numbers are instead of where the truth is, and they’re able to feel okay about it because lots of other commentators are doing the same thing. I’ve watched so many lefties get sucked up into supporting the Democratic Party or going the other way and sidling up to the MAGA faction, knowing full well that’s not in alignment with the truth of what they’re really seeing in the world but unable to resist those sweet sweet numbers.

It is possible to resist the temptation, though. There is an audience for content which uncompromisingly attacks the full spectrum of status quo politics, including its phony populist wings. It will never be as big as the mainstream and mainstream-adjacent (at least not until we see revolutionary changes to the political landscape) and you probably won’t get rich by taking your stand there, but the tradeoff is that you don’t have to feel gross about yourself for spending your time doing something that you secretly know deep down is fraudulent.

An unspoken premise of capitalism is that one day people will invent some technology which allows humanity to keep consuming at a frenetic pace and keep expanding the economy without destroying the biosphere we depend on for survival. That’s the only way to make capitalism look like a sustainable model for our planet.

But that isn’t going to happen. We’re never going to consume our way out of the ecosystemic problems we consumed our way into. Technology has helped our species in many ways, and will continue to, but no amount of technological innovation is going to make it possible to continue infinite economic expansion on a finite planet with finite resources and an ability to absorb a finite amount of disruption.

Human behavior itself is what needs to change — and it needs to change drastically, and it needs to change soon. No amount of technological innovation will ever circumvent that urgent need. We’re like a smack addict trying to figure out ways they can keep using at a high volume without compromising their relationships and employment. We’re like a miserable narcissist believing he can become happy if everyone in his life changes to accommodate his inner demons and facilitate his happiness.

Everyone wants change and nobody wants to change. But that is what’s being asked of us. In the age of Bernays capitalism shifted from a need-based economy to a desire-based economy which tugs at the strings of the ego to fuel an insatiable drive to consume and produce and reject contentment with the way things are, and we’re going to have to uproot what those strings are attached to in order to survive. Believing human consciousness can remain chained to these frenetic egoic patterns which drive us to consume and hoard and flail around in a constant state of restlessness and discontentment without destroying the biosphere if we can only come up with the right clever new trick is just a form of spiritual bypassing to avoid doing the real work that needs to get done in ourselves.

Our species has come to its adaptation-or-extinction juncture in its development on this planet, and the adaptation that’s being asked for is a drastic change in human consciousness. We’re going to have to grow up and become a conscious species now. Daddy Technology isn’t coming to our rescue. It’s on us. It’s time to wake up and free ourselves from the dream of egoic consciousness so we can begin collaborating with each other and with our ecosystem toward a healthy and harmonious world.


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