On Exploiting Decent People
Basically there are two types of people. Decent people, on the one hand, and exploiters, on the other.
Exploiters know that decent people will not stand being exploited, and so they create chaos, confusion and other distractions like Sports and Ideology in order to hide the fact that they are indeed being exploited.
Millions of Americans can tell you who won this or that game, but ask them about atrocities this country is committing around the globe, and they glaze over or deny it because it wasn't mentioned during the 18 minutes allotted for nightly news. Even the 24-hour "news" shows rehash the same old stuff during their 48 minute cycle. (I may be wrong on the exact minutes, but one does have to allow for commercials...which more and more often come disguised as news...thus supplanting bigger stories. Ever see a news item on Viagra? [See: Product Placement])
But sports is not the only tool these exploiters have in their arsenal. They also have very confusing ideology. Try reading some of the "conservative scholars" and note how exploitation is disguised as so much philosophy.
Decent people don't need ideology to prop themselves up. They know how to do the decent thing, and assume that other decent people do too. But a lot of decent people are being snookered by the exploiters, and are even being recruited to do their gruntwork. They drink the kool-ade, the ideology, and think they are so clever because they now have a philosophy to back up their yet-to-be-transcended egoism and selfishness. And they think that, one day, they will be able to rise to the top of the pack -- forgetting that they are just becoming a dog in the process.
Now don't get me wrong...dogs are fine creatures. The epitome of loyalty. But loyalty, as the cliche goes, can be blind. And oftentimes it is. Many a dog has a cruel master.
But the hope is, I suspect, that they too may become the cruel master himself.
Now Jesus was no cruel master. Nor was Gandhi, Buddha, Eckhart or Doctor-King. Nor were they exploiters. They were, in fact, decent people. Decent people exploited and tortured by cruel masters.
Rising to the Top
Look at the top. Do you really think you would be comfortable there? Are these the people you really want to hang out with? I guess it depends on which top you are speaking of...right? I, for example, would find it tremendously boring to spend my spare moments with John Ashcroft, Neil Boortz, Dick Cheney, Jerry Falwell or the Dubster himself. But to hang out with, say, top-level comedians, entertainers, artists, musicians, scholars, writers...well this might not be so bad. Certainly not nearly as boring. And why waste your time trying to get ahead, when once you get there you are bored out of your mind. Even Bill Gates would cause me to glaze over.
Are you sure you are in the right profession? Have you really considered where, and with whom, you might wind up?
And if it's the money you are after, have you never considered that 95% of the people will never know how much, or little, you have...and that the other five percent don't care? Do what you love. Find, or create, your future community. No man is an ithsmus. On second thought...maybe all men are ithsmi.
Women, of course, are continents.
The Evolution of Cooperation
People try to divide people into Liberals and Conservatives, but I think it makes more sense to divide them into exploiters and decent people, irrespectively.
Neitzsche once said that people are greater artists than they imagine, and indeed, most people seem to live in an imaginary world where, for example, sports scores have import to life. This is, of course, ridiculous. And yet we see people killing each other over these trumped up distraction sports businesses, and their all-important competition.
You know, competition...what real mean do to each other. Compete and go to war. Cooperation is for girls and metrosexuals.
Layer upon layer the hoodwinks blind the exploited and protect the exploiters.
Decent people don't steal, cheat, lie and kill...and are not in a me-first game of winners and losers. Decent people look out for those who are downtrodden, even at the expense of their own time and treasure.
I hope America can realize, literally, its own decency, and shake off the chains of ideology at least enough to cause a few good ripples of human decency. It will save us from ourselves and the world. The world of exploiters.