Exorcising Our Demons
Into the infancy of the 21st century has humanity somehow managed to reach, despite our insatiable addiction for violence and suffering that has for millennia been both endemic and devastating, in spite of the continued tribalism, now called the nation state, that fosters competition, ignorance, fear, hatred and war among the peoples of the world, even with the hierarchical need among peoples to perpetually follow corrupt, immoral and warmongering leadership that continues to lay ruin the vast potential within us and notwithstanding the locust-like hunger of six billion primates whose consumptions and needs for resources are raping and pillaging Earth at unsustainable levels, thus accelerating our inevitable implosion.
Into the early years of the 21st century does humanity find itself in, in the present seeing our past, in our future seeing the present, refusing to learn from the sands of time and the chronicles of those who have come before, knocking on the heavy iron doors of progressive modernity yet hearing only the echoing thuds of regressive primitiveness, desperately seeking the keys that will allow us to finally escape the pestilence of times past and malignant cancers of the present.
Yet in turbulent times do we once more find ourselves living in, surrounded by war, destruction and death, gnawed at by suffering and misery, living among the ignorant, fearful and easily led, taken hostage by fundamentalists, zealots and extremists, refusing to eradicate from our condition the plague called violence and the warmongering, greed-infected leaders who birth it.
Inside the scourge of humanity called capitalism and the devastating system of control it has unleashed onto billions of human energies do we find ourselves trapped in, becoming six billion cogs in an engine, oiled by exploiters and oppressors, that runs voraciously on the fumes of conditioned consumerism and programmed parasitic production. It is capitalism, presently inebriated in its most damaging stage, that has best succeeded in tapping the animalistic selfishness and instinctual individualism of the human mind. It is this form of economic governance that has enveloped our animal urges, needs, wants, passions and emotions into an intertwined cocktail of unparalleled self-damage resulting in the virtual enslavement of billions living off the scraps and bones of the Establishment.
Forgotten by the hypnotizing aura of greed and the Almighty Dollar is the inevitable necessity of the common good and the survival of the commons for the benefit of all. Humanism and communalism has been replaced by manipulated materialism and a systemically programmed love of individual self, our animal instincts easily dominated by a system thriving off the human condition and the nature of who and what we are.
For it is easy to manipulate our instincts, creating a system that thrives off our insecurities, fears, emotions, needs and desires, feeding itself from the heavy pressures on us of society, groups and family, draining our energies through the abuse of the inherent human need for survival and manufacturing a fictional world of fantasy and perfection that penetrates our psychology and attacks our behaviors. Capitalism as we know it has been a parasite, using our own weaknesses to exterminate our strengths, becoming the perfect form of economic dependence from which to exploit, enslave and subjugate billions of human beings.
Its primitiveness lies in its strengths, namely its ability to control and manipulate our animalistic behaviors and passions, masquerading as an evolved form of human interaction. Yet evolution is advancement, a progress away from our animal selves and towards the greater manifestations of human understanding. Evolution of economic governance would be a system willing to take humanity away from its animal instincts and towards those mechanisms distinguishing us beyond the confines of what we presently inhabit.
Progress is fighting our urges, our fears, our insecurities and our human nature. Evolution is doing away with our animalistic individuality and selfishness, our mammalian instinct for competition, our lust for hierarchy and territory, our pursuit of power and sexual conquest, our primitive thoughts and beliefs, and of the unyielding control over our lives of both the tribe and archaic theology, both of which prey on our animal instincts for power and survival. In order to be human the animal inside us must be controlled, dominated and understood.
Only by understanding ourselves and the parameters of our existence can a better humanity arise. Only through deep introspections of history past and humanity present can resistance commence and renaissance be born. We must mold who and what we are into a higher being, forming from the clays of Earth a better, more evolved human species, learning from our mistakes, advancing through our triumphs, understanding ourselves and those unknown, joining our strengths and eliminating our weaknesses, in the end working in concert towards the betterment of six billion, not simply 300 million.
The animal inside us must be exorcised from our conscious, its thirst for violence and war finally exterminated, its lust for oppression and addiction to selfishness vanquished, its divisions and fear based on ignorance and reliance on unscrupulous leadership made to disappear. Antiquated notions such as the nation state – nothing more than a tribe on steroids – and reliance on the archaic beliefs of ancient brains living in primitive times must give way to the coming together of the world entire, for the benefit of all, as well as a new understanding of humanity, encompassing progressive pragmatism, educated modernity, communal spirituality, scientific reality and the thought-processes of 21st century man, not those of 8,000 year old primeval folk trying to make sense of an existence both harsh and frightening through now extinct myths and fables that helped explain a once-mysterious world. Only when we put a stop to a condition that has followed us since we left the jungles of the Great Rift Valley will we be allowed to evolve forward, no longer continuing on our slow and painful stagnation towards self-destruction and no longer held back by the control mechanisms of those who have for too long quashed human potential and our inevitable push forward.
To follow in the footsteps of our animal urges and passions is easy to do, it being a simple continuation of all we have ever known and experienced. After all, we have never deviated from this self-defeating understanding of humanity. It is changing direction, however, in such obvious deficit of present-day society and civilization, that truly makes us human. It is when we go against our own instincts, fighting the symptoms of our disease, struggling for the benefit of the many, in an enlightened stage of understanding, that humanity can finally claim victory in escaping its animal self. To continue our ways is easy, for it is what we are; to change course in spite of ourselves is much more difficult, yet what will allow us to claim humanness away from our primate/mammal selves.
When the day finally arrives when we grasp the reality of who we are and discard the fiction of what we portend to be humanity will cease to ride the rollercoaster of our history, so full of violence, exploitation and suffering, instead launching itself to the highest zenith of civilization. It will be when we deviate away from the ceaseless damage we have done onto ourselves and the planet that we can claim resistance and renaissance.
When genocide stops, when ethnic cleansing vanishes, when war becomes nonexistent and the perpetual cycle of violence is washed away from the realm of human existence we can claim Revolution. Resistance will begin when the many begin the healing of civilization and the planet, when a massive movement commences to purge warmongering leadership from our midst, when a tidal wave of humanity floods the concrete jungles and steel canyons we live in, marching to the drumbeats of peace, non-violence and universal harmony. That is Revolution at the dawn of the 21st century; that is the evolution of humankind and our triumph over the primitive conditions of our being that still riddle our existence.
We must put aside ego, forever eliminating the fallacy of our perceived ascendancy and the conditioned greatness of our species, in unity fighting and curing the symptoms of our disease and the conditioned, systemic exploitation of our lives. We must forever banish the exploitation and subjugation advanced by capitalism, where billions are forever condemned to servitude, raped of opportunity, robbed of talent, sucked of energy and perpetually chained to the bondage of a caste system from where few ever escape.
Only when the many, the indigent, the desolate are freed from the meager wages they earn in dehumanizing and torturous working conditions, all for the benefit of the rich nations, corporations and consumers of the north will we be able to claim enlightenment. Only when the lands and peoples of the poor south stop hemorrhaging from the ceaseless rape of their lands and devastation of their environments by the forces of neo-liberalism, market colonialism and globalization will our world become more secure. Only when the peoples of the rich north unite in solidarity and fraternity with their brothers and sisters of the exploited south can we as a species advance towards greatness. Only then will we have resistance. Only then will the many have revolution.
To continue what has transpired and will continue to be is to remain tied to our animals selves, refusing to resist the urges, the fears, the demons and the disease itself, refusing to evolve as a civilization, ensnarled by the clutches of a primitiveness that has yet to let us go. Remaining stagnant, refusing to leave the comfort of the tormented and arduous reality of the only road we have ever known, when we have yet to change or mend our ways, when history’s books are littered with the effects of our disease, when sands and dirt reveal the shattered and ruined remains of the human condition, will inevitably lead to our self-annihilation.
Indeed, for as long as we have existed we have followed a most ominous path, one of constant war, competition, violence, killing, suffering and destruction. From the beginning humanity has marched toward an inevitability, now closer than ever, that we have yet to deviate away from, that unless altered will leave our ruins to the cockroaches and scorpions, free to roam the plains of Earth, the destroyed cities, its deserted streets and once magnificent monuments of a once troubled civilization. Rather, stubbornly we maintain our self-defeating ways, refusing to evolve away from a system that has been broken, even diseased, for millennia. We refuse to fix or alter what has not worked, what continues to devastate the vast proportion of human beings, a poison that lingers without antidote, gaining strength from our indifference, becoming a historical plague subsisting from our weaknesses, forever cementing into our condition the parameters of war and violence, disease and indigence, pervasive exploitation and incessant oppression.
What road six billion people choose to take in the next few years will in the end decide the collective fates of those alive today and those born tomorrow.
Resistance begins with Ourselves
Understanding ourselves in body and mind will lead to the next leap forward for humanity, and with it the liberation of the embedded greatness inside us, released from the dungeons of human weakness, that will spawn a new awakening in the way we see and treat ourselves. Consciously deciding to step forward instead of facing backwards, the enlightenment of resistance must be massive, a giant movement born of synergy, a symbiotic unity of human energy crashing head first into a system for too long eroding the very fabric of humanity, finally awakening billions to a most troubled history. For only in harmony, knitted together from the toughest elements, can a most beautiful orchestra come alive, trumpeting a rebirth of humanity unparalleled in history and unsurpassed in power. The beginning stages will be called Resistance; its finality, Revolution.
The Enlightenment of Resistance commences with the self, in understanding the destructive forces unleashed by our own actions. The Resistance to the system and the corporatists in power begins by fighting the conditioned consumerism, ingrained into us from birth, that envelopes our daily existence. The evils spawned by capitalism, those mechanisms that manipulate our fragile psyches and mammalian needs in order to garner the most profit, must be seen for the exploitation of human minds that they are. Fictions that cannot possibly exist, whether in advertisements, cartoons, television or movies, where perfection is all-encompassing, fantasy is made attainable in the realm of human life and beauty seen as absolute, must be exposed for the psychological fallacy they espouse, existing to manipulate the human mind into returning every working wage we earn to our corporate masters through the purchase of those products that we are made to believe will somehow improve our “miserable” lives.
Thus, resistance begins with understanding that television shows are designed to hook us, like a fish in a lake, for the purpose of cooking our minds in the grill of perpetual revenue and profit. Television exists for one purpose, and that is to blitzkrieg us in a shock and awe bombardment of product placements and advertisements, employed in psychologically manipulative fantasies, designed to consciously and subconsciously compel us to purchase a vast array of products, thus transferring our living wages into the pockets of corporations. Television shows are like an orgasmic drug, addicting us to fictions and hooking us to characters and stories that will hypnotize us through the glare of the screen, acting as magnets that attach us to our couches, all methodically done for the real purpose behind television, namely the huge assortment of advertisements, product placement, and incessant brainwashing that is designed to make parasitic consumers of us all.
Television is thus a conduit by which the corporate world uses us, abusing our psychology and emotions, pitting our rational selves against our animal instincts, carefully selecting marketable formulas that will propel forward the most consumers and invariably, the most profit as well. We are being harvested for our earnings, our psychology is being meddled with. From cradle to grave corporate brainwashing transforms us into robot-like producers and gluttonous consumers of its products, all for profit, all for wealth, and all for love of the Almighty Dollar.
Resistance of self is awakening to a reality that everything you see on television is placed there for the benefit of the corporate world and the government it owns. Television is an instrument of control, of making lifelong consumers and catatonic citizens of us, a means to profit and power, a mechanism of distraction away from those events negatively affecting our lives and a successful formula for brainwashing our mind to the dictates it wants furthered in society.
The best way to punish corporations and the Establishment that owns them, then, is to put a stop to addictions to materialism that are prevalent throughout American society. We must stop our gluttonous consumption patterns and the plague-like appetite for material wealth that lingers in our nation. The corporation does not bleed red, but it does bleed heavily with the loss of revenue and profit. This is our weapon against the system, and if enough of us orchestrate a movement, then in time, one by one, corporations will fall, too anemic to continue ruling over our lives, slowly hemorrhage to death through the accumulated blows of the many. We must hit them where they will suffer most, where we can inflict the greatest pain, nailing individual corporations in their most vulnerable weak spot. It is revenue and profit that grants them life, infecting executives and Board members with greed, lining the pockets of investors and shareholders, making them blind to the damage done to man and land. It is here where we will drive them to the ground. This is the Enlightenment of Resistance.
We must seek happiness over material wealth, knowing that our species cannot possibly sustain its exorbitant lifestyle. We must trade our SUV’s for fuel-efficient cars, our lavish standards of living for a more modest existence. Material wealth must give way to sacrifice and discipline, for the gluttony of the north contributes to the enslavement and exploitation of the south. Boycotts of energy conglomerates and the auto industry must commence, forcing these backward barbarians to expedite the extinction of the internal combustion engine and quickly giving rise to more fuel-efficient modes of transportation. We must push forward the development of solar and wind energy, as well as other forms of alternative energy that are renewable and environmentally friendly.
If we are modern man, then the machines of the past must quickly be phased out, yet in order to maintain profit, wealth, power and control those industries enriched by and dependent on oil refuse to evolve forward, instead condemning the planet to certain global warming and future catastrophe. The technology for renewable energies presently exists, yet it remains hidden, a dark secret in the corporate world’s closet, gathering dust until it is convenient for them to inject it into civilization. Yet as long as the last drop of oil remains below the surface of the only home we know, those in control will continue destroying our environment, helping to set us back decades with each year the devil’s excrement remains in existence. Yet when greed controls and the Almighty Dollar reigns supreme, when immoral scoundrels run the nation’s corporate machine, the oceans of Earth will have to submerge us and devastating climate change will have to decimate us before they realize the destiny their grease-stained hands and fume infested minds have placed humanity in.
Slowly but surely we are killing the planet, and with it ourselves. This, the Resistance needs to remedy. This Beast we need to destroy.
On all Fronts, Resistance
On all fronts the Enlightenment of Resistance must be strong, yet it is in the area of self-education that it matters most. Resistance to the corporatist takeover of America begins with self-enlightenment, in seeing clearly with open eyes and unfiltered minds. It is going back to our childhood and deprogramming ourselves from years of government propaganda and corporate manipulation. It is rewiring our brains so that truth and reality are once more seen over the horizon, turning our backs on skies of pitch dark nothingness where even the brightest stars have been extinguished.
Resistance means reading books of truth, no matter how alien or difficult to bear they are. The truth of what America has been and continues to be must be known. It is the only way to know our enemy. ( I highly recommend Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States) The pages of history must be studied so that we are not condemned to repeat the errors of times past. The teachings of our forefathers must be inculcated, their wisdom understood, their words heeded. The beliefs of those now exterminated should be resurrected for in their philosophies of life, nature and spirituality modern man can learn valuable lessons. We must study how we came to be, how we evolved and how we behave, studying the sciences and ourselves, learning the pragmatism of today and finally letting go the fantasy of yesterday.
Brainwash education must be made extinct, as should curriculum teaching young adults to be thieves and murderers, exploiters and oppressors. New dogmas favoring the pursuit of sustainable development, humanity, peace, love, respect for Earth and unity of humankind should be introduced, replacing those espousing love of individual interest, pursuit of material wealth, indoctrination of mass consumption, generator of waste and formation of automaton-like producers. Jobs for the benefit of humanity should be promoted and encouraged over those promising individual glory and wealth. Selflessness must be preached, as should empathy for our fellow humans. The altar of greed must be exterminated, the temple of the Almighty Dollar bulldozed and burned, and all ideology advocating profit over people forever vanquished.
Human rights must stand for all, not just the warmongers, greed mongers and profiteers. The philosophies of Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King should be taught instead of those of Adam Smith, Machiavelli and American Christian fundamentalism. Morality should not belong to the murderers and war criminals who make of it what they wish, manufacturing lies and deceptions to justify their monstrous thirst for blood and indifference to human life. Never again should we allow those without scruples or love of humanity to falsely condition us to accept unspeakable horrors and devastating suffering befalling onto innocent individuals. Never again should we allow $650 billion a year worth of instruments of death, maiming, suffering and destruction to rain down like a violent hailstorm onto an entire populace, giving birth to the nadir of human hell and condemning millions to a terrorism bordering on the Apocalypse.
The Resistance should do all in its power to deny the military-industrial-complex from pilfering our treasure for its sinister purposes and making monsters of our loved ones, transforming naïve and undereducated citadels of caste warfare into Frankenstein-like creatures robbed of mind, soul and heart, sent to foreign lands to devastate and destroy their fellow brothers of economic circumstance. The Resistance must fight so that $650 billion a year in our treasure does not end up in the bank accounts of murderers and criminals who care not an ounce leaving our children behind and our elderly and sick without medicines or healthcare.
We must strive to live in a world where a nation’s strength is not military might but rather its humanist resources. We should want to live in a world where the military industry is relegated to the margins of society and where the education of our children becomes of paramount importance. Our new world should endeavor for the elimination of the military-industrial complex because as long as it exists, and as long as capitalism persists, war will be ceaseless, it will be devastating, and it will be profitable. Capitalism’s evils include war, for through destruction and murder the corporate world thrives and wealth is accumulated. As long as greed lives war will linger, killing and maiming, destroying and inflicting untold levels of misery.
The military-industrial complex is in the business of death and violence, with access to a military budget that supercedes that of all industrialized nations’ combined. It exists because it kills, and because there are so many people to continue killing. Its power grows because we refuse to act, because of our unwillingness and indifference to control a most malicious beast. Its continued flourishing endangers all of humanity, for it will continue to grow, becoming still more powerful, seeking new blood to spill, new flesh to burn and new bodies to tear open. Each new year its budget swells, each new year its addictions fuse with its ability to declare war, whenever it wants, wherever it wants, easily manipulating the populace and its mercenary armies. Until it is stopped, until our war culture is changed, until missiles and bombs and tanks and artillery and depleted uranium and bullets are no longer manufactured and spat out like warm bread out of the assembly lines of American factories we will not be rid of the pestilence that has forever attacked our existence, pitting poor versus poor and young versus young for the entertainment, accumulated wealth and growing power of the Establishment.
The Greatest Story Ever Told?
The birth of a new humanity and a new America is possible. We simply have to wish it so, acting on our own behalf, claiming for ourselves a better way of life and a better mechanism for human interaction. Resistance is a massive movement pushing forward principles of humanity and morality, born of discontent and protest, outrage and a belief that a better world is possible. A system that exploits billions of people cannot be allowed to continue. A system that in essence enslaves billions, robbing them of opportunity and talent, a future and a life worth living cannot be allowed to fester. For the sake of billions living today and billions to be born tomorrow the Resistance must commence, our outrage and anger channeled positively, uniting in force and commonality to rid the world, once and for all, of the scourge that has lived with us from time immemorial, hiding and evolving, preventing us from flourishing and entering new dimensions of human understanding. The scourge must be brought down by the will of the People, millions united in cause, fists in the air, boots marching together, seeking the beginning of the end for the animal inside us and the wickedness infecting our society.
More and more, America is becoming a fascist dictatorship, combining the power of the state with that of the corporate world. We are in danger, democracy has ceased to exist, the corporatist power grows. The Enlightenment of Resistance must be born, sacrificing our conformity and indifference for the sake of those that have yet to come. This is the calling of our lives, as we stand selected by the energies of the universe to jump humanity beyond the stratosphere of our own weaknesses and limitations, flying high into new rebirths and enlightenments, seeing across the marvels of Earth a humanity changed for the common good, where what is good for one is good for all and where what affects one similarly affects us all.
The Enlightenment of Resistance is going beyond our animal selves, evolving past our instincts and acquired emotions. It is resisting without violence, in the full spectrum of peace and love and kindness and compassion. Non-violence gives us the moral high ground, it gives us what the corporatists can never attain inside the empty cavity that is their heart. It gives us Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King; it gives us goodness, positive energy and humanity. If they strike, turn the other cheek, if they curse, forgive them. If they hate, then love them back. If they fight, give them a warm embrace. We are no match for their ignorance or their callousness or their wickedness or their guns. Our only weapons lie within us, the great virtues of humankind, our love, our sympathy, our goodness and morals.
The Enlightenment of Resistance stands before us, seeking to exorcise our primate and mammalian urges and fears from our consciousness, seeking to liberate us from our perpetuating history, wanting desperately to grant us the freedoms and responsibilities of the next leap forward. Do we evolve towards greatness or remain static in primitiveness? Do we act today for a better tomorrow or do we once again give in to a system that has maintained us on our knees for millennia? The story of humankind keeps repeating itself, over and over, thanks to the inaction of our ancestors and the continued power of the Establishment. Will we be another sad chapter in this disease-riddled story or will we write our own new book, beginning with page one of the greatest story ever told?
We can continue what has never worked, billions rotting and enslaved, gutted and dominated, full of war, destruction, violence and exploitation, or we can resist, knowing that perhaps a better future awaits and a better humanity can be born. It is time to evolve, it is time for change. Humanity has wasted at the bowels of its condition long enough. The time to see how far forward we can go is upon us, for if not now, then when? Let history record this time as an era where bravery and courage awoke to reclaim a sinking ship from a giant iceberg.
Let it be written by the sands of time that it was the men and women of the early stages of the 21st century that defied all obstacles and enemies of man, transforming human civilization into a catalyst for greatness, instigating a paradigm shift whereby a new dimension of human existence commenced.
Manuel Valenzuela is social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst, Internet columnist and author of the novel Echoes in the Wind. A collection of essays, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and Humanity, will be published in early 2005. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. A collection of many of his essays and articles can be found here: Articles by Manuel Valenzuela, 2004
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