The Way for Mankind
Book 2, Philosophical Intimations on Political and Cultural Issues
We will be able to leave conflict behind us by transforming the human psyche. Consciousness must first progress on an individual level, and then evolution will naturally appear in the collective consciousness.
Militarism, which blithely suggests destroying the world or a few million lives here and there, is an expression of demonic forces. It is the human soul locked in bondage by evil energies waiting for their chance — a pact with the devil. The devil is the tendency towards negativity that we bear within ourselves.
“But ’tis strange.
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s
In deepest consequence.”
Where do we stand now?
The answer came on February 15th 2003 – one of the most important dates to be written into the history of humanity.
At the time, there were a few leaders of a large country who were preparing to go to war to invade another country, and, under false pretexts, take over its wealth and help out a few friends at the same time – a great deal, then, and not to be missed, for just a few hundred billion dollars spent and just a few hundred thousand deaths, with guaranteed impunity in both this world and the next, for those leaders were very religious men.
An appeal from the World Social Forum led to a planet-wide protest demonstration against the war on February 15th, which exploded like universal fireworks.
Millions of people demonstrated in nearly 800 cities. Between six and ten million people protested over the weekend in around sixty countries – other estimations put this figure at eight to thirty million demonstrators. (9)
Present were almost every country in Europe, both large and small, the Americas from Canada to Argentina, the Middle East, Asian and African countries, without forgetting Oceania, Australia and so on, and even a polar base! A universal kaleidoscope of races, language, peoples, continents – us! Humanity, united for once, gathered together in a huge demonstration of conscience.
Chapitre 2.Imperfect Democracy
The concentration of wealth in these large corporations gives them power which is increasingly pervasive.
By controlling the mainstream media either directly or through the intermediate of advertising, these corporations are capable of shaping public opinion and even society’s way of life in their own interests.
They can influence public policies in various ways, especially with pressure groups and electoral contributions. Dozens of lobbies representing the main branches of industry participate in fundraising for candidates for presidential elections. Their favors will not be forgotten afterwards.
Often, they can get grants, tax advantages or changes in regulations so that their interests are protected. Such grants represent billions of dollars.
For example, it has been pointed out that when oil companies stash away fantastic profits linked to variations in the price of the barrel, no additional tax even touches upon the profits.
Large corporations may also resort to blackmail. This happened in 1999 when some of the most powerful German automobile and financial corporations protected themselves from tax increases simply by threatening to relocate up to 14,000 jobs. As a result, taxes fell, and a government adviser concluded that the industrial giants were quite simply “too strong for the elected government.”
Chapitre 3. Managed Democracy
The Mental and Cultural Control of Society
Just after the Second World War, the evolution of society can be observed as follows (3):
Capitalism and its institutions used modern psychology to serve their interests. Society had to be instilled with a degree of desirable conformity to create a stable and predictable basis for the political economy. Large corporations used psychological research methods to analyze people and their predictable behaviors so that they could be encouraged to buy the products on offer while having the impression that by buying them, they were freely expressing their individuality.
“This support for individualism was seen as very valuable because it was a form of subtly imposed social control, whereby it would individualize people in a way that would remove or loosen the strong political and social activism, as people would turn inwards to themselves only.”
“A group of people who were once concerned about social issues were largely transformed into exploring and fulfilling their individual desires through the purchase of material goods.”
“This shaping of people’s choices and opinions came from the pressures and skills of big business, to which now even governments had to succumb to gain power… The drive for individualism had made people feel unique and not driven by big government or big business in their lives and choices, and yet it was big business that had been able to influence deeply both individuals and governments; people’s desires were being listened to, but people’s democratic rights and broader powers were being undermined.”
We have a long way to go to achieve true freedom of thought. We have seen the extent to which information is manipulated and biased, but the subtle mental control of society goes even further than that – it forbids thought in certain fields. There are no-go areas into which we do not venture, and that constitutes the key to society’s evolution, the key to solving its problems.
Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman develop this point, revealing the tacit process involved.
Chomsky: in the 1920s, “those in power sought other ways of manufacturing consent. The PR industry produces, in the true sense of the term, consent, acceptance and submission. It controls people’s minds and ideas. It is a major advance on totalitarian rule, as it is much more agreeable to be subjected to advertising than to torture.
… And here and now there are tyrannical organisations – big corporations. They are the closest thing to a totalitarian institution. They are, to all intents and purposes, quite unaccountable to the general public or society as a whole. They behave like predators, preying on other smaller companies. People have only one means of defending themselves and that is the state. Nor is it a very effective shield because it is often closely linked to the predators.
…My conception of socialism requires, at least, democratic control of production, trade and other aspects of human existence.” (7)
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” [Italics added] (8)
Chapter 4. True Democracy
In true democracies, the media play the role of democracy’s guard dog, and they should be quick to bark if they sniff out any transgression.
Investigative journalism and the independent media can thus provide the necessary elements to point popular opinions and choices in the right direction.
In reality, however, the main media groups are their master’s dogs – dogs which drive the herd and keep it where it should be.
The media obediently manage opinion to the advantage of those in power. Information is selected, opinion is prepared to lay the ground for initiatives in the pipeline, explanations are given for what must be understood, and facts are presented without putting what they really mean into perspective, etc.
The Fifth Power
There are five fundamental forces in nature, and five forces in equilibrium can be seen naturally in political society. Two restraining forces, executive and judicial, counterbalance two creative and productive forces – legislative and informative. But these forces surround the fifth power in the center – the one which gives life to the four others and enables them to exist; the one which creates the field of action in which the others play their hand.
The fifth power is the citizen, in other words, opinion, unions, the people and the street.
Chapter 5. The Need for Personal Development
The Characteristics of Personal Development
The studies of the psychology of human potential show that those who manage to fulfill their potential all display the same characteristics.
They have a clear awareness, accepting the realities of the world without turning away from them; they see things objectively; they can judge people and events accurately and can detect dishonesty.
They can accept others and accept themselves simply, without deluding themselves about their faults and qualities. They are not self-satisfied but are concerned about understanding what is right within themselves and around them.
They are naturally spontaneous.
What’s more, they usually have a subtle, good-natured sense of humor.
They are motivated by their desire to fulfill themselves and grow, and in order to achieve this, they are interested in solving problems which are external to themselves. Moving beyond selfish preoccupations, they devote themselves to ethical tasks and make sure that they use ethical means to accomplish them.
They are self-sufficient enough to be able to detach themselves from the fray and appreciate solitude. This emancipation enables them to find the source of their actions and decisions within themselves, without relying on their cultural surroundings.
Their moral code is independent from external authority.
They deeply appreciate the simplest pleasures of life.
Yet they also experience moments of mystical ecstasy and intense emotion which transcend the ego, allowing them to commune with a boundless spiritual world.
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