5 Reasons Why More Americans Don’t Protest Against The System

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The Declaration of Independence still stands as an important example of how the tolerance of any man can be exceeded by the actions of an over-bearing and intrusive government. Yet, 237 years after the signing of this document, one has to wonder what has happened to the spirit of fearlessness and rugged self-determination that set the American experiment in motion.

As a form of redress of grievances by a people to it’s leadership, protest is as much of a historical part of democracy as voting is. A near-last resort when the populous is bereft of political power, publicly voicing dissent in an organized, peaceful, and constructive manner is a critical and vital sign of life for a society that wishes to be free. Yet, when a ruling elite and political class become too intrusive, parasitic or too dangerous to the population, protest is often a precursor to violence, therefore the outcome of rebellion and protest is never certain and often disastrous. However, the fate of a people without the will to resist the suffrages of an encroaching tyranny is just as foreboding.

While giving credit to the Occupy movement, those who engage in protest at global summits and party conventions, growing national actions like the Tar Sands Blockade and Idle No More, and growing localized activist movements, the nation has no formidable popular mass-movement for dissent. Apparently the American people have little interest in expressing dissatisfaction with the quality of leadership we have in America today.

Why are the American people so permissive of government abuse, intrusion, waste, corruption, cruelty, and stupidity?

Here are 5 reasons reasons why more Americans don’t protest.

1. Protest is Unwelcome in the Matrix

The matrix cannot function properly when people are in the streets speaking truth to power, therefore, protest is an unwanted inconvenience for the economy, the media and the government.

For this, the government is engaged in squashing domestic protest and the media makes every effort to marginalize and ignore popular dissent. Increasingly, protest and civil disobedience are also being viewed as security threats to be met with near-military force. ‘First amendment zones,’ event permits, and laws that equate protest with terrorism all assist in dissuading Americans from participating, while tricks like agent provocateurs, police intimidation, arrest and assault are used to shut protest events down.

The modern American protestor faces regulations, intimidation and physical threats from military crowd control technologies like flash-bang grenades, the LRAD acoustic weapon, pepper sprays, surveillance of all modern types, and even the prospect of microwave pain ray technologies.

All of this already makes protest and dissent seem rather unpalatable to the average American, but, the media further demonizes protest by highlighting and focusing in on any violence that may occur, while downplaying the peaceful moments where intelligent people come together to articulate valid grievances with an out of control system.

The media tarnishes the image of any protest movement to take advantage of the fact that most people are natural followers, not natural leaders, and that most people are watching the protest in relative isolation at home, separated from friends and neighbors. Creating the perception that protests are dangerous events involving un-American, un-patriotic and irresponsible people who are likely to get hurt, helps to prevent popular support on any single issue from reaching critical mass by convincing the average person that it is too complicated and too risky to get involved.

2. Conflict Consciousness – Divided We Fall

Are you a liberal or conservative? Democrat or Republican? Are you on this team, or that team?

It doesn’t matter at all really, but, we’ve been brainwashed into dividing ourselves into an inescapable prison of bi-polarized pigeon-holes.

We blame our neighbors, friends and families for the mismanagement in the world. We blame those different than us, those in different countries, those with different color skin. We trust in authority, those with matching uniform shirts and batman belts, while we distrust and fight amongst each other. We have become culturally programmed to argue, compete, fight, and win for no real purpose. Winning, and being on the winning team has become more valuable than learning, gaining wisdom or uniting.

In this climate, with a social atmosphere so rigidly divided and so pointlessly competitive, any energy for consensus and widespread concerted action is sapped in inter-personal and tribal-like conflict. We are missing great opportunities for compromise, reciprocity, healing and growth. The consciousness of conflict ensures our self-destruction.

3. Higher Priorities… Work and Play

The American Dream of personal freedom and the opportunity for prosperity as a reward for hard work has been transformed in recent decades, influenced by an ongoing sales pitch about what life should be like for the average person. Convenience, ease, comfort, entertainment, excess, escape, work, money, debt. These are the values most available today.

Americans are working harder than ever, if they’re working at all. The economy is in terrible shape and in decline, and the American lifestyle has become so heavily invested in consumerism and debt that the average person is too dependent on continuity of income to risk even a single paycheck. Protesting is at the bottom of the list of things to do on vacation day.

Outside of work, life for most people has become a screen. Television, movies, the internet, work, handheld devices, iPads, Kindle, whatever. A new version of reality has emerged in the delivery of media and the sophistication of entertainment. Our priorities have evolved to put entertainment and escapism at the top of the list, and increasingly less value on honest government, human rights and justice.

Life is also still very good in America for most in the middle class. Food is easy to come by, credit still widely available. Charity, welfare and government assistance in some form are available to most if sought. Drone strikes and IED‘s are not yet to be seen in the homeland.

Commitment to protest and social change requires personal sacrifice. In our social atmosphere of extreme busyness and dumbed-down priorities, participation in social causes is now too risky, too inconvenient, and insufficiently fun. Our natural and historical energies for rebellion and protest are effectively expired in the office, at the bar, or at the movies, or projected onto a character on a screen.

Life has become a hamster wheel of superfluous labor and deliberate distraction.

4. Mindset of Fear, Apathy, and Resignation

Mindset is everything in our quantum-world, and our emotional under current governs how we relate to and participate in the world. Regarding politics, participatory democracy, and protest, the typical American mindset generally falls into one of three categories:

Fear – We are heavily propagandized to approach life from fear-centered consciousness. Life is to be viewed as a threat. America has already become a police state, and is heavily invested in the combination of fear and security. To the average person, the prospect of facing militarized police and possibly being beaten, gassed, dispersed, arrested and perhaps even criminally charged for voicing dissent is certainly an adequate deterrent.

Brutal, violent oppression of dissent works famously well to stop a protest, and for this, people logically fear getting involved.

Apathy – Apathy is another symptom of our cultural decline, and a mindset that keeps most people from participating in civics or protest. Apathy is a nearly-conscious choice to remain ignorant and distracted about something while pursuing the path of least resistance. Apathy seems to be the number one byproduct of our culture of convenience. People don’t care about the quality of our world enough to become involved.

Resignation – Many Americans understand all too well what is happening to constitutional and lawful government and realize that until a much more massive awakening occurs and far more people take interest, there is little to be gained from protesting. This resignation has led many to focus instead on preparing for the worst, including for scenarios like economic collapse and social unrest. Storing food and developing emergency plans is now seen by many as a more productive use of energy than attempting to influence a corrupt political system by participating in politics or protest.

While there are signs that Americans may be slowly waking from the dream-like state that is preventing any unified form of mass protest, it appears that for now, the formerly American qualities of courage, independence and self-determination have been replaced with fear, apathy, and resignation.

5. People Approve of the Status Quo

Americans, by and large, are still happy to enjoy the lifestyle that the status quo delivers, even if it means further forfeitures of privacy and essential human rights. Additionally, the lack of public opposition in mass is also a de facto approval of the political and economic status quo.

‘It is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission,’ goes the saying, and by not objecting to any scandal or violation, no matter how offensive, the majority of America consents to being governed by this domineering logic.

Whether actively or passively, the majority of America supports any and all actions by our government and the corporate status quo.

Conclusion

America is a wonderful place with a vast and breath-taking landscape and a rich culture of ingenuity and creativity. Americans are interesting and generous people. It is difficult to grasp the contradiction between the beautiful and comfortable aspects of American life and the troublesome developments emerging from our leadership. It not easy to understand the gap between the values extolled in still celebrated Declaration of Independence and the lack of public will to hold the government accountable to even the simple Bill of Rights.

Why don’t more Americans protest things like government spying, endless wars, the fraudulent banking system, the growing police state, the destruction of the environment, genetically modified foods, the assault on natural health, or even torture?

While the above 5 reasons are merely one person’s observations and generalizations about American culture, the patterns that emerge here are useful in helping to recognize opportunities for our own personal and collective evolution.

Please add any additional you thoughts you may have in the comments section below.

About the Author

Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he pursues the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Thousands of people join a march and demonstration to protest health care reform proposed by US President Barack Obama

Source: Waking Times.

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Ayn Rand School For Tots: Notes on Psychosis In American Capitalism

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I could have trashed this up by letting my emotional dislike for Ayn Rand takeover. Instead I put together a small sprinkling of notes to describe Ayn Rand. There’s much more that can and has been said about this woman, just as there’s books on Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and other psychotics.  A little research goes a long way. Ayn Rand fans have a terrible grasp on the real Ayn Rand, or they themselves suffer from the same sickness as Rand. That’s cool, even Charles Manson has fans. Why is Rand’s philosophy bad for mankind?

Conservatives keep claiming liberals want a “cradle-to-grave nanny state.” That rhetoric has distracted us from the real social re-engineering taking place all around us. The right, along with its “centrist” collaborators, is transforming our nation into a bloodless and soulless Randian State.

The Simpsons made a running joke out of Springfield’s ” Ayn Rand School for Tots,” where toddlers fend for themselves in playrooms whose signs say things like “Helping is Futile.” That’s very funny. What is happening to our country isn’t.

The Randian State is built in the morally depraved mold of right-wing über-heroine Rand, who reviled the less fortunate – and even those who tried to help them – as ” parasites,” while at the same time idolizing sociopathic killers.

That last statement isn’t rhetoric. It’s reporting. “He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman,” Rand wrote admiringly of child murderer and dismemberer William Edward Hickman. “He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’”

The Randian State’s first manifesto may have been the startling document produced by Ronald Reagan’s “blue ribbon” education commission in 1983, which proposed to use schools as factories for more effectively turning Millennials – and every generation that follows – into usable raw material for corporate production.

Remember Margaret Thatcher’s remark, “There is no such thing as society, only individuals”? That’s the sociopathic mindset in a nutshell. Of course, Thatcher added, “and their families,” an obligatory conservative feel-good trope. But as Hanauer told Chris Hayes, “These are the people who did not go to their kid’s soccer games.” In short, Thatcher was lying when she tacked on “families.” Sociopaths are like that — they lie a lot.

A psychosis is a major mental disorder. A psychopathic personality shows not a disorder of personality but rather a defect of personality, together with a set of defenses evolved around that defect. The defect relates to the most central element of the human personality: its social nature. The psychopath is simply a basically asocial or antisocial individual who has never achieved the developed nature of homo domesticus.

For those who haven’t had the great misfortune of reading “Atlas Shrugged,” the book is premised on the idea that if the world’s “creative leaders,” businessmen, innovators, artists (i.e., the “makers”) went on strike, our entire society would collapse. These strikers hide out in a utopian compound in the mountains of Colorado while the rest of us despondently wail and gnash our teeth and beg for them to once again bestow their creativity upon us.

The appeal of the Randian vision to today’s wealthy is obvious: it puts them back at the center of economic life. They long ago realized that rather than being the beneficent “makers” they had always imagined themselves to be, they were the parasitical “takers” they so despised. Their wealth, which was once a symbol that God praised their work, became an instrument for social change (Carnegie, Rockefeller) and eventually good in itself (Gates, Jobs). Social Darwinism, the idea that the economy is a “survival of the fittest” competition where the superior end up on top, exults the businessman as superior and deserving. But as Henry George noted of Herbert Spencer (the founder of Social Darwinism): “Mr. Spencer is like one who might insist that each should swim for himself in crossing a river, ignoring the fact that some had been artificially provided with corks and other artificially loaded with lead.” F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thorstein Veblen ridiculed the idea that the wealthy were in any way superior. Social Darwinism has resurged in conservative thought, supplementing the Randian vision to fortify a social order in which a minuscule proportion of society reaps its rewards.

Because the wealthy are no longer willing to use their wealth for good, they have decided to glorify the wealth itself as good.

Excerpt from alternet.org Conservatives Used to Mock Ayn Rand — How Did She Become a Hero to Right-Wing Nerds Everywhere? http://www.alternet.org/conservatives-used-mock-ayn-rand-how-did-she-become-hero-right-wing-nerds-everywhere

The growing influence on the American right of Ayn Rand, the libertarian right’s answer to Scientology’s novelist-philosopher L. Ron Hubbard, is a wonder to behold. When she died in 1982, Alissa Rosenbaum — the original name of the Russian-born novelist — was the leader of a marginal cult, the Objectivists, who had long been cast out of the mainstream American right. But the rise of Tea Party conservatism, fueled by white racial panic and zero-sum distributional conflicts in the Great Recession, has turned this minor, once-forgotten figure into an icon for a new generation of nerds who imagine themselves Nietzschean Ubermenschen oppressed by the totalitarian tyranny of the post office and the Social Security administration.

Rand-worshipers can be found in, among other places, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. At a 2005 gathering to honor her memory, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan declared, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”

The late Gore Vidal would not have been surprised by the former Republican vice-presidential candidate’s choice of a patron saint. After all, it was Vidal who observed, in a 1961 article for Esquire:

She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the ‘welfare’ state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts. For them, she has an enticing prescription: altruism is the root of all evil, self-interest is the only good, and if you’re dumb or incompetent that’s your lookout.

Vidal might be dismissed as a biased leftist. But the late William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of post-1945 conservatism who engaged in a famous televised spat with Vidal during the 1968 Democratic convention, shared Vidal’s contempt for Ayn Rand. After her death in 1982, Buckley wrote in the New York Daily News: “She was an eloquent and persuasive anti-statist, and if only she had left it at that, but no. She had to declare that God did not exist, that altruism was despicable, that only self-interest was good and noble.” In 2003 , Buckley described his encounter with Rand’s interminable propaganda novel “Atlas Shrugged”: “I had to flog myself to read it.”

Ayn Rand and her “Objectivist” cult members never forgave Buckley for reading them out of the mainstream American right, along with the equally crackpot John Birch Society. In 1957 Buckley, then the young editor of the flagship magazine of the conservative movement, National Review, published a review of “Atlas Shrugged” by Whittaker Chambers, the ex-communist intellectual who had played a key role in exposing Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy.

Chambers titled his review ” Big Sister Is Watching You.” He wrote:

Its story is preposterous. It reports the final stages of a final conflict (locale: chiefly the United States, some indefinite years hence) between the harried ranks of free enterprise and the “looters.” These are proponents of proscriptive taxes, government ownership, Labor, etc. etc. The mischief here is that the author, dodging into fiction, nevertheless counts on your reading it as political reality. “This,” she is saying in effect, “is how things really are. These are the real issues, the real sides. Only your blindness keeps you from seeing it, which, happily, I have come to rescue you from.”

The juvenile plot of “Atlas Shrugged” is a melodramatic war between “Children of Light” and “Children of Darkness”:

The Children of Light are largely operatic caricatures. In so far as any of them suggests anything known to the business community, they resemble the occasional curmudgeon millionaire, tales about whose outrageously crude and shrewd eccentricities sometimes provide the lighter moments in Board rooms. Otherwise, the Children of Light are geniuses. One of them is named (the only smile you see will be your own): Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian d’Anconia.

Today’s libertarian rightist radicals distinguish between “makers” and “takers.” In the flagship conservative magazine of the 1950s, Whittaker Chambers did not tolerate such crude sloganeering:

In Atlas Shrugged, all this debased inhuman riffraff is lumped as “looters.” This is a fairly inspired epithet. It enables the author to skewer on one invective word everything and everybody that she fears and hates. This spares her the plaguey business of performing one service that her fiction might have performed, namely: that of examining in human depth how so feeble a lot came to exist at all, let alone be powerful enough to be worth hating and fearing. Instead, she bundles them into one undifferentiated damnation.

Long before the historian Corey Robin made the case for the Nietzschean roots of much modern libertarianism, Chambers detected Nietzsche’s influence on the author of “Atlas Shrugged”:

Miss Rand acknowledges a grudging debt to one, and only one, earlier philosopher: Aristotle. I submit that she is indebted, and much more heavily, to Nietzsche. Just as her operatic businessmen are, in fact, Nietzschean supermen, so her ulcerous leftists are Nietzsche’s “last men,” both deformed in a way to sicken the fastidious recluse of Sils Maria. And much else comes, consciously or not, from the same source.

Chambers concluded that despite all her talk about individualism and liberty, Rand was driven by a romantic and illiberal vision in which a heroic minority of superhuman geniuses would remake a corrupt society from top to bottom:

One Big Brother is, of course, a socializing elite (as we know, several cut-rate brands are on the shelves). Miss Rand, as the enemy of any socializing force, calls in a Big Brother of her own contriving to do battle with the other. In the name of free enterprise, therefore, she plumps for a technocratic elite (I find no more inclusive word than technocratic to bracket the industrial-financial-engineering caste she seems to have in mind).

Chambers did not live to see one of Ayn Rand’s early disciples, Alan Greenspan, become chairman of the Federal Reserve, the ultimate technocrat of the financial caste, if not of industrialists and engineers.

Rand’s conceited Nietzschean elitism was shared by another libertarian hero, Friedrich von Hayek, who wrote to Rand: “You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you.” ( Hayek later confessed that he was defeated by “Atlas Shrugged”: “Although I tried seriously to read the book, I failed, because there was no romance in it. I tried even more diligently to read that fellow John Galt’s hundred-page declaration of independence, and I knew I’d be questioned on all that, but I just couldn’t get through it.”)

The mentality of Ayn Rand, as described by Chambers back in 1957 in the pages of the leading conservative magazine, is remarkably similar to the mentality of the Tea Party right that seeks to sabotage government (as Rand’s heroes sabotage the economy), no matter the consequences for the nation:

In addition, the mind which finds this tone natural to it shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked.

What should we conclude from the fact that Ayn Rand’s works are admired by 21st century American rightists like Paul Ryan who have forgotten, if they ever knew about, sophisticated conservative intellectuals like Chambers and Buckley? Gore Vidal’s comments in 1961 seem chillingly prescient in 2014immorality:

Ayn Rand’s ‘philosophy’ is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society. Moral values are in flux. The muddy depths are being stirred by new monsters and witches from the deep. Trolls walk the American night. Caesars are stirring in the Forum. There are storm warnings ahead.