The inimitable George Carlin, in one of his last stand-up routines, had the theme, "It's bullshit, and it's bad for you." So true in our world today. The bullshit and the bad. The source of both is the money. You can always follow the money. And where does the money lead? To those that have far and away the most: global corporations and their well-heeled controllers, uber-rich families, the elites of the world who have known nothing else, the Goldmans, the Rothschilds, the Saudi Royal Family, and any number of collaborators and government "servants" who share their misplaced priorities.
At every turn in our lives, as American and global citizens, we see the pattern of bullshit being shoved down our collective throats repeat itself endlessly. Recent events like the oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, the feeble attempt at healthcare reform, and the 2008 Financial Collapse are just the most striking current examples in this parade of bullshit.
It's an old parade. Our founding fathers used the fear of slaves rising up against their owners in their push for a new republic. They similarly demonized the Red Man to justify their atrocities and aggression against these indigenous Americans. They wanted only property owners to vote, giving the vote to "all white males" only because they needed to increase the tepid support for the revolution. And these were the good guys.
It's not been much better in other places or at other times. It's the most repeated story in human history - the powerful abusing those with less power, taking more than their share, destroying the planet for their whim, and squeezing we, the people in every form of shake-down to maintain this corrupt and unjust system. And then some sort of justification based on bullshit. What's changed today is scope.
Just as there has always been the unscrupulous, there have been those who call them out. The Thomas Paine types, most recently emulated by the marvelous Howard Zinn, who points out in his "A People's History of the United States" just how our government has consistently sided with the powerful, and the elite. And this while giving the citizenry bullshit in the form of "PR" or public relations, another name for the propaganda machine developed in the 1930s and 1040s. Indeed, the term public relations was invented just for U.S. government elitist purposes.
And curiously, just as honest voices have been shut out from corporate media [television and right-wing radio], the Internet has provided a new outlet for viewpoints that deviate from the corporate mantra of American Exceptionalism. You can google or wiki American Exceptionalism for a more detailed understanding of the term, but to be succinct: It's bullshit and it's bad for you.
One part of this notion is that America, due to [presumably] some unfailing dedication to human health and ecological soundness, gets to set the military and economic agenda for the whole world. Especially since WWII, our government has become the main vehicle for the elitist agenda, and there is no interest in noble, life-sustaining goals, except as PR. So we invade, we build and maintain bases, we tout Shock Doctrine Economics, and we continue to destroy our planet. We, as a country, exhibit every characteristic of Empire, and yet the vast majority of American citizens find that idea completely off base. That's the effectiveness of bullshit in our culture.
Most American people are upside down with the truth. Our country is a democracy in name only, with our political system so infected with corporate dollars there's no hope for the citizen agenda. We have a two party plutocracy, one nearly as infected by elitism as the other. As our friends at Cyrano's Journal Online maintain, "If voting could really change things, it would be illegal." That's why we believe we citizens need to force the issue - rise up and demand a rewrite to the U.S. Constitution based on what we know today. Corporations are not people. CEOs are not overlords. Communities have rights too.
Which brings us to the other part of American Exceptionalism, this notion of individual rights superceding community rights. Much of the Tea Party mentality supports this notion, including the suddenly infamous Rand Paul. But it would seem that this is due to the success of the propaganda machine as opposed to a real threat to individual liberties, such as those that occur with telephone wiretaps and database tracking of individuals. The propaganda machine has been so effective we rail against the constraints of community while barely noticing the end of Habeas Corpus in the United States.
Sadly, Tea Party concerns are often bogus, mimicking the talking points of right-wing radio. Sadly, many seem to lack the ability to discern truth, taking the less-accurate route of chanting slogans. Sadly, most Tea Party proponents do not understand how they undermine their own best interests with their mantras. "Keep your governments hands off my Medicare" is one of striking irony.
Just as an individual cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theater because of obvious community issues, a corporation should not be allowed to treat workers or the environment badly for a few more dollars in profit. The stories of ruined lives and ruined ecologies are endless, consistent and one with the pattern of elitist control mentioned at the beginning of this article. U.S. dependence on oil, mountaintop removal mining, mining waste, deforestation and desertification, child labor and sex slaves, Palistine, global warming, and endlessly on...
Bill Maher recently commented that Al Queda is not nearly as effective at destroying America as Wall Street and BP. What? Could the whole threat of terrorism be bullshit too? OMG!!!
It's bullshit and it's bad for you. You want to start reducing the level of bullshit in your life? Find clarity in nature, find discernment in your forgiving, quieted mind, turn off the propaganda machine in your living room, and start with some positive behavior, like boycotting BP corporation and joining the World5 movement. After all, we move from Here.