Education

Strange Encounter

It is hard to make sense of superficial interactions. Having to put so much stock in emotional reactions is draining, especially for one who prefers logic and intellectual conquest. Trying to find deeper meaning in something devoid of emotion is enough to give someone an aneurism. Even when the other person opens up in a conversation, it seems hollow; the strange encounter continues.

Knowing human nature requires companionship is the motivation to continue the conversation. The conversation quickly devolves into a farrago of indifference and confusion. Not sure if the other person is damaged, but she seems disoriented. Remembering that it is best to make lemonade with lemons, it is important to remember that bad lemons makes for a bad drink. A great effort is made to keep the situation from becoming more awkward.

Feeling totally out of place as if trapped in a bad dream; the feeling of disassociation is overwhelming. It is not her personally, just the environment and circumstances. Phlegmatic as usual, just going through the motions in the usual default mode. All the while plotting to exit the situation to keep the minute amount of sanity from slipping further. In retrospect, it would have been better to avoid the situation in the first place.

Going through life and having awkward situations is happens from time to time. Getting caught off guard due to a lack of meaningful past experience haunted the interaction. Always craving something deeper but unable to attain it for various reasons made the past prologue. Not knowing where or how to find it is harder than finding El Dorado. Not having emotional needs met is unfulfilling in the quest for advancement.

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Huckster

The masses are destitute and see no signs of relief. They are looking for a champion who will articulate their pain and offer solutions. It does not matter how superficial or impractical those plans are; as long as they can form an emotional connection to something bigger than themselves. While they are suffering in silence and self-destructing, a huckster appears with the panacea for their misfortunes.

Lots of market research was done to know that destitute segment of the market. The huckster knows everything about them: their thoughts, feelings, interest, internet searches, and so much more. He assembles the perfect package to get the message out: radio ads, billboards, television ads, and social media. He knows them well enough to ingratiate himself into their culture. Over time he becomes their champion, giving voice to those who think of themselves as ciphers.

When the huckster speaks the audience hangs off his every word and salivates at his presence. He offers a way out of their current problems by scapegoating others and making unrealistic promises. They have reached the point where rational thought is absent and following the herd. The captive audience has transformed into a cult who are now happy because that is how they are told to feel. For the first time in recent memory, they belong to something.

Anyone who is in their path will be destroyed with extreme prejudice. They possess a unitary hive mentality that is 100% id. Innocent people will suffer for the misery of the cult feeling left behind. They look to others to blame in the same class while ignoring the machinations of the meritocratic elites. Let the funeral pyre begin, for while trying to destroy the establishment, their Sherman Tank approach destroys the good with the bad.

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Meritocratic Myth

In America solidarity is antithetical to the meritocracy. This is because in a meritocracy it is every person for themselves; Social Darwinism by another name. Solidarity is rarely discussed in public-except when teamwork benefits work activities. For the most part it is the meritocracy which rules our lives and shapes our culture. It is at the behest of the meritocratic elites that solidarity is seen effeminate and wanting to be swaddled.

The fallacy of the meritocracy is evident in the so-called skills gap. Workers who do not possess the right set of skills as deficient; as if they cannot be trained. If they lack the natural skill then it is their problem, so they are useless in the eyes of the meritocracy. For some reason we do not invest in our workforce/wealth creators because it is cheaper to wait for one who does not need training. Let the government pay to train the workers so they can enrich private capital.

If there is any type of organization that represents solidarity, it is a union. Unions bring democracy to the work place-too much democracy for the meritocracy. There is a difference between discussing matters with the boss alone and making demands as a group. Unions make it harder for the meritocracy to play favorites and rule the workplace like a dictator. Mostly, unions are responsible for a vibrant middle class.

Meritocratic elites create problems for the masses and then blame them. Creating divisions and self pity among the masses only strengthens their hand. At some point the threshold will break, and the masses will rise up. We have seen this with mass social movements that have sprung up in recent years. The adage proves true: united we stand, divided we fall.

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Plantation

Out of all of the relics of the American past, the most misunderstood is the plantation. In a symbolic way, plantations represent the institution of slavery and race in a contemporary sense. Plantations still exist-not just in the mind, but as physical landscapes. Not too many people see them, and when viewed they are ignored or serve some self-interest. A situation the descendants of those who worked on those plantations can relate to.

For the most part we gloss over what happened on those plantations. Massive human rights violations: torture, rape, and murder were routinely committed in the name of the god Mammon. After a bloody war to free the slaves a historical narrative emerged that portrayed plantation life as a vacation paradise. The culture went a step further by making movies glamorizing the southern redeemer cause, thus revising history. It should come as no surprise that differing opinions on what really happened because of conflicting stories about the past.

What are plantations used for today? They are used for weddings, poetry summits, and other entertainment purposes. Since the land is just sitting there it should be used as some profit making venture. In fact, why not bring back those vagrancy laws that put people in jail for minor crimes? We can take law and order a step further and bring back chain gangs. This would teach those people the value of work. Just think of the economic opportunities; we can have cheap labor, turnover will not be a problem due to vagrancy laws, and privatization will make everything more efficient. This is a plan that will truly make America great again.

When talking about the holocaust people often say never again. In dealing with America’s racial past we say; forget about it or get over it. Symbolically, in one way or another the status quo has been preserved. This is because we ignore the past and pretend it has no relevancy to today. If we act now, we can reconcile history to make a better future for everyone.

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Revolt

Throughout history working people have not always been treated fairly. This unkind treatment has lead to acrimony and hatred of the significant classes. Whether for economic survival or forced servitude, they rarely see the fruits of their labor. Workers have often been divided along many lines, often race in the western hemisphere. This dividing line keeps people with common interest from creating a union devoted to the betterment of all.

There exist a Caribbean island where the native people were wiped out through genocide and pestilence. What took its place was a bizarre racial caste system which served to create profits for a homunculus dictator in a far away land. The profits the island generated made it among the richest places on the planet. Productivity increased beyond human capacity due to inhumane treatment of the workers. However, there is a breaking point which has been reached, and the workers begin to revolt.

The workers begin to strike and engage in industrial sabotage to voice their discontent. A charismatic man leads the Black Jacobins on a quest for freedom from their oppressors. They are outnumbered because the dictator sends the phalanx of troops, but the workers have the advantage of determination, intellect, and knowledge of the terrain. Eventually the working people win their freedom; a first in the western hemisphere. Unfortunately, as it is often said, enjoy the war, for the peace will be terrible.

The workers were punished for freeing themselves and they had to pay a price. Their freedom caused the mother country to lose money which infuriated the dictator. Under their investor state dispute policy, the freedmen had to recompense their former captors for the loss of profits. With no one else willing to recognize their freedom they were left to fend for themselves with no resources. This condition of poverty continued for centuries, and the only help that was offed to them came in the form of neoliberalism.

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Individualism

Individualism is a multifarious concept that is really hard to grasp because of the ideological perspective one puts on the definition. One form of individualism that people often think about is rugged individualism: the kind of individualism that focuses on self interest. Another type of individualism that is often thought of is of the more humanistic variety: one defined by the discovery of self and guiding their own destiny.

To a great extent rugged individualism is spiritual death. This death is caused by selfishness and indifference to the existence of others. This theory holds that the only way to discover ones true self is to only consider self interest as paramount to reaching a goal. This way of thinking is narrow and has a myopic, tunnel vision way of viewing life. Anyone who stands in their way had best be careful, for they will be crushed.

Individualism of the humanistic variety is a type of self discovery that is quite different. This belief entails asking questions that are essential to self-determination. Learning is done for the purposes of advancement and contentment. Walking through many doors and hoping to find the right path to fulfillment is the goal. If fortunate, the individual will find their way without staying in the dark rooms too long.

One burning question is does any sense of individualism conflict with the quest for companionship? Not entirely-for knowing oneself enables one to know how they relate to others. How much should a person depend on others? Only as much as it provides comfort without being needy; for that creates a vulnerability that can be exploited. Considering all of the forms individualism may take; the journey is essential to life.

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Conformity

The pursuit of conformity is a foolish quest that everyone seeks at one point or another. If everyone jumped off a bridge would you? Clich├ęd as it is, this question gets to a disturbing truism, and if one were honest, the answer would likely be a tepid acquiescence. Thinking of this not in a literal sense, but a symbolic one. Given a less extreme question, the answer is more likely to be a resounding yes.

The problem with conformity is that it can take an individual away from their true self. Succumbing to the pressure to conform diverts one from the path they should travel. Pressure to conform is the strongest of social pulls, because most people would rather avoid the pangs of isolation. Living life this we betrays the person we should become.

If one were to conform to expectations-what is the reward? In all likelihood it would be a feeling of acceptance and emotional security. However, if individual problems arise, would the herd be there to lend support? Why would they if we are a society of rugged individuals. As a society we promote the idea that everyone should be self-sufficient and pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

A contradiction, to be sure, but that is the strange way modern society works. One should seek to join the herd mentality, but solve their own problems because solving personal problems is a matter of personal responsibility. True happiness and self-fulfillment can be found in a spiritual, individualistic sense. Being a free and critical thinker prevents others from exerting control for their selfish purpose(s). Being controlled/conforming to expectations is a subservience no person should endure.

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