Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Uneducated Electorate

Many of us are aware that the elitists currently pouring millions into this election cycle anonymously care little about education. Indeed, these elitists prefer ignorance and misinformation as the best tactic to maintain power and control. As such, the poor state of our elections and electorate is to be expected.

The charade called the 2010 Election brings to an end any honest discussion about the quality of information and education we the people receive through the corporate-controlled media. The litany of ridiculous ideas a substantial minority of our electorate holds deserves mention only for the absurdity of the positions. President Obama is Muslim, born in Hawaii, and educated in Indonesia. Global warming is a hoax, the science proves it, and we are now involved in yet another religion war. Tax cuts for the rich create jobs. Wars are required for our national security. What’s good for Wall Street is good for Main Street. We require a Federal Reserve Bank for ‘federal reserves’. The litany is endless.

Propaganda, the dissemination of falsehoods for special interest gains, has been with us for centuries. Even the Revolutionary War had to be ‘sold’ to a reluctant populace. Wealthy landowners who wanted to reduce their tax burden to England were the instigators. The peasants had little interest, knowing their lot changed little regardless of who held power.

In the 1930s propaganda become “public relations”, and the mislabeling of bad ideas and misleading the populace became common place  Edward Bernays. And while the tactics became more sophisticated, the goal didn’t change. The elitists of the day believed benevolent control by elites was far superior to a democracy of the uneducated – all the while contributing to that lack of education. [Herman and Chomsky’s book, Manufacturing Consent, was taken from Edward Bernays who famously said “the engineering of consent" is the very "essence of the democratic process.”]

Things got much worse in the 1970s as conservatives and moneyed interests organized. Conservative think tanks, right-wing radio, fundamentalist preachers and lots of cash began to create a political machine that has dominated honest efforts at democracy ever since. In 1970, there were 135 lobbyists. By the time Reagan was elected in 1980, there were over 1500. Today, there are hundreds of lobbyists for each member of congress, an industry worth 3.2 billion dollars.

A 1991 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) uncovered just how porous was the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946. The GAO found that about 10,000 of the 13,500 individuals and organizations listed as key influence peddlers on Capitol Hill in a book entitled Directory of Washington Representatives were not registered as lobbyists. No wonder real wages have been stagnant for forty years.

With this backdrop, it should be no surprise when Tea Party candidates win primaries for the job of senator or congress person. We have been encouraged to vote against our best interests for generations. We have been goaded by ‘hot button issues’ like gay marriage instead of following the money. We’ve been discouraged, deluded and disillusioned by corporate media, losing our center and sense of power as we’re told what is ‘real’ and ‘possible’ by agenda-driven pundits. The anonymous pockets behind right-wing fundamentalism are deep.

This election cycle does offer something new, if not positive. The United States Supreme Court earlier this year determined that corporations cannot be limited in their contributions to preferred candidates. And that they can hide their contributions through third-party groups. This means customers and clients don’t know the politics of companies they support, not to mention the massive sums involved. Can there be any question that this decision undermines what crumbs of democracy that remain in these United States?

The Tea Party slate of candidates throws another twist into this cycle. We have rarely seen such extreme positions for high office. In a curiosity, this Tea Party radicalism may be the saving grace for a weak democratic party in this election cycle. There’s a high level of disgust for both parties, with record levels of dissatisfaction among the citizenry, and elitists have figured out how to leverage that dissatisfaction for their own gain. They use their money to misinform, to confuse and confound, to attack, to lie and deny – to buy our wounded democracy.

Another oddity. Much of the Tea Party funding comes from non-local sources. Carl Rove has raised millions through his 527 group ‘American Crossroads,’ over 90% from just three billionaire donors. We don’t yet know how national dollars will impact local races.

This malaise would not be upon us if the Democratic Party were the champions of common sense and the common good. But here again nothing changes. No, they act as the quasi-sane yet horribly ineffective party because that is their role in this charade. Obama’s health care reform was a pathetic effort in light of his campaign promise. The ‘health care’ corporations remain in charge without even a public option. The same is true for the financial reform bill and every other piece of legislation. Corporate control is maintained. There is no integrity.

We have an uneducated electorate because of broad-spectrum corruption across the whole political and economic system. This core issue is reflected in everything from our educational system to the 24 hour news channels. It would be ugly enough if it were just greed, but there’s a certain malevolence in encouraging ignorance for personal gain at the expense of the common good.

We can see and feel the poverty and degradation that has been slowly overtaking our communities for years. This is because our government caters to huge corporations, giving them our tax money. This because our government values corporate interests over citizen interests. This because, as we follow the money, the elites, the owners of corporations, have nearly all of it.

We obviously don’t know yet how this election cycle plays out, especially with well-funded Tea Party enthusiasm, fortified by a purported news network. But we do know of unprecedented involvement by special interest groups, and their goal is obvious.

All this foolishness can be understood because of our lack or awareness about the nature of things. We don’t understand reality. Religion tells us God, or Awareness, is the ultimate force. Science tells us the whole universe is energy. Common sense dictates the conclusion that awareness and energy are the two great fundamentals of reality. And that this co-mingling can happen only Now.

From the World 5.0 perspective, this totality of our present reality is based on the intermingling of Awareness and Energy, or stillness and motion. Opposing forces creating together. The Great Tao. These two fundamental forces do not exist, and cannot touch, outside of Now. Compare this to our common notion about living in time, dividing reality into past, present, future. But such a notion is dead wrong. We cannot live in past or future. Indeed, we cannot leave This Moment.

Once we understand the totality of This Moment, we appreciate that of prime concern is our intent — how we fill this moment. We have but two options, fear or Love, and we live in one or the other to varying degrees. Fear continues the patterns of greed and hate we’re so familiar with in the media and politics. Love recognizes our commonality and equality, resetting our priorities and experience of This Moment.

This is the awareness that allows for true learning, nurturing, and real education. We are so culturally lost the obvious truth of reality seems ridiculous, incomprehensible. So we have a steep climb. But at least we now have the path of World 5.0.

Returning more to topic, how do we combat this onslaught of elitist cash? Education, knowledge and awareness. We fight for transparency at every turn. We educate ourselves and those close to us. We calmly refute hate-mongers who would distract us. And we leverage the one small crumb allowed us as citizens still; we vote.

We can’t fix this mess alone. We can only do it together. We can only find real freedom with awareness of This Moment and in spending Now without fear. We can only fix the system by replacing corruption with integrity. By living Here in Peace and Love. This is what World 5.0 is all about.

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