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Why Americans Feel So Helpless and Hopeless

Why Americans Feel So Helpless and Hopeless

Yes, a pessimistic title but nonetheless, its truth. Many authors far more eloquent than I have said and are saying the same thing but use different words. I am going to speak my mind but who can say what thoughts are truly their own? After all, we are a culmination of everything we have read, seen, heard, & experienced. I am speaking of the most pressing priority facing America i.e. the survival of the human species! And I am addressing all those Americans who truly care about not only America’s future but the future of our species. The greed, the lust for wealth, possessions, fame, power, etc. has so taken over the powers that be, that it’s like an alien force has come to earth and invaded their minds. Of course this isn’t peculiar to just America but the fact that the U.S. is the superpower militarily and that if our economy goes down the toilet, so does the rest of the world’s nation states, lays the responsibility for saving ourselves from the never enough greedy swine running the show up until now. I am going to highlight four elements which have contributed to our being at this crossroads of whether the human species will go on for much longer.

First and foremost is the general sense of disempowerment. Ever since I first got interested in politics when old, Ronnie Reagan first took office, the overwhelming majority of family, friends, & acquaintances I’ve met, have told me in a somewhat condescending tone, “there’s no use getting upset about politics Rob, that’s just the way things are and we can’t do anything about it.” Sometimes the tone wasn’t exactly condescending but similar to an older and wiser person counseling a naïve, young lad. I have tried to be polite and disagree in a polite manner but I am sick and tired of playing nice while we go to Hell in a hand-basket. I’m not saying the wealthy have conspired in some grand conspiracy as the nutcases who espouse theories of the Illuminati and other such schoolboy yarns but because of the stranglehold on power wielded by the power elite for so long, the effect on all of us not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, has been the same as if it were a global conspiracy. This first element of pointlessness, hopelessness, or apathy is the most serious obstacle facing us and it is also the most difficult to pin down.

Why do so many of us give up on our ideals, principles, values, dreams, etc.? And why are there always a relative handful of people who refuse to accept “reality?” perhaps it’s fear that holds most of us back? The fear of being ridiculed, the fear of being alone because the “majority” of your friends believe the “common sense” that everyone knows is a fact or the truth, or maybe it’s the fear of being wrong that stops so many good people from joining in the battle for justice, freedom, equality, etc.? Or could it be intellectual laziness on the part of some of us who have the critical & analytical thinking skills to do the work but aren’t willing to invest the time and energy necessary to be of service to their fellow citizens? Apathy is defined as “lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.” And I shared this definition with you because I wish to point out that it took me quite some time to realize that politics is not something outside our lives, politics is not something separate that doesn’t affect us. No, politics affects nearly every sphere of our lives and what we should all be truly afraid of is just how pervasive that affect is.

How can a person truly not be interested in what politicians are doing & saying when they pass laws rewarding corporations for closing their plants & offices in America? What if it were your job? What if you lost your home, lost your pension, lost your health insurance, etc.? Does that not touch you & your loved ones’ lives? Can you truly not be interested or have any concern what the rapacious reptiles in Washington D.C. and their corporate masters are doing to not only us but around the globe as well? I say that if you are truly that removed from the realities of American politics & business practices and still claim to not care, you deserve no sympathy when your world comes crashing down around your head. Our fate is humanity’s fate. Compassion for our fellow man is the lifeblood of humanity; it’s what makes us human. To buy into the maxim that its survival of the fittest and everybody for themselves, is to accept precisely what the greedy & powerful want us to believe. They have spewed this garbage for so long that most people take it for a truth or “reality.” But this is the ancient divide and conquer strategy that the rich from the beginning of history have used to keep the lower classes divided and fighting against one another i.e. distracted, and thereby not bothering the wealthy who have always taken far more than their share of everything.

Second among the four elements leading us down the road to self-destruction is the pervasive sense of being powerless as individuals to make any difference. This element is also nebulous or vague and hard to define. My experience tells me that this sense of despair slowly creeps into our very marrow. I have been a dreamer for most of my life and my dreams have often been just about the only thing that kept me alive or getting out of bed yet another day. I am about to tell you some of my personal pain, not because I seek pity but rather out of a deep-seated pity for all those around the globe who have & continue to suffer. In a nutshell, I was raised by a single, working mom who worked two or three jobs at a time to make ends meet. And perhaps because life was so cruel to her, she drank to temporarily escape the pain, anger, disappointment, & the humiliation she had to live with? As I progressed through my teenage years, I began to realize that we were poor. I wanted an Ozzie & Harriet family like millions of other American kids growing up in the fifties and sixties but instead had to deal with abusive stepfathers & boyfriends of my mom’s, the embarrassment of my mom coming home drunk when my friends were over, etc. I wanted to be a forest ranger but when I checked into it learned that I should have had physics, calculus, trigonometry, etc. in high school. My high school didn’t even offer these subjects and though I had been evaluated as reading at the eleventh grade, sixth month level when I was in the sixth grade, I’d never been counseled or encouraged or even offered a way out academically. I enlisted in the army because they were going to draft me soon because of my low lottery number and I began to realize that I could be sent to Vietnam. I wasn’t politically aware at the time but trusted my gut instincts and thus began the start of my rebellion and my true education. I say this not to brag but to simply share with you just one story, my story, which has led me to the brink of despair and wanting to give up many times. I believe the major reason why I didn’t give in to despair completely was my imagination. Books became my best friends as I grew up. They offered me an escape from the ugly reality of my life and they never let me down. Books always lifted my spirits and helped me to believe that another life was possible. A life of happiness, fulfillment, justice, equality, love, etc.

Conversely, my love of reading and seeking the truth or wisdom that the pursuit of knowledge promises the worthy adventurer, led me to the third element that I know is a major factor contributing to our subservience to the power elite, and which I have touched briefly on already, our public education system. Again, I don’t want to come across as a “conspiracy nut,” but as Michael Parenti has said, “not all conspiracy theories are theories.” I strongly recommend a book by John Taylor Gatto titled “The Underground History of American Education.” I have read this book twice and made copious notes in its pages & used it extensively in a book I’m writing. I’m not sure but I get a sense that Gatto may be a closet fundamentalist. Nonetheless, he reveals a gold mine of little known facts about our public education system. Gatto steers clear of calling our dismal educational system the result of a conspiracy but comes closest to the truth I feel when he tells us of the influence of Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, & J.P. Morgan had on public education. I find it very interesting that J.P. Morgan who first started profiting by selling defective rifles to the government during the American Civil War, then had a major impact on the first Great Depression, and now is a major player in the current, world-wide economic crisis. For the sake of brevity & because I have already written a book on this subject, I’m just going to quote from a website called the E-Files (www.e-files.org/archive/edition7)

“…foundations from their start took control of or heavily influenced American education in teacher training and certification, student testing, the accreditation of educational institutions, funding of behavioral research, organization of universities, development of curricula, writing of textbooks, writing of standards, definition of educational goals, use of psychological techniques, drafting and passage of education legislation, funding of activist groups, promotion of centralization of education in Washington, and more. The foundations understand that by controlling education, they can control society.”

Of course, defenders of the status quo or the American Dream (myth) will argue, why shouldn’t America’s business leaders be involved in the education/training of their prospective or possible future employees? I say no, these corporate behemoths have no business interfering in public education because “training” is one thing but indoctrination is quite another. How many times must we be screwed by these bastards before we wake up to the fact that they are, to a large extent, robber barons, cold-blooded mercenaries, modern day pirates wearing a cloak of authority paid for by legalized bribery i.e. campaign contributions, etc. sanctified by the lap-dog politicians who do their bidding. And they haven’t been exactly secretive about their goals e.g. globalization & the privatization of everything (means the profits go to them but the costs/risks go to us) from water, education, parks, food, energy, post office, prisons, military, etc. etc. etc. Consider the news of the last several months which has reported record profits & rewards for the CEOs of the “too big to fail” banks & etc. while millions of Americans are losing their homes, pensions, health care, dignity, etc. And this ties-in nicely with the fourth factor that causes so many of us to feel helpless & hopeless in changing things, the corporate media.

I believe it was Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Herman Goering who understood & so effectively used propaganda to manipulate the German public into becoming loyal Nazis. He knew for example, that the greater the lie & the more frequently it was repeated, the sooner it became accepted as truth. And this is precisely what the American far right wing fascist extremists have been doing with their mantra of “the liberal bias in the media.” Common sense tells me that if there truly were a “liberal bias” in the mainstream media, America would resemble the Scandinavian countries with their free university education for all citizens, high quality housing & medical care for all, etc. Moreover, if there were a liberal bias (conspiracy), we’d have a plethora of competing publishers, television programming representing the far left, progressive, or liberal views. Instead, we have the “Fox News Network,” clearly the handmaidens to the military/industrial complex. We now have four or five giant media conglomerates that control almost 100% of what Americans think/believe because they control the content of what they allow to be broadcast or printed and therefore disseminated to the American public. Again, common sense tells me that the wealthy do everything they can to assure that they remain wealthy & have ever more opportunities to rape, pillage, & plunder. This is why they can never cease in their war/battle against the American public. The power elite seek total domination of the government, media, public education system, the military, etc. Because if they cease in their propaganda/indoctrination campaign and powerful intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky was able to speak regularly and at great length, the power structure would begin to crumble. Yeah, I know, sounds like conspiracy rubbish again but it only sounds too fantastic because it is so sinister but the reality we live in nonetheless.

I’m going to conclude by giving you some homework. Of course if you’d prefer to remain ignorant & simply complain about this desperate situation humanity is in, you’ll immediately start giving reasons why you don’t have the time to read e.g. I work long hours and when I come home I’m exhausted. Yeah, but you can watch 40 to 80 hours or m ore of television each week? I have put in that many hours per week since 1980 and I’m sick & tired of people expecting me to break down thirty years of research, reading, & writing to short, five minute explanations because their attention span is so short & they demand that my presentation be entertaining or spellbinding/dramatic. No, I’m not playing that game anymore. If you care, you’ll get off your ass and start informing yourself and sharing what you discover with others. Only by uniting in our common humanity & love/compassion for humanity, can we turn back the tide of these vile, human-like but malevolent maggots on mankind’s dying body! Here is a brief reading list of powerful minds & spirits that help start the process of self-enlightenment should you prefer to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem?

In no particular order of importance:
Buckminster Fuller, Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Marva Collins, F.A.I.R. Fairness & Accuracy in Media, Noam Chomsky, Neil Postman, Jerry Mander, Phil Donahue, Robert M. Chesney, Amy Goodman (Democracy Now! Television & web news site), Radio Station KPFK (Los Angeles, Pacifica radio network) program “Background Briefing,” Michael Parenti, Norman Soloman, Jeff Cohen, Eric Alterman, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, George Carlin, the movie “Network,” Robert Jay Lifton, Robert Scheer, Jacques Ellul, Ben Bagdikian, Edward S. Herman “Beyond Hypocrisy,” Mark Crispin Miller, Thomas Frank, Naomi Klein, Henry Giroux, and countless others which you will stumble upon if you start checking out what the above individuals have to say. If you join us in battle, I welcome you as a brother or sister. And if you choose to go on in willful ignorance, it will probably be on your conscience when the corporate cockroaches policies directly touch you or your loved ones’ lives? Anyway, you can’t say that I didn’t at least try to warn you! There is no knight in shining armor that can come to our rescue and save the world/humanity. We are a global village and it takes a village to save a village i.e. unless we all care about one another and act to protect this human village, the reptilian human forms will triumph & life will no longer be worth living.

Persevere!!!

Rob DeLoss, May 20, 2010 (Arcata, CA)

P.S.  And one simple way we can reduce our feelings of helplessness & hopelessness is to talk to one another. So, please let me know what you think about what I’ve said whether pro or con. We gain confidence as we gradually realize that we are united in our oppression and anger at the greedy ones. Let’s maintain a conversation and support one another.

14 replies
    • admin
      admin says:

      Hi Terry, and please keep on writing because it gives me the energy to keep on writing. Love to hear others’ point of view because I’m just fumbling in the darkness.

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