We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The JFK Factor: Bill O’Reilly on the Assassination, Then and Now
The author by comparing Bill O'Reilly's journalist activities in the 1990s and in recent years illustrates how honest, ordinary people are often seduced into engaging in corrupt practices to serve the capitalist system and its benefactors, the One Percent. I have personally witnessed this sickening process several times. I'm not referring to the ordinary ethical and moral compromises that many of us have to make just to survive in this amoral system of capitalism, although these can be instrumental in leading people down the road to commit more serious transgressions. It is a process that is used everywhere in the world by political operatives of the One Percent to induce people to commit all kinds of immoral and criminal acts on behalf of the system. The dynamics of capitalism turn many ordinary, decent people into sociopaths. Likewise, people with sociopathic tendencies do very well in a capitalist system. They tend to rise to the top like cream in raw milk.
We see such people most clearly in mercenary armies, but also in brutal police forces, in secret agencies that flout human and civil rights, as informers in activist organizations, in academia to teach capitalist values and views, in Congress to pass laws for the benefit of the One Percent, and in mainstream media illustrated in O'Reilly's career. It is sometimes discouraging to see how easily and how often people succumb to the inducements of the wealthy and powerful. People who are willing to make these Faustian bargains are one of the biggest problems confronting any social change movement. It is probably the most serious flaw in human nature.