Your Indoctrination Trope Is Showing

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

This post originally ran October 31, 2017.

In a previous post, I described a phenomena called “Indoctrination Trope”. I want to go more deeply into what this is.

Indoctrination trope is a kind of statement which has no thought behind it. It is a knee-jerk reaction stemming from long-term exposure to propaganda.

In western, non-communist countries, most of which are wholly dominated by capitalism, it takes the form of American Exceptionalism, free-market supremacy (although there are NO free, legal commercial markets on the planet), capitalist idealism (which by definition is accompanied by a willful denial of capitalism’s destructive outcomes) and a penchant to defend one’s freedoms, when, in fact, one is hardly free when one is saddled in debt, working a job one doesn’t like and having very little time to pursue passions (i.e. one’s self- actualization).

Indoctrination trope is the “free speech” of sheep, people who have swallowed the kool-aid of modern “society”, not realizing that kool aid is not only making some people fat, debt ridden, unhealthy it’s causing people to be almost totally disconnected from each other and the Oneness of All That Is. It also has the sad effect of addicting people to the very kool aid they drink and all the blind behaviors that come with drinking it, including spouting indoctrination trope. (SMHWLOL – shaking my head while laughing out loud).

It’s not just Americans tho

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All societies, beliefs, cultures, etc., have indoctrination tropes. Some are more pernicious than others. North Korea’s indoctrination tropes, for example, are well known. While people in North Korea are directly indoctrinated into revering their dynastic leader, they aren’t the only ones deluded into accepting their reality. In their case, they face extreme consequences for not toe-ing the line.

But in “freer” countries, such as those in the Western world, the coercion is more subtle and pernicious. Here, we are indoctrinated in a myriad of unconscious, back-door ways. There’s no one compelling us directly, through threats of firing squads, hard labor camps, or torture chambers.

Here, coercion takes the form of marketing, promotion, urges to consume things and the methods by which that consumption is generated. It’s a much kinder, gentler, happier coercion which promises sex, pleasure, and “success” for those who “work hard”.

Within our indoctrination trope is a constellation of others, acting like Russian nesting dolls. They each fit perfectly into the other. There is a western societal “indoctrination trope” that people “should” “work hard” in order to get X.

“Working hard” is the key to success, goes the trope, and that everyone who has been successful has “worked hard” to get to that success. In fact, some following Copiosis for a long time congratulate me on its growth over time. In their congratulation, they often spout this trope by telling me I deserve this success because I “worked hard.”

That’s not why Copiosis is, and will be even more, successful.

The corollary to this silly, unconscious idea is that anyone who isn’t successful just hasn’t worked hard enough. For if you simply stop being lazy, you can be successful. Damn the social, psychological, and environmental obstacles you might face.

That American Dream thing

The American Dream and Americans’ idea of “freedom” both represent indoctrination tropes. (Photo: Tom Coe)

Another nested trope is the “American dream” of home ownership. This trope has changed significantly in the US. It used to be that home ownership actually meant owning your home. Today it means owning a mortgage….and a liability that compels the homeowner to work long hours to make those payments along with servicing other debt.

As we’ve seen with the tiny house and simplicity movements, though, people are breaking out of such tropes. Copiosis is working on many of these simultaneously. But it’s great to see other movements also doing yeoman’s work.

Are tropes true?

There is always a ton of evidence disproving indoctrination tropes. For example, as many are discovering (since the time of this post’s original publish date three years ago), we are becoming clear that capitalism is not supreme. Capitalism’s weaknesses became painfully obvious in 2020. It’s hard to argue for capitalism’s supremacy as it struggles to serve people while a virus rages.

We’ve been saying capitalism is NOT supreme for years. We’ve been saying the same about socialism and communism too. Yes, capitslism has lifted more people out of poverty than any system yet devised. But does that make it supreme?

Compared to existing systems, maybe. Until you consider capitalism’s negative aspects. One example: the tendency of capitalism to drive covert state actions that destabilize other economic systems. In other words, it doesn’t play fair, that capitalism. Louis Farrakhan is not blind to this:

So is it really accurate to say capitalism is supreme when it advances its supremacy by undermining the other systems it operates alongside? If you think so, that’s like saying a doping athlete is supreme over his peers even though he’s cheating. It’s an un-level playing field to say the least.

So when someone says “capitalism is the best” I shake my head because those people are spewing indoctrination trope. If it weren’t for the kool aid drinking, I’d wonder why so many people believe capitalism, “working hard” and the American Dream really hold promise of freedom, happiness and “success”….had I not been a sheep myself and blindly followed such tropes for so many years.

“Working hard” is not necessary. Period. To think that people need to, misses the huge amount of evidence proving the contrary. To think that you’ve actually worked hard and “made it” all by yourself is shallow thinking.

So am I anti-capitalism? No.

Is Copiosis? No.

If it weren’t for capitalism, we wouldn’t be seeking a better replacement. If it weren’t for capitalism, people wouldn’t be experiencing the intensifying, increasing struggles that come with it, struggles that create the pain needed to make Copiosis relevant. Neither I nor Copiosis have ever been against capitalism.

We aren’t really against anything. We are for something better. We are for people and the planet over profits. We are for people being free and the planet being healthy. We are for a reality where everyone is achieving the highest ideals of self-actualization. We are for creating a more favorable global environment where everyone is able to contribute value to the world – in the way they choose and according to their innate values (as opposed to cultural ones), values which are universal and, to some extent, being stifled by our society today.

It’s all encapsulated in the word “hope”. That’s what we’re for. And I think you’re for that too.

Wage Slavery Tyranny

Photo by Esteban Castle on Unsplash

An original version of this post was published September 12, 2017.

Everyone with a job is a slave, especially those who work jobs they hate.

Wikipedia describes wage slavery pretty well:

“Wage slavery is a pejorative term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person. It is usually used to refer to a situation where a person’s livelihood depends on wages or a salary, especially when the dependence is total and immediate.”

“The term wage slavery has been used to criticize exploitation of labour and social stratification, with the former seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital (particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages, e.g. in sweatshops), and the latter as a lack of workers’ self-management, fulfilling job choices, and leisure in an economy. The criticism of social stratification covers a wider range of employment choices bound by the pressures of a hierarchical society to perform otherwise unfulfilling work that deprives humans of their “species character” not only under threat of starvation or poverty, but also of social stigma and status diminution.”

I think the analogy between wage (or salary) labor and slavery is apt. All you have to do is ask someone “When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?” Look to see if what they’re doing as an adult matches their answer, then follow-up that question with, “Why aren’t you doing that now?”

You’ll get a host of reasons why they’re doing what they’re doing instead of what they wanted to do as a kid. Often they’ll explain not following their dreams with an “indoctrination trope”, which is something I’ll explain in a later post.

Some will scoff at the idea that capitalism fosters wage slavery. I’ll get to that in a minute too. First, it cannot be stressed enough that Copiosis makes people free.

By freedom we mean something specific:

What we mean by “Freedom”.

“Making people free.” Those three words are scary for wage slaves, including – oddly enough –   those who are not, yet still depend heavily on the wage-slave status of others.

When confronted with such a definition, these people will say “Yeah but, if you give everyone the kind of freedom you’re talking about, then the things needing done no one will do.”

What’s remarkable about that is how so many people come back with that answer, while not realizing such statements endorse wage slavery!

WAGE SLAVERY

Think about your needs in the context of modern society. Clearly our society depends heavily on wage slavery. Notice what happened during COVID. When people don’t work, the whole thing falls apart. People lose jobs. Businesses close. Food supplies dwindle. Such outcomes supporting keeping wage slavery.

Indeed the conveniences you enjoy – regular garbage pick up, food production (especially the shitty parts of that process), “waste” management (I’m referring to sewage here, separate from garbage “waste”) childcare, elderly care – all the things you’d rather not do or don’t want to do because you have other “better things to do with your time” are taken care of by others, usually at meager wages.

You explain away poverty-level wages/salaries for this important work, by saying “well they’re being paid” or “That’s why I pay taxes” as if that is a good excuse for keeping people in those low-paying jobs.

But it’s not. Especially when we can do better.

When people counter Copiosis saying “who will do the jobs no one wants to do?”  what they are really saying is “those people doing the work that makes my life comfortable better keep doing it because I don’t want my life to change, and I’m not going to do that work. I don’t care how much better off my life may become. And I don’t care how shitty that job they’re doing is. They have to keep doing it.” 

That’s wage slavery.

For while a person may be paid that person is doing work he MUST do. Not work he would PREFER to do. And sometimes that work is shitty, or boring, or repetitive, or hazardous, or debilitating or dehumanizing while also consuming huge proportions of those people’s lives because they pay so low.

Making. People. Free. Those three words are scary to people who have been immersed in wage-slavery all their lives both as benefactors AND beneficiaries. Unfortunately very, very few have freed themselves from this paradigm. So of course the first thing people think of, if people are afforded the freedom to choose is “how will shit get done if we have no slaves (laborers) to do them?” Put more nicely it’s “who will do the work we need done that no one wants to do”?

Thankfully Copiosis answers that question by offering a framework where things get done AND people are free. Without the need of human slaves.

We can end wage slavery, but not with capitalism, socialism or communism. Isn’t it time we end all four?

When Bernie Sanders Marries Ayn Rand

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By Writer KJ McElrath

If there is a silver lining to the current coronavirus pandemic, it is that it has exposed fundamental weaknesses in the current capitalist free-market economic system that most of us have taken for granted our entire lives. People in low-wage service jobs, food-service workers, education support personnel, private tutors and instructors and others with jobs that frequently bring them into contact with the general public have been hit especially hard. Most of these workplaces –  restaurants, lounges, schools and even libraries –  are closed for the duration.

Today conservative leaders, who typically expect most people – including those they claim to represent – to fend for themselves, actually support massive financial aid programs…that’s how bad it is. The Trump Administration’s $2 trillion dollar stimulus package perplexes my imagination. That a conservative administration would offer such a thing boggles the mind.

Other governments around the world are following suit. For example, the U.K. government recently announced that it will pay 80 percent of worker salaries up to £2500 per month ($2900 USD) for 12 weeks, while offering tax breaks and interest-free business loans. Across the Channel, France is preparing to nationalize several industries while suspending tax, rent, and utility payments for small companies.

The problem is we, as a global, tightly interconnected economic society, now are in uncharted territory. Our economics can’t handle much more of this and for two fundamental reasons:

  • One, our economics depends on endless growth and expansion. Coronavirus has stopped that dead in its tracks.
  • Two, our economics finances endless growth through debt cycles, which fall apart when debtors can’t pay creditors. Debtors can’t pay if they can’t work.

If there was ever a time to think outside the box, it is now. Our immediate solution is for government to throw money  —  cash payments, low interest rates, subsidized loans or grants, etc at the problem. In the short term, this is indeed necessary as most of us have not slack in our finances to weather such storms.

But such actions treat the symptoms while ignoring the underlying disease. Biologically, coronavirus is most dangerous to those who have other health problems, such as compromised immune function. Economically, it appears to have a similar effect on unhealthy financial systems.

Socialism is not the answer

Would the type of socialism offered by once-presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders save us? For awhile, it could — but like government stimulus programs, it would be a stopgap solution. The problem here is that socialism can’t spur innovations that benefit society.

Second, the idea that people should receive free anything — including housing, food, health care and education — is anathema to those who espouse unbridled, free market capitalism. Yet, lack of these basic survival needs, or even the threat of losing them, is at the root of virtually every problem society suffers today.

People can live without jet skis or the latest and greatest smart phones. They cannot live without food, clean water, shelter and medical care when needed. Without some degree of education, they cannot be productive members of society. Yet, our economies demand that all of these things be commodified and profit their providers.

Meanwhile, those very same providers must pay labor, cover raw materials costs, pay taxes, legal and other operational expenses.

To suggest that “necessities” should be “free” may rightfully evoke hard resistance from free market supporters, yet the stress from putting price tags on necessities creates crime, disease (mental and physical), environmental degradation and more — adding hugely to the cost of running society.

Perversely, money spent addressing these problems contributes to a nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Ergo, someone who contracts cancer living near a factory producing toxic waste actually contributes to GDP when they (or someone else) pays for their treatment. Law enforcement officers pursuing criminals become part of the GDP as well. Divorcing couples contribute to GDP through lawyer and court fee costs.

Is there a better way? Some visionaries believe so — and are working to bring it about.

A better way…

These visionaries recognize a major part of the problem is not capitalism, but rather the way the exchange of goods and services happen  — i.e., money, or currency. Whether it is tangible cash, an amount recorded in a bank ledger or other account, or invested in securities, money can be transferred easily. That is a definite advantage, but there are downsides; money can be lost, stolen, taxed away (directly and indirectly), devalued and manipulated, and withheld when someone is prevented from earning or receiving it — as is happening in today’s coronavirus pandemic. The consequences can be devastating.

Barter comes to many people’s minds as an alternative, but there are reasons why money replaced trading livestock, handicrafts, produce, etc. Unless people have many different productive skills and abilities others need, or offer wide ranges of services, the barter system can’t alleviate poverty and inequality. Barter also involves material things that can be lost, stolen or destroyed (and even taxed, as many have discovered).

Imagine an alternative:

  • a means of exchange representing actions benefiting society and the planet, that cannot possibly be stolen, taxed or otherwise transferred away from owners
  • a system guaranteeing everyone access to housing, food, medical services and education without incurring long-term debt servitude or worry about a paycheck
  • a system based on free market principles that encourage innovation
  • a system in which only actions benefitting people and/or the environment in some way are rewarded

Such innovations are already underway, and have been for some time. They are made possible by rapid technology advances. As more working people suddenly find themselves idle for the long term, some are finding interesting innovations that onced looked ridiculous, but today are not so.

Humanity: where great ideas come from

Dr. Albert Einstein reportedly said, “Imagination is more important than Knowledge.” In light of Dr. Abraham Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Needs (a review and explanation for the uninitiated is available here), imagine what humans might achieve if they were liberated from the need to “earn a living,” but still expected and motivated to strive for more by simply making choices and acting in ways that serve the greater good.

We all see it happening now, with the popularity of “humanely raised” eggs, poultry and meat, recycling and repurposing, reducing one’s ecological footprint, roadside miniature lending libraries, community tool and vehicle share programs and more.

In Portland, Oregon, homeowners are being offered incentives to provide shelters for homeless people on their property. Some small businesses specialize in making new products from existing and/or previously used components. Entrepreneurial individuals are creating solutions for environmental problems.

Admittedly, so-called “Utopian” societies have failed in the past. As floundering and corrupt as American capitalism has gotten over the past four decades, it has not yet become the total and abject failure that was the late U.S.S.R.’s Socialist Worker’s State.

That said, western capitalism is nonetheless a very large, unwieldy vessel sailing at a high rate of speed — one that needs to change its course fairly soon, if it is to survive.

As the Captain Edward Smith of the R.M.S. Titanic discovered too late, such sudden course changes are difficult at best.

Perhaps what needs to be changed is not so much the system itself, but rather the means of exchange. Such change must happen so nobody goes homeless, hungry, without medical and dental care, and everyone has access to education in any field. At the same time, the new system must encourage industry and innovation while respecting private property rights. Nothing would be confiscatory or redistributive, nor would taxes be assessed.

It sounds almost like “Bernie Sanders Meets Ayn Rand” or “Bernie Sanders and Ayn Rand have a baby”. This has been one of the primary issues in recent elections: do we want or need the State to own and operate everything, distributing “to each according to their needs” while taxing “from each, according to their abilities”?

Or do we want to do away with government and regulation altogether, and allow individuals and organizations to become as wealthy and powerful as possible, regardless of any harm in done the process?

What if a society could have the best of both? What if one fed the other? What if, through Bernie-style socialist programs, more people were unleashed from having to have “jobs” simply to pay the bills in order to survive, and instead were free to pursue their passions, such as science, research, technology, engineering and invention as well culture, humanities and the arts? Can one imagine the new Renaissance that might come about?

Such a system has the potential of generating wealth and well-being in a private, free-market system beyond Rand’s wildest dreams.

You don’t have to look very far back to find examples. Would the world have had the genius of Leonardo da Vinci without the patronage of the Medicis? Would we have heard the music of Franz Josef Haydn without Prince Esterhazy?

Now, multiply those two examples by a few billion.

Passions can create our future

Would everyone throw themselves into their “passions”? No. Many may not even know what their passions are. For them, there are educational opportunities (which would bring their own rewards), or they may decide to sit on the beach all day — and as long as they do no harm, that’s fine. If they ever want something more, they’ll find ways to make the world a better place.

If not — at least they won’t go hungry and homeless. But really, earning that “something more” would not be difficult under such a system. In fact, it would be more difficult not to contribute in some way.

If the 1933 Harold Arlen — Yip Harburg song Paper Moon comes to mind, you’re not alone. Indeed, some skepticism is warranted. Nonetheless, two communities, one in California and the other in Oregon, tested out such a comprehensive economic system, with success. A devoted group in Portland continues exploring it over the last six years, and it has generated significant attention around the world.

This group’s website recently came online, where one can go to learn more about this alternative economic system in which there are no losers, and winners’ victories do not come at the expense of someone else. Under such a system, disparities of wealth will certainly still exist, but the kind of grinding poverty that causes hunger, disease, crime and other problems will not.

Meanwhile, the barriers to people who want to accumulate more will largely go away; there will be equal access to opportunity and tools to improve one’s material lot in life for those who choose to do so.

Greed will still exist, but in this new system it’s harnessed and channeled into positive outcomes for everyone.

Now that so many of us are under lockdown or quarantine and are starting to clearly see problems existing in the current system, it is as good a time as ever to consider alternatives.

Learn more here.

Get paid for doing virtually anything

Photo by Viacheslav Bublyk on Unsplash
Photo by Viacheslav Bublyk on Unsplash

How we value things today skips over so many things you do that create value, it boggles the mind to think about it. Your contribution to the world, no matter what you do, is PRICELESS.

But the way we compensate people for what they do can’t afford your priceless value. Human contributions represent so much value, there’s not enough money in the world to compensate for it all. The entire system would go broke trying.

That’s one reason why we created Copiosis. Because your contribution is worth far more than money can buy. In fact, nearly anything you do has value. You should be paid for that.

What you do for yourself benefits others

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Do you get paid to exercise? In Copiosis, you probably will. (Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash)

Take exercising for example. Someone in our social group recently shared the following:

Would a person also get NBR for excercising in Copiosis? At first i didn’t think so as it’s something that came across to me as only benefiting yourself. But then i realized, you probably should as building your strength, stamina and overall fitness levels helps you to perform better at work as a producer. Without keeping yourself fit, some jobs may not even get done. Especially work that involves heavy lifting or having the endurance to work long hours. It is something that helps lead to the creation of an end product, mental health improves also so i don’t see why not unless for whatever reason exercising cannot be verified in the report to the Copiosis organization after an act is completed.

Isn’t exercise a preventative medicine regimen? If you exercise, aren’t you lowering the impact you’re likely to have on medical resources? Aren’t you increasing your resiliency and well being? If you exercise, aren’t you happier and therefore more pleasant to be around? Aren’t you able to work more and sleep better? Don’t you feel better?

And if all those things benefit you, how can they not benefit those you come in contact with? When you’re feeling good, how can you not influence others, no matter how subtle, in ways that also influence those people towards good?

You’ll probably get awards in Copiosis when you exercise, for benefits you create when you do that. Not only benefits you get from exercising, but benefits you create for society by exercising too.

Virtually anything a human does creates net benefit. That benefit can’t be compensated for with money. But it can be in Copiosis. This is one way people get rich in Copiosis. Virtually anything you do merits an award.