When blaming the victim is appropriate

Victimhood equals power1When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that [three] of his fingers are pointing at himself.

– Louis Nizer

We blame the victim. In this case, that’s the 99 percent. It’s appropriate. Here’s why.

The 99 percent continually allows the swindle. Rarely have we not swallowed the bait that keeps us hooked into that which we complain about. Yes, we are complicit in our own oppression. Time and again we choose oppression over freedom, while claiming we’re free when we’re not. Then we get mad when we’re shown how un-free we are. We demonstrate, we vote. But remain un-free.

Why do we choose oppression over freedom? Why do we pursue capitalist wealthluxuries we’re convinced we need to “look good,”? Why do we fall for politicians promising “safety and security and jobs” and the semblance of “peace, prosperity and democracy” instead of real freedom?

We, the 99 percent (which includes this author) fail to see, understand and neutralize strategies oppressive governments use to divide us. By “governments” I mean powerful people who successfully concentrate power then use that power to control everyone else through force, fear, propaganda, fraud and criminal acts.

At Copiosis, we’re very specific about what we mean by “power”. This gets close:

Power defined
A useful definition of power. Gives a new perspective, doesn’t it?

We the 99 percent think wealth equals power. Wealth isn’t power, but it helps facilitate it.

The 99 percent, including those protesting on the streets these days are like Dizzy Bat Players. We spin around dazed, attacking each other instead of doing something about what really prevents our real freedom.

Like the word power, we’re specific when we use words like “real freedom”. You probably think you know what freedom is. Let us suggest you don’t. Here’s what real freedom sounds like:

Created with GIMP
Photo by Rawpixel

A person who is free can do nothing if that’s what they want to do. A person who wants to spend all their time learning to paint, play video games all day, or fish or whatever, can. And they can do those things (or anything else) without going hungry, living on the street, or getting care for their body (or mind) if necessary. If they’re free that is. They can also get all the education they need or want to learn or improve any skill while doing whatever they want without having to earn money to get those things. And…the person exercising their freedom can do so without anyone else having to do anything they don’t want to do to support that person.

That’s real freedom.

A brief look at our complicity

Just when we start to awaken, we take another swill of mind-numbing propaganda from the “right” or the “left” while relay racing on the hedonic treadmill.

What numbing propaganda are we referring to?

Is it too far a leap that other “conspiracy theories” could ring with elements of fact? Could 911 have been an inside job too? False Flag campaigns got us into major conflicts, including Vietnam. Why would government stop in the 60s?

I was once part of the unbelieving masses. I LOVED the original television show S.W.A.T. I remember running round with plastic M-16 in hand, leaping over walls and taking cover behind bushes, pretending to wage an assault on crime. I once lived as a dizzy bat player too. I believed in our government as a benevolent force in the world and in our lives. I served in the military. I voted.

I’m not saying any of these agencies are malevolent. I’m saying I see the world and our government as it is: deeply captured by those with power and while mostly keeping order, it often over reaches.

From this awareness I’ve disclaimed victimhood in exchange for positive action leading to empowerment and permanent change, not just for me, but for everyone. I don’t ask that you blindly follow me. I only offer that apathy is compliance. Complaining while comfortable does little.

Drink KoolAid that frees you

Granted, shirking off apathy and acting effectively requires self-confrontation. Not everyone is ready, but not everyone is needed either. Not now anyway.

Clearly, many are moved to demonstrations. Returning from Safeway yesterday, a parade of 1,000 Oregonians marched by protesting for #BLM and ACAB. We Americans protest ad nauseam. Show your public outrage if you want, but really, do such efforts pay off these days?

I think the answer is mixed.

Incremental change is one thing. Protests and demonstrations can bring that. When it happens though and oppression remains, especially institutionalized oppression, how effective is it really?

Government has so powerfully rebounded after the Occupy protests of long ago, we now find the 99 percent nearly impossibly mired, unlikely to mount any meaningful revolution peaceful or otherwise. Even as it does so right now.

Going forward, the 99 percent will have to make some tough inner-directed choices:

  1. Get committed internally to making real change happen. The time for complaining is near-over. Soon, we’re going to have to take real action. To do that, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone(s). Drink KoolAid that frees you. The only permanent solution is evolving our civilization out of needing government and debt-based monetary systems.
  2. Forget in-the-box thinking depending on government to “do the right thing”. Protesting government or government leaders to do the right thing. They won’t.
  3. Forget about waiting for collapse to happen. Expecting a positive solution will fill the power vacuum a collapse creates ignores history. Right now we’re in what looks like an economic collapse borne of a pandemic and note how so many clamor old solutions, not new ones.
  4. Get over your fear of death. Harder said than done, I know. If you’re reading this, odds are against you living indefinitely. Fear of death is easily manipulated, meaning you can be controlled. You may not have to face actual death. Still, getting over that fear opens possibility.
  5. Hone your critical thinking skills. This includes examining knee-jerk responses determining your world view. Are rich people really evil? Really? Are GOP members really out to destroy the middle class and enslave the poor? Are Democrats really out to socialize America? Really?
  6. Hone an ability to remain calm. Again, easier said. People in upset are easily manipulated and easily defeated. Developing an unshakeable spirit is paramount given the road ahead.

I would add to this “get over vocal protests. That’s what they expect and little may come of it”. Today’s protests remind me of this excellent scene from House of Cards:

Victimhood = power. Victimization can cause one to recover their power. Shaking off powerlessness begins when you own your role in the perpetrator/victim dynamic. You go from being a victim to being powerful.

Thus begins the first step to a new world. Calmly, but boldly, is how we create the world we wish to see. We at Copiosis are far beyond this first step. We invite you to join us.

Why Hong Kong protests aren’t important

 

A lot is being made of events in Hong Kong.

Here’s why I don’t think they’re important.

  • Overt protest is a bygone tactic.  They are events people create when they feel powerless to make a difference on their own.  And real difference always begins with one person—or, at best, small teams—working quietly.
  • Overt protests are easy to diffuse.  They are a flash in the pan.  Often the power structure(?) just lets them happen—they’ll peter out on their own.
  • Overt protests actually make little difference.  The status quo just shrugs them off. Remember the World Trade Protests?
  • Overt protests don’t work because they energize the status quo, making it stronger.  You’ve shown your cards.  Now they can nullify your tactics.  Or use your tactics against you.  Are you listening, Occupy?
  • Protests are vulnerable to corruption and infiltration.  No conspiracy here; it’s a simple matter of battle strategy.  Get inside and corrupt leadership, discredit it, create chaos, or better—remove the charismatic leader, and it collapses.

We’ve seen this before in the Middle East, Europe, South America, China, and the United States.  Yet the status quo keeps on chugging. In fact, its momentum increases in the wake of such protests.  We still have markets, debt-based economies, governments firmly controlled by corporate interests and the rich, and it’s all bigger, stronger, and more widespread.  Not a single overt protest has mattered.  Not even arguably the greatest one—The US Declaration of Independence.  And a war followed in that protest’s wake.

Public protests do little other than excite people today.  Most of them will go back to their lives tomorrow struggling with earning a living, squandering their time on things that neutralize their real power, such as angry birds, the NFL, and Desperate Housewives.

What really make a difference are innovations that can supplant the status quo.  Innovations are the real weapons of mass destruction, they are the revolutions of the 22nd Century.  They start quietly and unassumingly, momentum builds and over time, and before you know it they supplant the status quo:

  • rotary phones
  • the encyclopedia
  • Yellow Pages
  • pay phones
  • Walkmans
  • meeting someone at a bar

This has happened in business (Facebook), culture (rap music), fashion (Yoga pants), technology (email) for hundreds of years.  It’s peaceful, invisible, and looks unassuming (Twitter, Wikipedia) until too late for the incumbent.  They begin with tiny teams.  Sometimes one person, but usually two or more.  With momentum, they’re unstoppable.

Protests are powerless.  Where’s the hope?  In these:

  • Renewed interest in innovations such as Venus Project and TZM
  • Growing interest in the words of Charles Eisenstein and Russell Brand
  • And what we’re doing at Copiosis

Here is where the real social transformation is happening.  Time will tell.  The future is hard to know. My bet is what is going on in Hong Kong will result in little real change.

You want real change?  Don’t look to the streets.  Look in the garages, on Google hangout, in co-working spaces.  Look in social entrepreneurial startups and coffee shops.  Here you’ll find the end of the status quo.  It has always been this way.

Photo credit: 29.9.14 Hong Kong protest cellphone vigil” by Citobun – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons.

 

Why earning a living is “velvet oppression”

Time is freedom.001You’ve heard the term “Velvet Handcuffs.” It describes a job with benefits so compelling, leaving is a non-choice. Even if you hate the work.

Gotta feed the kids, pay that mortgage.

Velvet Oppression is similar. It is oppression, but oppression so good-feeling alternatives pale in comparison.

You hear it all the time:

“I hate this job”

“Working for the man”

“Nose to the grindstone” (what imagery!)

“Slaving away”

These unconscious quips permanent parts of our lexicon owe their definition to their context. If not for earn a living, he’d use time differently.

What exactly would that be? Who knows? Rare is the person who kicks to the curb a promising career for passion. Earning a living comes with so many benefits, vacations, children, nice homes and cars, sex, drugs, etc., it’s challenging to see the oppression amidst the velvet.

Some argue earning a living is a personal responsibility.  Everyone must do it. We disagree. Feeding, clothing, educating oneself, and maintaining one’s health are personal responsibilities. Having to earn money to do these things is an artificial overlay.

The overlay causes people to sometimes make less-than-responsible choices. People aren’t always rational. They are highly susceptible to suggestion, leading to them doing things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. The system which requires us all to earn a living is rife with circumstances that eliminate personal-choice freedom. A non-biased study of marketing reveals this.

Someone recently told me:

 

If a free citizen wants to sit under a tree and play the guitar all day they have that right; that doesn’t mean however he can expect the rest of us to support him for it.

 

The problem with this statement for me is it enforces the the overlay. If that person had the freedom to play the guitar all day, without having to pay for necessities, they could elevate that skill to a level of mastery, which indeed could earn them far more income than any “job” presuming they have an aptitude for it. This is exactly what happens in rich families and is the reason why many (though not all) successful artists are from wealth.

Wealth buys time. Unfettered time is freedom.

The fact that this hypothetical person does not have the freedom to take her passion to the level of mastery reveals her oppression. As for others supporting her, that is exactly what happened prior to governments, kings and capitalism: societies supported individuals, in return, individuals perfected their unique skills in a variety of areas leading to a rich tapestry of individual contributions back to society.

We’re going to see a resurgence in this kind of relationship between “society” and “individual”. It’s over due, but it’s on the way.

When blaming the victim is appropriate

Victimhood equals power1When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that [three] of his fingers are pointing at himself.

– Louis Nizer

We blame the victim. In this case, that’s the 99 percent.

It’s appropriate. Here’s why.

The 99 percent continually allows the swindle. Rarely have we not swallowed the bait, complicit as we are in our own oppression. Time and again we choose oppression over freedom.

For what? Bribes – wealthluxuries, “looking good,” and, most commonly “safety and security” and the semblance of “peace, prosperity and democracy”. What a crock.

We, the 99 percent (which includes this author) fail to see, understand and neutralize strategies oppressive governments use to divide us. By “governments” I mean powerful people who successfully concentrate power then use that power to control everyone else through force, fear, propaganda, fraud and criminal acts.

So we are The Confused. Dizzy Bat Players. Drunk on relative wealth, we spin around dazed, attacking each other instead of unifying to create a world where freedom truly rings. Just when we start to awaken, we take another swill of mind-numbing propaganda from the “right” or the “left” while relay racing on the hedonic treadmill.

What strategies has the 99 percent willingly ignored in return for crumbs?

  • This one, in which Plutocrats created the “white race” thereby dividing the poor and middle classes by skin color in order to conquer them. Long read, but worth every word.
  • This one, which justified WWI involvement.
  • It is commonly known the US government provoked Japan into attacking the United States During WWII.
  • This one revealed when a civil jury found the government guilty of the wrongful death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essentially “our” government assassinated him.
  • The American Central Intelligence Agency has been complicit in “destabilization” activities for purely economic reasons in many countries (Hat toss to Carl Herman for his excellent accounting).

Is it too far a leap, given all this evidence that all the assassinations in 1968, King, Jr., the Kennedy’s were orchestrated by government? Could 911 have been an inside job too? False Flag campaigns got us into major conflicts, including Vietnam, why would government stop in the 60s?

I was once part of the unbelieving masses. I once lived my as a dizzy bat player: I believed in our government as a benevolent force for good in the world. I served in the military.

Today we can see the world as it is. History seems clear. It’s time to disclaim victimhood in exchange for positive action leading to empowerment and permanent change. We don’t ask that you blindly join us. Just realize your apathy is compliance. Own it.

Granted, doing so requires self-confrontation. Not everyone is ready. Not everyone is needed. Not now anyway.

For those who are in action: there are things to be done.

Clearly, in days of old, demonstrations and public outrage failed. Had they succeeded we would not be seeing what we see today. Incremental change is one thing. When it happens under the hood of oppression, it is a crumb. Indeed, government has so powerfully rebounded, we now find the 99 percent nearly impossibly mired, unlikely to mount any meaningful revolution peaceful or otherwise.

Carl Herman lays out the Occupy agenda as succinctly as anyone to my knowledge. Going forward, the 99 percent will have to make some tough inner-directed choices:

  1. Get committed internally to making change happen. The time for complaining is near-over. Soon, we’re going to have to take real action. To do that, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone(s). The only permanent solution is ridding civilization of government and capitalism. Period.
  2. Forget in-the-box thinking depending on government to “do the right thing”. It won’t. While the Tea Party may seem to have an agenda least-aligned with the 99 percent, their tactics are worth looking at.
  3. Forget about waiting for collapse to happen. Expecting a positive solution will fill a power vacuum collapse crates ignores history. Instead, start now examining alternatives to government and capitalism including transition plans to get from here to there before the collapse.
  4. Get over your fear of death. Harder said than done, we know. If you’re reading this, odds are against you living indefinitely. Fear of death is easily manipulated meaning you can be controlled. You may not have to face actual death. Still, getting over that fear opens possibility.
  5. Hone your critical thinking skills. This includes examining knee-jerk responses determining your world view. Is the 1% really evil? Really? Are GOP members really out to destroy the middle class and enslave the poor? Are Democrats really out to socialize America? Really?
  6. Hone an ability to remain calm. Again, easier said. People in upset are easily manipulated and easily defeated. Developing an unshakeable spirit is paramount given the road ahead.

Victimhood = power. Victimization begets opportunity to regain ones’ power. Shaking off powerlessness begins when you own your role in the perpetrator/victim dynamic.

Thus begins the first step to a new world. Calmly, but boldly is how we create the world we wish to see.