When I go to the gym (usually early in the morning), I've taken to scanning the multiple flat-screen TV sets hanging from the ceiling, conveniently installed in such a way as to make them easily viewable from the treadmills.
Although I acknowledge that there is indeed some (extremely rare) worthwhile programming, the volume of utter trash and mind-numbing propaganda emanating from them is truly staggering.
One of the vulnerabilities of the human mind is that when exposed to images, sounds, and content of any kind, it has a propensity to react in unconscious ways, regardless of the intrinsic value of the material.
If a group of people with common interests is able to take control of the entire media landscape, it can then work on creating an overall message narrative designed to influence viewers to see the world a certain way.
That, of course, is the situation with the media landscape in the United States. A very small group of individuals, using large corporate conglomerates, have been able to take over the entire media landscape, turning it into a very sophisticated mind-numbing propaganda machine.
But that's not all... This very small group of people (some call them the 1%), have also been able to take over all the levers of power in society, and are thus using that control to institute tyranny. This is actually not too dissimilar to how, historically, tyranny usually engulfs societies.
The reason these people have a tendency to bring about tyranny is because they share certain antisocial characteristics. For example, journalist Sherree DeCovny wrote an article on CFA Magazine, that "one out of every ten Wall Street employees is a psychopath," according to researchers.
"A financial psychopath can present as a perfect well-rounded job candidate, CEO, manager, co-worker, and team member because their destructive characteristics are practically invisible," writes DeCovny, who pulls together research from several psychologists for her story, which helpfully suggests that financial firms carefully screen out extreme psychopaths in hiring.Recently Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner conducted several studies that show that rich people have less compassion, and are more likely to act unethically.
Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.So the bottom line is that when it comes to the "ruling class," there is a preponderance of psychopaths and unethical individuals among their ranks. Again, this explains why tyranny is usually the result of their rule, once they are able to take over a society, as they have done in the U.S., and are now doing in much of Western Europe.
Unfortunately, one of the characteristics of these people is that they tend to be highly organized, disciplined, and focused. Their greed is so extreme, that like rabid hyenas going after a carcass, they are relentless in their pursuit of opulence, power, and privilege, by exploiting and enslaving the population, and pillaging and destroying nature.
This is why a tiny, but extremely organized and disciplined minority of individuals is able to control entire populations, whose members are usually disorganized when it comes to common interests. One key example: It is obvious that all wage earners should universally accept the premise that all workers (100%) should be unionized, and yet, that is hardly a shared assumption. This, of course, is another manifestation of the effects of propaganda and mind manipulation.
But ultimately, we are really talking about a very small group of people, when compared with the population at large.
In reality, in order to take on these psychopaths, who have taken over the levers of power, it would only take a small percentage of the population to defeat them--let's say, five percent or so--as long as they are as focused, organized, and disciplined, as the ruling one percent.
For if that were to happen, even if the cohesiveness focused on three or four areas, the neo-fascist ruling class that has taken over the country would be immediately defeated.
It's akin to the concept of the "Wizard of Oz." The characters behind the curtain pulling on the levers of power are disgusting, feeble, and cowardly... They would become petrified if the 99% were to pull on the curtain to reveal the disgusting greedy creatures pulling on the levers, hiding behind the protection of propaganda, lies, manipulation, and their wholesale control of the treasonous money-grabbing politicians (of both major political parties) across the entire country.
In reality, the 99% movement do share an understanding on what needs to happen: the corporate media conglomerates need to be shattered and destroyed, returning media outlets to the commons (and for the common good of society); the influence of corporate money needs to be removed from politics; corporate personhood needs to be rescinded; Citizen's United needs to be overturned; individual privacy rights need to be reinstated; the militarization of the police needs to be stopped, and reverted; the total information awareness surveillance police state needs to be totally removed.
The challenge is how to go about accomplishing those goals, which are absolutely necessary for the removal of the tyrannical rule of the greedy and unethical 1 percent.
What needs to happen (in my opinion) is for a vanguard group of extremely focused and disciplined people within the 99% movement to develop a very clear and cohesive strategy to take on each and every one of the challenges to the restoration (or implementation) of a true democracy.
And fortunately, I think this is beginning to happen. For years money-grabbing politicians of both major parties were content with backroom pay-to-play influence peddling deals that traded legislation meant to enslave the population (by destroying the regulatory infrastructure), and pillage the treasury, for favors, lobbying jobs, campaign contributions, and trinkets such as tickets to sporting events, etc.
Like house slaves, having achieved a sense of financial gain and stability and security, they became blind to the horrendous effects of their actions on the people they were sworn to serve.
As long as the populace was blind to their backroom deals, they were content to continue collaborating in the pillaging.
But no more... The People have awaken, and they have pulled the curtain, and they have discovered the filthy treasonous politicians, performing all kinds of disgusting and humiliating acts at the feet of their corporatist paymasters...
And the progressive movement is once again called to clean up house; to restore democracy; and to defend and protect the country, and the Constitution.
I'm not sure how long is going to take to remove the greedy psychopaths from power, but they will be removed, and we will one day live in a decent society.
Let's get to work... And please, turn off the TV to stop the mind-numbing pollution that interferes with our ability to think clearly, and to understand the situation at hand.