Most Americans fit into one of the three categories above, all nice and tidy like, which I will ridicule each of you for soon enough. First, how do we galvanize this Occupy Movement into something meaningful and lasting, like the second season of Jersey Shore?
Entitled Occupiers (Group 1):
This group represents most liberals, at least to some degree, and represents approximately 30% of society.
As I’ve said before the “Occupy” movement is likely to become an entitlement fest—a group of misinformed liberal whiners, no different than their rioting Greek counterparts. If you simply bitch about a whole host of shit your country can no longer provide, you can count me out. Liberalism is unfortunately crystallizing in 2011, like an Arctic lugie. They’re trying to match the sickness of the right, for proof of this just turn on the Ed Show or Laurence O’Donnell over on MSNBC. Bring a vomit bag…I do. They’re just Hannitys and Limbaughs of the left, minus the ratings. Still, if there is to be lasting change, these occupiers have the potential to bring it, provided they avoid those darker corners of the Progressive Zone.
From a Spiral Dynamics perspective, the Tea Party movement was always mired in those fundamental and racist elements of our society, but this new movement will attract the anarchist/tribalistic elements—a problem at least one integralist, Ken Wilber, warned us about long ago. You see, I warn where the right revises.
This “Occupy” group, currently aligned with the New Age movement, would prefer to tear down society and start from scratch rather than “transcend and include” what came before it. In this way, Occupy Wall Street and al-Qaeda actually have similar goals, at least during the deconstruction phase. Thus Occupiers could be a threat to our very national security (aka, we certainly pissed off that Wal*Mart security dude the other day).
This massive shift in how we do business as a country is not going to go over horribly well (see: the Discord’s Occupy Wal*Mart movement). In fact, many will die (see: the Discord’s Occupy Wal*Mart movement).
Such change is likely to be catastrophic, like a Paterno-less Penn State. The New Age premise, in a nut shell, is this: we are overdue for a level of consciousness shift—a shift up and around this spiral—which may well correlate to a change in the center of gravity from liberal toward integral thought (in my language).
This shift in consciousness promises to solve most of our societal and global problems in one grand moment of recognition, as we all attain a hive-like awareness of our own underlying unity (loosely associated with the Ghetto Shaman’s own Barely Legal Kundalini Booze Cruise).
But is this just the rapture in another form?
There’s no shortage of religiosity in all directions. Take Iran, for instance…really, take it. I have no use for the place. They’re ramping up hostilities again because it’s time for their 12th Imam to help bring down the ‘Great Satan’…Oprah? And, on the other hand, New Agers don’t have to worry about wrecking systems because after the collapse it’s all going to be a New Age commune, as we hemp stand our way to happiness. Is this simply a variation of Bush’s Dumbdementalism? Fundamentalists—individuals who currently occupy places of power in this country as we speak—don’t think we need to even worry about planetary resources at all, because we’re fast approaching float-to-Jesus–time (FTJT).
I believe in the evolution of consciousness, so my sympathies are with the New Agers, but sorry kids, until this shift happens—or if—we need to work within the existing system. We need to make this work by improving, not dismantling our current economic structures. Profound changes need to happen, for sure, but we can’t just gut this thing like a fish without great harm to the masses, like season three of Jersey Shore.
The Sociopaths (Group 2):
Only an estimated 1%t of our society is diagnosed psychopathic, but sociopaths (their slightly healthier cousins)? Idanno, maybe another 3% of society? Just an educated guess.
Capitalism needs to be rebuilt on principles. The first order of business should be to identify and remove these psychopathic-sociopathic/Bernie Madoff-Gordon Gecko’s among us. That’s one witch hunt I approve of.
Our society’s sociopathic soul suckers—that sub species among us—can no longer be tolerated. They become our CEOs, our political leaders, and even our gurus. Sociopathic individuals have played a huge role in our collective demise. They represent Alan Greenspan’s ultimate miscalculation, besides Andrea Mitchell. He admitted he never thought so many high rollers would take such wild chances with the system and with our collective future. He underestimated the psychopaths and the sociopaths in positions of power (see: any Enron or Discord executive).
I believe this group represents the largest single issue for capitalism. They’re even more dangerous than the sheep over at Fox. Even my own field, behavioral healthcare, is threatened by the existence of that 1%, the conscienceless psychopath. Let’s call them the Cheneyiacs.
For the moment, the sociopaths are winning. Our system is a reflection of their greed and their thirst for power. They represent our darkest aspects, functioning primarily from the reptilian brain. Gordon Gecko, get it? I understand and sympathize with Occupiers’ premise the current system is irreparably broken. If our system were an individual, it would surely be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and sent to Guantanamo Bay with the “worst of the worst.” …Oprah?
Slaves to a “Free” Market (Group 3):
This group represents about 40% of our population. At least the psychopaths have the excuse they don’t have a conscience.
These are the Foxeteers, the Tea Planeters, those folks insisting on letting the “free” Madoffs reign. They blindly support the top tier ‘1%’ in hopes of the privilege of waxing their cars someday…well, I’ve wasted enough time on these jokers, but Slate Magazine recently asked: Michele Bachmann dragging the tea party down with her? And Mick Zano offers a resounding “DUH!” My own article on this very topic was posted on the Discord over a year ago. Let’s catch up, eh?
Supporting a system that rewards society’s sociopathic elements is one reason why the right is wrong about the “free” markets regulating themselves. I think our first clue should have been when the right kept defending our system. If continued Republican support isn’t capitalism’s death knell, I don’t know what is. You can fit what Republicans have been right about in the last decade in a fortune cookie. You could probably get away with a bigger font too…
We’ve talked about those filters through which we all try to judge and interpret current events. No one is very good anymore at looking at novel ways to address our problems. Ideology reigns supreme and our filters are now thicker than the La Brea tar pits (which is where, coincidentally, you will soon find modern conservatism settling in near some Mastodon).
But what if we had the capability to look at each problem anew?
Forty percent of our population thinks it’s quite natural to agree with everything espoused as a Fox News talking point. Read a book fifty years from now about our downfall and that fact is sure to be a key point. If you ask a Foxeteer where they differ from Fox News ideologically, it’s glazed look time. Similarly, when you ask them what aspect of their ideology has helped America or has even remotely panned out in the last decade, umm, see the aforementioned glazed look.
Of course, over time, their position subtly shifts…toward mine. It’s a hindsight revision as they ride off toward another slew of false assumptions. The best example is how Ron Paul can be totally nuts in 2004 (when I even defended aspects of his shtick way back then) and then epitomize the conservative movement in 2011 in a seamless “we’ve been right all along” fashion. All this, despite their 180° shift in policy from empire to fiscal order. A year later a Foxeteer will even agree with many of my premises, but never what is happening right now. Why is this? Because the barrage of Fox News talking points are an extension of their brains and someone else’s agenda.
Here’s another prime example. Check out this link on Fox News creates climate confusion, but only among conservatives. There are only two groups who don’t believe in global warming, (1.) those in primitive jungle-like settings (minus cable) and (2.) U.S. conservatives. Of course this article is damning, but the Foxeteers will continue to protect their abusers like a Penn State football fan. Here’s an excerpt:
But it hasn’t been clear whether these incidents add up to a clear pattern and, perhaps more importantly, whether they actually caused the Fox viewership to become more confused about the state of climate science. Now, some academics have done an exhaustive evaluation of Fox broadcasts (along with those of CNN and NBC) and demonstrated that there is a systematic bias against presenting the scientific community’s conclusions on Fox. And, at least among those with a conservative bent, it works. These viewers are far less likely to understand the state of the science, or even accept the reality that our planet has gotten warmer.
Spin meisters don’t need any validation or any truth anymore. They never need to be correct about anything, really. They have excuses for why things didn’t go down the way they predicted and then they blame George Soros. They’re a staggeringly misinformed bunch, yet there’s still an almost zen-like clarity to real America. They remain very sure of themselves, despite reality. The Fox News talking points have made their mark and have done their damage and, again. They are the story within the story of our time.
To summarize my position of the last few years: MSNBC needs to keep trying to be Fox Left and, as for the right, until you develop a meaningful conservative platform, which I truly hope happens, all of your causes will be lumped into one bucket of disinformation, disdain and disgust.
So how do we even deal with this faction anymore? Can they be nudged back toward reality? I think Hercules would take one look at that task and then choose to go wrestle a giant squid. It’s daunting. I always link back to former posts and say, See? Look what happened. But, to the Foxeteers, the past must be a meaningless blur, just like last weekend for me. Sorry about those drunken Facebook posts. It was the Cokie talking, really.
Meanwhile, the Foxeteer only sifts through the past to find those few tidbits that can be exploited—they seek validation in some inane effort to support their dying ideology. More importantly, Fox News is at the heart of why Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party will never be on the same page. They’re effectively stymieing any chance for sweeping reform by keeping a huge faction of our country defending the indefensible. No matter how much contrary proof will surface, on any given subject, this group will simply hang on tighter to this banal banner called Fox News.
The answer lies in an integral approach to this new Occupy movement.
The saying above was recently scrawled on a sidewalk in my town. For me, the graffiti heralded the birth of the Occupy Movement. It’s located south of the tracks, because south of the tracks is where this movement certainly spawned. There is a wonderful message at the heart of this revolution, but can it emerge amidst this land of misinformation? I have my doubts. Here’s the essence of what the movement should embrace:
As we of the 99% stand against the injustices of a dysfunctional and dying system, let us stand for profound change by embodying the respect, tolerance, patience, empathy, kindness, and other qualities we find so lacking in our supposed adversaries. Indeed, we have a precious opportunity to teach these qualities by example, by being the change we want to see in the world. Remember, the whole world is watching.
Nice words, but the chips are stacked against these disenfranchised masses. Add to it their movement will attract anarchists and al-Qaeda and to behave may become a tall order. When considering the massive changes ahead, we need this to be our focus:
A system that fosters cooperation not competition, cyclicity not growth, abundance not scarcity; a system that is an extension of ecology, not an exception to it; a system corresponding to a new (and ancient) way of thinking, relating, and being on earth.
The above quote represents a sentiment of the New Age movement I happen to agree with, but how can we switch to a system that’s monetary-less? This is what many New Agers are demanding and I don’t see how we can possibly get smoothly from here to there. Of course nothing in the near future is going to be smooth, regardless. I remember sometime during the Clinton Administration saying, “Wow, people just need to make their numbers for the week and no one even cares if it’s based on anything anymore.” That’s when people got shady; it’s when the dollar started to become a phantom; it’s when capitalism started to…umm, Rick Perry on us. Here’s a good bottom line quote:
No more profit from human suffering and ecological destruction, no more speculation on food and energy, no more sacrificing sound public policy to the growth imperative.
—Dave Oswald Mitchell
How many meaningful, ecologically sound businesses died because they weren’t growing like the fucking Borg? To put an end to sorrow, to hunger, to war, there must be a psychological revolution at the heart of it. There’s currently only a few of us around who understand this. You can wake up any time now. The best quote from the occupiers yet is this, “The true dreamers are the ones who believe things can go on as they have.” I’m talking to you, Sean Hannity.
This is one area many Occupiers and New Agers are at least dancing around the truth. We do need a new approach to politics, but I’m not ready to tear down the wall just yet. I’m still waiting for that third choice in politics—a third viable party within our existing system. The only way such a third choice will emerge is if enough people demand it. Our two party system will not yield to another party easily. Example, Fox News brought the Tea Party under their own tent thus delegitimizing them. Unfortunately, conservatives check with their programming before they even wipe their asses these days, so I’m not sure how many will remain relevant in 2011. The left will need to yield to a completely separate party if this movement is to have any meaning at all. This new party must be as devoid of any special interests as possible. It will need to rail against Wall Street greed as well those dysfunctional aspects of Government. If a third party cannot emerge, only then will this full revolt of yours be justified.
The heart of the problem remains this: too many of you are continuing to defend the indefensible.